Australian Open: What did Wawranka’s win over Rafa say about Federer

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

For starters, his win got Roger to agree to play in Davis Cup starting tomorrow. We’ll have to wait until Roger and Rafa retire to argue about who is the better and who is the best ever. I’m of the mind, for now, that Rafa is the best on clay ever. And that clay is just a side-show surface compared to hard court. I guess that the immediate argument is that grass – Roger’s won Wimbledon 7 times – is an off of the circus grounds affair given that its season lasts only one month. Grass and hard court have more in common than either do with clay. BTW, I prefer clay to them all, having played on this surface regularly for the better part of thirteen years.

At the Australian Open. Stan won because he served well and returned serve well. Federer played well, perhaps his best since winning Wimbledon in 2012. It’s all about match-ups. Did Roger tire Rafa? How much did this match contribute to Nadal’s diminished play in the Championship? Would Berydich have fared better if he and Nadal had traded sides of the draw as he and Stan split sets, one break each, with Stan winning both tie-breakers. Could Stan have defeated Nadal in the Semis and Berydich over Roger in the Semis. Would Nadal have defeated Stan and then Roger in the Championship?

Whatever the parlor game, Stan won three difficult matches in convincing manner over Djokovic, Berydich and Nadal. Nadal seems to have played his Final versus Roger so was unable to elevate his game or his health for the Championship. It appears that last weekend was one version of Davis Cup; tomorrow begins another.

Most Aces
Wawrinka 81 #1 (11+ per match)
Federer 53 #9 (9+ per match)
Nadal not in top 20

1st Serve Points Won
Wawrinka 82{915b2618a7c304f461205894c34b2284541042d3c677679407e2f30838792dcd} #6
Federer 79{915b2618a7c304f461205894c34b2284541042d3c677679407e2f30838792dcd} #14
Nadal not in top 20

First Serve {915b2618a7c304f461205894c34b2284541042d3c677679407e2f30838792dcd} In
Nadal #9 71{915b2618a7c304f461205894c34b2284541042d3c677679407e2f30838792dcd}
Neither Federer nor Wawrinka in Top 20

1st Serve Receiving Points Won
Wawrinka 146 #1
Nadal 135 #2 (18 per match)
Federer 124 #4 (20+ per match, played 6 matches)

2nd Serve Return Points
Nadal 136 #2 (19+ per match)
Federer 119 #7 (19+ per match, fewer matches))
Wawrinka 109 #9 (15+ per match)

2nd Serve Points Won
Nadal #9 and Federer #10 at 59{915b2618a7c304f461205894c34b2284541042d3c677679407e2f30838792dcd}
Wawrinka not in Top 20

Break Points Won
Nadal 27 #2
Federer 23 #7 (6 matches)
Wawrinka 23 #7

Roger & Tiger both win on a Sunday; 2nd verse, same as 1st

Monday, July 13th, 2009

One month between posts! And a lot has happened but not much has changed. Hunter Mahan shoots 62 in final round, Tiger bests him by one shot coming down the stretch. Andy Roddick plays the match of his career, losing only one service game (75 played in total with 30 in 5th set alone) and loses match to Roger after that sole miscue.

Each day as I read the thinner and thinner printed newspapers, I need only scan the headlines for strong signals of increasing disruption and uncertainty: ethnic riots in China; political riots in Iran; coup in Honduras; Iraq and Afgan-land returning to the time before the billions and the thousands (dollars and deaths). Closer to home, I think that we’re not being completely honest with ourselves about the condition of the economy and the course of action necessary for its recovery.

I continue to speak with customer executives about the present and probable impact of Internet technologies. I sat at lunch yesterday where three people in a row were using their iPhones. Notable was that each represented an different age demographic. Despite what I believe to be the silent stampede of smart phones (iPhone & Pre & Blackberry & Android-based phones), the majority of execs that I with whom I meet are not sure if they should permit their employees access to Instant Messaging capability and certainly uncomfortable with widespread employee access to the Internet.

I want to believe that these execs are terribly short-sighted in not trusting their employees in an ‘everybody knows – your employees are your brand’ economy. On the other hand, if they are correct and their employees lack the education and/or discipline to use IM & the Internet productively, how will we recover the economy and transform it from Consumption to Value-Add, presuming that a return to Production is a ways off unless matters really get bad (like becoming lower cost than India)?!

Back to Tiger and Federer: I read this summer, mainly inspired by Malcolm Gladwell’s new book Outliers, that one has to be gifted plus heavily invested to be a top class performer of any sort. So, I’ll never be as good as a Tiger or a Roger or a Bill Gates if only because they have that 10,000 hour head-start on me during which they perfected their crafts. However, I can practice like a Tiger or a Roger meaning that I can make every learning moment useful.

The way forward or the change necessary will have to be, imo, centered on a collective commitment to excellence at levels and in ways that we are not recently familiar. It might take us to the final hole or the 30th game in the 5th set and we are capable if we become committed to our mutual achievement.