Nadal Wins Twice, Faces Murray Next at Monte Carlo
by Staff | April 17th, 2009, 7:13 pm

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal finished a rain-delayed 6-3, 6-0 match over Nicolas Lapentti, then beat Ivan Ljubicic 6-3, 6-3 to move into the semifinals at the Masters Monte Carlo.

No No. 1-ranked player has won the Monte Carlo title since Ivan Lendl in 1988.

“The first match I started badly, but I finished the match better than I start,” Nadal said. “The second match, maybe even had a lot of mistakes. But the feeling was better. [The] important thing [is that] I finished the day better than I started.”

On Saturday in the semis Nadal will face Andy Murray, who bested a determined Nikolay Davydenko 7-6(1), 6-4.

Murray let slip two set points at 6-5 and 15-40 on Davydenko’s serve, but won in a tiebreak over the Russian who is just returning from a lengthy foot injury.

Nadal says he will need to step it up in the Saturday semis.

“[I] have to play a little bit more inside [the baseline], make less mistakes, serve a little bit better,” Nadal said. “I think all aspects of the game I have to improve. But I hope tomorrow [will] be better.”

The other semifinal will be Novak Djokovic against Roger Federer’s conqueror, Swiss Stan Wawrinka.

The No. 3-seeded Djokovic defeated No. 7 Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. Wawrinka defeated German qualifier Andreas Beck 6-2, 6-4.

“I could have finished the job in two sets, but then he came back,” Djokovic said. “The courts were really wet. The balls were getting bald and really fast. It was tough to control.”

Wawrinka has lost four matches in a row against Djokovic. Then again, Wawrinka had never beaten Federer until the two met on clay for the first time this week.

“I’m very pleased to play against him again, this time on clay,” Wawrinka said. “I think it’s going to be a very physical match. I know he likes to be very aggressive.”

Also Check Out:
Del Potro Withdraws From Monte Carlo; Kyrgios, Gasquet Also Out
Federer Reverses Monte Carlo Decision, Will Take On Nadal
Streaks That Ended After Rafael Nadal Lost To David Ferrer Today In Monte Carlo [Chart]
Rafael Nadal Will Drop Out Of The Top 4; He Could Now Meet Novak Djokovic In the French QFs!
Short On Confidence, Rafael Nadal Begins Clay Campaign In Monte Carlo [Video]

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75 Comments for Nadal Wins Twice, Faces Murray Next at Monte Carlo

jane Says:

This is a shocking fact: “No No. 1-ranked player has won the Monte Carlo title since Ivan Lendl in 1988.” I wonder why that is?

Shan Says:

From the way Nadal looked physically he could have gone on to win another match!

jane Says:

For sar, Duro and any other Djokovic fans; these are quite cute. Click on the “watch it” link once you get to the site.

zola Says:

perhaps because the tour favors hard court players and the No 1s were not soo keen on clay. Federer was but he had Rafa on his way…

I just saw the order of play for tomorrow. Djoko and Troicki are playing Zimonjic and Nestor! He likes this surface!

let’s see how the matches fold tomorrow. both are very exciting. I hope Stan can win Djoko ( Sorry Jane and Durio) for purely selfish reasons. because I think if Rafa can win Murray, Djoko can give Rafa lots of trouble on clay. I still remeber Hamburg 2008! I am not sure what is going on with Rafa. He has these lapses in concentration. He needs to put his act together.

zola Says:

oops, unfold!

jane Says:

zola, be careful what you wish for – remember how tightly Stan played against Rafa in Miami on hard courts? Well Stan is even better on clay!

I was thinking that too, how maybe the number 1s just really haven’t been clay-courters, or keen on clay, for a while. Lendl could play well on clay and hard courts, just couldn’t ever get over that last hump on grass though.

We should be in for some exciting tennis tomorrow; I worry Novak is over-extending himself in the doubles, but I think he has long term goals of getting comfortable at the net in mind. It’s a good idea for him, as it’s something he can go to if he wants to at least try to end points sooner.

zola Says:

I know, but I think Djoko is better than Stan on clay!

I wouldn’t worry about Djoko over-extending himself. He will get better at the net and it will help him get used to the court. They practice a few hours a day so doubles play can replace that. I think Rafa is trying to manage his time better because of his calendar but he usually plays doubles and that helped him a lot with his net game.

margot Says:

Hi Jane: hope Jko finds his form this afternoon, if he does he’ll beat Stan. Am not so confident about Andy M’s chances…wonder why…all I hope is for a good match and no wind! Also hope for both our sakes, Jko keeps his coach off court and Andy M keeps his eyes on the prize.
I see Tsonga, and Monfils are out of the next Masters citing injury. I wonder if someone, probably MMT, can tell me if Tsonga is just unfortunate or whether there’s something in his game that predisposes him to injury. It’s a shame, whatever.

Colin Says:

Wawrink leading 5-4 and serving for the first set! Interesting…

Colin Says:

Apologies to WawrinkA for making him sound like a skating facility!

Cindy_Brady Says:

Eating popcorn!

Murray will be crushed in straight sets today.

No way Murray can take a set off Rafa on clay.

jane Says:

margot – as I figured, this is a very tense one with Wawrinka and Djokovic; Stan always plays well on clay, and he was playing well on hard at the last two MS events as well. Here’s hoping Novak can pull this one out!

Yeah, it’ll be tough for Andy to beat Rafa, but who knows?! With tennis there are always surprises.

jane Says:

Nice serving from Novak, which allows him to go more for the breaks. I wish he’d keep his body language more positive, even when he makes a little error or whatever. Boy, Stan really does have a lovely backhand when it connects and is timed right.

zola Says:

Jane and all Djoko fans here, congratulations.

I guess Wawrinka decided not to listen to me. So many unforced errors. I missed the first set, but in second and third, Djoko played really well and Stan had patches of good an bad.

jane Says:

Duro and sar wherever you are: hurrah for Novak’s first finals appearance in Monte Carlo. :-D

Thanks zola.

Duro Says:

Alez alez, alez alez… Happy, happy, happy!!!

Duro Says:

Smiling, smiling, smiling!!! Love you guys!

jane Says:

Duro – smiling and happy here too!! Cheers.

Duro Says:

Jane, I told you: See you in the finals! Have some more faith! He has a class and a class is always coming back for what is its!

jane Says:

Duro you did, it must be your insight into the stars!! :) haha. Like sar, I was worried about the Spanish Armada, especially after seeing Verdasco rout Ferrer. But once Novak passed the Verdasco test, I had good faith deep down; I just always “expect the worse, & hope for the best!” Novak is playing more like his old self, and I like that he is patient, not making tons of unforced errors, but waiting for the right time to go for his shots. He maybe waited a little too long in the first set, though! ;-)

Duro Says:

If anyone on earth can beat Nadal on clay is Nole. Is it gonna happen? Of course not. But finals on the hard surface, finals on the clay, all within the 7 day period speaks something for itself. If he had Nadal in Miami and Andy here, I think at least one title would come, but anyway, two masters finals in a row is a considerable success. Nole is definitely back! Congrats to him and my friends Jane, Sar, Zola, Bojan, Danica and Roddick loving Von! People, enjoy the moment!

rose Says:

this is a true test for murray..but nadal even not playing his best game still is the king of clay!!!

jane Says:

Murray could still improve his clay movement, don’t people think? He definitely doesn’t look as fast as he does on hard, but it’s tough to tell if that’s just germane to the surface or what?

margot – regarding Tsonga and Monfils – it seems these two are always injured. With Monfils one would think it’s his unorthodox movement and style of play, but with Tsonga I’ve often wondered if it’s his size? If it’s a back injury is could be the way he plays, a technical issue. If MMT is around, hopefully he’ll correct me if I am wrong, but it seems like Tsonga doesn’t always follow through on his swings and I wonder if that could aggravate his back?

jane Says:

margot, here’s what I found about Tsonga’s injury:

“The 2008 Australian Open finalist Tsonga has not played since the Miami quarter-finals at the start of the month against Novak Djokovic.

Tsonga’s handlers said that their man is training on the clay at home in Geneva but is not yet ready to risk his knees in tournament play.”

So it’s unclear to me if he is “injured” when they say he doesn’t want to “risk” his knees? Maybe he has tendinitis like Monfils also has in his knees; that seems the most likely explanation.

Giner Says:

6-1 3-1 Nadal with serve to come. This might be over quickly.

And Murray’s movement on clay I agree is not that great.

Giner Says:

Sorry that’s 6-2 3-1.

Sean Connery Says:

nadal shimply pounding the shkot from the bek

jane Says:

4-1. Plus Murray just looks tired to me. But he will need to work on his clay movement for future events; I didn’t see the Davydenko match but I am sure that tired him out. It was tense, with a lot of ups and downs. Murray hasn’t been too successful at the net in this match either. Generally when he makes the trip up there on hardcourts, he’s apt to win the point. But again, this may be a footwork thing.

It’s looking like this may be over fairly soon, unless Murray finds a third or fourth wind!

If Rafa wins, I wonder if Novak can take even a set off him? He did take one quite decisively last year in Hamburg, but the clay is different there.

jane Says:

Andy uses that kind of “buggy whip” forehand sometimes like Rafa used to always use; i never noticed that before. Does he do this on hardcourts too?

rose Says:

murray broke serve…geezzz he is playing great right now..

Sean Connery Says:

the awesome thing is nadal hasnt played amazing yet and he (was) raping murray who up until now tried to beat him at his own game.

jane Says:

Well, well nice to see Murray making a match of it after all. Looks like we’ll have a tiebreak to enjoy.

rose Says:

tie break ..woowww..i think murray is taking this set..nadal had his chance to take set #2 easily ..lost concentration and now is paying for it….kudos to Murray

jane Says:

I have to say, I know Uncle Tony pulls all the strings in the Rafa camp, but I like the way he seens to clearly just enjoy tennis; he cheers on the opponent’s great shots as much as Rafa’s.

At this point, you can see Murray *thinking* on the court, figuring out ways to play Rafa.

rose Says:

really enjoining this set ..first class tennis…nail baiting
tie break

jane Says:

Congrats to Rafa, and zola you should be happy.

Margot – that was a good sign for Murray to push Rafa like that to a tiebreaker – bodes really well for the future!

Kimmi Says:

WOW !! Murray might be Nadal contender on Clay…second set was brilliant from 2-5 down. He just need to use this tactic next time. Brilliant tennis from both..especially nadal on the tie break.

Kimmi Says:

There is a chance for Novak tommorrow but a very SLIM one. Good luck to both.

jane Says:

Nadal did not serve too well, but then again neither did Murray.

rose Says:

congratulations to Rafa…well done.!!!,,lets hope for a interesting final tomorrow ..

osazone4real Says:

what murray played in the last 30 minutes or so of the 2nd set was phenomenal,punished all the short balls,back hand turned defense into winners,served very well,chased down every ball and attacking nadals forehand by driving him wide to the backhand first.

Reminds me of when Djoker was playing well and I hope that Djoker shows up tommorow so we can have a classic final bcos I am becoming tired of men finals starting to look like wta finals.

Vamos Rafa

margot Says:

Jane: congrats to your Novak, knew he could do it.
Considering Andy M lost, I am oddly chipper and very proud. In the second set Andy figured out how to beat Rafa, he played so well I can hardly believe it. It’ll be a big learning curve but he’ll be back and better. Look out Rafa!
Thanks also for the info re Tsonga, I dunno about him such a talent but…also previous re needle between JDP and Andy M. BFN

jane Says:

margot, you should be chipper! BFN also.

Colin Says:

I’m glad the draw turned out the way it did, because if Murray was going to lose, I’d rather it was to the No 1 than the No 2. This match, or at any rate the second set, surely proves that Murray has a future on clay. Rafa made the transition to hard courts and grass, and Murray will do the reverse.
As for Nadal, there’s not much left to say!

Nadal is the GOAT Says:

Ha Ha, Nadal just destroyed Murray. And he was no where near his best. He lost concentration in the second set. Otherwise it would have been really embarrassing for Murray. No one will ever beat Nadal on clay. I think Nadal can keep winning the French Open at least until he is 40 years old.

Giner Says:

Valiant effort from Murray who played very aggressively in the end and it paid off. I thought he was going to be out 6-2 in the 2nd. He saved some match points and broke Nadal while serving out the match. He was actually beating Nadal in rallies though working hard for it. If he can keep up this level of play for an entire match, he could actually beat Nadal but it’s a big ask.

He pulled some rabbits out of the hat on big moments, but Nadal had some rabbits of his own on two key points at the end of that tie break. They were gutsy shots to go for, and generally he didn’t play them in the part of the match I saw, but he went for it in the tie break and it worked for him.

I liked a comment from one of the UK commentators (paraphrasing): “If Murray is playing at his best and Nadal is at his best, there can be only one winner. However, if Nadal’s level drops off it will still be a competitive match but if Murray’s level drops off it’ll be one way traffic.”

From the point I picked up the match and the match highlights I could see that early on Nadal looked like he was toying with Murray and in a different league. Not too long after I joined, Murray started playing very aggressively and beating Nadal in rallies which you don’t see too often. I don’t think he can keep up that level of play (and not miss) for two or three entire sets however.

What we have learned is that Murray can play on clay, and there will be no more excuses (about the surface not being his forte) for him when he loses to anyone.

In the final I predict it will be straight sets but competitive sets. 6-4 or 7-5 and maybe even a 7-6.

Has Djokovic secured his #3 rank from Murray for another week? If not, big points to defend in Rome.

Kimmi Says:

Colin: Yes, I am so glad that Murray started to ply the correct way in the end. It was so dissappointing the way he started, he was just pushing the ball..I was aaaaaaaaaaaaaaarg “Murray should play better than this, where is his hard court game ???” Brilliant. Bring Rome.

osazone4real Says:

ah this is not good Djoko has to play doubles!
Hope he is not too tired for 2morrow final.

zola Says:


**ah this is not good Djoko has to play doubles!

he doesn’t have to play doubles. It is his choice! but it is a tough match against an excellent team. But the benefit is that he will practice his net game.

zola Says:

Duro and Jane
thanks a lot.

Indeed with all the talk about Djoko, he has been doing fairly well. Two masters finals on two different courts within a week. I think he has proven his consistency.

I agree that if Davydenko was not too tired yesterday, the result might have been different. But still, Murray did a great job, not giving up and making it a match against Rafa.

Rafa needs to improve his concentration and his serve. Otherwise these guys will close out on him.

I admire Toni for many reasons and one of them is what you mentioned. That he is really fair to the opponents. I have seen him applauding the great shots of Rafa’s opponents. I think because he knows how much work has gone into making those types of shots.

Djoko does that too on the court and that’s nice.

Giner Says:

Is Djoko really playing doubles? Isn’t the final tomorrow? That will be 3 matches in 2 days. It’s a big ask physically, especially for him (no offense intended). Nadal pulled off the MC double last year, but he’s Nadal..

jane Says:

Novak and Troicki have lost in the semis, but they’ve done really well in doubles, won a set, and Novak has not shown many signs of physical fatigue at this event. I do think it’s the heat that gets to him and the weather this week has been cooler and cloudier. So I don’t think he’ll be too fatigued for the final – at least I hope not!

Cindy_Brady Says:

Djokovic has no chance against Nadal tomm.

He has no heart.

Nadal def djokovic 6-2,6-1

jane Says:

cindy_brady says Novak “has no heart” – lol, course he’d be dead and not likely a top ten tennis player were this the case.

He may indeed have little-to-no chance of winning against Rafa on clay, but did you see them play in Hamburg last year? I doubt it.

Anyhow, Novak smoked Rafa in the second set 6-2 and was leading in the first set also . Novak was the ONLY player to push Rafa at Roland Garros too. Unlike Roger, who pretty much melted away as their final match wore on, Novak got better during his and Rafa’s semifinal and took the third set to a tiebreak. Novak has been playing doubles here in Monte Carlo, reaching the semis in doubles, so he may be tired tomorrow, and it may be a wash out final, but he DOES have a heart. And he plays well on clay.

zola Says:


***Novak has been playing doubles here in Monte Carlo, reaching the semis in doubles, so he may be tired tomorrow, and it may be a wash out final, but he DOES have a heart. And he plays well on clay.***

come on Jane, there were players ( Rafa, Murray, Ljubicic) who played two singles matches yesterday. Doubles matches is played in two sets and the players do not run nearly as much as they do in the singles.

Don’t tell me tomorrow that Novak lost (if indeed he loses) because he was tired. Then you have to admit that it was a very dumb decision on his part to play doubles.

that said, I agree that Djoko gave Rafa lots of trouble in Hamburg and tomorrow’s match is not going to be an easy one for Rafa.

jane Says:


If you read my posts, I didn’t anywhere say that if Novak loses tomorrow it’d be because he’s tired from playing doubles, I only meant to imply that if it’s a wash out, playing doubles **may** have made him more tired than it would’ve otherwise, and to illustrate to Cindy-Brady that he does have a heart, as he played well here in both singles and doubles. And either way, it was his choice to play, so whatever happens, happens accordingly.

I’ve said all along that he has very little-to-no chance of beating Rafa on clay. And either way, it was his choice to play, so whatever happens, happen accordingly.

Having said all that, zola, I am sure if I looked through all of the posts on this sight, there are times when you’ve deferred to Rafa’s tiredness. So I think i can point out that Novak going deep in singles and doubles may be a factor, or may not, that’s all.

jane Says:

sight s/b site.

zola, I’m not sure why you’re responding to my post to cindy, which was really only about proving two things: a) that Novak can and has played well on clay and b) that he has heart; for that I referenced last year’s clay matches with Rafa, which weren’t complete blow outs as she implied.

jane Says:

In fact, zola, just to reiterate my point, Giner said above:

“Is Djoko really playing doubles?… It’s a big ask physically, especially for him (no offense intended).”

To which I replied:

“Novak has not shown many signs of physical fatigue at this event. …So I don’t think he’ll be too fatigued for the final – at least I hope not!”

So as you can see, I am not suggesting what you implied I was. I was only responding first to Giner’s post and then Cindy’s. Have you ever wondered why Rafa’s playing doubles in a tournament and if it will make him more tired? I’d bet some hard cash that you have, right here on these boards. :-) !!!

Sean Connery Says:

I shalute you, Rafael

zola Says:

I think when a player has a 3-4 hour singles match and another match the next day ,( like Rafa in Chennai or Murray in US Open, or Rafa in AO after playing 5 hours, )and they HAVE TO play those matches, that’s very different from playing doubles and getting tired for a final. Please find in my posts anywhere that I have implied Rafa was tired after playing a doubles and that’s why he lost a singles match.

But let’s say your argument is right. That playing one hour of doubles match can result in a wash out tomorrow. If we as fans can comprehend this why Djoko and his team can’t?

Djoko knows he has a final to play tomorrow and still he went to play the doubles. It only means then that he either can’t make good decsions or he doesn’t take the final seriously.

I think Novak is smart enough to make smart decisons. If he knew he would have been dead tired he wouldn’t have played the doubles.

jane Says:

I guess you didn’t read my posts zola – i am not making an “argument”. I agree with you. If Novak loses tomorrow it will be because the better man won. That’s all. If he loses badly, *maybe* he made a bad decision to play double also? I dunno.

But as for making excuses for a player’s losses, we perhaps all do it, and maybe even “excuse” is not the right word, as surely extenuating circumstances – injury, conditions, personal issues, etc, et,c — DO factor into a player’s loss. They aren’t machines after all.

Here’s you reasoning / explaining one of Nadal’s losses; On April 28th 2008 you wrote:

“HAmburg was more mental fatigue for RAfa and the weather was not good. I also think RAfa had a cold. Fed needs to find Rafa in less than perfect conditions and he himself has to be perfect to be able to beat him on clay.”

Duro Says:

People, since Nole is practically my countryman and I read posts in Serbian on his website, I can tell you this: Almost everyone were saying: “Nole, please don’t play the doubles!” But do you know what loyalty is, as well as friendship? Nole would never let Troicki down, they are friends and colleagues, and even for him only he would play the match, even if it means less chances and fatigue for tomorrow finals. That would provide Troicki some earnings and prestige, and Nole would never take it away from him. Same as the DC event which Nole didn’t need at all, but he played for his country unlike some “injured” players which skipped it successfully.

No chance for Nole in tomorrow finals but it’s still great achievement and success. Two masters finals in a row, within a week, on two different surfaces… Great. He has acknowledged himself again as a world No 3 player with all the credits for that achievement!

zola Says:

I did read your comments. I quoted you.
Rafa arrived at Hamburg after playing MC, Barcelona and Rome each for the whole week. Don’t ask me. look at the commentators and see if they say he was tired or not. Did I say he was tired because he played doubles?

The singles matches are mandatory. even if it takes 3-5 hours, they HAVE TO play it and have to be ready for the next one. Playing doubles is not!

I agree, we all try to find ways to explain why the players we like lose. But what you suggest in fact puts Novak and his team in a very awkward position. Do you think they would sacrifice a masters series final for a doubles semi?

Von Says:

WOW, what a great day of tennis today, ex parte Federer! This just demonstrates that tennis WILL continue to grow and will be around regardless of who’s playing. I say this because there are some who feel tennis will be dead without some players and cannot enjoy the finals of tourneys unless their top players are involved.

That said, my congrats goes out to Duro, who has believed in his player, Djoko, but Duro has inside information due to his ‘astral walks’, which means he has an edge in his predictions, as compared to the other fans, Ha, ha. Anyway, my congrats to jane, sar, gordon, Danica, SGreen (I miss you guy), et al., for reaching two MS finals consecutively and on two different surfaces. Kudos to him with respect to his réussite, accomplissement, persévérance — good job. Whatever happens in the finals tomorrow, I think you all should be pleased.

Margot and Colin, our boy is looking good! By the time FO rolls around, he’ll be cooking up a good brew of shots to counter-punch and offset the onslaught from the clay-courters. You should be proud of the turkey tempered red-head — I know I am, and the good ole Union Jack will be flying again in tennis. Whappa!!

Ref today’s match: Djoko v. Wawa, as I stated previously, Djoko is learning to play within himself, and to win regardless of what’s happening on the opposite side of the net. It was good to see him waiting patiently on Stan, staying in the long rallies, and allowing Wawa to make the errors. Good Lord, Wawa made 50 UEs and only what 15 winners? His errors were similar to Verdasco’s not pressured points, just poor returns, and over-hitting, long, ugly shots.

In the Murray v. Nadal match, in the first set I thought it would have been a wash-out match, but then Andy picked it up in the second, and I feel had he not lost the first set, considering he was just getting warmed up in the second, we would have had a better match, even if it were two sets, but would have been more highly contested. However, there’s Rome and Madrid left, where I’m sure he’ll be on song, we should see better matches from him, culminating with a great FO run. Only time will tell ….

Duro: “No chance for Nole in tomorrow finals but it’s still great achievement and success.”

Djoko should be fine in the finals, energy wise. The doubles match is just practice for him and he’ll have 24 hours to recover. Do not despair, Djoko played a pretty good match in DC v. Nadal and I’m sure he’ll not let this opportunity to win a Ms shield on clay bypass him. I think this energy crisis thing we are so concerned about is more centered around those of us who judge the athletes by our own lack of energy and our deficiencies in coping with our strenuous lives. However, let us remember it’s the reason why they are athletes and we are not.

Good luck to the athletes and fans tomorrow and may the best man win!!

zola Says:


Novak is a very good player on clay. In DC they did not have time to practice on the field because of the storm. Here in MC all the players are coming from hard courts and it is harder to adjust. Even Rafa’s game is very patchy. I expect Novak to improve match by match. He gave Rafa a very hard time in Hamburg. Tomorrow is not a given for Rafa in any way. Rafa needs to play really really well.

sensationalsafin Says:

I don’t think Djoker will win but I hope it’s a tight 3 setter. I don’t even care about what it’ll mean for future matches or anything like that. But this is the third MS final of the year and the first 2 finals were pretty bad. And they were between players in the top 4. Here we have 1 vs 3. I just want an epic. I’m rooting for Djoker but I just want a great match regardless of my hatred towards Nadal.

zola Says:

I did not know that you were offended by my replying to your post to Cindy.

You wrote a sentence that looked odd to me and I wrote my opinion. I thought we are discussing tennis in a group here and apparently I was wrong. My apologies.Please ignore my comments.

jane Says:

Don’t be silly. I won’t ignore your comments; every poster has a right to say what s/he wants to. I only meant that my response was to Cindy’s post for saying Djoko “has no heart” and yet it was you who responded.

ANyhow, may the best man win tomorrow.


jane Says:

Von, I really loved your post from 8:39 pm April 18th. Viva La Tennis!

margot Says:

Von: me too re 8.39.! As for me I’m just bursting(!) with excitement re Andy M!! This time last year he had not reached a quarter final on clay and now you guys, LOOK AT HIM! He will have learnt so much from that match too and next time hopefuly come out more aggressively from the start. Lots to improve too, second serve etc and I don’t know why he didn’t use that sliced backhand more. I think Jason Goodall said it has to be 100% good or Nadal will kill it but hey, if you’re losing, what the heck. Anyway, could go boringly on and on about Andy, but won’t! Let’s just say, bring on the clay!
Jane: fingers crossed for Jko, I hope it’s a good match, Jko’s a class act on clay so should be. Doubt if he’ll be tired playing doubles, as someone said, they must practise for a couple of hours a day anyway. The weather will suit him too, not too hot and humid.

Von Says:

jane & margot:

Thanks, me three. LOL.

Margot: Andy M. is running right on schedule. He is just a toddler on clay, a little wobbly, taking baby steps. However, in a few weeks the toddler will be much stronger and will progress from the ‘terrible twos’ to the ‘terrible threes’. L’Enfant terible’ but totally wonderful. I love that turkey temper. Maybe, in Madrid, where the altitude is high and the better servers are helped, he’ll get to the finals, and you can then break out the champers. Champagne and caviar anyone?

margot Says:

Von: my champagne is in the fridge…just waiting….but not for too long I feel!
There was an interview with him on Beeb. He just said he’d learnt so much in the last 45 mins of that match -how to play on clay basically and come out fighting from the start.
He was also so complimentary about Rafa, he always is and never makes excuses as to why he’s lost. Why do people hate him so much, just beats me.
Love your analogy re toddlers!

zola Says:

you asked me why I responded to your comment to Cindy_Brady.

I didn’t want to jump in your conversation, but in your reply, you wrote about a possible outcome for a match that we both care about. I wrote that playing doubles will not make a player tired. Otherwise do you think Novak would have done that?that’s what it was all about and you saw that it was not a washout at all.

jane Says:

zola, no worries. Can we leave it behind? I didn’t mean to make excuses but as a fan was just worried; he doesn’t play doubles often and has had endurance issues, so like a mum I was nattering. It all turned out okay, and was a fun match to watch.

zola Says:

I understand we all worry for the players we care, but something like that, you have to expect that you might get a few responses. Your reaction to my response was most unexpected from someone as logical as you. anyway, it is behind us now.

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