Man, I slept about 2 hours last night because I was up watching the Federer v. Tsonga quarterfinal match at the Australian Open. Hatin’ that time difference. Kudos to Federer for pulling that tight match out.
As is tradition every year I and hordes of tennis fans out there complain like crazy about NBC’s horrible coverage of the Men’s semifinal matches at the French Open. There now appears to be an improvement this year.
NBC is allowing the Tennis Channel to carry the first semifinal (Nadal vs Murray) live, in its entirety. That match starts at 8am EDT. Then, from 11am to 2pm EDT, NBC will carry the 2nd semifinal (Federer vs Djokovic), also live in its entirety, but only on the East coast. Unfortunately, in the West Coast, it’s still going to be on tape-delay.
BUT! This year NBC will livestream the Federer vs Djokovic match at NBCsports.com in its entirety as well so you can still watch the whole match live. It may not be on your TV, but it’s better than nothing. And certainly much better than in years past (2008 / 2009).
Roger Federer hit another amazing tweener tonight against Dabul! And again it was a clean winner. However, Dabul was standing at the baseline, which makes the clean winner that much more amazing. Dabul stared at that ball going past him with complete disbelief (which was hilarious). AND Roger hit it from about 10 feet behind the baseline! Man, that is just pure awesome. You might go 10-20 years and never see something like that. And Roger has now done it 2 years in a row at Authur Ashe stadium. First night, and we already have the shot of the tournament.
Here it is, unbelievable:
The last major of the year, the US Open, kicks off today in Flushing Meadows. Lots of stories going on and the tournament seems to be wide open, although I have my bets on Roger Federer. Actually I do literally have a personal bet of $100 riding on him winning the US Open. I made this bet immediately following his Wimbledon loss. If you follow tennis, you’d think few would be putting bets on Roger at that time, but I have faith! Now he gets a final and a win on US hardcourt tournaments and he’s suddenly a favorite again. How quickly the media jump bandwagons. The only other time I actually proclaimed Roger would win anything was the 2009 French Open. I declared he’d win 2-3 months beforehand, if I recall correctly, even while Nadal was perfectly fine. Can I go 2 for 2? We shall see.
Well, yea. I thought Fed had chances and didn’t take advantage. All those chip returns and unforced errors on 2nd serves. A bunch of uncanny forehand errors that should have been gimme points. On many balls I thought he could reach, he didn’t even try. Movement-wise, I thought Fed was very flat. I’m still a bit sore on that loss. Fed may be aging and not have the same zip that he used to but I still think he can win more majors. Forget Nadal, Fed needs to find a way to neutralize these tall players with huge serves and forehands. The future of tennis seems to be heading this way (Soderling, Del Potro, Berdych, etc.).
I think he’s going to practice hard this summer and come back strong during the US hardcourt swing. I just made a $100 bet with someone that Fed will win the US Open. Yea, thas right!
P.S. Lu lost in straight sets in a routine win for Djokovic. :-(
Wow, Roger Federer just lost in the quarterfinals at the French Open to Robin Soderling. It’s quite unbelievable, but Soderling was impressive today. Soderling, if you remember, took out Nadal in the 4th round last year and this year again takes out the defending champion. Fed’s incredible run of 23 straight Grand Slam semifinal appearances has finally come to an end.
Federer won the the 2010 Australian Open over Andy Murray in straight sets last night (or early morning). That’s his 16th slam and he doesn’t show any signs of letting up at 28 years old. I love how 2/3 weeks ago people were saying it’s wide open and that there are 5-8 guys who could win. Actually that’s true, which just makes it so much more amazing that at the end, it’s still Roger. At 28, he’s still beating the young guns and winning slams. It’s just amazing, this guy is the most dominant athlete of the last decade.
Well Roger, you can’t win them all. Del Potro was the better player tonight and deserves his first grand slam title. Roger went away in that 5th set, similar to what happened in Australia. I get the feeling he was slowing down and getting tired. I guess you just can’t fight time no matter how hard you try. But never fear, even at 28, Roger is at the top of the men’s game and it still takes an incredible performance to beat him. He’s won every major in the last 5-6 years or lost to the champion. I have no doubt he’ll hit 20 majors. You heard that here. Yes, twenty. 2009 has been a great year for him and this takes nothing away. Congratulations to Juan Martin Del Potro.
P.S. I see something in JMDP – this guy could have a very bright future in tennis. It’s amazing how much more consistent he’s become in the last couple of months. That 100+ mph forehand is just absolutely ridiculous. And the guy is so humble and respects Roger and his accomplishments. I don’t feel bad that Roger lost to him instead of one of those young, arrogant punks like Murray (only guy in the top 6 without a slam, btw).
P.P.S. You know what ticked me off? Del Potro wanted to say something in Spanish to his family and friends and they wouldn’t let him! Unbelievable. Dick Enberg said they didn’t have time and they immediately went on to do their product placement for Lexus. You see the look on Del Potro’s face? He doesn’t give a damn about winning the car. You’re not going to let him say a few words but you have all this time to promote Lexus? Good for him that he later insisted on speaking and then did. But even then it was rushed. The guy just won the US Open, he earned the right to speak. Way to f*cking sell out, USTA.
His amazing between-the-legs (tweener) shot to set up match point against Novak Djokovic in the 2009 US Open semis. It’s one thing to even get this trick shot over the net, it’s a whole other thing to hit a passing shot winner against someone at net. I jumped off my couch when I saw this. Unbelievable.
Djokovic hits a very nice lob, and Roger Federer runs back for it…
I want to impress upon non-tennis fans, this shot is incredibly difficult and players practically never pull it off. But to hit it for a clean winner… just WOW. This is the shot of the year. Roger called it the shot of his life.
Also to kind of explain, if someone hits a good lob (based on speed, spin, and height), it can be near impossible to get back and get a good hit on it no matter how fast you run back. So sometimes the only option left is try the tweener but people always dump it into the net or it’s so weak, the opponent can easily put it away at net. To make this shot at this point late in a match, late in a major, to set up match point… that’s just how Roger Federer rolls.
CBS commentator Dick Enberg’s comment cracked me up: “And for my next act, I’m going to hit a winner while in a box while they saw me in half!”
Roger Federer won the Masters 1000 tournament in Cincinnati on Sunday, beating Novak Djokovic in convincing fashion, 6-1 and 7-5. A day before, he also beat Andy Murray in straight sets, 6-2 and 7-6. These are 2 of the top 4 whose best surface is hard courts and many expected them to beat Roger. In fact, the odds-makers pegged Murray for the win in the semifinal. But what we saw was vintage Federer or TMF, The Mighty Fed, back in action. He dominated the young guns, the very people contending for his US Open title in a week.