Saturday, September 12, 2015

US Open 2015: Doping Control?

During the US Open, I have been asking reporters whether doping controls are being conducting. Few have response with the exception of Joe Fleming (see previous post).

However, I've now received a response from John Branch, who shadowed Serena Williams during the tournament. His response is troubling.

133 comments:

  1. I don't know why you guys even bother to discuss it anymore. When you see two ageing Italian players in the final, and a player who looks utterly dominant in his mid thirties (Btw he'll beat Djokovic tommorow) that says all you need to know.

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    1. "Utterly dominant in his mid thirties".

      One grand slam in more than 5 1/2 years is hardly "utterly dominant".

      Serena, who is about the same age has 9 in the same time period. As well, woman have traditionally had an earlier peak.

      By the way Nadal has 8 slams in the same period, despite the fact that defensive players like Nadal traditionally were washed up at 25 (Borg, Wilander, Hewitt, Ferrero,).

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    2. Oh lalala. Serena was playing who exactly? Federer was playing who exactly? Remove Djokovic and Nadal from the men side and Federer would have had 40+ slams and Djokovic and Nadal were heavy dopers. Serena at least can lose to anyone.
      Moreover, Serena started winning consistently when she got together win Gouglou Gagla. She would have won more in the past had she got an outsider as a coach. She was training more and got more serious about tennis.
      It is the count of slams on the men side as it is the overall achievement. Would you said Federer won only one slam and therefore he wan't dominant if he went to 12 consecutive finals? the opponents matter. Serena wasn't playing anyone. Federer is playing potential GOAT. The reason why he started doping again is that he realized his grand slam record is not safe.

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    3. Also, I don't think Federer has been 34 for the last 51/2 years.

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  3. Pennetta retires from tennis during her UsOpen winners speech? ... wow.

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    1. I would think since she had success on a hard court tournament, she would try the same new found form and strategy on the next hard court major, but she had other plans in mind. i think she's never been to the 1/4 of a major before

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  4. You'd be forgiven for thinking this year's US Open was written for an audience. So many twists and turns that would contend with any popular Emmy award winning series but the curtain closes on the Women's final after a penultimate climatic scene....

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  5. I am surprised he wouldn't know about doping tests. At least in cycling, it's very open and clear that winning riders (and others) have to be tested at the end of races. Reporters often talk about having to wait while riders go to the doping trailer...the podium presentations wait for testing. Does it happen in some secret place and time in tennis?

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  7. It's a shame that no Journalist can just ask the question in Press: "Have you been tested this tournament" . One would think that such questions were banned, I would not be surprised.

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  8. Pennetta wins slam out of nowhere, at the end of her career, and instantly retires - just like Bartoli.


    @mary: they are grabbed by the chaperone when they leave the court and taken straight to testing (so they can't adulterate the sample). I've heard of a couple this tournament, but off the top of my head can't remember what players.

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  9. Sure that guy from sports illustrated (Jon something) admitted they have questions but have no proof or power to investigate. I'd guess the attitude is like what'ca do? - perpetuate the lie and getting paid because of bills to pay and kids to feed kind etc.
    Lets be honest sports journalists are just an extension of the PR machine. Credibility is the dirt on the sole of a shoe that was stepped in at some point down the road.

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  10. "Every athlete must ask how they can be more open and transparent"

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2015/sep/13/every-athletic-must-be-more-open-and-transparent

    "But sports can no longer shy away from the uncomfortable. The landscape altered forever when the depths of Lance Armstrong’s deviousness came to light. The public are more cynical, less trusting. It is not enough for an athlete to say they are clean. It is not enough for friends to back them up. It is not even enough for a governing body to vouch for them. Instead, at every step, twist and turn they have to ask themselves: what can I do to be more open and transparent?"

    "The Sunday Times revealed that Nicole Sapstead, UK Anti-Doping's chief executive, sent emails to the head of the British Olympic Association after they began exposing the problems of blood doping in athletics. In them she said: “We’ll do everything we can to ensure the focus is on the positive news. The last thing we want is a story like this detracting from the [one year to] Rio countdown.”

    and finally.......

    "Often doping comes down to risk versus reward; the incentives of cheating against the likelihood of being caught. For most track and field athletes, however, the rewards aren’t that great even if they were to do something wrong. Surveys from the Track & Field Athletics Association and the US Track and Field Foundation have found that more than 50% of athletes ranked in the top 10 in America for their event earned less than $15,000 a year from their sport. That’s around £10,000."

    ^ Risk/reward ratios in tennis are insane.... IMO, it's just not feasible that there's not a systemic doping issue in the sport.

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    1. The risk vs rewards analysis is much more than just money. The body builders at the local gym earn $0 -- no matter how much they dope. The recent steroid raids turned up "2,000 US customers" (http://www.steroidlaw.com/2005/12/largest-dea-steroid-bust-in-history/). These can't all be professional athletes making millions of dollars -- or even professional athletes making anything.

      See also http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/28/sports/cycling/doping-in-cycling-reaches-into-amateur-ranks.html?_r=0 noting use of EPO among amateur cyclist which no realistic hope of ever going pro. (Athletes were 45 and 50 years old).

      The bottom line is, "winning" is a powerful motivator whether there is money involved or not.

      I think the major issue is the simple availability of a wide array of doping products and information on the Internet. 20 years ago, you needed a specialized doctor who was corrupt. Such doctors would only risk it if it was financially viable. In addition, it is not like you could advertise as a "doping" doctor -- it had to be word of mouth.

      Now, a few simple searches on the Internet can get you a wide variety of products -- many of them legal to purchase as "research chemicals." Poking a little further, you can easily find illegal ones as well. Dosages and training programs are also openly discussed. These drugs are not that expensive, and any athlete in the western world could afford them -- most people probably spend more on coffee.

      So, what can the sport do about it? I think it could highlight the risk portion of the risk vs. rewards equation. Rather than asking "Were there any doping controls at the US open?" (a worthless question -- of course there were, just like there were at the Tdf in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002,...2005).

      Rather ask the questions, "Where is Robin Soderling?" "How is Marty Fish doing?" "What exactly caused Serena's pulmonary embolism?" (Oh, yeah, the "foot" thing).

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    2. You're right that a lot of athletes will do anything to succeed. Surveys have suggested that athletes would shorten their lives for Olympic medals.

      But considering professional sport in a larger context, it's mainly about the Benjamins.

      If money were not part of the equation, the federations would be trying harder to make the sport clean, entourages would be less willing to engage in shady activities, and (most importantly) doping-enablers would not be incentivized to work with athletes.

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    3. Well, sure, just look what happened to ticket sales when Serena got eliminated: http://fortune.com/2015/09/11/usopen-tickets-serena-lost/

      Lance made every one money, Tiger made everyone money, Serena makes everyone money (I like watching Serena play). Who cares if you lose a testicle, developed a sexual disorder, and almost die from a pulmonary embolism. The money keeps rolling in. At the top of the sport - it is all about the money. But there is a lot more than just the top.

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    4. @acrus wrote...

      > Surveys have suggested that athletes would shorten their lives for Olympic medals.

      Doesn't being an elite athlete is pretty much every sport have life shortening effect? The ideal amount of exercise is far less than what is required to be a successful professional athlete (or even a successful amateur athlete).

      It's all a matter of degree. PEDs have the potential to end your life at a young age, and they no doubt add to the damage that excessive exercise already does.

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    5. Did you bother to check how much Federer made for tennis and makes every year? You will understand better. They wouldn't bother to take Henin out of the game if Serena was bringing them so much money because their rivalry was one of the incentives for people watching women tennis at the time

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    6. What a coincidence it was seeing Federer take over once the subtitute cash cow has started to crumble into pieces. Obviously, Djokovic is not likeable enough and can't carry the sport the way Federer or to a lesser extent Nadal has done it. So Roger, take your magical potion and play as many years as you can as long as you keep making us 100s of millions.

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  11. Rugby team Toulon accused of doping.

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/sep/08/toulon-investigation-doping-allegations-rugby

    Their boss posted this mage on-line, replicating Armstrong's most arrogant moment .. Terrible.

    https://twitter.com/RCTofficiel/status/641640346359889920/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

    Rugby team (Toulon) boss

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    1. The two pictures are almost identical, except Boudjellal has balls.

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    2. Dopovic doing it again. Hey, where is the "Federer is a doper" gang?

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    3. "Dopovic doing it again. Hey, where is the "Federer is a doper" gang? "

      Are you fucking serious? Federer's loss had absolutely nothing to do with fitness. Federer chocked in just about every important moment of the match. He was what? 4/22 on bps?

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    4. The winner's performance defending break points was very Serena-like. Novak has that same extra level. It's not just Roger choking but choking in the face of someone who can always come up with the extra juice so to speak.

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    5. Oh there you are. That's a convenient argument. Blame BP conversion. What makes a player miss BP chances? Uh maybe the player across the net who retrieves everything and never tires? Wake up.

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    6. Shadow: Did it cross your mind that you can convince them? Federer could have gone to 6 sets even they were allowed to do so. Apparently for many, if Federer dopes, he will win everything and if all of them dope, they will have a tie.

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    7. Patrick McEnroe just stated what I said: That most of those missed BPs were because of how well Djokovic played.

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    8. so basically Ed Federer is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't, Yet djoker is clean. LOL. You are a joke.

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    9. "Oh there you are. That's a convenient argument. Blame BP conversion. What makes a player miss BP chances? Uh maybe the player across the net who retrieves everything and never tires? Wake up."

      Er, I don't need to wake up. I know that Djokovic is a doper, but Federer went toe to toe with him until the final point of the match and was actually the better player for big stretches of it. BTW, Federer's bp conversion rate was shitty all tournament (33%), so it can't be put down to Djokovic's play only.

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    10. I'm not sure Eric watched the match but Djokovic played incredible defence of some break points and on others Federer just played passively. So 3 slam loses in a row perhaps it's time Federer adopted the AICAR/GW15/16 diet:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MRvw1vSivM

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    11. @Shadow

      I think what Lopi is saying is that this is third time in a row where posters have said that Federer will defeat Djokovic because he's more doped up and three times he's lost. So I guess Lopi is calling them out.

      Still doesn't mean Federer is not taking something though.

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    12. Lopi Lopi, where exactly did I say Djokovic is clean?

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    13. Eric Ed/Eric Edouard/Tennis_fan_1982/dtank77(?)

      Listen you clearly lack credibility since according to you all players are doped aside from Serena Williams.

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    14. I love Federer as much as anyone else, but this is not down to Dopovic having a significant physical advantage. His game matches up better to Federer's these days, and Federer ran more than Djokovic through the match. Federer choked on some very important break points, the missed forehand short ball crosscourt was a terrible shot.

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    15. dtank77? I only make doping allegations based on visible signs displayed by players. If I see convincing doping signs from Serena, I will stop defending her.

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    16. dtank77? I only make doping allegations based on visible signs displayed by players. If I see convincing doping signs from Serena, I will stop defending her.

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    17. @UntitledK9 yes that's what I meant. That's why I said he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. If he beats ND and wins a slam then he's doping and if he loses the final he's doping but just not as much as ND. Or maybe he is doping as much but his age is preventing him from getting across the finish line. I don't know if he's doping but I've always thought he seems the least likely out of the big 3. His game isn't based on power. He tries to keep the points short but last night it was clear that on long rallies he was toast. If Federer is doping then they all are so why aren't they tested? Isn't that why we're here? No testing at the USO? Why not? This is professional sport. Or are these guys just really good at skirting it? What happened to Cilic this year? He serves a doping ban, wins the USO and then disappears.

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    18. The issue of lack of testing means everyone is a prime suspect. But I urge you to watch how Federer won the second set. I really think he had this match, and it was a combination of tight play and over aggressive tactics that lost him the match. Not to say that Djokovic wouldn't have outlasted him if it was 2 sets to 1, but the issue here was confidence.

      Now does doping give you extra confidence? It probably does.

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  12. Federer's drugs are not as good as Djokovic's drugs it seems. Loses in 4.
    By the way Federer at the height of his powers may have won this match. This current Federer is not playing the best Tennis of his career as the commentators will like viewers to believe. They say things to hype up the sport.

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    2. I do agree with the comment by Shadow. Very poor mentality on break points.

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    3. > Federer is not playing the best Tennis of his career

      True, but he's not playing the worst tennis of his career either, and he seems to be improving of late.

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    4. "he seems to be improving of late."

      From 2013 yes but his overall form in 2012 was slightly better in my opinion. And he was still playing with a 90.

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    5. Nadal going downhill may have also helped with that. Having to meet Nadal over and over with a guaranteed defeat took a toll on him psychologiacally

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    6. Federer still ran more than Djokovic for this match, as has been the trend for the last few slams between the two. I think its mental more than anything, and Djokovic is clearly superior in that aspect.

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    7. The running clearly took a toll on Roger and his pattern has been to play too loosely when he gets tired. The thing that has been distinct about Novak is that he doesn't get as tired and his play isn't affected by his time on court or the amount of running he does. If anything, Roger's performance in this tournament convinces me that he is playing clean. He can win when the points are short and he limits his time on court.

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  14. The "arms" race is now interesting. Djokovic has now won 10 slams (9 after going gluten free). He's 4 behind Nadal and is catching up quickly. So question, will we see a rejuvenated Nadal next year, or will a new warrior arise just as Djokovic did in 2011?

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    1. Think the Djoker is gonna try to reach GOAT status rather than a newbie dethroning him. He seems to enjoy being worshipped. It was so funny how both Roger & Djoker were saying all the right things during their trophy interviews, but their body language was clearly saying something else. They clearly don't care much for each other, even Mirka (Roger's wife) was tenser than I've seen her & getting up after so many points! She's usually so laid back without a care. Part of me is predicting Nadal might have a great year next year given how he tanks every other year, but maybe this really is the end for him-----too much doping has rendered him helpless at this stage in his career.

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    2. It seems like Nadal has already been forgotten. All the hype leading up to the match is that this was to decide who the greatest of all time is. Djokovic is going to try and hang on to his status as #1 for dear life. Just think if it weren't for Wawrinka, Djokovic would have won the calendar Slam this year.

      Also, yes, Djokovic and Fed don't really like each other. Boris Becker has made some comments leading me to believe it is true.

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    4. MV,

      No, if Djokovic had won the French, he would have felt increasing pressure at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, just as Serena did, and he would have choked at some point, just as Serena did.

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    5. Federer saw the signs of someone eclipsing his 17 slam record and that is why he went back to his previous routine. Djokovic will be absolutely unstoppable in years to come. He also seems to play with pain and tend to fake gasping for air but he does that for hours and hours and hours. He recently said he feels as if he can play for many years. he doesn't feel any wear at all. He may end up winning more than 20 when all is said and done.

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    6. DanM, I don't necessarily think Djokovic would have crumbled under pressure had he won the French simply because doping helps the mind get rid of the weight of the moment. I would not have mattered. Dopers don't tend to lose their focus.

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    7. Eric and Edward, you are so boring with defending Serena. Have you lost your mind? I don't watch much women tennis but when I see Williams my eyeballs fail to see. She is either absolutely nutts or she is on some testosterone. I cannot else explain her behaviour on court. I have seen many of Jnaowicz matches who cannot behave but she is far worse and her attitude is like of 6 year kid rather than an adult.

      Why did she loose in semis? This I have watched from curiosity. She was juiced massively or she is mad.

      I would undestand that you defend some nice looking female players that you could stick on your wall but SW tennis is just awful to watch. She is strong as mule what makes the difference in the game. Crowds that attend the matches loves her because they barely recognise more than 5-6 people in the game and when they do come for the matches they want the stars to win - similar to american Wrestling (so be it Natal, Fed, Djoko or her). So she is there to confort them.

      BTW, it would be easier to defend Cilic that he is clean than her :)

      Wake up man! We are worried about you!

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  15. Doped or not, Novak was mentally stronger and that was the difference. I usually try to find any excuse when Roger loses but he BLEW all his chances. The match could have been a lot different had he shown some kind of mental resolve in the big moments but he simply didn't. In the 3rd set he had break points to potentially serve for the set but he starts pushing and miss timing balls. Djokovic was reeling in that moment and Rafa, or even Stan would have made him pay IMO (Andy would have probably choked too). Not really blaming doping for this one.

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    1. Roger definitely played ridiculously carelessly on several crucial points. Too much attack mode is also not good against the best defensive player. But Djoker would probably then have run him side to side wearing him out on most shots if he didn't attack & at his age he couldn't have hung in long enough to play those kind of points. Plus, Djoker is known for playing the crucial points better than anyone else. That's why he's #1. Now what allows him to do that? "Confidence"

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    2. Federer was almost TOO aggressive on a lot of those break point chances. There were a few balls he hit that were feet behind the baseline. I think it was part nerves and part trying to do too much because of Djokovic's defense.

      Current Rafa can barely beat anybody in the Top 50 these days. Barring some miraculous turnaround or routine change in 2016, he's done. Wawrinka is probably the only player out there who has the fortitude to stand up to Djokovic.

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    3. Routine change is not part of the answer. Hopefully, he is done for good.

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  16. For those who think Federer has just started doping, I tell them there is no way, he just started doping.
    The only reason why he accepted to decline is because he thought the 17 slam record would hold. Sampras would not have retired that early if he knew someone was capable of eclipsing his record of 14 slams. Federer has started being vocal about the court condition, the time taken between points etc once he realized Nadal was getting closer and closer to his record. That coincide with his rejuvenation. I don't think he would take a chance if he's never done it before to tarnish his 17 slams due to doping allegations just for the sake of winning one or at the most 2 slams. In these days where the media is present anywhere, someone who has no experience in doping can't thrust too many people to provide him with doping substances. All in all, either federer is doping now and he has doped before or he is not doping now. i will go with former. Cheers

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    1. "Sampras would not have retired that early if he knew someone was capable of eclipsing his record of 14 slams."

      - False, prior that US Open Sampras had not won a single title in over a year and he had been ranked outside of the top 10. He was clearly finished for whatever reason, that final US Open title was a god send.

      "Federer has started being vocal about the court condition, the time taken between points etc once he realized Nadal was getting closer and closer to his record"

      - False again. Federer first complained about Nadal's time wasting way back in 2006 and has always maintained his stance on it. Also Federer has spoken about how he's had to adjust his game over the years (from S&V) and how its unfortunate that there surfaces are similar. Once again nothing new, you can do better.

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    2. So why hasn't Federer retired yet? Do you think Federer winning one title in 51/2 is better than Sampras winning one title in over a year? What difference does it make if you can win a title being outside of the top 10? Has being #2 in the world helped Federer win any major this year? What about Murray and the remaining top 10? Should they all retire?

      I said Federer started being vocal about it which means he wasn't vocal about it prior to that. He always preserved his image. It doesn't mean he never talked about it before. Being "vocal" was a key word in the case I was making. Last year he was even saying taking too much time was possibly making them lose their audience if I remember correctly. you can sense the pressure he was trying to put on the tennis federation.

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    3. When Sampras hit 13 he'd already secured the record which was 12 slams for Emerson. Anything after that point was gravy. The fact that he played poorly after getting 13 is more indicative of him taking his foot off the gas after setting the record than anything else. I think it's safe to say Federer learned something from Sampras in that breaking the record is not enough, you need to create some distance so that the record stands for a while.

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  17. Whilst I think Eric Ed is coming over as a delusional conspiracy theory, I can't see any way that Federer is not doping now. In 2013 he looked on the way out. He now is going through other players, good, bad, and very bad as though they were gnats to be swatted. Only Djokovic the almost certain doper is capable of stopping him. This year this 34 year old man has reached two Grand Slam Finals, and won at least won Masters 1000.

    He won't retire until after the Rio Olympics at the earliest - he still wants that singles gold.

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    1. Just for the record, Federer has lost eight matches this year, to the following players: Djokovic, Wawrinka, Kyrgios, Monfils and Seppi. So it isn't the case that he only loses to Djokovic. But you also have to look at the draws to see whom he plays. He won 1/ 5 Masters events that he played. In 2013 he was injured and was trying out a new racquet. Or maybe you don't believe that. Nobody ever seems to believe that Federer is ever injured. But it does happen.

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    3. "In 2013 he looked on the way out"

      You don't believe he was injured? He started the year pretty well, defeating Tsonga and falling to Murray in 5 in the semi finals at the Australian open.

      According to him his first injury occurred in the match against Dodig in Indian Wells. You can see the point on YouTube, where he goes after a shot and then just stops short. The second injury occurred after he injured his back playing football in Hamburg before the tournament began. Between Indian Wells and the US Open his play was very uneven. It was not until Basel where it seemed that he was over his back problems.

      There was a poster here who mentioned that perhaps his injury was due to the introduction of the bio-passport and that he had to lay off his "healing" agents hence his injury.

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  18. Fed was always very good though. I think he's worse than he was, but everyone else bar Novak is struggling.

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  19. It is "incredible" how 34 Federer covered more distance than Djokovic, the supposed best defender, in their last two GS matches. Physics Defying stuff.

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    1. Of course, by the end of the match, Federer was exhausted and unable to maintain any consistency with his forehand while Djokovic was fresh as a daisy. It's not the distance run that matters, it's the impact that distance has on continuing performance.

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  20. Final stats:

    Federer:
    Total Time: 13 Hours 8 Minutes
    Total Distance: 37346.6 (7.07 miles)

    Djokovic:
    Total Time: 15 Hours 37 Minutes
    Total Distance: 51891.1 (9.83 miles)

    Final match (200 minutes) with Federer doing way more leg work:
    Djokovic: 10744.5
    Federer: 10962.3 (+217.8)

    -

    I presume all players received their standard one test per tournament (loser targeted and testing the champion). This is why Tennis will continue to have no credibility.

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  21. Is one test per tournament speculation or what the rules say? That's pretty pathetic.

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    1. Mary, it's the ITF's protocol and it has been well documented on this blog but for some reason all the links on the website are broken and I can't search the site to provide you with them

      The only slam where there was additional testing was carried out was in Roland Garros 2009 where the AFLD (French Anti Doping Agency) conducted additional off day testing, those tests were targeted.

      Since then the ITF has refused to cooperate with the AFLD in carrying out additional tests.

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    2. Surprise, surprise. The year when Nadal lost to Soderling in Roland Garros. He was probably threatened with being exposed unless he lost.

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    3. One test per Tournament? surely that's proof ITF know there's a problem and are complicit in the cover up. Pity no journalist wants to look further, hopefully a ARD type investigation will put them all to shame one day.

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    4. From "The Case Against Tennis" tab

      http://tennishasasteroidproblem.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/afld-v-itf.html

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    5. Thanks. As people on this blog have said many times; it's as if those in charge want the truth to stay buried. I still believe Djokovic will get caught. At some point tennis is going to have to sacrifice a big fish and I don't believe that Federer or Serena will be exposed, assuming they are doping, which I actually don't. Nadal is too popular as well, although catching a fading star might be perfect. So my guess is that his number of slams will eventually decrease...not increase.

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    6. http://nattyornot.com/the-real-reason-why-steroids-are-banned-from-sports/

      This is a great article.

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  22. Congratulations to Novak.

    He has won 9 SLAMS SINCE GIVING UP GLUTEN 4 1/2 YEARS AGO !

    Considering that he only won 1 in the previous three years, that it quite the boost that his new diet has given him.

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    1. Who got the bigger beat down this year: James Blake or Rodger Federer?

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    2. Even the cops are now gluten-free.

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    3. If Blake takes the proper steps, we might be able to compare the cash rewards too

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  23. The final from yesterday was nothing unexpected or that we haven't seen already. Close matches where Federer had more chances than his opponent, yet failed to terminate them in the crucial moments. That's where Nadal and Djokovic have always been better. They sense the big chances and just go for it. Roger lacks that killer instinct.

    All of them have probably been doping for a long time now, with varying doses, largely depending on their style of play. But you just can't give Federer a substance that will make him mentally tougher in important points. Not that Roger is mentally weak (probably stronger than everyone aside from Djokovic and Nadal), but compared to his two main rivals, he is extremely vulnerable.
    Federer has played 27 grand slam finals, of which he has lost 10 (9 of them against Nadal and Djokovic). He could have won about most of those (aside from 2008 Roland Garros, all of them could have gone either way). Same goes for grand slam semi finals and masters 1000.
    During crucial moments like break points, he either attacks too much, forcing it unnecessarily or stays passive waiting for a mistake (which 95% of the times won't come from peak Djokovic or Nadal when not making them play uncomfortable shots).

    Federer can win one more grand slam imo if he keeps this consistency, he just has to get more clutch during crucial points. If no new player who can beat Djokovic consistently surges into the scene soon, there is no one stopping him from getting 20 grand slams. He seems to get better or maintain his level year after year, even though he is already old (thanks to PEDs his age is now considered young). In that case, Nadal and Federer will likely do everything in their power (increasing drug doses and changing tactics when playing Djokovic) to stop Novak's dominance, especially Nadal, since he is the only one who can rival and at times beat Djokovic's mental toughness. I don't have much hope for Murray. He might win one more grand slam tops. He chokes even more than Federer most of the times and his game is too defensive and lacks big weapons to beat the big 3 consistently and in grand slams.
    Wawrinka might steal 1 or 2 as well, but he is way too inconsistent.

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    1. Good points. But remember that when your opponent is chasing down everything, you are going to go for more on your shots, mis-hit and push them wide of the lines.

      I too am certainly not counting out Nadal from winning more slams. He will surely be looking for a new formula, and come back next year with the excuse of 'needed a year to get over my injuries, found my form again'.

      He'll start it before Melbourne and have perfected it by the (euro) clay season just in time for a new assault at RG.

      Or am I just being cynical? :-)

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  24. It seems that Magnetotherapy, Quantum Xeroid Consciousness Interface, or even acupuncture needles might be added to Novak's regimen of Magical-Eggs and gluten-freeness.........

    Dr. Igor Cetojevic, M.D. to the rescue!

    "During 2010 - 2011, Dr. Igor worked with the Serbian tennis star, Novak Djokovic, helping him to reach the number one ranking in the tennis world."

    http://www.quantummedicum.com/dr_igor.html

    I enjoyed the irony of needles being something a Serbian tennis star might actually embrace, for a change, lol

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    1. I know this is old news but still.............. holding a slice of bread against your belly to diagnose a food allergy..........No comment necessary.


      http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/revealed-the-diet-that-saved-novak-djokovic-8775333.html


      "It was a life-changing moment. Novak Djokovic was in Croatia in the summer of 2010 for a Davis Cup tie and was having a consultation with Dr Igor Cetojevic, a nutritionist and fellow Serb.

      Cetojevic told Djokovic to stretch out his right arm while placing his left hand on his stomach. The doctor then pushed down on Djokovic’s right arm and told him to resist the pressure. The strength Djokovic would feel in holding firm, the doctor said, was exactly what he should experience.

      Next Cetojevic gave Djokovic a slice of bread. He told the bemused player not to eat it but to hold it against his stomach with his left hand while he again pushed down on his outstretched right arm. To Djokovic’s astonishment, the arm felt appreciably weaker.

      It was what Cetojevic had expected. His crude test had been to discover whether Djokovic was sensitive to gluten, a protein found in wheat and other bread grains."

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    3. Pure quackery. He should have just pushed him into the deep end of a swimming pool and told him to swim.

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    4. I have never lost a match while holding a piece of bread against my stomach.

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    5. I tend to suffer from "bread-rage".

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    6. I am going to secretly rub my opponent's clothes with bread when she isn't looking.

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    7. Seriously, holding a slice of bread against your belly to diagnose a food allergy. So then what happens if you leave the bread there, a reaction on par with a scene from Alien?
      No wonder people are skeptical when they hear about voodoo style diagnosis and treatments from the "specialists"...https://youtu.be/d4glZPIaGH4?t=51

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    8. That Dr. Igor deserves the Nobel Prize for Medicine. I hope he was well rewarded.

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  25. Djokovic gets stronger as matches get longer too. Watch his AO, Wimbledon, or USO finals. Especially the first two, Murray and Federer could not keep the pace. Come the fourth set Djokovic was Better than he was at the beginning of the matches. He just Does Not Tire!

    As for the French Open, I can only think that Djokovic choked that away. That and Stan matches up well against him when he is on song. Djokovic wanted his career (and calendar year) slam, and choked. Stan was playing well, as he does against Djokovic for whatever reason (AO 2013, 2014, and Uso 2013, plus Roland Garros this year). The question is, does Stan get his newfound championship winning form from, in part, doping?

    He did seemingly come out of nowhere really in his late 20's. You might fluke one slam (cilic, del potro), but two? He is very suspicious. But, why is he so average most of the year? Is he just lazy or mentally flaky despite doping? Or not doping but occasionally plays out of his skin? I do not know but am open to theories.

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    1. Stan stops eating bread at the slams.

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    2. Clay is his best surface. He's only ever beaten Federer on clay.

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  27. WADA published their prohibited association list today.

    There are 114 individuals with whom interaction is forbidden. Interestingly, >60 are Italian (!!)

    https://wada-main-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/resources/files/wada_prohibited_association_list_with_disclaimer_en_14sept2015.pdf

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    1. Certainly a very colorful list, Italians do dominate the here i looked at some names to get some background on the individuals and where they fit into from industry prospective. Some of the names are probably too obscure to have ready available information on but i found a couple.
      The British guy was in the boxing industry. he even got his daughter involved ...http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-28641672
      The Jamaican was a doctor for the Regge Boyz football team and was involved in the Jermaine Hue suspension...http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Reggae-Boyz-Doc-Out-_14817554
      It would be interesting to get some background on the others and what industries they work in. When i get more time i might scrutinize the list further.

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    2. 60 Italians?! That's insane.

      Wonder if any journalists out there will do the legwork to see if any of these banned individuals has links to current athletes.

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    3. MV - Luis Garcia del Moral is on here with a life time ban. you'd think since any journalist among them would write something considering he has a link to some players, one of his ex patients even ruined the news sensation of the year. Also it will be quite in the news room i'd guess until the finals (some AO).... but how are they filling the void? on eurosport for example an article about how Andy Murray's dog had become an author. This was filed under tennis and news!!!

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  28. I just "caught" a "doped" black female on line. Her name is BrittneBabe. These black girls tend to look the same when they exercise and I don't know why. Lesson of the day: Know yourself

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  29. "But our numbers suggest doping isn’t an issue."

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/sep/16/rugby-drug-programme-sport-anti-doping

    "Rugby union does not have a problem with steroids at the elite level – and its “strong and effective” anti-doping programme is the envy of many other sports, according to world rugby officials.

    On the eve of the Rugby World Cup, the sport’s anti-doping compliance manager, David Ho, said the game has beefed up testing procedures and introduced the athlete biological passport last year. He also said that the four positive tests from more than 2,100 elite samples in 2014 was not down to complacency but better education and players adhering to the sport’s ‘values’.

    Ho said: “We have increased our budget alone by 30% and we run a programme that is as effective as we can with the budget we have. But our numbers suggest doping isn’t an issue."


    "Players adhering to the sport’s ‘values’."

    Athletes do love their "values".... Problem is that hematocrit, carbon/isotope ratio, and other glow-time values might be the ones they're really focused upon.

    Add Rugby union to the sports in the deepest denial.

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    1. LOL! Reading this was absolutely hilarious! In rugby there is absolutely no one, NO ONE who doesn't use steroids.
      Those guys are built like juiced powerlifters or off season bodybuilders, which are walking pharmacies.
      NFL, rugby, weightlifting and track and field all abuse steroids.

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    2. Not to mention those corrupt anti doping agencies and the higher powers who control these sports are well aware there is no such thing as a clean sport at the elite level.
      They just come up with this moronic politically correct bullshit that the average brain dead audience swallows without problem.

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  30. Federer is the biggest doper in tennis. I just cant understand how an earth people come up with an idiotic response that he is the one less likely. The only reason there is less noise about him he is protected by the tennis media and former great players like no other player in the history of the sport. The main reason is for that his style of play loved by the tennis world and former great players. His performance is as fish as Serena in the women game. İf not Djokovic he would have multiple GS season age 34. The only reason Serena won more than Roger the last 2 years is weaker competition in WTA. Roger is the ultimate doper and there is also match fixing going when ever he plays Wawrinka.

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    1. I kinda agree. There's probably more match fixing aside from Wawrinka vs Federer.

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    2. However, his level of talent and skill are hard to match and there is no denying he is one of the best ever.
      The thing with him and doping is that his body looks so average. His arms are lean and his legs are ok ish. His mid section has always been kinda chubby. It's his great stamina and how fast he moves on court and hits the ball the things that are amazing and give a hint that he might be doping. He probably only takes endurance and stamina boosters.
      Compare that to Nadal, Djokovic and Murray at their best. Not only they have better stamina than Federer, but their explosiveness to reach a ball that's far away really fast and their leaner/more muscular bodies.
      Look at Djokovic, he is ripped everywhere, while he used to be kinda soft before, when he just got to world No. 3 in 2007. His upper body is skinny and small, but his legs have decent size and are ripped.
      Murray was scrawnier when he started, although he has always been lean. He gained a little muscle and tremendous explosiveness.
      Nadal was like that since 2005 probably, but upped the doses as years went by.
      He'll probably get back to his best really soon.

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    3. And such biggest doper has not been able to match up Nadal´s or Dopovic´s stamina levels? How curious...

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    4. Body type is the least important thing to know who is a doper who isnt. Petr Korda was even leaner than Fed as a player. Fed age 34 shouldnt be a main rival of Djokovic at this stage let alone matching him in stamina levels. However ı have yet to see Fed lost a GS final because of tiredness.Fed fans acting like he starts to cramp or something as the match gets longer.Yet to see such a thing even ONCE from him. When it comes to Fed talent ı am not convinced one handed backhand is the ideal way of playing tennis anymore but thats the main reason old commentators people who loves classic tennis loves him more and thats why you hear less fishy stories about him either. He look done and dusted in 2013 what he done the last 2 years by no means normal.

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    5. 1. Of course how your body looks matters. Not all forms of doping will affect it dramatically, but steroids will.
      2. Damn Petr Korda took Nandrolone and was 6'3", 160 lbs?! WTF! Well that's really an exception, as normal males who take nandrolone will look much thicker.
      3. Federer is not lean. Only his arms. Hislegs are decent and his mid section is kinda fat. He lacks muscle mass and definition.
      4. Are you defending Djokovic though? Dude is already 28, which is getting old already and keeps improving. Not to mention his physical condition is inhuman. Federer competes with him because of his talent and yes possibly doping, but Djokovic seems to own him already at grand slams.
      5. Federer's biggest weakness is his mental strength, not his backhand nor stamina. Compared to Nadal and Djokovic that is.
      6. So maybe he pretended he was injured most year to come back better when doped? Are you saying that? Then why was he so good throughout 2012 and all of a sudden he had such poor results?

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    6. Also, it's very apparent Djokovic intentionally plays below what he can do during early rounds or at smaller tournaments. Sometimes he will lose the second set after winning the first and then the third goes 6-1 or 6-0.
      Then people naively think Federer due to winning matches more convincingly on earlier rounds will beat Djokovic. Federer plays close to his best throughout the whole tournament, while Djokovic only does it at the finals or when he is about to lose.

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    7. Not the biggest doper for sure, but chances are he dopes.

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    8. Astonishing to see how certain "experts" here don´t include the increase in unforced errors among possible signs of fatigue. While others sentence that improving beyond 28 makes someone suspicious just because it´s too old. Assaulted by misinformation and trolling, this site risks ruining its reputation.

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    9. Federer just lost the US Open in part due to tiredness. Loss of focus and control of his forehand are absolutely signs of fatigue. Cramping is a sign of heat related illness and or a specific kind of muscle weakness. It is not the only evidence of tiredness. Federer made some stupid mistakes that aren't attributable to anything in particular but it was clear that he did not have the stamina to compete at Djokovic's level for a full three sets. The notion that to compete at 34 is per se evidence of doping is unfounded cause and effect.

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    10. Well said, Mary. Common sense, a valuable commodity. I´d add: as Federer rushes into errors when playing any of the two tireless warriors, one gets the impression he is just forced into that by his awareness of the unreal stamina level of the opponents. Standing up after defeat and trying again is no sign of mental weakness in my book.

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    11. Federer playing with one hand is what gets him to mishit since Djokovic plays repeatedly to his backhand to get him tired. It has nothing to do with a lack of doping. Playing 2 hand backhand allow the right/left shoulder and arm to rest a little and kipping it fresh. If Djokovic and Nadal played with one hand backhand, they will be mishitting more often as well.

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    12. if Federer never gets tired because he's all doped up then why does Djokovic play "repeatedly to his backhand to get him tired?"

      And why does it work so well if Federer never gets tired?

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    13. Being doped doesn't mean you can't get tired during long rallies. Even Djokovic and Nadal everyone is almost certain are doping get tired duriing long rallies. When Djokovic was beating Nadal in 2011, he was playing repeatedly to his back hand till he mishit. It doesn't mean Nadal wasn't doping then.
      Learn and understand the game. These kind of question make me wonder if you watch any tennis match at all

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  32. Tom Hauser went after USADA, alleging less-than adequate handling of anti-doping issues in professional boxing (notably relating to the Mayweather fight)..... USADA have right come back with a 26 page rebuttal, in which they they claim there were no less than 40 inaccuracies in the original article.......

    http://www.usada.org/usada-response-to-inaccuracies-misleading-information-professional-boxing-article/

    http://www.usada.org/wp-content/uploads/USADAs-Detailed-Correction-to-SB-Nation-Article-by-Tom-Hauser.pdf

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    1. They should change their name to USSRDA. That "rebutal" is so full of equivocation, misrepresentations, and out-right lies, it seems like it was written by some Soviet Commissar.

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  33. 'Everyone's doping"

    http://www.propublica.org/article/raids-steroid-labs-suggest-market-for-steroids-beyond-elite-athletes

    Interesting article.....

    The author co-authored a piece for SI in 2008 (with one L. Jon Wertheim), about a steroid trafficker Tony Fitton, who was active doping athletes in the 80's.

    Also an intersting article.
    http://www.si.com/more-sports/2008/03/11/steroids-godfather

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  34. https://twitter.com/BenRothenberg/status/644684278991876097

    Interesting exchange.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  36. Where's all the Murray doubters now?

    Djokovic has suddenly went very ordinary since doping came further into the spotlight this year.

    A doper and the worst of tour for gamesmanship. Sooner he is outed, the better

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