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Archive for April 4th, 2008

Watch Roddick talk after beating Federer. From Sarah. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 4, 2008



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Watch Federer talk after his loss to Roddick. From Sarah. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 4, 2008


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If Nadal doesn’t win this title, he should drown himself in the kitchen sink on the court itself. Geeeezzz!!!

Posted by tennisplanet on April 4, 2008

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after a point against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic during the men's singles semifinal on day twelve of the Sony Ericsson Open at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on April 4, 2008 in Key Biscayne, Florida.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

How much freaking leeway do you freaking need? You get a great opportunity to start the season with a hard court title, and you blow it up by uneccessarily getting into a protracted battle with a senior citizen called Moya in the semifinals at Chennai, and then not only do you lose in straight sets to Youzhny in the finals, but you eat a bagel with 0-6, 1-6 score.

You go to the AO and you are handed the draw from Heaven on the platter and you blow that up again to a player who was made to look bigger than he usually is because of your stubborness or is it inability to adapt and adjust your game on the fly and in the middle of a match. Djokovic proved that beyond any shadow of doubt in the next match.

Now you are on similar territory. The draw has been more than decent, you have had another win over your nemesis Blake, Federer has been removed from the pitchker, Djokovic is out early, big serving Roddick was sucked out of everthing by Federer and you are left with a bald headed, married midget who has struggled throughout this tournament.

If all that is not enough, you have some serious points to gain over Federer by winning the title here and carry the momentum over into your backyard on the red surface. You don’t get so many opportunitites so consistently to become No. 1 in an era so utterly dominated by Federer.

This is Nadal’s chance to step up and call the shots before Djokovic gets consistent, strong and experienced. And before his knees or other body parts start to act up again, as they have for the past two years.

Can Nadal rise up to the occasion and deservedly claim what’s his rightfully, or will the top rank continue to languish in uncertainty for a little longer?

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Roddick exhales, Davydenko capitalizes. Nadal-Davydenko final set. Yawn!!!

Posted by tennisplanet on April 4, 2008

Andy Roddick looks on during a change over against Nikolay Davydenko of Russia during the men's singles semifinal on day twelve of the Sony Ericsson Open at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on April 4, 2008 in Key Biscayne, Florida.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) 

Here are the stupid reasons why Roddick gifted this match away:

1. Roddick assumed he has already achieved all he wanted to this week by beating Federer for the first time after losing 11 straight times. It was too much to digest for him. Although he won, he was still stunned and the whole thing did not sink into him deep enough to come out and play a match as his usual self.

2. 5-0 H2H advantage Roddick had against Davydenko further worsened the situation. He wanted and expected a walk in the park after the emotionally draining match against Federer yesterday. Walk in the park it is now. Try the nearest public playground with your new friend.

3. Combination of above two resulted in him transporting himself to that Sunday final against Nadal prematurely. It was the classic trap game, I have been barking about so often. Davydenko’s petite physic and his dismal title record added to the beautiful picture Roddick had already painted even before the match started.

He also started to show signs of wear and tear, result of having clocked the most minutes on the court of all the title contenders. That was evident from the sharp drop of his first serve percentage from first set to the second. Even if he had won this match in three sets, there was no way he could have matched Nadal physically on Sunday even with a day’s rest.

The stronger and more durable of the two players came through. It may not be the most glamorous final in recent memory on Sunday, but it is surely between the two strongest and talented men standing here, given the bizzare conditions the tour is under currently. 

Nevertheless, two titles and wins over the top three in the world within 30 days is not too shabby for just the fourth month of the season.

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Points to defend at the upcoming clay season.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 4, 2008

Clown Monte Carlo Rome Hamburg Roland Garros Barcelona Estoril  
Federer Final 3rd rd Winner Final Did not play Did not play  
Nadal Winner Winner Final Winner Winner Did not play  
Djokovic 3rd rd Quarter Quarter Semifinal Did not play Winner  

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Nadal storms into second finals of the season by punishing Berdych’s second serves.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 4, 2008

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after defeating Tomas Berdych, of the Czech Republic, 7-6 (6), 6-2, during a semifinals match at the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, Fla., Friday, April 4, 2008.   

Nadal has made some huge impressive strides this hard court season, despite not winning a single freaking title. He has mastered Tsonga and Blake who had defeated him in a humiliating manner in the past. And now he tames another very hot player in Berdych in straight freaking sets. This is phenomenal for Nadal’s hard court game, provided of course he comes out unscathed on the other end of the clay court season in couple of months.

Berdych had not even come close to losing a single set so far in the tournament. And it’s not that he had been up against some tomato cans either. He knocked off Querrey, Ferrero, Tursunov and Andreev all in straight freaking sets and all around the one hour mark.

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after taking the first set against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic during the men's singles semifinal on day twelve of the Sony Ericsson Open at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on April 4, 2008 in Key Biscayne, Florida.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) 

Whereas Nadal not only dropped a set to Blake, but three out of his four matches went over two freaking hours – a crucial statistics for Nadal’s game.

But I think, Federer’s loss yesterday ignited another fiery storm under Nadal so much so that he subconsciously engaged another gear to lift his game past an extremely hot Berdych.

Berdych’s undoing of course was his low first serve percentage (55) and the fact that he won just 41 percent of his second serve points. Nadal was also able to limit just five aces from Berdych while firing six of his own.

The one stat that appears to be getting better and reaching ridiculous heights from Nadal is his stingy low unforced errors. He had just 11 here compared to 34 from Berdych. Nadal is averaging just over 12 per match in this event. That’s ridiculous, considering this is not his favorite surface and the competition he has been ploughing through.

Roddick has to make short work of Davydenko to remain fresh against Nadal to have any chance of winning his third title this year. It would be ironic for him to not win this one after beating Federer after 2000 years.

But it’s difficult to imagine anyone getting in Nadal’s way now. He is truly a raging bull at the moment. All he can see is that No. 1 rank and nothing else and anyone standing in the way now is only getting annihilated.

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Roger Federer Interview – Miami, April 3. From Sarah. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 4, 2008

Once-unstoppable Roger Federer, seen here on April 03, 2008, finds himself without a title entering the clay-court portion of the ATP season, a situation that has the world number one looking for reasons why and finding few answers.  

Sarah |

Roger Federer Interview – Miami,April 3

Posted on April 4, 2008

A. RODDICK/R. Federer
April 3, 2009

7­6, 4­6, 6­3

Roger Federer Interview Miami

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The game, penultimate game I suppose, you look at it, you were right in it, and suddenly you hit three, four poor shots and it slipped through your fingers.
ROGER FEDERER: Sure, it’s a tough way to finish the match, no doubt. I’ve been on a good run on my serve this week. To end it this way it’s sort of disappointing, but what are you going to do? It’s over now.
I think I did well, you know, to hang in there. Maybe this is one of the matches I should have won against him because he’s had some other ones where I think he was supposed to win, but this time around it went his way.

Q. What disappointed you most about your game, Roger?
ROGER FEDERER: Sort of dominating the tiebreaker, and I guess my last service game. You know, I think I didn’t make it tough enough for him to come up with good shots. I missed too many, and I think that was the disappointing part about the match today.
All in all I think it was still a good performance, and I think Andy served really exceptionally well yet again tonight.

Q. Is it a problem you think of concentration?
ROGER FEDERER: It happens. What are you going to do? You work hard so it doesn’t happen. Sometimes it does. It’s unfortunate, you know. I needed some first serves. Maybe I just should have placed, put the ball into play instead of trying to come over it.
It’s just decision here and there, and sometimes the opponent plays well and puts you under pressure. That’s why I always said it’s tough to play against Andy, you know that serve. He’s always going to have a chance. That’s why I’m quite amazed about my record against him.

Q. To us looking out, the lights don’t appear as strong as they do in other places. With the pace of that serve is it more difficult here?
ROGER FEDERER: I guess the difficult part is going from maybe day to night. I’ve struggled with this before here, but I think I didn’t particularly struggle tonight.
I had some tough ones against Johansson back here, because the difference is quite drastic. I think the lights are very close to the court, and I think that’s what makes quite a big difference, you know.
Now, if it’s low lighting, I don’t necessarily think so. I just think the lighting, it’s really close to the court, so it makes it maybe a little bit different.

Q. For someone who’s so used to playing in finals, when you get into a run of not playing in finals, do you get a little tense at all or worry about taking that one step?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, I am just sort of disappointed not to see my name, playing in the finals. I mean, it’s just disappointing seeing other guys battling it out, you know, where I think, you know, I have the game to obviously play there, be there as well.
You know, being so close, sort of like last year. I think if I would have beaten Cãnas I would have had great a chance to win here again, and I feel the same way tonight.

Q. What’s your program now? Do you know what you’re going to do?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, few days off, start working out again on clay and go to Estoril.

Q. Where would you rate your physical condition compared to your best form or best shape?
ROGER FEDERER: I asked Pierre, my trainer, when he left, what he thought, and he said he thought I was at 95%. I thought that was good enough for me. For me 95% or 100% for me is hardly any difference to me.
It’s not like I’m at 40%. That was a good answer from his end. I’ve been working hard trying to get back in shape. I feel like I’m fine, you know, it’s just a matter of getting the amount of matches in.
I think I got that again these last couple of weeks, which was really important to me. I wish I could have been in the finals, but, you know, I just couldn’t play maybe well enough when I had to.

Q. You told us the other day you’re going to have one more test just to clear up the mono situation. Where are you going to have that done?
ROGER FEDERER: I guess it depends on ­­ I have no idea when I’m going to do it and if I’m going to do it. It was sort of an idea I had. I’ll see if I’m going to do it when I go back to Switzerland.

Q. Last week you lost to Mardy Fish in Indian Wells. Today you’ve lost to another American, Andy Roddick. Do you think perhaps with these series of matches you’re having with Sampras that perhaps they’re learning from the old master about how to play against you?
ROGER FEDERER: I really doubt that. (laughter.) Those surfaces are too quick, and nobody plays like Pete, so it has nothing to do with these matches.

Q. When they say 95%, nobody knows, of course…

Q. But do you feel 100%?
ROGER FEDERER: I feel fine, yeah. I mean, sort of I guess I would still need a test maybe of a five­setter, but I’m not going to get those until the French Open comes around.
All can I do is practice real hard and make sure I feel fine towards the end of the practice sessions if I work up to four hours, and that’s really I think the ultimate test.
For these type of matches here it’s no problem. I’m backing them up easily. When I’m ­­ on practice weeks I practice three to four hours a day, and, you know, when I play here, 45 minutes and I play an hour and 15 and then I play two hours, it’s nothing compared to the practice sessions.
I feel good myself, really. I guess sort of the coordination and some little things are still missing because of lack of matches, but that usually comes along and I start to play better and better as the matches went on.
It’s disappointing to play a bad game and then think you played bad. That’s not really what happened. It’s just maybe a few points here and there and Andy took advantage of it.

Q. Where will your first play test be?

Q. Portugal?

Q. You’ve not played there before, have you?
ROGER FEDERER: First time.

Q. First time?
Q. Will you get to Rome, Roger?

Q. Will you be in Rome?
ROGER FEDERER: And Monaco and Hamburg. I’ll see you there.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

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Andy Roddick Interview – Miami, Apr 3. From Sarah. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 4, 2008

Andy Roddick reacts after winning a game against Roger Federer, of Switzerland, during a quarterfinals match at the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, Fla., Thursday, April 3, 2008.  Roddick won the match 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3.   

Sarah |

Andy Roddick Interview – Miami, Apr 3

Posted on April 4, 2008

April 3, 2008 Miami
A. RODDICK/R. Federer

Andy Roddick Interview after quarterfinal win over Roger Federer 76 46 63

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Great evening, Andy. What, besides the score, pleased you the most about what you did?
ANDY RODDICK: I thought I stood the course mentally pretty well. I feel like, you know, for the second set and a lot of the third he was ­­ he was starting to play pretty well, starting to hit that first ball.
I think he might have missed ­­ I think he had one unforced errors in the second set, and I kind of just tried to stay there. I didn’t get discouraged, I didn’t, I don’t know. I just stayed in there mentally, which was a good thing.

Q. You did say you’d hang around until you beat him. Here it is.
ANDY RODDICK: I’m just glad I have a little hair left.

Q. How encouraging is it, in all seriousness, to actually put an end to this run that everyone kept popping off about?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it’s nice. You know, and to kind of build on Dubai and to have wins over 1, 2, 3 in the world early in the season is a good thing. It’s probably what’s been missing the last two, three years, so it is encouraging.

Q. Does this mean that you’re now ­­ I mean, maybe giving yourself more chance again of winning Slams and moving up to the top positions of the leading boards?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, unlike most, I don’t think I ever gave up on having a chance to win a Slam. That’s why I came to work even in the rough moments of the, you know, the days after Roger had beaten me.
I told you guys I’d get up and keep going, and that’s so you give yourself an opportunity to, you know, for feelings like tonight after you win.
That’s, you know, definitely not going to hurt my chances.

Q. Were you stunned? I know you are were on the other side of the court, to see him unravel like he did in that little string at the end there?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes and no. I figure I was due. He hadn’t missed a ball in a crucial moment for about six years against me. I figured the law of statistics had to come my way eventually.

Q. Your body language had a lot of relief. Is that a fair statement?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, that’s a very fair statement. Especially after that first match point where had that one and I jumped that much too early.
I was wishing after that one I was just a little bit more athletic. But coming from 40­Love to 40­30, that’s ­­ it felt like I was still a long ways away, so I probably was relieved.

Q. You had 11 straight points to get to that 40­Love lead.
ANDY RODDICK: I did? That’s good.

Q. I was going to ask you, three match points got away. What was going through your mind as you were getting ready to serve that last one?
ANDY RODDICK: Please hit a big serve. Hit a big serve and let it be done. I was telling myself when I step up to the line, You have an opportunity for this to be over in about two­and­a­half seconds. Let’s try our best to make one.
I didn’t play bad points on the two that I lost, but I didn’t put big serves in like I had been doing all night. I didn’t want to give him a look at a second serve, because he’s able create off that.

Q. Did that feel like a final? It looked like a final.
ANDY RODDICK: It did until I went into the locker room and the guy said, You’re playing at 7:00 tomorrow. And then it didn’t anymore. Because you normally don’t have to play at 7:00 the next night after a final.

Q. You talked about the mental aspect of the game. Does your current satisfaction with your personal life translate to confidence on the court?
ANDY RODDICK: I knew it was either going to go one way or the other. Either the engagement was going to be the end of me or ­­ if I would have lost the first round, or the reason I beat Roger tonight. I think it’s somewhere in the middle.
I think being happy and content off the court is only going to help in my mind.

Q. Clearly you’re aware he hasn’t reached a final this year. When you’re in a semi under those circumstances and you get yourself into a position to perhaps beat him, does that click in, do you think? No?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn’t think of what year he was having at all tonight. That didn’t…

Q. Just the year you were having?
ANDY RODDICK: Our history goes a lot further back than three tournaments he’s played this year. I didn’t really think about it at all. I wasn’t really feeling much sympathy for him at that moment.

Q. You’ve been very complimentary and respectful of Jimmy Connors, especially talking about how he’s helped your backhand. Do you take even more pride in this accomplishment that you did it with just your brother in your corner?
ANDY RODDICK: I don’t know. To be honest, I hadn’t really thought about it until you just said something. You know, I know there are some journalists to write a story about why Jimmy and I break up and then head for the hills and don’t show up for the next tournament.
I think that’s kind of cowardly, but I promise you, Jimmy and I are still on great terms. Like I said, I’m just thankful for the time he did give me, but I don’t know if that adds to the satisfaction. I’m just happy because I beat Roger.

Q. Did you feel to date it was the best to serve against him or that his return was not as sharp as it used to be?
ANDY RODDICK: That’s probably the best I’ve served against him. I hit my second serve pretty well, also. Like I said, I just kind of stayed the course from the baseline. I don’t know if I tried to overplay. I mixed it up when I was coming in and when I was staying back.
I didn’t have one game plan and commit to it the whole time and bang my head against the wall, which I guess was good.
But I served really well. I mean, I served 75%, and I was ­­ my arm was alive tonight and I was getting pretty good action on it. That’s something that he would probably answer better than I would, but I know that I served pretty well.

Q. Was he giving you sleepless nights with this streak?
ANDY RODDICK: Sleepless nights? No. Luckily I think I’ve always been able to separate tennis and life, and in the grand scheme of things I’ve never once felt sorry for myself or said that, you know, I live a blessed existence.
I get to wake up and play tennis in the morning, and my by biggest problem is losing to the best player possibly ever, that’s still better than most people’s.

Q. You’ve always said that you go on the court every time thinking you have a chance to win. How much more does an actual win push that need for the next time?
ANDY RODDICK: It’s definitely not going to hurt, you know. Who knows? I could go out ­­ I could go out and very easily lose to him next time. It’s going to help, but to be honest, I haven’t thought about the next time yet.
I’m probably going to enjoy this one tonight and try to come out and make a final tomorrow.

Q. At what stage did you feel that Roger was beatable today? I mean, obviously last week you witnessed Mardy beating him in Indian Wells. At what stage did you feel Roger was beatable today?
ANDY RODDICK: I don’t know if it’s just today. I know if I ­­ you know, last year at the Open I played about as well as I could, and if he doesn’t stick a return off a 140 serve on the line, I know there’s always a chance.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t encouraged by Mardy’s result last week. I had got home from a long kind of a day of practice, and I had just gotten off the phone with Mardy’s fiancée. She was going nuts, and I parked my car and went out again and went for another run because I think I was excited and optimistic.
I had a sudden burst of energy and kind of ran till the sun went down because I was starting to feel, you know, hopeful and I was happy for Mardy.
You know, so I was probably encouraged by that result.

Q. You probably envisioned in your mind many times what that would feel like to finally, after so many times, beat him. What exactly were you feeling? You had one moment there they were showing your face close on TV where you just really seemed like, you know, maybe not on the verge of sobbing but pretty emotional?
ANDY RODDICK: I don’t sob.

Q. What were you feeling? I’ve seen you sob?
ANDY RODDICK: Okay, so I sobbed a little. I don’t know. I was just ­­ you know, I think I was pretty relieved and happy and, you know, I saw my box and they were ­­ I think they were relieved and happy.
You know, my brother and my agent, they’ve seen me lose to him a lot of times and they shared a lot of nights with me afterwards where they were trying to convince me I’m going to beat him one time. I was happy for them, too.
I don’t know how to explain it. That’s what you wake up for. That’s what you go to the practice court for. You can have the low moments, but those kind of ­­ those 10, 15 seconds after a big win probably make up for a lot of bad days. Maybe not all of them, but, you know, that’s ­­ I think that’s what you play for.

Q. Given the frustration narrative, you know, you get in a position to win, have to be pretty tough position to handle mentally what potentially could have been, but you take it totally with the…
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it was. I sat down afterwards and my hands were shaking a little. I’ve been a point away before. You know, so, I got to 5­3 and I just kind of tried to pretend ­­ I was literally trying to pretend that nothing had just happened.
Go up and serve the ball and at least try to hit a couple of big serves and kind of do what I had been doing all night and it’s easier said than done, but I was able to put a couple of big first serves in and that helped a lot.

Q. In the break game, 3­4, Federer serving, third set looked like it was a couple of inches off the ground. Did you have a sense after you hit that shot that maybe this was the game where it’s finally going to get him?
ANDY RODDICK: It’s a big difference playing Love­15 and 15­Love. Roger rarely loses a lead in a game or in a match. He plays from the front about as well as anybody I’ve ever seen.
It just makes that next point so much tougher being down Love­30, you know, been there. So I wanted to put an emphasis on winning the first point, and I didn’t know if I was going to make that shot.
I kind of just flipped it up there and it found a piece of the court that wasn’t out, which was nice of it. You know, I don’t think you get overly excited when you’re Love­15 but you’re closer to Love­30.

Q. How low was that ball when you hit it?
ANDY RODDICK: It was low. (laughter.)

Q. How good are the lights here? Roger was saying because they’re kind of low on the court, it’s a different sort of perspective of the players. Where we sit they look duller than some courts. Is it any different for you guys?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, they sit a little different. You know, I think you can still see the ball, and I think he’s won a lot of matches under those lights over the years. I don’t think they were any dimmer than years past.

Q. Can you describe how, what role John has played in helping you hang in, especially with this particular opponent and keep yourself belief?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, you know, he’s ­­ he’s just been there through them all, even before he was traveling with me, he had seen a couple of Wimbledon finals and he ­­ you know, to his credit, I don’t know if he ever really gave up, you know.
I think he always believed that, maybe more so than me at times, that it would happen, you know. So he ­­ he does his research, watches the matches and he checks them out and he stays here, you know, late and he’s kind of like a court rat sometimes doing research and even watching ­­ if he’s seen the guy play a week before he’s came out and ­­ he’s seen Roger play a million times, but he’s still there maybe seeing what tendencies he’s playing to right now.
So he’s played a huge role in it.

Q. Do you feel that tonight you were stronger mentally than of the both players?
ANDY RODDICK: I don’t know. I don’t know if I was stronger. I know it was ­­ it was a good match mentally for me. It was probably the best part of it for me.
You know, even when I got beaten at 4­All and felt like the tides were turned and all, I felt like I was able to hang on, maybe 1­All I had a tough game in the third set and stuck to it after I missed a pretty easy ball. That was probably a big difference for me tonight.

Q. Was this one of those zone nights with your serve where you felt you could crash anything in there?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, contrary to what the stats say and how it looks when you play, I don’t know if you ever, in that situation, feel like, oh, gosh, you know what? I’m probably just going to breeze through the next service game. Hope I make first serves here that would be great.

Q. If you would focus on your record against Roger going into the match, do you see those reports? What was your attitude going into the match?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, you know, I’m as aware of it as anybody. You know, I’ve been through them. I don’t just look at a piece of paper. I’ve actually lived those matches, so I’m aware of it. You know, let’s not act like ­­ I’m not going to sit here and act like all of a sudden I’ve fixed the problem. I think I’m batting 2 for 16. Still pretty crappy, it’s a little less crappy.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

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Science says tennis players decline after marriage. From rickyspesh. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 4, 2008

Remember the marriage fiascos of tennis players post?

Well, now there’s scientific evidence for my theories. Should I start running around in a white coat now, instead of the white coats running after me?

rickyspesh |

Chap, seems you’re not alone in thinking this…

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