Sunday, January 31, 2010

Australian Open 2010 Men's Final Open Thread



My preview is here; Mad Professah's, here. How about a 5-setter to go with the ladies' 3-setter?

I'll be staying up all night once again.

174 comments:

b said...

Anyone else besides me watched the mixed doubles final? Is it just me or it does it look like the roof is closed? Anyone know why it's closed? Is it raining?


So happy for Cara and Leander...

Craig said...

It's raining.

Beth said...

You there Craig?

Beth said...

Here we go......

Craig said...

I'm here.

Beth said...

Yeah! I hope a lot of others join us!! How are you viewing this? Stream?

Craig said...

I'm watching it on ESPN2

Craig said...

Here's a livestream:

http://atdhe.net/7622/watch-australian-open-roger-federer-vs-andy-murray

Craig said...

Is that journalism or patriotism Neil Harman is expressing?

Beth said...

Broken already....c'mon Andy!

Beth said...

Sick, sick shot by Andy!!!!

Beth said...

Un-fn-real. BROKE RIGHT BACK. Good on ya Andy!

Beth said...

If they both keep this up, it's going to be a loooooonnnnnng match.

Craig said...

You a fan of Murray, Beth?

Beth said...

No, I'm not Craig. I'm not a fan of his but if I have to choose, I'll want Murray for this.

Christopher Crocker said...

Federer is consistently overhitting on his forehand.

Craig said...

It's funny. Tennis creates strange bedfellows. I can't bring myself to root for Murray. Ever.

Beth said...

So will you disappointed Craig if Federer loses?

Michael said...

Aw, these guys match. I can remember loads of times when I came downstairs only to realize I was wearing a similar clothes as my brother. We'd look at each other and say: So are you going to change or do I have to?

These "brothers" didn't have that option, I guess.

Thanks for the stream link, Craig.

oddman said...

That's OK, Craig. I can't bring myself to root for Federer - ever.

Joe said...

Good stuff early on. Murray looks much better than he did in the 2008 U.S. Open final. (I consider myself a Federer fan, but I was pulling for Murray in that match because I put some $$ on him before the tournament started.) I think the outcome of this set is big -- if Federer wins it, I think he'll steamroll though the second set.

Christopher Crocker said...

Two beauty backhands from Federer.

b said...

I really enjoy murray's game (it's versatile and intelligent) so I often do root for him and DEFINITELY want him to win this match..... I really like him as a player. That said he comes across as a thoroughly unpleasant and somewhat bratty personality and I believe, from several interviews and his overt efforts to improve his image, he is well aware of this.

Well looks like the first set went by quite quickly....

I don't know if I'll keep watching bc can't stand the commentators (ESPN2).

Karen said...

Morning All. Not staying up to watch this. I cannot bring myself to root for Murray and usually if he was playing anyone else for his first title I would root for him, but, and this is a big one, I would really like to see the fellow win one of these. All of the members in his peer group have one and it just seems that he has put in all this work with nothing to show for it. I am very conflicted on this one, very conflicted. Not going to be watching. Too nervous

Beth said...

I agree with what you said b. I think his prior bratty behavior was a major turnoff to me in the past but he definitely seems to be improving on that. I find it fascinating how so many posters are bothered by the commentators. For me, they are often like white noise and I am so focused on the tennis that I don't always even take in what they're saying. Even when I do, it just doesn't affect me.

Beth said...

Oh Karen, you say that but I know you'll be peeking. ;-)

Michael said...

Too bad Federer's bread of Andy just before winning the first set was partially due to a Murray double fault that wasn't a double fault. Set #2, let's see what happens. Good start for Andy winning the first game with some big serves.

Michael said...

*break* of Andy. Oops.

Must be 4:30 in the morning or something.

Beth said...

Shankapotomus!

Craig said...

Beth, I will be disappointed if Murray wins this thing.

I will be shocked if Raja doesn't.

Beth said...

Craig, unfortunately I agree...my prediction the other the day: Federer in 4 with at least one set being a beat down on Murray.

Michael said...

Wow, trouble for Andy. Maybe I should have opted for Karen's strategy - I understand, Karen!

No excuses for that break to love by Federer. Murray's gotta step it up.

And soon.

Karen said...

beth, I have now learned to watch tennis without sound. Never thought I would do it but I started after last year's USO and have continued since then. Have not gone back to bed yet and Iam so nervous. When I woke up I actually thought the match was over and then I realised what time it was. Federer being very aggressive.

Beth said...

Karen, I don't think you're going to have much to worry about. How can you be nervous with Murray playing like he is right now? No worries, my dear, your boy will prevail (even though I want Murray to take this one). I, too, have watched tennis many times without sound. This match I am watching with barely any sound so I don't wake up the household. Hang in there Karen....no worries.

Michael said...

Come on Andy! He was peering into the brink, down a set, and 1-3, 15-40 and serves well and plays aggressively to win the game. A start of something?

Dapxin said...

fatherFed is in his zone. M needs a slowdown balm here.

Craig said...

As I tweeted, it's all about the serve. These two are evenly matched in movement and court sense, but Raja's serve is superior, as is his forehand.

Murray can't win unless Raja lets him.

Dapxin said...

so right C.
so served right C.
the Serve!

Michael said...

Roger tightens up here and there, though. Just not as much as Murray.

Looking grim for Andy.

Dapxin said...

give it to him Federer.

He anticipates so well! like a goalkeeper! (soccer goalkeeper that is.

I respect him for that.

Beth said...

It always amazes me how in matches Federer's opponents are dripping sweat and he looks dry and fresh. Economy of movement? Is he really 'floating' around the court as people say? :-) Craig, I am not good at analyzing such things but my sense is that Andy is NOT matched in movement with Federer. Is anybody, really? The man is like Baryshnikov with a racquet.

Michael said...

Wow, Murray pulls off his serve again, this time being down 0-40. Any news in the positive direction is welcome news for him. Roger seems to tighten a bit when closing out those games. Could he do the same with the 2nd set? So far Murray's had almost nothing against Federer's serve this set.

But it seems like Murray isn't going away. This set looked to be the "ass on a silver platter" set, but Murray hasn't let it be that way.

Michael said...

Beth, Federer is plenty sweaty, he's just wearing a color that goes well with his. He recently changed his shirt, too.

Dapxin said...

beth,

for me, its all about
advantage-of-confidence,
and confidence-of-advantage.

he's won this before. that dictates, his mental engagement's gotta be less intense compared to Murray.

my feeling.

Christopher Crocker said...

Daxpin, you mean the exact thing that Federer said and people criticized him for?

Dapxin said...

Chris,

I dont read fatherFeds sayings anymore.

It riles me.

But yeah, the kinda stuff he says. Except he neednt say. Or he neednt say, the way he says

Dapxin said...

the British initiative's going down.... :(

Craig said...

Federer has changed shirts three times, y'all.

Beth, Murray covers the court as well as Federer, but he doesn't move like a dancer, no.

Craig said...

Crocker, I agree with Dap. Raja would do well to let his tennis do the talking.

He's getting to old for these childish mind games.

Christopher Crocker said...

Americans and Britains are just afraid to say what they feel, to spare others feelings or something? Is it more honest to say what you feel or to believe it but lie about it?

Michael said...

Craig,

Hard to argue against that. But at least the score wasn't 6-1 as last set probably should have been.

Federer keeps playing the childish mind games because he enjoys them so much, it seems to me. I don't know if they have an effect or not.

Christopher Crocker said...

Sorry, Britons.

Craig said...

Michael, while I agree that Raja is tight closing out games on Murray's serve, I still think ass is being served.

Can it change?

It's tennis. Of course it can. But Murray will have to change it if Raja slips up, like Henin did with Serena. But Henin knew she could beat Serena in a Slam. When she raised her level, it was up to Serena to shut her down.

Murray poses no threat, mental or otherwise, to Raja right now.

Michael said...

Christopher,

There's a third choice. Ask Rafa what it is.

:)

Craig said...

Croker, this American isn't at all afraid to say what he feels.

But everything I feel doesn't need to be said.

Raja could learn that as he matures.

Dapxin said...

no. he doesnt enjoy them.

he swims in them

Christopher Crocker said...

What is that Michael?

Michael said...

Murray seems like he's playing on sand, just sliding and off balance.

Christopher Crocker said...

I'm not saying this is a moel for life, but in a press conference - where the idea is to speak I suppose - the three options I guess are give an honest answer, give a pink fluffy bunny answer, or say nothing at all. Is there another option?

Dapxin said...

Mike,

There is a saying in Nigeria's thicklands.

" A tiger does not need to proclaim his tigritude."

that.

Christopher Crocker said...

moel/model

Christopher Crocker said...

Strong hold from Murray.

Michael said...

Christpher,

Dapxin said it better than I could have. Silent confidence can be astounding.

I agree with Craig that if this is going to change, Murray is going to have to be more offensive. Lots of arguments are made about which is needed more: offense or defense to win. Clearly, both are vital.

Dapxin said...

btw,

I guess you guys can load up
http://www.bbc.co.uk/fivelive/live/live_int.asx
for the british prayers live on radio @ d mo :)

Michael said...

You fall asleep, Beth?

Michael said...

Wow, dumpathon from Federer there, just putting the ball in the net, what three times in a row?

Craig said...

Crocker, there's a lot between an honest answer and a pink fluffy bunny answer.

There are many ways to express self-confidence and be honest without 1) putting down your rivals and 2) reminding everyone how great you are.

Raja doesn't get that. Maybe he doesn't want to because he enjoys putting down his opponents and reminding everyone how great he is, but his statements make it clear that he doesn't get it.

Federer is Federer. He inspires rolled eyes less than he used to, but I still find his declarations off-putting.

Beth said...

Michael, I'm wide awake, especiallhy after spilling a steaming hot mug of tea all over myself and the kitchen floor. :-( I've been mentally checking out because I just don't see Murray doing what needs to be done to really step it up and challenge Federer. I'm disappointed. Was hoping for a really, really tight match. I'm watching, but only half heartedly at this point.

Michael said...

Beth,
Glad you're still here. I was going to make tea, too, but haven't' pulled myself away yet. Now that Andy breaks Federer, I think it's time to go make some!

Christopher Crocker said...

Bad string of UE from Federer, big break by Murray.

Beth said...

Fn-A. Amazing cross court by Murray.

Michael said...

Fededer is not attacking Murray's 2nd serve anymore. Murray doesn't seem to be able to bend his back on his first.

Beth said...

Michael, hope your tea making experienced worked out better than mine. ;-)

Craig said...

I think I'll go make a pot of tea.

Beth said...

What kind are you making Craig?

Craig said...

Echinacea and ginger root.

Beth said...

I had a cup of ginger earlier, then black (after my catastrophe in the kitchen) to wake up some more.

This match is frustrating. Murray breaks back and it's looking a bit promising and now he gets broken back? Maybe I should have followed Karen's example and gone back to bed.

Beth said...

Does this end in tiebreak with Federer in straights? Do not even tell me I woke up for THAT.

Michael said...

Black tea, with milk. It's good, I'm not sure my jittery stomach can take it, or this match!

Glad cup #2 worked better than the first, Beth.

Craig said...

Ginger is good for the stomach, Michael.

Beth said...

Grated fresh and in a tea ball, ginger is my elixir.

inquizitive said...

Ginger Tea is pure bliss and i am going to get some now because I am very angry with Andy Murray and that is making my head hurt. That dude needed to win this....and not just for himself...for a lot of other people....
I just cant stand how all of them lose their balls in the semis and the finals..

Beth said...

Dumped it into the net....unreal. Andy, wtf?

Craig said...

Choke.

::

I simmer chunks of ginger root in a covered pot and let it steep for a day.

I always keep it on hand.

I'll add an herbal tea bag of choice if I want a little extra somethin somethin.

Craig said...

Choke.

Craig said...

No, Fowler. Andy's missed volley would have given him TWO sets, not one.

Beth said...

I take back my earlier comments about the commentators....I can't stand listening to Fowler.

Craig said...

Raja nervous too.

Christopher Crocker said...

They're both playing so tentative.

Beth said...

Regardless of how this goes, Murray is showing some guts.

Beth said...

Good night all. Been nice sharing with you. Go drink your tea and have a wonderful Sunday.

Whole Sight said...

Unbelievable. Murray . . . arr.

Karen said...

Very disappointed in Murray. I expected him to at least take one of the many set points that he had, but credit to Federer, he hung tough and got the win. No. 16. Why as a Fed fan do I feel no joy in this one.

Craig said...

Novak Djokovic is the new world No. 2

Whole Sight said...

"Why as a Fed fan do I feel no joy in this one."

Maybe because it wasn't a great match, even with some great points here & there? The mental aspect killed Murray, obviously. Mad Prof made a good prediction.

Whole Sight said...

Craig said, "There are many ways to express self-confidence and be honest without 1) putting down your rivals and 2) reminding everyone how great you are."

On the other hand, what if Federer is deliberately head-tripping them, rather than indulging his ego? It may not make him likeable . . . but it would be different than his "not getting it."

I have no idea which it is. I root for Federer, but I am very, very glad there are other players coming up who I enjoy watching - so that the world of tennis is not reduced to this one guy.

Karen said...

Boy, you could tell how interesting this match was, you guys started talking about tea. Very disappointing match, especially when compared with the women's final which was of such a better quality all around.

Craig said...

Whole Sight, can't he be doing both?

edma1022 said...

Wow. Can't say this is expected. Good effort from the Scot, though. Fed u still da man!

Christopher Crocker said...

It seemed that Murray was waiting for Federer's backhand to break down, and refused to change his tactics.

Craig said...

Murray needs a serve, a groundstroke weapon, and a new mindset.

Dinky doo tennis just won't cut it in a Slam final.

Dapxin said...

you guys been talking tea,
to tee away the stress of that
murrayed 5-3 lead?

darn! so close, so far away.

Craig said...

I must say I'm surprised at all the readers who thought Murray had a chance.

And here I thought we saw through the hype on this blog. ;)

Dapxin said...

do I find it sneaky of fatherFed,
to refer to him as too good..read (not great).

bullshit.

Dapxin said...

Craig,

the mental question - Murray couldnt rise up to today.

for my untrained corner here, it took 3 wimbledon trips for Raja to beat this egoload.

cross that line, ever be cross.

Of course raja has more arsenal, and will-nal, than murray.

Karen said...

Craig, I actually thought he would take this one. He was playing really well coming in especially the match against Rafa where I thought that he had changed his game and become more offensive, was coming to net and just doing so many things different, plus Federer was playing like crap coming in so really thought Murray had a shot. Very disapppointed for him. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall to hear what Roger was saying to Murray before the ceremony started. You can tell the weight of expectations on this guy's shoulder. Just too much pressure.

Dapxin said...

fuck. I meant to type rafa

Michael said...

ACK! I really though Murray would stretch it to at least 4 the way he was playing that last set.

Well played from Federer for the whole match and Murray for much of it, but not all. Murray couldn't buy a first serve in the tiebreak, but he didn't just roll over. I hope Murray can forget about winning for his country and just play in his next title match.

I enjoyed waking up at a ridiculous hour and watching this with you all.

Dapxin said...

Karen,

I am in london. that's what they do here.

they kill you before you were born.

they massacre the very idea of your finish, before you kick.

Its Britain. thats what they do.

Karen said...

@Daxpin, I understand that the press have already started to crucify him. I think if Murray is ever going to win a major it will perhaps be at the USO, which he says is his favourite.

Craig said...

Murray's match against Rafa was an aberration.

I insist that if Rafa could have played five sets, he wins.

Murray would have run out of gas.

Pure speculation, of course....

But what isn't speculation is that Murray doesn't have the weaponry or the mindset to win a Slam. He just doesn't.

Look at all the Slam winners in the past two year on both tours: they all have serves. Or I should say they had them when they won their slams. That includes Sharapova, Ivanovic and Kuznetsova as well as Serena, Venus, del Potro and yes, even Rafa.

And all the champions have at least one consistent go-to weapon off the ground. Murray doesn't have that either.

I frankly don't see Murray winning a Slam at all if he keeps bringing dinky doo tennis to the big stage and waiting for his opponents to lose matches.

Dapxin said...

bullMe.

Britain is broken out here. on the radio.

:sad.
:sad

:sad.

Dapxin said...

Craig,
You call that right!
There were mo in the game today where I was wishing for that bombastic DelPo forehard!

Or that Gonazales Monsterous Kamboomb!

Or that Nadal, swooooooosh, down the line.

nil.

You are right, he is a burdened mule - for britain, who may just travel around the world.

one day dead under the weight.

Michael said...

I hope I'm not just buying into Murray hype! Federer hasn't played all that well in the last few slam finals (Paris aside). He had strings of unforced errors that were missing today (or very short). He started off poorly in Australia 2009 and Wimbledon. And he had problems closing. If he had done that again today, we'd still be watching a different match.

Were those errors just because of the pressure to beat Sampras and complete the career slam? Now that Roger done that, is the pressure off? He's still going for the true grand slam, and he's 25% there for this year.

If third-set Andy showed up during the first set, we'd have had a very different match, obviously. I thought Andy would settle better since it's not his first slam final. If Andy wants to win a slam, he needs to either beat Roger before the final or not meet Roger at all, it would seem. Roger just loves to see an Andy across the net from him in slam finals.

Murray has certainly showed he can beat Federer, but the last three have gone to Roger, so he's going to have to change something. I agree that he will have to be more aggressive with his groundstrokes, use the net more, and get his freaking first serve in (especially in the tiebreak). And find Roger on an off- or at least slightly off day. Other than that, he's fine!

lilac said...

Wow. That was disappointing. Where's Rafa when you need him?

kraa said...

I am convinced that Murray can win a slam. He just needs a bit more luck (as in not having to play Federer). He is better than Hewitt was and Lleyton won two slams.

By the way how many ATP players have there been with two or more GS finals, but no wins? Pioline, Tod Martin, Phillippousis, anyone else?

Also Nadal is easy to play offense against. Federer not so much...

Craig said...

Michael, how has Murray shown he can beat Federer at a Slam when he's lost 6 straight sets to him in Slams?

The third set Murray served for the set and choked on his first two set points. If that Murray had shown up in the first two sets, what makes you think he would have closed out either one of them either?

Murray has tricks. Lots of tricks. And he has tricked a lot of people into believing he has what it takes to win a Slam.

Tricks are for kids.

Karen said...

I just realised that this is Federer's first Grand Slam as a father.

Michael said...

@Karen, I'm just being defensive, but the tea only came up because Beth was conspicuously quiet for a while which we learned was a result of a tea incident.

I hope you will feel some joy about Fed's win. It is strange that you don't feel it. Not so strange for me.

Is more than enough just too much sometimes? There is no milestone passed this time, just another number, a tally in the record books. It would have meant significantly more had Murray come out swinging.

I'm going to go make another pot of tea. I'll have to try your simmered ginger, Craig, but not today, I'm afraid.

Karen said...

Apparently the line judge from foot fault gate was in the Federer/Murray match

Craig said...

kraa, I can't think of anyone else.

Karen said...

Michael, I think the worse thing to have happened to the ATP right now is Fed winning the French Open. I think the minute that happened it allowed him to play more freely and not have the weight of expectations on his shoulders. I think right now he is playing for the love of the game and to leave a long legacy. In that respect I think the other guys are going to find it really hard to beat him at the majors. No straight sets beatdown to him at the majors. If you want it you are going to have to go 5 to win it and frankly speaking I dont think a lot of players are able to do that at every single major. We have already seen how the greatest competitor to Fed is breaking down and the young ones coming up are just not as consistent. It will be telling to see how this year pans out.

Dapxin said...

people,

I been up for 24hrs+.

If you do soccer (Its football) there is England's most-biggest-most fiercely contested league game at 4PM(london time) today.

Arsenal v ManchesterUnited(my club).

I invite you Yanks to try watch it.

Something away from Tennis ok :)

And Football is the king of all sports. I am off to bed meanwhile.

Tennisfan said...

Sort of anti climax match? Murray still couldn't play just for himself. It is a pity. But I can be happy that Roger won.

Michael said...

Craig,

I said Murray could beat Fed, but I didn't say in a Slam. Clearly, he has not shown that.

I hope he has a slam in him. I think Roger's comment in his speech was mean- not sure how planned it was. Probably very. Bully.

Karen said...

Michael what did Fed say in his speech that was mean? I thought it was an ok trophy ceremony, mutual respect by both parties, Murray having a bit of a Roger moment but keeping it together. Clearly, you could see the pressure that this guy was feeling.
One thing that Craig said earlier that I would liek to comment on and that was the issue of the talking points before the match and how childish they were. I agree with Craig, but I dont think they were meant to be a sort of "I am the greatest etc". I think Fed did to Murray what Rafa has always done to Fed, put the pressure on him because he wants it more. Dont know if you remember all those years when Fed was No. 1 and Rafa No. 2 heading into Roland Garros, and during the press junkets Rafa always said that Fed is the favourite because he was No. 1 and the GOAT. Then when they got there he would give poor Fed a what for beatdown. I think the same dynamics are working here. Put the pressure on the opponent by reminding him that listen this is only your second major final, I beat you before in the first one, I have 15 of these and I have the experience and I know what it takes to win them, plus I dont have the weight of 150,000 years of my country going without a grand slam country. That is pressure, no matter who you are.

Michael said...

Karen,

He said something like "You are too good a player not to win a slam." That's putting it right out there. I thought it was rubbing it in that Murray hadn't won a slam. And might not. It was suggestive, I thought. I don't think I'm reading that in. It's typical Fed.

Very different from "Andy, your day will come at a slam."

Kraa, Tony Roche has the distinction of reaching three Aus Open finals in a row, losing all three to Laver, Laver, and Rosewall.

The list of two losses no wins is:
Kevin Curren
Miloslav Mecír
Todd Martin
Mark Philippoussis
Andy Murray
Àlex Corretja
Cédric Pioline
Steve Denton
Vitas Gerulaitis

Andy would like very much to get off this list, but not on to Tony Roche's list.

kraa said...

Forgot about Corretja... I am too young to have seen others.

As for Roche he did win a GS (1-5 in GS finals, though).

Michael said...

People put too much emphasis on winning your first slam or two. Agassi and Ivanisevic lost their first 3. Lendl lost his first 4 (also 6 out of first 7). Ilie Nastase lost his first two.

Those are the only guys to lose two or more then eventually win one, though. A pretty good class there, but you have to reach at least 3 slam finals to be considered, and that's still a great accomplishment.

Murray's problem in slams is the same problem that Roddick or Hewitt have in slams lately. ahem. We all know what that is.

Murray will win one or more if he just keeps at it.

Michael said...

kraa,

I'm relieved about Roche (hooray for 1966 and István Gulyás). I only grabbed the Open Era data, so I missed that he did indeed win before that.

I am also too young to have seen most of those folks, but thought I'd find an answer, since it's an interesting question. Your memory served you well to pull most of the 0-2 guys out!

Tennisfan said...

I never thought I would say this. But I actually feel sorry Murray when I saw his tears.

Dapxin said...

hello all.
I m back to life.
Britain has a football game to live thru,
so it seems they 've allowed murray to fade away...

Whole Sight said...

Michael said, "[Federer] said something like 'You are too good a player not to win a slam.' That's putting it right out there. I thought it was rubbing it in that Murray hadn't won a slam. And might not. It was suggestive, I thought. I don't think I'm reading that in. It's typical Fed."

My own view is, if we treated our friends the way we so often treat celebrities whom we don't even know, we wouldn't have any friends left.

None of us are the mind-readers we pretend to be. We enjoy doing it, that's all.

PeytonAllen said...

I got up off the couch (hey its a snow weekend here you're allowed to fall asleep on the couch) at 3:27. Did I want to make Beth's mistake? :) I didn't care that much to be honest. I picked Fed at the halfway point I could see it coming. We all could. Once the Russian remembered he didn't have money on winning he folded. You don't give Fed a second life.

I woke up again right before 6:30, turned on the TV expecting to see the match in a 4th or 5th set. By the time my eyes were adjusted I read, "championship point." I had to laugh. I saw some of the first set on the ESPN2 replay. Fed looked to be moving beautifully. I won't comment on the entire match as I haven't seen it, but Craig's right. Murray's serve is pedestrian. Look at Fed's serving % in all there sets. Each set is a clone. You need as many free points against Fed as you can get. Only Rafa and Del Porto have showed the ability to win even rallies against Federer. If Roger makes mistakes Murray wins. Andy's gameplan has nothing to throw Roger off course if he's seeing the ball well.

People are attacking Rafa now because they smell blood in the water and the book on how to beat him written in part by Djoke is just to hit out and go after that forehand. Andy did what he had to to win. People mistook a gameplan for a change in philosophy. Like Roddick its not his nature to "redline" his shots. Until he accepts the risk he's gonna run into the hotter player every Slam.

Murray has more than tricks, he just doesn't have the guts to be aggressive right now. He'll win a major title, the question is how many.

What else can you say about Federer? He played great. He missed the Grand Slam last year by a few games. With Rafa on walkabout, and Fed already slaying his French demons its not unrealistic to follow this story. Especially when his rivals continue to fall.

The man is approaching 29 and he's proving to be in superior shape against everyone else on tour. When was the last time this guy sprained an ankle? To be this age in his tennis career and not really miss any time for injuries is remarkable. I used to doubt his boasts that he could go into his mid-30s, but really he looks just as fresh now as he did at 22.

I think its impossible to pick a greatest player of all-time, only the greatest of his era, or the greatest 'careers.' Fed is having a career no other male player dared dream. He's 2 slams away from tying Evert and Martina. A player on the ATP could have 18 slams. Laughable. If he gets there by the US Open, wouldn't his attention have to turn to the all-time record men and women's? Which is, what? 22? I'm being lazy and not looking but he's not stopping.

The Fed storyline in the last year has really come out of a comic book alternative universe plot. After looking mentally broken from the first part of the year after the Nadal defeat his biggest rival, a man some were ready to proclaim as the better player goes down with injury and mental fatigue. The result has been Federer's wonderland.

I wonder if whoever is writing this decides its time to reintroduce the Nadal character into the storyline? I know many of the book's readers think so.

Fed will dominate until Nadal returns, or Del Porto is ready to take his thrown. I don't see anyone else storming the castle.

For me this season won't get interesting again until the clay court season starts. We'll see then if the writer has plans to remake the Nadal character of if he's run his course.

Good on Fed. I'm numb to his winning and his rivals fading. Numb to it all.

kraa said...

The open era of tennis with all 4 GS being of roughly equal importance hasn't lasted long enough to properly judge what is and what isn't possible for male tennis players. In my opinion 20-22 slams is a natural limit. That would be start winning at age 20 and average 2 slams per year until age 30. Roger might not make it (started a bit late), but sooner or later someone will. We might not live long enough to see it, but it will happen.

Also props to PeytonAllen! I really enjoy your writing. Maybe it's because I agree with you more often than with craig himself... Do you write somewhere else too?

Helen W said...

Whole Sight says:

None of us are the mind-readers we pretend to be. We enjoy doing it, that's all.

Mind reading? An important part of being an adult is having the ability to read people. That's the way we avoid being taken in by charlatans. Of course we also need the ability to re-examine our initial impressions based on more experience with a person.

If you are claiming that we are "mind reading" when we voice opinions on the actions of celebrities that we observe through watching their interviews, etc., then I beg to differ. We are simply exercizing a basic adult skill.

I also can't help noticing how often a variation of this argument gets repeated in relation to one particular athlete :)

Whole Sight said...

Helen W. said, "We are simply exercising a basic adult skill."

Sure, mind-reading is important. I'm just saying we don't do it very well long-distance. We are better with friends with whom we have a real relationship rather than an imaginary one. And even there, as you know, it is so easy to misunderstand even a close friend.

Michael said...

@Whole sight,

It's a good point you are making. We should tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. I argue that when Murray says something stupid (which used to be fairly common). But I think Murray's improving in that department.

I have very little clue what Federer is really like. Mirka seems to like him (somehow). Federer is not really becoming more gracious over time. Maybe that could be his next life goal.

But what we do know of him in his public life, the acceptance speeches he makes and interviews, he's pretty calculating and snarky at times. He's made over twenty acceptance speeches (including runner-ups), so he knows how the drill goes, and I don't think there's much room for thinking he misspoke.

"You're too good a player not to win a Grand Slam so don't worry about it."

There are just too many better ways of phrasing this, and Federer is clever with words. He's putting Murray into that picture: the player not winning a Grand Slam. He's not even saying Murray will win one, just don't worry. Knife a bit further into the heart, but it's OK, little guy, don't worry.

He wants Murray down and to stay down.

I wish I were numb to it; I'm just annoyed. I'll be OK, and so will Murray - it's miniscule in the grand scheme of things, as is this tournament and all tournaments. Hopefully Murray can remember that.

Also, perhaps the flipside to your argument is that celebrities would keep a lot more fans if they acted a bit more like friends.

Dapxin said...

There is only one way to put it.

fatherFed revels in the moment. Its his moment no doubt, but some of us, just dont drink that.

Even boxers dont do that bullshit, once the game is over.

Craig said...

Michael said....

Kraa, Tony Roche has the distinction of reaching three Aus Open finals in a row, losing all three to Laver, Laver, and Rosewall.

The list of two losses no wins is:
Kevin Curren
Miloslav Mecír
Todd Martin
Mark Philippoussis
Andy Murray
Àlex Corretja
Cédric Pioline
Steve Denton
Vitas Gerulaitis

::

Tony Roche won Roland Garros in 1966

Vitas Gerulaitis won Melbourne in 1977 (December)

Helen W said...

Whole Sight I guess I take issue with your using the word "mind reading" which to me has connotations of pretending to have some vaguely supernatural powers. I believe I am simply using the powers of observation built over a lifetime's experience to interpret actions right before my eyes. And what a person says on TV is an action and is fair game for interpretation.

I wholly agree with you that it is easy to be wrong, even with a close friend and in person.

Craig said...

Dapxin said....

fatherFed revels in the moment. Its his moment no doubt, but some of us, just dont drink that.

Even boxers dont do that bullshit, once the game is over.

::

Bingo. And the reason why this insight is so accurate to me is that I know Dap is a relative newbie to tennis, only following for a few years, so he hasn't seen/heard all of Raja's interviews/acceptance speeches over the years.

Raja is insensitive. That's not mind-reading, it's an assessment of his statements toward his rivals. He may not mean to be, though I believe he does (again, not mind reading, just stating my belief) but that doesn't mean he isn't.

You're gonna tell somebody who can hardly talk because he wants to cry so much that he need not worry about not winning a Slam right after you serve him his ass on a silver runner up platter?

That's bullshit.

Telling a player you know how he feels when you snatch victory from the jaws of defeat because said player choked and lost and when said player has never won the Slam he covets and you've won it five times before?

That's bullshit.

Telling the home fans of one of your rivals that you enjoy playing him and not just because you always beat him?

That's bullshit.

Whole Sight asked earlier:

"On the other hand, what if Federer is deliberately head-tripping them, rather than indulging his ego?"

My eyes and ears tell me he's doing both. It's one of the reasons why, though I enjoy his tennis when he's in full flight, I simply don't like the man behind the tennis.

All that said, I'm with peytonallen:

I now expect Federer to win every Slam he enters at this point unless a healthy del Potro or Rafa is across the net, and I'll simply be numb to it when he does.

Murray's not going to win a Slam.

oddman said...

Numb.

Aye, that's the word.

I knew I was feeling something.

edma1022 said...

PeytonA, your reading from stats w/o seeing the match is spot on. Thanks for the comments - they're a breath of fresh air - because they focus more on the tennis (not its incidentals).

Murray started visibly nervous. Visibly. It did not escape BradG. You can tell the way he was constantly dropping/closing his jaw. And, in tennis, when you're nervous, the first thing that suffers, from the arsenal of remembered strokes tucked in muscle memory, is the serve. I did not see him hold more than 1-2 love service games the entire match. It would have been great if Murray had a decent 2nd serve. He doesn't. And it's enough to give Federer a window of opportunity.

Federer, on the other hand, was just playing his normal game, although there's a subtle difference. This time he wasn't waiting for the ball to reach its peak height from bounce, he immediately hits it on the rise. This strategy is aimed at taking much needed reaction time for Murray, who's very nimble and possess great anticipation to get at the ball quickly. The strategy works for the better part of 1-1/2 sets. But not the entire match though. I believe Fed thought the 3rd set was gone. But when he tried to take away game 9 or 10, and he did, you can tell he was already smelling blood. I've watched this man countless times and can tell if he's gonna win. In the TB, the camera briefly focused on him for an instant and his eyes were dilated. He wasn't going extend it if he can help it.

Craig once said that Raja takes what's given to him. In this match, I thought about it and felt it to be true. Federer will play you and try things and risk shots but if you give him a weakness, a few windows of opportunity, you waste your own chances, then Fed will happily take them.

Murray will step up soon. I've hated the guy the moment he stepped on tour 4 years ago. But here it's hard not to understand what he's going through. I will probably cheer for him soon when he gets there. There was an article I read where he told Fed "you're gonna see tears from me", and Fed just said "it's gonna be alright". What else is the man supposed to say?

Fed's 'English' comments are often a butt of derision. Because (I admit) they're really disparaging. But I've also read enough comments from readers who say his German and French ones are more nuanced and tame. That does not give him a free pass every time but I (and most of his levelheaded fans) give him the benefit of the doubt. He is what he is.

Michael said...

Craig,

Thanks for catching me on Vitas Gerulaitis, you are right. Kraa already caught me on Tony Roche.

I guess I'm fired as volunteer statistician, though I still enjoy looking up answers to weird questions like that.

In looking through those stats, though, I was struck by how many easy slam finals Agassi had (some of which he lost). The only guys he beat who had already won a slam were Stich (1 previously) and Sampras (in Australia, Sampras then had 5). Ivanisevic is the only other opponent who lost to Agassi to eventually win a slam. At least I think that's correct, I haven't had much sleep lately! :)

Andy Murray would have done well to win one of those slams and I think he will eventually win a slam. The problem is that these days, there always a guy named Federer in the final.

Michael said...

@edma1022,

You are spot on about the serves. Murray needs to get his first serve % up into the 60's and he didn't do it at all. He did the same against Roddick at last Wimbledon. 50's or less is not good enough without a great 2nd serve.

As for the comparison to Del Potro, he looked on the ropes too, being down a break in the 4th and found his 2nd wind. Murray was finding it in the 3rd, being more aggressive with ground strokes, coming to net more, and getting 60% of serves in despite bad serving in the tiebreak. Murray's 2nd wind was not soon enough and not choke proof.

Murray did better than he did in the last slam final against Federer, and he should know what he has to do to improve more. He's stubborn and will continue to fight - for his sake I hope without concerning himself at all with "the hope of a nation."

While I will not say it's likely someone other than Del Potro or Nadal will beat Federer at a slam this year, I still want to believe it will happen, even hope that it might. Federer is no longer invincible, the players have to keep telling themselves that.

edma1022 said...

Michael: "Federer is no longer invincible, the players have to keep telling themselves that."

Agreed with the entire post, Michael.

Like Karen, I did not trust Fed to go thru, nor was unwilling to see others step up. Typically, your best barometer for performance are the players in-form going into the fortnight. In this regard, Fed's is - at best - the 4th or 5th. Davydenko, Murray, Nadal, DelPo, Cilic, hell even Baghs' form were better. Although some have injury questions, after the 1st round the slate's clean. Rafa's loss was the most shocking to me (I've grown to like the kid tremendously ... maybe having his autograph was a charm).

Fed's time has come, he's just not in a hurry to spur his horse onward to the sunset. He's enjoying the view.

kraa said...

Nadal is obvious a long established and serious rival to Federer, but I don't quite get why del Potro is already elevated to such heights. Sure he beat Federer in a slam once, but so did Djokovic and Safin. How is he different? Shouldn't we wait a bit and see what he follows it up with?

Roger was serving for 2 sets to love and probably would have won in straight had he found few big first serves at that critical moment. Had that happened I doubt very much any of you would be hyping him now...

Whole Sight said...

Helen W said "I guess I take issue with your using the word "mind reading" which to me has connotations of pretending to have some vaguely supernatural powers."

Sorry - I should have been worded it to be less pejorative. I meant it more in the sense you mean. There is actually a whole branch of psychology called "theory of mind" which among other things discusses how primates (most notably humans) are able to imagine what other members of their species may be thinking. Very important social skill for us, and one that other animals (cats, dogs, etc.) don't possess.

Helen W said...

Whole Sight that is fascinating. Is it thought that other primates have this ability, or is this skill one that separates humans from the other primates? I would term it "self awareness" but perhaps you comprise something more precise. Brian Swimme in The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos describes how he imagines that first human that realized its own separateness might have felt.

Sorry we are getting off-topic Craig but I crave your indulgence :)

Karen said...

OK just watching the first set of the Murray/Fed match, how in the name of all that is holy did Murray expect to win a Grand Slam by playing this way? All he has been doing is going to Fed's backhand and hoping to draw an error. That was the most idiotic play ever, and to think that is what Gilbert said he would tell him to do. Dont people know that the longer you play to an opponent's weakness, you allow that person to get stronger. Case in point, Venus' forehand, Wimbledon 2005. Davenport kept going to it all match long and getting errors until Venus started grooving on it and never missed. That is exactly what is happening here.

Craig said...

kraa said...

Sure he beat Federer in a slam once, but so did Djokovic and Safin. How is he different?

::

He beat Federer in a final. On his first try.

That's huge.

If Murray had won this final, he would be elevated, no? Hell, he's elevated to Slam favorite on more than one occasion before he's even won a Slam.

Sure we can wait to see what del Potro produces, but his win, to me, has been way more underrated than it has been elevated.

Many of the analysts act like del Potro's victory never even happened.

Whole Sight said...

The other thing about del Potro - he's fun to watch. Not just the huge forehand but the surprising speed, the delicacy at net. And he's strategically very smart. He's had physical letdowns which are disappointing and make you wonder how durable he will be, but he's a huge and entertaining talent.

Dapxin said...

Raja is insensitive.

Right that!
+
It diminishes him and his greatness, besides the sport.

Maybe I shouldnt care. But I do, that's the point of him playing while I watch.

Its not mind-reading, and mind-reading, as already said, is indeed an inexact science.

Its the reason I enjoy it the more when those that are so capable, so inclined, and so desperate beat him.

And got no love, when he dare to cry the other year.

Roger Federer is not a great champion. Just greatly distinctive Tennis player.

Where it saddens? he could have been the best of both.

He never will.

Whole Sight said...

Helen W - Some primate researcher contend chimps have theory of mind, others disagree. Too complicated to get into here.

Also interesting is the related research into mirror recognition and something called "eye gaze." Elephants and chimps can recognize their reflection as belonging to themselves as we do; dogs and cats cannot. As for eye gaze, I forget the details, but essentially where we follow a fellow human's eye gaze automatically to see what they are looking at, most other animals are not able to do this.

Helen W said...

Dapxin, beautifully, poetically put!

Thank you.

Karen said...

You know I love you guys and I always enjoy the dialogue around these parts but sometimes I just get the distinct impression that we have been rehashing these Federer personality traits for the last 5 years, and it always comes back to the same thing, Federer's arrogance and insensitivity towards his opponents. Maybe one day we will also look at the cockiness of some of his opponents and the fact that a lot of his opponents do the same thing to him on many occassions. I can cite numerous cases where Rafa and his camp engaged in psychological mind games to get over on Fed. I have also seen Murray do it, Novak do it and even recently Kolya has done it when he says that Federer is scared of him. The point I am making is that we seem to take away a lot from what Fed says in his interviews but at the same time we can do the same thing with lots of other players. How many of us really believed that at the height of Rafa's powers on clay, and indeed even now, that Federer can take him at Roland Garros and yet every year Rafa goes in saying the same thing that Federer is the favourite to win. I am sure that you all had a good laugh about that. Same thing here with Fed saying that Murray is too good a player not to have won a major or that his time will come. Murray broke down in tears during the trophy ceremony and even made a joke about how he can cry like Roger and Rogere laughs, do we take that as a sign that Murray was trying to upstage Roger or just that in the moment when everyone was cheering him on and Murray was feeling the height of disappointment he broke down. It happens. I frankly cannot see any reason why we need to go into what he said and what he really means. Perhaps what he said is exactly what he means. He told Andy, dont worry about it, which to my mind means your time will come. I have told my own children when they have not succeeded in a task that they should not worry about it and their time will come. In addition, I know that Fed is not very popular around these parts, but just for once can we acknowledge a player's longevity in a sport that takes a toll on players by the time they get to age 25 (and in some cases even younger) that at the age of 28 years old, soon to be 29, he is still winning Grand Slams and against players who are much younger than he is. A testament to his longevity. As a matter of fact I would even say that Serena and Federer have shown us that age is nothing but a number and that focus, mental ability and the need to succeed are just as important as having a great serve to bail you out of trouble.

Dapxin said...

Karen,

Its a dead beat I know but I ll try one more time.

Its not the same. You are either feeling genuinely sorry for your opponent who wanted it so bad,
or revelling in your own unquestioned supreme stuff.

I remember one Venus v Zvonereva game I watched at Doha, 2 years ago where Venus staved off a resilient battle to beat her.

You could see the distraught in her loss, and Venus in true championship style, did not try to be snide.

I guess the little you could do is just shut up.

Federer swims in his stuff. Its a minus, but its the way it is.

He's no doubt some of the most extraordinary Tennis player the game's got. Just pure quality.

royce said...

Criag, Delpo's win is not the one PR people want. Delpo speaks poor English, can't go on the Jay Leno show. They don't want to talk about his win. Talking heads are only wanting one person to win and that person is Murray. He's English and better for talk show circuits. I hope Fed blocks him everytime. I agree with all your posts regarding Fed/Murray.

edma1022 said...

Karen, can I have your autograph please? I'm now a forever-fan.

Great post. Federer suffers from being viewed here in a different kind of eye lens than most players. I take that as testament to his game, which do not get the same critique. And that's good. That's fine.

Christopher Crocker said...

Very lucid post Karen. Another thing that surprises me around here is that while Federer is constantly admonished for his public quotes, Serena Williams takes little guff, when often times their responses are quite interchangeable.

And, yes, don't call Federer out for playing mind games when Nadal has been doing it for years.

Dapxin said...

Chris,

This poster knows tennis just over 1/half years.

I remember once or twice that I have had to say "serena shouldnt have said that".

oh yeah! the last one was that one she did with rolls-eyes, when the whos-no1-I-am-no1, wta joke lasted.


The thing is, there is a connection about this attitude,
and being a champion...at that point and up to that point, its game.

Once you are champion then, in my view, you neednt proclaim certain things.

worse, should you dare, you gotta be sensitive. And be genuine.

but what do I know :)

Helen W said...

Well, when somebody says Why Roger Federer has become a preening poser in the emperor's new clothes about Rafa, I'll listen.

Here's but one quote:

It was, a former Wimbledon star told me yesterday, "the most graceless acceptance speech I have ever heard".

And this is but one example.

I know, I know. We're all just being mean and unfairly singling out Federer and Rafa's just as bad, and so is everybody else.

Christopher Crocker said...

In the first, generating support from the Mirror in no way strengthens your case, if anything ...

But, with regard to Nadal, does anyone remember that whole press conference to announce that he would not be playing Wimbledon?

But this is getting a bit much, a bit too negative. All I'm saying, and I believe others are saying too, is that - to paraphrase Thomas Friedman - there is nothing wrong to point out a player is ungracious, self-centred, disrespectful, or whatever, but to single one player out, disregarding similar qualities in other players seems a little disingenuous.

Karen said...

If everyone who posts here does not think for one minute that every single one of these players does not play mind games with their opponents, then you are all drinking the kool aid. Serena does it, Roger does it, Venus does it, Rafa does it. They all do. I am sure that we can go through thousands of internet posts and find all sorts of things to back up our story, but how is this one. After winning Wimbledon and surpassing Sampras' record, the person who lost, Mr. Roddick turned to his opponent and said "but you already have 5". Now, I ask you, if in the depths of his despair Federer had uttered those very same words, would you all have thought that he was being ungracious and/or rubbing his opponent's nose in it? What words do you use to assauge the grief being felt by your opponent? How do you tell them sorry old chap, but there will be a next time? Will someone please tell me how do you take away the pain of a loss? How do you in that 30 seconds that you get to tell the world how you feel after a great victory convey sorry at your opponent's loss and joy at your own victory? It is not possible. You congratulate your opponent for playing a good match, tell them better luck next time and then you move on to thanking your team and everyone else for the help that they offered and that will be it. If anyone here can write the most appropriate victory speech, I am all ears.

Dapxin said...

There is Champion Federer.

There is others. A divide that explains the attention.

But hey, we all agree on the Tennis side of things. He's best.

done.

Karen said...

But Daxpin, what is he supposed to say? You tell me. What is he supposed to say in that 30 to 45 seeconds that he has to give an acceptance speech, commiserate with his opponent, thank sponsors, his team and tell the world how he feels about winning. From what you are saying it would mean that the victor would spend all of his time making sure that he said the right words so that his opponent would feel good. Picture this: it is Wimbledon 2010 and Andy Roddick has just won against Federer after saving match points 21-19 in the 5th set. He stands beside Sue Barker and in response to her question as to how does it feel, he answers and says "I have been waiting for this moment for so long and that guy over there has beaten me on so many occassions, but this one is mine and it feels good". Now that would be a very nice acceptance speech but how many of you here would be happy with that if Federer had said it. It is the truth. The supposed victor did not tell a lie but it would still come over as rubbing it in, would it not, especially if it came from someone else.

Karen said...

So basically Daxpin you are holding Federer to a higher standard than members of his own profession. That is a bit unfair dont you think. The last time I looked they are all human and therefore fallible. Why should Federer just because he is an elder statesman in this sport be held to a different standard. For my money he has exemplified sportsmanship in a lot of ways. He does not engage in gamesmanship or things that will bring the sport into disrepute. He uses his considerable influence for charity work and to help his fellow man. I am one of the first of his fans to admit that sometimes he does say cringe inducing stuff, but to me that should not take away from the good that he does on so many levels. When someone uses what little time they have left in preparing for a major championship to assist people less fortunate and is able to get his colleagues to donate their time and money to said worthy cause and to get the public behind said effort, it speaks to me as a fan of the man himself and how far his feelings for those less fortunate in society go. Just as how I feel about Serena and the fact that her tennis and her humanitarism speaks more about her as a person rather than any miscues that she may have committed.

Dapxin said...

Karen,

Federer is ontop of the pack - no questions.

That autoamtically singles him out, even if I didnt want to.

See, there a thousand ways to say things.

And mind games are fair, fine and actually fun.

But you dont play mind games when you win. You are either being gracious (truly) or just being so self-absorbed.

And I disagree totally when you say everyone else does it.

And everyone else isnt claiming to be a great Tennis champion.

This is about Raja: Him. The Man.

To be a great champion, you gotta transcend the sport...

I think we are all so defined on this already.

Lets just quit in Unison: Just how good of a player he truly is, and how lucky as a generation we were to see him play.

That we do agree. thankfully :)

Helen W said...

Christopher, did you have any objection to the actual content of the article, or just its source? FWIW, there are plenty of other papers whose commentary is similar to that article, which can be found with a simple search.

IAC, if you actually read the article, you will see that the comments section is filled with cries from The Worshipful rising up on their little hind legs and and lifting their piping little voices about how there is absolutely nothing wrong in anything he did.

As usual.

I see lots of other players getting a rap for some of their statements and other actions. (Witness Andy Roddick and some of his altercations with the chair umpire.) Perhaps it just feels like Federer is getting singled out because so many of his actions deserve censure. To my eyes Federer is being held to the same standard as other players. He's just failing to meet that standard -- over and over and over.

Anyway, you either see it or you don't. I'm outta here.

Karen said...

HelenW, I usually respect your comments here as you usually make some good points, but I think you sort of lost the plot here when you refer to Federer's fans as "raising on their little hind legs". Are you comparing Fed's fans as animals? Come on now

Dapxin said...

Karen,

lets let it go. :)

Or you suffering Tennis withdrawal....go get a beautiful sleep for your soul tongiht.

Its wonders....

PeytonAllen said...

Kraa thanks for the remarks. I only post here. Craig and I go back a while. I love to shake his tree whether in agreement or not.

I didn't find Fed's mark that bad. But by now anytime he's given a mic you know in some form or fashion he's going to say "I love myself." I think why his comments sting to some is the dichotomy of it all. He looks like a new age Bond, the type of sportsman companies can bank on. Yet, if you read him you'll find secret cutting, but not on his own wrists.

I'll admit to wanting to pinch his cheeks when he smiles and laughs in his interviews (my wife will admit to wanting to do much more) but he often kills them softly behind a smile.

Anything Roger said during today's ceremony could've been taken the wrong way given the two obviously don't like each other and spent, as Craig said, the entire week doing a white man's version of Ali/Frazier, or was it Cryer/Sheen.

The point is he's said some awful things just by sheer carelessness. The Roddick comment last year, maybe it was well intended, I dunno. He doesn't know how to relate to any other player but himself. Maybe that's what makes him so great.

For all his 'class' when things turn he can be ugly. He trashed Nadal's game for years (even holding last year's Madrid win as a trophy when Nadal was clearly half a man thanks to the Joker battle), and has done the same for Murray.

He's paid respects to lots of players. He's said some great things about Roddick. Even telling the press to 'be nice guys' when they wanted to downplay Andy's career. But in the moment, in his glory, when Fed talks about anyone else it feels wrong.

Contrast most of his post match interviews to Nadal's handling of Fed a year ago? You beat the man for 4 hours and then have the sense to walk over and hug a 13 time major winner. As if to say, "I'm sorry I'm better than you." Now, entire books may one day be written on their careers after that moment, but at that time, Nadal proved to be Fed's better after the match as well.

Edma, not to sound like an idiot, but what is Fed's native language?

Murray has time. The weight on his shoulders is winning A major for his country, not 16. I'd be stunned if he doesn't mark that off his bucket list. But he's not the finished product his ego wants him to be.

Edma, great point about Fed's court positioning. I noticed that as well. He really moved in today. Even against Del Porto I was floored in that Open match how both players just camped out and were knocking the hell out of seemingly half-volleys from the baseline, just not giving an inch.

Kraa...why is Juan being hyped? Really? You beat the "GOAT" at 20 in your first slam appearance, that's cause for celebration. Both men served poorly that entire match. Del Porto slept walked through the first set and a half before starting to find his strike zone. But from sets 2 to 5 he simply out hit Federer, in some rallies his over powering of Roger was just brilliance. He also backed up his win by beating Fed in London and previously all but doing so in Paris. Point being, its safe to announce the man as a true rival. He's a mountain of a man who moves stunningly well, has developed thunder for a serve and says he "loves" the pressure moments. Translation: I'd rather kill than bow down to the King.

He probably was iffy as to whether or not he should've played the Aussie, but he wasn't an easy out that's for damn sure.

Craig said...

Crocker said....

"there is nothing wrong to point out a player is ungracious, self-centred, disrespectful, or whatever, but to single one player out, disregarding similar qualities in other players seems a little disingenuous."

::

But that's not what we do here. We call out all players for their bullshit.

Karen claims that no one points out Murray's mind games when I wrote an entire match preview that pointed them out.

How's that for selective?

I call out Serena and Roddick, my favorite players, frequently for the shit that falls from their lips. I called out Serena for her USO tirade. I call out Roddick for verbally abusing chair umpires.

MMT and Mad Professah, both front page contributors and both Federer fans who don't particularly care much for Serena the big mouth or Roddick the brute, frequently make pointed criticisms of these players in posts and comments alike.

So has tangerine, who doesn't care much for Serena at all.

Look it up.

This isn't a fan blog. Nor is it an anti-fan blog. Athletes are public figures who make public statements and exhibit public behavior.

We don't ignore any of it.

So, please. Don't make claims about what does and does not happen in these parts that can be refuted by actual evidence right here on this blog.

If folks don't like it that Federer's personality gets analyzed more than his tennis, then don't read this blog.

Truth is, there isn't a lot to criticize about his tennis. But we do that too if you read more than just the posts and comments where his statements come under fire.

If you choose to read this blog, feel free to criticize, please. We can take it. But come proper and make sure that you are not selective about what you read and what is said about other players because then you are doing exactly what you criticize many of us for.

That's disingenuous.