Soderling Avoids Choke, Upsets Murray; Roddick Rocks Robredo to Reach Indian Wells SFs
by Sean Randall | March 20th, 2010, 10:31 am
  • 264 Comments

Robin Soderling was that close to choking away one of his biggest wins. The Swede hung on in the end to stun the No. 3 seed Andy Murray 6-1, 7-6(4) in the quarterfinals of the Indian Wells BNP Parisbas Open yesterday.

“It feels great, and especially here in Indian Wells because my record here hasn’t been so well,” Soderling said. “I thought I couldn’t do well here, and now I show I really can.”

Soderling absolutely hammered a lifeless Murray for the first set 6-1. Murray started to show some signs of fight in the second, but Soderling was still connecting and seized a break. With Murray serving 3-5 Soderling held match points, but couldn’t convert.

Now serving for the match at 5-4, Soderling’s place in the SF seemed secured as he confidently carved out a 30-love lead. But just at the finish line, like that Soderling’s game shriveled away. Sparked by an incredible backhand down-the-line winner off a nervy Soderling overhead smash, Murray won 13 of the next 16 points. The run put Murray just two points from leveling the match at 5-6, 0-30 Soderling serving.

Credit to Robin though, as quickly as the tide had changed he got it back. Soderling recovered and played some big-time tennis to win the game and then the ensuing tiebreaker.

For Murray, this loss isn’t going to sit well following that Australian Open final collapse.

“I think he played very well to start with, and I didn’t,” said Murray who seemed to again be stuck in passive mode. “I didn’t move particularly well. I was hitting the ball really short, and he’s obviously got a big game and he was able to dictate all of the points. So from my side it was poor, but he hit the ball really big from the back of the court and served well when he needed to.”

The win puts Soderling into his first Indian Wells semifinal where today he meets Andy Roddick.

“I worked hard, and, I think I changed the way how I think a little bit,” the 2009 French Open finalist added. “A couple years ago I was very focused on playing well all the time. And now what matters to me now is to win matches. Doesn’t matter if I play well and win matches or play bad and win matches. You still have to win.”

Roddick, like Soderling, hasn’t dropped a set after another comfortable 6-3, 7-5 win over Tommy Robredo who he is now 11-0 (27 of 28 sets) against. I think in the future they shouldn’t even play that match, there just is no point. Robredo looks utterly hapless against the American.

As for today’s picks and pans.

Rafael Nadal and Ivan Ljubicic are on at noon Indian Wells time in the first semifinal. One thing to note, Nadal probably hasn’t played a match this early (noon) in a long time, so that will be unusual for the Spaniard. But beyond that little else should trouble Nadal this afternoon. Nadal has won 10 straight and 20 of his last 21 at Indian Wells and while Ljubicic has enjoyed his share of success in the desert as well, I don’t think it will be enough to overcome Rafa.

Ivan does have a big serve and he really strikes his backhand well. And I think he’ll be smart enough to know he’s got to go for his shots – he can get into extended rallies with Rafa – but I just don’t think the 31-year-old has the speed to track down enough of Rafa’s shots to make a serious impression on the Nadal’s serve. I think it will be close, but Rafa wins here.

The second semi is Roddick and Soderling. Of the four remaining players Soderling’s probably been the most impressive given his opposition. The guy has wins over Lopez, Tsonga and now Murray. So the Swede’s confidence has to be sky high. Meanwhile, Roddick’s been untested and untroubled. He’s always owned Melzer and Robredo so it’s hard to get a read on where his game is really at.

The two big, fiery servers have met twice before and Soderling won both in straight sets – two indoor matches in 2008. So edge goes to Robin in that department. And I think the Swede is playing the better tennis of the two. If Roddick starts dropping his balls short like Murray did yesterday, Soderling is going to have a good day at the office. So Andy will need to have depth on his defensive shots, serve big and perhaps try to get under the Swede’s skin with some bully tactics (talking, strutting, etc). But nerves will again come into play and for me Roddick’s the steadier guy. So I’m picking Roddick in this one.

And I should also mention that Nadal will team with Marc Lopez to face Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic in the doubles final which is scheduled for 5pm local time. The Spaniards beat Nestor/Zimonjic for the Doha doubles title last year. Looks like Rafa’s got a busy day (or two) ahead of him.


Also Check Out:
Nadal Better Than Berdych; Murray, Roddick in Action Today at Indian Wells
Djokovic Escapes, Federer, Roddick Return; WTA Left Slam-less at Indian Wells
Backhands Hammered in Losses for Roddick, Federer at Indian Wells
Djokovic, Isner Set Indian Wells Semifinal Meeting
Federer Back to Form; Jankovic Avoids Upset at US Open

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264 Comments for Soderling Avoids Choke, Upsets Murray; Roddick Rocks Robredo to Reach Indian Wells SFs

Voicemale1 Says:

The Soderling-Roddick match will come down to which one can hold their nerve while serving. Roddick has lost both of their meetings, but the last one went to two tie breaks. Soderling showed jitters against Murray, but should have less of them against Roddick since he’s not lot to him. Roddick’s 2nd Serve is steadier & more reliable than Soderling’s, so the match is likely to turn on how well Roddick Returns the Soderling 2nd Serve. But longer rallies favor the Swede for sure.

Ljubicic has it all to do. The Desert Heat at High Noon when you’re 31 playing against a guy who can and will make you run and run and run is NOT the place you wanna be. If this were indoor carpet I’d say Ljubicic is playing well enough to merit a real shot. But outdoors in the air that’ll help the Nadal uberspin explode off the court isn’t an ideal circumstance for Ivan. The new strings actually have been helping Nadal’s Forehand move through the court a little faster than his old polyester brand. Nadal in straights.


bstevens Says:

From what I have seen from Roddick lately, he is tending to play very defensive baseline points (a lot of slices). If plays like that against Soderling, he will not last very long.


jane Says:

Sometimes, however, when players slice to Robin and mix up the pace it works, as he can’t get any rhythm or open up and drill those forehands. A lot of Murray’s shots yesterday were sitters,high bouncers that Soderling put away: could be the location/venue.

Interesting quote from Sod though: “now what matters to me now is to win matches. Doesn’t matter if I play well and win matches or play bad and win matches. You still have to win.”

He does seem to have gotten WAY stronger mentally, or at least, since last year at Rome (i think) when he “lost it” during a match with Nadal, I haven’t seen Sod get too up or down during a match. He just keeps going, and the way he steadied himself versus Murray yesterday was testament to that.


Matthew Says:

It’s worth noting that one of the reasons that Soderling has a really good indoor record is that he has one of the highest ball tosses in the game when he serves. When playing outside, that makes him more vulnerable to gusty winds, so the weather could be a factor on the serve.


madmax Says:

I really dont know who is going to win this one! both powerful shot makers and powerful servers – cant wait to watch the match.


contador Says:

madmax, are you serious?


contador Says:

did you mean this nadal match?

the soda v roddick is the cracker!


jane Says:

Ljub only at 56% first serves in and with 2 doubles, down a break. Doesn’t bode well, not that it ever did. But tiebreaks mean that it’s possible for a surprise steal of a set or whatever.


contador Says:

how rude of me. was in such a hurry i forgot to say “Hello Tennis Junkies!

great point Matthew. soda’s toss i high…might be a factor, maybe not.

roddick will play solid, no matter the conditions. as much as i love the new soda pop, it’s onto another rollercoaster being his fan.


Kimmi Says:

it is a bit wind today they say..so the soda pop might not pop too much. Ljub played a very bad game to begin with…a recipe for disaster in this set ljub…wasn’t he told when you play nadal you have to hold your own…


Kimmi Says:

hello hello..her we goo again. Madmax, this is the tough one to call..exactly my point, ljub will figure out Nadal in the second set..Goooo Ljub


contador Says:

Jane-

a competitive match is all one can hope.

and your soderling quote @ 1:25 pm ….it’s a great attitude and easy to say but i wondered about that staement, too.


jane Says:

Hi all tennis-x live match blogging junkies – I honestly can pick a winner for Roddick/Sod. All the H2H etc seems to favor Sod, but this is a US event, Roddick has been playing well, he won’t start slow like Murray, and he won’t be moody like Tsonga. So maybe slight edge to Roddick?

Either way, I am inclined to think Rafa will defend; he’s just so determined.


contador Says:

Hi Kimmi! Madmax, where’d you go? it’s not too late in the UK, yet.

rafa will have this set very quickly. and i imagine the next.

predicting kimmi, rafa in 2. duh.


jane Says:

that should be CAN’T pick a winner obviously. Do Rod/Soda follow immediately after this?


Kimmi Says:

This is where Ljub is getting started..Goo Lubj we want third set.


Kimmi Says:

yes it does jane..ans its windy too…Roddick has a chance


contador Says:

well, i like prediciting. if soda comes out popping the first set will be over so fast! don’t even go for chips.

roddick takes the first set in a close one and wins the 2nd handily, crushing my hopes for a rafa v sod final. i think the wind and soda’s mental state today will be a factor.

get those towels over your head, Robin-Dimples-Soderling!

roddick in 2. i am feeling andy today. all andy.


Kimmi Says:

Ljub, “if you return a serve you might be able to get a point”..he is just not returning….that lefty serve must be hard to get used to


tenisbebe Says:

Woo hoo – great BH from Lubbie to start the 2nd game of the 2nd.


contador Says:

please, please lube, i am on my knees here….fight, fight, make this your set! so we have mo’ tennis.

GO underdog


tenisbebe Says:

The wind is only 5-10 mph…. that shouldn’t be a factor for players of this caliber. Now 20 mph…like last years final, that’s a different story.


tenisbebe Says:

Lubbie’s really picking up his game here in the second. Good stuff.


Kimmi Says:

that was a good shot by ljub..get going man


contador Says:

yeah baby. whoaa, another BH winner!


tenisbebe Says:

They should just disconnect the let-cord sensor and put a judge down there on court. That sensor has been overly sensitive on Stadium 1 all week. Good game from both players.


contador Says:

rafa wants this match over.

can’t stand the comentators….get a grip guys.


Kimmi Says:

madal return the favor with some BIG FH, hmmmm!


Kimmi Says:

danger for the lube…


contador Says:

“mad-al” he-he-heee did you just give rafa a new nick,Kimmi?

when rafa is so over somebody = MADal and wtch -out!


jane Says:

Rafa’s forehand has been ON all week. He wants to get outta there so he can prepare for doubles final too! He’s feeling a little hungry perhaps since not having a title for almost a year, since last May.


tenisbebe Says:

Rafa has to play in the double final at 5pm (not that we’ll get to see it) so surely he wants off court ASAP.

Woo hoo, great net hussle by Rafa!


jane Says:

“Mad”al – he he he. Mad as in angry not crazy or loco.


contador Says:

yeah! deuce….lube escaped the first break point.

c’mon


jane Says:

Lube – good fight back to hold. Thought Rafa would finish it there.


jane Says:

Neither are serving particularly fantastically.


contador Says:

that’s it, Jane. not a crazy mad. but rafa makes that angry face and watch-out!

Madal….not gonna take it. he’s boss.


Kimmi Says:

hahah, was a typo but love it MAD-al…lube is hanging on a thin thread here..


Kimmi Says:

lub is shanking a lot of BH..argggh..so nadal delt with conditions well they say..what conditions…wind!! Soda..I feel for you!


contador Says:

madal will be going for broke. he’s ALL better.

defend his title, eqaul fed’s wins at IW. win doubles….everything.

it’s winner take all now.

i betcha rafa will take Miami, too.


Kimmi Says:

Lube lubbie..0-40 oh dear!!


Kimmi Says:

Raf is back contador..Lube c’con another ace here


contador Says:

break point-triple for rafa

“sick, filthy.”..those fan-boy commentators are running outta superlatives.

lube saves one break point


Kimmi Says:

Yeah lube..duece..c’mon close it ou


jane Says:

From love-40 Lube gets it to deuce. Can he hold though ….?


contador Says:

DEUCE! can lube get this game? errrrrrrr i doubt it but…

c’mon


Kimmi Says:

lube..another save


stu Says:

Long Live Rafa!

YE #1 again this year?! :D


Kimmi Says:

he did it..he did it..C’mon lube..


jane Says:

hey stu : )

Wow – Luby did it. He’s playing with fire making madal madder… lol


Kimmi Says:

hehehe jane good one


contador Says:

yeah, baby…..lube saved another…go for broke lube, might as well.

fantastic hold lube, make him work

i like this….at least lube has as many games now as he managed in the first set.


tenisbebe Says:

Great recovery from Lubie!!. The wind is not bad – 10 mph. Ivan’s really adjusted his game and picked up his play. We have a match!


contador Says:

not until fed breaks the sampras #! record, stu. okay?

then it’s supposed to be nole’s turn, remember?

: )


contador Says:

madal the mad matador….

great nick for a rafan.


tenisbebe Says:

Wow, I don’t recall ever seeing/hearing Rafa yell like that in the middle of a game. He wants this title badly, good for him.


contador Says:

hahahahahaaaaa

do you think roddick and soda are watching this match together, arguing, ” okay, you can have him, andy. no, no be my guest, robin.”


Kimmi Says:

heee 0-30 here here Lube..only chance here!


contador Says:

phew! lube holds at 4-all.

nah, not a chance….oh, that overhead miss will make nadal mad.

lube missed a huge opportunity for break chances. too anxious to lube.


contador Says:

no way to break rafa.


contador Says:

wow. love that one-hander BH-lube


tenisbebe Says:

Jason called Rafa’s serve to get to 30-all “wonderful, magnificent” rare accolades for Rafa’s serving.


contador Says:

oh my break point lube.

madal will hit an ace


tenisbebe Says:

break chance – you guys spoke too soon.


Kimmi Says:

aaaargh lube break point went begging


contador Says:

second serve. and deuce again. *sighhhh*


Kimmi Says:

another one here..bube give a big return


contador Says:

rafa’s expressions tell the whole story. lube looks cool

but rafa won’t let him break


tenisbebe Says:

Rafa doubles. sigh….


Kimmi Says:

double fault..nadal must be MAD-al..did not see that coming..Now lube serve for it..bring your big serving here!


contador Says:

ohhhhhhhhhhh

double fault! lubie broke.

rafa is about to shift into another gear, people.

this is great!


jane Says:

Whoa – Lube gets a break thanks to a Rafa double – how unsual. As I say, not the best serving day for either. Can Ivan the terrible hold and make this go 3 sets??? Madal the mad matador must be fuming. : )


tenisbebe Says:

Neither are serving that well in the second. Rafa’s at 47% first serves in (2nd) don’t know about Ivan…


Kimmi Says:

wow second serve ace..kick serve


contador Says:

ACE! 133 mph lube, keep it up. don’t get into a rally….

oops. lubie is going for the aces…..arrrrgh


Kimmi Says:

we have a decider..I TOLD YOU SO conty hehehehe

Come on lube make this close one too


jane Says:

tenisbebe, neither served well in the first, Ivan worse, Nadal better. Ivan doing a little better in the second I think, first serve-wise.

Wow – Luby makes a match – we’re going to a decider! Shocking, actually. I thought maybe a tiebreak, but didn’t think a 3rd.


contador Says:

hooooooraaaaah!

3rd set! lubie, that was cool. soda gave him some ice, i imagine


tenisbebe Says:

Going to a third. Good strategizing from Lube.


contador Says:

hehehheee loving YOU being right and coming up with a timely typo!


jane Says:

Can we now officially and collectively forgive Djoko for losing to Luby? Pretty please? : / Lube has been playing well (he was at Dubai too) and he always does well in the desert at the IW event.


contador Says:

posted for kimmi-

4;39


tenisbebe Says:

Jane, I haven’t seen Ivan’s serving numbers yet so am going from memory. Thanks.


Kimmi Says:

what..nadal two errors in a row..what!


tenisbebe Says:

What’s going on with Rafa’s FH?? And what’s with 21 UE’s


Kimmi Says:

I saw it conty


Kimmi Says:

lube needs to take the chances here..c’mon lube


Daniel Says:

Wow, Nadal made 3 unusal unforced errors! He must be feeling…


Kimmi Says:

what a shot from nadal..he did that one with federer to I remember


contador Says:

you and jane are impressive, tennisbebe.

i can’t take my eyes off rafa’s pants, thinking “try some spandex under those, take a page from muzza”

gimmelstob, “rafa is like a caged animal right now”

deuce


Kimmi Says:

another break point..lube here now!


Daniel Says:

Never saw Nadal crack like this, 5 forehand unforced errors in the same game!!!!


Kimmi Says:

Nadal..bad errors there..anyways Lube needs to capitalize..nadal will come back..gooo lube


jane Says:

Wow whoa wow! Woe for Rafa? What up?

Come on peeps? No one said they’d forgive Nole yet. : /


contador Says:

well, i am calm Kimmi, calm now. perfectly ambivalent.


Kimmi Says:

lube please don’t crack pls!


Voicemale1 Says:

Nadal choking


Kimmi Says:

lube soooo tense..where are the aces


Skorocel Says:

That 1st game of the 3rd set was perhaps the worst forehand showing I ever saw from Nadal… 5 unforced errors? You gotta be kidding me, Rafa!


jane Says:

conty, feel the same. Ambivalent. Was assuming all along Rafa would win, and just hoping Lube could play a nice match and make it competitive. But now am confused because he’s winning! It’s one of those “be careful what you wish for scenarios”. Oh well, Rafa will come back – I am certain of it!

Rafa won’t lose right? What do people think?


contador Says:

nothin’ to forgive, Jane. nole is in LOVE and happy. he’ll have a tough time getting to #1 though if rafa is 100% again.


Kimmi Says:

lube…lubeeeeeeeee aaaaarrrrrrgh


Daniel Says:

Lube first serve deserted him when he needed the most.


jane Says:

Rafa levels the 3rd. Phew … getting very tense. Rafa’s tossing in a lot of second serves in addition to the uncharacteristic f.hand errors.


Kimmi Says:

lube was sooo tentative on that game..gave it away just like that. YOU never do that with rafa..now all the opportunity gone


contador Says:

mojo has returned, nadal fans.


contador Says:

yeah, rafa got some help from lube on that break back


jane Says:

Order in the court – has Madal restored order? Seems like.

True contador re: Nole, Rafa, love, forgiveness. etc…


Skorocel Says:

Everything seems to be back in order now… Nadal 2-1


contador Says:

i am just thrilled that lubie has made this a fun match, Jane.

and i hope the next semi will be as good. pray i do not get “called” this is an “on call” weekend for me.

i want to stay right here. this is great tennis.

Rafa will NOT lose. no worries


contador Says:

take a toilet break, dudes!


Kimmi Says:

did you see mrs Lube..with a white hat..very nice looking!

lube holds!!


Skorocel Says:

Great BH from Ljuby! Played a lacklustre volley at 30/15, but got away with the game in the end… 2 all


contador Says:

no, i missed her. truned my head for just a moment. and can’t be doing that.


jane Says:

contrador, will keep my fingers crossed that you don’t get called, and/or that you don’t get the sudden urge to go skiing or have ice cream. : )

Am happy Lube has made this competitive also: like Ivan.


jane Says:

Nadal holding much easier now. Think this should go to 3rd set tiebreak, no?


contador Says:

remembering Andrew Miller’s youtube links comparing nadal’s forehand….to feds


contador Says:

no. jane. the ice cream and cake is comfort food when fed is losing.

this match goes along with munching, munching on chips. mo’ chips please, yo!


contador Says:

skiing is basically over.

okay don’t blow this lead lubie


Kimmi Says:

“this match goes along with munching, munching on chips. mo’ chips please, yo!” hahahah and pop corn!!


jane Says:

Okay, well enjoy your munching contador, yo. If it was later, it’d be popcorn pour moi. Yeah, skiing basically over round here too, ‘cept in Whistler. Have paralympics going on now.


contador Says:

3 all. lubie served that game very well.

let’s see nadal. that forehand down the line was brave. lubie trying to go deep with each shot……but…madal comes up with an ace and some brilliant net reflexes


jane Says:

Madal is going to go for the break here; I can sense it.


Skorocel Says:

Damn! That was a costly FH error from Ljuby at 15-0!


jane Says:

30-all….next point crucial.


contador Says:

wasn’t a good year for skiing here. i think you had more snow, Jane. i’ve skiied whistler/blackcomb, a few years ago. nice

meanwhile…lubie better not let this go to deuce


jane Says:

deuce…next point crucial.


contador Says:

deuce, it is. ahhhhrrrrrg


jane Says:

Double – OUCH!


contador Says:

an all class ace from lubie to save one break


jane Says:

Wow – key for Lube to get out of that alive and swinging.


Kimmi Says:

PHEW!! Lube found big serve just when he needed them..thats was almost gone..good job!


Skorocel Says:

That was a masterful serving display from Ljuby! Still not over for the Croat…


contador Says:

wow…just stand up, clutch serves by lubie to hold.

but nadal comes out strutting and mad.


jane Says:

Madal is strutting alright – holding easily since he was broken to start the 3rd. Lube hardly a point in Rafa’s service games…


Kimmi Says:

crunch time now..lube NEEDS to hold here or else…


contador Says:

i still think rafa’s T needs some brown stripes in places to draw one’s eye elsewhere than to the pants. nike are you reading? please?


contador Says:

“strutting mad” hehehehee


contador Says:

and i keep thinking ljubie is going to choke at any moment


Kimmi Says:

if lube takes this to the tie break, anything can happen..


jane Says:

Ace, ace double. Lube better be careful here. Rafa will take full advantage of any slip ups.


contador Says:

but he comes up with ace #3 in a row. then DF.

oh man, lube contributing….going to be deuce


Kimmi Says:

contador..the choking you are talking about from 0-40..aargh!


contador Says:

sadly, choke time.


Kimmi Says:

PHEW! PHEW!


contador Says:

that was another classy hold, holding off match point for rafa


jane Says:

5-All. Could this go to a 3rd set tiebreak? Wow, pretty amazing; i never expected this at all.


contador Says:

yeah, Kimmi. be still my choke thinking mind, right.


contador Says:

nah, nadal wins this 7-5. a tie break would be so much to ask.


Kimmi Says:

OK.lube one more hold to the tie break..you know you can do it..c’moon


Kimmi Says:

c’mon conty send the vibe to the lube..tie breaker it is!


jane Says:

Well, here we go: to tiebreak or not to tiebreak?


Skorocel Says:

Tiebreak time!


Daniel Says:

tiebreak!!
Just realize if Nadal loses he ill drop to 4 and Murray back to n°3.


Kimmi Says:

tie breaker…OK Nadal to win but at least was a good match! Come on lubie


contador Says:

holy…..i had to answer the phone. my choke vibes on pause.

nadal will win this…


contador Says:

what is ljubie thinking?!!


Skorocel Says:

Now that was some BH from Ljuby! First minibreak to the Croat.


Kimmi Says:

OMG..lube big serve here


contador Says:

either way, somebody’s going to suffer. who will it be?


Kimmi Says:

Lubie excellent tie breaker so far!!


Daniel Says:

Nadal almost smash his racquet, but he hold his own. Hard to overcome Lub serves now.


jane Says:

I. am. gobsmacked.

(a) at Lube’s tenacity and
(b) at Nadal’s tentative play.


contador Says:

nadal gallops on to the court….no sign of losing on his demeanor


Skorocel Says:

5 MPs for Ljuby!


Kimmi Says:

I dont believe it..who would have thought


Daniel Says:

That was not a good return for Nadal, very weak and short.


Kimmi Says:

Whooooooooooooooooooooooo!! Lubie…RESPECT!!


Skorocel Says:

And he does it in style! Well done Ivan!


contador Says:

ahhhhhhhhh!

the rafa killer ljubie joins baggy in joy!

hahahahahaaaaa! it will be IVAN in the final ZOMG


Voicemale1 Says:

Great Great tournament for Ljubicic.

Nadal off to the dust bin. His mind was his greatest weapon. It’s broken. Be a long time before he gets it back. If he does at all.


Colin Says:

It has become the custom to say, when Federer loses outside a slam, that it signifies nothing as he concentrates on slams. Nadal has never been fond of losing anything, I’d say. So how do we account for this?


Daniel Says:

Jane, told ya! Now Soda or rod will wins this title.

Nadal never defended a hardcourt title in his life, and most likelly will end this way. Thats the problem with defensive tennis, if the other guy is on fire, there is not much you can do.

Congrats to Ljubici, bigest win of his career!


jane Says:

Holy crap Ljuby played a FANTASTIC tiebreak. Didn’t hold back at all. That’s a really huge win for him. Went straight to hug his wife. How sweet.

I am sad for Rafa, but he kind of lost his fire from the mid-second set on, just played too cautiously. Also not the best serving day for him.

So Lube takes out Rafa and Nole; Sod takes out Tsonga and Murray. Does that mean a Lube Sod final? Wouldn’t that be unexpected?

It’s been a tournament of upsets so far. Let’s see if Andy R. can buck that tradition.


jane Says:

Daniel – lol. Don’t you just love saying “told ya!”?? I know I do. Yep, I was wrong, which is in keeping with my prediction record.


contador Says:

Colin- pants, bad pants. :)


Kimmi Says:

The title is open now to anyone..wow, I have to admit, could not see that coming. 31 year old lubie got great wins from No# 2 and 3 seed…what a tournament by Lubie..HAPPY BIRTHDAY man!!


Daniel Says:

Yeah Jane,

Nadal has played far better this week but he is not where he should be yet. After the clay swing when he will for sure win a title he will get his groove again, but in hardcourts is too much too ask for him.

It would be great if Roddick wins a Masters again, specially this one he doen’t have. But I think Sod will wins tourney. HE is thekind of player that gets momentum and his toruney he is playing greta all week. Will see..


contador Says:

indeed, Kimmi! HAPPY BIRTHDAY IVAN LJUBICIC!

NOW, go on a win the title, okay?


contador Says:

nope, everybody knows i love soda but i pick roddick today.

tomorrow?

go underdog!


jane Says:

Ljub really used the momentum of his upsets and good play, unlike Baggy who just really blew it after, losing to an ailing Robredo.


jane Says:

Colin, Voicemale1 – it does seem that Nadal’s confidence and focus are not back to where they were pre-Sodering FO-loss and injury woes, but once he hits clay, as Daniel says, he may get a few wins and get it all back. In a way, he’d do well to skip Miami and just prepare for an onslaught on the dirt. He won’t be happy with this loss as he certainly seemed to have the match in hand until mid-second set. I think this slump may make him stronger in the long run. Anyhow, it’s just a semifinal loss. Not the end for Rafa by any stretch of the imagination.


stu Says:

WOW! I feel like an idiot for taking a nap! Amazing what you’ve already achieved Ljube! And now hopefully the title!


sar Says:

Both Rafa and Murray lose points. Anyone know the new points?
None of these final three have ever won IW so I say let the best man win.


margot Says:

I’m truly GOBSMACKED but how gr8 is that 4 Lubi…at 31 too.
Daniel Shutter Island was engrossing. Did not get inkiling of twist till I noticed the woman in the cave had tins of food with her. What a gr8 actor Di Caprio is turning out to be, did u c “The Departed”?
MarkoPolo: Going to Miami? Oh lucky you. Really enjoyed Sar’s birds -eye view of IW and it would be brilliant if you could do the same at Miami.


contador Says:

right, jane. baggy should have won that robredo match.

we’ll see. Ljubicic is probably not too easily impressed. It’s more a matter of what is left in the tank tomorrow.

soderling, similarly, so many were saying after he beat rafa at FO that he’s lose the next match. he wasn’t too impressed with the feat of beating rafa and made it to the final, where he seemed to play a bit too bedazzled in that moment against federer.

given another opportunity and robin healthy, i think soda can take federer. not that i would cheer for that!!


stu Says:

Must be tough on Rafa to lose in a 3rd set TB. Will prolly make him even more motivated for Miami. That makes the entire top 5 hungry for the Miami title, which will make for an interesting tournament!


Kimmi Says:

they are both up waaaay before time is called..haha


Daniel Says:

Yes Margot! He can sell any role within 5 minutes on screen and he became a standard as Hanks, DeNiro, Pacino one was: every movie with him nowadays is a lock to be a good or better movie.


contador Says:

meanwhile-
roddick is all business. haven’t changed my mind about the importance of this first set for soderling’s psyche.


contador Says:

good to see that towel over his head.


NELTA Says:

Great match by Lubicic. Nadal won’t be happy as the match was in his grasp. He had 5 total break chances in 2 consecutive games in the 2nd set and came away empty. Lubicic came up with some great shots and Nadal reverted to a more defensive style that resulted in even more unforced errors.

The Lubicic serve was great. I knew he would get a lot of aces, but I was impressed with his 2nd serve. Yes he had a fair number of double faults, but that was because he was going for more. In the ad court it is extremely difficult to find Nadal’s backhand on the 2nd serve. He hit some nasty kickers out wide which made it easier to slice the 2nd serve into the backhand.


Kimmi Says:

Roddick breaks..bad game from the sod. Now Roddick needs to hold serve till the end..which I think he can.


jane Says:

“Both Rafa and Murray lose points. Anyone know the new points?” sar, I think someone said earlier that Murray would be 3 and Rafa 4 next week. Novak and Fed lost points too. So all the top 4 ranked guys didn’t make out to well here.

Rod has break on Sod.

Sod sad.

Rod bad.

Rod will beat Sod.

Sod will lose to Rod.


jane Says:

Ivan hasn’t beaten Rod since 2005!! They haven’t played since 2007. Last match they played? Here, at Indian Wells, in the 2007 quarter finals.

Rematch coming? : )


contador Says:

yep, robin dimples-soderling ilooks to lose the first set. seemed when i did see the match, soda was trying too hard.

haven’t been able to much watch, jane. just saw andy is up a break.

and now serving for first set.

well, is it too much to ask for another 3 setter?


Kimmi Says:

sar, jane..somebody has new points on this thread from BBC blog

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A64778601


Kimmi Says:

Roddick took the 1st set..Poor game by soda cost him…

Needs concentrate in this set soda..Roddick is concentrating very well so far…


Kimmi Says:

disaster from soda..2 bad errors and DF..ewwww!


Kimmi Says:

another DF to give roddick a break…hey Roddick can win this easily it looks like..wow!


jane Says:

Yep – disaster for Soda, good for Rod. He should get this done in straights.

Hence conty, I don’t think we’ll have another thrilla like Rafa Luby, where you didn’t know who’d win till the tiebreak – much like the Nole v Kohls and Fed v Baggy matches. All thrillas.


Daniel Says:

Jane,

Nadal: 7440 pts
Murray: 7255 pts

Nadal will lose 640 pts (-1000 from last year + 360 for this year)

Nadal: 6800 pts

Murray will lose 420 points (- 600 ast year + 180 this year)

Murray: 6835 pts


contador Says:

not gonna happen. from waht little i have seen, soda is not good today. going for too much, blowing it.

c’mon soda win a set! win ugly, just win one!


jane Says:

Ah Daniel, thanks for clarifying. Care to share your math skills re: Nole and Roger? : )

I guess Soda and Rod will gain, even though Soda will lose here, and Ivan, clearly, should get a boost.


Kimmi Says:

jane, that link i have posted @ 6:39pm has all points in details too.


jane Says:

I think Roddick is going to win the tournament now. He’d complete his series of North American hard court shields, which would be great for him and an excellent way to begin the year.


Kimmi Says:

0-40 Soderling to break here?


Kimmi Says:

soda breaks just like that..its hard to concentrate thruout the whole match!


contador Says:

oh, murray #3. rafa #4.

shhhh, my heart. soda got a break, but, can he hold.


jane Says:

Kimm thanks you rock! I didn’t see that link earlier.

Wow, Sod showed some gumption there. I really thought Rod would run away with it. Still think Andy R. will win though.

If Roddick does win the event I wonder, will he move up to number 7 over Soderling? I’d think so…?


Daniel Says:

Fed: 11350 – 360 + 45 = 11005 pts
Djoko: 8310 -180 + 90 = 8220 pts

If Rod Wins the title he will pass Soderling in the rankings.


contador Says:

it’s deuce. now ad-roddick

aw shucks


contador Says:

Daniel-

can nole pass fed before fed breaks the #1 samprass record?

how many more weeks does federer need to stay ahead?


Kimmi Says:

soda breaks again..do we have the third set?


tenisbebe Says:

Well if he can play that well with sand in his eye….


Kimmi Says:

Soda pops the second set..this match is going very quickly!!


jane Says:

I am so confuuuuuuuused. Everytime I think one thing is going to happen; the opposite does! LOL. I really thought Rod would cruise and now Soda forces a decider. Very tense…

Now who will win? Honestly, at this point, I have NO IDEA. : /


tenisbebe Says:

Jane – Sod is dictating, Andy is just keeping it in play hoping for an error – I’d like to strangle him for giving up 2 breaks in the 2nd set.

Anyway, time for hockey. See ya folks.


contador Says:

yep…..i come back and surprise.

i got my wish-3 sets.

still think andy will win this set-match.

i gotta find out where fed is at weeks #1. answer my own questions. as i recall, nadal has lots of points to defend;he cleaned up on clay as usual and nole didn’t do too bad either.

feddy’s bad season turned around in Madrid….hm


contador Says:

time for hockey?

yeah, i sort of find this semi anti-climactic after that surprise ljubie win.

the soda ice meltdown is now.


Kimmi Says:

Roddick breaks..return a hige serve that Soda was not ready to the return!!


jane Says:

tenisbebe, see ya – enjoy the hockey. Rod got a break!


Kimmi Says:

soda two break points..strange match for big servers you would think they hold serve easily!!


jane Says:

contador – I don’t think Fed’s number 1 is in threat unless he misses out at the slams. I recall people saying if he could hold on till the French he’d tie/surpass Pete but I dunno for sure. After that I suppose he has a lot to defend.


jane Says:

contador – I don’t think Fed’s number 1 is in threat unless he misses out at the slams. I recall people saying if he could hold on till the French he’d tie/surpass Pete but I dunno for sure. After that I suppose he has a lot to defend.


Kimmi Says:

soda breaks back *burp big buuuurp* contador


blank Says:

Contador/Jane, After Mar 22, Roger needs 12 weeks to surpass Sampras’s record. That takes him to Jun 7, the same date when his FO points drop off and the new FO points gets added. So if he can stay No. 1 till then, it’s a done deal.

It’s interesting how things will pan out till then. Murray has a lot to defend at Miami. Nadal has 2 clay Masters titles to defend, Djoko is defending the finals appearances in both those Masters, and of course Rog has Madrid and FO to defend. So at the end of the day, Roger’s fate is in his own hands. If he bags a couple of Masters titles on his way to French and does well at the French, he should be good I believe. If Djoko wins everything till FO…then Djoko is No. 1!


jane Says:

Oh Rod just broke back again! Kimmi you’re right – so much breaking in a match of big servers. Who’d've thunk it!?

blank thanks for the update.


Kimmi Says:

another break chance for Roddick..unbelivable the way the exchange breaks here…Roddick needs to hold now please..the final is on your raquet..


jane Says:

6 doubles for Soda though; only one for A-Rod. That may well be the difference.


Kimmi Says:

he holds..now the match on Roddick raquet!


jane Says:

Rod will win!! Will he win the whole shebang? VERY Likely. Hence Roddick should begin to move up AND he completes that trio of North American hardcourt masters. Good win and also a decent effort by Soda to stay in it and make it competitive, even when down a break in the second and third sets.


jane Says:

See you all – have got to mark.


contador Says:

well, i am out.

thanks people. and congrats to roddick fans. i knew he would prevail. but a great effort from ‘dimples’ in the second set.

think roddick will win tomorrow. ljubicic has to be tired. but who knows!


Daniel Says:

Great win for Rod! That point 30-15 to set match point was amazing.


Kimmi Says:

Roddick to the final…..wfirst MS final since 2006..Great for Roddick, this is big win, big tournamnet.

Soda was not consistent in this match..too many DF cost him.

Now, tell me who got it right that final will be between Roddick V Ljubicic..No one I tell you.


contador Says:

omg. blank. good on you.

i was attempting to look all that up but juggling other stuff and couldn’t find it.

still, it seems hanging in a balance. that’s tennis. he’ll have to collect some points along the way , go deep in Madrid and the FO to make it. could be tight, eh?

depends. stay healthy ROG!

thanks blank


blank Says:

You are welcome contador.

It sure is going to be one heck of a season!


Fot Says:

I was out and came in to catch up by reading all your post. It was really funny reading things like “Nadal has this in the bag”….to “Oh no, I can’t believe Nadal lost”… to “Soderling will win the entire tourament”…to “Roddick just beat Soderling!”… lol! It’s so funny to see how the conversations change throughout a course of the matches.

Well now it’ll be Roddick vs Luby. Two men from “Roger’s era where some folks said he was ‘weak’! lol! So much for these weak men. They are the last 2 standing.

I’m sure Von is happy that Roddick made the final. I don’t have a preference so – may the best player tomorrow win!


steve Says:

Congrats to Roddick, well-deserved. Just one more match to go.


jane Says:

Yes, Fot – Von should be happy and proud of her fave. I’d like to see Roddick win and get that trio of shields, plus he hasn’t won a Masters in a long time. Then again, I will be thrilled for Ljub too, if he can pull out the win at 31 years old by taking out Nole, Rafa and Roddick! Now that would be well deserved too. Either way, I hope it’s a good final.


Kimmi Says:

well said Fot


blank Says:

Nadal match is on in TSN


Von Says:

WHAPPA!!! Way to go puddles!! Never mind the gyrations he put me through, up and down,all around, and then some. OY, OY
_______________

Commiserations to Nadal’s fans for his loss. I had expected he’d win the third set, but Ljub’s serve was clicking.
________________
FOt: Yes, I’m very happy, and can you guess why??? LOL.

Actually, believe it or not, I thought of you before writing this post, and then when I came on-line I saw yours. Talk about a synchronization of minds — well we’ve got it going. You had mentioned that you were rooting for the older generation, so you got it tomorrow, babe. Two former world No. 3s in action tomorrow. And, may the best man win. It will come down to who serves best and who’s more fit. C’mon Puddle duck, you can do it!!
________________
Long Live and skeezer: WOW, are you two unreliable or what?? Where were you two?? Can’t a girl get some much needed support, not to mention broken promises of being there for me when I needed you most?? I guess skeezer is playing his tennis and Long Live is probably off eyeing some blue-eyed chicks at the beach. Thanks guys. LOL.
_________________

Kimmi and jane: thanks for your live commentary. when I couldn’t watch (nerves you know) I would read your posts and get caught up with the activity. Now, i can watch both matches on replay.

jane: no offense please, this is a joke — but could you puhleeze not say Andy has the match or will win it when he’s ahead. Each time you say that, he gets broken or loses, as in his match with Verdasco when he lost. You had said in the third set that he had the match in the bag, and walla, he got broken and Losssttt. I’ll have to shift from Sean being the jinx to you. As I said, this is only meant as a joke, so please don’t be offended, as it’s only me kidding around with ya. hope you get my drift ……


Fot Says:

Von – yes, I’m happy. Since My Roger is not in the tournament – the next best 2 people left (for me) made the final. May the best man win tomorrow.


sar Says:

Kimmi, thanks for the points link. Well, maybe Rafa can win Miami as he needs that one to complete his North American slam. Murray still needs IW and Novak needs Cincy.


sar Says:

I just read no Serena in Miami. That means Safina, Sharapova and Delpo so far.


Kimmi Says:

Von..you are welcome. WOW! you deserve all the celebrations you can afford today..but not too much, tomorrow is the big one. Great win for Roddick, today was the toughest opponnent and Roddick was ready for the task. Big chance with Ljubie tomorrow.


Kimmi Says:

sar, you are welcome. make sure you add points for Roddick, he is in the final now…


jane Says:

I suck at predictions, hence no offense taken Von. Will try to contain myself from thinking/typing assumptions during the final. But notice that I did get it right, ultimately, that Roddick would win the match — unlike Sean, as Roddick lost that time. So my jinxing only pertained to serves/games not entire matches or tournaments. lol!


sar Says:

Go Nesty


jane Says:

They lost sar. : /


Skorocel Says:

Colin said: „It has become the custom to say, when Federer loses outside a slam, that it signifies nothing as he concentrates on slams. Nadal has never been fond of losing anything, I’d say. So how do we account for this?“

Good question. Though I still consider him as the mentally toughest player out there, when you think about the MANNER in which he lost this match and also the one against Davy in Doha (where the Russian managed something which no one has thus far managed to do against Nadal since god knows how many years – that is to defeat him after saving a MP!), one has to wonder. If he doesn’t win in Miami, it’ll be the first time since 2004/2005 that he wouldn’t win a non-clay tournament between the two main clay-court seasons, and that really tells you something… Having said that, he’s still the main favourite for clay – provided he stays healthy, of course.


skeezerweezer Says:

Von,

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Sorry I wasn’t around, but, playing the game has a priority over watching for me…was a great sunny day on the west coast :)

Hey how did you know I was playing tennis?:)


Skorocel Says:

To add to my last post, when did we last see Nadal losing a 3rd set tiebreak (or any tiebreak, for that matter) 1-7?


blank Says:

Nadal admits that he has tweaked his game and that he doesn’t run like crazy to get to everything, anymore. I think that has taken the edge out of his game and is making him that much more beatable. I hope all he needs is just a bit more time to adjust to his new style.


jane Says:

Nadal’s loss to Davy was similar too in the sense that he started both matches strongly. It used to be that Rafa could start slowly and build momentum up until he’d wear down the other guy, force him into a bunch of errors and so on. But now, with starting well, he seems to be taking his foot off the gas or letting the errors creep in, or maybe it is psychological and he is in need of confidence to close things out?


Von Says:

Skeezer: Thanks a bunch!! Of course playing the game is better than watching and I’d do the same if I were in your shoes.

How did I know you were out playing tennis?? Isn’t that what you like to do when she allows it?? LOOOL Petals, my friend. Remember, she luvs me, she luvs me not, she luvs me …. petal to the metal. LOLZ.

If anyone is interested the doubles match is being aired presently on the Tennis channel. And, for those who don’t have the Tennis channel, live streaming from their site usually fits the bill.

______________
jane: OK, you’re forgiven, but no predictions and/or assumptions tomorrow. Put a lock and/or perish the thought, puhleez. LOL.


Von Says:

I think Rafa’s strategy of going to his opponent’s BH backfired on him vs. Ljuby, who has a strong BH, and a weaker FH. Also, Rafa began digressing to his clay strategy during the 2nd and 3rd sets, and that seemed to be the difference as opposed to how he played in the first set. I wonder why the digression??


Kimmi Says:

I believe Nadal needs a lot of match play to get into the groove…its like what federer said after he lost to Baghdatis

“It was a decent match, but maybe wrong choices at the wrong time for me. Maybe going for too much, maybe playing too passively. You can’t even that’s not something you can really work on. That comes through playing matches, and that’s what I need.”

Nadal just coming out from an injury, he has not played since his loss to Murray in the qtr final of the AO..I saw some great tennis this week and also some poor tennis ofcourse but his game will get better as he plays more matches, he might not win in Miami but he is still looking good for clay season


Fot Says:

I watched the match (on tape) and in that tie-break, Nadal did revert back to his ‘old’ clay-court style of just getting the ball back into play. He had been winning being aggressive, but when he got to the tie-break, he was very tentative with his shots and Ljubicic took advantaged and became more aggressive. Just my take after watching the match.


Von Says:

Fot: Rafa began digressing in the middle of the 2nd set and went full blast in the 3rd set to his clay game. Ljuby on the other hand, was smart to pick up on that, hence the win. The match could have been Rafa’s to win in the TB.


madmax Says:

skeeze and kimmi, since the fed v baggy match, i seem to be waking up at 3.30 am, so difficult to get back to sleep! spent the last 30 minutes reading all the posts on this blog – yeah, i was watching the “madal” and luby match – couldnt do both at that time! (watch and type), because i really couldnt believe my eyes as to what was happening –

i am, of course, happy for luby. he looked so happy and it was a most unexpected win for him – just goes to show the “old” guys can still do it, eh?!

“madal” has got to be the funniest thing I have read in a long while – had me giggling away kimmi :)

contador, you should be on the stage!


sar Says:

N&Z were NOT on

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