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Post by laverfan on Sat 07 May 2016, 3:12 pm

First topic message reminder :

What a draw!

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/scores/current/rome/416/draws

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Post by socal1976 on Mon 16 May 2016, 4:58 am

Nore Staat wrote:
JuliusHMarx wrote:
Nore Staat wrote:General comment.  I think it is unwise to be making public allegations (such as racism) against people unable to defend themselves against that allegation.

In general, I'd agree, but the evidence is in the Archive section that Admins/Mods have.

Probably best to draw a line under it and move on.
JHM & Socal: I was unaware of the background but this is not a court of law.  I Agree it is best to draw a line under it.

No and even if it was a court of law any reasonable standard of proof would have seen Jahu convicted by now. Its easy for you and JHM to say but you didn't have the guy claim that you were an Ahmadinejad fan, or that you were predisposed to wanting to f--k your own sister because you were middle eastern. Frankly, I would have permanently banned the guy a long time ago. I actually don't think he was a bad intentioned person, just too stupid to figure out how to be funny without being completely offensive in a manner that violated the rules of this site. Hell I have been banned as well but I never I have stooped to that level, Ill call someone an idiot or something like that but I won't go that far.

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Post by Haddie-nuff on Mon 16 May 2016, 6:38 am

IMBL

You make it sound like he is getting over an injury.
He lost a tournament its not life threatening.
I wouldn't count on the fact that it will be too comfortable at RG though Wink

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Post by bogbrush on Mon 16 May 2016, 8:20 am

socal1976 wrote:
Nore Staat wrote:
JuliusHMarx wrote:
Nore Staat wrote:General comment.  I think it is unwise to be making public allegations (such as racism) against people unable to defend themselves against that allegation.

In general, I'd agree, but the evidence is in the Archive section that Admins/Mods have.

Probably best to draw a line under it and move on.
JHM & Socal: I was unaware of the background but this is not a court of law.  I Agree it is best to draw a line under it.

No and even if it was a court of law any reasonable standard of proof would have seen Jahu convicted by now. Its easy for you and JHM to say but you didn't have the guy claim that you were an Ahmadinejad fan, or that you were predisposed to wanting to f--k your own sister because you were middle eastern. Frankly, I would have permanently banned the guy a long time ago. I actually don't think he was a bad intentioned person, just too stupid to figure out how to be funny without being completely offensive in a manner that violated the rules of this site. Hell I have been banned as well but I never I have stooped to that level, Ill call someone an idiot or something like that but I won't go that far.
Serious honest question; did those statements actually injure you? Dud they cause you distress?

I ask because the modern phenomenon of word crime fascinates me. Personally, i can't imagine anyone being able to impact me in that way. A little bit of personal info here - I come from a famous if controversial part of England, one which often attracts stereotyping and criticism. Yet if anyone were to level those comments - or other stereotypes - at me I wouldn't care a jot unless I really valued that persons opinion. I assume you don't value Jahu.

There's no agenda to this question, I just want to know a bit more about the offence-taking culture and this is an opportunity to do so.
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Post by bogbrush on Mon 16 May 2016, 8:23 am

Nore Staat wrote:It's called emotional investment: time spent following and studying a player or a team.  There are what are known as opportunity costs: that time could have been spent doing something more productive, like working overtime, writing a book, or learning how to skip to the light fandango for pulling members of the opposite sex and generally gaining kudos points from your competitors.  All these things need to be taken into account in the calculus of the emotional grief and the gnashing of teeth.  

Of course on the plus side of the ledger is the opportunity to hone one's commentating and debating skills plus the benefits of developing social skills and social networks in engaging with people with a shared interest but different backgrounds, experiences and talents.
I have, for a long time, used the following yardstick: if I find I'm getting so involved in sport that I struggle with the experience, then I conclude that my real World life has become a bit too quiet and I need to up my game.

I've been so busy these last two years that sport has got to its proper place, and I'm happier with it there.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 16 May 2016, 8:33 am

Just for the record, though I am saying chinks are there for Novak he will still go into RG as a warm favourite. I suppose the chinks mean other contenders head to RG with a few more percent of hope and belief.
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Post by lydian on Mon 16 May 2016, 9:07 am

Emotional investment is a tough one to define...and ignore I find no matter how busy 'one' is.
But BB, with Fed on a general downward curve it must be hard for you to reach the same levels of "investment" anyway?
I'm sure if Fed was now in his prime you would find the time amongst your work to be more connected to his game and others as a consequence. I think for all of us with an interest in 1 particular player the game will be hard to follow for a while afterwards...or until the next great thing comes along which might not be for another 10-20 years!

Re: Djokovic yesterday, you have to feel he was a busted flush, particularly mentally. Its not surprising really. Nonethless, overall Rome hasn't been a particularly good experience for him even though he reached the final because all its done is raise doubts. "Nadal seems to be coming back"..."Kei pushed me all the way"..."I dropped a bagel to Belluci - how?"...."Murray seems all fired up now"...."Paris is just around the corner - got to win it, could this be my last chance...". May all be thoughts flowing around his head.

Either way, there are lots of things to reflect on as he heads to Paris. I suspect he's so tired right now that his emotional stress may well run into Paris, its not going to be easy to steady himself over the next fortnight, so a big test for sure. If he wins RG he'll have done it under difficult entry circumstances. However, if he has a couple of tough rounds early on then I feel his chances will be greatly diminished as he's showing the cracks are starting to affect him.
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Post by Guest on Mon 16 May 2016, 9:20 am

bogbrush wrote:
Nore Staat wrote:It's called emotional investment: time spent following and studying a player or a team.  There are what are known as opportunity costs: that time could have been spent doing something more productive, like working overtime, writing a book, or learning how to skip to the light fandango for pulling members of the opposite sex and generally gaining kudos points from your competitors.  All these things need to be taken into account in the calculus of the emotional grief and the gnashing of teeth.  

Of course on the plus side of the ledger is the opportunity to hone one's commentating and debating skills plus the benefits of developing social skills and social networks in engaging with people with a shared interest but different backgrounds, experiences and talents.
I have, for a long time, used the following yardstick: if I find I'm getting so involved in sport that I struggle with the experience, then I conclude that my real World life has become a bit too quiet and I need to up my game.

I've been so busy these last two years that sport has got to its proper place, and I'm happier with it there.
That's a reasonable solution.  Same can be said in getting hooked onto television soaps and / or reality television.  Also "overthinking" - which can lead to anxiety and psychosis.  All are indications that you haven't invested enough time in "real life".  For business people - action  and the need to act are critical components for success. In science there is a balance between empiricism and theory. Theoreticians can get drawn away from reality. Same with ideology - political or religious.

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Post by temporary21 on Mon 16 May 2016, 9:29 am

Getting invested is no bad thing. If it goes too far ofc and you start to hate people who beat your favourite player even though you know nothing about them, then it may well be a good time to check other sports or activities to take a step back

You start to appreciate and respect All the players of the sport when you do, and it becomes far more enjoyable.

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Post by temporary21 on Mon 16 May 2016, 9:31 am

Two tennis related things
1) did murray drop a set this week? I can't remember

2) how far ahead is he if Roger now? It's gotta nearly over 1000

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Post by Born Slippy on Mon 16 May 2016, 9:34 am

No and 1420.

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Post by lydian on Mon 16 May 2016, 9:38 am

Interesting thoughts Nore. I tend to find that if you're the kind of person who really "gets" into things then you'll tend to butterfly what that focus is...sport, work, family...they're not all mutually exclusive. Its like saying you can only love 1 child or person type thing...a singular emotional investment isn't needed. Its all about degree...if your fave player has lost and you're not capable of work the next day then yes that's an issue...but I think most of us absorb the win/defeat and move on with other things anyway. However, for many people around the globe with little going on in their lives beyond family then its arguable sports like football/other give them that sense of achievement they lack professionally. This is where the line then becomes blurred, when you're proxy'ing your sense of achievement onto a sports star.
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Post by lydian on Mon 16 May 2016, 9:48 am

It has to be said Murray wont get much better Masters draws (or weather conditions vs. opponents) than the one he had last week...Kukushkin > Chardy > Goffin > Pouille > Djokovic. The gods were clearly lining up an excellent birthday present. But hey, he made the best of it so well done to him. I think a lot will depend on the weather in Paris for Murray's chances there. If its hot and dry then it'll be much harder for him because yesterday's cold/damp conditions made it much more hardcourt like which suits his strokes. Of course this applies in the opposite direction for Nadal. Federer will probably like it medium-warm and dry as the ball will fly through the air more. Novak similarly but he doesn't worry about high balls to the BH side like Fed does...and his Western FH grip can cope more easily on that wing too. In general, Djokovic is usually more weather-agnostic compared to the others, I just think he had a mare of a week at Rome.
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Post by bogbrush on Mon 16 May 2016, 9:48 am

lydian wrote:Emotional investment is a tough one to define...and ignore I find no matter how busy 'one' is.
But BB, with Fed on a general downward curve it must be hard for you to reach the same levels of "investment" anyway?
I'm sure if Fed was now in his prime you would find the time amongst your work to be more connected to his game and others as a consequence. I think for all of us with an interest in 1 particular player the game will be hard to follow for a while afterwards...or until the next great thing comes along which might not be for another 10-20 years!
That's fair, and I considered it in what I typed. I do think it's a factor, though I know from previous experience in other sports that the inverse relationship to real World activity has held up (in football, for instance).
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Post by temporary21 on Mon 16 May 2016, 9:50 am

Wow so murray is already above the magic 1200 line...

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Post by bogbrush on Mon 16 May 2016, 9:52 am

lydian wrote:It has to be said Murray wont get much better Masters draws (or weather conditions vs. opponents) than the one he had last week...Kukushkin > Chardy > Goffin > Pouille > Djokovic. The gods were clearly lining up an excellent birthday present. But hey, he made the best of it so well done to him. I think a lot will depend on the weather in Paris for Murray's chances there. If its hot and dry then it'll be much harder for him because yesterday's cold/damp conditions made it much more hardcourt like which suits his strokes. Of course this applies in the opposite direction for Nadal. Federer will probably like it medium-warm and dry as the ball will fly through the air more. Novak similarly but he doesn't worry about high balls to the BH side like Fed does...and his Western FH grip can cope more easily on that wing too. In general, Djokovic is usually more weather-agnostic compared to the others, I just think he had a mare of a week at Rome.
Absolutely; the stars aligned for this one. Things is, there's no reason they can't do so again now he's secure in #2 and the rankings don't denote clay threat so well.

I've not checked the weather forecast but I think wet is kryptonite to Federer and Nadal (not that Federer is a contender here any more), but don't forget wind hurting Djokovic. Cool, damp, blowy conditions are Murrays dream scenario.
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Post by lydian on Mon 16 May 2016, 9:59 am

Indeed...its all a matter of degree. If you're really busy at work then it snuffs out time for sports investment anyway I find. As a large bunch of ABC1s achievers on here (as I suspect 'most' tennis fans are...not all), most of us will be used to prioritising what needs to be done. However, if there's a key match on during a busy period I will find time. However, to counter myself (lol), I find I'm Sky recording a lot of matches these days...and not all I actually watch. I am generally losing interest with the game (cue...Socal's wrath) it has to be said, I just don't get the same highs as before. I wonder if there's a bunch of us who dined out during the golden period of tennis...say 2005-2012ish...and its just not the same since somehow. Or maybe our lives move on to the extent where tennis/sport just doesn't 'hit' the same as before.

Agree on cold/damp/windy (aka Dunblane conditions...) for Murray. If Djokovic gets knocked out early though and its good conditions then its not inconceivable that Federer has a great run...you just never know with him such is his talent. For any one else having this time out I would say no chance to get more than 2-3 matches but Fed can be so quick to hit form on return that you never know. He can definitely beat Murray...and if Nadal isn't 100% and who knows with him these days then he could run deep. Don't give up on him just yet...altho' RG probably better warm up for SW19 admittedly where he still has chances.
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Post by Born Slippy on Mon 16 May 2016, 10:06 am

Murray won't want it windy. That has a big impact on his serve which he needs to keep at current level to have any shot against Novak. He won't have the confidence to be bombing down 105 mph second serves in the wind. Windy conditions are ideal for Rafa whose game style is largely uneffected by it.

The critical point for RG really is the draw or more specifically where Rafa and Kei fall, as I see those two plus Novak and Andy being a substantial amount clear of the rest of the field. Ideally, they will be in Fed and Stan's quarters, so we get balanced semis.

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Post by Calder106 on Mon 16 May 2016, 10:08 am

This is where I get confused. Madrid was meant to be good for Murray because of the thin air and high bounce making it faster. Rome was going to be different and was but now favours Murray as well. I would have thought wet weather would make it slower with a lower bounce.


The draw and schedule obviously opened up for him but as stated he did what he needed to by not getting caught up in long matches earlier in the tournament and then sticking to his game plan and keeping full focus in the final.

Why does Wawrinka only turn up for a couple of weeks a year ? His frequent early exits make these draws become very lopsided. A Murray Wawrinka semi would have been good to see.

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Post by banbrotam on Mon 16 May 2016, 10:14 am

bogbrush wrote:
lydian wrote:It has to be said Murray wont get much better Masters draws (or weather conditions vs. opponents) than the one he had last week...Kukushkin > Chardy > Goffin > Pouille > Djokovic. The gods were clearly lining up an excellent birthday present. But hey, he made the best of it so well done to him. I think a lot will depend on the weather in Paris for Murray's chances there. If its hot and dry then it'll be much harder for him because yesterday's cold/damp conditions made it much more hardcourt like which suits his strokes. Of course this applies in the opposite direction for Nadal. Federer will probably like it medium-warm and dry as the ball will fly through the air more. Novak similarly but he doesn't worry about high balls to the BH side like Fed does...and his Western FH grip can cope more easily on that wing too. In general, Djokovic is usually more weather-agnostic compared to the others, I just think he had a mare of a week at Rome.
Absolutely; the stars aligned for this one. Things is, there's no reason they can't do so again now he's secure in #2 and the rankings don't denote clay threat so well.

I've not checked the weather forecast but I think wet is kryptonite to Federer and Nadal (not that Federer is a contender here any more), but don't forget wind hurting Djokovic. Cool, damp, blowy conditions are Murrays dream scenario.


I don't get this view that Murray's best scenario is just cool conditions, when playing Novak. Or that Novak is "weather agnostic". We seem to be forgetting what Novak is like in hot conditions against his rivals. Admittedly these conditions rarely occur and so could be argued to be meaningless, but Andy would surely pay good money to have the Wimby 2013 weather at every match he plays against Djoko

So, say a hot and hence faster RG final, against Murray, is going to favour Novak? Well there's a first time for everything I suppose

I think we forget that Murray looked gormless against Roger at last years SW19 event, simply because the conditions were exactly what Roger wanted. I still maintain that the GOAT would have beaten Novak on that Friday - remember Sunday was substantially cooler

Whilst I understand the thinking about who the wind favours, if it's cool then that is counter acts any wind and favours Novak

Since 2011, I can't think of a single Slam win of Novak's that came in any kind of uncomfortable heat. Even last years final was warm enough not to make him feel totally at ease

Certainly cool conditions are terrible for Roger

I'm always a bit surprised at how many, with the exception of bogbrush, don't seem to realise that the weather conditions are a big factor in matches with the Top 3 (not the only one of course!!). You swap the Friday and Sunday weather at Wimbledon last year and I'd wager either Andy or Roger would have won the event

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Post by banbrotam on Mon 16 May 2016, 10:18 am

Calder106 wrote:This is where I get confused. Madrid was meant to be good for Murray because of the thin air and high bounce making it faster. Rome was going to be different and was but now favours Murray as well.  I would have thought wet weather would make it slower with a lower bounce.


Exactly. In matches with Novak, the slower the conditions the more it favours Novak. This was the first win of Andy's that I can remember, that was not in quick (not necessarily the quickest) conditions

The bounce isn't really an issue, when these two play i.e. it's Rafa who benefits from a higher bounce - but probably a lower bounce marginally favours Andy

However, normally Andy gets pasted by Novak in yesterday's conditons

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Mon 16 May 2016, 10:28 am

Yes Murray had an easier draw which opened up further, but if you look at the first two rounds, Murray beat Kukushkin 6-3 6-3 and Chardy 6-0 6-4 while Djokovic struggled past Robert 7-5 7-5 and of course got bagelled by Belucci, so the signs were there early on. Murray was good enough to take advantage of his easier draw by cruising through it, something he hasn't always been able to do in the past.

Worth noting that Murray didn't drop more than 6 games in any of his matches, the closest he got to dropping a set being the 7-5 against Goffin. Sometimes you get that bit of good fortune with the draw, it happens to everyone, but you have to be good enough to take advantage, and Murray was.

Anyway, looking ahead to RG for a bit. Certainly three players fairly comfortably above the rest in the clay season so far in Djokovic, Nadal, and Murray, with Nishikori a bit further back, and no one else anywhere really. Murray is 1-1 with both Djokovic and Nadal, backed up by good (straight sets) wins against Goffin, Berdych, Raonic. SF, F, W in the three Masters probably makes him just the form horse. Djokovic won the only encounter against Nadal (a tight one), and has beaten Nishikori in a couple of close matches.

Tend to agree the draw could play a big part. Where Nishikori and Nadal end up could make a big difference...

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Post by HM Murdock on Mon 16 May 2016, 10:38 am

bogbrush wrote:I have, for a long time, used the following yardstick: if I find I'm getting so involved in sport that I struggle with the experience, then I conclude that my real World life has become a bit too quiet and I need to up my game.
My sentiments exactly.

There's a line between being engaged in a sporting encounter and letting your emotions be dictated by it.

To my enormous frustration, it's a line I flirt with far too frequently!

With that in mind, my intention is to completely avoid engaging with Roland Garros. I can't see any way that I don't end up sliding into gibbering lunacy, so the wiser course is to just check the results at the end of the tournament. As  this means I'll probably be absent from this forum for the period, I'll offer some thoughts now.

Novak probably retains his position as favourite but he doesn't look in great nick to me. Admittedly, he didn't look very good in Canada or Cincy last year but still managed to win USO. The difference between now and then is the tantrums. Despite the patchy form in the US last year, he seemed relatively calm. Now he looks very irritable. If he does win this year, it will be through grit and grind and he'll need a decent draw and temperate weather.

The form player is Murray. He's been good all clay season but I was especially impressed by his form in Rome. I think he has an excellent chance to win. My main doubt was about whether he can take 3 sets off Novak on clay. I now he think he can.

Rafa will be in the mix but I don't see him winning. His form is definitely on the up but I think he's still having too many dips and still getting too tense in some big moments. But he's going to be a nightmare quarterfinal for someone!

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Post by Haddie-nuff on Mon 16 May 2016, 10:46 am

I have to admire your level headed posts HMM I know what an ardent fan you are of Novak but you do not get too emotional about it, (not in your posts at least).
I would not put any money on any single player for RG.
I like all fans of a particular player hope and wish .. but I do not expect.

However Novak has said even when Rafa was playing less well than he is now, that he is the man to beat on clay over 5 SETS. He becomes a different animal and therefore to discount his chances would be a big mistake by anyone imo

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Post by Born Slippy on Mon 16 May 2016, 10:47 am

On a separate note, by the time the next Masters rolls around the youngest winner (Novak) will be 29 - a position he has held for 9 years. Incredible - it can't last until he is 30 surely?

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Post by banbrotam on Mon 16 May 2016, 10:55 am

HM Murdock wrote:
bogbrush wrote:I have, for a long time, used the following yardstick: if I find I'm getting so involved in sport that I struggle with the experience, then I conclude that my real World life has become a bit too quiet and I need to up my game.
My sentiments exactly.

There's a line between being engaged in a sporting encounter and letting your emotions be dictated by it.

To my enormous frustration, it's a line I flirt with far too frequently!

With that in mind, my intention is to completely avoid engaging with Roland Garros. I can't see any way that I don't end up sliding into gibbering lunacy, so the wiser course is to just check the results at the end of the tournament. As  this means I'll probably be absent from this forum for the period, I'll offer some thoughts now.

Novak probably retains his position as favourite but he doesn't look in great nick to me. Admittedly, he didn't look very good in Canada or Cincy last year but still managed to win USO. The difference between now and then is the tantrums. Despite the patchy form in the US last year, he seemed relatively calm. Now he looks very irritable. If he does win this year, it will be through grit and grind and he'll need a decent draw and temperate weather.

The form player is Murray. He's been good all clay season but I was especially impressed by his form in Rome. I think he has an excellent chance to win. My main doubt was about whether he can take 3 sets off Novak on clay. I now he think he can.

Rafa will be in the mix but I don't see him winning. His form is definitely on the up but I think he's still having too many dips and still getting too tense in some big moments. But he's going to be a nightmare quarterfinal for someone!
]


Clearly, the three are far closer than any of us imagined 6 weeks ago. I actually favour Rafa, simply because he will be the sentimental favourite at RG, who I seem to remember have never warmed to Novak (I could be wrong).

But as usual when there are three close favourites, it's the draw and the weather conditions that are often a big factor

I'm not convinced that Novak will do it this year - but I was last, so what do I know!!

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Post by HM Murdock on Mon 16 May 2016, 11:00 am

Haddie-nuff wrote:I have to admire your level headed posts HMM I know what an ardent fan you are of Novak but you do not get too emotional about it, (not in your posts at least).
Thanks Haddie. If you could see the weeping and wailing that takes place before I type though, the illusion would be shattered!
Haddie-nuff wrote:However Novak has said even when Rafa was playing less well than he is now, that he is the man to beat on clay over 5 SETS. He becomes a different animal and therefore to discount his chances would be a big mistake by anyone imo
My take on Rafa is that the peaks of his game have got back close to the level we typically associate with him but he hasn't yet sorted out the troughs. I'm still seeing him get a bit tense on serve and he still seems to have little patches where his forehand loses calibration. In his match against Novak last week, it was as much a case of Rafa losing it as Novak winning it.

If his consistency improves, then yes, he has a plausible chance at RG.

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Post by HM Murdock on Mon 16 May 2016, 11:03 am

banbrotam wrote:Clearly, the three are far closer than any of us imagined 6 weeks ago. I actually favour Rafa, simply because he will be the sentimental favourite at RG, who I seem to remember have never warmed to Novak (I could be wrong).
I'd say Rafa is probably the least favourite with the crowd at RG! Respect rather than love.

Novak only seems to get love from them when he loses.

I actually think they'd get behind Murray should he reach the final (as long as he's not against a French player or Federer!).

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Post by Haddie-nuff on Mon 16 May 2016, 11:07 am

HM Murdock wrote:
Haddie-nuff wrote:I have to admire your level headed posts HMM I know what an ardent fan you are of Novak but you do not get too emotional about it, (not in your posts at least).
Thanks Haddie. If you could see the weeping and wailing that takes place before I type though, the illusion would be shattered!
Haddie-nuff wrote:However Novak has said even when Rafa was playing less well than he is now, that he is the man to beat on clay over 5 SETS. He becomes a different animal and therefore to discount his chances would be a big mistake by anyone imo
My take on Rafa is that the peaks of his game have got back close to the level we typically associate with him but he hasn't yet sorted out the troughs. I'm still seeing him get a bit tense on serve and he still seems to have little patches where his forehand loses calibration. In his match against Novak last week, it was as much a case of Rafa losing it as Novak winning it.

If his consistency improves, then yes, he has a plausible chance at RG.

Every slam is unpredictable but I would suggest that this one in particular asks a lot of questions. There are too many if's might's and maybe's to answer and its all on the day.. we cannot discount unexpected losses and therefore the whole scene can change over two weeks. But my seat behind the sofa awaits I have decided to keep a couple of bottles and a box of tissues handy!!! Laugh

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Post by Born Slippy on Mon 16 May 2016, 11:09 am

There will be even more uncertainty at Wimbledon, when the likes of Federer, Kyrgios and Raonic will also be in the mix!

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Post by HM Murdock on Mon 16 May 2016, 11:12 am

Haddie-nuff wrote:Every slam is unpredictable but I would suggest that this one in particular asks a lot of questions.
Yes, I agree.

I always thought the idea that Novak was the clear favourite at RG was overstated, but it has become a much closer race in recent weeks.

Great for the neutral, agony for the fan!

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Post by Haddie-nuff on Mon 16 May 2016, 11:13 am

HM Murdock wrote:
banbrotam wrote:Clearly, the three are far closer than any of us imagined 6 weeks ago. I actually favour Rafa, simply because he will be the sentimental favourite at RG, who I seem to remember have never warmed to Novak (I could be wrong).
I'd say Rafa is probably the least favourite with the crowd at RG! Respect rather than love.

Novak only seems to get love from them when he loses.

I actually think they'd get behind Murray should he reach the final (as long as he's not against a French player or Federer!).

I think Ive mentioned this before it is not Rafa per se.. the French do not like the Spanish (I know I live with it) and vice versa
Seemingly many countries that share a border have similar problems.
But Rafa will be even less popular this year because of his law suit Rolling Eyes However I think he has become used to it.. he has won 9 times in spite of his unpopularity !!!!
Novak on the other hand seems to attract his countrymen wherever he goes Wink

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Post by lydian on Mon 16 May 2016, 11:20 am

Calder106 wrote:This is where I get confused. Madrid was meant to be good for Murray because of the thin air and high bounce making it faster. Rome was going to be different and was but now favours Murray as well.  I would have thought wet weather would make it slower with a lower bounce.


The draw and schedule obviously opened up for him  but as stated he did what he needed to by not getting caught up in long matches earlier in the tournament and then sticking to his game plan and keeping full focus in the final.  

Why does Wawrinka only turn up for a couple of weeks a year ? His frequent early exits make these draws become very lopsided. A Murray Wawrinka semi would have been good to see.
In my experience of watching Madrid it rarely bounces high, if anything the balls fly through the air and skid through, the surface always appear very slippery there vs. MC/Rome/RG.
Yep Murray took advantage of a good draw...not his fault it fell that way and as commented elsewhere Djokovic made tough work of the draw early on too.
No idea re: Stan, he's a bit of an enigma to be honest.
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Post by lydian on Mon 16 May 2016, 11:27 am

banbrotam wrote:I don't get this view that Murray's best scenario is just cool conditions, when playing Novak. Or that Novak is "weather agnostic". We seem to be forgetting what Novak is like in hot conditions against his rivals.

So, say a hot and hence faster RG final, against Murray, is going to favour Novak? Well there's a first time for everything I suppose

I'm always a bit surprised at how many, with the exception of bogbrush, don't seem to realise that the weather conditions are a big factor in matches with the Top 3 (not the only one of course!!).
The ball stays much lower in cool conditions which suits Murray's semi-western (flatter) grips and slice vs. Novak who likes to hit Western.
When has Novak wilted in any heat since 2011? Yes Novak 1.0 did but not this new Ultron 2.0 version.
I've always stated the weather is important (as have just done on this thread!). Novak hates (hates, hates) the wind...Murray can play with a lot of margin for error and his junk-ball background makes him better at keeping it in play.
Agree on Fed at Wimb...if its anything like near warm/hot then he's got to be a strong contender as his serve can get so many free points.
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Post by lydian on Mon 16 May 2016, 11:28 am

HM Murdock wrote: With that in mind, my intention is to completely avoid engaging with Roland Garros.
Don't blame you HMM, this is not going to be an easy RG being a Novak fan...
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Post by lydian on Mon 16 May 2016, 11:32 am

HM Murdock wrote:I'd say Rafa is probably the least favourite with the crowd at RG! Respect rather than love.
As HN says, what will the Parisian's make of him suing one of "their own"...a French minister based in Paris parliament...no matter that she's completely in the wrong.
Agree they will favour Fed < Murray < Nadal / Djokovic...they just love Federer, always have.
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Post by HM Murdock on Mon 16 May 2016, 11:41 am

lydian wrote:
HM Murdock wrote: With that in mind, my intention is to completely avoid engaging with Roland Garros.
Don't blame you HMM, this is not going to be an easy RG being a Novak fan...
It's become a freak event in the calendar for me.

For instance, I'm looking forward to Wimbledon. I suppose I'll be notionally behind Novak but he's won it three times, so I'm not too invested in him winning again. I'm happy to see some good tennis, whoever wins.

But there's so much baggage with Roland Garros now, that's it become more about the result than the tennis.

And that's a recipe for madness!

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Post by lydian on Mon 16 May 2016, 12:09 pm

I know the feeling HMM, I was a Sampras fan (yeah I know...boring, yawn, etc, lol...lets just say he was a players player) and hated RG coming around because it was the 1 event he hadn't won and you felt he needed a good draw and weather. In 1996 he got it...that was HIS year but then a 5 set grueller from 2 sets down vs Courier in QF (which he won) made him fold easily to his usual whipping boy Kafelnikov in SF...and for sure he would have beat Stich in the final. From 91-98 he had the 4th best clay W:L record (which surprises many) after Muster, Bruguera and Courier so was good enough to win but it didnt come. Just shows that sometimes even for the very best the stars don't align. It felt like last year was similar for Novak in that is was HIS year but somehow/somewhere Stan played tennis from the gods. I really wouldn't want to be in Novak's or your shoes this year because everyone is gunning for him, including seemingly himself now!
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Post by bogbrush on Mon 16 May 2016, 12:26 pm

banbrotam wrote:
bogbrush wrote:
lydian wrote:It has to be said Murray wont get much better Masters draws (or weather conditions vs. opponents) than the one he had last week...Kukushkin > Chardy > Goffin > Pouille > Djokovic. The gods were clearly lining up an excellent birthday present. But hey, he made the best of it so well done to him. I think a lot will depend on the weather in Paris for Murray's chances there. If its hot and dry then it'll be much harder for him because yesterday's cold/damp conditions made it much more hardcourt like which suits his strokes. Of course this applies in the opposite direction for Nadal. Federer will probably like it medium-warm and dry as the ball will fly through the air more. Novak similarly but he doesn't worry about high balls to the BH side like Fed does...and his Western FH grip can cope more easily on that wing too. In general, Djokovic is usually more weather-agnostic compared to the others, I just think he had a mare of a week at Rome.
Absolutely; the stars aligned for this one. Things is, there's no reason they can't do so again now he's secure in #2 and the rankings don't denote clay threat so well.

I've not checked the weather forecast but I think wet is kryptonite to Federer and Nadal (not that Federer is a contender here any more), but don't forget wind hurting Djokovic. Cool, damp, blowy conditions are Murrays dream scenario.


I don't get this view that Murray's best scenario is just cool conditions, when playing Novak. Or that Novak is "weather agnostic". We seem to be forgetting what Novak is like in hot conditions against his rivals. Admittedly these conditions rarely occur and so could be argued to be meaningless, but Andy would surely pay good money to have the Wimby 2013 weather at every match he plays against Djoko

So, say a hot and hence faster RG final, against Murray, is going to favour Novak? Well there's a first time for everything I suppose

I think we forget that Murray looked gormless against Roger at last years SW19 event, simply because the conditions were exactly what Roger wanted. I still maintain that the GOAT would have beaten Novak on that Friday - remember Sunday was substantially cooler

Whilst I understand the thinking about who the wind favours, if it's cool then that is counter acts any wind and favours Novak

Since 2011, I can't think of a single Slam win of Novak's that came in any kind of uncomfortable heat. Even last years final was warm enough not to make him feel totally at ease

Certainly cool conditions are terrible for Roger

I'm always a bit surprised at how many, with the exception of bogbrush, don't seem to realise that the weather conditions are a big factor in matches with the Top 3 (not the only one of course!!). You swap the Friday and Sunday weather at Wimbledon last year and I'd wager either Andy or Roger would have won the event

I think it's about matchups. Take Djokovic,

v Nadal - he want's it damp and cool (no bounce at all)
v Murray he wants it warm
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Post by HM Murdock on Mon 16 May 2016, 12:50 pm

lydian wrote:Just shows that sometimes even for the very best the stars don't align.
Very true.

And in Novak's case, the luck has more than evened out over the course of his career. With only very small changes in fortune, he would have maybe 2-3 fewer AOs and no USO titles at all.

It's just that the bad luck and intangibles that have gone against him seem to have mostly occurred at RG!

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Post by banbrotam on Mon 16 May 2016, 1:21 pm

bogbrush wrote:

I think it's about matchups. Take Djokovic,

v Nadal - he want's it damp and cool (no bounce at all)
v Murray he wants it warm


Agree to a point. However, if it's hot (like we get at a slam for about 5 of the 30 or so days) then he's at a disadvantage to both

Also cool conditions, make Andy's lack of power (compared to Novak) more noticeable. I'm not convinced the lower bounce compensates for this

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Post by sportslover on Mon 16 May 2016, 4:15 pm

Henman Bill wrote:So who had the best clay court season excluding RG. The three masters:

Rafa W-SF-QF
Murray SF-F-W
Djokovic R32-W-F

It's Andy!

Head to head
Murray-Djokovic 1-1
Murray-Nadal 1-1
Djokovic 1-0 Nadal

Federer, Stan just not in the picture here. I'd guess Nishikori was the 4th best.

Who would have thought that possible a few years back, even Andy would haved doubted it, but the improvement in his second serve has improved to a level that can match most and hopefully we have heard the last of those that kept whinging about how bad it was - onwards and upwards!


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Post by bogbrush on Mon 16 May 2016, 4:40 pm

lydian wrote:
HM Murdock wrote:I'd say Rafa is probably the least favourite with the crowd at RG! Respect rather than love.
As HN says, what will the Parisian's make of him suing one of "their own"...a French minister based in Paris parliament...no matter that she's completely in the wrong.
Agree they will favour Fed < Murray < Nadal / Djokovic...they just love Federer, always have.
Anyone sueing a British politician would be a crowd favourite over here but I can't speak for the French.

By the way, think you got your < / > signs mixed up. Wink
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Post by bogbrush on Mon 16 May 2016, 4:44 pm

lydian wrote:
HM Murdock wrote: With that in mind, my intention is to completely avoid engaging with Roland Garros.
Don't blame you HMM, this is not going to be an easy RG being a Novak fan...
I think the first week us key; Djokovic has been turning Asians into one week events, which must be great for energy near the end.

Again, the draw will be crucial. If he gets bunnies he'll go into the quarters fully charged, but if somebody dies a Bellucci or something it can get cumulative.
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Post by socal1976 on Mon 16 May 2016, 4:48 pm

bogbrush wrote:
socal1976 wrote:
Nore Staat wrote:
JuliusHMarx wrote:
Nore Staat wrote:General comment.  I think it is unwise to be making public allegations (such as racism) against people unable to defend themselves against that allegation.

In general, I'd agree, but the evidence is in the Archive section that Admins/Mods have.

Probably best to draw a line under it and move on.
JHM & Socal: I was unaware of the background but this is not a court of law.  I Agree it is best to draw a line under it.

No and even if it was a court of law any reasonable standard of proof would have seen Jahu convicted by now. Its easy for you and JHM to say but you didn't have the guy claim that you were an Ahmadinejad fan, or that you were predisposed to wanting to f--k your own sister because you were middle eastern. Frankly, I would have permanently banned the guy a long time ago. I actually don't think he was a bad intentioned person, just too stupid to figure out how to be funny without being completely offensive in a manner that violated the rules of this site. Hell I have been banned as well but I never I have stooped to that level, Ill call someone an idiot or something like that but I won't go that far.
Serious honest question; did those statements actually injure you? Dud they cause you distress?

I ask because the modern phenomenon of word crime fascinates me. Personally, i can't imagine anyone being able to impact me in that way. A little bit of personal info here - I come from a famous if controversial part of England, one which often attracts stereotyping and criticism. Yet if anyone were to level those comments - or other stereotypes - at me I wouldn't care a jot unless I really valued that persons opinion. I assume you don't value Jahu.

There's no agenda to this question, I just want to know a bit more about the offence-taking culture and this is an opportunity to do so.

Yes, I take offense to racial and religious bigotry directed at me, particularly since I have no religion the religious bigotry ticks me off. Maybe because you are white BB and live in a country that you automatically belong to because of the way you look, your name, and the fact that you were born their and no one can deny you belong there. In the end your life experiences shape your responses, my experiences shape mine. Yes I was offended, no I am not particularly PC. But I wouldn't post here for a second if I thought racism, homophobia, or religious bigotry was tolerated.

And it has nothing to do with Jahu really, I have had to put up with it in courtrooms from racist judges in some country courthouse back in the day treating me like crap because he doesn't like my name. So yes, maybe when I want to have fun I don't want some bigot mouthing off. I think it isn't too much to ask to not say bigoted things on a tennis thread. Maybe if you weren't white and lived with a foreign sounding name among lots of bigots you to would not tolerate it.

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Post by socal1976 on Mon 16 May 2016, 4:59 pm

At the end of the day I think again he is holding on too tight and blowing this tournament out of proportion. The good thing for him is that he will most likely have a couple of rounds against guys that don't have a big chance against him and he can groove his way into the tournament and once he does find it he usually wins the event.

I am not too concerned I think Novak is probably 50-50 to win it. I mean going into a clay tournament with Nadal, Wawrinka, Fed, and having equal or near equal footing with the entire rest of the field is all you can ask for. He really needs to stop getting all bent out of shape over it, hey Novak you know you have 11 of these trophies, relax.

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Post by lydian on Mon 16 May 2016, 5:44 pm

Thanks BB, yes got my maths operators in a twist there. BTW, did you mean "Asians" above?

Yes HMM...certainly Fed wont forget THAT MP which led Novak to the title. I imagine that shot still gives Fed fans shivers...as does THAT easy open-court BH Nadal missed at AO12, when 30-15, 4-2 up in the 5th.
Oh dear...painful even recalling that now. What was that about emotional investment?

Then again I would argue he was robbed by the wind in 2012...so yes evens out if you get there often enough.
The problem for Sampras was that he didn't! But then he never took clay seriously (usually put feet up post-Miami to RG...they wouldn't do that these days) so hardly a surprise. Anyway, Novak needs to avoid mercurial hard-hitters like Belluci in Week 1...not that there's many of those around. But you can bet his drawn opponents will be examining the Vesely / Belluci tapes...
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Post by JuliusHMarx on Mon 16 May 2016, 5:49 pm

lydian wrote:...examining the Vesely / Belluci tapes...

VHS or Beta-max?

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Post by lydian on Mon 16 May 2016, 5:52 pm

Philips LaserDisc Smile

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Post by bogbrush on Mon 16 May 2016, 5:55 pm

lydian wrote:Thanks BB, yes got my maths operators in a twist there. BTW, did you mean "Asians" above?

Yes HMM...certainly Fed wont forget THAT MP which led Novak to the title. I imagine that shot still gives Fed fans shivers...as does THAT easy open-court BH Nadal missed at AO12, when 30-15, 4-2 up in the 5th.
Oh dear...painful even recalling that now. What was that about emotional investment?

Then again I would argue he was robbed by the wind in 2012...so yes evens out if you get there often enough.
The problem for Sampras was that he didn't! But then he never took clay seriously (usually put feet up post-Miami to RG...they wouldn't do that these days) so hardly a surprise. Anyway, Novak needs to avoid mercurial hard-hitters like Belluci in Week 1...not that there's many of those around. But you can bet his drawn opponents will be examining the Vesely / Belluci tapes...
Bloody predictive text!!!! How did it turn Slams into Asians?

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Post by lydian on Mon 16 May 2016, 6:32 pm

Lol, thought I'd clear that up given the context of socal's following post!
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