Becker: ´Federer is the G.O.A.T. He Showed it Again´

This post was written by Ru-an on July 12, 2014
Posted Under: Uncategorized

“It was incredible to have 4 Wimbledon champions in the locker room at the same time, I think it’s a first!” said Boris to the media referring to the Wimbledon final, as himself and Stefan Edberg were both present for the final in London, “Roger Federer has already won Wimbledon 7 times and has been World No.1 for a very long time. He didn’t really need another title, he is the greatest of all time and I have a lot of respect and admiration for him. With his comeback in the 4th set, he showed clearly why he deserves the G.O.A.T. status. He loves to compete and he is a great ambassador for tennis. Kids should take as an example what he did in his career, and how he managed to overcome complicated situations, as he did against Novak in the final in London”.

http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Boris-Becker-Roger-Federer-is-the-GOAT-He-Showed-it-Again-articolo19064.html

Hi guys! I hope you are all well and are over Roger’s loss by now. As for me I never needed much time to process Roger’s loss. I always thought what happened at Wimbledon was something positive. I thought it was something that enhanced his legacy, and apparently Becker thinks the same. According to Becker the way Roger came back in the fourth set shows clearly why Roger deserves the GOAT status. This was my own thinking as well, although I don’t really believe in a GOAT. Of course Nadal has recently made a strong statement when he won a 9th French Open and a 14th grand slam, but it should be obvious that he is not anywhere near Roger yet as far as the GOAT debate goes. For one thing he has been much too reliant on one surface and is too one-dimensional, while Roger has dominated two surfaces and is a more complete player.

Yet despite the obvious facts other all time greats like Mcenroe and Agassi have recently called Nadal the GOAT, so it’s nice to see an all time great choosing Roger’s side. As for Mcenroe and Agassi I imagine they are still bitter about the way Roger abused their country’s only slam hope in Roddick after the retirement of Sampras and Agassi. That is the only reason I can think of for such an irrational argument. Anyway I just wanted to run this by you, and thank you Eric for posting it on my blog. I appreciated these words from Becker because it confirmed what I was thinking. I thought it showed class, and I like the parts about not needing another title and the comeback in the fourth set. Of course a record 8th Wimby title seemed fitting, but the way Roger came back in the fourth set made a very strong statement as well.

Thoughts?

Reader Comments

Hi Ruan,
It’s ofcourse nice to hear such words from Becker. It’s more like one legend praising another but the obvious thing which makes it special is that Becker is Djokovic’s coach now , and as far as I know, it’s rare to hear the coach of a player saying such good words about that player’s main rival . For instance , he hasn’t said such things about Nadal . This clearly portrays the immense respect which Roger has gained even from other legends of the game. And as far as the GOAT debate is concerned , there will never be an end to it.. But I’m sure if they take the fans’ opinion it’s always Roger who’s going to come on top :D .
I have observed that Fed and Djokovic share a more warm relationship now , compared to earlier . From quite a few years this has been the point of interest for many, and I also remember reading about this issue in some of your posts. What do you feel about this now? Has their mutual relationship changed?
I also sometimes wonder if Djokovic can ever be atleast considered for the GOAT debate. Aren’t his achievements being overshadowed by those of Roger’s and Nadal’s?

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Joe Reply:

I think Djokovic is up there! For one thing, he would definitely have more slams if he didn’t have to grow into maturity during the Federer-Nadal era.

And if Stan hadn’t stopped him at the AO this year (at 14), he would already have played in 17 consecutive semi-finals, which is an amazing number.

Roger, with 23 consecutive semifinal appearances, is untouchable for any current top player, and some experts say that is his most impressive record of all (maybe not, I say…). But before Roger came along, the record for consecutive semifinal appearances was 10 (held by Ivan Lendl) and before that the record was SIX according to one site I visited – but the author didn’t say who had six.

Roger absolutely destroyed that record. Here’s a quotation from one page, for any baseball fans:

“By the time he was done, Federer didn’t just extend the record, nor did he simply shatter it. He doubled it, and then for good measure added 30 percent more to that total. It’s like if Barry Bonds had broken Hank Aaron’s home run record and then hit 929 MORE.”

So what Roger did to that record is almost unthinkable. But then Djokovic got all the way to 14 before being stopped, and that is head and shoulders above anyone else but Roger.

So IMHO Djokovic’s consistency, along with the level of his play, set him apart as one of the greatest.

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Joe Reply:

Here’s a nice article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djokovic

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Ru-an Reply:

That’s his wiki page. Nice video here about Fed too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vdJOvCb0LA&feature=youtu.be

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Nakul Reply:

Excellent video indeed. There are so many such videos about Roger on youtube that you can spend atleast one whole day watching them and admiring this great man more and more! And you still don’t feel like stopping! :)

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#1 
Written By Nakul on July 12th, 2014 @ 4:58 pm

I’ve always felt that McEnroe’s comments reek of an inferiority complex. And just how the enemy of my enemy becomes my friend, in Nadal he sees someone who can possibly challenge Federer who made all their achievements pale in comparison.

I’m certain if it were the other way round, they would be saying Federer is the GOAT. It’s very common human psychology of petty minds.

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Charlie Parker Reply:

In 2012 on the bbc Wimbledon coverage, McEnroe confessed that though he always tried to appear to be impartial because that was his job, he was always actually rooting for Roger cause of all he had accomplished in the game and he was delighted he won Wimblers again so I’m not sure if there’s anything like an inferiority complex going on there.

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#2 
Written By Gaurav on July 12th, 2014 @ 5:25 pm

Hi folks. yes nice to hear Becker saying it as he sees it. As an avid Federer fan and a tennis fan I don’t believe anyone can be classed as the Goat because of the everchanging technology with raquets and slowing down of courts. However much as I don’t like him I do think that Nadad will be classed as one of the ‘greats’ and you have to admit that he is a great competitor! But I think Roger seems so much more than a tennis player, and win or lose people just seem to be for him. As for Mac the Mouth and Agassi, both great tennis players, the first Mcenroe is better known for his rudeness on court. and Agassi well just read his book….

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#3 
Written By elizabeth on July 12th, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

McEnroe’s opinions are trash. Just listen to his commentary and find out why.

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#4 
Written By Mike on July 12th, 2014 @ 7:35 pm

Even at the French open Nadal has only won five more matches than Federer…It’s not a foregone conclusion Nadal finishes his career NO# 1. match winner even at the French
It is a foregone conclusion he won’t finish No# 1. at any of the other slams
Federer’s game over the next two-three years might have more mileage than Nadal’s
Remember; as Nadal gets older the big hitters loom larger, whereas Federer is not as succeptible in that match-up

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#5 
Written By Marcus on July 12th, 2014 @ 9:11 pm

Agree with both you and Becker, Ruan. As far as Nadal is concerned, Federer will always be better than himin my book.

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#6 
Written By Vamesh on July 12th, 2014 @ 10:56 pm

Hi all…and thanks Ru-an for keeping all this up…I must admit that this loss has gotten into my brain like some kind of worm and while I will soon get over it, I would like to say this – the loss, to me, is, while not earth-shattering, it is sad and significant for the following reasons:

1) it marks perhaps the most serious, real point for all of us where we all have to actually consider that no matter how deep Roger gets into a tourney, including into the last set of a final, the Win is a toss-up;

2) this marks the clear point where we all must admit that while Roger has the most natural, beautiful, perfect game ever (I don’t even watch other sports anymore because Roger is the pinnacle of sport to me!), his mental game is very very weak, like it has been for a long time, and simply has no time to get better, primarily because he is so damn good that he has never felt like he needed to be a mental machine or robot or something–his racket does the talking, until it doesn’t, then it collapses;

3) this loss was, to me, a total surprise because I believe the run up to the final was one of Roger’s best Wimbledons EVER (1 service game lost, and more great stats), so how did it all collapse—I really thought he was going to take it in 4 sets max before the match because Djoko had a very uneven run, especially quarters and semis which were totally unconvincing wins;

4) no one who ever plays Roger again will have the tiniest bit of fear, only the normal respect, because while he still plays so well, his win in any given match is no longer a given, collapse is a likely happening, not too high a percentage, but collapse is likelier than it ever has been in his career right up to the last point, even if he holds a match point (Nadal, sadly, is different here and is an ANIMAL who would never elicit this feeling, only total crazy fear in his opponents–when Nadal loses, it is clear from the beginning, he just gives in so early, but I still believe Nadal will win at least 3 more FOs unless his juicing is exposed);

5) given all I have said above, my only hope now is for Roger to hit 1000 match wins – I don’t even expect another small title from him and don’t feel like he has any more in him (remember Sampras went 2 years with no titles before that improbable last USO win)

…because I think it is realistic that Roger will never win another title and though I do love him, I also like to see him win not only matches but trophies, what is it that we should now do? Should we all shift into the type of fandom that Mac has at exhibition matches in the boonies and just be glad to see Roger standing upright, even if his chances are so small to win?

What is to be done? I know this is not rational thinking on my part, but it comes from a deep place in me that has enjoyed Roger so much over the years, so much that it is like watching a family member decline.

Like it or not, this Wimby would have been the greatest story of Roger’s career, perhaps the worldwide sports story of the year–now it just guts me to say that it looks like the very last visit to the pinnacle of tennis of the GOAT…I won’t be surprised if Roger doesn’t make it past R64 at the USO because no matter what he says or anyone else, the missed smash at 15-15 which would have turned the stadium into a zoo, instead marked the shot that likely gave Djoko the certain knowledge that this match was his and also likely marked the point that Roger knew too that this was his last best chance at a major.

I hope the readers of this post understand it comes from a place of admiration and love and respect, but today it is tinged with sadness.

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Ru-an Reply:

I quit reading at ‘his mental game is very very weak,’. After that I knew the rest would be nonsense too.

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Dave Reply:

Mentally Weak? IDIOT! Knock this Nadal butt lover off!

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Alex Reply:

Dave, where the heck do you get off calling me names? I’m a Fedfan with what I thought was a safe place to talk about my take on Roger’s situation, but your aggressiveness to me is inexcusable. Why would you call me an idiot? And a ‘Nadal butt lover’ – first of all, I don’t know what that is, second of all, I probably have more disdain for Nadal than is healthy because I am convinced the guy is as dirty as Lance Armstrong. I really thought I’d have a place to share, but it seems not.

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Veronica Reply:

Stay, Alex. Things do get heated in here at times. It happens in other blogs as well. It’s part of the unpleasant side of fandom. You have always been honest and made your views clear in respectful ways. And you are certainly not a Nadal fan! The climate in this blog at this time is Roger is a hero despite the loss. His mental side in this tourney has impressed, especially compared to few other recent years’ tough losses that you pointed out. Perhaps that is why you get jumped at with your not so celebratory comments. Your comments about Roger’ mental weakness in this particular final is not quite justified as Roger did not fold but fought back so valiantly. Just a tiny lull at the end and it was all over; but he has certainly been mentally strong here. It was a mental war between Roger and Djoker and it took all of Djoker to win it! (He had to take a bathroom break to fiercely convince himself that he can win it!) I do feel like you do sometimes. All the stars aligned, no Nadal, etc, still couldn’t do it. But the man is almost 33, he again was part of another classic match, we only have most, I think, a couple of years of Roger playing at a high level. So we really gotta view Roger in different light these days. Celebrate every bit of great performance. Also what gives me great hope is that the new racket’s potential is still in the process of being realised. Imagine how exciting this is gonna be. Just not too long ago, we were dismayed with his volleys; that the new racket does not have as much control and feel as his old one. But look at how he well he volleyed at Halle and Wimby?! Fantastic! He’s in great form and is healthy! That’s the good news. Hope is a very hard thing. But it may just make the difference in the end. Hey! Ru-an, Dave, easy, eh, guys?! This is not warfare. Alex is being honest and believes, as I do, that this is a safe place to share everything as a fan!! Haha! Peace everyone!!

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Ru-an Reply:

This is not the same Alex Veronica. It’s a new one, who likes to whine a lot.

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Alex Reply:

Ru-an, for someone so insightful, I’m not sure why you’re attacking me, but it’s clear that you don’t think much of my contributions to even address any of my points. So instead you belittle me. Fine, it is your site. You’ve hounded me out of here. Good luck with everything and take care.

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Ru-an Reply:

I didn’t hound you out of anything. You are still whining and feeling sorry for yourself. Seems to me like you projected your own mental weakness onto Roger…

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#7 
Written By Alex on July 13th, 2014 @ 5:39 am

hi ru-an…i’m only meaning to discuss my vantage point, and i know it may be flawed, so i apologize to you if you disagree…i’m just offering up a few things to think about…and i guess I should have clarified by what i meant about his mental game being very very weak…I meant that when he gets to those very critical end parts of a tourney, 4th or 5th set against a top player, then his mental game seems to abandon him and certainly not resemble the mental game he both should have at his skill level and that his opponents in the top 8 (mostly djoko and nadal) seem to grab at those points…if you feel like my post is total nonsense, feel free to delete it and i’ll leave the site and not comment any further…

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Ru-an Reply:

No need to get defensive. Saying that Roger’s mental game is very very weak right after he came back from 2-5 in the 4th set, saved a match point, and almost won the match was poor timing. You should have known better.

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Pete Reply:

But Alex is right. Federer does tend to be mentally weak in matches that go to the fifth set. If Roger was mentally stronger he would have WON the match. How does losing the match prove he is mentally strong? That makes no sense to any objective observer! SMH.

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Ru-an Reply:

You are missing the point completely. Alex said Roger’s game is mentally very very weak. Period. You don’t win 17 slams if your mental game is very very weak. And neither do you come back from 2-5 in the 4th set and win 5 games in a row to win the 4th set, saving a MP in the process. We all know Roger’s record against the top 8 is poor when it goes to 5 sets. But losing 6-4 in the 5th to the best player in the world when you are almost 33, especially after being 2-5 down in the 4th sets shows mental strength. That’s what Becker said and believe me I would rather take his word for it than yours. Not that I need to. I knew it before Becker or anyone else said it. And you can shake your head all you want. You are not an objective observer.

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#8 
Written By Alex on July 13th, 2014 @ 10:55 am

Alex, it is obvious that you are very sad at Roger’s loss, as Fedfans we all are. At the end of the match although I wanted Fed to win I was just so proud of Roger, he fought tooth and nail to get to a fifth set and he very nearly succeeded in winning. We can’t ask for more. Perhaps we should be sad for Novak who after all won the match but not the headlines!

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#9 
Written By elizabeth on July 13th, 2014 @ 1:46 pm

I want to share a few words about Roger’s renewed (but always strong) mental equilibrium that I think all FedFans will enjoy (actually, most of us already have!).

Please don’t forget that this year alone, we’ve all been privileged to witness, not only Roger’s tremendous comeback in the fourth set at the Wimbledon finals, but also two great comebacks from a set and a break down in best-of-three matches (i.e. less chance to come back) against Djokovic and Berdych in Dubai.

One of my favorite snippets of the year is this one from an interview with a journalist before the final in Dubai:

Q: Tomas [Berdych]said earlier he was glad that he’s playing you in the final because he thinks he can beat you.
Federer: Good for him.

I love how cool this is! It reminds me of one of Papa Ruan’s famous quotable quotes!
:-)

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Ru-an Reply:

Haha that’s a great quote Joe. Berdych is such a schumck. What was the quote from me it reminded you of?

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Joe Reply:

“Berdych is such a schmuck.” Hilarious!

Hey Ruan, do you think we could get a picture of Berdych on your site one day, showing the expression on his face while he watches a winner from Roger go by? Your description of Berdych would make a great caption for the picture…

Hey, does this post make me a bad person?

:-)

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Ru-an Reply:

I find Berdych difficult to like Joe. Not because he has been a difficult opponent for Roger but his personality. But that is just me and I don’t propose that he is unlikable or that no one should like him. And no you are not a bad person, as I have already told you. You are good!

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Joe Reply:

Hey Ruan!

Well I was kind of joking about my being completely evil(but I’d love to see that picture! Not that I’m expecting it though!). :-)

But you can count me in when it comes to disliking Berdych! He’s been trying to play some head games with Roger and he got what he deserved in Dubai.

I actually think you might be too kind when you call him a schmuck!
:-)

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Nakul Reply:

Talking about comebacks, Roger broke Djokovic when Djokovic was serving for the match in the IW finals this year. Although he lost the tiebreak later, this adds more justification to the point that his mental strength has improved oflate.

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Vily Reply:

Very good point, Nakul! I had forgotten about that!!! :-) That was a great IW final too!

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Nakul Reply:

Thanks Vily, it’s a pleasure to interact with other fed-fans and exchange opinions in this forum! :)

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#10 
Written By Joe on July 14th, 2014 @ 3:08 pm

I bet Becker’s perspective and respect for Fed has a great deal to do with Djoko’s newfound respect for Roger and his kind words. Very nice to see.

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Joe Reply:

Yes! They are two of my favorite players (Del Po is very kind and is high on my list too. His sportsmanship is a lot like Roger’s.), so it’s nice to see them getting along well, discussing fatherhood, etc.

It’s always good to see mutual respect between top players, and these two have definitely earned it.

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#11 
Written By Eric on July 14th, 2014 @ 3:49 pm

Hey Ruan!

It wasn’t really a single quotation that reminded me of you; it had more to do with how you pack a lot of content into just a few words.

Something like “More of this please,” and “Thank you for Listening!” in one of your recent posts about Roger needed to approach the net more.

You and Roger have a lot in common I think. Is your tennis style like Roger’s too? :-)

Cheers,
Joe

P.S. It is extremely inspiring to me to think that some of the tennis greats – a group Becker definitely belongs in – think this year’s Wimbledon final actually elevated Roger’s GOAT status!

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#12 
Written By Joe on July 14th, 2014 @ 3:54 pm

Guys, guys, calm down! Actually, check this video:

http://youtu.be/NYjnmLjnTko

Roger is over the loss already! We should too! Let’s move on, please!!!! :-))

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#13 
Written By Vily on July 15th, 2014 @ 2:26 pm

Hey Vily,

Thanks for the video. And that’s a very nice way to say we’re wearing you out with this topic!
:-)

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Vily Reply:

Joe,

Everyone of us gets to a point of despair – and we should always try to pick them up. Last year I felt very similarly as Alex after the loss to Robredo at the US Open – it was probably the lowest point. I thought that Roger would not be able to pick himself up after that loss. I was wrong. Just like many people who wrote him off. Roger has proven so many times that he can find a way – find a solution! That is why I’ve promised myself never to doubt him again – even after a defeat such as the one in the Wimbledon final! When he says that it’s a stepping stone for him, I actually BELIEVE It!

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#14 
Written By Joe on July 15th, 2014 @ 2:43 pm

Well said Vily! I’m also a believer; one who enjoys occasionally giving people a hard time…
:-)

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#15 
Written By Joe on July 15th, 2014 @ 5:06 pm

It is interesting to read comments from all kinds of people and yet I thought why not better share a few thoughts of myself. First of all, Djokovich took full advantage of his new coach Boris Becker without whose help I doubt he would have defeated the greatest grass court player even if he happened to be five years older. For Federer to come back after being 2-5 down in the fourth set and forcing the fifth set against one of the best defenders in Djokovic is not a joke. Federer showed that he is not a mental midget. While some of the bloggers think that after salvaging the fourth set, Federer should have won if not for mental weakness, but I guess that would suggest that Djokovic is not capable of doing what he did in the end. After all, the fourth set should have taken toll for Federer because he fought tooth and nail to force the fifth set. Had Djokovic winked, Federer could have taken a chance. But unfortunately for Fedfans, that was not to be. Age difference between that of Federer and Djokovic must have ultimately caused a telling effect in the final outcome. I,for one, do not buy the argument of Federer being weak- minded and I hope that he is not going out without any great win. Allez Federer!

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Ru-an Reply:

Good comment mridul. Always nice to hear from you.

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#16 
Written By mridul1 on July 17th, 2014 @ 7:46 am

The people who say Roger is mentally very weak should go and watch the following matches of Roger (just from 2012-14 alone, there are many more earlier on in his career):

WB Final 2012: Down a set and four break points in total to Murray

Olympic SF 2012: down 0-30 in the deciding third set, serving to stay in the match and blasted several aces to take that game

Halle 2013 SF and F: Down a set in both matches

Dubai 2014 SF and F: Down a set + break point in the semi, and a set and a break in the final

Anyone who says Roger is mentally weak should watch some of these matches, hopefully then they will realise their mistake.

PS: Apologies if I missed any important matches here, I was trying to limit this post to just a few.

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Ru-an Reply:

Yeah there are many more examples Charlie, like against Benneteau at Wimby 2012 or Del Potro at the 2012 FO where he was 2 sets to 0 down on both occasions. Or against Del Potro at the 2009 FO where he was 2 sets to 1 down or against Berdych where he was 2 sets to love down at the 2009 AO. Many more.

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#18 
Written By Charlie on July 17th, 2014 @ 5:49 pm

Ha, surprised I didn’t come here to find a picture of a tiger.

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Ru-an Reply:

Don’t be

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elizabeth Reply:

Haha Ru-an well done, we had better be carefull what we ask for!!

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Veronica Reply:

Hey Ru-an! I’ve been staring at that tiger 10 times already! And I don’t get the joke. What am I missing here?!!! Help! Haha!

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Ru-an Reply:

Lol. My avatar on twitter is a tiger. Get it now?

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Veronica Reply:

Lol lol lol!! Grrrrrrr…….!!!

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Ru-an Reply:

Haha.

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Chris Reply:

Whew. No need to be disappointed, then.

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#19 
Written By Chris on July 18th, 2014 @ 5:55 pm

Hi Ru-an, Greetings to you.
It is so quiet in the tennis world without Roger not playing tennis, getting anxious for the Roger’s Cup to start.
Did watch the match from Hamburg today, saw the Wunderkind, Alexander Zverev play in the semi-final against Ferrer. Lot of hoopla for Alexander from the German side, of course. But, was impressed watching him play at 17 yrs. old. Did you by any chance see the match, Ru-an? What are your thoughts about this youngster?
Kindly,
Dolores

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Ru-an Reply:

Hi Dolores. Yes I watched because I wanted to see what the kid was all about. Very impressive run to get to the semis of an ATP 500 at age age 17 and beating some good players on the way. The match against Ferrer was unfortunately disappointing but I’m sure he has a bright future ahead of him. He is tall and has good ground strokes, but he still needs to become much stronger. Once he gets more power off his serve and ground strokes he will be a serious force to be reckoned with. You grew up in Germany right? This is good for them because they haven’t had a slam winner since Becker and Stich. Some good players like Kohlschreiber, Haas, and Kiefer but nothing exceptional. So I am sure they are excited and hopeful that this can be a potential slam winner for them in the future!

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Dolores Reply:

Hi Ru-an, thank you for your reply to my question about the Wunderkind in Germany, Alexander Zverev. Appreciated your thoughts, glad you saw the match, too. You described and predicted exactly what some of the tennis media has been saying…yes, I think Germany will be watching him with anticipation. Remember well, when Becker and Steffi Graf both were the German tennis stars. Most unusual was the year when both, Steffi and Boris, won Wimbledon! Might never happen again.
Did see the very end of the Ferrer/Mayer Final, the TB, Mayer won.
I see Eric had an exciting afternoon in Switzerland watching live tennis practice.
My only LIVE tennis I saw was in Arizona (smaller tournament at the time), saw Andre Agassi, Phillipoussis (sp.?) was just becoming known as a new tennis star. Well, enough of my chatting, Ru-an.
Here’s Tennis anyone?
Best to you,
Dolores

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Ru-an Reply:

Yes I saw the end of the Ferrer/Mayer match too Dolores. It’s nice to see someone keeping up with the tennis at least and commenting here about it. I want to blog about tennis in general more but it takes extra energy and I am thinking about giving people the option of paid subscription. I’d have to get some financial gain out of it to make it worth my while.

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#20 
Written By Dolores on July 19th, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

Hey guys. So I’m in this beautiful little village where the Swiss Open is going on. I don’t have tickets until Friday but there are 3 locations around town where all the players go to practice and I watched about 5 hours of awesome stuff today for free!!! Dustin Brown was practicing with Dominic Thiem and there were only about 10 people watching so I was right up against the fence. Was so fascinating to see from close up just how much heat and spin they can put on the ball. Then later on it was drizzling when I walked over to the main center court area. Play was already done for the day so I just walked in and watched two guys hitting on the court. One of the guys was Pablo Andujar and I’m not sure about the other but he kind of looked like Granollers. Anyway the guys were just crushing the hell out of the ball in 20 o 30 hit rallies. Massive topspin. Beautiful. And while I was sitting there in awe, I thought about how if Roger would lose to any one of these guys, on their very best day in their lives, it would be unthinkably horrible and people would be calling for his retirement. Guys, that is just insanity. Every one of these players is incredible and can have a great day and win. It is truly impossible to imagine anyone being so much better than these guys that 99 out of 100 times they would bagel and breadstick them. Impossible to imagine. But that’s what RF is and has been for his entire life. Boy do I wish I could see Roger play this close up. That is definitely on my bucket list!!

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Ru-an Reply:

That’s great Eric I’m jealous. Yeah the pros are insanely good which makes the dominance of the top 4 all the more impressive. Never seen Fed play live?! I only saw him once actually and that was right at the beginning at Wimby 2001 where he beat Sampras. I saw him play Malisse on an outside court. It was a dramatic match with Malisse coming back from 2 sets to 0 down to go up a break in the 5th, only to lose the match. Both players are insanely talented and it was a real treat to watch. I think you need to see Fed play before he retires. I’m glad I got that out of the way.

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Veronica Reply:

Yes, Ru-an, a thousand times yes. Calling all you Fedfans out there who haven’t seen Roger live. If at all possible, MAKE plans and MAKE the trip. He is not gonna be around forever and there will never be another like him, not only his tennis but who and what he is all about (looking at you, Steve, Jiten(?), etc!!!)

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Eric Reply:

I saw Fed play live only once at the US Open but frankly I had such bad seats that I was wishing I was home watching on TV. Seeing him close up would be an absolute dream for me. I’m thinking of splurging for nearby indian wells next year. As I once mentioned I had in incredibly lucky early childhood growing up in queens and saw so many magical macenroe, Connors, Borg, Sampras, Agassi matches there at the open. By the time Fed came on the scene my dad had passed away, I was living in California, and no longer had access to that world( my dad worked for the city) or money to buy tickets. But Veronica, you are right, there’s not much time left. I feel very lucky to have seen Michael Jordan play live several times. I need to make it happen w Fed soon too.

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#21 
Written By eric on July 20th, 2014 @ 5:43 pm

I watched Youzney practice today for an hour and a half. Pretty big step up from the rest of the guys I’ve seen here. Super clean and precise hard hitting. I was literally the only one watching and actually got a laugh out of him and his team when I used my umbrella to give him his salute as he left. And that was the only time he even smiled. The rest of the time he was grumpily slouching around the court, nothing like the joyful Federer hitting sessions I’ve seen on YouTube. Raining a lot here, gonna be tough for them to finish this tourney on time. Hope I get some sun for Friday.

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Ru-an Reply:

Haha that’s a nice story about Youzhny Eric. I’ve heard some stories that he is one of the most talented players on tour. Apparently in practice he takes everything on the rise like Agassi but once he steps on the match court he loses confidence in himself and becomes more passive. I think he is mentally a bit crazy, which Russians tend to be sometimes. For instance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fi-CgSO9Evw

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Eric Reply:

Yes exactly, Ru-an, in fact he did a drill to practice to take it on the rise. His coach stands about six feet from him and slyly tosses or just drops the balls from either hand forcing Youzney to react super fast and catch it on the rise and throw it back. Then they did another cool one where he serves and then quickly gets fed a new ball as he’s coming down from the serve, also has to react super fast to get his feet set and crush it to the backhand while moving to the net. The coach stacked about 6 balls a few inches inside the base and sidelines for this one that Youzney was aiming for. Really tough drill considering that he’s being pushed as he’s coming down from the serve, but he did great. Really coming close on almost every shot and with a lot of power. I would not want those aimed at my backhand – haha. He’s got super clean technique and I never really noticed how well balanced and natural he is.

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Ru-an Reply:

Yeah the one thing that really strikes you when you see these guys live is how much control they have, considering how hard they hit the ball and how little time they have. It’s quite astonishing. Their skill level is unreal. The average fan doesn’t realize how hard some of the things are that Roger does. And he takes it to another level than the other pros even. Just pure genius.

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Veronica Reply:

Thank you, Eric! That was some serious great stuff you shared of tennis players close up. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience! From what you shared, a smaller tournament can actually provide a better experience as you don’t have to fight the crowds and you can really get up close and personal. I’ve been to AO practically every year since 2010 but never really close. It is so hard to beat the crowds in the practice courts and to get good seats on court. Last year, I practically watched Roger practising through a hole on the ground!! So you are definitely in the right tourney, Eric, and made a great decision to checking it out. Anyway, I’m now even more in awe of tennis players and specifically a certain Swiss! Seriously, isn’t tennis the most demanding sport. The mental and physical effort is second to none. That’s why I do not get as excited or as in awe when I watch other sports. They do not stir me as much as tennis. Also tennis scoring system is one of the best in all sports. Its so balanced. Both players on court have equal chances to win it or lose it at any stage in a match. You have chances to catch up, to close it out, or choke it away, right until the very end of the match. Not like football where penalty shoutout seem to often decide a match these days which gives a very unsatisfying feeling; or like basketball where the scores are so quick and all these giants leaping two steps and they are shooting already! Haha! doesn’t do it for me. But that’s just me. Tennis. It’s the god of sports to me.

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Eric Reply:

Me too, tennis by faaaaaaar my favorite. These poor guys. It’s been drizzling or raining non stop since the tournament began this weekend and they are playing their matches and playing well. It’s incredible. Practically no one in the stadium, raining, wind, the most horrible conditions, but these warriors play on. And I am loving every minute of it. Some of them are starting to know me and smile or wave because I’m at the practice courts every day -haha. They have at least four matches to catch up already because of rain delays. Very psyched for Friday. I picked the quarters as my one day for tickets to get a packed schedule, now I just need good weather. Haven’t seen Verdasco yet, but he’s here somewhere :)

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Veronica Reply:

Boy! Aren’t you having a heck of a time! I really think I should attend a small tourney. You’ve sold me, Eric! Verdasco? Meh……never understood all the excitement; not even clad in his Calvin Klein!! Haha!

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Ru-an Reply:

That’s my girl ;-) A classy girl like you just couldn’t like Verdasco, and neither can I.

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Ru-an Reply:

Yeah it’s nice that Eric is sharing his experience, isn’t it? It’s like he is taking the blogging over from me while I don’t have anything to blog about Roger! It’s always nice to get the court side scoop from someone who is there. Also it’s nice to see the core group of readers here while I’m not blogging, the likes of you, Eric, Dolores, Kat, and Elizabeth.

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Katyani Reply:

Hey Ru-an, we are all here because of both Roger and you :) And ofcourse because of the glue that keeps us together…. Veronica :)

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Ru-an Reply:

Haha well said Kat. Veronica is indeed the glue. Don’t know what I would do without her! An absolute star.

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Katyani Reply:

“I practically watched Roger practising through a hole on the ground!!” Seriously Ronnie, you can sometimes be just so funny :) I love tennis too. And have to admit that I started to follow track (??) since I saw Usain Bolt. But I guess with me more girls right!!
By the way, do Eric or you or Ru-an follow WWE Wrestling?? I didn’t. But my little nephew got me hooked on that. Some things are clearly acted in it, but also a cool sport to watch….

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Eric Reply:

Uhm, Katyani I hate to tell you this but… they are serious athletes but WWE is not a sport, it’s a performance. My writing partner and I once met with them about a movie idea and I asked them flat out. Everything is written and decided in advance, every move, every winner, every season, everything. Sorry…

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Ru-an Reply:

Right Eric it’s just entertainment at best.

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#22 
Written By Eric on July 21st, 2014 @ 11:53 am

Hey guys, what’s up? I haven’t forgotten about Ru-an and all of you, hope you know that. It’s just not a very good time to be me or to be Dutch :)

First Roger loses (but I am still very PROUD of him), then to make it worse Holland loses in the WC SF (am glad though that Germany won the title), then this time without Roger passes by so slowly and now that very very unfortunate and unnessacary plaincrash which cost like 200 Dutch lives and ofcourse many more. But… life goes on and we all over the world will get through it and survive and be stronger. Sorry for this rant, but this cowardly attack just hurts.

Hopefully 2 weeks will pass by quickly and we will see Roger again :)

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Ru-an Reply:

I’m sorry about the plain crash and the Dutch people Katyani. Also about the football. Nice to hear from you anyway.

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eric Reply:

Terrible about that plane crash and how they’re dealing with it afterwards as well. Feel better Katyani. I was thinking of you and Veronica with all of these good looking tennis studs walking around town, you would be in heaven.

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Veronica Reply:

Haha, Eric! You know Kat and I too well!! Yes, I would have been in stud heaven!! I could gawk at them the whole day!! My no. 1 is actually Marat Safin!! God, that man KILLS me, Haha!! But at a distance. Give him to me as a boyfriend? NO, THANK YOU!! Not Roger though! If ever Mirka wants to step aside, I’m in line!!!! Hahaha! Doesn’t matter if he has 4 kids, he can have 20 and be an old man for all I care!! Haha!

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Dolores Reply:

Thought of you, Katyani, when this senseless tragedy happened, of your country and all the people that lost their lives. My heart goes out to all.
Kindly,
Dolores

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Veronica Reply:

Hey! What’s up with you?! Glad to see you back a bit. Seriously can anything worse happen, Kat?! First Roger loss, then football loss and now the crash. My prayer goes out to all the victims and their families, Kat. My heart goes out to Malaysia Airlines too. Two massive plane tragedies within a space of few months, unheard of in history. Malaysia airlines is one of my favourite airlines and has very good reputation. I’m so sorry for the Malaysian people too. It’s a so difficult for them now; having to console and answer and at the same time having to cope with the Russians…..

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elizabeth Reply:

Hard to know what to say in the wake of such mindless acts, leaving so many lives changed forever. When I saw on the news the film of people going through the belongings of the crash victims I just thought sometimes we see too much! But on a lighter note I am enjoying reading about Eric’s news on the Swiss front. Now did someone mention Marat Safin..X

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Katyani Reply:

Hey Ru-an, you are so sweet. Thanks. Honestly I don’t care that much about football, but we were sooo close. 4 years ago and also now. Hope that you are also doing all right with all that is going on in your life like the jobhunting, maybe coaching, teaching…

And what do you think Ru-an? I think as bad as the loss of the Wimby final was for Roger, it will also proof to be a “good thing”. If he ever had any doubts if he could win a GS, now those doubts were all vanished. He kept up with the current world number 1, the best returner ever, made him work extremely hard for the win, almost won it himself. I think, even if we are all very sad for Roger, that this Wimby final will prove out to be some kind of a “blessing in disguise”. He now knows he can do it and just needs to go one step further….

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Ru-an Reply:

Thanks. I’m doing great. The Wimby loss was tough but Roger proved a point there. Not necessarily that he can still win a slam but that he is mentally good. I have always thought that winning another slam at this stage would be difficult and that it is a toss up. Some people like Annacone for instance seemed so sure that Roger will win another slam. Don’t get me wrong. I hope they are right, but the Wimby final loss didn’t really surprise me. Roger is not the player he used to be. In some ways he is better but the competition has also caught up. I think Roger is mentally better anyway. He is more mature. So hopefully that can help him to win that illusive last slam.
Oh and I can understand the football. If Holland was my country I’d also be major into the world cup, even though football is hardly my favorite sport.

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Katyani Reply:

Hey Eric, oh you are so sweet. Thank you for what you wrote. And…. Veronica and I unfortunately have one big problem: we both like Roger way too much. But…. she will have Roger…. when hell freezes over :) You hear me Ronnie :) First she will have to go through me :) She can have all the other handsome men…. Roger is mine, Mirka-wanne-be :)

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Katyani Reply:

“If ever Mirka wants to step aside, I’m in line!!!!”
Bad Ronnie, bad bad bad Ronnie. You really want us to be “frenemies” right?? You know you are THE person I look most forward to reading online, but my God, girlfriend…. don’t push me!!! Do not make me show you my dark side!!! Don’t make me fight you on Roger. After the real Mirka… I am next :) I can take you. I really can :)

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Katyani Reply:

Hey sweet Dolores. Seriously, could you be any sweeter? It is not good you know to be THAT nice :) Thank you for your words. Especially “senseless tragedy”. Sums it all up. Actually what makes me more sad is the way the world is not getting enough info about it and why they are not letting specialists on the site. All is so very hush. And the people who are left behind are the ones who are paying the price with their greeve. But… enough of this rant for me. I am so lucky you guys thought of me and the Dutch people.

By the way, do tell Dolores when it is your birthday. It is almost the end of July. And thank you for your last reply to me on the other article. I didn’t forget that, sweet Dolores :)

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Ru-an Reply:

Yeah I was thinking about that myself after Dolores’ comment to me. Let us know when is your birthday so we can wish you a proper happy birthday Dolores!

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Dolores Reply:

Katyani and Ru-an, Oh, I should not have mentioned my birthday, but am soooo excited about it as my big birthday wish on my 89th will be for Roger to win his 18th GS. That would make Ru-an’s Federer Blog with all his friends and millions of Fedfans the world over so very happy. So let’s all make this wish for Roger and all of us.
Well, the day is 27th of July. Thank You both for your kindness, and Veronica, and all Ru-an Fedfans.
Kindly,
Dolores

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veronica Reply:

OK, grandma, if your birthday wish for Roger comes true for his 18th, I will remember you on this blog when it happens! Isn’t it just so lovely of you to use your birthday wish for Roger’s success rather than for your own personal wishes?! What an awesome Roger fan you are!! ALL POWER to Dolores’ birthday wish!!

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Katyani Reply:

Hey Elizabeth, you are so sweet. Thank you for your kind words. What?? You like Marat Safin? Hmm, you and Veronica will have to fight that one out.
You know who I like? DON’T LAUGH. But I really like Berdych. Except OFCOURSE when he beats Roger. But his smile….. damn. And I like that he is not perfect and acts weird sometimes. Kind of misunderstood type. But his girlfriend?? Where did he find such a nice and beautiful girlfriend?? Not that I am interested. I have dips on Roger :)

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Ru-an Reply:

Oh man, why Berdych of all people? His gf is hot because Berdych is rich and famous of course.

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Dolores Reply:

Agree, Ru-an, am shaking my head, too, Berdych? Sorry, Katyani, but stick with Roger, only!

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Ru-an Reply:

Yeah in my opinion Nadal is more likable than Berdych. For me Berdych is just terrible.

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veronica Reply:

Katyani! How could you?!! Have you forgotten Wimby/USO when the Bird shitted all over Roger???!!!! Haha!! And you gotta be kidding about his smile!! It is so cold and…. plastic!! Tsonga actually has the best smile : sweet and warm and just melts your heart! But just to make you feel better, I have actually a little, just a little, change of heart towards Big Bird; mostly because judging from his tweets, he seems warmer than on court and has a funny and good attitude.

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Katyani Reply:

Oke sweetheart, now on to you. Can you be seriously anymore sweeter and anymore perfect? I can really imagine a “halo” above your head Veronica :) Thank you for you kind words. Unfortunately there were also Australians on board and ofcourse other nationalities. I feel so bad for all of them and the children. And I didn’t realise the effect on Malaysian people and the airline. I guess we all suffered. How is all with you? Getting through this Rogerless time? Did you see him in the Lindt video? Holding a red card when he got the yellow one?? Seriously, I love you Roger, but can you be more dorky :) Dorkerer suits you :)
And Ronnie…. watch it girlfriend…. I am reading all your comments very carefully where you mention anykind of love for my Roger :) :) :)
#Kat always watching :)

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elizabeth Reply:

The one thing about the ‘chocolate tennis match’ is that everything looked
good mountains, chocolate, Roger,his opponent, Roger oh did I already say Roger, and may I say a very lean looking Mr Federer. Berdych? You cannot be serious haha x

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veronica Reply:

You are just too funny, Katyani, “Mirka wanna be” lol! So you are all ready for Cat fight, eh?!!! Let me just remove this halo above my head first, #angelnotallowedtofight #angelgettingreadytofight #tigerwatchingangel #angelputsbackhalo
Ok, Kat, you win. I’m after you in line #angelalwayswaitingforherchance

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Ru-an Reply:

It’s ok you can have him first and Kat can have The Undertaker. Lol.

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Veronica Reply:

The Undertaker?! Meaning? Sorry,Tiger, your English sometimes is too sophisticated for Cats! Hehe!

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Ru-an Reply:

Google it lol. He is a WWE wrestler, the acting Kat is so fond of.

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Veronica Reply:

Oh it’s a nick name! Sorry no idea as I don’t watch WWE. My dad used to watch it; drove me nuts! Absolute rubbish, Lowest of the lowest, an insult to human intelligence (sorry Kat!!)

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Ru-an Reply:

Lets just say it doesn’t exactly score high on intelligence.

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Katyani Reply:

Hey guys, you are all soooo sweet. Thank you. But honestly, I didn’t want to make you all feel down. It’s just… unfortunately so many bad things happening all over the world and I feel with all of them, but this ‘senseless tragedy’ is just so close to home.
And also, please don’t mind some spelling mistakes of mine. English sounds so easy when they speak it in movies/series and on tv, but when you have to write it…. quite a difficult language :) Anyway, hoping to see Roger soon :)

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#23 
Written By Katyani on July 21st, 2014 @ 12:12 pm

Oh and guys…. didn’t think it was possible, but Rafa has now around 60.000 more Facebook friends than Roger….. How?? Why?? How??

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Ru-an Reply:

Justin Bieber has way more than both of them combined. Do the math.

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Dolores Reply:

Ru-an, am puzzled that you compare Justin Bieber with Nadal/Federer’s facebook friends? How come? Myself, I think Justin Bieber is a basket case.
Best,
Dolores

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Ru-an Reply:

Katyani seemed surprised that Nadal had more FB friends than Roger Dolores. I was just demonstrating that popularity in this world means nothing. Nadal also has 6.5 million twitter followers, while Roger has 2 million, and I’m not even sure Nadal does his own tweeting…

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Dolores Reply:

See your point, Ru-an, did not think of it this way, you are so right about the popularity bit….Nadal possibly has a lot more younger fans, whereas Roger’s fans are more mature, mho.
Enjoy Eric’s comments coming live from tennis courts in Gstaad. He is having a ball for sure.
Best,
Dolores

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Gary Reply:

Not to make a big issue out of facebook, but Nadal posts something on there almost daily, and he makes a huge deal out of it. Federer posts from time to time. It’s very rare. G

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Ru-an Reply:

Yeah like I said popularity means nothing in our world. Jesus had 12 followers.

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veronica Reply:

lol Ru-an! How true! Roger will always lose in battle of fb/twitter. Like Gary says, he hardly posts. Therefore it’s only logical that he gets fewer followers. He is not obsessed with it like most other famous people are; and he is a very private person. I like that about him. It’s classier, fresher and keeps people guessing. So Katyani, no need to lose sleep over this! Our Roger is too class to be a fb/twitter popularist!

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eric Reply:

Haha, that;s funny Ru-an. He has a lot more followers than that now!!

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Ru-an Reply:

Yes, but only after becoming a martyr. I don’t see Justin Bieber or Fedal becoming martyrs, which is why they will never come close to the amount of followers Jesus ended up having.

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Gary Reply:

Ruan, if there was a like button!!!!, I’d give that a thumbs up.

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Veronica Reply:

Me too, Gary!!!!

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#24 
Written By Katyani on July 22nd, 2014 @ 2:29 pm

Hello my RFB friends. Ru-an it must be so gratifying to you to see such a loving community that you’ve created. Bravo! So today has been the most fun of all. It poured again relentlessly all morning until around 12:30 and I ran out to the practice courts as soon as it stopped. The players must have run too because they were ALL there. Again maybe 8 spectators so I was practically standing on the court. There are so few courts in this little village that there were six pairs of players hitting on the 3 courts. Very cool to see them interact w each other. Again Youzney was a real sour puss but he was hitting with Granollers and that was really cool. They did a cross court forehand to forehand drill that was insane. In fact Granollers was hitting much bigger than Youzney was. He may not be the most talented guy but he works harder and practices more than anyone else here. And great attitude. But when the other pair left the court and he and Youzney played a set it was some, really fantastic tennis. Youzney doesn’t hit nearly as hard but his accuracy is astounding and he made the bigger guy run from side to side and gave him quite a beating, with some sweet drop shots and killer topspin backhand winners. AWESOME! Then Gilles Simone came onto the next court with tall good looking Spanish player something Garcia Lopez. That guy was hysterical, and he actually was busting Youzneys balls about Putin. Youzney was arguing back and the Spanish guy was cracking everyone up, it was really cool. I don’t think too many guys like Youzney, Simone didn’t even say hi to him and he fist pumped at least five other guys. Speaking of Simone, he is the most beautiful player I saw here , with a smooth stroke with a whip and snap at the end generating a lot of easy power. He was having a really bad time practicing his serves though and seemed to have a stiff neck. I bet he doesn’t make it far in the tourney though I enjoyed watching his strokes the most. Then I watched a set of Jamie Murray playing doubles. He’s good!! And very serious. Maybe that’s the most interesting thing to observe here, all the different attitudes and styles of the different players. Guys like Andujar and Granollers are such incredibly dedicated hard workers. Guys like Simone and Youzney are naturals, gorgeous players. Dustin Brown is a joke. Careless, almost casual and silly on the practice court. I saw Troiki for only a few minutes. That guy is so much slighter built than everyone else, but he is super HUNGRY. I’m glad you guys are enjoying this and that I could fill some tennis quiet time for us all. Much love to Ru-an and his RFB family.

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Dolores Reply:

Hi Eric, Your comment on witnessing the tennis practise sessions, rain or shine, is a delight to read. It makes me smile, you describe it with such enthusiasm, almost like being there with you.
Thank You, Eric.
Best,
Dolores

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Ru-an Reply:

Thanks Eric. That is funny about Garcia-Lopez. He actually boasts a win over Nadal, and yeah he looks like a fun guy. As for Russians they are the opposite from my experience. Take themselves way too seriously and a sour puss like you aptly put it. I bet Troicki is hungry after his doping ban!

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#25 
Written By Eric on July 22nd, 2014 @ 5:07 pm

I’m so glad Delores. Have you ever been to Gstaad? That’s the village this is happening in. I feel like you all are with me whenever I watch tennis so it feels right to share this fun, and first for me, tennis experience with you. But this can only happen with a guy like Ru-an in charge, who created and constantly recreates this space, encouraging contribution, rather than just wanting a place to grow his own ego. As always, thank you Ru-an!!! I only wish you could be sitting next to me watching these guys. There was even a moment in the drizzle a few days ago where Andujar wanted ANYBODY to hit with him and nobody would, he looked around and right at me. I was wearing hiking boots or I would have eagerly volunteered. It’s crazy the access these tiny tournaments give you. Everything I’ve told you guys about I’ve done for free without a ticket. I only have one for the quarters on Friday. Crazy!!!

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Ru-an Reply:

You’re welcome Eric. That’s amazing about Andujar that he would hit with anybody. Seems like he has a great attitude like you earlier stated. Just loving this court side info from you!

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eric Reply:

Andujar practices until they throw him off the court. Like Granollers. Dustin Brown really irritated me. One shot brilliant, one shot terrible. Zero discipline. A waste of some spectacular natural ability. And that’s cool about Garcia Lopez beating Nadal. What a physical specimen. If I passed that guy walking down the street I would think he was a professional tennis player.

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Ru-an Reply:

That’s awesome. Yeah those Spanish sure know how to work hard on the court. So different from the French who relies a lot on natural ability. If you look at Andujar and Grannolers they are hardly extremely talented. And then you have someone like Simon who is pretty much the opposite. Shame about Brown. I’m not a big fan, although I do like what he did to Nadal at Halle. Must have some serious talent to do that. Kinda strange because he traveled around Europe in a van or something when he was struggling to make it. You would thin a guy like that would be more motivated. Probably smoking too much weed.

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Eric Reply:

Haha, yes Ru-an! Brown has a huge Bob Marley tattoo up the whole left side of his body. He is so talented and so damn casual I bet he dies like the ganja too much. Haha. I almost took a photo of him playing shirtless for K & V but I was the only one there and didn’t want to ruin the cool vibe that was going on. I did take a photo before anyone showed up though and I’ll send it to you.

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Eric Reply:

Wow, terrible typo. I meant to write… I bet he DOES like the ganja too much. Oops. By the way I did some pretty good scouting in the early days. Dustin Brown went out in the first round, Giles Simon withdrew because of injury and Andujar and Granollers are doing great and advancing.

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Ru-an Reply:

Nice. While you are at it you should send us some more pics!

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Eric Reply:

Aha, a mission. I love it!

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Ru-an Reply:

Thought I’d post it here so everyone could see how beautiful it is there

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#26 
Written By eric on July 22nd, 2014 @ 9:14 pm

And by the way don’t misunderstand me. I’m just a 5.0 club level hack of a player. I have no delusions that me playing the worst of these guys would be anything but truly laughable, but I can hit with anyone and would have leaped at the chance if I only had sneakers on. Even if he just practiced serving at me, I would have been insanely thrilled.

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veronica Reply:

Beautiful pic, Eric! I am so enjoying your up close and personal stories; keep them coming!! It’s interesting how tennis players generally carry similar characteristics depending on which country they come from : The Spanish work horse, the French flair, the nut case Russians, the understated Swiss, the cold staring Czech, the hot headed Italian, the hot blooded Serb. Lol about Dustin; such a pity, so enjoyable to watch. And I do agree with you about Simone. He has such a beautiful smooth and relaxed motion; especially his serve; the way he sweeps his feet so smoothly together just before he hits the ball. I think he has the best head among the French. Hey! get those sneakers ON!!

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Dolores Reply:

You are so funny, Veronica, gave ole’ Granny Dolores a good laugh. Eric’s comments are of the same…he is having the time of his life in Gstaad. Ru-an, I can see your smiles, too.
Chuckles,
Dolores

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#27 
Written By eric on July 22nd, 2014 @ 10:27 pm

Haha Veronica, you’re so right about those cliches being true! My days of being alone w the players are over. It’s the quarters now and the sun is shining so town is jam packed. Tomorrow from 10am to 9pm I will be in the centre court w my ticket watching all 4 quarter finals in a row. Am super psyched for a fantastic full day of tennis, especially now that I feel I have such a different view/relationship to all the remaining players. Then the next day I head home but will be excited to see who wins the last matches. I sent and will send a couple more photos w comments to Ru-an so he can choose what to relay. It’s been an absolute dream, glad I could share it w you!

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elizabeth Reply:

Eric, I have just seen there is a rain delay at the moment, but I’m sure that the sun will shine on the righteous tomorrow! So I will be watching online and looking for a spectator with a great big smile on his face and hope it’s you!!

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eric Reply:

Yes, the weather turned so fast. It’s pouring rain, thunder and lightening. Just spent the last 2 hours with my wife’s family having a huge cheese fondue and now I’m laying on the floor in a food coma. Please do a rain dance for me for tomorrow. I will be doing one when I can get off the damn floor! I will absolutely be the guy clapping and having a blast all freaking day, sooner or later they will have to show me on TV. I wish I had a Ru-an’s Federer Blog hat – I would be wearing it!!!

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Ru-an Reply:

Haha it’s GOAT Blog now Eric. Maybe I’ll get some made and sell them.

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Eric Reply:

I’m a buyer!!

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Ru-an Reply:

It’s great that you can appreciate the tennis with none of the big stars out there Eric. That’s the kind of blog follower I like to have. I am watching Troicki vs Verdasco online now. They may have shown you already but I don’t know what you look like! Oh and I didn’t post the Verdasco pic you sent me cause I’m not a fan! Childish, right? Haha.

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Eric Reply:

Haha yes, I had a feeling you would deny my Verdasco shot. If you managed to make it through the second set, he actually had a fantastic 3rd set, with flashes of greatness. He took a bathroom break after the second and we could literally hear him yelling at himself all the way to the bathroom and half way back. What a freak. That said, I don’t know if any of the other guys here have the firepower to beat him if he can keep his shit together for a couple of hours – which will be REALLY hard for him – he’s nuts!!!. You definitely didn’t see me out there. About a 3rd of the stands were empty so I got up from my cheap seats and helped myself to the best freaking seats in the house. I was about a dozen rows behind the baseline just off the center line – awesome perspective of the whole court yet intimate w the player on my side. I could call the lines, see the sidespin and was low enough to appreciate the topspin and slices – kool. But the cameras were all on my side looking out. I had a great long full day of tennis today but to tell you the truth it was those early days on the practice courts that were my favorite experience. On the practice courts, it was clear how even number 30 or 50 in the world is a god compared to all the very good players I usually see, the access to the personalities, training routines, relationships were very special. Today, watching the matches I couldn’t help but think about all the reasons these guys are not top 20, never mind top 10, and forget about 4, not to even mention the God of tennis Gods RF. I mean Youzney and Verdasco are just so hot or cold, producing 20 minutes of breathtaking tennis and then for no reason at all, just falling apart for an entire set, berating and abusing themselves and their poor coaches who have to sit there and take it. And then Andujar, who really is like a manual laborer out there, using his workman’s tools to relentlessly, consistently bang away at constructing points and winning rallies, which is respectable for sure – but he really has no weapons of mass destruction to dominate with and no gifts or artistry to marvel at. So for me this was a magical week, steeped in the world of the sport that I love, that ultimately takes me right back to what brings us all together in this house that Ru-an built to celebrate and be fully present in this fleeting moment of time to the holy shit one of a kind greatest of all time tennis magician that is Roger Federer.

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Veronica Reply:

Eric, great write up again. I am so envious. Wish I know and play the game like you guys. It would be so much more enjoyable and meaningful. Yeah, the top players are really something else and after what you shared, I am totally in absolute admiration of them. Is it even human to be as consistent as them. Btw, “food coma”, love that! Ha! Toronto seems so far away. Missing Roger SO much….

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Veronica Reply:

Haha! Don’t even think you can “taint” this blog with putting a pic of Mr V here, Ru-an! You would destroy all credibility of this blog if you do so! Lol.

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Eric Reply:

Haha, you and Ru-an are so funny about Verdasco, you guys crack me up. Happy bday, D!!!

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Dolores Reply:

Thank You, Eric, for remembering my b’day. You have been having the best of time in beautiful Gstaad, living tennis day by day and sharing it with us all on Ru-an’s home.
Best to you,
Dolores

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Ru-an Reply:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DOLORES!! Thank you for all the years of loyal support of my blog! I have told you before that you have always been the most loyal supporter of my blog but I wanted to tell you again. It is much appreciated. You have been a true inspiration to me with your maturity and wisdom! I hope you will follow my blogging for many years to come, wherever it takes me! You have really cemented your place here as the most senior and classy member :-)

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Dolores Reply:

Dear Ru-an, Many thanks for your Happy Birthday greeting to me, along with all the very kind words you have expressed. Am most appreciative. Coming to your blog is the most important tennis blog I daily visit. You have created a great following, it’s like a family of people who like tennis and love Roger Federer.
Want to mention to you what my most loved birthday card I received. My 10 year old grandson made his own card by sending me a copy of a black/white ink drawing of Roger Federer, bless his heart.
With kindest regards,
Dolores

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Ru-an Reply:

Lol I know. I’m just relieved you used ‘V’ instead of writing out his whole name. That would have destroyed all credibility of my blog too.

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#28 
Written By Eric on July 24th, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

BTW, there apparently is something seriously wrong with Giles Simon. Someone told me today he was taken to the emergency room for collapsing and hurting himself. He seemed like a really cool dude with a gorgeous game, I hope he’s ok. Going to sleep now and traveling in the morning. Cheers everyone!

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#29 
Written By eric on July 25th, 2014 @ 9:51 pm

Btw, Happy birthday grandma Dolores and many happy returns of the day!! And may your wish for no.18 come true!!! Have a blast today! It’s already Sunday here in Aussie land,12.01am, hehe!! Praying blessings for you today and everyday of your life!

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Dolores Reply:

Dear Veronica, A Happy Birthday wish from Aussie land is very special to me also because you sent it with your loving wishes. Yes, let us hope for Roger’s Nr. 18. I believe he can do it.
Thank You, Veronica.
Dolores

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Jiten Reply:

Happy birthday from India too to Dear Dolores. Lots of love from Assam, the beautiful north eastern part of India and land of tea and one horned rhinoceros. I wish our hero will continue playing till you cross the century mark!

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Elizabeth Reply:

Dolores, Happy Birthday wish from Scotland x I love the happy banter
between all these ‘girls’. Also Eric for his wonderful posts this last week and how can we forget Ru-an who makes this all possible! Even although our man Fed lost at Wimbledon this just seems such a happy time in tennis,so C’mon Roger make delores birthday wish come true.

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Ru-an Reply:

It’s my pleasure and honor Elizabeth.

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Dolores Reply:

Thank You a big bunch for your Happy Birthday Wish coming from Elizabeth in beautiful Scotland. Delight to meet you, Elizabeth, reading your comments on Ru-an’s blog are right on the money. Love them.
Yes, C’mon, Roger, do it, #18.
Kindly,
Dolores

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Dolores Reply:

Dear Jiten, Isn’t it wonderful how we all come together from all parts of the world, your beautiful country, India. Ru-an and Roger are bringing us together, it is exciting. I thank you for you very kind and thoughtful birthday wishes. May we all join together to wish Roger good health, kissing trophy #18. I believe he can do it.
Best to you in beautiful India.
Dolores

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#30 
Written By Veronica on July 26th, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

Pretty cool. Andujar vs Monaco in the final and if I’m not mistaken, they are a doubles team playing in the doubles final. Nice week for them and so nice to see that hard work pays off for a guy like Andujar. He deserves it!!!

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Ru-an Reply:

Yeah nice to see the hard worker making the final and not the talented nutcase!

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#31 
Written By eric on July 26th, 2014 @ 9:21 pm

Dear sweet Dolores, yesterday was your 89th birthday. Happy birthday !! I had not forgotten about you, just didn’t had time in the weekend to comment. Hope you had a wonderful day with your family. And I hope that with the rest of us, Roger grants one of his diehard fans her very nice birthday gift and wish: 18th GS :)

Ps: sweet Dolores…. are you really 89?? You are just one of us girlie girls :)

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#32 
Written By Katyani on July 28th, 2014 @ 6:50 am

My dear Katyani, you are a sweetheart of young years, I so much appreciate. Yes, am feeling like one of your “girlie girls”, young at heart, a little older in number, like 89! Thank you for remembering me with your good wishes attached. It’s “C’mon, Roger” wish for GS #18!
Looking forward to tennis with Roger leading the way.
Kindly,
Dolores

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#33 
Written By Dolores on July 28th, 2014 @ 10:26 pm

So Ru-an, the Nadal saga continues. He withdraws from Toronto and Cincinnati. Judging by his past history of histrionics, I am least surprised.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2014/07/31/Toronto-Cincinnati-Nadal-Withdraws.aspx

I am eagerly looking forward to your views on this current situation: how is it going to affect ATP tennis in the coming months? What does it hold for our hero? I strongly believe that if Fed does what he is expected to do in these tourneys, he should be fine; may end up with one of those two titles. If he pushes hard, he still has statistically some windows to finish at the top at the end of the year. For me, I just want him to remain healthy for the rest of the season. The reward will follow automatically. COME ON FED!

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Veronica Reply:

Yeah, Jiten, the saga continues…..injury sounds genuine but too much of the same cycle/pattern makes me cynical. Personally, I think Uncle Toni and Nadal would give an arm and a leg to overtake Roger’s slam count. It is all that is standing in the way of the GOAT debate. Nadal’s not interested in no. 1 or ranking or consistency. He’s too aware that his time is running out to chase Roger. In fact I’m calling it. Nadal is all about the slams now ( and also protecting his h2h with Djokovic and preserving the aura that “nobody beats a healthy Nadal”). If he doesn’t make it to USO, I would give him the benefit of a doubt. But if he turns up, then it just confirms my suspicions that he is all about the slams, training and preserving himself to win USO.

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Jiten Reply:

Let us wait and see Veronica. I don’t think he would risk playing US open without any competitive plays leading to it. In all probability, uncle Toni is cycling him up to peak for the Australian open so that he can get the double career slam! But I am pretty sure it is not going to be easy this time around.

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Veronica Reply:

Yeah, Jiten, he might be going for the second double career slam which he missed by a whisker. But What I’m saying, just as Balthazar is also saying, is that if Nadal miraculously turned up at USO and maybe even win it, then I’m not buying he was injured at all.

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#34 
Written By Jiten on July 30th, 2014 @ 5:27 pm

Nadal flew to Barcelona from his training base in Majorca for tests of his wrist, which revealed “a small disinsertion of the posterior ulnar pod of his right wrist.”

Nadal’s camp said in a statement that his return for competition was “initially scheduled for the U.S. Open,” which begins Aug. 25. But if Nadal has to wear a cast for three weeks, he would have not have much time to prepare for the Open. He has not played a hardcourt tournament since March.

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elizabetth Reply:

Trouble with Nadal is that so many times he’s been ‘injured’ some genuine and some dodgy, now when Nadal and injury are mentioned it’s hardly news!
You can only cry wolf so often. But if by some miracle he’s fit for U.S. Open you can bet he’ll be firing on all cylinders!!!

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#35 
Written By eric on July 31st, 2014 @ 12:23 am

If Nadal plays and wins this year’s US Open, it will only heat up the swirl of rumors about fake injuries and the suspected use of PED’s that have dogged him throughout his career. No one, I repeat, no one, would be able to nonchalantly discard a wrist cast right before a slam, and then miraculously cruise to victory without even having had a chance to practice on hard courts since the spring. But this is Nadal, so all bets are off. He already proved last year that he can come back from a seven-month absence and without even blinking win everything in sight. That has never transpired before in the history of Open-era tennis. And why, pray tell, did it happen?

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Ru-an Reply:

If the answer to that was revealed I’m afraid tennis may be in ruins Balthazar.

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balthazar Reply:

Indeed, Ru-an. But perhaps ruins would be better than what we have now. Besides, much can be learned from ruins—like after an earthquake, when an army of inspectors combs through the wreckage, draws it conclusions, then recommends stronger building designs to the engineers to prevent future disastrous collapses.

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#36 
Written By balthazar on July 31st, 2014 @ 8:22 pm

Hi all! Real life kept me away from here for a while. But I wanted to stop by and wish Dolores a happy (belated) birthday, and many happy returns! 89 years young!

There’s tons to say about Federer’s tactics and how he’s changed his game to adapt to the new racket, but technical talk is almost beside the point. Most importantly, he’s playing with a focus and determination we haven’t seen for a couple years. He thrives on change, on breaking new ground and moving forward. If he’s just doing the same old thing over and over again, he stagnates. This happened, I think, in ’08 to some extent (not just the mono).

I’m quite hopeful that he will be encouraged by his performance at Wimbledon and attack the hard court season with relish and confidence. You have to think that if he can keep this level up (and perhaps even push it a notch higher) he will win another major soon, perhaps even regain the #1 spot.

One blessing in disguise of his clay season is that he didn’t play that many matches. He played a full complement of grass matches, but grass is the surface that puts the least strain on the body. So he’s got plenty left in the tank for the hard courts. With his improved serve and his determination to come forward to shorten points, his body should hold up throughout and allow him to play at a very high level. It’s been a while since he won Toronto and I think he can make a good run this year.

And I think he’s very determined to prove himself at USO and reverse the results of the last couple years. Since ’09 his results there have been slowly but steadily declining–two years where he was one point away from facing Nadal in the final, a QF, and then R16–and I think that will motivate him to produce his best and make a serious run at the title.

If he does well during the summer HC season, there’s the indoor run to follow and he can pick up quite a few points there, where he plays so well, and build a good base for next year. Given how badly he was slumping in the first three-quarters of last year, he really played well in the indoor season so I think he can certainly improve upon that this year.

So go Roger!

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Katyani Reply:

Hey Steve, great comment. Damn Ru-an, you have some very very great commentators here on your site. I think I have to up a gear with my comments :)

But Steve, now that the Wimby final is over, I do think it will be a “blessing in disguise”, eventhough it was a loss. Roger was soooo close. If he had any doubts if he could really win another GS, the Wimby final showed that he CAN do it. Even at his age with THIS strong competition. All he needs to do now is… take it one step further and…. win :) I think Roger knows that he can make it happen and win a GS. Ofcourse somethings will have to go his way to make it happen.

And finally…. we will see Roger again. This break seems so long…

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Dolores Reply:

HI Steve, Your kind thoughts in wishing me a “belated” Happy Birthday is very much appreciated. Thank You.
Always enjoy reading your comments on Ru-an’s blog, tops!
Excitement in the air for Roger’s start of tennis…as you say, ‘C’mon, Roger, do it!

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#37 
Written By steve on July 31st, 2014 @ 11:39 pm

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