James Blake apologised to the organisers for ruining their hopes of a dream final between the top two players in the world.
But the American sent the home fans wild when he defeated Spain's Rafael Nadal 7-5 6-3 in the semi-final of the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells.
World number one Roger Federer had earlier eased into the final with a straight-sets victory.
The top seed and two-time defending champion defeated Paradorn Srichaphan 6-2 6-3 and the scene was set for a showdown with world number two Nadal.
But Blake surprised the second seed with some inspired tennis in front of a partisan crowd of 16,260 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
"I'm sorry I ruined the story," said Blake. "Rafael is a great player and he brings out the best in me."
And Blake is aware of the task he faces against Federer but is determined to give it his best shot.
He added: "For me, tomorrow is going to be a conscious effort to calm myself and find some way to get him."
Nadal was eloquent in defeat and paid tribute to Blake, who enters the world's top 10 this week after his recent fine run of form.
Nadal said: "I make no excuses, I have to say congratulations to James."
06-20-2006, 01:55 AM
I love you heya, but I am confused.
06-21-2006, 07:24 PM
I'm not kidding. This was an article with real quotes from the players.
I'm shocked. I'll have to wait 10 years for another Slam champion.
Between now and the year 2015, we'll have a lot of demoralized and
depressed players' interviews.
We've seen the horrible things Andy did and said.
We've heard many players' sad and
dishonest answers to press conference questions.
It became more common in the year 2006, in my opinion.
Since Andy disappeared from the tour, we can only mock him and some players' "speeches".
06-22-2006, 05:34 AM
French Open ending oh-so-predictable
Wimbledon offers better drama, despite absences
BY JAY CLARK, The Island Packet
Published Wednesday, June 21, 2006
When the red dust from the French Open cleared and only the champions
were left standing, it sure felt like the results should have been
foreseeable all along. Certainly, the best clay-courters of their
respective genders going into Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal and
tennisbot Justine Henin-Hardenne, emerged the victors.
The men's final was all about whether Roger Federer could make
history, becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win four
Grand Slams in a row. But something funny happened on the way to being
anointed the greatest of all time (at least by John McEnroe, who found
this to be an astoundingly original thought.) Federer's backhand, and
the quality of the match for that matter, became about as reliable as
a Hilton Head Island restaurant recommendation. The appetizer was okay
(the dancing Nadal pre-match warm-up), the servers were inconsistent
(enough with profound stories of overcoming adversity Mary Carillo)
and the best main course tennis had to offer still managed to
(By the way, try The Crab Factory. It's fictional and delicious! Tell
all your friends you went there, and then order Pizza Hut.)
Women's tennis suffered another blow when two of the most unmarketable
women ever to grace the court, Svetlena Kuznetsova and Henin-Hardenne,
managed to make it to the final. All that was missing was a guest
appearance by the bewildering Nadia Petrova, who managed to take all
the momentum she garnered before the tournament and channel it into a
first-round performance only Marat Safin could make sense of. Nadia is
a perfect example of why any points supporting the argument for
on-court coaching should be moot. Grand Slam champions do not choke on
their own saliva. They choke on bananas, like Rafael Nadal did during
one of his early-round matches.
In need of something to infuse a little excitement into the matches
(Nadal's banana peels littering the court a la Mario Tennis?), women's
tennis is getting to a Cousin Oliver state of desperation. There is so
much potential in the WTA's own random assortment of a Brady Bunch
cast: Sharapova as Marcia, Dementieva or Vaidisova as Jan, Clijsters
as Cindy, Kutznetsova as Sam the Butcher. Yet, the episodes always
seem to disappoint. Which leads to the question, did you see the
French Open final? Or did "something suddenly come up?"
All of this drama -- or lack thereof -- is perfect timing for a press
release from everyone's favorite television guest star specialist,
thespian Serena Williams! She claims to be making her return at the
"highly competitive" WTA Cincinnati tournament. Although this
tournament is highly competitive by Francesca Schiavone standards, it
certainly isn't Williams Sister caliber.
It is a shrewd move by Serena to start small, and as a bonus she
promises an outfit that is unlikely to match the occasion. She says no
to a cat suit though ... perhaps a Stella McCartney Chinchilla-fur
ensemble will do the trick.
Serena's announcement has temporarily overshadowed the upcoming battle
royal on the lawns of inequity at Wimbledon, a tournament in which she
will not be appearing. Wimbledon is a whole different story. The buzz
of history is inimitable, the surface texture seemingly
indecipherable, and the results occasionally inexplicable.
Table for one, please.
06-22-2006, 07:24 AM
Pretty sad when no one accepts that anyone within the top 20 could win a Slam...
I'm sure the McEnroes and Mary Carillo ARE CRYING.
Will Roger Federer ever beat the French?
By GREG GARBER
June 19, 2006 — - PARIS -- Part of the mystique of Roger Federer is
his deadly aplomb. Sometimes, in moments of duress, you wonder if
there is a pulse.
On Sunday, Federer lost the French Open final to Rafael Nadal in four
sets. Afterward, he was uncharacteristically cranky. Asked about the
second set, which he lost after winning the first with ease, he
replied, "You didn't watch the match?"
He was almost curt, approaching surly. And he never answered the
Federer appeared hugely disappointed with the result -- as well he
should be. He had viable opportunities to take control of the second,
third and even the fourth set, but failed in every case. After winning
three consecutive Grand Slams (2005 Wimbledon, 2005 U.S. Open and 2006
Australian Open), Federer fell short in his bid to win four straight.
Will he ever win the French?
"We'll see," he said shrugging. "It's obviously my goal, yes, to win
this event. And it only gives me more [drive] to try to win this. I
got a step closer once again from last year. I think in every year
that goes by, gives me again more maturity on this surface."
Sifting his results at Roland Garros, you can make a reasonable case
for a breakthrough in 2007 or, perhaps, 2008. Federer reached the
semifinals here for the first time a year ago, but Nadal knocked him
out of the tournament. He reached the final, which, for any other
player, would have constituted a remarkable achievement.
Not for Federer. And as long as Nadal -- four years younger, stronger
and far more confident on clay -- is in his way, it will be difficult.
Federer is 24 years old and he no longer cries when he loses. He was
asked afterward why he didn't look more disappointed.
"I've had worse than this," he said. "I'm in a different stage of my
career now than I used to be, where every loss was, yeah, another
world. That's not the case anymore because I tried hard and know I
left everything out there.
"He's tough to beat, but not impossible to beat. That's a big
difference. Otherwise, we wouldn't have to play. He can just lift the
trophy on the first day."
When you look at the No. 1 players over the last 25 years -- Pete Sampras, my brother [John], Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander and Bjorn Borg, they could all either play defense or offense really well, and were just OK at the other. Sampras was a great offensive player, while Borg won with defense.
Clive Brunskill/Getty IMages
Rafael Nadal's forehand is the main reason he's the only player to beat Roger Federer in 2006.
But Roger Federer is the best I have ever seen at both. He will play defense if he is not feeling comfortable attacking early on, but when he does decide to step up his offensive game, there is really no one on tour better. That's why he is the toughest player to beat in the world. He can beat you in almost any way.
However, if Federer is going to be beaten, there is one basic strategy: attack his backhand. The one commonality players who have given him trouble in the last couple of years all have is they hit extremely well off the left side of their body. Take a look at the strengths of the four players who have beaten Federer since 2005:
• Rafael Nadal has a big lefty forehand which generates a lot of topspin.
• Marat Safin has the huge two-handed backhand and can rip it crosscourt. (Safin beat Federer in the semifinals of the Australian Open in 2005.)
• David Nalbandian -- whose best shot is his backhand -- beat Federer in five sets at the Masters Cup in Shanghai.
• Richard Gasquet's biggest weapon is off his backhand side.
What's amazing about Federer though is that after each of his eight losses in the last two years, he has turned it around the next time against each opponent, with the exception of Nadal. After his loss to Safin at the Australian Open, Federer beat him five months later in Germany. Nalbandian is 0-2 this year since beating Federer last December, and the Swiss is 3-0 since losing to Gasquet. Pat. Wow. Nadal is right-handed, but you have a sad need to declare Nadal a lefty "with a TOPSPIN forehand" to make Nadal look more lucky and blessed with advantages.
It's more than attitude and lefty-handedness. It's called speed and fitness.
No genius is required....Pat.
In the 2005 U.S. Open final, Andre Agassi pounded Federer's backhand with high-kicking serves out wide. Agassi won the second set and was up a break in the third, but Federer made a few quick adjustments and had little trouble thereafter.
The one player Federer has not been able to get by is Nadal because his game matches up really well, especially on slower surfaces. After winning the first set at the French Open, Federer's backhand broke down for the final three sets. He committed error after error from that wing (24 total errors from his backhand side) and it was clear that Nadal could attack Federer's left side and get away with it. The Spaniard is unique in that he plays with so much topspin and can consistently get the ball up high to Federer's backhand. He can do this not only on clay, but on a slower hard court as well.
But the X factor here is that Wimbledon is played on grass, and that's a different beast. Grass completely neutralizes Nadal's spin. The Spaniard's high-bouncing topspin forehands won't be a factor at all on a faster, slicker surface. Federer likes to take the ball waist high, even below the waist. It's rare on grass that a ball comes up higher than that. He has such great hands and feet and can improvise shots when the ball is low, something most players can't do.
There's more to beating Federer than just attacking his backhand, no matter which surface he's playing on. While his opponents need to attack his weaker side, they also need to do something with the next shot, and that's a lot easier said than done. Federer is very mobile and can turn defense into offense better than anyone. He is very comfortable hanging back and slicing his backhand deep into the court and waiting for an opening. That's why you see so many players who are on the court with Federer beat themselves. They know how quick he is and understand he can turn it on at any time, so they rush and make mistakes.
[Federer] will play defense if he is not feeling comfortable attacking early on, but when he does decide to step up his offensive game, there is really no one on tour better. That's why he is the toughest player to beat in the world. He can beat you in almost any way.
What these players also need to do, especially on grass, is attack Federer's second serve and put pressure on him right away. If you don't, he'll be all over you and then it's over. Mario Ancic is a player who could potentially give Federer a hard time. (Ancic is the last player to beat Federer on grass. However, that was four years ago in the first round at Wimbledon.) Ancic has a huge serve, hits his two-handed backhand well and attacks second serves.
You also need an attitude when playing Federer, like Nadal has. You saw how confident he was bouncing around like a boxer before the French Open final. Most players take the court -- especially on grass -- intimidated when playing the top-ranked player in the world.
Lleyton Hewitt has that attitude and his best chance is on grass; however, I don't think his game matches up particularly well with Federer's. He doesn't have a big weapon and he lacks the overall firepower.
While beating Federer does not happen all that often -- just eight times in the last two years -- the players that have beaten him all have one thing in common. They can hit strong off their left side and attack Federer's backhand, his weaker flank.
Patrick McEnroe, the U.S. Davis Cup captain, provides analysis for ESPN.com during Wimbledon.
06-22-2006, 11:07 PM
I cannot take Pmac seriously...because I know what his face looks like.
-smug bitch without reason.
06-22-2006, 11:35 PM
Ancic couldn't hold a 3-0 lead on clay, and barely beat other players.
But Dear Pat has so much respect for Ancic's "GODLY BACKHAND". LMAO
He saw Andy's scared face at Wimbledon and automatically, the ESPN jerks called
Federer the best terminator of backhandless huge servers. Was it the backhand
and variety that Safin, Nalbandian, Agassi and Henman depended on to beat Federer?
In 3 years, they either let up or were too weak or sick to play at 80% effort.
I don't recall huge backhands when Andy beat Federer, then choked
in the 2004 Wimbledon final and injured himself in Cincinnati.
The other times, Andy was a physical mess or didn't show up for competition.
It's not supposed to be a rivalry, according to a bored Andy.
But everyone says Nadal is an equal rival to Federer on clay and hardcourt. :rolls: :o
06-23-2006, 12:20 AM
1 of the few articles that didn't call Nadal a one-surface wonder.
1000s of players aren't inspired by Nadal, the 1 player with the
strength to win another Slam?
Andy can barely open his eyes. You won't be seeing Ljubicic and Hewitt with 2006 Slam trophies.
Has Nadal Conquered Federer?
By Scoop Malinowski
What is Roger Federer feeling now? Has he been wounded psychologically? Could all these defeats at the hands of the mighty Rafael Nadal be inflicting some kind of permanent damage? The Spaniard has won six out of seven from Federer and actually it could have very easily been a perfect seven had he not blown a two sets and a break lead in the Key Biscayne final last year.
Odd things happen sometimes when the great champion loses his confidence. Bjorn Borg lost the Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals to John McEnroe in 1981 and his psyche suffered so much by those those failures that he suddenly left the game at age 26. Lennox Lewis was losing a viciously violent fight to Vitali Klitschko in 2003, but luckily won when the referee controversially stopped it after round six because of Klitschko's cuts. Lewis, who had earlier stated a goal of three more fights, never fought again, turning down offers of $20 million for a rematch. It was evident Lewis was unsure if he was the best anymore.
In individual sports, when the great champion questions himself in his own mind ?Am I still the best? ? it is the beginning of the end. All of the contenders sense the vulnerability and begin to plot their moves. We have witnessed the demises of many champion boxers and tennis players, such as Marvin Hagler, Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones, Martina Hingis, Serena Williams and Mike Tyson, to name a few.
Nadal seems supremely confident he will dethrone Federer, and the process apparently is underway before our eyes.
"He is the best player in the world. The most complete player I have seen in my life," Nadal says. "But he can't keep playing like this forever.""
It's debatable right now if Federer is actually even the best player in the world ?he's not even the best player on the court when he stares across the net at the clay-court conquistador who has had his number so often it's the tennis equivalent of speed dial.
When he enters into a tournament now, the people are buzzing about Nadal. Roger may have the ranking points, but Nadal clearly is his superior. Just as it took one man, Buster Douglas, to overthrow Tyson as the king, maybe Nadal is the man who will befall Federer. As unbelievable as it sounds, Nadal may ruin the spectacular reign of Federer.
I believe Nadal may have destroyed the career of Guillermo Coria. We know Coria was devastated by that weird loss to Gaston Gaudio in the 2004 French Open final. It is suspected Coria's possible use of injury gamesmanship during that match backfired and may have cost him the Grand Slam victory. But last year, Coria was still a major force on clay, until he lost that five-hour, fifth set tiebreak marathon to Nadal in Rome, ultimately enduring a heart-breaking 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(6) defeat.
Coria has never been the same since that moment and his career has tumbled into crisis. Perhaps Coria has come to believe in his own mind he will never be able to overcome Nadal, and that he foolishly squandered his one and only chance to win Roland Garros. And thus, without the fuel of hope to inspire him, he is a lost man on the court. A man without hope is a man...
You have to wonder at this point if Federer possesses the confidence, passion and the strength to defy this rampaging Spanish bull. We know Nadal has hopes. We know Nadal believes and is now aiming to show he can win on the grass at Wimbledon and that he can attain number one. And if the young phenomenon truly believes he can achieve those accomplishments, Mr. Federer may soon have plenty more problems to deal with. It's all been so marvelously clever the way Nadal has treated the subject of Federer. With nothing but gracious respect the 20-year-old only speaks kind words of his adversary.
"Everyone knows I like Roger," he says. From Nadal, there is never any criticism, truculence or even a hint of any malice towards Roger. Federer, on the other hand, has shown glimpses of irritation at Nadal. This year he accused Nadal's coach, uncle Toni Nadal, of illegally coaching from his box. He called Nadal's game "one-dimensional" before this year's defeat at Monte Carlo.
Last year at the French Open, Federer seemed slightly annoyed when reporters told him that Nadal said there was "no favorite" to win Roland Garros. "That's an interesting way to put pressure on people," said Federer. "It's clever. He's not stupid. I think there are a number of favorites here, and he knows well who they are."
In the aftermath of Nadal's victory over Federer in the French Open final, the Swiss stylist issued a subtle slight at Nadal by calling him "a grinder" immediately after the match.
Let's be blunt now, Nadal has pushed Federer around for 14 months and so far the Swiss gentleman has had no answers, no effective counterattacks. The ruthless bullying on the court just continues on. It's an intriguing clash of wills between the two strongest tennis players on earth today, a compelling drama with many chapters to read in the future. What ideas will Federer devise on how to halt this domination at the hands of Nadal? What can Roger do to circumvent his failings in the psychological warfare department? Is Nadal much smarter than his young age would suggest? Is he actually more intelligent than Federer is on court, using that higher tennis IQ to be able to outplay him five consecutive matches? Has Federer been intimidated by the intensity and fury of his powerful rival?
The greatness of Roger Federer has been tested, it has been questioned. The answers must come soon. Another possibility in this fascinating battle is that there is ample hope for Federer. Assuming, of course, that Nadal has not broken his spirit, Roger may actually become stronger from these defeats. Former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis was unexpectedly knocked out twice in his career. Imagine being knocked out with one punch in front of the world. Imagine the difficulty of trying to regain confidence to absorb a punch. Then you have to recover your status while discouraging all the eager attackers. In an awesome display of courage and perseverance, Lewis actually came back a better, smarter and more complete fighter and is now regarded as one of the best in history.
The same agony was suffered by Federer's personal friend, the 1996 Olympic gold medallist Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine (the two met last year at an award show in Europe and became friends, Klitschko told me). Klitschko was the heir apparent to Lewis, until he was devastatingly knocked out twice by Corrie Sanders in 2003 and Lamon Brewster in 2004. But Klitschko maintained that, despite the horror of those humiliating losses, he never lost confidence in himself. He figured out why he lost, fixed the errors and resumed his lifelong ambition. And Klitschko has succeeded to this point, by impressively defeating the hardest knockout puncher in the world last September, Samuel Peter of Nigeria, and Chris Byrd this past April to win the IBF Heavyweight title. Klitschko, age 30, considers his failures in the ring to be valuable learning experiences and actually believes he needed them to make him a complete fighter.
"I needed to experience losing to become a champion," said Klitschko. "I never lost my confidence. I am complete fighter right now. Experience ?you cannot buy in the shop. You have to gain it with your own skin and your own body with your own mind and through the time. Experience which people are making and they have to learn from those experiences. And they have to get better."
Klitschko, written off by most of the experts as lacking resilience and a strong jaw just a few years ago, proved his heart and mind were much stronger than anyone imagined. And he now appears poised to dominate the heavyweight division for several years.
No one knows how Federer will come back from his setbacks, maybe not even Roger Federer himself.
The decision is his to make. Or is it Rafael Nadal's.
06-23-2006, 12:32 AM
GREAT JOKER! Did she just WAKE UP to realize that Andy's not IN THE MOOD FOR passive-aggressive behavior, no matter how much he talks! :haha: :aplot:
Wimbledon, the crown jewel of tennis, begins next week in London and I have I some choice words for Andy Roddick, who has been in a funk as of late:
Throughout the past 12 months, Roddick's game has seemingly hit the pause button and put a huge dent in the progress of American men's tennis. His sometimes listless play, dwindling desire and inability to beat Roger Federer is causing him to disappear off the radar.
Of course, Federer is the No. 1 player in the world and has seven grand slam titles to his name. He is the Goliath to Roddick's David, posting a 10-1 career record against the him, including victories over him in the last two Wimbledon finals.
However, if this year's French Open showed us nothing else, it illustrated the Swiss champ has exploitable weaknesses on the court. In Paris, Federer demonstrated he can be bullied and in a big match, brazen attitude and a little good fortune are enough to beat him.
Sure, critics may argue Federer's four-set loss at the hands of Rafael Nadal in the French Open final was not surprising because it happened on Federer's worst surface, red clay. They'll say Nadal was destined to win the match to add to his 59 consecutive clay-court win streak preceding the final. They'll remind you that despite his rare humanization at Roland Garros, Federer is a master on grass with 41 consecutive victories on the surface and he'll most certainly win his fourth consecutive Wimbledon championship this year.
But if Roddick and the rest of the tennis world was watching Federer closely at the French, they would have seen a glitch in the Swiss' tennis prowess. They would have seen a guy whose limitations were not only exposed by Nadal, but also by his opening round opponent, Argentine qualifier Diego Hartfield, and again by semifinal opponent David Nalbandian.
And so I say if Roddick is to have any chance to finally beat Federer and salvage what's left of American men's tennis he needs to Man up and strike now. He needs to take note of what those three guys did against Federer in Paris and use it to his advantage.
Attack the net: Federer struggled early in his match against Hartfield because the Argentine offered up big kick serves and wasn't afraid to come to the net. With Hartfield's adept net play, Federer struggled to maintain his consistency throughout the first two sets. The Swiss is used to controlling the points and bullying the net in his own right, especially on grass. To counter that at Wimbledon, Roddick needs to use his own powerful serve and forehand to dictate the points and try and get Federer out of position before closing off the points at the net. This would force Federer into low-percentage shots and shorten the points, thus saving the wear on Roddick's body as the match progresses.
Dismantle Federer's backhand: The backhand is Federer's weakest shot. Yes it may be pretty, even poetic at times, but aesthetics don't win points in tennis, and with a return as potent as Roddick's he should be all over Federer's feeble backhand. Against Nalbandian, the failed backhand caused Federer to drop serve twice in the first set. In the final against Nadal, Federer had 24 unforced backhand errors. After losing the first set, Nadal sensed Federer's weakness and used his speed and commanding forehand to decimate Federer's backhand shot almost every time he went for it.
Use some gamesmanship: Tennis is as much mental as it is physical. You have to get into your opponent's head. After dropping the second set 6-1 and going up 1-0 at the beginning of the third, Federer waited patiently for Nadal to begin his serve after the changeover. Federer waited. And waited. And waited. In fact, in what can be only seen as an effort to rattle Federer and throw him off his game, Nadal took almost a three minutes to come back to the baseline and begin his serve. Federer was visibly annoyed. Nadal won the game at love and Federer's game began to really unravel. This is what Roddick needs to do against Federer. Slow the game down, letting Federer know that Roddick is in control.
Nadal said it best when he mused after the Paris final, "What is important is that my attitude is always positive. If you play with a good mental attitude, even if you're not 100 percent you can still win because, in fact, you win more with your heart, your attitude and with your will power than with anything else."
Even with all of these adjustments to his game is a win over Federer at the All England club really a Mission Impossible? Perhaps. But the time is now for Roddick. If he wants to salvage his game and re-ignite American men's tennis he needs to strike with a win while Goliath is vulnerable.
06-23-2006, 02:23 AM
For Martina Hingis, it has been particularly hard. After three years away from tennis, her comeback season has been a great success. But after she lost to Kim Clijsters in the French Open quarterfinals, she contemplated leaving the safe haven of clay.
"It's pretty much the same for everybody," she said. "Nobody really practices on grass. It's been awhile since I stood on a grass court."
Five years, to be precise. She will almost certainly be among the top 16 seeds, but her progress in the early rounds bears watching.
While hard courts, because of the friction they create, are the hardest on the joints, clay's tendency to prolong points takes its toll, too. Grass, players say, does the least damage. It is soft and the points are shorter. That said, there is still a physical adjustment period.
"In the beginning, I always get back pain," Federer said. "Many balls are very low and you always have to go down and get it. You feel that. Same as maybe the groin areas on grass affect you in the beginning.
"But once you're used to it, it's really easy on the body."
Patrick McEnroe, the U.S. Davis Cup captain, agreed.
The balls skid a lot more and stay low," McEnroe said. "It forces you to use a different muscle group. Your ass -- can I say that on the Internet? -- gets really sore. For the first few days, it's really, really tough."
Consequently, players try to get as much time on the grass courts as possible; some -- hello there, James Blake, Fernando Gonzalez and Sebastien Grosjean -- even allow themselves to play doubles.
This thread should be renamed Heya's rant thread :lol:
06-23-2006, 11:27 AM
Marry me heya. Why hast thou forsaken me? :sad:
06-23-2006, 11:30 AM
This thread should be renamed Heya's rant thread :lol:
I was just thinking that!!
06-23-2006, 10:13 PM
I believe these tennis pundits and fans rant forever. :speakles:
fans LOVE to talk about federer's "inner holiness"
they do SO ONLY when it doesn't TOUCH upon the "inner motives" of his shows of "niceness".
what federer has been doing with players that HE KNOWS can THREATEN him -- is use that"charm offensive".
it is like a politician "visiting" his rival's turf just to give a sign that "i know what YOU'RE doing -- and just REMEMBER -- I'm the best"
in a charming way of course.
i won't be surprised if a lot of these "visits" somehow "touch" upon "shop talk" by way of "how are you" designed to filter out some perceived "thinking approach" to help figure out "how this guy ticks".
the federer speeches about Toni Nadal, the remarks coming from HIS camp abetted by Ivan his friend... the spotlighting of Nadal's "one dimensionality"...etc..etc.etc..
these are all part of a federer "feel my presence" game of psyching out potential threats and render them ever-so-slightly distracted about THOUGHTS of "kindess" ...."federer is my friend"...."he cares about me"...."he visited me".....
ways of DISARMING threats before a shot is made -- and by then .... it is too late.
clever is roger, ain't he? you watch -- IF gasquet EVER defeats roger and has a record like Nadal as Gasquet grows up and gets stronger and fitter --
you'll see reports touting Roger's "kindness" visits.......
he's really doing it as nothing more than SCOUTING MISSIONS HIMSELF -- this "student of tennis" roger......who admits to "studying my opponents" long before matches.
give him credit for studying HARD but there is NOTHING magical about it.