Before I start with today’s topic, let me just take a minute to thank you for your comments on my last post, as well as all your other comments. When I do my writing I don’t think that I know everything or that my posts are supposed to be the ultimate truth or something. Your comments are important and I think it is nice that we can have a discussion after certain posts because we can all learn from it, including me. In my last post, I still couldn’t quite make up my mind whether Roger should take a wild card for Shanghai, but now I’m pretty sure he should not do so. The reasons for it are as follow:
- His health is the most important thing because without it he wouldn’t be able to play tennis.
- Grand slam titles are more important than the number one ranking, thus Roger should make sure he stays as healthy and injury free as possible.
- The ranking points in the coming tournaments increase exponentially in the latter rounds. Therefore, if Roger makes finals or better of the remaining tournaments of 2009, he will probably be year end number one.
- The fact that Rafa has not learned anything from his injuries and is not adjusting his schedule means that he will get injured again, making it even easier for Roger to win grand slams.
With that said, let me get back to the topic at hand. I thought Simon Reed was fired by Eurosport after yet another blunder when he called Murray the favorite for the US Open and the ‘true world number one’. But it turns out he was just laying low for a while, and he is now back to his entertaining best. Not that I mind. After all, I quite enjoyed writing my last post about his articles. Someone even posted it on Roger’s official website, which got me some nice exposure. So when I found the above article there, I thought I’d do a sequel for your entertainment. And besides it gives me something to write about in these dry times for us Fedfanatics. To be truthful, this is not quite Reed’s worst article yet, but the article is full of it’s fair share of blunders nonetheless. After all, Reed never disappoints!
In his latest article, Reed argues that with the comeback of Clijsters and Henin to the women’s game, and the fact that the gap is closing between Roger and Rafa and the rest of the field, means that the balance of power between the men’s and women’s game is shifting. Furthermore, he suggests that Marin Cilic will take advantage of the ‘weakening’ men’s game by winning a slam in 2010! Wow! You have to feel sorry for Cilic because he has now been jinxed by the biggest jinxer in the history of professional sport. I mean honestly, who would have thought that Murray would not even have made a grand slam final in 2009, and that he would only make the fourth round and quarter-finals of the two grand slams he was many people’s favorite to win?
I am of course talking about the Australian- and US Open. Who would have thought Murray would not even have made it past the quarterfinals of either of those tournaments? I don’t honestly believe in jinxing, I was being humorous. Let’s just say after meeting Simon Reed I don’t blame people for believing in jinxing anymore. Lol! To me, it’s pretty clear what has happened to Murray. He has simply not been able to deal with the pressure of expectation. Not all players deal well with the pressure of expectation. That is why Roger and Rafa are so special, pressure seems to bring out the best in them. There are a lot more players that fold under pressure instead of thriving under it, so Murray’s failures this year should not be all that surprising.
Having said that, he has been very disappointing at the majors, and he will have to make some drastic changes to his mentality if he wants to win a major one day. And it is no surprise then that Reed nominated the player who beat his hero at the US Open to win a major next year. Will Reed jump on the Cilic bandwagon now? Somehow that is hard to believe. I think Reed will keep predicting Murray to win every grand slam title from now on until the day he retires Reed claims that he did not nominate Cilic to win a grand slam because of the way he played against Murray, but rather because of the way he played against Delpo in the first set and a half of their match. Ha! I wondered if it ever occurred to him that Delpo was playing shocking tennis in the first set and a half.
I happened to watch that match and it clearly was not a question of Cilic lowering his level in the second set, but rather Delpo actually showing up. Delpo was literally asleep in the first set and a half. As soon as he stepped it up the match was over. So no, I don’t see Cilic winning a slam in 2010. Period. It seems Reed’s articles are actually getting worse as time goes by, not better. Predicting Murray would win a slam in 2009 was not the worst prediction ever, although it was not something that I did. But Cilic? WTF? Cilic did not get past the quarter-final stage at any grand slam this year, in fact, he only made one quarterfinal And that was only because Murray played an absolute shocker of a match. So all of a sudden Cilic is gonna go from barely making one quarterfinal in a slam, to beating guys like Roger, Rafa and Delpo to win slams? LOL!
Cilic is a decent player, but as far as winning slams next year goes, I think Reed is once again way off. Let me get back to Simon’s earlier statements about the state of the men’s and women’s game at present then. Consider Reed’s following statements:
On paper it has been a great season for Federer but I look back on the year and certain matches stick out. The way that Tommy Haas took him to five sets at Roland Garros and very nearly won, or how Andy Roddick almost beat him in the Wimbledon final – these are all things that never used to happen.
I don’t think there is a big gap between the top players and the rest AT ALL anymore, and I see new players coming through like Juan Martin del Potro (which is of course easy to say in hindsight) and challenging consistently.
I’m going to go out on a bit a limb here and say that he could be a Grand Slam winner by this time next year and I’ll also again mention the emergence of Andy Murray, even though I know people might be sick and tired of hearing me say that.
However, there is certainly a massive opportunity for lots of players out there because, as I said earlier, for me the Federer/Nadal era is over – you can forget about it.
After he won Roland Garros and Wimbledon people were saying crazy things like Federer could go on and win 25 Grand Slams but there is no chance of that happening – none!
The first paragraph is ridiculous to an absurd degree, and shows Reed’s absolute lack of tennis knowledge. It never occurred to Reed that after Rafa lost to Soderling at the French Open, that it became a whole new ball game for Roger. It never occurred to him that all of a sudden there was a huge amount of pressure on Roger to win the tournament, because he would surely not get another chance like that. The way he got through that match against Haas was testament to the man’s immense mental strength, that is all. Then it also never occurred to Reed that in the Wimbledon final against Roddick, Roger had immense pressure on him as well. Pete Sampras, along with Bjorn Borg, Rod Laver and other legends had come especially to see Roger break the grand slam record, and failure was simply not an option.
He was about to go where no man had gone before, and it was clear that he was not at his best with all the expectation thrusted upon him. The important thing is that he won, but it was clearly not one of his better performances. But if you take the significance of the Haas and Roddick matches into account, it was really two amazing performances. Sometimes the score does not tell the full story, but the win does. So taking all this into account, I think it’s wrong to say that there is hardly any gap AT ALL between the top players and the rest anymore. Sure Delpo made a big move at the US Open, but only because Roger allowed him back in the match at 5-4 and 30-0 in the second set, and it is yet to be seen if he can maintain that kind of level.
Another important thing is that at Wimbledon Roger only dropped one set on his way to that nerve wrecking final, while at the US Open he only dropped two sets until the final. I’d say that is pretty dominating performances even by Roger’s standards. I already explained what happened in the Wimbledon final, and in the US Open final he could well have won in three or four sets, had he not squandered that chance to go up two sets to love. If he held serve at 5-4 in the second set, Delpo might well have given up the ghost and started to believe that this was going to be another Australian Open quarter final for him. As for Rafa, I know I have criticized him quite a bit of late, but he surprised me by making the semi-finals of the US Open, and it is too early to write him off.
As much as I want to write him off for Roger’s sake, you just can’t do that. Delpo may have given him a good spanking at the US Open, but the US Open is not a surface that compliments his game very well, and Delpo was just on fire. And aside from that Rafa had an abdominal tear. I think if he was fully fit he could have given Delpo a much tougher match. In hindsight it must be said that the draw worked out extremely well for Delpo. If Murray didn’t choke the way he did, he could have given Delpo a tougher match than Cilic did, or may even have beaten him. Then if Rafa was 100% fit, he could have given him a tougher match as well, and who knows what effect that could have had on Delpo going into the final. I am happy for Delpo that he won the US Open and I like him as a player.
But one can’t ignore the fact that things worked out almost perfectly for him. I don’t know it will be that easy for him in the future again, and he is going to have to work at his fitness. Already in Australia the heat is so taxing that I’m not sure he can be one of the favorites. But nonetheless he is a nice addition to the grand slam winners and he is good for the game that’s for sure. I think Reed is once again way off by saying the balance of power is shifting to the women’s side. First of all the women’s game can never be more interesting then the men’s game as far as I’m concerned. But for my readers who are interested in women’s tennis I will say something. It’s not like Clijsters and Henin is new kids on the block now is it? They are not all of a sudden going to start dominating the way they did in the past.
And even if they do, then I think I have proven to you that Roger and Rafa is not done yet. And it’s not like there is not new up and coming talent. Delpo looks like a bright prospect for the future. Then there is still Djokovic, and other guys like Tsonga, Soderling, Cilic, etc. But it’s not important because Roger and Rafa is not done yet. Rafa has struggled with injuries of late, but at least he will be a favorite at the French Open for some time to come. I don’t see any so called shift in power to come any time soon. Roger and Rafa still won three out of the four majors this year. So no Simon, we will not just ‘forget about it’. At this point in my post I was starting to feel a little guilty about me criticizing Reed again, but then I looked at the parts that I bolded in the quote, especially the very last word-‘none!’
What an unbelievable hater this guy is! Why is it so damn important to him that Roger does not win 25 grand slams? Why is it important at all? The guy has already won the most grand slams in history for crying out loud! I guess when your hero is such an utter choker in the the big time, the only thing left to do is hate on the true champions. Or what do you say Simon, old sport…?