Author Topic: Pacific Life Open Draw  (Read 5298 times)

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Offline tennis_guy_andrew

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« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2005, 12:31:29 AM »
Well, about Safin...I've never seen a grown man play like such a 12 year old.

Drysdale and McEnrow were commenting that they should let Safin "get it out of his system" and continue..I don't agree at all- everyone warning he gets he deserves. There is no excuse for acting like a child. There are other ways to deal with mental frustrations.
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Offline Tennis4you

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« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2005, 06:57:19 AM »
Did he crush any racquets yesterday?
Good Luck on the Court!!!
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Offline tennis_guy_andrew

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« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2005, 10:55:06 AM »
He broke one, but didn't snap it in half.
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« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2005, 11:03:58 AM »
Great analysis MC il lLogic!  I agree with all your points, especially about Federer.  I have tapes and just marvel at his calmness while hitting a 96mpr forehand!  I said "how does he do that?"  It's like the sprinters in a race... When you see them running in slow motion, their faces are so relaxed that you can see their jaws just moving.  The ones struggling to catch up are straining.  Federer is like the guys winning the race.  His face is so relaxed that it doesn't seem like he can actually hit the shots that hard, but they come back fast (and most of the time) acturate!  I didn't think anyone else saw this. ://

Offline Pacer

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« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2005, 11:25:43 AM »
I'm going to have to disagree Logic, I don't think a "lesser" player going for the same shots as Federer would be presumed reckless. Federer play patterns are really not that extraordinary, there actually quite simplistic. He uses cross court patterns that most players are taught, he's not doing anything new  and players play those same patterns all the time.What makes Federer so good is how consistent and effective he is in the execution of very simple play patterns. My sister is 11 and she uses those same play patterns, so it's not difficult. That's why  all the top players are scratching their heads trying to figure out how to beat this guy, becaue he's uses simple play patterns and kicks their butts with them. If it were a huge serve or huge groundstrokes players would fidure out a way to defeat him. It's how he  effectively    excutes a simple play style is what sets him apart and leaves the rest of the field puzzed.


And Nadal at 18 has to be the most mature 18 yo player I've seen in a long time, as far as he's game I mean. That's what makes him someone to look out for.
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Offline Arcforce

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« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2005, 09:27:22 PM »
Sharapova vs Mary Pierce is on right now. Even tho I think its unrealistic, I'm pulling for Mary to whoop Maria in this match. I just really think that Mary is going to get outhit but I'm hoping she can come up with something against Sharapova. Its so good to see Sharapova lose :)

Offline Betsmoyo

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« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2005, 09:31:49 PM »
Quote from: "Arcforce"
Sharapova vs Mary Pierce is on right now. Even tho I think its unrealistic, I'm pulling for Mary to whoop Maria in this match. I just really think that Mary is going to get outhit but I'm hoping she can come up with something against Sharapova. Its so good to see Sharapova lose :)

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Offline MC ill Logic

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« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2005, 10:06:22 PM »
Quote from: "Pacer92110"
I'm going to have to disagree Logic, I don't think a "lesser" player going for the same shots as Federer would be presumed reckless. Federer play patterns are really not that extraordinary, there actually quite simplistic. He uses cross court patterns that most players are taught, he's not doing anything new  and players play those same patterns all the time.What makes Federer so good is how consistent and effective he is in the execution of very simple play patterns. My sister is 11 and she uses those same play patterns, so it's not difficult. That's why  all the top players are scratching their heads trying to figure out how to beat this guy, becaue he's uses simple play patterns and kicks their butts with them. If it were a huge serve or huge groundstrokes players would fidure out a way to defeat him. It's how he  effectively    excutes a simple play style is what sets him apart and leaves the rest of the field puzzed.
I really don't see it that way.  I see no real predictable pattern with Federer.  Yes, he'll keep the ball in play by hitting cross court but he can change and disrupt the rhythm of a point faster than anybody I've ever seen.  He unleashes winners more unexpectedly than anybody I've ever seen.  Most players you sort of know when a ball is going to their strike zone and they might go for a big shot.  Guga and maybe Korda at their best are the only other players who comes close to the way Federer hits winners out of seemingly nowhere.  There's just no predicting.

Add to the fact that Federer is arguably the best in every category and I think you have a player who is uniquely equipped to play without preconceived patterns.  In some matches, I swear he lets his opponent establish the pattern only to end the point whenever he wants to with one swift swing of his racket.  I think this is why he's been so successful without a coach, because he's so well-rounded he can play on near sheer instinct without backing himself into a corner -- because no matter what the nature of the point, he can handle it.  

For another player to try to attempt a winner whenever they "feel" like it would be foolhardy.  And we would know when they're going for too much the same way you can tell when a basketball player is trying to create a shot that he's not capable of creating.  With Federer, you never get the sense that he's going for something he's not capable of doing.
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And Nadal at 18 has to be the most mature 18 yo player I've seen in a long time, as far as he's game I mean. That's what makes him someone to look out for.
He's a beast on clay.  His forehand has got so much action on it.  Just sheer nastiness.  I'm looking out for him, too.  He seems to be the most popular player around these days.  Nobody hatorades on him yet.

Offline Pacer

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« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2005, 11:31:47 PM »
I didn't say anything about Federer being predictable. Players that play at a competitive level are taught patterns of play to set up points. My statement was that Federer uses basic patterns that most competitive players are taught, he takes it to another level because his execution of these patterns are second to none. Players use patterns so that they can set up the shot that they want. When Federer unleashes a winner it's because he uses a pattern to set that up, it's not just by chance. Using patterns doesn't make you predictable, it means that you know what you need to do to set up a point so that you can end with your best shot. Federer uses his patterns to set up his best shot better than anybody. It might seem like Federer just goes for winners out if the blue, but watch for his previous shot, that shot is the shot he used to set up that winning shot. That's what players call patterns.Allot of the patterns he uses other players possess as well but can't execute as well as he can.You were saying if other players try his shots then they would be reckless and I said that they try his shots all the time. That doesn't make them reckless they just can't execute like Federer. So patterns don't make you predictable, if you didn't know how to use patterns as a competitive player you wouldn't know how to set up points.
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Offline MC ill Logic

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« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2005, 04:16:06 AM »
Pacer, we may essentially be in agreement.  What I was responding to was this:
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I'm going to have to disagree Logic, I don't think a "lesser" player going for the same shots as Federer would be presumed reckless. Federer play patterns are really not that extraordinary, there actually quite simplistic. He uses cross court patterns that most players are taught, he's not doing anything new  and players play those same patterns all the time.What makes Federer so good is how consistent and effective he is in the execution of very simple play patterns.
I don't know what cross court pattern you're talking about.  Maybe I just never noticed and I will after you explain.  With players like Agassi and Roddick, it's pretty clear what they're trying to do, but what I meant by predictable is I've never noticed Federer executing a pattern consistently, so in effect I guess I'm questioning whether he really has any go to patterns at all.  It simply seems like he does whatever he feels he needs to on that day to win since he basically can execute most any shot he wants.  

You say he's been taught the simple patterns and he executes these simple play patterns to perfection.  I don't see it, but if you point them out that would really be cool.  Most players settle upon their favorite patterns in hopes of dictating play.  Their patterns will hopefully allow them to execute the shots they feel comfortable hitting, allow them to play to their strengths.  I truly believe he plays more on instinct than any top player I've ever seen.  Yeah, you see lower ranked, ultra-talented underperforming guys play recklessly all the time, but Federer plays almost the same instinctual tennis they do but in his case it doesn't seem reckless at all.

I guess I'm saying I just don't see the pattern.  And by that I mean he seems to change patterns on any given point, on any given shot, which sort of, at that point, makes the whole notion of "pattern' meaningless.

Offline Pacer

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« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2005, 11:44:07 AM »
The basic crosscourt pattern is to hit deep or wide crosscourt. Ofcourse there are modifications to keep your opponent guessing, but the first rule of baseline play is the player best able to win crosscourt rallies will probably win the match. Since tennis is a game of errors the safest place to hit the ball is crosscourt. If a player is more consistent than their opponent at hitting the ball crosscourt  they will win most of the rallies. A competitive player will get into a high number of crosscourt rallies. Federer follows the same basic rules that everyone else does he's just better. When he gets the ball he intended to get he'll go inside out ,down the line or back crosscourt for a winning shot. There are times when the shot you get wasn't the one you intended and you will have to react, but then you would re-establish a pattern. When you say that Federer has no use for patterns and he's an instinctual player, your saying he has no game plan, no tactics or strategy, and doesn't use his brain on the court. It's absolutely necessary to have a game plan in mind, a basic set of guidelines for your play. Patterns are basic guidelines. Without basic guidelines a player just hits shots and lacks the ability to mount an attack or a serious defense.  A player needs to use patterns to know what's going right and what's not. That's why you'll see players loose a set terribly and come back and win, they use patterns to as their guidlines to know whats going wrong or right. Patterns are your building block your foundation for strategy. If patterns aren't apart of your game neither is strategy. IF you don't use patterns then your not doing something right, right now Federer's doing everything right.
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Offline MC ill Logic

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« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2005, 03:04:16 PM »
Quote from: "Pacer92110"
The basic crosscourt pattern is to hit deep or wide crosscourt. Ofcourse there are modifications to keep your opponent guessing, but the first rule of baseline play is the player best able to win crosscourt rallies will probably win the match.  Since tennis is a game of errors the safest place to hit the ball is crosscourt. If a player is more consistent than their opponent at hitting the ball crosscourt  they will win most of the rallies. A competitive player will get into a high number of crosscourt rallies. Federer follows the same basic rules that everyone else does he's just better.
I'm talking patterns unique to Federer.  Okay, if you're saying everybody adheres to this basic principle, I don't see why it should exceptionally pertain to Roger.
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When he gets the ball he intended to get he'll go inside out ,down the line or back crosscourt for a winning shot. There are times when the shot you get wasn't the one you intended and you will have to react, but then you would re-establish a pattern. When you say that Federer has no use for patterns and he's an instinctual player, your saying he has no game plan, no tactics or strategy, and doesn't use his brain on the court.
I don't think I said he has no use for patterns, and I think I said he's about the most instinctual player I've ever seen.  As for game plan, tactics, and strategy, what I'm suggesting is that unlike most players, I don't think he has to rely on deeply thought out game plans, tactics, and strategies.  He seems to be able change such things at any given point, and successfully.  If he were a music band, whereas other bands come on with a set list, I'm suggesting The Roger Federer Experience is so musically gifted that he might have a loose idea what he's going to play on any given night or how he's going to play it, but nothing has to be set in stone.  He might play it straight up radio version, or do a jazzy variation, or whatever, it doesn't matter because he has such near complete mastery over his instrument.  I think for a lot of players pre-set limits are good, because it'll help prevent them from attempting shots they're incapable of consistently producing.  I'm inclined to believe that for the most part Federer is a complete player who doesn't have to rely on patterns the same way other players do.  Patterns by definition implies limitations.
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It's absolutely necessary to have a game plan in mind, a basic set of guidelines for your play. Patterns are basic guidelines. Without basic guidelines a player just hits shots and lacks the ability to mount an attack or a serious defense.  A player needs to use patterns to know what's going right and what's not. That's why you'll see players loose a set terribly and come back and win, they use patterns to as their guidlines to know whats going wrong or right. Patterns are your building block your foundation for strategy. If patterns aren't apart of your game neither is strategy. IF you don't use patterns then your not doing something right, right now Federer's doing everything right.
I don't see the logic in this.  I don't think the sentences preceding it justifies the final part I've bolded.  I think what you say DOES apply to just about every other player on the tour but maybe not so much with Federer ("maybe" is a qualifier, my way of saying I could be wrong...).  The only pattern you've brought up is hitting crosscourt, which wasn't quite what I had in mind.  I was wondering if you've noticed any patterns particular to Federer but you've mentioned, yes, the most basic pattern in tennis.  One that you admit all players execute.  I don't even think hitting crosscourt in and of itself justifies the label "pattern."

Going back to my saying that if another player attempted the same type of play as Federer they'd be reckless, I stand by it.  The problem may be Federer just makes it look so easy.  A lesser player (which basically means everybody else...) wouldn't move as efficiently... they wouldn't be as calm... they're preparation wouldn't be as pristine... Roger makes it look easy.  I don't think his success can be attributed to a set of simple patterns.  I think he came on the scene with way too much talent, too many shots, too many options, but something just clicked one day, and he suddenly realized how to wield his arsenal effectively.  This is a guy who had arguably the greatest year in tennis without a coach.  If he relied on patterns, he would choose the pattern most suited to the opponent he was going to play next, in which case he would need a coach to scout the guy or make suggestions.  Roger doesn't do this.  I'd be surprised if he has anybody scouting matches to see what shape his opponent's game is in.

What you're saying is probably true of most player, Pacer.  But IMO just not of Federer.

Offline Pacer

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« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2005, 04:35:54 PM »
Ok Logic please don't take what I'm about to say as me trying to brag or trying insult you because I was accussed of this before. But I've been playing tennis since I was 8 years old, played junior tennis and now play at a college level. I've also played futures and challenger events. I've been around tennis my whole life. when your telling me that Federer doesn't have to rely on patterns, what your saying he doesn't have to rely on strategy.And if that's what you feel then that's fine your entilted to belive what you want.  But I know for a fact from my own personal experience that if you don't have a pattern to  build upon then you have no real game and you won't be successful at the pro level. You asked me what I meant by basic pattern I told you that the basic pattern is to hit deep or wide crosscourt, I've already spoken of the importance of the cross court baseline game.The rest of your game is built upon your crosscourt game. If you don't have that very basic foundation then your game won't evolve. All players build upon patterns that were strategy comes from. Federer is a great but your speaking more of his ability than the basic foundations of tennis. Your asking me for specific patterns that Federer uses, your asking me his strategy I don't know his strategy that he uses in each of his matches., I said he uses basic patterns that all players must use, which is the basic crosscourt pattern in which you modify and build strategy. It's almost like your telling me that eveything I know to be true is wrong, again your opinion. I'm not going to go into to much more detail because I've already mentioned all that I've needed in my previous post. But it's not possible for a player to play at a competive level without the very basic foundation. Without basic foundation there is no game plan, no strategic play and basically mindless tennis. Federer uses the same basic pattern that everyone else does, the diffrence is that he is better skilled and has a better strategic game plan.The basic tennis pattern hasn't change in 100 years why would it change now? So again your entilted to believe what you like it's not my job to change your perspective I was trying to give you mine. If you are offended by anything in my post that was not my intent.
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Offline Tennis4you

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« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2005, 04:42:19 PM »
On a side note, I hit with patterns, my best one is as follows.

1.  Nice deep kick serve out wide to backhand
2.  Come to net and hit cross court volley
3.  Look for the weak reply, close tight
4.  Miss an easy volley
5.  Yell once
6.  Yell again
7.  Throw racquet
8.  Repeat.

I am a b**ch genius!
Good Luck on the Court!!!
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Offline Pacer

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« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2005, 04:47:28 PM »
Quote from: "Tennis4you"
On a side note, I hit with patterns, my best one is as follows.

1.  Nice deep kick serve out wide to backhand
2.  Come to net and hit cross court volley
3.  Look for the weak reply, close tight
4.  Miss an easy volley
5.  Yell once
6.  Yell again
7.  Throw racquet
8.  Repeat.

I am a b**ch genius!


lol, sounds pretty good to me. Especiallly the yelling and the racquet throwing, I think I might add that to my arsenal. :H
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Offline MC ill Logic

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« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2005, 05:10:05 PM »
Quote from: "Pacer92110"
Ok Logic please don't take what I'm about to say as me trying to brag or trying insult you because I was accussed of this before. But I've been playing tennis since I was 8 years old, played junior tennis and now play at a college level. I've also played futures and challenger events.
Well then you're now officially the best player here. :)  Lucky dog.  We need to draw some stories out of you.  At the same time the appeal to authority argument doesn't work with me.  I've played college tennis, too.  And although I'm sure I'm nowhere near the player as you if you played challengers, I'm an avid student of the game and always have been.
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I've been around tennis my whole life. when your telling me that Federer doesn't have to rely on patterns, what your saying he doesn't have to rely on strategy.And if that's what you feel then that's fine your entilted to belive what you want.
Yes, not the same way other players do.  Most players settle on patterns because it helps them impose their strengths on the opponent.  Federer has so many strengths that he doesn't have to rely on patterns as much.  Again, I bring up the fact he didn't have a coach as he had arguably the greatest year in men's tennis.  What are the implications of this?
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But I know for a fact from my own personal experience that if you don't have a pattern to  build upon then you have no real game and you won't be successful at the pro level.
Again, I agree that you're probably right with most players, but most players are not Federer.  I'm making an exception here.  Federer is a player with an unprecedented number of strengths.  He's an exception.  I don't think your personal experience bears any relevance to Federer in the same way a journeyman ABA player's personal experiences relates to that of Kobe Bryants.  What's true of many doesn't have to be true of all.
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You asked me what I meant by basic pattern I told you that the basic pattern is to hit deep or wide crosscourt, I've already spoken of the importance of the cross court baseline game.The rest of your game is built upon your crosscourt game. If you don't have that very basic foundation then your game won't evolve. All players build upon patterns that were strategy comes from. Federer is a great but your speaking more of his ability than the basic foundations of tennis.
Fine, it's the basic foundation of everybody's game, but that aside I still don't think Federer needs to subject himself to the same useful restrictions that other players do.  He's a very special player.
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Your asking me for specific patterns that Federer uses, your asking me his strategy I don't know his strategy that he uses in each of his matches., I said he uses basic patterns that all players must use...
Again, if all players use it, it's almost not worth commenting on.  Despite the fact that all players use this pattern, it's pretty easy to see that there's a quite a bit of different playing styles out there.  In my mind, Federer's game bears little resemblance to Roddick's, or Agassi's, or Dent's, or Hewitt's or Safin's or... actually, to me he's almost like Guga and Henman mixed together but maybe not.  I don't know.  Okay, everybody uses the cross court shot as the foundation of their game, agreed.   Now, with that said, I'm talking about what makes Federer unique.
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It's almost like your telling me that eveything I know to be true is wrong, again your opinion.
Only if you look at it as an all or nothing proposition, which I don't.  I'm making an exception for Federer, and it's important that you remember that.  What does it mean to not want or require a coach?
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But it's not possible for a player to play at a competive level without the very basic foundation. Without basic foundation there is no game plan, no strategic play and basically mindless tennis.
Okay, I agree that Federer has great cross court shots.  So do most Open level players.
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Federer uses the same basic pattern that everyone else does, the diffrence is that he is better skilled and has a better strategic game plan.
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your asking me his strategy I don't know his strategy that he uses in each of his matches.
How can you say both that you don't know what his strategy is AND that he has a better strategic game plan?
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The basic tennis pattern hasn't change in 100 years why would it change now?
See, this is where I get confused about what we mean by pattern.  The game has changed drastically in the past 25 years, let alone the past 100.  Serve and volley was the default mode of play back in the day.  Now it's mostly power baseline play.  A huge serve and a disproportionately strong ground stroke are the foundations, whereas back in the day whoever got to the net first had the advantage.  I'm beginning to think we disagree a lot more than I originally thought.
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So again your entilted to believe what you like it's not my job to change your perspective I was trying to give you mine. If you are offended by anything in my post that was not my intent.
I am absolutely not offended.  In fact, I'm delighted.  This was fun.  No, you didn't change my mind about Federer.  I still think he's the most instinctual player I've ever seen... relies less on preset strategy... and being the most complete player ever allows him this... but, dude or dudette, it's really not about changing people's minds.  If you think I'm nuts, that's okay.  As long as we don't resort to passive aggressive personal attacks, it's all good. :)

Offline Pacer

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« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2005, 05:45:28 PM »
If you think I'm nuts, that's okay.  As long as we don't resort to passive aggressive personal attacks, it's all good. :)[/quote]

Not my style I  don't get into personal attacks. Since I'm still recovering and I'm not playing as much I like to come here to talk to people who are as interested in tennis as am. Not here to be rude or nasty. I wasn't trying to appeal to authority just giving you some info on me so you can see where I'm coming from. I'm also a student of the game have been just about all my life, don't really have a choice. Oh and yeah I'm a Dude. :))
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Offline MC ill Logic

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« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2005, 05:51:25 PM »
Pacer,

Don't be one of those people that post when they're injured and then go on to have a rich real life when they heal!  Stick around, homie.

Offline Pacer

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« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2005, 06:04:57 PM »
Quote from: "MC ill Logic"
Pacer,

Don't be one of those people that post when they're injured and then go on to have a rich real life when they heal!  Stick around, homie.




A rich life sure would be nice lol. But I plan to stick around here most of the people here are really friendly.
Ralphie: I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle! <br /><br />Mrs. Parker: No, you\'ll shoot your eye out.

Offline MC ill Logic

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« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2005, 06:21:27 PM »
Something interesting I saw on US Open website.  I'm going to try to see if I find more.  And even if I find stuff that totally blows away my argument, I'll post it... (nevermind, I found some already, I'm going to post all of Expert Picks from 2004 US Open, and bold recommendations for Federer, underline suggestions and for his opponent... I'm predicting strategical suggestions for opponent, and "Federer has to be Federer" for Roger... )
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1-ROGER FEDERER (SUI) VS. 5-TIM HENMAN (GBR)

Anyone who thinks this will be a quick run down the Alps for the Swiss should check the stat sheet. Henman holds a 6-2 career edge on Federer and only has one legitimate loss to him -- in the 2004 Indian Wells final. His other loss was in Miami last year, but the Britain was forced to retire after the first set with a neck injury.

However, even though Henman's net-rushing style really disturbs the Swiss, only one of these wins (a straight-sets victory for Henman at TMS Paris) was notched after Federer became a smooth Slam champ. Since Federer won 2003 Wimbledon, most of the elite men who have given him trouble in the past (Henman, Agassi and Hewitt) have now felt the wrath of the new Federer. The Swiss is much tougher physically and mentally than when Henman used to snack on him. He proved against Agassi in the quarters that he can face down tough New York conditions and is more lethal from the back court than Henman is.

Henman knows exactly how to win this match: serve and volley, chip and charge and stay clear of Federer's forehand. If Federer is getting a high percentage of his first serves in, and Tim isn't, this could be a straight-sets win for Federer. But if that statistic is reversed, Federer might press all day long. If you are a fan of classic styles and appreciate Federer's evolving, all-around game, don't miss a point of this contest. Henman is far too experienced to play a terrible match at this stage of his career and will have the Swiss fans sitting at the edges of their seats for a set, but in the end, Federer will prevail in four sets.
Nick B's analysis:
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Roger Federer vs. Andre Agassi

Agassi said, I must play my best tennis, and Roger has to have a little off day! Agassi will stand on or inside the baseline on almost everything. Once in a while, he will drop far behind the baseline to return a few serves. He will also come in several times.

Federer cannot lose focus for one split second and be prepared for a fierce battle against Agassi and the New York fans.

Prediction: Federer in 4 sets.
Mathew Cronin's:
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1-ROGER FEDERER (SUI) VS. 6-ANDRE AGASSI (USA)

When Pete Sampras rose to the top of Olympus here two years ago, he didn't have to face a red-hot world No. 1 in the quarters. Andy Roddick stood in his path, but Roddick was a still a bit green then and didn't have three Slam titles under his belt like Federer does.

Andre doesn't have Pete's serve or ability to end points in the wink of an eye, either, which certainly helped Sampras in his historic run to his 14 Grand Slam titles. But what Agassi does have is a lot of love from the crowd, an unending ambition to win his third US Open and ninth Slam overall, and a desire to prove that he can still beat the best at age 34.

Agassi brings a 3-3 record against Federer into this contest, having dropped the last three, all on outdoor U.S. hard courts in the past 10 months (two at the Tennis Masters Cup in Houston and one at '04 Indian Wells). He can still hang tough with Federer from the baseline when he's dictating, but when Federer is serving well, he makes Andre attempt to play well beyond his limits. Agassi knows he has to bring his A-plus game here and get the 25,000 fans in what will be a highly charged night match into the match early. Federer says he's been dying to play a huge contest here when the lights go down, and he'll have his opportunity. The question is, does he have the nerve and the constitution to whip Agassi and face down the crowd?

As Agassi himself said, the Swiss certainly does have mental toughness to win a big night match if Andre isn't soaring. It's up to Agassi to do what he needs to do, which is pound at Federer's backhand until it breaks down, not shy away from his ferocious forehand too much and keep his first serve percentage way up there. If Federer serves the lights out, Andre has little chance. But if Andre can extend the rallies and make Federer doubt his shot selection, he a has a terrific chance.

Yes, Federer is a better all-around player and is more than capable of becoming the first man since Mats Wilander to win three Slams in a year. But as we found out with Sampras in '02, it is more than possible for a beloved U.S. legend to come into his home country's Grand Slam in a slump at the majors and be lifted on a magic carpet toward the promised land. Agassi's ride will not end here, and he will prevail in a whirlwind four-setter.
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1-ROGER FEDERER (SUI) VS. 16-ANDREI PAVEL (ROM)

Since Pavel beat up on the teenage Federer in their first two meeting back in 2000, this rivalry has been fairly one-sided, with the Swiss winning the last seven, including the last three on hard courts in straight sets. That's the reason why Fed said that he's never had such an easy fourth round at the US Open. While Federer isn't an outright cocky sort, he's blatantly confident.

Pavel is a terrific groundstroker with a fair amount of flair but is nowhere near the shotmaker that Roger is. He'll take a lot of risks to try to play himself into the contest, but if he doesn't zone early and get on top of Roger from the opening bell, those could be a whitewash. The Romanian will put up a better fight than is expected, but in the end, will go down convincingly in three sets.
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1-ROGER FEDERER (SUI) VS. 31-FABRICE SANTORO (FRA)

The young genius faces the much-admired Santoro, whom Todd Martin once called the most creative and brightest player in tennis. But Santoro has nowhere near the weaponry of Federer and, although he is fast, can last and can mix and match with all sorts of speeds and spins, he'll have trouble working his magic against the great Federer. Federer holds a 4-2 edge in their match-ups but has won their three past contests, two of them indoors and the last one just last month in straight sets at TMS Canada.

Santoro won't give Federer a lot of pace and can obviously play with him but will have to play his best match of the year to throw Federer completely off his stride. The veteran is more effective in shorter matches against elite players, and given that Federer knows how to work his way through matches now even when's he's not playing well, Santoro will be hard-pressed to find a way through him. This contest will be highly entertaining for lovers of the slice and short angles, and Federer will pull though in four.
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1-ROGER FEDERER (SUI) V. MARCOS BAGHDATIS (CYP)

Like Scoville Jenkins, former junior phenom Baghdatis will get a quick introduction to the world of big-time tennis when he faces the great Federer in a night match at Ashe Stadium. This is the 19-year-old's Grand Slam debut and he made it as a qualifier, surely the proper workman-like way to enter a major. Give the man props for being the first person from Cyprus to make the main draw of a Slam, and also because he reached the junior final here the past two years.

While Baghdatis is talented enough on hard courts, he'll have to seriously raise his level against Federer, who showed in his first round thumping of Albert Costa that he really means business in NY. Don't expect Federer to win the vast majority of his points from the backcourt this year. It appears that the coach-less No. 1 has figured out that a few more forays to the net could key his title run. If Federer keeps that mindset, the top seed will be extremely difficult to take down. Federer will triumph in straight sets.
Here are some random comments from another board:
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Not quite. Federer plays the game that wins him the match. It's his ability
 to adapt and go to plan B, C, D, etc, that makes him so superior to everyone else.
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Why not?  He can get away with it.  Safin's fast *for his size,* Federer's just
 plain fast for ANY size.  
 
 He's like Michael Chang with power AND finesse.  
 
 Peak Michael Chang alone was tough enough, but add that Fed can play/clone
 virtually any style of play and be effective?  It's truly astonishing how
 chameleon like this guy is.  
 
 That's what makes him so tough to beat.  He can play so many different styles
 so effectively that he literally change his game plan to suit the opponent are
 the particular match conditions of any given day or surface to win.  It's like
 against Roddick at Wimbledon, he came out as smoking hot in the zone as you can
 be; but Federer adjusted his game plan and style to navigate to victory.
 
 Other players, if they're Plan A's not working on any given; they're most
 likely going to lose.  Not so with Federer, because he's got seemingly 10
 different plan A's, and each equally effective.  Even if one plan A is off, he
 can seamlessly try another to turn the boat around.
 
 Pretty amazing to me how this guy can win in so many different ways and with so
 many different styles of play.
This doesn't prove anything, but good to see other people sort of share my view.  Plus, I'm injured, too, and I'm bored as s**t.