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Archive for April 17th, 2008

Rain in forecast for Fri, Sat and Sunday at Estoril.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 17, 2008

Rain falls during the Estoril Tennis Open second round match between Roger Federer, from Switzerland, and Romania's Victor Hanescu in Oeiras, outside Lisbon, Thursday, April 17, 2008. Federer defeated Hanescu  6-3, 6-2, in a match played mostly under a light rain.  

So if it’s not the players retiring, the weather has to come in to disrupt the rhythm?

Chances for rain are at 30, 70 and 60 percent for Fri, Sat and Sunday respectively.

With one match already delayed due to rain, sapping any energy that player will have, to compete effectively against Federer in the next round, it’s hard to imagine the tournament winding up by this Sunday.

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Tiger Woods has knee surgery. Is out for at least a month. Is that what Federer needs too? I mean the break.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 17, 2008

Federer’s mono BS may not be as dramatic and debilitating, but isn’t rest the only cure for it?

If complete rest for couple of months can bring Federer back to his glory days, wouldn’t that be a better alternative than playing with the disease and hoping it gets better with time. Unless of course, recent events have nothing, or not much to do, with mono at all.

If mono is the only hurdle that’s holding his game back, wouldn’t it be better to take it as a necessary surgery, considering you are still only 26 and have lot of unfinished business at hand? Staying No. 1 is important, but not in the big scheme of things. There are many athletes who were knocked out of that perch only to climb right back up with ‘give me that’ attitude. That climb up the second time, actually brought them even more glory than the first time they reached that spot.

Consider it as a knee surgery. If you continue playing on a banged up knee it won’t be long, before your entire career comes to an end. You have to have that confidence in your game to take a sabbatical to continue the winning ways.

Maybe that physical and mental strain of putting together this incredible run and compacting it in four freaking years is now asking for a well deserved break. And if you can get back to your original form after that break, there’s absolutely no one who can beat you even on your bad day, despite their age or talent. The whole sport hasn’t seen such brilliance ever. So whether you will be able to assert yourself if you go away for a while is a moot point, considering how many unique and varied weapons you have demonstrated so far. No one can deal with that awesome collection of shots.

The results are not as brilliant as of late, maybe because you need to give your body some rest to recuperate from the consistent assault you have subjected your body and mind to, for the last four freaking years.

All this crap is useless of course, if you know the decline is not because of mono alone, but is more out of something that the rest cannot cure. Cannot imagine what that could be. Loss on interest?

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Federer-Hanescu in photos.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 17, 2008

Swiss Roger Federer returns a forehand to Romania's Victor Hanescu on the second round of Estoril Open at Jamor Stadium in Lisbon, on April 17, 2008. Federer won 6-3, 6-2. AFP PHOTO / FRANCISCO LEONG (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images) 

Romania's Victor Hanescu returns a forehand to Swiss Roger Federer in the second round of Estoril Open at Jamor Stadium in Lisbon, on April 17, 2008. Federer plowed through tricky light rain to impose his game on Hanescu, earning a 6-3, 6-2 win into the quarter-finals. AFP PHOTO / FRANCISCO LEONG (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images) 

Roger Federer, from Switzerland, returns a ball to Romania's Victor Hanescu during their second round match of the Estoril Tennis Open in Oeiras, outside Lisbon, Thursday, April 17 2008. Federer defeated Hanescu 6-3, 6-2.  
Romania's Victor Hanescu gestures as he leaves the court after loosing to Swiss Roger Federer on the second round of Estoril Open at Jamor Stadium in Lisbon, on April 17, 2008. Federer won 6-3, 6-2. AFP PHOTO / FRANCISCO LEONG (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images) 

Roger Federer, from Switzerland, prepares to serve during his second round match of the Estoril Tennis Open in Oeiras, outside Lisbon, Thursday, April 17 2008. Federer defeated Romania's Victor Hanescu  6-3, 6-2, in a match played mostly under a light rain.  
Swiss Roger Federer reacts to a point by Roumania's Victor Hanescu on the second round of the Estoril Open at Jamor Stadium in Lisbon, on April 17, 2008. Federer won 6-3, 6-2.  AFP PHOTO / FRANCISCO LEONG (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images) 

Rain falls during the Estoril Tennis Open second round match between Roger Federer, from Switzerland, and Romania's Victor Hanescu in Oeiras, outside Lisbon, Thursday, April 17, 2008. Federer defeated Hanescu  6-3, 6-2, in a match played mostly under a light rain.  
Swiss Roger Federer salute the fans after defeating Roumania's Victor Hanescu on the second round of the Estoril Open at Jamor Stadium in Lisbon, on April 17, 2008. Federer won 6-3, 6-2.        AFP PHOTO / FRANCISCO LEONG (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images) 

Swiss Roger Federer returns a forehand to Roumania's Victor Hanescu on the second round of Estoril Open at Jamor Stadium in Lisbon, on April 17, 2008. Federer won 6-3, 6-2. AFP PHOTO / FRANCISCO LEONG (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images) 

Swiss Roger Federer returns a backhand to Romania's Victor Hanescu on the second round of Estoril Open at Jamor Stadium in Lisbon, on April 17, 2008. Federer won 6-3, 6-2. AFP PHOTO / FRANCISCO LEONG (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images) 

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Federer wins in rain. What kind of crap is that?

Posted by tennisplanet on April 17, 2008

Roger Federer, from Switzerland, acknowledges the applauding spectators after defeating Romania's Victor Hanescu 6-3, 6-2, in their second round match of the Estoril Tennis Open in Oeiras, outside Lisbon, Thursday, April 17, 2008.  

When is the last time players have been allowed to play in rain? And clay? Can’t even imagine what it would be like to play on wet clay. Is that the new surface now? Federer, better hire another coach for wet clay in case it rains at Roland Garros. What kind of BS is that?

Just freaking stop the freaking play. Isn’t that the norm in the tennis world everywhere?

On second thoughts, looking at the straight set win in one hour, after struggling in the previous match, may be Federer needs to pray for rain at RG.

This should have been deeply satisfying for Federer for so many reasons. But in his last four tournaments, he has had these kind of matches in the initial rounds only to bomb out once he faces a top ten player. But this is different. At least that’s what most of his fans are hoping.

This is a new surface, with a new coach and he is gradually coming out from under the mono cloud. With a set already dropped in the first round, it wouldn’t have been particularly uplifting if he had dropped one here too. It’s a good win which makes the previous match look even better.

Most importantly, it gives Federer the confidence which is what he is lacking in most, after four losses this season without a title. His real test will come when he faces Davydenko the only real player in the entire tournament. Hope Davydenko keeps breathing till then for us to know if Federer has turned the corner.

Davydenko has had a pretty good run here in the past. In his five attempts here, he has won the title once and reached the final once, losing to Nalbandian in 2006. He lost in the first round last year though. With his Miami win fresh in his mind, he will be looking to duplicate what Roddick achieved there – reverse his miserable 0-11 H2H against Federer.

All seeds from Federer’s half are out, with Berrer No. 8 seed out today. So Federer will be playing either a wild card or a qualifier next while Davydenko will square off against a seed – Gicquel No. 7.

The final result will, I guess, determine if this was the best route for Federer in his first clay court event of the season under current conditions. I mean not facing a single seed until the finals or how about the whole tournament.

Winning a title here, I assume, will mean much more at this point for Federer than counting how many seeds he beat on his way up. But will that surge in belief and conviction be enough to out-duel the big cats on the biggest stage with the brightest lights? So, are these the baby steps to the eventual crown or he is still lounging in the air-conditioned suite to be unaware or unprepared for the brutal climate in the jungle?

Only one way to find out. If those hands go up on that Sunday with the hardware, or stay down clapping for the winner. Four such major Sundays coming up at a theatre near you.

And what’s up with just three freaking aces in the entire match compared to 17 in the previous one? And what’s up with averaging just 56 percent on the first serves in? Hope Jose is not messing with that area of his game.

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Courier Praises Federer’s Decision to Hire Higueras. From Adrian. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 17, 2008

Adrian

TP vs Jim Courier…

Courier Praises Federer’s Decision to Hire Higueras

Former World No. 1 Jim Courier believes his former coach Jose Higueras could be the key to helping Roger Federer clinch the only Grand Slam title to elude him.

The 1991 and 1992 Roland Garros champion praised Federer’s decision to hire Higueras for the Estoril Open, saying: “There are a handful of great coaching minds out there and Jose is one of them so I was not surprised to see Roger hire Jose.”

With a 1-6 record on clay against Rafael Nadal, the Spaniard who has beaten Federer in the last two Roland Garros finals, Courier believes the voice of Higueras might give Federer an edge when and if they meet on clay this spring.

“I am sure Roger is looking for a spark and a new voice often can do that,” said Courier, who had a 118-37 career record at the four major championships.�

Higueras helped Courier to the No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings in 1992, a position the American held for 58 weeks in total during his 13-year career.�

Higueras also forged a successful coaching relationship with Michael Chang, the 1989 Roland Garros winner, and several other champions.

“Jose understands the mind of a champion, knows how to deliver information tactfully and knows how to prepare a player as well as anyone you’ll find,” said Courier.

“It’s anyone’s guess as to whether they will connect as player and coach but it seems like a logical choice by Roger.”

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French chief slams Gasquet after Davis Cup exit. Are you freaking kidding me!!!!!!

Posted by tennisplanet on April 17, 2008

“You have to make the players understand that they need to fight, to make sacrifices, even if they are undermined by an injury,” Bimes said.

You’ve got to be freaking kidding me!!!!!!!!!!!!

You want a player to continue playing despite an injury? Are you out of your freaking mind? And what reward do you have in place for them if they obey your stupid command? Loss of time on the tour?

Why don’t you lead by example and show up at work next time you have the runs?

Geeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzz!!!!!!!!!!

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Ancic earning his law degree sets a good example for kids.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 17, 2008

Everything doesn’t have to be about money. Granted he has all the money in the world, but good and higher education can never be over emphasized. Ask all these super stars in any field who stomp all over their chances to get higher education, to succeed in their chosen profession. Granted some situations preclude your ability to study concurrently, but like I have been quoted worldwide on my famous quote ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’.

You will always feel something missing without higher education, irrespective of how much money or how successful you are. Shaq is planning to go after his PhD and want to be called a doctor. Society should encourage and idolise such athletes for promoting good values amongst younger generation.

Good education is more than just knowledge and paperwork. It should be a basic requisite for anyone wanting to live in a civilized society that respects specialised knowledge.

Kids are dropping out of high school in record numbers with no role models like Ancic and Shaq in abundance. All they see are losers like Britney Spears, the guy who knocked up her 16-year old sister, basketball and football stars who skip college to play professional sports and end up in jail for everything under the sun from drugs to gangs.

Of course, like any other rule, you will always have exceptions like Richard Branson who made it big despite being an illiterate, and on the other side have highly learned men locked up behind bars, but it’s like my rule of the boy jumping from the 16-storey building and surviving. Just because a miniscule percentage of the human race beat the odds, doesn’t make it the high percentage shot at good living.

It’s creditable for athletes like Ancic to respect their parent’s wishes and complete their education despite having enough impediments to that goal in today’s world.

Ask anyone in his late thirties or forties who is bagging groceries at a grocery store or is a plumber etc. if they were to live their life again, would they opt for higher education to have a better shot at good living, and nine out of ten times you will get a resounding YES.

ATP should mandate that players complete their basic education before they are allowed on the tour. Some are doing it while still active on the tour like Sharapova. So it’s possible and should be encouraged. NBA now disallows anyone under 18-years of age to be even drafted.

There’s no substitute for education and it’s not just for the sake of making money. Some prostitutes make more than many lawyers and doctors. It’s for having a respectable position in society, where you can be proud of what you do and contribute in a world full of ME ME and ME.

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Knucklehead forgot to place flash lights around it. Geeeeezzzzz!!!

Posted by tennisplanet on April 17, 2008

bunker.jpg

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