Mardy Fish has a lot to be proud of. The guy has had a fantastic summer, reaching four ATP World Tour finals, and winning two of them! He’s sporting a 34-13 record YTD, and is 19-5 in tiebreakers (read: must play clutch tennis). And yet, there’s this:
“I’ve played three Masters 1000 finals (also Indian Wells 2008) and lost in three sets in every one. I desperately want to sort of have my career maybe be remembered by a big tournament or something like that. I’ve finished second in a lot of big tournaments: the Olympics and here a couple times and Indian Wells I’ve played really well. So I’ve wanted badly to win a real big one.This would have been perfect, but wasn’t meant to be.”
With so much attention focused on the VERY top players (e.g.: Nadal, Federer, Federer, Nadal, Federer, etc), it’s easy to forget guys like Mardy who would love to win ONE big tournament.
And speaking of tournaments, congratulations to Roger “I’m baaaack” Federer. 63 Tournaments won now; 17 ATP Masters Series titles; tied with Agassi for second (1 behind the insanely impressive Nadal, who won his 17th title in his 52nd ATP Masters tournament in a span of less than eight years while Agassi needed 84 tournaments over 14 years) all time. Roger’s selection of Paul Annocone as a trial coach seems to have paid dividends for the Fed. The guy clearly wants to smoke every record in the books, and I’d like to see him do it. How many more majors & tournaments can he win?
“The truth is that when you’re anywhere but at number one, you can hide. You can get to the second week of majors regularly, win one now and then, earn a lot of respect and money, and lead a great, stress-free life.
It wasn’t going to be good enough for me to just be in the mix; it would nag and wear at me. I realized that the game was not about getting somewhere, but staying somewhere. Some of us, we get there and we don’t want to let it go. We don’t want to see some other guy take it. And that’s ultimately what makes you a warrior – a fully formed, mature competitor.
You can’t really teach someone determination, although you can nurture it. It’s something that’s either in you or not, and you have to figure it out as an individual. And if you decide you need to be number one, you have to realize you can’t hide. You have to get fitted for the bulls-eye on your back, and get used to living with it.” Pete Sampras, A Champions Mind, pages 88-89
That sound like Federer to you too?
While we’re speculating, consider this: Nadal owns the ATP Masters Series record with 18 trophies. This, at the age of 24. Agassi won his (then) record setting 17th title (in Cincinnati, 2004) when he was 34 years old. So let’s do some quick math: 18 trophies in 8 years ~ maybe another 8 years ahead of him (if he stays healthy) ~ is it really unthinkable to postulate 30 ATP Masters Series titles for Nadal? And here we are on the eve of the 4th grand-slam event for 2010 with Rafa a legitimate contender for the title. Were he to win, he’d become just the 7th player to complete the “career slam” (winning all four majors). And…he’d set himself up perfectly for the (soon-to-be-christened) “Rafa Slam” IF he were to go to Melbourne in January and win, thus winning all four majors in a row (French, Wimbledon, US Open, Aussie Open)!
A big thanks to Marcos Baghdatis for reminding us that Nadal is actually a beatable human being, and not a cybernetic tennis warrior from the future. He’d be a darkhorse hopeful if he were in the top half of the draw, but he won’t be, and so he isn’t.
Remember the Bryan brothers? They won. Again. It’s their 3rd straight title, their 8th of 2010 (they’re 8-0 in finals), and 64th of their career. Phe-nominal.
Days left until the US Open starts! While we’re waiting, here’s how everyone stands in the US Open Series points standings:
|ATP Player||Points||WTA Player||Points|
|Andy Murray||170||Kim Clijsters||125|
|Roger Federer||170||Victoria Azarenka||115|
|Mardy Fish||140||Svetlana Kuznetsova||115|
|David Nalbandian||110||Maria Sharapova||115|
|Marcos Baghdatis||105||Caroline Wozniacki||115|
Look at the parity in the WTA; just 10-points separates 1st from 2nd. And 3rd. And 4th. And 5th. It’s so unbelievably close! And with Serena AND Justine out of contention for the title, it’s anyone’s ballgame.
That being said, here’s my quarterfinals predictions for the women’s bracket: (see the relevance; #8…quarterfinals ~ this blog is like a well oiled machine; an enigma wrapped in a tortilla.)
- Kim Clijsters
- Victoria Azarenka
- Svetlana Kuznetsova
- Maria Sharapova
- Caroline Wozniacki
- Agnieszka Radwanska
- Samantha Stosur
- Li Na
That’s right, Li “I made it to the semi’s at the last hardcourt major” Na. Let the record note that this prediction was made before the draw was posted. I guarantee a minimum of 75% accuracy.
Can we get a show of hands to vote for Brad Gilbert & Darren “Killer” Cahill as the best (men) announcers in tennis. Does it bother anybody else when Cliff Drysdale refers to a particularly exciting day of tennis as “delicious”, or is it just me? For women it’s Mary Carillo, hands down. She’s da’ bomb.