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2009 Shanghai ATP Masters 1000 - Day 8
I had mixed feelings when I read recent news reports quoting Andre Agassi as saying that both Federer and Nadal are on the decline. Of course I gave Agassi the benefit of the doubt of assuming that he was only responding to questions asked by the media. But still I found his statement to be in slightly poor taste.

Although he was a member of the previous generation of dominant tennis players, I felt that Agassi should have had the sensitivity to remember his own hurtle down the rankings, as well as his subsequent re-ascent in 1998, at the ripe old age of 28. And I felt that these memories should have sealed his lips against commenting on the perceived decline of any current tennis player who is the same age now (or younger, in the case of Nadal) that Andre was when he clawed his way back into relevance.

Go here for the rest of this entry and here for my blog. And thanks as ever for reading.

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Comment by tennischick on October 21, 2009 at 5:45pm
agree with Brad. i think that Davydenko got hurt -- badly -- by the illegal gambling allegations. that distracted folks from how truly awesome his tennis can be.
Comment by Mark / The Mayor on October 20, 2009 at 7:35pm
Brad Gilbert just called Davydenko the "Rodney Dangerfield of men's tennis." It is so true - no respect. But maybe things are changing. Davydenko has ended in the top 5 for 4 years in a row.

"Now at 28, he is playing as offensive-minded as I have ever seen him and he is one of the biggest hitters off of both sides on tour, which is even more extraordinary considering he is so slightly built. With this win it puts him almost in a locked position to make the year-end championship, which will be the fifth year in a row he qualifies for the season-ending event. The only other active players to accomplish this are Fed, Nadal and Roddick."

Now, can we learn about this guy's personality? Assuming he has one.... hm, maybe that is the problem.
Comment by tennischick on October 20, 2009 at 5:14pm
yes you need to read the whole thing. hopefully you will still think the title fits! :-)

i don't equate burnout with loss of interest. i think they're two different experiences.

i think Agassi was mainly distracted by other personal/marital responsibilities.
Comment by Mark / The Mayor on October 20, 2009 at 10:14am
HI guys - great post TC - but what does the title have to do with the content?
Maybe it is in the rest of the text... but i havent surfed on yet.
Agassi's lapse was mental IMO, burnout and losing interest are pretty much the same thing, no?
Comment by tennischick on October 20, 2009 at 4:17am
Disagree on your view of Agassi's decline. It wasn't mental burnout but physical neglect due to being preoccupied with taking care of Brooke Shields. his recovery came via ending that relationship and embarking on a brutal physical training spearheaded by the best trainer in the business IMO, Gil Reyes.

i think that Federer has done a better job than most of taking care of his body. Uncle Toni seems to have allowed Nadal to grind himself down too much IMO.

agree on the admiration of straight-shooters. i count myself among them. but i felt that Agassi's words were out of place given his own history.
Comment by Jazz Burks on October 20, 2009 at 1:10am
With Federer his age has become a factor. Fed must watch his schedule even more closely as he gets closer to 30. As far as I know Fed has only been seriously hurt once with that bad ankle in late 2k5 early 2k6. Now back issues towards the end of this and last year? Take it easy Fed!

Nadal's problem in all parts is his game. I think that the knee issues for the past couple of years have eaten into that "bulletproof" psyche that he once had. If Davy destroyed Rafa as you said this is the latest in a longer list of beatdowns than I'm used to seeing. The Fed loss, Soderling at RG. Del Potro at Flushing. Could Rafa actually be Mike Tyson and now that Buster Soderling has shown that if you have a solid game plan and are not afraid you too can beat Rafa Tyson. Some of the blame may also have to go to Uncle Toni. Where is plan B? When your boy is getting throttled as he has been and the topspin ain't working what do you do?

As far as Agassi goes his fall and rise were more mental burnout than physical decline. Also soft selling is not Agassi's thing. He is a straight shooter and that's why I wish he'd get up in the booth more!

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