Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekend touneys (blah blah blah)

I keep trying to get the motivation to write something about the weekend tennis matches. To be honest I'm a little bored with it while I wait (and wait and wait) for Roger to play next week. I almost didn't watch the Barcelona final because I knew what the outcome would be. I ended up watching most of it, though, and got rather caught up with Ferrer's play and how close he was.  He always plays with amazing tenacity, but I thought he was especially doing so yesterday.  I know he wanted it so badly, and he was so close in both sets.  I felt very bad for him that he once again wasn't able to get there.  I'm sure Nadal fans are feeling very relieved that he has come through and won a couple tournaments again.  We'll see what the next month or so of the clay court season holds for the men.  Will there be any surprises?

As far as the women, I'm sure Maria felt so relieved to get that win against Vika.  I have actually only had a chance to watch a bit of it, though it is on my DVR waiting.  It looks like Maria hit a lot of winners and must have been playing extremely well.  Very odd first set score, though, for Azarenka.  Anyone want to fill me in on what was up with her?

Well, sorry for the boring post - just can't wait for the blue stuff next week!!!!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Roger Federer interview

Roger was interviewed today by Rene Stauffer (lucky guy!) in German.  This has been translated to English by Google translate, which definitely isn't a perfect translation.  However, it give us the basic idea.  Here are a few of the things I found interesting that he had to say:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Roger's Jura ad

Well, I have to say, for me anyway, that tennis feels a bit boring and depressing at the moment.  The final on Sunday at Monte Carlo was a total dud.  Novak's head just wasn't there, as is understandable.  Now we're into Barcelona, which everyone already knows Rafa will win, so what's the point?  The clay court season is my least favorite of all, and it's all the worse when Roger Federer isn't playing.  I'm looking forward to Madrid very much and the return of Roger, but it still seems too far away.

So in the meantime, to add some spice to the tennis world, even though I know this video is floating around on tons of websites, here is Roger's new TV commercial for Jura coffee.  Love his smile at the end!

Jura TV commercial featuring Roger Federer

Friday, April 20, 2012

Monte Carlo thoughts, and some recent Roger pics

A few thoughts on how things are going at Monte Carlo.  For me this week has been all about where things stand with Rafa and Nole.  In my mind by Sunday afternoon we would have a good idea of where we're at in the Nadal-Djokovic saga.  It Nadal was able to pull out a win, that would show that he has the determination to fight through and find a way to finally get past this guy after not winning a title in over 10 months.  And if Djokovic were to win once again in the place Nadal has owned the last 7 years, well, that would definitely say a lot.  However, to me, that has changed due to the death of Novak's grandfather this week.  I'm sure you are all aware that he learned the news that his grandfather who he was very close to passed away just hours before his first match.  Great effort to play in spite of his grief!  But while he was able to get a 3 set win against Dolgopolov, it wasn't the Djokovic we have gotten used to seeing.  There were many errors and he was fortunate Dolgopolov wasn't playing his best in the 2nd and 3rd sets.  It was an emotional win for him and you could tell how much it meant to him.  

Today there were still many errors against Haase, and though the score says it was an easy win you could tell he was still distracted, for obvious reasons.  Tomorrow will be a challenge against Berdych, if Berdych is in the form he was in today, even if Novak can regain his focus.  But even if he makes it to the final, if he is still obviously distracted from his personal loss, does the win by Nadal mean much?  To me it doesn't.  I mean, of course it would be a huge accomplishment to win a title 8 times in a row.  But as to whether he has solved the Djokovic problem, in my opinion that will only be shown when Novak is fully focused.  My hope is that he will be able to focus his attention on winning this tournament in memory of his grandpa, which would be a very special win indeed.  Here's a picture of him with his grandpa and one of his trophies:

And even though none of this is about Roger, for me tennis is always about Roger, so I have to include a few recent pictures of him, one from a hockey game in Zurich, one from a recent practice session, and a couple from a commercial he's working on:

 Great expression!

 Can't wait to see him on the clay in Madrid (even though it will be blue!)

So true!!!
Love the leather jacket!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Daddy Fed

For those extreme Federer fans who are missing him like I am and counting the days until Madrid, here are a few cute pictures I came across, apparently taken at the Miami airport.  I love seeing him as a dad!  And even though I have twins of my own, I have always been fascinated by them.  Let me tell you, I was sooooooooooo excited when I found out the Federers had had twins!  With the special aura that seems to surround Roger Federer in almost every way, it just makes sense that it would extend to his family life too with something exceptional like twins to set them apart.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Thoughts on John Isner

I know this week is all about Monte Carlo, and believe me, I am watching with as much interest as all true tennis addicts are to see what the outcome is going to be, especially for ones named Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.  However, there are already tons of articles out there about that topic right now, so I want to focus on something else for a moment, namely John Isner.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm actually getting excited about the thought of where Isner's career might end up going.  I mean really, what an improvement in his game since his infamous Wimbledon match!  I was getting so frustrated watching that match because he just couldn't do anything on return games.  I mean, it's great to have a good serve, but to succeed at the top level there has to be more.  He and his team obviously have realized that too.  Look at what he's done this year!  He's beaten Roger Federer on clay in Switzerland (in a best of 5, no less - as sad as I was at the time that it happened!) and he's beaten Djokovic at Indian Wells, a tournament he won last year.  He also played clutch tennis in France, on clay, to give the U.S. an unexpected Davis Cup win.  Not only that, but he is now the #1 American for the first time in  his career.  

I know he didn't look ultra impressive last week in Houston.  Granted, he still needs to work harder on his fitness to complete with the best of the best, as he will be doing for these next few weeks after a well deserved rest.  But I just feel like, with hard work and perseverance, that he has some amazing potential, which has to get American tennis fans at least somewhat excited.  When Mardy Fish became the #1 American player for some reason I just couldn't buy into it.  Maybe part of it was because of his age, and just feeling like he couldn't keep it up, which is proving to  be true.  But Isner seems to be coming into is own at the age of 26 and still has plenty of years left to play the game.  We'll see how the rest of the year goes for him - how he performs in the three remaining majors left this year - and if he can continue to rise in the rankings.  But I'm going to get on the Isner bandwagon (except when he's playing Federer, who will always be my #1!!!!!) and believe that he can accomplish great things!

Let me know  your thoughts on Isner's career.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Federer pics

By now I'm sure everyone who is a Roger Federer fan in the slightest measure has seen this picture he posted on his Facebook page:

I had just been thinking this morning that it would be so nice to hear from him, so it was great to see his post!  I know it does him a lot of good to have extended rest times where he can concentrate on his family and not have to think about tennis.  Selfishly, of course, I wish he was playing Monte Carlo, but I know in the long run this will be better.  I mean, look what happened after his rest following his U.S Open loss.  I have high hopes for the next several months for him!

I also want to share this cute picture from a few weeks ago of his girls:

I can't wait until they're old enough to actually be at the matches where we can see them, kind of like Jada watching Kim Clijsters.  But in the meantime we will take the glimpses we get!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Serena and styles of play

Did you catch Serena's semifinal and final matches in South Carolina over the weekend?  I go back and forth whether I am truly a Serena fan or not due to her attitudes that are, shall we say, questionable at times.  Regardless of that, however, how can you not appreciate her play over the weekend?  To me it was no less than inspirational!  Truly there was nothing her opponents could do.  She was, as the commentators said multiple times, in the zone.  She was playing very worthy opponents - Sam Stosur, who beat her in the U.S. Open final, and Lucie Safarova, who had a double bagel win in the semis.  Yet it seemed that everything was working for Serena as she hit one winner after the other.

The purpose of this post isn't to talk about whether Serena will stay in this form and go on to win the French Open, though feel free to comment on that.  What it makes me think more about is what type of tennis player I want to be.  I watch a LOT of tennis, so when I go on court myself I see in my mind some of what I have been watching, and every once in a while some of those shots actually work!  In the women's game there is a big extreme in styles of player.  On one extreme there is Caroline Wozniacki, who plays a mainly defensive game, often from way behind the baseline, getting lots of balls back and usually waiting for her opponent to make an error rather than creating winners herself, yet also often watching the ball whiz past her as her competitor takes advantage of the opportunities to be aggressive.  On the opposite extreme are players like Serena or Maria Sharapova who are creating their game by aggressive play, hitting many winners and willing to put up often with a few more errors.  I would say I used to be more like a Wozniacki.  As my game has progressed however (mind you, I'm not very good, just someone having fun playing at the club), I have found that I really enjoy hitting the ball hard, looking for my opportunities, and trying to create aggressive play.  And when it's working - occasionally I might be in "the zone" for a set - it can really become rather addicting!

So I guess my encouragement for myself and anyone who might read this is to watch what the pros do, find the style that you would like to work towards, and go for it!  What a great sport tennis is, both to watch and to play.  Enjoy!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fun Federer Facts

Here's something fun I came across from last year, while we're waiting for him to play again.  How many of these things did you know about him?  I think #21 is funny, and I can definitely relate to #24!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Funny interview and clay court ponderings

For those of you who haven't seen it yet, this is a fun video interview that a Brazilian TV station did with Roger, since he is planning a South American exhibition tour in December.  The part about his head-to-head with Nadal is particularly humorous:

Roger funny Brazil interview 

This weekend is Davis Cup, which will be on clay for the American guys in Monte Carlo, and then we move firmly into the clay court season with no looking back until we get to the grass in June.  I think this clay court season is quite important and will show a lot, particularly for one named Rafa Nadal.  Rafa withdrew from his semifinal in Miami against Andy Murray with knee pain.  According to reports the knee is now fine.  Hmm, awfully quick recovery.  Obviously Rafa's focus is on the upcoming clay season,  He is very aware of the fact that he hasn't won a tournament since last year's French Open (just as a side note, he hasn't won a hard court tournament since October 2010!!!!).  Last year Novak Djokovic had the nerve to beat Nadal on his beloved clay in two back-to-back big clay Master's 1000 tournaments.  Rafa is going to want to be very sure that doesn't happen again.  On the other hand, Novak is going to want to take this opportunity to prove his validity as #1 on all surfaces.  Not only that, Nadal has NEVER lost in Monte Carlo (coming up the middle of this month).  How much Djokovic would like to change that, even more so due to the fact that he now resides there.  Although Roger Federer currently isn't playing in Monte Carlo, which takes a bit of the joy in the tournament away for me, I will still be watching with interest to see if Djokovic can wrestle this one away too or if Nadal can figure out a way to finally beat this guy after losing to him in, what, 6 finals in a row?  I would think Rafa will figure out a way to win at least one of the three upcoming Master's 1000 clay tournaments.  What about the French Open?  Is he going to win it for the 7th time or is Djokovic going to come through and win his fourth major in row?  Or Federer was very close last year - maybe he can make his way to a second French Open title for his 17th GS trophy, which is certainly what I would like to see happen!  :)  Lots of drama upcoming in the next two months - and that's all before the excitement of Wimbledon and the Olympics!  Lots to look forward to, tennis fans!

I would love to hear some thoughts and opinions on what you see happening during the clay court season and where you think Rafael Nadal is at in his health, passion for the game, etc., as he gets closer to his 26th birthday.

Kim (Majorfedfan )

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Crazy Tennis Addcit

I admit it - I'm a crazy tennis addict.  I think about it, dream about it, watch it, play it, and basically can't live without it.  How did it get to this point?  I guess it was a slow growing addiction that started 3-4 years ago with  becoming interested in watching the pros, learning who the players are, how they play, different aspects of their lives, and now I pretty much have to watch every match that's on TV.  It has also crossed over into a love of playing the game, and now tennis pretty much controls my life.  Oh, and I will warn you in advance that I am an unapologetic major Roger Federer fan, to the extreme!

My husband and I went to Indian Wells a couple weeks ago and I had the incredible experience of watching Roger play a match courtside.  Watching how athletic he is around the court from that close up was absolutely amazing - a completely different perspective than you can catch on TV.  I was in heaven!  Here's a picture of him close-up:

But enough about me!  I want to start with a awesome You Tube video of a Roger Federer interview in Rotterdam last month.  For those who are already missing him after his early exit in Miami, this is great therapy:

Roger Federer Meet and Greet

I also found the following article very interesting regarding Nadal's resignation from the player's council and some of the things he was trying to change.  The comments especially were very insightful:

Player council withdrawal and two year ranking system

That's a start for now.  I always have so much on my mind regarding tennis and would love to correspond with anyone who wants to make comments about any aspect of the pro circuit or just tennis in general.  More soon.