RG stands for Roland Garros AND Robby Ginepri! [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

RG stands for Roland Garros AND Robby Ginepri!

idolwatcher1
05-27-2006, 12:24 AM
Okay, I said we wouldn't start a Roland Garros thread unless Robby actually won a clay court match, and he did, twice! ;) So might as well go for it, even if it's dead in a few days... :sad:

The "machine" selected Robby to play none other than the clay court player that beat him this year in Houston, 6-4, 6-4 ;) ... Will revenge be Robby's or will Montanes show everyone who's boss? We shall see...

I would like Robby to at least take a set at RG this year, as a way of showing repentence for his sins last year at RG... :p May or may not happen, we should just expect the worst (which we got last year) but hope for the best!! C'mon Robby, try your best!! :cool:

idolwatcher1
05-28-2006, 09:17 PM
Robby will play on Court 7 probably around 7PM tomorrow, possibly earlier, possibly later... Good luck to him!!

bavaria100
05-29-2006, 12:24 AM
Good luck Robby! Please win at least one match. That's all I'm asking for.

Lee
05-29-2006, 08:24 PM
:lol: Robby survives another day because play suspended. Will there be a miracle tomorrow?

idolwatcher1
05-30-2006, 01:17 AM
unfortunately, I don't think there'll be a miracle tomorrow... :sad: At least Robby grabbed a set this year, and I'm not sure what happened because he was up 5-2 in the second set, and then I left my house to go eat with friends... when I was at the restaurant, I said, "I would be really sad if he lost that second set after having such a lead, but that kind of thing has happened before"... then when I got back home, I check, and he almost did lose the set!! :eek: I thought maybe his winning the second set would give him confidence to maybe take another set, but boy was that not the case... :ras: No idea what happened (because I wasn't watching the SB live), but he only won a single game in the last 10 games of the match! Not a good sign...

Pepper LaRue
05-30-2006, 01:43 AM
For what it's worth...not long before they suspended play, ESPN2 flashed onto Robby's match and he was being attended to by a trainer. It looked like a right leg/foot issue.

Deboogle!.
05-30-2006, 01:44 AM
egads, i hope he's ok. no more injuries :mad:

idolwatcher1
05-30-2006, 02:26 AM
For what it's worth...not long before they suspended play, ESPN2 flashed onto Robby's match and he was being attended to by a trainer. It looked like a right leg/foot issue.
uh oh... :( I hope whatever it was, gets better! I forgot to ask this, but why was play suspended in the first place? Did it start raining or what? :confused:

Deboogle!.
05-30-2006, 02:30 AM
they stop play in Paris around 9pm or so when it gets dark. There was some rain today too, so that may have compouded problems.

acoffeygirl
05-30-2006, 02:50 AM
Do the players have some say in this? I thought it was weird that they stopped play during Robby's match....well before Kevin Kim finished his match.

Deboogle!.
05-30-2006, 02:57 AM
It's up to the ump, who sometimes will ask the players - if both players are willing to play, the ump is more likely to agree to let it keep going, etc. I think the ump has the final say though.

Lisa1062
05-30-2006, 01:29 PM
ESPN2 showed the resumption of Robby's match this morning between 6:30 am and 7 am EDT. PMac said Robby is having a horrible year mostly due to a lack of confidence. Said Robby works hard but just doesn't have the confidence. They also said he had more energy and bounce in his step this morning compared to yesterday. Said Robby does not have the look of a guy who wants to stay out there and grind it out for 5 sets.

Robby did mount somewhat of a challenge in the 4th set, coming back to make it 5-4 (and saving a match point), but Montenes eventually served it out for 6-4 win.

Hope Robby will work hard to prepare now for the grasscourt "season" and Wimbledon.
How does he play on grass? I didn't start following him until US Open last year.

Deboogle!.
05-30-2006, 01:33 PM
Robby's real good on grass, made the 4th round at Wimby a couple years ago and his first title was in Newport on grass a few years back :)

Lisa1062
05-30-2006, 01:55 PM
Thanks Deb!

Saw that he lost 1st round last year, so he has nothing to defend. When is his year going to turn around, I wonder.

He has so many point to defend this summer and that's going to be too much pressure for him.

Deboogle!.
05-30-2006, 02:00 PM
He probably only needs one good result to turn it around. It's so tough when these guys are low on confidence, hard to know what it would take to turn it around.

Lee
05-30-2006, 10:55 PM
Good luck in Queen's

Lisa1062
05-31-2006, 04:19 AM
The men's seeded losers were No. 18 Thomas Johansson, Roddick and Ginepri, a semifinalist at the 2005 U.S. Open. If part of Roddick's problem was his health Tuesday, Ginepri's was in his head, and he freely admitted as much.

"I'm out there, and I'm wondering: How am I going to win the next point? I'm questioning. I'm not out there trusting my instincts, I'm not out there believing I can overcome whatever I need to," he said. "I don't feel that hunger that I've had."


Wow, this doesn't sound good from Robby. Hope this is just temporary. A true crisis in confidence, if he really feels this way.

Fee
05-31-2006, 06:05 AM
Robby, get to Surbiton and ask for a wildcard for their Challenger. You are a mess and you need help.

idolwatcher1
05-31-2006, 07:00 AM
Wow, this doesn't sound good from Robby. Hope this is just temporary. A true crisis in confidence, if he really feels this way.

Didn't I say this exact thing before??? :eek: I remember saying that I don't think Robby is playing instinctually like he should be!... I felt he was over-thinking what he should do (sometimes to the point of detriment), instead of just kinda knowing already what to do... feeling the court and knowing what to do and doing it with confidence... Francisco was trying to help Robby toward the end of last year to work on the weaknesses in his game, but I feel like in the process, he overwhelmed him with what to actually do when he's out there playing... play more instinctually (as he had been doing during the Summer), or try to show the world you've made improvements on your weaknesses and your "net game"??? :confused: ... trying too hard to show that you can "throw all the tricks" or go out there and do what you know how to do with each ball that comes your way?? He's been screwed up in the head alright, and I don't get the feeling that Francisco is making it any better... After some of his initial upsets this year, it just got even worse because his confidence level only dropped... :sad:

idolwatcher1
05-31-2006, 07:36 AM
luckily, I had my VCR taping ESPN2 while I was asleep, so I got to see the end of Robby's match watching the tape back... I'm actually a bit surprised they showed him at all, because they barely even mentioned his existence there, lol!

Robby won more games today than Montanes... :p but it was too little too late... I'm very happy Robby didn't lay down and die in the last set when he was down 0-4... he could have been bagelled, but he did what he could to prevent that from happening, and I'm glad for that...

Also, fun fact of the day... Every player that played a match against Robby on clay this year, advanced to the 2nd round, inlcuding Mirnyi and Karlovic, the two players he beat on clay this year!... ;) Will James and Kevin lose to Spaniards at RG like Robby (and somewhat Andy) did?? hmm...

moving Robby pic from earlier today/yesterday :)

http://www.filecabin.com/up1/1149057141-rg-rg3b2.gif

rege
05-31-2006, 08:10 AM
I felt he was over-thinking what he should do...
He hardly seems like a great thinker, so this is clearly a problem... :haha:

But, yes, things seem to have snowballed for the poor boy. I wish he had as much confidence in himself as others seem to...

From James Blake's post-match interview on Tuesday:

Q. From The Open till the end of last year, you and Robby seemed to be on a similar upwards trajectory. You've taken a pretty divergent path this year. What in your opinion has gone wrong with Robby this year, his game?

JAMES BLAKE: It's another testament to how good the guys are and also how kind of dangerous that ledge is. It's so close, you're playing so well, you're winning a lot of matches. I don't think people realize how many matches, when I won, I could have lost. I mean, I could have lost to Rusedski last year at the Open. I could have lost to Robredo last year at the Open. I could have lost to López at Pilot Pen. I'm sure Robby had five or six matches like that through his run. If a couple of them start going against you, that gets in your head, you lose confidence. Guys feel like they can beat you. Guys are playing better then. Your ranking is higher, you but don't really feel like you're playing any better. Guys see that and they pounce on that. Guys are just playing great right now against Robby. I feel like he's gotten his confidence back now though. Unfortunately, obviously clay isn't his best surface. It's at a time when he might not be having a lot of success anyway.

I feel like right now, he's playing well. And going onto the grass where he's more comfortable, I think he's going to get that confidence back and into the hard courts. I have a feeling, I'm just guessing, but it's going to be a lot like last summer where he's playing great on the hard courts. One of the best players in the US Open race. Look for him to be in the top three or four.

Q. Were you able to counsel him at all if in your first trip to the top 20, you fell back? Have you talked about that?

JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, it's tough, you know, being a fellow player and all. You don't want to sound preachy. Todd Martin did enough of that when he was playing. I don't want to do that.

But if it ever comes up, if he ever is talking a little about it, I'll kind of throw in my two cents, see if I can help. But I think it's kind of better just, if I can, lead by example, just the way Andy has done. Andy has helped us all out dealing with pressure, dealing with media stuff, dealing with all the extra ways he gets pulled, handling the pressure of kind of being the American hope. He's shown us how to do that in such a classy way that we all learn from that. I hope to, you know, just kind of try to follow in his footsteps and try to do the same for Robby.

Oh, and thanks for all the fab media clips, sweetie... :worship:

bavaria100
05-31-2006, 08:38 PM
Robby :sad:

Well, at least he won a set at Roland Garros this year. I'm soo happy that the grasscourt season is going to start in 2 weeks. I don't know how I'm going to react if Robby's slump continues. He has to win some matches in the coming weeks or the pressure during the US hardcourt swing is going to be immense.

idolwatcher1
06-01-2006, 01:35 AM
rege, thanks for posting that! James and I are like on the same page :lol: except he gets to see Robby in person and probably has more insight into how Robby is feeling right now...

There's so many variables in tennis that you don't have time to try and predetermine all the possible outcomes of the shots that you consider making when you're playing a match out there... you can't "over-think" what you're going to do next... you have to rely on the instincts you've developed over many years of playing and practicing, and put your TRUST in those instincts and execute them as quickly as possible!

You can't predict the spin and the angles and the speed at which your opponent is going to be hitting every ball... I feel like this year, Robby has been very poor in picking up on his opponents' style right off the bat and figuring out how to beat each of them individually (as they are all different). If he's trying to follow a certain formula in order to win, he's not going to have very much success because every opponent is different and every court condition is different, and he needs to make the adjustments necessary for each!

This is why confidence is so important for tennis players... and Robby especially!! The more confidence they lack, the more they second-guess or doubt themselves or their shot selection when they can't afford to do that! Robby needs to play the way that found him the most success, and the way he's most comfortable playing, and take confidence in the talent that he has. He can't lose that! :)

Guys are just playing great right now against Robby. I feel like he's gotten his confidence back now though. Unfortunately, obviously clay isn't his best surface. It's at a time when he might not be having a lot of success anyway.

I feel like right now, [Robby's] playing well. And going onto the grass where he's more comfortable, I think he's going to get that confidence back and into the hard courts. I have a feeling, I'm just guessing, but it's going to be a lot like last summer where he's playing great on the hard courts. One of the best players in the US Open race. Look for him to be in the top three or four.
James, I soooooooo want you to be right!!! ;)
You don't want to sound preachy. Todd Martin did enough of that when he was playing. I don't want to do that.
Haha!! And his criticisms aren't very constructive either... :p
Oh, and thanks for all the fab media clips, sweetie... :worship:
You're welcome! :)

Deboogle!.
06-01-2006, 02:30 AM
I think it's great that Robby is realizing what's happening. He just has to find the balance between playing instinctively and thoughtfully. Maybe he was too instinctive last summer, and too thoughtful now. It's a process, he'll find his way :)

idolwatcher1
06-09-2006, 04:41 AM
Monfils vs. Djokovic... that match made me think of two players who have beaten Robby on clay... one BADLY, one not as badly... Well, the person who beat him BADLY won the match :lol: Perhaps it makes Robby feel better knowing that the person who beat him up last year at RG, made the QF at RG this year, taking down seeds along the way...

Well, I said it many times... others have said it, James Blake made comments about it this year, and now we have proof of Robby talking about it... movement on clay and how it makes a difference ;) (Robby's quotes are in bold below from this NY Times article (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/08/sports/tennis/08tennis.html) ) The article is based around the movement and sliding that helps many players achieve good results on clay, etc...

Slip Sliding Away on Clay, and Into the Semifinals
By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY
Published: June 8, 2006

PARIS, June 7 — They play on courts at the French Open, but what makes it different from the other Grand Slam tennis tournaments is that they also play on canvases, leaving traces of triumph and disaster on the crushed red brick that passes for clay.

There, in the forecourt early on Wednesday afternoon, were three long skid marks of 6 feet or more — tracks left by Rafael Nadal in the second set as he chased drop shots hit by his increasingly unsettled 19-year-old opponent, Novak Djokovic.

There in the backcourt later in the day was an even longer track that stretched from the edge of the doubles alley to within arm's length of the seats — a sign of how far Ivan Ljubicic had to coast to respond to a sharply angled backhand from Julien Benneteau.

The slide remains as important to clay-court tennis as the split step and volley used to be to the grass-court variety. A slide can be brief or extended. A slide can look routine, spectacular or even comical, as it was when Mario Ancic bowled over a linesman earlier in the tournament with no injury to either party.

But in a game where the details often make the difference, the slide is a vital component to determining who will hold up the trophies this weekend.

Consider it no coincidence that Nadal, the 20-year-old Majorcan who has dominated the clay-court game for the last two years, is also considered the finest slider of this era.

"I would actually put him up there with the best of all time, mainly because he's so strong in his legs," said Mats Wilander, a three-time French Open champion.

Nadal did not have to slide for long on Wednesday, as he won his 58th consecutive clay-court match by beating Djokovic in the quarterfinals. There have been some grueling tests for Nadal here this year, but this was not one of them, as Djokovic retired in the first game of the third set with a sore lower back and Nadal leading, 6-4, 6-4.

Nadal, the defending champion, will now face the fourth-seeded Ljubicic in the semifinals. Ljubicic, who led Croatia to its first Davis Cup last year, put an end to the unlikely run of the 95th-ranked Benneteau of France by winning, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

For the first time in 21 years here, the four top-seeded players have advanced to the semifinals, with No. 1 Roger Federer playing No. 3 David Nalbandian on Friday in the other semifinal.

All of these men move very well on the clay, even the huge-serving Ljubicic, whose best results, until now, have come on hard courts and indoor courts but who says he played exclusively on clay until he was 15.

"When you grow up on something, you always feel comfortable on that," he said.

When you don't grow up on something, the comfort zone can seem as elusive as a Ljubicic ace.

"I feel off balance, like I'm scraping back and forth," Robby Ginepri said after his latest first-round defeat here last week.

Meanwhile, men like Nadal and Gastón Gaudio, a former French Open champion, are as at home on clay as a Tyrolean villager is on snow.

"I watch their 10-feet slides, and I slide, and I count 3 feet," said Ginepri, a 23-year-old from Georgia.

For American players, who usually grow up on the terra firma of hard courts, it is a common lament. "I'm the perfect example of the bad slider," said Brad Gilbert, a former top-10 player who later coached Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick.

"I was always nervous about it. The worst kind of sliding is when you slide after hitting the ball. Then you can't stop and turn. If I were commissioner of tennis, I'd make 90 percent of junior tennis be played on clay. You have to learn those moves. If you don't do it young, you're in trouble."

It is not just a matter of technique and balance. It is a matter of a player's physique adapting to the task.

"It's not that you can't learn to slide later; it is possible, but there is also a muscular element involved," said Carlos Rodriguez, the longtime coach of the defending women's champion and world-class slider Justine Henin-Hardenne. "There are muscles in your foot and your lower leg that are vital to the process. You see lots of hard-court players getting sprains on clay because of this. The feet work so differently on clay. On hard courts, you're in constant motion. But here, you have to stop completely and then restart the machine."

But to slide long and well, a players must also be fast. One of Nadal's 10-foot works of clay-court performance art is a tribute to his initial burst of speed, and the paradox is that although one might think a player is losing time by sliding into a ball (friction slows momentum, after all), players like Nadal or Federer or Henin-Hardenne are actually gaining time.

"It's all about recovery," Rodriguez said. "If you run to the ball on clay and then hit it, you're going to have to slide afterward to stop yourself and head back the other way. If you slide into the ball properly, you're already prepared to change direction as soon as the shot is gone, sometimes even before it's gone."

Still, it is possible to win the French Open while keeping the sliding to a minimum. Agassi proved it in 1999, as he scampered but so very rarely skidded around the terre battue to win the only Grand Slam title missing from his collection. Agassi was so uncomfortable on the slide that he sometimes wore knobby-bottomed, grass-court shoes at Roland Garros — the equivalent of cleats — to keep himself firmly planted. Such shoes have since been banned here, because they damage the courts.

Wilander used to rue playing Jimmy Connors on clay for a similar reason. "He never slid anywhere, so once he'd been on a side of the court, there'd be little cakes of clay everywhere, because he took only steps," Wilander said. "There would be bad bounces galore."

Ask coaches and players to pick the best sliders from memory and there is plenty of hesitation. Great forehands, two-handed backhands and serves spring more readily to mind.

For the women, the consensus pick in the modern era is Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, the perpetual-motion machine from Spain who won three times here. For the men, those on most short lists include Wilander, his Swedish compatriot Bjorn Borg, who won six times here, Guillermo Vilas of Argentina and José Higueras and Sergi Bruguera of Spain.

But there are also a few surprises.

"Martin Jaite," Gilbert said of the Chilean who played in the 1980's and early 1990's. "This guy could lay tracks like you couldn't believe."

Martina Navratilova, still playing mixed doubles here at age 49, said: "Actually, the best slider of all time was Onny Parun. You heard of him? New Zealander. He'd slide on everything: on clay, on grass, on hard courts. You went out on a grass court, and you knew he'd been out there because there were slide marks everywhere."

Kim Clijsters is the most visible proponent in the women's game, as she uses her genetic inheritance — her mother was a champion gymnast in Belgium — to skid into a split for wide forehands on hard courts as well as clay.

Plenty of men, including Nadal, are also transferring their clay-court tricks to harder places, although it is hardly without injury risks. "It looks scary to me," Wilander said. "I'd only recommend it if you have thigh muscles the size of Rafa Nadal or Michael Chang or Kim Clijsters."