Bonnie Ford and Greg Garber will be chatting live from Wimbledon on Monday! They'll be by every day of the tournament at noon ET to talk tennis!
Top of the day to everyone. Sorry we're getting started a bit late here, but all this sunshine at Wimbledon has thrown us off. Fire away!
Do you think Davydenko will ever be able to win a slam? I personally do not think he ever will...the Big 3 are too dominant. Would you consider him the best men's player without a slam on tour right now?
Zack, he is certainly a good candidate for that special category at the moment, but never is a long time.
Do you think that there were players who got an unfavorable seed?
Greetings, Lane. Personally, I'm not clear on how Davydenko could be seeded above Roddick when Roddick is a two-time finalist here and Davydenko has never been past the fourth round... the committee here has the option to factor in grass court performance but didn't. They're in the same quarter, as you probably saw, so it may be moot in the end.
Looks like Novak is having some trouble with Berrer, your thoughts?
My thought is chiefly surprise, though I would also say (and no less than Bjorn Borg agrees) that the first round of Wimbledon is often a shaky one for players who went deep in the French. Not to take away from Berrer -- he served exceptionally well (and fast) in the second set.
What do you think of American Bobby Reynold's play in the first round?
Tim, he's the only U.S. man to win so far... nice followup to his play in Paris.
Good afternoon, Bonnie. People keep weighing in on another Nadal/Federer final, but who that you see could trip either one up along the way?
Djokovic has to be in the discussion, along with Roddick.
Do you think pro tennis will ever go back to wood rackets? I love the game, but the current rackets are becoming more and more like rocket launchers...can't imagine what it will be like in ten years...
Hi Wilson... not related to the racket-making Wilsons, I hope, because wood will not be making a comeback. Too heavy, among many other reasons.
How do you think all this talk (from the press, from Djokovic, etc.) about Roger being vulnerable will affect him? Not at all? Will it drive him?
Joe, he says he's not reading or listening, but he knows what's in the wind and I do think it's motivating him... whether he'll be able to translate that to execution and authority is a different matter. That's part of why this tournament is shaping up to be so fascinating.
I missed the Federer match. Any signs of weakness from the defending champ?
It was pretty brisk and businesslike... except when Hrbaty came and sat next to Federer during the last changeover. They're old pals and Hrbaty said it may be his last Wimbledon... he's not the same player since elbow surgery.
I'm going to hand you over to Greg Garber now while you all continue to enjoy strawberries and cream.
Thanks , Bonnie. Greetings from Wimbledon, tennis fans. The weather is astonishingly good here. Sunny and pleasant, and we expect clear skies for at east he next three days. To the questions we go...
Didn't Djokovic ask that his name be pronounced Jock-a-vich, not Joke-a-vich? I'm surprised P Mac & Chris are both missing it.
Nick: This has been a running debate for better than a month. After telling the media that his name was pronounced JOKE-o-vic for more than a year, Novak changed it up at Roland Garros, saying he'd prefer JOCK-o-vic. ESPN's announcers are honoring that request. Personally, I think an athlete sounds more confident as a JOCK, not a JOKE.
i still can't get over the fact that most experts are betting against federer. i think this slighting will only motivate the fed even more. i'm predicting the djoker will get the most drubbing form the fed when they meet on the semis.
Adi: Good to have you aboard. I was the only one of five ESPN.com "experts" to predict that Federer would win this tournament. It has been fashionable, in the wake of his mono-diminished Australian Open effort and his horrific loss to Nadal in the French Open final, to rag on Roger, but ... He IS going for his sixth title and he indicated yesterday that the doubters -- something he hasn't had to deal with much in the last five years -- ARE motivating him. He was a little chippy in his press conference (see Sunday story). I wouldn't be surprised to see him win this thing.
James Blake looks to have a pretty favorable draw up until the round of 16 in London. Do you expect any hiccups from him? And why have Grand Slams posed such a challenge to such a gifted player?
Matt: It's a pretty sweet setup for Blake, who would see Roddick in the fourth round. They just released Tuesday's schedule, and he plays Christophe Rochus in the fourth match on Court No. 2. This means he'll be playing at a reasonably hour in the afternoon EST. Nicolas Almagro, who beat Blake at the French in 2006, is the highest seed he would see before Roddick. Blake has always been a temperamental player. He plays a high-risk game, hits the ball hard and flat, and just never seems to do well in the Euro Slams. He lost to Gulbis in the second at Roland Garros and is 12-11 for the Euros in his career.
What do you think of all the talk that Federer is washed up?
Amber: It's a ittle silly. We in the media love a good tory. The Rise of Roger Federer is a good story. The Dominance of Roger Federer -- to a point -- is a good story. With No. 2 and No. 3 closing the gap dramtically, it's another good story. Roger WILL pass Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam singles titles.
He probably went with "joke" doesn't want people to call him "Jock Itch"
Nicely done, Joe...
Jankovic is such a talented player. Do you see her ever holding up a winner's trophy at a Grand Slam?
Carl: You are correct, I believe. The ay women's tennis is, there should be a few openings. Look what happened at Roland Garros: if she beats Ivanovic in the semifinals, she probably lifts the trophy. Roland Garros next year might represent her next best chance. She's been to the SFs two years in a row now...
What kind of reaction do you think Andy Murray will recieve from his home crowd after his scathing remarks last week?
Paul: It's good to see you're paying attention. If Murray beats Santoro on Tuesday (third on, Centre Court), the folks on Mt. Murray watching on the big screen will forgive him instantly.
T-Bird a first Wimbledon victim at the hands of Korolev? BTW really appreciate your great article about coaches.
Woytek: The coaches, I thought, were very insightful, particularly Paul Annacone. T-Berdych has just gone up 6-5 in the fifth. Czech Republic hope lives.
greg whowins wimbledon this year?
Victor: Going with (against my better judgment?) Federer and Sharapova. On that not we leave you until tomorrow, noon EST. Today's fashion highlight was Federer's 1920s cardigan sweater. Tuesday: Look for Maria Sharapova playing in shorts...
We'll be back again on Tuesday at noon ET for more Wimbledon chat!
Good afternoon, tennis fans. Greg Garber here. Bonnie Ford will be along in 30 minutes. We've already had a big day here at Wimbledon. Venus Williams has won, No. 4 seed Nikolay Davydenko is gone. So is Mardy Fish. To the questions ...
Greg: Which USA tennis player is coming into Wimbledon riding the most momentum?
Corey: The answer is Roddick (semifinals at Queen's) and Blake (semis at Halle). Coincidentally, they both are up about now. Roddick is up 3-2 on serve against Schwank, Blak follows Lindsay davenport, who just won her first set against Voracova.
Karlovic going down in the first round has to be a surprise especially coming of his win in the tune up event and a pretty favorable draw.
Michael: Oddly enough, not a huge surprise. Last year, Dr. Ivo also won Nottingham and managed to lose in the first round at Wimbledon - for the third year in a row. Now, he's lost four straight here. While the grass is friendly to that big serve, It is also user-unfriendly to Karlovic's 6-10 frame. He simply can't bend low enough to dig out those low, skidding balls. Was it a coincidence that 6-7 Chris Guccione, Sam Querrey lost yesterday and 6-9 John Isner just lost to sohrter (and more talented) Ernests Gulbis.
It's obvious the dobule game is unappreciated. Would it help increase its marketability and broadcast coverage if more stars played like the Williams and the Kuz/Mauresmo team?
Chri: This is an age-old debate. As long as singls pays so well, doubls will be a step-child. The Williams Sisters ARE playing doubles here a little later, which always helps raise the profile, if only temporarily. They're actually pretty good together.
who's your longshot to be in the finals this year?
Adam: There are no long-shot finalists this year, I believe. Give me Federer-Nadal and Shrapova and Serena Williams...
Matt: Just a thought ... can't answer questions when you post the same question 50 times...Thanks.
Davydenko should just skip the all England club...the gets embarrassed in the first round just about every year
Adam: I'm with you. He HATES it here. Why not just stay home?
Andy Roddick has no chance he is the most over rated tennis player inthe world
Angelo: This is a sentiment we hear quite often. The kid WON the US Open and played Federer decently in two finals here. He's seeded No. 6 here, which is about right. How is that overrated?
Did Roger do enough in his first match for all the experts to say he's not "finished" nor is he the underdog?
Adam: Until he beats Rafa in the final, nothing will be enough to silence the critics. I think it just might happen. Ladies and gentlemen, thanks for sticking with us. We now welcome in Bonnie Ford...
HI folks, just back in from an interview session with Maria Sharapova. As many questions about her outfit as her match, as you might imagine. Any reactions to this year's Wimbledon fashion out there? And yes, I will entertain X and O questions...
Hi Bonnie - what would you make of John McEnroe coaching for Federer. or even Agassi? no one knows more about tennis than those two - especially the former.
Amy, neither guy has ever showed any interest in traveling as a full time coach, but both -- especially Agassi -- have done their share of quiet mentoring. On the flip side, I don't see Federer ever traveling full time with someone -- I just don't think it suits his personal style. I think he'll continue to seek advice here and there.
Bonnie, I asked a question earlier about the unbalanced nature of the slam draws. I'd be curious to hear your answer. Thanks!
Arlington Matt -- can you re-post your question? Thanks.
Any chance Williams vs. Williams this year?
Always, but I'm still picking Sharapova to come out of her half.
BY the way, there's a barnburner going on between two young Americans, Donald Young and Jesse Levine -- 1 set all and Levine is up 4-2 in the third.
Who comes out of the lower half of the quarter to challenge Roddick (as many suspect)?
Not sure who suspects what there, Andrew, but I think IF Ljubicic can keep it together -- and that's a big IF -- that would be an entertaining match. It's unfortunate for US fans that Blake is in the same 1/8.
Why is nobody talking about Marcos Baghdatis he was a game or two away from taking out Djockovic and he played well against Federer in Halle and he can keep up with nadal. So do u think he has a chance to win it? If not how far do yu think he'll make it?
HI Leo. I'm still a bit skeptical about Baghdatis, though as you point out, grass seems to have healed him. He is in a soft quarter but I think Djokovic will handle him.... if he gets that far. Watch out for the Brazilian, Bellucci.
Healed him in the past, that is... Bellucci is inexperienced on this surface, but I like his tenaciousness.
Speaking of South Americans, Schwank is playing impressively against Roddick, though I think Roddick will win in straights.
Nadal looked somewhat shaky in is match today against Beck, any chance of a Gulbis upset in the next round ?
HI Xavier. That could shape up to be a terrific match, although Gulbis had his hands full with Isner today. As for Nadal, remember that the aforementioned Bellucci was the only guy to make a dent in his service games at the French -- in the first round -- before Djokovic in the semis. The first match of a Slam is a nervous one for the big guys. As Bjorn Borg said, if you win the French, the most dangerous matches for you are the first two rounds of Wimbledon.
What was the LTA/All England club thinking seeding Davydenko 4th? I know the 5th ranked player in the world (Ferrer) is another clay-courter, and that people seem to love to hate Roddick, but if gambling were legal...I'm pretty sure my money would be on Roddick 10/10 times against Davydenko on grass, so why not move him up?
Totally agree with you, Jeremy.
Bonnie, will Roddick ever win another major? Can he win the US, it seems to be his best surface? The competition my be right for him to make a run.
Pete, it's one of the more interesting questions in tennis. I think he will, although the window is shrinking and he knows it.
Got to run now --- thanks for the conversation. See you tomorrow at the same time.
Bonnie and Greg will be back again on Wednesday for another chat live from Wimbledon at noon ET!
Was it a matter of Safin turning back the clock or Djokovic suffering a bad day at the office? Can Safin make one more big run?
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to our ongoing Wimbledon chat. Greg Garber here, followed by Bonnie Ford in 30 minutes. To cut right to the chase, Marat Safin scored the biggest uset of the tournament earlier, knocking Novak Djokovic out -- in straight sets. Both players used the word "solid" to describe Safin's play and basically acknowledged that it was Djokovic playing badly that turned the match. Working on a story for later. The crux is that Djokovic has always revered Safin as an idol and lost to him badly in the 2005 Australian Open. He said on Wednesday that respect (awe?) might have been a factor three and one-half years later...
2 young Americans, Jesse Levine and Donald Young, going at it in the 1st round, and ESPN doesn't show a single highlight or even mention the match or its result. Isner, Reynolds, Ginepri, Fish, all these guys got at least mentioned, if not shown, but these 2 guys don't get a single word. What kind of coverage is that? Shame on ESPN. Patrick McEnroe and company love to talk up American tennis and 2 of the up and coming stars go head to head and don't even get a mention on the air today in 10 1/2 hours of coverage. Just awful.
Scott: The programming folks have a tough job here in th early rounds. Lwet's review: Venus won. Roddick won. Blake won. These are all big Q-rating stars. I watched some of the Young-Levine match and wrote a small story for ESPN.com on Levine and interviewed him for the web site as well. There's only so much time. Today, you had two Serbs (Djokovic and Ivanovic) possibly going down and Serena playing. That means Bobby Reynolds' win and Bethanie Mattek (who won her first set) were probably overlooked, in relative terms. It's the age-old debate: Do you give people what they want (stars)? Or what they need (news). At ESPN.com we try to give you both...
Does Wimbledon need a Federer-Nadal matchup to score a big rating on tv? Is it safe to assume that almost everyone in the business side of tennis wants Federer-Nadal at Wimbledon?
Lane: How's the weather in Hawaii? It depends on which business side you're talking about ... In some ways, a Roddick-Federer might be bigger, more novel than a Rafa-Roger -- particularly in North America.With Djokovic out, Federer's path just got a whole lot easier.
You've gotta like Safin's chances of making a deep run here in London. Wawrinka is playing some solid tennis but Marat looks likes he's on quite a role. Where will his magical run end?
Matt: This is a good question. Safin was so sure he was going to lose, he didn't look past Djokovic'sw name and wasn't sure who he was going to play next. The answer is Andreas Seppi of Italy. The winner is ikely to get Stanislas Wawrinka, who beat Juan Martin Del Potro. Bottom line, if Safin plays like vintage Safin, he can win. But at 28, you are always wondering when the laconic, unmotivated Marat will show up again...
Do you think that Bobby Reynolds has a chance to win his third round match (Against possibly Lopez I believe) after his solid win today?
Tim: Reynolds WAS solid against the Canadian, Frank Dancevic. Feliciano Lopez, La Lo, won in straights and this remains his favorite tournament. He reached the quartefinals here in 2005 -- his only Grand Slam quarter -- and has to third-round and two fourth-round efforts. Think he'll be too much for Reynolds.
Don't you think that commentation from Mr Brad was good for ESPN. He confidently dDjoker would be the champion, would be in the finals and would defeat Mr Marat in 3 (6-3, 7-6 and 6-1). Any one could be a better commentator....
Dude, I predicted a straight-sets victory for Djokovic, too. Safin has been dodgy this year; he was 10-13 coming into the tournament. Easy to say he as going to in in hindsight, not so easy earlier this morning...
When a set goes to a tiebreak, which player gets to serve first? After a tiebreak, which player gets to serve to start the next set? Does it matter who wins the tiebreak?
Jen: The serve goes to the player who served first in that same set. After the breaker, the serve goes to the person who served last to get to the breaker.
i just don't understand why american men have such troubles in these tournys...r they that weak with their games or is it the surface or what????
Gino: Roddick HAS been to four Grand Slam finals, two of them here. Blake,considering his terrific talent, probably has underachieved, but with three great players who have distanced themselves from the field, it's tough to break through...
I don't get it. How can Djokovic be the only guy on the ATP tour who openly talks about Federer being on the decline (and not being in awe of Federer's 12 slams), and at the same time, allow "respect" to be a factor in his match against Safin?
JasonL THAT is the question of the day. Precisely. A conundrum wrapped in a dilemma, packaged in a mystery. What did Kurt Cobain say: Kill yor idols? Djokovic couldn't bring himself to do it... That's it for me, please welcome in Bonnie Ford. See you tomorrow same time...
Hey, kind of a quiet day, huh?
Bonnie, Here's my question from yesterday that you asked me to re-send: What's with the lack of balance to the Slam draws? I have no love for Djokavic, but does he really deserve to play a former Slam winner as dangerous as Safin in round 2 (even at 75 in the rankings) when 11th ranked Berdych gets the lowly Victor Hanescu?? And what's with Haas (38) having to deal with Canas (44) in round 1? Does any thought go into these seedings whatsoever? I always thought a straight NCAA tourney-like 1-124 bracket would make sense, where 1 plays 64 in round 2, 32 in round 3, etc. Your thoughts? p.s. The French was even worse.
Well, if you had only seen Safin's ranking and not his name, I'm sure you would have thought it was a logical second round matchup... even an easy one. I agree with Greg that this was not an easy result to see coming. Safin's champion's muscle memory hasn't been much in evidence.
As for the seedings... I mentioned in a previous post that players are grouped according to ranking and then blindly drawn, and part of the reason for this is to avoid the same matchups week after week in an 11-month-a-year sport. It may not fit with our American sensibilities... but no solution is perfect.
Bonnie, do you think John Isner was a dissapointment? and do you think he had a shot at Nadal? How do you think he will fare in the U.S. Open and his final season rankings?
Isner is struggling as I would expect him to in his first full season on the Tour. However, his best surface lies ahead and I wouldn't be surprised to see him put up some stronger results in the US summer hardcourt season
I don't get why Ivanovic is seen as such a strong contender. Honestly, to get to the French final, she didn't have to go through many tough draws. If she had faced Maria, Venus or Serena, or if Justine were still playing, I don't think Ivanovic would have stood as the winner. So, why is she seen as a threat?
Sara, I would say Ivanovic's game is notches better on clay, but she does have all the right tools to go deep in other Slams.
Bonnie, I don't understand how these tennis rankings work. If Nadal defeats Federer here at Wimbledon, will he become #1?
No, Frederick, if they both get that far, Federer has too much of a cushion right now. They both made the final here last year, so Nadal wouldn't make up enough rankings points.
Would it be possible for the announcers/commentators to refrain from calling female athletes fat? Too few girls play sports and too many have eating disorders, which keep them too weak to play any sport. Serena Williams, who has a beautiful body, is forever belittled as fat. Let these athletes manage their own bodies.
Hi Alissa. Thanks for your thoughts on this interesting topic -- I did edit your question for length. I struggle with this issue in my own writing -- but I do think fitness is a legitimate area for criticism in tennis, just as it is in any sport. Weight doesn't ALWAYS correlate with fitness, but usually. Certainly, some players, male and female, have managed to succeed without perfect physiques, but I cringe when I see a player who is allegedly working on his/her game and is obviously out of shape. It's a difficult issue to write about fairly, because bottom line is we;re not in the gym or at the table with them seeing exactly what they're doing. Anyone else want to weigh in?
Was it good for Ivanovic to have a match like today early in the tournamnet so she can play a little more loose as she goes on?
Steven, Ivanovic's serve has improved but it's still vulnerable and that was in evidence today. The first couple rounds can be the toughest, for sure, especially for someone who went all the way at the French two weeks ago.
Do you think Safina can be No.1 in the next 4 or 5 years?
Only if she can become more consistent, Rodrigo.
In response to Alissa, sports in an area where "fat" usually equals "bad". After all, a fat tennis player is less likely to succeed than a fit, in-shape player. I personally have never heard a commentator call a player "fat", but the bottom line is, in tennis, fat is not good.
Now that women have been receiving equal pay...when will doubles/mixed doubles get equal pay...do they deserve it??
Won't ever happen, Zack -- but doubles is more secure than it was a few years ago following the format changes. You may have noticed Wimbledon is the only Slam where the men play five sets in the early rounds now.
Does Roddick have a chance this year?
Getting this question a lot, Andrew -- it will probably boil down to him and Nadal in the semis. Interestingly, they have played the last four finals here.
I guess it's a fine line to walk- we would expect someone who is a professional athlete to work on having an in-shape physique, but we don't know exactly what goes on in the fitness regimen of any given player, so it's not clear in judging players.
Time to close it out here, folks. Join us tomorrow for tea and scones at noon eastern.
Greg Garber and Bonnie D. Ford will both be by again LIVE from Wimbledon at noon ET on Thursday!
Good afternoon everybody.
We've seen some top players struggling today. Perhaps it's the unaccustomed sunshine.
Does Davenport's early exit due to injury give any indication as to what the future may hold for the rest of her tennis career?
Hi Tim, my sense is that she won't play past this season, but that's purely a guess (and I've been wrong before...) She'll focus on getting well for the Olympics, her main goal, and the US Open. She told us today the injury is not super- serious and not related to the knee surgery she had a few years ago.
Ivanovic, Sharapova, Venus, all struggling so far. Give us a dark horse who has looked good and can cause some serious noise?
Said this in my picks, but I would watch Caroline Wozniacki from Denmark. On the men's side, you have to love the potential QF matchups between Safin and Baghdatis, and Fed and Ancic -- though Ferrer or Verdasco could disrupt that latter pairing.
Sigh of relief for Rafa? Is Bjorn correct when he said, if Rafa gets through the first two rounds, he is the favorite?
It's a reasonable theory. I do think Nadal is playing with more pressure than he's ever had here, and that may explain how hard he's had to work. But credit Gulbis today -- what terrific promise he has.
Hi Bonnie! What can you tell me about the British player Chris Eaton? Is he considered a possible up-and-comer, someone who could help take some pressure off of Andy Murray being the lone British male who ever does well in tournaments? Does he have any chance of giving Tursunov trouble in today's match? I know Eaton is ranked outside the top 600, but from the little I saw of him the other day, he looked like he has some promise.
What a fun run he's had. As you can imagine, he's getting MAJOR ink here. Tursunov has a decent record here -- makes 3rd or 4th round every year -- but he can be erratic and Eaton will obviously have great support. We'll see if adrenaline can carry him a bit farther. I'm sure Murray would welcome some company on the hot seat.
What has a better chance of happening? 4 different women winning the 2008 slams or 4 different men winning the 2008 slams. I think there is a better chance with the men (Federer and Roddick picking up one each). I can see Serena taking one, but I don't know if Venus or Jankovic can.
Very intriguing question. It's been a long time since that's happened for the men, obviously. Opinions?
Hi Bonnie. A tad off-subject, but important: The current format of the tennis "season" is just brutal on players. Do you think something should and WILL be done to change this? Thanks!
The WTA's new "road map" that debuts next year includes some streamlining that the women signed onto. The picture is a little fuzzier for the men due to the pending Hamburg lawsuit that you may have read about.
James Blake is my favorite player for the past 6 years. But come on a 5 setter in a second round! He's never going to be an elite player.
Nabeel -- he is an elite player -- just one who struggles in Slams.
Great question by Jason! The initial reaction from most of us fans was probably, "women!", but he makes a great point with Roddick/Federer vs. Williams'/Jankivic. Obviously Roddick is the wild card because, even if he plays his best tennis, he likely still has to through at least two of the "big three", which is a HUGE task. But I'll say men, too.
In response to the 4 different slam winners...if Nadal wins Wimbledon then NO obviously...if Federer wins I would still say No because one of the Top 3 will win the US Open (my guess is Djokovic). If Roddick wins Wimbledon and then Djokovic wins US Open then somewhat the same scenario. For women, very possible...if Sharapova does not win Wimbledon then I would say definitely. My guess is Venus at Wimbledon and then either Jankovic, Serena, or Davenport at the US Open.
I'm going to pass the baton to Greg Garber now. Thanks for chatting.
Greetings, kids. Kind of a little chaos going on here at the moment. Lindsay Davenport has withdrawn, James Blake is battling for his life in the fifth set and Maria Sharapova is down a set and 2-4 to Alla Kudryavtseva....Fire away...
I know james blake never makes things easy on himself. but if he makes it to a showdown with roddick, who would you pick? i don't think there is any other player in the world who can return roddick's serve better than blake can and blake leads the head to head (i think)
Barney: Let's get him through to the THIRD round. He's down 3-4 to Rainer Schuettler in the fifth set and it's 30-30. If he survives, we'll tackle the Roddick-Blake angle...
Do You think that sania mirza reac the 3rd round .
Ram: sadly Mirza lost to Martinez Sanchez -- 9-7 in the third.
What are your opinions of Bethanie Mattek? I think she is the best up & coming player the US women have and could be a slam contender in about 3 or 4 years.
Zack: The first time I heard Bethanie Mattek's name was when she played for the Hartford FoxForce of the WTT at the age of something like 16. Now, she's surpassed her best Grand Slam effort. I watched two of her matches at Roland Garros and was impressed with her fitnes and willingness to fight. But ... she's 23, not young by pro tennis standards.
QUESTION TO GREG AT 12.40 PM GARBER MAN WHAT GOING ON WITH JAMES BLAKE 5 SETTER UGH
Yikes. Blake is down 4-5 and serving at 15-30....
What is ESPN thinking?!? Andy Roddick and James Blake are both playing now - Blake fighting to win in the 5th set - and ESPN is broadcasting Maria Sharapova. We can't watch either American man play because you're showing Sharapova's meltdown. Very frustrating!
Two words: ESPN 360.
Blake just lost, jerked a running forehand wide and Rainer Scuettler wins, which leads us to...
Why do Americans struggle so much in Major slams?
Nick: Lately, outside of the Williams sisters last year, it's been a struggle. Probably a cyclical thing.
GSM, Schuettler (over Blake). Why is he considered an elite player again if he can't play well at the top events?
By winning a fe tournaments and reaching a decent number of QFs, Blake is in the top 10 -- and he deserves to be. Whether that's "elite" or not, that's your call...
Sharapova now serving for 5-all at 40-30...
Shrapova at 40-all, two points from losing match...
One point from losing...after a double-fault,
Sharapova is done. No. 3 seed is out. That's a pair of 3s in two days. Who said women's tennis is predictable?
What is up with all of the upsets...Djokovic, Blake, Davydenko, possibly Sharapova...I thought this was Wimbledon NOT Roland Garros...could this be blamed for the season's schedule??
Sked, clearly, a factor. By squeezing tournaments around the Euro Slams into one less week of time, everything is compressed to create space for the Olympics later this summer. And with that, I'll step aside to run down the Blake and Sharapova losses. See you tomorrow...at noon EST
Thanks as always to Bonnie and Greg! Check back at noon ET tomorrow to hear more from them on what's becoming a wild day at Wimbledon!
Hey there everybody. Welcome to The Day After.
How high do you think the ceiling is for Bethanie Mattek? Is this just a one time happening or are we witnessing her breakthrough?
Tim, it's always interesting when a woman player starts to make some headway at a "late" age -- it's not the normal path, certainly. Mattek --who is a delightful person, by the way -- is fitter, dedicated to improving and playing very, very well. I don't see why she couldn't keep the momentum going in the hardcourt season.
Folks, we appreciate all the feedback on the TV broadcasts, but this is not the right place to send comments -- we're just lowly writers here. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and reserve this chat for tennis or story-related questions. Thanks.
If part of Andy Roddick's problem is that he puts too much pressure on himself, then isn't it the worst possible strategy to skip the Olympics to concentrate on the US Open? If my memory is correct, didn't Ivan Lendl once skip the French Open to focus on Wimbledon? Lendl likely cheated himself of one more slam. In the same way, I think Roddick will have cheated himself out of an Olympic medal - and that medal would give him more confidence heading into the US Open.
Jason, a couple of us asked Roddick about that yesterday in his presser, and he is very comfortable with his plan. Part of it is the grueling travel to China and what are likely to be very difficult air quality conditions there for everyone... but mostly it's about playing as many matches as possible going into the US Open. He says he feels historically that he's done best under those circumstances.
Yesterday it seemed as if Roddick was trying to wear out Tipsarevic, but at the end of the match it seemed to be the exact opposite. What could you expect of Tipsarevic in the next round?
He's my favorite to win that quarter now, where the only seeds left are Tursunov and Mathieu. You're right that he's had an up and down season, but he seems to reserve his best tennis for the big stages. The first round loss in Paris was a disappointment. He did make the quarters in Miami, where he lost to the zoned-in Nikolay Davydenko.
By the way, interesting Tipsy sighting outside our press room -- a few minutes after Safin came out for practice accompanied by four uniformed security guys, Tipsy emerged alone and unrecognized. He took a few steps and finally was spotted by an autograph seeker.
Seems Ivanovic is having early troubles again. Is back to back comebacks to much to expect?
Yikes. Perhaps just a slow start, we'll see.
Do you think Hewitt will be able to mount a strong fight against Federer in the next round?
Hewitt is not what I would call an easy out for Federer even though he hasn't won since 2003, I believe. Still have to favor Fed pretty decisively given what he's showed so far.
Safin came back from the doldrums to beat Djokovic. Mauresmo is giving Serena a war. So continuing on this theme, what are Lleyton Hewitt's chances against Federer?
Hi Jason -- similar question there. I admire the way Mauresmo is playing -- she considered not playing here because of her injury.
Sorry, but since Henin's retirement the women's game has seemed to me less interesting than it was before... Henin brougt intelligence, variety and finesse to the women's game that I don't really see from the top seeds anymore... So I'm sorta looking for somebody new to root for, is there a new up and comer in the women's game whose style of play resembles that of Henin ?
Bonjour Xavier. We're not going to replace Henin any time soon -- particularly her talent-to-size ratio. But there are some terrific competitors on the rise: Radwanska, Paszek, Cornet, Szavay,Wozniacki, to name a few. I'm intrigued by the Kiwi, Marina Erakovic, though I haven't had a chance to see her play here yet -- she took care of Michaella Krajicek pretty easily even though MK seemed to be pulling out of her slump.
>>Hewitt is not what I would call an easy out for Federer even though he hasn't won since 2003, I believe. Um, I think this would be pretty impossible since it was Fed who won it in 2003. The media never seems to give Fed his due. First, you all seem pretty eager to give Nadal and Djoko (ahem!) this year's trophy before the tourney started, now you're awarding Hewitt a trophy that Rodge had earned?
Joe, please read more carefully. Hewitt hasn't beaten Federer since 2003. I am not "eager" to award a trophy to anyone -- that's a job for dukes and dutchesses here and I'm a mere commoner.
Greg Garber has just SPRINTED out of the Federer interview session and is ready to take over. Thanks for all the traffic today and I'll see you here Monday.
Greetings, all. A little dicey today, with a 90-minute rain delay, but let's get to the questions.
Wimbledon update: Ana Ivanovic, taking a page from Novak Djokovic, is getting flogged by Jie Zheng, down 1-6 and 1-2 with Zheng serving. Must be something in the water.
Greg, That was a nice pick to win on the women's side. Don't you think The Williams sisters have to be the favorite now.
Josh: You HAD to bring up the Sharapova choice. Seriously, did YOU think she's lose in the second round? Yes, if Ivanovic goes it's one of the Williams...
what do you think of federers chances now?
JOJO: Pretty solid. Just got out of an interview with him. He's so level-headed and calm. Just keeps winning. Rafa has closed the gap, but this tournament means the world to him.
Safin looked like he was completely physically overwhelming Djokovic when they played. As blasphemous as it sounds considering the media's newfound crush on Novak, it looked like a man playing a boy. When Safin is on, would you say he is still the most physically talented player on tour? I would say yes...
Eric: Safin WAS a man playing against a boy in that second-round match. But, both players (and most observers) agreed that it was more Djokovic's bad than Safin's good. They both used "solid" to describe Safin's game. I would still say Federer and Nadal are more physically talented.
Will someone be writing a Mattek story now, or will we have to wait until she wears something crazy on Center Court against Serena?
dan: Now that you mention it, I'll be wrapping up this chait in a few minutes to speak with Bethanie in Interview Room 2. Tennis over fashion...
Do you see anyone troubling Nadal before the final? Looking at Federer's draw I have already pencilled him in for next Sunday.
Russel: I'm with you. I'll take rafa-Federer for 100, Alex...
No, I didn't think she would lose in the second round. But i didn't think Andy Roddick would either.
Josh: I'm with you. Tipsarevic, though, is a credible player. No 154 in the world ... not sure that's logical at all.
Do you think the Williams sisters can win the doubles event?
K: Why not? watched them the other day and they play technically quite cleanly. The one issue, going forward? Their singles success could take them out if they both get to the finals.
That's it for me. Thanks so much for dropping by. Bonnie Ford and I will see you next Monday for a Week Two Wimbledon chat at 12 noon EST...
We'll begin Week Two of our Wimbledon chat on Monday at noon ET!
Greetings, tennis fans. Greg Garber here to carry you through an hour of chatting on the best day of quality tennis in the calendar. Sixteen fourth-round matches, on both sides, to set the quarters here at Wimbledon. Quick thoughts: Jelena Jankovic is out, marking the first time in 40 years Wimbledon's quarters didn't have any of its top three seeds. Let the questions begin...
Both Williams sisters won in two sets and look focused on getting back to the finals. At this point in the tournament, who do you feel is playing better?
Tim: It's lining up nicely for the Williams' sisters. They both won today in straight sets and they haven't lost a set here yet. Moreover, they have won six of the eight championships here since the millennium. And, one of thenm has been in the final for seven of the last eight years. Federer and Nadal are playing just as well right now and they are the favorites to reach the finals, as long as Nadal's knee is OK...
Please say it ain't so... Is this knee injury going to inhibit Nadal? Maybe he gets through today...and even to the final. But that knee injury seemed to kill Nadal's chances in the final. Please give Nadal fans some hope!!!!!!!!
I'm with you, Wilson. Nadal planted, slipped and tweaked his right knee in the second game of the match against Youzhny. It didn;t look as bad as Jankovic's injury from the other day. He took immediate treatment, then had another visit from an ATP trainer in the second set. That said, he leads 6-3, 6-3, 1-0...He's a pretty indestructable kid. I think he'll go on through the tournament.
Purely from a revenue/financial standpoint, women receiving equal prize money at grand slam tournaments is completely unfair to men. Since the quality of the tennis is clearly in favor of the men, the only reason (and this should actually be the only thing considered) women should get equal prize money is if they brought in equal revenue. Since the structure of ticket sales at grand slam events makes this impossible to compute, we can instead compare WTA Tier 1 and ATP Master Series events. Looking at these figures, the ATP Master Series prize money averages about $3.6 million per event, while the WTA Tier 1 events vary a little more, but the majority have prize money of about $1.35 million. These figures suggest the men draw in far more money than the women. Male tennis professionals should be furious. Any thoughts?
Good analytical work from George. In this politically correct world youre not going to get much sympathy from the Grand Slams. I just watched the Mario Ancic and Fernando Verdasco go five sets; Ancic won 13-11 in the final set. Great stuff. The fifth set took 95 minutes and the whole match took 3 hours and 49 minutes. That, as they say in TV, is more programming that a typical 80-minute match from Venus or Serena, and yet proze money is the same. Interesting.
How about that match between Verdasco and Ancic today? Match of the tournament by far. What do you think about Safin v. Wawrinka today. Safin seems to get annoyed very easily with Wawrinka, just remembering from previous matches. What is your take on that match?
Greg (nice name), as I was saying. GREAT match...
News flash: Radwanska beats Kuznetsova, so the one, two, three, four seeds -- are all gone. Never happened here in the Open Era. Crazy stuff...
Why aren't either ESPN2 or NBC showing any live coverage right now?
All programming decisions. ESPN2 comes back on the air in 45 minutes.
QUESTION AT 12.15 HI GREG GARBER NADAL OR FEDERER SUNDAY FINALS
Ray: Picked Federer before the event, got to stick with him.
Federer-Nadal & Williams-Williams are the two finals it looks like...is there anyone who could pull a possible upset and break into one of these finals?
radwanska could give Serena a hard time in the quarters. She's the No. 4 betting favorite here, believe it or not. Serena hasn;t been to Grand Slam semi since 07 Australian Open. Lost last four Grand Slam QFs...
well now jelena will not be number one in the world.
Since Ana Ivanovic's two closest pursuers lost today - Kuznetsova and Jankovic -- Ivanovic will remain No. 1...
Roger is breezing...Is the draw really lopsided for Roger? Or would he breeze through Nadal's bracket with the same ease?
Breezing, but next up is Ancic, who beat Federer here in '02 - his last loss on Grass. Our researcher, Alex Kennison, calls it Mono y Mono -- get it?
I remember John McEnroe trying to get a modern day battle of the sexes match started a few years ago against the Williams sisters. Any chance of something like that happening in the near future? How about getting Nadal, Fed, or Djokovic out there against their counterparts from the womens tour instead of having a senior citizen represent the men...I put the over under on 2 total games won by the women against those guys...
John: I think in this politically correct world, you won't see it happening. There would have to be some kind of field-leveling device, maybe a slightly smaller court for the female participant to make the match interesting...
Do you think Jankovic will ever win a slam? It would be a shame if she doesn't - but she is starting to look like one of those players who never breaks out of the injury cycle.
Jason: That's a solid question. My guess is one of these days things will open up for her. She could have won the French Open if she had managed to beat Ivanovic, but lost in three sets. She's a terrific defender but seems a little fragile sometimes. When she tweaked her knee in the previous round, you knew she'd struggle today. She was beaten by Tamarine Tanasugarn.
Could Lopez give Fed some issues with his serve if he makes the semi's?
Greg: Settle down, there. Lopez just fell down after beating Baghdatis in five sets. He's got the winner of Wawrinka-Safin in the quarters. That will be a tough match for him. Just watched a set of Lopez ... he's really got the serve going.He had 68 aces through three matches and shoudhave had enough today to pass Ancic's 74
Gasquet or Murray? In my opinion this is the most interesting match of the tournament based on talent and play styles... Who would give Nadal more trouble?
That is the question of the day. My tennis colleagues, Matt Wilansky and Ravi Ubha are split on this. Wilansky has Murray and Ravi has Gasquet, who's beaten Murray both times they've played. Watching him play Haas, I got the feeling he's settled down and just might be able to handle the pressure of this great stage.
Gotta stick up for the women here. Equal prize money is all about commercial value. How do you know that a person just bought a ticket to see the women or the men match when they're playing on the same court one after the other? I bet many, like myself, bought the ticket to see both the men and the women matches. Unless you completely separate the men and women matches on different courts at the Slams, you will never mathematically determine which one is worth more prize money.
Luke: This, of course, is the debate the Grand Slams have engaged in over the years. And it wasn't until very recently that all four of them paid women equal prize money. Ultimately, it doesn;t matter who brings more vaue, it's just the right thing to do.
Do you think the players that go to the Olympics could struggle at the US Open? There have been many notable drop-outs (ie Roddick)...could the US Open be like Wimbledon this year, lots of upsets?
Zack: Clarly, it could have a HUGE effect, which is why Roddick and Fish aren't going. Think about it: Roddick is as patriotic as anyone, a Davis Cup standard, but he's bailing on Beijing. Not only will the jet lag get to the layers, but the polution is said to be a little rough. Federer and Nadal will have a deck stacked against them, leaving an opportunity for Roddick. Or at least more of one than usual.
Is this the year that Nadal takes our Roger in the final? Last year was very close.
Greg: That knee injury of Nadal's bears watching...
Lopez just took out Baghdatis...Is Safin now the favorite to get through to the semis against Fed?
Dan: Based on previous Grand Slam success, you'd have to say yes. Bugt if you've followed Safin over the years you know he's capable of losing to Warinka today or Lopez in the quarters. That's the beauty of Marat. You never know what you're going to get.
What if the Bryan Twins paired with the Williams Sisters for Mixed Doubles? Would they make the finals?
Good thought, Zack. Bryans are top shelf and the Williams are very savvy at doubles.
Greg, any up and coming USA stars that you expect to see contend for championships in the future?
You can start with Melanie Oudin, the top seed here. She's a good young American, who could win here. Ryan Harrison and Chase Buchanon, both in the junior draw here, are up-and-comers as well.
Welcome back Nicole Vaidisova?
Exactly, Jason. She's looked. Check out my story on her woes at the French OPen by seraching ESPN.com for Vaidisova Garber ...
What about me Greg? I think I'm pretty good. I'm already Wimbledon Champion too. Take that Roddick.
Donald, thanks for weighing in. You've got ALL the shots, you just need to gain about three inches and 25 pounds...Oh, and congratulations on your Wimbledon junior title. Probably something Roddick will never have on the senior level.
Wawrinka. He's a year younger and he's No. 9 in the world. because he's from Switzerland, which produced Roger Federer, he flies under the radar.
Do you think Safin and Hewitt are future hall of famers? Both former number 1's with two grand slams?
Aaron: The Tennis Hall of Fame does not have the stringent (nd hotly debated) entry standards of, say, Canton Ohio or Springfield, Mass. If jana Novotna can make the Hall of Fame, Safin and Hewitt are ocks...
What are the odds that we see Williams versus Williams in the women's final?
Emily: The last two times it happened, Serena won. Got a funny feeling about Venus this time ut. She IS the defending champion, after all.
Well, that's it, kids. I'm out. Bonnie Ford swings by tomorrow (noon, EST), and I'll see you all on Wednesday for another hour of tennis conversation.
Thanks to Bonnie and Greg for getting us started with the second week of Wimbledon! Check back Tuesday at noon ET for more live from the tournament!
Good afternoon to all.
Good afternoon to all.
Does Andy Murray, with the home crowd behind him, have any hope of derailing Nadal, considering Nadal possibly has a knee injury?
Hi Tim. What a match Murray had yesterday, eh? We're told it got a 44 share over here on TV, beating out the ancient and venerable continuing drama "Coronation Street"... to answer your question, I'm sure the crowd will be of assistance to Murray, but Nadal is a seasoned competitor in those situations, and he doesn't seem too worried about the knee.
If Serena plays as well as she did today, any chance Venus could beat her in the final? Assuming they both make it...
Great question, Diana. The sisters haven't played a Slam final since they did here in 2003. You wonder if the dynamic would be different. Venus' game is more serve-dependent -- as she said today, she goes for it big every time, while Serena goes more for placement. I would favor her if she's serving well.
I'll ask the same question I asked yesterday. Why do you think there is so little coverage in the States about 1) Justin Gimelstob's verbal attacks (and threatened physical attacks) on women tennis players? 2) Tennis Channel's refusal to take any action against him other than patting him on the back for apologizing?
Hi Anne. I'll answer, because I don't want it to look as if we're avoiding the topic. I wrote about the incident/issue, as did every one of my colleagues here that I'm aware of... I can't speak for people back home. As for the Tennis Channel, that question is more properly addressed to them.
Do you see any of the young guns in the game taking that step up to the Nadal, Djokovic and Federer level? Murray, Wavrinka, Del Potro?
Murray is the most likely of the three to be a consistent top 10 player... IF he can stay healthy and IF he can find the right person to help him continue to improve.
Tennis needs a Williams sister final.....for the ratings....look what Spain vs Germany did for soccer and the ratings
Jay, gotta admit I have not researched the Euro championship ratings, but I think a Sister Act final would attract some attention back home.
Does Murray really have a legitimate chance against the powerful and athletic Nadal? I just don't know if he can play with Nadal's athletic play even though he is the hometown favorite.
Nadal has won all three of their prior matches, Jadon, and he's definitely a heavy favorite in my book. I also think Nadal is capable of handling the crowd/emotion of the occasion.
Your Top 3 Breakouts for the 2nd Half?
Hi Phil, don't get too confident there, you might start another long drought. Did you mean the second half of 2008?
Ray, Venus and Serena both won their matches.
Any predictions for the Nadal-Murray and Federer-Ancic contests?
Hi Dave. I think Ancic might get a set off Fed, but I would pick Fed and Nadal.
Obviously the Olympics will be a factor, but do you think the US Open will have less upsets than the French & Wimbledon have had? My predictions are Djokovic over Federer/Nadal (depending on where he is in the draw) and Jankovic over Ivanovic/Sharapova (depending on where she is in the draw).
Bold picks. I have my doubts about Jankovic pulling that off... she seems very beat up physically and it's only July.
I know the Williams sisters are favorites in their respective matches, but if you have to give some one a chance to beat any of them, would it be Dementieva or the Chinese girl (Zheng I believe)... I think Zheng as a little better chance than Dementieva. Your thoughs?
I think they'll both hit the end of their respective roads against the sisters, but Zheng's accomplishment is amazing. No Chinese player has ever made it this far in a major. Good timing with the Olympics coming up.
Do you see any player coming through to dominate the womens game a la Federer?
Henin came close to what I would describe as dominance last year, winning two Slams, the year-end title and running the table after losing the Wimbledon semi. I think the watchword this year is "parity" -- look at all these upsets.
Is it just me or is Venus just playing ok ? I mean, I don't see her putting her the level of play she has in the past and while it my be good enough to beat Tanasugarn ( And let's face it Dementieva ) Is it gonna be good enough to beat Serena ?
X, I view Venus' tournament as one where she's taken care of business and been pretty efficient. I can't find much fault with a player who is marching through the draw without dropping a set, and has served the fastest serve ever recorded here. But she would have to lift her game to its maximum to beat her sister.
Isn't Gasquet on a good way to be a Haas-like player? That mean to have some 'big' moments, but in crunch time his state of mind will not allow him to achieve great success. Yesterday he had 2-0 and up a break in third...
He's still young, but his mentality definitely seems to need work. It's ironic that Murray did to Gasquet exactly what Gasquet did to Roddick last year.
are tennis players tested for steroids?
They are tested for all the same performance-enhancing drugs other athletes in Olympic sports are, and there have been a handful of steroid positives over the years.
Now that he's healthy, do you think Mario Ancic still has the same promise that he used to? Before all the health issues, I thought he would grow into a possible slam champion. Has he missed his window?
I don't think he's missed the boat or the window, but he did lose some time. Tomorrow's match should be an interesting gauge of where he's at.
Gasquet and Vaidisova were in bad slumps, then made good runs here at Wimby, and then had terrible losses. Is this a turning point for either of them, or another drawback?
With the seasons they'd had up to now, there's no question that what they did here was positive. Now they have to carry that over to hard court season.
What are the chances we don't see a Nadal-Federer final? 10 percent?
Percentages are not my strong suit, but that's as good a guess as any.
Folks -- That's a wrap for today. Greg Garber will be with you tomorrow from noon-1 eastern, and I'll be back Thursday. Cheers.
Come on back at noon ET on Wednesday and Greg Garber will be by to take your questions live from Wimbledon!
Greetings, folks. Greg Garber here to carry you through our hour-long chat. Bonnie Ford will be in the house on Thursday for our last chat from the All England Club. Here's where we are. A long rain delay -- only the second of the fortnight -- set us back. Federer won the first set from Ancic, but it's Federer serving to level the second set at 5-all. Lopez beat Safin in the first set and is serving to get to 3-all in the second. later: Murray-Nadal and Schuettler-Clement. Let's get to the questions...
How do you think this defeat will affect Gasquet long term? Failing mentally yet again?
Joe: Not sure, really. His loss to Murray in the fourth round was the first time he's blown a 2-0 lead and lost a five set match. Still, pro athletes seem to rebou8nd quickly. Tennis players, in particular, seem to have short memories. Maybe it's because every player loses in every tournament -- except one.
Any thoughts on Safin's chances? He seems to be making quiet progress.
Zack: safin's chances are 50-50 -- at least. He lost the first set but just broke for a 4-2 lead in the second, serving for 5-2....He's been to the summit, something Lopez hasn't experienced. That could put him over the top again.
Any possibility that Murray defeats Nadal today? I know he'll have the thousands behind him and I've always wanted to see a British player win this tournament. Henman's just broken my heart too many times before!
Hannah: Prepare for more heartbreak. Murray is a nice player, but Nadal has taken his game to a different level. I asked Patrick McEnroe if Nadal could beat Federer in the final. He laughed and asked, can FEDERER beat Nadal? Tickets are being scalped for 2,000 pounds, or nearly $4,000 dollars for the match. Looks like they might get it in. The rain has stopped (officials say for good) and Federer just broke Ancic and is serving for the second set...
Do you think the rain delay will have any effect on the matches today? Do players like the added rest or is that outweighed by the uncertainty of when they are playing?
Tim: Good question. You'll remember that Roddick-Federer final a few years ago when the rain delay actually helped Federer. I think Ancic came out looking better in the second set -- until he got broken in the 11th game.Second set to Federer, match over.
Do the Olympics count toward the rankings?
Steve: According to my crack tennis editor Matt Wilansky, the Olympics WLL count toward rankings. But that's not why most players (not Roddick) will be making the trip to Beijing.
Although she is retired, I just read an article saying she is not ruling out the possibility of a comeback ...is it possible that Henin is playing in the Olympics, she is the defending champion and this isn't like the French which happens every year?
Yes, Zack, saw the same piece. Despite all her protesting, Henin is the kind of person who might not sit well outside of tennis. On the day she retired, I talked to Pam Shriver, who predicted on the spot she'd be back inside a year or two. She might be right.
Would playing a lefty like Lopez help Fed in the finals against Nadal?
Jon: Good effort. It would have to help, but Roger always practices against lefties in the buildup to the final. In Paris he was practicing against a lefty before his semifinal match, looking forward to a showdown with Rafa.
Do you think Safin would have a shot against federer? safin has really fallen off the map recently, but he was once elite
Skyler: With Safin, you can never say never. He crushed Pete Sampras in the 2000 US Open and beat Hewitt in the 2005 Aussie final. He's down a set and 5-all in the second with Lopez. Might not get there.
Greg, is it worth it to line up to get into the grounds at Wimbledon, for the last few days? You can watch on Henman Hill and get to walk around the grounds, right?
Sara: I always say yes to that question. I had a couple of friends from home at the French and even though they couldn't get on the show courts they had a terrific time watching doubles on the outside courts and soaking up the atmosphere. Here at Wimbledon, you can line up in the queue and, for 20 pounds ($40) you can get a grounds pass. Today there are all kinds of junior and doubles matches. Even better, they have a re-sale booth. For 5 pounds, if you're lucky enough, you can score a ticket to Centre or No. 1 after 5 PM.
When will they construct a covered venue for Wimbledon?
As I understand it, Artie, the roof will be in place for next year's tournament. Right now, you can see the sub-structure they've installed along the edge of the court.
If Jie Zheng or Elena Dementieva upset in their semi-final, would they have any chance to defeat the other Williams sister in the final?
Zack: I suppose if you upset one Williams sister, it could always happen again. No one here sees that happening even once, though. If Dementieva can;t close the deal at 6-1, 5-1 on Petrova, what's going to happen when she's sees Venus getting up in her grill?
With federer and nadal in his way, will andy roddick ever win another major
Sky: And Djokovic. You can make the argument that he won't. This US Open might offer an opening wth all the major players heading to Beijing -- except Roddick. That's how much the US Open means to him.
wow this 1st game of 3rd set federer-ancic is taking forever!
I'm with you, Kevin. Hey, Safin just won the seoond set. Good times.
With Venus' tendancy to lose focus and her serve,Elena gets lots of balls back and is in good condition. With her improved serve, do you think she will cause the upset tomorrow?
Beatrice: See earlier answer. Dementieva is VERY talented -- No. 5 seed here. But when things get sticky, she gets icky. I can't see her beating Venus.
After Roger got beat on clay, yet again, by Nadal, people without much reason said Roger was vulnerable. But if the tables are turned and Nadal gets beat on grass, yet again, will Nadal forever be looked at as just a clay court specialist and nothing more?
Adam: This, of course, is the crux of the Rafa debate going forward. The clay season - and the lst two years of reaching the finals here at Wimbledon -- have left him too beat up to make an impression in the second half of the season. This is why this year's Wimbledon is a critical-mass moment. IF Nadal loses -- and there are some who think he's going to beat Federer -- you can call him a specialist. If he wins, Federer will have to work to pass Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slams and Rafa will have proven his versatility. Kind of an intersting moment in tennis.
Do the people sitting on Henman Hill actually pay admission?
jason: Yes, it's the 20-pound day pass. Folks would rather sit there and watch the big screen and drink Pimms than watch actual matches on the outer courts. When henman played, and now Murray, it can be quite electric out there.
hey Greg, why are so many people counting Federer out if he meets Nadal in the final..hasn't other top players gone through a rough period in the past?
Dixie: Thanks for making the long journey from T&T ... Of course other playes go through bad patches, but Federer has been on the top for more than four years. As he said in Australia, he's created "a mnonster" of great expectations. It's human nture to root for the under dog, especially when the top dog has dominated for so long...
i think it will be a serena-venus final, and venus wins it, whats ur take on it?
Nick: This is the debate around the grounds here. Part of me HOPES Venus can do this, figure out a way to beat her sister in the final. Reality is, that Venus lost BOTH finals when she played her sister. Seems like Serena wanted it more, even though Venus has a superior game on grass. Just wrote a story about this, which will be posted in about 90 minutes.
How come the US Open doesn't have it's own version of Henman Hill?
Jim: The US Open does have a few big screens scattered around the big plaza outside Ashe and Armstrong. The space is so big, though, it doesn't feel as intimate as Wimbledon.
I was one of the individuals that thought Nadal had a chance this year at Wimbledon, but as Im currently watching Roger play, i fear for all. Does anyone still think Roger is on the decline?
Hakeem: Roger looks locked in, but Nadal has been playing his best tennis ever on grass. Should be a better final than Paris -- it surely can't be any worse.
By the time they retire, do you think Federer will have more Wimbledon titles or Nadal will have more Roland Garros titles? I would go with Nadal.
Zack: Tough call. Roger could have 6-8 titles and Nadal, because he is a few behind at Roland Garros would need to continue cranking ut the titles to catch up. Two thing: Federer has said he wants to play well into his 30s, and he'll always have a chance here, in themanner of Pete Sampras. Rafa domnates in Paris, but the physical way he plays the game leaves him more susceptible to injuries.
I can answer Jim's question about Henman Hill...its because America likes winners...Henman wasnt a winner, but still was praised by the fans. I guess a James Blake Hill could work.
earlier in the year, ryan harrison beat a top-100 player. yet in the junior grand slams, he hasnt gone very far. why not?
Kevin: Good work by you. Juniors are a funny business. Donald Young won the junior tournament here in 2007, but may not be a top 25 player. Federer won the title in 1998 and he turned out OK...
is fed's backhand overrated? some people tell me it is one of the best in tennis. then why do players always attack that side?
Because, Barney, his forehand is lethal. lesser of two evils.
Why is Nadal a better grass court player than a hard court player? I thought hard courts were the happy medium between clay and grass. Is it a confidence issue on hard courts? Or is it the time of the year when hard court tournaments are played (ie. late in the year when Nadal is spent)
jason: Things have changed. Talking to the players, Wimbledon has become a slower surface. Maybe it's the balls, the length of the grass ... it was probably a reaction to all the ace-fests of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Now it's more like clay than hardcourts, which is why Rafa likes it so much.
will federer take safin if/when their paths collide?
Is there ever talk of a uniform rule for when to call a match for darkness, or is it always determined on a case by case basis?
Beatrice: There are way too many variables to do that. It's a judgment call. When Murray started running away wth the fifth set, Gasquet asked the chair umpire to quit. The light was murky, but the call was to play on. Think 15,000 Murray-mad Brits were a factor in that decision? I once saw a Venus match go until 9:50 PM at Roland Garros.
Would Nadal beating Federer elevate him to the ranks of the all-time greats?
Artie: I think Nadal, based on his clay play, is already in that class. A win here would change the perceptions that he's a one-surface wonder.
Speaking of the devil ... Federer has just won, beaten Ancic 6-1, 7-5, 6-4. He's advanced to his 17th consecutive Grand Slam semifinal - a record that may never be broken. Crazy stuff...
I had lost interest in watching Tennis. Safin and Murray have me interested again. Fun to watch.
Darrell: Fed and Nadal aren't too bad, either...
How do you think Nadal will react to the crowd today? Obviously, it will play to Murray's advantage, and he is a very eccentric player. Do you think it will get under Nadal's skin?
Ben: Nadal is up next on Centre Court. Much anticipated match. Do you think Nadal will notice those 15,000 people? The man is a rock. I see straight sets. If I'm wrong, you can dog me on Friday's wrap-up chat...
what's Nadal's best finish at the US or Australian /
Matt: Not too bad. Rafa reached the semifinals at Australia this year and was a quarterfinalist a year ago. Best U.S. Open is 2006 quarters.
why are other countries bringing their tennis players to the usa and they are succeeding, while the american players are not as successful?
1) Because they are hungirer, 2) Cable television, 3) Video games...
Is Roddick interested in a NEW coach... Mr. Agassi has some insight into things that a missing from Andy's game?
Armand: AA has way more going on than to be a caddy for Roddick. Agasi has said he wants to get back into tennis, but I think it will be in a few more years when the kids are a ittle older
That's it for me. Bonnie's got it covered tomorrow, from 12-1 EST. Enjoy the men's second quarters matches...
Bonnie D. Ford will be stopping by on Thursday at noon ET to chat LIVE from Wimbledon!
Change of plans. Greg Graber, here. Bonnie Ford is in France, getting ready for the Tour de France and that means I'll be your conversation host for the next hour -- the last hour of our scheduled chats at the All England Club. Timing is everything and the rain has just come down in buckets and three big matches have been suspended at critical juntures. Serena leads Jie Zheng 6-2 and 5-all with Zheng a point away from 6-5. The Bryan Brothers are in a fourth-set tiebreaker with Ullyett and Bjorkman, serving with a match point against them. Finally, veterans Rainer Schuettler and Arnaud Clement are playing their hearts out in the remaining men's quarterfinal. The match time is precisely five hours and they are 6-all, 40-40 with Clement serving. Crazy stuff. Bring on the questions...
Will people EVER stop asking if the Williams' matches are fixed? I doubt the "family" would want Venus to lose in so many GS finals...when will this be "old news?"
Beatrice: This is the leading storyline on th women's side. The Williams sisters have met 15 times and rarely have played a good match. Serena holds an 8-7 advantage, but their most recent match, earlier this year in Bangalore, was pretty tight, with Serena winning in a third-set tiebreaker. The hope is that Venus won;t feel bad for little sister, as she did during the Serena Slam, and play free and easy -- and to win.
Hi Bonnie. Where do you feel Venus Williams ranks among the all-time great female grass court players?
Tim: I wrote that story for ysterday and today. Venus is technically No. 3 behind Navratilova and Evert in terms of winning percentage and behind Navratilova (9), Graf (7) and King (6). Win or lose, I'd put her fourth behind those great players.
Will Safin have any chance against Federer? Does Safin himself believe he can beat Federer?
Pramod: With Safin -- who really knows? Don't forget the 2005 Australian Open semifinal. Safin beat Federer in the fifth set, 9-7, More notes from the incomparable Greg Sharko of the ATP: Since he's been No. 1, Federer has only lost once to a player outside the top five! That was No. 30 Gustavo Kuerten at the '04 French Open. Safin is one of only three players to beat Federer in a Grand Slam during his streak of 17 consecutive major semifinals...
If we get a Safin-Nadal final...would Safin have a chance?
Zack: Based on what I'm seeing and haring, no. Nadal is playing better than ever and most folks here concede Federer will be hard-pressed to beat him. I have a piece that will be posted in a few hours that breaks down very specifically how Rafa has lifted his game.
Alright, it does not take a genius to figure out a Federer Nadal final is on the horizon. I have watched every single Nadal Fed match they have played. Pre-Wimbledon I predicted Nadal in 4. After week one I said Nadal in 5. Currently, with the way Fed is serving, I now say Fed in 4. Are my predictions valid? Also, I would like to know your predictions from pre tourney to midway and now who you believe will win the epic final on Sunday.
Joel: Coming in, I was with you. I predicted, against most odds, a Federer victory. Now, I don't think so. Rafa is crushing HIS serve; like Federer he only lost 10 points on his serve in the semis and he's dropping that first serve in 70 percent of the time -- better than anyone left, including Safin. Rafa, who averaged 99 mph for his first Wimbledon on his first serve, has it going at 115 now. He got tons of free points from Murray on Wednesday, which makes him even tougher to beat.
Has there ever been any discussion of putting up enough lights at the Wimbledon courts so as to avoid suspending matched due to darkness? They are already putting in a roof so there goes one tradition. And if they could do it at Wrigley Field, then why not here?
Jason: Remmber, this is England. The roof is halfay built and next year we'll have the indoor option. My guess is they'll nver have lights around the grounds at the All England Club. Like tea and strawberries and cream, naturally-lit matches are the order of business here...
Hi Greg, your right when u said and bet that nadal would win in 3 straight sets against murray. Both forehand and backhand are lethal for nadal and you bet he'll demolish federer in the finals. The only weapon that federer against nadal is his big serves. He has less chances on winning when balls are on play.. what do you think Greg /Bonnie?
Mikee: Again, watch for the X/O breakdown of Rafa's elevated game. The insights from Coach Uncle Toni, Darren Cahill and Patrick McEnroe were illuminating. Basically, he's taken his clay game and made it more aggressive, because grass rewards a bigger and bolder approach. The way Rafa is hitting it now, Roger will have his hands full -- at best.
Is Andy Roddick the biggest bust in U.S. tennis history? Yes he won the US Open and made a few other notable finals but you have to figure that with a huge serve and forehand, he should have a few more Grand Slam titles. I don't buy the Federer/Nadal excuse because all great players had to succeed against other great players. Is there a chance any/all of this is because Roddick tends to be more of a "performer" and not a player? I heard a great story a while back where Roddick was reviewing a match with his coach and his coach said something like "Andy, why did you hit that serve flat and down the middle?" He responded, "I hit that serve 139," and his coach asked, "Did you win the point?" No, he didn't. That seems to summarize Andy Roddick for me. Your thoughts....
Greg: There's two ways to look at A-Rod. You can say that he's "the biggest bust in US tennis history" .... or ... that he's an overachiever with a very limited game outside of his serve and wheelhouse forehand. I believe the latter. He doesn't construct points particularly well and his backhand and volleye are liabilities. The guy is in the top 10, making a nice living and about to marry a sweet lady. That's not ALL bad...
I think its best to have some sense of context around the Federer-Nadal comparisons. Federer has won every grand slam except for Paris. Nadal has only one Paris. Its way premature to compare the two or to suggest Rafa is somehow an equal or better player than Roger.
Jeff: No one is suggesting Rafa is Roger's equal. Still, if he manages to beat hi here, he'll have five Grand Salm titles one month past his 22nd birthday. based on the careers of Federer and Sampras the four years from 22-25 are the big years for Slams. Federer won 10 in that span and Sampras won eight. So, if Rafa can compete for the title here every year and win Roland Garros, too, plus one day figure out hardcourts, he might be closer to Roger's final total than you might think...
When will they finish the Scheuttler-Clement match?
Kris: The forecasters from the Met Office here are saying the rain will stop in about 15 minutes and there is a period of clearing that should get us through the three big matches that are currently stalled: Schuettler-Clement, Williams-Zheng and the Brayns vs. Bjorkman and Ullyett...
Hello Greg. What can be said about the Williams sisters' attitude towards other players? Yes, they contribute great athleticism to Tennis but Venus said, "Serena is the only player on the tour I actually have respect for." Neither show any humility. C'mon, with greats like Federer, Nadal, Henin- don't you think the game of Tennis deserves more respect? Are we alone here?
Ana and Brian: The Williams respect family above all else, that's what their parents taught them. I believe they have a respect for the game, but one of the ways they win is by intimidating the opposition. I have seen them take what I believed to be shots at players on the opposite side of the court. Richard and Oracene created strong, independent, thinking women and should be congratulated. If they rub a few players the wrong way, I can't get too excited about it.
Who are your predictions to win the US Open series? I'm going with Djokovic & Jankovic.
Zack: I'll take JJ and Rodick, who is skipping the Olympics to gear up for NYC.
Since this is the last tennis chat for a while, how about early predictions for the gold, silver and bronze in beijing - both women and men?
Jason: You give me YOUR icks, then I'll give you mine.
I'm watching Williams vs. Dementieva live this morning. The ESPN 'crawl' at the top showing the score shows "AD" at 30-40 or 40-30. It should show "AD IN" or "AD OUT".
Bart: Ah, technical difficulties. We'll get right on that.
The only thing that could make this Wimbledon better would be if Novak Djokovich was still in it.
No, I don't think so. If you're "mentally exhausted" ypou can go home and rest while Roger and Rafa slug it out.
How come you guys don't do a post-Grand slam wrap-up chat? There might not be many of us, but there are a few of us who are tennis FANATICS! Thanks for all your chats!
Wilson: Not a bad idea. I will pass this along to the proper authorities, including tennis editor Matt Wilansky.
no problem Women - Gold - Serena, Silver - Sharapova, Bronze - Ivanovic Men - Gold - Federer, Silver - Djokovic, Bronze - Blake I didn't put in Nadal for a medal because hard courts are not his best surface, and he is scheduled for the Stuttgart tournament again - so he'll probably be exhausted.
Jason: You're on top of it. I'll take Sharapova, flip-flopped with Serena, followed by Kuznetsova (big Russian bonuses for medal?). On the men's side, I'm not sure you can put Blake on the medal stand. I'll go Djoker, Federer, then Fernando Gonzalez -- the reigning Olympic doubles champion with Massu of Chile.
Any realistic chance Mary Pierce actually competes in the Olympics?
Andrew: Gosh, I don't think so. Saw her homored on Court Philippe Chatrier and she did ntappear to be in any kind of playing shape.
Although it was a very under-rated match Schuttler/Clement is turning out to be probably the best match to watch of the Quarterfinals...Nadal must be happy that they are wearing each other out, not that he really needs the extra advantage.
zack: This is why we love tennis. A terrific match, and somewhere Rafael Nadal is smiling -- because the longer this goes, the easier it is for him on Friday.
that last question about matt's comment was from me
Sorry, Joel. been a long fortnight.
what do you think about farve going to the bucs they need a qb
Dwayne: Nothing Favre does would surprise me. Bucs COULD use a QB...
Greg, good point about Rafa's future and the titles he might win. People forget that Rafa is only 22 and already has 4 titles. He might well become the greatest player of all time if his career isn't marred by injuries. My question is this: do you think that the grass court has changed and made the French-Wimbledon double less of an achievement than it was during Bjorg's time?
Laj: Of course the dynamics have changed. After Goran Ivanicevic won in 2001 there was quite an uproar that the slick grass destroyed the beauty of the game and made it an ace-fest. I believe the All England Club made the ball bigger and the grass longer. Now, it plays more like clay than hardcourts. At the same time, Rafa has pumped up his serve to the point that it's a weapon.
Why has James Blake continued to stuggle on non-hard courts? Is his backhand that bad of a weakness?
Hank: I believe it has more to do with James' approach. At the French, he played a little more passively than usual -- taking fwer chances -- and lost t Gulbis. He said that the critics calling for less risk would be happy. James needs to play his game, hard and heavy and no prisoners and that will get him back to U.S. Open quarters level.
Regarding Matt's comment about Djoker not being around takes from the tourney. I completely disagree. For one, it proves that the game is not played on paper with a top 3 losing early. Tennis is grueling and a mental grind (see Women's top 3 results in the tourney). Also, I can understand him if it was someone like Kohlschribber in the semi against Fed who lacks personality as well as any history in the mens game. But its Safin. He has an electric personality and history, beating Rog in a classic 5 setter (in a major semi) and has claimed two majors. I think its better Safin is here. Your thoughts Greg?
Safin IS the man. Love him to death. Best line from Wednesday's press conference: "S--- happens." Sweet.
Safin has won two majors, is that enough to get him in the hall of fame? Chang got there with only one.
Jason: You just answered your own question. Hey, if you live in Easton it's only a short ride to the enshrinement ceremony in Newport, RI. Enjoy.
Does the All England club admit to any of these allegations (of the grass being longer or the balls being bigger)?
J: Tyically, the All-E Club is mum, as they say. But you have to admit that those serves aren't crackling the way they did when Sampras was in his rime...
Hey! A couple days ago, me and my buddy were talking about tennis players that have just disappeared. What ever happened to Mark Philippoussis? He used cause havoc to many top players on the grass.
ZaK; He did a turn on The Age of Love or something like that. Think he was surfing in Caly then returned back to Florida. Could be in Australia by now...
maybe i should forget football and try some tennis....what do yo uthink greg?
Go for it, Brett I'll take two of three from you, hitting drops shots exclusively...
I saw Mark Philippousis on the Outback Series champions tour playing against John McEnroe and the rest of the retired legends.
Jason: Maybe you should be running this show...
I'm going to read your article as soon as it is posted...but can you give us a few strategic tips to look for if Fed/Nadal play Sunday? What is Fed trying to do? What is Nadal trying to do?
Nadal is winning by corwding the baseline more than he does on clay. Watch where he lines up to return serve. Against Djokovic, he was sometimes two feet inside the baseline. Same with round strokes. About 25 percent of his shots on grass come from inside the baseline.
Folks, thanks for a wonderful fortnight. The sun is shining again over the All England Club, looks ike we've got some tennis to look forward to. Three terrific matches nearing their completion...