Thursday, May 28, 2009

Roland Garros 2009 Day 5 Open Thread

Young spectators pose as they attend the French Open tennis second round match between French player Aravane Rezai and Slovanian player Polona Hercog during their on May 27, 2009 at Roland Garros stadium in Paris. The event, the second Grand Slam tournament of 2009, runs from May 24 to June 7, 2009.
Getty

The bottom half of both draws play second round matches today. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova are all on the roster today.

Venus Williams
will finishe her held over match from yesterday. Can she stave off an upset? How will Jelena Dokic fare against Elena Dementieva? Will Alexa Glatch slice her way to another victory?

Thursday Order of Play

Court Philippe Chatrier 11:00

1. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Marion Bartoli (FRA)[13] v. Tathiana Garbin (ITA)
2. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Jose Acasuso (ARG) v. Roger Federer (SUI)[2]
3. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Virginia Ruano Pascual (ESP) v. Serena Williams (USA)[2]
4. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Victor Crivoi (ROU) v. Gael Monfils (FRA)[11]

Court Suzanne Lenglen 11:00

1. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Jelena Jankovic (SRB)[5] v. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK)

*Not Before 12:00
2. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Lucie Safarova (CZE) v Venus Williams (USA)[3] To Finish 7-6(5)3*

2. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Alize Cornet (FRA)[21] v. Sorana Cirstea (ROU)
3. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Juan Monaco (ARG) v. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)[9]
4. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) v. Novak Djokovic (SRB)[4]

Court 1 11:00

1. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) v. Simone Bolelli (ITA)

*Not Before 12:00
2. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Nikolay Davydenko (RUS)[10] v Diego Junqueira (ARG)
To Finish 4-6 6-3 6-0 2-2 *

2. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Virginie Razzano (FRA) v. A. Medina Garrigues (ESP)[18]
3. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA)[32] v. Pablo Andujar (ESP)
4. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Jelena Dokic (AUS) v. Elena Dementieva (RUS)[4]

Court 2 11:00

1. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)[7] v. Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ)
2. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Jill Craybas (USA) v. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)[10]
3. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Arnaud Clement (FRA) v. Christophe Rochus (BEL)
4. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Andy Roddick (USA)[6] v. Ivo Minar (CZE)
5. Women's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Serena Williams (USA)[5] v. Andrea Hlavackova (CZE)
Venus Williams (USA)[5] Lucie Hradecka (CZE)
To Finish 6-1 3-6 4-3

Court 3 11:00

1. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Tommy Robredo (ESP)[16] v. Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP)
2. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP) v. Viktoriya Kutuzova (UKR)
3. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Jurgen Melzer (AUT)[24] v. Guillaume Rufin (FRA)
4. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Josselin Ouanna (FRA) v. Mahesh Bhupathi (IND)[4]
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) Mark Knowles (BAH)[4]

Court 4 11:00
1. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Jarmila Groth (AUS) v. Mariana Duque Marino (COL)
2. Women's Doubles - 2nd Rnd.
Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER)[11] v. Mathilde Johansson (FRA)
Patty Schnyder (SUI)[11] Pauline Parmentier (FRA)
3. Women's Doubles - 2nd Rnd.
Lucie Safarova (CZE) v. Vera Dushevina (RUS)
Vladimira Uhlirova (CZE) Anastasia Rodionova (AUS)
4. Women's Doubles - 2nd Rnd.
T.B.D. v. Maria Kirilenko (RUS)[8]
Flavia Pennetta (ITA)[8]

Court 5 11:00

1. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Martin Vassallo Arguello (ARG) v. Igor Andreev (RUS)[25]
2. Women's Doubles - 2nd Rnd.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) v. Iveta Benesova (CZE)
Francesca Schiavone (ITA) Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE)
3. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Johan Brunstrom (SWE) v. Igor Andreev (RUS)
Jean-Julien Rojer (AHO) Evgeny Korolev (RUS)

Court 6 11:00

1. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Andreas Seppi (ITA) v. Maximo Gonzalez (ARG)
2. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Leonardo Mayer (ARG) v. Tommy Haas (GER)
3. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Samantha Stosur (AUS)[30] v. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)
4. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Robby Ginepri (USA) v. Bob Bryan (USA)[2]
Robert Kendrick (USA) Mike Bryan (USA)[2]

Court 7 11:00

1. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Alexa Glatch (USA) v. Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP)
2. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG)[5] v. Viktor Troicki (SRB)
3. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Andreas Beck (GER) v. Marc Gicquel (FRA)
4. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Mariya Koryttseva (UKR) v. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)[12]

Court 8 11:00

1. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Jamie Murray (GBR) v. Leos Friedl (CZE)
Pavel Vizner (CZE) David Skoch (CZE)
2. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Simon Aspelin (SWE) v. Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
Paul Hanley (AUS) Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
3. Women's Doubles - 2nd Rnd.
Maret Ani (EST) v. Vania King (USA)[13]
Kaia Kanepi (EST) Monica Niculescu (ROU)[13]
4. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
David Ferrer (ESP) v. Ivo Karlovic (CRO)
Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP) Lovro Zovko (CRO)

Court 9 11:00

1. Women's Doubles - 2nd Rnd.
Olga Savchuk (UKR) v. Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE)[9]
Tiantian Sun (CHN) Shuai Peng (CHN)[9]
2. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Jeff Coetzee (RSA)[11] v. Jaroslav Levinsky (CZE)
Jordan Kerr (AUS)[11] Igor Zelenay (SVK)
3. Mixed Doubles
Chia-Jung Chuang (TPE) v. Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE)
Christopher Kas (GER) Ashley Fisher (AUS)
4. Mixed Doubles
Virginie Razzano (FRA) v. Cara Black (ZIM)[2]
Jeff Coetzee (RSA) Leander Paes (IND)[2]

Court 10 11:00

1. Women's Doubles - 2nd Rnd.
Zi Yan (CHN)[16] v. Klaudia Jans (POL)
Jie Zheng (CHN)[16] Alicja Rosolska (POL)
2. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Marcel Granollers (ESP) v. Philipp Petzschner (GER)
Santiago Ventura (ESP) Alexander Peya (AUT)
3. Mixed Doubles
Severine Bremond Beltrame (FRA) v. Julie Coin (FRA)
Robert Lindstedt (SWE) Nicolas Mahut (FRA)
4. Mixed Doubles
Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) v. Zi Yan (CHN)[7]
Bruno Soares (BRA) Nenad Zimonjic (SRB)[7]

Court 11 11:00

1. Women's Doubles - 2nd Rnd.
Julie Ditty (USA) v. Kveta Peschke (CZE)[2]
Maria-Emilia Salerni (ARG) Lisa Raymond (USA)[2]
2. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Eric Butorac (USA) v. Michael Kohlmann (GER)
Scott Lipsky (USA) Alexander Waske (GER)
3. Mixed Doubles
Lisa Raymond (USA)[3] v. Rennae Stubbs (AUS)
Marcin Matkowski (POL)[3] Ross Hutchins (GBR)
4. Mixed Doubles
Raquel Kops-Jones (USA) v. Nadia Petrova (RUS)[4]
Eric Butorac (USA) Max Mirnyi (BLR)[4]

Court 14 11:00

1. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Rik De Voest (RSA)[14] v. Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE)
Ashley Fisher (AUS)[14] Frank Moser (GER)
2. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Daniel Nestor (CAN)[1] v. Lucas Arnold Ker (ARG)
Nenad Zimonjic (SRB)[1] Horacio Zeballos (ARG)
3. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Fabio Fognini (ITA) v. Petr Pala (CZE)
Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS) Radek Stepanek (CZE)
4. Mixed Doubles
Elena Vesnina (RUS)[6] v. Stephanie Cohen-Aloro (FRA)
Daniel Nestor (CAN)[6] Thierry Ascione (FRA)

Court 16 11:00

1. Women's Doubles - 2nd Rnd.
Severine Bremond Beltrame (FRA) v. Victoria Azarenka (BLR)[12]
Julie Coin (FRA) Elena Vesnina (RUS)[12]
2. Women's Doubles - 2nd Rnd.
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK)[7] v. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)
Ai Sugiyama (JPN)[7] Arantxa Parra Santonja (ESP)
3. Men's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Mathieu Montcourt (FRA) v. Lukasz Kubot (POL)[9]
Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) Oliver Marach (AUT)[9]
4. Men 's Doubles - 1st Rnd.
Simone Bolelli (ITA) v. Sebastien Grosjean (FRA)
Andreas Seppi (ITA) Nicolas Lapentti (ECU)
5. Mixed Doubles
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) v. Sybille Bammer (AUT)
Filip Polasek (SVK) Lukasz Kubot (POL)

Court 17 11:00

1. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Petra Martic (CRO) v. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN)[24]
2. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Melinda Czink (HUN) v. Sybille Bammer (AUT)[28]
3. Women's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) v. Olivia Rogowska (AUS)
4. Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)[29] v. Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP)

99 comments:

Karen said...

Morning All. I like what I see from Venus so far. She is going to be coming to the net more during this match. No long rallies

Matt said...

I'm going to take a wild pick and go with Dokic over Dementieva. They have very similar games (like to tear the felt off the ball), and I truly believe Dokic can out-slug Dementieva from the baseline. If she can find her A-game like she did in Melbourne, I think she has a good chance of going deep into the draw.

Beth said...

Wow, Safarova had some REAL chances n this match against Venus. I had to stop watching after she blew it for herself in the 3rd set - what a loss. Venus' shrieking was just too much anyway, like nails on a chalkboard. I can't listen to that from either her or Sharapova or some of the others. It makes watching the tennis VERY difficult - so distracting.

b said...

Yaay for Venus!!!!! What a match..... Caught the last part and could barely watch most of it, had to switch to Roger when Venus was close to losing....


Please note, for those concerned about WTA attendance, that Lenglen was considerably more packed than Chatrier.... despite Fed playing there.....


I was wondering who on earth was getting so loud and emotional every time Venus won a point..... sometimes at weird times.... When Safarova netted a shot to give Venus matchpoint the camera swung to Richard and his fiancee (wife now?) and realised she was the one all that time... wow

Craig Hickman said...

Matt, I'd welcome your prediction.

::

Anyone see Roger escape four set points in the first set.

Acasuso had him on the ropes and he delivered, but Acasuso should shoot himself for dropping that set.

He was up 4-2 in games, 5-2 and 6-3 in the tiebreak, and on two of the set points, he Aca-chu-choked.

Beth said...

Federer need to get it together. He was up 2-0 in the 3rd set. You'd think after taking that 1st set he would be steamrolling by now.....

Beth said...

Yeah Craig, Acasuso definitely blew it in the tiebreak. It was infuriating to watch. Painful. Arggghhhh!!!

Pamela said...

I didn't much of the Fed match after Acasuso went up 4-2, but knew he wouldn't keep it.

Congratulations to Venus. I'm glad she pulled through. I'm not that big of a fan, but I absolutely LOVED seeing her Dad and his fiance screaming and cheering her on. The French crowd can be horrible, but if you can block that out and hear only the ones who care for you ... outstanding.

Dokic over Elena? I'll take that too.

Craig Hickman said...

Pamela, you and I must be separated at birth. 90% of everything you say is exactly where I'm at.

Pamela said...

lol Craig ... bro!

Karen said...

but now Acasuco has Fed on the ropes, 1 set all and up a double break by the looks of it. Come on Roger. Get your freaking mind off Mirka's bosom

charags said...

King Fed + 1st set win = lose match

Gaaah! I'm fed up of watching him play so dull!

Craig Hickman said...

b, those fans swarmed to Lenglen because an upset was brewing. I'm sure the fans will swarm to Chatrier now that Federer is on the ropes.

But I don't think Chu-choke can keep Fed down.

b said...

Looks like Acasuso is badly choking his huge 3rd set lead.... he was up 4-1.... now it's 5-4.....

Only consolation is that Karen is happy :o)

b said...

Craig, just saw your message...... that would make sense too...

I really hope you're wrong about Aca... your prediction is far more rational than mine

Helen W said...

Wow, at least he held is serve to get to a tie-break.

Wow, what a choke!

You don't have to be watching the match to know who just scored -- the crowd reaction says it all. And people say they pull for the underdog? Yeah OK.

Pamela said...

Shrinking violets on the ATP.

That's all I'm saying.

Karen said...

Shrinking violet or is Roger finally willing to get down and fight dirty to win a match - I say the latter and yes b I am one very happy woman - LOL

Pamela said...

No Karen, Acasuso choked. Period. Roger was not and still is NOT playing great tennis. I'm not a hater of his, but I do call it like I see it. He should have lost that set, good for him for not just resigning himself to what should have been an inevitable loss of the 3rd set, but he didn't win it. Acasuso lost it. Sorry.

Helen W said...

Exactly, Pamela. And if I were a Roger fan, I would not be comforted by the way Roger seemed to lose all fight when Acasuso got ahead. It was only Acasuso's choke that let Roger back into the match.

pompelmo said...

This is such a mental game. If you can't keep a double break lead, then it is fair you lose it. The Federer "brand", not the player was enough for Acasuso.

Craig Hickman said...

It's maddening to watch so many so-called professional tennis players fold up like cheap lawn chairs in the face of certain opponents.

Absolutely maddening.

Craig Hickman said...

pompelmo, we rarely agree, but I'm with you on this.

Aca-Chu-Choke wilted like crops in a drought to The Name.

Karen said...

I have not seen the match so I will defer to those who are watching. Dont you guys think that the same thing is happening with Nadal as well. Players are already beat before they step on the court with him. How does that happen? Is it that those players are that good, or are they completely awed by the occassion and the person that they are playing? Is there an answer to this question?

Craig Hickman said...

Karen, girl, you know I love you, but when are you going to wake up and smell the coffee?

Players choke on a regular basis against Roger Federer, they choke so badly it simply cannot be denied.

Now, while Federer isn't the ONLY player players gag before, but look at what has often happened to Venus and Serena in the EARLY rounds of majors throughout their careers. When players get the upper hand against the sisters in the EARLY rounds at majors, they tend to dig in and serve up the upset. And I know you're not going to argue that either one of them is mentally weaker than Roger Federer.

No. It's the OPPONENT that allows Federer to escape. Period. Scrubs LOVE upsetting the sisters EARLY in majors. But this is the second Slam in a row that Federer escapes a potential upset and its precisely because NEITHER of his opponents had the gonads the WTA scrubs show when they smell blood in one of the sisters in the EARLY rounds of a Slam.

I've said it before and I mean it again, Roger Federer is the luckiest great tennis champion I've ever seen.

Karen said...

Craig, you know I love you, but I really have to disagree with that one (at least parts of it). From what I saw this morning Roger was not at his best and Jose was playing really good tennis. He had a game plan and he was executing it. I have no idea what happened from 4-1 up in the third on the scoreboard as I am at work and was not listening to the commentary, but I have seen instances where Roger has basically dug in and fought to the bitter end. I remember in 2007 you said in one of your post that Roger Federer is a really great champion who knows how to win. This was in relation to his match against Janko, when at 9-8 and Janko serving, Roger made some really great returns to break Janko and win the match. I am not disputing that some of these men on the ATP do not have any gonads when facing certain players (the top 4 to be exact - case in point Potito yesterday), but you will agree with me that 50% of tennis is a mental game and even though Roger may have lost some of his luster in recent times, I think he still has the game to beat his opponents. As regards Venus/Serena, players always, but always play outside of their comfort zone when playing the Sisters. On that point I agree wholeheartedly.

Beth said...

Pamela, I have to agree with you 100% on this. Roger is not playing his best tennis and Acasuso allowed things to slip away. Allowed. It's too bad. He was really fighting it out for quite a while.

oddman said...

Somebody change the record......

Craig Hickman said...

Okay, Karen. You won't concede the point.

But remember, I saw the match. I saw Chu-Choke's TOTAL collapse.

It's easy to regain your confidence when you look across the net and see a train wreck.

There's only one reason why that match didn't go five sets OR end in four in an upset: Jose Acasuso handed Roger Federer the third set and Federer gladly accepted what was handed to him.

Players catching the vapors before the altar of The Name will remain part of Federer's legacy whether his fans like it or not, whether they admit in public or not.

pompelmo said...

Choking is a very common thing. It is not limited to opponents of Federer. But it still needs a player to capitulate it. The choker is caught by the moment, thinking of the achievement s/he is about the make, losing concentration, getting shaky, trying to play safer and not making so deep shots or trying to finish it quickly and get too aggressive, which means a change of play from the previous successful moments. Neither works in that shaky, nervous moment. The opponent takes advantage of short weak shots and forces the choker to get past him/her with passing shots, which s/he can't with his/her shaky hands. But if you cannot capitulate on it, s/he will still get away with it.

Craig Hickman said...

oddman, I'd love to change the record. Will you please find me a professional ATP player outside of the top 4 with some gonads, please?

pompelmo said...

Acasuso couldn't stand the emotion brought by the possibility of beating Federer.

Karen said...

LMAO - Craig you are too much. Gonads outside of the top 4. It is either they have gonads or they are playing against weak opponents, which is it. I am not saying that Jose choked. I concede the point that Jose was playing very well this morning. Best I have seen him play in a long time, and he was exploiting Roger's weakness. As Pompelno said, in order for a player to take advantage of a player who is choking, the chokee has to realise that there is a choker across the net and step up his/her game. I will watch the match tonight and see exactly how Jose choked

Karen said...

Serena seems to be playing better. up a double break

oddman said...

Oh Craig! I didn't mean you.

oddman said...

I totally agree with your 10:41 comment.

Karen said...

Serena just announced her arrival at the French Open by serving up a bagel set. Good stuff.

oddman said...

Karen said: '...but I have seen instances where Roger has basically dug in and fought to the bitter end.'

I haven't. Except for Tipsy. Did he dig in and fight against Berdy at the AO?

Or maybe it's that I don't watch ALL his matches - I do watch some. (and not just the ones against Nadal)

pompelmo said...

Now... I would like to see Mohammed Ali out of here. Monaco serving for 1 all.

oddman said...

OK, now why all of a sudden do i think Juan Monaco is goodlooking?
- in a strange way. LOL.
Love the intense stare.

Go Juan!

Craig Hickman said...

Looks like Tsonga Ali is inspired by Ouanna. He doesn't particularly care much for clay, but he's working it out so far today.

Craig Hickman said...

I just realized there's a chance Monfils and Tsonga could meet in the semifinals.

And that scenario isn't at all far-fetched.

dylan said...

Craig,

I'm really surprised you still credit Federer with such mystique over his opponents. After he was reduced to tears this year, smashed his racket etc - I find it hard to believe he has any intimidation factor left. Quite the opposite actually, when a champion finally falls, the masses tend to line up to get a piece of them... nobody's scared of Roger Federer anymore.

Karen said...

Yes but dylan, they still cannot beat him

Karen said...

so that is how the WTA intends to promote tennis - by having its women photographed in skimpy little bikinis. I guess that is one way to bring more fans to the sport.

sG said...

That Tsonga-Juan Monaco affair was wonderful stuff! Highly enjoyable! Monaco really gave it his all and looked primed to push for a fifth set, but when your opponent has a bullet-serve and strong will and skills of his own, nothing is ever certain.

Congratulations, Tsonga.

dylan said...

Karen. No, they still can't beat him (normally.) But I just don't think anybody is AFRAID to beat him. Two years ago, yeah, people could not imagine it. Now, I can't see how this argument holds anymore. His mystique has been shreded, still a heck of a good tennis player left though.

pompelmo said...

Yes, good match. Nice to catch up something like that on the early rounds.

sG said...

In the Fed-Acasuso match, I saw that fourth set collapse happening a mile away. Once he lost the double break up, Jose was a broken man. He stopped believing in the match-win. The pressure of serving it out definitely tightened his game a bit, but Fed played those essential points to win. I missed the apparent shank-fest which helped to give Acasuso his 4-1 lead. That's when I came in and that's when he started to lose. Perhaps I jinxed him? LOL

pompelmo said...

Dokic two breaks up and holds her serve. Wow! I was counting her out.

sG said...

Helen W: "You don't have to be watching the match to know who just scored -- the crowd reaction says it all. And people say they pull for the underdog? Yeah OK."

I just had that argument with my mother yesterday! She insists they love an underdog and I insist she's wrong. I used Federer as an example and she waved me off by saying she doesn't remember as far back as last year. O-kay. The first time I ever saw a crowd root consistently against Federer no matter who he was playing was in Madrid. It was a bit shocking.

Oh, and on a shallow note -- is Acasuso always this cute? Because I was liking the close-ups.

Graf_sampras said...

to dylan ..


it is wrong to assume that because roger's "mystique" has been shattered in front of everyone - on the ongoing months-long assault by a certain spaniard primarily as an example -

that those that were under roger's spell are not entirely capable, when it gets down to it, of something called REGRESSION.

HABITS are harder to change than one assumes because of certain events.

if anything:

the fact that Nadal has ALWAYS undressed Roger Federer SINCE 2004 WHILE THE "mystique" went ON alongside THAT act by Rafael Nadal shows that the description of what SOMEONE like nadal does with roger's mystique doesn't necessarily ENTER and take residence in the minds of the players who are SUPPOSED to BENEFIT from the example shown by someone named Nadal.

this is what I have always pointed out for years:

RAFAEL NADAL - right under everyone's noses - was SHOWING EVERYONE ELSE that -- YOU STAND UP TO ROGER, get CLOSE TO HIM and not give an inch

HE WILL collapse.

that "mystique" remember is only a mystique "broken" according to what the descriptions SAY..which is part of the problem of other players -- they BELIEVED what was SAID...even BEFORE roger became dominant.

they BELIEVED the advance notices:

"roger is the best -- make room EVERYONE"...

and thus we had what the AUssie newspaper said:

"the players that came with roger are so respectful to the point of being deferential".

this "shattering of the mystique" really has more to do with NADAL ULTIMATELY unmanning roger federer - and toppling him in wimbledon , ao and that humiliation in FO as well as taking the world number one away.

it has little to do with what OTHER PLAYERS DO FOR THEIR OWN ACCOUNT.

it has more to do with what NEWSPAPERS and writers SAY than what PLAYERS CHANGE in THEIR minds.


as it stands - there has been no fundamental change:

ONLY NADAL and DJOKOVIC and MURRAY

(apart from the occasional canas, etc.)


remain the players that show the "mystique" about roger - for THESE players NEVER EXISTED.

so there was NOTHING to "break" for these players.

the OTHER players remain SLAVES to that mystique .


do people really think that when DAVYDENKO MEETS ROGER davydenko is going to "come very close" like in USO TWICE

and NOT FALL under that "mystique?"

or if it was berdych who did EXACTLY the same thing in AO? or LJUBICIC? or RODDICK despite Roddick's agreement with what writers say about the "broken mystique?"

they can TALK all they want about the "broken mystique" of roger

but until THEY prove it WITH THEMSELVES - it's all TALK.

it is like someone who - having been addicted to smoking -- swears he or she has Gotten over it -- and then in a dizzy-brain party - and drinking - sneaks out and steals a cigarette...

it is like someone who having been coerced all his or her life to believe there is such a thing as some allknowing almight being with magic that watches everything swears he's over it - and then when lightning strikes

crosses his chest....

roflmao!

you can bet on it - ROGER IS BETTING on that "mystique" of his to get him by ....and players are going to continue to OBLIGE HIM!

Graf_sampras said...

sG said...

In the Fed-Acasuso match, I saw that fourth set collapse happening a mile away. Once he lost the double break up, Jose was a broken man. He stopped believing in the match-win. The pressure of serving it out definitely tightened his game a bit, but Fed played those essential points to win. I missed the apparent shank-fest which helped to give Acasuso his 4-1 lead. That's when I came in and that's when he started to lose. Perhaps I jinxed him? LOL

=========

THIS -- the TIGHT sets - followed by a STARKLY contrasting , NON-INJURY caused , 2-6 collapse by acasuso -- himself a VETERAN clay courter?

that IS the very proof of what Tomas Muster , Bruguera, STich, and many others have already said:

"players AROUND ROGER FEDERER.....when they see him hit a few great shots...they just give up, raise the white flag, and GO HOME...they shouldn't be playing ROger...they should be playing TENNIS" (muster)...

"the reason nadal is successful against roger is because Nadal DOESN"T back away from roger...these other players have NO REAL FIGHT in them".

THAT's bruguera who - in the days of sampras NEVER even for a moment ACKNOWLEDGE pete's destruction of HIM as DEFENDING champion in FO 1996...MEANING? this guy has PRIDE

and THAT"S what these people are talking about.

when you go out there, regardless of how BIG the NAME

when you have a CHANCE -- you GO FOR IT and not give up until the bitter end because THAT's one of the only FEW chances you GOT and you should STEAL IT.

but NOT these players around roger.

THAT is how roger's "mystique" was BUILT. it was built BY the players AROUND HIM that came with him "so respectful to the point of being deferential"......

as Charles Barkley said:

"these players around roger...the way they talk and act 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?!!"

now -- ask yourselves - why would veteran champions of different sports - who've seen it ALL


say such things ? it is because SOMETHING

IS WRONG with these players.

they were given the "ROGER BLUE PILL" by the media and advance notices and over-glorification of a FEW wins by roger at the "right times" (downing sampras, downing agassi , etc.)


that they BELIEVE the MYTH that wasn't even all THAT real....and then they HELP create it with THEIR own participation to the detriment of THEIR own prerogatives to BE the players they COULD be if they had ANY self-respect worthy of being called "Tough".


iv'e always said it:

they're not THAT tough!

roflmao.

dylan said...

Graf, You're really grasping at straws with this mystique argument. Outside of the top 4 guys on tour, Roger still ought to beat everyone else. Actually, all 4 of the top players tend to beat everyone else. So the fact that only Murray, Djoke, and Nadal beat Roger regularly says nothing. It just says he has no mystique, and those are the only guys good enough to beat him.

Roger doesn't come back from one or two sets down any more than the next guy. People choke all the time, against all sorts of players. Roger is officially just another guy on tour right now.

Graf_sampras said...

CONGRATS to TOMMY HAAS ALSO


these others should be ASHAMED of themselves.

they are in the middle and height of their careers while tommy has spent most of the last 6 years trying to just rehab his shoulder and elbow and just wanting to play the sport he loves and learning to accept the misfortunes of life for him from his best years long ago - only to awake that the game had gone on without him....

and YET here he is fighting all he can with his surgeried shoulders right up to the last

and - to boot - he TOO had choking problems - but he tried to find ways to fix that

and he remains a SURVIVOR at AGE 31 !!!

in a tough battle for what LITTLE SPOT in the tennis he can still manage for himself!

have these others - who have been largely healthy and given the chances to BUILD their GAMES and enrich their games

ANY SHAME AT ALL?

while watching today -Tommy fighting against a current "era" TOUGH GUY

like Monaco

i was VERY VERY PROUD of Tommy Haas!!

he's not going to win the FO - that's almost certain ..but at least he shows some GUTS to TRY even at such a late, damanged stage in his career and mostly for no fault of his own but just really BAD fortune. BAD TIMING

and IN TOMMY's Severely WEAKENED state in his career, much of the best years of his career lost from him, IS an example of the "HOLE" LEFT by the samprases and agassis


that Roger Federer TOOK ADVANTAGE OF through a WEAKENED competition.

Karen said...

I actually think the guys on the ATP are now afraid of Nadal. I recall Novak saying that even when the set is 5-1 Nadal, he plays as if his very life depends on winning every single point. He says it is a bit disheartening for him to have to deal with that on the court. I just think that it is not that players choke against the top guys, it is because the other guys know what the top guys are capable of. In any hierachy the lower males usually genuflect to the alpha males. Perhaps the situation holds true for human behaviour as well. On the women's side, I think the reason why most women step it up against Serena/Venus has more to do with the scalp that you have taken, rather than just trying to beat them. If I say that I have beaten Venus or Serena, then it means it is the biggest win of theior careers.

Graf_sampras said...

no Dylan , you got it all confused.

Roger is "only one of many guys now" in context of what NOVAK or MURRAY or NADAL can and HAVE been doing TO hIM .


against ALL OTHERS _- he is THE MAN.

make sure you are not confused about THAT.

Graf_sampras said...

YOU"RE the one grasping at straws, dylan.

trying to set up or resurrect that MYSTIQUE of roger, in fact....

by claiming that the OTHER Players aren't "mystiqued" anymore so that roger's wins get credited with -- what ELSE -- but Rogers MYSTIQUE of having won due to such GREATNESS!

when it is CLEAR - as today's example - that a player OTHER than Murray, Rafa or NOVAK

REMAIN in HOCK to that roger mystique.

and couldn't save themselves if they were given it on a silver platter because of THAT mystique.

dylan said...

Graf, I've seen others try to argue with you here, it's pretty useless.

I read what the guys say on tour, and nobody's dropping lines like the James Blake classic "just happy to get a lesson from him..." All that stuff is long gone. Disagree all you want, I ain't arguing with you anymore.

Karen said...

Poor Jelena Dokic, cannot catch a break even if she made it. She had LenaD on the ropes and then her back gave out. She would have won this match 2-3 or some such score. She was playing exceptionally well and hitting the stuffing out of the ball, pushing LenaD all over the court. Sorry to see her go out like this.
I am so done with the whole choka-gate - come on people move on. Clearly, no one here will convince anyone here about their views, so let us just leave it alone. It makes for a very awkward environment when we keep rehashing the same thing over and over again as no one is going to change their views.

Graf_sampras said...

CORRECTION:

TOMMY HAAS over MAYER, not MONACO.

===========

simpler, Dylan.

the "roger mystique" over players is proved ONLY when he is defeated by players OTHER than the same THREE players that have been doing the heavy-lifting these past few years..and mostly by NADAL.

WHEN a roddick, an acasuso, davydenko, etc.

clearly CAPABLE of defeating roger - and who have been given MANY chances to do so -- DO TAHT


you can THEN, and ONLY then say that the "mystique" of roger OVER THEM was broken.


until then - roger continues to get passes from players that have NO business allowing that.

they must be smoking mushrooms whenever they see roger's name......

as baghdatis would say:

"I choked matches away to roger, because of his name"

and they CONTINUE to do so

Graf_sampras said...

dylan said...

Graf, I've seen others try to argue with you here, it's pretty useless.

=========

well that's also because I KNOW what I am talking about but cover a LOT of ground most people don't.

Graf_sampras said...

and to PROVE it -

I'M the one, more often and ahead of anyone I am familiar with that insisted for YEARS that NADAL would ONE DAY WIN wimbledon when it was said

He will NEVER have a serve worth squat!

lol.

I"M the one that kept saying - to the annoyance of a lot of people, evenbanning me , that Nadal and a FEW like novak HAD BEEN SHOWING EXAMPLES right under everyone's noses that you STAND UP TO ROGER


HE WILL COLLAPSE


I've been saying such things FAR AHEAD of the CURRENT NEWS WRITING COMMUNITY!

let's put it that way!

roflmao!

I'M the one that said SINCE before roger "dominated" that the CROWD that was coming with him - as far as I could see - SHOWED NO REAL METTLE or VARIETY


FAR AHEAD of veteran legends FINALLY ADMITTING what is NOW more commonly reported from among them about the state of the competition.

that as, John McEnore Said in wimbledon 2006 "WE MUST ADMIT THAT THERE REALLY ISN"T ALL THAT GREAT A COMPETITION around roger...especially among the TOP"...........

and was saying such things in GoTennis SINCE 2003 and before that! as i saw the "emerging" era producing players that I saw were LIMITED in their vocabulary

and as I suspected had no PRIDE at all.

and I also said for YEARS that it would take a few more players that FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF NADAL when I saw him in 2003.04 --

and that it wold take a few more years before THAT generation (which EVENTUALLY included murray and novak whom i was not aware of YET) --

to do what the players "that came with roger"

namely , Roddick, acasuso, robredo, ljubicic, ferrer, etc....

COULDN"T OR WOULDN"T DO!

STAND UP to roger federer!

i even calculated - to the anger of Fedfans in ESPN who made a case for banning me there -- since 2004 that the competition would be joined with nadal a bit more -- at ABOUT the ear 2008

and i was RIGHT. i even said BEFORE 2008 - near the ned of 2007 that 2008

IF

"roger doesn't win AO - it will set the tone for the AO hardcourts season to follow..if he doesn't do well in indian wells, it will set the tone for miami, if he doesn't do well there, it will set the tone for Madrid and monte carlo ..and if he fails there it wills et the tone for PARIS, and if he fails there, it will set the tone for wimbledon...."

he WAS LUCKY he got another BEGINNER in murray in USO , just like he got BEGINNER novak in 2007!!

so -- over-all -- guess what?



I WAS RIGHT!!

lol.

sG said...

Leave it to Charles Barkley to make the colorful comment. He's not wholly wrong, specifically the latter half of his comment. He's taking food away from them, ha!

So, Karen, what you're saying is, the women have more guts than the men? Because for me, trying to take it to multi-Slam masters is a guts thing. Top 20-100 have a reason to fear; top 10 need to vomit in a corner, if they must, then get over it.

Graf_sampras said...

Blogger sG said...

Leave it to Charles Barkley to make the colorful comment. He's not wholly wrong, specifically the latter half of his comment. He's taking food away from them, ha!

So, Karen, what you're saying is, the women have more guts than the men? Because for me, trying to take it to multi-Slam masters is a guts thing. Top 20-100 have a reason to fear; top 10 need to vomit in a corner, if they must, then get over it.

Thu May 28, 03:32:00 PM

============

sG it was Craighickman that brought that statement to my attention a few years ago.

and it is about the most fitting , so i remind people of it.

i mean -- what VESTED interested does an NBA player HAVE in players?

these guys watch SPORTS -- and remember what THEY do in THEIR own profession..they fight for the ball...

I remember Steffi Graf saying :

"i really admire EWING...because he plays tough..i'm such a big fan of his..it's so exciting to see him compete".

what VESTED interest does SHE have in MEN's basketball? or Charles Barkley on Men's Tennis?

they look at things with the eye of what it TAKES to HAVE your SPOT in the sunlight!

all your talent , training, preparation, is NOTHING -- when , given the chance you CHOKE away things .

and THAT"s what Barkley was talking about.

players in tennis - who - having established THEIR generation -- show themselves to be such SLAVISH "opponents"

and who act and play as if they're there to HELP roger "realize" what the newspapers SAY!

what bums!

Graf_sampras said...

and ...sG...i've ALSO said it numerous times for a long, long time:


these men players have balls about the size of a peanut when it comes to "seeing roger across the net"....

they think that because he moves like a ballet-dancer they should be happy to get a game only.

and tommy haas was correct in 2007:

"everyone's so far UP roger's ASS...it's sickening".

and i've been saying:

SERENA WILLIAMS has more BALLS in HER than a string of male players put together!


and they need some WILLIAMS in THEM!

roflmao!

sG said...

Uh, did Sveta kill her opponent today? Was she playing against a carcass because woooo...!

Craig Hickman said...

dylan said...

I'm really surprised you still credit Federer with such mystique over his opponents.

::

dylan, perhaps I haven't been clear. I don't credit Federer with such mystique over his opponents.

I fault his opponents succumbing to that mystique -- real or simply imagined -- when they should be playing the ball, not the player.

Craig Hickman said...

The Federer match is being re-aired right now and Darren Cahill just said something like this:

"It's amazing what can happen to a player against a higher-ranked opponent. Acasuso's game has suffered dramatically since he got tight. In the last four or five games, he's made numerous errors off his forehand, a side where he made almost no errors for the entire match. But you get of whiff of going up two sets to love against Federer, and the errors come."

And yes, Cahill emphasized The Name.

I rest my case.

Craig Hickman said...

sG,

Acasuso has always been fine.

Always.

Craig Hickman said...

Karen, sorry. Not moving on.

You wanna know why?

I'll tell you why.

Tennis is a mental sport.

That's why I love it. That's why I focus so much on the mentality of it all.

Quiet as it's kept, I'm actually not trying to convince anyone of anything, I'm just trying to make my arguments and present my observations as clearly and potently as I can make and present them.

Everyone who comments here does the exact same thing.

When we look at, say, a painting or, or see a film, or read a book, we all see and experience something different. I tell you what I see and experience, you do the same. Sometimes, we can see what someone shows us and we can admit that we see it. Sometimes, when we are stubborn and don't want to give an inch, when we don't want to concede a single point, we claim we don't see what someone else is showing us.

That's a mental game, too.

I love it. Thus, this blog.

I allow myself to see and express all sorts of things all the time.

Carry on, people. There can never been enough comments on the mental aspects of such a mental sport.

We can agree to disagree, but we can disagree. Passionately, vehemently, civilly.

rabbit said...

Why wasn't there similar outrage when Nalbandian couldn't close out match points against Nadal earlier this year?

rabbit said...

I'm also quite confused on one matter. It seems depending on the players involved, basically the same match can either showcase the heart of a champion or the disgusting face of a choker.

oddman said...

Rabbit said: 'Why wasn't there similar outrage when Nalbandian couldn't close out match points against Nadal earlier this year?'

Uhhh.... there was. Lots of it. Maybe not here. Did you check out some of the other sites?

Did Nalby choke then? I didn't see the match, but it sure sounds like he did. Did Verdasco choke in the semi's of the AO? I don't think so, he may have DF'd, but he was going for it the whole way. Did Fed choke in the 5th set of the AO? There's enough material for a library out there on that question.

I'm watching the Fed-Acasuso match now, and I'd have to agree with Craig and Cahill.

Fed's a tennis player. He's not TMF all the time. Aren't his fans glad he escaped? He lives to fight another day - it seems like an affront to some to say he escaped because of his opponent's choke.

pompelmo said...

I would like to comment on women's guts!

Men play over 5 sets. Creating an upset by winning three is much more difficult. Usually the final result is 1-3. Your scrubby opponent does his homework well and wins the first. You resolve his game, readjust yours and if he cannot come up with something new, it is done. Even if it is 0-2 you can come back with a solid game. Winning a game, getting a break is possible, but winning a set against a top player is a difficult task.

On the women's side, getting broken is much more easy. You have less of those "free tickets out of trouble" serves. If the opponent does not fold, and you cannot come up with something quickly, you can find yourself out of game within a blink of an eye. And usually the only solution Williamses come up with is hitting harder.

You have to win three sets. You have to be at your top game for "at least" three sets. You need versatility to create new problems when your more talented and experienced opponent come up with solutions. And you should keep your confidence in your shots when things don't go right. That is not easy. Creating an upset in a grand slam on men's draw is not an easy task. Acasuso could have very well get away with his nerves if it was a three set game. Containing the pressure at 1-1 and two breaks down would have been too much for Roger.

Craig Hickman said...

rabbit, the "heart of a champion" didn't exactly appear on this blog. But since you referenced it, I believe I'm the one who said Serena kept choking and choking and choking, who needed an error from her opponent to actually win her match. Serena admitted as much in her on-court interview.

Because I'm pretty harsh on my faves, no one can accuse me of singling out a player I might not like all that much and being harsh on said player just to get elicit a reaction.

Because you are so passionate about Roger Federer, I'm happy for you that he won his match.

But I'm not going to lie. I want to see Roger Federer actually LOSE a match in the early rounds of a Slam that he has no business winning.

Today was a match he had no business winning. But I'm not mad at Federer. I'm mad at Acasuso whose performance from 5-1 up in the third set to the conclusion of the match was maddening.

sG said...

Craig: "Acasuso has always been fine. Always."

LOL

sG said...

I'd say Federer had no business winning the third set. However, I can't say he had no business winning the match. He is a champion afterall, one of this era's best. He did what I expected him to do: he pulled his game together as Jose tightened up. That one happened doesn't preclude the other.

Rabbit referenced the Nalbandian loss. I watched that match. Nadal gritted his teeth and started hitting his shots much as Fed did here; with each lost matchpoint, Nalbandian got tighter and tighter until he was useless. The blowout in the third set was practically a gimme.

Craig Hickman said...

pompelmo said...

And usually the only solution Williamses come up with is hitting harder.

::

This is patently false.

I wouldn't conflate the sisters at all on this matter.

I don't want to start an argument about which one is better, and which one has more variety, etc..., but since Serena is my favorite, I know her game amd tendencies much better than I know Venus' game and tendencies.

It is simply untrue to suggest that Serena Williams' only solution "usually" is hitting harder when she's in trouble in a match. It's hardly her go-to strategy when things aren't going her way.

I could point to an encyclopedia of examples, but I'll only share two from which those who don't pay as much attention to Serena's actual tennis as I do can draw conclusions:

In 2007, Serena dropped the first set of her final in Miami against Justine Henin without winning a single game. She was down a break in the second set and Justine eventually served for the match.

When Serena refuses to lose a match and decides to turn things around, she becomes very serene when she steps up to the line to serve or return. Her grunts diminish or disappear altogether, her eyes shrink to slits. She goes inside herself. Even when she pumps her fist or makes that face she makes, she's doing it only for herself, so far inside herself she has gone. Her forehand swing finishes across her body instead of over her head making it both faster and more accurate. Her footwork improves, her knees jump up like a sprinter's, she becomes lighter on her feet. She approaches the net more frequently, whether or not her approach shots end up as winners, as they often do under these circumstances.

All of this, and much more, occurred as soon as Justine served for the match in the second set, and even though Serena fell behind a break of serve in the final set, she re-focused as above and reeled of a succession of games to eventually take the title.

Hitting harder NEVER entered the equation.

::

When Serena was down match points against Maria Sharapova in the 2005 Australian Open semifinal, all of what I mentioned above entered her game as well. Every single forehand Serena hit to save a match point was a winner. Not because she hit them any harder, she simply hit them and placed them better, hitting behind Maria to save herself. If I remember correctly Maria served for the match twice. Once in the second set, once in the third. She didn't choke either time unless missing a first serve here or there constitutes a choke. Hitting harder never entered the equation.

For the record, Nadia Petrova choked big time in their 2007 Australian Open match when serving for it. Kim Clijsters choked big time in the 2003 Australian Open semifinal when serving for it both times. But in both those come-from-behind victories, Serena did not hit the ball harder in order to turn the match around.

A hit-harder-and-harder player cannot win 10 majors on every surface in any era.

Craig Hickman said...

sG said...

I'd say Federer had no business winning the third set.

::

I'd say Federer had no business winning the first set either.

But I see what you mean about the entire match. If Jose had won the first set, there's no guarantee the rest of the match would have unfolded as it did. But if, by chance, it did unfold the same way up till the first 6 games of the third set, then Acasuso had no business losing the match and thus Federer had no business winning it.

That I had little doubt Federer would win the match down 1-5 in the third says as much, if not more, about Acasuso than it says about Federer.

sG said...

Amen, Craig.

pompelmo said...

Craig Hickman said...

A hit-harder-and-harder player cannot win 10 majors on every surface in any era.

---

Exactly. She is a champion. I didn't mean to disrespect her game, although I insist the main basis of her game is power. My argument (and only a part of it) was related to how scrubs take out the sisters in the early rounds, where the sisters are unprepared for that kind of challenge, yet. This is especially about Serena as Venus can find herself in trouble anytime when her first serve percentage is low.

They simply try to intimidate and off balance the lower ranked player by the power of their shots. They probably know it will not work against a top caliber player, so will already have a "b" plan in mind to come up with against that "special" opponent, or will simply try to focus on and try to do better what they do best.

Tennis Vagabond said...

Federer's won 13 grand slams.
At 7 lucky wins per grand slam, that means Fed has won 91 times by luck/choke/conspiracy/aliens.

The man is amazing!

Guys, its a long road to a grand slam. That's why few can repeat the feat (with the exception of Fed, who has done it solely by luck, which is not too absurd if you consider that the universe is infinite).

If Fed's opponent choked today, too bad for him. If Choker didn't deserve the win, well, there was only one OTHER person out there. So I guess he did deserve it. Every win is different, and I hardly feel sorry for a guy for being mentally weaker than his opponent, as I would for example, for Dokic today who suffered an injury. And if you really do see this as a tennis-injustice, consider it a "Dominance Dividend"- available free to any who dominate a sport shattering records for several years. Kind of like seed-protection.

Whatever. There's much bigger matches to come.
What a great tournament. What a great game.

rabbit said...

As a clarification, I didn't mean "heart of a champion", thinking of Savannah's post. I was thinking of it more generally; I've seen it more widely used to describe Nadal than Serena...

Leslie said...

To be fair, Acasuso chokes against just about everyone, whatever their name, whatever their ranking. That he is more likely to choke against Federer notwithstanding, I've no doubt he would have choked in this same position against any top 10 player today regardless. That's just the kind of guy he is, lol.

Credit to Federer for taking advantage, but obviously he needs to up his intensity if a guy like Jose is pushing him this hard this early. Nadal looks imperious as always.

Pamela said...

Wow, I missed all the action in this thread. Great answers Craig in response to the tried and untrue fall back answer of "she just hits harder." That is reserved for players like Dinara Safina. If you see a serene Serena sans grunting and an irritable attitude on court in week 2 .. beware, clay or not.

Anyway, it would be nice if people would learn what a choke consists of. Nalbandian choked and then ran out of gas, hence the bagel.

Acasuso choked and then gave up. He didn't lose the 3rd set because Federer upped his level and took it to him. He still could have won the match in a 5th set, but I can't pretend that someone is playing well just because they are capable. Fed is highly capable, but he looked mighty vulnerable today until Acasuso remembered where he was.

To me, it doesn't take away from Federer. He earned the status by being dominant so long, but to pretend that some players don't wilt because they're afraid to win or truly compete is taking your fandom too far.

I'd say the same about Rafa, my favorite. He can play poorly on days, but because of his reputation as a fighter - some will wilt. That's just what the sport is, I just don't like to see it when it happens like that.

dylan said...

You know, regarding this choking/luck question, it probably just comes down to shades of grey instead of being clear cut.

Acasuso choked against Fed today. Nalbandian probably should have closed out Nadal. Happens all the time when guys are trying to beat someone they "shouldn't"

So Fed got lucky, happens all the time.

I guess the distinction I was trying to make is with the situation several years ago. When Haas was complaining how everyone was up Fed's A**, and Blake was saying he was happy to get a lesson, and Mats was saying how guys just go home after a couple pretty shots - that was some SERIOUS mystique. It was insane. While Fed still gets the breaks of a guy ranked #2, I don't think you can say it's anything like what he got several years ago, when there really was a palpable mystique.

But the question I'm REALLY curious about now that Craig brought it up... is why doesn't Serena get the same breaks? Why do players want to beat her and seem afraid to beat others?

sG said...

Leslie: "To be fair, Acasuso chokes against just about everyone, whatever their name, whatever their ranking."

That's pretty sad.

Pamela said...

Dylan, did you see the exchange today at the net with Tsonga and Monaco?

You will NEVER see that on the WTA tour, unless it's Venus and Serena because they are sisters, and that happens so infrequently lately. They give curt handshakes and keep it moving.

I'll leave it up to others to figure out why players go all out to beat Serena. Several reasons could come into play, but I have an early day tomorrow.

Interesting thread and points of view.

Graf_sampras said...

Thu May 28, 04:56:00 PM
Craig Hickman said...

The Federer match is being re-aired right now and Darren Cahill just said something like this:

"It's amazing what can happen to a player against a higher-ranked opponent. Acasuso's game has suffered dramatically since he got tight. In the last four or five games, he's made numerous errors off his forehand, a side where he made almost no errors for the entire match. But you get of whiff of going up two sets to love against Federer, and the errors come."

And yes, Cahill emphasized The Name.

I rest my case.


========

DID Darren Cahill really say that? !

wow =- that's as strong a confirmation of what some have been saying about players :"when they see roger hit a few great shots...they just raise the white flag and go home...they shouldn't be playing Roger Federer...they should be playing TENNIS"...Thomas Muster....

who said it, like other former players, with the same essential observations as I and others have made.

does it REALLY need to be shown MORE evidence and observations by people who have BEEN THERE, done THAT compared to any of US?.

don't fedfans realize that

if one were to compile so many variations of observations , ranging from mcenroe, stich, sampras, rafter (who basically said in the AO while watching Tsonga last year: "hardly anyone since our days plays with that kind of MIXTURE anymore..it's all become so homogenuous") bruguera, Muster, Becker...


they are ALL summed up towards the SAME observation as we have pointed out regarding players "who came with roger who are so respectful to the point of being DEFERENTIAL"...(aussie newspaper 2008 AO)

what is the meaning of "deferential?":

it means to JUST GIVE WAY , to CAPITULATE without making the beneficiary really having EARNED it. it means to just "DEFER TO" the other simply out of "respect".

it is like saying Barack Obama DEFERS to Duck Cheney.....even if Duck Cheney hasn't EARNED ANY KIND of respect.

it is GIVING AWAY one's RIGHTS and privileges and position simply to make room for another who really hasn't earned it.


that was , by the way, the manner in which ROD LAVER "won" the first of his 1969 Grand Slam.

his opponent - over whom he was not superior at all -- just "defered" to Rod Laver - by gentleman's agreement as suggested by officials because the match was wearing on so long -- so why "not just have a CHAMPION?"

and that's the kind of wins some of roger's most CRITICAL stages of rounds were won. ...to the extent that it has become SO CHARACTERISTIC of many of his opponents -- it has become SO NOTICEABLE as a PATTERN

RATHER than an EXCEPTION.

Graf_sampras said...

put it this way:

NADAL "defers" to roger in terms of "who is the best player...look at his RECORDS...i only have six majors -- he has 13 and so many years as number one".....

BUT ON COURT

all that goes out the window!!


other players FAIL in balancing these things..and THAT is why few of them see that they , if they are ANY good, no matter how rarely the opportunity comes, should be READY to grab their chances .

but when given those -- they "defer".

Craig Hickman said...

Tennis Vagabond said...

(with the exception of Fed, who has done it solely by luck, which is not too absurd if you consider that the universe is infinite)

::

For the record, no one on this blog is making such a ludicrous argument.

To say Federer is lucky doesn't mean that's the sole way he has won as many Slams as he as won.

People roll their eyes when I say Federer is lucky.

I roll my eyes when people say he's not.

We can all agree he's a gifted and great champion, no?

Craig Hickman said...

dylan said...

But the question I'm REALLY curious about now that Craig brought it up... is why doesn't Serena get the same breaks? Why do players want to beat her and seem afraid to beat others?

::

That's the million dollar question, baby. I've had that tirade written and edited a thousand times, but have never posted it.

I doubt I ever will.

Craig Hickman said...

Graf_Sampras said...

that was , by the way, the manner in which ROD LAVER "won" the first of his 1969 Grand Slam.

his opponent - over whom he was not superior at all -- just "defered" to Rod Laver - by gentleman's agreement as suggested by officials because the match was wearing on so long -- so why "not just have a CHAMPION?"

::

Really? Can you provide more detail about this. I've never heard or read it before. My tennis history knowledge is quite limited though getting better every year.

Craig Hickman said...

rabbit, I just read your clarification. Sorry for my assumption.

Graf_sampras said...

Craig Hickman said...

Graf_Sampras said...

that was , by the way, the manner in which ROD LAVER "won" the first of his 1969 Grand Slam.

his opponent - over whom he was not superior at all -- just "defered" to Rod Laver - by gentleman's agreement as suggested by officials because the match was wearing on so long -- so why "not just have a CHAMPION?"

::

Really? Can you provide more detail about this. I've never heard or read it before. My tennis history knowledge is quite limited though getting better every year.

Thu May 28, 10:47:00 PM

==============

we won't see "written" as history the "gentleman's agreement"...they had to "play through" the match of course. Craighickman.

THAT part was just related to me years ago by someone who knows these folks from the old days personally...played with them, basically was part of their "in-crowd" and at times was an organizer of exhibitions of those players...and that there was just a "tacit" unspoken agreement to somehow "end" the match . especially with all the oppressive weather and finals yet to be played.



one might say it's part of the "deference" because of rod's two majors (since he began by emulating Don Budge in amateurs in 1962) - to be the "best" australian.

what that person years ago told me was that , the "shoptalk" among them really didn't consider rod laver as the "best" of the aussies, despite his grand slams , but that it was Ken Rosewall and above them, brief as his own career was, Lew Hoad.

Graf_sampras said...

but regarding the "completed" rounds...

that australian open was oppressively hot , humid, rainy...and frequently was so disrupted by rains from the asian monsoon, that players were scrambling to finish matches..

rod's SEMIS was the one:

it took over four hours and the weather was extremely oppressive only a few people were in attendance...

SEMIFINALS. AUSTRALIAN OPEN 1969.

ROD LAVER beat TONY ROCHE 7-5, 22-20, 9-11, 1-6, 6-3.

at this point, rod was 31 had been a professional for years..tony roche still just coming out of being "amateur" (where the OPEN , or professional players "allowed" era began only the year before) ...tony roche years younger...(rod was never again to get beyond the quarters after that 1969 year) ...one set alone took 90 minutes.

the other semifinal - won by Andres Gimeno

ANDRES GIMENO beat RAY RUFFELS 6-2, 11-9, 6-2
FINAL
ROD LAVER beat ANDRES GIMENO 6-3, 6-4, 7-5

==================

however true the "whisper" i am talking about --

note the difference in teh last 2 sets.

it took rod laver basically one break of serve....in the FIFTH set...while
rod laver was broken 3 times in the 4th set by the rising star Roche. all following very tight long first 3 sets...7-5, 22-20, 9-11....1-6, 6-3..



who was the same one rod beat in one of the rounds in either wimbledon or fo....

but by USOpen time another rising star, John Newcombe took rod to another very long match in another weather-bothered week, this time with unusually slippery grass...

which (i don't recall an actual NEWS copy i read from those times describing the day in Kew Gardens New york - being so humid and cold and slippery grass and players were having trouble with the footing... falling or slipping in that first set - then Rod , but NOT roche, switched to a new type of track shoes and "changed" the game to Newcombe in the semis..also in very tight five setter..

Graf_sampras said...

rod actually DID have superior head to head records against most of these players - after HE joined them as pros years after THEY had become pros...although they were either much older, like ken rosewall, hoad, gonzales by the time he "turned" the scores around ...or they were much younger like newcombe, roche.

but it is instructive to know that where the AMATEUR rosewall in the early sixties had the upper hand over amateur laver...and then rosewall went pro ahead of laver ...and started their "pro" rivalry above laver, laver turned that around until 1970...

BUT after that - with rosewall still the older and longer beyond his best years than the recent grand slam winner.

it was Rosewall in the Majors OPEN era since rod's grand slam # 2 - that won , if i remember correctly - 3 MORE , this time Open era majors..and won their LAST match in 1974.

==========

of course there are many arguments with various details to cite why laver was considered the best or as some said , "only in the second echelon behind six other players" despite his phenomenal records because of certain details (such as being considered world number one for about 2 years in the pro, open era 1968-69 at least, was still so defeated by 41-year old Pancho Gonzales in five sets in Madison Square garden billed later as "the Monday Night Massacre" - even if laver had already garnered a LEADING record over the well-past his best years Gonzales)...

or that where it was considered more important than EVEn the PRO OPEN ERA majors - the world championships - which were considered even by laver as what really mattered -- laver did not win most of them.

you take your pick.

Graf_sampras said...

Craig Hickman said...

Karen, girl, you know I love you, but when are you going to wake up and smell the coffee?

Players choke on a regular basis against Roger Federer, they choke so badly it simply cannot be denied.

Now, while Federer isn't the ONLY player players gag before, but look at what has often happened to Venus and Serena in the EARLY rounds of majors throughout their careers. When players get the upper hand against the sisters in the EARLY rounds at majors, they tend to dig in and serve up the upset. And I know you're not going to argue that either one of them is mentally weaker than Roger Federer.

============

THANK YOU very much for making it so clear.


INCLUDING mentioning that players -- of ANY era -- choked against big name players.


but NO ERA seems to have had so MANY players choke against ONE big name player like roger.


as craighickman described....using the Williamses where players would make either sister PAY for showing any sign of vulnerability -- grabbing their golden chance and marking their names on the books as "someone that TOOK DOWN a WILLIAMS"

this is very rare against roger...EVEN IF THE OPPORTUNITIES - by roger's PLAYING - which is FULL OF SHANKS and so-so playing -- that if he were agassi, or pete, or venus ,

they'd be OUT of there by SOME player that GRABBED that chance...

ROGER FEDERER is given the PASS by so many players who should have been grabbing that chance.