Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Cilic Saga Continues

Douglas Robson reports:
"Officially, the 24-year-old from Croatia skipped New York for "personal reasons." (The USTA said they could provide no further information on his absence.)
"...If Cilic has opted to accept a voluntary provisional suspension, as other players have, and is ultimately exonerated, neither he nor the ITF are obligated to make the positive test public.

"...What kept him off the court all these weeks? Any number of possible explanations could be delivered."


  1. A player takes a secret suspension while his case is looked into. He engages expert counsel to defeat the doping allegation, perhaps on a technicality or getting a dodgy excuse accepted by gullible, ever-forgiving tennis regulators, and then gets back on tour with no one realising what has happened. Plus there's official, if unspoken, sanction for the player's lies to keep the public misinformed and to explain away all these absences from the tour.

    All this of course while Stuart Miller and his freeloading boss, Ricci Bitti, maintain the line of tennis's wonderfully "robust" testing system.

    Makes you want to weep.

    1. That spectacle which we are being presented with on a daily basis here courtesy to the ITF is truely shambolic and makes you want to tear your hair out. Or weep. Or both simultaneously.

      The real action happens behind the scene and we only get to see the untainted, unharmed heroes prancing around on court.

      The staging is done exclusively by the ITF. Knowing their exquisite, refined arts in plotting and scheming, you begin doubting everything they present you with.

      I mean, look, last nite Robredo, thirty-one years of age, won against Evans, a young British lad who came through the quali and looked fitter throughout the last set and was already up a break.
      Robredo, a former #5, otoh, took numerous medical time outs throughout also left for the locker room and was visibly wincing from muscle pain in his left thigh. He basically played with a dead leg. As a viewer you were cringing from watching his pain.

      Remember, he got operated on that thigh last year - which cost him 14 month off the tour to recuperate. He was way out of the top 100 last year.

      He is the one where they cut a torn muscles in his thigh in half and repaired it somehow, stitching it back together. More so, he nearly cried at some point in the 4th set when he saw the match was heading in the wrong direction and Evans began to get in the driver's seat after winning the third. And I bet he was not crying because was on the verge of losing, but from pain.

      How on earth can you play in such pain? What was he allowed to take to supress those pains?

      How can you play after such a severe operation in the first place without painkillers?

      Also, he would be a hot candidate to get target tested. If he is so freakin eager to play despite a dead leg and can pull off 5setter wins coming back from 2 sets down at the FO, I would want to have him tested frequently. For honestly, I doubt you can do that without additional help.

      I know I have no final proof, as always, yet I am free to use my deductive skills here to eventually come up with: serious doubts about the honesty of Robredo's "performance" in last nights sick spectacle.

      I agree that Evans clearly punched above his weight and choked in the fourth - also I am not claiming he was the "clean one" here, we don't know. But simply looking at Robredo sustaining a 3-hour long match under pain... unbelievable!

    2. Whoa, Peter, you are talking too much sense. You'll never get a job at the ITF.

      Here is my plan to get a job with the ITF's doping division. Before I go in for the interview, I turn Siri on speaker and put my iPhone up my butt. The interviewers will be so impressed that I have completely worthless responses actually coming out of by butt that I figure I am a shoe-in to replace Miller. I mean, he has to move his lips for worthless crap to come out and only figuratively talks out of his ass.

    3. I highly doubt Cilic's case is the first time this has happened. This just happens to be the first time the information somehow leaked out.

  2. Do they use these samples to test for PEDs or strictly for the biological passport?


    "Petra Kvitova will undergo a series of tests to determine the reason for her recurring illness. The Czech caught a virus two days ago and was forced to stay in bed on Friday. She had little energy in her 6-3, 6-0 loss to Alison Riske at the U.S. Open on Saturday.

    This is believed to be the third virus that the 2011 Wimbledon champion has caught this year. Late last fall, she acknowledged having four different viruses in 2012. She will undergo blood tests in Manhattan. A member of her camp said she was “bitterly disappointed” to be unable to compete at her top level"

    I bet she is anemic like Neymar...

    1. She claims to have asthma and has stated she "hates" playing in the U.S. because the air quality here (allegedly) aggravates her condition. That's always been her and her team's excuse for why she has never played well at the U.S. Open or in the States.

      Maybe she asthma, maybe she doesn't. But, gee, an awful lot of tennis players seem to have asthma, or mono, or whatever ailment they all seem to possess (usually not known to anyone until they lose or start losing). I swear, tennis players seem to be the sickliest of any group of athletes.

    2. Interesting...Saw her up close at Open on Thurs. practicing & playing a match where she looked healthy & fit & beat Bojana quite nicely. Itz definitely very sudden.

  4. Robredo is destroying Federer right now. This guy has only taken three sets off of Fed in 10 matches. And now he looks like the 5 time US Open champion rather than the other way around. What was that debilitating injury again?. Curious.

    1. Robredo is playing really well... Right now it feels like the match Federer lost at Wimbledon.

      This year, he has been losing left and right matches he should win handily (on paper). So this is not totally unexpected. He's declining before our very eyes, which is absolutely normal at his age, I think. Then again, why is he declining at 31-32 when all these other 30+ guys on tour(Robredo and Haas come to mind) are experiencing a renaissance of sorts? I'm puzzled and sad.

    2. Not to forget the diminutive Ferrer who is having a career-best year at the same age as Federer. Scary what Nadal, Murray and Djokovic will still be able to do (and have achieved!) at 32 if that circus continues...

    3. I think this might be the last straw for me in tennis. Seriously. I know Federer has become a shell of his former self, but to lose to Robredo who hasn't even come close to beating Federer before?

      The same Robredo who took an MTO during his last match against Evans because he was in such pain now looks like he can play 10 sets and takes out Federer easily?

      Before the usual suspects/anti-Federer people check in, I'd say the same if Robredo beat Nadal, Djokovic, Murray or any of the other top players. Robredo is extremely suspicious.

    4. Ugh. Those two service games of Fed in the second (lost to love) and third set - he was basically digging himself in a hole there right in front of our eyes.

      Regarding Robredo - I don't buy it. Not after what he has been through. Looking at his massive thighs and huge serve...remind you of anyone? His doc is our well-beloved Dr. Cotorro... need I say more?

      Also, at this yrs FO Robredo pulled off two consecutive turn-around wins in 5sets. Good for him, I mean, sure it is possible.

      Tbf, Federer amassed bh erros galore and his fh deserted him whenever he brought himself in a position to break Robredo. So he had a considerable part in that loss. Also converting a measly 3 out 13 (?) breakchances...The worst was how Fed was winding himself up and missing otherwise sure winners. His shot choices where often odd, especially allowing Robredo to play his inside out fh numerous times and not using the open court to score ll... One thing led to the other and he was beginning to look helpless and errors kept creeping in. So much so that hardly any winners remained.

      Irony of ironies topping this nite off would be Kohli winning against Nadal (he managed that before) - Fed must be kicking himself! First set might be his , up 4:1 in the tiebreaker already...

    5. What's more is Robredo is playing the match in as physically demanding a style as possible, to which the court is obliging maximally. If the court was red you could swear you were watching the French Open given the positioning and style of stroke. It is, PEDs aside, quite tragic that this is able to occur. The speed of the US Open court is laughable.

      PEDs NOT aside, these 30+ guys truly are 'adapting' to this current era of physicality and athleticism extremely well (Except for Federer, who seems to be well and truly physically declining).
      Robredo the 31 year old was getting treatment for injuries during the tournament and managed to stave them off in typical Spanish fashion with retrieving and grinding.
      Ferrer got utterly dominated by Fed, and was void and a half below him as a player through their whole careers.... Yet now, at 32, he is a better player, not only than Federer, but than he ever was? (he reached his highest rank this year, at no.3). What has caused Ferrer to become the best player he has ever been while Federer deteriorates and becomes less and less of a factor?

      Drugs, most likely. Let's be simple and honest.

    6. Here is hope! Kohli doing his best... two more to go!

    7. Oh, Nadal took a bathroom break - carrying his little man bag with him as he jogs back on court.

      Probably just chapstick in it ;)

    8. Brad Gilbert mentioned he changed everything, from head to toe. Rafa is sweating an awful lot, and for that matter so was Roger. Mr. never-breaks-a-sweat was soaked. I wonder if the humidity is affecting the court more than they care to admit, and for that matter, the players.

    9. Yeah, I was surprised to see Fed break out in sweat - so humidity is affecting the players much.

      Also Nadal sweats profusely - he is totally soaked already.

      The one thing I noticed he comes out more aggressive - this level of aggression is scaring the shit out of me. I'd love to test him immediately...on stimulants.

    10. Midway through the season, His fans said his results are about the same as last year while I said it was like day and night.
      Only lack of drugs will make someone age so dramatically a few months apart. Notice, please notice, how this decline started so early in the season.
      They blamed it on back, shoulder, lack of motivation, they said he will decide to play better come the US Open, I said, based on my unchallenged ability to observe and be right, there was something worse going on and I am right.
      I have been fan of Roger since he was 17.

    11. And why should he lack drugs?

    12. I can't wait till all those autobiographies come out, THE SECRET MATCH: How PED'S won the war, THE PED ARMS RACE, BLACK WEDNESDAY, etc.

    13. @Manas

      He lacks drugs cause Nadal is buying up the market ;)

    14. Okay, since when is Tommy Robredo hitting 129 MPH serves? I know he was a solid player before, but it's been my general impression this year that he has more pop on his shots than in the past and this latest development kind of confirms it for me.

      "Also, at this yrs FO Robredo pulled off two consecutive turn-around wins in 5sets. Good for him, I mean, sure it is possible."

      They were actually 3 consecutive come-from-behind wins in 5 sets at the French Open. I couldn't believe my eyes when that happened.

    15. Mr never-break-a-sweat was You said it yourself. Not just smart enough to see it. He never broke a sweat for a reason. That reason is lacking and that is why he is sweating profusely... Is that difficult to understand?
      What humidity??? Do you live in New York? Always running away from the obvious and making a fool of oneself

    16. From the US Open's official Twitter account:

      NIGHT OF THE SAUNA: #Humidity level at the #usopen tonight is 91 percent. Can you tell?

    17. Are Roger and Rafa the only two players players in these conditions? How about the others??? Are they playing at the North pole?

    18. No, it's affecting everyone it seems:

      It's a sweat-a-thon as both #Raonic and #Gasquet have soaked thru every inch of their kits. Now that's what you call giving it your all!

    19. I don't see playing at 75 degrees with a 90% humidity anything extraordinary. The temperature is more important. The humidity is secondary.
      Gasquet has always sweat a lot. I don't know about Raonic. Ferrer, Kohlschreiber and Tipsarevic didn't seem to sweat anything out of the norm and neither did Robredo.

    20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    21. Eric Ed,

      You're a complete MORON if you don't think Robredo sweated "out of the norm." For God's sakes the ball boys were toweling off his end of the court during changeovers like they have to do with Nadal. The commentators mentioned multiple times that Robredo was sweating like crazy. Do you actually even watch tennis? Ferrer looked like he'd been swimming.

      And because you're the self-professed smartest person in the world why don't you share your opinion of why Federer all of the sudden decided to quit doping this year. Did he feel that he'd had so much success due to cheating that he thought it'd only be fair if he humiliated himself for a year or two before he retired?

      Tonight was the most I've ever seen Federer sweat. But according to you he stopped doing PED's in January. And according to you it was his use of PED's that prevented him from sweating. So I have a couple of questions:

      1) For the last fifteen years what was Federer wiping off when he was using a towel between points and during changeovers? Drool? Were fans throwing beer on him? I'm betting that it was sweat.

      2) If Federer never sweated because he used PED's why would he ever have to change shirts and headbands during matches, which I've seen him do many, many times?

      3) If he quit PED's in January (or actually December as I doubt he took PED's during the offseason and quit when the season began) and the PED's were what prevented him from sweating then why was tonight the first night he was noticeably drenched? Do the anti-sweating powers of Fed's PED regimen linger for 8 or 9 months after they're discontinued?

      4) What IDIOT athlete would choose to take a drug that counteracts the body's natural ability to regulate its temperature? Do you even realize why it's so dangerous to let dogs overheat? BECAUSE DOGS DON'T SWEAT!!! Athletes MUST sweat or they will die of heatstroke.

      Lastly, your assertion that "only lack of drugs will make someone age so dramatically a few months apart," is ridiculous. In November of 2000 Pete Sampras was ranked #1 in the world at the age of 28 years and 11 months. By July 7 of 2001 he was ranked #11 and never got higher than that the rest of his career, except for a single week in October of 2001 when he reached number 9. Did Sampras stop using PED's in November of 2000?

    22. Who said Federer doesn't sweat? I would rather stop doping and keep all my yrophies than risk losing them all. It is common sense.
      Federer has been sweating for a while now. I said it before that he started sweating normally after he hit 30 years old.
      When I say Federer doesn't sweat, it doesn't mean he doesn't sweat at all. It just means he sweats way too little for the level of enrgy he spends.

    23. All this talk about sweat. Do you guys know how damn humid it was out there? Did you not see what Sousa looked like two nights ago against Djoker? His shorts were stuck to his body. He was leaving puddles on the court. It isn't always about PED's. Sometimes it's just sweat.

    24. Man, this is ONE sweaty thread here ;)

      Here is what Fed had to say on matters sweat in his presser:

      ROGER FEDERER: "Actually, believe it or not, Armstrong is a bit faster than Arthur Ashe. Clear, it was very humid. Definitely it's been humid the last couple of days now. That also had an effect on both players, you know, how you can maybe hold the grip, the timing you get through it. But there again, I mean, it's not like it's just humid on my side and not on his. It's all around humid for everybody watching. Yeah, it was a different type of court, atmosphere, surface speed, if you like. But then again, you know, I know Tommy's game really well. We've played so often against each other. There's no secrets out there today. Credit to him for playing a good match today."

      One last remark, at some point during the match it got SOOO sweaty on court you could see puddles of sweat, actually, draining Robredo's half - he even slipped in his own sweaty sweat. So, yes, it was humid and folks sweated a LOT.

      As for Fed's own estimate of last nites events, well, it was a case of clusterfuck and missed opportunities, "a bad combination of everything", "I kind of self-destructed" etc. pp. So basically he was being an omnishamble whenever it mattered...

      So SO sad to read, I really can't recommend looking at that presser if you're feeling moody/out of sorts. Truely feels like an end of an era.

    25. Yeah! I mean, how did I miss it. For the first time in his 17 or so years career, Federer has played in humid conditions (75 degrees with90 % humidity).

    26. Well, I have to hand it to Robredo. He did play a great match over there on Lance Armstrong, er, I mean Louis Armstrong stadium.

    27. Eric Ed,

      First you called Federer "Mr never-break-a-sweat." Then you indignantly asked "who said Federer doesn't sweat?" followed five sentences later by an admission that you've said it many times before, but just didn't mean it. Wow.

      So I have another question for you:

      Do you think Federer sweated "normally" last year (which was a year after he "hit 30")? I ask because you've clearly stated you think he only stopped doping THIS year. So you're either wrong about when he started sweating "normally" (when he "hit 30") or you're wrong about when he quit using PED's. (THIS year). OR you're wrong about BOTH and the truth is that he's always breaks a sweat, just not as much as some other players and it has nothing to do at all with PED use.

      Finally, why would Federer, or any player for that matter, lose "all his trophies" because he fails a test this year? Failing a test this year and this year alone wouldn't have any effect at all on prior results. The ITF would have to have proof that he failed tests in years past to retroactively take back championships he won (see Armstrong, Lance). So how is your assertion "common sense?"

      Is it your belief that Federer has been failing tests annually for the last ten years or so, but the ITF swept it under the rug and Federer just kept right on doping his little ass off until all of the sudden this year he decided to quit? Do you really think the ITF or WADA is willing to throw their own credibility under the bus by threatening to tell the world that they've been covering up failed tests by Federer for years now? I fail to see the "common sense" in that.

      Maybe, just maybe, Federer is just getting old and declining like others before him at even earlier ages. I already pointed out Sampras's decline at close to the same age. Have you ever heard of Boris Becker? In 1996 he was ranked between 3 and 7 all year and finished 6. By the end of 97 he was ranked 63 and never got higher than 51 again. Ever hear of Stefan Edberg? in 1994 he was ranked between 3 and 9 all year and finished 7. One year later he was 23, got as low as 55 but never higher than 14 before retiring in 1997. Patrick Rafter, you ask? in 1999 he was ranked as high as 1 and finished at 16. In 2000 he fell as low as 27 and finished at 15. Davydenko was as high as 5 in 2010. By the end of the year he was 22 and has never gotten higher than 22 since then. Hewitt was ranked as high as 4 in 2006 and finished at 20. He's never gotten higher than 16. Kafelnikov in 2002 was as high as 3 and finished at 27. Never got higher than 17 and was retired by 2004. Venus Williams in 2010 was as high as 2 and ended at 5. Following year she dropped to 110 and has never gotten higher than 18 (is that when she stopped doping?) Federer is older than ALL of those players when they declined.

      So clearly your assertion that "Only lack of drugs will make someone age so dramatically a few months apart." is the single most idiotic thing you've ever posted, which is really saying something.

    28. Before I read the remaining of your statements, i would like to point out that i was quoting Carlos by calling Roger Mr never break a sweat

    29. @ illinoischeese

      Your list of old agers declining and slipping off the rankings

      Thing is, these days you see old agers going the other direction - this has become the latest, maybe alarming trend. Ferrer, Haas, now Robredo, not to forget Youzhny, who just won to another senior citizen, Hewitt in 5 sets, and who yo-yos between 90 and 8th: all players who defy their age, while Fed currently doesn't.

      But I agree, fading out by dropping down the rankings from a top ten position into the lower regions is neither new nor special. There is no rule that states you need to retire while being on top. So I am cool with Fed doing it his way.

      Maybe he can stage a comeback like Ivanisevic and win Wimby when 35?

      (Just kidding)

      Meanwhile, in the gluten-free world of Djokbot, you were able to watch him hit an incredible 25 winners on his serve in a row ag. some barely present Granollers...

    30. Wow, so many comments for "Mr. never-breaks-a-sweat." It was more of an observation rather than a flat out accusation (and I'm glad I stayed out of this sweaty conversation).

      Federer's decline has long been coming now. At this point I think its more mental than anything. Like big losses in life, he is in the denial phase, he needs to admit it and try to change his game, racquet, etc if he wants to get to the olympic games.

    31. I do agree Federer would not lose his titles but failing a drug test once cancels everything one has accomplished even if in Fed's case, it would not materialize in him losing all his trophies.
      There are different types of doping...They have different primary and secondary effects.
      When you list players without adding the reasons why they dropped in the rankings, you're misleading kids.
      Many of these players you mentioned above did have serious injuries.
      Federer who promised to play till 35 is in a bizarre condition and nothing natural can explain it.

    32. I didn't see Carlos' comment. In the future, when quoting someone else it's standard practice to use things called quotation marks. Quotation marks are punctuation marks used to indicate quotations. I would expect someone as smart as you think you are to know what they are and how to use them. Otherwise it makes it appear that you're passing off the words of others as your own.

      I'm not misleading anyone. Sampras, Becker and Edberg are three of the best players ever. They all three declined very rapidly at the end of their respective careers and none of them retired due to injuries, let alone "serious injuries." All three declined significantly in their final 2 years on tour, around the age of 28 or 29. Sampras won Wimbledon and was ranked 1 in the world in 2000. A year later he lost to guy ranked 15 (Federer) at Wimbledon and a year later lost to an unranked player (Bastl). Injuries had nothing to do with it. He declined sharply, mostly due to age and life changes. Edberg announced his retirement a year ahead of time and Becker announced his retirement after losing at Wimbledon in 1999. So you can keep spouting off all you want about how there's no precedent and how "nothing natural can explain it". The facts and actual "common sense" tell a very different story. What would be "bizarre" is if he started increasing his power and stamina at this stage.

      So I'll ask again: Why do you think he decided to stop doping this year? Your first attempt at a "common sense" explanation sure as hell blew up in your face. So go ahead and lob up another one.

      @ team-kickass

      "fading out by dropping down the rankings from a top ten position into the lower regions is neither new nor special"


    33. I already answered that question. If caught, he will lose evrything he has achieved.
      I am not into useless rigor like quote a term used by someone else.
      I do claim to be a thoughtful person, not someone who cares about superficial things.
      Declining due to injuries is not the same as retiring due to injuries.
      Sampras or his coach claimed his body was falling apart by the time he retired. Venus, Hewitt, Davydenko and so many others dropped in the rankings due to injuries. Once again, you are trying to mislead people

  5. I think Federer was mentally distracted thinking about his potential encounter with Nadal in the next round. He certainly doesn't want a career slam of losses against Nadal losing to him at every slam. I am not saying he tanked the match today but he seems to have been disturbed mentally.

    1. It's really laughable but sad what Chris Evert said just now---that Roger needs to do what the Spanish players are doing. Don't just rely on talent, but hit with more pop/power, stop just going for his shots all the time & just chase everything down from the baseline like they do. She definitely sounds like she knows something is helping the Spanish players & seems like she wants Roger to get some of what they're getting. Roger's mental disturbance seems to be coming from not having any clue how to master this "new breed" of players' playing style. Yeah, Ferrer, Robredo are his age, but they've got the "new breed" of playing style down to an art.
      For sure, nobody wants to play the BEAST at this point, probably not even Djoker. Nadal is looking more superhuman (if possible) hitting everything back with so much power, accuracy, speed--McEnroe (yuck!!!) even said he thinks Nadal is now the best volleyer. It almost seems like he's saying to Djoker in your face, I can beat your 2011 level of play---I am the greatest ever & everybody needs to know it!! Seems like Djoke & his team really pissed of the BEAST & his team.

    2. Nadal unleashed some ferocious shots from way beyond the baseline today. Kohlschreiber troubled him initially with his short angled shots but didn't have the height or power to land the ball consistently across the net. When he won the first set one of the commentators said Nadal is going to go to beast mode now - whatever that means.

    3. He is a "beast",
      He is a "physical specimen",
      He is "fit".

      All are code for "HE IS A ROIDMONKEY".

    4. @ pk

      Pretty accurate description, did you notice Nadal went to take a bathroom break after losing the first set and came out a changed man!

      Kohli needed lot's of power to compensate for his lack of height to control Nadal's vicious top spin balls - they bounced off so high... too high for Kohli to attack with.

      Kohli could use his power only for so long and had to give in eventually, despite having a smart game plan to do some damage. This is the sad thing, if Nadal would not have been able to sustain that incredible power level to keep firing those top spin bombs at him, but instead would have shown signs of decreasing power, as is normal, we would see more balanced matches with players running out of gas earlier. Matches, where smarts, luck and one's respective "normal" human condition of the match day would decide the outcome and not the endurance and überhuman power alone.

      Whatever shot Kohli presented Nadal with and many of them should have been winners, Nadal returned with interest.

      Where does this "interest" come from, I wonder?

      From what is that level of aggression fuelled aside from the obvious narcissistic motives of wanting to be the dominatrix of them all? Does it spring from "natural" sources alone, I wonder...

      Kohli did well in the smarts department, mixing his shots and finding angles, frequent attacking to not let Nadal fall back on his all-too-familiar rally-mode where hardly anybody can compete with him. Kohli's serve was nicely angled and did some damage while it lasted.

      If it should ever come to light that all of Nadal's wins were obtained illegally, for which we have no finite clues as of yet only suspision and numerous indicators, easily he'd be in the same range as Armstrong when it comes to cheating & dishonesty.

  6. Looking at the US Open draws, it seems as if 31 is the new 24........

    Tennis has come a long way from worries about 14 year olds turning pro......

    1. Don't worry, soon enough tennis will have 6' tall 180lbs 14 year olds, just like baseball and American football do already, thanks to the miracles of modern science.

  7. Here is Nadal's post match presser.


    (In case you are not aware of, both Robredo and Nadal share the same doc. Maybe Federer should join their trainig group in Barcelona, no?)

    Q. Yesterday was one of the worst days for U.S. men. Today you, Tommy, and David wrote the history that never happened in the US Open that three Spanish tennis players are in the quarterfinals. How do you explain this great achievement?

    RAFAEL NADAL: I think it's great. I think it's great new for the Spanish sport, the Spanish tennis. Is great that we were able today to win very hard matches, all of us, in a very tough conditions. That's because we really were ready for the fight. David is always a fighter. Tommy is always the same. It's unbelievable what he's doing after a year without having the chance to play tennis. Surgery, you know. He's not younger anymore. To be back at the level he's playing, you feel the passion and the love for the sport. That's always a great example for the rest of the players and a great example for the kids. What he's doing is great. I hope he stop here (smiling). But is great. I am happy for him because he deserve. He wanted a lot to be back.

    Q. You and Tommy Robredo have gone through the experience of coming back from injury. Have you spoken with him at all over the course over this year.

    RAFAEL NADAL: I was able to practice with him in Barcelona when he was starting another time, when I was starting another time. We practiced in Barcelona before I fly to Viña del Mar, the first tournament in Chile. I never had any doubt about Tommy. You see when a player is serious, when a player is ready to work, a player who feels the game and the passion, have the passion for the tennis. The beginning, when he was coming back, he didn't win lot of matches in Chile, in Sao Paulo, in Acapulco, I was talking with my coach. I said, He will be there for sure at the end of the season because he's ready to work and he's a serious player. The players who are ready for the work and are ready for fight the tough obstacles that the competition brings you are the players at the end of the season are in the best position in the rankings. What he is doing is great.

  8. "Thoughts?" Well, no-one with IQ above 85 (the lower end of the Standard Deviation) needs think about this latest delivery from the Shitting Bull himself. Let's leave the task to Eric Ed (Cartman), tennis_fan_1982, and the rest of the creature's alter-ego's, shall we. I, for one, am sure he/they will have a field day, profusely sweating all over it.

    1. Eric Ed is a buffoon. But we don't need to add your own variety of crude racism to the mix, do we?

    2. IQ is usually about 95% basic memory. It is misused to put blacks down. It is a false concept full of crap designed to make those with accurate memory look better than they really are. It is no wonder, they serve it to their kind for mental support. Soon, it will be part of their collective national anthem.
      This imbecile under the name Tommy Haas has to realize that blacks are not responsible for the state of his additional finger. I don't blame him. I would be enraged too.

    3. @Hass

      What a telling name - it says it all, doesn't it?

      Please stop posting your racist vulgarities here, it makes this site look ugly and there is really no need for this, believe me or not, for so far we have devoted ourselves to all things tennis and doping and for the most kept up a nice atmosphere - with the occasional kerfuffles, I admit.

      I am afraid, you don't fit in here because you violate basic principals of human interaction and keep dragging your blatant racism in our threads.

      I kindly ask you to stop posting here.

  9. I have always loved tennis, but the love is almost over.
    The single handed backhand is almost gone. Well, there's still Dimitrov and Gasquet, but the others are 30+.

    and journalists and the crowds cheer for the superhuman efforts that I never saw before the Nadal era. Federer is fading away, as you would expect at age 32. At least it strengthens my belief that he's playing it fair.

    This is probably the first GS tournament that I have completely ignored since, uh, some US Open in the eighties...

    I gave up on womens tennis a long time ago. To be honest, I need to see players tits on the court before I get remotely interested again. Let's start with Kvitova.

  10. Losing repeatedly against qualifiers and players of the same age to whom you never lost to is nothing normal for someone who broke most of the tennis records.

  11. Not only he loses, but he does so convincingly and with such a consistency that defies reason and logic

    1. His losses are totally to be expected for a player over 30 likely coming to the end of his career. It is only your inane repetitive bleating that shows a "consistency that defies reason and logic".

  12. On November 11, 2000, Pete Sampras was ranked #1 in the world.

    Here's a list of players he lost to in the following two years:


    Chris Woodruff #96
    Andrew Ilie #43
    Harel Levy #54
    Alex Calatrava #50
    Galo Blanco #76
    Alberto Martin #38
    Max Myrni #53

    overall record in 2001 - 35W-16L


    Felix Mantilla #45
    Max Myrni #39
    Andrea Gaudenzi #69
    Nicolas Kiefer #66
    George Bastl #145
    Wayne Arthurs #70
    Pau-Henri Mathieu #85

    overall record - 27W-17W

    So, in fact, the one player closest to Federer records-wise declined even worse.

    Federer's two losses on clay after Wimbledon mean nothing. When Nadal turns 32 let him go play a couple of tournaments with Federer's racket and see how well he does.

    His other losses this year have been to:

    Robredo #22
    Nadal 3 times
    Nishikori #12
    And obviously Stakhovsky #100-something (certainly a loss no worse than Sampras' loss to Bastl at Wimbledon in 2002)

    Improving at the age of 31-32 (as a 180-lb Serena Williams is doing) defies reason and logic....oh, and common sense.

    1. Serena is not improving. Her competition is just too weak and she is taking training much more seriously than before.
      I would rather be 180lbs and win than be skinny and take pictures.
      Federer lost to 2 qualifiers this year alone and if given the chance to play more qualifiers, he would have added more losses.
      Talking about consistency, his level is unmatchable.

    2. Thanks Illinoischeese (I will call you that from now on ;) )

      Glad you pulled out the stats. I can still remember the Kiefer match ...!

      I could do a similar list for Becker...

    3. Quite right. Serena is not improving. Like her coach says, she is "mutating". Captures it perfectly.

    4. The only one mutating is you, Richard. I heard you just turned 49 after celebrating your 50th birthday last year

    5. You must have been a riot in the schoolyard. I guess it escaped you that the mutation comment came from her coach. Too close to the bone for you?

    6. But your corrupted attempt to portray it a different way is your decision

    7. The only corruption here is occurring on the tennis court.

    8. Yeah, some are retiring from it and collapsing in the rankings as a result of it.

    9. Natural decline with age is not corruption. But peaking at 32 and a woman hitting the ball like a man is. Queen of the dopers without a doubt.

    10. On August 6th, 1990, Ivan Lendl was 30 years old and ranked #1 in the world.

      Here is a list of players he lost to in 1991:

      Derick Rostagno (twice) #23
      Wayne Rerreira #64
      Marc Rosset #41
      Andrei Chesnokov #32
      David Wheaton #20
      Grant Connell #81
      Renzo Furlan #61
      Magnux Gustafson #32
      Omar Camporese #42
      Christiano Caratti #79
      Wally Masur #55

      ....and here's 1992:

      Mark Woodforde #61
      Cedric Pioline #57
      Henrik Holm #114
      Patrik Kuhnen #98
      Jaime Oncins #72
      Marc Rosset #45
      Omar Camporese #32
      Gabriel Markus #53
      Jordi Arrese #32
      Paul Haarhuis #36
      Alexander Volkov #28
      Arne Thomas #152
      Richard Krajicek #44

      Proving "Eric Ed" wrong is like shooting ducks in a pond, really.

    11. It is erroneous to isolate stats without going the circumstances in which they occurred. Check all these players and you will see that they have lost many times to lower ranked players before the year you're posting. Federer had a different history and should be held to a different standard.

    12. In 1989 and 1990 Lendl's stats were as follows:

      15 titles/7.5 per year
      Losses to players ranked lower than #30 = 2 (1 each year)
      Losses to players ranked lower than #10 = 8 (2 in '89, 6 in '90)
      Average ranking of players that beat him = 15

      1991 and 1992

      4 titles (3 in '91, 1 in '92)
      Losses to players ranked lower than #30 = 21 (9 in '91 and 12 in '92)
      Losses to players ranked lower than #10 = 30 (14 in '91 and 16 in '92)
      Average ranking of players that beat him = 35

      It's simple to show that even the best of the best naturally decline rapidly.

    13. The topic at hand is decline. It doesn't matter if they lost to low-ranked players in previous years. The only thing that matters is whether or not they started losing to the same, or even lower-rannked, players with more frequency. In this case Lendl did lose to some lower-ranked players in previous years but upon turning 31 began losing to significantly lower-ranked players with significantly more frequency.

      In his case he began losing to players outside the top 10 four times as often and outside the top 30 ten times as often.

    14. The circumstances don't just include the number of times they lost but also their health, motivation, style of play etc

  13. I couldn't have said it better, Cheese. Federer hasn't collapsed. He's still top ten and a candidate to take part in the ATP finals. Most players would be very happy to reach that level at any stage in their career.

    1. It was indeed a collapse considering the difference of points that separates the top 2 or 3 and the 7th.

  14. "Eric Fed"

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you stated that you believe Nadal is a doper? I don't know of a single player that sweats more than Nadal.

    So if you think that Federer's PED's kept him from sweating then by your logic wouldn't Nadal also sweat very little?

    How on earth can one's lack of sweat be a sign of PED use to you when another player you believe to use PED's sweats more than anyone on tour?

    Does it have anything to do with "super dope," "ball-attracting strings" or "super vision?"

    1. All drugs are different. Notice how Nadal at some point started inexplicably sweating heavily while he used to sweat normally?

    2. Was Federer taking said drug in 2012?

      And, no, I didn't notice that "at some point" Nadal "inexplicably" started sweating heavier than he normally did. He's always sweats a lot. So did Roddick. So do a lot of people than I guarantee aren't taking PED's. I believe Nadal is on PED's but I don't believe the amount he sweats has anything to do with PED's.

      So tell me, when did Nadal start sweating heavier than normal?

    3. Not everyone noticed it. I did and so did others. We don't have the same ability to observe.
      I don't remember exactly when but i know it was a few years back. Maybe three

  15. On July 25, 1994, Stefan Edberg was ranked #3 in the world at the age of 27.

    Here is a list of players he lost to in 1995:

    Mark Philippousis #60
    MalVai Washington #49
    Sandon Stolle #199
    Mats Wilander #102
    Dick Norman #176
    Jason Stoltenberg #27
    Fabrice Santoro #45
    Karsten Braach #102
    Frederik Fetterlein #125
    Aaron Krickstein #45

    ….and here's 1996:

    Nicklas Kulti #71
    Jan Semerink #36
    Marc-Kevin Goellner #79
    Lionel Roux #112
    Cristiano Caratti #141
    Alexander Volkov #87
    Magnus Gustafson #37
    Mikael Tillstrom #58
    S;ava Dosedel #46
    Bernd Karbacher #59
    Sandon Stolle #125
    David Prinosil #50
    Jean-Philippe Fleurian #153

    Poor little duckies.