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Old 06-29-2013, 07:29 PM   #61
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Default Re: BRING ON THE GRASS!! Grass Season 2013 (Wimbledon)

In his interviews, Richard is talking about how tired he is, physically and mentally – not from today, but the whole season. Says he was exhausted after the Argentina Davis Cup trip even though he didn't play. He was 30-10 coming into Wimbledon whereas Tomic was only 16-12. That’s a lot less matches for Tomic. Maybe that had something to do with why Tomic was sharper on the key points today. (Gasquet didn’t suggest that, I’m just wondering.)
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:34 PM   #62
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Default Re: BRING ON THE GRASS!! Grass Season 2013 (Wimbledon)

^^^
yes, he has played A LOT of tennis. i believe some people here had commented previously that his schedule was packed. in hindsight, he probably should have skipped Marseille and not flown to Argentina, specially considering his deep run in Miami, bad ankle, and the amount of grief he got for not playing, not to mention the eventual Davis Cup loss. that's very draining physically and emotionally. it was obvious he wasn't 100% in Monte Carlo...basically ever since Argentina (Richie's not had good luck with DC at all). oh well, live and learn: a good run of form must be cultivated throughout the year.

Tomic has always played well at Wimbledon. and he's probably come to terms with his father's ban so it's a weight lifted. when you've been carrying a ton of baggage and then it's gone, things just seem much easier.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:47 PM   #63
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Default Re: BRING ON THE GRASS!! Grass Season 2013 (Wimbledon)

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Originally Posted by DBR View Post
In his interviews, Richard is talking about how tired he is, physically and mentally Ė not from today, but the whole season. Says he was exhausted after the Argentina Davis Cup trip even though he didn't play. He was 30-10 coming into Wimbledon whereas Tomic was only 16-12. Thatís a lot less matches for Tomic. Maybe that had something to do with why Tomic was sharper on the key points today. (Gasquet didnít suggest that, Iím just wondering.)
He's already played 43 matches this season, this part of the season is very tough as you play the long clay season which if followed by the grass season. That's why hardly any top 10 players play tournaments after Wimbledon till Montreal and Cincinnati.

Hopefully Richard get's a good rest and then is ready for Umag, even though it's a 250, winning that can help him into the North American Hard Court Swing!! UMAG starts on the 22nd of next month, so Richard should take about 18 days off, just relax himself. So when he comes back to tour, he's refreshed and ready.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:21 PM   #64
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Default Re: BRING ON THE GRASS!! Grass Season 2013 (Wimbledon)

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In his interviews, Richard is talking about how tired he is, physically and mentally Ė not from today, but the whole season. Says he was exhausted after the Argentina Davis Cup trip even though he didn't play.
Don't get me going on Davis Cup. This event has done so much damage to Richard throughout the years, both mentally and physically, but he always wants to be part of it, and then you have the "wonderful" French media who question his dedication. I force myself to stop, otherwise I could go on ranting for pages.
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:52 PM   #65
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Default Re: BRING ON THE GRASS!! Grass Season 2013 (Wimbledon)

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Don't get me going on Davis Cup. This event has done so much damage to Richard throughout the years, both mentally and physically, but he always wants to be part of it, and then you have the "wonderful" French media who question his dedication. I force myself to stop, otherwise I could go on ranting for pages.
Most of the top players play for their country. Sure, it is a stress but it is also a responsibility of a tennis player. Similar with Olympics. One of his great achievements in his career won't necessary be a semi at Wimbledon but winning a medal in London. This will be remembered forever and will stay with him even after he is done with tennis. Playing in Davis Cup and potentially winning in the future will have the same impact.

But let's be honest here.. Richard complaining about being tired and planning to play in very insignificant event at UMAG on different surface simply does not make any sense. He does not need match practice, he needs to spend time actually practicing some of his shots or more time in the gym. Let's see some facts here: Richard is the least threatening player in the top ten. At this point he can not compete in the best of 5 set match against tough competition. His losses from 2-0 up in sets is not a fluke, he simply can not handle the physicality of a 5 set match. If he ever wants to reach 1/4 final of a slam again, he seriously needs to address that issue and work twice as hard. At this point, he can only beat mediocre players in Grand Slams.

So, instead of going to small events and collecting checks (and that's what he is doing by playing UMAG), he really needs to try harder and improve in all departments (well, he doesn't need to improve his overhead, that shot is the best in the world)

Areas of the game where he is average or below average:

1. Movement (he is not very tall and can move better)
2. Flexibility (often wrong footed and awkward shots)
3. Forehand (average pace, accuracy)
4. Second serve return (almost never an attacking shot, especially on forehand)
5. Strength/durability. Some of the weakest in top 20. Can not compete in 5th set.
6. Taking the ball early
7. Mental toughness on big points and toward end of matches. (although improved some, it is still not at the level of top 10)


If Richard wants to maintain his ranking or get couple spots higher, he must improve some/most of the above.

Last edited by Vlad1980 : 07-03-2013 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:36 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad1980 View Post
But let's be honest here.. Richard complaining about being tired and planning to play in very insignificant event at UMAG on different surface simply does not make any sense. He does not need match practice, he needs to spend time actually practicing some of his shots or more time in the gym. Let's see some facts here: Richard is the least threatening player in the top ten. At this point he can not compete in the be match against tough competition. His losses from 2-0 up in sets is not a fluke, he simply can not handle the physicality of a 5 set match. If he ever wants to reach 1/4 final of a slam again, he seriously needs to address that issue and work twice as hard. At this point, he can only beat mediocre players in Grand Slams.

So, instead of going to small events and collecting checks (and that's what he is doing by playing UMAG), he really needs to try harder and improve in all departments (well, he doesn't need to improve his overhead, that shot is the best in the world)
I totally agree with you.

Richard requested WC for Umag and didn't play there last year, right? I think he's going to make up for it, if not the main reason. Still Umag is unnecessary.. Once he decided to play there, i just hope it'll work for the rest season.

I'm always disappointed at his physical weakness. It must affect his mentality, i think. i don't know much about his practice menu, but obviously he has to change some of his habit in order to improve his game.
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:00 AM   #67
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Default Re: BRING ON THE GRASS!! Grass Season 2013 (Wimbledon)

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Most of the top players play for their country.
Such as Murray and del Potro?

Quote:
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Richard complaining about being tired and planning to play in very insignificant event at UMAG on different surface simply does not make any sense.
He did not say that he was partiuclarly tired after Wimby, he just wanted a break like almost everybody else takes summer holidays. He spoke about the tiredness after the DC week in Argentina, and that it took him a long time to recover from it.

Umag at first seemed strange to me, too, but I don't think it is the worst idea to have some real matches before attacking the US hard courts.
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:50 AM   #68
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Default Re: BRING ON THE GRASS!! Grass Season 2013 (Wimbledon)

Vlad1980 Ė I have to disagree with you on a few of these points.

Firstly, I want to make it clear that Richard wasnít complaining about being tired or using that as an excuse. He was asked by French journalists about the number of withdrawals and injuries at Wimbledon. He replied that a lot of the players were really hurt physically and mentally after the French Open and the whole of the season, and that thereís not much time in between the French Open and Wimbledon to recover. He used himself as an additional example by saying that the Argentina Davis Cup trip really exhausted him even though he didnít play. But he was very clear that he felt Tomic played better on the day at Wimbledon, and was not using tiredness or his lengthy season as an excuse for his loss.

The Davis Cup and Olympics have obvious appeal, but I think most players would cherish GS QF's and SF's just as much, if not more. Look at Janowiczís post match interview yesterday. He couldnít even speak, he was so overwhelmed at making the SF. I canít talk for Richard, but Iíd be very surprised if the Wimbledon QF against Roddick wasnít still one of (if not the) greatest achievements of his career. He always describes it as his best match when heís asked. Iím pretty sure heíll remember that his whole life as well as the Olympic doubles medal and anything he goes on to achieve in Davis Cup.

If Richard does play UMAG thereís obviously a good reason for that Ė like a contractual tie-in or verbal obligation, as others have suggested.

As for the specific areas of his game youíve criticised:

1. Movement Ė I have to disagree. I think this is an area that heís really improved over the last 12-18 months. Heís covering the court much better, is noticeably quicker, and is really chasing down most shots with a lot of determination now. I see a big improvement in this part of his game.

2. Flexibility Ė I hadnít noticed this being an issue, but Iím going to look out for it now in his coming matches. He was wrong-footed by Tomic several times, but thatís because Tomic mixes up his shots more than most, and is very hard to second guess. Tomic did the same thing to Djokovic earlier this year, so I didnít see that as being an issue with Richardís flexibility.

3. Forehand Ė there are definitely still bad days (like SF Halle v Youzhny) but against Granollers and especially Tomic at Wimbledon, I thought his forehand was working well. He hit 73 winners against Tomic and a good number of those were forehands. The way he beat Berdych in Miami and then how he played during a good chunk of the SF match against Murray. Absolutely nothing wrong with that forehand. Obviously, itís a confidence shot though and if things arenít going well, it can suffer. So he needs to keep working on depth and consistency, which Iím sure he and his team are very aware of.

4. Second Serve Return Ė you havenít checked the stats. Richard is lying 3rd highest in the ATP matchfacts-stats table (http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/MatchFacts.aspx) for the percentage of second serve return points won (55%) Ė only Ferrer and Federer are ranked higher.

Also, in the 2013 Wimbledon table of the number of second serve return points won (http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/score...et_won_ms.html) Richard is lying 13th. The only reason heís this low is because the table is based on the overall number of return points won in the tournament and is not shown as a percentage. Richard only played 3 matches, whereas 4 players ranked above him played 4 matches, and everyone else played 5. When you divide Richardís second serve return points won (78) by his matches(3) he actually ends up with a better ratio than the current top ranked player, Andy Murray (125 points in 5 matches.)

So Richardís actually pretty damn good at winning points on 2nd serve return. The problem against Tomic was that there were hardly any second serves to go after. Bear in mind that Tomic took Berdych to 4 sets, when averaging a low 70ís first serve percentage - and he was a good 10 percent higher against Richard.

5. Strength & Durability Ė I donít know enough about Richardís fitness training to really be able to answer this. He looks fitter to me than in previous years, but I canít deny there seems to be an issue with 5 set matches. The question Iím wondering though is Ė is he really just not physically fit enough, or is it the way the stress and tension manifests itself in him that saps his strength and energy in the later stages of matches? I honestly donít know the answer, but Iím starting to wonder if it might be the latter.

6. Taking the ball early Ė well he can obviously do this. We know that. But he also likes to shape up to the ball properly too, and that inevitably takes more prep time. I really believe he is gradually creeping forward towards that baseline with his groundstrokes though. And I liked how often he was prepared to come in and volley against Tomic.

7. Mental toughness on big points and towards the end of matches. This definitely still needs more work and is no doubt an ongoing goal, but I think itís really important to credit Richard with the good work heís already done in this regard. He is a much tougher player these days. And a much more solid and consistent player all round. Even the past year I see such a difference in him. He has more work to do on keeping his focus and not getting distracted by bad challenge calls, injury time outs etc, but he doesnít seem to have the natural confidence/ arrogance that a lot of top players instinctively have, so I think the improvements heís made are already really positive and should be applauded rather than criticised.

In terms of his mental toughness overall, no one ever gives him credit for coming back after the '09 saga. He could have easily sunk without trace after that. But he didn't. He fought back, and has steadily improved his game and his ranking - in spite of injuries - to a point where he's now back in the top 10.

Itís unfortunate heís been labelled with a reputation that is going to be hard to shake off now no matter what he does. A few weeks back Djokovic lost a 5 setter against Berdych after being two sets and a break up. Even against Haas he struggled to serve out the match. But when Verdasco loses to Murray after being 2 sets up, everyone says heís doing a ďGasquetĒ Ė despite that match with Murray happening 5 YEARS ago.

Richardís not perfect Ė heís a human being - and as a tennis player, heís a constant work in progress (as they all are.) But I actually think heís made a lot of improvements over the last couple of years and is heading in the right direction. Grosjean and Piatti seem a good fit for him. Iíve been really impressed with the improvement in his movement, how well heís served overall (including a ridiculous number of aces for a guy whoís only about 6 feet tall.) and how well heís been handling and fending off a lot of break points and soaking up pressure. His 4-5 service game hold (from 0-40 down) at the end of the 2nd set v Tomic, then winning that set, was immense. As was his early monster hold against Stan in Paris. Thereís a lot more steel and determination about him now. Does he sometimes need to focus more and attack more on the big points Ė yes. But heís learning and transitioning, and tennis isnít as simple as being told by a coach what to do and then just doing it. If it was, every player would be challenging.

Richard only got back into the top 10 in November 2012 and moved to 9 in April this year. Heís 32-11 for the season and heís won two titles, which is really impressive.

A lot of guys are starting to close in on the Top 10 Ė Stan, Tommy Haas, now Janowicz is having a bit of a charge. For me, the rest of Richardís year is about consolidation Ė making sure that he stays firmly in the top 10, and ideally no lower than number 9. Challenging for the top 8 year end will be tough, but who know what might happen if he can recharge his batteries now and then have a good run of results.
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