Author Topic: Mertov's Tennis Desk  (Read 6974 times)

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Offline Mertov

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2013, 05:26:46 PM »
Hi euroka,

The plans are concrete but the timeline and the costs have changed.  However, when it's all said and done, the only substantial space that will be added is the extra 5000-seat court on the park, and the alley leading to it, surrounded by trees and echological plants (latter mainly to please the echologists who are up in arms about the project's potential negative effects on the greenhouse and the park adjacent to the current facility.  It does not take a genius to see that the expansion will still not be enough to relieve the over-crowd effect, especially by the time 2016-18 period rolls around.

I just put up today's update (Update #4):
http://my.opera.com/mertov/blog/2013/05/26/roland-garros-update-4-outside-courts-erranis-brilliant-reply-fighting-the

Offline euroka1

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2013, 06:19:32 PM »
Hi Mert,

Thanks for the recap. Those are real crowd scenes.

I just read your # 4 report. I had watched the Blake-Troicki match. James certainly did melt away in the third set. Interesting that Blake feels so badly about losing. I always knew Roddick took it badly. In his earlier years there were recurring stories of beat up locker rooms and the like.  By now, Lleyton Hewitt ought to be used to it. It must be just the stimulus of competition that drives him and he does always put up a good fight.

One of my Sunday tennis friends said that they bring vultures in to Roland Garros to drive away the pigeons. Is this so? At the AO in Melbourne,  I recall it is the seagulls that are attracted to the place, particularly at night. Bad for both spectators and players!

Offline Mertov

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #42 on: May 26, 2013, 06:48:37 PM »
Hi euroka,

That is true!  Except that they are not vultures, some smaller bird.  Me and a coach, we talked to one of those guys during the qualifying, while they were training them :)
They tie some bells to them too, so they know when they come back from the sound.  it's actually some guy who has a farm little outside of Paris (he gave us his card but my friend kept it) and he trains them.  I did not even know such thing existed.  It was wild to listen to the guy explain..  We did not understand what he was doing with the birds at first, he was right next to Chatrier stadium releasing them up in the air and we heard the bells ring, we got curious..

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #43 on: May 27, 2013, 05:20:13 AM »
Great story about the birds! :)
I'm an beginner 'birder' and am especially interested in raptors.
A quick check re: this story yielded this pic.



Nice to hear you're enjoying your time at the outside courts!
Although the big guns occupy most of the tennis time on T.V., there are plenty of other players out there fighting to make a living.  That, coupled with the chance to get up close and see the action courtside is a thrill indeed.

The crowd problem sounds unpleasant at best.
Precious time lost between courts navigating amongst avenues packed with Parisians..... :(

Bon Chance on upcoming week magnifique Mert.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 05:28:40 AM by monstertruck »
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Offline euroka1

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #44 on: May 29, 2013, 04:21:21 PM »
I've just read update #6 .  :coffee:
http://my.opera.com/mertov/blog/

I was interested to read what  Mertov wrote about Monfils. He certainly throws himself into the game and I'm afraid Mert may be right at that Monfils may soon hit a brick wall at the French. I was reminded of a semi-final a couple of years ago when Monfils played Isner in the semi final. Then again there were multiple rain breaks and the match wound on until close to midnight Saturday with the final next day. Monfils won that but went down badly in the final on the Sunday. He is lots of fun to watch just because of all that energy physical and psychic.

Then on to the eternal losers. I expect that it takes a certain amount of talent just to be able to play and that if you can do it multiple times, this is always something you can put on your resume. It all comes down to how much you can put up with losing (see update #4 and reply #41 ).

The Lucas Pouille conversation got me thinking about the pleasures and pains of celebrity. Those 800 tweets are largely a sort of ego reinforcement for the senders, always a somewhat dangerous activity and best done without. But the challenge for the recipient must be how to deal with the collective image that the tweets, the cheers, and the crowds generate. If that collective image is taken too seriously, it can mean lots of trouble. I suspect that this is part of the Bernard Tomic problem, although he has his father to deal with, which is most likely a worse one.

The old advice "Know thyself" still holds good.  :nerdy:

« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 04:29:22 PM by euroka1 »

Offline Mertov

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #45 on: May 30, 2013, 04:19:08 PM »
Hi euroka,

Yes the tweeting and facebooking are out of control, in a good way or a bad way, depending on how you manage it as you say.  Players are constantly on their social media in the players' lounge, sometimes it loks strange to see bunch of them sitting next to each other, with no conversation and their eyes glued to their gadgets.  I espcially find it incredible how they begin tweeting and reading immediately following the handshake with their oppponent and walking off the court (espcially the winners, I suspect they are reading the congrats messages!)  This is very prominent in first rounds and qualifying rounds, since every win counts more for the lower-ranked players.

Today's update (#7) is up:
http://my.opera.com/mertov/blog/show.dml/63245202

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #46 on: May 31, 2013, 06:18:18 AM »
Hi euroka,

Yes the tweeting and facebooking are out of control, in a good way or a bad way, depending on how you manage it as you say.  Players are constantly on their social media in the players' lounge, sometimes it loks strange to see bunch of them sitting next to each other, with no conversation and their eyes glued to their gadgets.  I espcially find it incredible how they begin tweeting and reading immediately following the handshake with their oppponent and walking off the court (espcially the winners, I suspect they are reading the congrats messages!)  This is very prominent in first rounds and qualifying rounds, since every win counts more for the lower-ranked players.

Today's update (#7) is up:
http://my.opera.com/mertov/blog/show.dml/63245202
Strange indeed seeing the same nearly everywhere you go.
People attempting to 'connect' with others when the opportunity is right there in front of them to connect with the world around them. :Confused:
Strange that they give more weight to the virtual than the actual.
Perhaps the virtual has become the new actual.
But I digress.
 :paper bag:
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Offline Gawdblessya

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #47 on: June 02, 2013, 05:54:13 AM »
I've enjoyed your Roland Garros updates, Mertov.   Pity to see the inclement weather feature at RG in the first week, but your description of the French crowds still managing to enjoy themselves was an interesting glimpse into the atmosphere there. 

This quote from your 2nd report made me laugh:   

"""....After watching the American men play in the qualifying rounds, what I always knew was once again confirmed. They have truly developed a weird complex on red clay: it’s called the “On red clay, I must stay back on the exact type of balls that I would come to the net on hard courts with my eyes closed” complex! ............""

What a great name for a complex!  If you watched the Isner / Haas match, you might have been pleased to see JI come into the net & try to mix up his game a bit! 

You reported on how certain journalists try to get a rise out of players - the question put to Dimitrov about playing Djokovic.   It has always interested me how some in the media run with a "story" regardless of factual merit or by selectively highlighting a comment out of context.  Apparently, it keeps the wheels of the "news" industry turning.  Good for the journalist who put the correct context on whatever Dimitrov had said.  The problem is that not all such non-stories get corrected. 
 
And putting Errani on the spot about gay marriages seems tactless, and I like your take on her demeanor & the look that seemed to say "take a hike!!"  I'm aware that the issue of gay marriage has been a hotly debated one in France recently & perhaps it was considered a fair question for that reason.  But needling a player in some of these press interviews is par for the course. I was reading a response by Nadal to yet another question on drug testing & he is clearly fed up of such questions.

Thanks for your reports - I look forward to more.     :)
« Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 07:58:22 AM by Gawdblessya »
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Offline Mertov

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #48 on: June 03, 2013, 02:30:24 AM »
Thanks for the comments Gawd.  The latest update (#8) is now up.

And you are 100% correct about Isner.  He is the only American who does not shy away at all from coming to the net.  In fact, he served and volleyed frequently, and attacked the net more and more as the match progressed.  Out of the 12 match points that he saved, 4-5 of them were aces, but another 4-5 were him finishing the point at the net.  Do the other American players not see that?  I am not even sure any of them watched it.

monstertruck: "The virtual has become the new actual"..  That's brilliant! 
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 02:32:41 AM by Mertov »

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #49 on: June 03, 2013, 12:56:18 PM »
Yeah Mert, I puzzled over that for a bit.
Times change and that seems to be the way of the future for many young people.  Many are so wrapped up in every tiny little aspect of it that they've completely lost sight of the world (and the moment) around them.
Sigh.
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Offline Gawdblessya

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #50 on: June 03, 2013, 05:46:09 PM »
Hello Mertov!  - thanks for alerting me to your 8th report :

http://my.opera.com/mertov/blog/2013/06/02/roland-garros-update-8-did-simon-shake-federer-enough-bathroom-breaks-at-epid

Your take on Federer's form is spot on.  As a fan of his,  it isn't comfortable to read, and I quote :

""..... I believe there is still a high possibility for an upset simply based on Federer’s quality of play – or lack thereof – ............." 

but your assessment is irrefutable. 

As for the lack of action against dirty tactics, the ATP & WTA really are lax, aren't they, and players won't speak out either.  This quote from your report sums it up.

" ... in the women’s game, this has become a common tactic, unfortunately going unchallenged, because nobody wants to be the first “bad person” to say something about it....."

Talking of things going unchallenged,  I deem challenges without the teeth to achieve anything to be a waste of time.  A case in point is the Fuentes doping case in Spain.  What is your take on that?     
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 05:57:31 PM by Gawdblessya »
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Offline Mertov

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #51 on: June 03, 2013, 06:19:11 PM »
The Fuentes situation is shady at best!
 
And yes!  Challenges without the teeth are like war declarations without an army..  Not only are they a waste of time but also damage credibility..

Online Babblelot

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #52 on: June 04, 2013, 01:25:38 PM »
Another harsh indictment of the WTA. Definitely worth a rewrite in light of Wawrinka-Gasquet.

As for gamesmanship with respect to bogus stops in play, I don't see why players en masse would complain. Wawrinka used his bogus medical TO to halt Gasquet's domination, then Gasquet retaliated in kind when he ran out of gas. No reason for players to complain when it is a clear tit-for-tat strategy to be employed as a lifeline.

Change will come from rules changes, but as with any rule, it's subject to interpretation by paper tigers occupying the role of umpire.

Anyway, a rewrite is long overdue.


Aside: today's game is more physical, but is that a function of the rules changes and lack of enforcement of rules in place that give players every opportunity to recover between points/games?

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Offline Gawdblessya

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2013, 09:08:11 AM »
Here is the next report from Mertov,  number 9 from Roland Garros.

http://my.opera.com/mertov/blog/

Another interesting take on the events, Mertov.  I'm running out of free time for now, but will come back to discuss if you're up for it.  For now I'd like to suggest that you left out a key option in relation to Federer not making the changes he needs to make, given his poor form. You said :

""....Federer was bitterly disappointed at his play (which tells me he must either not be aware of the lack of quality, or he is in denial)..........."

And I would suggest that the key point which you do not consider, is that he CAN'T do anything about it.  For him not to be aware is out of the question in my view. This is one of the greatest players of all to date & if nothing else, he'll be aware of poor play. To be in denial would be out of the question too - the performance/results this year to date are self evident and he has a team who presumably feedback how he plays.  This leaves the option of matters being out of his control.  That he cannot raise his game for some reason.  Who knows which of these it it is & it may be a mixture of things.  In any event, as you say, things look bleak for Wimbledon.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 09:10:42 AM by Gawdblessya »
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Offline Mertov

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #54 on: June 05, 2013, 10:38:24 AM »
GBY, as usual, you pose an intriguing point of view.

Basically Federer talked like he had a bad day at the office (by the way, this should not mean he did not give credit to Tsonga, in fact, he kept reminding the media that Tsonga did not give him a chance to find his rythm, and at one point said not to forget to give credit to “good old Jo-Willie”).  I am not as sure as you that he was aware of the fact that the quality of tennis that he has shown during the clay court season, and especially in the first four matches here, would not be enough to beat Tsonga. 

If I understand you correctly, what you are saying that this is as good as he can get at this point, and can’t do anything about it, he better get used to it.  If that is what you are saying, I must disagree. 

I don’t agree that he can’t do anything about it.  While he is not at the top of his game any longer like he was in his prime years, but he can definitely play better than what he has shown in 2013.  I remember people saying that he would be on the inevitable decline in 2011, but he came back and had a great period in 2012.  He can still have one more like that, but he needs to understand (thus “be aware”) that what he has shown so far this year is not a simple “down period”. At this point, he is playing barely top-10 level.  I don;t believe necessarily that he is aware of that and I would be surprised if Annacone and Luthi say to his face straight “Roger, your level of play is terrible, the worst that it has been since 2003, and you will lose to players that you have dominated until now if it stays at this level, you are not even playing at top 5 level”.  So having a team does not necessarily translate into the truth being slapped in your face.  Tsonga match was not a “day where nothing felt right” like he said after the match...  It was nothing less than a typical day at the office for Federer’s 2013 version.  He played no better or now worst than the other days.  That is why I said prior to the match that I thought he would lose unless he played the best match of the year.  He probably would have beaten most players out there yesterday. But not Tsonga.  I also don’t agree that being in denial is out of the question.  He has been known to be in denial on certain things, for example on how to beat Rafa on clay, his coaches and friends have hinted over the years at the fact that Fed believes he already has the goods to beat every player on any surface without having to learn anything new (McEnroe, Wilander, his ex-coach Tony Roche, etc. all have implied this or said it explicitly, that he is stubborn). 

Offline Gawdblessya

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #55 on: June 05, 2013, 06:56:29 PM »
Thanks for your comeback, Mertov.  I understand your point about "being aware" better now.  In my earlier response to you, I didn't mean that Federer can't improve & play better per se , but that he simply can't sustain the consistency required to win titles anymore.
The level at which he would have to play consistently is not possible any more in my view. We will have to agree to disagree on this.

But I do agree that he can  play better, & avoid playing as poorly as he has done.  I can't say whether  is or isn't stubborn, but  it is obvious that he seems unable to raise his level for some reason. I suspect he is carrying a niggling injury - probably his back. His serve action is often noticeably off at times & he avoids going for some shots.  He is generally less confident around the court.

In the end, results talk louder than words.  And what they say this year can't be music to his ears!  I hope he can up his level to at least play well, starting at Wimbledon. 
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 07:00:09 PM by Gawdblessya »
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Offline euroka1

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #56 on: June 07, 2013, 01:51:25 PM »
Good to read the first of your reports for today, Mert.

http://my.opera.com/mertov/blog/

As you suggest, Nadal was playing the most consistently brilliant tennis while Djokovic had his ups and downs. It was a great match to watch.

The second semi was somewhat of a let down  but one could not help but applaud Ferrer throughout. His serve has improved a lot over recent years and it is amazing to watch him cover the court. If he plays like that, maybe he has a chance in the final, especially as he was able to get it done today in three fairly easy sets.


Offline monstertruck

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #57 on: June 07, 2013, 05:14:30 PM »
GBY, as usual, you pose an intriguing point of view.

Basically Federer talked like he had a bad day at the office (by the way, this should not mean he did not give credit to Tsonga, in fact, he kept reminding the media that Tsonga did not give him a chance to find his rythm, and at one point said not to forget to give credit to “good old Jo-Willie”).  I am not as sure as you that he was aware of the fact that the quality of tennis that he has shown during the clay court season, and especially in the first four matches here, would not be enough to beat Tsonga. 

If I understand you correctly, what you are saying that this is as good as he can get at this point, and can’t do anything about it, he better get used to it.  If that is what you are saying, I must disagree. 

I don’t agree that he can’t do anything about it.  While he is not at the top of his game any longer like he was in his prime years, but he can definitely play better than what he has shown in 2013.  I remember people saying that he would be on the inevitable decline in 2011, but he came back and had a great period in 2012.  He can still have one more like that, but he needs to understand (thus “be aware”) that what he has shown so far this year is not a simple “down period”. At this point, he is playing barely top-10 level.  I don;t believe necessarily that he is aware of that and I would be surprised if Annacone and Luthi say to his face straight “Roger, your level of play is terrible, the worst that it has been since 2003, and you will lose to players that you have dominated until now if it stays at this level, you are not even playing at top 5 level”.  So having a team does not necessarily translate into the truth being slapped in your face.  Tsonga match was not a “day where nothing felt right” like he said after the match...  It was nothing less than a typical day at the office for Federer’s 2013 version.  He played no better or now worst than the other days.  That is why I said prior to the match that I thought he would lose unless he played the best match of the year.  He probably would have beaten most players out there yesterday. But not Tsonga.  I also don’t agree that being in denial is out of the question.  He has been known to be in denial on certain things, for example on how to beat Rafa on clay, his coaches and friends have hinted over the years at the fact that Fed believes he already has the goods to beat every player on any surface without having to learn anything new (McEnroe, Wilander, his ex-coach Tony Roche, etc. all have implied this or said it explicitly, that he is stubborn).
I heard him say as much himself in an interview.
That was a real turn off for me.


In report #10, your observation that the key to Nadal's victory lay in the oft overlooked 3rd set which Nole 'donated' to the champ is spot on.  His incessant desire to fight, regardless of the score, fueled by his love of the game shows great depth of spirit.  Imagine how he suffered during his recent break from the game, watching others battle for glory while he was sidelined.  Talk about motivating!  I may not care much for his style of play or what I perceive as gamesmanship, but there is no denying he is the ultimate warrior on the court.
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Offline euroka1

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #58 on: June 07, 2013, 08:18:48 PM »
Thank you, Mert for #10 part 2.
It was good to have your on-site impressions. With all that hype, it is not surprising that the crowd felt let down too.

« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 08:21:39 PM by euroka1 »

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Mertov's Tennis Desk
« Reply #59 on: June 07, 2013, 08:43:45 PM »
As you noted Mert, perhaps the pressure was a bit too much for Tsonga.
He's not exactly 'cool as a cucumber' to start with.
Heap on the expectations of a nation and the moment may have been more than he could process.  Hopefully he learns from this experience.
The final itself holds no allure for me.
Both players are grinders so there's no contrast and as you noted, no contest barring unforseen circumstances such as injury.
And so it ends for me.
On to the grass!!! :))
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