okay, guys, as some or all of you know now, fed lost to gonzalez, something none of us (not even me) thought is possible. but as that blog that just listed its weekly article today says, it may be a confidence issue. i don't know. i think not only can it be a confidence issue, but his actual decline in play. but then again, we don't know since he's only gone into this kind of phase for only a month or 2? and as that blog says, we can't just make a judgment by 2 or 3 mere losses. i would be inclined to believe that fed still has the game; maybe it's just an asian orientation, and he's simply getting used to the air and the food. anyway, if it is true that fed is on a decline, samp may be 'licking his chops' even more. sure, if samp were to play gonzo or roddick, or whomever, such a match would not be easy, but samp can adjust. adjustment is the name of the game; samp has it; fed has it. especially now, having lost to gonzo, i don't think fed is going to want to lose to pete in the exhibitions. not only that, if fed truly feels that he's on a decline, and he starts to lose Shanghai pretty badly, then the asian exhibs w/samp may be taken very very seriously. the question is not whether samp takes it seriously, because in my opinion, he will; and believe me, i really think samp wants to show the world; if samp wants to see if he can still play with the best, and if he wants to take fed to a tiebreaker, then what's stopping him from wanting to win the tiebreaker? nothing. it's fed. if fed loses this exhib badly, then the asian exhibs are going to be huge; how can fed lose an exhib to a former great (and this samp guy is pretty much a decade older than fed!) after losing to atp player after atp player. the asian exhibs may be more than a mere exhib. it may be for real. it is foreseeable and sampras is mentally (perhaps not physically training 101%), but mentally preparing to take on fed.