Tennis Freaks

“1821: Nadal, I’ve noticed, has a problem with his shorts, in that they keep on getting stuck up his jacksie and he has to pull them out before every point. Not sure why he doesn’t just get a size up, he’s probably loaded.”

Archive for ferrero

Nalbandian v Ferrero as it happened

Australian Open, Melbourne

Men’s third-round result:

JC Ferrero (Spa) bt D Nalbandian (Arg)

6-1 6-2 6-3

By Piers Newbery

Third set:

Nalbandian 3-6 Ferrero
There we have it. Nalbandian smacks a smash into the tram lines on his way to 0-40 and Ferrero converts his second match point with a forehand winner. He looks rightly thrilled at taking a big scalp but, Nalbo…. que paso?

Enjoyed your company everyone, I will be taking a break from the next match to do….. stuff… before returning for Serena v Vaidisova at some ungodly hour.

Nalbandian 3-5 Ferrero
Daniela Hantuchova is through and I’ve enjoyed a surprisingly impressive lasagne, so it’s been a good few minutes for me. Unlike Nalbo, who finally does the decent thing and smashes his racket to the ground/plexicushion. Ferrero holds.

0154: “Gone a bit Nalbo. Newbs you legend!”
From Indy again, via text (Well, really, I say….)

Nalbandian 3-4 Ferrero
After a couple of pretty low-key sets when he hasn’t had to do anything spectacular, Ferrero steps up a gear with some fizzing forehands to earn two break points at 15-40. Nalbo ambles into the net, Ferrero lines up the backand pass and….. dumps it in the net. Nalbandian follows up with backhand and forehand winners and JCF sees a great chance go begging.

Nalbandian 2-4 Ferrero
The first sign of trouble for Ferrero when Nalbandian gets his first break point of the day, but he sticks a forehand long and looks like he’s going to burst into tears. Ferrero does not give him another chance and victory is within sight. As is my lasagne.

0142: “I think you’ll find 01.30 and 01.31 are part of the same message. piers,is staying up to these crazy hours every night addling your brains?”
From webber, oxford x, via text (Ha, clearly. I’ve gone a bit Nalbo)

Nalbandian 2-3 Ferrero
Sorry Joe (see below), I think that £20 might be gone for good. Ferrero gets a crucial break when Nalbandian sticks a couple in the net. What is up with the big man from Cordoba?

0133: “Nalbandian will turn this around, or at least he wants too. I have twenty quid riding on him.”
From Joe, birmingham, via text

Nalbandian 2-2 Ferrero
Nalbo looks as though he’d like to smash his racket but doesn’t have the energy. Ferrero holds to 15 and could be on his way to a pretty big upset here, bearing in mind the way Nalbo finished last season with a couple of wins over Federer.

Hello, the pubs are shut….

0132: “Kohlschreiber. I’ve had a few gins tonight and was just challenged to spell ‘the German lads’ name. A crowning achievment, that.”
From Will, in Glasgow, via text (Indeed, I’m sober and struggle with that one)

0131: “e night-merchants keeping you company? x”
From webber, oxford, via text (I’ve no idea either)

0130: “Piers mate, great coverage.when you’re on the graveyard shift,are you in a massive room of computers on your own,or are there pale gollum-esque bbc websit….”
From anon, who tails off presumably drunk, via text (On my own, big room, lots of computers, antiquated microwave)

Nalbandian 2-1 Ferrero
Nalbandian moves ahead again wtih a decent service game and looks like putting up a better challenge in this set.

Nalbandian 1-1 Ferrero
He may not be the force he once was but Ferrero remains a top-class player with a great forehand and very handy serve – getting out of this will not be easy for Nalbandian. Ferrero fires an ace for 30-15 and thinks he has another on the following point before Hawkeye says it was millimetres wide, prompting a smile from the Spaniard. He holds easily enough.

Nalbandian 1-0 Ferrero
Nalbo at last gets ahead on the scoreboard with a confident service game, although there is time for one outburst of presumably rather rude Spanish following an error. Nalbandian once said “Tim Henman is no gentleman” after one of the Argentine’s many on-court spats. Unbelievable, eh?

Second set:

0118: “I’ll text you Piers, just cos no one else seems to want to. Or are they just all really poor quality?”
From Indy, with a terminally bad sleep pattern, via text (Much appreciated)

Nalbandian 2-6 Ferrero
There we have it, a two-set lead for JCF after he holds serve from deuce – although he does net a high backhand volley at 40-30. Nalbo manages one decent forehand winner but he’s hardly looking like a man on a mission. A mission to go home, maybe.

Nalbandian 2-5 Ferrero
Nalbandian cracks an ace for a love hold but surely it’s too late in this set.

Nalbandian 1-5 Ferrero
Ferrero wallops a couple of forehands before Nalbandian finally gets going from the baseline and hauls it back to deuce. Ferrero takes the game with some assertive hitting, but signs of life from big Dave.

Elsewhere, Philip Kohlschreiber leads Jarkko Nieminen by a set and fifth seed David Ferrer is a set up against Vince ‘I ain’t afraid a ya’ Spadea. Daniela Hantuchova and Nadia Petrova are also on course for victories. And my lasagne must be done.

Nalbandian 1-4 Ferrero
Ouch. Nalbandian cannot do a thing right. He manages to find a net-cord with a simple mid-court forehand and the ball hops up and beyond the baseline. Ferrero then creams a backhand return and it’s 0-40, three break points. Nalbandian sticks a backhand wide and this could be over soon.

Nalbandian 1-3 Ferrero
A good leave takes Nalbandian to 0-30 up but he then nets a makeable backhand down the line. Ferrero makes him pay with a sweet cross-court forehand pass and some heavy serving.

Nalbandian 1-2 Ferrero
Well, he’s off the mark in this set at least. Nalbandian thumps only his second ace of the match to hold serve and stay in touch. To a personal matter, and having had two bowls of cereal in the last 24hrs I wisely purchased a microwaveable lasagne at London Bridge. Any dip in the awesome quality of this commentary over the next few minutes can be explained by the location of said microwave across the hall.

Nalbandian 0-2 Ferrero
….and if you give a class player like Ferrero this much freedom he’ll take advantage. Three aces in a row give the Spaniard an impressive hold of serve.

Nalbandian 0-1 Ferrero
Fair play to Ferrero, he’s doing enough, and one drive-volley at 30-15 is reminiscent of his glory days five years ago but still…. Nalbo dumps a backhand into the net and drops serve again – three unforced errors in that game alone.

First set:

Nalbandian 1-6 Ferrero
All very odd. Ferrero sweeps through his third straight love game, sealing the first set with an ace. Nalbandian is playing his first event of the year after suffering an injury earlier in the month. He’s a bit fragile at the best of times, big Dave, and he doesn’t look up for it at the moment.

Nalbandian 1-5 Ferrero
Oh dear, Nalbandian gives up another break of serve very tamely and this sets is as good as over.

Nalbandian 1-4 Ferrero
Ferrero, a former semi-finalist here, consolidates his break again and it’s straightforward stuff for the Spaniard at the moment as Nalbandian struggles to get going.

Nalbandian 1-3 Ferrero
So after enjoying an epic nightshift yesterday that finished at 11.30am, thanks to the drama of Federer v Tipsarevic, I stumbled home to enjoy a kip that was regularly interrupted by screams of “C’mon!” from Lleyton Hewitt and the soothing voices of John Lloyd and Sam Smith. It was quite surreal and a reminder never go to bed with the TV on.

Nalbandian smacks his first ace of the day on the way to holding serve to 15.

Nalbandian 0-3 Ferrero
Neither player has found anything like their range yet – maybe they were up late last night watching Hewitt v Baghdatis. We’ve had 15 unforced errors between the pair of them, with Nalbo’s 10th a wild forehand that gives Ferrero the game from deuce.

Nalbandian 0-2 Ferrero
A slightly stodgy start from Nalbo, who is not always the picture of positive thinking on court. He is taken to deuce and then gives up the break by sending the ball long. That won’t cheer him up.

The good news is that, unlike yesterday, the scoreboard is full as play gets under way around the grounds.

Nalbandian 0-1 Ferrero
So here we go, Ferrero opens the serving with a hold to 15 and the pair start the match with a 2-2 head-to-head record. For some reason the roof is over again on Rod Laver Arena, although it’s not actually raining outside. Some bleary eyes in Melbourne (and London) after yesterday’s play finished at 4.35am local time.

0008: Morning all, just made it after the mother of all sleeps following yesterday’s madness – one of the great tennis days. And we could be in for another long one here as these two have previous where that’s concerened.

Story from BBC SPORT


Federer vs Ferrero as it happened


Wimbledon quarter-final result: R FEDERER (Sw) 1 v JC FERRERO (Sp) 20

7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-1 6-3


Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-1 6-3 Ferrero
What a way to finish! Federer deigns to smile for the first time as he brings up match point against the serve with a brilliant crosscourt forehand winner and he wraps it up with a replica shot next up. Superb performance, in my eyes anyway, from both players in difficult conditions and five-in-a-row is still very much on for Federer.

“I don’t think anyone can live with him in that form.”
BBC Sport pundit Boris Becker

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-1 5-3 Ferrero
More mesmerising tennis from both these players, as Federer holds to 30 following a couple of terrific rallies. Andrew Castle is in the process of insisting that these players are producing “workmanlike” tennis in the blustery conditions but, frankly, he’s talking baloney. I mean what does he know about tennis anyway, he’s a GMTV presenter! This is blooming marvellous thank you very much AC.

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-1 4-3 Ferrero
JC – apparently nicknamed the Mosquito on the tour according to Andrew Castle because “he keeps buzzing around” – does just that, keeping himself in the set with a hold to love, sealed with a booming ace.

“Ferrero is battling brilliantly and, at the moment, he looks every inch a part of this set.”
BBC Sport pundit Boris Becker

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-1 4-2 Ferrero
More good work from Ferrero (which Becker has taken to pronouncing Fawewwo annoyingly), the Spaniard looking to get onto Federer’s second serve and moving to 30-15 up on the Swiss’s serve, but he can’t maintain the momentum as Federer moves to game point. Another forehand error brings a sharp self-rebuke from the champion, and it does its jobs as he goes on to hold.

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-1 3-2 Ferrero
Tremendous steel from Ferrero, who holds to 30 in the face of some brilliant Federer offensive. The Swiss curses a couple of missed passing attempts, if only to prove his standards remain ridiculously high, and the Spaniard is hanging on in there.

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-1 3-1 Ferrero
Ferrero finds some remarkable shots to eke out break point but Federer responds with a huge serve to save it. The Spaniard repeats the trick next up, moving Federer around the court and forcing the error, but once again the Swiss saves it, thanks in the main to a stunning volley at the net. Ferrero comes back a third time compliments of a super drop shot but Federer saves it again before producing two winners to hold. Ferrero must be wondering what on earth he has to do to break here.

“Ferrero threw literally everything at Federer there in a desperate attempt to straight back, but the Swiss swallowed it all and sent it back in kind. Remarkable.”
BBC Sport pundit Boris Becker

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-1 2-1 Ferrero
Another brilliant rally, containing 15 strokes, again goes Ferrero’s way when Federer sends a return long, but it can’t stop the Spaniard falling break point down. It’s all the opening Federer needs as he bullies a rally and forces a Ferrero error and the Swiss is looking in complete and utter control.

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-1 1-1 Ferrero
Anything you can do, I can do better, says Federer, as the champion holds to love with yet more indominatable tennis.

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-1 0-1 Ferrero
Nicely done by Ferrero, who lays down a marker early in the set with a tremendous volleyed lob that gives Federer no chance, and he goes on to hold impressively to 15.


Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-1 Ferrero
And that is how it’s done. Federer stares down his opponent, pauses briefly, and then smashes four winners to hold to love and secure the set. Complete and utter one-way traffic in that set, which lasted just 19 minutes, and that was a display of hugely impressive tennis. Blimey, I’ve gone all John Inman here haven’t I?! That can’t be right. I’m just glad Ana Ivanovic is up next, I’ll be reaffirming my masculinity in that one, I tell you.

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 5-1 Ferrero
More stunning work from Federer, who bludgeons his way to 40-0 up on the Ferrero serve with a series of passing winners. The Swiss is operating at such a pace now it’s frightening, as he sends a superb backhand winner down the line to seal a second break.

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 4-1 Ferrero
Do not mess with the Fed man in this mood. He nearly takes a line judge’s head off with a vicious serve on his way to a hold to 30. Sheer aggression, power and accuracy from the champion so far and girlfriend Mirka is looking excited in the crowd. She loves it when he does that dominance thing.

“Once again Federer just proves he always has another gear. The way he is hitting it in this set is unbelievable.”
BBC Sport pundit Boris Becker

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 3-1 Ferrero
Ferrero buckles for the first time today, sending down a double fault and twice finding the net with a drilled forehand. Federer makes no mistake whatsoever, keeping the ball alive well and forcing a backhand error to break to love.

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 2-1 Ferrero
Federer races through another game, holding to 15 with a superb forehand indicative of how well he is striking the ball right now. I would like to tell you more, but games on the Swiss’s serve are lasting about as long as it takes Boris Becker to manage a fashion faux pas of a morning.

“There’s a different face for Federer now. He’s steely-eyed, ruthless – he wants this third set badly.”
BBC Sport pundit Boris Becker

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 1-1 Ferrero
A cry of anguish from Federer – which in itself tells its own story – as the Swiss misses a simple backhand at 15-30 to let Ferrero back in to the game. JC pulls out an ace and a service winner on the next two points to hold and the 20th seed is using all his guile and experience to stave off Federer.

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 1-0 Ferrero
That break in the second set aside, Federer is looking brilliant out there. The Swiss holds to love without giving Ferrero the hint of a sniff.


Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 Ferrero
Centre Court is finally packed to the rafters and they’re being treated to an exhibition of hitting from both players. A sensational sliced backhand down the line brings Federer to 15-30 up, but Ferrero bludgeons his way back into the point with a couple of big forehands. A cracking Federer backhand brings him back to deuce, but Ferrero brings out a superb service winner to hold and level the match. That is only the sixth set Federer has lost in a 31-match winning streak at Wimbledon and this could go either way on current evidence.

“I expected this to be a tough match. Ferrero has been getting better and better with each match in this tournament and he has the heart of a champion.”
BBC Sport pundit Boris Becker

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-5 Ferrero
Apparently the Fedster is human, the Swiss finding the net with two forehands to go 0-30 down having not missed a trick all day. Another forehand error brings JC break point, but Federer bullies his way back to deuce with a few crunching groundstrokes. However, yet another error gives Ferrero another break and the Spaniard forces home the advantage to break against the run of play.

“This is some of the best ball-striking I’ve seen in this tournament, from both players.”
BBC Sport pundit Boris Becker

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-4 Ferrero
Federer latches on to a couple of Ferrero second serves to move to 30-15 up, but once again the Spaniard digs deep to battle back into the game, showing real poise to volley home and then forehand pass his way to the hold.

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 3-3 Ferrero
There’s always one isn’t there – a glance around the Centre Court crowd shows one gentleman reading a broadsheet newspaper, completely oblivious to both the tennis and the fact that it’s blocking a young lady’s view behind him. I’d that rolled up and wrapped round his head in no time, I tell you. Anyway, he’s missing some quality work from Federer, who serves up his 11th ace in between a couple of magnificent passing winners to hold easily.

“Federer is making all the running here, these are dangerous times for Ferrero.”
BBC Sport pundit Boris Becker

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 2-3 Ferrero
Federer really is putting pressure on the JC serve now, coming in on the back of good approaches to twice force the error and move to 30-30. Fair play to Ferrero, though, as the Spaniard produces two unreturnable serves to secure the hold. Lest we forget, JC was once ranked number one in the world and is certainly no gimme here for the Fedster.

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 2-2 Ferrero
Nice work from JC, who spoons an attempted forehand high into the sky and then cries “Catch it!” – which a gentleman duly does in the first row. Nice work sir. Anyway, before you can blink Federer wraps up the game to 15 with yet another ace.

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 1-2 Ferrero
Ferrero heeds Becker’s advice and holds well. After the at-times laboriously slow Nadal-Berdych match, this is racing along at Roadrunner pace. Jubbly.

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 1-1 Ferrero
Apparently the prospect of watching a couple of intriguing men’s quarter-finals is not enough for all my colleagues – some have turned their attention to the doubles match on Court Two between Jo Durie and Annabel Croft and Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova. If you’re interested, only AC has aged anywhere approaching nicely there. Federer continues apace on Centre, mixing huge serves with blistering ground strokes to hold to 15.

“Ferrero has no choice but to be patient, keep holding serve, and then hope Federer starts making mistakes because the Swiss is looking in prime shape at the moment.”
BBC Sport pundit Boris Becker

Federer 7-6 (7-2) 0-1 Ferrero
Important hold to start the set for Ferrero, who is having to hang onto Federer’s coat tails a touch. Federer bludgeons the odd passing shot to keep JC stretching, and the Spaniard falters on a forehand to slip from 40-0 up to deuce. However, he recovers well to win the next two points and hold.


Federer 7-6 (7-2) Ferrero
Federer, who really does look up for it out there, kicks off with an ace and earns the first mini break with a backhand winner. Ferrero sends another return long before the turn to go 5-1 down, and Federer goes on to seal the breaker with a sizzling ace. Fed’s girlfriend Mirka does not celebrate, preferring instead to take a call on her mobile – the phone, shockingly, is not logo-ed up. An opportunity missed for Team Federer I reckon.

Federer 6-6 Ferrero
What a rally! JC comes out on top of a 27-stroke masterpiece, with the mics on Centre Court picking up the “swish” of every stroke beautifully, to move to 30-30, but a brilliant backhand winner down the line earns R-Fed break point immediately after. It is saved when the champion sends a return long, and Ferrero goes on to hold to send the first set into a breaker.

Federer 6-5 Ferrero
Disappointingly, Federer sheds the white trousers and immediately gifts Ferrero break point when he can only find the net with a forehand return. No alarm, though, as he sends down two aces on his way through the next three points to hold.

1334 BST: Rather amusingly, Federer is sporting white slacks as he goes through his routine. All he’s missing is a peaked cap, navy jacket and pipe to complete the full nautical look – I really hope he keeps those on all match. At least he’s not gone the whole nine yards and smeared his poncey gold ‘RF’ logo over them, as he has everything else he brings with him onto court. Logos should be the exclusive boast of superheroes, I’m sorry…

1329 BST: While the burgeoning crowd quench their thirst with a Pimms and nibble on a few strawberries, Roger Federer and Juan-Carlos Ferrero stroll on Centre Court to knock up in the unusual surrounding of bright sunshine.

By Jonathan Stevenson

Federer 5-5 Ferrero (40-40)
A worrying moment as JC slips nastily, but he’s back up after a quick stretch and then sends a belter down the line to get us to deuce. Just as this match threatens to take off and with Federer in trouble, the heavens open and the covers are back on. For the love of tennis.

“The match really starts now. There is no comfort zone for Federer anymore, he’s got to raise his game and he knows it.”
BBC Sport pundit Boris Becker

Federer 5-5 Ferrero
The Spaniard is buzzing now, humming his forehand at Fed. The Swiss is playing second-fiddle at the back of the court and Ferrero, for the first time in the match, is level.

Federer 5-4 Ferrero
Fed miles off target with a routine forehand, then nets twice from similarly simple positions. At 0-40, he slams a forehand a couple of foot beyond the baseline and it’s a ridiculously easy break-back for JC.

Federer 5-3 Ferrero
Cor blimey, that’s gonna hurt. JC’s first serve rears up and crashes into the head of one of the line judges, the sound of the ball hitting his bald pate echoing around Centre. He’s OK though, no drama. JC gets his first serve working and holds. Fed to serve for the set.

Federer 5-2 Ferrero
It must be pretty frustrating to have so much trouble holding on to your own serve, only then to see your opponent hold to love with the minimum of fuss. Fed in cruise control at the minute.

Federer 4-2 Ferrero
A cross-court forehand leaves JC reeling at the net before two big approaches set Fed up for a simple put-away volley. JC recovers well with a fine forehand of his own after manoeuvring Fed across the court and he takes the game after a bit of a wobble to deuce.

Federer 4-1 Ferrero
What I love about Fed is that sometimes he hits a shot that you can barely believe is possible, let alone one that you would ever try yourself. A backhand volley that just keeps fading away from JC is one such precious effort and the champion holds to love. It looks so easy it’s laughable.

Federer 3-1 Ferrero
Good hitting from Fed, clearly not short of match fitness despite his prolonged absence from the tournament. JC does well to stay with him and then Fed goes long and nets to hand the Spaniard his first notch of the day.

Federer 3-0 Ferrero
Fed finds his range on the first serve and JC barely gets a look in. So far, it’s got all the passion and atmosphere of a practice match, and not a very important practice match at that.

Federer 2-0 Ferrero
Fed’s turn to put the pressure on. A dipping forehand opens proceedings and two errors from JC hand the Swiss an early break point. A big JC forehand saves the day, but the Spaniard then nets two straightforward backhands and Fed has his two-game lead.

Federer 1-0 Ferrero
What a start. Ferrero hits two of the sweetest shots you could wish for to put the champion under immediate pressure at 0-30, before Fed replies with two consecutive aces. A double fault gets us to deuce, before another ace and a class volley wrap it up. Good early work from the Spaniard though. Lively.

“It’s very important for me to be in the quarter-finals. It is always difficult for me on the grass, but I have felt good at this Wimbledon. I have the experience to play against Roger, but it’s a difficult game, sure.”
Juan Carlos Ferrero

“Is Roger even still in London? Has anyone seen him the past week?!”
BBC Sport pundit Boris Becker

1458 BST: So Ana Ivanovic scrapes past Nicole Vaidisova and Centre Court holds its breath for the return of Roger Federer to Wimbledon. Six days after seeing off Marat Safin, the four-time champion is back in the mixer against Spain’s number 20 seed Juan Carlos Ferrero.