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Old 12-31-2012, 05:09 PM   #751
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Default Re: The Tennis Thread - Part 2

Disappointed Rafa won't be able to play the Aussie Open - truly miss watching him.

On another note I hope 2013 will be a great year for Djokovic. After watching his matches against Ferrer and Almagro in Abu Dhabi he's still the man to beat.

Not really a big Murray fan and while I wanted Novak to win the USO I was glad Murray was able to get the monkey off his back. He's suffered a sting of losses since winning it though. (Raonic, Janowicz, Novak twice and Tipsarevic) Hopefully he starts 2013 in good form because I do think he's capable of winning more majors.

As for the women I'm on TEAM VIKA.

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Old 01-01-2013, 09:25 AM   #752
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Default Re: The Tennis Thread - Part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJCaliboi View Post
I buy it, it makes perfect sense. He's basically saying his practice time won't be sufficient enough for him to be confident. His team doesn't want his first match back to be a tournament with best of 5 sets. Since he's already been out for this long and since the bug cuts into his practice time and takes him out of Doha why hurry back. If your going to do it, then do it right.

Nadal isn't like Serena where he can just come back and start winning, he needs to build confidence. So I'm guessing he'll debut at Indian Wells then play Miami then go into the clay court season and really get things rolling. Not the worse strategy in the world.

Tennis just isn't the same w.out him though....sucks donkey balls, but I guess I have to just wait it out w.the rest of the world.
I believe he had a virus, but his knee still isn't right which he has admitted. The illness maybe takes you out of the Abu Dhabi exo, but Doha too? Doha is a very soft field this year. It would have been a good place for him to feel things out and if he didn't feel prepared then pull out of the Aussie.

To me it's clear that they don't want him playing Melbourne on that knee, where he's played a TON of grueling matches and had the least of his success there. That is probably the right move, but I don't buy this virus being the cause when it's obviously the knee. First the comeback was going to be Toronoto, then Cincy, then that got cancelled with the US Open, then it was the Tour Finals, then there was a good chance he'd play the Davis Cup finals, and now we have another month of events that he said he would play that he has now pulled out of.

I agree that Nadal is a confidence player, as evidenced the last he came back from injury in 2009, and stunk the joint up until he got to the 2010 clay season and rattled off three straight Slams. What's for sure is that Acapulco is the next event that he says he's playing, and he probably will since its red dirt and there's nobody else decent in the draw. Nadal was doing a lot of talking last year about skipping the spring hardcourt season including Miami and Indian Wells to play the South Anerican clay swing. That, I assume may be bluster, but he's showing that he isn't afraid to miss big events to protect his knee.

To me, this is all just putting off the inevitable surgery that's going to take place on his knee. That's understandable because once that happens he really won't be the same player.

One player who definitely isn't missing him is Andy Murray.

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Old 01-01-2013, 09:41 AM   #753
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Default Re: The Tennis Thread - Part 2

The next thing for Murray is to avoid the spring letdown. He has flat out been terrible on clay, his only highlight being a loss, the Rome semis against Djokovic two years ago. He's sucked at IW and Miami too. If he ever wants to be World No 1 he can't go on another losing streak in the spring

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Old 01-04-2013, 10:59 PM   #754
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Default Re: The Tennis Thread - Part 2

Grigor Dimitrov just beat Baghdatis in three to reach the Brisbane International final. He awaits either Murray or Nishikori...Really happy for Showtime (nickname for Grigor) - a lot of expectations for him for quite some time and he's got a solid game. Hope he continues to breakthrough this year.

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Old 01-06-2013, 09:57 AM   #755
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Default Re: The Tennis Thread - Part 2

Andy Murray defeated Grigor Dimitrov 7/6 6/4 in fhe final of the Brisbane International. Really close match and Murray praised Grigor afterward. This win should give Murray some good confidence heading into the Aussie Open.

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Old 01-06-2013, 08:25 PM   #756
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Default Re: The Tennis Thread - Part 2

The best thing Dimitrov has going for him is that he's laying Sharapova now.

Glad to see Gasquet showing enough fitness to last until Davydenko imploded. It's amazing how he can paint the lines for such extended periods and then can't hit the court. It was also good to see Gasquet move forward more and be aggressive.

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Old 01-07-2013, 06:54 PM   #757
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"Showtime" Dimitrov indeed. Seriously any tennis website I go to has the same headline with him and Maria. "Power couple" this "power couple" that...Hope all this press doesn't get to him, guy is a true young talent.

Yeah Gasquet/Davydenko was a real popcorn final. The way Davy was playing during the whole tourny as well as beasting Ferrer made me think he'd get the W. Still, even though he lost he's off to a good start considering 2012 was a disater for him. Glad Gasquet was able to get it together and pull through in the end. Dat backhand.

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Old 01-08-2013, 02:42 AM   #758
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Default Re: The Tennis Thread - Part 2

Funny that this time last year there were rumors about Dimirov and Serena dating. Pics of them hanging out off court together with both of them sitting in one another's players boxes at matches. The year before that there was all the talk about him trying to kiss Gael Monfils and the gay rumors (must see video if u haven't seen it yet: YouTube), and now there's the new talk of him and Sharapova. Boy gets around that's fo' damn sho'!

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Old 01-10-2013, 10:44 PM   #759
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Damn. Isner is out of Oz. And I was looking forward to him feign death in the heat again.

Speaking of the younger guys, my only prayer is that one of them manages a genuine breakthrough and takes advantage of Nadal's absence. Dimitrov, Raonic, Tomic, Dolgopolov, Harrison, whoever. The temptation is to lump Gasquet with those guys because he's super talented and hasn't had a defining moment, but he's an old man now.

Just please don't give me another Ferrer semifinal appearance. I'd rather see a vet with an arsenal that could win, like a Davydenko or Haas. Haas has improbably enough worked himself into a seeding, a testament to his skill despite being decrepit, which means he won't get killed with a impossible draw. It'd be awesome to see him and Federer hook up again on the big stage one more time.

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Old 01-12-2013, 12:37 AM   #760
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Isner being out is no big loss for me as I've never been high on him. Aside from wins over Novak, Roger, his run to the QF at the US and of course his enormous feat against Mahut at Wimbledon I don't see him ever breaking through. He always looks tired and as so many have said before with his height you'd figure he'd produce better results. And yet it STILL looks as if he's missing something to truly do some damage. (I'd be happy to take all this back if he proves me wrong but until then - just my opinion )

With Isner out that makes Querrey the top ranked American next week. Hopefully he makes the best of it as I do think he's the better player of the two and his serve is a huge weapon.

As for the young guns my cards are on Tomic, Dimitrov and The Dog:

Tomic: He's been on a roll so far with a win over Djokovic at the Hopman Cup and just reached the final of the Apia International. After a few distractions stemming last year it looks like he's getting his head on straight. Here's hoping he can carry all that to make a good/great run at his home slam.

He's able to generate such easy power with his forehand stroke that is looks like he's barely making effort. Fun to watch.

Dimitrov: Many pave him as "The Next Federer" and while that's nice I'm waiting for him to be the first Dimitrov. He's got a solid all around game and just continues to improve month in and month out. He's shown he can hold his own with the big boys even if the result hasn't been in his favor and he has a beauty of a one handed backhand. 2013 the year of Showtime? I'm on that bandwagon.

The Dog: Dolgopolov is by no means a big guy. When I first saw him I literally mentioned how
skinny he was. But all of a sudden behind that skinny frame packed a punch and he's been able to get himself into the top 20 with quickness and precision. His game suits hard courts perfectly and he can be tough when he's on his A game. I'd like to see him really deliver this year.

I like Raonic and Nishikori. Raonic aka The Missile is a grand slam champ waiting to happen and his serve is that, a missile. He just lost to Hewitt at the Kooyong Classic which may sting but it should force him to prepare harder for next week. Nishikori finished strong in 2012 and is incredibly solid on both wings. The only thing holding him back are nagging injuries and again his knee has been bothering him. We'll see.

Ryan Harrison is seen as the next top American but as a tennis fanatic and avid player his forehand technique hurts my eyes. It's not fluid looking like a Roger or Novak or even Tomic. It's the one thing hurting him IMO. Sure, if you hit a ball a certain way again and again it'll go in/work and that's what he's done. But how you utilize it to great effect is everything. And because he takes a little time with the take back he often gets caught putting the ball back in the middle.

He beat Isner a few days ago (Isner not 100% obviously) and then gets squashed by Benneteau - a veteran serve and vollier. Still, age is on his side. His top strength is his serve and he's obviously going to keep working harder. But he isn't high on my list...for now.

I think this is my longest post since my SHH birth. I love this sport.

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Old 01-12-2013, 12:48 AM   #761
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Default Re: The Tennis Thread - Part 2

Also...wow. Hewitt went through Raonic, Berdych AND Del Potro to win the Kooyong Classic. Amazing.

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Old 01-12-2013, 12:11 PM   #762
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I don't like Isner either. Terrible return game and his net play is mind-bogglingly bad. Those two holes plus the five-set format means he'll never be long for Slams. I just wanted to see him have another heat stroke.

Tomic should make the third round, but there stands Federer, who obliterated Tomic so completely last year that it sent Tomic's whole life into a tail spin. I want to see if that beating serves Tomic as motivation or if he Sonny Liston's the rematch.

Dimitrov, man, if he can get through Benneteau (which should be an awesome looking match) then he can do some damage. Maybe face Hewitt in the 3rd round. I just don't see Lleyton getting past Tipsarevic. I haven't watched any of the Kooyong matches, but you can't help but get the feeling that the top guys were working on their games and Hewitt was chasing down every ball. Delpo and Berdych probably didn't want to kill themselves in an exo. But hey, if Hewitt gets past Tipsy, then the draw is open. That quarter is wide open. Djokovic got a very soft half.

If Dolgopolov manages to get past Monfils without incident, he's got a great shot at making it to a fourth round showdown with Murray. The highest seed in his section is Simon, and Dog has owned him.

The wish list for the Aussie Open:
-Del Potro/Murray quarterfinal. They haven't played in forever, both a playing at or near career peaks.
-Anybody but Ferrer coming out of the second quarter. Can anyone be expected to stay up to watch Ferrer get squashed again?
-that Federer and Davydenko's second round match is half as good as their 2010 classic.
-A Gasquet/Haas esthetically pleasing third rounder. Hopefully Gasquet will make another good run here, this time without running into Ferrer in full on pusher in heat mode.
-Ferrer doesn't make the semifinals

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Old 01-13-2013, 12:54 AM   #763
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Yeah, third round for Tomic will be a mountain to climb. It'll be interesting how he keeps up his momentum after winning the Apia (great three set victory over Anderson). Even if he's playing well right now his problem against Fed is it seems like he has nothing that can really hurt him. Sure he'll probably get some games, etc, but in the long run? I dunno.

That's the beauty about tennis though - you never know. Obviously I see Fed winning that potential third round encounter but I'd like to see Tomic really take it to him like he does/did against Novak.

Hewitt/Janko are both coming off title wins heading into next week so they're both riding high. I really liked what I saw from Hewitt against Delpo. The depth, speed, returns, angles...he played the perfect match really. Pulling off an upset against Janko at his home slam would be special.

With Monfils it depends if the showman Monfils shows up or if he means business. Ferrer dismantled him at Auckland. I still give it to Dog. (partially biased )

Everytime I see Ferrer I think of the quote "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog." Kudos to him to where he's at in the rankings and what he's been able to achieve. He owns guys bigger than him and has had stellar runs...but can't get past Novak or Roger. He's one of my fave players but I feel the same about having someone else in the semis.

I just can't wait!

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Old 01-13-2013, 09:10 PM   #764
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So much for Dimitrov. Got straight-setted by Benneteau. 4, 2, and 4 is pretty pathetic. Chris Fowler asked Sharapova about it and she giggled and rather coldly said he'd be all right. It was a "ah, he'll be fine and I don't really give a crap" response. It's all about her tennis, her outfit, and Sugarpova.

Tomic, I mean, even Federer laughed him off before their match last year saying something like, "I've seen a slice backhand before." That's a novel stroke now since only like five or six guys in the Top 100 hit it both technically and tactically well. And, basically no one on the WTA knows how to use a slice. It still blows my mind that Sam Stosur pretty well upended Serena Williams using a slice which killed Serena's flat power strokes dead in the net, and forced her to hit a bunch of lame duck rally balls that Stosur crushed with her forehand. Strategy, who'd have thunk it making a brief cameo on the current women's tour.

I digress, yeah Tomic can't really hurt Federer. His slice isn't a good shot because Federer has a better slice with more varieties, if he takes it down the line, Federer handles it easily because his cross court forehand naturally has plenty of topspin so that hitting up isn't an issue. Tomic's forehand has the same problem that Murray's does, it's too long a stroke. Djokovic, Federer, and Nadal can get their forehands off in a hurry. They can run around the backhand with ease and more spectacularly hit jaw dropping running forehands, but Tomic can't do it as well because there's just too much going on in his back swing. It's still hard for Murray to just "go" off that wing.

If he can serve and return awesome like he did against Djokovic, that always helps. He played brilliant first strike tennis against an opportunistic grinder. But Tomic is like a poor man's Federer, with less variety, tamer forehand, worse conditioning, and inferior defense. He should pray for an upset. Which I think is going to happen this year, Federer won't make the quarterfinals at a grand slam this year.

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Old 01-14-2013, 01:20 PM   #765
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The Australian Open has begun!

Sad day for the aussies on the first day. Here's some results:

Maria Sharapova (Rus) [2] beat Olga Puchkova (Rus) 6-0 6-0
Samantha Stosur (Aus) [9] beat Kai-Chen Chang (Tpe) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3
Novak Djokovic (Ser) [1] beat Paul-Henri Mathieu (Fra) 6-2 6-4 7-5
Janko Tipsarevic (Ser) [8] beat Lleyton Hewitt (Aus) 6-7 5-7 3-6
Ana Ivanovic (Ser) [13] beat Melinda Czink (Hun) 6-2 6-1
Venus Williams (US) [25] beat Galina Voskoboeva (Kaz) 6-1 6-0
Fernando Verdasco (Spa) [22] beat David Goffin (Bel) 6-3 3-6 4-6 6-3 6-4
Dominika Cibulkova (Svk) [15] beat Ashleigh Barty (Aus) 3-6 6-0 6-1
David Ferrer (Spa) [4] beat Olivier Rochus (Bel) 6-3 6-4 6-2
Li Na (Chn) [6] beat Sesil Karatantcheva (Kaz) 6-1 6-3
Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol) [4] beat Bojana Bobusic (Aus) 7-5 6-0
Mikhail Youzhny (Rus) [23] bt Matthew Ebden (Aus) 4-6 6-7 (0-7) 6-2 7-6 (7-4) 6-3
Madison Keys (US) beat Casey Dellacqua (Aus) 4-6 6-7
Marcos Baghdatis (Cyp) [28] beat Albert Ramos (Spa) 6-7 (0-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 3-6 6-3

With the time difference i have to figure out a time to watch this. Not the same enthusiasm for me without rafa though *sigh*.

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Old 01-14-2013, 03:38 PM   #766
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EXTREMELY disappointed with Dimitrov. Like, wow...not just by the loss but the score alone. He was Patrick McEnroe's dark horse and one of my choices as well to atleast make a decent run. But Benneteau must've really picked him apart. I didn't see the match and I don't even think they showed bits of it - but they did spend a few minutes talking about when he'll make a breakthrough. This loss will sting though as he just got a new team apparently. Hope he regroups.

Happy to see Nishikori through in 4 sets but total bummer about Goffin going down in 5 to Verdasco. Despite looking like he's 15 Goffin can really take a good crack at it. And although I don't like Harrison all that much it's nice to see a young player move on to the second round after beating Giraldo who had 2-0 lead on him head to head. Giraldo beat himself though - too many errors and he was getting annoyed waaaaay too many times/easily. Harrison better hope he can get a set off Novak in round 2 because Novak looked VERY sharp against Mathieu. Good luck Ryan, you'll need it.

Really glad Janowicz also won his first round match. After his run at the Paris Masters he showed he's another young player with enormous talent/potential. Gilbert thinks he can break into the top 10 and if (big if) he can keep up his form I can see it happening. Big game.

And you nailed it in regards to Tomic, Sakuraba.

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Old 01-14-2013, 09:36 PM   #767
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Serena cruises 60 60 despite taking a bad fall...never stopped her dominance. 7th seed Errani upset by Navarro and Date Krumm at age 42 upsets Petrova (12th seed) 62 60.

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Old 01-15-2013, 09:24 AM   #768
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Down goes The Dog! Monfils won in 4 sets. Man...I hope Tennis Channel shows the match. Happy to see Monfils returning to the game strong even though Dolgopolov was another player I wanted to see have a good Aussie Open.

Tomic and Gasquet advance pretty comfortably - but Klizan, who had a good 2012, is taken out by Daniel Brands.

For the women both Stephens and Robson looked great.

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Old 01-16-2013, 12:48 AM   #769
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Man, Zheng is such a fighter. Stosur serving for it...again.

Edit: 5 all!

Edit 2: Just incredible. Stosur had the chance of closing it out twice and still couldn't do it. Zheng rallies back to win the match and Stosur double faults on match point. Tough loss for Sam..just hasn't had the greatest of luck in her home slam. Credit to Zheng for hanging in there - second time she's beaten Stosur this year.

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Old 01-16-2013, 08:14 PM   #770
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Watched the replay of Djokovic vs. Harrison and wasn't surprised at how much Novak was hammering the forehand side of Harrison. His forehand is easy pickings for the top guys and I'm glad people like McEnroe and Gilbert have said Harrison is too defensive. A 6-1 6-2 6-3 loss isn't a great display - even Novak looked to have a little laugh between certain points.

If Harrison wants to have any success against the world's best he's going to need to do some repackaging. Doubt he'll change much but those who hyped the match as "a great chance" for Ryan were waaaaaaay off. Novak dismantled him. It was like a fly trying to knock down a tree.

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Old 01-16-2013, 11:38 PM   #771
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Someone needs to get ahold of Ryan Harrison and most of the female players and say, "look, you're gonna suck for the next year or maybe two, your ranking will plummet, but when you come back you will be capable of competing for Slams." Then you rework Harrison's forehand and court positioning, and teach the women the art of changing pace and not to toss the ball ten feet in the air for their serves.

Of course that'll never happen, but Ryan Harrison can't finish with that forehand. If you're going to be a baseliner in 2012, you have to be able to hit winners off that end and be able to play tactically with that shot. It's a rally ball stroke, that he hits with topspin and often lands short because he's hitting right next the line judge. Short balls that sit up, who doesn't love hitting those? His inability to even approach the baseline is a shame because he actually is a quality volleyer by today's standards.

In fairness, I think that's about all he could do against Djokovic yesterday as he played some of his most aggressive tennis.

Nightwing, I'm concerned about the lack of quality, early round matches. Usually there's something entertaining in the first two rounds. Maybe Davydenko and Federer can give us something worth seeing.

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Old 01-17-2013, 01:29 AM   #772
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakuraba View Post
Of course that'll never happen, but Ryan Harrison can't finish with that forehand. If you're going to be a baseliner in 2012, you have to be able to hit winners off that end and be able to play tactically with that shot. It's a rally ball stroke, that he hits with topspin and often lands short because he's hitting right next the line judge. Short balls that sit up, who doesn't love hitting those? His inability to even approach the baseline is a shame because he actually is a quality volleyer by today's standards.


All that plus he gets caught too many times not being able to do the full stroke when someone like Novak out paces him and the shots he hits have so much depth. And by cutting the stroke the ball either lands in the middle or it becomes a looping ball anyone can redirect. At times Harrison is able to get away with it and hit winners, etc, but like I said - for guys like Novak it's easy pickings. As the match went on sometimes it felt like a practice match.

So far the only part of Harrison's game that's big is his serve and I do agree on his net game. There's just a few things he needs to work on if he wants to live up to being the next American hopeful.

It is amazing though how many young players have shown up for this AO. More in the women's side then men...At 17 Madison Keys looks like she already belongs and hits a big ball. Wonder how she'll do against Kerber.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakuraba
Nightwing, I'm concerned about the lack of quality, early round matches. Usually there's something entertaining in the first two rounds. Maybe Davydenko and Federer can give us something worth seeing.
I hear ya. Most of the top seeds are looking really strong so I don't expect them to be challenged all too much. Although Stosur's fall still gets me after the chances she had... But so far the two best second round matches took place today with Tomic and Brands and Duckworth/Kavcic. Tomic/Brands was really close with Bernie getting the W 10-8 in the fourth set tie breaker. Duckworth/Kavcic went 5 sets and lasted over 4 hours with Kavcic winning 10-8 in the fifth. Tough match with both guys giving it their all.

Hopefully Fed/Davydenko bring it - especially with how well Davydenko's playing.

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Old 01-17-2013, 02:49 AM   #773
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Fed already up 5-2...

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Old 01-17-2013, 10:00 AM   #774
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Default Re: The Tennis Thread - Part 2

That was uneventful. The best part of that match was Federer's ensemble, easily his best outfit since the French Open last year. He's gotten so conservative with some of his gear and he wears way too many variations of electric blue. Not crazy about the lapel but still, great outfit.

Oh yeah, the tennis. Federer/Tomic is going to be a lot better this year. That was a proper preparatory performance from Tomic yesterday (as opposed to the silly yet entertaining slicefest he played with Dolgopolov last year), he took care of his serve and came up with some big aces, he made the extra effort to chase down some would-be winners and he ran around several backhands... to hit a stinging forehand.

He hit a lot of wide serves into the deuce court that were killing Brands. We'll see if he can position that shot well and tries to serve into Federer's forehand.

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Old 01-17-2013, 10:42 PM   #775
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Default Re: The Tennis Thread - Part 2

Pam Shriver just insisted that Venus "really go after her second serves." Gee Pam, why don't you just ask her to double fault the match away. She has an inconsistent first serve because her point of contact is all over the place, and because of that she has a genuinely terrible second serve.

It's such a desperate bit of advice

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