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All Purpose Tennis Thread III (thread has been locked due to reaching 1,000 posts)

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11-12-2012, 04:32 PM
  #926
kihei
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Roger had the right idea. His game plan seemed to be predicated on the notion that his will was greater than Nole's, and he could pressure Novak off his game. That seemed to be working on and off throughout the match, but Fed was his own worst enemy making scads of unforced errors at the wrong time and playing too many loose games. A fine way to end the year for Nole who was not exactly on form himself, though he didn't have any trouble smelling blood when the opportunity was handed to him in the end.


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11-12-2012, 04:33 PM
  #927
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Yuck. Will watch the rest of this another time. Hopefully it wasn't all as deflating as the end.
Yeah, a lot of it was. Keep the fast forward button handy.

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11-12-2012, 04:45 PM
  #928
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That match also marks the end of Lars Graff's career. He has been one of the best ATP umpires since forever seemingly. I will regret not seeing him in the chair anymore. Of course I'll mostly fondly remember the look he gave Federer when Safin made that infamous challenge:


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11-12-2012, 08:11 PM
  #929
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Novak Djokovic - best player in 2011 AND 2012. Yeah, I said it.

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11-12-2012, 09:50 PM
  #930
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Novak Djokovic - best player in 2011 AND 2012. Yeah, I said it.
doesn't need to be said, he has ended both years on top.
murray has impressed me since his USO win.


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11-12-2012, 10:10 PM
  #931
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Novak Djokovic - best player in 2011 AND 2012. Yeah, I said it.
Yup, his winning here convinces me, too, I'm not sure what the margin will be exactly, but I think he will have a stranglehold on #1 coming out of London as there will be a 2600+ differential between him and Roger.

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11-13-2012, 05:03 PM
  #932
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Yup, his winning here convinces me, too, I'm not sure what the margin will be exactly, but I think he will have a stranglehold on #1 coming out of London as there will be a 2600+ differential between him and Roger.
Yeah, he should have around that. A loss wouldn't have been too bad either because that means less points to defend next year , but I'm sure he really wanted this...a good end to the year with Shanghai and London!

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11-13-2012, 08:19 PM
  #933
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Yeah, he should have around that. A loss wouldn't have been too bad either because that means less points to defend next year , but I'm sure he really wanted this...a good end to the year with Shanghai and London!
Novak has an amazing 4920 point cushion on Murray at #3. I mean if a player arrived with 4920 points right now, he would be #6 in the world. That's a big difference between #1 and #3. Roger and Rafa could be, most likely, will be fading threats next year, so Nole could be settling in for a good, long stay at the top, with only maybe Murray having anything much to say about it until someone new comes on the scene.

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11-14-2012, 08:49 AM
  #934
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The rankings have a way of being more shifty than one expects, even at the very top. There was no reason to think Nadal would lose #1 so quickly at the end of 2010, and there was no reason to think Djokovic would lose the #1 at the end of 2011. While Federer's age will again make it very difficult for him to put together the kind of play over 52 weeks to earn back #1, and Murray not even being a top 5 player on clay will perhaps hold him back (although he could make up a lot of ground on Djokovic between now and Wimbledon), you might be writing off Nadal too quickly. Sure, he hasn't won anything off clay in two and a half years, and being unable to pick up the big points on hard courts - where over half the season is played - will hurt him, but we'll just see what he's like next year. Unfortunately it's way too early to call him a "fading threat" definitively. I've been skeptical for a while about the gravity of his injury - since he didn't immediately come out and say he'd miss the rest of the season after Wimbledon - and I've wondered if he needs to recuperate mentally as much as physically. I don't think it will take him nearly as long to come back to form as it did Del Potro for example. He could still challenge for #1.

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11-14-2012, 09:41 AM
  #935
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The rankings have a way of being more shifty than one expects, even at the very top. There was no reason to think Nadal would lose #1 so quickly at the end of 2010, and there was no reason to think Djokovic would lose the #1 at the end of 2011. While Federer's age will again make it very difficult for him to put together the kind of play over 52 weeks to earn back #1, and Murray not even being a top 5 player on clay will perhaps hold him back (although he could make up a lot of ground on Djokovic between now and Wimbledon), you might be writing off Nadal too quickly. Sure, he hasn't won anything off clay in two and a half years, and being unable to pick up the big points on hard courts - where over half the season is played - will hurt him, but we'll just see what he's like next year. Unfortunately it's way too early to call him a "fading threat" definitively. I've been skeptical for a while about the gravity of his injury - since he didn't immediately come out and say he'd miss the rest of the season after Wimbledon - and I've wondered if he needs to recuperate mentally as much as physically. I don't think it will take him nearly as long to come back to form as it did Del Potro for example. He could still challenge for #1.
I hope you are right. Though obviously it is speculation, my guess is that he will have a short period of adjustment and a decent run and then the knee will flair up again. I don't doubt the seriousness of his condition, only the likelihood that it can be fixed sufficiently for his career to continue without frequent impediments.

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11-16-2012, 10:10 AM
  #936
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What a long drawn out first set. I think Stepanek had a 25 minute game on serve, and saved 7 break points, which isn't at all unusual for Ferrer matches. Of course he lost his next serve game and Ferrer served the set out at love. 6-3 will look routine, but it took 59 minutes.

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11-16-2012, 04:43 PM
  #937
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Pretty crappy effort from Berdych until he suddenly pieced it all together with Almagro serving at 3-4 in the 5th. Before that Berdych was only getting by on his serve - nothing was working for him off the ground at all. Obviously that won't cut it against Ferrer.

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11-17-2012, 11:18 AM
  #938
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The Czechs won the doubles. Makes things interesting tomorrow. The courts aren't quite as fast as expected, so Berdych won't exactly be blowing Ferrer off the court, especially if he plays like he did yesterday.

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11-17-2012, 11:42 AM
  #939
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The Czechs won the doubles. Makes things interesting tomorrow. The courts aren't quite as fast as expected, so Berdych won't exactly be blowing Ferrer off the court, especially if he plays like he did yesterday.
I turned it on for about five minutes in the third set just to see who was winning, enough time to see the Spanish Leprechaun get his serve broken. It should make for a very interesting day tomorrow, especially if Berdych/Ferrer go first.

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11-17-2012, 02:13 PM
  #940
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I turned it on for about five minutes in the third set just to see who was winning, enough time to see the Spanish Leprechaun get his serve broken. It should make for a very interesting day tomorrow, especially if Berdych/Ferrer go first.
They will play first, at 7 AM Eastern. It wouldn't make sense for the Davis Cup to make the 1 vs. 1 reverse singles the 5th match, as it would be a dead rubber far more often than the 4th. They wouldn't want to make the best match routinely be meaningless.

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11-17-2012, 02:55 PM
  #941
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If the Czechs win this, they will have completed their set of international cups (Fed, Hopman, Davis) this year. Not sure how often this has been accomplished. Maybe the US has.

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11-18-2012, 06:31 AM
  #942
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Crowd looks understandably pumped, but Ferrer up an early break 4-1...Ferrer playing at a very high but controlled level takes the first set 6-2. He looks like he rather likes being Spain's "go to" guy in this circumstance. Flashes of fine play so far from Berdych, who had three break chances of his own, but he has been by far the more on-and-off player. Fun match for sure.

Second set: Brilliant early break from Ferrer, 3-0. David is punishing even slight mistakes by Berdych who is looking a little perplexed....and David serves it out 6-3 to take a stranglehold on the match. He has orchestrated several points beautifully, exploiting Berdych's more ponderous movement and making him look a little clumsy in the process. David's concentration is so focused, he looks positively at ease in this situation so far.

Berdych holds to start the third set, a big improvement over the first two sets...Ferrer conjures several brilliant points to get another early break, 2-1. Almost everything Ferrer can dream up is working beautifully today. Berdych is nearly without a pulse at the moment....even with a few more errors from Ferrer, David is not relinquishing control of the match in the least--Berdych is not only being outplayed, he is being outsmarted, 4-3 with Ferrer to serve....Finally Tomas plays some good points, David for once doesn't respond and makes some loose errors and Berdych has a break as the crowd goes wild---so far to come back though, this must be only a momentary blip in what seems now like a preordained outcome, 4-4....a quick hold for Tomas at love keeps the confidence up, 5-4...clever play and Berdych errors gets the break back quickly and now David is serving for the match, 6-5 and Ferrer holds easily for the victory.

I just can't say enough about David's performance under pressure today. I thought he might be tired, but that was never the case. He played with intense concentration and sustained brilliance, especially in the first two sets. Berdych just never really looked like he was going to find all the answers that he needed; there were just too many facets of the game where he was not the better player. Great leadership by example from Ferrer, too. He certainly has done his job, and magnificently.


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11-18-2012, 08:52 AM
  #943
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Initially, anyway, the pressure will really be on Stepakek, especially at home carrying his country's and the crowd's expectations.

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11-18-2012, 08:52 AM
  #944
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I just saw 3 games early in the second and figured it would take a significant injury for Ferrer to lose.

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11-18-2012, 09:19 AM
  #945
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First set: Radek saves a break point but holds for 1-0 to start the match...and Almagro narrowly avoids disaster himself, 1-1...another dicey game for 2-1 Radek, who is moving forward every chance he gets which is definitely the correct play...Stepanek's ugly strokes don't seem much of a match for Almagro's pretty strokes but so far Radek is holding his own in backcourt duels. Ain't gonna last, I suspect, 3-2 on serve...Radek struggles but holds, for 4-3, but Nic seems to be slowly finding his form. For an even match, it is just very hard to see how Radek can win this....Stepanek's footwork is so much better so far on his volleys than his groundstrokes, and he is hanging in there. For Almagro, the danger is in letting this guy hang around and maybe get lucky in which case things can get complicated fast for Nic....and just like that things get very complicated and Radek breaks for the set. That should really get the crowd in it. I might start listening a bit.


Second set: Almagro looks increasingly tight but Radek can't quite break in an 11 minute game, 1-1...Nic looking a little more confident holds serve, 2-2...and he immediately breaks in the next game, 3-2...looks like that 11 minute game might have represented a turning point in the match....Nic's good fortune doesn't last long as he definitely tightens and is broken. Depth on his groundstrokes has been a problem all day, but his real problem seems to be handling the pressure of the situation, 4-4...Stepanek saves a couple of break points with fine volleys, 5-4....Nic barely manages to hold serve. Mostly in rallies he is just keeping the ball in play, not forcing the issue at all....Radek holds so he will at least get to a tie breaker. More pressure on Nic in this service game....it wasn't pretty but Nic escapes from 15-40 to take it to a breaker...Stepanek wins the first point with an awkward first shot and may have injured himself...nope, he's fine; in fact, he's off to a 3-0 lead...make that 5-0...6 in a row....Radek pitches a rare shut out tie breaker as Almagro continues to just push the ball back. Spain is in the soup now.

Third set: Spain has to hope that Stepanek starts showing some jitters, as he is playing solid tennis right now. Home crowd now a potential factor, too. Nick cannot afford to be broken early...he immediately flirts with disaster at love-40 but escapes for the hold, 1-0...more nervous moments from Almagro but still on serve, 2-1. Radek chasing a lot of balls down and getting them back while looking confident doing it (though only 2 for 15 on break points so far). He is either reading Nic beautifully or Nic is playing dumb tennis, just hitting the ball back to him, maybe a little of each...Radek saves three break points to take it to 2-2. Nic just can't quite inch into the lead....his strokes are just so undependable today, but he holds for 3-2; no sign of a letdown for Stepanek which surprises me as I thought his play might suffer a bit this set, but so far, so good...but Nic finally hits some good shots and the break comes in the next game, 4-2, with the momentum in Almagro's favour at the moment...Almagro holds serve with a little attitude, 5-2...and takes the set at 6-3.

Fourth set: Now that the better player has taken a set can he maintain control of the match. For his part, Stepanek still is playing very well, though occasionally his lack of a follow-through on his forehand reveals a bit of nerves....so far this has bee a very entertaining way to decide a Davis Cup final....Wow. Immediate break to Stepanek, 2-0, and holds easily for 3-0...now at 4-1 as both players look a little tight out there, understandably...a great game takes it to 5-2 as Almagro takes it to deuce but can't break, 5-2. I've never seen Stepanek play anywhere near this well...Almagro saves a match point in taking the set to 5-3...and after going down 15-30, Radek holds for the Davis Cup. What a great way to celebrate the Cup's 100th birthday.


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11-18-2012, 09:51 AM
  #946
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Almagro is having a fairly easy time serving while Stepanek is just hanging on with his serves.

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11-18-2012, 11:25 AM
  #947
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Almagro has never been anything to write home about on hard courts, but it's still pathetic to see a higher ranked player have so many moments of choking in a single set. Good quality tennis regardless, and deserved by Stepanek in the end.

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11-18-2012, 12:48 PM
  #948
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Stepanek is playing this match like a hockey player in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final!

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11-18-2012, 01:05 PM
  #949
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Great performance by Stepanek. A wonderful day of tennis.

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11-18-2012, 01:24 PM
  #950
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Wouldn't it be the perfect time for Radek to retire? Among other perks, he will not have to buy a drink in the Czech Republic again. He's a 34 year old (in a week and a half) journeyman, and it is never going to get any better than this.

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