Connors: "There are three men in the mix now." - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 70 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Connors: "There are three men in the mix now."

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...PGTVL36MR1.DTL

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09-11) 04:00 PDT New York -- Seldom has a two-week period brought such rich perspective to the sport of tennis. The U.S. Open began with Billie Jean King's name attached to the National Tennis Center and moved quickly to the Andre Agassi saga. For a pleasant spell on Sunday, Martina Navratilova was given a heartfelt farewell in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

So much for the past and the last vestiges of glory. Roger Federer's performance in the men's final was an earth-shaking testament to contemporary brilliance. His 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 dismissal of Andy Roddick, crafted in swirling winds under a gloomy overcast, carried that frightening element only the greatest performances convey.

For the better part of an hour, Roddick was competing on even terms. Suddenly, Federer was vulnerable. And then Roddick was gone, merely a little poof of dust in Federer's wake. It's one thing to have the great Jimmy Connors on your side, looming in a courtside box for inspiration. It's another to take on history. There is a growing suspicion that Roddick's conqueror is the greatest player of all time.

It will take Federer's retirement to yield a proper judgment, but consider this: When measuring Federer against the legends, forget that "Open era" distinction (1968 on) so common to the debates. No man ever pulled off the Wimbledon-U.S. Open double three times in a row -- not Bill Tilden, not Don Budge, not Rod Laver. To do it once is the accomplishment of a lifetime. Three times is just plain ridiculous, and that's where Federer stands alone. (Helen Wills was the only woman to do so, from 1927 through '29.)

Maybe that's why Tiger Woods became such an animated spectator as Federer, ever in character, sensed the kill and steamrolled to his ninth major championship. Sitting in the first row of Federer's box, Woods had been supremely cool all day, just a guy in jeans and a simple white shirt, cap on backward, not particularly noticeable. But now he was applauding, earnestly, with the occasional "Come on, Rog." These two guys barely know each other, but they share things even brothers wouldn't understand.

Linked in the corporate world by Nike and the International Management Group, Federer and Woods were going to be featured together, eventually, whether they liked it or not. But as Federer said, "It was great. This was the first time we've really had a chance to chat. It's funny how he knows exactly how I feel on the court. A guy who feels invincible at times, sensing that nothing can go wrong anymore. Like Tiger in the final round, I guess."

There certainly was much to admire in Roddick's display, in its way, among the best of his career. Reeling from a first set that left even the most ardent Federer watchers in awe, Roddick responded with his newfound confidence and was dead even at 5-5 in the third set. But after a routine hold by Federer, everything changed. Roddick opened his service game with a shanked forehand into the net, and soon it was 0-40, the entire afternoon hanging in the balance.

Roddick managed an ace for 15-40, then uncorked a titanic serve that forced Federer into a desperate, lunging backhand. Somehow he floated it back. Roddick smoked a forehand down the line. Federer answered with a delicately sliced backhand, and when Roddick netted his backhand volley, the set was gone -- along with the drama. Federer's punishing blitz to the title was stunning to behold.

"For a while, there wasn't much between us," Roddick said. "I was right there with him, you know? I'm disappointed, but I'm also proud of the two weeks I had here. I can't wait to spend the off-season working with Jimmy (Connors) for an extended period of time."

Connors couldn't be more ready. He was almost defiant in the players' lounge afterward, especially when he overheard Roddick say in the interview room, "I just want to keep doing it. If I lose to Roger in eight Grand Slam finals, that's fine."

"No!" Connors said. "That's B.S., and you can quote me. Andy's a gentleman to say that, but there are three men in the mix now, make no mistake. I want to give Andy the attitude where he doesn't care who he plays. He's going to be winning Grand Slam titles in a year or two, and hang on for the ride! I hope you enjoy it as much as I'm going to."

Hey, if you say so, Jimmy. For heaven's sake, Roddick was a lost soul just six weeks ago. Now he looks like No. 2 in the world, or at least someone ready to face any player on even terms.

Reporters were eager to get Woods' take on things, and he spoke very briefly as he hastily left the building. "Roger is awesome at what he does," said Tiger, smiling. "He gets it done."

"With his mind, too?" someone asked.

"Of course."

Federer, meanwhile, has a secret plan. "I'm going to show up at every Grand Slam Tiger plays and get him back," he said, trying to keep a straight face. "Just when he's about to win, 18th green, I'll be standing there."

As opposed to lying flat on his back, which was Federer's posture after this comprehensive victory. Only Bjorn Borg earned his ninth major quicker than Federer (22 Grand Slams to 30), who broke out of his tie with Connors, Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl, Fred Perry and Ken Rosewall on the all-time list. Federer became the first man to win three straight U.S. Opens since Lendl in 1987, and he also produced 69 winners against only 19 unforced errors, an amazing ratio.

So what was it like, lying there in the middle of the court? "A great moment, once again," Federer said. "I deserved to lie down (laughter). It felt great, you know, just lying on the floor alone. It was good. Very comfortable. Thank God I didn't injure myself."

It seems that on top of everything else, the once-stoic Federer is becoming a pleasure in the interview room, as well. He seems more comfortable with himself than ever before, a man in search of levity. The evolution of this champion is something very close to perfection.

Is Andy really in the mix with Nadal and Federer now, or is it too early to say that?
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post #2 of 70 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 01:40 PM
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Re: Connors: "There are three men in the mix now."

What do you expect Connors to say? Doesn't mean we have to believe it.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

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Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #3 of 70 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 01:41 PM
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Re: Connors: "There are three men in the mix now."

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Originally Posted by GeorgeWHitler
What do you expect Connors to say? Doesn't mean we have to believe it.
^^^

I cant wait for the MC, where we should have a good lineup, If Roddick gets a tough group I dont think he gets out of the first round.

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post #4 of 70 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Connors: "There are three men in the mix now."

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Originally Posted by GeorgeWHitler
What do you expect Connors to say? Doesn't mean we have to believe it.
He shouldn't say anything so outrageous if he doesn't believe it. Otherwise, he's just setting himself and his charge up for failure and embarrassment.
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post #5 of 70 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 01:44 PM
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Re: Connors: "There are three men in the mix now."

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluefork
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...PGTVL36MR1.DTL




Is Andy really in the mix with Nadal and Federer now, or is it too early to say that?
2 good tournaments could be an indication that Andy is back in the mix. Hell, if Andy keeps playing like he did at the Open, he's definitely going to be the world #3 quickly. But for Andy to be number 1, he'll have to get as good results on clay as Nadal gets on hardcourt.

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post #6 of 70 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Connors: "There are three men in the mix now."

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Originally Posted by Purple Rainbow
2 good tournaments could be an indication that Andy is back in the mix. Hell, if Andy keeps playing like he did at the Open, he's definitely going to be the world #3 quickly. But for Andy to be number 1, he'll have to get as good results on clay as Nadal gets on hardcourt.
Right. He's definitely back in the mix with the guys trying to catch up with Nadal and Federer, but the question is, should be be considered in the mix with Nadal and Federer?

Roddick did well in the United States this summer, but when he has to play in Europe this fall where he isn't as comfortable and the crowds won't be so behind him, it will be interesting to see how he does.
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post #7 of 70 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 01:56 PM
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Re: Connors: "There are three men in the mix now."

Spot-on Jimbo. Andy will soon turn the h-h vs Roger into 15-11 and get back where he belongs.
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post #8 of 70 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 01:56 PM
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Re: Connors: "There are three men in the mix now."

blah blah blah
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post #9 of 70 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 01:57 PM
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Re: Connors: "There are three men in the mix now."

Quote:
Originally Posted by zicofirol
^^^

I cant wait for the MC, where we should have a good lineup, If Roddick gets a tough group I dont think he gets out of the first round.
We'll see soon enough, but bulls have more chance of giving milk than Roddick has of becoming #1 again.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #10 of 70 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 02:00 PM
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Re: Connors: "There are three men in the mix now."

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeWHitler
We'll see soon enough, but bulls have more chance of giving milk than Roddick has of becoming #1 again.
bulls milk?

whats going on with you GWH?

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post #11 of 70 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 02:18 PM
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Re: Connors: "There are three men in the mix now."

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Originally Posted by bluefork
Right. He's definitely back in the mix with the guys trying to catch up with Nadal and Federer, but the question is, should be be considered in the mix with Nadal and Federer?

Roddick did well in the United States this summer, but when he has to play in Europe this fall where he isn't as comfortable and the crowds won't be so behind him, it will be interesting to see how he does.
as usually (there is no tampering with the draw in his favour there)

the moment his score with top 10 guys is at least 50% i will say he`s come back and i am waiting for such victory still.
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post #12 of 70 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 02:22 PM
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Re: Connors: "There are three men in the mix now."

Roddick is not going to challenge Federer and Nadal, no

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post #13 of 70 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 02:26 PM
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Re: Connors: "There are three men in the mix now."

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluefork
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...PGTVL36MR1.DTL




Is Andy really in the mix with Nadal and Federer now, or is it too early to say that?
I think he's in the mix if he keeps playing like he did in the USOpen. He's way better than Nadal on hardcourt and grass.

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post #14 of 70 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 02:28 PM
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Re: Connors: "There are three men in the mix now."

You could really tell the difference between the two press conferences i.e. after Roddick lost to Federer in 2005 at Wimbledon and this one. After the Wimbledon one, Roddick was going on and on about Federer, but not so much today. Connors wants to instill in him the same dogged determination that allowed Connors to overtake a younger and far superior talent in John McEnroe in the 1982 season. Doesn't means it's going to happen, but Connors wants to change Roddick's attitude about the whole thing.
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post #15 of 70 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 02:28 PM
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Re: Connors: "There are three men in the mix now."

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Originally Posted by guille&tati4life
Roddick is not going to challenge Federer and Nadal, no

Roddick would challenge and probably beat Nadal on hardcourt and grass. Of course he won't challenge him on clay.

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