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What I would regard as a 'grunt' is acceptable (to me). Sharapova is defensive about criticisms directed at her, and some people complain that there is sexism regarding complaints about the noise that female tennis players make. However, Sharapova does not grunt but shrieks (I find it hard to believe that it improves her actual strokes) and the noise that she makes. however you describe it, is stupendously loud. Perhaps tennis audiences should start booing players that make a lot of noise. I'm pretty sure that they could stop the noise if they wanted to as it is just another aspect of their game and they change parts of their game constantly throughout their careers.

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Sobbing into my cherry and apple juice at the moment. :(

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Had such divided loyalties watching it. It`s such a shame that the Federer/Murray game wasn`t in the final instead. I absolutely adore Federer,but I also would have been delighted for Murray if he had won . Had to think long and hard before the start of the match which one I was going to be cheering for. I decided to cheer for Federer. One,because I would love to see him win it for the 8th time,and maybe the last time before he retires,and two,because Murray is a few years younger than Federer,and IF Federer does retire in a few years,it will give Andy a better chance of winning it again. 

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Fraid I didn't have any qualms about who to support this afternoon: the BBC's jingoism had got my goat so badly that I'd probably have supported just about anyone against Murray.  Poor guy: the way most of the BBC presenters and the media in general (most of whom probably don't actually watch any tennis outside our short grasscourt season) talk him up as if there was no possible competition, is it any wonder he's struggled so much to win it?  I'm waiting for the backlash tomorrow, when some people who know nowt start criticising him for being rubbish, when the truth is that Federer was pretty much out of this world today.  Never mind, we've still got Andy's big bruv in the doubles - it would be nice if he got another Slam title too :)

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I feel that for the last couple of years the BBC has rather overlooked Federer; the talk has all been about Djokovich, Nadal and Murray as if Federer was past it. One has to admire him for the drive and ambition which he still has after winning so many titles. As McEnroe said, he seems to be playing as well as ever. I feel sorry for Murray and hope that people won't have a go at him. Apparently, he played well but Federer was just on top form today and Murray couldn't beat him. Players like Federer don't win numerous titles by accident. Of course they have off days but on most days they will just play consistently better overall and win a few more points when it really matters. Yes, they may find themselves 15/40 down on their own serve but they will invariably fight back and hold their serve after a few break points against them. As for their opponent's serve, any slight chink in his/her armour will be taken advantage of. 

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Federer has changed his game, almost certainly due to Stefan Edburg. He might struggle a little at his age playing from the back of the court, but he attacks the net far more than he used to, and it's obviously paying off. It should be a cracking final, and one which is really hard to call, just like last years. I don't know about any chinks in Murrays armour aileen regarding his serve, as Federer returned quite a few at 129 mph and on the lines, amazing really and I don't use that word very often.

Edited by Vonrothbart

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It`s such a shame that the Federer/Murray game wasn`t in the final instead.

 

I quite agree: it ought to have been, based on quality alone, but unfortunately that was a non-starter as soon as Murray was drawn in the non-Djokovic side of the draw.  I can't see how the final itself can be anything but a bit of a letdown after this (and after last year's classic). 

 

I feel that for the last couple of years the BBC has rather overlooked Federer; the talk has all been about Djokovich, Nadal and Murray as if Federer was past it.

 

I know, and it's been very annoying, not to mention disrespectful, the way the commentators have left him out of the equation this year.  Fingers crossed for this afternoon. 

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I used to really like tennis back in the 1960s and 1970s but somehow it's become boring. There's so much less variety nowadays, in both the players and the game, and when Rule 1 in the rulebook (Play shall be continuous) is comprehensively ignored for the sake of advertising breaks, I think it just shows that the game has been hijacked.

 

In some ways I find that tennis and ballet have taken similar paths over the last quarter century: far more emphasis on athleticism and strength and less subtlety, and far more homogeneity in looks and style. Starting with Chris Evert but becoming much more common in the 1990s and later, it seemed that regardless of the surface they were playing on, the female players all just stood at the baseline with their pony tails and their chewing gum and their double-handed backhands, and whaled away at the ball for all they were worth, never going near the net even on grass. To say nothing of their outfits basically becoming billboards for advertising logos. I used to be able to tell which player I was looking at just by watching for a minute and seeing the style, but these days they're all coming out of their tennis academy factories and they look mass produced.

 

Can you imagine what would happen to a player like Francoise Durr these days? or even the pint-sized Rosie Casals or Ken Rosewall? Yet to me, the way those players compensated for their quirks was one of the most fascinating parts of watching the game.

 

Billie Jean King was one of the first grunters, and apparently she did it for gamesmanship; I read somewhere that in one match against Ann Jones she was so loud that she put Jones off her game, and Pip Jones (Ann's husband) was so upset with what he considered cheating that he didn't speak to King for years. But she was a bit of an anomaly and she didn't grunt all the time, usually just on her serves and really heavy shots if I remember right. I ended up just giving up on watching Monica Seles's matches because it sounded like mayhem in an abattoir when she was on court. Seems that things have only gone downhill since then.

Edited by Melody
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I quite agree: it ought to have been, based on quality alone, but unfortunately that was a non-starter as soon as Murray was drawn in the non-Djokovic side of the draw.  I can't see how the final itself can be anything but a bit of a letdown after this (and after last year's classic). 

 

 

I know, and it's been very annoying, not to mention disrespectful, the way the commentators have left him out of the equation this year.  Fingers crossed for this afternoon. 

They overlooked him because he wasn't producing, that is until he changed his game. I don't see how you can predict the final won't be as good, as we have the best two players in it, and both on top form.

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Yes you're right Lisa, as he only gets almost a cool £1,000,000, for being runner up. It was a different ball game for Federer against Djokovic, compared to the match against Murry.  The world No 1 didn't allow Federer to play his normal game, and it resulted in quite a lot of unforced errors for the latter. There were some great moments in the final though, but I think we all knew who was going to win as the game wore on. It was a cracking tie break in the second set though.

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Think the prize-money comment was a little uncalled for: I know it's obscene, but I'm sure Federer would happily have exchanged the lot for another Slam title, especially at Wimbledon.

 

They overlooked him because he wasn't producing, that is until he changed his game. I don't see how you can predict the final won't be as good, as we have the best two players in it, and both on top form.

 

Are you suggesting he changed his game in the Murray match?  The commentators seemed to be pretty much ignoring his extremely comfortable run through the field until then, despite the fact that he was undefeated on grass this year.

 

And as for predictions, that was easy enough: last year's final was a classic, and they don't come along that often.  And the performance against Murray on Friday was little short of sublime - there was no chance of him repeating that 2 days later, life just doesn't happen that way.  And I think I feared a straight-sets defeat even before the players went on court - Federer didn't seem to have that serenity about him from the get-go, I thought, although it may be simply that it evaporated very quickly when faced with Djokovic.  And if last year's experience taught us one thing, it was that Djokovic can play not particularly well during a tournament and then raise his game for the final.  The statistics don't support this - normally I'd look at Roger's stats and would have expected it to have been a fairly comfortable win, with such a high number of winners and a much lower number of unforced errors - but his serve was a lot wobblier than in previous rounds, and the serve is the one thing you do have control over in a tennis match, as long as you can hit it in.  I don't think he was really there mentally yesterday, sadly.

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I agree that mentally, Federer seemed to be 'elsewhere' yesterday. It was hard to believe this was the same guy we saw last Friday when he made mincemeat of Murray, but as Alison says, it would be impossible to recreate that sublime form, two days later. For me, the match was flat as a pancake apart from a brief revival in the tie break. The crowd was clearly partisan but the whole thing seemed leaden, not helped by the rain break. Federer was making so many mistakes, I have never seen him hit as many balls into the net, shots he could normally win in his sleep. I wanted him to win, partly because I don't much care for Djokovic, but it was apparent quite early on, this wasn't going to happen. Federer seemed absent, tired and just 'off'.

Djokovic, like Serena Williams, was in it to win it and I don't think, short of some sort of divine intervention, anyone could have stopped them.

Edited by Jacqueline
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I used to really like tennis back in the 1960s and 1970s but somehow it's become boring. There's so much less variety nowadays, in both the players and the game, and when Rule 1 in the rulebook (Play shall be continuous) is comprehensively ignored for the sake of advertising breaks, I think it just shows that the game has been hijacked.

 

"boring/So much less variety": I take it you didn't see the Federer masterclass on Friday, then? :)

 

I'm a little bemused about the "play shall be continuous" comment, if you're suggesting that adverts are being inserted between points?  I know the US is worse than the UK on this front, but over here we've just had the French Open on ITV, i.e. a commercial channel.  I have a "60-second skip" button on my recorder, which I was using to skip the majority of the advert breaks at change of ends, and from that I'd say that the allotted 90 seconds were largely being kept to.  IIRC, the only time we missed any play was when the broadcasters decided to update us on what was happening on other courts rather than return to the match.

 

But the deeper I get into both ballet and tennis, the more parallels I'm finding between the two of them.

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Federer was making so many mistakes, I have never seen him hit as many balls into the net, shots he could normally win in his sleep. I wanted him to win, partly because I don't much care for Djokovic, but it was apparent quite early on, this wasn't going to happen. He just seemed absent.

 

Yes, quite.  Very flat.  I'm sure a lot of them were "forced" errors to the extent that Djokovic was putting him under pressure, but his game definitely seemed "off" yesterday.  Such a shame :(

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I know that top tennis players earn a lot of money but it shouldn't be forgotten that they are self-employed and have to pay for their coaches, fitness trainers, physios, dieticians etc out of their winnings, unlike footballers who earn a salary and have everything paid for by their club.

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I never thought I would feel sorry for Roger Federer but I really did yesterday. Novak Djokovic was relentless!

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I was supporting Djokovic (think Federer has more than enough ;-)  ) but the way Federer's shoulders were slumped when he went to collect his plate made me feel so bad for him. During Djokovic's winner's speech, he said something about how great Federer has been for the game and what an inspiration he was to players of Djokovic's generation - he was being lovely and respectful, but I thought he made Federer sound very old and a bit past it! 

 

Re the earnings players make, I imagine what they give to their team must also be proportionate to how far they advance in the rounds. I would also think that coaches as eminent as Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker must charge quite a bit too :-)

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Re: the earnings. My team would be employed on a no win no fee basis. At least we'd know where we stood from the off! ;)

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The Roger Federer Foundation does lots of vital educational work with children in Africa. That must take a sizeable chunk. Don`t know if other players do similar things . Probably do.

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Lisa, Djokovich also has a foundation of some kind in his home country, and is also very involved with charity.  I really like those who are giving something back.

 

I missed most of the match because I was at the Whelan/Watson matinee, but my husband was texting me the results.  When I got home in time to see the last 15 minutes, it looked like pretty much of a rout.  Hubby said that with the exception of the second set, Feddy seemed not to want to really win, he wasn't trying too hard and that he seemed to phone in his performance yesterday.  I would sooo love to see him win one more Wimbledon, but not sure that he will now.  He has been a great ambassador for the sport both on and off court. 

 

No mentions anywhere in the press about Martina Hingis's amazing achievements over the weekend:  17 years after winning her last Wimbledon title, she has come back, age 34, to win both the womens' and mixed doubles titles.  The women's match was amazing, and much better entertainment than the men's final.  Hingis and Mirza were just a couple of points away from losing the match at the end of the second set;  they saved them, went on to take the second and then the third.  Well done to her and to her young doubles partner. 

 

The grunting went to new levels during this match;  it wasn't even grunting, it was screeching.  One of the Russian opponents was shouting something every time she hit the ball.  In English it sounded like 'hiya'.   It was as if she were playing the karate games we all played as children, when we all shouted 'hai yah' when we cut through the air with our hands and legs!  It was awful to listen to, and if it was offputting to me who knows how annoyed Hingis/Mirza were!  I guess they are trained to block it out somehow.  When the Russians got beaten I shouted 'bye-ya' at the TV because I was so relieved!  :)

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I thought that Hingis was (is) a bit of a grunter, or am I mixing her up with someone else?

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I think Hingis is actually one of the quiet ones. She was a strategic player in her singles days right before the women's game became all about power and everyone suddenly got a lot louder.

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Think the prize-money comment was a little uncalled for: I know it's obscene, but I'm sure Federer would happily have exchanged the lot for another Slam title, especially at Wimbledon.

 

 

Are you suggesting he changed his game in the Murray match?  The commentators seemed to be pretty much ignoring his extremely comfortable run through the field until then, despite the fact that he was undefeated on grass this year.

 

And as for predictions, that was easy enough: last year's final was a classic, and they don't come along that often.  And the performance against Murray on Friday was little short of sublime - there was no chance of him repeating that 2 days later, life just doesn't happen that way.  And I think I feared a straight-sets defeat even before the players went on court - Federer didn't seem to have that serenity about him from the get-go, I thought, although it may be simply that it evaporated very quickly when faced with Djokovic.  And if last year's experience taught us one thing, it was that Djokovic can play not particularly well during a tournament and then raise his game for the final.  The statistics don't support this - normally I'd look at Roger's stats and would have expected it to have been a fairly comfortable win, with such a high number of winners and a much lower number of unforced errors - but his serve was a lot wobblier than in previous rounds, and the serve is the one thing you do have control over in a tennis match, as long as you can hit it in.  I don't think he was really there mentally yesterday, sadly.

Of course Federer didn't change his game for the Murry match, even greats like him don't do that. What I was referring to was, Federer had a very poor year in 2013, then Stefan Edburg changed his game. His net play became even better,  serve and volley became a lot more frequent resulting in using far less energy. Federers stats were very good prior to meeting Djokovic, but doesn't that tell you something, he cruised past everyone including Murry. It doesn't matter what sport you are playing, when someone or team on the other side of the line is as good or better than you are, then something in the brain kicks in, and the things you might take for granted become much harder. It's also of little use nowadays just to get your serve in, as the top players are regularly serving aces with their second serve. (Make a note of that Murry) Alison you admit the prize money is obscene, and of course Federer would have swapped it for the Gold cup, but someone like Kyle Edmond and a few more wouldn't have done.

Edited by Vonrothbart
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I know that top tennis players earn a lot of money but it shouldn't be forgotten that they are self-employed and have to pay for their coaches, fitness trainers, physios, dieticians etc out of their winnings, unlike footballers who earn a salary and have everything paid for by their club.

 

Very true, and if they don't win matches, they pretty much don't get any income, especially by the time they've paid their travelling expenses and accommodation.  I reckoned Federer would have made a significant (in my terms!) loss in 2013 when he got knocked out of Wimbledon in the second round.  He can afford to absorb it, of course, but lower-ranked players can't, necessarily.

 

Re the earnings players make, I imagine what they give to their team must also be proportionate to how far they advance in the rounds. I would also think that coaches as eminent as Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker must charge quite a bit too :-)

 

Both of those will have some sort of bonus payment written into their contract if their players win Slams, at the very least, and possibly lower-level tournaments as well.

 

The Roger Federer Foundation does lots of vital educational work with children in Africa. That must take a sizeable chunk. Don`t know if other players do similar things . Probably do.

 

I think I've read somewhere that all Federer's appearance fees (for which he is sometimes criticised) go to his Foundation.  I think all the top players do some sort of charitable work, certainly the "Big Four" do.

 

No mentions anywhere in the press about Martina Hingis's amazing achievements over the weekend:  17 years after winning her last Wimbledon title, she has come back, age 34, to win both the womens' and mixed doubles titles.  The women's match was amazing, and much better entertainment than the men's final.  Hingis and Mirza were just a couple of points away from losing the match at the end of the second set;  they saved them, went on to take the second and then the third.  Well done to her and to her young doubles partner. 

 

The grunting went to new levels during this match;  it wasn't even grunting, it was screeching.  One of the Russian opponents was shouting something every time she hit the ball.  In English it sounded like 'hiya'.   

 

Yes, I'd been hoping for a double Swiss celebration (well, an all-Swiss men's final would have been even better), but that wasn't quite the double I'd intended.  I'm very glad she and Mirza won: I watched them the other day, and they played an excellent (and very entertaining) match - who said women's doubles is no fun?  

 

Of course Federer didn't change his game for the Murry match, even greats like him don't do that. What I was referring to was, Federer had a very poor year in 2013, then Stefan Edburg changed his game. His net play became even better,  serve and volley became a lot more frequent resulting in using far less energy. Federers stats were very good prior to meeting Djokovic, but doesn't that tell you something, he cruised past everyone including Murry. It doesn't matter what sport you are playing, when someone or team on the other side of the line is as good or better than you are, then something in the brain kicks in, and the things you might take for granted become much harder.

 

Ah, then we were talking at cross purposes.  I was only referring to the commentators this Wimbledon, who didn't really seem to think of him as a challenger until more or less the time he beat Murray.  And then suddenly elevated him to "Obvious winner" status :(  Edberg certainly has done wonders for his game, but a lot of Federer's poor performance in 2013 was down to ongoing back problems and/or lack of confidence caused by his inability to rely on his body not letting him down.

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Djokovic has a sports foundation in Serbia for disadvantaged children, Lisa.

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