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NDMS
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ATP: Three first-time RG semifinalists and the man who has been there 5 straight times. I don't believe in predictions but you can never bet against the guy with more experience at this stage. WTA: Fingers and toes crossed for Safina. That's not a prediction. P.S. Murray didn't run out of gas. It's not fair to the conquerors of Djokovic and Nadal to say these two run out of gas. But my strongest recommendation to Nole and Rafa is to take it easy on pre-RG for next year.
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I don't think frontally mocking Nadal is "a modest stand against his constant gamesmanship." On SPORTSMANSHIP: Nobody on tour has a clean record or will every have. That is not humanly possible. Tursunov trailing badly in a match stuck his finger to his nose for the cameras. Wawrinka mocked Cipolla's injury timeout USO '08 causing Cipolla not to shake his hands at the net. There's Gonzalez and the whole did-not-touch-my-racquet incident in Beijing. Blake was all too eager to be the beneficiary of bumping off Korolev in a mid-tournament change of rules during the trial run of the round-robin format Las Vegas '07. There's JMDP and the "yo mamma" thing against Murray Rome '08. Roddick mouths off to umpires all the time. The ever so classy Federer discarded empty water bottles behind him not caring where they landed in his match against Djokovic Miami '09 and back in the YEC '07 RR match he lost to Gonzalez, he got testy at the umpire Carlos Bernades who wasn't sure he wanted to make a challenge saying "Don't give me that sh*t." There's the ever lovable Santoro refusing at matchpoint to return the last serve of Roddick USO '08 because he thought Roddick aimed too hard at him in a previous serve. And here's a real doozy. Blake's first 5-set win came at the expense of Santoro USO '07 but did you know that Santoro used every trick of gamesmanship in the book to prolong that match once he won the 4th set and had very little left for the 5th set? And Blake smartly did not make a big deal because of the veteran status of Santoro and his love affair with the crowd. After the match, Blake fully and warmly acknowledged Santoro's efforts. Personally, I'd like to linger on scintillating moments of sportsmanship. Nadal hugging Federer in AO '09. Murray making the overture to chat with JMDP at the net USO '08. Melzer extending his hand to Monfils for being broken with an incredible point RG '09. Roddick staying behind (and giving a speech) after his win over Santoro AO '09 when the AO officials gave Santoro a mini farewell ceremony.
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On the handshake in this match: Steve watched and wrote his opinion. Whether you concur/somewhat concur/disagree/say duh? or come on!/cry foul, just make sure you watch the handshake yourself before you make up your mind. That is, if you really give a hoot. I'm more concerned about the judgement of both players on the Wimby '07 incident based on the youtube clip alone. That 5-setter took over 5 days so there are things that go behind the scenes we don't know of so if you really want to understand the incident, watch the match point by point. That is, if you still give a hoot. As a Rafa fan, I supplicate to other Rafa fans that if your basis for your intense dislike of Soderling is just on Wimby incident alone, then don't. Rafa contributed to that incident all the way to his presser. Unfortunately, this topic will be heavily revived at SW19. And there will always be TW newbies wondering "what was that about?"
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I had to email sandra, a poster here on the real "start" of Nadal-Soderling Wimby '07 incident because I guess I'm also hazy about the actual genesis of the incident. Most people have seen only the youtube clips and have not seen the match. THIS IS WHAT SANDRA EMAILED ME: Over the course of the 4-day match, Soderling would not do the customary holding up of the ball to let Nadal know that Soderling was serving with new balls. Nadal's holding up the ball to Soderling was a response to that and to the general testiness of the match (caused in part by the numerous stops and starts of the match induced by rain delays). [end of sandra's email] Bottomline: It became an unfortunate tit for tat. Both made retaliatory gestures. Neither one is entirely innocent or guilty.
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I had to email sandra, a poster here on the real "start" of Nadal-Soderling Wimby '07 incident because I guess I'm also hazy about the actual genesis of the incident. Most people have seen only the youtube clips and have not seen the match. THIS IS WHAT SANDRA EMAILED ME: Over the course of the 4-day match, Soderling would not do the customary holding up of the ball to let Nadal know that Soderling was serving with new balls. Nadal's holding up the ball to Soderling was a response to that and to the general testiness of the match (caused in part by the numerous stops and starts of the match induced by rain delays). [end of sandra's email] Bottomline: It became an unfortunate tit for tat. Both made retaliatory gestures. Neither one is entirely innocent. Let's leave it a that.
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So Gonzalez did one notch better than his QF run last year. Pretty impressive. As a Murray fan, I prefer this finish. He still isn't equipped to be in the semis of RG, let alone be the last two men standing. A QF finish is nothing to sneeze at. STATS FOR FOUR SETS First serve in % Murray 73% Gonzalez 70% Aces/DF Murray 3/2 Gonzalez 4/1 W/UFE Murray 22/21 Gonzalez 49/23 Netpoints won Murray 13/21 Gonzalez 17/24 Breakpoints won Murray 2/6 Gonzalez 5/11 Total points won Murray 89 Gonzalez 109
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MAndy just channeled Hewitt and yelped "C'mon" when he got the improbable hold. 2-2!
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MAndy just channeled Hewitt and yelped "C'mo" when he got the improbable hold.
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Gonzo has a very favorable draw. But I also think his conservative preparation was just right. He skipped MC and Madrid, the front-end and back-end of pre-RG and only played Barcelona and Rome reaching the semifinals of both.
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STATS FOR THREE SETS First serve in % Murray 74% Gonzalez 69% Aces/DF Murray 3/1 Gonzalez 4/1 W/UFE Murray 12/17 (-5 differential) Gonzalez 30/18 (20+ differential) Netpoints won Murray 8/14 Gonzalez 14/20 Breakpoints won Murray 1/5 Gonzalez 4/8 Total points won Murray 64 Gonzalez 82
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STATS FOR TWO SETS First serve in % Murray 70% Gonzalez 69% Aces/DF Murray 2/1 Gonzalez 2/1 W/UFE Murray 9/7 (Defensive?) Gonzalez 30/15 (Dictatorial!!!) Netpoints won Murray 7/10 Gonzalez 12/18 Breakpoints won Murray 1/5 Gonzalez 1/5 Total points won Murray 53 Gonzalez 55
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Mr. X, No, Murray thinks he's Starace, one of the best dropshotters in this tourney.
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Annie, I meant Robin went to get a new racquet. But Rafa being obnoxious? No. I think he mis-communicated and Robin misunderstood and the whole thing flared up.
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Annie @ 9:50am, Yes I know about Robin running to get new balls. But Rafa being obnoxious? No. I think he mis-communicated and Robin misunderstood and the whole thing flared up.
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Matt, I'm not hard on Soderling. I was one of the few fans that never hated Soderling nor Berdych nor any of the players that the average Rafa fan hated. Here's the thing. A lot of players do "uncool" things at the spur of the moment, in the heat of the battle. What do you across the net? You turn around, breathe deeply, mutter but you don't aggravate the situation by frontal mimicking. Rafa looked at him after the mimicking and just bit his lip and then he resumed serving. Also I know Rafa isn't the type to let something like this fester and go out of control afterwards, as in long after the tournament. He said that he tried to say "hi" several times to Robin who continually snubbed him. And I think Rafa tried to understand Robin so he asked around the locker room and got the answer that Robin is not liked.
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Too good! Soderling is too good for Rafa and Kolya for this RG! He gets the second break and is serving for a spot in the semis.
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I think Robin is on his way to his first ever GS semis. He is up 3-1 and Kolya can't get inroads on the serve. Matt/temes, Yes, Robin didn't imitate Rafa out of nowhere. And Rafa did look like he did the first "not cool" move but I sincerely believe that Rafa did not intend that saying new balls to be a mockery.
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Stats for two sets First serve in % Soderling 65% Davydenko 76% (if you’re serving better and still losing, you’re in real trouble) Aces/DF Soderling 2/3 Davydenko 1/3 W/UFE Soderling 22/20 Davydenko 12/19 Netpoints won Soderling 7/11 Davydenko 4/4 Breakpoints won Soderling 4/10 (at least Kolya tried) Davydenko 0/2 Total points won Soderling 65 Davydenko 41
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Poor Safina. Up 4-1 and now it's 4-4 with Azarenka first to serve.
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http://www.fromsport.com/video-29948.html Kolya-Robin
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Thanks for that, plainsong. Kolya is facing a 3rd BP on his 3rd service game. It's his advantage now. If Kolya loses serve once, the set is pretty much over. Robin is barely losing points on his serve.
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TripleF, I don't think anybody is using one. I'm SBing. TTC will archive the match in full afterwards.
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Kolya finally held for the 1st game of the 2nd set after going through several deuces. Happy Birthday Kolya! And advance Happy to Rafa! (Jun 3)
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1st set stats 1st serve in % Soderling 67% Davydenko 73% Aces/DF Soderling 1/1 Davydenko 0/0 W/UFE Soderling 6/3 Davydenko 1/6 Breakpoints won Soderling 2/3 Davydenko 0/2
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TTC is not livestreaming but the match will be archived in full afterwards. I don't like tuning in to the TV because they keep switching back and forth between the ATP and WTA matches and Gimelboob is commentating. Robin is 3-2 in h2h against Kolya winning the last two matches. This hot start is not surprising. He gets this set before Kolya realizes what hit him. Very good strategy.
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