Friday, January 10, 2014

What's Up? - Topics #12; Entries from 2/14 - 6/14

Matrix Reloaded
DeLorean DMC-12
Anything can be posted here! Talk politics, sports (figure skating, tennis, basketball, & football), TV, & Movies (Batman & X-Men)! Posts framed w/ "***" are comments from others! (Closed - 100 posts)



  1. ***Murray would have been the fave on any surface. I can see why they picked clay as it's Andy's worst surface, but beating him would have been a big ask for Isner or Querrey. I think they made a mistake picking clay when it came to the British #2, Ward, Evans and even the youngster Kyle Edmund all love playing on clay.

    I have to say I think Sam would have been disappointed with the crowd for his match against Ward. I know it was a weekday, but the attendance was poor. Not what I would expect for an American Davis Cup crowd. What do you guys think of Courier as captain? There didn't seem to be too much chatting with him and his players. I was a bit surprised by his attire. I'm not sure how many times I saw him take off/put on his sunglasses. Half the time I thought I was watching David Caruso in CSI Miami.***

    It's been more than a little embarrassing here in the States for years! We had such a wealth of riches with Sampras, Chang, Agassi, Courier, Martin, Washington, Mayotte, Roddick, Blake, and others so we could field a "B" team to win these early rounds in Davis Cup! Our best can't beat the "C" team of a small municipality of late! We deserve to go "regulation" round with such a weak team! Young? Please! The only time I see or hear about this guy is when he's on a losing streak! How he even qualifies for Tier 1 events is beyond me; probably a lot of undeserved wildcards! Who'd want the job? Courier is probably safe in his captaincy for now!

    ***Commentary here in the US was disinclined to criticize the choice of surface, or Courier. As you say, Iona, Murray would have been favored on any surface, and they counted too much on the US results last year on clay v. France, which, tbh, was a surprise, and they counted a bit too much on Isner. Similar error to Argentina v. Spain in the '08 final. Argentina went for HC, calculating to neutralize Nadal's best surface. Nadal couldn't play, and they ended up with the Spaniards who actually do better on HCs; they lost. Probably the answer is to play on your best surface, and take your chances.

    I like Courier. I think he has some chops and pull for helping to develop US men's tennis. I didn't watch enough to feel the "CSI" aspect, but felt he was engaged. I hope he'll grow into the position. Same with Moya for Spain. His team lost, but there's time to build as a DC coach.

    There always seems to be friction in the Argentine camp.***

    They miss the humble-like egos of Vilas and Clerc! Nalbandian, DelPo, and the others probably think they're owed something! I guess I'm old fashion! It bugs me to see any country lose early rounds b/c their top players almost refuse to lower themselves to saving their countries' butt in world competition! We're spoiled and it's balancing out with us going to a relegation tie just to stay in the "world group!"

    ***By the 'humble ego of Vilas, I'm sure you're being ironic. Nalbandian paid his dues in. The controversy has lately been about Del Potro. And the problem has been more about in-fighting than talent. They've long had a good depth of field. If they drop from the world group, it will have been more an internal problem than lack of talent.***

  2. ***Also Laura Bush didn't take vacations w/o her husband, Michelle and Hillary do all the time, in fact in the first 3 yrs of Clinton's term, Hillary became the most traveled First Lady in history, but we all know why Bill wanted her gone. Interesting Hillary also set the record as the most traveled Sec of State in one term, yet I can't think of 1 notable state department treaty or action accomplished by Hillary....***

    What a joke! Bush worked less than any 2 term President in the history of this country taking well over 440 days of vacation; and there was little work going on while on the ranch! Hard to believe it was even called a ranch with nary an animal on the entire acreage; no horses or cattle! That's the real joke!

    ***Clearly, by quantifiable criteria, President Obama is a substantially superior President, compared to the younger President Bush. Bush started out with a pretty good economy and a nation at peace. Eight years later, the economy was in shambles; faltering despite his $700B TARP rescue scheme, and a nation at Wars.
    Bush started with things pretty good, and left them a wreck.

    Obama's not done yet, but he started with the nation at War. He's ended one and is scheduled to end the other this year; possibly, no significant coalition troop presence. When Obama took office the Bush recession was in full swing and titans in the banking and manufacturing industries were headed for bankruptcy; if not already there. "The state of the Union is strong."***

    Here, here! These people don't want to read or hear these facts, but it's still out there for all to see! They've been deluding themselves into believing, if they don't acknowledge Obama, "he doesn't exit!" It's unfortunate that conservatives and Republicans behaved in such a manner when the country was floundering! They ignore all the good news and make out it's there "hold" on the pocketbook that's reigned things in, not The President! The fact of the matter is, we' re coming back even with all the foot-dragging of his detractors! Lucky they keep shooting themselves in the foot every election cycle to keep the Senate in sane hands! Heaven knows where we'd be if they had succeeded in taking it in '10 & '12! "Thanks Tea-baggers! Just one more time in '14 and maybe we'll be home free!"

    ***I see no sound reason why any member here would cling to the Republican Party as they do year, after year, after year, after year... Makes no good sense.

    You take it personally that I can't support the Republican Party after Bush/Cheney? Leave the Party behind...the change will do you all good. I have a conscience and a fine long term memory... Republican Politicians don't cut it.

    The bad actions of the Republican Party well outweighs any good points today... not worth it to America... all we can do is tolerate them, it's very unpleasant.***

  3. ***Rachel Maddow has particular reason to be self-satisfied today. Christie is trailing Hillary in a new poll by 8 pts, thanks to the Bridgegate scandal that MSNBC has been covering relentlessly.***

    The sad thing about the entire drama is that Christie would have totally gotten away with it if it hadn't gone on for so long and MSNBC jumped on it last year! I hope he lies there awake at night thinking about "what could have been" if not for his petty, juvenile, and (let's be real) criminal behavior! This is New Jersey and we all know how corrupt things go, but this was beyond the pale and it's costing The Gov; BIG TIME!

    ***Hillary Kept Records For 'Revenge' - Surely this is not "What does it matter" would want history to remember her for...esp. since she's a stand by your man type guy.***

    So all of you are saying she should "live and let live" with all those detractors trying to undermine her accomplishments, and speak ill of her staying with husband? Everything Bush did could be linked to his being vengeful! To this day, he's more a petulant child than a well-respected past President of this country! Bill can go anywhere in the world and receive a standing ovation and people from this board just can't stand it! Both Hill and Bill have been vilified, underestimated, and under-appreciated their entire careers, but they're at the pinnacle with the possibility of both being President! The "right" and conservatives are horrified and have already started trying to bring Hillary down a peg!

    ***"Sen. Ted Cruz spoke to reporters while walking toward the Senate floor at the Capitol on Wed. His filibuster failed to stop a measure suspending the U.S. debt limit." - Nope. It was an act of meaningless political grandstandstanding by Cruz right from the jump. He's gearing up for a run at the White House in '16, and did it solely for the publicity.***

    Who's going to support him; even in Texas after this episode? Talk about shooting oneself in the foot; direct to the head really! It's people like Cruz that save us from Tea Party totally taking over on the "right!" They sabotage themselves again and again! Republicans have been favored to take over the Senate since '10 and they keep finding ways to throw a monkey wrench in the works! "Thanks Cruz!"

    ***That is all fine and well that you think Cruz is making a stand, but what is the outcome of following him ...shut our gov't down til Obama caves?

    ...Harry Reid's callous and arrogant remarks to the CNN reporter when asked about the funding for children's cancer prove that he's the arrogant, uncaring jerk we all think he is. Same for Obama's handling of the veteran's memorial closings.***

    Get a grip! It's isn't in the Constitution that Republicans can pay whatever bills they feel like paying and ignore the others! It's about time Obama had the backbone to stand up to these assholes on the "right," dragging the country through the gutter just b/c they don't like this Black President! ...These people are so disturb! Their blind hatred is costing the country money, jobs, the economy, and their credibility!

    ***I'll add Michael Moore was never arrested either ... unlike Dinesh D'Souza over some BS, trumped up charges against the guy that dared make a movie (Obama's America 2016) ... The Dik-tater just sicked the DOJ on him and had him arrested ... and if you think it was just over some campaign contributions, I do believe you're being delusional. This whole Admin. is crooked, incompetent and rotten to the core.***

    Such an embarrassment to human kind! Get serious help; soon! The incompetent word should be used in this era with what "W" did to the country! Took a prosperous, peaceful time in our history and trashed it within years! We're still recovering and all you losers can do is bitch! So many of you are just pathetic, hypocritical, and not very bright!

  4. ***Who wins the Dem. nomination for '16? - Yeah, they're all just a bunch of liars that all say whatever they think the people voting want to hear. So it really doesn't matter who wins anyway.***

    As bad as all politicians look these days, it still very much matters who wins! You can despise the Clintons if you like, but we had economic properity in the 90's, we were at peace, and all was right with the world! Within 8 years of "W" it all came crashing down; no accident! It was as if they were looking to trash the works, starting 2 wars, cutting taxes, and rolling back civil liberties! We had fallen back into the 50's with open bigotry, hate-speech unleashed freely, and an economy that had crashed! What kills me is that after all that nonsense, some would still fault Obama when he's gotten us out of the hole, even with Republican foot-dragging! There's been economic growth, jobs are being created, and the DOW more than doubled from 6000 pts. to over 16,000! That didn't happen all by itself! I think Hillary will be a nice compromise after Obama leaves and things might accelerate when it comes to the recovery!

    ***Rubio fucked up. He’s just another puppet and proved it when he went full-retard on Immigration “Reform." God I hate that phrase.***

    This split was to be expected; Reps giving lip service to "immigration reform" again! You actually had senior senators like McCain co-sponsoring a bill a few years ago! He not only didn't follow through, he voted against his own legislation! It happens again and again, soliciting the hispanic vote, then screaming for a wall to be built to keep their base happy! Reps will continue to vote against their own interests and the party will contract more and more each election cycle! I wonder what it feels like to be utterly gutless, allowing a small minority of hard-asses to run the RNC into obscurity?

    ***The Dems should keep control of the Senate in the '14 election. Ginsberg retires and is replaced by a fairly liberal Obama appointee. If the Republicans win in '16, Scalia & Kennedy retire and are replaced by fairly moderate appointees by the new Republican President. The court stays 5-4 Republican, but shifts to the left slightly.***

    The big question is who can run and win on the Republican side in '16? They have shot themselves in the foot at every turn and it's only getting worse finding new ways to sabotage efforts to take over the Senate the last couple election cycles! I kept hearing the same thing; with Obama's liberalism, the country will "move to the right" and make corrections to save the country, family, and religion! They totally ignore things have gotten better even with Republican foot-dragging! Why would the country want to go back to "compassionate conservatism" when "W" about annihilated everything? This hasn't occured in my lifetime; 3 straight Democratic wins for the Presidency! They have a great chance with sleazebags like Christie, Rubio, Paul, Jindal, Santorum, Walker, Huckabee, & Perry leading the way "on the right!" I think a chimp should be able to beat them!

    ***Hillary has a lot of experience, so she s/b a shoe in. She's the wife of a Gov. and Prez. She was Sec. of State during which time she did...well ...such as "what does it matter?" Dems have found someone, somehow, who has less exp. than Obama had.***

    Seek serious help! For you guys to be cheerleading for Paul, Cruz, and Walker; they're the losers who have little experience! Hillary goes back to investigating Watergate! She has nothing but experience while the "right" is putting up neophites in comparison! I'll put Clinton's resume over anyone you want; including old men like McCain and McConnell! Ryan couldn't pull his own district when he was the VP candidate in '12!

  5. ***Overall, though, Nalbandian's mindset set him apart from the rest, in terms of what he could do at his peak, but it also caused lows that other top players typically don't experience. No one could reach higher than Nalbandian, but no one also failed to meet his own intuitive standard more than him.***

    Nalbandian was something else; from the heights of defeating Federer at the Masters final in '05 to the depths of gifting that Queen's match to Cilic! Safin; the overall best who rarely put it all together! He had power and touch, could make the best of players look bad, and had the most talent I'd seen since Ilie Nastase! Both placed the ball exactly where they wanted and could bedevil the best of their era; Ilie with Connors, Safin over Sampras at the USO and Federer at AO finals respectively!

    ***Always thought Murray didn't truly belong in top 3. He's not likable and his game has slid off the top 5 chart where players like Dimitrov belong; who has a much more pleasing game.***

    I never could stand his game either; full of arrogance! It's ok if you're playing against someone you know you can beat; counter-punching can be quite entertaining! Against the top players, he continues to play this passive-aggressive game that only wears him down; esp. as he gets older! He has a more than competent volley, but would rather hit winners from the baseline when I know he can be so much better; ala "The Big Cat" Mecir! You probaby saw it in his 3 winning efforts at Olympics, USO, and Wimbledon! Unfortunately he thinks he can continue playing that physical game and he's sliding down the ladder! You would think he would be more offensive to avoid wars with players in the 2nd and 3rd tier!

    ***I think Nadal might look at this year's AO as one that got away for various reasons.***

    The AO is Nadal's worst major, just in front of the WTF in nov. each season's end! He'll be back on track if he takes another FO; calm down people!

    ***That's exactly what I mean. AO is his worst slam, and he had someone across the net that has never won against him before. He has reasons to see it as one that got away.***

    I've been screaming for upsets like this to occur more frequently! I can't stand how the top players have skated by for years with nary an upset until now! In the old days, you could depend on Sampras going down to Ulrich or Krajicek! Dimitrov finally beat Murray last week in Mexico! Is it the beginning of the end for the top echelon?

    ***I remember all the chatter about Lendl back then. ... but can he really beat the likes of McEnroe/Edberg/Becker?" I always thought he would win Wimbledon ...but also he was a bit unlucky. One of the Becker sf's when he was in control before rain made them stop (if I remember right?) ...but that's part of the deal.***

    For someone with no real grasscourt skills, he did very well not to be upended early from more specialist like Mayotte! Lendl often had to go 5 sets, but he got to the semi and final more than most who even have a title! It's of little consolation, but if I were him, I'd be proud of that accomplisment! As good as Sampras was at Wimbledon, he had quite a few horrid lapses going down to nobodies and never-weres! Borg was a lot like that; had tough times making all those finals, but was more than lucky enough to take 5 titles! Lendl truly was the most "unlucky" of great champions!

  6. ***So far it seems Bush has done more harm to our nation than Obama has.***

    All the #'s are moving in the right direction, even with all the conservative and Rep. "foot-dragging!" It's killing them that Obama has a legacy;the ACA! ...That's the main problem on the "right;" objections w/ no solutions! Not looking forward to old lady Clinton running, but if she doesn't it'll be like Obama dropping out when so close! The past few years have redeemed the country with the election and re-election of the 1st Black Prez! Other, more backwards nations have had female leaders, but this country's never come close until now! She has to run and "win!" If not her, who? If not now; when?

    ***Fiscal conservatism rarely falls out of fashion. - That isnt the political problem Republicans have, it's their hardline stances on immigration and social issues that keep undermining their asses along w/ over the top rhetoric.***

    Amen and hallelujah to that! Years ago I could see myself voting for someone on the Rep. side, but these last 20 years have seen them become so intransigent, nothing gets done with them if in control or not! If they could turn back time, they'd try! After '04 I didn't think it could be more disgusting, but they prove me wrong everyday I see how they treat Obama! Bed bugs get more respect from right-wingers than the President! If ever they con the country into taking them on in a nat'l election, I hope they remember these days and not come back with hysterical victimhood and "lack of respect" chatter about the office! I will point out the losers from this era and SMH! In desperation to remain relevant, even moderate stallworths like Graham, McConnell, & McCain have gone "over to the dark side!" Nothing about a Dem. is good and Reps. are the only ones around to keep the liberals at bay, save our children, and protect the country!

    ***Actually, fiscal conservatism is a myth! The Reps only worship at the altar of fiscal conservatism when they are out of office after their binging on unadulterated spending with little revenue to show for when they are in office plunge us into debt, despair, and recession!***

    Hidden budget pork was decried and yelped about for years when the Dems were in power, but when Reps actually took the reins in 2000, that "pork" was multiplied by 6! As always, they talk out of both sides of their crooked mouthes! They took a thriving economy, with a surplus, and the nat'l debt under $6 trillion and turned it into trillion dollar deficits and a debt of $17T+! Listening to them attacking the poor is also criminal since their bios are rife with instances when they took advantage of "the safety net" themselves when they were young! "Cuts" is their montra that only seems to occur with programs they don't like like SS, Med., and of course the new "ACA; Obamacare!" Add women, gays, immigrants, and minorities to their hit list, it's a wonder they still exist as a party! As a group, if they're half as religious as they say, they know their next destination should be HELL!

    ***Maybe b/c alot of them didn't like what he actually stood for and was going to attempt to do with this country?? He's already got one REALLY bad thing shoved thru ... no more, please!! But alas, I think that's the primary thing he wanted ... social healthcare. Now he's digging on other things like trying to ruin the 'haves' so the 'have nots' can think they really have something. ...They lie ... deceive ... misguide this country like I"ve never seen in my lifetime and get away with it! It's egregious.***

    Hmmm, "WMD's?" Nuff said! "W" doesn't even acknowledge his mistakes of Iraq and Afghanistan in his official library in Texas! Talk about lying and running from the truth!

  7. ***'Boston Legal's' Kelley delivers parting shots - December 7, 2008 5:00 AM article

    No other current scripted TV series is as political, topical or self-referential as ABC's "Boston Legal." After tomorrow night, the show will disappear, ending its five-year run. Created and largely written by David E. Kelley, "Boston Legal," which began as a spin-off of Kelley's "The Practice," probably won't go gently in its two-hour finale Monday.

    Already this fall, the series has addressed legal cases involving the tobacco industry, the USDA, pharmaceutical advertising, the presidential campaign and the election of Barack Obama.

    "We can give thanks for a lot of things today, but the defeat of racism is not one of them, esp. at white-collar law firms like Crane, Poole & Schmidt," said liberal lawyer Alan Shore (James Spader) in the recent Thxgiving ep. "Just look around the table."

    Crane, Poole & Schmidt is the law firm at the center of the series, filled with eccentric lawyers, most of them Caucasian. Through the years the firm's attorneys have included a former madam, a cross-dresser and a man with Asperger's syndrome.

    "Our show is about ideas and it became very organic to make politics part of this show," Kelley said in a phone interview last week. "Our best shows were the ones we'd sit down to write 3 or 4 wks before they'd air. ..."

    "Boston Legal" offered another showcase role for 77-year-old William Shatner -- after Capt. Kirk on "Star Trek" and his lead in "T.J. Hooker" -- who stars as Republican Denny Crane, who suffers from the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, which he frequently refers to as "mad cow."

    Although never a ratings hit, "Boston Legal" has consistently ranked a competitive 2nd in its time period...Although there may be a perception that b/c of its older cast, which also includes 62-year-old Candice Bergen and 61-year-old John Larroquette, "Boston Legal" skews older, the series ranks No. 37 (out of 295 broadcast series) both in the 18-49 demo and in household ratings this season.

    The series addressed the issue of network ageism last week when recurring character Catherine Piper (Betty White) sought to sue TV networks for discrimination against older viewers. ...Carl Sack (Larroquette) took her case and argued that by ignoring older viewers, broadcast networks -- and by implication, ABC -- are forsaking their role as a public trust.

    ...Sack stopped short of referring to "Boston Legal" itself. "The only show not afraid to have its stars over 50 is 'Bos-.' Gee, I can't say it. It would break the wall."

    As if breaking the fourth wall ever stopped Kelley. In recent episodes a cell phone's ring tone was the theme from "The Practice" and dialogue referenced Shatner's Priceline commercials. Last week's episode even included talk of tomorrow's "finale" as Denny and Alan go to the Supreme Court to argue a case relating to Denny's access to a trial Alzheimer's drug.

    ..."ABC didn't want us back," he said. "It's as simple as that. They didn't even want us back for this year at all. We had to fight to get back on with 13. It's not a product they care to market."

    ...Kelley said he thinks "Boston Legal" could have continued for one more season beyond this year, but he doesn't feel robbed. "I feel satisfied we had run a good course."

    - - ***

  8. ***Just saw the first 2 eps. of "House Of Cards" today and had a similar reaction. I really enjoyed the 1st season and it seems they've really picked up the pace.***

    The Networks used to be such a staple for me; not anymore! Besides sporting events, I rarely even surf past those lower channels besides watching old faves; "Law & Order: SVU" & "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation!" After they're gone, I'll keep up with repeats on cable! It's so hard to relate to pop culture and their icons; don't watch any of them! I don't know anything about "House Of Cards, Breaking Bad, The Wire," or other current premium cable fare! Total newsjunky here and subsist on CNN, MSNBC, FNN, & CNNHLN outside of my extensive video collection of movies, episodes of "Doctor Who, Blake's 7, & Earth: Final Conflict!"

    ***...Totally agree, but for me Nomak is the reason Blade II out shines the other 2. IMO they went w/ terrible directions for Frost and Dracula considering the history Blade has w/ both of them. But more importantly Nomak gave us the most satisfying final fight, while Frost as the Blood God was WAY too short and Drake just never got to live up to his full potential. The only thing that disappointed me about Blade II was that Donnie Yen's character Snowman died before we were treated to what I'm sure would've been a sword fight for the ages.***

    I wonder why Yen played such a bit part? Strange! I watched the extra disk and Snipes commented on Yen's "moment" in his fight w/ a Reaper! I almost didn't recognize him; still don't really! He looks so much differently than I remember!

    ***Yeah it baffled me too why someone of Yen's caliber would play such a bit role when we know he could've really shined in a film like this. I didn't really recognize him either the first time I watched it. I honestly think he is one of those guys whose martial arts background and clean living makes it seem as if he never ages, so couple that with his vampire makeup and I wouldn't be surprised if very few people knew it was him.***

    I don't particularly care for any of these women on RHWNY, but slapping them would be the last thing on my mind! ...Fool!

    ***Fiero, agreed...except, sorry you're a misogynist!***

    Women did it; behavior, attitude, etc.! I've worked with plenty of women and the things they say and do to one another are shocking! Men bosses have loved me, while the women did nothing but fight with me! I could never do enough or fast enough for them! They sneer at guys, calling them pigs, but if the world knew how they talked behind the scenes, they'd go into seclusion! I keep asking about this faux sisterhood when we all know "women hate women!" They stab each other in the back all the time; mother/daughters, sisters, and bff's! I just can't have that type around me; that's all!

    ***I actually agree with this. It's funny I came across your comment b/c earlier tonight my boyfriend and I were discussing about how catty women are and they can never be happy for one another; jealous too. Growing up I always had issues with girlfriends for all of these reasons, I've always gotten along much better with guys b/c they're so relaxed whereas women want to fight and they hold on to these ridiculous grudges. There's no winning w/ women. I'm not a misogynist, I have my select few very close gf, but I truly cannot stand most women b/c it's always drama. I commented on a thread on a different board earlier about how women bitch and moan about people making fun of their looks or bashing their appearance, but they're the first ones to belittle another woman's physical appearance.

    And that's so frustrating to me as well. Men are always behind other men 100%; no division there. Men almost never let a woman come btw them either.***

  9. ***Tennis Mag. on Federer-Edberg and the return of former stars as coaches - ...the champs of the 80's & 90's coming back to the Tour as coaches. Starting from the top, Federer - Edberg and Djokovic-Becker, ...players and former champions to understand what the contribution of yesterday's stars can bring to a current protagonist of the game.***

    Well I wouldn't be touting the partnership of Becker and Djokovic just quite yet; esp. with Becker on the shelf going under the knife and up to now Nole just winning his first tourney of the season in IW last week! Are players catching up to the top tier or are they falling back even with sophisticated training regimen? The big combo of late has to be Magnus Norman and his student Wawrinka breaking into the top 10 last season, winning AO over Djokovic and Nadal, culminating into a career high #3 ranking in the world and #1 in Switzerland! Murray's broken up with Lendl and Edberg is obviously energizing Federer in his game! Who will break through next?

    ***I think Andy will win next at Queens. He'll likely be the fave to win that one.***

    I haven't looked or heard who's going to Queens this year! A few seasons ago, you had Rafa with others resenting an entertainment tax and promised to go to Halle instead!

    ***Pretty sure Rafa is at Halle for good now and Djokovic hasn't played 1 of the warmups since at least '10 I think.

    The main problem with the best of 5 set format in Masters 1000 finals is back-to-back tourneys like IW and Miami or Madrid and Rome where a long 5 setter might result in the finalists pulling out.***

    I'm a purist and feel it makes sense to have a tough time winning a Masters by going at least best of 5 in finals! In the past this made sense, but not today! Players like Nole, Rafa, David, Andy, Verdsaco, and Del Po allow matches to go for hours unnecessarily by playing so defensively! Nothing bores me more than a long, drawn out 3 setter from these top players, going 3 1/2 hours! Today was ideal with one dominating so it went rather quickly! If only this happened more often I'd watch more! The bigger tourneys should be best of 5 regardless; Rome & MC too iconic to make them an easy best of 3! I have very vivid memories of Borg and Panatta going 4 or 5 sets; classics! I think you'd have more varied winners like the past if it were tougher too! It seems we're accomodating the top 'rung' so they can divide the spoils and not share with the 2nd tier of players! We just don't have a Nalbandian or Davydenko winning many Masters and esp. not the WTF these days! Right now all the Masters are being held by 2 players; Nole and Rafa! That has never happened before; not even close! We could always depend on someone outside the top tier taking a fall Masters like Paris or even the WTF!

    ***The think that strikes me is how routine this win was for Nole; he did not appear to be playing at a super high level, but was just focused as could be and not scared to go to the FH. I thought Nadal looked not great, but not bad. ...Yesterday, Nole seemed to methodically attack Rafa's FH, which one would think would not be the way to go. He just seemed to execute his plan well and Rafa really had no answers. ...rather ordinary in how he took down the world #1--and now he has one-upped Fed by doing the IW-Miami double twice.***

    I don't necessarily like giving credit to Becker, but he could of recalled for Nole "Jack Kramer" theory of "attacking" someone's strength so they have nothing to fall back on! Rafa may have had 2 or 3 "vamos" points in totality; one Nole gave away by hitting a ball down the middle when set up for winner! That's a good word; "focused" concerning Nole's play! He was playing within himself and kept the pressure on, not allowing Rafa to get into a groove of running around his forehand; went right at it! It was a very entertaining match for me; quick and dominant performance!

  10. ***I said this back in '11 and Nadal did amazingly well to prove me wrong, but I really think it will be Novak who will win the lion's share of their matches moving forward. Nadal's body will deteriorate and given that the majority of the tour is played on HCs where Novak has the edge, he will close that H2H gap and perhaps even make it in his favor. - I'm still amazed Nadal managed to win 6 out of 7 matches from '12-'13, and it's a testament to his greatness b/c things looked bleak in '11.***

    After Nole's 2011 season, there was nowhere else to go but down! He was magnificent and that kind of perfection can't be sustained; ask Federer! I too believe Nole will start to dominate this rivalry and Rafa has to start breaking down! He gets into too many battles with nobodies and never-weres, going all out for 3 sets match after match!

    ***Of course Nadal's a factor everywhere, he's world #1!***

    Being #1 is hard to hold onto if you win everything in sight! There are just too many points that have to be defended; look at Nole in '12 after such a fantastic season in '11! The pressure and expectations have to be enormous!

    ***I realize that, but he's clearly a factor everywhere.***

    Has anyone looked at the schedule to see when Nole can possibly take over #1; maybe by Wimbledon again? Rafa is a FO elimination away from dropping to #2 maybe!

    ***A FO elim.? Those things are as rare as hen's teeth. Rafa has nothing to defend at Wimbledon, so unless he has a disastrous clay turn, he should be fine until maybe the US hards.***

    But it's going to happen sooner or later! Nadal will go into RG injured or unprepared and someone not even in the top 50 will take him down! That German kid should have last season; up a set and in the 2nd set TB before going down in flames! All top players have embarrassing losses; Rafa's already had 2 at Wimbledon the last couple years! Winning takes its toll; esp. on someone that works as hard as Nadal!

    ***LOL, the German "kid" (Daniel Brands I presume) is only a year younger than that kid Nadal. I'd actually be more concerned with Novak defending MC at this stage. If he defends it great, if not already Rafa increases his lead there. Novak lost early by his standards at Rome last year to Berdych in the quarters so you'd imagine he can improve on that this year. He has huge points potential at Madrid having lost to Dimitrov in round 2 last year and then he's defending SF points at RG. If he reaches the final he's up a few on last year. No one knows at this stage if he will or not or how he'd fare if he does make the final.

    This is an area where I do admire Federer. Rafa and Novak both seem to embrace the role of hunter. Like Pete before him, Roger was able to navigate the role of hunted quite well. Credit to him. And when faced with the unlikely opportunity of regaining #1 in '12, he went after it with an alacrity that belied his years.***

    Nole won't have the holes in his resume of a McEnroe, Sampras, Connors, or other great! Connors only got to 2 semi's at RG and 1 AO title early on! It took Borg's retirement to finally get him another Wimbledon in '82! Connors, like Martina have huge numbers; not just from winning, but from longevity and lack of serious injury! No one will get close to 109 titles, but Jimmy underachieved in the majors! They salute him for his USO runs late to semi, but he didn't beat anyone really, getting his clocked cleaned by Lendl and Agassi!

    ***The # of titles won by Connors is huge, but he did win a lot of Mickey Mouse titles too. I don't think today's players with high #s of titles could say they have many of those titles in their collections. Connors has won his majors, and on all surfaces. Nole may do the same. ...let's not go putting Nole up a league before he's earned it, eh?***

  11. ***Winning small titles though, while impressive, 'cos a title is a title, doesn't come close to winning a Masters on clay and Fognini and Cilic are no different than Murray there. In fact he's probably had better results. Semis at Rome & RG in '11. Cilic and Fognini haven't come within sniffing distance of that; Fognini made the qtrs at RG '11.***

    Fognini and Cilic are quite entertaining and good, but they'll never attain true stardom anywhere near top 4 contention or a major semi! It took Ferrer his entire career to finally get to the FO final last year and Masters are not much easier! I'm not sure how to really describe this; the top 4 winning everything or the 2nd & 3rd tiers so bad, are they worthy of any success? I think players just below the top 4 play very well, but it's something inside them that won't allow them to finish like players of past eras! With the rackets and strings of today, you should be able to serve out a match, but breaks can be rampant these days; just going for broke! I thought this lock would at least have a key ready, but I couldn't believe I heard that Nadal and Djokovic are holding all ATP Masters 1000 titles! I'm dumbfounded with them playing a defensive game; sorta like Borg, but even he was vulnerable to a good net-rusher! They just take all the big titles these days! What's with the rest of the tour? Nadal and Nole aren't pounding people into the clay and cement; WHAT?

    ***1. Cilic is reported to have a faster serve speed than before since working with Goran, thus his better results.

    2. Fognini also has been deeper in a Master event on clay, aside his RG QF run, last year he was a SF at MC.

    3. Wawrinka. I'm giving him the benefit of doubt, b/c he was injured in DC and took time off after that. I don't think he was well trained before the last 2 Masters.***

    For a lot of these standout players, you have to consider the same thing we knew would happen to Tommy Hass; a limited shelf-life of great play! It's easy enough to get into the zone for a while, but it won't last! I don't think any of these players will do anything great after the next few months! They're on a high they can't defend; esp. Cilic and Fognini! Wawrinka has the better chance to stay relevant longer w/ encouragement and work from teammate Roger Federer!

    ***World Rank Charts Top 5.

    R. Nadal...13,730





    Djokovic's Miami win makes #1 rank battle more interesting going forward. - Becker has helped Novak.***

    The watch is on, but nothing major likely to change until after the FO just like a 2 or 3 years ago! Would be more a certainty if not for Nole's upset at AO; his own personal major! He's still ahead of the game though taking IW and Miami recently! - It's just a little interesting to see Nole go down in flames when Becker's there and has won the last 2 Masters while the old man is on the shelf after hip surgery!

    ***I reckon Murray would win a title on clay if he bothered to play in these smaller tourneys. ...Anyway, I don't expect Murray to do that well on clay. His game just isn't suited and he's not in great form. But at RG, I'd take him far more seriously than I would Cilic, Isner, Fognini, or the like. It's a near win against a great player, and that is all Murray has.***

    Murray might have won a couple of those claycourt semi's against Nole or Rafa if he had closed them out instead of retreating into that "passive/agressive" game; sometimes within a point or 2 of winning! I wish I knew what has hot-wired him to do this and just grind out matches for no other reason than ego! It's one thing to play like that against lesser players, but a match against the top tier needs a little more attack to finish; hense his 3 biggest wins to date (Oly gold, Wimb., & USO)!

  12. ***Winning IW and Miami back to back is incredible and hopefully all the doubts in minds of Nole and fans alike will be put to rest.***

    Last season Nole took a fall! After MC, only making semi's and making others work in the major finals before succumbing! He finished strong taking the last 2 Masters and The WTF! It seemed, even though he dropped that AO earlier, his confidence is up and he didn't play scared yesterday; bold! Attacking Rafa's forehand and coming into net only made the contest more definitive and shorter! He was in complete control, only facing break points in the 1st game of the match! I just can't think of him playing any better these last 4 Masters and embarrassing Nadal yesterday! This tourney is Rafa's goof; time and time again he has gone down w/o a win! I understand difficulties with Paris and Shanghai so late in the season and indoors, but why Miami's been his bugaboo is so strange! His support can't be any stronger w/ a huge Latin contingent in the stands!

    ***Also telling was Nole at the net. Excellent in his execution and the set ups. Now, that mightn't be Becker, it could be just a sign of how sure he was yesterday.***

    That was Becker's backhand approach into Nadal's forehand yesterday; knifed w/ no need for a volley by Nole!

    ***Djokovic's determined to visit the net more these days. It's a good move. Boom Boom Boris is the ideal man to help him with this and when it's the ideal time to try to come in. Has Djokovic got soft hands though? must be down to confidence, sometimes it looks like Nole has, but other times he looks like an alligator slapping a guillemot w/ its tail.

    I'd be surprised if Cilic does anything substantial.***

    I guess I don't pay enough attention to understand the hoopla and novelty of picking Cilic actually doing something before his career is over! I've always seen him as a competent, aggressive enough player with a solid forehand, fleet of foot, and good endurance! Nothing Earth-shattering in his game so I can't see that much promise! In my eyes his only real notoriety is winning Queens a few years ago down a set and break only b/c his opponent lost his mind and injured a linesman; Nalbandian tossed! Other than that, Cilic was suspended for doping; accepted punishment and fine cut in half! Anyone? Why him of all people? What about the rest of the Spanish Armada, Gasquet, Baby Fed, Dopol, Raonic, or Wawrinka our new AO winner?

    ***There is a Big 2 right now and that is about it. They put such a distance btw them and the rest that it is in fact insane. Novak has more points than #3 & #4 ranks together, never mind what Rafa has.***

    Well this has happened before, but I'm so surprised it's going on now with such a disparity of points; so many great athletes out there! It wasn't shocking to have Borg/Connors, Borg/McEnroe, then Lendl/McEnroe with others dragging far behind! We even became accustomed to the Federer/Nadal show year in and year out with honorary mentions to the most solid #3 in Djokovic! The men have allowed Rafa to leave the tour for months at a time, then to reappear and take over; shameful really! Roger's getting "up there, "but what's the excuse for these other players just taking up space; Murray, Tsongas, & Ferrer? At least Wawrinka has finally emerged and is fullfilling some of his promise! The other guys need to step it up; same for the ladies allowing Serena to dominate at such a mature age playing part time before the last couple years!

  13. ***Djokovic's net play is better than folks think; just his overhead volleys that looks clumsy. ...we are definitely moving away from endless baseline play. More net play is the way ahead..who wants 40 stroke rallies moving into the late 20s? Not Djokovic.***

    Nothing bores me more than 30-40 stroke rallies again and again with Nole, Rafa, & Andy! In the old days you were lucky to have 3 or 4 points like that; now it's routine and a downer! Loved Miami; not just b/c Nole won, but b/c it had more to do than just wearing down the opponent! Nadal was played off the court, Nole attacking his forehand of all things! He was very successful at it all match long with that added sweetener of great volleys!

    ***I'm not sure what else is expected from Federer? He won Wimbledon and got to #1 in '12 at the twilight of his career when every single one of his rivals were in their respective peaks. Everything else is a bonus. We should actually be amazed that he's still top 4 material. Also, speaking of Ferrer, he has played 843 matches in his life. Roger is at 1164. That's almost 4 more years worth of high end tennis.

    But you know, the guy is getting old? This season has been positive w/ a slam semi, a MS final, and winning Dubai. I think that's already more than you'd ever hope for from Ferrer. But I get your drift. Roger is facing "Father Time" in a best of 5 he's bound to lose.***

    I agree with both of you! I get it on the phone with my mom whining about Federer not winning! I told her years ago, "you can't expect that kind of excellence to be sustained forever!" It lasted longer than I thought, incapsulating a whole "great carrer" in just a handful of years, but the 2nd tier has been such a disappointment in comparison! Even in past eras with true greats ruling their eras like Borg, Lendl, Connors, Sampras, McEnroe, & Agassi, you still had players outside the top rung take a major, Masters, or WTF! I mentioned it on another thread what they said about the M1000 at the moment; "all belong to Djokovic and Nadal!" That's ridiculous; esp. when the best chance for some players should be the last couple in the fall, but Nole's owned them as well of late! I just don't know what to say watching Murray amble along until he sparks something, takes 3 biggies (W, USO, & Olym. gold), but after surgury, has fallen back to the pack! Del Po never fullfilled his promise, and Wawrinka finally did something, but is it too late to build onto that AO?

    ***No, he isn't that bad yet. I think 2013 had a lot of people fooled. Roger can still play, how well in the biggest moments is what remains to be seen. He looked like dog crap in the semis of Oz but he has wetted his pants at the sight of Rafa for 5 years now. Similar to 2012 if Roger gets to 2nd week of Wimbledon he will be plenty dangerous. At this point I don't think that holds true at the other slams, even USO.

    It's all about execution. A botched volley and error cost Brands from being close to a 2 sets to zip lead at RG for one. Not that he would've won then, but that's a lot better situation than being 1-1 in sets and puts a lot more confidence on the shoulders of the guy with a 2 set lead.***

    Thank you! That's all I've been saying! Many players have been a service hold from winning, or 2 points to break to close out a match against the top tier! I can give you example after example of "also rans" that have allowed Nadal, Nole, and Roger to come back and win; at their worst! The one I shake my head about the most was from a few years ago on clay, maybe a quarter-final with Roger and Feliciano Lopez! He's up 5-2 in a 2nd set TB after winning the 1st set, there's an easy overhead to go up 6-2 at the net, butchers it, then preceeds to allow Federer to come all the way back and win the TB and the match! I was disgusted with Lopez, but he's not the only one to do it time and time again!

  14. ***But surely, given favorable draws, Roger has to have a shot at both SW19 and Flushing this year. His level hasn't dropped that low yet!***

    His best chance will always be Wimbledon, but I think you can write off Flushing from here on out! He'd need a lot of help! He's had his time with the tourney; his own personal backyard for 6 straight years, winning 5! I just can't see him dealing with the heat, humidity, court pounding, and irregular schedule patterns due to weather! Even Martina Navratilova had trouble at that venue in her later years; big, but hardly the best and easiest major to play!

    Nole's still the only player to beat Nadal 4 or more times in a row; at least twice now! We'll see what the future holds!

    ***Actually I think this recent run is 3 and I hope Rafa reverses the trend before it gets to 4 matches.***

    - -

    You're right! Was thinking of '11 for some reason with IW! Going back to last season you have Beijing, WTF and this year's Master's event, Miami! What makes it more noteworthy is that each match was decided in straight sets! No matter how poorly Nole plays, he takes at least a set off of Rafa! The 4 tourney winning streak must be Masters events overall; 2 last season and the first 2 this year!

    ***I can't see Roger beating Nole at a slam. If Rafa and Nole fell by the wayside and Roger met Ferrer in the final, well, I guess there's only one man coming out of that one weighing heavier than he did going into it.***

    This is where I fault the rest of the tour! It's more than a little pathetic when you allow the same players to take all major titles; not just most! In the past you had joke "goof" finals due to upsets and that's how some greats acquired such "big mumbers!" Sampras won a few majors that way playing the likes of Pioline, Phillippoussis, or Moya! McEnroe got an easy Wimbledon over Chris Lewis from NZ in '83! It's just sad to see how gutless the rest of the male players have been in this era to "bend over" like this again and again, allowing routine major wins for Federer, Nadal, and Nole! We can give an honorable mention to Murray and Del Po I suppose, but that been 4 events; 2 USO, 1 W, 1 Olympic gold medal! Wawrinka finally broke through like his supporters thought; bout time! He did what I hoped players like Soderling, Ferrer, Gasquet, Tsonga, or others to do more routinely; never happened though! The upsets few with no majors; not even a final save Soderling twice!

    ***I don't buy this argument Fiero buddy; never have. Players don't "allow" other players to sweep the board. They don't just bend over and hand over the keys to the title. In the great scheme of things they aren't gutless - they just aren't good enough (in relative terms to the uber elite sitting at the top).

    Seriously, are we going to have a discussion where we discard every pro tennis player as a feeble and gutless other than 3-5 players at the very top? Most of these pros have had to been tough cookies to even make the pro tour.

    The fact of the matter is that there are 3, more likely 4 HOF'rs to go through to get a sniff of the titles; guys who are a cut above the rest of the field. Sure there will be the odd huge upset, but these guys will need 2 or maybe even 3 pretty big upsets to take a major title.***

  15. ***I'm not implying that Hingis was not doing her job as coach of Lisicki. I just hope Hingis does her job and helps Lisicki b/c she s/b be ranked higher.***

    I'm just being difficult due to Hingis being one of my faves and highly undervalued as the #1 player in her day! When the WTA was just about to flounder w/ the end of some careers and the start of new and great ones, Hingis tieth them over for a few years until the Williams' came of age! Martina holds records that will probably never be eclipsed due to her tender age and lack of physical strength! Lisicki should take it as an honor that Hingis took her on and is playing w/ her; guaranteeing her name will be forever be mentioned at times just b/c of that partnership! Like Navratilova, name recognition is expanded to others around them just b/c of their past tenure at the top of the WTA!

    ***Tennis fans respect Hingis precisely b/c she did not possess the power to have physical weapons. She won w/ her tennis IQ which most would admit is one of the highest, if not the highest in the history of the sport. Aga, upon hearing that people compare her to Hingis stated that she's flattered by the compliment.

    I am curious to know what the board thinks as to who will have the better H2H when it's all said and done btw these 2 great players, and why?***

    It's only wishful thinking, but I'd put Nole ahead "after all is said and done!" I think he's more fit and won't break down as soon as Rafa who works entirely too hard w/ any player out there! I see similarities w/ this rivalry that were evident with Evert and Navratilova! They're almost the same age, 1 more dominant to begin with; esp. on clay! A turning point occurs and a big run is achieved by the younger, less experienced player! Evert had a huge lead; like 20-8 before Martina had a run of 14 matches in a row go in her favor! She was often toying with Chris; even on clay! If not for so many clay Masters events, I think Nole would have surpassed Rafa already, but since there are so many, it'll take a little while longer; but not much! Nole's won the last 3 matches in dominating fashion! We can only hope he can keep it going this spring on European clay! I'd be more than happy enough for him if he complete his career with at least 1 FO and 1 Cinn. Master!

    ***I agree that there's a good chance that Nole will lead the H2H when it's all done btw them. Djokovic's a dangerous opponent for Nadal, who yes, has more mileage on him, ...Rafa is entering the late middle-age of his career w/ more years of dominating, or all-but, while Novak's still in peak years. I think he has time to catch up and pass in the personal H2H. I don't agree with your statement, though, that there are "so many" clay MS, and that's why Nole hasn't caught Rafa there already. Three Masters are played on clay, while 6 are played on the HCs.***

    The most dominant players after Borg weren't really that adept at taking Rome and MC but once or twice over their careers while Rafa has inflated his record with those titles! Sampras, McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, and even Andre lost on those courts time and time again; if they went at all! They couldn't pad their #'s and stats with multiple clay court titles the way Rafa has over the years! Even Borg didn't have 8 MC or Rome titles; just 2 I believe! They weren't as important then as they are today; most top players skipping them! I can't remember Connors ever going to those events! Not like he'd win!

    ***Yeah I think the proportion of hard to clay Masters certainly favors Novak for their head 2 head!***

    Now, but not when Nadal was so dominant and owned the other players on the tour on clay several years ago!

  16. It just shows the desperation of the "right" when they would actually criticize this President b/c he asked for mustard on his burger! I wish this was the worst of it, but they've been even more petty and pathetic! I'm embarrassed for them, watching FNN night after night, wondering when they'll turn the corner of outright hatred if not a consistant animus for this man? Of course this type of behavior or attitude towards everyone outside their little family is just as contankerous! We're all liberal and lazy, always looking for a handout, and want the gov't to take over all mondane chores of life; providing food, shelter, and health insurance! I used to think I could actually vote for a Republican, but they've all gone over to "the dark side" where there's no possible redemption! They've insulted most of the people of the country, trying to separate and annihilate any kind of compromise! It's either their way or "blow up the country!" Only they count; and to HELL with women, minorites, illegals, gays, dems, and "heaven forbid," athiest!

    ***This is not the time in current events for another Republican in the White House. Bush/Cheney were too destructive in everything they touched, one would have to be mentally impaired to forget the damage done.***

    Well this is America! They always talk about how "exceptional" America is in the world, but my caveat says yeah, "exceptionally dumb!" Republicans have trashed the economy quite a few times over the years! They fight hard to deregulate everything in sight and when there are abuses and frauds, let's balance it out by cutting Social Security and Medicare! This is what happens each time Wall Str. gets too comfortable, start bending rules with the complicity of a Republican President and Congress! How many times does it have to happen? Thanks Reagan and "W!" NOT! Clinton brought us back after Reagan/Bush and Obama has fought tooth and nail to recover the economy after Bush/Cheney! I just shake my head and wonder, how stupid are people to totally forget these hellish times of high unemployment, massive deficit spending, cutting of taxes and not paying for their mandates, and of course lying about how we're actually doing! If any of these losers on the "right" even get a sniff of actual acceptance in this role of President in the near future, we'll deserve how far we fall!

    ***...another low info voter thinking they know what they're talking about...***

    Hmmm, another erudite conservative speaks! Will you be reading something tough for us today; maybe "The Cat In The Hat" like your heroes Cruz or Bachmann? Loser!

    ***You idiot liberals will try to make a point with anything you can...even when it makes you look dumber than a box of rocks! How pathetic! - Actually it was "Fox thinking" that Obama's condiments are newsworthy......Really?***

    That's one of many reasons I don't lurk on this horrible site! You can't argue with the conservative element here! Ya get a headache due the lack of true logic and common sense reasoning! I watch FOX just so I know how ridiculous their views continue to be after starting out "almost credible" back in '97! I never missed that original lineup of Bill O'Reilly, Hannity & Colmes, then Catherine Crier! Even w/ the constant bashing of Clinton, I wasn't as offended because they seemed to have "some" balance, but that's a thing of the past! Even the lowlife comedians that come in are as dishonest as the hierchy of the place! In their minds, we're just creating a nanny state, while the Dems think even less of Reps! I just find it amazing, that with all the different outlets of news, we continue to be the least informed people in the civilized western world! That's what happens when our brains won't accept news unless it produced as entertainment and slanted one way or another!

  17. ***Can You Say 2011?? - What do you mean "2011" you don't get it ...yes you do.***

    Without a doubt, Nole's '11 was the most successful season for a male pro since Laver's Grand Slam in '69! You've had Federer, Nadal, Wilander, and Connors with 3 majors, but it wasn't as complete as Novak's domination on all surfaces taking 5 or 6 Masters with those Slams!

    ***Actually, while I agree with your observation regarding Novak having the best year since Laver, it was Nadal who had the most "complete" year on all surfaces since unlike Federer and Djokovic, he won 3 majors on all 3 surfaces in '10.***

    Well it was made more complete in my mind by defeating his #1 rival 6 times and twice on clay in straight sets! I can't imagine anyone surpassing that year of '11 results!

    ***Absolutely. But then again, it's understandable to compare. On 2nd thought, I would place Roger's '06 over Novak's '11 by a hair (since he essentially lost to one guy only and reached the final of all majors).***

    Which is why I placed Nole's '11 over Federer's '06! You guys answered your own question; Roger losing to Rafa! No one owned Nadal the way Nole did for a little over a year taking 7 straight matches including the most memorable last one at AO in '12!

    ***I'm with Fiero on this one. Having Nadal as your rival in '06 & '11 were 2 very different propositions. Plus, Novak had a still very potent Roger to face, as we saw in Paris and New York.

    Novak's great year wasn't built on the back of anything but his own previous failings, and his dominance of Rafa (something Roger couldn't manage in '06, even when Rafa was young), was the most exhilarating and scary thing I ever saw on a tennis court, maybe since McEnroe.

    Nadal in '10 wasn't as dominant as Djokovic's '11 or Federer's 06 or '10 season; 3 majors they all got, then there is most Masters titles in a year and World Tour Finals. So Djokovic in '11 wiith 3 majors 5 Masters, but zero WTF is prob most dominant.

    ...I did not mean to say that the DC titles before 1972 are meaningless. They certainly are of value too.

    However, although it's been mentioned that no country has won more than twice in a row since '72, we forgot to mention the format change that happened which was the reason for the sudden decrease in the string of DC titles by the same country.***

    Way back when, I don't think you had the upsets that became more probable when tennis "blew up" in the 70's! A lot of the time, I'm sure it was a formality; each tie leading to the final! It got tougher with world class players like Borg, Vilas, Orantes, Fillol, and many others who were superior on clay! That's when we started losing ties to South American and European teams for instance 'OTTOMH!'

  18. ***Steve Johnson becomes the 3rd ranked USA player, as he passed this wk Querrey, Young and Sock at once, by winnlng a challenger in Guadeloupe.***

    I just can't remember a period where the US was so lost when it came to tennis! I think it was in the mid 90's, in '96 when Agassi was missing in action, playing qualifiers, and probably in a stupor! We had only Sampras at #1 and of all players at #2, Chang! I didn't think it could get any worse when Roddick was our standard bearer and barely holding onto a top 10 ranking! What in the world is going on? Querrey, Isner, Sock, Young, and Harrison need to step it up! Who are these other clowns? We used to have a top rung of players, a 2nd tier, then the D' listers that could win in smaller countries! OMG, can it getting any worse?

    ***With the sole exception of Sock, who's still young and has some time to mature, the others have already stepped it up to their capacity. Querrey and Young have no potential futures worth mentioning. I briefly had hope Harrison would do something, but I've given up on him too. US tennis is, indeed, in a shambles, with nothing significant on the horizon.

    Who does the Swiss play next, a team from Jamica or Cuba? - The no name guy he beat was playing extremely well all week and if he played like he did this week, Rafa would've lost in the 2nd round of the USO '11 when he played him as he was behind at times in every set to Golubev. ...He's a dangerous aggressive player and his low ranking is deceptive.***

    ...esp. in Davis Cup where rankings mean little if anything! On paper, Switzerland shouldn't lose having the #3 & #4 players in the world competing for them! Those players were also on a winning streak; Stan @ AO and Roger in Dubai! Both had wins over higher ranked players; Stan over Nadal & Djokovic and Roger taking out Nole a couple wks before! They were lucky to survive against those "no names!" Look at the US going down to England of all countries! I don't think they've advanced past the 1st rd in the world group in over 30 yrs when the Lloyd brothers were still around! How much further must be fall?

    ***I wouldn't put John Isner into the same category as the other US players currently active on the tour, b/c he's playing close to his capabilities. He is ranked now 9, as high as he has ever been and he made a few appearances in the final weekend in a few Masters, beside many small events titles. The rest of the bunch, Querrey included who once was in the top 20 are quite disappointing. Probably, the majority of them are just not as talented. Did you call Steve Johnson a clown? I would hold on to that thought, b/c he just turned pro 2 years ago after he has attended college and he's already better ranked than many of the other player who are banging the ball on tour for years.***

    I'll never understand guys like Becker who are "citizens of the world" and try to buy these huge estates, not realizing how much it takes to keep "it up!" It'll sit vacant a great deal of the time too! Phillippoisis "did himself in" by buying some house back in Australia and he's busted now when it "went under!" I don't travel half as much as I used to, but I was rarely home for months at a time! It just made no sense to buy; even for an investment! Lucky I didn't when it all crashed around us twice; '01 and '08! "Thanks, 'W;' you're such a loser President! You'll be totally vilified in history for your actions while in office!" We can't live in prosperity for too long and have to repeat the same stupid maneuver ever so often and elect a nitwit! They're thinking of putting "Jeb" up there to run next in '16! Will we screw it up again and vote against Hillary? I'll never overestimate the nat'l intellect and their lack of common sense!

  19. ***Republicans have no forward looking agenda that might capture people's interest. It's all the same old, same old tired garbage. - As a Republican I can't disagree with that.***

    Good man! Now all we have to do is make you guys vote for Republicans who think outside of their power and money grabs! Years ago I could have voted for a Republican, but these last couple decades showed me that wasn't a competent choice! They go "contrary" just to be in opposition of something even if it's their own good idea at one time or another! If Obama gives a thumbs up, it's gotta be bad! I remember the late "Prince Of Darkness," Robert Novak who once said before he left us, "the last original idea of a Republican was freeing the slaves!" Wow, competence after so many years of insanity backing anything conservative and Republican!

    ***A Congressman wants a raise. - And yet the average federal worker's pay has also been frozen for the last 3 know..the people NOT making 174K a year? Nurses, housekeepers, laundry workers, kitchen workers...people making less than 30K a year. So why is it a guy making 174K a year can get a raise, but those at the bottom can not?***

    That's the American way; the rich get richer and the poor get poorer! It isn't more relevant and obvious than now! I understand this Dem asking for a raise! He was really doing this for the other new Senators with 2 households; one in DC, one in their state with the family! I wouldn't care if the entire Federal gov't got a raise if they actually got stuff done! They wasted billions shutting it down, half-arse budgeting with the Sequester, and the constant threat of defaulting! Even with all these shinanigans with "the Right" in Congress, the economy is coming back and jobs came in at 192,000 last month giving us an unemployment rate of 6.7! Notice as much bellyaching we hear from Republicans about the economy, the ACA, and all their so called shady conspiracy theories on Obama, the country's thriving and would be so much better if Dems were allowed to take Congress back at the end of the year! It won't happen; too many stupid people out there voting against their own interests and of course the heavily gerry-mandered districts! We're doomed!

    ***Holder never said he was above the law, another "Con" lying. They do that so well.***

    I wouldn't say they do it well; they do it often and have been caught too many times to count! Cons are disgusting animals who have embarrassed this country, tried to drag it down into a sewer, and have no regrets from what I can see and hear of them everyday on FNN! Joe Scarborough actually tried to compare the treatment of Obama and Holder to what the Dems may have put "W" and AG Gonzales through back when they were in charge! I used to think the man had some integrity and wouldn't overtly exaggerate, but he fooled me! He's as low as any of them and he should be ashamed of himself! They're now tap-dancing on the grave of Kathleen Sebelius; like it makes their day to see them run an HHS Sec'y out of her job! Truly pathetic!

    ***What's really pathetic..and typical of you lefty that your party and President just won the dishonor of lie of the year! ...And it was not just Republicans who thought sebelieus did a horrible job, some Dems thought so as well and that she should have resigned.***

    You don't want to get on that topic of "huge LIES!" All I have to say is "WMD's," and that will register as the top whopper of the century! That lie cost us a trillion dollars, over 5,000 lives, 40,000 injuries, and the death of well over 100,000 innocent people in the country we bombed back to the stone age! And you wonder why the rest of the world hates our guts! So get over yourself!

  20. Who has the best chance to have the complete set of Masters this season; Nadal or Djokovic? Rafa and Nole have played each final, but only Lendl owns all 9 titles; most multiple times! Rafa is behind Nole w/ 7 of the 9 while his rival has 8 w/ only Cincinnati his only HURDLE! Right now only Djokovic and Nadal own all 9 titles which is unprecedented; Nole w/ 5 and Rafa w/ 4! Monte Carlo this week could be the game changer!

    ***I actually think it's going to be harder for Djokovic despite needing just Cincy as there are quite a few players who can handle fast hardcourts better than he does.

    A nice consequence would be that Federer can possibly get seeded in top 4 in Wimby. Nadal and Novak are sure to be in top 4 in Wimby seedings with such huge point accumulations. Due to the formula that Wimbledon uses and due to the fact that Murray had won Wimby last year and Olympics the year before, Murray is almost sure to be in top 4 in Wimbledon even though his current ranking is only 8.***

    IMO they can't get away with doing such a thing! If Murray had come back from surgery 100% and was on a winning streak; maybe! My memory isn't the best these days, but they just don't do that kind of heavy manipulation of the seeds anymore the last decade or so! They do have that option to take in consideration at "majors" the surface, player history at the event, and other shinanigans, but I doubt they could justify such a thing with Murray in the condition that he's in! I hope he doesn't read this, but I think he'll be lucky to get to the quarters! He's the most likely to be upset esp. if the grass footing problem from last season hasn't been solved! His court movement is his real weapon and if he can't run down balls, he toast!

    ***Has anyone who has repeatedly skipped Monte Carlo won RG? - I think it's fair to say Federer has repeatedly skipped Monte Carlo.***

    It wasn't as much a snub as being realistic and not overplaying on clay! He did well to make final after final in other clay Masters! It's not the same as someone like Borg who won Wimbledon 5 times, playing 6 straight finals after skipping all grasscourt warmups like Queens!

    ***Pete usually played the World Team Cup in Dusseldorf, .., but those clay court Masters tourneys were not mandatory when Pete was playing, were they? Wasn't ranking just based on the "Best of" a certain number of tourneys, taking the best results? I don't think you got zero mandatory points for not showing up at the clay court Masters events.***

    Another reason for players like Sampras to skip those clay Masters was that they were best of 5 finals back then; even Hamburg! It just made no sense for serve and volleyers to go and wear themselves out, esp. if they wanted to attend the FO!

    ***Sorry, but the #1 player in the world is fit enough to play a 5 set final. There's no danger of "wearing out." It was best of 5 in Masters even through the Nadal-Federer rivalry. They played a 5 hour final in 1 and Rafa still went on to win RG.***

    I agree, but it seems like the ATP is catering to the top players so they don't have it as tough as the previous era; few best of 5 finals! I didn't mind when IW went best of 3, but Miami is supposed to be the 5th major and I wasn't happy about that change!

    ***I agree, but it had little to do w/ the players; more TV. The American viewing public developed a zero attention span,... Then you have idiots like Mary Carillo saying 3 of 5 is too long.***

  21. Who has the best chance to have the complete set of Masters this season or next; Nadal or Djokovic? Rafa & Nole have played each final, but only Lendl owns all 9 titles; most multiple times! ...Monte Carlo this week could be the game changer!

    ***Yeah, Nadal's chance is over again for this year, but I'd actually rate the chances pretty equal despite the fact that Novak needs 1 less Masters than Rafa to wrap them all up.***

    Not just b/c Nadal is no fave of mines, I just see him "running" down by the fall and winter! I've talked about this before where Nadal's upsets tend to be in the summer and fall; hense most of his titles in the first 6 months of the season! He has no WTF titles to go along with a couple Masters missing off his resume! His opportunities are dwindling where I think Nole has a much better chance of taking his lone deficiency in Cinn. this year or the next!

    ***Has anyone who has repeatedly skipped Rome won RG?***

    The only thing I can remember about Rome and Agassi; hmmm, it had to do with his physicality or lack thereof! B/c of his poor diet, McD's and other fast food, if an opponent could keep him on court for 3 hours, the player had a good chance to win the title; esp. in 5 sets! He made it to the '89 final against someone I didn't even know; Alberto Mancini! I got to it late, but it was in the 4th set, Andre was up 2 sets to 1 w/ at least a break and a clock came up in the corner showing 2 hours, 50 min.! On cue Mancini started keeping the ball in play, running him around more, and Andre was done in 5 to this guy! It happened to him again and again where he was favored; 2 FO finals vs Courier and Gomez respectively, then the worst beatdown in history to Sampras at the USO in '90! I guess that's why he hired that trainer and started working with other coaches after Bollettieri dropped him like a hot potato!

    ***If I am right, this is probably the 1st year Murray has skipped MC after it became non-mandatory.***

    If you're over 28, I think you're nuts to play all those clay events before the FO; esp. Federer and Haas! They aren't going to win any of them, will use a lot of their stamina trying, then probably fizzle out early at the main event! Federer is about due for a nasty early round loss in Paris! He's been superhuman even making all those finals, but he's tempting fate each year he keeps trying! He finally holds the record for consec. majors over Wayne Ferreira's 56! Maybe Mirka will be in labor and he'll skip it; hopefully!

    ***By "all those clay events," I guess you mean MC, Madrid & Rome. Never mind Haas, b/c he's injured. But Roger took a WC to be here at MC. It's one of 2 MS he's never won, and he's been playing well. Do you think that was a bad choice? He can skip Madrid if he wants to. Since he's been playing well, why NOT try for MC and/or Rome? Plus, if he's healthy, they are good tune-ups.***

    The West is always tough; from day one! The East has been a joke for as long as I can remember! You have a few chp quality teams, but for the most part, the rest are embarrassments to sport! When you allow 1 or 2 teams under .500 into the playoffs year in and year out, I'd look at what the problem is and fix it! Several years ago, while the West were at their best, the East only had 2 teams over .500 the first month of play! It was obscene and disgusting to see! Anybody else have a comment on this state of affairs? The NFL allowed a 7-9 team to make the playoffs for the first time a few years ago, but at least they made up for it by winning a Superbowl this past season for Seattle!

  22. ***Roger's clearly playing Monte Carlo for points to get to London and secure a better ranking b/c he's taking an extended break when Mirka gives birth. He's likely to miss Toronto or some other big event; hopefully not a Slam. They say she's due in July. So there's method to the madness of playing here.

    According to ATP rules, Roger can legally skip all the 9 Masters events, if he so chooses, w/o any penalty due to his stats. It's based on # of matches played, # of matches won, age, years in play, etc).***

    I had heard they had initiated some new rules to insure another "Borg situation" wouldn't occur! That was w/o a doubt the stupidest thing to allow happen back in '82! Borg was a "rock star" with a status that no one has really achieved since! Federer and Tiger Woods have come close, but to this day most people think Borg left on his own or McEnroe ran him out of the game! That was the furthest thing from the truth and it ticks me off a myth is being perpetrated on people who think they're true historians of the sport! You never hear what really happened!

    If memory serves we laud Laver and I give him all due props for his achievements, have sympathy for the lost years in his prime before Open tennis, but the man had his Rafa; Lew Hoad! I think I heard The Rocket was 0-8 against him at one time; maybe even worse off! It's never spoken of to save his legacy I guess, but it's still a fraud through omission! I'm sure there's a book out there w/ all these factoids, but I wish I could understand why commentators who probably know these truths almost never bring it up? That's how we learn things!

    ***Reduction of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Commitment

    A. A player’s # of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 commitment tournaments shall be reduced by (1) for reaching each of the following milestones:

    1) 600 matches* (as of 1 Jan. of the commitment year);
    2) 12 years of service;
    3) 31 years of age (as of 1 Jan. of the commitment year).

    If all (3) conditions are met then the player has a complete exemption from the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 player commitment.

    The 1st Year of Service shall be the 1st calendar year in which a player has competed in at least (12) tournaments offering ATP ranking points.

    - -

    By these rules, I think Nadal is also exempt from 2 required MS.

    You speak of the Gods my son.***

    That so called rivalry was a sham IMO as well since it had the same dynamics as Federer and Nadal! Borg had already been a pro since he was 15, was even seeded #5 at '73 Wimbledon due to men's strike/boycott!

    To me it just wasn't fair since McEnroe was so much younger and wasn't half as experienced and "burned out!" Borg's true rivals were Connors, Vitas, Vilas, Solomon, Dibbs, Orantes, Panatta, Gottfried, Tanner, Stockton, Nastase, and Fillol! Bjorn was only beating up on one old man of his era; Laver! They had some great matches, Laver even taking him to 5 sets in the semi-final of the old WCT Chps. in '75! We didn't get a chance to see it, but it was obvious Rod took a lot out of the kid! Ashe had little trouble with a visibly exhausted Borg in the final!

  23. ***Feliciano Lopez should be to your taste too. Big serve, good on grass and HCs like GGL.***

    ...and a true headcase! I related to you that clay match several yrs ago in Ger. vs Federer! Lopez was up a set, even had a 5-2 lead in closing a TB and gave it all back after missing a baby smash at the net! He tried to laugh it off at 1st til he started choking his guts out! ...I still can't get over Verdasco in complete control vs Murray on grass at Wimbledon last year! He was up 2 sets to none and I said to myself, "he's going to give this match back;" and he did! I've seen it enough w/ Borg in the past coming back from insurmountable odds on all surfaces, but he was great; these are just choking dogs giving matches away IMO!

    ***Verdasco's a terrible choker alright and so is Almagro. That Wimbledon choke was beyond atrocious. Verdasco's record in finals is horrendously poor too although at least he won 1 last week, at the expense of losing meekly here in a bigger, way more important venue.***

    I'm sure most people thought Ferrer would choke it all away this morning vs Rafa, but w/o seeing it, it appears someone was errorprone! Must have been very ugly; even at his best I think it's ugly! It'll be hard to watch on the repeat even though the result was to my liking!

    ***'74 FO started on jun 3rd and Wimbledon on jun 24th, 1 week gap w/ only 1 grass tourney anywhere btw at Nottingham.***

    But Queens has been around for over a century! ...I just don't remember this much movement, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised, came across Nicolás Massú in the stats under Olympic gold medalist in '04 S & D; I have no memory of him at all! ...I can't even picture a top 10 player w/ that resume! I pride myself on going way back, maybe 40 yrs to pull matches and even individual points to relate, and to lose a whole player, I'm dying!

    ***I was going by the Wiki page, '74 tennis GP. I noticed Queens was not there and maybe the '74 page was incomplete, but I checked the winners roll of honour since 1890 & indeed the tourney was not held in '74/75/76 for whatever reason.***

    I don't think I saw Queens on tv til the early 80's! In the 70's you always had odd upsets including Jimmy Connors to some nobodies! Players didn't try too hard, using it strictly for grasscourt practice! It got big with players like Becker, Edberg, and Lendl making the final or winning around then! When Ivan was desperate to win Wimbledon in '90, I think he took off 10 wks and even skipped the FO! He was magnificent in the warmup, taking final over Becker, but it just wasn't enough! He never could be a true grasscourt player no matter the amount of practice! He wasn't going to beat Becker, Edberg, or other more adept players on that surface in best of 5!

    ***Not sure where I've said I was ever happy to see Rafa injured. I'm always happy to see the Balding Bull lose, but I don't root injury on anyone unless I think they truly deserve it.***

    You and me both! I'm just "so over" that being the reason he loses a match most of the time! Something has to be wrong with Nadal; only Nole can supposedly outhit him and run him off the court! I thought it was "bush-league" of commentators and anyone else who thought it was so appropriate to "mute" winning a major the way Wawrinka had to to spare the feelings of Rafa who was injured at AO earlier this year! How many times have we seen Rafa lay out, pumping in exaltation after winning a title when his opponent might be injured, under the weather, or grieving? Have never cared for the guy; just full of himself along w/ his fans! He can win everything until after I'm gone, it's still some of the ugliest tennis to watch; esp. vs clones like Ferrer, Verdasco, Almo, Lopez, & the rest of the Spanish contingent! Rafa/David match was long, unwatchable, and a true eyesore that put me to sleep!

  24. ***OK, Fedophiles, what's the excuse this time? Wawrinka took MC over Roger in 3.***

    I believe after 30, it becomes a mental game more than a physical one; even though age is basically the reason! Mentally I've seen players lose it; their nerve and confidence! Happened to Martina Navratilova; even at the end it wasn't as physical a problem as it was mentally IMO! If you don't have the confidence to do something, it doesn't matter how much ability you have and Roger has cracked on many occasions over the last several years! He has had great coaching, both Paul and Stefan have encouraged him to move forward, but he's still fighting it, thinking "I can still win from the baseline and slap winners on command!" He's fooling himself and I have the feeling it'll get real ugly before all is said and done!

    ***Stan played better for a sustained period of time down the stretch and Roger couldn't keep up. Stanimal hits a heavier ball than Roger these days and no longer yields as easily when in prolonged rallies. In what is likely a highly unusual stat between these two--Stan won far more rallies of over nine shots.

    Roger played a stinker of a game on Stan's serve at 0-15 5-5 in the 2nd set, exerting no pressure, making easy misses/errors and allowing Stan an easy hold. Showed no killer instinct in trying for the break there and then played a very poor TB. He was a joke in set 3. Though he won set 1, I didn't think he played very well even there. I mean compare his level today to set 1 against Djokovic yesterday; night and day. Congrats to Stan and I like his game but Roger really let this title chance slip; badly. That's reality.***

    Roger's trying to go for broke for sustained periods just isn't going to work! IMO it's almost reminiscent of Evonne Goolagong at her best, slapping the ball around, but when it goes wrong, it's bad and can be embarrassing! Lucky for him most of the other players are gutless and can't finish matches themselves on many occasions when ahead of the big 4! Stan has come of age, but it won't last! He's had the most success over his fellow elite players of late!

    ***There aren't multiple sub .500 playoff teams in the East, but there are multiple playoff teams in the East almost every year who have a worse record than the 9th place West team. This year alone, Phoenix missed the playoffs despite having a better record than Washington, Brooklyn, Charlotte, & Atlanta; having the same record as Toronto and Chicago. In other words, only Indy & Atl from the East had a better record than a West team that missed the playoffs.***

    Thank you; that's all I meant through hyperbole! People get so worked up; like I care about this ridiculous sport! It's unwatchable most of the time IMO with basic tech. issues of today's players! The officiating is just as much a joke and haven't had much credibility after being called "on the carpet" more than once! With officials you had proof of tax evasion on one hand and the integrity of the game coming into question with how '02 Western Conference series went down on the other; LAL over Sac Kings! Some people involved in that should still be in jail! I haven't cared much since! Stern was just as complicit saying he had it thoroughly investigated, when officials of the series were interviewed, they admitted to not speaking to anyone about it! I was done and only enjoy when SA Spurs wins it all b/c it drives the league insane; too mild-mannered and classy I guess! They'd rather have blow-hards and ego-maniacs as champs!

  25. ***Nole's Wrist Injury Update: I would like to think Novak knows his body, and would skip Madrid if he thought it the smartest decision.***

    I'm surprised more wrists don't snap like twigs with the way these guys are swatting at the ball! I don't care how light the rackets have gotten over the years, the balls are still heavy and the pace of shot is redonkulous! I still remember Becker when his went; then Agassi! Haas seems to have chronic problems which aren't going to get any better as he ages!

    ***Becker actually had a great shot at Wimbledon that year, seeing as how Pete lost in the quarters, but his wrist went. He was Oz champ and recovered to play a couple of classic indoor matches w/ Sampras later in the year.

    I don't think there's any doubts about his wrist. I mean, if you doubt it, it means you think he's faking. But why would he fake it? Also, he came into MC on a high. - No, I think that he was injured, but not to the extent he carried on at MC.***

    Since Rafa was taken out early, it made no sense to aggravate the injury by going on! The same thing happened a couple years ago when Rafa was upset on that "blue" clay Tiriac was pushing in Madrid! Nole couldn't move up enough to warrant sliding on that stuff and went out the next day himself! I think he overplayed in 2011 with all that success! After winning AO in '12 over Rafa, he's had to be more judicious in his attempts in winning titles! He's already nailed down "top 10 honors of all time" with little else needed to complete the box set; FO and Cinn.!

    ***Rafa has never lost more than 2 clay matches since '05. This may be the year in which it happens after being up in both MC and now Barcelona by Almagro.***

    Did you really think Rafa was going to able to defend all those points? He's had his great seasons, but his down ones are usually due; esp. in this circumstance trying to repeat all those victories from last year! He has not looked good in his matches; even if he wins them! Rafa's been struggling against players I don't even know, barely getting past the more familiar, and losing to his elite contemporaries of late! It has to be all downhill from here if we're lucky!

    ***It just accentuates how incredible Roger's run was to be able to comfortably defend points consistently for so long.***

    Well it helped to win 3 majors several times in a year! lol! He accomplished so much in just a short period of time! No matter if Rafa overtakes his total of 17, I'd still put Roger ahead of him due to his major runs at Wimbledon and the USO while Rafa just had his one at the FO! He also survived w/o serious injury so he wasn't missing for months at a time!

    ***And what will you do if Wawrinka finishes the year at #1?***

    I'd have more respect for the tour and other players if the top spot is someone other than Roger, Nole, or Rafa! Murray was never in the conversation IMO and DelPo can't stay on court long enough to matter! If you've read my rants on how disappointed I've been in these gutless wonders; bout time some have started upsetting the elite of late! Rafa in particular has not been playing well and it's finally caught up with him! Who would have thought, back to back clay tourney loses, and Nole had nothing to do with it! Amazing! This should be "chilling" for the Rafa-fanatics! He normally comes into his own during this period of the season! I can't remember him being this vulnerable; even in '11 losing 2 straight clay finals to Nole!

  26. Did they mention Wawrinka breaking up the "hammer-lock" over the Masters that Nole and Rafa have by dominating them for the last year?

    ***Shoot! I wish I'd thought to use that for my news post on the front page.***

    I think about it a lot and usually my ire is turned on the ATP! I find so many of the top players are helped along by the gutless wonders supporting them! It's obscene to see the same players winning all the top titles year in and year out! We thought with Delpo making his mark at the USO, it had expanded the top to 5 instead of 4, but that hasn't panned out! Murray finally won something, 2 majors in fact, but his type of play can't be sustained! He's going to break down faster than Rafa! For the tour to allow Federer to hold on like this in the top rung, the tour should be ashamed of themselves! Wawrinka is finally living up to expectations and has been the most successful vs the top 4 of late! To me it's a crime no one's been able to pump themselves up enough to take out Rafa at RG but Soderling once in '09!

    ***It should also be noted that by going out in the QF at Barcelona, Rafa slips to #4 in the Race to London rankings:

    1. 3535 Wawrinka
    2. 3050 Djokovic
    3. 2920 Federer
    4. 2870 Nadal

    Actually Rafa slipped to #4 a week ago after MC; this week he just failed to capitalize on points he usually was betting on, as he has not lost in Barca since '04.

    And rather inexplicably. Still, it's hard to believe that the guy who won nearly everything last year is prepared to just cave. A fan holds his/her nerve, and I hope Rafa will, too.***

    I always thought he would crack long before 30! It has little to do with my not appreciating how he plays, but he has to work so hard; even against the most anonymous of players! There's a reason players like Federer, Haas, Ferrer, and others are nowhere near as broken down even though they're 5+ years older!

    ***Yes, Ferrer gets the biggest kudos for being so fit at his age, w/o significant injury time lost. However, for all of his 31 yrs, Ferrer has only played 30 matches more than Nadal. So, yes, Nadal has a lot of tennis years on him, but he's still only 27, which still will give him an edge on his elders, IMO. It's Nadal and Federer who have really played the most matches at the stage of the game, for their tennis years, and I don't think you can compare them with anyone else.***

    I'm one of those strange people who believes everyone has a certain amount of "glow" or "inner light" to excel in sports! The reason McEnroe is still playing as a grey-haired old man is b/c he didn't get into too many wars on the court! He's had some of the longest matches in history; DC win over Wilander in 6 hours, Lendl loss in '84 FO final, and a couple epic battles with Connors in 5 at Wimbledon and the USO, but he didn't have this happen to him in almost every tournament the way Rafa has to barely survive so often against players I've never heard of! I will put a huge bet down that Rafa won't sniff 30 years old on the ATP tour; not even the Grand Masters or Vets! Sorry Rafa-fans!

    ***That's what you hope. ...Ppl have been telling Rafa he wasn't long for the tennis world for some years. I'd be wary of prognosticating that again based on a few losses. Federer has been down for the count by the estimation of many, and still he's in the conversation.***

    I've been watching tennis on tv since '73 and I just can't remember a top player, esp. a world #1 taking off so many months at a time the way Rafa has had to do over the last several years! He of course has survived longer since he's taken so many extended vacations! That's all Borg asked for "way back when" and they allowed him to walk away! So Rafa has just prolonged the agony!

  27. ***I don't understand why you act like Nadal having to take injury's off is a knock against him. It's simply a fact. Neither do I see how it compares to Borg's burn-out. If you were being generous, you would say that injury lay-off would prolong Nadal's career, in a good way. I'm sure that's what you mean to say.***

    I did mention that the breaks have prolonged his career! It still won't keep him out there like Federer or even Agassi from way back when!

    ***...But don't pretend that's not what you're hoping for. Otherwise, you wouldn't be insisting his career is nearly over. A fan of the sport might be hoping for a few more good years. A partisan will be calling for his head.***

    Ugly tennis is ugly tennis! I never cared for the way Rafa played, esp. in trying to compare him to Borg! That is a major joke to me, regardless if he's passed by Borg's 6 FO titles due to so many gutless wonders rolling over! W/ Federer, it was just a bad matchup; lefty to righty, top spin shots high on Fed's BH, etc., but the other players have no such excuse! Nole's pulled his weight obviously, probably taking ownership of their rivalry within the next year or so, but the rest like Ferrer, Murray, Delpo, and others just never stepped up enough IMO! Roger should have more titles, esp. at the FO but for Rafa and other players unable to upset him when they had chances! The only time I can watch a match of his is when he's going down in flames; usually the last game or 2, his whole persona on court bugs me! He gets warnings for time violations and he doesn't seem to care; it's like, "these people came to see me and I'm going to stay out here for as long as it takes!" The constant challenging of calls when he's so wrong, I think he should be penalized for wasting even more time!

    ***I personally think Nadal's entering into the zone of inconsistency. He'll have more peaks and valleys from here on. The awful match w/ Ramos sHB the real alert; he's a player outside of the top 100 & Rafa struggled to pass by him.

    It never hurt Baiul when she 2-footed a jump or 2 nearly everytime she competed.***

    It's been 20 years since those Olympic Games and I still remember how Oksana "always" 2-footed jumps, but got away with it for some reason! Her best program up until the very end happened to be at 2000 Goodwill games with veteran skaters; Kerrigan, Surya, Sato, and others! It was predictable who would place and win at the time since they were trying to judge skaters as old as Dorothy Hamil and Peggy Fleming with little or no jumping up against someone like Surya who was almost as strong as she was in real competitions! Anyway, even though all were included together, it was still mini-battles in pairs; Kerrigan v Baiul, Fleming v Hamil, and the top skaters, Bonaly vs Sato! Kerrigan was average and predictable, fell at least once, but still thought she'd score better than Baiul! Oksana went out there to do The Swan and it was beautiful! She stroked around the ice and I'll be damned if she didn't "click" the best triple lutz of her career with no 2-footing of the jump! They put Kerrigan's look up on the screen and she was shocked! Oksana was skating beautifully, completed her triple toe and was on her way to finish up with a triple salchow and 2-axel! She doubled the salchow and decided to try again with little speed, falling, putting Kerrigan above her in 4th place I think! Her ego wouldn't let it go; well ahead, but blew it!

  28. ***Zero fans thought the actual winner of the tourney would be who it turned out to be in Barcelona. ***

    I used the term "gutless," but I'm truly surprised at the state of affairs! This yr has been rockin'! We have a new winner at a major in Wawrinka (AO), Nole has continued his own dominance and resurgence attempting to get back to #1 by winning 2 more Masters back to back, Federer's representing, actually beating Nole to eventually take Dubai, and Nadal is under so much pressure to defend points, he's falling early in clay events; unheard of!

    ***...Wawrinka was very fortunate that Rafa's back went out in that final, b/c his record against him is terrible: he had lost all 26 sets they had played vs each other. Not only that, but it is extremely uncommon to have something like this happen in the final of 1 of the 4 majors.***

    After Wawrinka's valiant battle against Nole, I would have expected a "let down," but in this instance I just wasn't seeing it! I think Rafa was in trouble long before his injury! He's been struggling in early rounds more and more; not going to get any better esp. if he's having health issues! It's been proved, Rafa needs all his ducks in a row to have sustained success more than any top player I've seen over my 40 years of watching it! He needs to play a lot of matches, warm-up events, to be w/o the most minor of ache or pain, and still have his opponent make donations in the form of UFE's or bone-head play!

    ***I don't see how you say that Rafa was in trouble "long before his injury," v. Wawrinka, as he was injured at the beginning of the 2nd set. Not very long, in a best of 5. Yes, Stan played a very good 1st set, but, there's no telling how that match would have played out w/o an injury to one of the players. As to your last, which I bolded, that is an outrageous thing to say about a 13-time Major winner.***

    13 w/ 9 at one venue; FO clay! How can you overlook the facts that he's had many troubles at the AO, a couple of early exits at Wimbledon, and normally exhausted by the USO that he's only won 2 of those titles? All his titles are MAJOR, but there isn't the balance you had with other greats like Borg, Sampras, Federer, and Laver! There's no comparison if you look at it that way; "and I do!"

    ***Talk about balance, then. Borg never won the AO or the USO. Sampras never won at RG. Federer is the most balanced as he's distributed them well across surfaces. You have to remember that Laver, I think, only won on 2 surfaces, if I'm not wrong. How does Rafa stack up against that? Yes, many wins on clay, but you say that like it's a bad thing.***

    Well Borg obviously didn't make the trek "down under" like players of today, but that missing USO doesn't define him as much as he may think or us for that matter! He did something no other player has done in the Open era; winning FO and Wimbledon back to back for 3 years! As I said, Rafa's majors are all MAJOR, but you know what I mean by most of them being at the FO while other players had many wins at another event of note! Borg was the most unlucky at the USO over the yrs; a couple surface changes, injury, and vulnerability playing at night! Rafa still has time to remedy that imbalance and be set up there w/ the GAWDS!

    ***...Yes, Borg won the Channel Slam 3 years running, but Nadal was the 1st one to do it again after 30 years, and has done it twice. And you're generous to Borg to say he was unlucky not to win at the USO, yet you criticize Nadal for not having done better there when he's won it twice.

    TBH, I think I DO know what you mean about Rafa having won so many Majors at RG…it means that you ghettoize it. You put hards and grass over clay. So many do, so I'm not surprised you do too. Nadal has 5 Major titles on grass and HCs.***

  29. ***Fiero, did you like Pete?***

    To feel a part of history, I was ready to anoint Sampras "The GOAT" above Rod Laver, but for years I didn't b/c of Pete's obvious limitations on clay w/ only a couple titles on dirt! To this day, I still feel a little queasy elevating Federer over The Rocket since we all know he was prevented from playing majors in his prime just before the Open era! I think and look at Rod and demote him a bit b/c he had a rival like a Rafa that beat him like a rented mule; Lew Hoad! At one time I heard Lew won their first 7 or 8 matches! That's embarrassing while most people think Rocket was The GOAT at one time! Pete took over in most minds until Roger came along and blew up all the record books! We'll keep looking back at the win-loss record vs Rafa, even if somehow the tour can elevate it's collective competitiveness and stop him! I doubt it though feeling most are still gutless wonders even though more fit and athletic than pros of the past! I still remember a handful of top 10 players with beer guts, quite old and "past it," but had great minds and could win matches with their court savvy and superior concentration!

    ***Ah ok, so b/c of the gutless wonders, you obviously bring Roger down a peg or 2. Bear in mind this, w/ regards to Laver: sure, he missed Slams, but he won 6 of them when better players than him were barred, so that may have evened it out. But you didn't answer the question: "did you like Pete?"

    Obviously I did! I actually played a lot like him; esp. at the end of my time playing! I had a huge serve going back to when I was 16 having long arms and legs! Anything a few inches above the net was toast! I chipped and charged to quite a few local and club titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles! More a double's specialist and rarely if ever lost my serve; esp. with a double's partner to knock off forced, floating returns! That's what Sampras is best known for; esp. that 2nd serve! My 2nd serve was better than most people's 1st; just a fact at the time! Like Sampras, I think I beat some "better" players that couldn't get an edge by breaking my serve and I was constantly attacking theirs!

    If and when you have players who could be 2 points from winning time and time again, but still choke away matches to Roger and Rafa; yep, I do bring him back to the pack regardless of the record! So called "great comebacks" are the norm now when the most average of player could serve out a match in past eras!

    ***Murray is currently ranked #8 in the regular rankings. There's a very high chance that he won't be able to defend Wimbledon. ...Once that happens, Murray's draws will be extremely difficult for the rest of the year. ...there's a serious danger of Murray not making it to London this year.***

    OCO, like said in "Absence Of Malice," "it's damn likely" he's not going to make it! He'd have to go on a tear I'm not sure he's able; those points he's defending at Wimbledon! At least the FO is all gravy if he can get somewhere in the tourney; semi's or final! Again, not likely but we'll see!

    Unlike w/ Lendl mentoring Murray, it would all be about Becker if Nole would win w/ the man sitting there in the stands, but so far it hasn't happened! Djokovic won 2 Masters in a row with his "main coach" laid up in a hospital bed and unable to travel! He comes back & Nole promptly loses to Federer for a 2nd time! I didn't see Dubai and Nole probably protecting an injured wrist in MC! I don't think Edberg can overshadow Federer; like Annacone, very low-key and unassuming! Becker w/ too strong a personality IMO! I've never warmed up to Boris; even when he was a kid! He just wasn't likeable! Later you hear how he played mind games w/ his rivals from Edberg and Stich to McEnroe and Agassi!

  30. *** the US media, Witt expressly said she did not expect to win. She talked about coming back to show how artistic ladies skating could/should be. I remember the remark b/c it seemed so incongruous in an event where a skater as musical as Baiul was a fave. ...***

    All the more reason to be appalled Witt took a spot from another skater! ...Skaters like Boitano, Witt, and others had their time in the 80's! They only proved how desperate the skating world must have been to allow such a circus along with Harding controversy! ...They probably hoped the old vets would do something and take some of the spotlight off "the whack heard round the world!"

    ***Witt didn't take anything away from anyone in her comeback. ...Had Kiellmann skated decently at either Euros or German Open, I doubt Witt would have made it and Kiellmann probably would have been left home by the German Fed despite their having a 2nd spot the way she skated at Europeans anyway.***

    With Witt, it was the same Michelle Kwan mystique that hurt or intimidated her teammates! In MK's era, esp. at the end, she was just going through the motions and not getting the benefit of the doubt; hense losing to Slutskaya on a more regular basis! I think MK "holding on" like that the last 2 years hindered the development and maturity of Sasha Cohen, Nam, and others! They probably pushed themselves more and their reward was being cheated with obscenely low scores or injuries to their tiny little bodies! Witt had no chance in '94 and her coming back couldn't have been welcomed by Kiellman that's for sure!

    Even with the new scoring system, they find ways to manipulate the result! ...Really obscene and hard to watch to this day! They redeemed themselves at this Olympics! I have no complaints with the ending results!

    ***But tell me what age has anything to do? Why are you against athletes who aren't that young anymore? If they feel fit and want to compete, why not let them? ...***

    I don't think it's venom; more the truth about a situation! It had little to do w/ age with me as well! Witt, Boitano, and the rest came from another era, had their time in the spotlight, went on to become successful pros, but thought to themselves, "how can I get the spotlight back on me more than ever?" It was "bush" and terribly unfair to the current crop of stars to allow this to happen! It's one thing if you're some small country and you don't have anyone good to compete, but most only replaced the current stars with old ones! Everyone knew, including the actual akaters that they couldn't compete legitimately in "singles;" to win a medal! I think it set us back a little here in the States! It had to play on the minds of the younger skaters to have possible "idols" skating around them; with their noses turned up no doubt!

    ***If the ISU allowed pros in amateur competitions, they had right to compete and be fairly judged. And what some fans or fellow skaters think about, shouldn't matter.
    you are entitled your opinion. My opinion is Boitano and T&D, and to a lesser degree Witt had right to a rather unwelcome environment, and scores on the less than generous side by the judges (at the very least made to absolutely earn anything they got, as they shouldn't have been there in the 1st place. In the end that is what they all got. ...T&D, Boitano, and Witt never even planned to go to worlds which says it all. They weren't back for some mythical love of skating, they just expected the red carpet to be rolled out for them and given gold medals if they simply stood up b/c of who they were, pad their careers and legacy and steal a medal from someone whose time was then, and then abruptly leave again. G&G, Petrenko, and M&D at least all planned to go to Worlds initally.***

  31. ***Who knows how Sasha was mentally affected being in the shadow of Kwan all those years. The pressure of having to skate totally clean to beat Kwan was probably also hard on her already fragile psyche . Her career might have been totally different w/o Kwan or it might have been more or less the same. The interesting thing is even if you remove Kwan from all the world and Olympic comp. she was in, it doesn't lead to her as the gold medalist.***

    Thanks! I have to believe Sasha's psyche would have been totally different if not for Kwan enormous shadow hovering over competitions and seasons well past her prime! As for Meissner, what in the world happened to her? One year she's doing triple/triple combos, winning Worlds, then the next unable to keep her feet on the simplest of maneuvers! I think she made the World team in 7th place, but since so many above her including the winner were so young, she was selected to fill in IIRC! Anybody?

    ***Assuming Hughes still won the '02 OGM, she would be gone in a flash as she was, and Cohen would have no serious US rival at all with the depth dwindling badly from '03 until recently. If she were really a champion she would have taken the opportunity from Kwan and Slutskaya's mistakes to win the 2002 OGM and would have firmly taken over as top U.S women starting in '03 by dethroning Kwan on her own merits. ...By '05 Kwan was barely a factor outside the U.S anymore.***

    What mistake did Slutskaya make? As a matter of fact, the mistake was with the judges placing Kwan above everyone in first place after the short program! She clearly 2-footed her 3Flip! If not for that bogus and gutless act with the Games being in SLC, Maria would have won the Olympics since Hughes was in 4th place after the SP!

    ***Maria Butyrskaya wasn't underscored; Overscored if anything. She's a clunky and inelegant skater who was mediocre at all the technical elements, and was inconsistent. ...That the judges were willing to have her win the '99 and 2000 World titles, and a medal at the '98 Olympics, had she delivered, is already enough for her ability.***

    Agreed! They had to be truly desperate to elevate her to a status her ability wasn't able to live up to! I can give you example after example of shady scoring practices giving her wins totally undeserved including a GP event in Paris she was flopping all around! Jennie Kirk skated a perfect program ending in a triple lutz, but left town with a bronze medal; Maria got Gold! The only time I can think of that Butyrskaya may have been robbed was at a GP event in Japan! It was a rare occasion she actually outskated Irina Slutskaya; even Peter C. thought she had won! The scores were horrendously low allowing Irina the Gold! I said "cry me a river!" Too often Maria won medals she didn't deserve so "how does it feel?"

    Even if Surya Bonaly wasn't as successful as we would have liked, she had "some" longevity and pushed the technical aspect of the sport! For too long, the women lagged behind the men, not exactly loading their programs with jumps! Surya forced Michelle Kwan and others who needed to add more content to their programs besides stroking around the ice! With Bonaly around, she pushed all the women; actually going to a 2nd triple lutz in the long program! At '95 European and Worlds, Bonaly was at the height of her powers and doing some "gypsy girl" program! She did her usual combos of 3T/.5L/3S, 3F/3T, but stroked around to do a jump after doing some footwork! I was wondering when she was going to turn and do something simple like a 3T, but did a triple Lutz! I just had never seen any woman do that after foot-work! Both Michelle and Tara Lipinski started doing the same thing! Then Maria Slutskaya came along and pushed them even futher technically!

  32. ***"DANCE MOMs" - I think one of the good things about the show is Chloe can see when her mom overreacts and how sometimes her yelling only makes everything worse.***

    At least you can admit the woman is over-reacting to situations! I just find it contemptable that Christi knows her behavior will only boomerang onto her daughter, but doesn't seem to care! Kelly's not much better always beginning a sentence with "I just want" this and that regardless if she's ranting or raving about a "lack of choreography" or costumes not fitting!

    ***Yeah, there have been plenty of cringe worthy Christi moments and I can see why someone wouldn't like her. I think all the moms have their faults. I do feel Christi gets a bad rep just b/c she's the loudest and most abrasive of them all. If I was in their position I would prob be losing it and yelling all the time too.***

    Believe it or not, I agree with everything you said! I realize these people have signed contracts, but they act resentful when things aren't to their liking so that entitles them to be "Demon Moms from the 'burbs!" Ignorance is no defense as they say; I just lose all sympathy for them when a mom purposefully exacerbates a situation! If done with a smirk, smile, or sneer, so much less I feel for them and their kid! A thousand other parents and their "budding stars" would kill to be in the same situation! No one wants to hear about how unsatisfied they are; it's just a fact! I remember the basketball strike of '98 where you had these millionaire players whining about financial security; one commented he had to sell one of his 7 cars!

    ***I guess the only other thing I can say in defense of Chriti is she seemed to be the only mom beforehand that was starting to have trouble paying for all the classes and comps. I know Abby made a few comments about her payments being late. I'm sure the show was a relief for her financially. The other moms all seem way more well off and seem to be doing it just for the fame. ..., but I hope Christi realizes by the time the show's done Chloe will be tough enough for the dance industry and have more fans than she can count. I think since the Kelly incident, Christi has been trying to keep her cool, but Abby has been trying extra hard to push her buttons..***

    Christi never needs evidence to accuse someone of a shameful act! Conspiracies are just created in her head and she conflates events like a juvenile at times! All too often she mispresents drama with plenty of tape evidence to back "that up!" - I thought Kelly and Christi might have a problem with drinking! Once or twice they took their drinks with them oustde; when passing out flyers for one! There was a bottle in the dressing room just before Christi flipped out b/c Maddie had 2 solos! Abby also looked up at Kelly in "mom jail" once to mimic drinking and 'mouthed' "are you drunk?," tipping her head back a couple times! That was hilarious! Kids are observant so I don't think she did that unless she was sure they've already experienced their moms in a stupor!

    ***I don't think Christi and Kelly are alcoholics, but I do think they do like to get their party on every once in awhile. Unfortunately, they've shown some bad timing on camera. They had no business leaving their girls before a competition to go knock back a few drinks in the hotel bar. They were drinking a lot at Kelly's house when Christi got into a nasty argument with Leslie. Christi drank martinis all the way through last year's reunion special and basically made an ass out of herself throughout the ep.

    As for Christi and Kelly being such great moms, I don't see it. Sure their daughters appear to be decent girls, but I know many, many people who have turned to be great, despite their parents. Maybe their dads help to even out the craziness. Christi and Kelly have never appeared to me to be shining examples of role-model motherhood.

  33. As for Meissner, what in the world happened to her? One year she's doing 3/3 combos, winning Worlds, then the next unable to keep her feet on the simplest of maneuvers! I think she made the World team in 7th place, but since so many above her incl. the winner were so young, she was selected to fill in IIRC! Anybody?

    ***She grew and she struggled with injuries. That decline occured over 3 years, not 2:

    2006 2nd (to Cohen) at Nat'ls, won Worlds
    2007 won Nat'ls, 4th at Worlds
    2008 7th at Nat'ls, 7th at Worlds***

    Will that ever happen again; a country so deep in talent at the time?

    ***Russia has amazing depth and technical content among its female skaters now, but many are too young to compete internationally. Meissner's 7th place at Worlds that year was also somewhat of a strange fluke given that she was 9th in the SP and 12th in the free skate.***

    I wonder how Mishon feels about letting Yagudin go when ultimatum thrown down; "him or me?" Tatiana acquired a ready made champion, but her choreography took Alexei to a new level! Overall, his artistry was significantly more substantial than Evgeny; just didn't have the durability in the end! Plushenko eclipsed him by so much after all is said and done! Will 4 medals be possible for someone soon since addition of team competition? Chan maybe? 1 of the Russian girls?

    ***V&T could very well win 2 medals in '18 and tie him up, which would be sort of unfortunate b/c it took Plushy so long to get here. But he'll still be the only 1 w/ Grafstrom to have medals in 4 different Olympics.

    Refinement does not mean the ability to land quads. I'm definitely not a huge fan of Chan or his skating, but there are qualities to his skating that are very apparent and were from a young age - refinement being 1 of them.***

    Does that mean being blase and carefree on his skates until it eventually starts looking sloppy and out of control? Maybe it's just me, but Patrick has this confidence that makes him think he can defy the "laws of gravity," momentum, and force! So very often he gets a little wild with his footwork, actually losing his feet! We don't have to discuss the inconsistency of his jumps; doing a sweeping 4T/3T only to "wax" a 2-Axel later! That was so strange to see at the Olympics! The same thing happened to Michelle Kwan at Nat'ls in '97! All they each had to do was keep their feet in the LP to win Gold for the most part! They both began their programs with "the best combos" they ever performed by then or since! It went terribly wrong after that, going from bad to worse, salvaging only silver in each occasion; Hanyu & Lipinski taking Gold respectively! I hope my memory is as clear as I think!

    ***There are way too many blind Chan haters. Chan has never had a win even close to as ridiculous as Sotnikova in Sochi, and Chan actually earns his PCS and GOE with sublime skating and elements of the highest quality, not sloppy skating and elements like Sotnikova routinely gets (even outside of Sochi).***

    I had to stop watching much after Vancouver Olympics and Evgeny retiring! Chan was the prohibitive favorite most of the time and it was understood why, but they overcompensated all too often when he was quite sloppy himself! It must have been a GP event in Canada 2 years ago b/c he was flippin' and floppin' all over the place, but only lost by 3 points taken off for falls! It was rather obscene considering how harshly those same judges can be on another skater for the simplest of error!

  34. ***MSNBC and CNN are terrible. Fox is good about 70% of the time and that's probably why their ratings crush the other 2.

    No it's not. They are more popular b/c their fan base is more rabid and more likely to be partisan which means less likely to turn the channel b/c they are being told what they want to hear. They suck as much as the others. As a matter of fact they invented sucking and the others are copying them b/c they think they can have the same success. I stopped watching all network news a long time ago. I hope they all drop off the face of the Earth.***

    A pox on both their houses, but MSNBC doesn't have a need to "make up conspiracies" and news to be relevant like FNN! The constant whining about the IRS, Benghazi, and Obama in general makes them hard to watch, but I have the need to be welled informed! Even though Fox can be despicable, I still watch and keep tabs on their cultural insanity! No group is more oppressed than the conservative and family oriented good people of FOX and they spend at least 25% of their air time commiserating with each other!

    ***... Therefore they are included in the 7.1 million or how ever many the gov't wants to tell us were uninsured before they signed up? Therefore Obama is calling it a success. All the time knowing he lied to people about keeping their plans and their doctors. All the time knowing b/c of the new law people would lose their healthcare plan and their doctor.***

    Get over it guys, the world is still rotating after all the things you said would go wrong under this admin.! You have no credibility, no one cares what you have to say anymore besides the other members of the "Flat Earth Society!" When the man wasn't even accepted as American, there was nothing else to be said! The conversations would remain one-sided with logical, rational people on one side while cretins, bigots, homophobes, racists, and misogynist pigs are on the other; and never the paths shall meet! Thank Gawd! I like living in this reality and not some fantasyland where everyone's so homogeneous, living in the past, with no significant ideas for the future!

    ***...Anybody who ever paid for preference w/ a Clinton or Bush can redial-up thee ol' number and do it again. You can't beat that starting from scratch unless, like Obama, you have billionaires washing tens of millions into the system via small, anonymous donations.***

    All true, but who's fault is this? The information is out there on cable news, online, and social mediums! We look at candidates and make up our minds right then and there instead of checking out the issues and "the stands" this candidate might have! It's damned embarrassing how much we promote democracy, open and free elections, and so called equal speech; we're the worst with the resources available to us! If you're in the middle of a dessert and go into the city to vote once every blue moon, they're probably more informed and knowledgeable about the issues at hand!

    ***The Dems claim there's a war on women, but the womanizer Slick Willie was given a free pass. Just shows how bogus the media truly is when Bill's a hero for cheating on his wife solely b/c he's a Dem. If a Republican President had done this, they would have attacked him like a hungry pit bull. What I also don't get but why her? She wasn't even good looking.***

    So by this narrow thinking, if Hoover had revealed a tape of MLK doing "the nasty" with "another woman," all his good work should be totally flushed down the toilet? Seek help people! One indiscretion should not label or condemn a person for life or "W" would be in prison on "death row!"

  35. I wonder how Mishin feels about letting Yagudin go when ultimatum thrown down; "him or me?" Tatiana acquired a ready made champion, but her choreography took Alexei to a new level! Overall, his artistry was significantly more substantial than Evgeni; just didn't have the durability in the end! Plushenko eclipsed him by so much after all is said and done! Will 4 medals be possible for someone soon since addition of team competition? Chan maybe? One of the Russian girls?

    ***V&T could very well win 2 medals in '18 and tie him up, which would be sort of unfortunate b/c it took him so long to get here. - Mishin loved better Plushy b/c he knows their personalities. Evgeni is far better person as Yagudin. Mishin and Plushy are like father and son. And Mishin more highly valued Plushy's skills as Yagudin's. Maybe you like more Yag's style.

    I can't see him making '18. It would be sad if someone went and did in just 2 Olympics what it took Plushy 4 to achieve. ...if Evgeni does come back this season, it's not Kovtun he should fear. - Yes, Lipnitskaya has chance to achieve it. If she will compete in '18, '22, & '26. If the Russian team will be so strong she will have more medals, but Plushy has 3 individual medals, so go Julia.***

    Just b/c I said Alexei probably had more content in his programs? I lost respect for Alexei and his behavior long ago! He's no fave of mines, but I can be an honest person and know he deserved his Olympic medal and Worlds titles w/o being a 'homer!" I still shed tears for a few of Plushy's programs; Adagio (sp), St.Ptr300, and Tribute To Nijinski!

    ***I agree with your picks, except for the Olympic Men's '02 event; if Plushenko had skated clean he would've beat Yaugudin.***

    I agree about Plushy! He had Yagudin's number by then, even if he was more artistic, Evgeni's effortless jumps always seemed to put him on top; esp. in the SP! If not for Plushenko, I don't think Alexei would have broken down so soon! He was being pushed to put more technical content in his programs due to Evgeni's 2 quads! He was intimidating the 1st year out there at 15! I loved the Jarre program off "Chronology!" Went out and bought 4 or 5 of his disks, but none lived up to that one; maybe due to the lack of Evgeni interpreting the music through jumps and spins! IIRC, he was leading the SP at Worlds earlier that year! Got his foot caught on his quad landing, stubbornly went after the rink for another one falling before salvaging bronze! That would have been so embarrassing to Yagudin and Eldridge at the time; one coming and the other going!

    ***Todd was a very complete skater, but I wouldn't call him "very powerful" or with "big jumps," "Huge" triple axel. He did everything well, but he was lacking in a 'wow' factor- (e.g.) Stojko's quad combos, which only a few skaters could challenge, Kulik's perfect jumps & speed, Petrenko's big 3-axel and power, Yagudin's emotion and power, etc. Some skaters were less complete than Todd, but their 'wow' factors often carried them above him. He had to skate clean and hope that others made mistakes in order to win. That happened just once in '96 and he was able to beat Kulik for the world title. If he made a mistake, he was pretty much out of contention unless others had a meltdown.***

    That was Eldridge's problem; a lack of wow! I seem to remember when he qualified by winning '02 Nat'ls, he went back to those basics, underwhelmed fans with older routine, but impressed the judges enough to overlook the real chance we had in scoring well internationally; Goebel! They allowed favorable memories and reputation to skew their scores and slap Tim in the face who was almost flawless with several QUADS landed! It was great he overcame that "slight" and medaled at the Olympics and Worlds! Where'd Eldridge place; 10th or 11th in SLC with Stojko?

  36. ***Bill was a dog and Monica was just a young gal caught up in some star fucking fantasy. He should have kept his hands off, but he paid a price. I don't see this POV that says she was some sort of big victim or that the Dems held her down or kept her quiet. That's just ridiculous. I joked about her breaking the Bengazi "scandal," but there are some similarities. The American people, save a few "mouth breathers" at Fox and grandstanders in the House have processed what happened w/ both situations and they've moved on. They're just not as mad as you. Get over it.***

    They have nothing else! It's impossible to tear Clinton's record down so they have to go to character and persona; heaven knows Reps are a joke calling anyone out! No one more hypocrital than "the right" when you see their scandals splayed out for all to see, but it's like it doesn't happen if you listen to them! Vitter was talking "family and how sinful gay people" were 10 years ago, but he was busted later on 2 "hooker" lists; DC and NO! I can go on with Foley, Cunningham, Sanford, and a bunch of other Reps, but those same people will continue to try and sully Clinton's name and don't want to look in the freakin' mirror!

    ***He didn't say it flushed everything Bill did, he's saying the Dems, the party of women's rights let him get away w/ womanizing time & again just b/c he was a Dem. - Basing your vote on sex/race is stupid.***

    Believe me, they don't in the end! Women, blacks, gays, Jews, and other groups vote against their own interest all the time! Nothing new here! Women supposedly compose more than half of the electorate, but they continue to support and vote for the same, uncompromising men that compose gov't all over the country! Again, who's fault is it when we're in such a "state of affairs?" We do it to ourselves and repeat the same mistakes again & again every election cycle! W/ Jeb running for Prez, if he were to get the lion share of support in the coming months, it says all you need to know about how "stupid" we are as a country!

    ***I agree completely with everything you said, but you could just as easily have replaced Jeb Bush w/ Hilary Clinton and it would still be equally true.***

    Apples and oranges babe! Dems created 42+ million jobs over their tenure while Republicans going back to Reagan only produced 24! Welfare was reformed in the 90's under Clinton, we are implementing nat'l health care now under Obama, the stock market exploded for them, and the deficits have gone down faster under Dem reigns; nat'l debt was actually going down under Clinton! Sorry, those are the facts! I'm not necessarily a fan of any political party, but I know we go into the toilet when we allow Reps to run the show! They're more concerned with their own power, keeping their jobs which they "pan' all the time, and sell us out for meager cash contributions! Again, who's fault is this but us who allow this history to repeat itself?

    ***Funny, you say we get what we deserve and then you say this shit. You're absolutely correct; w/ party-blinded hacks like you dominating this country, we deserve everything bad that happens to us as a nation. - That's about when the tea party started saying the end of the ACA was imminent.***

    Good one! These people never tire of being wrong; "the economy is going to collapse, jobs will be lost, blah, blah, blah!" None of that has happened even w/ the foot-dragging of Reps in Congress; no jobs bill, no immigration legislation, no nothing with these losers "on the right" and they want to take over the Senate? It'll really be over for us all in that scenerio! They've proved they couldn't care less about the welfare of their own country with their sleazy tactics being used! Truth has beens supplanted by suppositions, lies, and wild speculation; ALL WRONG!

  37. Eldridge went back to those basics at '02 Nat'ls, underwhelmed fans w/ older routine, but impressed the judges enough to overlook the real chance we had scoring well internationally; Goebel! They allowed favorable memories and reputation to skew their scores and slap Tim in the face who was almost flawless with several QUADS landed! Where'd Eldridge place; 10th or 11th in SLC with Stojko?

    ***Eldredge tried to re-invent himself later half of career when it seemed like he really used Paul Wylie as a model to emulate. IIRC, he even borrowed Wylie's program idea and some choreography for "This is the Moment." Problem is, Todd didn't have Paul's wow factor, excitement, or even his brilliant connection to music.

    Eldredge was boring. Even his presentation was boring. Stojko's presentation may have lacked style but at least it was interesting. The main tech. difference btw Stojko & Eldredge besides sometimes the quad was the huge difference in footwork. Stojko's was about 10 times as good. Eldredge has better spins than Stojko, but not by the same gap as the footwork. I think the judges considered the footwork when scoring the 2 vs each other tech.***

    That was a very inconsistant period for the "also-rans!" You had Gusmeroli excelling that one time, Sokololov was runner up to Kwan once at Worlds, then couldn't stay upright on her skates!

    ***Sokolova 2nd at worlds was pretty much a flukish result, similar to Kimmie's World title. It's pretty obvious she isn't the kind of skater who will ever normally be up that high. Gusmeroli has a few top 5's at Worlds so was probably destined to get that medal ('97 bronze) at 1 point in her career.

    Sokolova in 2nd at '03 Worlds was not a fluke if you take her entire season into account. She was building and building all season, skating really well and probably deserved to beat Slute at Euros. Her long program was a shit-fest, but she was jumping so well that year.***

    Agreed! She couldn't have been that bad! Elena won a few GP events when Maria and Irina were a bit down in the late 90's! I don't know if they were injured or just psychologically impaired! She didn't need to do much after 3-lutz/3-toe combo at the beginning of Elena's program! Around then I was amazed by her and the new kid on the block; Plushenko! Loved that Jarre program he performed for 2 years getting a bronze and silver World medal, pushing Alexei harder than Mishin ever could alone! I still think Yagudin could have held on for another Olympics if not for Plushy making him add more tech. content to his program; breaking down those hips! No one else could do that after '98! To beat Eldridge, Weiss, Savoie, and Goebel of the US, he could actually eliminate his quad, the artistic scores for his programs were so high; esp. after Tatiana took over!

    ***Michelle's quality of skating is miles ahead of Maria. It's evident. Layback, the combo spin, and even the flying spin was better executed. Her spiral was extremely better than Maria's. Sasha had a better position, but Kwan's flow, ice coverage, depth of edge, speed, and pattern were way superior. Sasha would improve on ice coverage and pattern later on. Kwan's program composition for her SP that was 4 years old was still world-class and better than the choreography Maria performed. Also, Kwan had the best musical interpretation of the bunch.

    Again I'm not saying Butyrskaya neccessarily should have beaten Kwan in the SP in SLC. I simply pointed out the last time Slutskaya, Butyrskaya, and Kwan competed vs each other and all 3 did virtually the same short programs as SLC, Irina had all 1st place ordinals, and Maria barely edged Kwan for 2nd. So for Kwan to win the short program over Irina even with a shaky jump, and Maria to be way down in 5th, is just one blatant inconsistency of the SLC SP scoring vs other SPs that year. I'm not only pointing that out regarding Slutskaya, Kwan, and Butyrskaya, but also Cohen, Hughes, and Suguri.***

  38. ***Here are the short programs some of the top 7 from the SLC SP met and how they did:

    Goodwill Games:

    1. Slutskaya- almost every judge had her 1st.
    2. Kwan- distant 2nd despite totally clean short, better than SLC, although a different program (IMO a better one at that point than her 4 year old Rachmaninoff).

    3. Suguri
    4. Cohen- totally clean, but still easily beaten by Suguri; almost every judge having her behind.

    Trophee de France:

    1. Butyrskaya
    2. Volchkova
    3. Cohen- totally clean again, but couldn't even beat VV, let alone Butyrskaya.

    Grand Prix final:

    1. Slutskaya- easy 1st w/ all 7 1st place votes.
    2. Butyrskaya- similar skate to SLC, tenative with 2 shaky elements.
    3. Kwan- similar skate to SLC, one shaky jump that held onto, otherwise good.

    As for your 1st comment, regardless of your opinion on Maria's skating, the judges had shown they considered her competitive w/ Michelle in the SP if she skated well. Maria easily won the SP at the 2000 worlds over Slutskaya & Kwan who were both clean, and it's plainly apparent by the scores would have still won it even w/o their 1 slightly shaky landing each. At the '00 GPF, Butyrskaya's scores for a program w/ a fall make it obvious she would have placed 1st or 2nd in the SP w/o that fall even w/ Kwan (2nd) and Slutskaya (1st) both clean (judges gave her mostly 5.4s for elements, & 5.8s for presentation w/ a fall on a 3-flip. Kwan had mostly 5.7s for elements and 5.8s for presentation w/ a clean skate, & Irina lots of 5.7s for presentation even for her clean skate). I already mentioned the '01 GPF where she came 2nd. Yet in SLC, suddenly, even her clean short is no longer competitive w/ the top girls competing against 3 U.S girls in the U.S.

    IMO the only 6.0s Kwan really deserved at nat'ls were in '98, and even then the # seemed excessive, but maybe if I saw it live I would feel differently. I heard some judges were crying so I imagine the effect in person was even greater than on TV, so I will give a pass there. Her 2001 Nat'ls SP was gorgeous and could have gotten a 6.0 or 2, but almost every judge for presentation? No. 6.0s are candy. Just b/c a performance is excellent doesnt mean it deserves a 6.0. ...

    I'm no Kwan fan, but honestly, I do think Kwan was given 6.0s for presentation like crazy. Her skating does nothing for me; doesn't excite me. Lulu deserved more 6.0s for presentation than Kwan did and Lulu got what two 6.0s in her entire career?

    Well I'm a big Kwan fan and I find her a gorgeous skater, but the judges still gave her 6.0s at Nat'ls like candy when kids go trick or treating at Halloween. I laughed hard at the ABC team and all the Kwan fans bitching about Irina getting two 6.0s for her best ever short program at worlds in '02, when those were more merited than at least 80% of the performances Kwan got 6.0s at U.S Nat'ls.

    6.0's WERE given out like candy at Nat'ls, but they're no less excessive than the gradual PCS inflation and constant world records that we see on a common basis under IJS. As each system goes on, the scoring gets more and more generous. And are people forgetting that every country inflates at Nat'ls? Every federation had its faves and tended to hold up that skater locally. Btw I totally forget which competitions Kwan received 6.0's at internationally? I'm sure she got 6, but the only one I remember is '96 Worlds LP? This is just my personal opinion, but I thought she deserved the nat'l 6.0's for '98 sp and lp, and 01 sp. They are her most iconic performances.***

  39. I've been meaning to ask if people agree or disagree with Sasha Cohen winning Silver in '06, Torino Games? She fell on her 2 first elements just like Hanyu, but then skated very well to salvage her efforts to take runner-up honors!

    ***I thought she did. Irina also made 2 major errors- a fall and doubling a major triple, and her overall performance was incredibly subpar in everyway, even her jumps were shaky and way below her usual standards and reflected in the GOE. Fumie's skate did not merit a medal, even with Sasha and Irina's mistakes, maybe 3rd place in the long program over Irina at best but still not by enough for a medal. Nobody else is even in the conversation. Sasha skated exquisitely after the 2 mistakes, and in that years shitfest was worthy of the silver.

    Yeah you can make a valid point that Sasha didn't deserve a silver medal for that skate but then you'd be hard pressed to come up with someone who should have beaten her overall. Her marks were pretty fair. After Sasha left the kiss and cry, she told John Nicks that she wasn't going to medal so that she did was a surprise to her too. I don't think anyone expected the other skaters to be so underwhelming too.***

    Regardless, I think she's probably the most gifted skater in memory! I think she sabotaged herself by over-training, trying to perfect the quad and ended up hurting her overall career; IMO! She was never guilty of under-rotating jumps; usually for going a bit too far which resulted in falls! I think she's one of only a handful of skaters who can stroke around the ice and and not even jump, but still get a lot of enjoyment watching them! She really was the complete package with her spins, spirals, and jumps! That exhibition of "Romeo & Juliet" is still so memorable to me; the split jumps and spirals were breathtaking! She only had a few jumps, but the rest could have been the only parts seen and you'd still have to cheer her!

    ***I always thought the quad was more rooted in a publicity tactic she and Nicks cooked up than anything else. Cohen entered the '02 season as a huge question mark. Kwan had all the publicity that year as she left Carroll and was going for her last real shot at Olympic gold, in her home country no less. Hughes had emerged as a major contender w/ that World Bronze and was a heavy fave to win a medal in SLC, despite how some want to re-spin it. ...At the Masters, even in fall '01, she wasn't even close to landing it in practices, but she tried it anyway and got a lot of press for it. She landed a quad in the warmup at Skate America a month later, but it was more of a fluke than anything. The quad got Cohen the publicity she needed and then once she skated well at nat'ls and made the Olympic team, we never heard much talk of the quad again, despite Nicks boasting all season long that she would try it and land it in SLC. Sure.

    Tim landed only 1 of his quads at those Nat'ls. He in fact didn't skate that well at all. It shouldn't have even been close since Tim, w/o at least 2 quads kind of stinks frankly. He has to be one of the worst basic skaters to ever win world medals, but when he landed his numerous quads it was impossible to not reward.***

    Well they found a way in '02 at Nat'ls; that's for sure! I loved that TIM was able to secure Bronze at SLC and Silver at Worlds in '02 and '03 IIRC! I seem to picture him next to Yagudin in '02 and Plushy in '03! Where was Eldridge; nowhere to be found? So much for trusting him more!

  40. These people never tire of being wrong; "the economy is going to collapse, jobs will be lost, blah, blah, blah!" None of that has happened even with the foot-dragging of Republicans in Congress! ...They've proved they couldn't care less about the welfare of their own country with their sleazy tactics being used! Truth has beens supplanted by suppositions, lies, and wild speculation; ALL WRONG!

    ***You seem to be overlooking the fact that the Prez has delayed implementation of the most damaging parts of the ACA until after the coming election. Not that he's fooling anyone, except the kool-aid drinkers. And already, rates have gone up, policies have been cancelled, etc. I was and still am in favor of healthcare reform, but this thing is a fucking camel...a horse that was designed by a committee and built from spare parts.

    And about that jobs bill...the Dems HAD a chance to help the American worker when they controlled both Houses. Instead of the ACA, they could've easily passed a bill that would have made THIS promise a reality: "We are going to stop giving tax breaks to companies that send American jobs overseas and start rewarding companies that create jobs here." -Candidate Barack Obama, 2008.

    Of course, it never happened. Stop blaming the opposition for the shit the D's didn't get done when they had virtually NO opposition.***

    Blame Republicans again; sorry! They decided from day one that they wouldn't work with this Prez, actually coming out with their leadership of those "RATS" and bragged about their loony tactic! They didn't make an effort to help write the bills, but bitch and moan the entire duration of it's design! It was the same thing with the "auto" bailout; didn't want any parts of it! We've since been paid back and you don't hear any congratulations for saving US auto industry! Screw 'em; screw 'em all on the "right!"

    ***The Reps had no reason to put their name on the mess Obama and the Dem controlled Congress created. Why support something when your voice will not be heard, you completely disagree with it, and the Dems are going to do what they want anyway? ...Oh that auto bailout - GM owes US billions, we saved nothing all we did was become their bank. GM is far from out of the woods, but why should we expect a 16 yr old to understand that?***

    The the GOP has no right to complain about not being able to give input b/c they still do. You cannot have it both ways. You had your chance for input even the length of the bill. The bill for the most part was even modeled after a Rep design when Romnney was Gov of Mass. Your voice wasn't heard b/c you wanted to be even then the party of "no". And yet hear conservatives standing whing about the "size" of the bill and still trying to get it repealed which they won't b/c repealing of a bill requires more than the GOP will ever acquire politically. So, either join in and try to make the bill better or sit on the sidelines and still whine about how badly the Democrats abused you's getting old.***

    Thanks! You got it, they don't! Such hypocrisy by "the right" idiots!

    ***They were killed by terrorists in Benghazi. I believe that was reported over a year ago.***

    That's not the truth Republicans are looking for babe! Anything short of charges for impeachment of Obama isn't enough for these animals! They can't live down Nixon even after making up a conspiracy to get rid of Clinton; survived and they still aren't happy! They are the biggest whiners and crybabies out there! When those 250+ marines were killed in Beirut, Dems didn't call for Reagan's head and set up relentless hearings! Such hypocrites and liars! Screw 'em!

  41. Andre Agassi says Rafael Nadal should be considered the greatest tennis player ever, not Roger Federer.

    ***Agassi made the comments in an interview with Singapore newspaper Straits Times, saying Nadal's achievements are more impressive b/c he has had to deal w/ tougher competition. Federer has 17 Grand Slam titles to Nadal's 13, although the Spaniard leads his Swiss rival 23-10 in head-to-head meetings. Agassi is quoted as saying that "I'd put Nadal No. 1, Federer No. 2," adding that "it's just remarkable to me what he has done, and he has done it all during Federer's prime."

    "Nadal had to deal with Federer, [Novak] Djokovic, [Andy] Murray in the golden age of tennis," said Agassi, himself a former world No. 1. "He has done what he has done, and he's not done yet."

    If Nadal equals Roger then I'd still go w/ him, but some won't; if he comes 1 or 2 short then it is pretty close.

    I do agree that these 2 are the best of the Open Era. Pete is 3rd, but he's a solid step behind them, mainly b/c he was so (relatively speaking) poor on clay. Borg would have been up there if he had played longer. Laver, Rosewall, Gonzales and Tilden are all legit candidates for GOAT, but they played in different eras.

    My current top 12 of the Open Era:

    1. Federer
    2. Nadal
    3. Sampras
    4. Borg
    5. Lendl
    6. Agassi
    7. McEnroe
    8. Connors
    9. Djokovic

    Amazing that Borg retains his status after all this time with such glaring holes in his resume! The genius of him playing with that wood racket, taking 6 FO and 5 straight Wimbledon (3 back to back) does a "Tennis GAWD" good I guess! No Aussie or US Open, but we've gone that extra mile to reason he should stay in the "top 5" of all time; Lendl in waiting even with 3 USO and 2 AO! I wonder what Agassi thinks about that since he has the career Grand Slam and Lendl doesn't; nee Wimbledon? Djokovic is already ahead of people w/ more majors due to his complete game and level of competition! Becker overall record wasn't better than Edberg and Wilander, but he did own them I suppose! Connors is probably wondering if he's "chopped liver" with 109 career titles and only one other person in sight; Lendl again at 94!

    ***Personally I would have JMac above Agassi. I never really felt that Agassi dominated for any period of time, which to me is very important determining where a player sits in the history of the game. It's actually one of the main reasons I would have difficulty conceding the top spot to Rafa. As great as he's been, he's only dominated in an absolute sense for periods of time. While I would never say that Nole's resume is comparable to Rafa's, I do find it interesting that he seems to have compiled a span of dominance that's almost the same as Rafa's to date. No question about Federer, Sampras, Borg and Lendl though; when these guys stepped on the court for years, they were clearly viewed as dominant #1's.***

    I feel the same about Rafa; dominance intermittant and so heavily weighted on clay, it's hard to crown him the "GOAT!" Even if he surpasses Federer by a couple majors, unless he balances out those FO with a couple more USO and AO, forget it!

  42. ***For me, Connors is a guy who really slips under the radar in these discussions. Putting the Borg and Mac rivalries aside, in the early to mid 70's, he was the dominant #1. He didn't dominate Borg or Mac though. This is why he's usually considered 3rd in that 3, and that's where I'd put him. He wasn't so brilliant, but he lasted longer. I think he won his 90th tourney aged 90!

    Agreed but he dominated in his own prime which kind of begs the perennial question, how long are these guys supposed to dominate for? Connors was the best player on the planet for around 4 years - we tend to judge him as he aged and faced younger foes like McEnroe. The same applies to McEnroe in all honesty - he couldn't break the Lendl/Edberg/Becker triumvirate in the late 80's.

    To be fair, what did it for Mac was racquet tech. His kind of 'feel' play was perfect for wood, but as soon as you started to move to graphite and the power game he was utterly exposed.***

    You ain't kidding! Lendl was beating McEnroe like a rented mule; embarrassing him in fact! Ivan was 1 of the 1st players w/ that controlled, powerful baseline game and he picked John apart for a while there in the early 80's; DC, indoors, and HC! Supposedly McEnroe got some kind of 'pep talk' from either Budge or Kramer, upgraded to graphite racket in '84, and was able to compete with Lendl for a couple more years before again getting destroyed; a couple times at the USO!

    ***In fairness to Mac, it wasn't just Lendl who caused him problems after '84. Tatum O'Neal, her dad, Becker, and other young guns. Mac just wasn't built to endure, but if he had the mindset to concentrate and grind for a few more years, he could have played well against the big boys.

    Federer playing his best tennis back then was almost unplayable. He dominated at a higher level for longer. No one else could win 3 majors in a season twice in the open era let alone 3 times.***

    This is why I'll never put Rafa ahead of Roger! No one's dominated like he has (pre or Open era), acquiring records that may never be equaled or surpassed; 10 str. major finals, 23 str. major semis, 36 str. major quarters, among others! After he got to #1, he didn't drop below 2 or 3 until much later than most! He also didn't have extended stays away from the tour like a certain player we all know! Hard to have respect for that type of negative tenure!

    ***I'll remind everyone that after '11, Novak has done the following:

    '12: Won the AO. Reached FO Final. Wimbledon semi. USO final. (3 of 4 finals & a Slam win).

    '13: Won the AO. Reached FO SF (tech. since he played Nadal, otherwise he would have made the Final), reached Wimbledon Final, reached USO final (3 out 4 finals & a slam win, & had Nadal's seeding not been low due to injury, Novak would have made all 4 Finals).

    So please, this "not exemplary," "mediocre," and other BS needs to stop. Yes, he wasn't as good or as consistent as he was in '11, but he was still ridiculously good. And everyone knows I consider Federer the GOAT, but please, to everyone playing down Novak's consistency since '11, name me a Fed circa '04-'07 rival who came even close.***

  43. ***From Jan. '09 - Jan '11 the Dems had a stranglehold on the House, Senate, and oval office. The gov't was their oyster. We all know they lost the House to the GOP, but for 2 years they could do what they wanted. They could have passed immigration reform; didn't even need the GOP to do it - they could have rammed that bill through the way they did the ACA. They could have raise the minimum wage to $10.10/ hr, again, didn't need the GOP. Which begs the question: Why didn't they?***

    People forget, even though the country was feeling great about anointing Obama President, The Reps were in full psycho hate-mode before tha man took the oath of office! They had a huge, bad taste in their mouthes; esp. swallowing he won Nobel Peace prize! They decided before he took office, they wouldn't cooperate or reach a consensus on anything! Compromise was a dirty word they wouldn't even say after '08 election! Obama got no "honeymoon", but a lot was done with a "new deal-like" healthcare reform; ACA! Reps had successfully stopped any implementation of social health for over 100 years! Obama can leave now and still go down in history like Johnson with "civil rights" and Medicare and Roosevelt w/ his "New Deal!" That's another pill the Reps have to swallow; hense their intransigence even if it hurts the country! They obviously couldn't care less until they get back into power; as they deem it the way it s/b! They gambled on trashing our economy, future employment, and our credit standing in the world! Heaven help us if ever we're stupid enough to allow them back into the White House! Being in charge of Congress is already stagnating the country! Simple chores of passing bills, normal budgets, and the like are just being put on hold with a do nothing Congress headed by Speaker Boehner! He'll go down in history another way!

    ***Oh, great, just what the board needed, another leftie w/ delusions that his side will be in power forever. I can't help thinking that no one could swallow that much kool-aid w/o drowning.***

    Speaking of kool-aid; no doubt you want the flight commander w/ his sign saying "mission accomplished" to come back! The only thing he accomplished was trashing the economy, giving free reign to Wall Street to bankrupt itself and demand help as they did under the previous Bush, then initiated all kinds of bills w/o paying for them! Nothing like starting 2 wars, reducing taxes, giving away the surplus acquired under Clinton, and passing programs making the states pay for them! We were doomed from '01; hense the stock market crash later that year! You guys have either pathetic memories or you'd rather the country "go under" than thrive as it did under Clinton! That's more than a little pathetic and sad!

    ***Jim Jones and his disciples couldn't swallow that much kool-aid; seems trollish to me.***

    I feel so sorry for you people! You have Reps attacking the voting system, talking down the country at every turn, and perpetually battling to keep women, gays, immigrants, and others in check instead of working with them! You're being squeezed by being so intransigent and from what I can tell "being evil!" The way this President has been treated and talked about should embarrass us all! The "right" leadership couldn't even muster any respect for the office with McConnell saying on day one, "it would be is main objective to make Obama a one term President!" How's that working for you losers? You're so hateful, you can't even tell how poorly you're behaving! The country is on the comeback trail, but you have Reps dragging their feet, making conspiracies out of talking points, and empowering Putin to act up! I hope you all can look at yourselves in the mirror on judgement day and explain it!

  44. ***IIRC, Sasha landed only 3 triples in the GWG long, many of them being 2-footed. Fumie skated very well, attempting a 3-3 though 2-footing the 2nd half and landing 5 triples total. Fumie's overall placement was accurate considering how she skated.***

    Loved that competition and the results! Stayed up all night to get the results and to happily proclaim Slutskaya and Plushenko the champion! The faves were obviously Kwan and Yagudin respectively; but both failed miserably! MK and AY were at the same stage of mental and physical burnout IMO! Both were looking over their shoulders; Alexei even crashed into the wall trying to complete his 3A/3T combo in the SP! How he retained Bronze is still unfathomable to me; crashed and burned on each jump element during "Winter!" Everyone was using their new short programs; Irina "Serenade" and Plushy a Michael Jackson medley! I couldn't have been happier! BTW, I'm still trying to figure out why the Russians got 4 female entries; Slutz, Butyr., Volch., and Sok.? I keep asking and looking, but it's still a mystery!

    ***I remember Plushenko showing up as a kid and landing absolutely unbelievable jumps. I always preferred him to Yagudin and thought he had the potential to be the best male figure skater in history. ...I actually think Mishin has gone senile and Plushenko is being pushed to continue skating by him and his awful wife. He needs to run away from those 2.***

    I'll have to take your word for that! I wasn't aware Evgeni was being manipulated or encouraged to stay "in the game" past his prime! So far he's won top honors, so I'm not sure about your "laughingstock" comment!

    ***If you read the comments on some of the Russian sites, they are certainly less than kind and I think the general view of the public is that he should retire. Having said that, I admire him for his incredible physical and mental strength - to be able to continue for so many years despite injuries. But sometimes enough is enough. I hope his more recent performances won't mar the memories of Plushenko's divine skates in his younger years.

    I think Plushy is more than capable of making his own decisions. Yes, Yana is a strong woman; I have mixed feelings about her myself, but I do believe they are equal partners. I don't think she could persuade him to do anything he doesn't want to do, nor do I think she would try to do so if it meant sacrificing his physical health. Maybe I'm wrong and she's a complete shrew, but I'd like to think he chose better than that, particularly the 2nd time around.***

    Normally I'm all for the old guard stepping down, but when the new bloods aren't getting the job done, you bring back the vets again and again; Slutskaya in '06, Kwan after '03, Bonaly in '98, Witt in '94 according to some around here, and of course Plushenko this year!

    ***Is Johnny in demand by tours? Is Evan actively looking to tour? - Good question. I am not really sure on either of those points, but I do know immediately after Vancouver Johnny was in demand by almost all the big European and Asian tours, while Evan's only big offer was from Stars on Ice (and he didnt even last long there, although largely by choice). ...If anything he probably burnt a lot of bridges w/ his faux comeback to never happen.***

    Preach! Justice served to someone who's lost passion for the sport! What a waste!

    ***I think Evan, like Kwan, was more interested in competition. Yes he did take advantage of his short-term fame like participating in DWTS, but it seems like he's not very interested in the skating world as much anymore. Johnny, meanwhile, seemed more into the applause, fame, and publicity. He also had a comeback, but it didn't seem very genuine while Lysacek's comeback may have been a little delusional and far-fetched and self-serving (and self-preserving of his reputation), but I bet if he could have he would have come back to compete.***

  45. ***if someone loves Lambiel, that is cool, but while I like him I personally find him one of the most overrated skaters ever. He is such a weak jumper, practically none are stable. Beyond that though his basic skating leaves alot to be desired. Even his spins are overrated and the scores bear that out. He won both his World titles w/o the best skater in the world at the time attending; Plushenko who's career is highly overrated too.***

    Oh my; blasphemy! Dick Buttons must have been Stephane's PR person and perpetrated the fraud of his legendary great spins! As much as I loved Plushy and picked him to be greater than Yagudin, his overall skating was weak! He put so much pressure on his peers though! He forced them all into errors to keep up w/ him b/c of the tech side of the sport! I posted before that I think Evgeni personally ran Alexei out of skating by forcing more tech content in his programs! Normally Alexei could win ANY title w/o a quad; his artistic scores so surpassed everyone else in his era! Unfortunately for him, a skinny little Russian kid was nipping at his heels starting from the beginning of his reign in '98 Worlds! W/ the most reliable quad of all time, usually adding 2 to his LP, it forced Alexei to add a 2nd Quad and it slowly broke him down!

    Even at his best, Alexei's quad was all about his strength and not the technique! He saved many, going rather low on the landings, and those hips were destroyed over the years! I was truly shocked when he showed up at Skate America in '02 only to suddenly retire after recovering so well to take all the major titles; 2002 Euro, GPF, Olympics, & Worlds! I thought Alexei was done after losing his World title the year before in '01! Something clicked at the GP Finale, Alexei snatched the Gold, and never looked back! I have no idea what was going on w/ Evgeni; that strange program at the Finale from Cirque was disturbingly bad and came out of nowhere! He hurridly switched to Carmen for the Olympics and I just hated watching the finish of that 2001-'02 season being a Plushenko fanatic! After Alexei left, he was w/o peer for years, losing only a couple titles through a technicality at GPF and one really bad skate at Euro! Then his hips and back started going, but he held on to finish w/ 2 Olympic Gold medals and 2 Silvers! Who can catch him even w/ the new team event?

    ***Evan was at the same point as Kwan in 2009-'10 by 2013-'14. The non existent quad jump of his big wins was now a staple w/ the top guys attempting 3 or 4 per competition. There was at least a half dozen men who could often score 20+ points higher in a competition than he had ever done internationally. He had lingering injuries, an old body, and hadn't made decent attempts at a quad jump competitively since '07. He can't even compete with someone like Chan in PCS or other elements in addition to the quad. However unlike Kwan, he was not smart enough to recognize this and plodded on with a comeback which even had it carried off would have almost certainly seen him make a bit of a fool of himself. Don't return from a serious injury too soon and aggravate the same injury! ...Sorry but in retrospect that's how I see his so called comeback.

    If Johnny showed up relatively recently to competitions, skated in competitions, and performed better than Jeremy Abbott did at the Olympics while Evan was a no show, I have to conclude that Johnny's comeback was more genuine than Evan's and Johnny could have completed. - Plushenko's basic skating and posture are in fact excellent and much better than someone like Lambiel. Some aspects of his artistry arent as good as Lambiel, but his basics are far superior.***

    Johnny must feel like Surya Bonaly; totally unappreciated and looked over! One year Weir won the lone medal for US World team and the next year they allowed him to miss it due to an injury; sending some "also-rans" in his stead! They held up Kerrigan in '94 without competing; that's for sure!

  46. ***Johnny actually competed at '09 Nat'ls and came 5th. If he was really physically unable to skate he should have WD and requested a bye. I know some have said he asked a higher up and was told he wouldnt get the bye, but even if he didnt get it, at least he would get more support from people than as it was, and truly exposed the USFSA bias against him for what it was. The USFSA never really loved Weir and w/ Abbott and Evan both going to worlds already, they didn't really need him anyway, and Mroz beating Evan for the silver and even beating Abbott in the LP complicated things. W/ Johnny skating and coming 5th there wasn't really much reason to give him a bye anymore, esp. when they didn't want to in the 1st place.

    ...However as I mentioned there was the 2011-'12 season where there was no injury stopping Evan, but USFSA not paying him enough? He said so himself. I also find the self preserving of his reputation part interesting. ...In fact it probably would have been better self preservation of his reputation to have never planned a comeback in the first place, esp. in hindsight. He would have been remembered to the general U.S public as the guy who won Olympic, worlds, dominated about a year, and retired on top, then went on to DWTS and headlined SOI for years.

    Mao could win the next 4 Worlds and Olympics in '20 and she would still never be in the league of Yu Na, or even Kwan for that matter. It was long ago determined she's not even the best skater of her own era since when she and her main rival are both around; almost never wins. She wins her titles when Yu Na is either not there or messes up badly. Unlike Yu Na and even Michelle who dominated their eras, She can't even beat Miki Ando or Carolina Kostner when they are healthy and in top form.

    One thing that sets her so far below Yu Na or Michelle is consistency. Michelle finished top 3 at every event for about 9 years. Yu Na has never not medaled in any skating competition her whole career. Mao is like a yo yo; Gold, 6th, 7th, Bronze, silver, 6th, 8th, Gold. ...None of her 3 World titles were won w/ a flawless performance, unlike Yu Na and Michelle who won practically all their big titles and even lost some with flawless outings. You can talk about Mao's beautiful artistry, her great spins and spirals, her huge jumps, but it doesn't matter when she always messes up, which she does even in victory.***

    ***Now what about your position of the 500s, vs. the ones in So. America?***

    What about them? The older I get, the less I seem to care! The majors & Masters events decide the true best of the best! Those smaller events are more embarrassing than anything in my book; esp. when it's Nadal blowing out some player we've never heard of! Speaking of embarrassing, he had to of smarted a lot by going down to Zeballos in Chile last season; WHO? even when Fed does it year in and year out in Basil; gets more notice in my book when he goes down to defeat! Haas made Basil more of an event due to upset of Roger! I found tennis a lot more compelling and interesting when the top rung lost periodically! Loved having the odd winner at a major like Gomez at the FO in '90 over Agassi! It was getting old seeing Fed & Nadal splitting the spoils for quite a while until Nole asserted himself! It's getting a little better; Wawrinka at AO couldn't have come at a better time! It keeps me wondering how things might shake out! There's no guarantee the big 4 are going to dominate! Before this year, you couldn't say that; now we can?

  47. ***Christie just isn't Prez material. First off, Jersey has not done that well economically and his record is ho-hum. Two, the guy is too easily rattled and angered. I can just see his opponents pushing his buttons and at some point, F bombs start shooting out of his mouth. Campaign over. Three, his weight and health will be a legitimate concern for voters. A guy like him is a walking billboard for stroke and/or heart attack risk.***

    Hasn't he lost half a person after surgery? I'd love to see him try; embarrass him back to his "crooked little state" and be forgotten for all time! What scum!

    ***Everyone has the right to disagree with their party, Rick Santorum: GOP Opposition To Minimum Wage 'Makes No Sense'***

    Who are you kidding? Not in this lifetime! You have to march in lock step like "brown shirts" if you're a Rep these days! Anytime they step out of line, they have to go on Rush Limbaugh's radio talk show and apologize and "back-peddle" as fast as they can! Even Boehner, Steele, McConnell, and other right-wing leadership have had to "kiss the ring" of Rush if they say anything "out of turn!"

    ***That's unfortunate that we encourage our "leaders" to play politics instead of leading.***

    Chris Rock: "Women hate women!" Hillary Clinton's biggest detractors on cable news are venomous women; Laura Ingraham, Monica Crowley, Ann Coultier, and Kellyanne Conway! They also encourage a splitting of the vote by propping up Elizabeth Warren! That'll last as long as they can use her, then they'll turn on her like DOGS! Pathetic!

    ***Women both love and hate women. Most of the hate is from living in a patriarchal society which promotes competition and not unity.***

    Agreed, but what's the excuse when sisters, mother/daughters, and BFF's stab each other in the back? The talk shows are full of betrayals, usually involving a man! That I've never understood unless it proves, "I just want him b/c someone else wants them and I will cut this bitch to get him too!"

    They're trying to canonize him! His painting will give him sympathy points to make him a "genius" among geniuses someday! Their efforts are being sabotaged by The Cheneys, Karl Rove, and Condy Rice though! If they would all just crawl under rocks, the country might forget Bush was probably one of the worst Presidents in modern history! We're a very forgiving nation (I said stupid), but I won't forget his turning the country from a creditor to a debtor nation within his first year in office! He systematic gave away the store to Wall Street and allowed them to trash the economy for a 2nd time in a Bush era! And now, with over 350 million people in the country, who does the "right" turn to; JEB? I might have to commit hari-kari if he's even nominated!

    ***Karl Rove says Hillary has brain damage - Has it actually been confirmed that she suffers from vertigo?

    Karl Rove never actually said she had brain damage. That was just a sensational NY Post headline. He said that she's going to have to come clean about the state of her health if she runs for POTUS, specifically why she was hospitalized 30 days for a fall then emerged wearing prismatic glasses.

    Why then is Karl Rove claiming he never said it on Fox?***

    Like they'd allow someone with any kind of brain deficiency into the Presidency! Hmmmm; well there was "W!

  48. ***Maria didn't win in '99 b/c Michelle "gifted" her the gold at Worlds. On this occasion, she outskated Michelle and everyone else; the result was in no way controversial. She never outskated MK again except in the Worlds 2000 SP, but just b/c a usually superior skater fails to win a competition doesn't mean she's giving away gifts.

    Maybe the OP was talking about the fact that Michelle didn't skate her best. Maria skated so well in the SP and LP, I'm glad she won those Worlds (even though I am a Kwan fan).***

    I guess that would be me! The reason I used the term "gifted" is b/c of all the skaters to lose to, it shouldn't have been someone like Maria; sorry! Her maturity, style, and grace were terribly over-rated by commentators; esp. Sandra Bezic! Those stiff legs on the landings were jarring to see most of the time! MK shouldn't have even been in the running for Gold in '99 at Worlds after the SP! The judges held her up; big time! She SHB in 5th place behind Tatiana Malinina who had a clean SP IIRC! It was an absolute joke MK salvaged silver in Helsinki after falling out of a couple jumps, singling her 2-A's, & falling at least once! I attributed it to a light pro-Am skating schedule after an Olympic season, no one pushing her due to Tara retiring, and Irina slipping off the face of the Earth! I thought Michelle was in trouble as early as The Japan Open Int'l exhb.! In her SP, she reverted back to foot-work into 3T only to double it! She really wasn't being tested by anyone at the time; esp. Surya who was on her way out! The "East Of Eden" program was beautiful, but didn't have the tech content to beat the best IMO so she went to Carmen (SP) & Lamento D'Ariane (LP} for Nat'ls and Worlds!

    ***Kwan was also suffering from the flu at '99 Worlds. Anyway, I do think it's arguable that Kwan should have placed lower in the SP, but she still performed 6 clean triples in that LP even if the quality of some of the landings were not up to her usual standards.

    Tatiana's SP was kind of lovely and better than Kwan's. Her long program was a train wreck no matter how well skated so I was fine with her not medaling overall. I'm trying to think of a major contender having a worse long-term program than Aladdin, but I just can't think of anything worse. There have been many similarly bad programs like Aladdin, but most were dumped after the GP, i.e. Lysacek's Grease. Bless her heart, Tatiana stuck loyally to that shit-fest Aladdin program. - We get it. Michelle Kwan is the worst skater there ever was. You can give it a rest already.

    The Kim fans may be the looniest fans in the world, but Kwan fans take sensitivity to the highest level. Why must her more sensitive fans make such hyperbolic comments like that when someone dares to not give a tongue bath for her bad performances? Kwan sucked in the SP. Many of her required elements were shaky, sloppy and she skated like a zombie. Seriously at her biased fan who judged that performance a 5.9 on the 2nd mark...***

    Who you talking about? I lived and died watching Surya Bonaly doing her thing in her era! Talk about over-skating, looking a bit old at times; no one worked harder at their craft! Loved her significant finish at 2000 GWG over Yuka Sato and other legends! It was a great finish using that Cuor Senza Sangue program by Emma Shapplin!

  49. ***Nadal was already the best anyone had seen on clay by '07 & made back to back Wimbledon finals and like Nole, won 1 slam each year. So I wouldn't say he was significantly better all things considered.***

    Nole had to lose sooner or later! No one in the Open era won 3 straight AO titles; even when it was on grass! OTTOMH, it should have been a lot easier with top players skipping the event until the new venue in '88! Those years saw back to back wins by Kriek, Vilas, Tanner, Wilander, and Edberg as a kid! McEnroe or Connors should have snuck in there and snatched a title or 2; Connors with only '74 win!

    ***Rafa got a clay court title in Rio if you've forgotten. It's a bit more than quali; 500 event.***

    I try to never watch central and So. American swing of the tour! Reminds me of Venus struggling with players ranked 200 or 300 in Mexico several years ago; totally unwatchable at times! Probably won't even watch Olympics when they're down there! The last player I watched and cared about in that "tennis exhibition" every 4 years was Henin taking Gold and that was 10 years ago! I caught a little of Fed over Murray a couple years ago though, but not much! I'm more a purist and don't thnk pros should take over something that was supposed to be for amateurs over a limited eligble period! Allowing figure skaters to come back bothered me too in '94 Lillehammer! Boitano, Witt, and all the rest s/b ashamed since they were only taking a spot from a more deserving competitor!

    ***No way did I expect such an easy victory. This'll give Nadal some good confidence heading into the Rome final, that's for sure. - This is what happens when a series of people do not complete the task of taking him out. Each ugly win adds to confidence, no matter how ugly it is and lets him see another day for more practice. Now, it almost looks like he may be rounding up to form just when RG is about to begin. Talk about not peeking early. Well, let us hope that Novak can complete the task tomorrow.

    Rather uncharacteristically bitter-sounding from you, GSM. While there have been some surprise upsets this season against Nadal on clay, it wasn't like the cast of characters he has faced in Rome were likely to do it. Don't be too hard on them. There gets to be so much "anyone-but-Rafa" energy going around this time of year. Some folks lose the ability to acknowledge that he does actually have good chops on clay.

    "Ugly" wins sounds like a fitting way to describe some of Rafa's victories this clay season to me.***

    "Preach!" I went on a rant a while back about the state of the ATP, allowing 4 players to own most of the major titles; slams and Masters! Finally Wawrinka came into his own! I just hope it didn't occur too late like Haas and a few other old fogies! It does get sickening to watch players allow Rafa to escape again and again; even if it is on clay! Thank goodness for Ferrer and Almagro completing the task in the last few weeks! I truly hope Nole can finish him off for good in Paris! If it means an easy win next month, Rafa can have this title if it gives him a false sense of confidence!

    ***Factoid: If Rafa wins tomorrow, it will be his 64th title. I can list half of them (32) w/o even looking up.

    Roland Garros ---- 8
    Monte Carlo ------ 8
    Rome Masters --- 8
    Barcelona -------- 8

    Impressive, as you imply. Whether or not he wins to tomorrow, that means he has 32 titles on hard courts and grass. Also impressive.

    Well, considering that these are not the only clay titles he's won that's not entirely true (you have Madrid, Hamburg, South American clay tourneys, etc...). But yeah, it's not as lopsided as most like to (mis)lead you to believe once you get past the "meaningless" clay titles (ie non-Masters 1000 events and such).***

    Well that was a complete contradiction; "meaningless clay titles" which obviously unbalances what you just said! Come on!

  50. ***Mao never had a chance against Yuna in 2010 in Vancouver regardless if she was clean or not. Yuna was on a different level then any other skater at the time.

    Of course, despite more difficult jumps, better spins/spirals and steps it wasn't enough thanks to the magical formula of goe and pcs, we recently got the pleasure to rediscover what kind of miracle this combination can make, what a privilege it is to be in the judges favor. Keep this in mind, the best score does not always mean the best skate or best skater, but rather the most favoured/chosen one. Anyone, any chosen skater with decent skills can suddenly become invincible once the judges want them to.***

    I'm a huge Plushenko fan, but talk about favorable judging! He was horrible in Vancouver and he still made it close; just 1.5 points behind Lysacek! If he had added another double axel he still could have won! I lost respect for the system before they went to this new scoring charade! I thought we were supposed to get away from shady circumstances like this, but it still persists! HOW?

    ***B/c the system gives them the opportunity to do what they want and ignore the guidlines, and by the end of the day they can go home anonymous w/o giving any explanation. There is too much subjectivity in the scoring esp. when it comes to pcs. At least the judges s/b held accountable for their biased marks. If the marks they gave were fair and just they wouldn't need to be anonymous. But I believe sometimes things have to get really bad (like Vancouver & Sochi) before things get better and changes are made; at least I hope so.

    Alexei Urmanov was my teenage love (in my head). He was beautiful and his 1994 long programme was so elegant. Stojko looked like a truck driver in comparison. Alexei didn't live up to his potential.***

    I loved that era of skating with Alexei; probably underachieved, but in skating, many don't! I taped all his performances after the Olympics until he went out with that last injury in '97 before Nagano! He was in 1st place at Worlds after the short like Plushenko years later, and had to withdraw! People really resented Alexei beating Elvis; even w/o 2 triple axels once or twice! Elvis was like my fave Surya; all about the jumps!

    ***I loved Alexei Urmanov too. Hamilton didn't and could not hide his disdain for his skating.***

    Unfortuntely it was skaters like Hamilton that ran me away from skating for such a time; esp. during his pro years! I was appalled by the flagrant overscoring of this puffed up, ego on skates! He overcompensates by lauding other skaters, but I don't know how he could accept some of the awards and wins over superior skaters again and again! It was quite nauseating to see happen when he was flipping all over the ice, obvious ill, and someone like Petrenko that loaded up his performance was dismissed with gratuitous "10's" given to Hamilton!

    ***...Many great skaters would be happy just to have those career ending results of one last OG. i.e. Kurt Browning or Brian Joubert.***

    Add Todd Eldridge ...and you have skaters like Timothy Goebel with his Bronze in SLC and 2 Silvers at Worlds in '02 & '03! The resentment has to be there w/ the other skaters and their fans! Surya Bonaly is my underachiever of all time; her lack of a performance and the narrow-mindedness of judges!

  51. ***Tonya didn't waste her talent and potential, USFSA did - I think that Tonya might have been somewhat forgiven for her huge career mistakes if she had ever, at ANY point in time, taken responsibility for her horrible choices. ...She's lied so much that she can't even follow the trail of lies herself. It's sad, ...but she might not be the laughing stock, joke, pariah...that she is now.***

    I'm one of those people who hold the USFSA largely to blame for not taking more of an interest in Tonya and maybe guiding her since her mother was a train wreck! Over the years I've found them to be selective and punishing when they want to be! I still can't get over them leaving Johnny off the World Team when he was the lone winner of a medal the previous year! It was obvious they had a serious problem with him being "so open" about his life and wouldn't make accommodations for him; maybe Eldridge or Weiss! How'd that work out for them?

    ***Interesting that both the skaters you name as examples of being held back by the USFSA are skaters that won Nat'l Chps and int'l-level medals; who also went to the Olympics. If the USFSA was trying to hold these 2 skaters down, they didn't do a very good job of it/***

    You obvious forgot, the USFSA did try to kick Tonya off the '94 World team! She threatened to sue and they backed down!

    ***Johnny actually competed at '09 Nat'ls and came in 5th. If he was really physically unable to skate he should have WD and requested a bye. I know some have said he asked a higher up and was told he wouldnt get the bye, but even if he didn't get it, at least he would get more support from people than as it was, and truly exposed the USFSA bias against him for what it was. By actually competing and doing poorly he didn't give himself much case. The USFSA never really loved Weir & w/ Abbott and Evan both going to Worlds already, they didnt really need him anyway. Mroz beating Evan for the silver and even beating Abbott in the LP complicated things.

    Nancy was by far the top U.S women in '94. Even w/ her out of medals placement at the '93 Worlds vs Johnny's medal placement at the '08 Worlds, she had more recent credentials than he (3 World & Olympic medals in the previous 3 yrs, winning the pre Olympic test event w/ nearly all contenders). It was a no brainer to send the U.S gold medal hope rather than accept their best finish in Lillehammer by either Harding or Kwan being about 8th place. Plus that she was attacked at their event, and USFSA would have faced a huge lawsuit if they had not sent her, and one which Nancy would have easily won.***

  52. ***Tara was much better than Sotnikova; so comparing Kostner to Tara isn't the same as comparing Kostner to Sotnikova. She's a terrible skater who won her gold medal entirely by politics and zero from her actual skating.***

    OCO, Sotnikova couldn't have been that bad! She definitely had more technical content than Kostner! If you want to quibble over artistic marks with Yu Na, fine, but she was far from inept on the ice and I didn't find it wrong-headed to give her the Gold! All skaters get a leg up; depending on the event and country performing! Kwan stole enough medals way back when and few whined about it!

    ***Kwan was a bit of a judges' pet and was definitely overmarked, but she didn't steal that many medals. '96 Worlds the judges stole from Chen and her '99 World which Malinina earned of her only ever medal, but that is about it.

    What is wrong about your post is it implies Sotnikova fully deserved her technical scores when in fact her the scores were probably even more questionable than her outrageous PCS. She wasn't called for a flutz on either of her lutzes, her 3T on the end of her3 Lutz was clearly < or even << but wasn't called as such, her footwork didn't merit level 4 in either program while Kim & Kostner were both wrongly given level 3, and generous GOE galore across the board (and purposely stingy for Kostner, Kim, and Asada in the LP). In no way did she deserve the gold medal and I dont care about any of those skaters on a personal level.

    But Michelle might have skated differently if she had been 2nd in the SP. She usually did well coming from behind--see 2000 Worlds, '01 Worlds, and several Nat'ls where she was 2nd after the short program. Irina's overwrought long program didn't deserve to be placed over Sarah Hughes at that competition and I'm no SH fan! And I have to laugh at the thought that the US could benefit from politics in FS judging. Who would they conspire w/; the French? LOL!***

    Anything's possible in FS; including child molestation well documented!

    ***...I know what you mean in that Slutskaya was always the more promising one, but my reference to Butyrskaya was a more general observation of her 2nd mark in that quad, not just heading into SLC. In any event, these are not reasons why Slutskaya should deserve higher 2nd marks than her. These are reasons why Slutskaya actually got higher second marks than her. ..., just trying to make a point that Slutskaya, like S&P, was also feeling somewhat entitled heading into SLC based on what happened in the past 2 or 3 seasons and was surprised that the big prize wasn't given to her when she skated safely at the big one. Kwan made the same mistake really in '98.***

    History bears out that reputation, titles, and other factors outside of a performance comes into play; esp. at Majors! Irina was on a serious winning streak, but I remember that GPF where she completed 3 triples and still won over Kwan! Not that it bothered me; "Karma's a b!tch Michelle!" I don't know what it was about MK that was so unappealing; probably the "constant fawning" by commentators and coaches! The dripping tributes by Sandra Bezic & Scott Hamilton were of course the most nauseating! For a while there, MK was in disfavor and Irina was winning comfortably; esp. minor events like The Masters, Japan Int'l, & GWG's! It's a wonder I came around to liking Irina since she displaced my fave, Surya Bonaly! Maybe since she also gave Michelle fits I had no choice to fall in love! Those programs were quite memorable including Olympic season's SP, "Serenade!" I give her '02 SLC gold since she should have been in 1st place after that brilliant SP w/ MK's 2-footed 3F in both programs!

  53. ***The '04 & '06 Worlds were Sasha`s to win from the start, regardless what anyone else did. She blew both. The '06 Olympics might not have been Sasha`s to win entirely, but w/ the performances Slutskaya and Arakawa gave, & Asada not there, they would have been hers easily if she skated even her Nat'ls performances which wasnt flawless. I do think she had chances at the big titles in '02 & '03 too; in '02 w/ help of others' mistakes of course.***

    It's unfortunate Sasha never really put it all together, but IMO, she's still the most gifted of her era; a true ballerina! Oksana had that distinction, but it was more myth than anything! She also had her moments, but they were few and far between! Sasha may have squeaked out a couple more titles if she didn't have a reputation for being unable to put together 2 great performances! They couldn't give her the benefit of the doubt until '06 silver in Turin! I thought she was done after those first 2 falls, but she pulled it together to salvage something!

    ***She should've become a ballerina then b/c skating isn't ballet, and her skating skills were quite weak until the last years of her competitive career - - Most unorthodox music to win an int'l competition***

    OTTOMH, I can only think of Surya Bonaly's gypsy performance of '94-'95 season! It was a bit frantic at times, but she won her last European title and salvaged silver at Worlds behind LuLu and ahead of Bobek! Using Cirque du Soleil type music placed her amongst the rest of the French contingent that performed for the audience, not the judges! I fell in love w/ Evgeni using some Jean Michel Jarre's New Age efforts; Chronologie medley in '98 & '99! It was odd, innovative, and worked well w/ his young age!

    ***Probably since there isn't much more to say about B & S and their competitive situation than has already been said in this thread.***

    They were a lovely couple, but they took advantage of a weak era IMO! They're the level of Anissina/Peizerat of France; perpetual 3rd placers at World events even though they won GOLD! I've seen stronger skating out of other pairs; B & S were soft, though elegant! True enough I never got into (pairs and dance) enough, so my knowledge and image of them from so long ago is being stretched to the limit! I could be wrong; set me straight!

    ***"Agreed, and it also shows best career isn't the same as best skater anyway. ...Technically Witt wasn't even a top 5 skater of her own era, and even her artistry wasn't that good in a traditional sense, but she won her titles through amazing charisma, competitive nerve, and star factor. Against Kim and Kwan who were just as competitive as her though; she would be buried."

    Insightful; thank you!

  54. It was Surya that sparked my interest to stay with figure skating! The previous era ran me off; the egos, judging controversies, & allowing pro to re-enter the amateur ranks! With the whack felt and heard around the world, it was a great period to watch with Urmanov, Yagudin, Plushenko, Goebel, Slutskaya, Lipinksi, Bonaly, Lambiel, and Sasha Cohen!

    ***No mention of Tonya Harding at '91 Skate America? She landed the first ever 3A combo by a lady in the SP while skating to LaTour's, "People Are Still Having Sex." Then she landed another 3A in the free skate to a "medley" of "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," Gato Barbieri's version of "Europa" by Santana, then "Sleeping Bag" by ZZ Top. And although not int'l, how about her other equally wacky and exciting winning melange of the Batman soundtrack, Send in the Clowns, and Wild Thang by Tone Loc?***

    I had to order that video back in 2000, but it was to see Bonaly who performed "Sleeping Beauty!" Harding's 3A a lot more powerful than Ito's! I just hate that Mao went out missing every one of them this past season! Didn't she see that even if she hits 3 of them, the judges weren't ready to give her gold if Kim stood up? Silly gamble; sorta like Sasha with the quad at Nat'ls years ago!

    ***Can you really compare Asada who landed 33 triple axels in competition w/ Cohen who barely landed a quad during practice, but acted as if she had a consistent one as a press hype game? With Kim doing gigantic 3-3's, the 3A was important to Mao to distinguish herself and not necessarily just in terms of points, but her ultimate legacy.

    ...I would rather give that honor to ladies that won European title 5-6 times, like Witt and Slutskaya. I will have a tough time placing Bonaly ahead of Kostner though, despite Surya's well deserved multiple European titles.***

    It was a weak era in the early 90's unfortunately w/ only Oksana doing something during that period; winning Worlds in '93 before OG in Lillehammer in '94! Surya's last win in '95 at Europeans had no one close to touching her with 3/3's and other combos other women could only dream of! That sort of jumping is now commonplace and about time too!

    ***Surya actually had decent competition in '93-95. She had to beat Baiul to win '93 & '94 Europeans, no easy feat. She also faced Markova and Butyrskaya in '94-95 who by then were very strong. I would never pick her just b/c she wasnt an appealing skater to a skating purist, despite her deserved success.***

    Markova and Butyrskaya had problems with nerves and their jumping was inferior to Surya; sorry! Bonaly had a 3 Lutz/3T that ended it from the first element! lol!

    ***Plushenko - has lived and breathed skating his entire life, incredibly charismatic, can pull off every style from wacky to high drama to flat-out weird, almost untouchable for most of his career. There is something extra-special about him and his devotion to his sport that puts him on another level from virtually anyone else.

    Johnny Weir - marches to his own drummer, not afraid to be feminine and outspoken and a Russophile and whatever else he wants to be, no matter how much heat he takes for it. A true uncompromising artist.

    Stephane Lambiel - always gorgeous to watch, endlessly creative.

    Yuzuru Hanyu - a true fighting spirit with endless potential.

    Daisuke - another real artist on ice, always compelling.***

    I second these male faves! As for the ladies:

    Sasha Cohen - more ballerina than any skater before her.

    Surya Bonaly - The best and most innovative jumper in her prime.

    Naomi Nari Nam - gone too soon, going for broke as a child and breaking down.

    Irina Slutskaya - Supplanted Surya as the dominant jumper in '96 and kept Kwan in check later.

  55. ***I would say '10 Olympics. Chan was put under immense pressure there as a medal hopeful and I don't think he actually ever fully recovered from that experience. The pressure would have abated after the Olympics, but begun to build again as '14 approached. Prior to the Olympics he seemed almost obsessed. Ultimately, Canada did him no favors with its expectation that he would be the 'first Canadian to ever win Olympic Gold'.***

    If US TV can't get through the telecast without mentioning "The Curse;" I can only imagine how suffocating it must be for him north of the border! I'd have more sympathy for Patrick if he hadn't been gifted such ridiculously high scores in the past! I was sort of appalled how he was allowed to flop all over the ice in a GP event, only to lose by only the 3 points deducted for the falls; jumps and footwork! I've seen other skaters have the smallest of errors practically disqualified w/ ruinous scores while he was propped up all too often on horrendous performances!

    ***--- Perhaps the people who should be polled are coaches, judges, other top skaters concerning over scoring. IMO S & P were extremely talented. But back to B&S -- they were even more talented.***

    Common sense should tell you when there are abuses with performances a lot less deserving of high scores! Happens all the time! On another thread I noted a GP event a couple years ago; probably Skate Canada where Patrick was flopping all over the ice in his jumps and footwork, but only lost by the 3 points deducted for the falls! My mouth is still agape over that one! Alexei Yagudin was going up against Evgeni in the 2001 GWG's down in Australia! He knew he needed every element in his SP, "Winter," and forced the combination with NO ROOM for it; slamming into the wall of his 3A/3T! He popped his other jumps, but somehow still received the bronze medal behind Plushenko and Michael Weiss! Another jaw-dropper!

    ***...If player A has a 5x2 H2H against player B, who has a 4X1 H2H against player C, who by its turn has a 5x1 H2H against player A, who is the "better?" I know there's a lot of things to take in to account... that is precisely the point. Sometimes objective analysis is not enough. If #'s (and who won, who lost) could tell the whole story, why would we debate?***

    I think I touched on the subject of H2H and matchups a while back! As much as we put Laver on a pedestal, he was owned by Lew Hoad; at one time 0-8! The only reason we don't know more about the guy is he just missed the USO win in the '59 final to complete his Grand Slam and went off to war or something! In turn Laver owned Ashe even when the old man was past it and only giving brief glimpses of his legendary play by the mid '70's! Going back to that era, even Rosewall wouldn't succumb to old age taking match after match against a seasoned and talented Ilie Nastase! I think Ilie only won once that I saw and it was on clay! Moving ahead 20 years, Sampras was being perceived as the best ever for a while; even w/o a FO victory; 1 semi and 2 quarters IIRC! He was still vulnerable to a couple players you would think couldn't compete! One of them was Richard Krajicek of the Netherlands! Every time I saw Pete go up against Richard, they just got into this power tennis game where the Euro pretty much just blew him off the court; including his win over Pete at Wimbledon in '96! These matches were inexplicable then and they still are!

  56. ***Cohen is a better skater than Tara easily. Tara was just the better competitor. Had Cohen's Tara's competitive nerve she would probably have won almost every world and Olympic title btw 2002 - '06. Tara was even able to beat Michelle Kwan many times by being the stronger competitor, when Michelle is one of the strongest competitors in history which just shows how tough she is, in stark contrast to nervy Sasha Splat.***

    I compare Tara w/ Plushenko when their main rivals were #1 in the judges' hearts & minds; Kwan and Yagudin respectively! The thing is TL and EP were superior jumpers and when they hit all their elements, it put amazing pressure on the leaders! At a couple major events, it made all the difference! Technically each only had one year of superior performances over their top rivals; Tara in '97 through '98 Olympics and Evgeny 2000-01 Worlds! After that Tara retired and Alexei broke down and left amateur skating! Loved Evgeny, but Alexei ate his lunch artistically as evidenced by his lone win over Plushenko at 2000 Japan Int'l where artistic prowess wins the day w/ limited jumping! JMHO and interpretation of what I remember of that era!

    ***Baiul probably wouldnt have ever had the technical content to compete with Kwan or Lipinski, unless she got held up for being an Olympic Champion. 1995 she would have had a shot at the World title, but not sure after that.***

    Where's the "LIKE" option on this site? MK was being crowned before the lighting of the torch at Nagana! I was just going to bed at 5:30 am or so when I heard the result on the radio! I didn't particularly care for Tara's skating, but anyone that took Michelle down a peg was alright w/ me; incl. Irina Slutskaya & Sarah Hughes (twice)!

    ***Don't forget SLC either.***

    They may have tried at SLC, but Irina was the real fave by then! She had beaten Michelle again and again including '01 Masters, GWG's, and GP final w/ just 3 triples landed! All of Michelle's buds were backstage w/ varying kinds of looks and reactions to that one! It was hilarious considering the gifts she's received over the years! MK was actually getting embarrassed; at the Masters finally firing Frank Carroll! She singled or doubled every jump! Her confidence had to be shaken!

    ***If I right remember Plushy beat Yagudin everywhere in 2000 except in WCH. Which Japanese Int'l was it? Yagudin has around 20 perfect 6.0 scores. Plushenko, even w/o the 6.0 in Rus Nat, is around 40. He has around 70 6.0s in total. ...Who has more artistry? That is so subjective. But the facts are facts. Who can explain why these facts aren't well known informations on FSU?***

    That WC was the year before I mentioned Plushy's dominance! The Japan Open I'm thinking of had Alexei performing "Gladiator!" Racking up gratuitous 6.0 scores doesn't impress me; never has! It's all subjective and takes into consideration where the skater performed; early or late! Yagudin skating last at Olympics in SLC allowed the judges to go nuts w/ ridiculously high scores when no one was close to beating him! "Winter" and "MITIM" were classic and I appr. Alexei's efforts, but he came on late to take those last 4 major gold medals when it appeared Evgeny had had his # the previous season; '01 GPF, '02 Europeans, SLC Olympics & '02 Worlds!

    ***I don't remember they didn't meet w/ each other in Japan Open I think. They met in GPF and Plushenko beat Yagudin. They skated Sp and 2 LPs. Yagudin's programs were "Lawrence of Arabia & Gladiator while Plushenko's programs were Gipsy Dance & Once Upon A Time In America."***

  57. ***Right now the Reps have a problem w/ individuals within the party coming up w/ off-the-wall comments that don't serve the party well. Hillary's a very polarizing individual and the they could play that to their advantage. There's certainly nothing at all wrong w/ bringing up HC's medical condition. But once again, someone within the party makes an asinine remark that makes the Repubs look whacky. Will they ever learn?***

    In a word "NO!" Republicans are never satisfied with success and their own potential! Going back to Nixon, the man knew he would win in a landslide, but that wasn't enough! He had to try and humiliate the Dems, have a petty break-in, then cover it up using all the powers of the Presidency! Reagan looked like a President and didn't really have to do anything! He could go on the radio before '84 election & pronounce "Morning in American," exaggerating unemployment dropping below 10%! Funny how Obama's # is under 7% and they're still bitching, but I degress! Of late, all you have to do is look at the last 2 election cycles! They demonized Obamacare, didn't pass any immigration reform, and nominated some of the sickest, most disturbing people for the Senate! It was theres for the taking, but unfortunately for them, they have to talk sometime, and what came out of their mouthes sunk them in '12 & '14! I can name a long list of idiots and their comments, but it would take too long! I'm sure "you all remember something about "legitimate rape" and "shutting all that down" so a pregnancy wasn't possible! Then there should be 2nd amendment remedies for some problems!" Need I say more? Saying something about Hillary Clinton's brain by Rove is on par w/ such a loser!

    ***Republicans don't have a problem with this; it's called politics and it happens 24/7. This is common everyday stuff that comes from both sides. I don't suppose you would like to review the comments of Harry Reid? Didn't think so. - The fuck'n Dems made complete and total idiots of themselves trying to get W's medical records and it was all represented in the media as though he owed it to them. Hillary's glasses look like a fuckin ashtray btw.***

    Unfortunately I have to give the Dems full reign to wallow in the gutter w/ Reps! When they try to stay above the fray, give credit for common sense and intelligence in the electorate, Dems have suffered! All you have to do is look at '10; the "right" allowed to do and say anything against this President! According to Reps, Obama would be in charge of "death panels" w/ the new healthcare law, placates terrorist, hadn't come clean about the question of his birth, and in general saying "no" to any and everything the President wanted; regardless of its success! My hands shake thinking about the level of disrespect from these people! They say they aren't racist, but if you have "white supremist, KKK members, and Nazis" on the same stage, not one would admit it either! Denial means nothing these days; even w/ video proof!

    ***...Damage? Oh you mean the market has doubled, all jobs lost under right wing extreme policies have been restored, one war ended, then one foot out the door. Yep, damage! I'll take it all day long!***

    Yep, silly people! They just can't help themselves! I feel so sorry for these pathetic, hateful people! They really need to get a life! smiley: eyes I guess they'd rather live under the tyranny of a Republican President and Congress; starting of wars, cutting taxes and programs, and allowing business free reign to trash the economy! Idiots!

  58. ***...I voted for Todd Eldredge. Was robbed of the '95 & '97 World titles, and the '96 a & '97 GPF titles.***

    Really? Well that will make up for the gift titles at Nat'ls a couple times at least! That was a colossal joke him winning over Goebel in '02 going back to old standard w/ his scratch spin ruling the day! Idiotic! At least Goebel finished a respectable 3rd at SLC and got silver at '02 & "03 Worlds! Eldridge was down in the bottom w/ Stojko around 10th at SLC!

    ***Wow! You really know how to insult a very talented skater. While I wish Todd hadn't had that fall in the sp in '02 SLC, he finished in 6th place after a very strong free skate. I'll go out on a limb & say that had he not had that fall, he might have finished on the Olympic podium, or even closer to it. The quad is not everything! What I thought was ludicrous was the tie in the SP @ 2002 US Nat'ls. Thank goodness Todd won the title! I have nothing against Timmy, and felt he skated very well @ the Olympics, deserving that bronze medal, but let's not denigrate Todd and other skaters who may not have had a totally consistent quad.

    I dont think Todd could have medaled in SLC w/ Tim's 3 quads. Plushenko had a subpar competition, but was predictably held up, and Yagudin was sublime. Fourth place was probably the best he could have done there. His medal chances were in Albertville and Nagano. He could have won silver skating his best at either of those events.

    Tim did not skate well at the 2002 Nat'ls, fell in the SP and landed only 1 quad. Without his quads he can't hope to beat skaters like Eldredge who blow him away in basic skating. To have given him the title there would have been comedic.***

    How soon we forget the heart, passion, and will of Philippe Candeloro who took the 2 bronzes medals Eldridge probably should have won in '94 & '98! So much for basic skating skills! I doubt Todd will ever live that down! It was always something with him! I loved it that Timmy got that bronze after the fix at Nat'ls just 2 months prior! The tie was the most obnoxious thing our federation could have done! Ridiculous! As far as I was concerned the same thing happened w/ Michael Weiss, holding him up when he just didn't have it! I guess all countries do it at times, but it still doesn't make it right!

    ***. Eldredge was not even at the '94 Olympics. How could Candelero take the bronze from him there, was it a ghost. ...Even Philippe's mediocre basic skating is better than Goebel's. He has the worst basic skating, speed, stroking, and posture of a world medalist in history, but thankfully for him he could land 2 or 3 quads every program. When he didn't (1 or less) he was f-ed, and at Nat'ls, he only landed 1 and Todd skated well ...***

    I'm well aware Eldridge missed '94; sick I guess! But as I said, there was always something going on w/ Todd that he never fulfilled the promise that his fans and commentators lauded over everyone else during his era! He was the male equivalent of Kwan except she actually won a few biggies; aided by the judges of course!

    ***If Todd were really that hyped, I would agree with you it would be crazy, but I never noticed the massive hype you did. He was never potrayed as the male Kwan. Even in the U.S, Stojko had far more support than him and had "wuz robbed" in presentation scores chants all the time, even while consistently beating Todd in all competitions. ...Kulik and other Russians also got more love and support than Todd from the U.S media and often fans.

    Todd was not this big hyped up skater you potray him as and I don't recall him ever being gifted at Nat'ls. He certainly wasn't in '02 over 1 quad Goebel and his far weaker presentation. ...He was no Kwan like USFSA pet, nor did he deserve to be of course.***

  59. ***If you followed skating, I'm sure you knew what the reaction to some of Chan's wins in '12 & '13 were like. The reaction to his win at Worlds in '13 was ugly. After that it was a foregone conclusion his PCS gap would be cut substantially to prevent any chance of that happening again. It turned out to lead to him losing to a skater at the Olympics who had 2 falls and lost despite staying on his feet in both programs and getting PCS barely above a skater w/ a juniorish program; still lacking style who had falls.

    This skater w/ juniorish program at least stands up after 1st mistakes and sell the rest of the program and had breathtaking SP, while Chan was looking terribly in FS- many mistakes on jumps which affected totally his presentation that was shaky for me w/ hesitations.***

    Chan's wild, carefree type of skating finally caught up with him! Talk about a skater being held up for ages; mon dieu! Patrick is well trained, fluid, with immense confidence, but he can get sloppy at the worst possible times! I keep thinking of a couple instances where he crashed and burned, but still won or barely lost by the points deducted for falls! What a joke; finally did him in at Sochi! This is a very weak era in male skating and he should have won comfortably! If Plushy can keep coming back and be in contention, you have to think it's very weak! I'm a huge Evgeni fan; going back to when he was 15, but Vancouver and Sochi was a travesty; even with the new scoring system! It's just so hard to watch at times! I have my opinions, but they're being fed by intermittent viewing and keeping up with what's what! W/o a more major contract to telecast the skating, few will really understand how things run and go on!

    ***Heck, it's P Chan's fault for not taking the gold which was technically given to him. ...And heck, he made 5 mistakes in both long and short programs at Sochi, while his opponent made technically 2, 3 at most in his if you are being slicker. Don't get me wrong, I like P Chan very much, but it's his fault, not the system's fault in this case.

    I don’t want to be negative - but it feels like Plushenko has destroyed men’s figure skating… His passion, pain, grace, strength, weird masculine femininity, fighting spirit… He was unique. And he makes all the other skaters look boring…"***

    True enough! Been a fan since his intro at GPF in '97! Loved that new age Jarre medley from Chronologie album! Went back to check his junior skate winning gold medal on You-Tube! He's always been that adorable! He was a little Prince winning '01 WC over Yagudin who shouldn't have even placed, much less take silver! His SP was the only performance that was great; Rachmaninoff piece! He crashed and burned in the qualifier and LP! Hard to be shocked with past history showing little integrity when it comes to scoring in this sport! What a joke!

    ***Slutskaya by far was the best European Champion. Kostner competed against Slute at Europeans for about 3-4 seasons, and each time Irina skated away w/ the title. Matter of fact, Kostner was not a competition Slutskaya worried too much about.***

    There was so much pressure put on her around Turin, Carolina didn't come into her own until the last several years! She was an "also ran" until other skaters left the sport like Slutskaya, Butyurskaya, & Sasha Cohen!

  60. ***Kostner is a better skater than Irina. Irina benefited in her time from weak competition at both the European and World level; often being overscored as well.***

    If Irina was such a poor skater, why did Michelle lose to her so many times? What does that say about MK after all is said and done?

    ***I never said Michelle was some goddess did I? IMO both Michelle and Irina are overrated, skating in an era with no depth which allowed their relatively easy dominance for years, and both benefiting from some serious genorosity from the judges too. Michelle probably even more than Irina, but Irina was scored on the high side more often than not as well, esp. when she didnt skate her best and the judges seemingly ignored her problems and the flaws of her skating. Remember her 2nd last European title in '05 when she landed only 3 triples. If you want to argue her win had merits even w/ that skate then fine, but that only proves my other point of her competition mostly being very weak too, esp. at Europeans.***

    Oh I think scoring has been a major joke for decades! I sorta remember a GPF where Irina performed 3 triples to Kwan's 5 and all she could do was make faces with her commiserates! It was hilarious considering previous generous scoring for her in the past!

    ***Todd deserved the '95, '96, '97, '98, and '01 World titles. In '98, Yagudin should have been 3rd in the long behind Zagorodniu. In '97 he should have won by winning the SP, even though Stojko deserved the long. In '01 I would have him winning over Plushenko who had no artistry at all back then, an awful LP, and did only 1 quad. Yagudin's "Gladiator" was a masterpierce and he would blow everyone away w/ it if it were clean, but he had his problems. In '98, he should have won the Olympic silver even with his mistakes. He deserved 1st place in the short and 2nd or 3rd in the long.***

    Seek serious help babe! Yagudin was hurt or injured, was flopping all over the place and only had one good performance; that being his SP! He was unable to do what he wanted and he shouldn't have even medaled after a disastrous "Qualifying!" I won't even dignify the rest as being rational; sorry!

    ***I know Yagudin was gifted at the '01 Worlds. That's what I said. I also said his 'Gladiator' was a masterpiece and it is too bad he was hurt allowing Plushenko's thrashy junk program he would have killed otherwise to win; and even then I would have given Todd, even w/o the quad the win over Plushenko. Plushenko's program was junk aside from jumps, and he only did 1 quad too. It is just a shame Yagudin who had a stunning program that was 3 times better than Plushenko, nothing but jumps and crossover routines w/ vile and tacky posing and hip thrusting was hurt and missed about half his jumps as a result. Yes, I know you still have to do the jumps too and unfortunately Yagudin didn't (except SP) and yes he was lucky to even come 2nd. Should have been 3rd behind Eldredge or even 4th behind Goebel.***

  61. So by your thinking, at the GWG's in '01, it shb won by Yagudin as well; his masterpieces being "Winter" for the SP and equally brilliant "MITIM" for the long! There's just one problem, he also crashed and burned there; in the short colliding with the wall after his combo in the SP, then systematically singling and doubling the remaining jumps! Again he was gifted a medal; bronze behind Michael Weiss! That was a colossal joke and the judges shb ashamed of themselves, but unfortunately they have none!

    ***I didn't say Yagudin should have beaten Plushenko at those particular events given the performances. I'm saying it's unfortunate Yagudin missed so many jumps that allowed Plushenko w/ his garbage empty choreography and jumps-only based performances to win. That said I do think Plushenko is highly overmarked, except for '03-'05 when he skated well, he really had the whole package going. I think Yagudin should have at least a 1 mistake advantage, if not more, and it was crazy Plushenko won an event like the 2000 GPF where Yagudin had only 1 mistake in his LP. I think a skater like Eldredge skating like he did at the '01 Worlds could have beaten him, even w/o a quad, esp/ w/ Plushenko doing only 1 that night and having probably his worst choreographed program ever that year for his LP.***

    No, you have a problem making logical sense! You have too many "what if" and "buts" instead of stating the facts at the time! Your circular logic is making my head swim! BTW, that '01 program was part MK and "Once Upon A Time in America!" I loved it; regardless of what others think of it!

    ***As much as I liked Alexei's "Gladiator" program, he should not have finished 2nd @ '01 Worlds. I realize he was injured and was flopping all over the place during the free skate. I don't question his '02 OGM @ all (and "Winter" was a wonderful SP and I really liked "The Man in the Iron Mask"), but Todd deserved no less than silver @ those Worlds. It's a travesty that he was awarded the bronze, but he took it all in stride, and was thrilled to have a podium finish.

    The judges viewed Plushenko and Yagudin as gods by then though and nobody could challenge them unless they landed only 2 or 3 triples in the judges eyes. ...I remember Skate America that season Yagudin landing only 3 triples and losing by only one judge to Goebel who had a clean 3 quad and 7 triple performance.***

    That Skate America judging should have been investigated with the officials being suspended! ALexei was a mess, even fell during a spiral! It was absolutely ridiculous that Goebel landed pretty much everything while Yagudin was totally out of it, but was still very close to winning anyway! I might have stopped watching the sport for a few years if not for Evgeny! I could "cold turkey" unless there's a skater I really need to see! Well Alexei put it all together his last season by the GPF, taking it, the Olympics, Euro, and Worlds! I thought he was done the year before! He went out on a high note; except trying to perform at Skate America where he retired for good from Am Ranks with serious hip injury!

  62. ***Chan excepted, which men benefited from this anti-Russian conspiracy during the years of Yagudin/Plushenko dominance? If you want to bring up Lysacek, Buttle, Stoijko and Perhaps Goebel, I don't think you have much of a case; esp. given how many times they were beaten by Russian men. I can't stand Lysacek, but didn't see any strength in the argument that he should have won the '10 Olympics.***

    I've been a huge fan of Evgeny's since his junior days, collecting most of his performances from tv and online, but he was lucky to get silver IMO! It was pretty much a travesty to me that he was only a double axel from winning Vancouver! His performance was shaky; like his landings! True enough he hit his quad and Lysacek didn't even attempt one, but I was very disappointed in his landings and thought he was fortunate in salvaging runner-up honors! It was made worse when Evgeny and Mishin ranted for the next couple days about the quad situation! I guess I'll be called a traitor, but that's the memory I have of the event! I haven't pulled the tape out since recording it 4 years ago! - BTW, I can't stand Lysacek either; which is another reason not to watch the tape again! He's a self-entitled little punk who all too often had something snide to say about Weir; his major rival! "What are the differences in you 2," a reporter my ask! Evan might have to throw shade with "let me count the ways!" He's a jerk and I don't miss him! He's typical of someone who can't back it up; won't even try! Gutless after all these years as well!

    ***I agree and also was on the Plushy bandwagon. I loved his '02 Carmen - it's one of my favorites. ...Evan got filthy rich in the process. Life is so not fair.***

    Sorry to say I couldn't stand the Carmen number! Mishin had taken Yagudin to a World Bronze medal win w/ it in '97! To this day I still don't understand why Plushy went to it! At the '01 GPF, he was performing a Cirque du Soleil # and I was looking forward to him doing it again at the '02 Olympics! I should have known something was going on when Plushy didn't show up to Europeans allowing time to train w/ Bizet! He used Carmen through the exhibition season and I didn't collect those; ex: Hershey's Kisses Figure Skating Challenge! Funny I was a fan of Yagudin before he started belittling Evgeny! Why he gave Mishin an ultimatum I'll never understand! I guess it suited him to take on Tatiana as his new coach! They had a shaky start period where Plushy owned him for a couple years, but it worked out in the end w/ Alexei taking all the major titles in '01-02 season including the GPF, Euros, Olympics and Worlds! After '01 GWG's in Australia, I thought Yagudin was done! What went on there? His confidence had to be shot! Crashing into the wall and doubling jumps had to be terribly embarrassing!

    ***Plushenko's Carmen was much better than Yagudin's. The reason he switched to it was the judges did not give him the win with Cirque at the GPF, so he knew he couldn't win the OGM w/ it. I am amazed that he was able to perform Carmen so well after making a change that late in the season.***

    He didn't win w/ Carmen either; mistake in both of his major quad combos! Plushy could win w/ any kind of music if he completed his jumps, pressuring Alexei to be perfect even w/ such great programs! I used to see and hear Alexei would glance over at Tatiana with a 1 or 2 finger motion! If she looked downcast and put up 2 fingers, that meant Evgeny went first and hit 2 quads! Yagudin was the only skater up to then to be so successful w/ that jump; including Stojko, but he needed 2 against Plushenko and it played on his mind I thought! Alexei could beat anyone else w/o even doing a quad, his programs were so complete, but Plushy's tech. prowess truly worked on him for a couple years w/ the animus getting worse all the time!

  63. ***Each member of the big 4 have some problem unique to them at this time. While there have been times where 1 or 2 of the members of Big 4 in trouble, we'd have to go far back to imagine a time when all 4 simultaneously had some issue.***

    Djokovic has no issue as far as I know! He's won 3 Masters this year and only lost AO match through a career "zone high" of Wawrinka earlier! Nadal, Murray, & Federer obvious are in trouble, but at least Rafa is still substantially in the FO! Looks like the rest of ATP has caught up to Fed and Rafa though!

    ***Nole is looking good to win this FO, but he has been having a wrist problem off and on himself. I don't think there's any "Big 4" anymore! - Strange meltdown from Ferrer. I thought he would fight, esp. after such a positive 1st set. ***

    These guys will never learn! When on top, you need to press the issue and finish off top players! If you continue to play defensive tennis, you allow the higher ranked player breathing room to regroup! In the old days, if a top pro got down too much, "also rans" served it out most of time! Today's players are just not too bright and gutless! Most have competent volleys, but are scared to go up there except to shake hands after a loss! Murray stayed out there playing his same inane game of keeping the ball in play, then going for winners; extended to 5 sets unnecessarily! I think Rafa has something going on w/ his confidence or lack thereof, but Andy will have to do more to win; esp. since it's clay!

    ***Actually, that's what Ferrer was trying to do, and it worked for a set. But knowing he has to and keeping it up are 2 different things. Rafa upped his level.***

    I find these type of matches unwatchable and would only turn over to it periodically, but this is on the player most of the time! They could have hit a great shot, allow Rafa to track it and float the ball back while Ferrer is still stuck to the baseline; way behind the baseline! I just scream at the tv, "move forward and cut that weak ass shot off idiot!" That's why I call them gutless! Even Nole is getting to the net more these days while the rest are stuck in the backcourt; including Murray, Berdych, & of course Ferrer!

    ***I think the ATP should crack down on players that are obviously "tanking" and for players to come right out and admit it just makes it worse IMHO. Think about Isner & Mahut at Wimbledon; no one was tanking there and I have to admit I almost wanted someone to do just that b/c I felt the players were being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.***

    Honey, you must be very new to tennis! Tanking a set that gets away from a player has gone on for as long as I can remember! Sometimes if you legitimately get down 2 breaks, esp. on faster surfaces, it just isn't to the players advantage to kill themselves trying to get back into it, only to lose it anyway! Legends like Laver, Rosewall, Newcombe, & Kramer will tell you the exact same thing!

    ***No one has ever made such a case for the notion that men regularly tank at least 1 game in a 3/5 match, and openly admit it. That means that they aren't fit enough either. At least for the women, they are always in the rather more do-or-die situation of best 2/3. We know that 3/5 favors the top players. The women are always in the situation of a more likely upset. And we wonder why the women's game is more volatile.***

    So volatile, Serena comes and goes as she pleases on the tour and still has twice as many points and her next rival!

  64. ***French Open semis: Nadal vs Murray - OK, which is more likely (besides Nadal v. Djokovic?) Nadal v. Gulbis, Murray v. Gulbis, Murray v. Djokovic?***

    Before this gutless era of pros, Murray v. Gulbis was a lot more possible! Off the top of my head I can come up w/ a Wimbledon final that no one thought possible! The year was '96, Sampras had won the title the previous 3 years! There was no reason to believe he wouldn't defend except for a player that had quite a bit of success against the reigning champion; Richard Krajicek! Pete was knocked out in the quarters in straight sets and w/ the rest of the draw decimated, a semi w/ MaliVai Washington and Todd Martin was set! Martin had a 5-1 lead in the 5th, but allowed Mal to come all the way back and take it 10-8! Mal was done by then and went out meekly in straights to Richard! That just doesn't happen today and it isn't b/c the top are that much more superior! Pros today don't play much w/ strategy and common sense, opting to just slug it out, and they go down in flames eventually 9 times out of 10! I had a lot more respect for the tour 10 years ago!

    They weren't even in the top 10 at the time! Krajiceck was seeded #17, but was placed in the draw where Muster was dropped from #16 injured! Richard shouldn't have even been seeded at the time and probably SHB knocked out quite early!

    ***...And we wonder why the women's game is more volatile.***

    So volatile, Serena comes and goes as she pleases on the tour and still has twice as many points and her next rival!

    ***Well, yes. That's exactly part of the point you missed. In a best 2 of 3, Serena has been able to still waltz in, whether as fit as others or not, and bully the field on power. (Less so, as she ages, and the field gets stronger, as we've just seen). Don't you think Federer would still be winning Slams if they were best of 3? ...Does that demonstrate that they're so much more suited to a best of 5? Best of 5 favors the top players. Best of 3 is more do-or-die. In that sense, the women have it a little tougher and that's one reason that the #1 changes hands more often in the WTA, IMO.***

    I lived through that period of The WTA Chp final being best of 5! Like someone else stated, it was cruel and unusual punishment IMO as well! It was only done initially in '84 to keep Martina Navratilova on the court longer than an hour! During that era, she was just toying with her rivals, even annihilating Evert on her beloved clay taking love sets; losing only a game or 2! After Martina left, they went back to best of 3 after seeing Seles and Sabatini going for well over 3 hrs & 5 sets! Martina's namesake had to endure a 5 setter against Graf and she was running on fumes being so young at the time!

    ***Sasha is overall a far better skater than Fumie when both were in their primes, regardless of Fumie's better basics. You ask any serious skating expert today who was the better skater and nobody would say Fumie. There is a reason Sasha at least was always a contender for major gold medals, while Fumie never had a prayer to win one.***

    Thank you! Something has to be seriously wrong w/ anyone who thinks Fumie even came close to the technique and talent of Sasha! Cohen can go "splat" in every performance or crash into a wall and I'd still prefer watching her over Suguri!

    ***You preferring Skater A over Skater B does not make Skater A a better skater than Skater B. That is a preference. Sasha was more beautiful to watch as a skater most times, but Fumie's figure skating was better b/c she was a more skilled. Watch from the knees down. I personally preferred watching Sasha too. And Sasha's basic skating, edge control and quality, and ice coverage did improve over time. You'd have to see these 2 skaters in person over the course of about 7-8 years to truly understand the differences.***

  65. Hughes and Lipinski won "in a moment" in time at that respective Olympics! They were never favored! They benefited from competition making an error or 2! Tara had a lot more going for her than Hughes though who had to leap over not one, but 2 superior skaters; Kwan and Slutskaya! Hughes shouldn't have even been in the running 'cept for Michelle not getting dropped to 2nd after the SP! She clearly 2 footed her 3F which allowed that travesty in SLC!

    ***Hughes won while not being the favorite in '02, but she was seen as the future of ladies skating and was already the early fave for the '06 OGM. It is unlikely Shizuka, who Sarah could beat in her sleep during their head to head days could ever beat her. Even at the '03 Worlds when Hughes was in her worst shape ever she easily beat Shiz. Lipinski was seen as the early favorite for the '02 OGM too.

    Really? Sarah's OGM was a fluke, and everyone knew it, except maybe you. By '06 Sarah couldn't have gotten away w/ her under-rotated jumps and flutzes. Lipinski would have been competitive, but I don't see her being a sole favorite over the likes of Kwan and Slutskaya. You even predicted that Baiul would have repeated in 1998? Over Kwan and Lipinski who had better jumps?

    However, what really got me was the title of this thread. How on Earth can you call Yu Na Kim a 'weak' OGM repeater? I'm not even a Yu Na-'bot,' but she gave 2 strong performances in Sochi and they were good enough to win. I don't have a major problem with Sotnikova's win the way some others do, but Kim skated fine.***

    I never cared for Hughes' skating! It may have something to do w/ her looking a little uncoordinated using the opposite foot for jumps and spins! I couldn't see any other reason not to give her GOLD; that was a once in a lifetime performance! The judges even got over her propensity to "flutz" her Lutz, but adding triple toes and loops to those combos was unbeatable; that day anyway!

    ***The only problem was those triples were not really triples. She won b/c she skated more relaxed, and the Olympics were in the USA. Normally it would have helped Michelle, but after a big fall on the 3F, she was not going to win it. Sarah looked awkward, and it wasn't b/c she rotated CW. There are skaters that rotate CW, but look good doing it (Carolina, Ashley, i.e.). She has simply not matured as a skater. It's possible that had she not won the OGM in '02, she might have worked on her weaknesses and could have developed into something special, but we will never know.***

    I haven't watched that tape in years; probably not since I recorded it! Why do you say Sarah's jumps weren't triples; under-rotated maybe? It was still impressive even though I didn't care for her! Irina kept it simple as she should at the time, but IIRC, she only attempted 5 or 6 triples! It SHB enough but for judges putting Michelle in 1st place after the SP! Slutskaya probably thought she just needed to stand up to take GOLD!

    ***Sorry, I just laugh so hard. This is the first time in my life seeing the word "weak" beside Yuna's name, LOL!***

    Have Wade & James taken over the mantle of "dirtiest players in the NBA;" succeeding Malone & Stockton? At least the later didn't whine as much, but the former cracks skulls and dislocates elbows! The fake fouls proved w/ technical fouls and hefty cash fines shows they are far from the class act they want the world to believe them to be!

  66. "Weak" is for a skater who runs from the Am ranks feeling lucky and don't want to show what a joke the result was in them winning in the first place; Evan, Tara, & Sarah! I feel the same about skaters who skip Worlds most of the time after taking a medal! I find it gutless unless there's an obvious injury! Yagudin wasn't in the best of health, but he completed his great last Am season by taking his last World title in '02! I respected that!

    ***Yeah, Yagudin announced his participation in '02 Worlds and then when Plushenko said he was competing, Yagudin wavered and said it wasn't a certainty that he would be there. Then once Plushenko changed his mind and officially withdrew, Yagudin announced his participation again within an hour's notice. Yagudin competing at '02 Worlds was heavily orchestrated behind the scenes by his team. Don't be fooled b/c it happened 14 years ago and the details are murky. Then a few months later, Yagudin watched Joubert backstage on monitors at the '02 Skate America LP before making a decision to withdraw with injury. Had Joubert bombed, I have a hunch Yagudin would have muscled through his program. I really liked Yagudin, but many of his competitive decisions were heavily calculated.

    I'm no fan of the 3 skaters you mentioned, but I don't agree with the comment. It's just the way the chips fell for them. About competing at Worlds in an Olympic year, it's up to the skater how he/she feels after winning an OGM- whether to compete at worlds or not.***

    Shocking! Thanks for the info! I had a real problem with how Alexei was treating his teammate Evgeny! To me he had no real reason to be jealous! He had all the ability in the world and the judges loved him! He sabotaged himself in a lot of ways, but he wound up surviving '02 and taking all the major titles! I sometimes wonder did he leave knowing Evgeny was coming into his own and would displace him permanently!

    ***In some ways, I think Yagudin almost lucked into the '02 Olympic win. Before his fans lose their shit, he 100% deserved his win and he 100% delivered. Yet I was a huge Yagudin fan at the time who felt very pessimistic about his chances in SLC before the SP even though he was on a big winning streak. But Yagudin wasn't the overwhelming favorite at the start of the season. He was coming off a horrible worlds, disappointing previous season and Plushenko seemed to have the support from the judges and I felt certain he would peak at the right time. Sure Yagudin had the better programs and I VASTLY preferred him to Plushenko, but I'm not sure the judges felt the same way. Plushenko falling in the short was the best thing to happen to Yagudin in both the short and long program. I'm not so sure he'd have performed as well in the long had he not had the peace of mind that Plushenko winning overall was an uphill battle.***

    ***Since Nole has been defeating Rafa a good bit lately, he might want to play someone else, but no one can ever make me believe that Rafa has ever tanked a match! He has even finished matches when he was hurt, having no chance to win b/c he doesn't even like to retire in matches!***

    Oh Rafa's a warrior, but even when he was a kid, I just couldn't stand the way he played! It's ugly tennis at it's worst and I can't wait for him to pack it in! If not for the tech and strings, he would be nowhere near as successful as far as I'm concerned! Federer has more skill in his little pinky, but obviously over the years, talent means little playing against Nadal! Only Nole has tamed him in all the years I've been watching, almost embarrassing him at times; even on his beloved clay! We can only hope Nole gets through Gulbis and becomes the next FO Champ sunday!

  67. Obama's responsible for all the ills of the world! How could we have not seen it before?

    ***Seems you liberals say this about BUSH. How long until Obama assumes responsibility for his behavior? NEVER is my GUESS!***

    But I can back up my accusation since we all know Bush and Cheney were lying sacks of shit that put us in a war, losing over 5000+ US lives, 100,000+ Iraqis, well over half a trillion dollars and counting, and you fools still don't think he's not responsible! As bad as Obama has been, it's remarkable anything got done with gutless Reps dragging their feet on just about everything include. passing a budget and raising the nat'l debt! That foolishness cost us $20 B alone; "thanks Boehner and McConnell!" Your heroes no doubt!

    Senile Sen. McCain Goes against his own ideas again! - It could take a day, a week, a month, but this old GOAT is one of the biggest hypocrites and liars in Congress! Sen. McCain is the only politician I know that will sponsor a bill, then actually vote against it if he thinks it'll make him look bad! Unfortunately for him, just being alive makes him "look bad!" He fully supported a trade for POW's until this weekend when he changed his feeble mind again! Hard to feel sorry for the old bastard since he does this time and time again! We should have left his traitorous ass when he was being held so many years ago! I wonder what his wife and supporters would say then? I'm sure they would choke on the tone being taken now on the same subject! If it involves Obama, McCain, like the rest of the CLOWN car supporters will always be against something if they think it will hurt the President! Even when Putin was put out of the G-8 like was suggested by the old coot, now he's poo-pooing the idea! Reps are all SLIME!

    ***He supported such a notion. That doesn't mean he would support the specifics of this exchange. ...

    McCain would have had US involved in war against Iran, Libya, Syria, & Russia, and has spoken openly about these conflicts.***

    Why should he care? He isn't going into battle! Same for that old fool Cheney who had 5 deferments! These people should be embarrassed when they go out criticizing this President so vociferously! They should know better being in past positions that give them more incite in what's going on behind the scenes!

    ***What Republicans "Don’t Want You to Know: 500 + Detainees Were Released from GITMO Under Bush"***

    They well know this already, but it doesn't matter! The derangement syndrome only affects them if a Dem is in the WH! Hypocrisy lives within all these people and being proved to be so means nothing! They have no shame or conscience! The impeachment hearings will begin next year if there's an opening; esp. if they take over the Senate!...My college roommate obviously is embarrassed, keeping the little nugget to himself that he has always been a Rep. even though they have hurt him personally being GAY! He's as much of a fool as anyone who votes against their own interest; esp. women! Why would any woman vote for these people when they are undermined at every turn so openly?

    ***Who needs Rep. McCain if we have Socialist Bernie Sanders - Sens. Sanders (I-Vt.) & McCain (R-Ariz.) on thurs. announced a deal on legislation to reform the Veterans Affairs Department’s troubled health system amid a scandal over long wait times for treatment. The $2 B compromise measure gives the VA sec. expanded powers to fire poorly performing individuals would allow some vets to seek outside health care and would hire more doctors.

    - - ***

    So much for the VA scandal w/ McCain working w/ this Socialist to get something done for a change! Amazing; who would have thunk it? Fools on the "right" didn't want to look like total jackasses, so they'll go ahead and get this passed as soon as possible!

  68. ***...If Tara's artistry kept developing along the lines of 2nd element, she would have been lovely to watch. But yeah the injury would have kept her from competing until '02.***

    I'm shocked they even allowed these kids to do all those triples at such a young age! We lost Nam, Sasha, and others to some serious injuries since they had been sorta competing at 13 or so! I was appalled to see Kirk at the GP of France doing a full program with that little body, leaving her 2nd triple lutz until the last element before finishing! After that she was really never the same! She was gorgeous on the ice, a little Barbie doll, but she couldn't jump anymore; kept it real simple, but it was too late as far as I was concerned! Where is the Fed? Don't they see what's happening to these athletes! Tennis put a stop to putting so much pressure on teenagers!

    ***I hate the Don Q Pas de Deux music too, ironically used for one of my fave programs and performances of all time, John Curry's '76 Olympic FS, but Slutskaya's Don Q program used 2 other, lesser-known excerpt for the second half.***

    I thought it always depended on the excerpts taken from classic music used in figure skating that made the performance! Yulia at the Olympics used "Shindler's List," but the same section throughout! I love "Samson & Delilah," but it isn't always the same parts; depends on the skater & choreographer! Chan used "Four Seasons," but I'm more accustomed to the excerpts used by Surya Bonaly way back when!

    ***In the neverending rush to praise Tonya Harding's jumps (and boy were they were praise worthy), Nancy Kerrigan's strong jump technique is sadly ignored time and again. Was Tonya a better jumper? Absolutely. Was Nancy an exciting jumper or a big jumper? Not particularly, but her jumps were very good and very well-executed.***

    Like most American skaters, it all came down to one element where they get high praise; in Kerrigan's case it was that spiral at the end that people most remember! She just never impressed me; preferring a more balletic style of Europeans! Most of the skaters in the US have a real stick up their ass; so stiff and uncomfortable looking at times! Give me Robin Cousins over Eldridge or Weiss anytime! I was no fan of Oksana's since she was a diva, but her Swan performances over the years were great! Cohen and Nari Nam were the only Americans that had the training and grace I enjoyed; not MK in the least! Unfortunately both started too early and broke down precipitously; Sasha terribly underachieving!

    ***Cohen's reputation as an underachiever was her own fault, and John Nicks' fault to some extent. Had Cohen not made such bold declarations like boasting on tv that she wanted to be the top skater in the world and would not stop until she was the top skater, and had Nicks not done his share of obnoxious overhyping her to the media, I don't think she'd be viewed as such a choker. All the obnoxious declarations helped get her onto an Olympic team prematurely, but it hurt her reputation in the long run. Such a shame since 3 World medals and an Olympic silver is nothing to sneeze at.***

  69. ***Wait a minute...the war on terror is STILL on-going! When McCain was freed, the war was over. We left Vietnam. We will have US troops in Afganistan until '16. Those Taliban fighters that were released in exchange for Bergdahl will be free to fight again in the war on terror. They can go anywhere they want to in order to kill Americans. These 5 will be free to do that again, if they chose...or anywhere else that American interests are.***

    You read the Republican "talking points" quite well; congrats! Unfortunately most of their propaganda against this kid is just that; "BS propaganda!" All that stuff about 6 soldiers being killed looking for him is also BS! I'll trust the High Commander at the time, Gen. McChrystal over a bunch of losers here who have never seen combat and probably avoided it like the cowards you are! This kid was a sergeant, so he must have done something to warrant such a promotion, so check your facts first before trying to lecture me about anything! I know what I'm talking about; do you really? The war is about over and the status of it has changed; which is why they had to rush to get something out of the captors before it was too late! "W" coughed up 520 prisoners and you guys are making a Federal case out of 5 who are old and totally out of the command structure of the Taliban! They are not free to do whatever they want and you won't see them back on the so called battlefield like some of the prisoners Bush released; so get over yourself!

    ***...he didn't have to do anything to warrant his promotions. They came automatically w/ the passage of time.***

    Regardless, you people would be b!tchin' either way! If Obama had left him to rot, you would all be talking about "we don't leave our men behind!" The man could solve every problem in the world and you wouldn't be able to help saying, "but.....!" If he has a brain, he'll totally give up trying to satisfy "the right" b/c it can't happen! You're all pathetic human beings and that's why you've lost so many nat'l elections in a roll; esp. w/ the popular vote! For amusement, I love going to YouTube watching you losers disintegrate when you see Obama's not only winning re-election in '12, he's trouncing Romney! Poor Karl Rove was almost hysterical that night, unable to even let Ohio go when Fox News had already called it! It was a hilarious week of denial, regret, and reflection; that obviously hasn't "taken!" So much for the promises of wacko-bird Michelle Bachmann, and leaders McConnell and Boehner promising to make sure he was a one term President! You did everything to sabotage his efforts, but even w/ all the foot-dragging, the stock market more than doubled, unemployment is under 7%, the car industry recovered and paid back those loans, and YOU LOSERS just can't help it! How any of you can call anyone unpatriotic is beyond me!

    ***...Deal with the facts. Among them, Obama is a dismal failure and makes America more dangerous. ROFLOL! You're unhinged.***

    Typical; can't give the man credit for bringing us back from the "brink" where Bush left us! "Thanks 'W'!" I can't and won't listen to anything his detractors have to say since the level of disrespect for this man has been unprecedented! You guys have talked about his heritage, his wife Michelle, and even his children! You're all disgusting and I have little good to say about loser like that! If you're not outright racist, find a way of describing yourselves and how this man has been undermined and made to feel like he's not worth the time of day in your pathetic eyes! No more 'unhinged' than the people who say the most disgusting things about this man and his family! "W" was no one's favorite, but he got the respect deserved of his office; even though he drove the country into a freakin' ditch!

  70. ***It's been a while since they have been the big 4. And to think that (if this seeding works out) this might be the last time they might be seeded that way just makes you appreciate it a lot. We don't know what Fed will do or Murray. I guess we can be fairly sure Rafa and Djoker will stay 1 & 2. I just want to see them all make the semis at least one more time.***

    No one more a Fed fan than me; the GOAT regardless of what others may say, but we have to let it go! Like Navratilova, he won't win forever! I see another upset! Martina was of course stronger than Roger and had potential well into her 30's, but she's the anomaly of her generation! He's a marked man now that he has such a large family; I think anyway!

    ***I'd give Roger one more chance at Wimbledon and U.S. If he loses early there, then it's probably the end of the road for him even if he does play out the next 2 years.

    Murray's FH was very good today (esp. his trademark DTL bananas), but Murray doesn't do anywhere near as much damage to Nadal's backhand as Djokovic does so Nadal is able to hit more forehands than he does against Djokovic.***

    Murray plays too defensive, way behind the baseline! He can get away with that against most players, but he really needs to step in and attack the net more; esp. on clay! That's easy enough to say of course, but going down in flames like this today made no sense! He might as well have charged and tried to shorten the points! IT's absolutely idiotic for him to play like that against the top tier; Nole and Rafa esp.!

    ***I'd like to punch the Wimbledon officials down low for slowing down the courts for someone else.***

    I think it was ridiculous that they changed the condition of those courts! They went out of their way to accommodate baseliners; MADNESS! That didn't stop BORG from winning in his era, but these big babies whined and whined until a change was made several years ago! That's what made the tourney special like the FO, specialist could excel; now we're getting the same top 4 for the most part year in and year out! It's just unwatchable at times; esp. the men with Rafa and Nole ruling things! I don't mind them winning, but "EVERYTHING?" Outrageous!

    ***...I'm not a fan of Nadal's b/c I'm a Federer fan. It's my Fed fandom that simply will not allow me to root for Djokovic. I simply don't want Djokovic to beat Nadal at the FO before Federer. And I know Fed is never going to beat Nadal. And that Djokovic probably is going to one of these days, if not this day. But for today, I'm going to keep the illusion alive that Federer at 32 can still find a way to get past these guys, if even just one more time. Perhaps it's b/c I've resigned myself to the fact that no matter what I think, when all is said and done and both have retired, I imagine most people and most of the records will declare that Nadal is the GOAT.***

  71. ***Djokovic getting thrown off by the crowd it seemed at the end of that set. Hope he can still win. It was never going to be in straights anyway, was it? Rafa has the momentum at the moment though, Nole sloppy.***

    Too sloppy to watch! He puts Nadal on the defensive, see's a weak shot is coming, and meekly lets it bounce, allowing the point to continue! If Nole doesn't start taking advantage of those weak returns, closing out more points at the net, he might as well just give it up like Ferrer! He looks nowhere near capable of taking this match! He's allowed Nadal a 2nd life when he was trying to give him points and the match early on! If his wrist is giving him trouble, all the more reason to finish off points quicker!

    ***Agreed, I didn't think Djokovic played all that well in the 1st set. His returns in his first 3 return games were off by a country mile.***

    I've definitely seen Nole's returns more effective and penetrating! When he actually hit a good one, he backed up allowing Rafa to stay in points he had no business winning! I thought that was why he hired Becker; to be more offensive, attack the net, and finish off points sooner! It's just not happening! Becker may be out on his ass if Nole doesn't win Wimbledon! So far I'm just not seeing a major change even when he beats Rafa on his beloved clay in other events!

    ***...Wasn't a good effort for sure, but as mentioned before we've seen wayy worse the last 2 years. He lost to Kei in Miami, Hewitt in Brisbane, Gulbis at RG, Robredo at USO, etc.***

    That'is why I'll never rate Nadal "The GOAT!" He's vulnerable everywhere else! He throws everything into winning this major and is upset again and again at others! Hard to call anyone "the greatest of all time" when they've taken off so many times in their young careers; same for Serena! Players like Martina and Federer; GOAT's respectively on their tours, never took such hiatuses and I find it ridiculous that so called experts seem to ignore that history!

    ***I respectfully disagree. Well, Djokovic has the ability, but he's so far never produced it except in the Mickey Mouse clay events prior to RG. I think a # of players out there if given the chance would've done better today. - I like him at Wimbo if he can get through the 1st rounds and if his back is fine. He can't stoop for low balls on grass with a severe backache. It's an issue, but one he overcame here. But at what cost? I never seen Rafa so affected by a victory before.***

    I bet any amount of money that Rafa will either skip Wimbledon or get upset rather early! All too often he's quite satisfied with his FO and relaxes; hence only having 2 titles!

    ***Hands down the KING GOAT OF CLAY. No question about it. Idk whether he's a true goat yet, but he probably will be. I'll wait til he hangs up his racquet to decide. - 5 consecutive finals at Wimbledon, winning 2.***

    As I've been saying, that's more due to the gutless play of the rest of the men unable to finish him off! They've made the grass more friendly to baseliners, but he should have been upset a lot more if the rest of the tour played smarter and didn't allow him to get away w/ that type of defensive play! That's what made Borg great, but even he attacked more back then making 6 finals in a row, winning 5! And he did it w/o grass warm-ups and less time to prepare! We had a lot more grass court specialist back then, but his will to win overcame their ability to put him on the defensive! As great as Lendl was, attacking all the way, he only got by the also-rans! The true grass courters like Becker, Cash, and McEnroe were just a few players that took him down on a surface he was clueless on!

  72. ***The whole ATP is being propped up by old men. Dead wood refuses to be washed away into the void.***

    In the past, it was common to have more mature players ruling the tour, but it shouldn't be happening these days except for what I've been saying about today's players; gutless who don't have more of a plan than just "ball bashing!" That was the main reason Roddick never went anywhere; taking a lone USO! He had opportunity after opportunity to do more, but his reckless play of serving hard and whacking forehands could be blunted by just getting the ball back and allowing him to make an error! I still reference an early round match with Federer and Feliciano Lopez in Madrid a few years ago! They had played and split 2 TB's and Lopez was leading 5-2 in the 3rd tie-breaker! Roger wasn't doing much and was set to lose w/ a weak lob that Lopez butchered badly at the net! He laughed it off and systematically gave away his lead losing 8-6! That kind of thing happens a lot these days among today's youthful players!

    ***Yes..a lot of weak players in the head, we all look around desperately trying to shove Raonic/Dimitrov/whoever up the rank charts to at least blow a hole in the top5 ... at least Wawrinka did get there, hardly a youngster is he at 29. But looks like he is having trouble in his head dealing with being a major winner (another version of mental weakness) least he won a major. - ...The Federer fans who say it's all about the match-up and nothing more are clueless.***

    In his prime, those were all mental breakdowns IMO! He still thinks he can rally w/ the kids from the baseline when I thought Edberg would get him to attack the net more! It still hasn't happened and it's catching up to him finally!

    ***Well, he outplayed Djokovic for most of the Indian Wells final and should have won the match. Fed has created his own conundrum with Nadal. It's been a long time in the making, and someone who he thought was going to be a temporary roadblock has turned into a hurricane by his own futility.

    I don't know if 2 days is enough for Rafa's back (hope so). I really can't wait for the extra grass week next year. It makes the choice easier for top players.***

    History has shown when Rafa gives his all to this tourney, he's done in the foreseeable future! He will either withdraw or lose early; mark my words!

    ***Well that certainly isn't true of last year, when he won 2 Masters and a Slam after popping out of Wimbly early. I personally think he should just rest til Wimbly. But I guess he feels obligated to the tournament, which he already skipped last year. Low expectations, high aspirations!***

    I didn't watch it, but Rafa wasn't stressed in the least playing Ferrer in the final! His tough match was Friday vs Nole, not Sunday! That's a major difference!

    ***You're right. But I should expect the stress would be released now that he's won lol. The issue is if he's OK physically. I guess he's just hoping for the best next week. As for after Wimbly, he would have had weeks and weeks of vacation btw Wimbly and Canadian Masters. He's already won a Slam this year so the pressure isn't too great anymore. The year can only get better.***

  73. ***Officially, Rafa has surpassed Sampras - No one will beat that for quite some time, but remember many of those tournaments were complete Mickey Mouse affairs 'cos he played so long.

    Bringing up legacy is fair, but really, being so unbeatable at the FO IS Nadal's legacy, and I'd argue it probably makes him stand out more than if his slams were more spread out. I'm not saying it makes him better, it makes him stand out more. B/c 20 years from now, when you talk about "unbeatable," Nadal at the FO is probably going to be as close as it's going to get.***

    I deny this topic entirely! When Rafa gets a couple more Wimbledons & USO's, maybe I'll come around! Sampras has 12 of those majors while Rafa has only 4; PLEASE! 9 FO's don't equate to 9 other majors; sorry! That's my final word on it!

    ***So let's see:

    Hard: 7
    Grass: 7
    Clay: 0

    Hard: 3
    Grass: 2
    Clay: 9

    I don't know why you wo Rafa's clay court dominance when in actuality his overall Slam umbrella is wider than Pete's. Pete never won on clay - actually, he never came close, making it to the SF just once. Rafa, on the other hand, not only won multiple Slams on each court type, but played in 6 hard finals and 5 grass finals. Not a bad resume.

    This is not to say that his vastly better play on clay and comparatively more mundane hard and grass performance shouldn't be accounted for. It is also worth noting, for instance, that of his 27 Master's titles only 8 are on surfaces other than clay. But even if we artificially take out his clay performances, he's still a great non-clay player. And of course we can't really take out clay. Last time I checked, clay court matches counted too!***

    The FO was so out there, most players skipped it; never missing the other majors of W & USO! That's the way it is; I should know being in the game for over 40 years!

    ***I wouldn't be surprised to see Rafa use the first 2 rounds as warm-ups at Halle, then lose to Milos Raonic in the 3rd round, partially through taking it easy. Of course I'd love to see him make it to the final so that he can lose on grass to either Kei Nishikori or Roger Federer, but I probably won't get my wish.***

    That's so old school! Way back when, top players often went out after a couple matches at Queens; including Connors! That's nothing new! So we're ready to say Rafa's capable of tanking? Well, well, well; how the mighty have fallen!

    ***I just don't see what Mauresmo brings to the table for Murray as his coach. Not sure if he's trying to make a point, but we will see how it works out. Murray should do well on grass so they will have a good chance to start out well.***

    Funny I heard a rumor it might be Martina; just found another gay woman to train him! Bravo!

    ***I couldn't imagine Martina coaching an elite player.***

    She lived it; changed the sport to an elite status! She encouraged the rest of those COWS on the WTA to finally get in shape! That girl from the US I saw recently at the FO was a throwback; athletic, but fat! I think her last name was Townsend! You just don't see too much of that at this level, but in the old days before '81 or so, it was quite common! I think Richard Krajicek got in trouble for voicing his opinion about them; "80% are fat pigs" or something! I think he recanted later and came down to 75%!

    Andy and Amelie's games are quite similar, but it is rare for a guy to have a female coach on the tour! I can remember it occurring only once; a Russian named Andrei Chesnokov! His game was very much like Matts Wilander back in the 80's and 90's! He was good, but b/c of the coach, I always saw him as soft! He may have been in the bottom of the top 10 once! IIRC, it was Andrei and Natasha Zvereva that decided they weren't going to turn over all their winnings to the Russian Fed!

  74. So much for LeBron's greatness! I've never been a fan of his; going back to the beginning! His ability, class, and intellect was so overblown! He was a HS graduate who showed what a lowlife he was by how he exited Cleveland! They fired the coach thinking that would help his decision and he's nowhere to be found; hiding out maybe! After leaving, he and his posse thought they should have the same access to Cleveland's arena parking lot; and they were told to "get lost!" He's obviously oblivious to common sense! His constant whining and faking of fouls also pisses me off! Wade is a thug and has hurt other players! Sometimes I think they've taken the mantle of Malone and Stockton as the dirtiest players in the league! I'll say HATE if you want! "Go Spurs!"

    ***...As for competitiveness, IMHO Nancy had a stronger work ethic and better basics, and that more often than not saved her, as a sloppy, phoned in performance would still have a higher # of completed jumps and fuller repertoire of connecting steps and transitions. Her jumping technique also remained strong as Harding's declined. ... In any case, Tonya dug her own grave not the USFSA.***

    Not that I have a lot of sympathy for Tonya's plight, but the USFSA had their favorites and don't treat each skater the best they could! They always favored MK over all others on the ladies' side and heaven knows Eldridge could do no wrong while he skated; or didn't skate for that matter! You can't tell me there wasn't a difference in how they felt about Johnny Weir and Evan Lysacek! They openly criticized Sasha when Tatiana Tarasova was her coach (crime of being Russian) and just about forced her to go to Wagner, then eventually back to Nicks IMO!

    ***...Anyway, once you can't be ignored and start bringing in hardware, the USFS will start marketing you and sell you the best they can. That's how all businesses work. Kwan may have had the perception of being slightly favored over Tara, but it's not as if she was fighting for endorsements or USFSA-backed media events. It's one thing to say Kwan was over-marked in certain competitions or received the benefit of doubt when others skaters wouldn't have. However, trying to de-legitimatize Kwan's career by saying it was a product of USFS favor is a fool's errand.

    I never heard of the USFS forcing Sasha to leave Tarasova or criticizing her for going to her. Please! That break happened b/c of personal disagreements regarding training and Sasha's comfort level. You keep mentioning Kwan being a pet, but it's not as if there wasn't ample opportunity to beat her; there was. It's just that Kwan backed up whatever celebrity she had by skating well and being a top-level skater for a decade.***

    Well that's your opinion and you must not have heard their objections to Sasha being trained by Tarasova! It was definitely mentioned on air a couple times during Nat'ls!

    ***Kwan's commencement speech at Southern Vermont college was around 13 minutes, and she likely gave an abridged version of that for this high school's graduation ceremony. One of the students said that she should go back to doing nails, then later deleted it. Another said they would throw their shoe at her. And it'd be one thing for the kids to get restless, but for the parents to heckle her and clap her off the stage early is just incredibly classless.***

    I guess this shows how much I cared! I had no idea she got married last year! lol! The constant fawning of all concerned got on my nerves even when she was 13! It only got worse as she aged so when she started falling off, I applauded Irina Slutskaya overtaking her in competitions by 2000! Tara was done and gone and Maria Butyrskaya and Sasha Cohen weren't consistent enough! Sarah came along, was so graceless, but had the skate of her life at SLC! Memories!

  75. ***The USO flirted with green clay for 2 years in the 70's. There's a whole parallel universe out there to be imagined, had they persevered w/ it. Now, kinda like the grass at Oz and Wimbledon, green clay and red clay play a little differently. I think the green clay is tighter and harder and plays more like a clay hard court. Connors beat Borg on green clay in the '76 US Open final.***

    Flirted with green clay? Honey, they turned the USO into a 2nd rate major when they laid that rotten surface down for 3 years; '75-77! I have no idea what was on their minds? All it did was create a lot of upsets of Americans; except Evert of course! She was rarely in danger of losing except in one final against Goolagong where she capitalized on net cords dropping over to take the first set in '75! Connors survived Borg in '76 final, but he was outplayed and outsmarted by a tired Manuel Orantes in '75! Orantes had played late into the night to overtake and beat Vilas in 5 sets the previous night and no one gave him a chance! He won it easily in straights over Connors; sorta like Edberg in '91 after surviving a marathon against Chang in his semi! Memories!

    ***I didn't realise they had it in '75 too. I think it's a pity they didn't persevere! Borg would surely have won the US Open - and Rafa would have 8 by now!***

    Borg wasn't destined to win the USO ever it seemed! He was terribly unlucky with injuries (shoulder in '77 and thumb in '78) and difficulties playing night matches against serves that were "bombed" at him by someone like Roscoe Tanner in '79! His best chance was in '76 against Connors! He had a set point to go up 2 sets to 1 in that extended TB, but Connors nipped the line on a screaming backhead to take it 11-9! Borg never recovered and went down meekly in 4! His only satisfaction was that he kept Connors from winning more Wimbledons, personally taking him out year in and year out in semi's and finals in the '70's!

    ***I remember that part alright, though he paid for thrashing Connors in the '78 Wimbledon final with a similar defeat in the US Open. Then Connors paid for that one by never beating Bjorn ever again. I also remember that Bjorn had a torn back muscle at the USO too. Chap had almost as many excuses as Rafa!

    Rafa goes down in straight sets to some kid in Halle in his first match on grass.***

    No one wanted to listen! I said he should probably skip this tourney! Rafa SHK he wasn't ready to go from clay right to grass! He's no BORG!

    ***Er...Borg didn't play warm-ups at all...***

    I well know that! That's what makes him greater than Nadal will ever be, no matter the Major count! He played w/ a crappy wood racket and the grass was like running and hitting on glass!

    ***Well, there's a lot to dispute in that statement right there, but let's begin with the fact that this statement you just made is unrelated to the one you made before it - except for the couple of digs at Rafa. Borg didn't go straight from clay to grass tournaments and this match was a lucrative warm-up, practice one for Rafa. It would have been better for him to win, but he'll get as much practice on grass elsewhere, and likely against quality players. I'd be more concerned about Murray losing, tbh.***

    Whatever! Delude yourself if it gets you through the night!

    ***There's nothing to delude myself about. I'm not concerned about this result in the slightest. It's a 250 warm-up event, w/ a pot of cash as the added incentive. He can warm-up w/o it and sleep comfy tonight on a bed of money.

    Interesting stat: Nadal has lost his last 3 matches on grass. To #85 Brown, #135 Darcis, & #100 Rosol. Not exactly a confidence booster.***

    Thank you! Finally sanity and reality prevail!

  76. ***Uh, you know everyone else played w/ "crappy wood rackets" back then right? And no, playing on grass was nothing like running and hitting on glass.***

    I tried to let it go, but it festered in me and I have to let you know; "WRONG AGAIN!" By the mid 70's, a lot of players if not most tested or went to the new metals and composites; even Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall! I may not always be right, but I'm rarely wrong! The racket of the day was Arthur Ashe's Head fiberglass composite! Roscoe Tanner also went w/ a new teardrop aluminum number w/ a flex throat to give him more power! Please don't correct me like that again when I was there and lived it! I even stopped playing w/ regular wood rackets around then! I went to the first all fiberglass racket made by Volkl; orange w/ zebra blue stripes! McEnroe held onto his Dunlop woodie for a while, but by '84 even he broke down and went to a composite!

    ***...Actually, that Verdasco match against Andy last year was interesting for both of them. No one expected Verdasco to feature, and Murray was surely nervous about expectation. So good on Fernando for trying to capitalize, but better on Andy for finding his nerve and form. I wouldn't snigger about that match…I thought it was one of the more fascinating of last year's men's Wimbledon. As to the rest of your comment, who do you think, then, would be considered dominant on grass, for now?***

    That's a poser really; mainly b/c I don't have the same regard for anyone who wins on "this grass!" They've so overworked it to make it court friendly to players of the day that stand on the baseline for dear life! They rarely venture into the net unless absolutely necessary for the most part! I was watching the athleticism of Margaret Court and BJK from their Wimbledon match in '70 last night! That was some true grass court playing and a lot more entertaining than the ball bashing from the baseline that most pros resort to now! Sorry, but it's much too difficult to give anyone as much credit in winning Wimbledon on "this grass!" Since Federer at least won multiple championships in a row, 7 overall, he's still THE KING IMO! I guess you can say I'm stuck in the past!

    ***And still, all much more effective in the 2nd week of Wimbledon when the ball is kicking up higher and playing quite a bit slower.***

    You're assuming Rafa will make the 2nd week; I don't!

    ***I'm definitely not assuming it, and definitely not hoping for it.***

    You and me both! I've never cared for his game; the epitome of ugly tennis! Normally you root for the underdog, but from day one I had a problem with that kid! Agassi and Connors were right up there w/ him in my lack of esteem!

    ***I would not go back home. I would go straight to London, find some grass courts and find my grass legs. Home is not going anywhere.***

    You got it! All I heard was whining from the top players last year; esp. Maria Sharapova! They were floundering out there and it showed they weren't ready!

    ***I only just noticed Rafa lost the 2nd set 6-1. Knew he lost 1st 6-4, but never checked as the radio just said he lost in straight sets. That's a bit depressing though, losing a set 6-1 to someone ranked near 100. Ho hum to Wimbledon then.***

    You and me both! We should take a bow; totally saw it coming with Rafa! He won what he wanted most and relaxed! I just didn't know who it would be against! How embarrassing for him; just inside the top 100? That was a butt-kickin'! "Tank" should be his new middle name!

  77. ***Brown played very well and won it fairly. Nobody tanked, and if you watched it, you'd know that.***

    Oh I watched it; wouldn't miss Rafa going down in flames! It was the best! Brown just outplayed him for the most part! I'm sure if Nadal really wanted it, he would have tried a little harder, maybe attacked the net some! I knew he wouldn't kill himself to win this match or the next; just a warm up tourney!

    ***Does Rafa really attack the net ever though? He's great at ending a rally at the net, but he doesn't serve and volley really.***

    Neither does Fed; more a one-two punch w/ a good serve, a nice, hard forehand, then finishing point at the net! Nothing new!

    ***Yes, but all that is substantially different from tanking a match. When a player is playing his first match on the surface, getting used to it again and not fully up to speed, there are limits to how much they can do. This is why Borg, for example, often struggled at the start of Wimbledon: b/c he was still adjusting to grass court tennis.

    Rafa not only would have wanted, but possibly needed 2 or 3 matches here to get his footing. He wasn't able to and that's b/c Brown was too good for him. The notion that he tanked his match today is just idiotic, as is the suggestion that he'd tank any match.***

    Borg won his first Wimbledon in '76 w/o losing a set; some extended sets went 9-7 with no tie-breakers until 8 all!

    ***Regardless, the fact is that Victor Amaya and others brought Borg to 5 sets in the early rounds of Wimbledon. That's not the issue, Fiero, it's an example, and you yourself know this: a top player can take time to adjust to a change of surface. If that player loses, it's not b/c they tanked, and most esp. when the player is a renowned battler like Nadal.***

    Just making a correction as done so often to me! I totally understand, but the lauding of Nafal sets me off! He's obviously not unbeatable! If he was, he'd have more USO's and Wimbledons; which I have higher regard than those 9 FO's! He breaks down easily, at times just disappearing on and off court in the summer and fall, and obviously tanked a WTF where he lost all 3 of his RR matches a few years ago!

    ***Every great player loses. It seems Rafa's opponents never get the credit they deserve when they beat him. Fact is, it was a very good performance by Brown, and Rafa was still finding his feet. That's the point of playing these warm ups, to get practice in. Unfortunately that's all the practice Rafa will get in Halle.***

    Tell me about it! It really ticked me off that Wawrinka had to contain himself to be respectful of Rafa because he was supposedly hurt! When is he respectful of anyone; from the delay in the coin toss to his pumping himself after he wins just an extended point? And the total collapse after winning a championship is over the top disgusting! Screw him! Cry me a freakin' river from here on out when it concerns him!

    ***I would mention: when Rafa was respectful of Roger when he was emotionally shaken in the trophy ceremony at the AO in '09. And also when Rafa celebrated mutedly when he trounced Roger in RG '08. Similar circumstances, and so Stan did the right thing.***

    Big deal, one time! I didn't watch that FO!

    ***Wow! I'm no Rafa fan, but this is a bit harsh.***

    It was meant to be harsh! It's how I feel! You want me to lie; hold back? I don't think so!

    ***I respect conviction. I think Rafa is a gracious winner and loser generally. I may not like some of the talk about injuries and his antics on court, but he was blameless in Australia. Anyway this seems like an emotional thing for you, so I'll leave you to it.***

    Thank you! My BP was already up for other, more obvious reasons!

  78. ***Cantor, going home!! A message has been sent to fake Republicans!!***

    Cantor is history; long live the sick people who call themselves "Tea Partiers!" OMG, this is a huge shock to all concerned! The country might have a chance now; common sense might come back in vogue getting rid of those nuts in Republican leadership!

    ***I thought he was a decent guy. The Reps keep shooting themselves in the foot.***

    The FOOT? More like the f'kn head! This is unprecedented! A majority leader was eliminated in a primary! WOW!

    ***Cantor was the House Majority Leader, responsible for shutting the gov't down behind Ted Cruz's infiltration of the US House from the Senate's lead.

    ...Almost as bad as a sitting Speaker of the House being defeated ....oh wait that was a Dem!***

    That wasn't a primary and that "right-wing" weasel ran on term limits! Of course when it came time for him to step down after 3 terms, he poo-poo'd the idea saying the people had a right to vote who they wanted to represent them! Republicans are such sleazebags! I so hate all Republicans now! Years ago I could vote for one, but not now! They are truly all rotten to the core! They stand for nothing really, only wanting to hang onto a job where they say "Gov't is the problem!" They should know with the stupid things they do like shutting down gov't and costing the country billions for their flight of fancy! Idiots and mohrons alike!

    ***When the left fires back at the Kochs, they are all in bewilderment as to why. Seriously??? - Agreed! Both sides are declared Enemies. We will both do and say whatever is needed to destroy, diminish, and denigrate our respective Enemy!***

    B/c the "right" are all hypocrites and liars, always talking about government over-reach, but then telling women what they can and can't do with your body! To make sure, "we're going to pass laws telling you your limitations and to make sure, you have to have something shoved into your body! On the other end they don't think there should be any restrictions on guns, but schools are getting shot up weekly! All these people need serious mental help along with all their supporters!

    ***And this is the most obvious reason why the GOP, in the near future, won't win the White House. Democrats can usually keep their stupid opinions to themselves and not shoot themselves in the foot. Perry did himself AND the party no dame good by saying what he did equating alcoholism with homosexuality.***

    I'm thankful the Republicans have morons like Perry leading them down a sewer with some of the most ridiculous comments! They truly won't win national office acting like this every 2 and 4 years; THANK GAWD! We see what happens when they're in charge; banks and Wall Street going under, high unemployment, and doubling the national debt! Unfortunately there are people who support them because they don't know any better; IDIOTS!

  79. ***Everything Bush did was a mistake and was for nothing. Bush was rotten and horrible, incompetent, dangerous, inconsiderate, unfeeling, uncaring. George W. Bush's wars were all for nothing. George Bush was a dirty, rotten President. Bush had no business going anywhere. We lost lives unnecessarily.

    - -***

    Thank you! We all knew he was lying, but he pretty much blackmailed most of Congress to support, vote, and authorize payment to play this charade of WMD's! "If you're not with us, you're against us!" It killed Hillary's chances; unable to back away from her vote! Obama rode it all the way to the WH! In the end after all that BS about being liberators, roses thrown at our feet, and of course that Iraq would pay for it; what is it a Trillion dollars that cost us, over 5000+ American lives, and possible 100,000 innocent civilians? Yeah, Bush is scum and his legacy is trashed! If they think all that he did to the economy and world affairs can be whitewashed, he's more demented than I thought! Took us from a surplus to a deficit, more than doubled the national debt, and allowed Wall Street carte blanche to sink the country's economy AGAIN! Thanks "W!" smiley: eek smiley: mad smiley: alien We need another Clinton to fix it all!

    ***Do you understand now, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John Bolton and all you neocon nutjobs, why the invasion of Iraq in 2003 wasn’t a very good idea? Send Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney over there and let them try to negotiate a solution. And tell them they can’t come home until they’re successful. After all, they’re the ones who created this mess in the 1st place.

    - -

    Forget about it! We've proved half the country are a bit demented and repeat the same mistakes again and again! It doesn't matter that under Clinton and Obama, the economy expanded and unemployment is down; they'd rather live under the misery of Reagan, Bush, & "W" where it all collapses! It's so ridiculous, I can barely cope! It's always been like this going back 100 years and the same thing happens thinking "it'll be different this time; NOT!" Just a bunch of Fk'n idiots out there! It's so sad and pathetic!

    ***Chelsea Clinton earned an annual salary of $600,000 at NBC News before switching to a month-to-month contract earlier this year. Clinton, who joined NBC News as a “special correspondent” in Nov. '11, was up for renewal or non-renewal this year. Instead, the sources said, the network decided to keep her on the payroll on a month-to-month basis so that the two parties could sever ties if Clinton’s mother, Hillary, runs for president. Kamyl Bazbaz, a spokesperson for the 34-year-old Clinton, referred POLITICO to NBC News, which declined to discuss Clinton’s contract.***

    It's not OUR business! She's not a celebrity or politician! Shhhesshhh! Give the girl a freakin' break; she's pregnant with Hillary and Bill's grandchild!

    ***Just wait and see if Hillary runs.....and all the karma about Romney's money, his wife's clothes, etc. that the left made a big deal out of, hopefully will come to bite all you hypocrites in the butt!***

    You can't equate the Romneys and Clintons! Clinton's money was all taxed well, while Romney's was protected in an IRA! Never heard of $100+ million in such an account! It started out with $2000 limit, now up to $6000! Is he a vampire and been alive for a few hundred years? Chew on that for a while along w/ his business deduction for a horse used by his wife! Very shady character there!

    ***if you think that Hillary, as Secretary Of State, going over Russia, (who had just invaded a sovereign nation 6 months prior), and making a deal for Boeing and getting $2 million in return is not being a shady character, then I know I can rest my case about the hypocrisy of the left.***

  80. Nole's owned the fall and winter the last few years! I wonder how many Masters he'll end up taking? When Nastase, Lendl, Sampras, & Federer ruled the tourney, I didn't think it possible to outdo them, with most top players like Nadal whipped by the end of the season! He just keeps coming back without dropping a match! Clap Angel I should come up with another one of my infamous "who should" posts like #1 GOAT (male/female), trophy name, and best seasons!

    ***Djokovic will be seeded #1 for Wimbledon - Here's the top 4 seeds, according to the site:

    1. Novak Djokovic: 14,070 (inc 1740 grass-court points)
    2. Rafael Nadal: 12,543.75 (inc. 43.75)
    3. Andy Murray: 7,990 (inc 3,150)
    4. Roger Federer: 6,740 (inc 1795)

    I'm surprised they didn't seed Rafa lower after tanking in Halle. - I think too much is being made of Rafa tanking Halle.

    The system has been explained EVERY year since I've been on the board. Stan was going to be dropped, b/c both Roger and Andy get a lot more bonus points than he does. As far as Nole being 1st instead of Rafa, well, that was known too, as Nole gets significant bonus points, being in finals last year, versus Nadal who was eliminated in R1 last year and R2 2 years ago.***

    But will they really do it? So far as I've known, they've stuck with the ATP rankings of late; precisely! I had no problem in the old days when Spanish clay courters in the top 10 were dropped due to their incompetence on grass, but they've overworked the service so much, that isn't as much an issue! The last controversy on the ladies' side was in '85 when Chris Evert came into the tourney with an AO and FO win; ended up making both CE and Martina co #1's! Evert wasn't happy, but she was still on top of the draw and made the final against Navratilova losing in 3 sets!

    ***Whatever is going on, I hope Serena is training w/ Richard to get that serve on point and consistent again. He seems to be the only one who can get her serve where she needs it when it goes funky.***

    For years, that's all I heard about is how good, powerful, and accurate Serena's serve has been; NOT! Same with Venus; both with awful technique! No one should be surprised they have lingering problems with them!

    ***...I bet there is not a player in the WTA that wouldn't love to have her technique.***

    Well then explain this "bitchin' & moanin'" now about her technique and needing Richard to help her out? HELLO! Am I misreading the posts here? Being a past teacher, I say they both have bad technique! It may be effective at times, but can break down easily; esp. Venus' with how she drops her head down so fast before striking the ball!

    ***Her serve this year has had some weird peaks and valleys, but nothing that really alarms me. She is entering her favorite part of the year, so I am hoping any and all problems concerning her game are about to fall by the wayside. I do want her to go visit her dad though and get that serve going before Wimbledon, so she is on point with it there.***

  81. ***I wasn't following tennis at the time, so I didn't know that about the '96 USO draw, but it sounds like an absolute train wreck. For Wimbledon only I think it makes sense, and I imagine they started doing it when the grass "season" shrank to a brief holiday. And at least the ATP side follows a formula that everyone has agreed to. I don't see anything wrong w/ pushing up the players with better grass results.***

    The USO men's draw has been under intense scrutiny since a scandal back in '96 where they had to "redraw" it after some behind the scenes manipulation! It's been years since it happened so I can only remember they had to re-do the seedings and ended up still doing a half-ass job! We've embarrassed ourselves from the draw to the venue with location and surface changes! It's been a crying shame for as long as I can remember!

    ***...As far as Roger, I thought his version of Sampras's '02 was in '12. I wonder if this Wimbledon gets even more wild and wooly than last year, or like it did on the women's side. Of the 2 Slams remaining, I'd pick this one for the surprise winner, should such a thing happen.***

    I understand where you're coming from, but people forget how far Pete had fallen once he won 2000 Wimbledon; fell out of the top 20 after being winless for over 2 years! He was given a gift seed of #17 IIRC and had one more push, culminating in his personal pigeon waiting for him in the '02 USO final, Andre Agassi! Federer not only had won smaller events since his last major win at Wimbledon, but has taken a Masters here and there, and actually got back to #1 one more time! He'll leave the tour long before he falls that far!

    ***Roger was the greater player through '07, they were roughly equal from '08-09, then Rafa took over as the greater player in '10 to the present. Regardless, when all is said and done, they're likely to be viewed as the 2 greatest tennis players in the history of the game (thus far). ...This ongoing debate about whether Roger loses to Rafa so much b/c of play style or psychology is a false dichotomy - they are likely both true to some extent. Rafa is significantly better on clay - but he's better than everyone on clay, so that's hardly an insult to Roger, who likely would have won 4 or 5 FO if he hadn't played contemporaneously w/ the greatest clay courter ever.

    Roger's lone tarnish on his resume is...Rafa. That is all. Take away Rafa and Roger has 24-25 Slams by now and is the unequalled GOAT w/ no weakness, no tarnish. Take away Roger and Rafa maybe has 15-16 Slams - still the greatest, but his legacy doesn't change that much.***

    Hmmmm, I guess history would be turned upside down but for some of these rivalries; Borg over Connors; McEnroe over Lendl, Sampras over Agassi, Navratilova over Evert, and Court over King! The "what ifs" are fun, but can't be taken seriously as true historians can't and won't see it more than the "hard, cold record!" When it comes to Federer, he'll be swept from the GOAT talk if and when Rafa overtakes him in majors; nothing will change that unfortunately! In my eyes, I see where you're coming from, but that's the way it is and has always been! Most think Laver's the best; esp. winning 2 Grand Slams, but some take in consideration his elimination from the amateur ranks for almost 6 years! In my mind, I agree with that, but he also had a rival that "owned" him; Lew Hoad! At one time I saw the record was 0-8 against him and only Hoad's disinterest and going into the military saved the legacy of Laver!

  82. ***I hear you. My point was not to take the "What if" scenario seriously, but to point out that Rafa has been like kryptonite to Roger's legacy, and Rafa doesn't really have his own kryptonite except perhaps his own health. Rafa needs to surpass Roger in Slam count to be the greater player, b/c even if they're tied w/ 17 or 18, Roger will still have more weeks at #1, more WTF titles, and a greater period of sustained dominance. Where Roger's career is more similar to someone like Graf or Martina w/ a clear period of dominance than Serena.

    As for Laver, it's hard to compare eras. Laver might be the GOAT, but another that get's short shrift is Rosewall who has the highest total Slam count if you include Pro and Grand Slams w/ 23 (Laver is 19). Laver and Rosewall had a similar age difference as Nadal and Federer, w/ Rosewall dominating early and then Laver for the majority of their career; Laver finishing 80-64 vs Rosewall. Interestingly enough, Rosewall won their last 2 matches in '76 when he was 42 years old & Laver 38.***

    So funny that I've only heard of those pro-majors in the last 2 years! I had no idea they were going on since no one ever made a big deal on tv or magazines where I followed the "goings on" of tennis! I just thought the pros had their own tour and there was short shrift given to them before Open tennis! Technically I didn't start watching until '73 and Bud Collins and other commentators vaguely mentioned what went on in the pro side of things! I would actually hear "no one really knows how many times they played" during that period!

    ***I think if Roger meets Novak at Wimbledon this year, his chance to win would be at least near 50%. If they meet, Roger must have reached the SF or final, so it would indicate his form being quite good. Additionally he matches up really well w/ Novak on faster, low bouncing surfaces and his movement on grass is still at an at least similar level to Novak's. Novak has an advantage in being younger, so if one wasn't playing significantly better than the other before, chances would be close to even IMO.***

    I so hope this Wimbledon will have a true changing of the guard! If the same people make it through, they'll only prove what I've been saying about the ATP tour "also rans" as being gutless!

    ***That's the thing, the reason why Federer mostly lost in a # of matches is very much open to interpretation. Nadal needed to do nothing to win set 4 of the RG '11 final to win it 6-1. Federer was just so damn bad and likewise w/ the AO '09 final 5th set and Miami '11 semi-final. Federer could hardly keep the ball in the court and we both know he can play a lot better than that, but yet all these woeful performances are not all b/c Nadal played amazing.***

    It's hard to call a real rivalry with how unbalanced the contests can be at times! Some of those matches; esp. the FO massacres are unwatchable! I still say Federer is stubborn and won't push it by being more aggressive and cutting off some of those points at the net! He can't lose any worse! It looks like Rafa gives him the matches Roger does win b/c they don't mean anything to him; WTF, 250's, and some Masters' wins! No match of any consequence; even at Wimbledon have even been close of late!

    ***...Btw, Nadal doesn't give him matches of no consequence. He's proud as hell to be the leader in Masters titles and the WTF is a very big tournament that he'd desperately like to win.***

    I'm sure Nadal would love to win the WTF at least once, but so far he hasn't come close; making a couple finals! I still say he tanked 1 year, losing all 3 of his RR matches; maybe '09, his so called injury year losing FO match to Soderling!

    ***He didn't tank. He just wasn't good enough. He wants to win every tournament he's never won, so why the hell would he tank?***

    Well if he didn't tank, people need to drop the GOAT talk from now on! Sorry!

  83. ***Only problem Venus has in her game is her illness. She would have won many more titles if she stayed healthy. One of the best in tennis history in my book.***

    You're deluding yourself if you believe that! Venus has always had problems with her serve and if she were that great, she wouldn't be upset so often by absolute "nobodies" again and again over the years; esp. on clay! Years ago before anyone knew about her illness, she played a Latin tour of matches against girls ranked #200+ and #300+ and struggled all the way! Her unforced errors have always been her downfall and at times that precious serve has totally deserted her along with an erratic forehand! Feel for her if you like, let's just not have revisionist history!

    ***C'mon Fiero! You know many of those losses were from the illness. From what I've read, it has been affecting her for at least 7 or 8 years.***

    If you believe that, she should quit and stop taking up a spot from someone more deserving! You can have sympathy for her and at the same time "check her" when she's being selfish! She has too many options in this world to be acting like that for these last few years! What does she expect; players to lay down to allow her a major title? I don't think so!

    ***If there were someone more deserving, she would already be there. The idea that a player should quit and make room for another isn't at all the way it works. There isn't a finite # of players, and a new one can't join the WTA until another one quits. The concept of "selfishness" isn't a factor either. Playing tennis isn't being selfish. And no, she -- of all people -- isn't expecting "players to lay down to allow her a major title." That's missing the point entirely.***

    The selfishness comes into play when she gets "wildcards" for one thing! She is taking someone else's spot; then going nowhere when and if she loses early! Call me cold, but those are the facts!

    ***Venus hasn't won a major off grass since '01 or '02. It isn't her recent illness that's stopping her from winning majors. She just hasn't been a factor for years. Serena is more of a tough cookie than her sister, and always has been. I've been disappointed with Venus everywhere but Wimbledon for a long time now - and even there she stopped making an impact before she was ill. I prefer her to Serena, but she found her level years ago.

    I also don't think that Serena is yet up there w/ Martina or Steffi. All those powder puff shrinking violets she takes slams off, the screeching Sharapova and whoever else is out there, the WTA is a mess. Serena is an all-time great, no question about that, but I think she's playing in a lousy era for women's tennis.***

    If a player can come and go at will and still win majors, you know the WTA is ratchet!

  84. ***Oksana is really underrated and hated by many skating fans these days. Some of you can't get over her beating overrated and poor sport Nancy I guess. Like G&P, she never stopped paying with fans for her Lillehammer win, but in her case it was by beating one of the most overrated skaters in history to making it worse.***

    Unfortunately Oksana killed her own reputation if you remember and go back to news reports! She was lazy, didn't really commit to her craft at times, and before turning 18 was already somewhat of an alcoholic! I can definitely remember her running her car into a tree once or twice years ago! Her jumps are a bit exaggerated as well! IIRC, her 3-lutz was 2-footed just about every time! I can remember her doing only a couple I liked; '98-'99 Ice Wars in a SP of Adagio Tacotta classic piece and 2000 Goodwill Games LP doing her best "Swan Lake" that actually shocked Nancy Kerrigan who's mouth went agape! That last event had the best triple lutz of her career as far as I'm concerned and clicked so well, a 2 foot landing was eliminated!

    ***Oksana's max 5 triples (with one Lutz) would not have been competitive w/ Kwan and Lipinski in their young primes who were able to do 7 triples (Tara a 3/3 and a 3/.5/3) by '98. Not to mention Kwan and Lipinski were capable of doing spins with a variety of positions and change-of-foot. I don't know where the idea that Oksana had better spirals than Tara came from either. Tara was able to do a serpentine sequence with a good free leg (first one was held, but still higher than Oksana's free leg), speed, and ice coverage.

    I agree that G/P were overmarked in '94 Olympics, '97 Worlds, and maybe in '98 Olympics (but the last case is not so obvious). I must admit I don't remember 1995 Worlds that well. I have always thought they had no competition then.***

    I have to be honest; didn't care for the Olympics allowing past champions who had turned pro to come back! Skaters like Boitano and Witt were unfairly taking up spots in a 'supposed' amateur event and had little chance of winning in '94! They were "done" in so many ways and I didn't mind the judges using discretion to undercut other skaters in pairs and dance events! My position softened with Plushenko because the Russian men were terribly inadequate and didn't have much of a chance to even be in the top 10! He may have to come back again 4 years! lol!

    ***Chan, Lambiel, Takahashi, Lysacek, whom had the best career?

    1. Chan : 3 WC golds - total 5 WC medals - Olympics silver - 2 GPF golds - 7 WR settings
    2. Lysacek : 1 WC gold - total 3 WC medals - Olympics gold - 1 GPF gold - 0 WR setting
    3. Lambiel : 2 WC golds - total 3 WC medals - Olympics silver - 2 GPF golds - 0 WR setting
    4. Takahashi : 1 WC gold - total 3 WC medals - Olympics bronze - 1 GPF gold - 3 WR settings

    * Plushenko : 3 WC golds - total 5 WC medals - Olympics gold - 2 Olympics silvers - 4 GPF golds - 13 WR settings wow.

    Lysacek vs Lambiel is an interesting comparision. Is the difference of an Olympic gold to silver more or less than the difference of a Worlds gold to bronze? If it is the same, I guess you have to go with Lambiel due to the extra GPF.

    Takahashi is unique too. Does the WR set push him above Lambiel and Lysacek despite his lesser medals/titles? Is that even an achievement? Chan is the easy winner.

    I would pick Lambiel 2nd barely over Evan. His extra World title, extra GP Final title, Olympic silver, 7 Nat'l titles vs Evan's 2, & 3 European silvers which Evan would not have managed are enough to overcome Evan's Olympic gold. Takahashi is 4th and last.***

  85. ***...For me personally, Kwan. I've never "got" Kim's skating. I don't find it particularly pleasing either aesthetically or emotionally. ...For me there's not contest, but to each his own.***

    I was never a fan of Kwan's; going back to when she was 14! The constant fawning was just nauseating; could do no wrong! She could fall at Nationals once or twice and still get perfect 6.0's from these corrupt judges for her presentation! Picking yourself off the ice can't possibly warrant such a thing! I loved that Tara came along to unsettle her for a couple years, then Irina Slutskaya came into her own near the end of her career! You had to really be in a bad place to allow Maria Butyrskaya to outdo her at Worlds one year! I had no sympathy for her during Olympic season with a stress fracture where she was allowed to compromise her skating, but still stayed near the top with terrible overscoring!

    ***What year did MK fall twice and get 6.0's. I forget. Could you 'splain how she compromised her skating during the Olympic season?***

    I have to look, but she doubled a couple jumps and fell once in both SP and LP in 2000 Nat'ls when Sasha Cohen outskated her easily! Cohen wasn't eligible for Worlds being so young and w/o winning a junior medal so they bypassed her! In that Olympic year of '97-'98 in the GP and Nat'ls, she did something I've never seen before and probably won't ever see again! She wanted to avoid that triple/triple toe, so for the scores, she performed 2 3-Loops; one with a planned step out! It looked rather awkward, but they let her get away w/ it! It's been years, but I have a distinct memory of that era and the scoring controversies!

    ***Michelle did deserve to win the LP at the 2000 Nat'ls. She wasn't great in the least and would have lost to even subpar Slutskaya and Butyrskaya at Worlds had she duplicated that performance there, but still better than the others that night. However she still probably should have lost the title to Cohen. She had a fall on a 3-toe in the short and was put above Nikodinov who skated cleanly. This was clearly not right, and had she been 4th in the SP like she obviously shb, would have lost the title to Cohen w/ her 1st place in the short and 2nd place in the long.***

    Thank you! I didn't think I was t6tally nuts even though it's been years since I saw that travesty! lol! MK sycophants will make excuses for her until the day she dies!

    ***SI did write a long article ripping into the judges for holding up Kwan at those Nat'ls too, and overscoring her. So even if some Kwan fans disagree she was overmarked, they certainly can't deny that there were many at the time who felt differently, and not just people who "dont like Kwan."

    There is no question the USFSA always has a fave pet they protect at all expense at Nat'ls though and give every benefit of doubt. In my memory of following the sport it was first Hamill, then Fratianne, then Sumners, then Thomas, then Trenary, then Yamaguchi, then Kwan, then Cohen, and then most bizarre of all freaking Czisny. Fratianne should have lost Nat'ls probably 3 of the 4 years she won it, to Marie Allen twice and to Burg another. At least Kwan, unlike Fratianne and some others deserved most of her titles, but the scoring was always heavily on the generous side and someone would have had to far outskate her to beat her. Like other USFSA princesses the deck was stacked in her favor before Nat'ls even began.***

  86. ***...The Tara attention and media hype in the early going came entirely from the press and her camp. It had nothing to do w/ the USFSA. They were always down on Harding, but they never worshipped her like Kwan, Yamaguchi, Kerrigan, or Cohen. They can't as much as they wish they could. They tried to ban Brennan, but she came right back in their faces and made them look like fools.***

    Well you're partially right! Sasha was never a darling of the USFSA; esp. when Tarasova was her coach! As for Brennan, she was on the "outs" b/c of her book which exposed and embarrassed the sport w/ how many deaths had occurred over the years due to AIDS! That's what I heard back then! She was persona non gratis for a while, but made it back into their good graces later!

    ***Well it seemed the U.S judges would never let Sasha beat a clean Kwan at Nat'ls unless she were perfect, and since we all know the USFSA is 95% of what the U.S judges will do, I guess you are right she isn't really a big fed. fave like Kwan, Yamaguchi, or Kerrigan either.

    I don't know why Brennan was on the outs, but in the end all she proved is Brennan > USFSA in the sport. They couldn't keep her out, the whole skating community got behind Brennan and dumped on the USFSA, and they were forced to reinstate her before she missed anything, and then she mocked them in her book about it. It made them look like fools in the end.

    I would say Kim Yuna is more dominant than Kwan since even if you roughly est. she skated only 6 seasons (she skated 7 tech., but none of the last 3 were a whole season), she had a lower ratio of losses than Michelle. I recall her losing 2 events in '06-'07, only 1 in '07-'08, only 1 in '08-'09, only 1 in '09-'10, and then 2 in the remaining years. Michelle had 2 in '95-'96, 3 in '96-'97, 1 in '97-'98, 1 in '98-'99, 1 in '99-'00, 3 in '00-'01, 5 in '01-'02, 0 in '02-'03. I am not even counting her post or pre-prime years. Kwan averaged 2 per season, and Kim averaged only 1.1 per season, even not counting Kim's final 3 seasons as full seasons.

    From fall '07 to summer '10 esp., it seemed like Kim barely lost, and it was a huge upset taking a lot of mistakes or a bad injury for her to lose. The only time Kwan felt dominant was the year after Tara retired and before Irina emerged as a threat, and the 95-96 season. I guess you could add the '02-'03 season. She was undefeated despite that she barely even competed, and didnt face Sasha when she was skating really well during the GP season, but only Sasha-Splat Nat'ls and Worlds. ...In between that, she had long periods she was heavily pressed by either Lipinski, Slutskaya, or a variety of skaters. Averaging about 1 fewer loss per season when you are comparing 2 skaters over a long 6-7 year period, and owning all your biggest rivals while Kwan was usually losing to Lipinski and Slutskaya in their primes.

    ITA Kwan had better longevity, but longevity and dominance are not the same thing. They are a seperate category. I'm cutting the assessment of Kwan's career and dominance off when she was younger than Kim is now, and discounting her early years to the point she was almost the age Kim was finally fully age eligible, so whether Kim would have remained dominant in the future is moot as if we are cutting evaluating Kwan's dominance and win record off at age 22 to be as favorable and fair as possible to her.

    As for the GP, the seeding system means you almost never meet your main rivals until the Final. So unless you're frequently winning the GPF vs all your main competition, plus regularly winning the regular GP, U R not dominating the period. ...For instance in the '99-'03 period, Kwan lost all 5 GP meetings with Slutskaya, 3 at the GPF, and their only 2 regular GP meetings.***

  87. ***Best skaters of last 15 years:

    Men- Plushenko, Yagudin, Chan, Takahashi, Lambiel
    Ladies- Kwan, Asada, Kim, Slutskaya, Arakawa
    Pairs- Berezhnaya-Sikharulidze, Totmianina-Marinin, Volosozhar-Trankov, Shen & Zhao, Savchenko-Szolkowy
    Ice dance- David & White, Virtue & Moir, Anissina-Peizerat, Navka-Kostomarov, Denkova-Staviyski

    Btw, these are in no particular order...



    One might question me leaving N/K off this list, but they were one of the most boring Olympic champion teams ever and I think D/S and B/K were better overall. I wish there was another spot so I could include D/V.


    Kostner.. almost said Arakawa, but went with CK in the end.***

    Wow! So you say? lol! Poor Bourne and Kraatz just never caught a break! They weren't highly regarded and only challenged for bronze most of the time! On one occasion, they were about to win a World bronze and on a lift at the end of the performance, were unbalanced and crashed to the ice! Totally unforgettable! - Funny to see Kwan below Asada and Slutskaya! I think Plushenko had the better career, but even I have to admit Yagudin was the complete package and wiped out Evgeny in better times out there! His animus towards his rival ate him up, so it's all on him!

    ***I had forgotten 2000 NHK though, thanks for reminding me. Butyrskaya bombed the qualifying round at the '01 Worlds so no chance of a clean competition, and doubling the 2nd triple lutz is a major mistake in those days of ladies skating as well.***

    If I remember NHK for that year, Maria skated the best she possibly could; even clicking on 2 3-Lutzes! Peter C. actually thought she had won! Of course the judging had already been decided and she wound up with Silver behind Irina! To myself I said, "cry me a river!" She had been gifted a couple Gold medals in other GP events; esp. in Paris where Jenny Kirk was underscored being a newbie from the US!

    ***Jenny Kirk didn't even finish 2nd to Maria at that event though. She was 3rd behind Volchkova who also had mistakes. Int'l judges were never that impressed with Jenny. She skated too small for their liking I guess. - Too small and her jumping technique was strange, although her LP in Paris was very impressive for such a young skater!***

    What bothered me just as much about her getting only a bronze, the program ended with a 3-lutz! Who does that to a little girl? The coach and her mom should be dissected and eviscerated! It was bad enough she was skating an adult program, but to finish like that had to be stressful to her little body!

    ***Maybe she wondered the same thing since a little over a year later the Scotvolds were gone.***

  88. ***The '04 Worlds, '06 Olympics, '06 Worlds were all there for the taking for Sasha, but she faltered badly and took silver each time. The '02 Olympics, '02 Worlds, '03 Worlds, gold not certain, but a medal was for sure there for the taking, and she might have had a chance at gold who knows, but she blew all those as well, finishing 4th in each when she should have at least been on the podium in all of them skating decently.

    On the other hand I feel sorry for Sasha at times since it seems all the focus is on her wasted potential and not living up to the U.S hype which might have been overly ambitious at times anyway, and not on the great things she did achieve- an Olympic medal, many World medals, many GP wins. It seems she is treated like a failure where most w/ similar credentials would be raved as a huge success. Someone like Suguri is probably way happier w/ her career than Sasha, even though she achieved significantly less. Butyrskaya achieved about similar (Maria got the World title, Sasha got the Olympic medal that Maria failed to manage), and is also viewed as a great success story in sharp contrast to the relative failure / dissapointment Sasha is. I don't think she achieved her potential, but she wasn't a total failure or waste either.***

    Sasha should still be set with an Olympic silver medal! Heaven knows Liz Manley was awful, got fat, and was still skating in shows and tv events! Sasha may have underachieved, but she's still the most graceful skater on the ice since Fleming and Lynn; a true ballerina out there!

    ***...Anyway, for Kostner, earning a medal in that field (where she was practically tied with Kim and Sotnikova after the SP) was a huge pressure cooker for her. Winning a medal was not guaranteed nor was her skating well, so even though she was only at best a medal favorite, she still did not have any room for error and knew it was all in her hands.***

    She played it very conservatively; really pulling back on the jumps I'm accustomed to see her doing! I just wonder how she earned Bronze with such a watered down program? I'm happy enough for her, but I still question the result; esp. at the top! Kim is no fave of mines, but she didn't appear to make any mistakes, and still lost by a lot!

    ***Kostner's Technical Element Score was less than a point lower than Yuna Kim's and Gracie Gold and more than 2 pts higher than Lipnitskaya. Combine that with her PCS which was more than 5 points higher than Gold's and more than 3 points higher than Lipniskaya, that's the way the math added up. Plus, don't forget that SP where Kostner blew all of the other bronze medal spoilers out of the water (and was in a virtual tie with Kim and Sotnikova).***

  89. ***Quite frankly, you can't compare Men's tennis to Women's tennis.***

    Well that is very true considering the humiliation some no-name player ranked #203 gave both the Williams sisters over 15 years ago at their heights! Karsten Braasch came out "hung over," smoking a cigarette and beat them handily losing only 3 games btw them! That was the last of the "battle of the sexes" to date! lol!

    ***Shocking drop for JJ in particular. The guy has so much potential but has sadly been so disappointing.***

    I've said the same about a # of players like Raonic, Querry, and Isner and people "lost it!" I started using the term GUTLESS since so many of them have all this skill, talent, and potential, but seem to have a nice run for about a week or month, then disappear! Earnst and Grigor are the only ones I can think of that have overcome so much; including dating Sharapova, but won Queens last week!

    ***I don't think they're gutless, more a case of not consistently good enough. Remember for a long time Gulbis couldn't even win 2 matches back to back and his ranking plummeted. At least he's on the rise. JJ's tactics in matches just suck. Too many drop shots at the wrong time and predictable serving which is unforgivable given how big it is. If he cut out the excessive drop shots and started using more body serves, imo he'd start winning more matches again. Raonic is definitely getting better as demonstrated by his good run at RG, but his backhand sucks and needs major improvement. Isner isn't gutless, but just hasn't really ever done much outside matches in the US which just won't cut it. W/ his serve, he should've done more for himself. Yeah, Dimitrov, Gulbis and to an extent Raonic are the only ones likely to go one step further from that bunch imo. Can only hope guys like Thiem improve soon so we have some younger players at least realizing their potential as so many have lots of talent but nothing btw the ears.

    I do not understand why you say Pete has the TB when he played in fewer finals. So Roger becomes a lesser player on grass b/c he lost an extra final that he played? - I think losing a final (ie the biggest stage in the sport) is a dent against a player's greatness. Obviously a player in the final has a chance to win the prize everyone wants most, but you also risk more legacy-wise. I think the hypothetical player who goes 8-0 in finals, but loses the occasional QF, Semis, or earlier is greater than someone who is 8-8 in finals. JMO.

    Maybe it's an American thing, but one good example is the Buffalo Bills in the NFL. They lost 4 straight SB's and are often the target of any jokes regarding futility on the big stage. If they'd have lost just 2 SB's and 2 AFC title games, nobody would think twice about them. In that line of thinking, Pete stepped up and took care of business in every final whereas Roger didn't in '08.***

    I wouldn't say Roger's any less a player, but during his reign, he could have been more offensive out there and avoided some of those upsets; esp. when leading 2-0 or 2-1 in sets! Federer was fortunate Andy choked having him on the ropes in '09! So I give Sampras a little more credit for his 7 wins w/ the grass being more challenging to win on! It's a baseline haven now and not half as entertaining to watch! These long points w/ little net play is so boring! Borg and Connors were baseliners, but they knew they had to come into the net more than to shake hands and collect the check!

  90. ***Palin On Border Crisis: Congress Lacks Guts To Impeach 'Tyrant' Obama Over Lawlessness - So, what high crime or misdemeanor has Obama committed? What are the 10 million, to whom you refer, willing to do? Engage in armed insurrection?***

    Obviously, just being a Black man walking around in a suit is good enough for these losers! What haven't they attacked attached to the man; his wife, kids, heritage, & patriotism? How anyone can listen to that woman or any of her followers is shameful and I'd be very embarrassed to admit it, but of course these animals have no shame!

    ***I'm sick of hearing the word "Benghazi"... it happened over 2 years ago, not last week.***

    This is why Republicans will continue to lose nat'l office; overplaying their hand again and again! Obama's made plenty of mistakes, but his detractors do this to any and everything that occurs around, under, or near the man! The country isn't listening; esp. after the stupid leadership of Republicans obsess over the subject! Complaining about 4 unfortunate deaths when Reagan had over 250 marines blown up in their barracks back in the '80's only shows them to be juvenile, petty, and just not very bright! I was amazed watching their best anchors on Fox News use this accusatory tone against Hillary, pummeling her w/ questions about where she was when that CIA HQ was under attack! Brett Baier and Greta Van Susteren just embarrassed themselves w/ these bullets thinking they would trip her up I guess! As you said, this happened 2 years ago; people moved on! It was an unfortunate event and making political hay over it just makes them look bad! We aren't very bright, but at the same time we "tune out" stupidity on occasion!

    You see Republicans don't mention Obamacare anymore b/c it works, but up to a few weeks ago, it was suppose to fail, going to cost us more money and jobs, and we're finding none of that to be true! It isn't failing and more and more people are jumping on board and the opportunity for their protections! The red states that have skipped the Medicare expansion are now wallowing in shit w/ millions still w/o insurance, but the politicians won't budge! I say fine, the rest of the civilized states can take the extra cash; "thanks Miss., Louisiana, and all the rest of the South and Western states! Your leadership is killing you off slowly, but surely! It was not nice knowing ya!"

    ***CNN is so far in the tank for the Dems that there is no way they mocked Hillary's age intentionally - If it were Fox News, I'd say you have a point. CNN? No way.***

    They have to come up with a reason they are in such disrepute with the majority of the electorate! The only way to have any say in policy was to "Gerrymander" their districts because of their failures to compromise this President! The word doesn't even leave their lips fearing a challenge from the "right!" It's more than a little disgusting that with all that happened under their leadership in the past, they have failed the country in so many ways! They took a surplus, turned it into a deficit, tripled the national debt with their wars and indiscriminant behavior, and have the nerve to try and pass the buck onto someone that had nothing to do with it! They are delusional to the nth degree so we shouldn't expect them to take any responsibility and to blame the 4th Estate is the height of insanity! Republicans need to look in a freakin' mirror sometime and point the finger at themselves sometimes! Maybe they'll gain back some respect, but I wouldn't hold my breath for it to happen in this lifetime!

  91. ***You nailed it when you said you had to be in it to win it. I put being in it and losing above not being in at all.***

    You got it! These so called losers still have more memories to go back to than others who never make it! I'll take being in the finals anytime over never making an impression by getting there at all! Undermining Lendl's record is a fool's errand in my book and I appreciate his hard work who didn't underachieve half as much as those who were a lot more gifted!

    ***...Also, Lendl to me was an over-achiever, given that he wasn't as naturally talented as Becker or McEnroe. He worked hard, lost a bunch of finals, won a load too, and I think he did more than a lot of men w/ much more talent did...***

    Lendl, like Hingis on the ladies' side got as much out of their limited ability; more cerebral players!

    ***I think it is not a fair comparison b/c Hingis played breathtaking tennis, while Lendl was kind of mechanical IMO.***

    Hingis got more accolades b/c of her youth, but Lendl performed and won a lot more! He's definitely in the top 10 "all time" while even though Hingis is one of my faves, I can only give her top 20 billing! She was too easily overpowered there at the end! She was pretty much done in 2002, but will continue to watch her until she retires "again!" She's in the final of Eastbourne doubles I heard! Too bad it won't be on tv!

    ***Rafa is called for time violations more than any other player in the ATP. How is that letting him get away with murder?***

    He isn't "called" on it enough! That's what I really mean! He's the reason these matches go so long and other players are following his lead; esp. Nole! By 2011, he decided to go after Rafa in every way he has over the years and it paid off with 7 straight wins; 3 in majors! He truly had Nadal's # there for a while! Of course excuses abound which is why I can't stomach even listening to the guy! He says "don't mention my knee" in press conferences, but no one did! He's full of himself and will never get full credit from me with his lousy court demeanor and antics!

    ***Besides Pascal Maria, no other umpire has the balls to dock Nadal and Djokovic a 1st serve though, only warnings. ...Del Potro is extremely slow as well, even towelling off after aces which is beyond ridiculous. Raonic can be quite slow too btw points which given the bombs he serves is not really on.***

    Tell me about it! I remember a match from maybe 32 years ago, Lendl vs Jose Luis Clerc! They were starting that trend of taking their time, even toweling off after an ace! It's only gotten worse it seems, even w/ new rules to supposedly speed up play! Umps are just too selective in their enforcement! Add on all the groaning and shrieking going on, tennis is fast becoming unwatchable; and unlistenable! lol! They keep promising to do something about it, but watching juniors, they are being allowed to do the same thing! So much for "grandfathering" the legislation into affect! They're all full of crap! Watching King and Evert the other day in '73 final, not a sound came out of them! These people need to be smacked who are playing today! They are purposely trying to distract and aggravate; no doubt about it! Sharapova and Serena should be sanctioned at the top of the list!

  92. ***...I personally don't see why women could not play best of 5 in the majors, but changing the tried and true is tough to do. Those events would take longer than a fortnight due to more matches going longer and not having enough time to fit them all in. Plus, women draw decent ratings and are as well known (at the top 5 range) as the men for the most part, particularly amongst us here at the Tennis Frontier. I don't think they will change to best of 5. That's why I say let the men play best of 3. They do it most of the year anyway. It would help get all the matches in with all the delays during Slams. It would solve the problems.***

    The thing is, men come back in those best of 5 sets all the time; even Tsonga over Federer on grass! I'd vote for a "super TB" after 2 sets to cut it short, but they should have to "work" for a major! Some "no-name" will end up upsetting a top player, serving out of their minds in best of 3! Best of 5 usually shows who's best! The women should stick to best of 3! Their matches are already too long as it is!

    ***Wondering how many of us here hate Nadal? I don't know, but I'd say not enough. - I don't hate any tennis player. I could definitely do w/o some of his antics, but in the end we have to deal w/ it b/c it's what the respective tours have allowed.***

    There's so many reasons to dislike Nadal and his "act" on court; ugly strokes, petulant attitude if you dare to challenge him, all the unnecessary groans and grunts, receiving coaching from the box, strategic call to trainers, and not to mention the politicking behind the scenes to gain advantage in some way! If not for Federer being President of the ATP, they might have adopted that ridiculous idea his for a 2 year ranking instead of one! Nadal's been on my "hate" list since day one even though he was just a kid!

    ***...It's also common knowledge that the homogenisation of the courts is not welcomed by many players, not only Roger. There's meant to be a much more pronounced difference btw surface than there is these days and what they've done is really working to the detriment of the sport for many. It's no longer half as much about shot making as it is stamina and that sucks.***

    I so agree! It seems like they've taken the sting out of more aggressive play by attacking the net! You just don't see too much chipping and charging and when they do, they're easily passed! It hasn't been the same for about 10 years and matches are getting harder and harder to watch for that reason; for me anyway!

    ***I mean just imagine David Ferrer on the older faster surfaces! No real weapons, just speed and stamina. He'd be a sitting duck. Not a pop at him, just a blatant fact. He's lucky to be playing in this era of slow courts.***

    Years ago, that was why Wimbledon lowered the seeds for the Spanish Armada due to frequent upsets in the first round! They had a right to be PO'd, but those were the facts; grass was just not conducive to their style of baseline play! That all changed with overworking the grass and other surfaces now to what you call too homogenized to the detriment of the sport! Years ago I wouldn't miss a match; now I have to have some interest before I'll turn it on! They can be so boring these days!

    ***Roger should pay someone to switch balls for both his matches and Nadal's for the women's ones. As a result of the lighter balls, you actually get to see many more exciting rallies (not snail's pace) and more reward for aggressive shot making in women's matches these days.***

  93. ***What's up with ALL this 'region' SNOBBERY? - I've tried to explain to my husband that there's the South and then there's Texas. He doesn't understand this - it's IN the south! No, Texas is Texas. You have the west coast, southwest, New England, Midwest, the South, and then you have Texas. - I used to live in Irving Texas and my son was born at Parkland Memorial Hospital. It's a beautiful state and it's not called the Lone Star for nothing. Texas is its own region! I enjoyed the two years I was there.***

    Living in California for over 10 years, there was a lot of animus towards Texas; esp. when they were ripping us off for electrical power back in the 90s! The back and forth still goes on; long after I moved away and back to Chicago! Not to be partisan, but Texas is a toilet and the people allow it to happen w/ their blessing of the retarded politicians they keep putting in office! The air and water is the worst, schools barely graduate their kids, and businesses are getting away w/ murder! The same could be said about other states, but it's truly disgusting down there; spent 5 months in Austin and that was 4 months too long! I could barely breath and play tennis, having to leave and go back home even w/ how much they were paying me! It just wasn't worth it! I still can't get over how they allowed wildfires to go unabated, fired firemen to save money, then asked them to volunteer and bring their own shovels and the like! "Perry rules; what a mohron!" I just feel badly for the kids who don't have a chance with so many of them homeless and uneducated! I almost adopted one just to try and save him!

    ***I lived in Houston during high school. I can't say I enjoyed it, but I will say it was an "experience". The people are loyal to their home state, though, that's for sure! - Texas can go scratch.***

    I lived in Chicago most of my life, but when my job offered me a position in California, I jumped on it! It was only Sacramento back in the 90's, but I never will regret it! I had the choice of 2 locations really due to consolidation of their offices; Sac and ATL! They even produced videos; ATL showing bright lights and it was Mardi Gras practically! Sacramento was more like the airport, cornfields, and the Capital! I preferred a more civilized area and chose Sacramento! ATL was scary to me; anywhere in the South really; would have been Norcross, wherever that was outside of the city! After 12 years, I moved back to Chicago to be closer to family; getting up there in their 70's!

    ***There is a saying "If you can't be happy in Austin- Maybe ya just can't be happy anywhere."***

    Whatever CHICA! Live with your head in the sand; or when it comes to Texas, mud and dirt! Keep lying to yourself like most of those people in the LONE STAR State; always playing the victim! I remember the Bush brats getting busted in a couple bars while I was there and even then it was other people's fault! Mohrons and drunks more like it with their father running for President! True enough I can't be happy anywhere b/c we love to talk about ourselves being exceptional; exceptionally dumb more like it! We allow politicians to get wealthy while the country goes under economically! I could go on, but you're not ready to hear the truth about anything! I feel sorry for us all!

    ***I make a light hearted little quip w/ a smiley face and you dump all your bitter rage and hate on me? Egad Northern Stereotype; get over yourself. Go have a cup of java with Eyore while I sip some sweet tea and look for happy things in life.***

  94. ***George Bush is a Miserable Failure - “I believe if they hadn’t gone to war in Iraq, none of this would be happening,” Clinton said in an interview that ...“Mr. Cheney has been incredibly adroit for the last 6 years or so attacking the administration for not doing an adequate job of cleaning up the mess that he made. I think it’s unseemly.”

    So do I. But you notice that it's only Dem Presidents who criticize the current President regardless of party. Jimmy Carter called Clinton's action in Haiti an embarrassment. Carter criticized every President since he was fired in '80 and Clinton has done the same. Ford, Reagan, Bush sr and GW have never spoken publicly about a sitting President.***

    Bush can't criticize anyone after his dismal record and the condition he left the country in; total shambles! He took a surplus and turned it into a deficit, started 2 wars w/o paying for it, then cut taxes at the same time; totally ridiculous! Prescription drug plan wasn't paid for either along w/ his "no child left behind" program! And people wonder why Obama's deficits were so large? You can debate and lie to yourselves all you like; history will show he was one of the worst Presidents since TAFT! If anyone should be prosecuted for treason, it's "W" along with the rest of his lying cabinet! Class has nothing to do w/ the silence of those Republican Presidents who left the office and the country in terrible shape! Most were under the gun for doing something they shouldn't have done like IRAN Contra, negotiating w/ terrorist and diverting money to another country, among other things! Spare me please!

    ***Boehner To File Lawsuit Against Obama - It has been this way from the start...From Joe the Plumber musings on buying a business it would be a practical impossibility for him to actually buy to the notion Obama's Dream Act w/ its 5-year residency requirement is applicable to and the cause of the surge in illegal immigration of unescorted children it is clearly not applicable to.***

    I think maybe Boehner's secretly working with Obama; "just go ahead and overrule my obstructionism and I'll just pretend to sue you!" This President has done so much less when it comes to Executive Orders!

    ***Democrat Senator On WH Hypocrisy: If The Republicans Had Done This W/ The Koch Brothers..We Would Skewer Them"

    Ain't that the truth! And even some of the Dems are aware of their own party's hypocritical policies. What this ...Gee, this sounds hypocritical of Obama who criticized the SCOTUS ruling that 'it opened the door to special interests in politics.'

    It's pretty clear that Obama cares more about his eco-kook donors' money than he does about the US economy. This isn't exactly something new for Dems. It should be a reminder for all the unions out there.***

    Bush's shady admin. did do this w/ the energy lobby! We're still waiting to see the guest list of that tent where plenty of his rich donors gave "W" his marching orders! Spare me the hypocrisy of it all! Cheney got rich on the backs and lives of our armed services w/ Halliburton so open your eyes! Nothing the Dems do is isolated to them except actually trying to get something done! Reps would prefer we stay stuck in the 50's with the races separated, excluded, and poor! You can say you're not racists, but what would you call the way Obama's been treated since day one; even before he took office? He's not American, he's not a patriot, his wife and family are "this and that!" Hateful is all I saw out of some when it came to Obama! Bush caught HELL b/c of what he did, not the fact he was breathing air!

    ***Fiero... you know that Cheney gave away all his interests in Halliburton to charity before election, right? ...I guess him giving away tens of millions of dollars to charity doesn't really fit your narrative of greed.***

    Cheney didn't give away shit! He may have put it in a blind trust, but he still made out big time! Please!

  95. Looking at the men's draw, I find it amazing so many WC's and LL's have gotten so far! What does that say about the tour? There's something good in it, but I wonder are they just setting us up for more of the same with the BIG 4 again in the semi's?

    ***...Some people question certain tactics and how quick Nadla is to cite an injury when he loses. Is that troll style?***

    Only Nole gets full credit for beating Rafa, otherwise something has to be wrong with him; injury, stomach distress, or fight with his girlfriend! lol! They can't overlook or deny Nole's domination w/ so many wins in a row; 7 and 4 respectively over the years!

    ***He often doesn't. Rafa's knees are never fully healthy to some.***

    I say he does it to himself by the "stupid" and asinine way he plays! Constantly backing up and playing defensively when he has a perfectly good volley makes no sense to me; add Murray to the list! Both will break down w/ the way they play the game!

    ***...There is a sense in which it's similar to Soderling/Nadal. Soderling was a bit of a bete noire, and so was Rosol, at Wimbledon. Nadal got past Soderling in RG '11 in the QFs, and I think that steeled him for the rest of the tournament. Likewise, I hope, getting past Rosol will give Rafa more than the prescribed confidence going forward, beyond just a 2nd round victory.***

    Well I just find it more than a little pathetic that someone supposedly as great as Nadal even takes notice of such "also-rans;" giving them status above all others who really challenge him! Very sad and pathetic!

    ***Good post as always.***

    It's easy to point out the insufferable attitude of Nadal and his sycophants; on one hand talking about "he's the GOAT," but on the other his court demeanor is the worst with stalling, taking on coaching from the stands, calling of trainers, challenging every call against him and being wrong, and of course allowing players not in his class taking him to the limit! His sense of entitlement has infuriated me since he was a teenager! Only Nole has been able to halfway tame him, initially using his tactics against him, now outright "outhitting" him for the most part!

    ***Most Rafa fans have not claimed him to the be GOAT, nor have they even admitted that there is such thing. I have no idea what you mean about his "sense of entitlement" since he was a teenager, and I have a hard time believing that that put you off of him when he was 16-19, if you were even paying that much attention to him, but I'm willing to hear you out.

    I also believe that we've established that lots of top players have called for the trainer at dodgy moments, so I don't see how that's a particular Nadal sin. ...Have I addressed all your points?***

    You proved my point by disputing it all! Thanks; saves me the work trying to read you! Mirror, mirror on the "S" word! I rest my case!

    ***Absolutely. Fully agreed.***

    Thank you! At least someone has my back! lol!

  96. ***...You should add Mao to the mix of "what if a clean performance" as well. I wonder if the Russians would have the colossal ignorance exceeding what they already showed to dare to still try and give Adelina and Julia the gold if Mao skated a clean short and long w/ a triple axel and 8 triples. The biggest beneficiary of the gift of Julias problems was Adelina. Adelina was only artificially anointed after Julia fell in the SP since a Russian had to win the gold no matter what. So that said, had Julia done 2 clean programs, I highly doubt Adelina would have even medaled, even clean, esp. w/ Kim and Kostner skating so well.***

    As well as Mao could perform, she had little credibility by the time she got to Sochi! She hadn't landed one of those triple axels! It made no sense for her to even try it, knocking her out of contention right away! She saw what good it did her 4 years before, landing all 3 in her short and long programs and she still was miles away from a superior performance of Yuna! Stupid! She should have shelved that jump and skated to at least a bronze medal, but she was obviously stubborn and it cost her! She salvaged her season by taking Worlds the next month! I have no idea how she did; advertising of the event is almost nonexistent these days with no repeat on tv!

    ***I think both Slutskaya and Kwan were better competitors than Kostner, though. I love Kostner, but frankly her nerves couldn't compete with these 2 ladies.***

    You got it; nerves, nerves, nerves! She scaled back her program just to stay on her feet and she succeeded in taking the bronze at the Olympics!

    ***Nah, I love Kostner but it's true Kwan and Slutskaya were fiercer competitors.

    Best use of their Arms - Jeffrey Buttle. Such a beautiful skater.***

    For men, I'd have to go back to Alexei Urmanov; the best florid arms ever! He's the only guy that can actually play a swan using the music of "Swan Lake!' Go check him out at '95 Europeans! If not for arriving late and having a horrible short program, he would have won! A couple years later, the same thing happened, but he actually came back from 6th place, jumping over the rest of the field to win in '97!

    ***Speaking of Swan Lake, it instantly makes me think of Rudy Galindo. Beautiful posture, ballettic arm positions.

    - - ***

  97. ***Someone should warn Kukushkin that you are allowed to volley and/or go to the net.***

    Believe me, I scream at the tv all the time saying the same thing! That's why I say today's players are unwatchable! They're so afraid of volleying it's scary! Nadal's put of the defensive, floats some weak shot back, and all these idiots allow it to bounce to restart the point! They're all pathetic!

    ***IMO, Serena lost her tennis form, not her physical form. She was getting to the balls today, but was doing nothing w/ them. I think that she stopped working on her game in training and was just going through the motions w/o focusing on the technical side. She trusted herself too much to be good technically, but if you don't work on that in training, then you will not be good technically in matches.

    A lot of backhand errors too and she ended with another lame backhand into the net. - The more I watch WTA matches these days the more these slam upsets are basically no longer upsets. The reason being the same best of 3 format at every single event means if you can beat someone in Dubai as Cornet did against Serena, then Wimbledon is just as possible. Sure, different surface, but so what, you've proven you can beat them and the format is the same # of sets at slams. Much more of a tough ask in slams for the men w/ guys who may win a best of 3 against someone having way less chance in best of 5.***

    So ridiculous to see again and again; an also-ran taking out the top player! Women's tennis is just so hard to watch these days! Like a lot of the men, she hit a great shot to put Cornet on the defensive, then backed up! I can't stand it! The forecourt is still pretty pristine after a week! On grass? Sick and stupid!

    ***Well, Cornet's good in fairness and beat her in Dubai. She deserved to win, but Serena was far from good too. - Serena will learn from it and bounce back. She just lost touch w/ real tennis. It happens all the time to players. They think they are in the right place even if they aren't. Sloane, Kerber last year, Kvitova, Ana 2 years ago... all these players thought they are doing things right while they were doing them wrong. WE LEARN.***

    It truly does get harder when you're over 30! No one more fit than Martina, but even she started having mental "let downs!" You pull back just a little and that's all it takes for an also-ran to challenge and possibly beat you! Roger better be careful in his upcoming matches! Being prepared isn't always enough!

    ***Ana complains that she can't see the fast serves coming at her in the dark.***

    When Martina started missing shots; misshitting balls esp., she complained about the lighting! She ended up needing glasses in '85!

  98. ***There's a 0.0000001% chance Sharapova will ever visit this site and read peoples' comments so frankly who cares what someone writes about her, esp. since it's all true anyway. People said she makes horrible stares down the court at her opponent every time before she serves. That's 100% true. People said she screams her head off almost all through her matches. True also. B/c of her turning her back and then the subsequent horrible stares she frequently violates the time between points. Also true. There have been no lies told by anyone.***

    They don't want to see or hear the truth which is so ridiculous, but what can we do? So many look through a lens of rose colored glasses and if you try to open their eyes to that truth, they will fly off the handle! You can tell I couldn't care less what people think of me, I'm going to tell them what's what! If they don't like it, they can go to Hell, send me their condescending messages, and life will continue on! This is still a forum for opinion and an expression of ideas; if they have a problem, it's theirs alone!

    ***...Sharapova was NOT screaming and staring and time delaying at the start of her career. You are totally misleading w/ your claims. She was a clean nice player when she was 17. I liked her then.***

    Who cares what she was like or behaved 10 years ago? We're talking about now and she's one of the most distracting players out there; playing or watching her! You can add Azarenka to the mix! Both are unwatchable, even if you want them to win! I was watching BJK playing Evert in the '73 Wimbledon final and you didn't hear a peep out of them and they weren't giving each other "death stares," stalling all the way! I don't even think they sat down on changeovers! Oh for the good ol' days!

    ***You're of course entitled to have your personal opinion about someone even if tens of millions of other people have a completely different one, but to express this personal opinion over and over again is completely unnecessary and as the Borg say - futile.

    Sure millions of people may like her, but if you visit a lot of tennis forums I'm quite confident she's the most disliked WTA player currently on tour; by the players too. She was fine in 2004 and I had zero issues w/ her then as was the case w/ many people also. As she's getting older she's looking for any edge to win and they're not nice ways to go about it. You can hit balls hard and win matches w/o staring horribly every point at your opponent, stalling between points, and screaming at the top of your lungs. She's not the only one who screams obviously.

    Tens of millions of other people do NOT like Masha. Your popularity claim is funny. The dislikers just don't go out in the street and shout "I hate her." The commentators are making their living off her; they collaborate. The media is a cynical industry. You dream your own dream and check reality now and then.***

    That was hilarious making it seem like it was just a handful of folks that didn't like her compared to 10's of millions of fans! What a pathetic joke! lol!

  99. ***If Serena isn't careful, she is going to start giving everyone hope that she is consistently beatable. Get that serve in order and that aggression back. She has to stop this need to maintain the rally and look to end points quicker than she is. - Losing before the quarters in 4 of the last 5 Slams shows she already is very beatable and largely down to inexplicably poor play rather than amazing play by her opponents too; which is the highly disappointing part for her and her fans.***

    I've been saying that for years! The more she played this way, the more I thought it would shorten her career; same w/ men like Nadal and Murray! It's the most ridiculous thing to see again and again from these players; hitting an offensive shot, putting opponent on their heels, then back up to continue rather than ending the point! It's just plain stupid in so many ways!

    ***I put this down to Patrick's style of play that he has imparted on Serena. He helped her gain consistency for the most part, but now he needs to impart some aggression back in her game b/c players are taking it to her rather than her taking it to them. When an Alize Cornet is dictating play against Serena Williams, then there are problems. Serena Williams should rarely be dictated to in play, and it is happening more and more.

    Serena's serve has been MIA most of the year, and I'm not sure she has been as dedicated to her fitness this year like she had been the 2 previous years. I think she recognized that need in losing the 12 pounds after the French. Maintaining fitness is crucial to maintaining her ability to compete at her age.

    12 lbs wasn't enough imo. Her legs are carrying far too much weight still. It's no coincidence the slender, fitter, faster girls are the ones beating her rather than the bulkier ones like Stosur, Kerber, etc.***

    After all this talk about Venus and Serena's dominating serves; where is this all coming from all of sudden? Maybe the losing is making their fans come around to our way of thinking! Coming and going as you please, being out of shape, and most of all getting old is taking it's toll; finally!

    ***I still believe in a Serena come back. She just needs to get her act together and start playing seriously again. Not Grand Slams, but every tournament she can find to get her level back by playing real matches, not just training.***

    I thought her problem was overplaying last year; more tournaments than in her entire career! She won, but it had to take a toll in desire mentally as well as the physical side of it! Like Federer, she should have scaled back gradually instead of trying to catch up and do something in the way of formulating a legacy! She should have passed both Chris & Martina in majors years ago; all on her playing part time! The competition's been weak for years w/ her real rival retired years ago in Henin! She's losing to players who've won nothing and it's beginning to get embarrassing for all concerned; family and friends alike!

    ***And I think that she just lost desire and focus this year. She had a lot of free time to relax and refresh her self. She needs to get more serious and the results will come. Maybe if she was training more instead of enjoying Miami, then she would be more prepared for Wimby. Imo she needs to just play matches and get fit even more. It depends on where her head is now.***

  100. ***Serena is a baseliner. She is not that great at net, which is why she backed up after hitting a short ball or lost points after a weak volley. This is the problem w/ having a one dimensional game. I was cheering for her also to win Wimby, but once she got tentative on her ground strokes, Cornet was able to drop shot and run her all over the court.***

    The GOAT talk is nauseating for that very reason! Her limitations are so obvious! Even Graf served and volley at times; esp. early on before the "forehand" became legend! - Anyone have a change of heart concerning the top rankings; GOAT talk? I still have Serena Wms at #5 behind Navratilova, Graf, Court, & Evert! Hingis and Henin in the top 10 w/ Venus barely in the top 20!

    WTA #1 Rankings (all time as of 6/14):

    1 US - Chris Evert Nov. 3, 1975 260 wks
    2 Aust. Evonne Goolagong Cawley Apr. 26, 1976 2 wks
    3 US - Martina Navratilova Jul. 10, 1978 332 wks
    4 US - Tracy Austin Apr. 7, 1980 21 wks
    5 Ger. - Steffi Graf Aug. 17, 1987 377 wks
    6 Yugo/US - Monica Seles Mar. 11, 1991 178 wks
    7 Spain - Arantxa Sánchez Vicario Feb. 6, 1995 12 wks
    8 Switzerland - Martina Hingis Mar. 31, 1997 209 wks
    9 US - Lindsay Davenport Oct. 12, 1998 98 wks
    10 US - Jennifer Capriati Oct. 15, 2001 17 wks
    11 US - Venus Williams Feb. 25, 2002 11 wks
    12 Us - Serena Williams Jul. 8, 2002 194 wks
    13 Belg. - Kim Clijsters Aug. 11, 2003 20 wks
    14 Belg. - Justine Henin Oct. 20, 2003 117 wks
    15 France - Amélie Mauresmo Sept. 13, 2004 39 wks
    16 Russia - Maria Sharapova Aug. 22, 2005 21 wks
    17 Serbia - Ana Ivanovic Jun. 9, 2008 12 wks
    18 Serbia - Jelena Janković Aug. 11, 2008 18 wks
    19 Russia - Dinara Safina Apr. 20, 2009 26 wks
    20 Denmark - Caroline Wozniacki Oct. 11, 2010 67 wks
    21 Belarus - Victoria Azarenka Jan. 30, 2012 51 wks

    ATP #1 Rankings (all time as of 6/14):

    1 Romania - Ilie Năstase Aug. 23, 1973 40 wks
    2 Aust. - John Newcombe June 3, 1974 8 wks
    3 US - Jimmy Connors July 29, 1974 268 wks
    4 Sweden - Björn Borg Aug. 23, 1977 109 wks
    5 US - John McEnroe March 3, 1980 170 wks
    6 Czech. - Ivan Lendl Feb. 28, 1983 270 wks
    7 Sweden - Mats Wilander Sept. 12, 1988 20 wks
    8 Sweden - Stefan Edberg Aug. 13, 1990 72 wks
    9 Germany - Boris Becker Jan. 28, 1991 54 wks
    10 US - Jim Courier Feb. 10, 1992 58 wks
    11 US - Pete Sampras April 12, 1993 286 wks
    12 US - Andre Agassi April 10, 1995 101 wks
    13 Austria - Thomas Muster Feb. 12, 1996 6 wks
    14 Chile - Marcelo Ríos March 30, 1998 6 wks
    15 Spain - Carlos Moyá March 15, 1999 2 wks
    16 Russia - Yevgeny Kafelnikov May 3, 1999 6 wks
    17 Aust. - Patrick Rafter July 26, 1999 1 wks
    18 Russia - Marat Safin Nov. 20, 2000 9 wks
    19 Brazil - Gustavo Kuerten Dec. 4, 2000 43 wks
    20 Aust. - Lleyton Hewitt Nov. 19, 2001 80 wks
    21 Spain - Juan Carlos Ferrero Sept. 8, 2003 8 wks
    22 US - Andy Roddick Nov. 3, 2003 13 wks
    23 Switz. - Roger Federer Feb. 2, 2004 302 wks
    24 Spain - Rafael Nadal August 18, 2008 140 wks
    25 Serbia - Novak Djokovic July 4, 2011 101 wks

    I just can't give Nadal all due credit b/c of the lop-sided # of clay court victories! He has surpassed Borg in that respect, but Bjorn went from the FO to Wimbledon grass to win 3 straight years, making the final 4 years in a row! I gave Sampras the benefit of the doubt when it comes to being the GOAT assuming w/ his serve he'd beat Federer in his prime, but only playing 1 semi and 1 quarter at the FO disqualifies him since Roger took his lone title in '09 and played several finals!