Patient Roddick Survives in Five, Del Potro Doesn’t at Australian Open
by Sean Randall | January 24th, 2010, 9:35 am

Credit to Andy Roddick. From what I saw Fernando Gonzalez was firing on all cylinders last night at the Australian Open, reducing Roddick to just a bystander watching winner after winner go zinging past. But as I thought going into the match, Gonzalez wouldn’t be able to sustain such a high level for a complete match. And so Roddick, waited and waited until the end of the fourth set when Gonzalez finally imploded.

On set point against at him down 5-6, Gonzalez mistakenly let a Roddick forehand cross-court screamer into the corner land uncontested. The ball was called out and we appeared to be headed for a tiebreak. But an immediate Roddick review showed it had landed in. The call was reversed.

Replay the point? Not in this case. The umpire correctly judged that Gonzo had given up on the ball before the call was made. Gonzo was disgusted. Point to Roddick, game to Roddick, set to Roddick, momentum to Roddick and virtually the match to Roddick.

In the fifth, Andy held then broke immediately. Gonzo, who was just minutes earlier sizzling hot was now agitated, undone and breaking racquets. About 20 minutes later Gonzalez double faulted giving Roddick a well-deserved, hard-fought 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory sending him the American into the quarterfinals.

This was worth waking up early for!

The match wasn’t the only five-setter on the day. After a couple of four set battles and one epic five setter against James Blake, Juan Martin Del Potro’s body and effort just wasn’t good enough for the what looked to be a fresher Marin Cilic. The 21-year-old Croat who also survived a five-setter of his own and a tough four-set win over Stanislas Wawrinka nabbed an early break in the fifth and hung on for the win.

Cilic and Roddick who are both 9-0 on the year will now meet in the quarterfinals come Tuesday.

Much earlier in the day (or last night US time), the tall really did fall. Andy Murray thumped 6-foot-9 Big John Isner 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 in relatively easy fashion. Murray has just too many options and too many defensive skills for Isner who didn’t seem to have that same zip on his shots as he had in his earlier matches. Murray still hasn’t lost a set!

Rafael Nadal did surrender a set but for the most part the Spaniard was untroubled in a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over the ever-dangerous Ivo Karlovic.

And of course Nadal’s win sets up the massive early season showdown against Murray on Tuesday. Nadal leads their head-to-head 7-2 including two straight. I absolutely cannot wait for that one!

On to the women. Dinara Safina’s back flared up late in the first set against Maria Kirilenko. That puts Maria K into the quarterfinals against Zheng Jie, a winner over Alona Bondarenko. In the other quarter it’s Justine Henin, a tough, three set winner over fellow Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, against Nadia Petrova.

I’ll have my picks for tonight’s matches later in the day for what should be a great conclusion to the fourth round! Now I’ve got to focus on some football!

Also Check Out:
Stanislas Wawrinka Doesn’t Care That He’s Ranked Ahead Of Federer
Serena Williams Admits She Doesn’t Like Playing Tournaments After The US Open
Andre Agassi Doesn’t Know If He’ll Play In The IPTL; Won’t Say Never To Coaching [Video]
UPDATE: Juan Martin Del Potro’s 2014 Season Is Over
John Isner Doesn’t Care That There Are No American Men In The Top 20

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93 Comments for Patient Roddick Survives in Five, Del Potro Doesn’t at Australian Open

Voicemale1 Says:

The H2H between Nadal & Murray is 7-2 in favor of Nadal, not 9-2. Nadal’s beaten Murray on every surface; Clay, Grass, Hard Court and Indoor Carpet. In fact, in the seven Nadal wins, six of them have been won in straight sets. The lone exception to that was the AO in 2007 on the old Rebound Ace surface – which was their very first meeting.

mongoose Says:

When the draw came out, I was musing myself(federerfan haters might want to skip this) with the thought of perhaps one of the toughest roads through a GS tournament ever(?)
If you look at the possible draw for Federer, you think that it surely cant happen, as it would just be too sweet. I know this is a little bit late as Baggy fell to Hewitt but anyway – heres thoughfodder for comparisons, lets see how long the fairytale lives.
1rd Andreev – #37, just out of the seeds
2rd Hanescu – #47, ordinary here
3rd Montanes – #32, heres some slack, #17would have been possible
4rd Baggy(Hewitt spoiled)- Two recent tournament wins
QF Davydenko – Hottest player on tour
SF Djokovic – rematch of 2008 semifinal against a younger upper echelon player, who by all accounts should have been developing faster
(I know I know, mononucleosis, but everybody doesnt buy it)
F Nadal – Arch Nemesis

We probably can forget this line of thought if eg. the QF againsta Davydenko doesnt go the distance, but does anybody know if there is a comparison of this sort somewhere that goes a bit beyond the statistics?

Colin Says:

Can one of you Americans please confirm the correct pronunciation of Isner’s name? Most of the UK radio commentators are saying “IZ-NER”. I had thought it was “EYES-NER”, assuming the name was originally the German Eisner, which would be pronounced that way. Not the most important question in the world, but I think commentators should try to get names right, otherwise it’s slightly disrespectful.
Oh, by the way – Murray to beat Nadal in 4 or 5 sets!

nacho Says:

Roddick was lucky, but all will end with Cilic in 3 sets

Skorocel Says:

nacho: “Roddick was lucky, but all will end with Cilic in 3 sets”

Luck favours the better, my friend ;-)

Kimmi Says:

Go Murray Go

TJ Says:

The American commentators (including Patrick McEnroe the D.C. captain) pronounce it “IZ-ner,” so I think that’s the right way.

huh Says:

Murray beating Rafa would be lovely!

But Cilic is a dangerous guy and he can beat Roddick, but all I want is to Rod to win vs Cilic and Muzaa to win against Rafa.

huh Says:

How long was Rod’s match by the way?

huh Says:

Thou I won’t love to see Rafa defending his title here, that’s what seems most likely. Hoping for the other guys to prove me wrong.

huh Says:

nacho, Roddick was not lucky, he was simply better!

huh Says:


huh Says:

And yes, I’m extremely sad for Safina. She is not mentally strong, but I like her game.

huh Says:

Mrs. Von,

Congrats indeed on Roddick’s win! But today was a tough match and I hope it does not prove to be detrimental to Rod’s chances.

Kimmi Says:

I am starting to like Cilic after reading his few interviews and watching him play his guts out against delpo. Never gave up and he looked very fit…To top that he is a very nice guy. Great win for him and i hope he gets far in this tournament.

huh Says:

Where are you dear Mrs.Margot?

Our Muzza has already reached Qtrs and hopefully he’d beat Rafa to reach semi too. I’d be among the first to celebrat if Muzza beats Rafa and then you must be ready to join me! (Hopefully!)

huh Says:

Kimmi, you’re a great great Muzza supporter and it feels nice to see that I’m not alone here to send + vibes to Muzza, we’re together! And Colin too would hopefully come more often and also Mrs.Margot.

huh Says:

And yes, again, come back dear Maxi.

Kimmi Says:

Huh: Yeah Go muzza Go. Hope he brings his best attacking tennis tomorrow..He played excellent against Isner yesterday but Isner is not nadal..we will see…fingers and toes crossed huh.

huh Says:

I don’t know if anyone would agree with me, but I just feel like Rafa’s been playing better than he did at this point last year, and thus, I kinda guess that he’d take the title!

But yeah, I must tell everybody that today I was actually rooting for Rafa’s victory as I agree with those who think that it woulda been a big loss for the tournament had he gone out today, the thrill mighta been killed to a big extent. So good indeed to see Rafa win today. And trust me, if Davy and Rafa reach final, I’d totally root for a Rafa win as I would rather see Rafa win his 7th than Davy win his first!

huh Says:

Yes Kimmi, Come on Murray indeed! Allez and Allez!

huh Says:

Kimmi, still the question that keeps coming to my mind is that whether Rafa’d allow Muzza to beat him consecutively in back-to-back slam meetings! The answer to me seems, a No at he moment, but as you rightfully said, we can only hope for the best!

Andrew Miller Says:

Still a good tourney. I am not sure how Roddick will handle Cilic. Roddick in four? An interesting quote below from Isner – the guy definitely wants to be the #1 U.S. player.

Q. Your results are improving. You’re playing the elite players more frequently. What do you feel like is still missing in your game to get to that level?

JOHN ISNER: I would have to say, like I know I can play with anybody. I can probably get a little bit fitter. I’m a lot fitter now than I was last year. And I’m gonna continue to work on that. I mean, just to see how kind of fit Andy Murray is, is kind of something to strive for.

I think for me actually, personally, a guy I kind of look up to is Andy Roddick, how fit he is, how hard he works. If he want to get up to his level, close to his level, I’m going to have to work as hard as he does. Those guys in the top five, six in the world are all so fit. Maybe that’s what separates them.

Andrew Miller Says:

Predictions: Nadal d. Murray – four tough sets.

Hewitt over Federer in four!

Kimmi Says:

huh, i will not analyse this match too much. Everybody says nadal owns murray..well their H2H favours Rafa because Murray lost many matches before his breakthruough. He could never beat Nadal and Djokovic before, they owned him. But then, he started to believe and eventually he posted 3 wins to Djokovic and 3 wins to Nadal (I am counting abu dhabi ’09 also as Nadal played excellent match there). So lets wait and see what happens.

Gordo Says:

Huh – Rafa is done, he just doesn’t know it yet.

Since beating Djokovic in that classic semi-final match in Madrid last year (in the spring!) Rafa has faced players ranked in the top 10 11 times.

He has won only one of those matches – a 7-, 7-5 victory over Tsonga in Paris.

Other than that he has been spanked a lot in the past 8 months. Including a 6-1, 6-3 loss to Cilic in Beijing in October.

If Murray brings yesterday’s game against Rafa the Spaniard may not win a set. If he somehow gets past Murray then I believe the winner of Cilic-Roddick will do him in. Cilic’s game is kryptonite to Rafa’s, and Roddick serves like Karlovic, but he has groundstrokes as well.

If Rafa somehow makes the final then he is indeed a god of tennis. I just can’t see it based on his play so far this year.

Voicemale1 Says:

Murray’s challenge in facing Nadal is twofold: Nadal’s Forehand is a better shot than anything Murray has; and Nadal has been improving with every match here, whereas Murray has been playing close to his best from Day 1. Nadal may well have another gear to go to; Murray has been showing pretty much his standard Top 5 form up to now. Murray won’t be able to afford any drop in his level of play he’s shown up to now, and he’ll have to count on a rash of errors from Nadal. In his match with Karlovic, Nadal made a ultra-stingy 15 Unforced Errors over 4 Sets. If he posts numbers like that again it’s going to be extremely hard for Murray to overcome that.

The two times Murray beat Nadal, Murray himself knew in one of those he was fortunate to scrape out a win. Last winter in Rotterdam, Nadal’s knee blew out during their Final, yet still won the 2nd Set on one leg. The other time at the US Open SF in 2008 came at the end of the Season of a Lifetime for Nadal: 8 ATP Tour titles including two Majors and an Olympic Gold Medal, all acquired in a 5 month span. So if Murray is to win, their H2H says he’s going to need help from Nadal’s errors to do it. I’m not so sure Nadal will need any help from Murray’s errors to win tomorrow.

Voicemale1 Says:

Gordo Says:

“Huh – Rafa is done, he just doesn’t know it yet.”

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Evidently Gordo, none other than Federer himself disagrees with such ridiculous pronouncements, as he told the reporter during an interview for L’Equipe right before the start of the Australian Open this year:

“Q: Nadal has not won a tournament since Rome last year, in May. Some think he’ll never be what he once was.

RF: This is bullshit ['conneries' in French]. It reminds me what people said about me last year. I’ve seen Rafa play in Abu Dhabi and in Doha: he lacks absolutely nothing. Granted, he’s not won in a long time. But look at those who beat him: Del Potro, Murray, Davydenko, Djokovic, Soderling… They’re not bad! Think about it: had he played Wimbledon last year and not lost 2,000 points from his victory in 2008, where would he be right now? He came back from injury, so it’s normal that he lacked confidence. But to me, the really great Rafa is still to come.”

I’m thinking maybe Federer might have some more insight into this subject. Don’t you? :)

Read more:

Ben Pronin Says:

Murray is gonna squeeze out a few more errors from Nadal than Karlovic did.

jane Says:

The QFs are tough to predict on the bottom half, especially Rafa vs. Murray. I’d give a slight edge to Rafa because of his results in slams and his fight; however, Murray also likes to fight, and he won their best of 5 on hardcourt at the USO. So, it’s a pick em to me. Maybe Rafa is in a better position because he’s been tested a bit more in his Kohls and Ivo matches. Murray’s toughest one has been Isner. But Murray will be out to prove himself. The good news is that Murray has already better his results from last year, in getting to the quarters, and with JMDP losing a round early, I assume they’ll trade places again? Or is Murray already back up to number 4?

Roddick versus Cilic should also be good. Again, I’d give the edge to experience. They are 1-1 H2H but have played only 3 setters and not since 2008. If the Cilic who ousted Delpo shows up, he might have a chance. Plus there’s that flukey thing about the AO: the surprise semifinalist/finalist trend. I guess that could come from the top of the draw though. : ) But Cilic may be less fit than Andy, and less confident.

Kimmi – I am surprised you’re just “starting to like” Cilic. I heard him talk last year after his FO loss to Murray and was very impressed then, and also very much enjoyed his performance last year at Wimbledon. As someone here once said, however, he does have a tendency to get stuck in 5 setters a lot. That’s something he may want to cut down on if he can. I posted not long ago that assumed he could better his results at most of the slams. I think I put him in my YE top ten at #8. We’ll see.

Duro Says:

Jane would put in her YE top ten 14 players if she could ha ha ha! Hi Jane.

jane Says:

Hi Duro – ah you know me so well. : )

Gordo Says:

I’m sorry, but I don’t see how a 4 set (it should have been 3 except for that bizarre service game of Rafa’s in the second set) victory over Dr. Ivo makes Nadal look awe-inspiring.

Karlovic has a brilliant serve and little else. Return his serve and you are likely to win the point. I saw too many times when Nadal gave up on a Karlovic groundstroke. If he runs it down and fails to make the shot it is an unforced error. If he lets it go it is a winner for Karlovic.

Nadal is not as fast as he was nor as strong as he was. For some reason for some of you – and I suspect it is the American Revolution(!) – Cilic, Isner, Del Potro, even Davydenko are all capable of improving but in your minds Murray peaked 2 years ago.

Well I have news for you – Murray is playing better than he was this time last year and I think he will take Rafa in the quarters. My big disappointment is that this should have been a semi-final match, but Delpo knocking the Scot down to #5 forced this match to be played one round earlier than it should have.

That being said… watch out for whoever comes out of Roddick-Cilic. We are in for some great matches this week!

Gordo Says:

Voicemale 1 – when I said Rafa was done, I didn’t mean for his career. I just meant for this tournament.

But rather than looking for abckings to any argument we may have – including a ridiculous quote from the one guy who wants to be able to thump Rafa and not have people think Nadal is on the decline – why don’t we just wait a day and a half?

If Nadal defeats Murray I will be in here with a full order of crow admitting I was wrong.

However if Murray wins I am going to pull out all the Nyah-Nyah’s I have in my vocabulary along with as many eloquent told-ya-sos as I can muster.


jane Says:

So Gordo, you predict Murray will come through Rafa but be taken out by Roddick/Cilic winner? I could see that, as beating Rafa could result in a let down, and Roddick and Cilic both took Murray out at slams last year (Wimbledon and USO respectively). So who do you think will win Roddick/Cilic? As that would be one of the finalists. Just curious.

Duro Says:

Jane, thank you for fulfilling your “assignment” :-) See ya later !

jane Says:

I didn’t know I did Duro! Yep, see you later during Djoko’s match.

Voicemale1 Says:


So..since you predicted Murray will take Nadal out, great. Let us know how you think the match will unfold in Murray’s favor. In what way will Murray beat Nadal? What is it specifically that Murray is going to do better than Nadal tomorrow to win the match?

I don’t say it’s not possible for Murray to win. In fact I said he could. Just wondering how you see it. Or is it just a gut feeling?

Kimmi Says:

If Roddick or Cilic play Murray..Cilic will have a bigger chance than roddick IMO only because Cilic can hit flat and big (Murray struggles with flat hitters). Roddick is nowhere near his Wimbledon form unless he finds something extra in the next rounds.. I would not be too confident he can beat Murray but anyways I am ahead of myself again. One match at a time and a big match it is.. Go Murray.

Gordo Says:

To answer both -

Jane – I wouldn’t bet on it, but I think Roddick is going to prevail over Cilic.

Voicemale 1 – I think Murray is going to dropshot Rafa to death. Also, if there is any one of the two who is capable of running down shots it is Murray who will pull it off. Rafa is slower and not yet in the same form as he was 1 year ago.

Although Isner has the toolbox but not all the developed tools yet he still made things difficult for Murray with his excellent shot placement. The way Murray ran those down was in a word amazing – with a display that we used to associate Rafa with.

I discount Murray’s win over Rafa at the US Open in 2008. Rafa was tired and Murray took full advantage. But with the exception of Indian Wells last year, when Murray went on a walkabout, all matches between these 2 have been tight.

Murray is focussed and Rafa is still seeking his A-Game. I think it is going to cost him, IMO.

Kimmi Says:

jane: I did not read or follow too much on Cilic before. I remember his Haas match at Wimbledon and his Murray match at RG but after he lost both matches, I did not really think he had it in him.

His wins over Murray, nadal and yesterday delpo get me watching him more closely. Murray and Nadal match did not have too much competition, these matches were kind of one sided but yesterday match kind of seal the deal. He is great talent and to stay on course and win a slug fest match like that against delpo tells me he is arriving and he is here to stay.

Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t think Nadal is slower, I think he lets more balls go past him in order to conserve his knees and energy.

Batz Says:

“Nadal leads their head-to-head 9-2 including two straight”.

7-2 as other have said.

But since Murray became a top six player he is 2-1 on hardcourts and has won their only slam meeting.

Voicemale1 Says:


That’s a great answer about how you think Murray can win. I do disagree about Isner yesterday: he left far too many returns and backhands short in the court for Murray to feast on. And like a lot of the tall guys, his movement isn’t always fluid (Cilic is an exception).

Agree that Murray is focussed. But I wonder if that won’t translate into feeling more pressure just because so many pundits are picking him not only to win that match, but the whole enchilada too? Maybe, maybe not. But seems like that’s what hampered him last year: expectation baggage.

jane Says:

A day time match will favor Rafa (spin), and a night time match will help (maybe even favor) Murray, level the playing field.

Murray strengths:
-great defense (ran down some amazing shots yesterday vs. Isner)
-very fit – can easily go five
- lots of variety, can hit loopy, flat, deep, angles, fine off both sides ; can keep opponent guessing and on back foot thus forcing more errors.
- hits with fantastic accuracy on the run.

Murray weaknesses:
- second serve (sometimes even the first serve, but that can also be great.)
- can lose focus and/or get too frustrated.
- sometimes can’t decide what shot/strategy to use – too big of tool box?
- sometimes his forehand is exploitable

Rafa strengths:
- consistency in service games
- forehand
- topspin
- speed, like Murray, some amazing gets in Karlovic match
- mental fortitude/focus – rarely does he get rattled.
- great returner

Rafa weaknesses:
- can lapse into defensive positioning on court
- can hit balls into middle of court/too short
- knees
- serve could be more of a weapon; it’s very consistent, but not many easy points off it.

Still really tough to predict even after making that list; this could be like the Nadal vs. Verdasco match last year – EPIC.

Kimmi Says:

Excellent jane; You should add Murray strength as a great returner too..he is one of the best.

Go Murray Go..This match is what will make him big, if he wants to win GS he has to start beating these guys. C’moon.

jane Says:

I should’ve added great returner to Murray’s strengths too.

I agree with VM1 that the focus thing can work both ways with Murray, but I do feel like Andy’s out to prove himself in this slam; he’s been somewhat under the radar, which helps w.r.t. pressure. His matches have also all been straight setters. That bodes well; he can save all his energy for these last few rounds.

I hadn’t noticed that Rafa is slower, as you say Gordo, but I agree he’s not quite up to his 2008 form yet, though you can see him improving each round. He was fast getting to the net last night versus Dr. Ivo, and he made Karlovic pay for the droppers and too-deep volleys (any that wasn’t a put away and some which you’d've thunk were). So that suggests to me that he will get to some of the drop shots if Murray goes that route.

Good point Ben – I agree. Rafa doesn’t try to run down everything like he used to. He seems to just let some balls go. And that is likely a good strategy for him over the long run.

Kimmi Says:

It is Murray who is running everthing down..he played 2 shots of the tournament yesterday..hope he doesn’t develop knees problems like Rafa.

jane Says:

Kimmi Murray has that split patella in his one knee (right I think?), so to me that is a bit worrisome. So long as he stays fit though, and doesn’t overdo it (a la Monfils), he should be fine.

Gordo Says:

Jane – lovely analysis.

The two intangible factors for anyone from Scotland are haggis and underwear.

All Scots love Haggis, but it is not recommended for anyone pursuing a career in athletics.

And under their kilts Scottish men are not accustomed to wearing undergarments.

So if Murray’s head is not in the game against Rafa it may be the weight of expectations as Voicemale 1 suggests.

Or, it may be the awkward feeling from wearing shorts, coupled with a mental salivation for sheep heart, liver and lungs, minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and simmered in the animal’s stomach for approximately three hours.

Yumma, yumma!!!

Oh those Scots!!!

jane Says:

Gordo – lol Haggis and underwear as the downfall indeed. And don’t forget the deep fried Mar bar muffins.

Kimmi Says:

jane, did you see my post at 2:38pm..I answered you about Cilic

huh Says:


It’s exactly not the way that u think re: Murray. Actually Rafa’s money shot, the FH, is not going to rip through the Murray’s defense at will. And Murray at his best can serve better than Rafa at his best. If Murray’s 1st serve is alright, then it’d be tough for Rafa. And Rafa’s FH is not going to be the single biggest deciding factor at all, unless you’re forgetting about the BH of Murray. And Muzza is a good returner and Rafa’s not a Fed or Roddick like server either. And Murray has also the court coverage, close To Fed and Rafa.

Rafa however is mentally stronger than Murray and that counts. That said, if Murray stops his mid-match mental lapses, then he’d suddenly be closing in to Rafa in this dept. too. And while you say that Murray would have to depend on Rafa’s errors to win the match, then I can also assure you that thee matches in which Rafa has straight-setted Murray, Murray too was making mindless errors(IW 09 comes to mind). Murray pushed Rafa to 5 sets in 07 AO though he lost it; but had he not become tired in that match, who knows what would have happened! And Murray has increased his fitness much more since then and his confidence since then has also improved manifolds. All this means Murray beating Rafa would need probabaly only that much of Rafa errors as Rafa normally makes while playing well. So to sum it up, IMO, their match does not rest on Rafa’s racquet.

Skorocel Says:

jane: “A day time match will favor Rafa (spin), and a night time match will help (maybe even favor) Murray, level the playing field.”


jane Says:

Yes Kimmi, I saw that. You make a lot of sense, and I do think that after these 3 top ten wins, it suggests that Cilic has “arrived” and is here to stay. Also important is that JMDP beat Cilic in two of the four slams last year (AO R16 & USO QFs) so his win over Delpo suggests a turning of the tide, or at least the desire & talent to rise up into the top echelons. It all does seem to bode well for him. It’s similar to Murray turing things around versus Djoko, in a way.

been there Says:

I’m very sad about the Gonzo-Roddick match. Was rooting for Gonzo…he let his emotions get into him in that last set – after the “controversial” set point to Roddick. Funny how he is a completely different person (as per all profiles I’ve read about him), on & off court. Multiple personality disorder!! (no offence to anyone who actually suffers from the condition). So fiery/hot temper on court, while very humble & even shy off court.

>>”Jane would put in her YE top ten 14 players if she could ha ha ha! Hi Jane.”
LOL. Same to ‘huh’…see above and the previous thread…perhaps more than 14. lol. (hit huh!) Not that am any better…especially since last year when everyone can beat everyone…larger field to support. Though Monfils & Fed are still very much up there. hmm, seems like everyone I’m supporting per match is losing in Australia. First Soderling the great (cool Sod!!), then Monfils, & now Gonzo & Del.P.(though t.b.h, I was 50/50 for Del.P) hmm…not good at all..hope it’s not sign of things to come for Fed.

>>Cilic-Del.P match: The effects of playing four & five setters in all his rounds finally got to Del.P. So massive congrats to Cilic.

True Jane, he needs to cut down on the four & five setters. Though the good thing is that he has much experience in them. I don’t expect him to fade away or get scared should he find himself in a 5setter against anyone. Team Cilic in next rnd!!

jane Says:

Skorocel, when it’s hotter won’t Rafa’s topspin shots bounce higher and thus be more difficult to return? Like with Andreev’s in the Fed day time match? Those were flying off the court, and so high. Fed had to stand way back. (I could be wrong, but it’s like comparing the topspin in the weather at IW vs. Miami – dry heat vs. more humidity, and presumably it’s more humid at AO at night – again, could be wrong here). Also, even though Murray has been training in Miami, I wonder if the heat would get to him over 5 sets before it would to Rafa? Maybe not. Just a thought.

huh Says:


I think Rafa’s 2010 beginning looks better to me than his 2009 opening so far. And I don’t think Rafa’s done in this tournament at all unless someone actually does him in!

Good posts Mrs. Jane!

been there Says:

@ 3:13pm: (hit huh!) s/b (hi huh!) one should hit you!

>>Rafa-Murray: I don’t care too much one way or the other about this match. The only thing we are sure of is one of then is not seeing the semis! much for input.

I’ve realised that since I tuned out the British media and stopped listening to Murray’s interviews, I can stand watching him better. :)…or maybe it’s something to do with how he lost out in all four GS last year after being crowned the tops favourite (in AO, Wimby & USO). So perhaps I’m just feeling sorry for him, especially after Del.P, out of nowhere, got a GS before him. I’m not sure, but I’m ‘enjoying’ him a bit more – more-tiny winy bit….though not enough to label myself a fan. More of I’m trying to enjoy his game & tactics as opposed to focussing on what to me is sometimes detestable on-court behaviours. (though t.b.h, when you don’t like a player, you tend to exaggerate these ‘flaws’. e.g.I don’t mind Gonzo’s fiery temper & was quite glad when he kicked objects today, but when Murray does it, combined with the excess c’mons, it’s quite irritating. Similarly, I find Rafa’s OTT fist pumps & facial experessions annoying, yet with Monfils & Tsonga, I love it when they do the same, yet they take it to even more OTT extents)

The hypocrisy of tennis fans! lol. ‘been there’ for Team Murray next match? hmm..maybe, just maybe. Will see..I’ll support the winning player. :)…or the one I find less irritable throughout the match. Neutral I guess..though my eyes will be totally glued.

been there Says:

Jane@ 2:42pm,

Great analysis. Thanks for that breakdown.
“Murray strengths: -great defense (ran down some amazing shots yesterday vs. Isner)”

“Rafa weaknesses:- can lapse into defensive positioning on court”

The question is: seeing that they are both naturally defensive players, who will are to finish off the points and ‘risk’ hitting a winners?

Should they both bring their high levels, it’s bound to be a very long match, with very many rallies.

been there Says:

@ 3:23
“who will are to finish off the points and ‘risk’ hitting a winners? ” s/b:

“who will dare to finish off the points and ‘risk’ hitting winners?

Skorocel Says:

huh: “Murray pushed Rafa to 5 sets in 07 AO though he lost it; but had he not become tired in that match, who knows what would have happened! And Murray has increased his fitness much more since then and his confidence since then has also improved manifolds.”

Indeed! After all, he’s 2-6 vs Nadal since then ;-)

huh Says:

“voicemail says:

The other time at the US Open SF in 2008 came at the end of the Season of a Lifetime for Nadal”

And you must not forget either that it was just the beginning of Murray and what a beginning by beating Rafa in a slam semi, haha! :P

And well, to be honest, if Murray plays like he did vs Fed at Shanghai 08, then he’s very little chance of losing. Fed thou cited back pain, to me it still looked like he was playing pretty darn well in that match! Fed was fighting and going after everything, but still lost! That match actually made a believer out of me re: Murray. Murray’s surely got some great stuff, otherwise everyone starting from Fed to JMc to Agassi wouldn’t be so much full of praise for him! And I am not the least bit surprised at all seeing these legends becoming puzzled while looking at Murray still being slamless in spite of being so gifted! One gifted player Murray actually is!

Kimmi Says:

Been there: “Will see..I’ll support the winning player. :)…or the one I find less irritable throughout the match.”


huh Says:

been there!


Kimmi Says:

Rafa better win this match vs Murray because if he does not Djokovic is a new world # 2 come next monday. talking about pressure!

huh Says:

“Skorocel Says:
huh: “Murray pushed Rafa to 5 sets in 07 AO though he lost it; but had he not become tired in that match, who knows what would have happened! And Murray has increased his fitness much more since then and his confidence since then has also improved manifolds.”

Indeed! After all, he’s 2-6 vs Nadal since then ;-)”

And not to mention Rafa-Murray are only 2-1 in slams, haha! Remember Fed-Rafa comparisons? Something similar with Rafa-Murray here, yes? No? ;)

sar Says:

I don’t know what will happen but if Roddick beats Cilic, is not afraid of Murray.

huh Says:


However if Murray wins I am going to pull out all the Nyah-Nyah’s I have in my vocabulary along with as many eloquent told-ya-sos as I can muster.


Gordo seems to be in some real mood, haha! ;) Loved it!

huh Says:


And I don’t think Murray’s afraid of Roddick either.

huh Says:

“Kimmi Says:
Rafa better win this match vs Murray because if he does not Djokovic is a new world # 2 come next monday. talking about pressure!”

Really? It’d be great actually if Nole becomes no.2! Add to that Murray beating Rafa(hopefully!). It could hardly get any better! This means AN EVEN LOUDER ALLEZ MUZZA from me for the qtrs!

huh Says:

B”en Pronin Says:
I don’t think Nadal is slower, I think he lets more balls go past him in order to conserve his knees and energy.”

Completely agree.

huh Says:

But the first thing that I’d say here is that should Rafa lose here, none must come up again with the knee excuse!

cha cha Says:

In order for Murray to win there cannot be any wind.

huh Says:

been there:

I also find Rafa’s antics and expressions quite annoying while I enjoy the antics of Monfils and Tsonga! :) So you’re in bad company here with me. ;) And I’m glad to know you’re warming upto Muzza.

huh Says:

been there:

I was actually very happy when you wrote ‘hit huh!’. I started thinking I’ve become a hit at tennis-x, but when you explained me about it, I indeed got hit and fell down, LOL!

jane Says:

I thought been there meant “touche huh”; just shows how tough interpreting some posts can be. LOL. But huh you are a hit. Liked your post @ 3:36 – I have that Shanghai match taped and also felt that Murray played really well there, more aggressively than he sometimes did in 2009. Hope he gets back to that.

Karti Says:

Rafa will win in 4 sets…Vamos Rafa

cha cha Says:

Murray is not a likeable player. Go Nadal.

huh Says:

Karti Says:
Rafa will win in 4 sets…Vamos Rafa

How do you know?

huh Says:

Thanks Mrs.Jane and I agree that Shanghai 08 match was the one where Murray mixed agression and caution in the right proportion, althou I remember the match more for Murray’s excellent aggressive play. All said, Good Bye Mrs. Jane, gotta have some sleep.

madmax Says:

c’mon, it’s still federer! talk about being a tennis junkie. Just watched the semi final match of AO LAST YEAR with Fed v Roddick! Boy, roger was on fire, and needs to bring that “on fire” with him tomorrow. Hewitt is sure going to be pumped! Federer should do it though! A game is needed from now on, AT ALL TIMES!

huh Says:

Hi Maxi dear! I responded t you on the previous thread.

huh Says:

I’m a male.

been there Says:

huh@ 4:24pm, they – whoever they are- say everyone’s got a twin somewhere. Seems like I found my tennis twin!
@4:27pm,’re very funny.

Jane, I meant it to be something like no offense should be taken & it’s all light-highted.’Coz you never know with this blogging thing…sometimes it gets too sensitive & moody.

But now that you’ve mentioned it, I also see the ‘touche’ angle…like what Duro said to you@1:57pm I suppose.

English can be a tough language. hehe. So we say it’s all that, plus of course, huh’s a big hit ;)

Daniel Says:

Murray is the only player int the QF to have yet drop a set. The other one who can repeat that is Davy.

To me Murray´s first serve percentage will be key. If he serves great he can concentrate on Rafa´s game, and he has the return game to be in almost all Rafa´s serve, as US Open 08. But if he serves weak second serves, Nadal will be all over him. I think yesterday agaisnt Ivo Nadal made more than 10 return winners.

Daniel Says:

If Murray wins this match and make the finals Nadal will drop to N°4, even if Djoko loses his 4th round match.

- Nadal now has 9310 points – 2000 + 360 = 7670 pts
- Murray has 6780 – 180 + 1200 possible Finalist)= 7800 pts
- Djoko now has 8310 – 360 + 180 = 8130 pts

If Djko wins the tourney he will be: 8310 – 360 + 2000 = 9950 pts

- Fed has now 10550 – 1200 + 180 = 9530 pts

So if Fed reaches semis (10550 – 1200 + 720 = 10070 pts), he secures N°1 even if Djoko wins the toruney.

Basically Nadal has to win otherwise he is very likelly to drop to 4 (he will drop to 3 if he loses), and Fed has to beat Davy in a possible quarter if he wants to hold n°1 until mid year when he will be approaching Pete´s record.

Voicemale1 Says:


Regarding your 3:07 PM Post –

*Nadal’s Forehand will definitely do damage to Murray; exactly how much dmage is the question. It was Murray himself, in an interview with ATP TV a year ago, go gave the nod of The ATP Best Forehand to Nadal over Federer for one reason: they both do extreme damage, but Nadal makes fewer errors off that side over a whole season than Federer.

*IW 09 wasn’t a case of “mindless errors” by Murray. They played that Final in a 50 MPH wind storm. Nadal was able to destroy Murray PRECISELY BECAUSE his Forehand is so much better and powerful than Murray’s. The pace & weight of that shot from Nadal permitted it to literally drive through the wind. Murray throws a lot of Junk – soft paced or off paced shots. Those kind of shots were hopeless in wind that extreme. Murray doesn’t have that Power Shot. That’s why he lost.

*The “who knows?” what would have happened at the AO 07 is a pointless argument today. Murray has had many many more chances since that match to let us actually know what would have happened. What we actually found out was that Nadal could straight set Murray on all surfaces. So I guess we can clearly see the form of that 2007 AO Match was upheld after all :)

blah Says:

what a tough first week’s draw for Djokovic =|

blah Says:

the winner of the verd-davy match is going to get straight setted by Fed.

huh Says:


Good post at 7.21 p.m. The first point was unique and I liked it, thou I still say Fed’s forehand is the best shot today. ;)

huh Says:

“blah Says:
the winner of the verd-davy match is going to get straight setted by Fed.”

I also hope so.

huh Says:

But did Fed actually win his 4th Rnd match?

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