What a remarkable coincidence! [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

What a remarkable coincidence!

Sjengster
02-05-2003, 06:04 PM
I've obviously got too much time on my hands, since I was just thinking - during the first half of 2002, there were amazing similarities between the results of Roger and Tim Henman. Perhaps since they both play serve and volley, they are destined to have the same success?

Consider:
They both won pre-Aussie Open warm-up tournaments in Sydney and Adelaide respectively.
They both carried 8-match winning streaks into the fourth round in Melbourne only to lose to their opponent in disappointing fashion, though it's hard to work out which is worse - losing to someone in straight sets when you had two set points to level the match, or losing to someone in five sets where you've been leading and had match point.
They both reached the final of an indoor tournament in Europe in the weeks after the AO, losing close three-set matches to two very good indoor players in Sanguinetti and Escude.
They both shouldered the burden of expectation in tight Davis Cup ties against a stronger team and took it all the way, only to lose 3-2 to eventual quarter-finalists Russia and Sweden.
They both reached the final of one Masters Series in America and the last 16 of another; Henman made the final in Indian Wells and lost in the last 16 in Miami, while Roger had exactly the opposite result (and of course Henman pulled out of his match against Roger, helping him in his progress to the final).
They both did disappointingly in two of the three clay-court Masters events in Europe, losing first and second round (Roger in Rome and Monte-Carlo, Henman in Rome and Hamburg) but did very well in the third; Henman made his first ever semi on clay at Monte Carlo, while Roger went several steps further and actually won his first Masters title on the slowest clay court around, in Hamburg :cool:
They both had a lot of expectation of success going into Roland Garros due to their good clay-court results, but both performed poorly in the early rounds, losing to Arazi and Malisse respectively (ironically, the way the head-to-heads work out, if they'd been playing each other's opponent they would have almost been guaranteed a win; Roger's 6-1 against Malisse, Henman 8-2 against Arazi).
Wimbledon... well, we'll skip that one shall we?
They both came into the US Open not expecting much, Roger in poor form and Henman nursing a shoulder injury, but won a few rounds before losing in straight sets to Mirnyi and Chela.
They both helped their country to qualify for the World Group by almost single-handedly defeating the opposing nation in the Davis Cup play-offs; Roger won both his singles and the doubles with Bastl, Henman won both his singles and the doubles with Maclagan, and they both pulled off surprising straight-sets wins over the in-form El Aynaoui and Srichaphan respectively.
They both lost to a certain David Nalbandian (:fiery: ) during his run to the title in Basel, where the two of them had contested the final the previous year.

The similarities pretty much end there, as Henman's injury really ruined his indoor season and forced him to miss the AO while Roger was able to qualify for the Shanghai Masters Cup, but remember that injury scare about his leg that he had at the start of this year... I'm telling you, the connections are uncanny.

RogiFan
02-05-2003, 07:53 PM
:) Hi Sjengster!

What info! What made you compare Rogi and Tim? I'm hoping that Rogi won't be freaked out at RG and Wimby this year... hope he can get past all that [despite the press -- can't wait to hear what they will say about his 1st round losses in 2002].

So Henman loses to Nalby too? Good, not just Rogi then. Other guys have no probs beating that Nalby [I truly don't care for him, nor for Gaudio -- they have some kind of attitude -- I know it's just a macho thing -- just finished watching Ferrero d Gaudio at RG02 -- talk about being out-of-sorts -- Juanqui, that is!].

Anyway, that was v interesting.

Rogi has to learn to beat these guys, incl Henman! If he doesn't he'll never get to the final of a slam... you can't always rely on a "good" draw. There are no good draws [exc for AA] anyway!

Any more DC news on the Swissies vs. Dutchies??;)

Sjengster
02-05-2003, 08:22 PM
Well, I support these two and the Sjengster above everybody else - Henman is my patriotic favourite, so it's always more of a nightmare than a joy watching him play and willing him to win (especially at Wimbledon), Schalken is my sentimental favourite and Federer is my actual tennis favourite. I just happened to notice the amazing similarities, really.

As for Nalbandian, you don't know the worst of it - both of Tim's losses were from a set up where he lost the second set TB and ended up losing the deciding set. In Toronto, Henman had 3 match points in the breaker but lost it 9-7 and the match 7-5 in the third - I was hitting the wall for hours afterwards.

Interesting about the Henman-Federer head-to-head: it's the only time I'd support someone else against Roger. Since Federer has never beaten Tim legitimately, everyone assumes he's an easy man for Tim to play, but ironically it's only been their two matches in Basel that have been straightforward - outside Wimbledon, Henman always says that it's his favourite tournament, and the carpet surface in particular he feels very comfortable on.

As for their other two encounters, though - that four-setter at Wimbledon was so tight, Henman won two vital tie-breaks and the match could easily have gone to a fifth set, and when they played in Vienna Tim was down match point before winning! So, there's certainly hope for Roger in that department.

TennisHack
02-05-2003, 08:45 PM
Sjengster, you need to visit other places besides GM more often. Although we will ultimately be cheering for opposite sides in the upcoming DC tie, I have quite enjoyed your presence on the board. You have been very refreshing, like a rose in the mud of GM.

LOL, I hope you enjoyed my reply in the Generation N thread just now ;)

RogiFan
02-05-2003, 08:59 PM
:) Hi Sjengster [and Hackie]!

I probably have that Henman/Nalby match on tape somewhere or part of it... Nalby actually did quite well last year, esp getting to the final of Wimby... the least likely player to get so far in such a tourney. Bet Tiger Tim wasn't too happy about that!

If dear Rogi thinks he has pressure and expectations... nobody has to endure what Tim experiences every year at Wimby. I quite enjoyed some of Tim's matches from 2002, such as his win over Rusedski at the Oz Open -- his match point was one of those clever backward flip sort of volley type of shot! Brill! And I was so happy he beat Greg!

He also did quite well in the claycourt season I thought... esp at Monte Carlo. People are so mean to him... honestly, there are a lot more annoying players out there!

Of course the worst loss for Rogi was his final vs. Tim in Basel01!! I only caught a few seconds of the highlights and ceremony from Eurosport [when we got the news once in a blue moon] -- poor Rogi was crying his eyes out! The caption was "Henman leaves Federer in tears". Rogi was trying so hard to hide from the camera but to no avail, sweet thing!

Wouldn't it be a dream for Tim [or Rogi] to win Wimby? Better not to think about these things too much!

Did Tim beat Rogi in Vienna in 01 or 00? I know he won that tournament in 00 [Haas won it in 01].

It's funny how players have a hard time winning in their city/country... Tim at Wimby altho I guess he's won either Nottingham or Queens? Rogi in Gstaad or Basel Corretja in Barcelona or Mallorca [don't think he plays that one though]

I could go on... ;)

Sjengster
02-05-2003, 09:18 PM
Hackie, I thank you for the rose in the mud analogy. I suppose that, what with nothing big being played at this moment until Davis Cup, there isn't much to talk about in other areas, and I'm still relatively new to this place.

As for the DC tie, well, as you can see from my signature I'm a big fan of both Schalken and Federer so I don't know who I'll root for - I think I'll just hope it goes right down to the wire so we have an entertaining and dramatic match.

RogiFan - I believe Henman beat Roger in 2000 in Vienna and won the tourney, beating Haas in straight sets in the final (it was his first title for two years, which explains his delight - he amusingly thumped his chest Tarzan-style at the end!) I remember seeing the Basel final and thinking that Roger had actually beaten by far the better group of players to get to the final, including Roddick in the match of the tournament, but when you consider Henman only lost serve once in the whole event... I actually think Federer got the better trophy, a bizarre blue glass consolation affair, even if it was less conventional than Tim's.

Roger or Tim to win Wimbledon... that is my number one desire for the next few years, but of the two of them I can only see Roger beating Hewitt there, frankly. And as for Henman - well believe it or not, he's never actually won a grass-court title anywhere, let alone in Britain. Rusedski won in Nottingham in 97, and Henman has been to the final at Queens 3 times but has lost them all - and guess who the last two were against? Potatoman himself...

TennisHack
02-05-2003, 09:25 PM
Originally posted by Sjengster
Hackie, I thank you for the rose in the mud analogy. I suppose that, what with nothing big being played at this moment until Davis Cup, there isn't much to talk about in other areas, and I'm still relatively new to this place.

As for the DC tie, well, as you can see from my signature I'm a big fan of both Schalken and Federer so I don't know who I'll root for - I think I'll just hope it goes right down to the wire so we have an entertaining and dramatic match.

You are quite welcome :) Its not often that an intelligent poster springs up so I guess we all get kind of exciting when one does ;)

The player forums are used to discuss the players, obviously, but are also home to roving chat threads. Feel free to assert yourself into one -- your "harem" mostly hides out in the Ferrero forum. There are a lot of cool people around who just can't stand the state of GM at the moment.

The Davis Cup tie is going to be great, I just wish I could see it :mad: Croatia vs USA will be equally as good, but it's not the same. Michel ranks just a bit higher on my list than James Blake or Mario Ancic, plus I'd really really REALLY like him to win a match. He is sore for confidence right now :( and it's not fun seeing your player down.

Sjengster
02-05-2003, 09:37 PM
Don't worry Tennis Hack, I'm sure you've always been exciting even without my presence on this board...

I must say I never knew I had a "harem", but it's quite a pleasant discovery. As is the fact that I can stir up a bit of controversy when I try, even if it does get a little out of hand as it has on the whole Generation N thread. And to think, I discovered this place quite accidentally...

TennisHack
02-05-2003, 09:43 PM
Well, the harem comment was from the Generation N thread ;)

Yes, this place has always been . . . interesting, but has been lately going a bit downhill. We need more intelligence and less noise -- but isn't that always the case within a community? *sigh*

And if you don't mind my asking, how did you find us?

Sjengster
02-05-2003, 09:58 PM
Well to be honest, I've largely forgotten - I think I once typed 'Tennis Discussion Forums' into my search engine in desperation and happened to find this place mentioned prominently. I did lurk for quite a while reading many posts, and in particular following all the live score threads from matches that I already knew the results of - that final Youzhny-Mathieu DC match was over 30 pages of long consumption...

I decided that not only did I want to voice my opinions, but I simply couldn't let the Sjengster go unheralded and unappreciated - his flexible, athletic power game and hunky heart-throb looks are enough to set anyone's temperature soaring.

Chloe le Bopper
02-05-2003, 10:00 PM
I decided that not only did I want to voice my opinions, but I simply couldn't let the Sjengster go unheralded and unappreciated - his flexible, athletic power game and hunky heart-throb looks are enough to set anyone's temperatue soaring.

I think that the sole Sjeng thread in GM might have been the one I made about the state of his ranking untill the Grass season (month) begins :o

TennisHack
02-05-2003, 10:08 PM
Originally posted by Sjengster
Well to be honest, I've largely forgotten - I think I once typed 'Tennis Discussion Forums' into my search engine in desperation and happened to find this place mentioned prominently. I did lurk for quite a while reading many posts, and in particular following all the live score threads from matches that I already knew the results of - that final Youzhny-Mathieu DC match was over 30 pages of long consumption...

Ahh, good, so you don't need a primer of the history of ATPWorld or anything ;) Welcome aboard nonetheless!

Sorry to say I don't find Sjeng too terribly attractive. His serve makes me wince sometimes -- so stiff-legged. But I was definitely cheering for him at Wimbly & the US Open last year :)

And, LOL, there's a Dutch forum, too so we can get the sacriledge out of this forum :o

Sjengster
02-05-2003, 10:14 PM
Yes, there was just a little bit of irony in my Schalken comments... but if you ever saw his matches against Guga and "fire and forget" Fernando at the US Open, you'll know why I like him even if he ain't the hottest thing on two legs.

Before both these matches against flamboyant South Americans, the commentators said he didn't have a chance and both times he proved them wrong, especially in the crucial tiebreaks. To win that final breaker against Gonzalez so convincingly when he'd lost both of the others in that match having led in them was just remarkable, and shows why I'll always appreciate his style of game more than someone like Gonzalez's, even if it is less showy and spectacular.

Chloe le Bopper
02-05-2003, 11:40 PM
It's funny how you often joke about his "hunky heart-throb looks". A friend of mine seriously goes nuts over him.

She first "discovered" his in Montreal this past summer, and since then she follows his results. She also insisted we see him at the US Open, which ended up being a must for me as well since Mark was playing (:mad: @ that match).

I wanted to kick her when Mark retired, because she was actualyl expressing joy that Sjeng advanced... It wasn't that Schalken advanced that was maddening, it was the manner in which he did so - as a Mark fan, that wasn't a good day ;)

Regardless, she must have snapped at least 5 pictures of him while changing his shirt. Much to my amusement.

Layla
02-06-2003, 09:22 PM
Originally posted by Rebecca
I think that the sole Sjeng thread in GM might have been the one I made about the state of his ranking untill the Grass season (month) begins :o

LOL, that's not true actually. I posted a happy birthday for him. :) And there was a discussion if he could go all the way at the USO, when he made the semis. Unfortunately, it was not to be. :sad:

Sjengster, I've always sang his praises on this board. And I've said that several times before, but I disagree with TH (and everyone else on the planet for that matter) about his serve. I'm possibly the only tennis fan who actually loves watching him serve. It may not be the best serve around (I readily admit that :p ) but to me it's just undescribably elegant. His willowy body bends like a reed in the wind...

Sjengster
02-06-2003, 09:30 PM
Originally posted by Layla
His willowy body bends like a reed in the wind...

:D :D :D

Oh Layla, you and I are truly kindred spirits. I too think that there's a remarkable amount of rhythm and synchronisation in Schalken's serve, the way he jerks his head skywards to watch the ball toss, the casual flipping of the arms, the way he knifes that ball deep into the service box leaving his opponent to flail uselessly at thin air... oh, sheer bliss.

However, now that I hear Henman is remodelling his serve over in California to prolong his career, I really hope he doesn't end up with the same sort of serve as players who have shoulder injuries usually do, such as Schalken's. To attempt to serve-volley regularly behind that kind of serve would just be painful to watch...

Layla
02-06-2003, 09:38 PM
:D

You describe it so much better than I do. ;)

As for Henman, isn't he going back to his old serve, since it was the motion of the new serve that caused the injury? :confused:

Sjengster
02-06-2003, 09:53 PM
Well, I'm not sure whether he is reverting to the old serve or changing it all together to something totally new. I don't remember much about it as I only really got into tennis around the middle of 2001, but although it was a very quick and efficient action I remember that his ball toss seemed rather wobbly and he was prone to double-faulting.

I'd love to see him change it to something loose and swinging like the classic serve-volleyers of old, simply because I can't imagine him doing so - something like an Edberg or a Stich. Anything would be better than the Eternal Serve from last year, which was thirty seconds of patient waiting for him to bounce the ball and swing the racket followed by a rather pointless result...

Layla
02-06-2003, 10:09 PM
A-ha, that's the same time I started watching tennis. ;)

Everyone criticized Tim for his new serve, but on the other hand, he had the best results so far that kept him in the top 5 most of the year, and I believe he claimed that his new serve had a lot to do with it. I also wished he would change it, but maybe Tim knew exactly what he was doing. I didn't mind watching him bounce the ball. :p It seemed very meticulous and methodical. It probably drove his opponents to distraction as well. :D Well, anyone except Hewitt who doesn't get distracted.

So the excitement regarding his approaching come-back is all the greater because we don't know what to expect. It might be a very pleasant surprise. I can't wait!

TennisHack
02-07-2003, 02:33 AM
Originally posted by Sjengster
:D :D :D

Oh Layla, you and I are truly kindred spirits. I too think that there's a remarkable amount of rhythm and synchronisation in Schalken's serve, the way he jerks his head skywards to watch the ball toss, the casual flipping of the arms, the way he knifes that ball deep into the service box leaving his opponent to flail uselessly at thin air... oh, sheer bliss.

Well, for me his serve isn't wince-inducing a la Gambill (now I seriously cannot watch that guy play because he's SO methodical), but merely, I can't quite believe its such a good weapon for him because its so unconvential.

BTW, Sjengster, I too really got into tennis in '01. You sound wise beyond your years, though, so I was bit surprised ;)