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As predicted, thus far the French proves not to be as match tough as the WTF finalist.  This first point should relax Roger.  There's no mystery what a relaxed Federer can do.  The only mystery is if his back holds up during the match.

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/border-war/53307/

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@tennissunshine @IdleTime At the Davis Cup website, there's a poll of who you're supporting.  And Switzerland leads 2 to 1.  Since when Switzerland more popular than France?  Since Federer is involved that's when.

But I what I meant by non-factor is b/c we don't know how the French players will react to the crowd support.  Will they be buoyed or pressured.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/border-war/53307/

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Look..  France can certainly win.  But it's 50-50 at best.  Predicting France to win is overthinking it.

Two top 5 players vs. two top 20 players.  Plus Tsonga and Monfils are not match tough.  They played like 2 matches since USO.  And weren't they both recently injured too?

Home crowd is a non-factor.  Proof: how many French players won the French Open?

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/border-war/53307/

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Friday draw:

1st:: Stan vs. Tsonga

2nd: Rog vs. Monfils

Rog has had his 2nd day of hitting: "Things have been going well out there this morning. I was really happy the way I felt." ... "Only the match gives you the answer. I'm just pleased that I can play tomorrow, give it a go. Things have been going well."

I'm glad his is the 2nd match.  This means he would have a little bit more time to put in maybe an hour or two of hitting in the morning.

The H2H between the 2 countries' players on clay are pretty even.  While the French players have had time to practice and get used to the surface, the Swiss boys arguably are more match tough, having played competitive matches more recently. It'd be interesting to see how the French players react to the home crowd support -- buoyed or pressured.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/federer-back-injury-still-problem-no-hard-feelings-wawrinka/53298/

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Sorry, Kei.  But Roger can.  He broke Nole's unbeaten streak in Asia this year, when Nole was fresh and playing well.  He broke Nole's unbeaten streak in 2011 when he was in magical form.  Sure you can play as well as your opponent allows you to.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/nishikori-novak-when-hes-playing-well-i-dont-think-anybody-can-stop-him/53286/

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@Damo @IdleTime Cool! Hopefully, Rog's match on Friday will be the 2nd match, giving him more time to practice/hit in the morning.  Every hour and minute counts.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/federer-back-injury-still-problem-no-hard-feelings-wawrinka/53298/

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@SandyDeMarco Maybe you have an issue with counting time.  But Sunday to the following Friday is "not the next minute."

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/speculation-rampant-about-federer-wawrinka-rift-ahead-davis-cup-final/53289/

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http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/tennis/30098568

"There's no hard feeling whatsoever," said Federer, 33. "We are friends, not enemies, but it was maybe one of those heat-of-the-moment situations."

"We had a conversation after the match and every one is totally relaxed about the situation," said 17-time Grand Slam winner Federer.

Australian Open champion Wawrinka, 29, added: "For me, there is not much to say because it's become a big deal because of the press.

"But for us it's nothing really. It took us five minutes to talk about that and to move on to the next goal which is the Davis Cup this weekend."

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/speculation-rampant-about-federer-wawrinka-rift-ahead-davis-cup-final/53289/

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@bigEst Something had to happen in his back for him to withdraw from the finals.  Just b/c you didn't see him react with your naked eyes (or like as if the camera was on him 100% of the time), it doesn't mean he didn't feel anything.  If it was a "team decision", why didn't they just tell Wawrinka to not give Rog such a hard time in the SF?

I too don't believe (or just hope?) that the injury was serious.  He just didn't have enough time to recover from it with treatment.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/speculation-rampant-about-federer-wawrinka-rift-ahead-davis-cup-final/53289/

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The quarrel I say is hogwash.  Like they can't work it out in 2 minutes of conversing?  They are adults and tennis veterans.

The injury is still a mystery, but probably isn't all that serious in a short run.  It probably was too painful on Sunday to play, but by now, who knows?

I do find it ironic that the person that causes Roger's and Switzerland's chance at first Davis Cup is his own teammate.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/speculation-rampant-about-federer-wawrinka-rift-ahead-davis-cup-final/53289/

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@Take That @IdleTime Maybe he doesn't feel he deserves the runner-up trophy since he didn't even play?  Today there was only one winner, no real runner-up.   It wasn't like he retired after playing.  He withdrew one hour before the match started.  Why would he hang around for another 2 hours for the trophy presentation.  I doubt that Novak even cares.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/federer-pulls-out-of-atp-finals/53284/

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@Take That Good to hear from the horse's mouth.  That was what I suspected.  Not enough time to recover from a back pain inflicted during the previous match.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/federer-pulls-out-of-atp-finals/53284/

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@MidAge @IdleTime @ixvnyc Oh give the B.S. sanctimony a rest!  You don't know how many times Rog played through pain in his career for the sake of the fans and integrity of the sports.  Obviously, at 33, it's a lot harder.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/half-loaf/53283/

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@Larry Wang We don't know how long the pain will last.  Could be weeks, could be just a day.  And then there are things as pain killers, injections, etc.  These athletes are warriors.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/federer-pulls-out-of-atp-finals/53284/

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Optimistic interpretation here:

This maybe simply that (aging) Roger didn't have enough time to recover from a long grueling match where his back acted up.  It must feel really painful today where painkillers weren't effective enough for him to even practice.  He might not even be thinking of DC, but rather what might happen in the next couple of hours -- with persistent pain, he could never beat Novak.

The pain, with treatment, could subside as soon as tomorrow.  His back issue is an ongoing battle for Rog throughout his career.  He's probably experienced and wise enough to know when to back off.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/federer-pulls-out-of-atp-finals/53284/

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@watchingthemplay Well, he said that he injured himself at the end of the SF match, so it would have been really weird if he withdrew then and maybe it didn't feel *that* bad then.  The day after is when everything comes crashing.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/federer-pulls-out-of-atp-finals/53284/

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@ixvnyc Well, you can only be as good as a sportsman as your body allows you to.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/half-loaf/53283/

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@Take That Mirka talking too loudly while Stan is serving?  I just don't believe that.  All I ever see from Mirka is a lean over whisper here and there.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/half-loaf/53283/

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Wow.  This is big news.  Rog withdrawing from the finals of an important match.  I hope he's simply thinking of DC, but he's such a professional that he wouldn't want to disappoint fans for a minor pain.  I just hope that as he gets older, he's getting more selfish.

I simply think Rog plays too much tennis at times.  He should have skipped Basel (though he would never) or Paris.

I also think that he should have skipped Toronto earlier this summer.  Playing back to back tournament in the summer prior to the USO was one of the reasons I believe made him petering out in the USO SF.  He was flat when he would otherwise have enough in the tank and fight.


1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/half-loaf/53283/

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@Larry Wang I said in recent years.  2 or 3 years (at most) is what I generally account when predicting.  2011 was a magical year for Novak and he hasn't been in that consistent form in the years since.  I wouldn't add that year to their H2H to see what might come out today.  2014, 2013 and maybe 2012.  But 2011 is kind of a lifetime ago.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/half-loaf/53283/

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@Genetica97 @IdleTime Right.  But I didn't mean that he was tired specifically for those points, but rather fatigue in general toward the end of a long hussle and tussle of a match.  Maybe he was afraid of choking in a rally because rallying with Rog is not an easy endeavor, as he experienced throughout the match.  Maybe he wanted to surprise Roger w/ a S&V on 2nd serve. It's a gamble more than a choke. And if he didn't make the best decisions it could be due to fatigue.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/djokovic-beats-nishikori-to-reach-final-in-london/53282/

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@Genetica97 Nice comments.  But wearing your opponent down is a very legit tactic.  The reason that Stan rushed on those MPs was b/c he was tired and perhaps wanted to end the point quickly.  Yes, he was generally better at the baseline yesterday, but at the same time, it wasn't always easy.  He never really blew Rog off the court consistently.  They were toe-to-toe evidenced by the close scoreline deep into the 3rd.  So kudos to Rog for having the game and the strength to outlast his opponent.  And not accusing Stan for choking.  Serving for the match at 5-4 in the 3rd after 2 and a half hour on court isn't easy for anyone and champions make sure that you have to EARN it.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/djokovic-beats-nishikori-to-reach-final-in-london/53282/

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@Take That He was giddy because one of his best friends won a slam.  Small minds think small.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/djokovic-beats-nishikori-to-reach-final-in-london/53282/

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@jl1234 @IdleTime Not sure how to respond.  Which part of the prediction do you have issues with?  The 50-50? Or Nole having the edge?  What is your prediction?

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/half-loaf/53283/

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When it's Novak vs. Roger in recent years, I always say 50-50 with the edge to Novak.  Half of those times Rog ended up winning.

One can't really predict with confidence when these two play.  Theirs is a true rivalry.  It's see-saw with them.  One wins one match, the other wins the next.  So it seems like it's Novak's turn.  The last time Rog beat Novak consecutively was back in 2012.

Novak dominated the field this week, but he has played no one like Rog, the one who can disrupt his rhythm the with unsurpassable variety, so it would be interesting to see how Novak handles that today.

Bodo mentioned that Novak has a 29 indoor match winning streak.  Anyone who can and has broken Novak's streak, it's Roger.  Wasn't Novak on a similar streak in Asia this fall?  Wasn't he on that amazing streak in 2011 when Roger was the one who ended it?

Novak is 2-1 against Roger in WTF London, but he worked incredibly hard in the 2 matches that he won, whereas Rog dispatched him with ease when he won.

The court this year is reportedly slower, so who knows?

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/half-loaf/53283/

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@skmind @IdleTime I get the pressure of having to serve well reducing your 1st serve percentage.  But sometimes it got as low as 37% on certain sets for Rog.  This is way worse than he could serve on outdoor clay on a regular basis.  And it's indoor!  No sun, no wind and in perfect temperature.  Interestingly, in Murray's match when Rog's 1st serve was below 50%, his 1st serve winning percentage was like 100% for the longest time.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/djokovic-beats-nishikori-to-reach-final-in-london/53282/

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@skmind @IdleTime  I know the surface is slow and it affects the power of the serve.  But my question is the 1st serve percentage, which is about making the ball land inside the box on your first serve.  I don't think the surface would affect this, right?

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/djokovic-beats-nishikori-to-reach-final-in-london/53282/

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I don't understand how the first serve % of Rog and Stan and Murray (not to mention Raonic as well) have been so low in the last few matches.  We're talking about Rog here, one of the best servers in the game.  It's baffling at this tournament.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/djokovic-beats-nishikori-to-reach-final-in-london/53282/

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Sux to be Wawrinka right now.  But a champion always hangs through the bitter end.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/djokovic-beats-nishikori-to-reach-final-in-london/53282/

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@tennis fans 11111 @IdleTime This thing doesn't happen "every time".  And yes, no. 1 is no. 1.  No one disputes that.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/djokovic-earns-year-end-no-1-spot-in-london/53273/

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@MichaelPGotch @IdleTime @skmind @pollypurebred Points to defend?  All points are added up at the YE, whoever has most ends up being #1.  And I said their year is very balanced with each other.  The exception is that GS title, which determined who's #1.  So no need to belabor my point by listing that Novak has a GS and Fed has none. 

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/djokovic-earns-year-end-no-1-spot-in-london/53273/

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@skmind @IdleTime @pollypurebred No, I'm not.  The importance of that Wimbledon finals is what I was trying to highlight.  It is fitting that Novak gets the #1 because he won the slam.  And it's fitting that it came down just that, a single match of that fateful Wimbledon Finals.  Both of their respective year's achievements are quite balanced otherwise.

What hurts is that Rog didn't win that match, not the ensuing almost inevitable year end result.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/djokovic-earns-year-end-no-1-spot-in-london/53273/

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@pollypurebred @IdleTime I'm not lamenting that Rog could have been #1.  It is what it is.  And I don't really care.  Just commenting on the importance of some match.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/djokovic-earns-year-end-no-1-spot-in-london/53273/

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@skmind @IdleTime Or Novak could have been crushed losing that finals after being up 2 sets to one and up a break in the 4th (right?).  And going into a mental tailspin.  You never know.  I don't think Rog's playing well as of late is due to any motivation on his part because he lost the Wimbly finals.  He's just been retooling his game to dramatic benefits.  It's very simple with him.  He might have relaxed after a Wimbledon win and play even better.  Like how he was so relaxed after qualifying and pounded Murray yesterday.

But I was speaking mathematically.   That 800 points difference is the difference between the two.  

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/djokovic-earns-year-end-no-1-spot-in-london/53273/

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The difference of #1 and #2 this year is just one match, albeit an important one.  The Wimbledon final.  Had Rog won that match, he would be in Novak's shoes right now.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/djokovic-earns-year-end-no-1-spot-in-london/53273/

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Rog said that he's glad that he didn't win 60 60.  It doesn't necessarily mean that he gave that next to last game away.  People tend to over-read answers.  As a professional tennis player, you play to win every single point.  It would have been suicidal to give away any point or game.  You never know if your opponent might come alive and turn the match around.  It's never a victory until you shake hands.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/federer-double-bagel-against-murray-not-so-cool/53276/

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Well, it looks like Cillic is already on vacation mode.  Or he might have some niggling injury which prevents him from being competitive.  Remember, he withdrew from Valencia and Paris.  He is Group A's whipping boy.

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/tomas-berdych-bounces-back-at-atp-finals/53263/

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@Interceptor If Rog has lost half a step, then speeding up the court is not working to his favor.

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/11/federer-wins-2nd-round-robin-match-at-atp-finals/53254/

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@RichSimmons DC atmosphere is different.  With Rog and the team supporting him, he can find inspiration.  Let's see how he performs at WTF before we can say that he's lost his form.  After all, he did contribute to the Swiss team getting to the finals.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/10/berdych-reaches-quarterfinals-at-paris-masters/53165/

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I hope Andy has enough left in his tank to give another strong performance against Novak.  Gotta give Novak the edge on this one.  But of course Andy can upset.

So the top 8 players made to the QFs.  Well, except for, of course, Wawrinka.  At least, he won't be like potentially for Federer burned out for DC.

The QF matchups are rather quite appropirate.  Grinder vs. grinder (Murray/Djokovic, Ferrer/Nishikori) .  Hard hitter vs. hard hitter (Berdych/Anderson, Federer/Raonic).

Man! Rog, like Novak, has potentially tough two rounds before the finals.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/10/autumn-death-march/53170/

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