There is a Twist in the Tale After All, Djokovic Vomited During the Final!

http://awfulannouncing.com/2014/nbc-showed-novak-djokovic-throwing-up-during-the-french-open.html

I don’t feel like making a long post tonight, but I just found the above link on twitter after receiving another comment about Djokovic vomiting during the final. I ignored the first comment about it because I missed the incident during the match where Djokovic vomited and I thought it was just excuses. I actually switched off the match at some point because I knew Nadal was winning. I think it was at the beginning of the fourth set, so it must have happened then. I was talking yesterday about a twist in the tale(or tail) when Novak seemed to come back at the end of the fourth set. It turns out there is a twist in the tale after all. This illness of Djokovic already started in the semis against Gulbis. I didn’t pay it much attention because I thought a day off would be enough for Djokovic to recover. So this is quite interesting and surprising to me.

Before we think of making any excuses for Djokovic we must ask the question whether this illness did not have a mental cause, because I hate excuses. No, I despise excuses. Did Djokovic get sick at the prospect of having to face the monster on clay again? I don’t think we can say that with any certainty. Why? Because Djokovic is generally mentally strong and has after all beaten Nadal in very tough matches. Yes, another five set match with Nadal on clay would have been a daunting prospect after what happened last year, but knowing Djokovic he would have relished the challenge. He was coming closer every year to beating Nadal after all, and he had just beaten him in the Rome final. This is getting absurd folks. Does Nadal employ black magic? How on earth is it that luck always seem to be on his side?

First he gets the cakewalk draw and then Djokovic gets sick. I remember my readers making quite a big deal about Novak’s illness after the semis, but I downplayed it because I really hate excuses. But they were obviously right since vomiting on the court is a clear indication of illness. Unbelievable. Surely if he wasn’t feeling sick he would have had enough in the tank to come back in the fourth set and win the match. I noticed Nadal was getting shaky at that point, but if Djokovic was sick he obviously didn’t quite have the physical and mental reserves to take advantage. This is a big twist in the tale as far as I’m concerned folks. It is also possible that Djokovic’s brutal draw caused this. I don’t get it. Why does luck always seem to favor Nadal? You know I am a realistic and honest person. I would rather say Nadal makes his own luck than use it as an excuse for his opponents.

But this is getting ridiculous. All of a sudden I feel like my prediction about Djokovic winning the French Open was no so unrealistic after all, and that Nadal may have stolen another slam here. I still feel like Djokovic was destined to win this thing, but as fate would have it he became ill. This is something I don’t understand. The universe always seems to conspire in favor of Nadal, bar the final in Melbourne this year. That was a very rare exception. But I believe the universe conspires in favor of goodness and progress. So if it should conspire in favor of anyone it should be Roger since he is a fair player and a force of good. We all know by now that Nadal is not a fair player and he uses gamesmanship at every turn. He also breaks the rules all the time. So why would the universe conspire in his favor?

Is the universe conspiring in favor of Nadal to break Roger’s slam record too? It seems so…

 

Ps. Roger will not be in action yet tomorrow in Halle, so I decided to make this post instead of a draw post. I need to properly digest what happened in the French Open final first. Let me know whether you think this was a ‘mental illness’ from Djokovic or just pure good luck from Nadal’s side again.

Posted in French Open, Grand Slams.

95 Comments

  1. Hey Ruan,

    I think it was a physical illness, the one Djokovic refused to discuss after his match with Gulbis, and possibly aggravated by the temperature during the final.

    I think Djokovic showed last year and in many other contests with Nadal that he is no shrinking violet. And especially last year, he went after Nadal with a hunger we don’t see often on the court. He’s not intimidated by Nadal; after all, he’d won their last four contests before RG.

    And if not for that illness, I am definitely betting with you, that Djokovic would have won the match.

    Allez!
    Joe

    P.S. Raonic could be dangerous in Halle..

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks for this comment Joe. I don’t want to sound like a hater who is trying to diminish Nadal’s accomplishments, but I tend to agree with you. Why would Djokovic be intimidated after he has been on top of the rivalry of late and even beat Nadal on clay in Rome? Another argument is that it was a huge match for Djokovic, maybe his best and last chance to win the FO. Somehow I don’t buy this either. Or else Djokovic would have tried to make excuses afterwards, and from what I hear he didn’t say anything about his illness after the semis or final, and was just giving Nadal all the credit. Also Nadal had the same if not more pressure than Djokovic. I don’t see why Djokovic would have caved in mentally.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Well Djokovic is a young man, almost a year younger than Nadal, so I hope next year will be an even better chance for him. Could it be?

    Nadal should start feeling his age soon, according to normal human tennis stats…

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Thankfully Raonic is in Nadal’s half so they could meet in the semis. But should he get past both Kolshreiber and Raonic on grass (not going to be easy), I like federer’s chances of beating him here should he get to the final. Fed may have to play nishikori and lose again. I would be happy if nadal loses at any stage really.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Well Raonic is already out of Halle. So much for that

    [Reply]

  2. Hey Ruan,

    “All of a sudden I feel like my prediction about Djokovic winning the French Open was not so unrealistic after all, and that Nadal may have stolen another slam here.”

    Damn right you are! I’ll say this – if the match had gone to a fifth, you might have been right anyway!

    These matches are like marathons, and Djokovic just had a brief drop in intensity to end the match. If not, who knows? Even as sick as he was, he had Nadal sucking wind and treating his back very gingerly. I would have liked Djokovic’s chances in a fifth anyway…

    [Reply]

  3. Hi Ruan,
    I think it’s perhaps a combination of factors: Djokovic was looking lie he was ailing throughout and was breathing through his mouth early on. This was further observed when they showed him throwing up on court. That together the prospect of finally winning the one Slam to elude him, complete his Career Grand Slam, overtake the Number 1 Ranking was perhaps all very over-powering.

    History shows he doesn’t shirk from a fight with Nadal and he has shown great physical and mental fortitude in his matches against him. Nadal did play well on Sunday, but if the Nole from the Rome Final was present then this conversation may well have been different…

    My 2c…Hope it’s well-received! On to Halle & our Player, Roger!!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah who knows Marcus. I don’t know what to believe anymore.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    No need to overthink it, Ru-an. Djoko was not 100 percent already from Gulbis match; and we all know that nothing less than 100 percent is needed to beat Nadal. Plus he crumpled in his chair and vomited, what more evidence do we need?! Certainly Djoko does not fear Nadal. In fact he relishes playing Nadal. If anything it’s Nadal who fear Djoko. Nadal admitted it himself. The weather didn’t help as well, not that Djoko is not used to hot weather, heck he overcame his heat probs since 2011 and he played in over 40 degrees here in Australia! But because he wasn’t feeling well, the weather made it worse. Sounds feeble, petty, even pathetic perhaps. But it all started with a physical issue and I can’t repeat enough that anything short of 100 percent health, especially in RG, you do not beat the king of clay. Period. Maybe with a lesser player, Djoko could still have crossed the line. That’s why after I watched the Gulbis match, I already fear the worst. Djoko was class and refused to talk about his illness. Just bad luck for Him. And what an Anti climatic final, 2 sick athletes battling it out at the end!! Not much we can take from this match. Djoko’s bh was all over the place, serve AWOL but Nadal played well though, was quite aggressive and always master of solutions. I hope we won’t see ill players battling out in the final of the remaining two slams as well!! But have you heard the latest miracle?! Someone said Nadal is practising on grass court!!! Bad back……Need to see doctor after final…..Would not have won if it had gone to 5th set……!! Truth or greatest liar or genuine freak of nature?!!!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    If it’s any consolation, maybe the first set told the real story of how the match could have ended. Djoko was the better player there. But Nadal raised his level and even if Djoko was healthy I’m not sure he may have won. It’s still 55-45 in Nadal’s favour for me just because it is RG. But what a pity. It could have been a fantastic final if both were healthy.

    [Reply]

  4. Hey Ru-an, agree. Rafa is the most luckiest tennisplayer of all time. If Novak wasn’t sick… But, there comes a time when luck and dominance ends. And I really believe that the time for Rafa has come now. Maybe that is why I honestly don’t MIND him winning RG. Let him have it. It will be his last or maybe he has it in him to win it one more time. But… the Beast is getting older, beatable and no matter how much you all deny it… he is getting TIRED.
    I don’t mind him winning RG that much anymore. He will never be in the same position Roger is at his age. You mark my words. God is great to all people, even cheaters, but there comes a time when even God leaves the side of the undeservedly ones and goes to the side of the people who do deserve it all because they are good people (aka Roger) :-)

    [Reply]

  5. This was not mental. Djokovic is not afraid of Nadal. He is the only one on tour who knows how to dominate Nadal and he is a much better tennis player. I have been talking about him being sick for a week. I know what I saw and I knew it would be a problem. And Novak STILL ALMOST BEAT HIM. I also refuse all of this talk about this being Novaks last chance to win Roland Garos. No way. Rafa is clearly in decline. Novak is not at all, in fact he’s still getting better!! Ru-an I am so glad you have come to this. I so respect your opinion and your space here that I bite my tongue when I disagree w you. I truly believe you are now seeing this right. Once again Rafa got lucky. I don’t see him as evil so I can’t go there with why he gets lucky. In fact I still say he makes his luck. If you don’t get to the final you can’t get lucky in the final. That’s it as far as I’m concerned. Same kind of thought I always talk about with the one lucky shot wins matches conversations. If you get match point you deserve to get lucky there. So, no excuses as far as I’m concerned, but this match changes nothing for me between Rafa and Novak.

    [Reply]

  6. Oh and Ru-an… don’t stop blogging. Many have already told you that. Let us all not stop watching this beautiful sport because of one mean Beast and his jealous uncle. Roger makes tennis beautiful and he will do that for many years to come :-)
    We are all in this together. For the bad times (like Sunday) and for all the good times Roger will have :-)

    [Reply]

  7. Great post Ruan, as always. I for one don’t believe in cosmic conspiracies, human history is full of cruelty and violence like Nazism. Going back to Nadal, I think he puts himself into so many situations (finals) that chances are that some of them will go his way.
    Hope Roger will have a great grass season!

    [Reply]

  8. “I was very happy for him because it’s tremendous what he proves on clay every year. You have to raise your hat to him” Federer said at Halle.

    And then Uncle Nadal said nadal would lose the match if the match went to 5th set. Claimed that djokovic was in better physical shape, that djokovic would win it because apparently nadal told toni after match: i need to get to doctor or something.

    Just wow.

    [Reply]

    Bharata Reply:

    He really said that? This is why I have no respect for those two. They always pretend they are the underdogs, that they are lucky to win, etc…Nadal always is one step away from a career ending injury . Then magically he runs around…and then everyone says ‘what a triumph of human will and spirit..’ it’s too much to take…

    Djokovic is a mature guy and I respect him all the more now for not mentioning the stomach thing…he clearly had some bug or sunstroke and he tried his best.

    Go Federer in Halle! but watch out for Karlovic…

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    I read that Tony said Rafa had cramps in his calf muscles.

    [Reply]

  9. OK folks, it’s time to put our money where our mouths are. Probably none of us are rich here, but let’s do what we can to make Ru-an’s life a little easier. This is not charity and it’s not to stop Ru-an from quitting – no matter what he says I don’t believe he will stop blogging. But if you really do care about this blog, which I know you do, and you really believe that the good in this world should be rewarded, click on the donate button and contribute something to this great space that Ru-an has created for us. Even if you can only afford 5 bucks, you know Ru-an will feel the love and believe it or not if we all do a little bit, it goes a long way in Thailand. I am a writer as well and I know how much time Ru-an puts into thinking about his posts and writing and rewriting them to make them as great as they are. Let’s just show him how much we appreciate all that work.

    [Reply]

  10. Nadal has beaten Djokovic three years in a row at roland garros. I am not sure if it can be described as luck

    [Reply]

    elizabeth Reply:

    I suppose you can say he was lucky that the draw opened up for him, but Nadal
    totally destroyed Murray, and in doing so looked very dangerous. I really think we just have to say too good because it can’t be luck for so many years!

    [Reply]

  11. No we’re not saying it’s all luck. Djokovic basically choked in 2013 RG semifinals. He has no one to blame but himself for that matcvh. Djokovic’s form had dipped in 2013. I mean nadal beat him at the US open as well. Too many unforced errors from Djokovic which was uncharacteristic of him.

    This year nadal got lucky, firstly to win madrid which as far as I’m concerned he didn’t earn that trophy. (even Uncle Toni basically admitted that – he used different wording though). Nadal got lucky coz his early rounds were pretty much walkovers apaart from Dominic Thiem who is vastly inexperienced (but I’ll give Nadal that one, coz he dealt well with a dangerous opponent). Then come semifinal time, the weather changed to hot and dry conditions. The best possible conditions for his topspin game (high bouncing difficult to deal with balls). And as if that wasn’t enough djokovic got stomach problems on friday which carried on through sunday and you don’t need to be a doctor to know that playing in the heat can make stomach problems worse.

    But anyway, the worst was 2011. That is by far my worst tennis memory of all time. Djokovic playing the best tennis of his life, had beaten nadal in all finals they played in 2011 including wimby and the US open. wanna take a guess who was gonna win RG had djokovic made the final that year? NOT NADAL coz djokovic had beaten him both in madrid and rome that year. BUT, of all people it had to be FEDERER who played god like tennis to stop djokovic who was on a hot streak and thereby save nadal’s ass and basically hand him the RG trophy one more time, while also making sure that Nadal would keep getting closer to his slam record. To be fair to Roger he must have felt that with the speed of the balls that year which was unusually fast, that maybe he had a chance to beat nadal finally at RG. But nooo, even his best at RG was not enough to beat Nadal. He should just have let djokovic take him down. He didn’t. and that was the worst.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Fully agree Alex. Fed has no one to blame but himself if Nadal beats his slam record. He saved Nadal’s ass in 2011 and gave him a second wind.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    That makes it even worse. I hadn’t even thought of that. Had nadal lost RG that year his confidence would have been shattered as well. It wasn’t just another slam that nadal won but as you said a second wind as well.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well you know how it is with Nadal. He seems unbreakable. You would have though that the AO 2012 and 2014 losses would break him but he just comes back stronger. He always has the FO where he can win the title and recover his confidence again. Anyway there is so much more I want to say about this subject that I really need to make another post. Just difficult to find the time because Fed is playing today as well.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Haha Ru-an, second wind! You couldn’t have put it any better!

    [Reply]

    Ken Reply:

    Couldn’t agree with you more Alex. To this day I still have so much regret about Federer beating Djokovic in the 2011 French Open semi-final and saving the beast Nadal in the process. If that hadn’t happened, he would’ve been a broken man destroyed by Djoko in three Grand Slam Finals that year. Now that would’ve been an ultimate dream come true.

    On Sunday, I was hoping a demolition of Nadal from Djokovic to finally finish off this evil monster for good after years of disappointment. But no, as Ru-an said earlier, in today’s world, evil seems to be triumphing over good.

    When Ru-an wrote that Nadal may be employing black magic to win, it reminded me of what my wife mentioned back in 2010 (the year Nadal won three Grand Slams). She said that Nadal looks like a guy who would do ANYTHING including black magic to win. I know it sounds extreme, but watching this disgusting beast for the past ten years win by hook or by crook, nothing is beyond him anymore.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I feel the same Ken but the others are right that Fed should not have tanked that match. It worked out in the way it did because it should have. That was one of Roger’s best matches ever and the highlight of his 2011 season. Maybe if he didn’t win that match he would not have won Wimbledon in 2012. As much as I hate to admit it we just gotta go with the flow and try not to regret it. Everything happens for a reason in my opinion. Nadal will probably never be the undisputed GOAT anyway. His resume is way too unbalanced still and he took advantage of a slow era. Roger can adapt to any era and is just a much more complete player than Nadal.

    [Reply]

  12. I think Roger did the noble thing, the right thing, that year. He blazed his own path, as always, and didn’t ask others to win for him.

    I think any top-level athlete would be astonished to think any other way. Have someone beat Nadal for me? I think Roger would have his breath taken away to think his fans wanted him to sit and let someone else play for him.

    Nadal won, but so what? Roger was present, and gave his best, and of course there’s no other way to be, or to become, a champion.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    True Joe, but the outcome is all the same.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    I’ve no problems with Roger blazing his own path, you aren’t a champ if you do not. What gets me is he couldn’t finish the path he blazed by choking against Nadal. Finish what you began. Everything was in Rogers favour for the greatest match of his life against his nemesis in 2011. Guess what happened?

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    I really like your posts Veronica, and I have as long as I’ve been here, but ‘Finish what you began’ sounds a little too easy IMHO. If it were possible to live life according to that creed, then there would be two winners at every grand slam tournament. And at other contests as well.

    And when you say guess what happened, I’d say he played one of the greatest clay court matches of his career, if not the very best, at RG 2011. That’s been my impression for three years now, but I didn’t see the match and I can’t dispute your description of Roger choking that day.

    Winning is good, but despite what Lombardi said, it’s certainly not the only thing. Some of our most painful defeats define who we are, and teach us more, than any number of easy victories.

    Roger didn’t win RG 2011, but he played the best he’d ever played against Nadal at RG. Is that nothing, since he didn’t beat him? He may never beat Nadal at RG, and probably won’t. And I think he could hold his head high after that match.

    We could talk about various good things that came from that match – that defeat – but I won’t go there now. I just don’t know if I’d say that he didn’t finish what he began. What I would say though, is that if he had intentionally tanked to Djokovic, he would fall far down in my estimation of him as a true champion.

    Respectfully,
    Joe

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Mutual here Joe! Like your keen and classy comments too! Ok, I think I didn’t make myself clear. It is not a knock at Roger, it is not about losses not teaching us anything and it is certainly not about Roger tanking to Djoko!! Gosh, that FO 2011 semifinal is my favourite match of ALL TIME and I’ve got it permanently saved in my box!! haha! But it’s about Roger not being able to cross the finish line against Nadal when all the stars were aligned for him. Nadal was vulnerable while Roger was sharp and fresh. The balls were fast. Roger was the underdog; no pressure to win it. He played a brilliant match against Djoko and had it done efficiently in 4 sets! But when it came to the crunch, he just couldn’t grab it with both hands. Such a wonderful once in a lifetime career and record defining moment. Began with Djoko, couldn’t finish it with Nadal. While Wimby 2008 and AO2009 were the defining losses (where Nadal lodged himself permanently inside Rogers head) and which, many Fedfans said hurt them the most; for me, the FO loss is a worse loss because Roger was healthy (he had mono in 2008/early 2009), everything was ready and in his favour to turn the tables against his nemesis (at last!) and he started the final brilliantly but then…..he faltered ; and in quite a lame way too. He may still get great opportunities in USO, AO, Wimby when everything may still fall in place for him but in FO, it hardly happens; and FO 2011 final was maybe the last perfect opportunity.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Hey Veronica,

    What a great post! Everything you said was so well expressed that I couldn’t help wishing I’d said those things myself.

    The only part I wasn’t sure about was Roger choking in 2011. Back in the day I’d heard on TV only what a great match it was, so I looked it up … and it seems that you were right about that too! :-)

    At the end of three sets, Roger had won 117 points and Nadal had won 116 (I think Roger also won more points than Nadal at the AO 2009 final, his most crushing loss). I’d read earlier a quotation about RG ’11 from Nadal: “When Roger plays like this, the opponent has nothing to do, sometimes.” Maybe that was what colored my impression..

    But I also read this: “Even when he [Roger] came back in order to win the third set, he completely ran out of steam in the fourth.”

    Somehow I got the impression that Roger played a great final in 2011. But I don’t want to come across as one of those fans who blindly worships Roger, even to the point of overlooking his faults. But even in losing, I do hope there were some good things that Roger was able to take from that match.

    So are you really Aussie? I used to live there a long time ago, in Woomera (have you heard of it?) and visited Port Augusta, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra (all those cities several times) and Perth once too. It’s a beautiful country.

    And thanks for another great post!

    Best wishes,
    Joe

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    The 2011 FO final was Fed’s best Joe. After that I think he lost some motivation at the FO. I think he felt he was playing his best on clay there and still couldn’t defeat the monster, so he left it up to Djokovic to figure it out which of course he has failed to do as well. Djokovic did come closer than Roger though.

    [Reply]

  13. I don’t think sickness can explain it away. Afterall Nadal took him in four sets on his best surface at USO in four sets. This is hardly a surprise. Miami, Rome etc. nothing. What matters to Nadal at this stage is grand slams. The rest are not worth digging deep. Matches being close doesn’t mean much when it comes to Nadal. That just means they are at a similar level. His entire game plan involves dragging the opponent into rallies. Nadal is most dangerous when things are close because he knows the big points and he is careful to take those by surprise and variation selectively. His most decisive blows are not to the opponents game but to the opponents confidence. That’s why he keeps winning so often. AO this year was truly a very rare moment he couldn’t pull it off. May be he was really injured.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    You cannot seriously expect anyone to believe that Nadal would work so hard to reach all those finals at the smaller events and then not feel like digging deep in the final. It’s a final. You’re supposed to dig deep.

    [Reply]

    lob Reply:

    No, I am not saying that he tanked. Five set matches favor Nadal, Often it comes down to consistency, how badly you want it, how well you can execute in the big moments, how tough you stay when chips are down and whether you can take the few opportunities when they come. It’s not about swinging freely with no pressure. That won’t last long.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    It is sickness. Did you not see the loss of intensity from Djoko, the out of sorts demeanor from latter part of 2nd set? Why would he be like this, after all he already have the 1st set in his pocket. Did you not see his crumbling on his chair? And the vomit? He was feeling better in 4th set but it was too little, too late. Nadal is UNBEATABLE in finals in RG; well, until it is done, he stays unbeatable. Don’t even think you have a chance if you are compromised in anyway.

    [Reply]

  14. Anyone seen Nadal dusted away by Dustin Brown under an hour? Two first round losses in succession in grass and we are talking about the greatest of all times. Are Agassi and McEnroe listening? Or is this a part of a trick from the Tony camp?

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    I can’t say that it is surprising. He could not adjust his game fast enough to grass. It’s good coz maybe he won’t be quite sharp enough for the opening rounds of wimbledon. Hopefully he crashes our early again. This also emphasizes the point I made earlier in that federer would have had a great chance to beat him in this tournament but nadal didn’t make it to the final. Typical. How is the rivalry ever gonna become a little bit more respectable when this keeps happening?

    [Reply]

    elizabeth Reply:

    I did although we know it was a very quick turn around for Nadal but what a joy to see this very watchable Dustin Brown who as well as playing great tennis looked as though he was thoroughly enjoying himself!!

    [Reply]

  15. He tanked the match so he can get doped up for Wimbledon. Watch the transformation. I don’t think it’s enough anymore though for any other surface besides clay. Chasing everything down isn’t possible on grass. Maybe when he was 23 he could pull it off, but not now.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    I’ll have to agree with you. Unless Nadal loses in the first round of Wimbledon again, I won’t buy this for a second. He’s fooling us right now.

    [Reply]

  16. I’d like to ask you Ruan. This is from an article I read recently. What do you think about the fact that Roger probably grew up adjusting his game to fast court tennis? Points used to last 2 to 3 shots pretty much. Back then a one handed back hand was probably a weapon. Nadal as you said has taken advantage of a slow era. Nadal, Djokovic and Murray’s games are designed for the slow courts of today whereas federer’s is not. Federer’s done a decent job of bridging the two era’s as best he could. His baseline game is not the best but it’s quite good. He’s also 4-5 years older than these younger guys and still pulls off the odd win over them. Ok so in a sense federer’s been quite unlucky with the slowing down of the courts and nadal has greatly benefitted from it. My question to you is as a tennis fan do you prefer the old faster courts or do you like the fact that nowadays rallies can last 15, 20, 30 and sometimes 50 shots? I think honestly I prefer the way it is today coz the rallies are more impressive, although sometimes the slowness is just too much (London WTF 2013). Nadal at some point called the old brand of tennis as ‘not really tennis’. Thoughts?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I think the modern tennis is probably better to watch Alex. I remember the serve bots of the 90’s which made for some pretty damn boring tennis.

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  17. I love that Feds being aggressive and rushing the net so much, but I just don’t understand how he thinks he can get away with mid court slice approach shots. I guess he decides before he hits the approach that he’s coming in and then sticks with the plan even though the approach is weak. I’d think that he would execute the approach better or change the plan when he realizes he’s not getting depth, but so often he doesn’t and it looks to me like he’s fine with approaching on that shot and surprised when he gets passed so easily. A weird disconnect. Anyway, nothing disconnected about his serve. It’s peRFect today!!!

    [Reply]

    Veronicaptl Reply:

    Agree with your observations. I get sick feeling in my stomach when he does it and when he gets away with it, what blessed relief I feel, haha! I think you guessed right, once he makes up his mind, he will just go regardless of depth.

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  18. Very glad to see Fed make it through this match, I was pretty nervous at the end of the first set. Sousa was playing with a lot of confidence serving great and crushing very precise inside out forehands. Roger had so many break chances that he couldn’t convert. But the young guy lulled at the beginning of the second set and Fed immediately took advantage and finally broke him. From there, having the lead, Roger got better and better while Sousa’s confidence fell apart. As I mentioned earlier, Roger’s serve was superb and the rest of his game looked pretty good as well. Would love to hear Ru-an’s thoughts on Roger’s approach shot selection. I’m happy to see Roger playing doubles here as well. By the time he gets to Wimbledon he should be nicely transitioned and comfortable on the grass. On to the quarters!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I didn’t watch much of the match Eric. Just some of the first set. So I am relying on you for the heads up. I don’t know much about his approach shot selection. I’m too tired to even think right now.

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  19. Hey guys, be careful today. Friday the 13th :-)

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    Oooooooo, didn’t notice that. Thanks for the heads up!

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Roger that Eric :-)

    [Reply]

    eric Reply:

    I think it’s good luck Friday the 13th!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

  20. Excellent article. Never heard some of these arguments before.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/the-spin-of-the-ball/index.ssf/2014/06/is_rafael_nadal_the_best_becau.html

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I heard them all Alex, and if I haven’t then I’ve thought of them myself. If anything this article just underlines the fact that there is no GOAT, and never will be. I like his argument about Fed’s era anyway. It’s the same thing I’ve been saying. It was as strong as any era. Fed just make the others look weak because he dominated them utterly with the highest level of tennis ever seen.

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  21. I liked the argument that both fed and nadal playing in their prime is pretty much equal. Fed gets two years of nadal not in his prime yet and nadal gets from 2008 until fed retires while federer is not in his prime years, all the while fed is 5 years older than him. It’s excuses I know but they count for something

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    Ru-an Reply:

    The weak era argument has always been a joke. I never bought it. There was way more depth than today for one thing. Hewitt, Roddick, Safin, Nalbandian, Davydenko, Agassi, etc were all devastating players when on their game. Yet Fed made them look ordinary at times.

    [Reply]

    David C. Reply:

    Agreed. But as we all can see from that article and another related one, many Nadal fans love to say Fed played in the weak era. Unfortunately for them, if Fed is this overrated, what does it make Nadal? They like to say as long as Nadal beats Fed that is all it matters. However, many of them also want to proclaim Nadal as the BEST. If the BEST’s competition is bad according to these Nadal fans, then the BEST isn’t exactly all that great, isn’t? This is the same argument these folks used against Roger, but then denied its validity when it is applied to their own hero.

    In addition, these Nadal fans love to say that Nadal and Djokovic didn’t reach their prime before 2008 and 2011 respectively, that’s why they had trouble winning against lower-ranked players. Well, if it takes an all-time great’s prime to beat these “weak era” opponents, then these opponents are probably not that bad in the first place. Unfortunately, these Nadal fans fail to see this point either. Oh well.

    [Reply]

    David C. Reply:

    A clarification:

    I meant to say many Nadal fans said that Nadal and Djokovic were not in their prime before 2008 and 2011, that’s why they struggled against “weak era” players before 2008 and 2011. Still, my original point stands.

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  22. Holy smokes, Ru-an. I freaking did it!! Am through my personal slam quarter finals. Wow! Just to put it into perspective, in 20 years of doing my work (writing), I’ve only achieved this level 2 times before and have never gone on to the next level. Thank you Ru-an for the encouragement. Joe, Veronica, Katyani – thanks so much for the well wishes. Now I have to work very hard for the next 6-8 months to see if I can make it through the semi’s. Wow! So cool.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    That’s awesome Eric but I bet this time you’ll make it a step or two further. Just work hard and believe!

    [Reply]

    eric Reply:

    Am always working hard but many times not truly believing. That is indeed the key.

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Eric, just remember us little people when you become big and famous and make almost the same money Roger makes :-) Don’t forget… we were there for you :-) No, just kidding, I am losing it. I am almost 13 hours at my work, so please forgive this question: Are you talking about tennis or about a game or about your job or about a book you are writing??

    [Reply]

    eric Reply:

    Haha, I wish. A hundredth of what Roger makes would be awesome!! It’s about a screenplay.

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Just remember to mention/thank us when you win the Oscar :-)

    [Reply]

    eric Reply:

    Haha, if that happens I will really need that protection you promised me. Haha. I am a looooooooooooong way away from that possibility.

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    Veronica Reply:

    You must be on fire, Eric! There is no smoke without fire. And not only you have smoke, but HOLY smokes too! Haha! May your fire catches the ultimate heat of the finals! Screenplay?! Hey! Come back here for auditions if your picture ever made it to the screen…..some of us here could do with a lucky break…..haha!! Congrats and keep the faith!

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    Eric Reply:

    Thanks Veronica. Very sweet if you to say. I am thrilled and totally exhausted.

    [Reply]

  23. Hey Aussie girl, looks like we will be “frenemies” :-) Just realised today that we are in the same group: Aussies en Dutchies. But… no mercy, we will kick your butts :-) First let us kick the butt of Rafa’s land, hope we destroy Spain :-) Payback time

    [Reply]

    elizabeth Reply:

    Haha ‘kick the butt of Rafa’s land’ nice one, all Spain will be in mourning this week First Rafa..then the football team…do you think someone made a mistake and put water in the water bottles..sorry Spain only joking!!!!

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    Veronica Reply:

    All right,Dutchie, I’m not your friend until World Cup is over!! Let’s just pretend we like each other when we discuss Wimby, shall we?! Haha! But not fair. Your team is World Cup material, has been for ages but Australia?! Meh! Young football country. No way we will ever win, until, quote the great Roger Federer, “one hundred and fifty thousand years” later! Haha! I actually like your country and I think they should have won last World Cup. Such a tiny little bitsie country but so gigantic in history, culture, personalities. SO happy you whacked Spain, Ouch! Must have been SO painful for the Spaniards, haha! Spain swept everything last time, World Cup, Nadal dominating in tennis, etc. Not gonna happen this time, you think? But you can never be too confident. Better sound someone to knock over one of the bottles first round at Wimby!!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Guys I’ve been exhausted this whole week and I’m still adjusting to my new job. I will try to make a post tomorrow but I’m not promising anything. Hopefully by the time Wimbledon comes around I will feel more energetic. Anyway it’s good to see you guys commenting and that Fed just made his 18th grass final and 9th Halle final. Hopefully he can win his 14th grass title tomorrow. The match vs Nishikori was very good I thought. The serve good as usual and I loved the aggression and net play. I think it will be key if he is going to win Wimby this year. Clearly him and Edberg is working on something. Today he was almost Edberg like with the S&V. Nadal losing early in Halle was interesting. He was my favorite for Wimby but I’m not so sure after that loss. We may just see another early exit at Wimby from him which would help Fed’s chances considerably.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Awww…….Roger Federer on grass! Is there anything more exquisite, more deserving to lose sleep,over??!! Every year when grass comes around, Roger magically transforms into the grass magician that he is. Just wonderful to watch. And Ru-an, I loved the s&v too!! He was definitely making a conscious effort to play it more. The serve was impeccable and for the first time after his sons’ birth, he looked fresh, sharp and focused. He looked determined not to allow Kei to beat him two in a row, which was great to see. I just hate it when these 2nd tier players regularly get the better of him. I hope he wins Halle just so to regain the momentum which was interrupted by birth of the twins. But Falla is a tricky lefty, a dangerous player who has no fear. If I remember correctly, he tested Roger in 5 sets, was it Wimby? It’s great that Queens and Halle will be upgraded to 500 next year, yay! I seriously think they should have a masters 1000 for grass though, don’t you think?! While I thought Nadal would still win FO this year, I’m not so sure about Wimby; not so much because he got knocked out early in Halle, but because he hasn’t played well last couple years, he’s very susceptible on grass despite winning it and reached many finals and he often is exhausted from his clay conquests by the time Wimby comes around. Earlier years he could still summon the energy and do well and even beat Roger. But he is getting older, passing his prime and I do think he may not prioritise Wimby on his schedule just like Roger doesn’t really prioritise FO. So I will stick my neck out this year. I’m saying he won’t win it. I believe Roger has a great chance just because Roger really knows how to play on the turf and I’m still not overly impressed with Djoker on grass. I think it would come down to the two most natural grass players on tour; Roger and Murray; except they would have to watch their butts early in the tournament not to get knocked out by journeymen playing the match of their lives or the 2nd tier players being on top of their game. Anyway, you rest up, Ru-an! You deserve it after all the exhausting and difficult challenges that never seem to end! And yet here you are, alive and blogging and still cheerful and sane! I hope too that when Wimby comes around, you will be up to blogging. It wouldn’t be the same without you on this grassy favourite part of the journey!!

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  24. Oh yah, one more thing, this Dustin dude. Wow! Just wow! I missed him, quote Jiten, “dusting” Nadal but I saw part of his match against Kolsheiber. He was s&v every serve including 2nd serve!!! Wow, wow, wow! I didn’t know these players still exist in the tour today (besides LLodra). Effortless, unpredictable, unusual player; fun to watch.

    [Reply]

  25. One more. Did you guys see Roger not knowing he won after match point?! Hilarious! He got me all confused and worried for a while! But it just proves how FOCUSED our man was, wasn’t he? Not letting up even after match point!!! Haha! Watch out Columbia! Roger’s in the mood to do some weight (trophy) lifting tonight! Allez!

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  26. Yes Veronica, it is just wonderful to watch Roger demonstrate the art of grass tennis. So much fun. This was not a perfect match but by far the best he’s played in weeks. The serve again was fantastic even in pressure moments. Two things I would have to disagree on. Nishikori is no second rate player. He’s top ten with impeccable ball striking and lethally accurate ground strokes, speed, and anticipation. Roger beating him is a genuine accomplishment and never a given. The other is I think you and Ru-an are reading too much into Rafa losing his first round, making it mean he’s not going to be as strong at wimpy is a mistake. He was really beaten up by the French Open effort and probably only hit once on the grass before that match in don’t think it indicates anything at all and fully expect him to be a force to reckon with at the all England. Psyched for the final. Allez!!!

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    Totally agree Eric, about Kei. I shiver in my shoes when I see his name, haha! When I say 2nd tier, I mean the next tier of players after the (original) top 4. About saying that Nadal won’t be winning Wimby, as I commented above, it’s not because he lost early in Halle. Before FO, I already feel he would win FO but not Wimby. I’m just looking at the whole picuture of it from 2011 until now, all Nadal has been through and putting all the pieces together, I really do think that Wimby is not as easily within his reach now as before. If I’m right, make sure you mention that I said it first here, Eric! Ha! But if I’m wrong, don’t talk to me. I’ll be too busy drowning in my sorrows! Allez!

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  27. Did anyone see dimitrov’s last match. Wow, he is really coming into his own. Some beautiful shotmaking and poise under pressure too. I’m excited for him to crack Into the top ten and can’t help but think how cool it is that Rogers company manages baby fed. I really like this guy.

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    Yes, he is, Eric and I must say a lot of credit goes to Roger Rasheed, his Aussie coach – a very underrated excellent coach. I like Dimitrov too but maybe for a different reason….I just gaze at him, hahaha!! Btw, is anyone beginning to think that Stan might be a one slam wonder afterall?

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    Totally agree about Roger Rasheed. It may sound weird but I think he’s helping Grigor turn from a boy to a man. Pretty fantastic to see. And I understand, he’s very handsome. My wife, who watches no tennis at all (grrrhh) always pauses for a moment to gander at Grigor. I hope not w Stan. I feel for the guy. He certainly has the skills. He’s crumbling under the new pressures. This happens many times after players win their first slam. The bombardment of attention overwhelms them and they lose focus. Yet another thing to marvel at with Fed. He seems to handle all of that so smoothly year after year. Damn I want him to win Wimbledon this year!!!!

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    Not weird at all but 100 percent accurate, Eric. Gamewise, Grigor has become a man under Rasheed. Rasheed is a hard taskmaster, but very relatable and he knows the game really well and is extremely passionate about it. If only the two French headcases, Tsonga and Monfils had been more willing to take on board what Rasheed has to offer them, they would be in a much better position today, I really believe so. Don’t wanna sound bias but I think Aussies make the best tennis coaches, ha! I really hope he wins tonight. Not good if he lets another final slip this year. And Wimby, if he is to win it, I feel it has to be this year. Fingers crossed!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Agree about Clownga and Clownfils Veronica. You can’t teach those clowns much. Dimitrov on the other hand seems to have the desire and ambition to take what Rasheed has to teach on board. I hope he wins Queens and Feddy Halle of course. Would be a nice repeat of the Acapulco and Dubai week.

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    hahaha! Clownga and Clownfils! Thanks for the laugh, Ru-an, I need it coz I’m feeling really nervous for Roger right now. I so want him to win this; if not for his own sake. I’m sure he would feel so much better if he gets this one. Falla is such a dangerous player; has great variety and a damn leftie. Roger better be sharp. 10 more mins and we are on. Are you on line for the match?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes I am here! I agree Fed needs this. He has lost in too many finals this year. A second title just before Wimby would be just what the doctor ordered!

    [Reply]

  28. Yay yay Ruan he won!! I’m so happy for him. Bodes well for wimby don’t you think? His serve and net play is ominous don’t you think. He’s staying aggressive and consistently going to the net; definitely Edberg influence I think coz in the past he often gives up doing it after a while. Hope his Ros improves. Now let’s make it a double by winning the doubles too! First time to happen if he can do it!! Now it finally feels like the progress he made is back to where it was before the interruption of the twins birth! Nite nite Ruan and sweet dreams I am SURE!! Haha

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes I agree Veronica! The break didn’t help but this is a very timely title just before Wimby. Like you say his confidence is now back. Ready for Wimby!

    [Reply]

    elizabeth Reply:

    Hi folks, I was beginning to think that he didn’t want to win so glad for him and all his many fans…Falla a good grass player though but you have to congratulate the winner just fabulous!

    [Reply]

  29. Sweet! A crazy record 7th title at Halle and title #79 overall. This year he’s already doubled the number of titles he won last year. Hoping he can triple it during the next three weeks.

    Very important to regain his confidence after indifferent results in the clay season. Falla’s improved immensely on grass and he beat a very accomplished grass-court player in Kohlschreiber so it was never going to be easy for our man. He came through a tough test in Nishikori and he was tested even more in the final.

    He’s been up-and-down in tiebreaks this season so to win a final in two tiebreaks is fantastic. I think that was much better for him than winning with some one-sided score like 6-3, 6-2.

    His serve was on and his volleying skills and net attacks are sharper then ever. He really moved well too, great timing of the ball on such a fast and tricky surface.

    Things are looking up for Wimbledon! Go Roger!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Yes, the sweetest victory is back on winning terms again for tiebreaks – winning all 3 tiebreaks in semi and final, what an encouraging turnaround from all the tb woes of this year.

    [Reply]

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