Saturday, September 05, 2009

Dead On Arrival

That's all I have to say about today.

Fitting for both former champions dismissed in tight matches by young Americans.

14 comments:

oddman said...

Fitting? I guess. I'm happy for Melanie.

But Andy? Nope. Gutted isn't even close.

edma1022 said...

I saw John Isner hitting in P Court 2 this morning. I saw he was hitting the ball well but didn't think much about it.

I'm now banging myself for not being able to see this match (was out all night). I heard Andy was broken only once.

Very tough loss. Hope he gets back pretty soon.

Helen W said...

So Craig, is your girl still in the draw?

HoiHa said...

Commiserations all, especially to you Craig - I have been half following the action - the US Open is the hardest slam event for us in Asia to follow given the 12 hour time difference - but I did catch the 5th set bright and sunny Sunday morn for me (Saturday night in NYC) - and I can say that within 2 minutes of watching I knew Roddick was going to lose - his affect was sooo flat ...

But it did get me thinking about how much I dislike "spoilers" in tennis (the pundits call them "dangerous floaters" I believe) - the huge guys whose games are nothing but serve and can, from time to time, produce a day or 2 of winning (I won’t say good cause it often is so boring to watch) tennis because their serve is so on fire ... but in the end all they ever seem to do is take out top guys unlucky enough to face them on their 1 day in 1,000 when they can actually win a big match ...

I guess what I am trying to say is that their impact on a draw is so negative - I am not talking about Verdasco or Tsonga for example in their OZ Open runs this and last year - they were legit contenders throughout the tournament - I am talking about the Dr Ivos and the Isners who will take a big scalp then lose immediately and pathetically in the next round ...

Spoilers - I really don't like them ... but that said ... AndyR should have won that match ...

b said...

I'm happy for isner and oudin.... made my day.....

isner has made incredible improvement in his stamina (and quality of play) from when i first saw him play 2 years ago - very impressed

also impressed that he actually went for the kill - a lot of the atp does not.... when it comes to underdogs beating the upper echelons

HoiHa said...

P.S. I am afraid though that at aged 24, Isner is not exactly "young" in tennis terms...

Dana said...

Roddick brings so many fans to tennis, so I was especially sorry to see him lose, and Sharapova's a draw, too...sad. But ain't it ironic that in the midst of all the latest hand-wringing over the lack of American players, out shoots Oudin and Isner from seemingly nowhere to take huge wins!! A wonderful irony at that.

HoiHa said...

Oudin is a wonderful story no doubt - but I really am not holding my breath - she has a long way to go with her game. The good news is she is only 17 - the bad news is she has no weapons and she is small of stature for today's game. I think making it into the top 20 in her career would be a great achievement.

As for Isner - he has been around a while - he is 24 years old - rather older than Rafa, Murray, Novak, Pony, etc ... he is not a new young talent on the scene - he is older talent that has been having the best week of his professional life. His highest ranking ever has been #55.

Don't mean to be negative - just realistic - I hope sincerely to be proven wrong.

Whole Sight said...

I don't get the Isner-bashing. He played well. He came to net more often than Roddick and did well there. I like Roddick, but compared to Isner he played a dull, unimaginative game. I kept thinking how few tools Roddick seems to have. His backhand especially gave Isner no trouble - he just slaps it back; it's not a heavy ball. Just think how Nadal's heavy backhand or Federer's slice would bedevil Isner. Roddick has still more work to do if he wants to contend again.

b said...

HoiHa - Despite his age Isner is new on the scene was never hothoused.... he was a college player and played 4 years at georgia and then got atp wildcards in 2007 when he was nearly finished college

If I remember correctly he didn't even start playing tennis seriously until high school..... he has about 10-15 years less wear and tear than the others his age on atp tour

Given his body type (esp in 2007) I think this is a great thing b/c he probably wouldn't have been strong enough to compete professionally at 18 etc and probably would have spent his time injured.....

Some people mature later - physically, mentally etc..... Nadal looked fully grown at 17/18, not much different than he does now..... So not surprising he was able to benefit from intense training at a young age.... I think that a lot of players w- great potential have been ruined because they were held to a time table that did not suit them individually..... I really wish Donald Young (for example) had gone to college first

The Bryan twins played college and started winning relatively late, look how it has helped them.... Then there is Blake (although I hesitate to include him) and then Witten - you never know when your break will come

I think Isner still has his best days ahead of him.... Not sure that his size, game style and personality are flexible enough to maintain a long run a the top but no reason he can't get (near) there and/or at least win some big titles... he has improved a lot in 2 years....

(Apologies to Craig) I'm glad Roddick was sent out b/c all he was going to do is fall meekly at federer's feet for the umpteenth time.... Would like for someone else to get a chance

HoiHa said...

Hi B and Whole Sight - don't mean to bash Isner - honestly - I have watched him play before and without doubt he played a great match last night(I know I only saw the 5th and highlights but I will take it as a given) - but the reality is the guy is 6 foot 9 and middle aged by tennis standards - I honestly do not see him as making any sort of impact on the tour ... again I would love to be proven wrong. I will take a photo of myself eating my hat and post it for your benefit ...

And yup Roddick was there but his heart and brain were not ...

Craig Hickman said...

I have no problem with Isner. Querrey set the stage and Isner stepped up to take his turn. I've always seen him as a big match player and I wish he would've already gotten a chance to play a Davis Cup tie.

And I'm sure it has been said, but he played college ball before turning pro a few years ago, so in that sense he's young. If Isner doesn't beat Verdasco, though, I'm going to spit bullets.

I appreciate all the apologies but really, I knew this was going to happen. He announced it by the way he lost his last three matches. Wimbledon killed him. Wholly. He will never recover. And the media has done quite a number on him. Insidious. I'll write about all that in a book someday.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if he retires before the end of 2010.

pat said...

craig, have some faith in andy, i don't think wimbly killed him, he's a little wounded, but not dead, that's for sure... what doesn't kill you...makes you stronger ;)
this loss is probably going to cost him a while more, but he'll be back, he's too young to quit, and now with brooke and stefansky he's got the right support system...
let's keep praying for him...

Craig Hickman said...

Pat, I've had more faith in Andy than he seems to have in himself over the years.

You don't get that many chances in tennis. Especially not in a sport like tennis. This was Andy's year to win Wimbledon. I believed that from the get go but didn't predict it because, well, you know. Andy had Wimbledon on his racquet. There was no rain, no disadvantaged scheduling. He got through a tough draw and had 6-2 in that second set breaker. It was the 6-5 point that ultimately killed him. Yes, he injured himself in the fourth set and couldn't even move to return serves for most of the fifth set, but he still had his dream title on his racquet and he didn't believe in himself enough to take it.

A support team can only get you so far. It doesn't play the matches. Only you do. You must believe in yourself. Roddick fights and works hard and gets up after being knocked down and participates in some of the best and most dramatic men's matches in this era. But he simply doesn't believe.

If he makes a fool outta me, no one will be happier than me. But Wimbledon killed him.