Monday, January 25, 2010

Australian Open 2010 Day 9 Open Thread

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It's Australia Day, the day Aussies celebrate the landing of the First Fleet with Captain Phillip and the convicts.

::

We have arrived at the quarterfinals. MadProfessah's picks are here and here.

For today's bottom half matchups, I'm going with Rafael Nadal in four, Marin Cilic in four, Justine Henin in three, and Zheng Jie in three.

For Roddick to avoid the upset, he's going to have to block out his knee pain and hope that his experience can carry him through if Cilic tightens up at the end of sets as he did against Juan Martin del Potro.

If Murray is to have a chance of dismissing a man determined to defend his title.... Scratch that. He has no chance. Oh, he'll make it interesting and give Rafa's fans a few strokes, but he has no chance.

Miss Nadia will have to win in straights -- which I believe she can, here's hoping she does, too -- and MariaK's going to have to believe she belongs in the final four of a Slam.

Who you got?

Order Of Play For Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Rod Laver Arena 11:00 Start Time

1. Women's Singles - Quarterfinals
Justine Henin (BEL) v. Nadia Petrova (RUS)[19]
2. Women's Singles - Quarterfinals
Jie Zheng (CHN) v. Maria Kirilenko (RUS)
3. Men's Singles - Quarterfinals
Andy Roddick (USA)[7] v. Marin Cilic (CRO)[14]

Rod Laver Arena 19:30 Start Time
1. Men's Singles - Quarterfinals
Andy Murray (GBR)[5] v. Rafael Nadal (ESP)[2]

215 comments:

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Karen said...

You guys going to be watching the Henin match. My heart says Petrova but my head says Henin

Craig said...

I'm going to watch. But I'm behind with dinner prep.

Karen said...

She was lucky to be up in this set so far but from what I have seen so far no way does she beat Henin unless she steps it up for the rest of the match. She is already tentative and slapping around balls. Idiot.

Karen said...

What did I tell you. No way does Petrova win this unless she loosens up. She is allowing the history and the occassion and the player to play her. It is just amazing how a lot of these players are so mentally weak. Petrova served quite well against Sveta and Kim and today she can hardly get the ball over the net. If this does not improve I am going for a walk or go watch some doubles.

edma1022 said...

I'm with you on Rafa, Craig (sorry MadP). I've seen Rafa nonchalant in the first few rounds, but against Dr Ivo, he has that steely glassy look of determination.

I also read snippets in UKTimes about the Brits hyping their match and saying Nadal is not allowing Murray to win. Bet that's true.

Dapxin said...

If murray stays right behind Rafa like the Rafadow, he does have a chance.

should be interesting.

Craig said...

Nadia Petrova, 7 double faults through 4 rounds, 5 double faults in this match alone.

Miss Nadia, will you, FOR ONCE, get out of your own way deep in a Slam?

Karen said...

If she gets to the final and Serena is there no way does this chip and charge take place for the simple reason that the serve and return game of Serena would not lend itself to this. Even if she meets Venus it probably wont happen over the full course of a match. Will be interesting at Wimbledon this year since that is where the throwdown will happen.

Karen said...

She is such an idiot. She is playing Henin's game and not her own. Idiot.

Karen said...

Craig, she does not know how to get out of her own way. All she knows is what she is doing right now. Her arms are heavy, her shoes are made of steel and her racquet is like one of those medieval things that vikings used to carry with the chain attached. The ball is like a shot put ball and the court is basically 2x2. Pitiful really.

Craig said...

Karen, that comment is a gem.

Karen said...

Dont even want to say it but she seems to be finding her range or she may just want to win the first set and give us all some hope.

Karen said...

I try

b said...

Well I saw the first game and then missed the rest until 5-4 so now I'm watching the tie break - I really hope Petrova hangs in there

lilac said...

Come on, Petrova. This non-serving person should not be beating you. She's crumbling again.

Beth said...

Yeah, I'm watching. Same here Karen, heart with Nadia but head going with Henin.....

Beth said...

This match is odd. Henin can't serve and Nadia is mentally tripping over herself.....

lilac said...

Henin is doing nothing special, but she knows Petrova's scared.

Karen said...

When the hell did Petrova start to play slice returns? Idiot, you are a power baseline player who can volley now and again. Do not pretend to be something that you are not. No way she wins this match. She got her chances so many times to take control of the match and she allowed herself to get the better of her. Idiot.

b said...

"Craig, she does not know how to get out of her own way. All she knows is what she is doing right now. Her arms are heavy, her shoes are made of steel and her racquet is like one of those medieval things that vikings used to carry with the chain attached. The ball is like a shot put ball and the court is basically 2x2. Pitiful really."


Karen you are way too funny


That said I just saw Petrova collapse in the tie break and give the set to henin...... maybe she needs a bathroom break to go find herself.... cowering behind the toilet paper....

Beth said...

Anyone planning on watching Rafa/Murray? I will have to go to sleep in a little then set my alarm to wake up. I have to see that live. I did that last night as well with Roger and Lleyton but woke up a little late so first set was over....well, when I saw the break in the 2nd I went back to bed. Not even worth it. I am glad in a way, I only 'wasted' 20 min watching and the outcome was inevitable. At least I caught another hour of sleep before having to get up for work.

Karen said...

You know regardless of how we may think of Henin, she has a champion's heart. Nothing more, nothing less. She is just up for the competition and just refuses to lose. It helps when you have a winning record against your opponent. 33 percent first serve and still wins the set. Amazing

lilac said...

Sorry, Karen. If Serena, Venus or even Sharapova were on the other side of the net -- but I'm not impressed she wins with that percentage against a weak-hearted opponent who can't get to a slam final. Henin crumbles when you stand up to her -- See Mauresmo, Sharapova at the US Open, Clisjters a few weeks ago.

lilac said...

See? Petrova has a chance to go up 2 to love and gives it away on her own errors.

lilac said...

I spoke too soon.

Karen said...

beth, I slept today because I want to watch the Rafa match. I will be cheering on Rafa tonight. That voice you hear will be mine from the bleachers

Karen said...

but lilac she has shown time and time again in her career how she rises to the occassion. I mean she is serving at 33 percent and still won that set. I know that Petrova contributed to her winning but she did what she had to do.

Dapxin said...

pet's figthing her own demons here.

If she hangs in there, this might just flip.

Karen said...

Well she is up a double break. Let us see if she can succeed in losing this set.

lilac said...

She's almost there -- she gave one break back. Sad.

b said...

strange match..... so petrova went up 3-0 and is now having another lapse?

Dapxin said...

petrova ==loser.

off to bed for few hours folks.

she truly gat no darn chance to herself here.

clown.

Karen said...

I am getting sick and tired of this match already. Just a really awful match

Karen said...

This match is over. So another Belgian gets to another final of a major. Oh well. Ring up the hype machines

Karen said...

I dont know how many ways I can say this but Petrova really does suck at tennis.

Karen said...

She will come out after this and receive for the match because no way does Petrova hold to go up 5 all

Aziz said...

Morning, folks.

Oh,what a terrible match to start my day off. And why does Henin keep looking at her crew? It's tad annoying!

Karen said...

I was wrong about the 5 all but not wrong that Henin was going to receive for the match. Absolutely horrific match.

lilac said...

Ridiculous.

Craig said...

Not sure I can sit through Zheng and Kirilenko.

I may take a nap for the men.

Beth, I'll be hear during the night match.

Aziz said...

Urrgggh!

Even the on-court interview is irritating! I'm gonna root for Zheng!

Beth said...

What a disappointing match. Really. I just am so disappointed Petrova blew it.

Beth said...

Okay, Craig.....I'll get on here when I'm watching. I cannot miss the Rafa match so whatever it takes, I'll be there. :-)

mznblue said...

Not unexpected. The other women's match is the one I want to see.

Beth said...

Karen - you go! I'll be listening for you! ;-) I've been up since 5:30, it's 9:00 now....if I don't get in bed I am never gonna be able to get up by 3:30 so off I go....be back later!

lilac said...

Petrova cannot play. I'm pissed.

Karen said...

Well, there you go. She is into the finals of her first Grand Slam event. Oh well. Petrova you are without a doubt an unmitigated disaster of a tennis player. I bet you if it was a Williams Sister on the other side of the court she would have made the effort. Oh well.

lilac said...

Karen, I think Jheng can take her out.

Karen said...

I think every Fed fan will be cheering on Rafa tonight for many reasons, not the least of which is the rankings situation. If Rafa loses tonight it creates a chance for Novak to get No. 1 (and we Fed fans dont want that, at least not now). So from what I understand Rafa has to win tonight, as well as Fed has to get to finals in order for Fed to remain No.1. If Novak gets to the final and wins, then Novak gets No. 1 and Rafa may drop to No. 4. Not a good thing. So all Fed fans will be cheering for Rafa tonight, plus most Fed fans just cannot stand Murray.

Karen said...

lilac I doubt it because Zheng is not very consistent off the ground and her serve is just really bad, perhaps worse than Justine's

Craig said...

Zheng Jie is a fighter, though. No, she's not a champion, but she fights and she can actually play tennis. Her run to the Wimbledon semis wasn't exactly a fluke, but she's been more injured than inconsistent.

That said, Kirilenko is talented but hasn't actually believed in her talent. Now that she has been given the opportunity of a career, she's not a walkover for any opponent from here on out.

Craig said...

Actually, I take that back. Zheng is a champion. Just not in singles.

Craig said...

Mary and Pam are right, Kirilenko is slow as molasses in January between points.

lilac said...

Cahill just said Venus is going to have to play her VERY BEST tennis to beat Na Li. I'm beginning to dislike him. What a tool.

Christopher Crocker said...

I'm not a fan of Justine Henin or anything, but I fail to understan the response of many people with respect to her return. I certainly disagree with the idea that she is somehow saving tennis, but certainly its good for all tennis fans to have another player back who doesn't seem to automatically shy in the tense moments.

I just don't understand why so many people are cheering so adamantly against her. Could someone explain this to me please?

Craig said...

How much time you got, Christopher?

b said...

wow zheng is impressive

as henin -petrova went on I followed karen's lead and watched doubles.... finished dinner etc glad i did so b/c both players looked half asleep or something

Christopher Crocker said...

From what I've heard most of the criticisms are unreasonable - accusations of doping, coaching from the stands, etc. - while some is more reasonable, the whole hand incident. But there are few players on the tour that don't dabble in much gamesmanship, and I'm sure every player has seen - at least once, if not dozens - of balls that were called out, which were in, but didn't offer their opponent the point. Obviously these incidents don't come out, but they are no better.

Is this all, or is there more that I don't know?

Craig said...

lilac, I know Venus is your pick and I respect that. Maybe it's her time again. But I don't think Cahill is wrong. They've only played once and Li won. And it was at the Olympics. I'm sure Venus remembers and will want revenge, so she can't take Li lightly. She probably would agree with Cahill as well.

Craig said...

Christopher, you've only scratched the surface. Suffice it to say there's a whole lot more than what's on your list, which I won't rehash right now. For me, anyway, I've never liked Justine from the moment I laid eyes on her right around 1999.

But she's here, she's fighting like she always fights, and I picked her to win her quarter before the tournament began, so despite my feelings about her, I can still see.

Karen said...

Christopher let me put my thoughts in very simple words. I dont like her. She cheats. Engages in unsportsmanlike conduct on the court. Lies. Did I say she cheats. Yeah, that about sums it up for me. I think she has a really good game (except for the lack of a serve) and for right now I am pissed that she is being heralded as another saviour of women's tennis along with Kim Clijsters.

Christopher Crocker said...

I guess so Craig, but you aren't really giving me anything here - not that you are obliged to do so anyway. If people don't like her for who she is, or how she acts, or anything like that, I understand it. But, if that is all it surprises me how much venom is spit in her direction, just because people on't like her personality.

Christopher Crocker said...

Everyone is entitled to this, I'm not judging, I'm just trying to understand.

lilac said...

Craig, Venus can beat Li with her B-game. I'm sure Venus hasn't forgotten how the hometown girl beat her in Beijing, but that one loss doesn't put Li on Venus' level. Cahill put it as if Venus was the contender and Li was the champ. Cahill has called for the opponent in each of Venus' matches. That's ridiculous. We know she donates matches to lesser players, but come on Cahill.

Craig said...

I can't help you, Christopher. But let me ask you, especially sinc eyou haven't commented in a while, and a lot has transpired in tennis since then, but do you also not understand why so much venom is directed at champions not named Henin? Like, say, Sharapova or Roddick or Serena or Venus or Djokovic?

They get quite a bit of thrashing in these parts as well.

lilac said...

Also, Craig Venus has something to prove. Have you seen her on set interviews during this AO? What is the one line she keeps repeating? "I'm still good at it.". That's her answer everytime they remind her she's the oldest in the draw. Do you think she doesn't know the establishment has written her off; or that the likes of Cahill say she better bring her A game to beat a title-less player ranked outside the top 20? BJK says Venus doesn't seem peppy and happy. I think she's determine and wants some respect.

lilac said...

Let me put it like this, Christopher. If Henin makes it to the final; and is subjec to a Serena AO beat down -- no one would be surprised if she stopped playing, held up her hand and quit saying her leg hurt. No one would be the least surprised.

oddman said...

Hi all. Just poppin' in to say hi, and won't be joining you for the late night match. Good on ya, Beth, for staying up and cheering Rafa on, you too, Karen.

Craig sounds very sure of himself, but I am pretty darn nervyous about this one.. maybe I've been reading too much Murraymania hype. IAC, he's dangerous. I hope Rafa can play his best tennis, and find the rest of that confidence he seems to be flashing from time to time (better than flashing the 'nads, no?)

Have a great evening of tennis, everybody, and sure hope my guys make it through.

Vamos, Andy Roddick!
Vamos, Rafa!

Christopher Crocker said...

I think I do understand why Sharapova, Serena and Venus Williams get thrashed. Again, understanding why is not agreeing with. And probably Djokovic too, but I've never considered Roddick as someone whose been admonished around the internets.

lilac said...

I am so happy for these players from China! They made the semis! Awesome.

Craig said...

lilac, I hear you. I haven't been paying much attention to Cahill's picks so I'll take your word on it.

I'll stick with what I believe (controversy alert!):







If they both make it to the semifinals, I don't think Venus beats Serena unless Serena lets her.

Christopher Crocker said...

lilac: I understand the venom if that is your viewpoint. Again, I'm neither agreeing nor disagreeing, just trying to understand.

But, one reason I haven't commented on here alot is that I found the place, was excited about the enthusiasm people showed, but was soon disappointed with the plethora of declarative statements, and the seemingly lack of understanding of the word, and concept, of probability. Also, the common occurence of the one speaking for the many - "no one would be surprised".

Maybe I'm a little too pedantic when it comes to language, but when we communicate with keystrokes that is all that we have.

Craig said...

Roddick gets trashed almost everywhere. If tangerine was around, I'm sure she would provide a long list of complaints for you to consider.

Henin is the only player in the Open Era to retire in a Slam final because she was getting her ass kicked. I think you can understand now, no?

Craig said...

Lovely. Zheng idolizes Henin.

She won't win more than 5 games, unless she's playing mind games.

Craig said...

Christopher, then what, pray tell, caused you to come here today and comment?

You seek understanding or you want to criticize the tenor of the place?

Either/both are your right, but it's mine to say that I find your inability to understand why people can't stand Henin to be disingenuous.

Even her fans, which you profess not to be, understand that.

Yes, all we have here are keystrokes.

But we also have intuition. And sometimes, that's all one needs to make a declarative statement without concrete evidence.

Enjoy the rest of the Open and if the venom against Henin oppresses you, then just walk on by.

Christopher Crocker said...

Craig, I can understand that.

Christopher Crocker said...

What caused me to come on here is that I always use our site to find the order of plays, and I thought to check on some of the comments. I was just really surprise at the way that people were cheering against Henin. To be honest, I don't really follow women's tennis very closely. I'm not here to call anyone out on anything, I mean, I'm sure my fandom is no more rational than the next persons. And I could never say that I haven't cheered against a player - rather than for his/her opponent - but I had just never seen it as strongly as in Henin's case. Venon is probably too strong a word to use here, especially in consideration of what some less cordial sites spit in other parts of the web.

Karen said...

Christopher I can give you the links for countless blogs, newspaper write ups, fan discontent etc about any number of players, including some of who are favourites here. As far as I can tell everyone who posts here have different favourites, some are sentimental favourites, like Roddick and Venus, but they still get blasted here. I am a Fed fan and believe me when I tell you that Fed does not get much love around here but thats ok because I can fight with the best of them and defend my Fed. I also defend CWoz and many others who are not big around here. However, what I can say is that this is not the only place on the internet where there is an intense dislike for Justine. You should visit Forty Deuce sometime. I think they have a whole section dedicated to their hatred of her. They dont particularly care for Serena and they are basically willing to cheer on Serena if she meets Justine in the final. Hope that answers your question.
On another note, why is Andy engaging in these long rallies?

Craig said...

Thanks, Christopher.

We have probably attracted lots of Henin critics because I for one have no problem expressing my criticism of her on the front page. That said you don't have to be a Henin critic to comment on or contribute to this blog.

And yes I do my best to keep this place from turning into a cess pool of fan wars, personal attacks, and other such nonsense.

But a strong opinion is always welcome, so hope you stick around.

edma1022 said...

Craig, is that "Velasquez" mentioned in the scrolling comment bar supposed to be Gonzo?

I'm way behind my tennis nethead update.

Craig said...

Karen, girl, we're broken records on Andy and his LOOOOOONG rallies.

I thought it was simply a lack of confidence, but clearly, it's his newer approach to the game. He started it under Brad Gilbert's tutelage, and it remains.

I'm happy that he's able to play defense and alla that, but it should be his go-to play. He's not that great at it and his body is breaking down, so I wish he'd only resort to it when he has to and not as Plan A.

Craig said...

Yes, edma. It is. And I couldn't bring myself to correct the person.

Karen said...

OK taking a break for a minute. Get something to eat and lie down for a bit. Getting a a bit tennised out plus my sleep patterns are a complete mess.

Christopher Crocker said...

Karen, I didn't want anyone to get the idea that it's un-just-ifiable to dislike a player for any reason at all. And, I am also a Federer fan, so you're not all alone.

edma1022 said...

I think the rallies are working. For now. Andy's next move is to test his passing shot by making few net forays. I've seen him do it to the Belucci fellow.

Christopher Crocker said...

I really do like Cilic's service motion. If he ever win's a major that would be a beautiful statue outside of a tennis complex.

oddman said...

(LOL... Velasquez... I kinda liked it)

I agree, Craig, Andy is not doing himself any favors by engaging in long rallies. Not with that big game and FH he can use. Sigh.

Gad, I hope the knee is OK.

(if it wasn't for bad luck and all that.....)

Craig said...

But see how much better Cilic plays when he gets pace?

Roddick annoys me with this style of tennis. But in his defense (yeah, I still do that now and then), Cilic doesn't like pace. His match against Tomic was almost unwatchable because he couldn't handle the lack of pace from the Aussie's shots. If Roddick can frustrate him enough, Cilic may get tight at the end of sets as I say in the preview.

We shall see.

edma1022 said...

Tight. Should loosen up.

Christopher Crocker said...

Did anyone expect these long rallies? If this is Roddick strategy I would be surprised if it works.

Craig said...

I guess I should take a nap.

Craig said...

I've been wanting Roddick to return to the aggressive flat ball-basher he used to be probably more than most anybody. Sure it's nice to have a slice and the ability to play defense, but when that becomes Plan A for a man with his (old) weaponry, it's a waste of the quiver.

Craig said...

"Andy Roddick is a less dynamic player than he used to be. When I saw him as a youngster, his serve and forehand exploded. Remember Miami when he announced himself against Sampras? He's scaled back his forehand over the years, so I guess his approach to the game has changed."

--Eurosport commentator

lilac said...

Cheap move, Roddick -- getting that massage.

Karen said...

Craig, I just realised that you picked Cilic to win this. Do you know something we dont know. Seems like Andy is having shoulder problems. That could perhaps explain the no forehands and the soft serves. Anyway, off to bed for real now. Have to see Rafa/Murray later.

Craig said...

lilac, Andy don't play that. At all. Not even when he was a junior. If he takes a timeout, it's because he needs to, not because he's trying to ice his opponents.

Karen said...

Craig, most everyone over at tennis.com are puzzled as to why he is playing so defensively.Everyone asking where has the forehand gone? I blame Connors and Gilbert

Karen said...

lilac, have to go with Craig on this one, Andy not one of my five faves, but there is just something real old school about him when it comes to injury timeouts and calling of the trainer. He is a bit like Federer in that. He seems to be moving a bit better and actually hitting the ball

lilac said...

I think there were too many hands in the till of making the Roddick legend. Everyone had an idea and he didn't know where to turn. They muffed up his game -- he was supposed to be, they wanted him to be, they annointed him the next big American thing. PMac, BG, etc. and I think he listened to a million pieces of advice. No one could close Serena and Venus' ears to their fathe Richard's tutelage; and look at the result. They play the aggresive game he put oin their heads. To whom was Roddick a muse?

Craig said...

Karen, Andy's body is breaking down. His technique has never been great and so he throws his body into all his shots. At some point, the rubberband pops.

Add that to his lack of confidence, and here we are.

edma1022 said...

Craig, Andy called for a looser stick. I think he's gonna go toe-to-toe rally with Cilic. Also not to strain that shoulder. Expect to see more rallies.

Craig said...

Roddick has played all the champions of his generation at least one time in a Slam. Rafa is the only one he hasn't and it's hard to believe that it may never happen.

lilac said...

Whatever, Craig and Karen. I know he's your guy. Pmac and the passes and the fawning make it very hard for me to root for him. I know he can't help it...

Craig said...

Karen, don't blame Connors.

Brad Gilbert was the single biggest detriment to the advancement of Roddick's career.

After Federer, of course.

::

Roddick is ailing. Too much passive play against Lopez which made that match in that heavy weather go longer than it ought to have, and too much passive play against Gonzo, also in heavier night conditions. His shoulder is fried.

lilac said...

Craig, Roddick won the US Open under BG and madeit to number 1.

Craig said...

lilac, i totally understand. I can't stomach PMac when he calls Roddick's matches. And by the way, I also think PMac wasn't such a good influence on Roddick as Davis Cup captain for reasons I won't explicate right now.

I agree with your assessment of too many hands in Andy's pot. The coach he ought to have stayed with was his very first. He dumped Tarik for BG and both of them have been worse for the wear. Tarik has tried to coach others, but it hasn't worked. Tarik actually believed in Roddick and backed it up with passion. I'll never forget the support he gave Roddick in that Roland Garros quarterfinal against Michael Chang when Roddick was cramping and in that 21-19 in the fifth quarterfinal right here in Melbourne 7 years ago. Roddick succumbed to pressure and dumped his French coach for an American one.

Worst. Decision. Of. His. Career.

Craig said...

I give BG credit for one thing and one thing only: making Roddick believe in his grasscourt game.

Roddick would have won the 2003 US Open and become No. 1 with Tarik in his corner as well.

I don't wanna talk about it anymore. It's too maddening.

lilac said...

Don't quit, Andy!!

edma1022 said...

Cilic just ran roughshod rodeo on grandma linesperson! He has balls (no pun intended)!

lilac said...

I thought firing Tarik was premature.
Sorry for this, Craig -- but Andy can still have a good career. It's just not to be here.

Craig said...

In other news, Serena is making a mess of her serves in doubles.

She has been broken three times.

I hope she gets this bad patch out of her system before the quarters.

Craig said...

How many overheads did Venus just fail to put away?

Five?

Craig said...

Venus will now serve for the match.

Serena dropped serve when she tried. At love.

Craig said...

The sisters close it out.

Craig said...

I think Andy will play this out. It's a Slam, after all. He's not going to focus that hard on another Slam till Wimbledon anyway. I sincerely doubt he plays Paris.

lilac said...

Craig, a bit off-topic; but speaking of careers and what should have been -- do you know what happened to Vaidisova? I liked her serve.

Karen said...

Perhaps the reason why Serena has not dropped serve in singles is because she does all of that in doubles. She has been playing crap in the doubles from day one as Venus has been doing most of the work. Today, Venus had serious problems with putting away overheads and volleys, plus the team that they were up against were quite good. I watched the match from beginning to end and it was a really well played match. My only consolation is that Azarenka is still out there playing her doubles match so there is some justice in that even though she is losing in straights. Hmm, they are actually trying to fight back as they have break points against the No. 1 doubles team. Did you see the stands for the doubles match. It was packed. The players got a standing ovation. You have to love those Aussies. They really support the AO.

Karen said...

lilac I know you asked Craig, but last I heard she was playing a 25,000 challenger down in Florida where she lost in the first round. Yup, that is how bad she has gone. If you check Jon Wertheim's twitter page, you will see details of it under a heading called Nicole Vaidisova sighting. Really off to bed now.

lilac said...

Thanks, Karen! I'm wondering why her game fell off so badly. It's just odd.

Craig said...

Amazing what pain can do to a tennis player.

Andy hasn't crushed his groundies like this since, well, 2003.

lilac said...

Craig, please. Andy's not hurt. Come on. This was very underhanded. I'm sorry.

Craig said...

Roddick is cracking return winners left and right even off the return of serve!

I hope Stefanki reviews the tape of this match with him over and over and over and over.

Cilic should be shooting himself, though. This match should be over. Roddick was up a break in the second set and gave it right back. He should have pressed to the finish line in the third set.

He's played two five-setters this week himself.

lilac said...

He's cracking the ball. I feel for Cilic. Everyone was thrown. It looked like Andy was ready to quit, and now he's hitting winners. Kick his ass, Cilic!
Even Serena's stomach muscles leading Sharapova 4-0 couldn't hold on.

Dapxin said...

morning people :_

Is Roddick over?

Craig said...

No, lilac, you're wrong.

Craig said...

Dap,

Roddick the player, or Roddick's match?

inquizitive said...

Although I feel for Roddick, I would so love to see Cilic in the Semis.

Dapxin said...

welldone. It was a trap post...:)

the player I meant.

Dapxin said...

I fell for it meself :)

I mean this MATCH

Craig said...

Great for Marin.

He has finally broken through.

inquizitive said...

And Cilic does it !!!

Craig said...

The player is over.

And so is the match.

inquizitive said...

I agree with Craig. Last Wimbledon could be Andy's swan song!

Craig said...

Is anybody watching this?

Whole Sight said...

You mean Murray/Nadal? I'm watching about 98 percent, with the missing 2 percent usually being a key stroke in a rally - ESPN 360 is being very herky-jerky.

Christopher Crocker said...

Nadal seems to be dictating, and Murray is not risking much.

Whole Sight said...

Seems pretty equal to me right now - break and break back.

Beth said...

Craig, I'm here! Murray is bringing the HEAT. He's all over the place...this is worrisome!

Beth said...

I think Rafa's a little surprised maybe at how 'on' Murray is.

Christopher Crocker said...

Murray seems to have gotten rid of the jitters, and he's hitting his backhand a lot tighter to the lines, and at sharper angles.

Beth said...

Craig, sorry about Andy. :-(

Whole Sight said...

Rafa is trying to scowl, but it looks more and more like petulance.

Beth said...

Okay, so who's here right now watching?

Beth said...

Wholesight.....he's very frustrated. Can't figure out how to handle Murray right now and is frustrated, obviously, with any error he himself is making. He's not a happy boy right now.

Beth said...

Craig, if you're there...any possibility of opening a new thread....it's going to be way over 200 way before this match is half over..... :-)

Beth said...

Un-fn-believable point Rafa!!!!

Craig said...

This match is living up to the hype, no?

Beth said...

Looks like a street fight to me. :-)

Beth said...

If every game is going to be like this one we're looking at a 5 hour match and two very, very tired boys.

Christopher Crocker said...

I know Nadal is surely not making it easy, but Murray is not doing his part to close this out either.

Whole Sight said...

No chance of mental fatigue here on the part of the players . . . ha ha ha.

Craig said...

If Murray can maintain this level for three (five) sets, I'll finally be impressed.

Beth said...

Murray's energy level is way up. Winning this set has pumped him....I hope he takes his foot off the gas but it's not looking that way.

Beth said...

I did not see it - how long was Andy's match? Was Cilic fried at the end?

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig said...

It was three matches in one, Beth. It was about 3.5 hours I think. Cilic seemed fine afterwards.

Beth said...

Fireworks in the middle of the match. You can't make this shit up. These two do NOT need an interruption in play. Granted, it's Australia Day and they need to do their celebration.....

Beth said...

Pretty impressive fireworks, I must say. :-)

inquizitive said...

What is the problem with Rafa? He seems so irritated and is losing hsi cool (his biggest weapon)...Andy is troubling him mentally !

Karen said...

OK, just so you all know I am up and watching the match. Man, it sucks that all of a sudden Murray has decided to play the way how everyone has been telling him to play. he is being very aggressive. Come on Rafa. You can do this.

Beth said...

Yes, Murray is playing very well Karen and this is concerning. Rafa is plain old pissed off. You can see it in his face. He is frustrated and, yes, angry. Let's send Rafa every vibe we can, okay?

Karen said...

so many errors from Rafa. Murray is doing to Rafa what DavyD did as well. Man, this sucks

Beth said...

Rafa baby, got to do more of THAT!

Beth said...

Karen, Murray has had his equal share of errors. This match is very high quality even though they each have had a gaffe here and there.

b said...

anyone else up watching nadal murray?

nadal just saved 2 breaks at 5-5

inquizitive said...

My conjecture...if RAFA wins this set...he wins! Else he loses

Karen said...

talk about playing under pressure

inquizitive said...

Boy Andy is on fire!

Beth said...

inquizitive....you haven't been following Rafa since '05 have you? He's never to be counted out, whether down 2 sets or not.

Karen said...

clutch - I am with beth Craig, can we get an overflow thread please.

Beth said...

Please?

Beth said...

Bring that beat down Rafa!!!!!!!!!

inquizitive said...

Did you just see that forehand! Thats what Rafa is made of !

Beth said...

Yes, inquizitive, yes!

But this tiebreak is not looking good.

Karen said...

Oh man. I hate these commentators - argh

Karen said...

I wish this match had been played in the day time. In the night it puts Rafa at a total disadvantage

Beth said...

:-(

:-(

Beth said...

Karen, why do you think night play puts him at a disadvantage?

inquizitive said...

But you gotta say...Andy Murray is hot right now....His serve is killing Rafa!

Dapxin said...

wtf!
murray on 2 sets lead?
Holy crap. never saw that coming...
but I always know Murray has no FatherFed or Nadal complex...

strangely, I want him to win.

make I go find some stream.

b said...

o wow tie-break gone...... yes murray is playing really well, i couldn't understand how nadal was letting him cover the net so well when usually that's what nadal does

if nadal can drag this out to 5 sets he will win - i believe he is far ahead of murray in physical and mental endurance

congrats to murray for raising his game

Karen said...

Man, if Murray wins I will just stop watching tennis because all the hype is just going to choke me especially with Gilbert in the studio. Come on Rafa. Vamos

Beth said...

Crikey, a knee issue??

Karen said...

beth, if it was in the day time, he would have been able to run him ragged, plus the ball would have been able to move through the courts a lot better. Now it looks like Rafa has injured himself. Oh no.

Beth said...

Rafa....please, please...be okay.

inquizitive said...

Seems like this will end soon :(

Beth said...

So sad.....but he needs to think about the rest of the season......poor
Rafa. Heal quickly.

b said...

oh my gosh - rafa retired - this is really sad

fed must be giddy

Christopher Crocker said...

They cut it just as Nadal retired

inquizitive said...

He retired!!! Shit! His knees!

Karen said...

And it ends in a retirement. This is not good for Rafa so early in the season. Man, he either needs to get those knees taken care of or something. Really not the way I would have wanted him to end his AO campaign. Now the Murray hype really begins. Come on Fed we are relying on you to beat those in your side of the draw, get to the final and take this fellow to 5 sets and show them how its done. Do it for Rafa.

inquizitive said...

I love him so much I just cant see this happening to him...he just needs to get better! and get to being the best that he was !

Karen said...

b, why would Fed be giddy. For my money he has a tough row to hoe himself seeing as he faces Kolya later today, and Djokovic in the semis and now possibly Murray in the final. That is 3 top 10 players in a row. If he does that and wins No. 16 I will stand on the corner and eat my hat.

b said...

will they show the us-us men's doubles match? I actually really wanted to see it

Beth said...

I'm heartbroken for Rafa....but glad he did not do anything that he felt was foolish. Rafa....Rafa.....as you said, Karen, take care of that knee, get the best treatment you can...rest and do whatever you need to.

Beth said...

To Murray's credit, he played tremendously well. He wanted this win and he got it, albeit not how anyone would prefer to see it happen. Murray does deserve credit for his performance.

Karen said...

I guess he does. OK I am going to try and be objective about Murray. In his match with Isner (the little that I was able to watch) he played a more defensive style of game as he only had about 7 UFE in the whole match. He kept Isner moving as he knew it was not Isner's strength. Today he knew that he could not out rally Nadal so he went on the offensive. Made sure that he served big, came to net and did what he had to do. To be honest from what I saw even if Nadal's knees had not given out on him I think he would have lost that match as he was unable to read Murray's new and improved serve. Right now the top half just got a lot more dangerous. Fed who loves a dog fight will be out later today to make a statement. If he takes out Kolya, then no way does Djokovic take him out as Djokovic has not had any real opposition this tournament. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of days.

b said...

Karen - I think Federer clearly sees Nadal as his main rival, whether that's actually true or not..... Rafa seems to be firmly entrenched in his head..... It was very telling when, after he won the French, he said that he knew his chance would come some day when Rafa would not make the final (I'm paraphrasing) - it struck me that it was not - oh I'll definitely beat him some day..... That, to me, is the statement of a man who has mentally conceded

The Fed-Denko match is scheduled for daytime, which gives Fed a huge edge

JonasL said...

Interesting thread today. I've been a long-time lurker around here, with a similar experience to Christopher. Like the passion and strong sentiments of this place.

On Murray-Nadal, it seems the consensus story afterwards is that Murray played too well. I'm not sure I agree. I was really hoping he would bring out his flatter, more aggressive strokes as he did in most matches (a little less in the Davy-final) in Brisbane. But what stood out to me today was the lack of depth on most shots, even when he was in a good position to rip it with his forehand. This combined with way too many cross-court BH clipping the tape gave Murray too much time to work the ball around.

Looking forward to the Murray-Cilic match though, I really hope Cilic will bring a true test of pace to Murray.

JonasL said...

Oops... "he" in the above comment referring to Rafa. Sorry about that.

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