Madrid Friday ramblings
Random Thoughts because there was no Rafa today
Some additional thoughts on Rafa’s loss
I read in the comments that some people thought Rafa was not trying to win his match against Verdasco. I don’t believe that and for evidence I will site the last game. If he didn’t want to win, he could have spun his serves in and let Fernando whack them, or even thrown in one or two double faults. No instead he threw down 3 aces. Unfortunately, you need 4 points to win the game. Also, unfortunately when Rafael Nadal thinks he needs to serve aces to win a game, the man is out of ideas. He lost because he couldn’t figure out how to win, like he said. Someone who is tanking doesn’t go to deuce on the last game.
Now I would believe he felt better about the loss today, relaxing rather than facing a possible injury.
Some additional thoughts on the slippery surface
While I was watching Alexandr Dolgopolov from behind the baseline on court 3, I had a sudden realization. It’s not that you can’t slide on the blue clay, it’s that you can’t recover from the slide. Sasha was sliding but he couldn’t stop and he couldn’t change direction to go after the next shot. That would be why most of the players had abandoned the sliding altogether.
People have said that Rafa played his first matches against Davydenko as if he was playing on a grass court, playing quick points. But Rafa spent both of the games he played 20 feet behind the baseline. That’s not the way Rafa plays on grass. Well, was it more like hard-court then? Not really, because you can still move and change directions on a hard-court. So how do you play on it then? I think Rafa had it right in that 12th game of the third set. You have to serve aces.
I go to hard-court tournaments in North America because that’s all we’ve got. When I come all the way to Europe to see a clay court tournament, I want to see a CLAY-COURT TOURNAMENT! An ace in a critical moment can be exciting, but ace after ace is just monotonous. I feel like I’ve been ripped-off.
Remember last year when Spain lodged a protest about the court the USA selected for the quarter final Davis Cup match, which Spain felt was not one of the types in use on the tour? So if it’s not kosher to throw in a unknown court for DC, why is it okay to throw that curve in an important masters event, leading up to a major? Try out the court in a challenger or 250 level event first, get it right, and then send it to the big leagues.
Well, whom do I root for now?
Obviously, I can’t root for Fed because of the ranking thing and the things he said at his press conference after his match with Daveeed. As the president of the players council, he needs to be taking a leading role in making the sure everything is safe for the players. I shall refrain from further comment.
So, what about Janko Tipsarevic. I have mixed feelings for Janko. I like the fact that he is a well-read intellectual kind of guy, but he sure wasn’t thinking when he posted that picture of himself pointing a gun at Nole and enticing Rafa to make him an offer. You can make that kind of joke with your friends, but when you’re a public figure, you don’t post something like that on Facebook. But I will definitely root for him against Federer.
Berdych gets low marks in my book for refusing to shake Nicolas Almagro’s hand at the Australian Open after Nico hit him with a body shot while Berdych was set up at the net. This was a perfectly reasonable shot selection from Nico, it’s not Clemens beaning Piazza (oh another baseball reference). Boy, with that and Radak Stepanek’s behavior at the Davis Cup in Serbia, the Czech’s have shown themselves to be poor sports this year. Besides, Berdych’s game is serve big. As I’ve already mentioned, that’s not the kind of game I find most interesting.
That leaves Delpo. I root for many Argentines, but Juan Martin is not one of them. Mostly it’s because he is also a big server (see comments above). I also resent how poorly he played against Fed in Indian Wells when I actually was rooting for him. Expected a good match, but Delpo rolled over for him. Of course, when Rafa got kicked by Fed the next day, I only had comforting for him. Yes, I play favorites. But I guess I will be rooting for Delpo over Berdy.
Here’s my ranking of whom I will root for:
- Del Potro
Good luck with that.
Things I can’t get used to
After a week in Madrid, these are things I continue to get wrong.
- Even though Spaniards drive on the right side of the road, the Metro trains run on the left track. I am continually looking in the wrong direction for the train.
- The light to the bathroom in my hotel room is outside the room behind the door. If you go into the bathroom, without turning on the light, it will be necessary to come out of the bathroom to turn on the light. I do this at least twice a day, and I’m not spending that much time in the room.
- When you want to go to the outside courts, you must walk away from them to get to the staircases so you can go down a level and go to the outside courts.
- The time zone. On top of the jet lag, Madrid is in a time zone one hour east of GMT even though it is west of London. That means it get light late and stays light late. And I stay up late.
Random thoughts: when people walk together, they walk slow and they walk wide. Can you tell I’m getting a little tired of crowds?
All that blue is giving me the blues!