Madhitter: what did you take away from the tournament?
The Baumer: well to use a miami analogy: djokovic is now lebron; nadal is d-wade; and federer is chris bosh.
MH: i’m not the most well-versed in basketball but being from cleveland, i’m assuming you’re calling nole a traitor?
TB: not exactly. although people at Wilson and Adidas probably don’t like him much. i mean, at least on hard courts, he’s the best of the holy trinity in men’s tennis. to use a more recognizable parallel: he’s lennon; nadal is mccartney; and federer has become George Harrison. murray is playing a pretty good Ringo at the moment.
MH: remember when nadal used to beat nole in those final set tiebreakers?
TB: routinely. were you surprised that it was nadal stepping on his tongue and grabbing his shorts at the end of the match?
MH: i was. i kept thinking of “my two dads”; what i mean is, i remember the first time i beat my dad in tennis. it was huge and he never beat me again. i think nole has beaten his two fathers – if you can go with that stretch.
TB: I’m with you. This was his rite of passage. Wait…are you saying Federer reminds you of Paul Reiser?
MH: yes. he’s even sort of playing like him. I can’t remember the other guy. I’m confusing it with “full house”
TB: i think novak has outclassed federer for a while now. the only thing he has left to do is try to take out rafa on clay. but that’s a big ask
MH: i’m sure rafa is thrilled to be moving to europe now. but novak has played rafa the closest on clay over the years
TB: before these last two tournaments i never believed novak could beat nadal best-of-five given the physical nature of their matches; especially on clay. now i’m not so sure.
MH: he looks incredibly fit and those breathing problems seem to have faded
TB: winning has incredible healing properties. what about Federer? has he officially been relegated to the best of the rest? that match against rafa was tough to watch.
MH: he can barely even come close to winning a set against either one. it just seems he has nothing to hurt either guy with. at least sampras always had the serve when he started to fade
TB: and Agassi to still kick around. federer is such a proud guy it’s hard to envision him turning to new game plan. what about the women? if federer’s semi was tough to watch, the women’s final was impossible to listen to.
MH: true. but with the women hurting so much these days, it’s pretty much the only thing they can cling to. at least it’s something!
TB: will azarenka stick around this time?
MH: i’ve been thinking about that a lot. she looked amazing when she won miami the last time around and then just faded. her game is incredible when it’s on – i think you and i watched her play at the us open last year and couldn’t believe she wasn’t top 3 – while she struggled against niculescu
TB: there is definitely a feast or famine quality about her game. but given the spotty play at the top of the rankings there’s no reason she shouldn’t be in the discussion.
MH: i agree. really, who else is there so far this year? and clijsters seems fragile at the moment
TB: nobody. wozniacki is kind of like Obama in 2012: favorite by default. after her, who would you pick to win Roland Garros?
MH: i have this really weird feeling about schiavone. call it the capriati syndrome.
TB: you think she’s going to smoke crack in a sleazy motel room?
MH: no. I think she’s going back-to-back.
TB: bold call. i already owe you a beer from this tournament. if schiavone pulls off the repeat I’ll make it a case.
MH: i’ll hold you to it.