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Archive for April 19th, 2008

Federer staggers into his first final of the season – on clay.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 19, 2008

Swiss Roger Federer falls as he tries to reach a ball returned by Germany's Denis Gremelmayer during their Estoril Open semi-final tennis match at Jamor Stadium in Lisbon, on April 19, 2008. Federer won 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.    AFP PHOTO / FRANCISCO LEONG (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images) 

Like they say, Federer’s last match wasn’t pretty but he will take the ‘W’. He dropped another set, his second of the tournament, to 104th ranked German before finding his rhythm in the third set.

This is the second time he has lost the first set and still managed to win the match. It was obvious from his repeated rush to the net in the first set, that he was attempting something he does not employ so consistently. Was it from Jose’s manual? Who freaking knows? All that we know is that it did not work, at least not to the extent it was intended to, since he lost the first set.

Maybe these tomato cans are giving Federer and Jose an opportunity, to try out new stuff in the hope of finding a formula by the time the RG puzzle arrives.

Swiss Roger Federer celebrates a point over German Denis Gremelmayer (not pictured) during their semi-final in the Estoril Open at Jamor Stadium in Lisbon, on April 19, 2008. Kirilenko won the match 4-6, 7-5 and 6-1. AFP PHOTO / FRANCISCO LEONG (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images) 

Here is a look at stats for the three sets, clearly indicating what gets the win for Federer these days:

1st set: 2 aces, 58% first serves in.
2nd set: 3, 70%.
3rd set: 5, 81.

It’s come down to these two stats for Federer now, even against tomato cans. He will have to ride them hard until the bell rings to clear the rest of his game to take off.

I mean this ‘not even in the top 100’ joker had four break points against Federer. He had one even in the third set. If that was not enough, he converted three of them. That’s 75 percent. Just to earn a break point on Federer’s serve was huge. To actually convert them was beyond belief.

You think he made a right decision playing Estoril? You think!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you imagine him going to Monte Carlo with this game? Hope he wins this title to salvage something out of this struggle. More importantly, hope he is able to learn something here, to boost his confidence before the run with the wolves.

So far, it’s not looking good, despite the wins. Davydenko may have won just 12 titles in his nine years on the tour, but he is a far superior player than all the tomato cans combined Federer has faced thus far. Add the Miami title Davydenko just won, Roddick’s win over Federer, he has already won this title once and it makes him even more dangerous.

This is not the transition Federer or his coach would have liked, from wild cards and 100 plus ranked players to a hot No. 4 in the world.

Nevertheless their H2H favors Federer 11-0 with Davydenko winning just three sets overall. However their last meeting on clay at Roland Garros last year was pretty close: 7-5, 7-6(5), 7-6(7).

But for Federer to win this time, with the matches he has played leading up to this final, he will have to produce his old magic worthy of the second best player in the world on clay. For with his current form, it could become outright embarrassing.

Defeat now is not even an option for Federer. The clowns he has faced here make it even more of a dire necessity, more than it ever was at any of the four tournaments he has played so far this season. You think every freaking player on the circuit from the 1000th to Nadal will be glued to the set tomorrow? You freaking bet!!!!!!!!!! Some are already salivating and drooling. Who? Try Roddick, Djokovic and Murray for starters.

Federer has the tennis world on pins and needles right now, desperately and anxiously waiting to exhale a huge sigh of relief tomorrow. Can he pull it off?

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Is it getting better or worse for Federer this season?

Posted by tennisplanet on April 19, 2008

No. AOpen/opp rank Dubai/opp rank IWells/opp rank Miami/opp rank Estoril/opp rank    
1st match 6-0,6-3,6-0(107) 7-6,3-6,4-6(11) 6-3,6-2(62) 6-3,6-4(65) 4-6,6-3,6-2(77)    
               
2nd match 6-1,6-2,6-0(36) xxxxxxxxxxxxx 6-1,6-1(44) 6-4,3-0RET(39) 6-3,6-2(68    
               
3rd match 6-7,7-6,5-7,6-1,10-8(49) xxxxxxxxxxxxx 6-3,6-4(23) 7-6,6-2(45) 6-4,6-1(146)    
               
4th match 6-4,7-6,6-3(13) xxxxxxxxxxxxx W/O 6-7,6-4,3-6(6) 2-6,7-5,6-1(104)    
               
5th match 7-5,7-6,6-3(15) xxxxxxxxxxxx 3-6,2-6(98 xxxxxxxxxxxxx Davydenko(4)    
               
6th match 5-7,3-6,6-7(3) xxxxxxxxxxxx  xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx    
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               

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Federer at the semifinal match in photos.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 19, 2008

Switzerland's Roger Federer reacts after winning the semifinal match against Germany's Denis Gremelmayr in the Estoril Tennis Open in Oeiras, outside Lisbon, Saturday, April 19, 2008. Federer won 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.  

Switzerland's Roger Federer during his semifinal match against Germany's Denis Gremelmayr in the Estoril Tennis Open in Oeiras, outside Lisbon, Saturday, April 19, 2008. Federer won with 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.  
Switzerland's Roger Federer gestures after winning the semifinal match against Germany's Denis Gremelmayr in the Estoril Tennis Open in Oeiras, outside Lisbon, Saturday, April 19, 2008. Federer won with 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.

Switzerland's Roger Federer waves to the spectators at the end of his semifinal match against Germany's Denis Gremelmayr in the Estoril Tennis Open in Oeiras, outside Lisbon, Saturday, April 19, 2008. Federer defeated Gremelmayr 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.  
Switzerland's Roger Federer goes for the ball during his semifinal match against Germany's Denis Gremelmayr in the Estoril Tennis Open in Oeiras, outside Lisbon, Saturday, April 19, 2008. Federer defeated Gremelmayr 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.  
Roger Federer, from Switzerland, returns a ball to Germany's Denis Gremelmayr during their semifinals match of the Estoril Tennis Open in Oeiras, outside Lisbon, Saturday, April 19, 2008. Federer won with 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 and will play on Sunday's final. (AP Photo/Steven Governo 
Swiss Roger Federer reaches to a ball returned by German Denis Gremelmayer on the half-final of the Estoril Open at Jamor Stadium in Lisbon, on April 19, 2008. Kirilenko won 4-6, 7-5 and 6-1. AFP PHOTO / FRANCISCO LEONG (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images) 

Switzerland's Roger Federer waves to the spectators after winning the semifinal match against Germany's Denis Gremelmayr in the Estoril Tennis Open in Oeiras, outside Lisbon, Saturday, April 19, 2008. Federer won with 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.  
Swiss Roger Federer salutes the fans after beating German Denis Gremelmayer on the semi-final of the Estoril Open at Jamor Stadium in Lisbon, on April 19, 2008. Kirilenko won 4-6, 7-5 and 6-1. AFP PHOTO / FRANCISCO LEONG (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images) 

Swiss Roger Federer falls as he tries to reach a ball returned by Germany's Denis Gremelmayer during their Estoril Open semi-final tennis match at Jamor Stadium in Lisbon, on April 19, 2008. Federer won 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.    AFP PHOTO / FRANCISCO LEONG (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images)

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Stream for Estoril. From cms. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 19, 2008

cms

fyi – for the final tomorrow, this stream is working very well for Estoril:

http://ww1.rtp.pt/multimedia/index.php?tv=4&tipo=ply

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For a girl, if you are stepping down for marriage, the whole boat is going down.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 19, 2008

venus

Pregnancy=Indefinite leave????????????

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Battle for No. 1: Outlook for the clay season. From Sarah. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 19, 2008

Sarah

Battle for No. 1: Outlook for the clay season

By Kamakshi Tandon

Tennis’ version of March madness in Indian Wells and Miami saw no significant shifts in the race for No. 1: all three players in the hunt did enough to stay competitve but not much more.

No. 1 Roger Federer, who was defending two poor results, put up two mediocre results. No. 2 Rafael Nadal, defending a title and a quarterfinal, managed a semifinal and a final. And No. 3 Novak Djokovic, under heavy pressure after reaching the Indian Wells final and winning Miami last year, went for the two extremes this year by winning Indian Wells and losing his opening match in Miami.

As the players head to Europe for the clay season, it’s Nadal who’s under heavy pressure after winning nearly everything last year. He’ll have to repeat the feat or come close to be in the hunt at the French Open and Wimbledon.

All Roger Federer needs to do for the moment is post decent results, though he’ll also be looking to extend his lead as much as he can in the next few weeks. After Rome, he has big points to defend nearly every tournament through the US Open in September.

Novak Djokovic is still quite a bit behind but has much less to defend. If he can post some good results, he’ll be right in the mix by the French Open.

Here’s the outlook for each player over the spring:

Ranking points available

Estoril
W 200 | F 140 | SF 90 | QF 50 | R16 15 | R32 0

Barcelona
W 300 | F 215 | SF 135 | QF 75 | R16 25 | R32 15 | R64 0

Monte Carlo, Rome, Hamburg Masters Series
W 500 | F 350 | SF 225 | QF 125 | R16 75 | R32 35 | R64 0

ROGER FEDERER

GOAL THIS MONTH Secure No. 1 till the French Open
MUST COLLECT 405 points
EVENTS Estoril, Monte Carlo, Rome, Hamburg
POSITION Good. Even if Federer doesn’t win a match through Hamburg, Nadal will have to win at least three titles to get to No. 1. If Federer can reach a Masters Series final, or win Estoril and reach a couple of Masters Series quarterfinals, he’ll be basically unreachable till at least the French Open. And if Nadal falters, Federer may even be able to build the 1000 point lead he needs to guarantee that his ranking will be completely secure going into Paris.
FORM Inconsistent. Federer looked like a reasonable facsimile of himself during most of the spring hardcourt swing, but had a puzzingly one-sided loss to Mardy Fish in the Indian Wells semifinal and experienced a sudden letdown against Andy Roddick in the Miami quarterfinals. He’s a little lacking in fitness after a bout of mono early in the year, and the dirt will be a real test of whether he’s back to peak physical form.
This year, he’s also playing Estoril for the first time in his career. Will the extra event help him find his clay feet or lead to extra tiredness down the road?

RAFAEL NADAL

GOAL THIS MONTH Get a shot at No. 1 in Hamburg
MUST COLLECT 1,395 points more than Federer
EVENTS Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Hamburg
POSITION Nearly impossible. It will only happen if Nadal wins practically every match he plays (possible) and Federer barely wins at all (hard to see). The good news for Nadal is that he’s been by far the best player on clay for the last three years, so while he has the most pressure, he also has the most potential during this stretch.
FORM Reasonable. Nadal has looked fairly good this year while winning matches, but all his losses have been quite one-sided. On clay, however, the three-time French Open champ will be much tougher to put away. He just has to hope for an injury-free stretch.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

GOAL THIS MONTH Get to No. 2
MUST COLLECT 20 points more than Nadal
EVENTS Monte Carlo, Rome, Hamburg
POSITION Tougher than it looks. Even though he’ll lose points for not defending his Estoril title this year, the good news for Djokovic is that he still has plenty of room to improve his total after middling results at the Masters events last year. But if he wants to catch Nadal, he’ll have to do as well or better than the Spaniard at every event they play. Plus, he’ll be playing one less event than either Federer or Nadal.
FORM Solid. Djokovic can play on clay, having reached the semifinals of the French Open, and he should be quite fresh with a fairly light schedule over the next few weeks

http://tennis.com/features/general/features.aspx?id=124390

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