Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Sweet Taste of Victory

by Savannah

This win was exceptionally sweet. On the way to the Final he beat Ivo Karlovic of the massive serve and Andy Roddick, the defending champion and grass court specialist. He's not supposed to win on grass right? He'd just finished a grueling clay court campaign. The transition from clay to grass is just too much they said. Throughout this century either
Lleyton Hewitt or Andy won this event. Pete Sampras closed out the last century with a win. Some are hailing Number Three as the heir apparent to Number One. Haven't seen or heard much from that crowd so far. Here's to the new kid on the grass court block. VAMOSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

Congratulations to the other winners today as well.

Nikolay Davydenko 2008 Champion Orange Warsaw Tournament

Kateryna Bondarenko 2008 Champion Birmingham DFS Classic
And oh yeah, this guy won today too.

Roger Federer 2008 Champion Halle

Liezel Huber and Cara Black 2008 Birmingham DFS Champions
Maria Kirilenko 2008 Champion Torneo Barcelona.

Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic Artois Doubles Champions

Mikhail Youzhny and Mischa Zverev Halle Doubles Champions

Artois Boys Champions H. Cunha of Brasil and M.Willis of Great Britain


Helen W said...

It was a scintillating match to watch. When Rafa was down 3-love and break point in the first set I got a tad nervous -- Oh me of little faith!

I realize Roger traditionally plays Halle, but this year in particular that decision put him safely away from the tough players. On his way to the win, he faced players currently ranked 83, 342, 23, 38, and 40 -- i.e. none in the top 20. OTOH, Rafa faced players ranked 102, 113, 22, 6, and 3. The difference is even more glaring when we look at the ATP Race standings -- Roger faced only one player in the top 50 (Kohlschreiber) while Rafa faced 3.

I truly believe that we are witnessing a changing of the guard.

Cate said...

Oh yeah, the other guy won too haha. About an hour before Rafa won his own grass court title.

Found it funny when Rafa was changing shirts and the girls cheered haha. Novak looked pissed during the award ceremony.

Helen W said...

BTW, from BBC Sport, no-one has ever won Roland Garros and Queens back to back.

Vamos Rafa!

Helen W said...

Oops, I should have said that this is the first time that a player has won Roland Garros and Queens back to back since Ilie Nastase in 1973, according to Queens itself. The BBC article qualifies their claim by "in this format."

Savannah said...

Cate I debated what order I should post the pictures in. My tardism won out and Rafa made the top. I didn't want to include Fed with the rest of the pack so I set him apart. I know it doesn't come across like that but there is truly no harm meant.

It was a great match Helen, a thinking match. Not many have commented on it but there is a published pic of Rafa personally scouting Roddick before they played. The way he outwitted Dr Ivo was also a preview of how he played Faker. I was panicking too when he went down 3-0 in the first set but he proved that he knows what he is doing out there didn't he?

I think your point about who played what event is very relevant Helen. During the Queens broadcast feed I was watching one of the announcers mentioned Fed was having an easy time at Halle and his partner snapped right back "but look at the difference in the fields." Queens was the stronger field.

Craig Hickman said...

Does this mean you're gonna start liking lawn tennis?

Karen said...

If we are going to say that Roger faced no credible opposition, we need to speak to the fact that Roger has never played Queens as his warm up tournament. He has always played Halle. The only time he has not played Halle was last year. Please, we know that Roger is not much liked around here, but if we are going to speak on an issue such as this and give public commentary, it is incumbent that the least we can do is be fair. As to Rafa winning on grass, well its about time. Clearly, if Novak had not come around and lit a fire under his piratas, not only would he not have done some fine tunign with his game, including getting a serve, but also made his game multi-dimensional.

Savannah said...

It's still not my fave surface Craig BUT what a difference it makes when someone comes out and thinks his way through a match, constructing points, using the serve as part of his arsenal not as his arsenal and ends up frustrating the ball bashers.

Karen who Roger plays is important coming into Wimbledon because of the draws he's had during his last few events. As someone said he's gotten "challenger" draws as has Faker. And despite that the guy that has to fight his way through the field has beaten them both.

I don't know if you read it yet but Halle is looking to lock Roger in for the next three years.

Helen W said...

Thank you, Savannah, for always including the forgotten ones, like the dubs players and the wheelchair athletes. I am particularly happy to see a pic of Nestor and Zimonjic as the former is another Canuck. I'd love to see the boys and girls if you find the time.

Savannah said...

Helen I had the boys Artois champions but no other results.

Cate said...

Well, I don't really care much about doubles AT ALL but I'm glad Misha won his match. :)

I understand why Rafa had to be on top of the post -- I mean, was there any doubt that Roger will win his grass tourney? Haha. But with Rafa, fresh off the FO win and then winning this one too, it's impressive. He looked so at home on the grass now. Plus his service ... SUPERB.

Djokovic looked mighty pissed at the awarding ceremony. Even gave that scream at the end of the first set. He was so in control... yes, until Rafa won it all.

I have high hopes for Rafa for Wimbledon this year. We all know about Roger + grass, no need to talk about that. But Rafa's guy to watch out for... not just on clay now.

oddman said...

You bet, karen, let's be fair, I agree. Roger always plays in Halle. I don't know why, but have heard how he loves it there, and there's appearance fees, all kinds of good things. It's like a 'home' tournament for him. Rafa always plays in Barcelona. It's like a home tournament for him too. The fans of each tourney are ecstatic when their faves come home to play (as they should be). I won't say Fed should have played Queens instead of Halle if you won't say Rafa should have taken time off to rest, instead of defending his Barcelona title for the third time and keeping up in the points race, not to mention getting the opportunity to play on a surface at which he excels.
Vamos, Rafa, undefeated on grass in 2008, lol!

oddman said...

Which makes me think, Roger must have really been feeling poorly last year to have pulled out of Halle, no?

cate said...

So what if Halle has lower ranked players in its draws than Queens? That's not Roger's or Rafa's fault.

Yeah, let's see how long Rafa can stretch his "undefeated on grass". So excited!

oddman said...

Savannah, it's Tuesday and it's still as sweeeet as can be....

Whoohoo! Vamos, Rafa!

Savannah said...

Oddman I was just thinking the same thing.:)

tristann said...

I agree with you guys. This victory still feels as sweet two days later.

I'm a bit nervous about all the 'favorite for wimby' talk. But it does feel great seeing him finally being aknowledged as Fed's biggest threat on grass.