Posted on: April 7, 2008 2:32 pm

Miami Grades

The finals are over and its time to hand out the grades for Miami.

A+,  Davydenko and Williams
Nikolai fought off match points in earlier rounds then he beats Roddick and Nadal whom he had never beaten before.  Did he sneak up on them?  Maybe, but he did play well and didn't wilt.
Serena gets an A+ for winning and for playing awesome tennis against the best player in the world.  Some of her shots were just incredible.  6-2, 6-0 who woulda thunk it?

A+ Mike and Bob Bryan
These guys won their first title of the year.  I only saw the final and they looked great.  By the way, bag the Readers Digest Doubles scoring.  Score it the regular way.  Stop this Noadd nonsense and tie break without playing games in the third.

A, Roddick of course.  He struggled in the early rounds but for him the Fed man was the only one in the draw.  To beat him for the first time in years could only be topped by - well - by getting engaged to the love of his life.  Congrats Andy.  No plus tho because - well - he didn't win the tournament.

A-, Nadal,Federer.  Nadal played great tennis until the final then he couldn't put it together.  Hey nobodys perfect.  Speaking of not being perfect you have to put Roger there now.  He still plays great.  He just isn't playing the way we have been used to seeing him - perfect.  It actually makes the tournaments more interesting - except for maybe Roger.

B, Youzhny - don't be so hard on yourself.  Ancic, nice run - just not far enough.  Lindsey - for knocking off Anna.

C, Henin - I know its not easy playing in front of 10,000 people on International TV.  It's definitely no walk in the park playing a Serena who is in the zone.  but... 6-2, 6-love.  Who woulda thunk it?

D, Djokovic - all right already quit bouncing the ball so much.  They are not going to change the rules for one player.

F, for whoever the powers that be who came up with NoAdd supertiebreak 3rd set scoring for doubles.
Category: Tennis
Tags: Grades, Lines
Posted on: March 29, 2008 9:10 am

Just a matter of time

Novak Djokovic has a habbit of bouncing a ball as many as 18 times before he serves it.  It was just a matter of time before an umpire would have the brass to warn him about it.  It can be annoying.  The umpire warned him this time as he was serving while up 2 to love in the 3rd set against Kevin Anderson.  It definitely rattled him.  He went on to lose the set 6 to 3 and was eliminated in the first round.  He is going to have to change this.  Other umpires will follow this precedent now and give him time warnings.  Better to make the change and stay in control of his match tempo than to be unsure about what an umpire will let him get away with.  The crowd was not on his side in this one.  Novak is a player who needs the crowd on his side.  Aren't we all? 
Category: Tennis
Tags: Djokovic, Lines
Posted on: March 28, 2008 1:22 pm
Edited on: March 28, 2008 1:29 pm

Nadal versus the Umpire

Indian wells is long over but there was a bit of intringue during the semi final match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Nadal had just held serve to leave the score at 3 to 5 in favor of the Serb. Rafa then asked for a medical time out because his feet were hurting him. The umpire questioned him and then decided that he would call for the trainer but not call time out until after Novak served for the set. The umpire's reasoning was that if Rafa was well enough to serve his own game he was well enough to let Djokovic serve for the set. Having a pause of several minutes could well disrupt the Serbians concentration just before serving for the set. Rafa wasn't happy with this. He felt like he was being accused of stalling and faking an injury to gain an advantage. He said he would never do that. I believe Nadal was honest and his feet were causing him a problem. I also think the umpire made the right call. It was a critical time in the match as the first set was being decided. What do you think?
Category: Tennis
Tags: Lines, Nadal
Posted on: March 17, 2008 7:29 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2008 10:01 am

A lesson from Melzer

I watched the last few games of the match between Jurgen Melzer and Andy Murray on Saturday. There was one shot Melzer hit down the line and in the blur of the moment it 'might' have touched the outside of the line. The Linesman called it out and, shades of Andy Roddick, Melzer was livid. How could the umpire call it out? By the way, is a ball 'in' when the bottom of the ball contacts the edge of the line or is it the birds eye view that matters? That's another question. This one is about how to react when you think you have been snookered. Melzer's reaction was harsh and he didn't want to forget about it. He chided the linesman then and after the match. I don't remember what the score was at the time. It wasn't match point. It wasn't set point. It wasn't game point. Really, it was a mute point. A game of inches you say? Every point counts you say?

My point is this. The last point is ancient history in tennis or any sport you play. It should be remembered like Washington crossing the Delaware should be remembered.  It's interesting but over.  If hawkeye is in operation challenge the call.  If not then move on.  The only point that matters is the next point and that one is critical. The athlete or team that is able to think that way will never be snookered. If you felt short changed by what just happened then you have to channel your feelings into focus on the next point.
Category: Tennis
Tags: Focus, Lines, Melzer, Rules
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com