Ramblings of the sick and tired

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm sick and tired and I'm already missing tennis. Or maybe I'm just sick and don't feel like doing anything other than watch tennis...or maybe I'm just tired of whining about how badly the Habs are doing. Whatever. The point is I'm now going to go and ramble about tennis because I feel like a broken record talking about the Habs right now and I don't feel good enough to do anything productive yet....

Federer..Of course I had to be late to the party and start watching him when he isn't doing so well. How typical. The first time I watch Roger Federer he loses the biggest Grand Slam event of the year in the longest final ever. If we stop saying that he's going to die soon - and we really should. The guy is only 27 - then maybe we can step back and look at how his year really went. First off, he was sick. No, I'm not making up excuses for him. I'm stating a fact. Mono is something you don't want to have and once you have it, you really shouldn't be globe trotting in playing high level tennis. I believe Mario Ancic was out for six months with mono and along with injuries he went from being 9th in the world to 135th (he's now 36th). Federer's gone from 1 to 2 (let's pretend that Djokovic isn't actually within 10 points of being no 2). This year, he's won 4 titles which includes the US Open. He's also made the semis of the Australian Open (I believe he was at least starting to show symptoms of mono at this point), the finals of the French Open and he did come very close to winning Wimbledon (let's not forget that for most of the year Nadal has been the fitest player on the tour). Most people would be very pleased with that result at the Grand Slams, no? I mean c'mon, we're saying Murray's fantastic for making the quarter finals of Wimbledon, winning in Cincinnati and Madrid and making the finals of the US Open. Here comes the big BUT though. And that is.... Murray isn't Federer. Murray hasn't (as of yet) been ranked no 1 for a record amount of time and won 13 Grand Slams (among other stuff). Federer has set this incredibly high standard over the last few years. There had to be a point where even if he was still in good physical condition - and I'm going to marvel at the fact that he has remained in relatively good physical condition this long - he wouldn't be able to keep that up. It had to happen. Is this year a reflection of how the next year will go for him? I doubt it. Hopefully he will be in better shape for next year. 27 isn't really that old. He's not about to die. He can still come out and win a pile of more matches. Yes, it will be harder with Djokovic and Murray getting better. But that's the way it works.

Nadal... Of course I missed the clay season entirely so I missed most of the really good stuff there but yeah, all in all I got to see him win for most of the summer which was great. He's obviously had a wonderful year. The only question now is "can he repeat that?" I doubt it. He's already wrecked up his knees up and if he doesn't want to retire at 25 he better stop doing things that will make his knees even worse. A Nadal-less tour would be very sad and boring so please, Rafa, don't kill your knees trying to stay no 1. Being no 2 is okay as long as Federer is no 1.

Djokovic....For the sake of trying to be partisan - err okay, for the sake of having something to say - I will say this: Djokovic needs to be more consistant. No ifs, ands, or buts. He played really well at the start of the year and then promptly dropped off the face of the tennis planet. No cool for a guy who is supposed to be no 3 in the world. You just don't make early exits at Wimbledon, Toronto, and get beaten by a guy who was 10th in the finals at Cincinnati. Oh and that's to say nothing about how things went after the US Open....silly loss to Tsonga at Bangkok, a stupid loss to Karlovic at Madrid, an even sadder loss at Paris to Tsonga....And who did he lose to at the Masters Cup thing? Oh yeah, TSONGA! Surprised yet? Yes, he beat Davydenko and del Potro in Shanghai. But c''mon... del Potro was a bit of a given. The guy's good but please, he hardly came up with his best that week and he's no where near Djokovic's supposed level yet. If you want to stay in the top three you need to be more consistant. You can't win one big tournament and a few smaller ones then not play your best for six months. Of course as a Federer fan I wouldn't mind if Djokovic forgot how to play again, but if you're Djokovic or anyone who wants him to win, you don't want him forgetting how to play - even though it would make ME very happy.

Murray... what to say? He's on perfect track to be no 3 or even no 2. That hurts to say that. I keep hearing about how he's more fit now - and I'm sure he is - but I still think he needs more work in that department. He looked absolutely wasted agianst Federer in Shanghai (I know, it's the end of the year and he's tired. Join the club, dude!) Or we can just settle for the fact that some people are just more fit than others and no amount of work is going to make him more fit than Nadal. I want to see Murray play Nadal when he's not tired and banged up and then we'll see how that goes...

Davis Cup thing... A few days ago Spain announced who would be replacing Nadal for the last spot on the team. I was completely not following this but when I heard Nadal was out I wasn't particularly concerned about Spain finding someone. Spain still has plenty of decent players including Moya, Almagro, Ferrero and Robredo. And who does Spain decide to go with? Marcel Granollers. If you were asking "who?" then you would be thinking the same thing as I was. I remember hearing his name at Madrid but I never saw him play. Okay, so I never saw anyone other than Nadal and Federer play but that's beside the point. The point is, who is the guy and why did Spain pick him to replace Nadal? Maybe because he's around the same age and height Rafa? Hey, if I can pretend that Gilles Simon is Rafa then surely Spain can pretend that this Marcel dude is Rafa? At least they speak the same language! I seriously have no idea why they chose him. He doesn't seem to be good on carpet (but then again, who is?) or particularly wonderful in general (but maybe that's unfair considering who we're comparing him to). At this point this tournament is really Argentina's to lose. They picked the surface (I bet you anything that they're regretting it now that Nadal isn't playing), they have two players who are very capable of being good whereas Spain has Ferrer as their top player, and of course now that Nadal isn't playing there really should be nothing to stop Argentina. But we shall see. Maybe Granollers will actually be wonderfully fantastic. Although considering he's ranked 56th in the world it might have to take a little bit more imagination to pretend that he's Rafa....but it's possible!

RANDOM FACT OF THE DAY - Did you know that if you mistype "atp" as "ato" and hit the enter button before you realize that you've made a typo you will have "the Australian Taxation Office" as the first hit? Yeah. Unless you want tax stuff make sure you type it correctly....


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