Sunday, May 18, 2014

Roland Garros 2014: Do We Have a Deal?

In 2013, the French Senate released a report on doping in sport. The report was quite critical of the ITF. Of note is the following passage:
Dans ce contexte, votre commission d'enquête souhaite que l'AFLD, la FFT et le ministère mettent tout en oeuvre afin que soit conclue, dès 2014, uneconvention entre l'AFLD et la FIT permettant à l'Agence française de réaliser des contrôles à Roland-Garros et à Paris-Bercy qui, bien que coordonnés avec ceux de la fédération internationale, seraient programmés de façon autonome. La fédération française de tennis, forte de l'organisation de plusieurs événements majeurs du tennis mondial, devrait jouer un rôle moteur dans la conclusion de tels accords.
The paragraph sets out an expectation by the senate commission that the governing bodies of tennis reach and agreement with the French anti-doping authority (the AFLD), allowing the AFLD to conduct doping controls at Roland Garros and the Paris-Bercy Masters event.

The question is: Did they reach an agreement for 2014 Roland Garros?

81 comments:

  1. So experimentation with a new undetectable concoction is the cause for Mr weak knees' recent loss of confidence? Or maybe he will go in without preparation to RG hoping to win on his reputation alone?

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    1. Roland Garros Tennis Tournament 2014 live Stream here http://www.frenchopenonline.com/ second Grand Slam tennis tournament French Open 2014 which is beginning from 25th May 2014 and it will be finished on 8th June 2014

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  2. This just confirms my hunch that Nadal is setting himself up to lose this year. I just can't shake the feeling that every Grand Slam tournament is installing it's own anti-doping measures until the ITF gets it's act together. I'm pretty sure that is what happened at Wimbledon last year and explains the strange Nadal losses.

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    1. Roland Garros Tennis Tournament 2014 live Stream here http://www.frenchopenonline.com/ second Grand Slam tennis tournament French Open 2014 which is beginning from 25th May 2014 and it will be finished on 8th June 2014

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    2. The only other event that I can think of where one person completely dominated an event for almost a decade is Lance Armstrong's seven wins at the Tour de France.
      How would a ninth title or tenth for Nadal on the Musqueteer's Cup look a few years from now?It's already raising suspicions now.

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  4. To be or not to be, *that* is the question - say I, lewdly shaking mu spear.

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  5. I wish this would happen. It adds enough "uncertainty" that it makes it much more risky to dope.

    If the USADA (the organization that caught Armstrong), and the Australian, and British authorities did testing at their slams as well, tennis would become watchable again.

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    1. Does anyone know if USADA has a similar involvement with US ATP events and the US Open? I'm assuming they don't.

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  6. Should we be looking out for players complaining about unannounced tests just like in 2009?

    And also Azarenka is out of the French Open, she has only played one match since the Australian Open.

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  7. Tipsarevic was apparently going to play Dusseldorf but I don't see him anywhere in the draw. Another mystery.

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    1. And it looks like he's out of the French as well.

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  8. Yeah, I think it would be good to make an article about Tipsarevic

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  9. I find it odd that there has been absolutely no mention of Tipsy anywhere. His last match was in October in Valencia (7 months and counting), which he retired from in the first set. This is a player who finished 2012 in the top 10 and a year later is nowhere to be found. What's up?

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    1. Well, I'm surprised it isn't well enough known, but Tipsarević has been, supposedly or not, carrying on with a heel injury throughout most of the last season. Now, I'm not trying to say he's not under a 'silent ban', in opposition to what you folks seem to suggest;: what I'm saying is: let us not get carried away by our 'conspiracy-sense' - as, for instance, in the, already conveniently 'forgotten', Söderling case -, shall we.
      P.S. Excuses for bothering you with those unmanageable diacritics.

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  10. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/190807-omg-what-a-dope-pink-shirt

    Apparently, this wouldn't be the first time the AFLD carries the testing in Roland Garros. According to the previous article, the AFLD tested in 2006 and 2009.

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    1. That article is dated in June 2009.

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    3. I wish we could edit.

      Any coincidence that in 2009 Nadal lost in rd. 4? Does that mean since then they have been more lax or have the players figured out a way around it?

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    4. I thought the same. According to this article (http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/roland-garros/20120604.OBS7402/le-tennis-ce-sport-ou-le-dopage-n-existerait-pas.html) that's precisely what they implied. They also report that Nadal made an "scandal" over a surprise test in the first week of Roland Garros that year. Nowadays, the AFLD and the ITF are not in good terms (perhaps Nadal early exit that year was the cause). I don't know if the AFLD ever tested again after that? I don't even know if they're going to test again this year. France has made it clear the expectation, but I don't know if the ITF will allow it.

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  11. In the lead-up to Paris there has been so much hype surrounding Nadal's apparent lack of confidence. There is one thing that guarantees Nadal's "confidence" and we have seen him draw from that well every time (bar that strange year of 2009) to win through at Roland Garros. Expect more of the same this fortnight - the Tireless One will suck the life out of all other competitors, with the possible exception of the similarly physically prodigious - and super-"confident" - Serb.

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    1. Yeah, the stage is perfectly set for the "underdog" to destroy all opposition like a sledge hammer. With or without "preparation" Nadal is an insecure, paranoid individual who whines endlessly about imagined problems with his game. A multimillionaire ranked # 1 in the world playing a game of tennis - doesn't seem too much of a chore, does it? But Nadal makes it sound like he is a wounded soldier going to battle braving bullets and risking near certain death.

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  12. "A friend of mine who works in the French Federation told that this year RG made the clay very quick, and they really want to see a new champion there. Maybe RF last GS""""""

    someone said over at MenTennis Forum.

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    1. Nah, I don't think so. The AFLD isn't going to do any testing this year despite its request (clue 1), the draw is laughable easy for Rafa (clue 2), the hard young guns are there to upset Djokovic (clue 3). The ITF wants Rafa as the champion yet again.

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    2. What a first round draw. A player who was at his best nearly a decade ago, who has been out of the game from injuries and is now ranked 279. Ginepri should be on the couch with the rest of us - watching this rubbish instead of contributing to it.

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    3. Yeah...

      Who's the Roid Raging Bull's next opponent? Taylor Dent? Amer freakin' Delic?

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    4. gulbis can stop the roid raging bull. :)

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  14. Off topic, but has anyone seen Ronaldo lately?

    http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ronaldo7.net%2Fextra%2Fbody%2Fcristiano-ronaldo-body-manchester-united-2006-2007.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ronaldo7.net%2Fextra%2Fbody%2Fcristiano-ronaldo-body.html&h=625&w=480&tbnid=P5BIGrjdqjNkZM%3A&zoom=1&docid=WvqITtDftt61tM&ei=WruDU-fyJtakyASxtYH4BQ&tbm=isch&ved=0CLwBEDMoTjBO&iact=rc&uact=3&dur=1414&page=5&start=63&ndsp=18

    That's quite a physique for a footballer, no?

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    1. Some big seeds dropping out very early : dimitrov, wawrinka, li na. Maybe the announcement of possible testing, real or not is having an impact. A wimbledon 2014 deja vu or am I getting paranoid?

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    2. IDK but as long as Nadal is still in the draw I think it's safe to say the testing is lax this year. ;)

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    3. Agreed ...
      Nadal is a pretty good lithmus test for the level of doping control.
      That's one upside of him taking part

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  15. Alright so I’m not sure how correct this is but it seems the AFLD are not testing at Roland Garros this year :

    https://twitter.com/Nicogeay/status/471288913571901440
    @Nicogeay : L'AFLD n'a pas accès à Roland-Garros ni aucune autre agence ds ts les grands tournois. L'ITF a choisi un labo privé ! #oùestlatransparence?

    Google Translation: “The AFLD has no access at Roland Garros or any other agency at every major tournaments. The ITF has chosen a private lab!”

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    The ITF are protecting their interests, players have nothing to worry about.

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    1. Yeah, I told you. The AFLD is being barred from any ITF major event. It seems the 2009 intromision (and extraordinary year in Roland Garros) has screwed up their relations hard. Nadal is going to have another easy chance for another french open trophy.

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    2. No wonder Djokovic looks so relaxed and is even cracking jokes during matches. He knows he has nothing to worry about! I'm sure his "preparation" for a Roland Garros has been ideal, especially with that little break post Monte-Carlo.

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    3. One wonders why the ITF even let the AFLD test in 2009

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  16. Why is there no mention of Roland Garros testing in their activity report for 2009? https://www.afld.fr/documentation/recherche-de-documentation/rapport-relatif-5
    It does say they were allowed to do additional tests at Paris Bercy.

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    1. Perhaps they burned the reports xD

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    2. Somebody here speaks french? A simple request should give us info.

      https://www.afld.fr/contact

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  17. Is anyone watching Serena right now? Watching this makes me hopeful for the tournament. Maybe they are testing after all. Although it's far from over. Even down a set and 2 breaks one can never rule out a comeback.

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    1. Like you said a few posts above, as long as Nadal is in it (and playing with all guns blazing), there's no serious doping controls happening.

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  18. I thought Serena wanted to be an actress? Well she won't win any Oscars for today's performance. Now she's getting booed.

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    1. I would kill to hear ESPN's resident tennis experts rationalize Serena's defeat (I'm at work right now)... I'm 100% certain that either Gilbert/Cahill/MacEnroe(s)/Fowler suggested at some point that Serena was hurt or had to be hurt. Am I right?

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    2. Can't say, as I watched on a live stream that didn't have any commentary. But I'd love to know what the excuses will be.

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    3. Looks like Serena had no excuses this time in press conference. It seems that the women's side may be secretly tested b/c there's just way too many seeds biting the dust so early, esp. Li na & Serena. It'll be interesting to see how long sharapova lasts. The men's side is hard to tell b/c the lower seeded men who have been doing well this year like almagro or nishikori are out but except for Stan the top seeds are still going strong. Just wish AFLD is exerting some behind scenes force.

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    4. I haven't looked at the draws yet (full disclosure: I'm not into tennis as much I used to - the straw for me was the leak regarding the ITF giving players the chance to hide a positive test by feigning injury (in light of the Cilic case); that was all the confirmation I needed to be 100% certain of Nadal's cheating), but who do you guys think can take out the Roiding Bull at RG (aside from Djokovic)? Gulbis? Ferrer? Simon?? Bautista-Agut? I'm a Federer fan, but he an't beat Nadal anymore (part of me wants to believe Federer kinda knows Nadal is juicing).

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    5. Honestly, right now it looks like Djoke is the only one with a fighting chance to take down Nadull, but if there is testing going on as evident on women's side, maybe they'lll target men top players next. Although, judging from how happy Djoke & Nadull seem it's unlikely.

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    6. A few days ago I had read a post about a news article in which Serena Williams said something to the effect of "I hope I can win one more slam before I retire". Now, why would she say that unless she doesn't believe herself to be a strong contender for slams anymore? And, what would the reason be for her to become a non contender? Maybe the ability to "prepare" was taken away from her leading to loss of confidence?

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    7. Ok, just looked it up and Nadal's half is BARREN. Only Ferrer could give him troubles out there, wow. A shame Wawrinka crashed and burned in the first round. For the first time, I'll have to root against Federer should he meet up with Djokovic in the semis...

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    8. Yeah Ferrer is pretty much the only player in Nadal's half of the draw who has any chance of pulling the upset. Murray could if he plays the entire match like he did in the first set in their semifinals match in Rome.

      I'd love to see Tsonga make a run but he would have to get through Djokovic first (and his third rounder today against Janowicz) and he and Nadal couldn't meet until the finals anyway (if that were to happen).

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    9. Looking at Nadal's draw it looks like a 500 tournament: Mayer, Sock, Lajovic, Karlovic, Anderson, Seppi and Ferrer. What a freaking joke. Like the "king of clay" needs any more help then he already gets, what with the on-court coaching from the uncle and his time wasting and whatever else he's up to.

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  19. Well Serena did have one thing to blame in her press conference - the color of her outfit!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/early-lead/wp/2014/05/28/serena-williams-blames-the-color-green-for-her-shocking-loss-in-the-second-round-of-the-french-open/

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    1. Well, I, for one, wouldn't go by this" tabloidic" interpretation of Serena's words: she was obviously being/trying to be magnanimously witty about it all. And there's hardly blame to be found in THAT, is there.
      So our only hope to find out the "true" reason for her being soundly beaten by an 'outsider' (and everyone stepping on the court simultaneously with her is by definition an outsider, no?), must lie in the lover-boy Mouratoglou's coming out with a confidential public revelation of some terrible injury or other bothering his amour, as he had done only a while ago in the case of her being just as soundly beaten by Ana Ivanović. Alléz, Patrick, alléz!

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    3. Well at least her idiot coach didn't run to the media straight after the match to tell everyone that Serena was "injured" like he did in Australia. He got a lot of heat for that so I guess he (and Serena) kept their mouths shut about any "injuries" this time around. If she loses at Wimbledon I'm sure we'll start hearing about injuries.

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    4. Yeah, Seeya. I only wonder if they really are that stupid to pull it out again... Though, they might be - because they must be, consciously or subconsciously, relying on the fact that she has been, for a long, long while, riding on the wave of her supposed invincibility-cum-threatening-appearance/behaviour - ever since most of the players of her own age, or older, who didn't have that kind of an 'awe', and used to beat her as often as being beaten by her, have retired. But now, afterVirginie Razzano has taken her out of the very first round at RG 2012, and that Ana Ivanović has sent her off at the AO 2014, there seems to be a growing awareness that, after all, there is a rather simple way to beat the 'unbeatable': just play your best aggressive game, move the hulk around the court, and don't mind the 'reintroduction' of it's 'threatening' shrieks when the going gets tough. Virginie has cracked the illusionary armour, Ana has opened the hunting season of 2014, Garbiñe threads in their footsteps... Others will, hopefully, follow - and show that the queen is, in all her 'natural' muscularity, naked.

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    5. "there seems to be a growing awareness that, after all, there is a rather simple way to beat the 'unbeatable': just play your best aggressive game, move the hulk around the court,"

      That's always been the case though. I don't know why people expect one dimensional ball bashers like Sharapova or Azarenka to beat Serena from the baseline, as you just can't overpower her. Just look at the Lisicki match from Wimbledon last year. The era of one dimensional ball bashers on the WTA is why Flo Jo has so many slams, hopefully this new breed of player coming through can at least show some variety.

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    8. @NeutralMilk Hotel:
      Yes, yes, yes. I can't agree with this point enough. A lot of WTA coaches just tell their charges to bash - bash - bash, next to zero variety in their games. That's all most of them know how to do - thankfully I think a lot of the younger girls coming up are showing flashes of variety in their game(s).

      Sharapova has only won 2 or 3 SETS from Serena since 2004 and Azarenka has had some success but ballbashers - for the most part - simply can't beat Serena. Lisicki beat Serena at Wimbledon last year because she served well and on grass serve is a bigger deal on grass then any other surface (even with the slowing down of the grass courts). She also held her nerve which a lot of players simply lack.

      Look at who has had the most success against Serena the past 10 years - Justine Henin. Henin is probably the only player who has ever gotten successfully inside Serena's head (to this day Serena is STILL bitter about the "hand incident" at the 2003 French Open). Henin had a wide variety of game and wasn't just a ballbasher - she moved Serena around and actually came to the net. Serena barely edges out the rivalry 8-7 head-to-head but that's an impressive number of victories for Henin (several of them in Slams).

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    9. Meh, Henin was doping as well. Though I suppose at least the playing field was leveled.

      Speaking of, Errani v Petkovic coming up at the French Open, like an advertisement for doping in tennis.

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    10. Oh I absolutely agree Henin was doping (I think she did it to be able to keep up with the bigger girls), that is why she was so successful. I think the 2008 sudden "retirement" was a ban (just MHO, others may disagree) - especially since she retired right before the French Open which she was pretty much a lock to win.

      Funny how Errani was claiming injury in Rome a couple of weeks ago (hip and thigh) and pulled out of the doubles and now she's playing like nothing's wrong. Obviously she found a Dr. del Moral substitute.

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  20. Watching Nadal thrash the "up and coming" Thiem. As expected. Thiem is actually the same height - size - as Nadal but is a puny schoolboy by comparison. Like just about everyone else he is half as strong and half as fast as the Spaniard. That's quite normal to the Nadal fans. And quite normal if a gorilla had been trained to play tennis, I suppose. Yeah, totally normal.

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  21. Nadal mentioned his back "injury" once again. I wonder what kind of "treatment" he took for this. Most likely something which bestows super natural powers on him via side effects like HGH.

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    1. Or he's simply justifying his slower service stats with a back injury. Let's remember that his serve improved from one day to the next in the USO some years ago. Perhaps with a differente doping regime, he's losing his 'grip change' xD

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    2. I can't imagine what will happen if he actually plays a player in the top 20 at RG. Maybe this will finally be the year the reign ends. One can only hope.

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    3. The problem is he's probably losing to Djokovic or Ferrer - both of whom I'm 100% convinced are fellow dopers. Having said that, Nadal is probably the most egregious doper in tennis history so anytime he loses it is a victory for the sport.

      I believe Nadal's "back injury" just as much as I believe Djokovic's "wrist injury" - which miraculously healed in just two weeks (either that or he is heavily doped up). Of course if either of them lose, expect the back and wrist injuries to be mentioned.

      I hate being cynical but it happens all the time - players letting everyone know they are injured then playing fine and the "injury" barely affects them. Either they are lying about their injury to give them an excuse to lose (or the injury isn't/wasn't that serious to begin with) or else they are doping like crazy/using a TUE for their "injury."

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    4. So Nadal is "injured" once again? Yet The Most Injured Athlete in the History of Sports is still in danger of winning his 9th French Open - if the annihilation of his latest opponent, the formidable and highly-ranked Lie-downavic, was any indication of the Spaniard's present form. Even Lance Armstrong, at the height of his doping successes after winning 7 Tour de France titles, did not have the temerity to claim he was beating his rivals while injured. Imagine what a "healthy" Nadal could achieve!

      Business must be good for the Spanish doping doctors. Ferrer also continues to outlast everybody he comes up against as he nears his superannuation, and Sarah Errani shows the training at the Spanish sporting academies have given her a similar facility for grinding her opponents into the clay. I get tired just watching it.

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  22. Really??! Gulbis takes a suspect medical timeout while down 2-5 in the fourth & comes back supercharged----not only poor sportsmanship but also suspect of slipping a little something into his body.

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    1. As much as I'd like to agree with you, Gulbis was outhitting Federer from the second set onwards, so what transpired was not a surprise, or anywhere close to an indication of doping. Certainly poor sportmanship, but I seriously doubt there was anything illegal going on. It's just that he is much younger than Fed; who demonstrated a logical decline in footwork and hitting strength as the match progressed. And of course, there were some regulation Federer choke moments, which seem to have increased a lot since last year in the slams; the mind does not appear to be all too confident of what the body can produce on big points.

      But you know tennis has a problem when you're happy that Federer loses matches like this because it almost seems to demonstrate he is clean.

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    2. I don't necessarily think Gulbis took anything illegal during the MTO but I do think the timing and necessity were suspect. He was certainly more rejuvenated after. A little massage off court can't hurt. It certainly helped. In my mind it was gamesmanship. He could have waited till the end of the set. But why would he when his plan was to upset Federer's rhythm? He even said in his presser that it was more preventative than anything. Then why not wait till the end of the set? These MTOs are abused regularly.

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    3. Gulbis is rich (well GUlbis' daddy is rich) and probably can afford any doping doctor, however, I have to agree with Beacon Tripper. I think it was just shoddy and garbage sportsmanship from Gulbis who was trying to throw Federer off his game. The bathroom break/MTO is used a lot in women's tennis to try and throw the opponent of their game - another reason why I'm cynical about tennis injuries. After a player takes an MTO, they usually have a miraculous recovery and end up winning the match.

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    4. "But you know tennis has a problem when you're happy that Federer loses matches like this because it almost seems to demonstrate he is clean."

      +++Agreed 100% Beacon.

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    5. It's a shame there doesn't appear to be a drug for choking.

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    6. Didn't Federer take a toilet break after Gulbis won the third set?

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    7. He probably did - as much as I like Federer, even he can be guilty of the conveniently-timed bathroom break once in a while. No one is innocent from the sportsmanship games, some just pull that card a lot more than others.

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    8. It's more ideal to take breaks after sets have ended, but to take one just before a player is about to serve for a set or match? That's just pure gamesmanship. For example, why couldn't Gulbis just wait till end end of the fourth set, after all it was probably only one game left.

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    9. anyone is allowed to take a bathroom break between sets. That's not gamesmanship because it doesn't delay the game.

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  23. Tennis has become so corrupt. From doping to blatant on court gamesmanship. And the authorities don't do anything about it. I wouldn't be surprised if this is Federer's last year on tour. I'm sure he's just had enough of it all. I know I have. Fair matches are few and far between these days.

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  24. http://darmowepewniakibukmacherskiefixy.blogspot.com/

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