Monday, September 8, 2008

No Surprise US Open Day 15 9/8/08

by Savannah

It wasn't enough that Andy Murray was back on Ashe less than twenty four hours after completing his match against Rafael Nadal on Sunday. It wasn't enough that Murray had played a lot more tennis than his opponent who by the way faced a qualifier in his quarter final match, and Novak Djokovic in his semi. Novak by the way had less than a days rest as well since he and Roger played the first semi but you already knew that.

No that wasn't enough. I'm not sure who was calling lines today but there was Murray up 15-40 in the second set and Federer hit a ball that was out by a country mile. No call. Reflexively Murray returned the shot, it was sent back and then Murray asked about the ball that was out. Murray, if he had challenged, would've won that game and put his nose in front.

But there wasn't just one bad call. There was a second one in the same set that handed the set to Roger 7-5.

Let's be clear. No matter who won yesterday's match today was going to be a struggle for him. Roger came out smoking because he KNEW he had a tired, mentally reeling and nervous opponent. If someone else had been standing across the net from him he would've known he was in for a fight and after the cake walk draw he had he would've fallen apart as he has for most of the year.

My other prediction also came true. Murray played like a man on fire against Rafa determined not to have their head to head go to 6 and 0. There was bound to be an emotional let down, especially with no rest. Very much like those who manage to win against either Venus or Serena Murray let down and that was all she wrote.

And the commentators? Please. The skies don't part and angels descend when Roger walks on court but the way they were carrying on you'd think they did. When Mary Carillo made a verbal mistake and said when "he (Roger) sees Nadal across the net" I got my recyclables together and took them downstairs. No one even corrected her and she made no attempt to correct herself. Make no mistake about it. This match was about Rafael whether he was physically on the court or not. I leave it to others to explain why some fans see him as a bogey man.

Be all that as it may I just have one question. Was there a big red ribbon on the Lexus?


kraa said...

You couldn't be any more biased, could you?

Roger is a great champion and no one would have stoped him from winning today. As for the call you have to STOP playing and challenge right away. That's the rule we have in this sport you know.

Savannah said...

I believe I said that after the shenanigans of the USTA no matter who was across the net today would have struggled to win. The fix was in. Roger was going to win come hell, or, well, high water.

Murray was wrong not to challenge and that will be what haunts him about the match today. On that we agree.

If you've been watching the last two weeks the chair umps have been letting players challenge AFTER playing the next shot. I don't think it's right but it's been allowed and is something they're going to have to tighten up.

Federer has been the recipient of some, lets call it luck over the last two years. The five day rest during Wimbledon last year. The change in the order of play resulting in a full day's rest during the just concluded US Open. Soft draws. I'm not making this stuff up, these are the facts about Roger during the last couple of years.

dan said...

Wow, what a cry baby!

this must be the worst written piece of ...something, that I read in my life.

I've started reading this blog short time ago and I never made a comment but this "article" really encoureged me to say something: It's cool that you like Rafa and that you don't like Roger but try to be a little more objective.

One more thing, not too long ago you wrote something like: "Miroslava Vavrinec (Fed's girlfirend) watches all of his boyfriend's matches with a "what the fu·k" expression, implying that she didn't know anything about tennis, well let me tell you that she's a former top 100 WTA player? I don't know how much she knows about tennis but I'm pretty sure that she knows a hell lot more than you.

Savannah said...

I guess you missed my end of year post where I named Mirka and Roger as co-coaches deserving of mention as "powers behind the throne".

I never said Mirka looks at Roger's matches with a vacant expression. I have said that if you want to know how he's doing she's the best barometer. I did say that Ryler de Heart's fiancee did not sit like some tennis WAGS with an insipid expression on her face. Mirka is more than a WAG for Roger. I have always had the utmost respect for her. But if you want to lecture me about who she is and what she does that's okay.

Don't be a stranger.

Helen W said...

Savannah, your regular readers think the world of you and thank you for taking the time to write this blog. It's a place we know we can come when we need some kindness.

Please don't take these mean-spirited attacks to heart.

Savannah said...

Thank you Helen. I don't. I try to present the facts here and I feel I've done that regarding the USO semi finals and final. If some fans don't like my approach so be it. I'm not changing to suit any fanbase.

oddman said...

Whoa, dan, you haven't been reading right if you thought Savannah would have said that sh*t about Mirka you thought she said.

How about a big cheer for Hurricane Hanna? WhooHoo!

Agree, helen.

Marius said...

I know that Savannah is not just a casual tennis fan and knows quite a bit about the game. She is aware that Mirka was a pro and was in the top 100. I'm sure that she knows too that Mirka is Roger's "rock" and I don't mean burden.

Folks, this is a blog. A place where the blogger expresses her opinion. Just by posting your comments, she is showing that she respects those who don't agree with what she has to say.

People are just as passionate about tennis and their favorites as they are about politics, maybe even more so. It just happens that each of us sees the same thing through a different pair of eyes.

I know, I know - master of the obvious, but there is room for everyone.

cate said...

You know I like your posts.

It's just that this post... disgusts me a little bit. Can't the man, Federer get a little credit for winning a match, much more a Grand Slam?

I know you're a Rafa fan and in your ideal world, he should be the one in the final and not Murray -- and win it. But that didn't happen and there is no reason to bash Federer this way and question how he won this particular match. To me, you just sounded a little bit bitter (even if I know nobody will own up to that). Sorry.

No worries though. I still like your blog.

Helen W said...

It seems to me that Federer's win of the US Open is being greeted with all the eclat of The Second Coming. The Worshippers at the Evangelical Church of Roger Federer are in full cry. To ask why Federer can't "... get a little credit for winning a match, much more a Grand Slam", while the entire tennis world seems to be prostrating itself in obeisance, strikes me as a bit over the top.

Is no-one allowed to point out a few inequities in the way the tournament was run that weighed in The Great One's favour, without being accused of bitterness?

BTW, a minor quibble: Federer won a Slam, NOT the Grand Slam. IMHO, Federer is most unlikely to win a Grand Slam, because he simply cannot win the FO (unless Nadal gets hurt).

Sorry for the outburst, but as a Rafa fan, I have to deal with message board posters calling him "filthy" because he pulls at his pants, on a DAILY basis. So to hear complaints that Federer is not getting his due, when the entire tennis media is heaping praise upon His Sainted Head, is too much for this fan to bear without ranting back.

TdotJay said...

Great observations Cate. I totally agree with you. I come to this blog to read insight into tennis or to hear about things the mainstream media does not report. Alas, this may be my last time coming on here. Savannah obvious despise of Fed also disgusts me.
Why the hating of Fed? I am personally disgusted with the USTA/CBS and their ridiculous decision not to start the semis simultaneously. I think that's where your anger should be directed. First of all, it caused mayhem on the grounds. They are so lucky that no one got seriously hurt. That would be an interesting lawsuit. Secondly, they never shy away from tape delay anyway - why would it have been an issue to broadcast the other semi later? Thirdly, Hanna was coming, hello???
If you think this was a conspiracy so that there would be "No Surprise US Open Day 15" I believe that the AELTC had previous knowledge that Rafa had far better nocturnal vision than Fed.

Savannah said...

Helen thank you for your comments.

As regular readers know I keep my fangirl outbursts to a minimum here. I indulge them when my fave does something the entire tennis establishment has said he is incapable of doing. Winning Wimbledon comes to mind. Winning Beijing comes to mind. Handing out a bagel to the Great One in Paris. I very rarely comment on things ATP leaving that to Craig so that I don't give the impression of being so pro one player I can't appreciate others.

I commented extensively, and angrily, about last years Wimbledon shenanigans also centered around the weather. I mean come on one player has five days off while another plays every day? Where was the outcry from the tennis press? That's right, there was none.

For some reason this year's antics surrounding the US Open seem to have touched a nerve with The Great One's fans. On every fanboard I've seen his fans saying that it's not right to point out what got him to the final and that we should all be concentrating on his win. Why?

As I said no matter who faced Roger on Monday was going to be at a disadvantage. Why is it wrong to point out that Roger, knowing he had a tired and understandably nervous opponent came out with guns blazing? Why is it wrong to point out that if the USTA had done the right thing by either starting both matches at the same time or canceling Saturday altogether due to legitimate safety concerns the men's final could have been a different and more compelling one for tennisheads and the casual fan? Why is it wrong to say the USTA gifted Roger the trophy when it's obvious they did all in their power to ensure he won? From the minute the draw came out it was obvious the deck was stacked against anyone who had even the remotest chance of beating the Anointed. They even shafted Novak Djokovic who was coming off of a grueling match against Andy Roddick. Everyone knows Novak is not one of my favorites but they did him wrong too, putting him on first instead of following the Order of Play they'd used since the tournament began where the top of the draw played before the bottom.

I should be surprised at the reactions of Rogers fans to the airing of legitimate concerns but I'm not. Methinks in this instance they protest too much. If the shoe didn't fit they wouldn't care.

cate said...

To me, the "point" that a lot seem to make (workable draw) is not an insult to Roger; was it his fault that the seeded players or the ones who had a marginal chance against him were upset by a qualifier? If I were Muller, I'd be offended by that.

And the "almost walkover final", is an insult to Andy Murray.

"Bashing" this particular Grand Slam win is almost like saying, "So Nadal won the French again. Big deal. /sarcasm." (Again, a lot of people won't own up to it.)


Savannah said...

Marius, HelenW, oddman thanks for posting your kind words.

For newcomers I hope you don't go away angry. There's room here for divergent views and I hope you don't make yourselves strangers now that you've posted.

The one thing we share is that we are all passionate about tennis. We can have disagreements the same way baseball, soccer and football fans do and still remain friendly.

tristann said...

On the subject of giving proper credit, I just want to post some words uttered by Federer himself after the USO win, about Wimbledon:

" ...I have never seen a picture of Rafa [Nadal] holding the trophy and it's something I don't ever want to see.

“I'm still a little bit disappointed a match like that was decided at night. I understand it was appropriate to finish it because of the special occasion we were under. Fair play, the crowds were there and they wanted a proper ending. But I think more people left feeling sorry for me than they were happy for Rafa, which hurts me a little."

From my point of view this is nothing less than an attempt to asterisk Nadal's win at Wimbledon. What is especially ironic, is that no sooner the Wimby 07 final was over, Nadal has refused to discuss the impact the scheduling had on the result and gave Roger his due props. The 'fading light' affected both players exactly the same. The scheduling did not.

Savannah said...

" ...I have never seen a picture of Rafa [Nadal] holding the trophy and it's something I don't ever want to see."

Amazing quote. I guess Mirka hid the tennis magazines that featured that fabulous picture of Rafa in the now dark holding up the trophy facing the photographers and bathed in the light of the camera flashes. The same one that has now been copied by both Serena and Roger that are posted here.

I read the rest of the quotes and all I can do is shake my head. Rafa would never say anything like that no matter how he feels. I think Toni would smack him upside his head.

oddman said...

Yeah, I found that article yesterday and have been pretty much stunned ever since. Finally got my jaw back up where it belonged.
And this - 'I think more people left feeling sorry for me than they were happy for Rafa...' Rest of that sentence *could* be construed as a prop for Rafa, ie. 'too bad he didn't have the whole crowd happy as there were some feeling bad for me..' BUT...I read this as an extremely narcissistic statement, based solely on his own feelings at the time. I dunno - I watched the whole ending (quite a few times, not ashamed to admit, HEE!) and I didn't get any sense of the crowd feeling bad for anyone... in fact, I really felt the crowd was wildly cheering for both men, and thrilled that Rafa won. Just me, though, Rafa-colored perceptions, no matter how objective I might try to be.

dan said...

Hi again! sorry if my first comment was a little bit offensive but I got really mad when I read the article, so if I offended somebody I want to apologize.
But that's not all I want to say I have a couple of more things I need to get off my chess. I read a lot of times here that Federer always gets "lucky" with the draws, lucky between "" 'cause you don't actually think he gets lucky you think the ATP decides who gets who. But let me ask you how is lucky to get Djokovic on your half of the draw in 3 of 4 Grand slams this year? (and all 3 in fast surfaces where Djokovic plays better). And I don't know if you or Craig (I think it was both) said something like "he got to play a qualifier in the quarters", and what about Rafa that got to the semis without playing a sinlge seeded player, not one out of 32, that's what I call luck. And about the 8o something matches that Rafa has played this year, well Roger has done that in the past and he still had something in the tank to win the USOPEN and the master cup.

Savannah said...

Dan we all feel passionate about our favorites. If everyone who posted here was a Rafa fan it would get pretty dull no?

The arguments about the draws at majors are a staple between tennis fans and will never end. I personally believe that any system that involves human beings is flawed and if someone has an agenda can be manipulated. I'm sure you remember what happened during the French Open live draw this year. I got up early to watch it, left for work and when I checked it again it had been completely changed. I'm sure I'll be up in arms about the draws during the indoor season and I look forward to people calling me on it and making me present my argument one way or the other.

The season is long. The new calendar doesn't do much to change that. I think the Olympics is what makes this season so draining.

Again, you're more than welcome to state your views here as are members of all fandoms.