Monday, August 4, 2008

Nadal does a Federer, Djokovic does a Nadal and Andy is the (not so) Surprising Winner

" More things change, the more they remain same".

Federer is a OK, hard courts will favor him - Ivo Karlovic proved that wrong
Nadal couldn't be defeated in his current form- Djokovic proved that wrong
Djokovic will make a strong return after Wimbledon- Andy Murray proved that wrong

So you say Andy is the best right now - not so fast my friend.

Tennis as seen from my point of view;

Lets start with Fedex ; Federer looks far from OK.
Iis he a great player - no doubt!
Is he in his best elements - NO,
Will he win Olympics and US - can't say though you can bet that he will make the Semis in both tournaments.

Just when I thought he was getting more realistic - he actually joked that he was on a "one game winning streak" after his first match win at Cincinnati, and then he comes up with this " The bigger picture is the Olympic Games and the U.S. Open. Those are the places where I want to win." WTF!!!

Really Roger!! I mean after you lose a tournament you talk about the next one as if nothing happened in the one that you lost! As one of your fans, I am getting concerned that at this rate, if you lost Olympics and US, you will say " This was a good year but my focus is on regrouping for 2009"

I think instead of focusing on anything else, he should only focus on his confidence level - both overconfidence as well as bouts of low confidence. This may sound absurd - but he needs to make sure that he's confident of closing - closing a point, a game, a set and the match.
He needs to play tight, even play safe like how every player does including Nadal & Co., when they know that a single point can tip the match one way or the other, but since Roger refuses to do it, my assessment is that he will remain in trouble. In my mind still the greatest but still the most obstinate in not making the badly needed adjustments during a match. He seems either overconfident or starts playing over anxiously and then seems surprised that he lost! Whew!

Nadal - the guy is so much improved in his determination, his game and knowing that other players get mentally fickle when he makes those unexpected results - he's truly unbelievable. You can say so many things about this guy - how he is winning on all surfaces, how focused he is on his pursuit of number one position and how he as taken his game to next level, but there is no need. Everyone can see it clearly, so;

Does he deserve # 1 ranking - Absolutely.
Is he self-effacing and humble - Yes
but here's my thought;
Is his game as complete as Roger - I don't think so.
C'mon. don't pretend to be shocked. Roger on a good day is still ahead of Nadal, Nadal surely is snapping at the heels of Roger, in fact, he has taken Roger's # 1 position but Roger is Roger.

Djokovic - He seems to be getting his groove back. Looks better prepared and determined to retain his number # 3 position after the stunning loss to Safin in Wimbledon but his stamina is not the same as others in the top 10.
He can win his matches on skill and talent but I'm gonna say that every time a match goes to four sets or more and his opponent retains the mental poise, Djokovic can be defeated, In fact, looking at the young and veteran players, he may have tougher time retaining his # 3 position for too long.

Andy Roddick - can you step it up and make a comeback! I know it looks impossible right now, but the guy has got game. He's in a bit of Roger situation! Over Anxious most of the time.

and now to the latest sensation - Andy Murray!

Man, isn't he showing glimpses of Nadal in his game! Unbelievable returns, great passing shots, speedy running all over the court!
If anyone can truly take the tag of MOST IMPROVED Player in top 10, it has to be this kid and what I like about him is the same humble streak as Nadal - realistic in what he says!

So Andy is a great winner but I'll repeat what I said at Wimbledon time - this kid is OK when he wins the first set but when he doesn't, Lord have mercy!

Not to take away anything from him but if you watched Cin. final - you know that Djokovic in second set was trying to lose and not playing to win. Couple of good shots from Novak and Andy's body language hit a down turn. In fact it looked more and more, that it would be tough for Andy to win if Djokovic could get his breath back. Again, I think Djokovic lost rather than Andy won but in the end I was happy for the result and for Andy.

He has put in hard work and it was paid. I still think though that Andy has a long way to go - the good news is he can.

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