Nadal gets on the couch
Some would call it introspective; others typical Rafa. Nadal is not pleased with his form thus far at Roland Garros, and he’s not ashamed to admit it. In fact, his form in previous years – years in which he won the title – were often just “so-so” according to the defending champ. Sorry, but that’s like when Dirk Nowitzki missed only two shots on his way to busting 40 on the Thunder, and lamented his lack of rebounding. We’ve seen this possum act from Rafa: play up the abilities of his opponents as being superior to his own, only to leave with the winner’s check and hardware. It sounded a little more genuine when there was someone ahead of him, but it doesn’t work quite as well when he’s No. 1 seed at a tournament he has owned. Oh, and tennis has become too much of a “job” for him, too. Somebody get the kid some Prozac and a Kleenex.
Keep an eye on this Federer kid
Five opponents and 15 straight sets. There’s obviously still some life left in that undersized racquet. Can Fed derail Djokovic? Probably not. It was pretty astounding the way Djokovic turned back Del Potro’s missiles without much difficulty. And he completely outclassed Gasquet. But after getting knocked out of the last two Slams by Novak, having the chance to stop the Djoker’s streak and prevent him from getting the No. 1 ranking – at least temporarily – has got to be mouthwatering to Federer. Like a heaping plate of gluten-filled revenge.
Four days without work is a good thing
If Djokovic becomes mortal and loses to Federer, his inactivity due to his quarterfinal walkover against Fognini will be propped up as a possible culprit. Which is nonsense. Any player would want the extra rest from the physical and mental fatigue of a Slam. It’s not as though Djokovic was just rounding into form and gaining some self-belief heading into the quarters. The guy has Trump confidence.
It’s always something with Murray
Helluva effort coming back from two-sets down to Troicki. Murray looked done for in the fifth, too, down 3-5, 0-30 on Troicki’s serve. Perhaps most impressively, he did it on a bum ankle. It’s never easy with Murray. If it’s not an injury there’s the overbearing British press, or coaching turmoil, or vomiting, or that time of the month, or mommy issues. Even with his prodigious talent, it’s getting harder to see “Andy Drama” as a future No. 1.
The French are still flying standby
Another year and another empty trip for the hometown boys. Monfils, Gasquet, and Tsonga are a gifted trio. While broadcasting one of his matches, John McEnroe declared that Monfils is probably the best athlete ever to play pro tennis. Justin Gimelstob said Gaquet oozes talent from his body (or something icky like that). And Tsonga still looks like a young Muhammad Ali. Yet there doesn’t seem to be the next Yannick Noah in the bunch. Although something about “La Monf” screams pop star.