Friday, September 5, 2008

Semi-tough


On their way to the semifinals—and more importantly, completing the Tennis Talk, Anyone? semifinal brackets—Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic both overcame some testy moments to get this point. R-Fed had to overcome some big serving from qualifier Gilles Muller, while Djoko's match was full of intrigue before he even took the court against Andy Roddick.

I only got to see the first set and a half of last night's action, but the way Novak came out ... man! I knew he would be fired up, but I didn't think he'd be able to make A-Rod look almost like a journeyman out there, especially considering the way Roddick had been playing up to that point. It got tight at the end, but you just had to figure it was going to go Djokovic's way.

Now, from what I've read and seen on the highlights, he didn't do himself any favors by commenting about what Roddick said and the crowd support. In his next match, it's pretty much going to be like he might as well be playing in Federer's backyard. The crowd, which has already thrown its support behind R-Fed more than ever, is REALLY going to be going nuts for him in the semis!

I feel a little bad for Djokovic going into the next round because, calls to the trainer notwithstanding, I think he's actually really good for the game. He's a character, which the sport could use. I saw him play that five-setter against Radek Stepanek last year, and both of them were doing everything to pump up the crowd and themselves, making it one of the most fun matches I've ever seen live.

I hope he doesn't get bitter after his next match if he loses (which I think he will) and stops showing his personality. It could stand to be tempered, but it shouldn't be diminished.

(Photos: Getty Images)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

the problem is there's a big difference between djokovic last year and this year. he used to be charming and endearing, but somehow at the end of 2007 became increasingly obnoxious. i think he was good for the sport, but now he's just straight up a bad sport.

Jodi said...

I personally wouldn't mind seeing Djokovic lose his personality... but then I would have to find someone new to hate, and that might be annoying. :)

freakyfrites said...

Isn't it cool how seeing a player live makes you root for that person in the future, especially when you've seen him or her play a great match? That's why I'll always cheer for Juan Monaco! I was in Arthur Ashe (sneaked into great seats!) when he took Novak to four sets last year at the Open, and the passion and personality he displayed on court was awesome.

You know what's funny - even then, when Novak was still the up-and-comer - he had a bit of an attitude with the crowd. I remember he got noticably peeved when the we all got behind Monaco - we just wanted to see more tennis, Nole!