Finally watching Masters Final


I'm finally getting around to watching what I have of the Masters final. I'm kind of annoyed because I was out playing and TiVOed the match. It recorded the whole time slot (2.5 hrs) and I only got the 1st 2 sets. I can't imagine why ESPN did this. I mean they knew the results, why did they only alot 2.6 hrs?
My impressions are fairly different than those I read right after the match. I won't get a chance to see the Federer outburst (until I pick up the DVD from someone) but it doesn't seem to me that Nalbandian is being too critical over lines calls. There was on call that was obviously missed, but Nalbandian and Federer both are accepting the calls as called with very little argument.
Also, maybe this is because I know the match result beforehand, but it doesn't seem to me that Federer is nearly the dominate player he had been all year. He's not moving as well as I've seen in the past, and he is spraying forehands all over the place. He looks lethargic as compared to previous performances.


Hall of Fame
Old news... but, if you want to bring it up again, I'm in for it. I'll tell you this. I'm not Roger's biggest fan. Not that there's anything wrong with him. It's just that I'm, almost, always against the dominant athletes/teams in all sports (Valentino Rossi's the exception... Michael Schumacher's not, but he seems to be done, anyway). However, going back to Roger, after that last match with Nalby, I've learnt to appreciate, like and respect him a LOT more. And it's not really even, because of how he played that day (or how he plays, in general). Mainly, it's due to the way he behaved and conducted himself immediately AFTER the game (during the closing ceremony), eventhough we all know he must have been extremely dissapointed. You know what? He's a TRUE champion and a role model for all of us!


I haven't seen the closing ceremony yet. Nor have I seen anything after the 1st 2 sets. Federer has always been gracious in both defeat and victory. The latter being far more comon. You can tell as much from the way a player conducts himself in victory as you can in how they accept defeat.
Federer is a fantastic example for how to conduct yourself as a tennis player. I hope more accept his and (post Gilbert) Agassi's example rather than use McEnroe as their template, which seems to have been the case over the last few years.


dmastous, sorry you missed the remainder of the match. I've been caught like that, too, when matches have run longer. To schedule only 2:30 for a best-of-5 was pretty shortsighted of ESPN -- wishful thinking on their part?

Anyay, the line call stuff and Fed's show of anger came later and neither were significant factors in a very gripping match. Both men gave it all they had, and as Roger said in his press conference, David was the better player on the day.

As you noted, Roger's movement was below his normal level right from the start of the match. Others have written that pointing this out is just making an excuse for him, which they resent.

I heartily agree with you and Ripper that Fed is a fantastic champion and role model. Even THAT assertion is challenged, though, by people who have decided they don't like him -- for whatever reason(s).

P.S. ESPN did not show the closing ceremony.


Feeling is mutual guys. I said the same thing when they went off air, thinking well what about the ceromony!? Oh well...


david7410 said:
God I hate ESPN.
david, ESPN certainly seems to hate tennis.

That little video clip they show at the beginning of their tennis broadcasts -- blue background and red 'ESPN' -- the animation of a male 'playing' tennis is just spastic. Nobody hits like that. Every time I see it, I think, "Here's ESPN getting their jollies having a dig at tennis and tennis players."


ESPN carried the match in its entirety. The preempted the following programs to show the whole match. However they only allocated 2.5 hours initially. I extended the recording time by 1 hour and still didn't catch the last set.

This is the problem with tennis that drives broadcasters nuts. They simply don't know how much time to allocate to a broadcast. The variation between a straight set demolition and a 5 set classic can be 3 to 4 hours.


Did you not know the score beforehand? I knew that the match would go long before so I set my DVR to tape for at least 2 hours after the alloted time. I usually do that with live matches as well because of that risk.


The closing ceremony was nothing special. It was all in Chinese as you could expect, and the translators had to transate everything the players said (which wasn't much). I am extremely suprised ESPN only cut out 2 games from the whole match!


ESPN is the most profitable part of ABC. Theyre not morons. They know that in the typical Fed cakewalk in a final they would get a tiny share for an 0,3,3, final. Good for them that they preempted their other programming when they discovered it was a good match. Im sure theyre sorry it interfered with your ability to watch the match in its entirety on TIVO.


For myself, I knew Nalbandian had won, but didn't know the score, or how long the match went. I wish I had set my DVR to record more.
As for my hating ESPN, or ESPN hating tennis. Neither is true. If it wasn't for ESPN you would only have the Grand Slam semis and finals to watch like it used to be. Because ESPN made a profit out of sports and tennis specifically, the networks are showing more tennis and more sports. At the same time if ESPN hated tennis they wouldn't even show it. But I will agree that ESPN (the network) shows no respect for tennis. I agree that opening graphic is a horrible one. That has to be one of the worst graphically representations I've seen in a long time.
In many ways ESPN sets the market. They put "March Madness" on the map. They named it and made what it is now. Now that they've lost that gem to the networks they are trying to do the same for the Womens tournament. They did the same thing for tennis. Showing early rounds of tournaments brought the networks in to show more tennis.
ESPN in many ways changed the landscape of television forever. You have to at least give them credit for that.
Having said all that their programming decisions frequently make me shake my head in disgust.


You can tell as much from the way a player conducts himself in victory as you can in how they accept defeat.
Not necessarily, I don't think. It's easier for someone like Federer, who has won a lot, to be nice and gracious and a say-all-the-right-words guy because he wins. It's hard to accept defeat with the same grace. People get bitter, angry, they're in denial, it's all because they didn't play their best, etc.

In my opinion the way Federer accepts his defeats is more of a testament to his character. It's not easy to lose, especially in matches like the Aussie Open semifinal and now this last one. He's been pretty good about that.
I think the Aussie Open semifinal might have been easier, since he played incredably well and lost an incredable match to somebody who would have beaten anybody else in straight sets that day, and the match could have easily gone his way, and in fact the final match stats were in his favor but Safin won the bigger points. Hewitt, Roddick, or Nadal, would have all been off the court in straight sets vs either Safin or Federer that day.

The Masters loss, even though it is not a grand slam might been tougher since there was the hype of him trying to tie McEnroe's 1984 match record, and because he was impaired physicaly by injury and still almost managed to win moving and serving at what appeared to be about 60%. That must be tough to accept, but he handled it well. Anyway one of McEnroe's defeat in 84 was in Davis Cup, I think ones match record should only be tournament play personally, so I would still consider McEnroe's 1984 record slightly better personally. So he did not miss out on tieing the mark really, Davis Cup should not count towards one overall year record, it should be seperate.