This is Abraxas's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Abraxas's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Abraxas
Recent Activity
Great article Steve. As you pointed out, the most likely cause of his recurrent knee' problem is the imbalance created by the orthotics he is forced to use due to his congenital foot problem. It is sad because there isn't much that can be done, but it is the deck of cards that he has been dealt and he has to play with it. I have already missed Rafa enough when he hasn't been able to play throughout the years. He will be missed more in the future, no doubt. The unfortunate fact for tennis, as you alluded to, is that without Rafa the whole thing simply doesn't have the same feeling. There is a huge vacuum. In my humble opinion, only two players have this worldwide star-struck out-of-this-world smashing appeal: Roger and Rafa. Without either one of them, tennis is simply not the same. This goes beyond their fantastic rivalry and starts and ends with the simple fact that Roger and Rafa are simply the greatest tennis players and every other player earns validation by going through them on their way to a title. Some will say, a title is a title and you can only beat the competitors who are in front of you. This is strictly true, but let's not fool ourselves, tennis would be in deep, deep trouble, if tournaments ended up like the recently played Toronto where Djokovic won without even having to think about facing Roger, Rafa and Andy who didn't play. Lesser title without these three, it is, no doubt. The undeniable truth is that Roger and Rafa are two of the all-time greatest tennis players and the two players with the largest, broadest and deepest fan base, by far. They are simply irreplaceable. No other active tennis player comes close and the only valid comparison, in terms of star power, has to be made with past greats: Borg, Connors, McEnroe et all. The bottom line is that tennis needs a healthy Rafa back soon.
1 reply
M-life, Sounds good to me. I am impressed by your good memory. Roland Garros 2013 would be a good place to meet up. What do you say?
Toggle Commented Aug 1, 2012 on Catching Heat at Concrete Elbow by Steve Tignor
1 reply
I have wrote this before and will write it again: Young and Harrison are two of the most over-hypped, overrated, spoiled players in tennis. Youth and "fire" are two bad reasons to excuse their very poor behavior. Michael Jordan brought his legendary "fire" every time he played but he would always behave properly. And let's not use the excuse that this is tennis, as basketball is much more physical and confrontational and the potential for explosive behavior is much greater than in tennis. It is not in the sport, it is in the individual. Further, there are plenty of young tennis players who know how to behave on court. The sad thing is that Young and Harrisson are more likely to grow old looking like Jeff Tarango than Jimmy Connors or Jonn McEnroe. Lastly, this is the Olympics, for crying out loud, where the planet's best athletes compete. This is not a tennis match at one of these hillbillies (no offense meant) backyard. Act properly!
Toggle Commented Jul 31, 2012 on Catching Heat at Concrete Elbow by Steve Tignor
1 reply
I meant to add that as for the now official ATP number 1 standing, Lendl did win it back in 1989, while Connors has five straight (including 1976) and 1982 is given to McEnroe for 4 straight years. So no come back for ether Connor or McEnroe. So, for the ATP it is indeed Lendl, Federer and Nadal.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2012 on Wimbledon: Federer d. Murray at Racquet Reaction
1 reply
"But only Lendl and Federer have regained year-end number one after losing it." Well, actually Lendl never did. He kept it three consecutive years. In the open Era Connors regained the number on spot in 1976 and 1982, McEnroe in 1983, Federer in 2009 and Nadal in 2010.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2012 on Wimbledon: Federer d. Murray at Racquet Reaction
1 reply
Old School, I didn't mean loser in a pejorative way but rather in its simple meaning of someone who has lost something and Sampras has definitely lost a lot today. He has lost half of his remaining significant records. I grew up watching Borg, Connors, Mac, etc. Borg was my favorite player until he retired, then, Edberg and the younger Sampras (I confess that, even though I really dislike the younger Agassi, I ended up switching to Agassi as they grew older, as I grew bored with Sampras’ demeanor and Agassi matured), then Roger and Rafa. All this to say that I have nothing against Sampras or the “older” players and I fully appreciate their game and their historical standing. Having said that, one ought to try to be objective and Sampras lost a lot today, as did Borg a few weeks ago with Nadal's win. That is just the reality. Objectively speaking, Roger's win is huge for him and for his position in history not necessarily because the 17th title, but more importantly, due to the 7th Wimbledon title and 286 (or more) weeks at number one. He got three major records with one win and surpassed Sampras. That makes his GOAT claim a lot more solid. As a side effect, though, the reality is that Sampras is basically out of the running. Ditto, in my opinion, for Laver and Borg and the old time greats (yes, I am very aware of MSF strong opinion on this subject). Now, Roger winning today, in away, it was similar to Nadal when he won Roland Garros. Nadal's win was significant not only because he won the 7th, a record, but also because he surpassed Borg, claimed the clay GOAT and matched 7 titles at a Major. In that respect, Borg also lost as he was surpassed by Nadal both in number of titles at Roland Garros and as the clay GOAT.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2012 on Wimbledon: Federer d. Murray at Racquet Reaction
1 reply
"I guess it is interesting to know if Roger is now sure to EQUAL or also to BEAT Sampras' record of 286 weeks at number 1 - who knows about that?" Yes, Federer is guaranteed to hold the number one spot for at least two weeks until the Olympic games, as neither him nor Djokovic are playing tournaments before that. So, Federer is guaranteed to surpass Sampras and have, at least, 286 weeks at number 1. I honestly feel bad for Sampras. I have been writing about this for quite sometime now. Between Federer and Nadal (mostly Roger) Sampras has lost almost all the records he previously held. He will keep the consecutive years at number one but that is about it. Not much for a guy that was thought to be the GOAT when he retired a decade ago.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2012 on Wimbledon: Federer d. Murray at Racquet Reaction
1 reply
(as basically everything Sampras has achieved Federer has been able to MATCH or surpass.)
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2012 on Wimbledon: Federer d. Murray at Racquet Reaction
1 reply
Somehow these two records were left out from my previous post: • 17 Grand Slam titles: all-time record. • 8 finals at Wimbledon: all-time record.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2012 on Wimbledon: Federer d. Murray at Racquet Reaction
1 reply
*Federer is the big winner today. But who are the biggest LOSERS today? You say Murray, I say not so fast. What about Sampras and Djokovic? 1) Sampras: In one single day, Sampras has been tied or lost three of his all-time records to Federer. Federer has tied Sampras’ 7 Wimbledon titles and 7 titles at an individual Major. More importantly, Sampras has lost the record of most weeks at number one he held with 285 weeks. Should Federer be able to hold on until the end of the year, he will also tie Sampras’ record of 6 years at number one. Yes, Sampras would keep the record of “consecutive” years at number one, but it would be the only significant record he would have left. All other records are already gone. Further, at this point, Federer has got to be considerer the greatest grass-court player of all-time. Not Sampras. Also Sampras is out of the running for overall GOAT, as basically everything Sampras has achieved Federer has been able to or surpass. All considered, a really bad day for Sampras in the history books. 2) Djokovic: He has lost the Wimbledon title and the world’s number one. Can he regain the world’s number one position? Maybe, but he needs to play a lot better. Djokovic has won 2 titles this year, including 1 Major and has lost 7 times already. At this point last year he had won 8 titles, including 2 Majors and had achieved a 43 match winning streak with only 1 loss and had gained the world’s number one. 3) Murray: He is has now lost 4 finals at Majors. Nevertheless, he reached the Wimbledon final for the first time and won a set in a Major’s final for the first time. 4) Laver, Borg, Sampras, Nadal and all other potential candidates for GOAT (including the old greats): Federer has raised the bar once more and has a solid claim for the GOAT title. In my opinion the past champions are already out of the running. Can anyone challenge him from this point on? Unlikely.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2012 on Wimbledon: Federer d. Murray at Racquet Reaction
1 reply
*Federer by the records* • 7 Wimbledon titles: all-time record (shared with Sampras and Renshaw) • 7 titles at an individual Major: all-time record (shared with Sampras and Nadal*). • Most weeks at number one (at least 286): all time record. Federer is guaranteed to hold the number one spot for at least two weeks, which will give him the 286 weeks. • 12 titles on grass: all-time record. • 10 consecutive years reaching at least one Major final: all-time record. • 24 finals at Majors: all-time record. • 32 semifinals at Majors: all-time record. • 244 match wins at Majors: all-time record. • 33 consecutive quarterfinals at Majors: all-time record. • 90.41% (66-7) - Best winning percentage at Majors on grass: all-time record (Borg still has the best winning percentage at Wimbledon at 92.73% (51-4) but his overall average on grass is dragged down by 3 losses at other Majors played on grass). * Richard Sears, Bill Larned, Bill Tilden and William Renshaw also won a Major (equivalent) 7 times. Nevertheless, their titles are not of equal measure. Sampras Federer and Nadal had to win 49 matches to get their 7 titles. Sears, for instance, once won the first time he only had to play a total of 6 matches to earn the other 6 U.S. Open titles, since, at the time, the champion had an automatic place in the final and only needed to play one match to win the championship.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2012 on Wimbledon: Federer d. Murray at Racquet Reaction
1 reply
Murray has faced one of the most difficult draws any top player could possibly encounter at a Major. Honestly, I can't remember a tougher draw. And he has survived and reached the final. He really deserves to win it all. But so does Federer, for different reasons. The interesting thing, at this point, is that, no matter who wins, history will be made. And it will be huge. Will Murray win his first Major (and first for Britan in what appears to be about 350 years) and join the elite? Will Roger win his 7th title and reach world number one again, tying Sampras on both counts?
Toggle Commented Jul 6, 2012 on Wimbledon: Murray d. Tsonga at Racquet Reaction
1 reply
@Of course it does not count, You are correct. There have been some great matches this year. I just haven't found the tournament, as a whole, very compelling up to today. That, however, changed massively today with Roger and Andy's wins. I guess I was thinking more about what appeared to be the inexorable move towards the semis of the top players, which was rather boring. let's face it, neither Federer nor Djokovic faced very difficult opponents until they faced each other today. So I found it a bit boring. But yes, there are caveats. Nadal lost to Rosol, which was, naturally, unexpected (although I don't think the match itself was great, it was, indeed compelling), and more importantly, Murray has faced one of the most difficult draws any top player could possibly encounter at a Major. Honestly, I can't remember a tougher draw. And he has survived and reached the final. The interesting thing, at this point, is that, no matter who wins, history will be made. And it will be huge.
Toggle Commented Jul 6, 2012 on Wimbledon: Federer d. Djokovic at Racquet Reaction
1 reply
The most likely final will be Federer vs. Murray. That would be a very compeling final to a very boring, so far, Wimbledon tournament. Either Federer wins his 7th title and regains the number one tying Sampras' records on both counts, or Murray wins his first Major. Compelling it will be. As for Djokovic and his fans, this loss is worrisome. It looks like the old Djokovic is back and lasts year's top form is nowhere to be found. Djokovic had not faced a single difficult opponent to this point and now has lost to the "old" Federer, the one that his fans have been claiming would be destroyed by Djokovic. Not even close. At this point last year Djokovic had won 8 titles and 2 Majors and had lost 1 single match with a 43 match winning streak. This year he has only won 2 titles, the last one a long time ago in Miami, and has already lost 7 times. Further, he is likely to lose his number one. The Olympics will prove the making or breaking point this time around, but it doesn't look good. I don't think he will do too well there.
Toggle Commented Jul 6, 2012 on Wimbledon: Federer d. Djokovic at Racquet Reaction
1 reply
This is, indeed, a golden opportunity for Murray to reach the final and potentially win the whole thing. He has had, by far the toughest draw and most difficult opponents, but got the one break he hasn't had before: not having to face Nadal who has defeated him in the last three Majors the have played. It is also a great opportunity for Ferrer. He is playing really well and is always a threat. Ferrer has now reached the quarters at every Major. Not bad but he can do better still.
Toggle Commented Jul 3, 2012 on Wimbledon: Murray d. Cilic at Racquet Reaction
1 reply
Azarenka is almost as sweet as a sour lemon. Very appealing and engaging personality. Yes that is sarcasm.
Toggle Commented Jul 2, 2012 on Miss Impatience at Peter Bodo's TennisWorld
1 reply
noleisthebest, If you still don't know who she is by now, you will join the history books by being the next victim of a golden set!
1 reply
"how dare they have any personality or display any form of immaturity while learning their trade under the spotlight of expectations, criticism and speculation" Petulance, childishness, bad behavior, arrogance, false sense of entitlement. These are ageless bad traits that many of these players share. Borg, Edberg, Sampras, Nadal, Raonic and others were (or are) young too, and much more successful, and yet, didn't displayed these bad traits. Being a gentleman, well educated, respectful and thankful is something that good people learn at an early age and never forget. Behaving properly is simple and it has nothing to do with age. it has to do with proper education and old fashion "goodness". Either you have it or choose to develop it, or you don't and make excuses for your and for others's bad behavior. Ironic, isn't it, Richard Cranium?
Toggle Commented Jun 30, 2012 on The Happy Hunter at Peter Bodo's TennisWorld
1 reply
Seldom does one find a singular case like Baker's which surely makes most people happily want to root for him. This is especially true because his tennis story cuts against the current generation of young arrogant american players such as Young, Oudin and Harrison, who have an enormously undeserved sense of entitlement and act like prima donnas. Baker is absolutely the opposite: the very rare example of someone who truly knows the value of what he has or doesn't have, and takes absolutely nothing for granted. I wish Baker the very best.
Toggle Commented Jun 30, 2012 on The Happy Hunter at Peter Bodo's TennisWorld
1 reply
Nice post, Pete. It is, without a shadow of a doubt a golden opportunity for Murray to win. He should make the finals simply by playing his seed. Once there, it is up to him to win it all. But it is also a golden opportunity for Roger to win his 7th and Djokovic to repeat, as now they know that whomever wins the semifinal between the two will be the prohibited favorite to take the title, as they will have a slam-less opponent in the final, instead of an 11th time Major winner in Nadal.
Toggle Commented Jun 29, 2012 on The Aftershocks at Peter Bodo's TennisWorld
1 reply
As always, nice piece, Steve. Nadal will learn from this, like he always does, and come back stronger, like he always does. The question now is: who will take the opportunity now of not having to face Nadal? Murray, Federer and Djokovic are the obvious candidates. Murray can make the final simply by playing his seed. Federer and Djokovic may have to beat each other but they know now that Nadal will not be there waiting in the final. Their job just got a lot easier.
Toggle Commented Jun 29, 2012 on "Today Happened" at Concrete Elbow by Steve Tignor
1 reply
Of course it does not count, Indeed, but when Nadal won Roland Garros he happened to beat Djokovic, so there was plenty of opportunity for Nadal's fans to be nasty to Djokovic and his fans if they wanted to, especially in light of all that had happened the year before and what those other fans had said all the way. Yet, it didn't happen. Nadal's fans took the high road. They expressed their happiness for Nadal's win and their commiseration to Djokovic and his fans for the loss. This time, other players' fans (whomever) are simply trilled that Nadal lost. There is no happiness that their guy won. They are just happy that Nadal lost and they express it in the most shameful and ill-mannered way. See the difference between the two sets of fans? Really pathetic but not really unexpected, unfortunately.
Toggle Commented Jun 29, 2012 on Wimbledon: Rosol d. Nadal at Racquet Reaction
1 reply
Nice post Pete. Rosol deserves the win. I hope he can keep it up. Great opportunity for the rest, especially for Murray and Federer. Nadal will come back stronger, like he always does. Now, let's have all the haters take pleasure on Nadal's loss and take the opportunity to be nasty to Nadal's fans like they have already done in the RR. Shameful and classless really, but not unexpected.
1 reply
When Nadal won Roland Garros, Nadal's fans were respectful in the forums, were not arrogant and annoying, didn't overly gloat, didn't put Djokovic or his fans down, didn't use foul language; in short, behave like tennis lovers who were happy that their guy had won but were not seeking revenge or trying to make Djokovic's fans suffer. Now, I read these pathetic comments here, a day when Federer and Djokovic haven't even played, but rather Nadal has simply lost, and all I read distills hate and bad manners. Shameful and pathetic behavior from these posters who seem to get pleasure from causing harm. Truly low class behavior.
Toggle Commented Jun 28, 2012 on Wimbledon: Rosol d. Nadal at Racquet Reaction
1 reply
I didn't watch the match, and being a Nadal fan that's apparently a good thing, but I can infer that Rosol properly won it, so congrats to him. Hopefully he can keep it up. Now, this is a tremendous opportunity for the rest of the players, especially the remaining top 3, because now they only have to beat one another and don't have to go through two of the top three to win the title. This is especially significant from Murray, who could make the final by simply playing up to his seed without having to face Nadal to whom he has lost in the last three semifinals at Majors when he has played him. It is also potentially huge for Roger who could win his 7th Wimbledon title without having to go through Nadal. This is not a minor point, as the last time Federer won a Major going through Nadal was here at Wimbledon in 2007, a full five years ago. So, let's see who steps up to the plate and takes advantage of Nadal's early access. As for Nadal, he better take the opportunity to prepare well for the Olympics and take that title. For this, he should stop blocking the returns and cut down on the floating slices.
Toggle Commented Jun 28, 2012 on Wimbledon: Rosol d. Nadal at Racquet Reaction
1 reply