Fanblog

PSA for the Clown Show

I could’ve made this a comment in my last post. But I wanted to string this out.

And, sorry: blame the fanboy/girl contingent for this post, which bumps my Nadalism post to tomorrow.

To the guy coming at me for my previous post about the WTF and the rest of you just like him or her:

First of all, I probably need to clarify this in my “What is Mcshow Blog” page, so when you stumble-upon the discussion over here, you don’t respond and sound like a fruit-cake (meaning you’re an overly-produced crap side-dish or dessert, with that artificially shallow flavor-sweetness that makes you just an overly and traditionally corrupt confectionery).

If this were a betting site or a Fedfan blog, those of you who subscribe to that kind of banter, looking to make money or greasing and licking each other like sick fools, might indeed be looking for me to say that the Swiss gentleman is the favorite in London (and again why aren’t you at some kind of fanblog/betting site with your narrow, child-like sensibility seeking the echo-chamber so you can snuggle-up and sip the kool-aide as whomever maintains that preaching-to-the-choir propaganda tells you exactly what you want to hear?). Of course he’s the favorite. Federer should, by most accounts, win the 2017 WTF.

For two reasons, however, you are a clown:

  1. If you read my blog and think I’m looking for Federer to fail, step away from the computer/dumb phone and go for long walk. This is not a fanblog and you are not a real tennis fan. You’re a fanatic.
  2. This world in which we have to call each other neighbors has become smaller and smaller and more and more agitated. People like you, who foolishly swing from the top branch in your Tarzan outfit declaring your devotion to some player or ideology, at the expense of common sense and healthy dialogue, have become more and more of a problem, obviously. STFUP. You’re the guy/gal who waves a banner and screams “Let’s gooooooooo!” with your hero(ine) up 5-1 in the third, on serve, with 3 MPs. You’re a clown.

At Mcshow Blog, we read the tea-leaves. We go out on a limb. We like to add inference to conjecture to big-picture macro-analysis that might stumble into prescience. If I can reach it, when I’m out there on a limb, I’ll gladly cut that top branch from which you’re dangling. You look and sound like a clown. This is not a clown show here @ Mcshow Blog dot com.

Sorry to be so harsh, but this kind of approach to discourse is so out-of-touch with what we do here and what is happening in the world.

And besides: that kind of read on my position on Federer requires some reading instruction, perhaps first and foremost. That’s not what we do here.

If you don’t understand what you’re reading, seeing, or experiencing, how in the world can you expect to be taken seriously?

Just a little PSA.

Cincy 2017 Downgraded to ATP World Tour 500 Event?

Of course not. But the draw is missing: Federer, Djokovic, Murray, Wawrinka, Cilic and Nishikori, at least.

So, let’s see some of these young lads take-up the slack.

We’ve already begun this discussion, previewed the younger field briefly, ahead of schedule. We’re ahead of schedule at Mcshow Blog.

The biggest hiccup in all of this is the loss of Federer, not just his loss to Zverev, but the suddenly very real possibility that he is feeling a bit the wear-and-tear of this 2017 affair.

Wrote this last week: “Let’s start with Roger. I watched most of his first match v Polansky. He looked sloppy, bad at times and still breadsticked the local cuisine 2 and 1. He won one of his service games in less than a minute, literally :58 seconds it took to win a game. Looking at the scoreline, however, did not give one any indication that he may struggle a bit vs. Ferrer in his second match.

He looked old against Ferrer, who’s about equal in age to the Maestro. David hammered Federer’s second serve, kept the 2-seed off-balance, used his relentless defense to attack a seemingly tired Federer. As I said on Twitter, Federer looked hungover; he was sluggish and even grumpy, at one point smashing a ball deep into the stands upon missing a fairly routine overhead smash.”

The final the same kind of slop. I wrote he’d found some comfort between then (^) and the final, but he really hadn’t. Part of this is the difficulty of his draw (or lack-there-of). I wrote in my preview that Nadal clearly had a more difficult draw (Shapovalov aside). Federer played his draw on one leg. What gave away his trouble throughout was his visible frustration throughout. He looked irritated, tired, hungover (I tweeted this during Ferrer match). In reality, he was bit of a mess.

I imagined a rise in the SF because of a bump in efficiency; he looked more in control. Most of us were a bit deceived as well by his is 2017 form in general, which has been odd, to say the least. His dominance. Other than those 2 losses prior to Sunday (themselves bizarre against Donskoy and Haas), has Roger broken a sweat in 2017 other than some mild perspiration in Melbourne?

In other words, I was a little surprised by Zverev’s dominance. The second serve and FH were too much, especially for an ailing Federer. Zverev’s second serve averaged around 115mph and he had one DF. Good luck with that.

But the injured Federer didn’t give us much of a look in the final at a chance exchange with the strong 20 year-old. A healthy Federer maybe turns this final into a classic? How bad is the injury? When exactly did it surface? Again, I say he looked less than 100% all week (if he was disengaged, not wanting really to press – why play?). We’re left with a few questions.

Some are surmising he should have sat Montreal and come-back for Cincy. I say, if he’s injured — it’s probably not devastating — now he can rest for NYC with some good HC reps under his racket. If he’s hurt, he’s out. Pretty simple and an elderly injury will stand-up to this tour like the final went yesterday. Even worse for an injury, Bo5 September hard courts is tax season.

Good for Zverev, picking-up his second Masters title. I am more interested in the youth development at this point. We need deeper and deeper fields with more danger, more parity.

That Federer and Nadal were advertised as fighting for No. 1 going into Cincy is almost absurd.

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I’m pleased that Tommy Paul beat Donald Young today. Isner next with a chance to play Sascha. In fact, Sascha plays hopefully Tiafoe, who’s up a set now.

Here’s a highlight of the Paul v Young match. DY comes to play usually. This is a physical match. Paul commits errors but has enough serve and athletic tennis in him to beat some decent competition. Good news.

Indeed, how will my American brethren do here.

Maybe that’s really how to grow this blog, become a fan blog. Seems to be the trend, folks. Sure, I have a nice loyal little readership that spans the globe (best part of my audience). But I want to build threw the roof.

And those corny fanblogs do that. Part of that politicized global culture, I suppose. People are going crazy. I suppose my blog should be crazzier to tap into this madness. Sad.

Oh yeah, back to the tennis. Nadal has a tough draw with Gasquet and probably his buddy Gilles Muller next. Then more HC athletes will await the Spaniard’s slightly over-valued chase for #1.

More on #1 later, when I feel crazy enough to write a crazy post about that crazy #1 ranking.

Do We Argue Enough?

You should sense that I am not exactly the warm-and-fuzzy type when it comes to communication, engaging in a meaningful conversation. Much of my commentary, points of discussion, or general input on the tennis world I hope can be described calvinarguing0as having a bit of an edge. Of course, the occasional rant will often clarify this tone that I do want people to read: that I care a lot about these issues, to the point where certain events or one’s, imho, flawed point-of-view will get a caustic read-and-response. I think that makes for better discourse – we’re willing to engage, to heat-up the discussion because this is more interesting, healthier and generally leads to a better, richer understanding of the point/issue/argument/etc.

This following quote is from an article I found online, titled Why Fighting For Our Ideas Makes Them Better:

“After studying newlyweds for just a short period of time, psychology researcher Dr. John Gottman can predict whether the couple will be together in five years with over 90 percent accuracy. So how does he do it? He gets them to argue. Gottman watches the couples debate, and he analyzes how they fight. Surprisingly, the ability to engage in healthy, respectful disagreement is a huge predictor of long-term success.”

I am a firm believer in this approach to discussion and conversation. I hope I am curating this style of discourse here at Mcshow Blog.

Many readers do comment on the neutrality of my arguments and commentaries, that the bias of the fanblog is absent from my blog; this is very good to hear since this tells me that readers appreciate my call-it-like-I-see-it perspective and insight. Besides, I am not a fanboy, so at least I’m successful, then, on conveying a more mature and balanced point-of-view.

However, one probably notices that many of these fanblogs and snake-pits-of-bias generate a lot of reader involvement, comments, etc., that seem somehow inspired by the  “lunacy” of some of this parochial, starry-eyed fanaticism. This even inspires some heated debate, lively discussion.

Do we have enough of that here? I believe we do. But perhaps we need more.

I’m not too worried about this; again, I think we engage, disagree at times, agree to disagree, work to complicate and clarify each other’s points and perspectives. The comment sections have often been better than the posts, if you ask me.

I hope you all feel comfortable championing a different perspective from my own on a particular issue.

Please engage. The more the merrier. In fact, the more different and diverse the character of the conversation the dandier. 🙂 Of course, I will work on providing the platform for such discussion and complication. Let’s mix-it-up.

FWIW, I am off to Los Angeles shortly for some International Champions League soccer exhibition between Real Madrid and Manchester City. It’s a bit more than a friendly; hopefully we see some passion and genius erupt in the Coliseum tonight.

The best part? I am taking my son and three of his nutty soccer teammates.

Long live sport and our passionate conversations about the game!

Cheers and thanks, as always, for reading.

Timeout: Let’s Burn Some Bullshit

Because we’re on the web (can’t deny my blog is on the internet, unfortunately), we get more or less tossed-in to this bath-house of points-of-view, some of which fail on several levels. However, the positives of the internet, I’m afraid, outweigh the negatives, which, granted, is a vague generalization, but you and I know I’m right about this. We have so much ease and insight at our fingertips via the internet: the smartest of us, then, will be those who can discern the legitimate from the bullshit.

I work hard on this blog and know, in fact, that I need to step-up my game even more. The blog as a genre has grown and has become a more and more credible platform for additional perspectives on a variety of topics. This development advances social, intellectual and democratic agendas and is, therefore, valuable, among other things.

But there are still and always will be much less constructive blogs, discussion boards and articles, etc., that litter the interwebs and potentially our thought processes. Again, I don’t think this is necessarily a doomed condition.

This just means that you have to develop the ability to read and understand what is decent from indecent, honest from delusional, etc.

The Djokofans are upside-down right now (I mean the crazed, belligerent types, about which you can read at that infamous dump emanating out of S. Africa and his sibling-hysteric apparently coming-out of Britain, among, I am sure, many more).

I address this bullshit from time to time. I did so around the time of Indian Wells, here and here.

Here’s what everyone’s favorite tennis blogger wrote recently (you probably saw he called WB rigged, Djokovic persecuted, etc.). His lunacy is better represented in pretty colors.

“I’ve posted tables before which showed that Djokovic gets the toughest draws and face the stiffest competition and the above confirms this fact. It also shows that Federer had the weakest competition of the big four throughout his career.

So not surprisingly, Federer has won the most slams. Some of the most striking facts are that Djokovic won only one of his slams without facing a big 4 member in the final while Federer won 12 slams without facing a big 4 member in the final. Federer has also won 11 slams without facing any big 4 member at all while Djokovic had to beat at least one big 4 member in all the slams he won.”

I have addressed this in so many ways, this being one of the more recent articles.

There are two major problems with this ridiculous point about facing the “Big 4.” One is the inability to acknowledge that Federer played virtually in a different era; as my linked article points-out, by 2008, Federer had 13 majors, Nadal had 5 and Djokovic had 1. That’s not a typo, nor do you have to be an authoritative tennis historian to see a problem with this “Big4” criterion. Wipe the bullshit from your chin.

This “Big 4” point used to criticize Federer’s opponents is rife with fallacy; you pick which specific fallacy applies: Incomplete comparison – in which insufficient information is provided to make a complete comparison. Inconsistent comparison – where different methods of comparison are used, leaving one with a false impression of the whole comparison. False equivalence – describing a situation of logical and apparent equivalence, when in fact there is none.

The second problem is putting so much ill-advised stock in the composition and development of a draw. No one can control a draw other than the players contesting those matches. I have heard people talk about the anti-climactic 2017 Wimbledon final, how this might affect Roger, the quality of the win, etc.

Please note: this has no bearing on the quality of that major. Federer’s draw was tough, he played well enough to win, Cilic couldn’t muster the goods in the final, so Federer wins his 19th. That’s what happened and even more so: that’s what the records show and will show in the future.

Remember the Mcshow Tennis Nadal v Federer argument (a series of posts I wrote over a year ago)? One of the flaws with that H2H is Nadal often was no where to be found late in the draw in tournaments that didn’t take place on the red dirt of RG. Is that Federer’s fault? That he didn’t get to play the #2 seed, who went out in the 3R? Shit happens, folks. You can not blame a player because other players shit their pants earlier in the tournament. Djokovic, Nadal and Murray bowed-out early in this last Wimbledon, so we should discount Federer’s win? Ha ha.

In fact, what will become clearer to you novice thinkers is that the very fact of one’s survival becomes a big part of legacy. If you can’t stay healthy, that’s a flaw and once that can of worms is opened, we can go all sorts of places. Staying healthy is part of the program. If you can’t, you won’t and no one cries for you other than your sad, diapered little fans who are really just sport hooligans who could care less about tennis.

The idea that Federer’s 19th is blemished because he couldn’t play Djokovic in the semi-final, or Nadal/Murray in the final is so weak. Those three players lost prior to playing Federer. Can you wrap your brain around that fact? They didn’t play well enough to advance. Do you understand that?

I have to keep this somewhat focused since so many extensions arise – health and consistency are HUGE factors folks and like I have been arguing for almost a year now, the Djkollapse has been tragic. That’s part of that story, part of the 12 majors, his BH, etc.. Just like Nadal’s injuries are inseparable from his clay success and his non-clay inconsistency.

Please read more closely, with more discernment and breadth of knowledge. Please.

Next:

“Federer is the talented one who currently has the most slam titles. Nadal is the great fighter and clay court GOAT. Djokovic is the most complete if you include the mental aspect and has the highest peak level. They are all incredible players and it is unlikely that any of them will ever be officially crowned the GOAT.”

Someone explain how Djokovic is the most complete player. He’s a baseline grinder with superb flexibility, has a great ROS and a decent serve. This “most complete” claim is a vague statement that lacks any sort of definition/delineation. He has been described as having a very natural stroke, from his early days, his timing superbly natural, his turn through the ball exquisite. But there’s a lot more to tennis than FH and BH from the BL.

This will get played-out, historically. We will get to why Federer’s 2017 is not that surprising, but why Djokovic excelling at the age of 35-36 might be. Read that last sentence again (I have posed it a million times): how, do you gather, will Djokovic play at 33, 34 or 35? That has to do with one’s game, style and related health which play massive roles in one’s legacy. Sorry if this seems so obvious.

Lastly and most ridiculously:

“There are many more variables than what I touched on in this post. For instance the biased scheduling we saw at Wimbledon but far more importantly the influence of the mainstream media. By always promoting Federer as the embodiment of all that is good and noble and victimizing Djokovic as the villain they influence the way Federer and Djokovic are perceived and treated as a result.

The media has enormous power and in politics, the powerful use it for instance to win elections and to make people vote against their own interests. It is the ultimate brainwashing tool and very easy to fall for if you are not inclined to think for yourself and hold a certain skepticism for everything you hear in the mainstream media.

Anyway, the media is just one other factor that I wanted to include because it is part of a rigged system whether in sport, politics, or whatever the case may be. I never talked about it before but I saw how enormously influential it is in American politics and thought it is an underrated and overlooked influence in tennis.

But I will leave it at that. [. . .]”

Ha ha ha ha ha aha.  The media affects the results of matches? That’s the argument. Are you talking about the popularity of a player and how that affects the fans and therefore the playing environment? Right: I just articulated your argument more effectively than you.

If a player is beaten by the crowd, what’s that player’s prospects on tour? This is a joke, right? The media controls tennis matches. The popularity affects scheduling, etc. Does the media affect the draw? Was Djokovic’s victimization the reason he got such a soft draw at 2017 WB? Help us out here.

I know: part of the conspiracy is Roger gets a tougher draw, therefore his matches are against higher quality opponents, which encourages the organizers to put such a quality match-up on CC whereas Djokovic gets the shitty-easy draw so his matches can be moved to Court 1.

Is that what you fangirls are arguing? The softer draw was part of the conspiracy?

This sophomoric blogger completely loses his ass when he gets into world politics here, or American politics in particular and the role of the media. One can see he’s trying to add this political association to strengthen his argument that the media affects tennis matches. The media is big in politics; therefore, it’s big in tennis. Another weak logical fallacy, I’m afraid.

The latest chapter in the media’s influence on politics is that the media, as a whole, failed the American people in the last Presidential election. Literally, there was one poll out of the University of Southern California that appears, in hindsight, to have seen a much tighter election. On the whole, the media failed, did not affect the election other than one could argue that the American people rebelled against the mainstream media narrative: that Hillary Clinton would be the next US President.

In other words, don’t give the media that much credit.

And we’re talking about tennis, so to the point here, you’re in way-over-your-head.

To come full circle: we bloggers are here to keep the mainstream media, hopefully, more honest and perhaps more and more unsure of their own significance.

At the same time, a blogger off-the-rails doesn’t give this new genre much advance. Maybe ease-up on your fanboy antics, enjoy and analyze the sport more objectively, so you don’t make such a fool of yourself.

I have a lot more to say folks about more things tennis and this blog (a lot of thinking going-on here about the direction of the season and this blog). I will post another article tonight (by writing that down, such goals more often come to pass). 🙂

Cheers!

Federer Routines Cilic for Eighth Wimbledon Title

You probably watched the final, at least heard about what happened or didn’t happen.

We could blame the blister, I guess. Quite unfortunate for the aspiring ATP threat with one major and one Masters. Cilic looked solid through the first four games, had the BP, 42433FF000000578-4690146-image-a-45_1499880580015missed, was broken in the next game, lost the first set 3-6, went down 0-3 in the second set, called for a MTO, broke-down emotionally, actually cried, lost the second set 1-6, still couldn’t get anything going in the third set, Federer stayed true-to-form and that pretty much synopsizes this gentlemen’s final.

Cilic’s serve never showed-up, which could have been a huge factor on the grass (he came into the match with 130 aces), and then his vaunted groundstrokes took-off to see a play in Stratford-upon-Avon; hope they had fun. Just a “cruel” (as Federer reminded us in his post-match address on-court how these finals can treat a particular player) set of circumstances for the 28 year-old Croatian.

In the end, as we, our kids, their great-great-grand kids and anyone else interested look back at this match, Federer won. Sure, there are these kinds of circumstances that should be clarified, thus qualifying the win, perhaps; but we all know how tough this tour can be, how “unfair” it may seem at times. Whether we like it or not, these results tell a pretty  convincing story.

For this match, we should start with the numbers. In this case, the number 8. One of the interviews pointed-out that he was born on the eighth day of the eighth month and today he claimed his eighth Wimbledon, beating Marin Cilic 63 61 64 (3 + 1 + 4 = 8). I know, that’s corny, but the lighter, softer lob is used here as I move to another storyline that I neglected in my post yesterday about match themes for this gentlemen’s final: Revenge.

This topic came-up in our lead-up to the match, in even the comments from the “Storyline” post. I smell insight, another perspective on what we’ve been tracking as far as the 2017 Federer is concerned. I mentioned in the comments of my “Storyline” post that there was another obvious theme I neglected to mention. This was in reference to the idea that someone beyond the Big 4 could win a major, a discussion growing more and more surreal as these guys get into their late thirties (at least one of them).

But “revenge” is, indeed, a neglected storyline that I was hoping you all would help me find (in addition to several others). Hence, the richness and multilayered landscape of a deeper discourse that I endeavor daily to render here at Mcshow Tennis Blog.

Please be aware that if you watch a particular sport with keen interest, you might have a particular favorite player or players with whom you identify. What happens here is you develop a bias toward this player. When you venture, then, toward discussion and any level of analysis or insight, your point-of-view is potentially (likely) skewed. That’s fine; in fact, it is so common, you might think I’m being melodramatic to bring to light this so obvious flaw in our rationality.

This really comes into play when we hope to analyze a given event (let’s get back to tennis here). If one endeavors to analyze legitimately, bias can and will strangle one’s credibility (I have to admit, however, that sometimes a crazed, lunatic obsession can yield some pretty interesting insight, at times, given the gigantic energy of interest).

The latest Federer run, as you probably know, has pushed some “fans” to some typical kinds of “analysis” that lose any lasting resonance because of the bias stink that distracts and undermines. It’s reactive, unreasonable, too emotional, half-witted, has a short half-life.

For example, Wimbledon was rigged (see my Rant) and/or Federer is doping. I will take-up the latter point (the spirit of that hysteria) in a post this week.

That’s the “analysis” of some of these “fans.” If you are reading this and you have fallen into that kind of poop in your pants, I am glad you’re reading this. If you want to be taken seriously, I suggest challenging yourself to a deeper deconstruction of the tournament or the year/career of Federer (the conspiracy garbage is laughable, seriously). Perhaps move your writing toward story; try to make sense of your calamity by offering a new way to digest the match, the context, the patterns; feel free to include some inference where you identify patterns or context that people perhaps haven’t considered. Try to earn an A for effort, at least.

If you’re just Tweeting or texting or you have a silly fanblog, by all means, knock-yourself-out. Admittedly, such naiveté and foolishness can evolve; but until then, remember that you sound like a party to a playground quarrel. It’s cute, annoying but hopefully leads to a teachable moment (I can go on and on, and will, later).

Revenge

Juxtaposing the all-white adorned and adored Swiss tennis star and the royal box and general class of the Championships is a darkness that fuels this 2017 Federer.

When Federer made his rounds today with his trophy, connecting personally with his fans, though still from a distance, but more intimately with the celebrity contingent inside the club facility where all had gathered to pay their respects to this real gentleman of the game, he had an extended visit with Edberg. They spoke, Stefan whispered something to Roger, and Federer even let the Swede great hold the Cup.

This only reminded me of an insight that you know I attribute much in my understanding of 2017 Federer (2016 was half-baked, so to speak, with injury and an extended leave).

Federer, I have no doubt, is benefitting tremendously from the influence of Ivan Ljubičić. I honestly wasn’t quite aware of Roger’s and Ivan’s friendship, that such a trusting and serious relationship could develop from their acquaintance. Ljubičić, I knew from the moment I read the news, could (possibly) give Federer what he so desperately needed: a winning nadal-federer-mailbag-leadugly mentality, a kind of nastiness. I knew that’s what he needed, what he lacked. What Connors and Johnny Mac, Pete and even Andre and Jim had – a bit of that “F U” mentality, some more than others. Those, of course, are my American forefathers that I grew up watching. Lendl and Becker were schooled in the nasty. We know Lleyton Hewitt had “attitude,” and, though Roger had a temper as a youngster, he grew into a more refined on-court demeanor though he could definitely show emotion. Of course, Nadal and Djokovic brought that very tough, relentless grind that contrasted the gentlemanliness of Federer. We probably attribute most of their success against Federer to this darker side that they’ve used to almost bully the beauty and brilliance of the Fed Express.

Obviously, Roger has done just fine in his career (the results speak for themselves), but the point here is that his hire of Ljubičić was a kind of recognition, perhaps, of this dearth of necessary darkness.

Am I overriding this a bit? Probably.

But underneath this lovable (hatable) refinement of Roger Federer, there’s a kind of tour de revenge that’s happening, that speaks to this dominance of 2017. Five players come to mind upon which Roger has enacted a spell of revenge.

Nadal has seen his fair share. What happened in Melbourne and on the Sunshine Double speaks to nothing but a stroke of revenge (Federer has seen more than his own fair share of cruelty and death at the hands of the Spaniard) though you might want to include that he was simply playing brilliant offensive/defensive tennis. That was career/legacy altering stuff on those early hard courts. What’s happened at Wimbledon is almost additional salt on the Melbourne/Cali/Florida wounds. Federer took a pass from possibly getting anymore trouble from the clay rampant Spaniard (notably upon advice from his tall Croatian mastermind coach); the revenge tour resumed on European grass.

In Miami, Kyrgios got his taste of Federenge or Revederer 😀
The Aussie had beaten Federer in Madrid back in 2015, of course is your basic malcontent into which any one of us elders might want to slap some sense.

That Miami SF was a brilliant match, heated, chippy. Federer served it up on the surging Kyrgios: Revenge.

Next was another one of our tour’s future: Sascha Zverev. The 2017 Halle final was a blow-out: 1 and 3. Zverev beat Roger in last year’s Halle SF in three sets, as a 19 year-old. This year’s Halle meeting was a beating with meaning. Pre-Wimbledon. Future is tomorrow; 2017 Federer is now.

Raonic got his dose in this year’s WB SF, as a result of his win over Federer in last year’s WB SF. Raonic did not play poorly in this year’s SF, mind you. None the less, that was straights, a definitive pressure cooker from the 35 year-old.

Lastly, Cilic got his today; GRANTED, the blister, you might say, undermines this pattern of revenge on this example. On the contrary, there’s too much evidence to ignore. Even sans blister, Marin, unfortunately, wasn’t quite in that 2014 USO form. The struggle he had with Muller (as we said) wasn’t the best look, nor was the relative struggle he had with Sam Querrey, who, let’s be fair, should have been ripe for a more convincing victory.

Federer is on a mission, folks.

One of my readers/commenters caught the prediction I made on Twitter a day or two before the match. Sure, Cilic seemed primed for a big move here (I made this case, I think, pretty well); but the magic and revenge are strong with the Swiss giant in this time and place.

Don’t let the silky smile and fashion icon handsomeness fool you, folks. Federer is blood-thirsty. He seeks revenge and has no one more to thank than the man, the myth (in his own right), Ivan Ljubičić.

I have a lot more to say, as I’m sure you do, as well.
Sorry – a bit punchy at the moment. Stay-tuned, be well, and get ready for hard courts!

😀

Djokovic Bullshit

“I started noticing an improvement in Djokovic’s game against Lopez in Madrid, especially in his backhand. It could be the greatest backhand of all time and it is a key shot for him. When he hits it will full confidence it is an absolutely devastating shot like it was today against Thiem.”

–Bullshit . . . Lopez is a below average clay guy; and Djokovic’s backhand is 70% equipment and court speed (see: Slovak SlowCourtjovic).

“As for Nadal, he sure has good timing with his losses. Almost as if he recognizes what is coming. In the form Djokovic was in today he would have defeated Nadal in any form. It’s the highest level of tennis ever seen and probably can’t be defeated.”

—Bullshit . . .This highest level BS is hilarious. Try a wooden racquet, Djoker.

“It will also give him the sole title record for Masters events again after Nadal equaled him at 30 in Madrid. So that would be a nice way to go into the second major of the year and if he keeps his current form up Nadal won’t be able to stop him at the French.”

–Who Cares . . . No one cares about Masters titles totals, you idiot. Should we discount Borg or McEnroe, Conners, et al.? STFUP.

The South African bloke like the rest of the Djokofanclub is a hooligan at best, a piece of glass at worst. I’m so sick of this fanaticism. I feel like I have to take this rubbish to task.

Speaking of, where’s that imbecil “Bottle” or any of you other Djoko commenters? I want some softballs to throw at the readership.

We appreciate Nole on this blog and simultaneously neuter you under-read folk.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Dear, Reader . . .

I could have thanked the couple of readers in my previous post as the subject came up about people appreciating my blog, but I thought I’d write a post thanking them and anyone else who enjoys the blog (loved the big boost in readership during the AO. . .stick around! 😀

First and foremost, cheers to all who do visit and read, and if you do enjoy the discourse, the style of commentary (of blogging), awesome; that makes me feel really good – feel free to add your “two cents” to the mix; the more the merrier!

On this idea of readers’ appreciation, I have to be honest with you: I want to write about tennis every single day, travel, watch matches and talk about the tennis. Getting compensated for this would be ideal, so I will continue to write and think about ways to climb into the cockpit of that rocket ship. First, I need to get this blog in any way positive on the bank account. I am not a businessman first and foremost – I just like to analyze the sport and other events, cultural issues, etc. But I really do want to raise the stakes with my writing and my readership. I will continue to think about that when I have the time between work and writing, because those are my priorities (along with watching the boys hit the ball, of course 🙂

Any ideas you might have toward this end ($$$), please send them along. You can contact me via this link (one of the ways, as you know, is to leave a comment on a post).

I have some damn fine readers and commenters. You all make me smile and smarter at the same time. Keep the dream alive! And keep me honest. I really do appreciate the back-and-forth. That’s a big part of this social media, the blog.

Help me blow this thing up and make the tennis coverage and insight even better! Don’t be shy.

Caligula, his majesty, has been a steady stream of sharp commentary and I indeed appreciate his latest attempt to halt a post I might write about the incredibly “controversial” court speed of the ATP that he and I both know would be a shot across the bow of a special individual who needs our help. In fact, this insane Roman tyrant of whom I write did offer a nice cliff note on the discussion: the history of court surface evolution is actually pretty vague and, more importantly, not an issue one can really investigate with much hope of uncovering much definitive conclusions.

But I will investigate, not the specific idea of court speed difference necessarily, but what the AO offered us that has some correlation, I suppose (again, nailing down whether or not an auxiliary factor had much to do with the outcome of an event is tough to determine). The exit of two prominent base-liners coupled with the success of more all-courters has to recruit a few choice words for any brains awake on the genuine history of the sport, the importance of change, and the possibility that we get a chance to witness talent, above all.

So, I’ll explore that harbor, so to speak. Nonetheless, thanks for the advice, my friend Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus. I’m heeding your counsel to a certain extent, and was certainly lazy in even making such a suggestion at the end of that previous post. You called me on it. Fremitus! or Στην υγειά σας!

Cheers to the rest of you, as well (blackspy, Incondite, RJ, et al). Thanks!

Now, before I go: I read tonight a post by a “tennis purist” claiming that Federer’s win in Melbourne was certainly a result of doping. This guy really has two premises: there are drugs in the sport and winning big after a long lay-off is a red flag for doping.

I know, incisive stuff, right?

This guy should have a little more than that. Yeah, he’s an idiot, which might surprise him given that he takes himself so seriously. I, as you know, have a decent crap detector, and this guy is a steaming double or triple helping of bullshit.

He goes into an amateur’s history of doping and the flawed testing system. Fine, it’s flawed, yeah we’ve heard the anecdote about McEnroe, the Williams sisters’ and Nadal’s

federersmoke1

Ha ha 😉

hacked files, etc., but this is all murky and stuff we’ve known about, which doesn’t tie anything to Federer, nor does it shed any light on the reality of drugs in sport. Federer is guilty by association, according to this “journalist.”

That’s garbage. Classic conspiracy theory.

The next argument comes from the Nadal model, coming off injury and reeling-off a huge win at a major. He then goes to the 2017 AO and walks us through all of the five-setters won by this ancient 35 year-old, etc. etc.

Ultimately, he argues, how can a guy who ran out of gas vs. Raonic at the 2016 WB SF after going five big ones vs Cilic in the QF then run through the likes of Nishikori (best five setter on the planet according to this guy’s statistical hemorrhoid), Stan (beast at Bo5) and then Nadal (the greatest Bo5er of them all), AFTER coming-off the extended injury time-off.

Aside from his entire agenda having the bias of a well-known fan-girl, I suggest that pointing-out the suspicion of a WB SF loss in 2016 followed by a 2017 AO is poor strategy if you want to win even some light applause from tennis intelligentsia or general readers, for that matter.

Federer was having a pretty rough 2016, for starters. He suffered a knee injury after the AO SF he lost to Novak; he had surgery. He didn’t play IW, Miami, missed some of the clay because of back injury, missed the FO (breaking a string of majors played dating back to AO 2000), and then found himself at WB after a little warm-up at Halle, where he lost to the younger Zverev. Coming into WB a little banged-up, perhaps? Strike you as relevant?

After the loss to Raonic, who was clearly relishing the service-friendly grass, mind you, Roger took the rest of the year off because of his knee, perhaps his back, etc. This wasn’t really shocking then, nor is this sequence of events shocking now, especially given some amateur’s wet dream.

Are you questioning the validity of his injuries? Good luck with that one. 2016 was injury plagued for Roger Federer. That’s the story I’m sticking to along with most of the other earthlings.

Then he opens 2017 at the Hopman Cup, and plays well, challenging some world class players like Evans, Gasquet and A. Zverev. This is followed by an historic run in Melbourne that saw a lot of pretty interesting upsets and runs from a few players. Was Roger’s run some kind of isolated “event”?

Wake-up, sporto. You can do better than that. Roger was doping, but Novak and Andy weren’t? Is that your explanation? Was Mischa Zverev jamming needles into himself, too? That guy came out of the clouds. What’s your explanation for that?

So here we are: Roger, a 35 year-old, goes on an incredible, difficult to fathom run that needs some kind of explanation, perhaps one that’s informed by WADA? You just can’t imagine Roger Federer going on such a run?

Even if in the last four majors he played, prior to AO 2017, consisted of these runs: SF WB (2016), SF AO (2016), F USO (2015) and F WB (2015)? These deep runs are a rarity from this Swiss guy? That’s your take? Who’s paying you?

It gets better. He really gets all frothy and aroused when talking about all the five-setters that Roger played. How in the world could this 35 year-old survive all of those longish matches and still overcome Nadal in a five-setter on top of that?!

He gets a little confused at this point. He assumes that the five setters are 5+ hours long. We are all impressed with Roger’s run, that he beat the likes of Berdych, Kei (5 sets), a surging Zverev and Stan (5 sets) on the way to beating Nadal (5 sets). This was nearly unheard of. Historical. Etc.

But this is what many miss: The Berdych match was 90min; Nishikori 3hr, 24; Zverev 92 min; Stan 3hr, 04; and Nadal 3hr, 37 min.

Sure that’s still a lot of tennis, but those are quick matches in the realm of five setters. That’s part of the genius of Federer’s tennis (not the genius of guys like Djokovic or Nadal). We saw this year the reminder of how tennis was and could be played by guys that want to just serve and ball all-court style. Settling at the BL and ripping/retrieving for five hours is not necessarily the only tennis (for those who are too young or slow to remember). That’s actually more drug suspicious tennis, mr. tennis media guy expert.

And I have already provided some pretty decent rationale for Federer’s run at the 2017 AO.

Is this guy (this voice) suggesting too that Kei, Stan and Co. took a fall for Federer? Give that guy some smelling salts or some O2.

He even included a quote from Andy Murray, who questioned some players’ stamina last spring in Monte Carlo, I believe. At least that’s where he was interviewed. Totally unrelated to Roger’s run at the 2017 Australian Open.

So this “journalist” has Federer on that “list.”

Lol.

I have to write, folks, just to deal with this bizarro bullshit.

And I will be back to serve-up a reminder of the brilliance of all-court tennis, a little S&V and maybe throw some other picnickers under the bus.

Talk to you soon!