Winners and Losers

Novak Djokovic has had the best year of his life in 2011, winning three Grand Slams but today he had to retire in the Davis Cup semi-final between Serbia and Argentina, giving Argentina a place in the finals. I write about this because I find the picture terribly strange. Can you really celebrate when someone is on the ground in pain? I don’t like Djokovic, but this is a bit much even for me.

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Maybe Britain should have sent Adele instead?

We watched the Eurovision Song Contest yesterday (well, I had one eye on the amazing Murray vs Djokovic match of course) and it wasn’t as bad as I usually think it is. I guess the question on everybody’s minds right now is how to spell Azerbaijan and how this rather poor country should be able to afford hosting this massive earache event.

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Federer’s “failure” in Dubai

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Sports Illustrated writer Jon Wertheim (author of the fantastic book Strokes of Genius: Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played)wrote this in his post on SI.com:

“Faulty Federer falls. Both the gleeful Federer buriers and concerned Federer loyalists were out in full force this weekend. Their man dropped still another match to Novak Djokovic, a shank-o-rific Dubai final that saw Federer lose 6-3, 6-3. While Djokovic played stellar, complete tennis once again, Federer did himself no favors, framing shots, hitting destinationless backhands and finding few answers when Djokovic posed the difficult questions. Federer is now like a stock whose beta/variance is starting to widen. He’s still capable of greatness — that London win over Nadal wasn’t even 100 days ago. Yet the dismal matches are becoming more common. Realistically, we knew the ride couldn’t go on forever. And Federer’s performance is in keeping with the life cycle of a champion. The consistency is the first thing to go. The old weaknesses, such as they are, start to surface. (In this case, the drive backhand.) There’s still magic left in the wand, but it’s not automatically discharged. I directed Federer fans to the 2002 U.S. Open in which Pete Sampras, struggling with his game and arriving with little momentum, found the touch for seven matches. I think that’s pretty much what we’re looking at for the rest of the journey. Know he’s capable of greatness; know it’s no longer a given.”

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Today in Monte Carlo

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The Monte Carlo Masters is on a roll and there are some great matches to look forward to today. Below you will find the odds at Betsson.

Berdych vs Verdasco
Berdych is on fire at the moment. He only gave away 2 games to poor Richard Gasquet who must be desperate for excuses for why his “Baby Federer”-potential is still just “potential” and hardly so. He has a 6-3 h2h on Verdasco which also counts for clay and has won the two last matches. These are two huge talents with extreme ball-striking skills and they are both in good form. It is just a gut feeling that Verdasco will come out on top in three sets. The odds are similar, 1.85 for a Berdych win and 1.89 for Verdarsco.

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