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Archive for April 22nd, 2008

Sharapova at Letterman.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 22, 2008

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That Rolex watch on tournament sites. Whose moronic freaking idea is that?

Posted by tennisplanet on April 22, 2008

Unless you are hosting a tennis tournament in a hole in your backyard, why would you like to post the time with no way to find out whether it’s AM or PM? And what brilliance to tell us what our local time is with a click of a mouse? Are you freaking kidding me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cut out the stupid theatrics and get something up there that gets the job done for tennis fans worldwide, you morons. Or the money from Rolex has being shoved so far up your alley that you don’t care what time it is for the world audience?

Get a freaking life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Click here if you are just rolling your carcases out from under the rock. GEEEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!

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Federer needs a strong start tomorrow. Two bagels will work.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 22, 2008

After all, the tomato can is 137th in the world, hasn’t won a single title in his ten years of wasting his life on the tour, has played just 130 singles matches in that period (what’s that, 13 matches a year?), is 30 freaking years old. He has been playing mainly the challenger circuit this year, where even though he has one title on clay, he has been knocked out in the first rounds. He has never played Federer and is purely in it for the money or is he? Maybe he wants his time under the lights like Volandri last year.

He should be snuffed hard with two freaking bagels. But with his fellow birds of feather losers from Estoril egging him on, he may be having designs of his own to pull off an upset here. These are some of the toughest matches for the top players. They have to mentally fight the lethargy and irrelevance of the match to not allow them to play down to the competition. But when you have the transition fluid state, Federer is swimming in currently at so many levels, these matches assume a dimension of their own.

Of course, Federer is going to win this match, barring a asteroid, but just the win is not going to cut it. He may have to pull the AO and Indian Wells card to squish early rounders, to impose his will and authority on the tennis court.

Monfils is a very dangerous opponent, if he does triumph over Karlovic. Tsonga’s recent rise adds another chip on his shoulder. Although their last meeting at Miami ended up with Federer winning in straight sets in an hour and seven minutes, it was still a very close match. Federer had just two break points against Monfils and he converted both of them uncharacteristically. Monfils had SEVEN break points against Federer but could not convert even one of them. Additionally Monfils out-aced Federer 8-2 for the match. Those stats are not the kind to discourage a lot of players coming against the No. 1 clown in the world.

Federer cannot add to all that by letting this opening match go beyond 45 minutes. How about 6-0, 6-0?

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Federer flying high at Monte Carlo.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 22, 2008

Roger Federer of Switzerland poses before boarding a helicopter for a ride above Monaco, on Day four of the Masters Series at the Monte Carlo Country Club, April 22, 2008 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) 

Roger Federer of Switzerland on board a helicopter over Monaco, on Day four of the Masters Series at the Monte Carlo Country Club, April 22, 2008 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) 

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Federer affliction continues?

Posted by tennisplanet on April 22, 2008

Instead of facing a player ranked No. 33 in the opening round, Federer is back with qualifiers, facing some Ramirez who? ranked 137 in the world.

Although other two tomato cans in the next round (Verdasco and Grosjean) have been eliminated and the prospects of Federer facing a quality opponent in decades, either Monfils or Karlovic, is still alive, Federer still cannot be too pumped up about it. Why? There’s always rain to disrupt the rhythm, and of course players routinely retiring before or while playing Federer is getting so frequent, that ATP needs to step in and follow the money trail from Nadal’s and Djokovic’s bank accounts.

In the five events Federer has played so far this season, there have already been three retirements for suspect reasons – Haas (IW), Soderling (Miami) and Davydenko (Estoril).

So who’s turn is it this time? Monfils or Karlovic? That would be a perfect set up to face Nalbandian or Robredo in the quarterfinals – coming off an incomplete match against Davydenko, a qualifier and a W/O – don’t you think?

While Tommy Haas’s retirement had an immediate impact with Federer losing to Fish in the next match, Soderling’s antic took one match to materialize with Federer losing to Roddick in the penultimate one. Davydenko’s retirement did get Federer the ugly trophy, but the fruits of it may show up here by the quarters if not earlier.

Is this the classic ‘when it rains it pours’ scenario here, or the tennis Gods are just having some fun?

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Most overhyped players. From Rock. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 22, 2008

Andy Roddick reacts after winning his Davis Cup tennis quarterfinals match against France's Paul-Henri Mathieu in Winston-Salem, N.C., Sunday, April 13, 2008. Roddick defeated Mathieu 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 to clinch the win.  

Rock

Most overhyped players

Following are the most overhyped players ever to play on mens circuit. They may have won couple of Grandslams and may have been world number one for few weeks, before they got trampled by the ultimate geniuses of the game.

First overhyped – Andy Roddick
Second overhyped – Lleyton Hewitt

Australia's Lleyton Hewitt (L) holds his daughter Mia (R) as he waves to spectators after his win over Thailand's Kirati Siributwong in the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania group tennis playoff  in Townsville on April 11, 2008. Hewitt won in straight sets 6-0, 6-0, 6-1.  AFP PHOTO/Greg WOOD (Photo credit should read GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images) 

On the fringe
1. Jim Courier – Though he has managed to win two French Open and two Aus open titles, his name existed on the circuit only for a short period in between 1991- 1993.
2. Michael Chang

Those are my list of overrated players. Do add your list of players who you think are overrated. Better not to add your hate list players. Though these people were over rated beyond their abilities each one has an outstanding quality that makes others sit and notice.

Andy Roddick – Has got one of the best serves in mens tennis
Lleyton Hewitt – A gritty player to the core
Jim Courier – Terrific inside out shots
Michael Chang – Sprinted and chased every ball, sort of earlier version of Rafa.

Once Sampras took the stage, he made sure that winning Grandslams could be easy.
Once Roger took the center stage, he made the game look ridiculously simple.

Who could be the next one waiting in the wings to have such a long lasting impact, if any?

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Is there one factor that can decide where the top three will land on clay?

Posted by tennisplanet on April 22, 2008

Federer: 1st serve percentage.

Nadal: Fatigue.

Djokovic: Fitness.

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Critical one-two punch from Federer has to show up consistently for him to even reach the finals on clay, on Estoril’s performance.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 22, 2008

What is that one-two punch? Every freaking cucumber knows that by now.

It’s the first serve percentage of 70 or more AND 3-5 aces per set. If either one of them drops, the other has to compensate for it, othewise the break point opportunities for opponents will soar. Unless, of course, Federer’s overall game rises to the ‘second best player on clay’ status.

With Estoril performance as a backdrop, that is not likely to happen out of the blue. Maybe the superior quaility of competition will force Federer to raise his game here. History is replete with instances where teams and individual players have won and lost based on the quality of talent their opponent squared off with.

We generally tend to play down or up to the competition. If you have played any sort of competitive sports (yeah right!!!), you will understand what I am barking about. Although Federer’s situation has a lot more threads attached currently, this could be one area that may help lift his game, and who knows the rest of the baggage may dissolve in the process.

I did not expect the kind of performance from Federer in the first set against Davydenko at Estoril. Was the improved game, due to higher seed across the net, or was Davydenko already suffering from the leg strain to pull his game down to match Federer’s? Who freaking knows? But to play a tight tie-break against an extremely hot world’s No. 4 after rolling in clay with qualifiers, wild cards and ‘not even in the top 100’ jokers, must have felt good.

Estoril showing, barring a miracle, is not going to drastically alter in just few days. But the one constant that has pulled Federer out of sure defeat at Estoril, has been his ace count and first serve percentage, in that order. It’s getting increasingly difficult for Federer to hold  his serve if the point gets into a rally, demonstrating the catching up the rest of his game has still to do. Aces and a good first serve percentage allows him to not only hold his serve but with a maximum of one or two shots per point.

Here are some stats from Estoril to support above BS: Match against:

Rochus: 17 aces (5 per set), 58% 1st serves in. Result: 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Gremelmayer: 10 (3 per set), 69%. Result: 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Gil: 5 (2.5 per set), 70%. Result: 6-4, 6-1.

This is one of the knocks on tennis, that serve has become such a deciding factor today, that real talent and artistry on the court has virtually vanished. Roddick, Karlovic, Ljubicic, Querrey and others are prime examples. Would they be even among the top fifty if serve was not given such a pivotal role in today’s tennis? That’s the reason players like Santoro and Justine are revered by true purists of the game today.

So watch for these stats as you follow Federer through this dirt, and you can turn into a psychic right in your card board box. And like I have said before, some of you are better off not watching his matches live for your own freaking good. You have all turned into zombies.

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