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Kris
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One thing you can say about Murray - you never quite know what you're going to get. As far as I can tell, Murray's lone issue is between the ears because he has proven he can beat the players above him in non-majors. Look at the three GS matches against Nadal: the French Open was actually enjoyable (Rafa is simply the better on clay), the Wimbledon match turned from great to trainwreck with one missed shot, while Andy was in a mood through the first two sets of the US Open.
Toggle Commented Dec 21, 2011 on Yeah, But. . . at Peter Bodo's TennisWorld
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Tsonga is probably the one player outside the Top 4 I can see winning a Slam in 2012. He's had a few deep runs in the Slams, has defeated all of the elite - nobody else can say they've beaten Roger, Rafa and Novak when all were in the Top 3 - and he was up to the challenge when he made a GS final. I don't necessarily think he can beat two or three of the Big Four in a row but you never know how a draw will play out. I didn't think Federer played much differently - the return game was never really there and he may have let Jo get into a groove but it wasn't because Roger faltered.
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2011 on Off the Mat at Concrete Elbow by Steve Tignor
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I too would be curious who is actually in the Top 10 using this ranking system - since it guarantees at least Almagro and Fish wouldn't be because I know for certain that Chela is high on a few return stats.
Toggle Commented Dec 9, 2011 on Men, By the Numbers at Peter Bodo's TennisWorld
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When I think of Spain and this Davis Cup run, I think mostly of David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez (not so much this particular tie but the other Spain-Argentina final, earlier this year vs the US and past doubles success). Ferrer may never get to a Grand Slam final (much as I love him as a player, I won't join in the HOF talk) but DC is when he's finally out of Rafa's shadow and people in Spain see just how awesome a player he really is.
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This table shows one thing - the Wozniacki/Murray comparison is invalid. If there's a female player to compare Murray's GS results, it's Safina. Three finals, all three times not really showing up to the show. Wozniacki doesn't even make it to the pressure matches often enough to be in consideration. Based on the numbers, she's a middle-to-lower-end of the Top 10 player.
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You mentioned how it was clear that Murray was feeling the pressure as Shanghai went on but won anyway. I should point out he played that way in the AO semi against Ferrer as well and, just like yesterday, Murray was let off the hook by a player having the same issue. His problem is that he can't get away with that against the Big Three in the majors. The way he handled the Tokyo final is really the attitude he needs in the big matches.
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It's funny how Murray is often criticized for not having a go-to shot in the big moments but this match showed he's still closer to having that than Ferrer will ever be. Ferrer was the better player through the first set of this match and for the beginning of their AO semi match but in both cases there wasn't a doubt Murray could hit next gear and grab the lead. It's not even worth thinking about AO because it's so far away. It's a fun stretch, maybe it will translate to more but the fact he got past Federer in the rankings was the goal. He cannot rest on this streak but he's probably felt he's been running in place the last three years, like Novak did when he was #3 for years.
Toggle Commented Oct 16, 2011 on Shanghai: Murray d. Ferrer at Racquet Reaction
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It's a rare article that calls Murray's second serve good but, yeah, Ebden's certainly qualifies as a poor second serve.
Toggle Commented Oct 14, 2011 on Shanghai: Murray d. Ebden at Racquet Reaction
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The most interesting thing about this match was the fact that Murray was in the otherwise empty crowd.
Toggle Commented Oct 13, 2011 on Shanghai: Nadal d. Garcia-Lopez at Racquet Reaction
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While I agree that both were at peak in 2003, you seem to be grasping at straws to get Ferrero's Nadal issue mean something. Ferrero would have had issues no matter what because he pressed to come back too soon from injuries and ultimately killed a chance at long reign at the top. That would have happened with or without Nadal in the game. If there's a player to compare Ferrero's career, it's Carlos Moya. Both one-slam wonders, both briefly #1, both with long injury issues, both overlooked due to the Reign of Rafa.
Toggle Commented Oct 11, 2011 on Strange Bedfellows at Peter Bodo's TennisWorld
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I've never really thought of Li as consistent. Capable of damage in draws, yes. Threat to any elite player, yes. Just as capable of imploding against anyone, yes. This has not really changed just because she's a Grand Slam champion. I do think that this particular match against Niculescu can be about the eyes of a nation but not really thinking that she should now be written off as a headcase. Though it would say something if she doesn't qualify for the Year End Championship based off the two big major results.
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This is amazing news. Congratulations. It's been amazing following as you've gotten to point of getting to travel the work and actually asking players important questions. I'd never really followed a fan's blog but there was something about yours that had me keep coming back for more.
Toggle Commented Aug 22, 2011 on Programming Alert: Major Label Debut. at Forty Deuce
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It's pretty funny how usually it's about Andy peaking too soon at these Masters events and not bringing it to the majors. This year, he's actually doing well at the majors but is disregarded because of these bad (hardcourt) Masters results. Andy has been perched in the top 4 (except for a week here and there) the last 3 years. Say what you want about his odd losses but it's still an impressive run. Nobody has stepped up to take that spot... last I saw there is a wobbly Soderling, an injured Ferrer, a logjam of mediocrity behind them and, the one considered the "other #4" del Potro losing convincingly to underachieving heavy hitters during his favorite time of the year.
Toggle Commented Aug 11, 2011 on Andy Murray Sucks At Tennis. Really? at Forty Deuce
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I'm rather amused by the fact that Feli and Dani are close enough for Dani to be able to joke about Feli's golf game... and where the mind goes from there. Thank you Mardy for asking the deep questions.
Toggle Commented Aug 9, 2011 on Welcome to the Family, Rory. at Forty Deuce
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Even though you saw in the Leno post that I do agree regarding which was a better interview, I can't really say it was humblebragging that turned me off. The choice of questions was the problem, definitely. It gave Novak no room to maneuver. The white pants just seem to be something Novak is gravitated toward... in the same way certain American players must ruin decent suits by pairing with sneakers. Meaning I'm not a fan of the look personally but it's not terrible.
Toggle Commented Aug 5, 2011 on I Can't Get Past The White Pants. at Forty Deuce
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Rather surprised that the Leno appearance ended up being better than Conan. Jay let Novak's personality come through to people who don't know him (even Katie seemed into the dance). Conan interviews tend to go more toward being "all about Conan" anyway but why use the Speedo clip as a way to introduce the number one player in the world to non-fans?
Toggle Commented Aug 4, 2011 on I Can't Get Past The Tie. at Forty Deuce
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This just makes me glad he's won two matches this week, so that interviews like this can happen a little more often. Coach Canas. I can't wrap my head around it yet - though amused that he stayed Argentine. Frankie saying that sex before matches giving her energy nearly trumps this - quite a feat!
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It is pretty amusing how, no matter who the players are, double and triple bagels will make news. Think about the fact that, in the midst of World Group ties earlier this month, you could still find news about the triple bagel Murray served up to that tennis coach Luxembourg had to put in.
Toggle Commented Jul 27, 2011 on Bagel, Anyone? at Peter Bodo's TennisWorld
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Break Points Conversion is a deceptive statistic and Murray's rankings in these categories reflect that. If you have 3 break points chances missed in a game but break on the fourth try in that game, what's the difference of the percentage? The percentage is 25% but returner won the game. Murray does this a lot and that's why his percentage is lower even though he's so high on the other return statistics. The constant pressure on the server when Murray's return is working eventually wears down the server. Now if you are up 30-40 but the server wins the game, it was only one break chance but I'd say the returner didn't capitalize - and that's a much bigger problem. For instance, in Federer vs Nadal matchups, Federer tends to get the chances in quite a few games but doesn't actually get many breaks. This is a huge problem.
Toggle Commented Jul 23, 2011 on The Stat Trap, Part II at Peter Bodo's TennisWorld
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While I generally dislike comparing WTA players to ATP players, I do love thinking of her as del Petra. Both she and JMDP were on rather great runs prior to the title run but were ignored by casual fans. But once it was going on, everyone sat at the edge of their seat and took notice of what was really going on.
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2011 on Generation Next. Now. at Forty Deuce
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The side effect of these first six months of the 2011 season is that I've gone from indifference about Masha to downright loving and rooting for her. First Sasha, now David Gray.
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I would be happy if Martina decided to return to the doubles tour (honestly don't know how I feel about this thing with Roger in London) but, if she doesn't, having these Serena moments makes both of them look better.
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2011 on This Is a Thing Now. I Guess. at Forty Deuce
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I never understood why it was assumed Caroline had a good chance at either winning the French or Wimbledon. Her game is suited for hard courts. Everyone knows this. Moreover, she hadn't really done anything that indicated she was really gunning for either of those majors. The Australian Open match you really can't fault her for but she has a lot to prove this summer. The fact she's only made one major final and that was in 2009 with a draw that really fell nicely for her in the second week (who wouldn't want to have a QF against Oudin and SF against Wickmayer, even at their levels at the time?). The problem is that the window was only going to be open between January and June because of the Williams sisters and Clijsters injury issues.
Toggle Commented Jul 20, 2011 on The Beatable One at Peter Bodo's TennisWorld
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If there's one way to determine Delpo's possible success against Djokovic during the hard court season, consider the headache Murray has given Delpo over the years. Ended the 2008 winning streak at the US Open, three times in 2009 Delpo challenged for two sets before Murray easily won the third. These are the hard court matches, then add the infamous Rome encounter (which was dead even when Delpo got injured).
Toggle Commented Jul 20, 2011 on The Popsicle at Peter Bodo's TennisWorld
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One, it sounded like you had a blast. But I must complain to you about something. I swore I would never go on Twitter. Yeah, I've followed some of the amusing conversations, from John's pathetic flirting to Judy's love of Deliciano but I managed to stay away from the actual participation. Your excellent road trip (and the hiatus of the blog) led me to follow you on Twitter and, damn it, now I'm stuck. Gee, thanks.* *-I hope you realize I'm writing this tongue-in-cheek
Toggle Commented Jul 16, 2011 on Smooth Move, Ex-Lax. at Forty Deuce
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