All hail the sisters!
So it wasn’t their best match against each other, but compared to the forgotten semifinal between Razzano and Kanepi, or the matches we’ve been getting all week in Dubai, it was pretty damn good, and by the end of it, it was Venus Williams that surged ahead to lead their rivalry 10-9. Despite her poor result at the Australian Open, I’m sticking to my prediction that good things should happen for Venus Williams this year. Is there really any debate in the women’s game as to who’s got the best serve? Wow.
In other news, Casey D’s out with a shoulder injury and hopes to return to the tour in time for the French Open. I wish I cared really, but the girl’s fallen out of my good books unfortunately.
On the men’s side of things, looks like I got what I wished for – a Djokovic v Tsonga showdown, where the Djoker will have the chance to redeem his 1-3 H2H against Baby Ali. Nalbandian is cruising through Buenos Aires, as he should be against a field this weak. And over in Memphis, the Worm continues to disturb me as he took down Del Potro to reach the semifinals once again. Dude’s like the “Nadal” of the ATP second tier right now, and never has a comparison sounded so wrong.
Mentioning Nadal – karma’s a bitch, and it looks like the Dubai tournament is getting some karma thrown right back in their face with the withdrawal of the men’s Big 2 from the tournament – pure coincidence of course that both of them happened to have minor physical issues worthy of some medical attention and rest, but suddenly, the field for next week’s ATP tournament is looking rather deflated. To add salt to the wound, the WTA is imposing its largest ever fine of US$300,000 on the tournament for the Peer incident, all this just after the UAE ironically granted Andy Ram entry visa into the country.
Meanwhile, the tennis media is still waiting (and baiting) for Roger Federer to say something about the incident. The same people who declared the Fed and his “weak” era to be over are now calling for him to step forward and speak as the face of the sport. Yes, good luck with that. Fed has basically dropped off the face of the planet after the Australian Open, and I don’t expect to get a word out of him until Indian Wells.
February 20, 2009
Tennis Needs Roger Federer to Speak Out
By Tim Joyce
…Tennis has been blessed with having as its custodian of the sport an articulate (fluent in five languages), intelligent, thoughtful and downright classy individual. Federer is peerless among contemporary athletes when it comes to engagement in the policies of one’s sport and sportsmanship. But Roger has been mute thus far regarding the current controversy.
In fact, Federer pulled out of the upcoming men’s tournament in Dubai citing a nagging back injury. Nothing from Federer’s background would suggest that he feigned injury to avoid speaking out on the issue in the country he spends so much time. And I don’t think he would ever do such a thing. But he must say something – his words would be invaluable. (Rafael Nadal pulled out of the event as well for a knee injury so perhaps the tournament is getting its comeuppance by having such a deflated field).
Even after the tournaments finish in Dubai, this controversy will linger. In an even odder and more disquieting move, Sweden has decided that for their Davis Cup match against Israel in March, the players will compete in an empty arena – literally no fans – due to security concerns regarding protests pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I’m sure the Swedish officials have their reasons but what kind of message is this sending?
Roger, please say something.
As Roger remains in “splendid isolation”, one of the most lasting conspiracy theories in the men’s game, the Fed/Cahill collaboration, has resurfaced once again, mainly built up irresponsibly by the Australian media. We know for a fact that Cahill is working with Verdasco right now, so why revive the Roger Federer connection? As desperate we are here in Australia to adopt the Fed as one of our own, this is getting quite ridiculous.
Darren Cahill linked to the Fed Express
February 20, 2009 12:30am
DARREN Cahill’s decision to stand down as Davis Cup coach has triggered speculation Roger Federer is poised to hire the South Australian.
[Paragraph omitted] …
But his sudden availability yesterday revived one of the most persistent conspiracy theories in tennis: that Federer will eventually recruit Cahill. World No. 2 Federer has previously worked with two other Australian coaches – Peter Carter and Tony Roche. Cahill yesterday could not be reached for comment on the matter.
Source: Adelaide Now
And lastly, a placebo for the Fedophiles – Federer’s trainer, Pierre Paganini has stepped out to confirm that the withdrawals were purely preventative. Of course with Federer, we never find out the true extent of his physical problems until after he’s finished dealing with them, like with mono last year, but it does sound like there’s not a whole lot to be concerned about, apart from the fact that Fed’s clearly a control freak when it comes to tennis and his own body.
“Roger is not injured”
Pierre Paganini speaks about the problems and risks which Roger Federer faces. He thinks that it’s absurd to criticize his fitness.
BLICK: Mr Paganini, what’s the exact situation around Roger Federer? What is he doing?
PP: We give him time to rest at the moment. The work with the physiotherapists has been intensified. But – and I want to make this clear: Roger is not injured. What we do now is a plain prophylactic. Real work will be done in the next two weeks in Dubai. Roger has called two extra sparring partners so that he can work on the court as well.
Was he fit in Melbourne?
Roger got injured in November. He recovered from that injury. Everything was OK in Melbourne. But the recovery of his back does not happen immediately after all the matches. It didn’t cause him problems while playing but there were additional factors that he didn’t have during his practice in the off season, like the trips, the pressure, etc. The reaction of the body during a match, in a stress situation is different. He felt that and that’s why we decided to make this break so that we could prevent any new injuries.
What can you learn from this? Should there be any changes?
We realized that we should invest more time in the physio department. This is a priority between tournaments. Roger wants firmly and regardless of any other factors to take time with his body so that it can rise to the level of the stressful situations.
Does this additional time mean less tournaments?
No, it’s more about different planning and time management. We’ll organise everything even better so that we have the adequate care with the physios in Dubai, Switzerland or wherever it might be.
Roger refused to play the DC. It must hurt you being a patriot but as a private fitness coach do you find this right?
Being a fitness coach I should always object when the body is concerned. It is obvious that Roger plays these matches as a team leader. He plays constantly under pressure on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This is very demanding on the body and Roger knows that it brings along a high level of risk.
Translation: vrazkar from RF.com