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Doha 2012

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Post by Tenez Thu 05 Jan 2012, 2:51 pm

Federer seems in trouble. He lost his serve 10 times (or so) versus Seppi, managed to win the first set and was a point of being 0/4 down.

I have only seen a few points but the first impression is that he refuses to rally and goes for broke. Injury or else?

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Post by JuliusHMarx Thu 05 Jan 2012, 2:58 pm

Just watched the last few games.
His mind is elsewhere.
He just seems to have no intensity, like he's a bit bored. He keeps saying his motivation is as high as ever, but it doesn't seem to be there at the moment - maybe 'cos it only a 250 tournament he's won before.

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Post by Tenez Thu 05 Jan 2012, 3:09 pm

Yes - he certainly looked annoyed. Maybe to have to play Tsonga and Nadal for 250pts must annoy him.

I woudl not expect him to care about Doha anyway.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Thu 05 Jan 2012, 3:12 pm

He might not care, but if he really wants to get back to No. 1 (as he says) it takes concentration in every match you play, and probably winning smaller tournaments.
Falling into bad habits is a lot easier than getting out of them.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Thu 05 Jan 2012, 3:14 pm

20 unforced errors this set so far - in 10 games. Ouch.

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Post by Tenez Thu 05 Jan 2012, 3:17 pm

It's either loss of concentration, physical niggle or simply tanking to get some rest.

I don;t think the loss of concentration will be a problem in a slam.


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Post by legendkillar Thu 05 Jan 2012, 3:21 pm

In fairness though Nadal and even Murray haven't really been firing on all cylinders. If the match is gone, it's gone. I doubt Federer will really lose any sleep with a defeat.

I guess it is best to get all the crap out of your system before a Slam Smile

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Post by Henman Bill Thu 05 Jan 2012, 3:41 pm

Hm. Looked sharp yesterday.

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Post by Tenez Thu 05 Jan 2012, 4:56 pm

Nadal averaging 35s for a first serve, 52s for a second serve.

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Post by Tenez Thu 05 Jan 2012, 6:02 pm

I did not realise Youshny has such a poor FH.

He just wasted 3 BPs to square at 5 all in the second set.

Edit: Make that 4 BPs.

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Post by Tenez Thu 05 Jan 2012, 6:18 pm

Stat of the day:

It took Federer and Seppi 2 less minutes to play a 3 setter 63 57 64 than he took Nadal to close his match 64 64.

Roughly the time to play a full extra set 6/4 but not touching the ball but spent breathing and recovering some oxygen instead.

When will this non-sense stop? When will they start to apply the rules again?

Are we fan of the game or just fan of Rafa?

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Post by legendkillar Thu 05 Jan 2012, 6:22 pm

Tenez,

I would like for the umpires to be stricter in the application of the rule. I know we have gone down the route of how much of it is down to the morality of the player and how much is down to the will of the umpire.

If players were to agree one is taking advantage of the rule, they formally complain to the ATP and ITF for them to pressure the umpires. It is the only way I can see 'fairness' is applied.

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Post by Tenez Thu 05 Jan 2012, 6:31 pm

But the referees have their hands tied. Even the players have. Should they share a sponsor with a top player breaking the rule they might be told off by that sponsor.

I think we the tennis fans should be the most voiciferous about it. We should not have to wait extra time for allowing a player serving at his own rhythm and we shoudl not accept that the game be played outside the rule.

Those extra seconds he takes have a huge impact on his game. Even more so that he added weight to his racquet.

It's plain cheating there is no other way to describe it.

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Post by legendkillar Thu 05 Jan 2012, 6:35 pm

I would say more 'rule bending' I only say that because I am not sure it is the 'most' influencing factor of the outcome of a match.

You like me who has played the game would agree that it would be irritating to the point where you would mention to the umpire. I think sponsorships should not be in a position to intimidate. If anything I don't expect Nadal to cry 'victim' should 'overwhelming' evidence is provided. I think if more than anything at the FO the crowd would be on his back, especially if playing a native.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Thu 05 Jan 2012, 6:36 pm

Tenez wrote:I think we the tennis fans should be the most voiciferous about it.

How? Is there anywhere on the ITF or ATP web-site? Facebook page maybe?

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Post by Tenez Thu 05 Jan 2012, 6:43 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:
Tenez wrote:I think we the tennis fans should be the most voiciferous about it.

How? Is there anywhere on the ITF or ATP web-site? Facebook page maybe?

I guess we could post on their websites by the 1000s. The most efficient would be on the court.

I remember when I first saw Nadal live at WImbledon (it was a 1/4F v Nieminen in 07?) and there were some people whistling and making noise about Nadal time taking. Unfortunately at that time I was not one of them. But that's where really we shoudl be more involved cause frankly there is no excuse to take so long.

The problem is that we are too respectuous and shy. If the we start to be noisy about it, I am pretty sure, the referees and the sponsors will all follow suit.

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Post by prostaff85 Thu 05 Jan 2012, 7:34 pm

Just read that he has a back problem again... Apparently pulled a muscle in his match against Zemlja. Hopefully nothing serious!
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Post by laverfan Thu 05 Jan 2012, 8:18 pm

prostaff85 wrote:Just read that he has a back problem again... Apparently pulled a muscle in his match against Zemlja. Hopefully nothing serious!

http://www.tennis.com/articles/templates/news.aspx?articleid=15626&zoneid=25

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Post by laverfan Thu 05 Jan 2012, 9:24 pm

"I think when you beat him, you know you can do it and that's it," Tsonga said. "So of course when you are going on the court the next time, you are a bit more confident. But it's difficult anyway to play against Federer, because when he plays his best level, it's better than every player."

Will Tsonga become a "Fed Worshipper" too? Laugh

PS: http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2012/01/1/Doha-Thursday-Tsonga-Overpowers-Ramos-Federer-Plays-Seppi.aspx

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Post by Positively 4th Street Thu 05 Jan 2012, 9:36 pm

Tenez wrote:Stat of the day:

It took Federer and Seppi 2 less minutes to play a 3 setter 63 57 64 than he took Nadal to close his match 64 64.

Roughly the time to play a full extra set 6/4 but not touching the ball but spent breathing and recovering some oxygen instead.

When will this non-sense stop? When will they start to apply the rules again?

Are we fan of the game or just fan of Rafa?

It's not quite as simple as that statistic though. Nadal takes his time, that is clear, but points in his matches tend to involve more strokes so a fairer comparison would be total strokes played within the respective match times. Nadal will still be slower I'm sure, but this would tell us how long is truly 'spent breathing and recovering'.

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Post by Tenez Thu 05 Jan 2012, 10:27 pm

Positively 4th Street wrote:
Tenez wrote:Stat of the day:

It took Federer and Seppi 2 less minutes to play a 3 setter 63 57 64 than he took Nadal to close his match 64 64.

Roughly the time to play a full extra set 6/4 but not touching the ball but spent breathing and recovering some oxygen instead.

When will this non-sense stop? When will they start to apply the rules again?

Are we fan of the game or just fan of Rafa?

It's not quite as simple as that statistic though. Nadal takes his time, that is clear, but points in his matches tend to involve more strokes so a fairer comparison would be total strokes played within the respective match times. Nadal will still be slower I'm sure, but this would tell us how long is truly 'spent breathing and recovering'.

The extra time he takes is 10 seconds per point if first serve, another 7 to 10 sec if second serve, ridiculously more if it's a let. It's just absurd and the extra shots per rallies are close to negligeable. at the very most you can add 4 sec per points for longer rallies, not 20s as the stats show.

Some are always ready to excuse the unexcusable. That's the problem and why he dares taking this extra time. He knows that in the crowd some are willing to see him win even if it involves cheating.

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Post by time please Thu 05 Jan 2012, 10:31 pm

Bad news about Fed's back - not the best start to the season for him Sad

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Post by Tenez Thu 05 Jan 2012, 10:33 pm

That's where being 30 is a real disadvantage.

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Post by Guest Fri 06 Jan 2012, 1:54 am

Tenez wrote:
Positively 4th Street wrote:
Tenez wrote:Stat of the day:

It took Federer and Seppi 2 less minutes to play a 3 setter 63 57 64 than he took Nadal to close his match 64 64.

Roughly the time to play a full extra set 6/4 but not touching the ball but spent breathing and recovering some oxygen instead.

When will this non-sense stop? When will they start to apply the rules again?

Are we fan of the game or just fan of Rafa?

It's not quite as simple as that statistic though. Nadal takes his time, that is clear, but points in his matches tend to involve more strokes so a fairer comparison would be total strokes played within the respective match times. Nadal will still be slower I'm sure, but this would tell us how long is truly 'spent breathing and recovering'.

The extra time he takes is 10 seconds per point if first serve, another 7 to 10 sec if second serve, ridiculously more if it's a let. It's just absurd and the extra shots per rallies are close to negligeable. at the very most you can add 4 sec per points for longer rallies, not 20s as the stats show.

Some are always ready to excuse the unexcusable. That's the problem and why he dares taking this extra time. He knows that in the crowd some are willing to see him win even if it involves cheating.
It's not "cheating" unless the umpire says so. It is fair to criticise the umpires for not "upholding" the laws of the game. It is also fair to call the player "unsporting". However accusations of "unsporting" would probably have zero effect unless all the other players make a song and dance about the "unsporting behaviour".

Similarly accusations of "unsporting" behaviour by opposing camp fans will have little effect - so it is understandable that they would raise the stakes by accusations of "cheating" - and this will generate a "football like" reaction from the fans of the "unsporting" player ... although some will say that it is the "law" that is the joke and that it needs amending. Anyway I suppose there is plenty of mileage in this debate, although most of this mileage is spent trapped in a round-about.

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Post by Tenez Fri 06 Jan 2012, 7:29 am

It's cheating. There is no way around that. Read the rules. A referee is there to apply the rule and they don't. The only reason the empire is not applying the rule is that professional tennis is a show before being a sport.

Not that different than wrestling if you think about it. You know when the referee pretends he tries to count to 3 but each time the troubled wrestler gets away just on time. Unfortunately, that's tennis nowadays.

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Post by time please Fri 06 Jan 2012, 9:38 am

Nore Staat wrote:
Tenez wrote:
Positively 4th Street wrote:
Tenez wrote:Stat of the day:

It took Federer and Seppi 2 less minutes to play a 3 setter 63 57 64 than he took Nadal to close his match 64 64.

Roughly the time to play a full extra set 6/4 but not touching the ball but spent breathing and recovering some oxygen instead.

When will this non-sense stop? When will they start to apply the rules again?

Are we fan of the game or just fan of Rafa?

It's not quite as simple as that statistic though. Nadal takes his time, that is clear, but points in his matches tend to involve more strokes so a fairer comparison would be total strokes played within the respective match times. Nadal will still be slower I'm sure, but this would tell us how long is truly 'spent breathing and recovering'.

The extra time he takes is 10 seconds per point if first serve, another 7 to 10 sec if second serve, ridiculously more if it's a let. It's just absurd and the extra shots per rallies are close to negligeable. at the very most you can add 4 sec per points for longer rallies, not 20s as the stats show.

Some are always ready to excuse the unexcusable. That's the problem and why he dares taking this extra time. He knows that in the crowd some are willing to see him win even if it involves cheating.
It's not "cheating" unless the umpire says so. It is fair to criticise the umpires for not "upholding" the laws of the game. It is also fair to call the player "unsporting". However accusations of "unsporting" would probably have zero effect unless all the other players make a song and dance about the "unsporting behaviour".

Similarly accusations of "unsporting" behaviour by opposing camp fans will have little effect - so it is understandable that they would raise the stakes by accusations of "cheating" - and this will generate a "football like" reaction from the fans of the "unsporting" player ... although some will say that it is the "law" that is the joke and that it needs amending. Anyway I suppose there is plenty of mileage in this debate, although most of this mileage is spent trapped in a round-about.

I agree Nore that it is a debate that only seems to provoke rival camps of fans, and that it is up to the other players, if they have concerns, to raise the issue vociferously with the ATP,

Unfortunately for me, the one thing that really prevents me from fully appreciating Rafa is the feeling that some of the actions he has taken (which I feel, rightly or wrongly, are not quite in the spirit of the game) such as two very tactical MTOs at critical moments in two consecutive Wimbledons have left a question mark in my mind as to whether he would have progressed to the final without them. I feel this, not because he was the better player carrying an injury, but because he looked in bl**dy 5* nick immediately afterwards.

I know this is a different issue from time keeping, but in a way they both show a disregard for his opponent and the rules.

It is not a case of him being TMF's most dangerous rival and Achilles heel over the years, if TMF had taken any of his 16 titles with these kind of shenanigans in any of the 7 matches leading up to the title, then while I would still enjoying watching his particular brand of tennis I'm afraid I would have been rooting for the other guy.

I will be interested to see how Lendl goes about setting Murray up to deal with this. Murray himself showed straight from the off in 2010 QF at AO that he was having no truck with the first bit of time delaying, but his resolve seems less strong and he himself more deferential to Rafa lately. I think Lendl may well do some straight talking about this issue.

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Post by Tenez Fri 06 Jan 2012, 10:37 am

time please wrote:I agree Nore that it is a debate that only seems to provoke rival camps of fans, and that it is up to the other players, if they have concerns, to raise the issue vociferously with the ATP,

But that is not the reason why I raise the point. I just talk as a tennis fan who realises that teh sport has turned into a ridiculous show. Players are part of the star system that goes with it and they have no say on those issues.

They would have had no say either if both Federer and Nadal had wanted a 2 year ranking system to help the stars of the game.

Believing it's up to the players and/or the referees to sort that out is not understanding the forces behind the scene.

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Post by legendkillar Fri 06 Jan 2012, 10:45 am

Tenez wrote:
time please wrote:I agree Nore that it is a debate that only seems to provoke rival camps of fans, and that it is up to the other players, if they have concerns, to raise the issue vociferously with the ATP,

But that is not the reason why I raise the point. I just talk as a tennis fan who realises that teh sport has turned into a ridiculous show. Players are part of the star system that goes with it and they have no say on those issues.

They would have had no say either if both Federer and Nadal had wanted a 2 year ranking system to help the stars of the game.

Believing it's up to the players and/or the referees to sort that out is not understanding the forces behind the scene.

I would still find it difficult though that sponsorships would be at the heart of this given that Nadal and Federer are under the same sponsors. If Nike was an affiliated sponsor with the ATP or ITF I would understand same 'influence' they would have.

It is up to the officials to uphold the laws. If their was a punishment for the 'flauting' of this law of the game, I don't know a fine say or get dropped down a few seeds when a draw to an event comes along, it might not be so 'abused'

I am not sure what punishment you would like to see. I deem it the same offence say as someone being not given off-side in a football match or an LBW not given in cricket. It is interpretation by the official who is 'responsible' for the match.

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Post by time please Fri 06 Jan 2012, 10:51 am

I think the players can have a voice though Tenez - they could judiciously use the press.

I think it is very interesting when you look at the difference in how Rafa's injuries and MTOs have been treated by the press as compared to say, Novak. The Nadal camp have a very good PR team and they have built up close links with the press, having a rep write the Rafa blogs in national newspapers around the world during slams, giving exclusives to certain journalists - they have been quite masterful at PR and that is why there has been very little criticism in the press over this issue and little scepticism over injury claims and judicious MTOs certainly compared to the derision that was poked at Djokovic.

Ljubicic did go public, but it could do with more players and those from the top tier really giving voice. Rafa is obviously very disarming too and we can see that Murray is very flattered to be his friend. The other players have to man up - they have a voice and they have to use it - if the press take it up, and they would because they are always looking for a new angle, then pressure will begin to be applied because there will be a ripple effect in forums, on twitter, on facebook, in the crowd etc

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Post by Tenez Fri 06 Jan 2012, 10:53 am

The rules are extremely clear about time between points. Unless disrupted by external factors (bird, paper flying over the court) the game shoudl be played in a timing way. They have purposedly 90s every other game to rest.

A referee is actually there to facilitate the stars of the game to go further in the tournament. It's been proven time and time again. The most obvious case was the warning Cilic got v Federer in that last USO when Federer was in trouble. It came out of teh blue before serving a BP. Now tell me they woudl have done it to Nadal who takes twice as long?!

Tell me it's a coincidence that Korda or Uliracht got caught while Agassi's test was covered?

I am telling this is more wrestling than sport.

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Post by Tenez Fri 06 Jan 2012, 10:59 am

time please wrote:I think the players can have a voice though Tenez - they could judiciously use the press.

Unfortuantely not! The press is there to sell stories and get the money from those very sponsors. No sponsors, no professional sport.

As simple as that.

If you organise a tennis tournament, you organise it with sponsors money, not with your own of course. It's those sponsors who pay teh big names but also the lower ranked players AND teh referees. What do you think those sponsors want? a show where the biggest stars will fight between themselves. They don;t want to see a Davydenko v Seppi final. Based on that there is a whole system around the stars of the game. Players have complained but clearly they cannot be too voiciferous.

It's because we, the fans, accept that players break the rule that the rule can be broken.

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Post by legendkillar Fri 06 Jan 2012, 11:02 am

Tenez wrote:The rules are extremely clear about time between points. Unless disrupted by external factors (bird, paper flying over the court) the game shoudl be played in a timing way. They have purposedly 90s every other game to rest.

A referee is actually there to facilitate the stars of the game to go further in the tournament. It's been proven time and time again. The most obvious case was the warning Cilic got v Federer in that last USO when Federer was in trouble. It came out of teh blue before serving a BP. Now tell me they woudl have done it to Nadal who takes twice as long?!

Tell me it's a coincidence that Korda or Uliracht got caught while Agassi's test was covered?

I am telling this is more wrestling than sport.

I couldn't believe how lax it was with Agassi by his admission in the book. I mean the ATP and ITF almost accepted it without as much as a witness statement by a credible source to back his claim. When you look at the fight that Gasquet had with his.

In a Nadal v Federer scenario at the FO he might get a warning if fans hiss or whistle enough laughing

But in all seriousness the application of it by officials is the most inconsistent I have seen. Yes the Cilic BP was a big call, but the right one. I think back to Henin and Clijsters before Hawkeye came in and Henin screwed Clijsters out of a point and the same she did against Williams at the FO. For me they are more shameful than a Nadal time in between points violation. Cilic didn't come out his encounter and accuse the umpire of any 'bias' if anyone got a warning in a match with Nadal, I am sure a racquet might be heading in the direction of the umpires head!

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Post by lydian Fri 06 Jan 2012, 11:03 am

TP - I think Rafa is more charismatic and likeable vs Djokovic, its not just good PR. PR can only spin so far if there is no substance underneath to spin from.

Rafa pushes the time limits, all know that, but until a large enough group of players come and say its unfair its just going to carry on isnt it. The fact they DONT come out in large numbers to voice this opinion - otherwise there would be a groundswell by now - makes me wonder whether it bothers them nearly as much as some people on here? The umpires seem to have no spine to enforce the rule so the current status quo is maintained.

Rafa is not going to change his habits now unless he's made to...and no-one is making him. I dont agree with Rafa pushing the rule, but the rule has to be enforced as well.

Have you thought of switching allegiance to WWF Tenez? Wink

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Post by Tenez Fri 06 Jan 2012, 11:08 am

lydian wrote:
Have you thought of switching allegiance to WWF Tenez? Wink


I don't need to, do I? We even have the muscles of WWF in tennis nowadays! thumbsup

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Post by Tenez Fri 06 Jan 2012, 11:14 am

Looks like Federer v Tsonga is going ahead. There are playing teh first match like yesterday to prevent playing under cooler temps.


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Post by time please Fri 06 Jan 2012, 11:18 am

Well I like Djokovic too Lydian - I like his intelligence and his impressions, I can see he is a little cocky, but I think that is a positive attribute for a top sportsman, not a negative. Rafa is certainly very engaging off court and it certainly softens people's attitude to a lack of attention to the rules in a way that it wouldn't if Murray behaved like that, or Fed, or Roddick or just about anybody really. That humble sportsman persona is very much quoted as being part of his appeal to a great many of his fans, but that is not the personality that steps on court - so he is, in many ways, the most interesting to look at in terms of public perception of him on court if people have never seen him interviewed, and public perception when they have - I think there is no greater contradiction in sport today in many ways.

But I absolutely agree that Rafa will not change - why should he? It works very nicely for him. It is up to the tennis world to get some teeth - I think it does clearly bother players, we have seen some react on court and there are a few comments in the press, not enough from heavyweight players - in another age it would all have been handled very differently - can you imagine Connors on Rafa's case? Laugh

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 06 Jan 2012, 11:58 am

Time Please - Interesting about the difference in players when on court/pitch/course than when they are not playing. Rafa is all snarly, surly, grimacing, piratical on court but as soon as he takes off his head band, shakes out his hair and comes to the net at the end of a match he's a different guy.
Fed - quite jokey off court and I like the Lindt advert - rarely smiles while playing. JWT - you think he's gonna be a bit flash and braggarty off court but he's very soft spoken and respectful.
Murray, I reckon, is about the nearest to acting "normally" on court - he's dour and sulky which is pretty much what he comes across as being off court.

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Post by Manojchandra Fri 06 Jan 2012, 12:28 pm

I very much liked the 1103 and 1108 posts. I think it is a shame that we do not
Have the star button. Wish it was 606.

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Post by Henman Bill Fri 06 Jan 2012, 12:29 pm

Why Tenez do you think they want to avoid cooler temperatures? Who do you think wants to avoid the cooler temperatures the players or the organisers?

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Post by Tenez Fri 06 Jan 2012, 12:41 pm

Henman Bill wrote:Why Tenez do you think they want to avoid cooler temperatures? Who do you think wants to avoid the cooler temperatures the players or the organisers?

I think it was a request from Federer to protect his back.

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Post by Calder106 Fri 06 Jan 2012, 1:26 pm

BBC Website saying Federer has withdrawn from Doha.

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Post by Jahu Fri 06 Jan 2012, 1:33 pm

Now we have JWT vs Stefan Edberg exhibition in 30min and then Nadal at around 3pm UK time.
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Post by laverfan Fri 06 Jan 2012, 1:34 pm

Calder106 wrote:BBC Website saying Federer has withdrawn from Doha.
Yes, that is correct.

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Post by Tenez Fri 06 Jan 2012, 1:50 pm

Wise move.

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Post by time please Fri 06 Jan 2012, 1:52 pm

Poor Fed - but absolutely nothing to be gained from him creaking through the rest of the tournament - oh well, have no excuse not to work now!!!

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 06 Jan 2012, 1:58 pm

D'you reckon he'd have played if it were not a GS coming up ? Possibly. I see Kim C also pulled out today. Why risk it?

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Post by time please Fri 06 Jan 2012, 2:03 pm

sirfredperry wrote:D'you reckon he'd have played if it were not a GS coming up ? Possibly. I see Kim C also pulled out today. Why risk it?

It's hard to know sir fred without knowing just how tender he feels. I think we can safely say that it is giving him some gyp by reading Tenez's comment after watching the first few games yesterday - he just doesn't gracefully jump into that serve when his back is sore.

But maybe he would have turned out today if it wasn't for the AO coming up - as you say, very sensible not to risk further injury atm.

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Post by Jahu Fri 06 Jan 2012, 2:10 pm

Edberg looking younger than many active players, nice to see him in action.
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Post by Tenez Fri 06 Jan 2012, 2:11 pm

That gives Federer only 10 days to recover...not good!

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Post by R!skysports Fri 06 Jan 2012, 2:11 pm

Murray, I reckon, is about the nearest to acting "normally" on court - he's dour and sulky which is pretty much what he comes across as being off court

Not sure that is the case, he comes off as likable and funny off court -agree with your opinion of on court though

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