Monday, June 24, 2013

Wayne Odesnik: “I had given information on both matters.” (Update)

Nick Harris of Sporting Intelligence has posted a detailed piece of new revelations concerning Wayne Odesnik's "substantial assistance." Most interesting is a transcript from a corruption hearing:

"[Odesnik] gave video link evidence from Florida in April 2011 to a corruption hearing in Britain. Here, Odesnik is being quizzed on his whistle-blowing:
Q: “Did you give them [the authorities] information about anyone apart from Mr Kollerer?”
Odesnik: “I had given information on a few other players.”
Q: “About what subjects? Match fixing, doping or what?”
Odesnik: “I had given information on both matters.”
Q: “What proportion was about Mr Kollerer? Just a little part or was it mainly him?”
Odesnik: “He was a small part of it.”
Q: “So the reduction that you got from two years to one year was not just in return for information about Mr Kollerer?”
Odesnik: “Correct. It was not just about Kollerer.”
So, where does this leave us? Where are the results from the rest of the information provided by Odesnik? How did this information result in his suspension being cut in half?

Update
 
In a piece called "Does Tennis Have a Gambling Problem?", Patrick Hruby picks up on Nick Harris's reporting on match-fixing and the latest Odesnik revelations, making the following observation:
"Match-fixing is a real threat -- extremely hard to spot, and harder still to stop. Only nobody seems particularly concerned. The Daily Mail story created significantly less consternation than Rafael Nadal's Wimbledon seeding and a verbal spat between Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams. Which is to say: It was published without a ripple. Would a similar report about college basketball be equally ignored? Of course, maybe that's the point of tennis' zip-lipped approach to corruption. Provide too many answers, and pretty soon people start asking uncomfortable questions."
This is the thing: people should be asking the uncomfortable questions, but they're aren't. That's the problem.


58 comments:

  1. There seems to be a vast conspiracy out to discredit Wayne Odesnik who was caught trying to get much needed hGH to malnourished aboriginal children in Australia -- either that or the hGH was planted on him by members of this conspiracy who also hand wrote his name into the files of Tony Bosch. Either one of these scenarios is about as credible as anything Odesnik has to say.

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  2. Not sure if odesnik snitched on Nadal, but Nadal's first round loss to Darcis makes no sense at all given the way he played this whole year since his return back. Unless, he was not on the juice the first wk. in his press conference, he couldn't explain his loss. Especially since he has recently said his knees r almost back to normal. Hmmm....lets await and see what happens...

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    1. To quote the commentators during a point in the match "He was out-nadaled." I think that says it all. He was out-hitted, out-hustled, out-everything. One has to wonder if this is part of a previous "silent , unspoken ban" (Between the tournament and him). Maybe he was told to tank it, it would look like a farce if he were to win wimbledon after all those months off with that "injury." He just looked like he was definitely tanking it, he was missing routine shots and looked plain slow. Obviously the opponent played well, but there was just no "fire," no desire to even fight.

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    2. Yes indeed. He didn't play like superhuman nadal at all. He looked very ordinary and wasn't moving like the energizer bunny. He looked what normal human being looks like. And it was very nice to see actual grass court tennis played. He definitely didn't show much desire or drive. I certainly hope their wasn't any behind the scenes match fixing involved, but who really knows with all the corruption in sports.

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    3. I don't think there is any tennis authority that would tell Nadal to "tank" a match. Nor is there any reason to believe that Nadal is part of any "match fixing." He is nothing like Odesnik and would have no reason to associate with Odesnik.

      Odesnik was caught -- and essentially doing what he was doing -- because he lacked financial resources. A player making millions of dollars a year has no reason to accept $10,000 to fix a match. A player making $10,000 per year has a lot of reason to take that much money for a single match.

      In this way doping and match fixing are very different. A top ranked player would have little incentive to fix a match and would have a high likelihood of being caught. The reason is that betting would need to be overwhelming -- that is, millions of dollar would need to be bet on Darcis winning which would automatically trigger an investigation and void all the bets. (When there is significant amount of one sided betting which indicates fraud, the betting organization automatically cancels all the bets.) In addition, the player would be giving up a significant payout for a fair run through the tournament.

      Doping, on the other hand, is the opposite. It may be the only way a player can get and stay in the top ranks and the risk of getting caught is next to nothing while the payoff is in the millions of dollars -- i.e. Lance Armstrong.

      There is also a simpler explanation for when a player is missing routine shots, and looking plain slow --- this is called "running out of juice." You can speculate about what type of juice he ran out of. However, it is clear that he was tested a large number of times last year. This would be consistent with the granting of a TUE that required significant testing to verify that he was overdosing on the substance. (Sure, there are 1 million other explanations as well, such as the ITF trying to catch a top ranked player for doping, but I'll go with the TUE explanation because it is far more realistic.). The TUE would last for only so long -- at which point the "juice" would run out.

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    4. Interesting. Let's go down the TUE path and imagine that this is the explanation. What would that mean for the rest of the season? I know Nadal usually underperforms late in the season, but I'm pretty sure he wants to perform in the US tour and especially the US Open.

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    5. I'm on board with MTracy here. I don't think Nadal tanked at all or is involved in any match-fixing. The guy made roughly $40 million last year, there's no financial reason for him to be involved in that business.

      I have yet to see the match (thank god for DVR while I'm working), but quotes from Nadal's presser already hint that he's blaming the knees for his loss (this after saying at the French that his knees felt 100%).

      Your TUE explanation is very interesting. If true it would make a lot of sense.

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    6. Actually, was thinking if the match was fixed it was an anti d oping organization telling nadal he has a positive test but Itz not going to be exposed if he loses early. Now given the lack of transparency, it is possible but not likely. So, it may be that his TUE expired as Gunther said above, in which case he and his team have to cook up a new ailment or go with the knees again. But I think the most likely case may be that his juice wasn't effective b/c it was timed badly for Wimbledon. After all, this is nadal's best start to a season, so eventually there's a period of time the juice isn't gonna kick in until later as said below.

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    7. Hola, yeah I agree. I don't think Nadal would be involved in "match fixing." I just simply though this was a continuation of last years' alleged positive test, or maybe a new positive (UKAD being the one ordering the "ban"). Not likely, but as you said, who knows.

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    9. Hola, another similar instance I can think of is the 2011 Australian open. Nadal whined and whined incessantly that he was injured, had fever, etc and lost in the early rounds to David Ferrer. It seemed like he KNEW that he was going to lose early.
      And he was just coming off his greatest year ever with 3 slam titles in 2010. Especially in the 2010 US Open, he was an unbeatable beast with huge serves to boot. Maybe he topped off the fuel tank a bit too much to win the USO, was caught and gently told to take a dive in the AO?

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    10. Pk, Itz true that when nadal loses, he seems to know that the loss is inevitable and has a sort of resignation attitude toward the match. In fact, he also prepares us that he's not well and that's why the loss is happening. Against darcis, one of the ding dong commentators said nadal doesn't look like he's putting much weight on his left leg as if to give him an excuse. Geese, give me a break. It definitely makes sense that if your on such an outrageous winning streak, you'll definitely at some point have to crash with the effects of the dope. Otherwise, you may die if u don't have a down period.
      I certainly hope that the anti doping agencies r not telling him to tank certain parts of the year. They need to just out him b/c Itz just become plain ridiculous and quite obvious now!!

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  3. Replies
    1. They vary depending on the condition. A genetic condition can give you an indefinite TUE -- though it has to be reviewed every couple years. Other TUEs last a day -- you might get a TUE to receive a blood transfusion after an accident (most likely, this would be granted as a retroactive TUE).

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  4. Probably didn't give himself enough taper time. You have to give yourself 10-14 days to allow the muscles to loosen and get a normal fluid balance.

    I guess he has been cramming since RG and thought he could make it through the first round or two after which he would have hit peak performance.

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  5. Great article, thanks!

    Sara Errani last 4 Grand Slams:
    USO lost SF
    AO lost 1st round
    FO lost SF
    WIM lost 1st round

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  6. Nadal has been vulnerable in earlier rounds of slams for a while now. And then he plays like superman in the semis and the finals. Is it because the benefits of preparation don't kick in till the later rounds?

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  7. Speaking of the Energizer Bunny...
    Q: What happens if you put the batteries in the Energizer Bunny in backwards...?
    A: He just keeps coming, and coming, and coming,....!

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  8. Firstly, a brief introduction - I have followed this blog for around a year and many articles have served brilliantly to raise serious questions on the doping issue. High time to start contributing methinks!

    As with many others, I find the treatment and vilification of Odesnik for his purported collaboration (read whistle-blowing), seemingly over and abvove his involvement with banned substances, extremely telling. However, is it not likely that Odesnik would only possess 'information' regarding his journeymen peers - such as Kollerer - meaning more cases of 194th ranked players being held up as an example of brilliant anti-doping policing by the ITF?

    On the issue of Nadal, many things bother me. I personally believe substance abuse will be widespread amongst most players, with varying levels and chemicals therein - some will and do indeed appear more suspect than others. But so many things do not sit right regarding Nadal. Many of these issues have been raised within the blog, but once again we have a loss to an (admittedly inspired) low-ranked player, with nods and winks to the most infamous patella in history without actually using it as an excuse. So he endures around 2-3 months of endless clay court gruel, playing many matches due to the frankly outrageous level of success, and after what was ultimately 3 weeks of recuperation - he is now hinting at being 'injured' again. It doesn't make one iota of sense. I accept playing the first match on grass for nearly 12 months would take some adapting - but as a two-time winner of Wimbledon, this should not be such a huge acclimatisation. I think I am right in saying that David Nalbandian got to the Wimbledon final in 2002 in what was his first ever grass court tournament - therefore, the change in surface baloney does not wash; especially, as everyone seems to forget, grass courts now are not the appreciably different surfaces which Becker and Sampras rampaged upon.

    And I am not sure what is worse - the antics of Mallorca's finest or the fawning pundits and co-commentators. Much respect then, for a surprise voice of bemusement (of sorts). BBC article today on the loss, featuring several opinions of pros. Henman voiced what most of the sane people were thinking, in that namely, grass should be easier on the knees than clay, and also questioning where this injury has came from.

    As a final point, I find it interesting that the media, and especially those immediately linked with Wimbledon, are already making statements and projections with regard to how long he will be out, talking as if it is a given he will be out for a long time. Perhaps his habitual time-outs are becoming predictable.

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    1. Indeed. Perhaps a deal was struck: Win all you want on clay but stay away from the other 3 majors. Enough is enough. I wouldn't put it past the powers that be. They will do anything to protect the sport, even selling their collective souls to the devil.

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    2. But then why would the French allow a supposedly dirty player to win on their turf? Maybe they didn't like him winning there anymore so they did all they could to make it a tough draw for him?

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    3. Welcome to the board. Good first post.

      After the French Open, The Daily Telegraph reported Nadal as saying that his knees hurt during the Barcelona tournament, but that they were "fine" and "100%" during the French. Now that he loses first round at Wimbledon, he's heavily implying that they're hurting again.

      Well, if they're hurting, whose fault is that? No one made him play the entire clay court season. The other top players schedule smart, Nadal never does.

      The smart thing to do, if he had legitimate knee issues during Barcelona, was to skip either Madrid or Rome. Yes they're both mandatories, but skip one of the two, pay the fine (or do publicity for the event), and give your knees an extra week of rest. Or maybe skip Barcelona in the first place.




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    4. Good intelligent first post, and good name too for that matter. I didn't see the Nadal match, only saw the highlights, but his knee problems are getting really ridiculous. He played the French with no problems at all, beat Djokovic in what was almost AO 2012 part 2, then breezed past his fellow doped-to-the-gills Spaniard in the final, which I can imagine would be so boring to watch I didn't even watch a brief highlight reel.

      Now, having skipped Halle (which he was originally down to play), he loses in straight sets (admittedly including 2 tie-breaks) to a no-name, in rd.1 of the next tournament he plays, and this is not meant to look a little fishy?? Oh yes, come out in the post match presser and tell us, I'm NOT going to blame any injuries, wink wink, so all the journalists will have an angle for it.

      If clay was so hard on the knee, then skip Rome, skip Madrid, skip darn Barcelona, but the fact is the knees held up with no problems in Paris. It's during the trip to London that they became troublesome again. Must be one of those cramped black cabs he took from Heathrow. He really should invest in a Limo next time, I think he can afford it.

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  9. Kimiko Date is 42. Today she defeated 18-year old Carina Witthoeft.
    I know the new generation sucks but this is too much.

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    1. I didn't watch this match, but from what I've seen from her other matches, Kimiko doesn't play a power game, but plays an intelligent game. She's good at moving her opponents around, coming to the net, playing volleys, half volleys, and such. I'm not surprised she beat an 18-year old an grass.

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    2. I just looked at the stats from the match, and they confirm what I thought. Witthoeft came to the net only one time during the whole match, and didn't play a single volley. Kimiko played 20 points at the net, out of which she won 16. She hit 8 volley winners during the match. To summarize, it seems like Witthoeft played like all young players does today - standing behind the baseline hitting power shots with large margins. Meanwhile, Kimiko outplayed her with classic grass tennis. I don't see any reason to accuse her of doping.

      I'm sure someone like Tim Henman or Patrick Rafter could beat 18-year olds if they would make a comeback at Wimbledon.

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    3. Witthoeft played brainless tennis. Kimiko is a finesse player and played smart. Doping or not, it's not hard to beat mindless ball bashers if you have a game plan like Kimiko does.

      Having said all that, it's very possible Date-Krumm is doping. The cynical pessimist in me says everyone is suspect.

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  10. BBC 5 Live's tennis correspondent Jonathan Overend said some interesting things on air yesterday. Noone in tennis wants to talk about Odesnik, he said, adding that testing in tennis is almost exclusively urine and more blood testing was needed. Well done to him.

    As for Nadal, his defeat is inexplicable in anything other than suspicious terms. A player like him just does not lose in a slam in straight sets to a guy like Darcis.

    One thought:

    A player on "2 strikes" for missing whereabouts testing has to come off the juice until he's had his test - or wait until the 18 month reset.

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  11. Has his alleged "knee injury" been confirmed by now? It'd be interesting to hear how and when this happened. Nadal was at his superhuman best only two weeks ago at the French Open. He hasn't played a match since until Wimby. The only place to hurt himself therfore would've been the match against Darcis, where he didn't even take a MTO and wich was nowhere as physically demanding as the matches against Djokovic and Ferrer. How does this make any sense?

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  12. I am trying to think of when the knee last WASN'T used for an excuse following a major tournament loss. It was used throughout 2011, 2010, and 2009. We have to go back to the 2008 slam losses I think, AO SF, W F, USO SF, the knee, to my knowledge, wasn't used as an excuse. As for 2012, in Australia it most certainly was, he nearly withdrew before the tournament started. Can't remember Wimbledon and USO, but was there not an underlying inferral that the knee was an ongonig problem?

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  13. Is anyone else finding this Wimbledon interesting in an odd way (other than nadal's 1st rd loss)? Several players including top ones, have already withdrawn today with injuries or have been defeated. I wonder if there is testing goin on behind the scenes? If so, good for the tourney, Just hope their not favoring Murray cause the homeboy. McEnroe just said hope there's players left in this tourney. Lol!! And now, Tsonga and sharapova losing?

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    1. This has been a very odd day. Usually when there have been this many mass retirements, it's a heat issue (like in Australia or the U.S.Open), but this is just so very odd.

      Tsonga is the seventh retirement today. WTF is going on at Wimbledon?

      I can't imagine anyone voluntarily watching the Sharapova-Larcher de Brito match. All that screeching. How can your ears not bleed from listening to that?

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    2. Lol! Think the other girl's screeching just to piss off pova for doing it. Man, Tsonga retiring sucks! I think the players r secretly protesting about something---dope testing is my guess but of course, the cover-up (cause they always gotta have one) is how slippery the courts r and the injuries their causing. The tourney officials r saying Itz no different from any other year. So, what's the truth behind the retirements and "injuries"

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    3. Larcher de Brito always screeches when she plays. She is worse than Sharapova and Azarenka combined.

      She's an excellent ball striker though. I watched the match on livestream once I saw the score (muted sound though, lol). It's puzzling she hasn't had more success.

      I don't know what's going on, a lot of people have fallen the first couple of days. I am trying to recall the last time we saw this many Slam retirements in one day.

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  14. A couple of things :

    1) The toughest competition for a top 8 player at a grand slam would be in the quarter-final, semifinal, and final. These are normally played in the last 5, or 6 days of the two week grand slams.

    2) Doping works best if you "cycle" (schedule your doping to get the maximum benefit when it is needed most). If you continuously dope, you will not get the same benefit.



    Therefore, a "tell" that someone is doping in-tournament at grand slams, is a consistent pattern of improving performances throughout these grand slam tournaments.


    - Nadal has had more trouble beating lower ranked players early at grand slams than he does against Andy Murray, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic late in the second week of grand slams.

    - During Wimbledon 2011, Nadal's second fastest serve speed was in the semi-final, his fastest serve speed was in the final.


    For someone to do these sorts of things once or twice, would only be mildly unusual. For someone to have a pattern of improving performances in the second week of grand slams throughout his career, is a screaming red-flag that in-competition doping is highly likely.

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  15. What's wrong with Roger? I have been saying something is wrong with him this year. He looks weaker than usual and I don't think it is the result of being a few months older

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    2. He's nearly 32. Sampras won his last GS final at 30, Becker at 28, McEnroe and Borg at 25. Agassi was the exception at age 35. I expect Federers form to decline from now on. I just hope he doesn't keep on playing for another 3 years, because I don't want to see him fade away.

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    3. If Sampras and Borg haven't retired early, they would probably have won more slams. For someone who won Wimbledon last year to lose to a journeyman in the second round of the same tournament is strange.

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    4. That is nonsense. Professional athletes retire because they can't continue to put in the same efforts, mentally and/or physically.

      The age of thirty is important. In the case of Federer, there's a relative decline, but significant. Twenty GS finals in six years (2004-2009) and only one in the eight GS since he turned thirty. It's what you can expect.

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    5. Sampras could have kept playing if he could. Borg too. It all depends of how much they cherish their dominance and if they can accept to lose in finals of tournaments. If Federer doesn't want to lose consistently to a journeyman, he would retire. If he doesn't care, he would keep playing and entertain the possibility of winning one or 2 slams. My point is I don't get the catastrophic decline in Federer's physical abilities. Few months without a serious injury do not lead to that.

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    6. Yes, we’ve heard your song and dance before, so this ‘catastrophic’ decline is on account of doping last year, and not this year. It’s a distinct possibility. But what you and your alter egos will never acknowledge is that there’s an equally plausible explanation. The decline that you called catastrophic has actually taken place over the course of a full calendar year. What did he want to achieve last year? Regain #1 and win a 7th Wimbledon, two of the only attainable records left. Well, he did it. Now there’s nothing else realistically within reach. You can’t tell me there isn’t going to be a letdown. So after that he doesn’t train as hard, isn’t as focused mentally, plus has a wife and kids. The level he’s at now is actually on par with the rate of decline from his peak. Sure, last year was an anomaly. Maybe it was a result of doping. Maybe it was a result being extremely motivated and training his ass off. Fed’s decline isn’t really all that strange. What’s strange is how many of the top players, some of whom are in top form, losing or pulling out in first two rounds.

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    7. Let's examine the difference between Federer's performance this year and last year.

      Wimbledon - This year he lost in the 2nd round to a player that played the match of his life. Last year in the 3rd round he should have lost to Benneteau. Benneteau choked and cramped last year. Stakhovsky didn't choke or cramp this year.

      Halle - Last year he lost to Haas. This year he beat Haas.

      French - Last year he should have lost to Del Potro in the QF. Del Potro was clearly injured. This year he lost to Tsonga in the QF. Tsonga wasn't injured. Last year he lost to Djokovic as badly in the SF as he lost to Tsonga this year in the QF.

      Madrid - Last year barely beat Raonic in the 3rd round. This year lost in the 3rd round in 3 sets to Nishikori.

      Rome - Last year was thumped by Djokovic in the SF. This year was thumped by Nadal in the Final.

      Miami - Last year lost to Roddick. This year didn't play.

      Indian Wells - Won last year but was in serious trouble in two matches (Raonic and the lefty Brazilian). This year really doesn't count as he was obviously hampered by his back.

      Rotterdam - Won last year but was pushed hard by both Davydenko and Del Potro. This year lost to Benneteau.

      Dubai - Won last year but had to beat Del Potro in two tiebreaks in the SF. This year lost to Berdych in 3 sets in the Sf.

      Australian Open - Last year lost to Nadal in the SF. This year lost to Murray in the Sf.

      The difference between last year and this year is actually a couple of points here and there out of thousands of points. There are just as many matches this year that he could have won, but lost. Last year he won most of the matches that he could have lost. He's also been thumped as many times this year as he was last year.

      There is hardly a "catastrophic decine" happening. If he was doping last year he's doping this year too. He's just losing more this year.

      The biggest argument that Federer is doping is that he is never out of breath. Was he out of breath today? Was he out of breath against Tsonga? Was he out of breath against Murray in Australia? Was he out of breath in any of the matches he's lost this year? Other than the final results as dictated by a handfull of points here and there there is no way to distinguish his play last year from his play this year.

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    8. I would spend a lot of times if I wanted to show the deficiencies of your points. Players you are mentioning don't have the same level. You are probably the only one who thinks there is no meaningful difference between the Federer of last year and that of this year. You are also the one who summarized the whole case against Federer to him not being out of breath.
      Physical endurance, stamina, disproportionate strength, lack of sweat and fatigue during sequences that would require otherwise, lack of injuries, prolonged focus, etc are some of the elements I mentioned.
      Again, your arguments above are very flawed.

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    9. Yes I saw Federer out of breath. Look closely why don't you? He doesn't have to bend over, hands on knees breathing heavily to be out of breath. He's very subtle about it but you can see it if you look carefully after a long point.

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  16. C'mon, Mr. Ed. Why don't you just come out and say it: that you think it's because he's off the sauce this year. Everybody knows what you're implying.

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    1. It could be due to Mosquitoes while he was in South Africa... Who knows

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    2. One would think that everybody gets sick of a part of him-/herself, once in a while. But, not so the thoroughly rotten ones, though, like this creature suffering from the fake MPS (multiple-personality-syndrome, that is). For, if they did, they'd cease to be on the spot, realising there's nothing but rottenness to live on.

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    3. Nice try.

      "For someone who won Wimbledon last year to lose to a journeyman in the second round of the same tournament is strange."

      Yet you were silent on the issue of other players who just had an even more stunning loss compared to even greater success. Gee, funny how you cherry-picked the anomaly for this particular player to discuss.

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    4. I already stated my opinion regarding Nadal. What else do you need me to say about him?

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    5. 1) You have stated your opinion regarding Nadal when prompted for it. You have not started a discussion implicating or otherwise hinting at Nadal for doping, or any other player for that matter, like you have several times with Federer.

      2) You have already stated your opinion regarding Federer, but that hasn’t stopped you from bringing it up over and over again.

      Pick your poison. Either way, you lose.

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    6. BDS,

      Bingo.

      (this is me doing a golf clap)

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  17. Why do I need tp demonstrate that 1+1 is 2. To make you happy, from now on, I am a fan of Nadal.

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  18. A long slow decline (like Federer has had since 2007) is normal (list his tournament wins by year, and this will become obvious). It very closely mirrors Pete Sampras's decline (Pete won only one 1 tournament in his final two years (Aug 2000 to Sept 2002).

    What isn't normal is someone who performs at an elite level well past the norm age for the sport (ie. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGuire,... - during baseballs "steroids era").

    A defensive grinder in tennis is usually well past their prime by the age of 25 (see Chang, Courier, Wilander, Borg). Yet Nadal is still winning slams at the age of 27 (in fact he dominated throughout this years clay court season).

    The argumant that because Federer is playing poorly at 32, therefore he must be on drugs is laughable, since this is more evidence that he isn't doping. Nadal on the other hand,...

    I expect Nadal to continue for a few more years, winning a slam or two each year. Enough to break Federer's record of 17 grand slams.

    The hyperpartisan adolescent fanboys of Nadal will cream their pants in delight.

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  19. Does this buffoon truly believes I am a fan of Nadal?

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