< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 73 OF 125 ·
|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-03-12|| ||KKDEREK: Congrats Federer! No Djoko or Nadal to spoil the party. ;O)|
|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|| ||KKDEREK: Totally agree <Achieve>..Federer could/should have won the last game against Djoko and gave him a huge defeat on his famous game streak. So even on his "prime" Djoko didn't took him out of his game..Just Nadal still do that..Exciting to see Federer starting the year playing better than the previous 2..Exciting times..Maybe he can grab a major again, no?|
|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.
|Mar-10-12|| ||shivasuri4: And now Ljubicic will walk off into the sunset! The Monte Carlo Masters in April will be his last event in the men's tour.Is this the season for high profile retirements?|
|Mar-13-12|| ||KKDEREK: Great games tonight at California..|
|Mar-13-12|| ||achieve: Federer loses a high quality first set against against promising Raonic at Indian Wells.|
What a cracker this might be; maybe Raonic can cause an upset and win this in two, with his booming serve to unsettle Fed.
|Mar-13-12|| ||KKDEREK: Hopes not! HE will win! :o)|
|Mar-14-12|| ||achieve: <HE> did!!
He who must be admired created quite a few gems again, this evening, in a collaborative effort with Raonic!
|Mar-14-12|| ||KKDEREK: Indeed. Federer already are having a tough schedule..Now, he will have some cool'breeze against Bellucci. HE was lucky enough already to get a sick Jurgen Melzer and Davydenko who withdraws. I guess all the big dogs will be on semis..|
|Mar-14-12|| ||Jim Bartle: I watched Nalbandian against Tipsarevic for a while last night. I've rarely seen a player who hits the ball better, the talent is close to Djokovic or any of the top players. I wonder why he hasn't won more over the years.|
I see Ivanovic defeated Wozniacki, which must be her biggest win in a while. I'd like to see her come back, as her descent the past few years has been due to lack of confidence and nothing else.
And David Ferrer lost to Istomin, a real surprise. He always beats lower-ranked players, and always loses to the big four.
|Mar-14-12|| ||achieve: Most of the defaults though have been caused by a virus that plagues Indian Wells. Not sure it affected Ferrer, but I am not a fan of his anyway, so please let the best man win and at least appear in the final.|
|Mar-14-12|| ||achieve: Federer <again> comes back to win from a set down, still impressive play though.|
Novak also dropped a set, but high quality play there as well.
Things are heating up nicely...
|Mar-15-12|| ||shivasuri4: I hope Nalbandian provides a stern test to Nadal in the quarters; else Nadal will be undercooked for the bigger matches.|
|Mar-15-12|| ||Jim Bartle: Tsonga absolutely choked against Nalbandian. Up a set and serving at 5-4 in the second, then he just looked like "hey, I'm supposed to win this, why is this happening?" Not something I would have expected.|
|Mar-15-12|| ||achieve: For some reason I find visualizing Nadal "undercooked" rather impossible, shiva ... especially after that epic Melbourne Final, in which he showed fighting spirit and a over-my-dead-body mentality I have <never> ever seen before.|
Jimmy Connors might actually come close.
In other words: Nadal is <always> ready, and will be cooking. Exception may be last year's ATP finals in London, when he was clearly not 100% fit.
Pity Tsonga can not test Nadal; Nalbandian will have no chance to beat the Mallorcan, in my opinion.
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