Saturday, June 10, 2006

It's on: Quentin Tarantino v. Lou Diamond Phillips

While the women's draw was ripe with possibilities, there was only one real scenario on the men's side and on Friday, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal sealed their destiny to appear in this year's French Open final. Federer was looking a bit shaky in his semifinal against David Nalbandian, but fortunately, the No. 3 seed picked up a strained abdominal muscle and had to pull out. If he's really injured, that's a stroke of really bad luck. He could end up missing Wimbledon also. Once again, when you see players who are really injured, you have to look at the schedule. One month off is not enough.
In the other semi, Nadal finished off Ivan Ljubicic, but the Croat didn't go away without getting a couple off-the-court backhands. On Nadal's time between points: "I am surprised how much they let him do it, because, you know, they give him one time violation, but didn't seem like change something. I think the umpire should be more aggressive on that because it's ridiculous how much time he takes between points." On Nadal apparently being coached by his uncle Toni: "But I had bad experience in Miami when I lost to him. Toni was telling him a lot what to do, yes." He really could have wrapped in up a few words: "Yes, he dusted me and it pisses me off. Leave me alone."
If there is credence to Nadal being coached, it is something of a disadvantage. His coach can tell him, "Get him into the net," all he wants, though, and it will still be up to Nadal to execute. I still see off-court coaching as a crutch in a sport where the appeal is figuring it out yourself. It may give Nadal an edge, but it's not why he's No. 2 in the world.

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