Thursday, January 29, 2009

Out Of Your League

Channel 7 has been using this one song as one of their tennis promotional songs over their montages and whatnot which I think perfectly sums up the Federer/Roddick rivalry - 'Try It Again' by The Hives. Catchphrase? 'You're never going to pass me, 'coz I'm out of your league.'
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And that's pretty much it, isn't it? A-Rod has improved. He's trimmed down, become much better defensively, become faster and learned to play the occasional volley (instead of his old "volleys.") His serve is MASSIVE. And still Roger Federer puts the beatdown on him.
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I mean, sure A-Rod beat Roger last year, but that was when Roger was in the throes of glange, even if he won't admit it. He was slower and his forehand was out of sorts and just wasn't himself out there. But we're seeing the big guy back in town now, and there is just nothing Andy Roddick can do about it. No matter how much he improves, he's only got so much, and anything he can do, Federer can do twelve times better. If his first serve isn't a winner, then there's trouble. Actually, Jim Courier was saying that Agassi once said, commentating a Federer/Roddick match at the US Open, that if Roddick hadn't made a winner by the third ball of a rally, he should just hit the ball into the stands, because he'd have just as much chance of winning the point that way. And once again, that was proved to be true. Once the point went beyond three or four strokes, Federer was winning something like 70% of the time. Sometimes Roddick got aggressive or Federer made an error, but basically, Federer was owning him. Plain and simple.
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Maybe we just need to accept that Andy Roddick is never going to have the weapons to beat Roger Federer. I think it would be a huge mistake for Andy Roddick to admit that, because that would be giving up, but as observers, the truth is becoming more and more evident. Roddick's game just matches up too well to Federer's. No matter how much he improves, until he develops a high hooking left-handed topspin forehand, Federer is pretty much going to own him. End of story. Federer is just out of his league.
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And can I just say that it is absolutely LOVELY to see Roger Federer back in another Aussie Open final, after his semi-final exit last year. It feels like a wrong has been righted, somehow. The final ain't the final here without my man Rog in it.
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And our women's final is going to be very interesting as well - an all out slugfest showdown between Serena Williams and Dinara Safina. I cannot tell you how much I want Dinara to win. After all the form she's gained, she deserves a Slam win. However, Serena showed some pretty sweet form in taking out the lady in form, Elena Dementieva, in a match that had approximately forty thousand deuces. She is pretty hard to stop once she gets on a roll in a Slam like this - has Dinara got the guns to do it? I reckon she can. Someone was saying that the match was on Serena's racquet, and I don't think that's true at all. Dinara's got the weapons to give Serena serious trouble - it's just a question of how she uses them and how clean her tennis is. If she makes too many errors, she'll lose, pretty much. But if she goes for the lines, plays aggressively and gets them in, then I reckon she's going to push Serena all the way to the podium - and maybe all the way past her. It's going to be a good match, anyway. Serena was looking great against Dementieva, and I loved what Dinara brought to the court against Vera Zvonareva - all out aggression, all the time. Sure, she made some mistakes, but she made some SUPER winners as well. It was really good fun to watch - and I'm sure the final will be the same!
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Oh, and last note - I loved Andy Roddick's altercations with the umpire last night. 'I can't read your expression!' Pretty hilarious stuff - though it didn't really help Roddick's cause too much.
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Today's Results
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Australian Open
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Men's Draw
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Roger Federer def. Andy Roddick, 6-2 7-5 7-5
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Women's Draw
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Serena Williams def. Elena Demetieva, 6-3 6-4
Dinara Safina def. Vera Zvonareva, 6-3 7-6 (7-4)

4 comments:

hectopascal said...

I thought Dinara's match against Vera was awful! They both looked nervous out there and were hitting so many UE, but both players did step it up towards the end of the 2nd set. I must admit I'm one of those people who think the match is on Serena's racket. Dinara can't overpower Serena like she did against Vera, so if she is to win, she'd have to step it up a couple of notches.

Jodi said...

I liked that Dinara was aggressive. She didn't die wondering - she was making too many errors, but she made a lot of winners too. Zvonareva, by contrast, was too passive, waiting for errors. I loved that Safina was just willing to rip it.

If she takes that mentality into her match against Serena, and more of her shots go in instead of out, I think she's in with a real shot.

yogahz said...

Go Dinara!

I think she has a great chance because she's going in as the underdog. When you're a head case anyway that helps a lot, there's nothing to "protect" so it takes off the pressure.

I hope her serve stands up.

freakyfrites said...

I'm rooting for Dinara, too, and I think yogahz makes a great point about being the underdog.

But as all the commentators say over and over again whenever Serena plays "The match is on her racquet." As good as Dinara is, I think Serena has her beat in almost all departments. And Safina's serve is so wobbly at times.

Still, they gotta play the match! I never thought Verdasco could take Rafa to five, either.