Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Comment Of The Week

PeytonAllen said...

Hey guys, been lurking thus far, seems like comments are at an all-time high. Good to see.

Regarding, Roddick. I went to bed when he lost the second. Maybe before. I didn't think he'd put up much of a fight, but I was happy to see him take it to five. When I turned off the set, Andy had just started to flatten out his shots. I haven't seen a replay, am I to believe he did the same for the rest of the match?

If Andy leveled the match playing with aggression, I bet Craig was throwing up in his mouth. We've discussed several times, haven't we Craig, what losing the 2004 Wimby title did to Roddick. In his mind, in his disbelief that he didn't win and was losing ground to Fed, he thought he had to change. And that's largely why he only has one slam. In today's game when nearly everyone in the top 10 has a big game off the baseline I remain stunned he really doesn't just live and let fly with that forehand more often. Maybe in his mind he's convinced he's a grinder with a big serve.

I don't think Andy's done. He still is movingly very well, his volleys at the net have improved, and Larry is good for him. I love his backhand slice and I thought he came really close to having his first set and half strategy pay off. That said, any time I see Andy redline it's bittersweet. That said, I think he's got one or two big runs left in majors before he's done.

Murray was outstanding. Like Fed he has all-court, multiple option game and an ego to match. Andy thinks of himself as a Slam winner already. A legend in his own mind. Much like Fed did. Fed won his first and history is still being written. I think once Andy takes his first major, the train will be impossible to move off tracks. But, he has to prove he's capable of not losing big matches, and by losing I mean falling in love with his wheels and excuse the following, but dicking around on court. It was disgraceful to see him blow 3 of his 4 Slam exits last year. Just giving up control as if the glory of it all was a burden. Roddick actually beat him in London, but the others Murray imploded.

What to make of Rafa? He slept walked through his return last summer, but thus far this year he's come on with mental aggression and was getting close to his top form. As well as Murray played, obviously Rafa lost it with his poor break conversion and in the 2nd set when he played a low energy game after breaking. When Murray broke back, Rafa was done.

I think Nadal's exit last year and his injury yesterday was/is half physical half mental. I think he's going through a version of burn out. As we saw last night the one part of his game that was lacking was the laser mental focus, the "I'll take you to hell and back before losing."

How bad was his knee? I dunno. I think he more or less tapped out. When he was thinking of pulling the rip-cord (thanks BG) but found his way to a break point, you could see him look to his box and smirk after a Murray ace as if to say "why get reinvested when he's seeing the ball this big."

We'll see how long Rafa's out. But, he'll keep losing against the top until he gets that focus back and it may not come until he's back on the salt of the earth.

I like Fed to win. The man was a few GAMES away from the Grand Slam last year. We keep thinking the run has to end, that a deep breath is in order, but the man lives to dress well and kick ass on court. Neither changes here.

(i apologize for any typos I've written a lot and just have had dinner shoved in my lap. Mmmm.)



Posted In: Quote For The Day

::

Let this be your Open Thread for tonight's men's semifinals.

Rod Laver Arena 19:30 Start Time

3. Men's Singles - Quarterfinals
Roger Federer (SUI)[1] v. Nikolay Davydenko (RUS)[6]

1. Men's Singles - Quarterfinals
Novak Djokovic (SRB)[3] v. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)[10]

68 comments:

Dapxin said...

I really wish I could hang on to see,
what fatherFed, makes of the davyD express, but I got work 9am.
-------
Maybe I shouldnt care.
------

What I do know is, fatherFed is in this - to prove a point.

I dont think there will be mercy here today.

expect blood. You vampires!

I am gonna see Serena in my dreamz. wish me luck some1 :)

Craig said...

Good night and good luck.

oddman said...

'Night, Dax.

I'm off there too. Catch y'all tomorrow.

Christopher Crocker said...

Wow, this is bad.

Craig said...

Is that really the score?

Craig said...

Federer looks like Serena right now.

b said...

I hadn't been watching but then tuned in to see Fed lose 1st set 6-2....

I would not have been surprised at all if it was at night but I still don't see why he can't pull this out if he weathers the heat AND keeps his head on.... Fed's lead over D has always been mental - am I the only person who remembers their USO 08 semifinal.... denko was petrified, everytime he passed fed he would get a fearful look and then drop points, as if on cue

And up until that point he had played the best of anyone, not dropping a set

Christopher Crocker said...

I think he has to get his serving going before anything else.

Karen said...

Boy Fed should have borrowed Serena's serve before she left, as well as her return game. He has been shambolic so far. Kolya is playing his usual style. Come on Fed

Craig said...

I don't know who's going to win this match but DavyD is trying to teach Raja a lesson about respect.

Craig said...

I've never seen DavyD return Raja's serve this well. Or anybody else for that matter.

Christopher Crocker said...

Maybe this will get things started

Christopher Crocker said...

avydenko looks so good coming in on those swinging volleys

Christopher Crocker said...

Wow, nervy game from Davydenko

Toheeb said...

LOL, Federer is pulling a Serena. It is so identical so far.

Craig said...

Davydenko has completely collapsed since missing those shots to go up a double break in the first.

I'm not surprised he blinked, but I never saw a breakdown coming.

We didn't see Azarenka do this against Serena.

Craig said...

11 games in a row.

b said...

So i went to do other things at 3-3 second set came back and denko just lost the 3rd 6-0 - okay so he reverted back to old denko?

Glad I did not waste my time

Craig said...

12 games in a row.

b, he was up a set, 3-1, with 3 points to go up 4-1. He lost all 3 points on his own errors.

He hasn't won a game since.

Toheeb said...

WOW, I thought Tsonga collapsed for 2 sets in his last match. I am sorry Tsonga, This right here is a real Collapse. WOW

Craig said...

The Russian who gets no respect should now know why.

You can't lose 13 games in a row against ANYBODY and deserve much of any.

b said...

@ craig
"b, he was up a set, 3-1, with 3 points to go up 4-1. He lost all 3 points on his own errors.

He hasn't won a game since."

Thanks for explaining..... its really pathetic......

That said, i just saw him hold serve, is he going to at least save face and compete in this 4th set

I know he can still make a comeback but that doesn't mean he still isn't keeping his mental fitness suspended on a piece of string

Craig said...

It's only January, but all three matches so far today will win Gonads, even if I have to create a new category.

Toheeb said...

Cool, Davydenko is showing signs of life. For a second there(well about an hour)i thought the dude was a zombie or on auto pilot.

b said...

I am not watching but checked the score and apparently it's 5-5 now and D fought off at least one match point

Craig said...

Three screaming winners from DavyD to break serve and stay in the match.

UnReal.

Toheeb said...

WOW, I am glad i am watching this. This is not something u want someone describing to u. U wont believe them if they did.

b said...

did fed choke or d decided to play for a little bit

Toheeb said...

Davydenko decided to play. Great backhand winners while returning Federer's serve.

Craig said...

Too good.

Toheeb said...

Davydenko seems to have the right game-plan to beating Federer but he just cant seem to put it together for large stretches in this match. Props to Federer for also doing a great job of adjusting and throwing him off his game-plan. I guess that why he is one of the Greatest.

b said...

okay i cannot get any of the streams from fromsport or channelsurfing to work so i have to settle for what i read here - i might try adthe but it usually uses the same streams


oh - just checked the score and federer finished it off

Christopher Crocker said...

That was ugly, but Federer's slices were pretty amazing, shaking up Davydenko's head.

Whole Sight said...

"Minnesota Fats" has just beat "Fast Eddie" - not by skill alone, but by guile, nerve, and intimidation.

Toheeb said...

@ Whole Sight

Nice reference to The Hustler. Could not have said it any better.

Toheeb said...

WOW, this Tsonga-Djokovic match is pretty intense. They have broken each other twice each in the 1st set. Some pretty long rallys too. Looks like it will be a long night/morning for me.

Toheeb said...

OMG, What a first set. WOW. Tsonga wins it 7-6(10-8). This has been the most competitive set in all the matches played today. It has had everything. Shot making, defense, Drop-shots, Extended Backhand rallies, clutch serving(mainly Tsonga), Speed, Speed, Speed, etc.

Karen said...

37 comments - nobody watched the Fedmeister.Man, I could not sleep. one of the joys of being a tennis fan. No sleep.

Karen said...

At one point in Fed's match he came up with 5 huge serves to save 3 bps and continue to hold for that game. I think it was at that point that Kolya lost all hope. He kept fighting but he had him in th fourth set for a little bit but Fed has not got 23 consecutive GS semis without being in a dog fight. Well done Fed. This fan is quite proud of you actually.

pompelmo said...

The great thing of women's tennis: You cannot save 3 break points with three aces. You have to plan, keep calm, and play wisely. And the match is never lost until it is lost.

...and the athletes are prettier of course.

Beth said...

I wanted to see the Fed/Davy match but couldn't make it for that. Exhausted after being awake for almost 18 hours. I see it was not as close as I would have hoped. Had wished for at least a 5-setter.

On the other hand, this Tsonga/Djok match is really on fire but now Djok is facing a break point in the 4th at 0-1. I hope Djok wins. I know a lot of people here don't care for him but I hope he takes it.

And what the hell happened to Venus?? I was watching her match with Li and tuned out when Venus was up a set and into the second set and Li pulled it out?!?! Go girl!

Beth said...

So Djok just basically walked off on a medical break and said he needs to throw up.....

Beth said...

Does Djok have a chance here? Is he sick to his stomach because of lack of conditioning (as BG says) or because of something else? Will the wheels fall off?

Beth said...

Djokovic does not look well. He's going through the motions right now, that's all.

Craig said...

pompelmo said...

The great thing of women's tennis: You cannot save 3 break points with three aces.

::

Then you did not see Serena do just that against Samantha Stosur.

Craig said...

Tsonga better wake back up.

Karen said...

beth, I like Novak as well and I like Tsonga. However, I am a bit perturbed at Novak walking off court during an MTO because he needs to throw up. He is playing much better now. Come on Tsonga take this to 5

oddman said...

I have warmed to Novak... he seems to have cut out most of the in your face stuff.

I dunno about his health issues - I'm always prepared to give the players the benefit of the doubt. Not good to have to go throw up in the middle of a match.

These guys are amazing, battling away. May the best man win!

Karen said...

Novak is the only player apart from Murray coming into the semis who has not played a great deal of tennis and he is huffing and puffing like this. Unbelievable.

Karen said...

Is anyone watching the Tsonga match. Novak is melting down before my very eyes. Amazing

Karen said...

Oddman, I warmed to him after seeing his montage at the USO and admiring his eyes and smile and yes he has cut out the in your face stuff. However, he must be really ill to be playing like this but credit Jo-Willy, he is playing amazing tennis.

Karen said...

Well, well, well. Lookie here. Plays his first 5 set match and now his second back to back. The guys are getting fitter and fitter. They realise that it takes supreme fitness to win a major. Will be good to see how Jo-Willy does against Roger in a 5 set situation as we know he can take him in best of 3. All the semi finalists on the men's and women's side deserve to be there.

Whole Sight said...

Tssssonnnggaa.

What a break for Fed. Tsonga is dangerous, but he is not nearly the threat Djokovic would have posed.

Craig said...

I'm not convinced Djokovic is a threat at any Slam anymore. I know he's young, but he's lost his way.

He spent almost no time on court through four matches, he faces his first tough opponent and he can't stand the heat. And I mean the heat of the match because it's been mild weather this year.

Tsonga will challenge Federer more than Djokovic in best of 5. Murray, Davydenko and Djokovic are the the top 3 players in best of three and only Murray seems ready to graduate, but I'll still have to see it to believe it. After all, he hasn't dropped a set.

Whole Sight said...

Craig said, "I'm not convinced Djokovic is a threat at any Slam anymore. I know he's young, but he's lost his way."

As you point out, winning is the best demonstration that a player CAN win. And D. hasn't done that lately except at ATP events.

But given that Federer is not that sharp anymore either, I think D.'s improved game (and yes, it IS improved since Cincy) could have beaten him. Davydenko had the game to beat him too - just not the mind to go with it.

Tsonga is different. He's like a huge rock you are trying to maneuver out of your way with just a crowbar for leverage - if you are careful and methodical, the rock is easily persuaded to move aside. But if you make the slightest slip it will roll over on you and crush you.

oddman said...

Yes, Craig, Tsonga is very dangerous for Fed, imho. And now he's gone 5 sets back to back here - he knows he CAN do that.

What a good match he played... didn't let the health issues of Novak distract him, just put his head down and went back to work.

I think he really likes the Australian heat too.


Well played, JoWilly, well played.

Craig said...

Nice description of Tsonga. He loves playing in Melbourne. He loves the big stage. His energy does scatter, but he's recovered from that in all his matches.

His most impressive victory was against Almagro because he recovered from a two-set lapse and then withstood a barrage from the Spaniard deep in the fifth.

For me, the outcome of tonight's match was never in doubt, even though I suspected it would take 5 sets, only two of which were competitive.

Dapxin said...

I just got done with batch 1 @work.

I wanted to say this sport, is brutal.

In all its ramifications...

edma1022 said...

Just woke up to bundle the kids to school and found the tail end of the Djok-Tsonga match.

Gosh, I really thought Fed will go down to Davydenko in 4 sets. Seems Kolya has not yet grown the gonads pedigree to do 5-sets, or to last 2 weeks, 7 matches, deep in a slam.

Nice work, Rog. Proud to be a fan. (same to Jo-Willy, who hung tough all the way).

Beth said...

For the record, Djok said in his post match that he was sick before the match (diarrhea) and then had to throw up during the match. I mean, give the guy a break....I know it wasn't great to start walking off the court but should he really HAVE to throw up ON court?? I truly think he gave Tsonga his props in the post match interview and said he was not making excuses for his performance. He was clearly disappointed that he felt like shit and that this happened in a major. I think if he had been 100% he would have beat Tsonga. And now Fed is rested and will probably steamroll Tsonga. Blah, blah, blah, blah....

Beth said...

Sorry, but I don't count that 5th set against Djok as any real test for Tsonga. It was obvious (and Djok even said so in his post match) that the wheels came off Djok and he was just slogging through to the end, hoping Tsonga might make a mistake here and there. I mean how long did that fifth set take? About 30 min maybe. I think Tsonga played great tennis but for a 5-setter this was not some epic feat of endurance. I may be wrong but I think Roger is going to have Tsonga for a snack in the semi.

Jason said...

Interesting... All my quarterfinal predictions today were spot on, down to the set numbers, after a day when all my quarterfinal predictions were absolutely wrong. Heh..

Karen said...

Can someone tell me why Serena is scheduled as the first of the semis. Justine has already has 2 days off and now she gets even more time to prepare for her match. And why are the doubles matches being played on MCA where there is no electronic line calling. I dont even see any matches scheduled for Hisense. This scheduling sucks.

Karen said...

Serena in her press conference. someetimes random thoughts just go through my mind, just random thoughts. Amazing. It is like nothing is happening inside that head of hers, but believe me there is a whole lot going on.

edma1022 said...

It's strange that the top men towards the end of 2009, and therefore expected to win this, were the ones to flame out early.

Davydenko (at London YE masters), Djokovic (in Paris, Basel), and even Nadal (Davis Cup Final).

This sport is really crazy.

Mad Professah said...

I haven't seen the Djokovic match yet but color me surprised. I am very happy that Tsonga won, I just didn't think he would. Too bad he couldn't have done it two years ago in the final.

I'm pretty sure Federer would have preferred to see Tsonga than Djokovic, but do remember, Federer lost a 3-set match (in a tiebreaker) against Tsonga last summer after being up 5-1 in the 3rd!

I'm glad Davydenko is getting some props--his timimg is absolutely insane.

There's no question in my mind Murray would have won that match even if Nadal was perfectly fit.

Craig said...

I don't wanna just dump gratuitiously on anybody's fave, but y'all all know I criticize mine relentlessly so here goes a bit of my perspective on the Djoke/Tsonga affair.

Djoke may have been sick, but he served for the first set and choked. Two double faults in a row when trying to close out the set? A weak forehand in the bottom of the net?

I would imagine that made him even sicker.

He earned his 5-2 lead because he played sharp aggressive tennis and Tsonga seemed nervous. When he had the opportunity to close out the set, he faltered.

But Djoke fought back hard to try to win the tiebreak and it took 18 points before it was over.

Djoke suffered from a lack of challenge through 4 rounds. He never faced a player ranked higher than 58. All of his matches were virtual walkovers.

Cupcake draws do not a champion make unless you can rely on your toughest challengers deep in the draw to roll over for you.
Tsonga has defeated him now 5 times in a row since losing to him in Melbourne two years ago.

Tsonga's got a bigger and better serve, a bigger forehand, a bigger backhand, a better transition game, and better skills at the net.

He was always going to be the favorite in this matchup no matter how Djoke was feeling.

Craig said...

I forgot to add that I thought Djoke was fortunate to get Tsonga, a first time Slam finalist, in the final two years ago. Tsonga took the first set and then became overwhelmed by the occasion.

I believe Djokovic realizes that too.