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Federer obviously lost this match on his racquet. Annacone should have shouted down from the box to be more aggresive. I know Roger is internally motivated but it would have helped. Djokovic didn't do anything remarkable except to "hang in there", which is at least respectable even against a half-steam Federer. Federer must have developed a drinking problem lately, he looks nothing short of hungover during these matches. My one big question: Why did Federer not play aggresively this match? Why did he develop this bad habit last year after beating Sampras's record? When he plays aggresively without self-consiousness of what is on the line, no one can beat him, and it is the most exciting, entertaining tennis to watch.
Commented Sep 12, 2010 on
Concrete Elbow by Steve Tignor
Or . . . maybe not. OK, history has eluded us, and, no matter how thrilling and nerve-wracking the match we just saw was—and it was easily the match of the tournament, if not the year—that takes a few minutes to get over. But look at it this way: What are the chances that Roger and Rafa would ...
Great Post Steve, - While I think the Hawk Eye system is a boon to the sport of tennis, I am skeptical that is accurate to within its 3mm margin of error, 100% of the time. While it is true that it must be accurate within 3 mm to be used in tournaments, the challenge videos we see do not display where the ball actually and truly strikes the court, but a interpretation of where it likely hit, within 3 mm, according to the cameras aimed down at the court from the top of the stadium. There have been documented matches in other, smaller tournaments, where the Hawk Eye has proven to be off by inches. When Federer was serving 5-4 up 30-0 during the second set of the men's final, Del Potro hit a shot wide of the doubles line. I was in the upperdeck and instantly recoginzed the ball as being out; nevertheless Del Potro's Hawk Eye challenge said that it was in. The fact that I instantly, along with many fans around me, saw the ball as landing out, as well as Federer's return to examine the ballmark again and again in disbelief makes me skeptical of our over-reliance on the system as well. I absolutely support any kind of techonoly that can assist the human senses in keeping sports equitable and honest. The issue with Hawk Eye is that people have accepted it as an indisputable final-word in exactly where a ball landed, when it's only giving us an educated guess as to where the ball probably landed, at best within 3 mm., but sometimes, and in documented cases, much more than that. It is those sometimes where human judgement should not automatically yield to an interprative techonology. For example, earlier in the tournament, Federer recieved a serve which clipped the net for a let, but failed to set off the let-calling machine for whatever reason. The sound of the ball striking the tape was obvious not only to Federer, but to me on the couch. Since the beeping-machine didn't go off the referee dind't call let and Federer subsequently lost the point. Afterwards he approached the ref and asked him why he didn't call the let. The referee responded by saying, "I trust the machine so much that I didn't think to make the call, I'm sorry," thus acknowledging his error in not calling the let and his complete subordiantion of his ears to the let-detector. To use an overused metaphor, the human brain is the most sophisticated "computer" in the world. Sometimes machines simply do not work correctly. Remember, it's Hawk Eye, not "God's Eye".
Commented Sep 16, 2009 on
Concrete Elbow by Steve Tignor
It was the perfect ending; I was wrong again. Juan Martin del Potro beat Roger Federer in a chaotic Arthur Ashe Stadium yesterday and sent the tournament out with a festive buzz. From an instantly infamous outburst—forever to be known as “The Tirade” in tennis lore—to the best shot ever hit by ...
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