Nishikori, Murray Family Celebrate Wins While Djokovic Succumbs to Sickness
by Sean Randall | February 17th, 2008, 7:59 pm

The challengers keep emerging on the pro circuit, the latest being Japanese teen Kei Nishikori, who stunned James Blake to win the Delray Beach title earlier today. ADHERER

I fully expected Nishikori to crumble after losing the first set to Blake, but credit to the 18-year-old for showing maturity and poise beyond his years to stay with it and take out James in three. The loss for Blake means the No. 1 seed at that tournament has still never won there in 14 years or so. And I seem to recall Blake blowing a final to Malisse in Delray last year in similar fashion.

As for Nishikori, if the kid grows a few more inches and gets a bigger serve he could certainly be a serious factor. He’s got explosive groundstrokes off both sides and is very fast around the court. I’ve already mentioned his poise – he also saved 4 mp in a semifinal win over Sam Querrey- but for him he’ll need a go-to weapon or some added variety in his game (he does have a decent drop shot) to separate himself from the cookie cutter crew of powerful and quick baseliners currently on the tour. And it doesn’t help that he’s from Japan, which isn’t exactly a tennis mecca. But if he’s really acclimated to American lifestyle than he’ll have plenty of opportunity to succeed, and hell, maybe Brad Gilbert will sign on, after all Kei did room with Brad’s son, Zach, while at Bolletieri’s.

Blake, meanwhile, still needs close that out and win that title, just like Andy Murray did in capturing Marseille (good to see Mario Ancic doing well) to join Delray doubles winner and brother Jamie in the weekly winner circle. Though for Andy, the pattern continues: Do well at the smaller ATP events, and come up short at the bigger ones. The more he wins these little tour events the more pressure that’s on him at the bigger ones.

Nishikori wasn’t the only teen making noise at Delray, Donald Young got into the mix as well. The Donald flung his racquet clear out of the stadium and onto a walkway after losing the first set 7-6 to Amer Delic. The Donald takes hits for lacking power, but that’s pretty darn good. That’ll show ‘em DY, good job!

Back to the toss, though. The Donald needs to get it that throwing a racquet after the first set is not the best of ideas because you still have one, maybe two more sets still to play, and you might need that racquet back. But I guess we can excuse DY a little in this case. Hell, I might have hurled that racquet as well if I’d have blown a 5-0 lead and a total of six set points, including a 6-3 edge in the tiebreak. The Donald went on to lose the match of course dropping his record to 2-15 in his career, and then he got slapped with a $5K fine from the ATP.

But I give him points for originality, power and frustration with the racquet lob. At least the kid is getting pissed by all the losing. He’ll come around eventually.

And surprise, surprise, Novak Djokovic is sick with the flu. Is it just me or is this guy only healthy when he wins? I guess all the post-Aussie partying caught up with the young Joker who got dropped in three sets by Gilles Simon in Marseille and has subsequently pulled out of Rotterdam with the flu. Djoko carried the bug with him to Marseille after he was too ill to finish his Davis Cup tie match against Nikolay Davydenko last weekend.

In case you missed it, with his team facing elimination, Novak was actually leading 2 sets to 1 when he quit at the start of the fourth set because of dizziness and exhaustion (bouncing that ball so damn much apparently does have side effects). That said I’d like to know if it’s ever happened before, a player with a lead in a live Sunday Davis Cup rubber retiring due to a non-physical illness. I can’t imagine there have been many such cases.

And just a thought, Novak, maybe you should take the rest of year off. Rest up for that 2009 Australian Open title defense. It’s never too early and you’ll have a ton of points to defend. Mull it over…

And lastly, if you live in the U.S. and you don’t get FSN (Fox Sports Network not to be confused with Fox) you will not be able to see the upcoming Indian Wells or Miami events (or the Masters Cup in November) on TV because it will not be on ESPN or the Tennis Channel. In yet another mind-numbing, head-scratching move the tournaments/ATP thought the uneven FSN offered the biggest bang for their buck. If the powers that be are trying to make tennis even less visible on TV here in the U.S., they are doing a great job. Well done guys. Can’t wait to see what’s next in your plan to grow the game in America.

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86 Comments for Nishikori, Murray Family Celebrate Wins While Djokovic Succumbs to Sickness

xtroll Says:

“And surprise, surprise, Novak Djokovic is sick with the flu. Is it just me or is this guy only healthy when he wins?”

Sounds like someone is still sore that Novak beat Princess Rogah at the Australian Open.

Zola Says:

love this post. especially these lines:
**And surprise, surprise, Novak Djokovic is sick with the flu. Is it just me or is this guy only healthy when he wins?**

**And just a thought, Novak, maybe you should take the rest of year off. Rest up for that 2009 Australian Open title defense. It’s never too early and you’ll have a ton of points to defend. Mull it over…***

I wrote this before. I think some of this is “mental”. Novak is under so much pressure and so much expectations from his family and maybe himself, tht he can’t bear the thought of losing. For him it is better to retire than lose. He needs to accept it and relax a bit. I think some of his breathing problems and fatigue on court is also related to this anxiety and that might create him more problems as he needs to defend tons of points this year.

Ah…Nishikori….Grendel already made that case in another thread. I have to watch this kid. Very intriguing!

I wonder if the Murrays perty together after all that Jamie said anout Andy! But good for both of them.I also agree that he should cocentrate on Master series and GS events.

For IW and Miami, the cure is ATP master TV. the best 50 or 70 bucks you can ever spend!

Von Says:


Great article. Nishikori was a pleasure to watch. I think that Del Ray tournament is jinxed when it comes to the No. 1 seed winning the title. However, I don’t want to take away any kudos from the kid, he earned it. Bolletieri has a winner!

Re: Tennis coverage, I have the Tennis Channel. I would like to suggest however, that they do an overhaul of their commentators, they’re rough on the ears.

“Is it just me or is this guy only healthy when he wins?”

Do you want to start World War III?

grendel Says:

I love watching Andy Murray. It’s true he’s only won smaller tournaments, but give him time. He’s a canny Scot with long range vision. And though he sometimes appears brittle, that’s deceptive (like his style). As for his brother, no doubt he’s going places. But I for one won’t forget the way he just dumped his partner and friend in his anxiety to hit the big time. It’s not as if their record together wasn’t quite good. Every time you see Jamie Murray, he has a grin that would split an atom. I wonder where it was when he gave Butorac his marching orders.

deb Says:

Both Murray brothers are able to be ruthless when they see it as necessary to enhance their careers. I’d be interested to know if Jamie told Eric Butorac himself, Andy’s preferred method of dumping coaches and davis cup ties appears to be getting Patricio Apey his manager to do it for him.

Sean Randall Says:

xtroll, sorry to dissapoint you, this has nothing to do with Princess Rogah.

Zola, thanks, I believe I do get FSN somewhere on the dial as I prefer to watch it on the tele over the internet. I guess I’m not into the TV on PC scene yet.

Von, WWW III, sounds scary. I do like the mix of commentators between ESPN and the Tennis Channel. Some are good, some are bad, but I like the variety. Regarding the overhaul, who do you replace the bad ones with? Doesn’t seem to be a large pool of tennis TV talent from which to choose here in the U.S.

joe Says:

Not a fan of the Murray brothers at all. That was such a shitty thing Jamie did to Butorac. They played excellent together and had some big wins.The wimbledon mixed title went to his head, made such a big deal about it, silly really, since you dont even get ranking points for it. Andy on the otherhand, well I just dont like him or his attitude, although I do appreciate that if hes in the top 10, he must be doing something right.
Djokovic needs to stop retiring from matches and just take the loss like a man……….I mean how often do you see the likes of Federer or Nadal retire from matches?

Donald Young is an idiot. Throwing his racket like a fool. Glad he got fined, that will teach him.

Roy Says:

Djokovic comments- crude is the only word to describe them. Why are so many tennis writers so vicious at times? Remember Hantuchova going to the rest room at the AO and Mary C. “cruding” “We hope she comes back?” Grow up.

Lilly Says:


I guess you never caught a flu… But you are so biased anyway. Don`t worry about Novak… He will do just fine…And if he does I hope you`ll be a man enough to applaud!!!

xeroninus Says:

hm, I thought that Djoker retired after leading 2-1 against davydenko because he was playing under a high temperature…. That’s not backing out because of a “mental issues”. Isn’t it? Anyway, official spokesmen where very clear about that one…
Also he pulled out of Rotterdam because he could do it without being fined which was not the case with Marseille.

tina Says:


I recommend that you grow up as someone said before:) You are a vicious writer … and making only bias comments.

Novac will be FINE … well even if he did get a fly from ‘ post Aussie’ parting. Do not you think it was worth it? I mean guy beat the first seed. He should party:)

Voicemale Says:

Maybe all the Djokovic KAD’s can explain to me exactly WHY he makes such a high profile show every time he loses early or withdraws during a match? All his courtside dramas over the last two years make me think he orchestrates these sideshows because the match is about to be lost (his health & fitness never seems to bother him when he’s winning, though). Looks obvious that he’s building his own “excuses” for the inevitable losses either he or his parents don’t think he should be incurring. There are just too many instances where his health or fitness is being tended too courtside for it to be coincidental or genuine. I’m tired of watching all the back massages he has to get during a match; all the trainer visits because he suddenly is attacked with “breathing difficulties”; and last week in Marseille there was a doctor checking his blood pressure in the third set. Enough already. Man-up. Lose the match, get off the stage, and live to fight another day.

We’ll all be man enough to applaud him when he wins on the square – provided Djokovic himself will be man enough to lose like a man outright, and end all this Drama Queen BS.

Von Says:

Sean Randll:

“Regarding the overhaul, who do you replace the bad ones with. Doesn’t seem to be a large pool of tennis TV talent from which to choose here in the U.S.”

You’re correct about the meager talent pool of tennis TV commentators in the US. I wouldn’t want to see the present commentators lose their jobs, but I do feel that there could be some guidelines about some of the stuff that’s mentioned and moving some of them around, I’ll get back to that later.

The following is an example of what I feel is one of the things I would like to see or hear changed.

During the Del Ray tournament, Leif Shiras mentioned the upcoming Sampras/Federer exhibition match at Madison Square Garden, and he asked Arias (this is not verbatim) who would be his pick to win that match. Arias hesitated for a moment, then Shiras said, do you think it would depend on how kind Federer is feeling on that day, blah, blah, blah. At that point I don’t know whether Arias was being careful in his reply, but he replied that it would depend on the fastness of the court, and if the court was fast he’ll say Sampras. To my ears Shiras was a bit too outspoken and careless in his remarks, not to mention the fact that his remarks would probably infuriate Sampras himself and the Sampras fans. He did infuriate me, as I am a Sampras fan.

Now back to the other changes/overhaul. I would like to see people like Bud Collins, Enberg and Gimelstob doing on the court commentating, where the noise would drown out, what I feel to be, their “mindless” statements. Both Collins and Enberg, even though good commentators in the past, have now become annoying, and that’s putting it mildly. These guys are older and from my observation, it seems that their utterance of fluid speech is impaired. They are just groping around for the correct words. The same applies Gimelstob who is younger, but he also has a fluidity of speech problem due to his lack of commentating experience, and his resonance is very harsh to the ear.

My comment about guidelines to implemented concerns the gossip and the sob stories that are repeated over and over. It would beneficial for them and the viewers if they were focused on the players’ match play and not their personal lives.

Re: World War III, you’ve already set that in motion. Do you want comeuppance? :)

Von Says:

Sean Randall:

Typos. My apology for the incorrect spelling of your surname.

5th para., line 6: The same applies Gimelstob, s/b “the same applies to Gimelstob

6th para: first line: Guidelines to implemented, s/b guidelines to be implemented

Zola Says:


*** he was playing under a high temperature…. That’s not backing out because of a “mental issues”. Isn’t it? Anyway, official spokesmen where very clear about that one…****

I read that he felt dizzy but did not read that Djoko had a temperature. I would appreciate if you give the link to that official spoksmen’s statements.

*****Also he pulled out of Rotterdam because he could do it without being fined which was not the case with Marseille. ***

This is not true. When the players are really sick or injured, all they have to do is to travel to the tournament and be examined by the tournament doctor. If they are not fit enough to play they don’t pay a fine.

Von Says:


“When the players are really sick or injured …. If they are not fit enough to play they don’t pay a fine.”

My views on a player’s concern about paying a fine when sick or injured should be of infinitesimal importance to them. Considering the huge amount of money they are paid when playing and winning tournaments, and the bonuses received from sponsors, etc., a fine is really like pocket change to them. It would be more advantageous to a player if he/she remained in bed, and focused on a quick or short recovery, in lieu of traveling to the tournament, be examined by a doctor, and then travel back home. The aircraft, in itself, is a germ carrier. Why not just pay the fine, avoid the hassle and body wear and tear. This would be more fruitful in the long term. Additionlly, these fines and/or expenses related to a tournament are deducted from their income taxes. That being the case just remain home and avoid the wear and tear on his/her body. However, it all comes down to how much importance a player places on sickness and/or high-profile media coverage.

Sean Randall Says:

Von, regarding Gimelstob, Enberg and Collins, yes, I’ve heard better and maybe they will improve. But I’ll live with them for the moment, or just hit mute. I guess I’m a guy who’s just grateful we even get to see tennis on tv here in the U.S.!

As for Leif/Jimmy’s comments, I watched most of the Delray final but I think I missed the Sampras discussion details. Whatever they did talk about I’m sure they spoke with the mindset of making sure they kept the upcoming exo interesting, because Tennis Channel is after all televising it. So it would be in their (and the networks) best interest not to remind people that the match is essentially irrelevent.

That said, I really don’t think Pete would be infuriated by anything Leif or Jimmy said about that match. Again, the match is for show and only for show. Even Pete acknowledged as much after his win over Roger in November.

Tina, I’m sure Novak will be just fine. And in fact, if I were in his shoes and had just won a Slam I’d probably take two years off to party. Hell, I might even retire. Think Robreto Carretero!

Zola Says:

I have no objection to them going to the tournament (if they can) and annouce their withdrawl.It is good for the tournament and people who have paid to see them. But going and playing and then retiring in the *second* match is ridiculus.

Well,the fact is that Djoko has too many retirements. Now it is either because he is too fragile , which is not good, or because he rather retire than lose and then “he is in control”. I still think if he learns to relax and accpet that losing is part of tennis too, his life will be much easier. Anyway, the year has just started. We will see. Maybe he will get stronger as he gets older.

I watched some of Nishikor’s shots on youtube. Because they were very short, I couldn’t get a good sense of his shots. But he is very composed and I like that. I have to watch San Jose.

OK on TV vs PC. What I like about ATP TV is the quality and the fact that you can watch previous matches and interviews. Of course nothing like watching tennis on the big screen.

Von Says:

Sean Randall:

“Whatever they did talk about I’m sure they spoke with the mindset of making sure they kept the upcoming exo interesting, because Tennis Channel is after all televising it.”

They spoke about the upcoming match after the TV advertisement of that exhibition match. Hence, that conversation. Perhaps it was an endeavor to promote the match, that psychology in marketing stuff. Like you, I am happy that I can also see tennis on TV and I do hit mute most of the time whenever those other guys speak.

It seems to me that whenever Pete wants to air his views Flink(?) always steps in with an interview. Pete has all the bases covered. I suppose you’ll be writing an article on that upcoming match pretty soon. I look forward to reading it! Your article on the previous exhibiton match engendered many heated comments. That psycology in marketing stuff again. Shame on you! :)

Von Says:


“I still think if he learns to relax and accpet that losing is part of tennis too, his life will be much easier.”

Well, winning and losing goes hand-in-hand. That’s a part of becoming an adult, to accept our frailties and work around them, not hide from them. Henin had a similar problem at his age with viruses, whatever. She had to change her diet and limit herself to playing less tournaments. Djokovic’s illnesses could probably stem from too much match play and bad diet.

San Jose is also packed with very good players. A lot of Americans. I think the Tennis Channel will carry the semi-finals and the final matches. Good for them.

I was looking through my cable guide and I do have FSN. I was ecstatic!

ferix Says:

Zola – I think you have your facts wrong. The Djoker lost to Simon. He did not retire.

Given how much he clearly loves Serbia and wants to do well in the Davis Cup, it is very clear that he was truly sick during the Davis Cup tie against Russia.

Regardless of his previous actions and attitudes, I think that to knock a man when he is unwell is a very weak act. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves.

Tejuz Says:


Some great stats and stuff about retiring between matches

These stats were all matches before Feb 28 2007.. and Djoker was already 8th in that list. After that i recall atleast 2 more retirements, which elevates him to joint 6th place with Andy Roddick even though he has played a third of matches as much as Roddick. Not surprisingly.. Fed has ‘zero’ retirements to his name and Nalbandian as just one, which was his semi-final loss at French Open.

Nadal Says:

Djokovic = one of the most overrated players on tour. Someone as on and off as he is cannot maintain the #3 ranking. Stay tuned for a retreat to the back end of the top 10…

Zola Says:

**Zola – I think you have your facts wrong. The Djoker lost to Simon. He did not retire.***

you are right . He did not retire. He had his blood pressure taken during the match.

“The king is dead, long live the king”! I would have been ashamed if I had said that after my son defeated someone with a stomach bug.

. I simply said that Djoko’s retirements are becoming too frequent and that to me, it is the result of too much pressure on him. He rather retire than lose. Or when he is losing there is always so much darama around ( blood pressure? pinky toe?) You can accept it or not. But I am entitled to my opinion and unlike you I don’t throw unpleasant words on other posters.

Skorocel Says:

To Zola:

I’ve almost forgot… Are those matches on the ATP Masters TV commentated as well?

Zola Says:


** Are those matches on the ATP Masters TV commentated as well?**

I think most matches are. Maybe the best thing is to buy a day pass or a tournament pass and give it a try !

ferix Says:

Nice stats, Tejuz. However:
– it is only 4 matches (5 if you include Davydenko).
– of those 5 matches, he was actually leading in 4 of them
– he has lost many matches without retiring, including some embarrassing one sided losses in the Masters Cup 07 – which he cud have retired from, but didn’t. e.g. In his second full match as a reigning GS champion, he played out his loss to Gilles Simon, didn’t he? How embarrassing would that be?

I am not backing the Djoker. I am pointing out that the logic behind criticising him for retiring in the Davydenko match is deeply flawed.

Sean started it and some of you guys fell for it.

It is one thing to criticise someone for retiring because he hates losing and is a selfish player. Justine Henin springs to mind. Her effort in the aussie open final loss to Mauresmo is disgusting. But it is another thing to criticise someone who is genuinely unwell. Take a step back and think about it.

Iona Says:

Alot of bitter Federer fans in here

ferix Says:

Zola – apologies to you and any other for my crude language. i tend to argue a bit too intense. i am also simply voicing my opinion.

djokovic always had physical problems. in july 2006, as a virtual unknown, djokovic reached back to back clay court finals. That was the first time I heard his name on the pro tour. On his second final, he retired because he was so exhausted, he was sick.

he’s always been like this. it’s not his arrogance after becoming a gs champion, or an unwillingness to accept defeat.

it is fair for you guys to criticise him when he gives up. i think he gave up against nadal twice: in his first FO encounter in 06 and again in wimbledon in 07. But on this occasion against davydenko, i just think it is unfair to criticise someone who is actually sick …

Sean Randall Says:

ferix, I’m not questioning Novak’s sickness, but I am questioning his heart.

In the situation he was in, with his country depending on him to come through and extend that tie, he quit not over a physical injury but over exhaustion and dizziness.

Again, I’m sure he was very sick, but just as his illness had gotten worse – I presume it did – as the match went on, could it have not have gotten better in the fifth set (he did have a set cushion lead) after some treatment and more time? Maybe, maybe not.

I can understand if you ripped an ankle or knee or shoulder and cannot play, or by continuing on you could make the injury worse, but with a non life threatening sickness I think given the circumstance with your team’s back is against the wall, you at least finish the match out, make your opponent beat you, especially if you are already ahead.

And you never know, maybe in the fifth set the meds might kick in and you feel a whole lot better, or maybe your opponent rolls his ankle. Anything can happen.

I’m not sure where you are from, ferix, but there’s a long list athletes here in the U.S. that do suck it up and play hurt in the big games, the big matches. Some champions battle through the tough times and show their heart, and sure, some simply do not.

Zola Says:

no problem. I guess I am a bit irritated by some of his behavior and might be harsh on him from time to time. But I don’t want to be unfair to him or any other player.I’ll try to keep silent unless he does another imitation of Rafa or says something stupid.

I know he always had health problems. I thought they were general fitness problems and would go away.But he had problems breathing in AO even after his surgery. That made me think that this actually might be anxiety. His family has a big role in that. Needless to say , their thoughtless comments does not make life easier for Djoko.

I wonder how does Djoko relax….He is No 3 deservedly. But his collapse at the end of last year and now after AO, suggests to me that the pressure might be too much for him.

I might be wrong of course and we will see how this year will be for him. Life as a champion is never easy and I bet he will find ways to deal with it.

Sean Randall Says:

Von, you said it, Leif/Jimmy’s commentary was indeed an endeavor to promote the Sampras-Federer match.

sensationalsafin Says:

I don’t understand why any criticism towards Djokovic must be coming from a bitter Federer fan. Djokovic retiring all the time has nothing to do with Federer. He’s retired like 50 times and he’s only 20. Sampras has gone through matches throwing up on the court. Djokovic needs to push himself and try to complete some of his matches because all the retiring is just ridiculous. Nalbandian got so much crap for retiring against Federer in the French semi especially since it was the first time he had ever retired, and yet Djokovic retired to Nadal in the Wimbledon semi for the millionth time. Cmon, number 3, my prediction for this year’s number 1, should NOT be retiring every other tournament. If he’s got all these problems he should be taking medication. He’s clearly capable of sustaining a high level, it’s not easy to win a slam, let alone make 4 consecutive semis. Nadal has yet to reach all 4 semis and he’s pretty damn fit. So he’s gotta stop, because it’s just disgraceful.

Zola Says:

sensationalsafin ,

your comment reminded me of a youtube clip I saw of sampras in the Davis cup against Russia. He played and won the match but collapsed at the net. His legs were not moving. They had to drag him out of the court. But he won the match and the tie for his country. That’s heart!
I also think if Rafa retired against Ferrer during US Open where he was obviously injured or Youzhny in Chennai, where he had his worst ever defeat, no one would have blamed him.He went through those matches and lost and gave credit to his opponents.What about Baghdatis playing against Agassi while cramping?

Lilly Says:

Yep, actually Djokovic never completed a match in his entire career…
I agree that the criticsm is not coming from Federer`s bitter fans, there are now Nadal`s bitter fans because Novak is going to overtake him in rankings, Roddick`s because he`s been pushed behind, I see even Safin`s…
You are blowing this out of proportion because you can`t find anything wrong with his game…

Do you only slam players here? Isn`t there anything nice you can say about them?
Why don`t you say that Djokovic has won every single tie break this year (5-5), is that a mental weakness? or that serve he seems to produce at crucial moments and how his serve is getting better and even more varied or that backhand or his forehand or his amazing footwork. Even Martina Navratilova said that some players are quick or fast but Djokovic is both.
But you have watched few of his matches and read something and you sadly want to believe in it. Saying first he needs to be consistent, than he needs to reach a major final, and you have reassured yourselves that he needs to win a slam. Well ,people, he`s done all that and expect more to come !!!
BTW I remember Nadal retiring in Cincy? Should he have risked his career when he knows there are a lot more wins to come? I haven`t read a lot of things here about Nadal`s knees and I`m afraid that`s a big problem and he`s only 21 and already feeling the wear and tear. But I don`t wish every day for Rafa to get injured I wish him all the best. You see envy is a terrible feeling and this blog is flooded with it.

andrea Says:

‘Why don`t you say that Djokovic has won every single tie break this year (5-5)’

quoting a stat like that and implying ‘no weakness’ after the season has seen only 7 weeks is rather futile. best to see where that stat is after a few months to properly indicate anything.

and on that note, everyone needs to take a breath and relax. the point here is not to slam other players or accuse people of taking sides. it’s getting a bit juvenile.

much has been blogged about novak’s fitness (and not just on his recent retirings.) the likelihood for him to call out a trainer is higher than most players. he has also admitted to getting nervous and having breathing problems.

he also burned out big time at the end of last season, not winning any of his masters series matches. consistency clearly remains his biggest challenge.

these are the facts – no one is saying he sucks or that roger sucks or roger is better or blah blah blah.

can we get this back on track to a proper blog?

grendel Says:

Lilly: I’ve been trying to get my head round Martina Navratilova’s comment “some players are quick or fast but Djokovic is both”. What can she mean? Quick hands and fast legs, perhaps? Or possibly fast hands and quick legs? Or a quick mind and a fast tongue? Agree with you about Djokovic’s serve, b.t.w. – he certainly managed to pull the big one out when he needed it at the AO semi. Positively Federesque……Look forward to Fed/Djokovic rivalry, excellent for the game. If Fed can keep off Djoko for next couple of years,for the most part anyway, I’ll be content, but it certainly won’t be plain sailing.

Zola, you probably know anyway, but just in case, there’s an interview with himself – no less – to be found on It’s translated, just about, from the Russian, and a lot of it’s pretty mysterious. For example, the interviewer assumes Federera is most difficult opponent for Nadal. Nadal loftily disabuses him of this:”I do not think so.” Among those he does find difficult (not Federera, remember) are “Blake, Southern, Nalbandyan”. Southern? Soderling, d’you think? That’s an interesting one. And then in response to “What kind of tennis you like most & why?” Nadal replies:”Justine Enen & Maria Sharapova. I like their game”. Again, interesting, in the sense that he wasn’t being asked specifically about women. By the way, you ought to tell Samantha this. She labours under the silly delusion that it has to be Henin or Sharapova. Clearly not true. We’ve had it from the great man himself. I personally get tired of hearing that Sharapova is a ballbasher. She obviously doesn’t have Henin’s incredible range of skills – but nevertheless, she’s one helluva tennis player, and destined to be one of the greats, I’m sure.

Lilly Says:


Southern must be Youzhny not Soderling… You see in Russian Southern means Youzhny.

Voicemale Says:

Any stint Djokovic will get at a higher ranking than he has now will be predictably brief because he has a major flaw: his lack of THE Weapon, the Bread-and-Butter shot. David Wheaton and Paul Annacone had both publicly relayed the same point about Djokovic’s game: it’s technically sound with very proficient strokes, but he lacks “THE” shot, such as Sampras Serve, a Federer Forehand, or an Agassi Return Game. Wheaton seemed to think this was no real advantage to him; Annacone seemed to think this was a good thing because he doesn’t need to “rely” on a “single shot”. It’s Annacone that’s less accurate here. Since Djokovic is a grinder with a high octane solid game, ALL elements of his game need to be spot on for him to excel since he doesn’t possess THE Money Shot to bail him out when things aren’t going well (which probably explains all his courtside dramas and retirements – maybe THAT’S his “money shot”).

Djokovic can’t afford any holes to crack open in any of his shots during a match. Case in Point: Federer ruthlessly exploited the Djokovic Backhand in the US Open, because he found a gaping hole widening in that shot as the match went on. Djokovic was therefore helpless, since he didn’t have THE weapon to counteract that attack. Therefore Djokovic will have many more days just like that ahead of him – banking on his technical proficiency holding up on all of his shots throughout a tournament to cash in. It’s not like Federer, or even Nadal on clay, where their forehands do severe damage no matter what the rest of their games look like. So I guess it’s no accident that Djokovic has lost 75% of his Head-to-Heads with both Roger and Rafa. They have genuine weapons; Djokovic doesn’t.

xeroninus Says:

Zola Says:

“I read that he felt dizzy but did not read that Djoko had a temperature. I would appreciate if you give the link to that official spoksmen’s statements.”

I’ve read it on teletext. And I also heard his statement. When I tried to google it in order to find that link I was only able to find infos about that “dizziness thing” you mentioned. Anyway I said “I thought…” which means I’m not 100% sure about that one :)

Anyway, it’s not that I’m trying to defend him or anything (I’ve put some money on him after I heard that he was able to play the doubles the day before), it’s just that I saw that davydenko match on TV and he REALLY didn’t look like he was choking or having some mental problems. He was owning davydenko and leading 2-0 but in the middle of the 3rd set he suddenly became pale (like a ghost!!!) and from that moment he wasn’t even trying to make points and eventually he retired… I’ve seen many players bailing out of the embarrassing matches with exhaustion or sickness excuses (Haas, Davydenko, Safin, Hewitt, even Rafa) but this match really didn’t look like those mentioned…

“When the players are really sick or injured, all they have to do is to travel to the tournament and be examined by the tournament doctor. If they are not fit enough to play they don’t pay a fine.”

Yes but that “not fit enough to play” includes only explicit simptoms like injuries, fever etc but not post illness effects, although I don’t wish to argue about his performance in Marsielle because I haven’t seen it (I didn’t find it interesting after Tsonga’s early exit)

Zola Says:

Can you give me the link to that interview ?When was that done? I know from Rafa’s many interviews that he is not worried about Federer because he is up there anyway, he is more worried about the up and coming young guns such as Djoko, Gasquet, Murray, Youzhny… ( I don’t imagine he said Soderling…., agree with Lilly here). He has been asked many times which one he thinks is the best WTA player and he always says Henin. I have never heard Sharapova, but it might be.

I started to like Sharapove since the end of last year. The shrieks are still unbearable but she is a better player this year and she absolutely deserved the AO.

no comment on your 5:12 post. I hope writing those words made you feel better.

sensationalsafin Says:

When Sampras was playing bad he could still rely on his serve. When Federer is playing bad, the first shot to go is his forehand. It becomes his weakness. It’s only great when he’s playing well. I think Djokovic has that “shot” in his backhand. The rest of his game is very sound like you said but his backhand is what really gives him the edge (especially against Federer).

xeroninus, I’m not saying you’re wrong but I’m just wondering which matches Safin and Hewitt retired from (I don’t feel like looking through all their matches on the ATP). Haas retires all the time, too, but he’s been plagued with injury since the beginning of his career. Djokovic isn’t exactly inconsistent. He did well at just about every single event (especially the big ones) all throughout last year until the end. And he’s pretty damn consistent in tournaments, too. Look at his slam results, truly incredible.

Von Says:

“Why don`t you say that Djokovic has won every single tie break this year (5-5)..”

Has something been lost in the translation here? I was under the impression that a ‘5-5’ record means that someone has ‘won’ 5 and ‘lost’ 5. How could that be interpreted as “won every single tie break this year.” Aren’t we groping at straws here? (Fellow posters feel free to correct me if I am wrong on my assumption of the 5-5 stat.)

With regard to Djokovic’s consistency or lack thereof, as I stated previously, only time will tell. My opinion is that this guy is not a healthy person and pushes himself beyond his capabilities. His spirit is willing but his body is weak. He is not a ‘thoroughbred’ race horse; he’s an ‘also ran’. Perhaps, sometime in the future he’ll come to grips with reality. Only time will tell.

“Roddick`s because he`s been pushed behind, I see even Safin`s…”

This statement is absolutely pathetic. It would be ludicrous for a fan to becone bitter if his or her favourite player has moved 2 or 3 places down in the ranking. That’s tennis and sports in general. Players move up and down in the ranking, except in the case of Federer and Nadal who have remained consistent for the past 4 years. Aside from those two, it’s normal for other players to move up and down in the ranking. Why in God’s name would anyone become bitter? Aren’t we blowing things out of proportion? Not to mention the fact that it seems that someone is itching to start an argument.

I would suggest that if in the future there is a need to lash out at other posters, the poster who is doing the ‘lashing out’ would have the courage of his/her convictions and refer to those posters by names, instead of making generalized statements and hurling sarcastic remarks. Get some backbone, and don’t hide behind verbiage!

There’s a catch-22 situation here. You’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. If one is outspoken, watch out for the cannons. And if they remain quiet, they are provoked by sarcastic utterance.

I would like to emphasize that here in the United States we are accorded the right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. That being said, since these Reporters are American, there should not be any need to attack a reporter or a poster. The statement “Sean you are to be blamed” is very childish. Why shouldn’t he be allowed to express his opinionsz as a reporter. Is he supposed to wait for the green light from all and sundry? Of course not. He writes from his gut feelings and should not be subjected to scrutiny and insults. The same applies to any poster’s freedom of speech, however, the use of sarcastic remarks and innuendoes is is in poor taste. Is it too much to ask that we behave in a civilized manner. Let’s just be thankful that we have well-written, stimulating articles on which to debate. It would also be gracious to commend these reporters from time to time, on a job well done.

Von Says:

Sean Randall:

“Von, you said it, Leif/Jimmy’s commentary was indeed an endeavor to promote the Sampras-Federer match.”

Thanks Sean. After your statement yesterday that you did not hear Jimmy/Leif’s discussion on the Sampras/Fed match, I thought that I was probably hallucinating. Happy to know that’s not so.

Zola Says:


I think we posted at the same time so I hust saw your post right now and I was OK with it until this sentence:

**I’ve seen many players bailing out of the embarrassing matches with exhaustion or sickness excuses (Haas, Davydenko, Safin, Hewitt, even Rafa) but this match really didn’t look like those mentioned…**

I would like to know which embarressinng match Rafa did bail out from using exhaustion or sickness as an excuse? I have seen Haas retiring many times but he is always injured. Have no idea about Safin and Hewitt. But I would appreciate if you tell me which Rafa match you meant here. Thanks.

Von, and all interested;
To watch Rotterdam go to here and press on center court TV:

the picture quality is good but it buffers very frequently. need to be patient!

grendel Says:

Zola: here is the link. If it doesn’t work, just go to: – easy to find interview. Not so easy to make out what’s being said!

There’s all sorts of things to dislike about Sharapova, and some to like. Things is, stick to the tennis, and you will be rewarded. I think she is going to get better and better, simply because she has that kind of tough mind that will somehow wring the best out of herself

Von Says:

Hi Zola:

Thanks for the info. I’ll be watching.

Re: Rafa’s retirement, nothing comes to mind. If he has, it was probably one time. Someone made reference to his knees at 21, that’s a very feeble and a “sad” comparison to Djokovic’s health issues. His problem at the US Open in ’07 with his knees concerned some surgery he had to one knee, or both knees. I am not 100 percent sure on both knees, but he played despite this problem due to his family flying in from Spain to watch him and he did not want to disappoint them. Had it not been for them coming he would have withdrawn. I wouldn’t place too much emphasis on this. There is really no comparison between the two regarding retirements and health issues.

grendel Says:

I got this from another site – thought people might be interested:

Katie Says:
February 18, 2008 at 7:26 pm
Here’s what Roger had to say about him at the Sony-Ericsson a year ago. Hope I get a chance to watch him soon!

Q. Kei Nishikori, could you tell me your impression about him?
ROGER FEDERER: I think he’s a very good player. He came down from the Bollettieri Academy, so that’s somebody to hit with every day. I really spend a lot of time on court with him, and I think he’s a great player, so now it’s just up to him to play the events and try to get his ranking up.
To me anyway he looks like a great talent, so I hope he can make the Top 100 soon.

Zola Says:

I am waiting for an answer from the person who posted it to see what s/he meant.
About Rafa’s knees, he played because it was US Open. Uncle Toni advised him not to, but he did. I agree, that was a very sad and immature comment to hit back! but doesn’t change the facts at all!

thanks for that link. I love the translation. I think someone just put it through google online translator…a bit difficut to understand…but it was fun. What is “Great Helmet”?

and Wow! seems Nishikori is no surprise. Hitting frequently with Fed….no wonder how good he is and having Fed’d praise, I think we should watch this kid! tried to watch San Jose, butthis B2 TV came up . Apparently you have to pay to watch. But I don’t know how much and did not try it.

RAfa will have a hard opener today in Rotterdam with Tursunov. If he can pass that then it is Hewitt! WOW!

Zola Says:

just saw that the link “Was” a google translation!
So perhaps many things have not been translated correctly. But I agree that by “Southern” , RAfa meant Youzhny. Those are the players who give Rafa a hard time on hard courts.

Von Says:


“RAfa will have a hard opener today in Rotterdam with Tursunov. If he can pass that then it is Hewitt! WOW”

Tursunov has not been playing very well this year, that being the case, if Rafa concentrates on his net game, then Tursunov will have difficulty with that. Tursunov does not like going to the net and is very clumsy at net. However, he does have a powerful forehand, but when I watched him in the final Davis Cup match with Roddick, it was off, somewhat like Federer’s when his game is off. I think Rafa has a good chance of pulling off this win.

Hewitt’s game is built around speed, similarly to Rafa’s but Hewitt has become slower. It’s sad how age just silently creeps in and reduces us to a mere shadow of onesself. I think Rafa would have a slight edge against Hewitt in the speed department. I pick Rafa to win both matches.

Von Says:

“He did well at just about every single event (especially the big ones) all throughout last year until the end.”

Aren’t we forgetting the TMC, Madrid, and Bercy? And with how many medical time-outs did he do well throughout last year? He had 2 in Hopman Cup prior to the AO. Hopman Cup is not an important tournament and he was not really pushed, but he had difficulty with an Argentine player and Fish, US, who pushed him. He had a medical timeout for his back with the Argentine, and one with his shoulder with Fish. After the medical time-out with the Fish match, he was bombing aces. How strange.

Djokovic does not only have a problem with fitness issues and retirements, but in general. It is unexplainable how he engineers, what in my opinion, are calculated’ medical time-outs, when playing against a tough opponent, and after the time-out, to quote Federer, “he runs around like a rabbit.” In summary, he needs to play tournaments, minus the medical time-outs and retirements, to prove he can be a front runner. Or else, as I stated previously, he’ll be an “also ran” in the big tournaments.

rogers twin sister Says:

There was a time when you had to “Be fit or forfeit.” We need to bring that rule back. No medical timeouts. If you have a medical problem, either don’t start the match or retire.

rogers twin sister Says:

Sean Randall said, “Von, regarding Gimelstob, Enberg and Collins, yes, I’ve heard better and maybe they will improve.”

Sean: Collins and Enberg are too senile to do anything but get worse. Gimelstob is too moronic to do anything but get worse.

grendel Says:

Zola asks:”What is “Great Helmet”” Of course I don’t know. It is repeated a few times, and the context suggests it might be “grand slam”.

Zola Says:

that’s what I figured too. Russian must be a very rich and complx anguage. They apparently have expressions for things like this.

I think I have to wait till IW to see Nishikori….

xeroninus Says:

Zola says:

“I would like to know which embarressinng match Rafa did bail out from using exhaustion or sickness as an excuse?”

Well I think we all remember Monaco match in Cincy. I think that official reason was some kind of “left hand injury” (I’m not sure) but the real reason was “lefting out of juice” :) Monaco was playing one of the best matches of his career and Rafa on the other hand was simply too tired considering that he won almost every clay tournament he played and was a Wimbledon’s runner up. At one point it really looked embarrassing but you really can’t blame him for not being able to pull this one out considering everything..

Anyway, all of this started because of those Djoko’s “mental problems” during the Davis cup tie… All I ever wanted to say is that there wasn’t present anything like that and I think you would agree with me on this one if you saw the match. Again, I wasn’t talking about his entire career…

And another thing (god I’m really starting to defend this guy, am I? :) )if someone is the YOUNGEST PLAYER EVER to reach four consecutive grand slam SF or better, there is no way that we can accuse him of being inconsistent, no matter if he had a lousy master cup finish or whatever. After all, Grand Slam results are those one that matter, and every one knows that ;)


Von Says:

rogers twin sister:

“There was a time when you had to ‘Be fit or forfeit.’”

Then we’ll really see who are the fit v. the unfit.

Von Says:


Rafa won his match against Tursunov 6-4, 6-4. Let’s see if I’m right on Hewitt.

Lilly Says:

If someone would like to know Hewitt did lose to Seppi

Sean Randall Says:

rogers twin sister, love that quote. “Be fit or forfeit”. Imagine if there were no trainers on court, the guys would just have to keep going. Keep battling. There was a time…

Grendel, I would say Southern = Safin.

Von Says:


I posted some comments earlier but they seemed to have disappeared. Could you tell me what happened?

Sean Randall Says:

Von (and Lilly), as I stated on the other thread I’m just not interested in the hate posts or taking juvenile cracks at other posters. I’m not having any more of that. Keep that in mind when you post.

Von Says:

sean Randall:

Am I supposed to be voiceless when she attacks me? She began her tirade yesterday against the Nadal and Roddick fans.

What would you call the following statement:

I agree that the criticsm is not coming from Federer`s bitter fans, there are now Nadal`s bitter fans because Novak is going to overtake him in rankings, Roddick`s because he`s been pushed behind, I see even Safin`s…

Sean Randall Says:

Von, maybe I missed it but I’m not clear on where she is directly attacking you or your character?

And I honestly don’t see anything wrong with her statement, and in fact for some tennis fans of other top players Novak’s rise does create bitterness.

Von Says:


I’m, speaking about her post today directed to me. She has been consistently targeting me because she did not like my comments about Djokovic on the other thread. Her comments today were posted earlier in the day for all to see.

I don’t know about other posters’ bitterness with regard to Novak’s rise, however, I do not have any bitterness in my heart towards this guy. This is just a sport. It’s ridiculous to be bitter. I am concerned about his lack of gamesmanship and his timeouts, which appear to be dishonest. I’m disappointed if Rodick loses but I certainly am not bitter toward his opponent. I believe that I am a bigger person than that.

Anyway, if you don’t find anything with her comments, you’re entitled your opinion and your action is justified. there has to be an ‘example’, why not me.

Sean Randall Says:

Von, I am aware of her posts, and I sniped a few of them as well.

If she is targeting you then either let it go or respond without going into the mud. Stick to tennis as best you can. As you say yourself, “This is just a sport.” Let’s keep it as that…

Zola Says:


**At one point it really looked embarrassing but you really can’t blame him for not being able to pull this one out considering everything..

Anyway, all of this started because of those Djoko’s “mental problems” during the Davis cup tie***

So, did you say that just because I mentioned Djoko’s retirement in the Davis cup? or did you really believe that Rafa was healthy but fakes fatigue or injury to get out of an embaressing loss?

I watched Rafa’s match on and off today. He played great and was never in danger. Hewitt player Seppi just before Rafa’s match and he is out!
So, I am sorta happy that Hewitt is not there, but I guess Seppi is not to be underestimated either. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. It will be at 4:30 AM eastern time and you can watch it on your pc.
go to here:

they have the links.

I also agree with Sean. you don’t need to reply to the comments that are made out of bitterness.

Von Says:


Thanks for the kind words and the link. I’ll have to pass on watching it on my PC. I guess if Seppi beat Hewitt then he shouldn’t be underestimated.

Roddick won his first match against Guccione at San Jose. Guccione even though at 87 ranking is a serious opponent. He fired 20 aces. Guess who’s Roddick’s next opponent, the kid, Nishikori. Murray lost in Rotterdam. Dubai is loaded with top players. I wonder if the Tennis Channel or FSN will broadcast any matches.

grendel Says:

Nadal is getting ominously close to Fed in rankings. Right now, just 650 points separate them. Let’s suppose Nadal wins Rotterdam – a reasonable supposition,I should have thought , though not certain of course. Then he gets 300 points.(although mysteriously, and annoyingly, one source on the website has the winner as taking 50 points). Onto Dubai. If Nadal wins, he gains 225 points, since he is defending 75. He will then have 6505 points. If it is Federer he defeats in the final, Federer (as champion) loses 90 points, and is on 6540 points – 35 ahead. It follows that it is not quite in Nadal’s hands alone to become #1 by end of Dubai. Fed must be beaten before the final (say by -er – Djokovic?), and then, if Nadal takes all his opportunities, he’s the new #1.

There’s a lot of ifs here of course. Maybe Berdych will beat Nadal at Rotterdam. And it COULD come to matter hugely whose half Djokovic is in at Dubai – for he would certainly , health permitting, be favourite against Nadal on hard courts.

Gives you an idea of Fed’s confidence though, doesn’t it, the way he calmly ignores these smaller tournaments. Talk about living on a razor’s edge. For I agree with SG some time back – it matters hugely to Fed to keep #1 ranking.

Finally, if Nadal doesn’t make it by end of Dubai, that particular window almost certainly closes for quite a while, since Fed has many points to gain at Indian Wells and Miami, and Nadal hardly any to gain on clay.

Still, next few weeks could provide some excitement over and above the tennis….

grendel Says:

Just occured to me, as I tackled the boiled eggs, that should Nadal reach Dubai final (having won Rotterdam), and Fed meets Djokovic in semis – this match has hugely added significance. Everyone’s been talking about Fed gaining revenge or, in the dreams of some, teaching the young upstart a lesson; there again, the young upstart wants to prove to the old fogey that he’s got his number. But of course, if Djoko beats Fed, apart from giving some people heart attacks, Nadal now just has one more match to win for #1. If Nadal loses to Djoko (and it will be tougher for Djoko to beat Nadal in the final, having already beaten Fed, than to beat him in the semi), then Fed must lose in quarters for Nadal to be #1 – a perhaps unlikely scenario. b.t.w., forgot to mention that after Dubai, it gets worse for Nadal for a 3rd reason added to the 2 listed in my previous post- he has huge numbers of points to defend in the American Master tourneys.

Zola Says:

I so want to watch Roddick-Nishikori. that would be fun and the kid is now full of confidence. he said he feels he can beat anyone. let’s see.

Rafa has 55 points from another tournament that will be dropped if he has more points in Rotterdam. So, at most he will gain 245 points even if he wins. With the draw I saw, I thought even QF or SF will be great result. Rafa said his goal is to collect 400 points on hard courts before clay. It means he needs to reach semis in Rotterdam and Dubai and Miami.

I agree with how Fed approches this. I think it is importan for him to keep his pace and relax his body and I really like that. The clay season and wimbledon combination is very hard on Rafa. now this year there is olympics as well and I think that’s what Fed is aiming at.

Zola Says:

that Dubai scenario can be made to a movie.!
well, Djoko has beaten RAfa and Fed before in Montreal. But that time Rafa was tired coming from Wimbledon. This might be a slightly better situation.

more reason to watch Dubai.

And yes, Rafa has 50 points to defend in IW. If he gains some points in Rotterdam and Dubai it will gove him a cushin in case IW does not go as well as last year.

Djoko has huge points to defend in both IW and Miami ( I thnik 850 points). So perhaps Fed is right to stay calm.

grendel Says:

Oh dear, Zola, you have put a spike in my calculations! What an annoying person Nadal is for going around playing in tournaments I wasn’t aware of. o.k, so in this new scenario, if Nadal wins Rotterdam and Dubai, then he gets to be #1 only if Fed loses in quarters at Dubai – not impossible, after all, could turn on an ankle and so on. So it’s a bit of a risk. If Fed loses in semi (to Djoko say – a serious possibility) but Nadal beats Djoko, then Fed will be ahead by 15 points! How tantalising that will be for Nadal, since after Dubai, it’s definitely downhill for a while, in terms of points.

b.t.w. you are surely out of date so far as Rotterdam is concerned. The seeds are falling like there’s bubonic plague; Murray, Ferrer, Davydenko, Youzhny, Berdych, Baghdatis – have I missed any – all out. Whereas initially it looked like tough draw for Nadal, now it’s hard to see how he can’t win. Agree that Fed times arranges his schedule with exquisite care; but in so doing, he is taking a calculated risk. It’s fingertip stuff.

grendel Says:

Zola – you mean 500 points to defend at IW, not 50; plus 225 at Miami – that right?

grendel Says:

Nadal beaten! What’s going on at Rotterdam? Well, only goes to show how futile speculation is. Time to eat some very, very humble pie….

sensationalsafin Says:

Haha, all those posts and speculations and Nadal couldn’t win 2 matches in Rotterdam. Does anyone know how the hell he lost? I mean, he won the first set, he’s Nadal, he’s number 2, wtf happen??? But I guess Federer fans can relax about the ranking for now…

grendel Says:

spot on, Sensational Safin. Time for me to take a good long break, I think! No more guessing for me…

rogers twin sister Says:

Henry: The hype surrounding Donald Young, Querrey, Isner et al is precisely why I say let’s wait and see how Nishikori progresses or doesn’t. It seems that we are becoming more childlike every day with constant demands for instant gratification in every sphere of our lives. I’m getting dizzy from the rush!

Instead of patiently waiting to see how someone progresses, we lavish amazing amounts of praise on people just for getting out of bed in the morning. Combined with instant gratification is the intellectual laziness that compels people to avoid doing any analysis whatsoever. The end result is that the object of our attention today becomes the object of our scorn tomorrow. In…out…in…out. I love you…I hate you…I love you…I hate you. She’s my sister…my mother…my sister…my mother.

Simmer down, people. Inhale deeply…exhale. Stop to smell the roses once in a blue moon. Most importantly…LEARN TO THINK!!!

rogers twin sister Says:

Whew! Got my knickers in a twist with that post to Henry, and he isn’t even here. He’s on another blog lol.

Sean Randall Says:

Tough day for top seeds at the Rot. No.1 Nadal, No. 2 Davydenko and No. 3 Ferrer all drop.

Nadal, who lost Seppi (an Italian who hasn’t gotten busted for gambling), still hasn’t won a non-clay event during the first two months of any season.

Zola Says:


of course I mean 500 points in IW. What is QF points for master series? 225? then that much for Miami.

I was aware of the seeds falling in Rotterdam, but I knew it was not going to be easy for Rafa. On hard courts I have learned not to celebrate early. not yet!

I was not watching the match today, so I don’t know exactly what heppened and I don’t know how he served. But anyway, he won’t be getting any points from Rotterdam.

**Nadal, who lost Seppi (an Italian who hasn’t gotten busted for gambling), still hasn’t won a non-clay event during the first two months of any season.**

I don’t think he is supposed to win a non-clay event on every month of the year! He has Dubai and Indiam Wells in March!

If anyone saw the match , I would love to hear how he played.(Seppi said he took the ball early. Seems it is still sort of troules Rafa’s timing.

Still admirable to me that Rafa is trying his game on the hard courts. There are several clay tournaments going on in South America and RAfa could have started the year with those . I bet he would have had no trouble adding 650 points or more.

Von Says:


“What is QF points for master series? 225? then that much for Miami.”

Points for MS as follows: W: 500, F: 350, SF: 225; QF: 125.

He’ll be OK.

Zola Says:

Yes, I think he should be fine. He did not gain points, but did not lose any either. He also got some match play ahead of Dubai. Still better than last year.

The important thing is to learn from these defeats and improve in other tournaments and I think Rafa is doing his best in that. now next stop is Dubai.

Roddick beat Nishikori 6-2 6-4 .

rogers twin sister Says:

Poor Nishikori. Now, those who were praising him are sure to damn him. You can’t win!

Djokovic Taps Out Again, Sets Up Federer v. Nadal Monte Carlo Final Says:

[…] Today in the Monte Carlo semifinals, Djokovic retired with a breathing illness to Roger Federer after getting broken to go down 6-3, 3-2. The retirement follows a mysterious pattern of in-match withdrawals by the Serb, who pulled a similar act against Nadal at the French Open, Nadal at Wimbledon and even against Davydenko this year in Davis Cup. […]

Top story: Novak Djokovic Sets Record For Most Weeks At No. 1