Friday, June 29, 2012

Stress city, but sweet victory!!

Wow was that stressful - I feel exhausted after watching that one.  That 4th set tiebreak was major intensity!  The ONLY thing making me feel any better when I contemplated a loss here was that Nadal lost a round earlier and wouldn't be winning another GS title.  But such relief that he got through that one.  Many, of course, will be thinking of Nadal's loss in '09 and then Roger having to come back from two sets down the day after.  I'm taking that as a good sign of things to come!

I went into this match feeling a little concern because I knew Benneteau would be feeling inspired from watching Rosol's incredible performance last night.  I mean, even I was feeling inspired when I went to play tennis yesterday right after the match and hit many more winners than normal, so of course it would give someone like Benneteau, who has beaten Roger before in much the same manner, confidence.  Thankfully Roger was able to find that extra gear in the 4th set tiebreak, and then he coasted from there.  All that amazing work he puts in for training certainly pays off for him over some of these other guys who just don't have the endurance.  Glad he has two days off now and hopefully his next match against Malisse will be quite bit more straightforward!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Still reeling from that one!

Wow, wow wow!  I am still stunned.  Anyone who knows anything about tennis has got to be reeling with the news that not only is Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon, but that he lost in the 2nd round to someone ranked #100.  I mean, seriously, I was only planning to give halfhearted attention to the match because I thought it would be an incredibly routine win.  If someone would have told me this morning the results of the day I would have told them they were crazy!

We will see what transpires over the next week or so, if it turns out Rafa was nursing an injury that he hadn't shared, or some such thing.  He was obviously unnerved during the match, arguing with the umpire about Rosol's movement on court while Rafa was serving (or was it he was breathing too loud - I heard both stories), or bumping into him on the way to the change over, not to mention keeping him waiting in between serves.  But what it simply came down to is that Lukas Rosol played amazingly clutch tennis, never giving into nerves, and simply hitting the two time champion, three time finalist off Wimbledon's Center Court.

I was completely bracing myself in that last service game for the nerves to hit, as so often happens to lower ranked players when trying to close out a match against a top guy.  Instead Rosol played an absolutely amazing game, hitting his spots on serve, making the forehead winner, and not giving Nadal even a sniff at breaking him.  Again, wow!  As to what happens from here, it seems often in these cases that the spoiler has given so much of himself to win the big match that he has nothing left in his next one.  And who knows if Philip Kohlschreiber is feeling relief or disappointment to not have another shot at Rafa, being the last one to beat him just a couple weeks ago.  But regardless, Nadal is no longer part of the picture when trying to predict the Wimbledon winner.  I'm sure Andy Murray is having very pleasant dreams tonight, as his road to potentially make his first Wimbledon final just got a heck of a lot easier!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Royalty on both sides

Who looks more excited, Roger in the first photo getting to meet Prince Charles, or Prince Charles in the second looking at tennis greatness?  For me, I would be more excited meeting His Highness Mr. Federer than the future King Charles.

Well, Prince Charles and Camilla were definitely treated to an incredible display from the maestro in the match they watched on Center Court.  Roger hit 35 winners and only 8 errors, along with 13 aces in this high class match.  He also won 21 of 23 points at net.  He is now only two wins away from 850 victories.  While I know you can't tell what's going to happen later in a tournament by the early rounds, and that it's sometimes good for later form when they are challenged early, how can you argue with those numbers?  Seems like a good sign to me going forward.  

I thought it was great that Prince Charles chose to go watch the great Roger Federer, after not having been to Wimbledon since 1970, rather than world #1 Novak Djokovic, or their own country's favorite Andy Murray.  He knows who the true royalty in the game is.

I felt compassion for Caroline Wozniacki, losing in her first round match to Tamira Paszek.  I thought Caro was showing some really good signs of being more aggressive in this match, but in the end Paszek was just too good on grass, after having won a grass tournament just last week.  Hopefully Wozniacki will be able to get back on track and not let discouragement sink in.

And hopefully weather will be a little more cooperative as the week goes on so that they can get back on track in the schedule, with quite a few matches not able to be played today.

Monday, June 25, 2012

What a start!

I just had to use this picture of Roger, because that great smile has got to be the way Fed fans are feeling today.  Wow, what a start for the incredibly classy guy who will go back to #1 if he can claim his 7th Wimbledon title.  Although obviously his opponent today isn't a grass court player whatsoever, it was still awesome to see him getting break after break, hitting some electrifying winners, trying some serve and volley, hitting aces, and the list goes on.  While I realize that you can't always read a lot into a first round match, whether good or bad, at this point, after seeing him struggle the whole two weeks in the last grand slam, it's just ultra encouraging to see him play a quick and beautiful match.  For some reason I have just a quiet confidence in his chances to win this year.  

And while I have gotten very used to upsets in the women's draw pretty much every single time, I wasn't prepared for some of them on the men's side, particularly Gulbis taking out Berdych.  Wow!  I didn't get to see much of the match so I need to go back and watch some highlights.  Sounds like Ernie played an amazing match.  I cringed when Isner went to a fifth set, feeling like he wasn't going to pull it out this time.  It's looking like grass just isn't his surface.  Hopefully he will be able to mentally turn things around before the hard court season later this summer.  And it will be interesting to see if Almagro is able to pull out of a two set deficit to Rochus.  That would be pretty surprising to me if Almagro lost in the first round.  Makes me wonder what tomorrow will hold!

And I have to quote this tweet from Rene Stauffer:  "Talked to two different swiss called Roger Federer - and both of them don't play tennis. Amazing."  When asked if they were named after Roger he said "No both are older. One hates it, always gets wrong calls and stuff. The other one thinks its funny. They even know each other."    I thought that was pretty funny!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pied Piper of Wimbledon

There are a lot of good interview articles out right now, but I like this one:


I know most of the stuff I put on here is related to Roger, but that's where I'm at and that's what I want to share!  :)


Friday, June 22, 2012

The men's draw from a Fedfan perspective

Well, here's proof that I'm a completely addicted tennis fan.  I woke up at a little after 3 a.m. and knew that the draw should be done.  Then I started worrying about who Federer was going to have in his quarter.  By 3:30 I knew I wasn't going to be able to go back to sleep so I figured I might as well just get up and look at the draw!  Thankfully they posted it very soon after the fact and I was back in bed before 4.

I must say I was pretty pleased with what I saw.  Sometimes it seems Fed gets the hard draws and Nadal the piece of cake ones.  This time the one who is going to have a struggle is Andy Murray.  His quarter is full of guys who can give him problems, including one Milos Raonic.  I have to say I was hoping Raonic would end up in Nadal's quarter.  I really would like to see how Rafa would handle that big power.  He does have Jo Wilfred Tsonga in his quarter, however.  Hopefully Jo's thumb has healed up and he will be fully fit.  Given that he took out Roger last year he could pose some problems.  Djokovic doesn't have a cake walk draw either, opening up against Juan Carlos Ferrero.  And his projected quarterfinal would be against Tomas Berdych.  Since Novak wasn't playing his best tennis at the French, it will be interesting to see how he comes out on grass.  Roger's most challenging opponent in his quarter would be either Tipsarevic or Isner (or I guess potentially Nalbandian, though not likely), both of whom he should be able to beat easier than a Tsonga or Berdych, unless Isner really comes alive.

I really think Roger has a good shot at it this year.  Assuming his hip is doing better and he is able to find his grass court form, he seems like he has the draw to be able to get it done.  Yes, he would have to get past Djokovic most likely.  However, we all know he has the game to beat him.  I think he wants it badly this year and personally I think he's going to do whatever it takes to get his 7th.  Oh man, makes me nervous just writing about it!  

Usually I look forward to the weekends, but right now I just want it to be Monday! Let the games begin!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Roger and Wimbledon

Here's an article I came across that talks about Roger's excitement for the next couple months and also about some of the struggles during the clay season.  Helped to put it in perspective a bit for me.

Roger and Wimbledon: True love never dies 

The draw  is tomorrow!  I am waiting with bated breath to see how it turns out.  Could be very important for Roger's chances to win  his 7th title.  I know it would probably be better for he and Djokovic to be on the same side, because if he could beat Novak in the semi and then win the final, he would be #1!  However, someone needs to take out Rafa!!  No matter how you look at it it's going to be difficult, and I find myself feeling very antsy waiting for it to start!  I don't want any of these guys in Roger's part of the draw:  Raonic, Isner, Berdych, Tsonga, just off the top of his head.  Some luck on his side sure would be helpful this year!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Roger's Rolex Interviews

While we wait with great anticipation for Wimbledon to start, here are a couple interviews I came across, the first one with Roger talking about special Wimbledon moments, the second one talking about some of the watches he likes to wear.

Wimbledon moments 

Roger's watches 

Also, pretty excited to hear the scenario where Roger could get back to #1, which would be him winning the title with Djokovic not reaching the final.  Come on Roger, you can do it!!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Strange happenings on a Sunday

Who would have thought 34-year-old Tommy Haas would be the one holding the trophy at the end of this one?  When I woke up at a little before 5 a.m. and found the match on the computer it was 5-all in the 1st.  I watched in frustration through the tiebreak and 2nd set as Federer sailed shots wide, long and into the net in startling fashion.  Tommy kept his level strong, served well, and closed it out with a 7-6 6-4 win for his 13th title.  I am watching the match in full right now on Tennis Channel's airing of it later in the day.  It's interesting watching a match when you already know the outcome.  I mean, Roger started out great and most people I'm sure were expecting him to have a pretty straight forward win.  He looked to be getting things in control the beginning of the 2nd set too, but once again those errors were just overtaking his game.  So what's the deal?  Was the intensity and desire not strong enough?  Was there a subconscious wish to see his good friend Tommy win a title at this stage of his career?  And once again I have to ask if these 250 tournaments mean much or not going into a Grand Slam.

Well, if the smile on his face at the party after the match is any indication, he doesn't seem overly concerned over the loss.  My hope is that he got what he needed out of this tournament, which is the feel of grass under his feet once again, and that he will be able to up the intensity when it's most needed, starting a week from now in London.

And, of course, anyone who follows tennis has by now heard about the strange ending at Queen's Club with David Nalbandian losing the tournament by default, giving Marin Cilic the title after Cilic lost the first set.  Nalbandian, having just lost his serve at 4-3 in the 2nd set, in frustration kicked the wooden protective covering where the line judge was sitting, injuring the line judge's leg in the process.  It wasn't a pretty scene.  And while David did sort of apologize, he also took the opportunity to rip the ATP for going by the book on some rules but not others.  Not his finest moments.  He will pay for it by not receiving his prize money or his ranking points, with maybe more penalties to follow.

To end on a more positive note, though, kudos to Melanie Oudin for making it to her first WTA final!  It's great to see the 20-year-old finding some of her magic again!  Whether she wins the rain delayed final tomorrow or not, it's got to do great things for her confidence!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Now this is precious!!

Aw, look at Roger's sweet little girls at the semifinal match in Halle today!  Along with his incredible career, he also has an amazing life outside of tennis.  I'm sure these precious sweethearts help make the losses he does face more endurable.  Hopefully we will see them at the final tomorrow where he has a pretty good chance to hoist his 75th trophy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

On a quick side note

For those who haven't seen some of the ingenious pictures Bob Bryan and his wife are doing of their little daughter Micaela on "her own" Twitter page, you have to at least see this one:
 She's going to love these some day!

Is there meaning in 250 tournaments?

The old guy beat the young guy today in Halle, Germany in a very tight match.  As with the last two matches they have played, Raonic won the first set, which was all about the serve, in a tiebreak.  However, as in the past, then the pressure seems to get to him a bit in the second and he folds on serve enough for a break.  Raonic came back strong in the third though, serving a bunch of aces again, and they once again ended up in a tiebreak.  Roger was strong this time, though and closed it out.  Raonic had said in his last match against him that he came out feeling like he could win and he left knowing he could.  Well, I guess he got a bit ahead of himself on that one.  Roger is still the stronger in all aspects of the game other than Milos's incredible serve, without which he doesn't have all that strong of skills, or at least which let him down in the important moments.  It will be interesting to see how Wimbledon goes for him this year, since last year was where he sustained the hip injury in a bad fall.

So, after Rafa Nadal was taken out pretty easily by last year's champion Phillip Kohlschreiber, who had never beaten him before, here's the question:  Do these small tournaments matter before grand slams?  On the one hand it helps them get their form as they have to quickly adjust to a new surface.  On the other hand it could tire them out more than necessary in something that doesn't give them many points.  I don't know - I have mixed feelings on this one.  I think it's good to see Roger in better form than he was at RG, and I think he probably needs this time to find his footing.  Obviously he has won it before and then gone on to win Wimbledon.  As Tommy Haas (who is having an awesome comeback) just took out Tomas Berdych, Roger's competition in this tournament has dropped considerably without two of his big foes.  Let's hope his older body can handle the pressure and that he can win Halle and Wimbledon in succession, giving him great confidence going into the Olympics!!.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thinkin' about men's finals

Is it just me, or is anyone else getting a little bored with seeing the same two men in the major finals four times in a row?  I mean sure, it was fascinating to see what was going to happen in this last one, to see if Rafa was still going to be King of Clay, or if Novak was going to have his way once again even at his beloved French Open to win four in a row against him.  But now that we've gotten our answer on this one, please, someone beat one of these guys!

It's got to be partially a mental thing.  Even the great Roger Federer was up two sets and had match points against Djokovic at the U.S. Open, plus was two breaks up in a set at RG and couldn't beat him.  And both Tsonga and Seppi seemed to have his number, then couldn't close it out, even with four match points on Tsonga's part.  Obviously there's a lot of mental toughness on Nole's part (although it was pretty surprising to see even him double fault on Championship point!).  But come on, someone needs to have the wherewithal to finish at least one of these two off before the final, to give us some variety.  

I am certainly hoping one of those someones is is my guy Roger!  No matter how great he has been, and even though he has won a lot of titles in the last eight months, everyone knows his chances to win a major final is getting less and less the more time goes on.  One of his chances is in a few weeks.  Though it definitely worries me that he has lost in the quarters the last two years, he obviously knows how to win at SW19!  Come on Rog - this is your year!

I also am finding myself getting excited to see someone new break through one of these days (well, as long as he doesn't beat Roger, that is!).  Everyone thought one of those guys was going to be Juan Martin Del Potro.  Other than his one win, that hasn't happened so far, but he's still young and could end up winning many more in the future.  I'm very curious to see what other young guys are going to be threats at the top in the years to come.  While I don't think that any other tennis player can capture my heart like Roger has, I know he won't be playing forever and someone else will need to take his place to keep tennis exciting.  Would be interesting to get a peek five years from now and see who will be holding the trophies!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Moving right along to Halle

Ok, ok, I know at this point, in light of what happened today, I should be gushing with praise for Rafael Nadal, winning his 7th French Open title and surpassing Bjorn Borg's record.  And of course I realize what he has done is amazing, and watching him play on clay is incredible.

With that said, however, not being a big Nadal fan myself, I am so done with clay and very ready for grass to start.  So let's move right along, then to Halle!!!!!

Here are a few cute pictures that have surfaced so far of Roger: 

With his friend Tommy Haas

Doing press - he looks to be in a good mood

And best of all, what a great picture of Roger with his new street!

I'm very excited to hopefully see Roger come alive on grass over the next month!  Go Roger - Wimbledon awaits your 7th crown!!!

Also, here's Roger's first interview at Halle:

Halle interview 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Maria's Grand Slam

Many congratulations to Maria on winning her first Roland Garros trophy and completing the career grand slam!  I have to admit I wasn't really a Masha fan a few years ago - thought she was rather snobby - but over the last couple years she has really grown on me and I was really cheering for her to win.  What an amazing accomplishment to come back as she has the last couple years.  After two rather bad losses at Wimbledon last year and the Australian Open this year it was great to see her so determined.  She played her strong game without the many errors that sometimes plague her.  Wonder if we could actually get the same woman winning more than one major this year!

Friday, June 8, 2012

For Fed, so long clay, hello grass!

Well, it didn't turn out the way Fed fans would prefer.  However, I don't think hardly anyone actually thought he would win the tournament here, so which is better, losing to Djokovic or losing to Nadal?  For me I would have to say losing to Djokovic.  There have been too many painful losses in the final to Nadal at RG already.  And he has been saying the whole two weeks that he hasn't really found his game yet here.  Why not let the other guys battle for history and he can rest for a couple more days before moving on to grass.  In the meantime during this tournament he broke yet another record for most wins in majors, and extended his quarterfinal streak.  Not bad for a guy pushing 31!  I'm not feeling overly depressed over this one.

Here is a transcript of what he had to say after the match.  Always interesting to hear his perspective.

Post match interview 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

One final set, one to go

How can you not be happy for each of these ladies who will be playing in their first French Open final on Saturday?  They have very different stories, but each has a special appeal.  For Maria Sharapova, watching her struggling to come back from shoulder surgery after her early successes is very inspiring.  Remember her loss in the first round of the Australian Open a couple years ago?  How about matches where she could hardly get a serve in, even losing to young American Melanie Oudin?  But she has fought her way through, back to #1, and now has a chance to complete the career grand slam.  

And how about Sara Errani?  There must be a special inspiration for Italian tennis players at the French Open.  She had never even been to the semifinal of a major, had never beat a top 10 player, and now here she is in the final!  She wasn't even given any chance to win today - it was just assumed that she would fold under the pressure.  Instead it was Sam Stosur, already a grand slam champion, who folded.  How much Errani would love to follow in the footsteps of her country-woman Francesca Schiovonne!

I have to say I will be cheering for Maria to finally break through and win another major after some disappointing defeats in the last year.  If somehow Errani is able to win, though, I'm sure it will be another emotional moment like two years ago that couldn't help but bring a smile to the face of even the biggest Sharapova fans.

As far as tomorrow's men's semifinals, I'm trying not to speculate too much on it yet.  Mostly I'm trying to work through the frustration that Nadal's match was scheduled first even though he's been playing second the whole tournament, and that there will only be delayed TV coverage in my area of Federer's match.  Sometimes being a crazy tennis addict can have its frustrations, and can also be exhausting, given that the first match starts at 4 a.m. my time!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Emotional two sets down win

Wow, I don't know about you, but I still feel rather emotionally tired after that two sets down comeback.  I must admit I had pretty much given up, trying to convince myself that it was okay if he lost in the quarters.  I was thinking about ranking points he would be losing, though, and couldn't quite get past that. I think the anger that he let out after someone in the crowd yelled during one of his points really helped him.  Though he still lost that second set, I really felt like that changed something for him.  While part of what I love so much about Roger is his calm demeanor and his gentlemanly character, sometimes it's good to get mad and use it in a positive manner.

If you didn't see it, here's a link for it:

Roger yells shut up 

Yes, it may be true that Delpo's knee was bothering him a bit, though he said that didn't have an affect on it, but it was so encouraging to see Roger start hitting some winners instead of those incredibly frustrating errors he was making in the first two sets.  Great job by Roger to come back once again from a 2 set deficit.  I can't predict for sure what will happen Friday, but I would like to think that he has found his game and is going to be able to get by Novak once again as he did last year.  In the meantime I'm glad he has two days to rest!

Here is a transcript from his post-match press conference: 

Federer press conference 

And I came across this article of stupid press conference questions Roger has gotten both today and in past years.  Some humor for the day!

Stupid press conference questions 

And I have to at least make a quick comment on Novak's ability to save four match points and come through once again.  I really feel for poor Jo Willy, though.  That's gotta hurt!

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Fed yell

Something tells me both the world #3 and world #1 are going to be regaining their form tomorrow as they go into important and more difficult quarterfinals.  They both knew they were playing opponents ranked quite a ways lower then them who they should beat pretty easily.  Why they both struggled, I'm not quiet sure.  However, they have each been tested and I think they are going to be eager to show their stuff tomorrow.  I, for one, am hoping for some of those great Federer yells tomorrow!  Let's go Roger!!!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Surprising Sunday action

Lucky loser Goffin is also lucky to get a big hug from his idol, Roger Federer, after he pushed him to four sets today at RG.  Roger seemed to have a hard time figuring out this 21 year old, who looks more like he's about 15.  Goffin was honest about the fact that he had posters of Roger in his room growing up, but  he certainly wasn't afraid to show his best game and take a set off of him.  Roger was able to right the ship, however, and pull off a victory to get to his 32nd straight quarterfinal in a major.

Novak Djokovic was lucky to pull out of a 2 set deficit to Andreas Seppi.  Not so lucky was #1 Victoria Azarenko, who lost to little firecracker Cibulkova.  Cibulkova  had blown a huge lead to Vika in Miami, but this time she wasn't about to let it go.  You could tell how much the win meant to her when she fell on her back on the court after match point.

What an interesting dynamic it would be if women played best of five matches in majors, or if men were also best of 3.  If men best best of 3, Djokovic would be out!  And probably sometimes the women wish they were best of five.  But it is what it is, so we'll see where things go from here for the rest of the tournament.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Week one as it stands

Does anyone else have a hard time keeping up with everything during grand slams?  I mean, why does life keep getting in the way of tennis?  It's especially difficult on the west coast, when I have to try to catch up on about 4-5 hrs worth of tennis that already happened when I get up in the morning.  Finally finished watching Saturday's action at 4:00 and actually got to watch all of it for once!

Well, lots of stories so far for the first week.  The Americans actually have two women into the round of 16, neither of whose name is Serena Williams.  Maria Sharapova has only lost 5 games total in her first three rounds.  Isner had another marathon match (though nothing like Wimby '10!).  There was a 38 shot rally that ended with one guy throwing up on court and the other guy cramping incredibly badly with his shorts falling down as he dragged himself to a chair, and that in the 2nd set!  We have a lucky loser getting to the 4th round who will be playing his idol, Mr. Federer.  Roger has lost 2 sets already, and the last time he did that at the FO he won the tournament (have to think positively!).  Nadal looks amazing so far in his first three rounds. Wozniacki has lost in the third round, being seeded #9 this year after having been #1 at the last GS.  And, of course, who could forget that Roger broke another record for the most wins in grand slams, passing Jimmy Connors, who played until he was 39!  Those are a few stories that just jump to the front of my mind.  I know there are many more.

If you want to hear the full version of Roger's press conference after his 3rd round win against Mahut, here is a link to it:

It was interesting to actually watch his response when they told him he was Goffin's idol.  Rather than sounding rather cocky, like it sounds when the press just reports what he said, I thought he looked a little embarrassed and appreciative about it.

Did  anyone see Justin Gimblestob interviewing skiier Lindsey Vonn?  I thought it was rather cute the was she was kind of gushing over Roger Federer.  I'm sure I would be doing the same thing!!

As to how the favorites are looking so far, I have at least somewhat learned that you can't always judge by what happens in the first week of a major.  Someone can look amazingly on form and then lose in the next round, or vice versa, so I am going to try to reserve definite predictions.

Ok, to wrap it up, next week at this time we will have crowned a new ladies champion and we will know who the men's finalists will be.  Any big upsets or surprises in the next week?  Time will tell.  In the meantime it will be an early night so I can get up early to watch more tennis!!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Tennis movie starring .....

Since I have been so busy and haven't had time to write, here is something cute until tomorrow, when I should be able to get something going!

Tennis movie