< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 72 OF 158 ·
|Feb-10-12|| ||Jim Bartle: US up 2-0 on Switzerland in Davis Cup. Isner defeated Federer and Fish beat Wawrinka.|
I still think Switzerland will win 3-2, with one of the Bryans out for the doubles.
|Feb-12-12|| ||achieve: Bryan/Fish sealed it for the Americanos.
Spain's Ferrero (is he over 30 now?) and Almagro were strong enough to overcome Kazakh resistance. 3-0
|Feb-12-12|| ||achieve: Let me then answer my own question:
Happy Birthday, JC Ferrero!
Today Juan Carlos turned 32; quelle coincidence.
|Feb-12-12|| ||Jim Bartle: How`s my prediction look now?|
|Feb-12-12|| ||achieve: Not a pretty sight, Jim, not pretty at all.
Holland though, with cracker jack Haase, is slugging it out with Finland in Division three, so...
|Feb-15-12|| ||shivasuri4: Fernando Gonzalez will retire next month, with Miami being his last tournament.May his powerful ground-strokes continue to resonate amongst us!|
|Feb-15-12|| ||Jim Bartle: Gonzalez probably hit the hardest forehands I've ever seen.|
|Feb-15-12|| ||WannaBe: <JB> Obviously, you've never been hit by my mother. =))|
|Feb-15-12|| ||Jim Bartle: I said "seen," not "felt."|
|Feb-15-12|| ||HeMateMe: No Brooke Decker in this year's Sports Illustrated bikini issue. Is she stepping out of the spotlight, because it is a distraction to her husband's tennis career? The last time I saw Brooke at a tennis event, the camera went to her so many times, she had to put on a coat, to cover up her girls.|
|Feb-16-12|| ||achieve: Federer is the big affiche this week in Rotterdam for the ABN Amro tournament, obviously, and, ironically, will be defending his title from <seven> years ago, after which he never was in the draw again, UNTIL 2012!|
And with Berdych, Del Potro, Gasquet and Baghdatis in the draw some very nice matches will be played come the semis, I hope. Maybe Berdych will break through now; he's on the verge of joining Murray, making it a Big Five, as they hunt down the Big Three.
|Feb-16-12|| ||Jim Bartle: I think Berdych has a long way to go to get rid of his inconsistency. I'd say Tsonga is the best bet to join the top four, along with del Potro if his injuries are totally healed. Odds are against both, though.|
|Feb-16-12|| ||AlphaMale: If someone joined the top 4, wouldn't it be the top 5?|
|Feb-16-12|| ||achieve: Yes, Making it then the Big Five, as Jim and I mention.|
I think Berdych and a healed, recovered, Del Potro are the closest Challengers, but Tsonga deserves a place in there as well, toss of a coin, but Berdych has more potential as an efficient and consistent pressure applier in my view. Provided he gets his mental attitude under control.
|Feb-16-12|| ||Jim Bartle: Whatever happened to Marin Cilic? A year or two ago I'd have put him in the same class as Berdych or Tsonga, now he's nowhere to be found.|
|Feb-17-12|| ||HeMateMe: Rafa Nadal appears in this years SI swimsuit issue, jocks posing with uber babe Bar Rafeli. The photo spread is called "Bar and the Boys". Also included are Bar and Michael Phelps, Bar and football players...I looked at the Rafa photos but I'm not gay, ok? Honest.|
|Feb-17-12|| ||shivasuri4: <Jim Bartle: Whatever happened to Marin Cilic?>
Injuries, I think.
Berdych and del Potro clash in the semis of the Rotterdam tournament.Fully expect Federer to reach the finals through the other half.He plays Nieminen and then the winner of Gasquet and Davydenko in the semis.
|Feb-18-12|| ||achieve: I vaguely remember that Cilic was struggling mentally(2011), not sure about injuries, at least that's what I picked up from commentary on TV... Marin certainly is a standout striker of the ball. Upthere with a select bunch.|
True though that he is off the radar recently, but in 2010/11 he mostly underperformed. French 1st rd loss; London 1st rd loss, US 3rd rd loss.
NO GAMES in 2012, indicating that he indeed has been injured or ill.
|Feb-18-12|| ||Jim Bartle: Here's a really excellent article on the Australian Open final: http://theclassical.org/articles/th...|
|Feb-18-12|| ||bronkenstein: He doesn´t seem too excited about Novak.|
|Feb-19-12|| ||achieve: <JB> Thanks, great read, and Eric Freeman, the writer, comes across as pretty excited about Djokovic if you read closely. Freeman offers some interesting angles in assessing and explaining the Djoko-phenomenon. |
<It wasn’t supposed to be his time, but he cut the strings of fate himself and made it his anyway. After years of being weaned on a Federer-Nadal rivalry that showed no signs of slowing up, Djokovic’s greatness came as such a surprise that only the immediate reaction—erupting into applause or conceding any once-held doubts in dumbfounded silence—seemed the right one.>
<If the description above paints a picture of Djokovic as some kind of impudent young upstart, then his game evinces a level of point-winning logic typically associated with a grizzled veteran. He wins like a specially engineered victory machine, ruthlessly pulverizing his opponents until they submit. It’s neither a defensive or offensive style, but some unholy hybrid of the two. If his game has a weakness, I haven’t seen it. He’s so good, in fact, that his victories can seem perfunctory, his structural advantage so apparent from the get-go that the rest of the match becomes a slightly more formal version of tennis garbage time.> True if you look at how machine-like Djokovic disposed of his three earlier round opponents; they were lucky if they were allowed one, possibly two games a set. Many bagles even in those.
But what I find disapponting in this no doubt talented writer and analyst is that he doesn't have his match facts straight, especially where he describes the Nadal miraculous hold in the 4th set at 4-3 and love-40 triple breakpoint for Djokovic, potentially about to serve out the match:
"With a 4-3 lead in the fourth set, Djokovic held a love-40 lead at a time when one more point would have given him a chance to serve for the match. <He blew the opportunity, thanks to a bit of classic Nadal toughness>" - nothing could be further from the truth. I went to my videoplayer and checked if my completely contrary to Eric's recollection was true-- Novak didn't "blow the opportunity" because Nadal's retrieving skills forced errors off Novak...
The 5 points in succession that had Nadal hold that game to go 4-4 were as follows:
1 A blistering inside-out FH landing within a foot of the baseline followed by a direct winner inside out angled FH blast;
2 Unreturnable serve
3 Weird looking wrongfooting of Djokovic with a highish trajectory BH landing within a foot of the base & sideline, Djokovic unable to get his racquet on it
4 Serve winner
5 Serve winner
Why did he write that? - that game being one of <the> outstanding ones in the match, let alone set? Perhaps the only game with Nadal "scoring" 5 points in a row by hitting winners.
Very fine "narrator", Eric Freeman, but he seems to have watched different tennis in that game than millions did.
Some of his analysis and descriptions though are frighteningly "on."
|Feb-19-12|| ||Jim Bartle: I think he just meant to say that at 0-40 and almost sure loss of the match if he didn't win the game, Nadal buckled down and played five great points, giving Djokovic no chance.|
|Feb-26-12|| ||shivasuri4: Ferrer beat Nalbandian rather easily there, 1 and 4.He goes on to play defending champion Almagro in the Buenos Aires finals.|
Kei Nishikori is now ranked 17 in the world.Remarkable stuff!
|Mar-05-12|| ||achieve: Yep, Federer almost obliterated Del Potro in that first set in Rotterdam, superhuman tennis really, Del Potro playing very well too, and now Dubai the still hungry Swiss had Murray for a nice dinner.|
That first set though against Delpo was something ... Fed did not <shank> a single BH and literally blasted it in court, many off the bounce, that is how good his footwork was... Really the best when he is at his best. Only Nadal can really get under his skin and make him drop his level by as much as 30%, and have him walk around uncomfortable and without that freedom of movement, thought and inspirational shot making.
Perhaps the 2012 Djokovic can keep the lit on Fed, but I doubt it. Roger is too good at his best. But even against Delpo in the R'dam final, at some point the level dropped, not that outer-wordly zone anymore, and the 2nd set could have gone either way.
The only one who stops Fed in his tracks is Nadal.
|Mar-05-12|| ||achieve: <KKDEREK> I certainly think so - but remember what Courier said in a top documentary on Sampras' career:|
"People often don't get this; but the game of Tennis is all about <Match-ups> -- it doesn't matter who is three or four, or even 10 places ahead of the other on the ranking; matches are decided by recurring patterns and memories from previous "match-ups", and by looking closely at the two styles in particular and how those may nullify that particular other's strengths... That's what determines the nature of the battle, and often the outcome." - paraphrased from memory.
And you are right, I haven't seen Federer this well in many years, some say this is a better Federer than in 2005. I agree, regarding his all round skills and perfected game; but I do think he will remain vulnerable mentally, especially against Nadal, to drive home the dagger when it is clutch time, as Djokovic has become the man in that department, and Nadal is his worst nightmare in that regard.
With Del Potro back to his best - some say he will win a major again already by the end of the year (US Open) - and Berdych firing ominously hard at Nadal in Australia, this will be one of the most exciting seasons of (men's) Tennis I have ever anticipated.
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