A purely unbiased and dedicated writer. Ricky previews EVERY SINGLE tournament on the ATP tour. Not only tournaments, but majority of matches in every one of those tournaments ! And on top of that, he is a great writer too !
I concur, vamosrafa. It is no small effort for Ricky to maintain and write for this site and it’s greatly appreciated. By the way, I read your introduction and I welcome a young man’s point of view. The other thing I love about sites like this is that we are from all over the world sharing a common interest.
I was so naive about the way the internet worked when I joined up I came up with a moniker I could be sure of remembering. It was only when I saw it on the screen for the first time did I realise it gave my age away. I’m too old now to change it 🙁
But the ‘ed’ bit still fools people 🙂
Nativenewyorker sometimes referred to as NNY. I am a female member of this forum.
I am a devout Rafa fan. After Borg, the second great tennis love of my life. I grew up watching tennis, some of the greatest ever like Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Roy Emerson, John Newcombe, Pancho Gonzales and on into the next generation of Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg and up through Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras.
I love to talk all things tennis. Anytime, anywhere.
I’m Jpacnw, which is just my first initial, followed by the abbreviation for Pacific Northwest which is where I’ve lived most of my life, although born in Southern California. I, too, am a long time tennis fan and have been watching it since Laver’s heyday. After Sampras retired and Agassi’s career was in its twilight, I started to lose some of my interest in watching and then along came Rafa. Rafa’s ascendancy also coincided with the emergence of the Tennis Channel, international streaming, endless Youtube tennis videos and numerous other mediums that have enabled me to indulge my adoration of this fine young man. I’m a sports fan in general, particularly American football, but tennis is my favorite sport and Rafa is by far and away my favorite athlete.
As you can see from my user name, I was born in New York. Brooklyn to be exact. But in 1980 I moved out to L.A. with my then husband. So I am now a Southern Californian!
I did lose interest in tennis once Fed came along and started dominating. There was no competition anymore. Those who knew me were shocked when I stopped watching. But people started telling me about a young Spanish player named Nadal. They urged me to start watching tennis again to see him play. So I did just that and tuned in to the 2007 Wimbledon. The moment I saw him play, I got the same feeling that I did when I watched Borg. It was exhilarating. I had long since given up ever finding that special favorite again. I looked at Rafa as the new, advance, modern version of Borg. I initially thought that he was older, about 24 or 25. So imagine my surprise when I realized that he had just turned 21! He had a maturity about him and a confidence that belied his years.
I watched every single match he played. That Wimbledon was tough, with rain delays forcing Rafa to play on consecutive days. But the real revelation was in the final, when I watched him go toe to toe with Fed. I had not seen anyone push Fed like that. I thought that for a good part of the final, Rafa outplayed Fed. But I would find myself shedding a few tears for him when he lost in the fifth set. Later Rafa fans would find out how Rafa broke down crying in the locker room. But Uncle Toni would not let Rafa wallow in self-pity.
I was not surprised to see Rafa come out at the 2008 Wimbledon playing some of his best grass court tennis. I knew from seeing his first few matches that he would get to the final. By this time, I was back watching tennis again so I had seen Rafa beat Fed so impressively at RG. He was going for the channel slam and I knew he was going to get it.
It’s been a wild and crazy ride ever since, but I would not trade one minute of it. My family tries to be understanding about my Rafa obsession, but they do get on me for being too emotionally involved. They don’t like seeing my stay up and do all nighters and then take Rafa’s losses so hard. When I had some health problems, that’s when they urged me to take it a bit easier. No one in my family is a tennis fan, so they don’t know anything about the sport. My father started watching tennis in the last few years of his life. But he died in February 2008 and missed Rafa’s greatest triumph.
I was so devastated by my father’s death and the only thing that seemed to help was the joy from watching Rafa. That is what helped me get over it. The joy and the passion Rafa brings to tennis is just unbelievable.
NNY7: I, too, feel privileged to be his fan. I was aware of Rafa early on in his career, mostly because of his victory over Roger in Miami, which was their first meeting although I didn’t see that match until much later. The first match I actually watched with Rafa was the 2004 Davis Cup match against Roddick, which Rafa won. (That entire match, by the way, is available on Youtube). Not yet being an avid Rafa fan, I naturally was rooting for Roddick and the US team. By the end of the match, I didn’t care that it was Davis Cup and not only wanted Rafa to win, but knew that he would be my favorite from then on.
I will always regret that I stopped watching tennis, because I missed the rise of Rafa. If I had seen him sooner, I would have known immediately that he was headed for greatness.
Fortunately, I have been able to watch many of his earlier matches. The tennis channel has broadcast some of them and there is youtube. I did see the 2004 Miami match with Fed. It was just thrilling to see a very young Rafa go out there without any fear of Fed and beat him. I have seen a few of his clay court matches that were prior to 2007 when I started watching. I also saw a few of his earlier RG finals. It was so obvious that he was something special.
I am going to look for that 2004 Davis Cup match with Rafa and Roddick. I am surprised that I never saw it, because at that time I was still watching tennis. I think that I stopped in 2005, so it was two years in which I did not watch any tennis.
You are so kind. This is the kind of thing that I was unable to say on TT. Even before it got so bad with the trolls, I didn’t feel comfortable because I knew that there were some who didn’t like Rafa or his fans and would make fun of what I said. I have written about this on vb, where I felt safe sharing it. But now with this new thread and being around good people on a site that has good moderation, I finally felt that I could share some of these things.
It is possible to be inspired during dark times by your favorite tennis player or any sportsman. My father would have loved to see Rafa finally break through and beat Fed at the 2008 Wimbledon, getting the channel slam and the #1 ranking. He became quite the tennis fan in the last years of his life.
Without luckystar here, you have really been the person that I can chat with when it comes to analyzing the matches. You have a great deal of knowledge and insight into the technical aspects of the sport. You are also just an all around good and decent person. You can appreciate the other top players in the sport, along with being a Rafa fan. That is the quality I appreciate most from you. 🙂
No I haven’t had the chance to see that match. What was interesting in that article, is that I did watch the Billie Jean King/Bobby Riggs match. I remember all of the hoopla leading up to that match. As I have said, I was still watching tennis at that time. I didn’t stop watching until 2005. It’s so strange that I watching that match and missed this one.
What is this? Some group therapy session where we go round introducing ourselves? Okay then, Hi, my name is @rafaisthebest, a Rafaholic who is quite happy off the wagon thank you very much. I haven’t had a sip of G&T since the US Open. Got ice on the ready, waiting for Rafa to wrap up YE#1 and then……………………….party!!!!!
Sorry, but I checked the article again and realized that they were comparing the number of people who watched the 1973 match with King and Riggs to this Davis Cup match in 2004. I thought to myself, how could they have happened at the same time?
NNY7: I have a lot of DVD’s of old Rafa matches which I periodically rewatch, but I don’t have a DVD of the 2004 Davis Cup match so I went ahead and watched the Youtube posting of it the other day because I hadn’t seen the entire match since watching it nearly 9 years ago. I was amused by Roddick’s pre-match comment that he didn’t like being in the role of the guy who would “kill Bambi.” (Roddick had handily beaten the 18 year old Rafa a few months before at the US Open). Little did Andy know that Bambi would become the hunter and he would become the prey. I’d also forgotten that Cliff Drysdale and Mal Washington were the commentators for the match, mostly gushing over Roddick’s “fighting spirit” and “outstanding play” even as Rafa was beating him.
Well, gracious loser doesn’t cut it, if you aren’t a gracious winner also. Especially, if you win as often as the Djoker. But, if you want to win that award, you cannot insult the spectators, not even in Serbian.
Andy Murray has been awarded the OBE. I’m sure he’d be happy with that because a Knighthood at this stage would have been out of place. I’m sure he will get it one day, but for now he doesn’t need that handle whilst he is still competing.
I’m sure he will be heartedly relieved. Imagine the locker room barracking if he’d been knighted. And how would he be introduced on court – here comes SuuurrrrrAndy Murray? And what a dilemma for those umpires who still use the courtesy title of Mister when issuing a warning. SurrAndy Murray has received a penalty for racket abuse doesn’t sound quite right 🙂
Far better it is not awarded until he retires from tennis.
Cheers nadline and COMPLETELY agree re Andy. Can see him enjoying being a knight as much as Wiggo does!
Way to go Andy 🙂
Revealed my “real” name on another site….when I started posting for the very first time.
Would never do that again, but like you said, too late to change now 🙁
I have been a tennis fan for a very loooooooooooooog time. My favourite before Rafa was McEnroe…..John, I also liked Edberg. I used to defend McEnroe to the death when he was criticized for his behaviour on court because I could see his point that he just wanted the calls to be correct. He didn’t suffer fools gladly.
Their style of play appeals to me. They all have their own individual style and no one plays like them. For grace and elegance, no one comes close to Edberg, Fed is simply not in the same room as Edberg as far as that is concerned. It’s strange that Edberg was never given that label when he was playing.
Rafa is just so watchable. His style, his passion, his intelligence on court is rivaled by no other. I have an ulterior motive for wanting Rafa to win everything; simply because I’m very happy when he wins and miserable when he doesn’t.
After the McEnroe, Edberg era, no one appealed to me. I couldn’t even be bothered to follow the tournaments religiously. Fed’s dominance was boring because till this day, I fail to see his talent shining through. He strikes me as an instinctive player who takes his chances and hopes for the best. The fact that he seemed to win too easily didn’t make him watchable, his matches just looked liked no contests and were boring.
Since I discovered Rafa, my life has revolved around tennis. I don’t know what will happen after Rafa retires. I can’t see another Rafa coming along.
Watch the tennis in 40 years. Liking the Connors, young Boris, Pete, Rafealo, Milos, Popsicle, Andrew of the Murrays, Stanford (No. 1 Swiss now), sometime Gulbis even too.
Tennis weak era boring 2002-07 so sometime watch but Nadal save tennis like nadline say.
Still like watch Federer better now with better tennis after 2007 but many Roger fan too crazy GOAT troll so I start post on interwebs (tennistalk, now tennis-x) have fun with them. They not happy of me.
(shhh, is secret, GOAT not possible. Please not to tell anyone I think this.)
I am 23 year old guy…vamosrafa/Hasan Murad (the name under which I have been previewing and recapping some matches here on the Grand Stand since the USO final to assist the brilliant writer here, Ricky Dimon ! )
My passion for tennis and eternal support/love for rafa began in 2005 when he was destroying the field in the European clay court season ! Since then, I have watched EVERY SINGLE Rafa match either live on tv or in the form of highlights/repeat broadcast..
I love writing, talking and playing tennis ! totally love it.. Ricky was kind enough to allow me to write a handful of match previews under my screen name ‘vamosrafa’ on Tennistalk and now I am looking to contribute more to the Grand Stand and the tennis community 🙂
Nothing stops me from watching rafa play , be itO level exams, A level exams, University exams, job interviews ! haha…
I love the sport in general. I also admire Andy Murray a lot ! Of course I have utmost respect for the great Roger Federer for his legacy and hiscontributions to tennis … djokovic’s inspiring rise to the top has also been very very impressive in my eyes….admire it !
It was only when you were outed on Grandstand I discovered I’ve been chatting for all these years with a guy 🙂
Usually if one gets somebody’s gender wrong that person eventually fesses up but you played your cards close to your chest. I admit I myself was slow to own up to being a woman and let people think for a long time that ‘ed’ was a bloke.
Your love and knowledge of tennis shines through in all your writing.
hahahha…always love your posts ed 🙂 and yup , I am a guy 🙂
Ed is perhaps the most experienced viewer on the Grand Stand. Like NNY, she has seen so many eras and past greats . I think we are lucky to have posters like ed ! you add so much to the tennis community !
and thank you sooo much for the praise ! The biggest source of my knowledge is arguably you guys, please keep up all the good discussions. I am just trying to improve and learn from RIcky as well and of course enjoy what I do 🙂
P.s, for the info of others, Ed absolutely loves the commentators : Jason goodall and Robbie Koenig 😀 😛
Agree. Would work in two ways. Firstly it would stop tournament threads getting cluttered with general conversations and chit chat. Secondly, much easier to keep track when interesting discussions are underway. At the moment they stop abruptly when the tournament finishes and the thread is no longer active.
I seriously love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme.
Did you create this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my
own website and would like to know where you got this from or
what the theme is called. Thanks!