Murray Virtually Mails It In at Monte Carlo; Nadal, Djokovic Roll
by Sean Randall | April 14th, 2010, 2:49 pm
  • 206 Comments

Somewhere Roger Federer is smiling from ear to ear. I say that upon Roger either hearing of or watching Andy Murray’s latest debacle, an embarrassing 6-2, 6-1 loss today to Philip Kolhscreiber in the second round at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Kohlschrieber is an adept clay baller, but he’s not a 6-2, 6-1 kind of guy against Murray. But then again things have sure changed for Andy. Just over two months ago he was hotter than a Rolex in Times Square entering the final Australian Open final against Federer. But since the Swiss sent him back to Great Britain still Slam-less, Murray has floundered on the tour showing nary any signs of life.

And today’s loss was his third straight defeat, all in straight sets and all in big events – Indian Wells, Miami and now Monte Carlo.

“The last few tournaments have been bad,” Murray said following what was arguably the worst loss of his career. “It’s been a long time since I lost a couple of matches like this. I have to make sure that I don’t panic.

“It was the first time in a few years that the court felt so small. I just could not find the court. When it’s like that, it’s difficult to play.”

At the open of the match the ATP commentary team remarked how Murray getting back with former girlfriend Kim Sears would help the Scot get back track. Well, that didn’t work. And in fact Sears wasn’t around in Australia proving that Murray can play well without her. So it’s not her, it’s not the video games, it’s not the opponents playing well.

I’ll say again, clearly Murray hasn’t recovered from that crushing loss to Federer, and Roger has to feel pleased about it. Just like Federer caused so much misery to the other Andy, Andy Roddick, through the years, he’s now trying to do it again by single-handedly wrecking the mind and the career of Murray, and so far he’s succeeding.

Luckily Murray still has a few months to get it right and end the boos before the all-important pressure-packed grass swing kicks offs. Until then looks like we’ll need to lower of expectations of Andy.

Also today, doubts about Rafael Nadal’s health were put on hold for an hour or so because that’s all the time Rafa needed to destroy Thiemo De Bakker 6-1, 6-0. Nadal, who I originally thought had a testy draw with possibly Eduardo Schwank The Tank and then Juan Monaco, now gets his second breeze against Michael Berrer tomorrow.

Still, a strong, confident start for Nadal.

“I expected it to be a bit tougher, harder match,” said Nadal who chalked up his 28th straight win in Monte Carlo. “But I think I played well. I played very a solid match, no mistakes, [I had] good movement. I think I played really well.”

Fresh off his split with Todd Martin, Novak Djokovic got a nice win over Florent Serra 6-2, 6-3. In a big statement match tomorrow, he’ll face the in-form Stanislas Wawrinka.

“I have to be happy with the game because it’s the first clay court match – not including Davis Cup – since Roland Garros last year,” said Djokovic. “Some things can be better, like [my] serve and maybe [my] movements but [I'm still adjusting to the surface and conditions.

David Nalbandian, Ivan Ljubicic, Juan Carlos Ferrero and David Ferrer were also winners.

In addition to Nadal and Djokovic's tussles tomorrow, key matches include Tomas Berdych v. Fernando Verdasco, JW Tsonga v. Ferrero and Ferrer v. Ljubicic. For me, I’ll be most interested to see how Novak gets on against Stan. That should be the best match of the day.

ORDER OF PLAY - THURSDAY, 15 APRIL, 2010

COURT CENTRAL start 10:30 am
[10] T Berdych (CZE) vs [6] F Verdasco (ESP)
M Berrer (GER) vs [2] R Nadal (ESP)
[5] J Tsonga (FRA) vs [9] J Ferrero (ESP)
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [13] S Wawrinka (SUI)
[WC] R Gasquet (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) vs [8] M Knowles (BAH) / B Soares (BRA)

COURT DES PRINCES start 10:30 am
[4] M Cilic (CRO) vs A Montanes (ESP)
[8] I Ljubicic (CRO) vs [11] D Ferrer (ESP)
[12] T Robredo (ESP) vs D Nalbandian (ARG)
P Petzschner (GER) vs P Kohlschreiber (GER)
[1] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs J Melzer (AUT) / M Youzhny (RUS)

COURT 2 start 12:00 noon
[7] S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) vs E Butorac (USA) / M Kohlmann (GER)
[WC] R Hutchins (GBR) / A Murray (GBR) vs [2] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA)
N Almagro (ESP) / I Ljubicic (CRO) vs [6] L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) – After Suitable Rest


Also Check Out:
Federer Reverses Monte Carlo Decision, Will Take On Nadal
Djokovic Withdraws From Monte Carlo
Rafael Nadal: I Have Amazing Feelings When I Play Monte Carlo [Video]
Led By Milos Raonic, ATP Players Do The Harlem Shake [Video]
Novak Djokovic Was A Busy Man After Winning Monte Carlo [Video]

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206 Comments for Murray Virtually Mails It In at Monte Carlo; Nadal, Djokovic Roll

Huh Says:

Disgusting start to the tournament for me with Muzza losing.


andrea Says:

sounds like a convincing win for nadal. he must feel better now that he is back on clay.


KillerC Says:

poor murray, it seems to be a all mental thing. I agree with you, that loss killed or put handcuffs on his burning champion spirit. this is a out-there example but look at agassi -95 us open loss; really messed him up a couple of yrs (drugs, lack of desire).. He’s known for having a great team around him, he should probably talk to a sports psychologist. eh, I think nadal is gonna pull this tourney off, but isnt it great 2 see nalbandy around again!?


O-Kerr Says:

“Roger has to feel pleased about it. Just like Federer caused so much misery to the other Andy, Andy Roddick, through the years, he’s now trying to do it again by single-handedly wrecking the mind and the career of Murray, and so far he’s succeeding.”
Craftily put, Sean obviously represents some avid Federer fans and he too seems to be pleased about it. Cannot blame ‘em.


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t get why Federer would be pleased about ruining someone’s career…


MMT Says:

I really don’t see what the Australian Open final has to do with this match. Murray’s going through a rough patch, but it’s due in part to lack of match play – a bit of a vicious cycle of losing early, not getting enough match play, and losing early as a result, etc.

To me, Murray is just a few steps behind Federer and Nadal. Clay is not his best surface because while his movement is top shelf, I think he lacks the firepower to control the play on clay, as he can on grass and hard courts.

I also think Murray’s technique on the serve is flawed, and he may be going for too much on the first serve. If the rest of his game is on song he can afford the low percentage, but his delivery is very loose and in difficult conditions I can see it going off the boil easily.
If the rest of his game isn’t at 100% (particularly his return game) it could cause him problems.

My guess is he’ll peak just in time to make a run at the French Open, but his best bet win a grand slam this year is still at Wimbledon and the US Open.


Dan Martin Says:

I had thought Murray might do surprisingly well on clay this year due to expectations and pressure being lower for him on this surface/swing of the tour. He still has events in front of him, but my initial thoughts are not looking so good right now.


csl Says:

True, Its now in Murray’s head. He was ripping it up at the AO, reached the final then splat! Of course the atrocious British media and there lofty standards make it that much worse. I never seen a player get such praise for wins, yet absolutely crushed after losses from there own home media. At 22 the expectations of him to win a slam is absurd,. Let the guy win tournaments first then slams. His time will come he’s just too skilled not too. BTW funny hearing the brit commentators referring to Murray as the “Brit” in the beginning of the match. Suddenly when losing badly it became the ” Scot” is going down without a fight.


Daniel Says:

Murray will drop to n. 5 next week. He will ose 350 points while DelPo will miss 10.

Murray: 5845 – 360 + 10 = 5495 pts
DelPo: 5735 – 10 = 5725 pts

He has to take care, cause if DelPo and Davy return in Rome or Madrid, he may be seeded outside top 4 again in a Slam when the French starts.


madmax Says:

Sean,

Ridiculous comment to say that federer would be pleased? honestly. get a grip. There is no one to blame here for Andy’s malaise. Andy just needs to reassess his game, the guy has hit a wall. It’s understandable. Give the guy a break. Andy did not play with passion or inspiration today. All his shots, his backhand, forehand, drop shot, overhead were crap. Though the bits I saw (skysports) where Andy was talking said he “couldnt find the court, he felt good mentally and physically, though the nerves were there at the start of the match”. And then Andy laughed. Weird.

One of those days.

I dont know why I am defending him so much, he isnt even my favourite player, but I think that the post from csI (csi miami???), is spot on. British Media have a lot to answer for. They build people up out of all proportion and when they dont do well, they leave them like a flattened piece of dough, on the ground.

Andy is having his difficulties right now, the least they should do is support him and not run the guy down. What is wrong with people?


guy Says:

murray has the worst second serve in the top ten, probably the top 20, that’s a big part of his problem. when the first serve is bad, it’s good night, and clay isn’t gonna help either.


bojana Says:

Thank You madmax.


Polo Says:

Sean Randall said,
“…clearly Murray hasn’t recovered from that crushing loss to Federer, and Roger has to feel pleased about it. Just like Federer caused so much misery to the other Andy, Andy Roddick, through the years, he’s now trying to do it again by single-handedly wrecking the mind and the career of Murray, and so far he’s succeeding.”

That is a most insensitive, reckless, preposterous and unfounded comment. It maligns another person and could mislead others into taking it as truth. This is an article that shows journalism at its worst.


Kimo Says:

Oh boy… That loss at the AO final really got to him, didn’t it?

TBH, Murray is partly to blame for his current state of mind. After racing to a 6-2 lead in H2H against a very sub-par Fed, he actually believed he had Roger’s number. How did Roger respond? Beat him in Cincy, beat him in London, crushed him in Melbourne. I disagree with Sean that Fed gets happy at other people’s misery, but I believe Roger likes slapping his challengers back into reality, and the reality is: I’m the GOAT, show some goddamn R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Remember Djoko at the start of 2008? He was all like “I’m no.1 in the ATP race…I’m the hottest player on tour…I believe I can beat Roger and Rafa at slams” Since then he hasn’t beaten either of them at a slam. And while such losses have sapped his killer instinct, they have helped him develop a nicer personality. There’s no doubt the Djoko of today is a nicer person than the Djoko of 2007, albeit a lesser tennis player.

Same goes for Murray. He used to be the “Surly Scot”, now I can’t help but feel for the guy even though I don’t like his game and I used to despise his attitude.

I’m sure some will accuse me of Fedtard-ness for writing this, but Roger has got to be the best rebounder there ever was. After a crushing loss at the 2005 AO to Safin, he went on to win Dubai, IW and Miami. After losing the 2008 RG final, winning only 4 games, he won Halle without dropping his serve once. After the most devastating loss of his life, 2008 Wimbledon, he rebounded by winning the doubles gold medal at the Olympics and oh, that little tournament called the US OPEN. After losing the 2009 AO final, he re-focused and won the one slam that eluded him. Even Rafa has still not fully rebounded mentally from losing at RG last year, and I used to think Rafa was untouchable mentally.

Murray has got to get his act together, sooner rather than later, because Wimbledon is less than three months away, and the British media will only make it tougher for him to recover the closer we are to Wimbledon.


Sean Randall Says:

madmax, why wouldn’t Federer be quietly pleased? Murray is still feeling the after affects of that Australian Open loss and Fed has to take some joy in seeing that.

Murray is a serious, serious threat to Federer, isn’t he? So why wouldn’t Fed want him out of tournaments early?

And yes, the Murray did hit a wall. The wall’s name is Federer and he hit it the last Sunday in Melbourne. Murray hasn’t been the same since.

You can blame this loss/slump on anything you want, but for me all roads leads back to that Federer match as the source of the slump.

Had Murray won that match he probably rides that confidence to another Masters title and perhaps never enters Monte Carlo. Now he’s fighting an uphill battle against himself (motivation, confidence), his opponents and the expectations (media, fans, etc).

Polo, how so? Care to elaborate where i have been “insensitive, reckless, preposterous and unfounded”?


Polo Says:

Randall, go back and read what you wrote.


Sean Randall Says:

And again on Fed being “pleased”, rewind to how many times Fed has publicly cracked on that other Andy (Roddick) after beating him? Many.

“I always like playing you Andy (Roddick)” Fed likes to tell the crowd. Translation: “It’s a joy to beat to him, I love seeing him miserable like this. Becuase of me he will never win another Slam.”

The guy loves beating up on people. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s what makes him so great.


andrea Says:

in defense of sean, my nose isn’t out of joint with what he wrote.

i doubt roger has a line up of voodoo dolls in the likeness of his nemesis’, but the guy still competes with fire in his belly. he wants to stay #1 for as long as possible and show the young bucks how it’s done.

if anything, andy’s loss goes to show yet again how consistent roger has been over the years…the last two years nothwithstanding in non GS events.

andy’s tears and reaction during the ceremony at the AO really put it into perspective for me. the pressure from the media, from himself, from a country. it was a crushing loss and he has clearly lost focus and momentum as a result.

hopefully not permanently.


Kevin Kane Says:

Hi Sean, I’m a long-time fan of your writing, though this is my first time commenting on one of your posts.

It’s interesting to speculate what’s causing a player to slump. Is Murray’s loss to Federer at the Aussie Open the cause of his current lack of form? Who knows, really?

Due to the one-on-one nature of tennis, some players can seemingly “ruin” the careers of others. Just imagine how many additional grand slam champs we’d have if Federer and Serena had never picked up a racket!

Todd Martin once said of Sampras and Agassi, “They’re the nicest guys I’ve ever met. They ruined my career, but other than that…” Martin was being facetious, but as Shakespeare wrote, “Much truth is said in jest.” Sampras beat Martin in the ’94 Aussie Open, and Agassi came back in 5 sets to defeat Martin in the ’99 US Open.

In Agassi’s autobiography, Agassi acknowledges the personal satisfaction he received from beating Sampras… and the utter turmoil, at least earlier in his career, from losing to Pete.

It’s normal, especially for competitive people, to not be indifferent to their performance versus their rivals. As an adult today, one of the biggest emotional highs of my life was beating a certain kid in a race when I was 13 years old. Up to that point, the same kid had whipped me in just about every athletic contest we’d had since we could walk. To finally beat him at something was pretty damn satisfying… It’s not that I took personal satisfaction in his loss but… no wait, I was damn satisfied when he lost!


Daniel Says:

I like Sean because he is not afraid to show his, let’s say “evil side”. We all have it in us and for sure the thought cross my mind too: Federer couldn’t possibly imagine this season being so good to him so far.

He is n. 1 with a 3000 point lead; Djoko and Murray, the two possibe future n.1′s (after his and Nadal dinasty are over) are struggling; Nadal doesn’t win a title in almost a year, deep down, even for a moment, he must have smiled.

Looking at the bigger picture he knows it’s bad for a sport when a talented player loses focus and drops level. I miss Coria until today and still hope to see a Nadal x Nalbandian match on clay, even if Nalby is not in full form. DelPo is one that could do some damage on clay and is out due injury.

Sure, he could have holded that thought, but we know we need some heat in this blogs!


Kimmi Says:

I guess federer would be very happy if his voodoo dolls works for nadal too!:)

You guys are crazy!

Don’t know what to say for Murray..6-2 6-1..
Did not see that match but it looks like he will not recover soon. poor poor andy..what to do now!

Now that he is struggling, all the flaws in his game are magnified..that first serve %, that second serve, that FH..oh god!

I think he needs a fresh mind. His current coach(s) seem to not to know what to do. they all probably cried after he lost to fed..what a big big mess!


Kimmi Says:

I am very very happy for Nalbandian though, I did not give him a chance with Youzhny. H2H before today’s match was 0-2 in favour of youzhny.

You would think with Nalbandian form, coming back from injury and youzhny riding high on confidence..it gonna be all youzhny.

I hope he continues far here. Robredo is beatable if he plays well. keep going nalby!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Wow, people are being WAY too sensitive. Regardless of Fed’s frame of mind though, the substance of Sean’s point is vaild. Fed’s domination of Roddick at Wimbledon changed his game and the course of his career (Andy’s, not Fed’s). I believe Fed did the same to Hewitt. It may be that this is happening right now to Murray.
Good connection by Sean.
On the mental side: if you are the alpha dog, and a rival starts nipping at your heels, you better believe you’re gonna want to crush him. That’s what makes a top player a DOMINANT player. So I don’t imagine Fed gets pleasure out of someone else’s misery, but I bet if you asked him before the AO if he would like to beat Murray so bad Murray would never challenge him again, well, we all can guess what the answer would be.


Stefani Germanotta Says:

Well, Fed may be happy that his ranking is protected but unless he “brings it” on the new surface, he is going to get exposed. As a Fed fan, I hope he’s practicing hard and getting in shape for the dirt. After all–at the end of the day and the upcoming Masters–he needs to plan to peak at RG.


Tom Gainey Says:

Here’s video from Murray’s post-match. I hope this works.


Kimmi Says:

thanks for the link tom. its very sad to see him like this..just wishing him all the best!


Voicemale1 Says:

Sean is making his assumption about Murray correctly. For those who think losing important matches doesn’t affect a player afterward, and in some cases a long time afterward, then take the words of Pete Sampras.

Jane posted here that Sampras advised Djokovic that technique, in and of itself, is meaningless once you make the Top 10. Matches are won with your heart and your head. Sampras also relayed it took Agassi over a year to recover from losing the US Open Final. Sampras knew this to be the case because after the match, Agassi invited Sampras for a ride on his jet to somewhere and Agassi peppered Sampras with questions about dedication, commitment and was stunned to learn that Sampras was so single minded about playing tennis and winning matches. The Agassi slide to hell began right after that discussion.

Plenty of other tour players have commented in this same way about Nadal today. Ivanisevic was the first to say last summer that Nadal’s problem was more in his head than his knees, claiming his loss at the French truly shook him up. More recently, Bonnie Ford’s column over at ESPN.com a few days ago featured Lendl & Wilander basically saying Nadal’s mind needs the real fixing because others have learned how to beat him. Until he gets that back, he’ll be vulnerable to them even on clay – which is the REAL damage Soderling did to him last year.

Murray is in this same stew right now. Remember: Murray used to OWN Federer, having won 6 of their first 8 matches. He canned Gilbert to take on his “Team of Advisors” approach to coaching. It was Murray who readied himself to the optimum for Australia – his entire preparation of playing just Hopman Cup was designed to have him at his best for the Open. It worked. He made it to the Final. Plus he was eager to get that SLAMLESS monkey off his back. He not only lost the match, but he didn’t even take a single set from Federer. He’d at least done that at the 2008 US Open. It was a tremendous step backward, because he learned in Australia that his 2009 of winning big matches was under him, his ideal preparation, his great run through 6 matches was not enough to get it done. He wandered out of there no doubt wondering what it is he has to do to beat a guy he used to always get the better of. Murray put in a LOT to get that Australian Open, and came up short. It’s clear he has lost his confidence. And worse than that, his ambition for the time being also seems to be underground.

Murray’s game is always going to be vulnerable to the other Top 10′s, especially the huge hitters, during a Best of 5 when those others are “on”. There is no question Murray is feeling the effects of what haunts his head nowadays: “What more do I have to do”?


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer likes to win. I agree with Sean’s translation of what Federer says regarding Roddick, I’ve always felt that way, too. But I don’t think Federer cares if his rivals lose to other players. Tennis is one-on-one and Federer has admitted that he’d rather play his rivals and beat them himself. Even in the 08 USO he wanted to play Nadal in the finals because of their rivalry.

Kimo, I completely agree about Federer being one of the best, maybe the best, rebounder. There have been tons of times when he’s been down and seemingly out but here we are, 2010, he’s on top with almost nothing to worry about. That’s why I keep saying that I’m really interested in what Nadal will do in the next few months because he’s never been so down, especially after being so high not too long ago. To me, honestly, Nadal’s response to his troubles will be a great indicator of who the GOAT is. But that’s a different topic…

As for Murray’s issues, I half agree with Kimo, too. I say half because I wouldn’t exactly call Federer “very sub-par” during his losses to Murray, but it really doesn’t matter. Murray had a clear game plan against Federer that created a huge gap in the h2h. And even though he’s still up (6-5), does anyone believe that game plan will work anymore? Sure, once in a while, Federer will miss more than usual and hand Murray a win. But overall, Federer has proven that his A game is head and shoulders above Murray’s A game. I’m sure there are people who will say “well of course, he’s Federer,” but that’s not how it’s supposed to be. An A Federer vs an A Nadal will produce close, tense matches more often than not (only 7 of their 20 matches have been straight set affairs, and even a lot of them were close). Compare that to Federer and Murray: Murray won 4 straight matches but all went the distance, Federer has won the last 3 and 2 of them were in straight sets. Murray is supposed to be the next big thing. Hell, Federer pegged him as an amazing talent back in 06. But it seems that Federer is tremendously better than Murray. I think that if Murray had lost a close encounter in the AO final, he would have had better results over the last few months. Murray’s motivation is now in question because he feels like “if I can’t compete with the top guys, maybe I don’t deserve to be a top guy, so what’s the point of playing?” The “top guys” is Federer.

All in all, I do hope Murray bounces back and proves that he does belong. He has too much talent to be losing to Kohlschreiber 2 and 1.


Ben Pronin Says:

Wow my post is like a paraphrase of Voicemale’s. Damnit.

The one thing is that I think Murray has more game than he’s shown. Well, he showed it against Nadal in Australia. He has the offensive option. When he’s focused and determined, he’s got an amazing all-around game. I think, if he’s “on”, he can beat the big hitters even in best of 5.


jane Says:

MMT: “a bit of a vicious cycle of losing early, not getting enough match play, and losing early as a result, etc.”

I agree.


jane Says:

Sean says ” Murray is still feeling the after affects of that Australian Open loss”

Just curious, because I don’t know, but has Murray said this in an interview? I mean, how do you know what he is “feeling” if he hasn’t said as much? What he HAS said is that he’s good in practice, but it hasn’t translated to matches. He needs to get a couple wins and build on that.

His three losses have been to aggressive, explosive players all: Soderling, then Fish, then Kohls. Why not discuss that? Maybe the opponents smell blood?

Moreover, besides losing the AO final to Fed, other stuff –off court–has happened since: the Dubai “practice” comment; the Marseille withdrawal and subsequent blasting by tournament director; and now possibly dealing with a renewed relationship. Isn’t it possible that some of these OTHER things are bothering him? Affecting his focus?

Murray will be BACK!


jane Says:

btw, just to clarify: Sean, I am not knocking your writing – loved this line actually, “Just over two months ago he was hotter than a Rolex in Times Square ” — I just don’t know why or how you’re so sure that it all boils down to that loss. It may’ve been a factor, but I think it’s combine with other stuff, like what MMT says about the vicious cycle, and the off court stuff (possibly) that I mentioned. I just think you’re over-simplifying it.

I also have no idea how Fed would really feel. I mean I am sure he’s happy when his path is cleared a little, as any player is/would be, but I don’t know that he’d wish devastation on someone!

I know Federer’s an immensely proud and tough competitor, and thus I actually think he **relishes** the challenge of playing his arch-rivals.


I like tennis bullies Says:

** I’ll say again, clearly Murray hasn’t recovered from that crushing loss to Federer, and Roger has to feel pleased about it. **

lol sean projecting his own sense of self satisfaction onto his boy hero federer.


Kimmi Says:

since beginning of this year. Nadal has played very well against lower ranked players. The way he had played against them you would so easily say Nadal is back.

This was the same in doha..he demolished everybody else until he met davydenko. In AO he did the same thing until he met Murray. same IW and Miami.

it looks like he is having problems when the score is very close. right now if players can hang on and take him really close they have a chance. Obviously clay is his best surface but I until I see how he handles those really close matches, then we can sure say HE IS BACK!


jane Says:

Also, I’m not saying that bad losses don’t stick with a player. But look at Rafa: even after losing the French and skipping Wimbledon, he still did pretty well during the hardcourt season: I can’t remember Canada, but he was in the semis at Cincy, the semis at the USO, the final at Shanghai, the semis (or quarters?) at Paris. This year, he was in the finals of Doha, retired at AO, the semis of both Miami and IW. So, if it’s just that loss to Fed, and not, say, Murray’s game and the lack of matches to get grooved, then why isn’t going at least a little further, as one of the top five?

I believe he may have a hangover from the Fed loss, but there’s more to it to me. Maybe it’s that damn Fleet Street?

Anyhow – sorry for all these posts, : / but am just bothered and want to see Murray back to his AO form again.


Clay Says:

Poor poor Murray! He lost today and all people can say is that the loss at AO destroyed him. Bull! Pull up your socks Murray and get out there on the court and if you lose you lose. You are a professional so act like one and not like a little suck. So Federer beat you in a slam. Guess what, he’s beaten countless others as well and they’re still walking around with their heads held high and playing the game.

Grow up!


blank Says:

Voicemale, You summed it up so well.


puckbandit Says:

So you can read the minds of not just one (Federer) but two (and Murray) professional tennis players?

A little presumptuous don’t you think? Speculating on what may be ailing a player or has them off their game should be written as just that, speculation. You write with an undeserved certainty regarding both Feds and Murray. Unless they have stated this to you directly, or to others in a referenced interview, you have no basis for these comments.

If Fed is actually “pleased” as you say, then he mus be a real jerk.

I think you should stick to analyzing the players’ games and not their minds.

IMHO


jane Says:

Djoko fans – stu, OllyK, sar – I am a little worried about tomorrow’s match! Wawa’s coming off winning a title last weekend, on clay, so he’s grooved, and even when Novak was playing better in 2008, Wawa pushed him to 3 sets in the Rome MS final. I’d say this is a 50/50 match given both of their current forms. I didn’t see Novak’s match so it makes it doubling unsure for me.

———————————–

puckbandit – on another note – play off time!


jane Says:

OllyK, stu: check out these predictions; they pretty much confirm my worries.

http://www.tennistalk.com/en/blog/Ricky_Dimon/20100415/Expert_Picks:_Monte-Carlo_third_round


blank Says:

Jane, Did you watch Djoko match this morning? Right now it’s playing on TSN2.


Kimmi Says:

“For me, I’ll be most interested to see how Novak gets on against Stan. That should be the best match of the day.”

i agree, that could be a great match if they both play well.

Tsonga v ferrero could be good too, hopefully ferrero turns up..he was very poor in their last match in miami

verdasco v berdych…berdy continues to impress! verdasco needs to concentrate, not going walk-about like their previous matches.. two loses to berdy in the last 4 weeks..third consecutive loss will be disaster.

cilic was on and off in his first match..needs to play better. montanes had some good wins this week, he must be confident.

gooooo nalbandian

btw, i like it now you are posting the order of play. keep it up!


Kimmi Says:

just post before I saw jane post. good luck to novak..i hope is a good match. i watched most of it this morning. thanks blank.


jane Says:

blank – thanks for the update; unfortunately I don’t have TSN2.


blank Says:

Hi Kimmi, Looking at how early the matches start, I don’t think I can catch any of them live before Saturday. In the evening, it’s not so exciting to watch the matches when I know the result. Good thing is, on Sat, I don’t have to go stream hunting online…it’s live on TV!


blank Says:

Sorry to hear that Jane. I think the finals is also live only on TSN2.


Kimmi Says:

yap, lets hope for good matches and we don’t lose too many top guys (this tourney is lacking many top guys already)…or nadal will cruise to the title. btw, i like for nadal to win here but i just hope he is tested.


Fot Says:

Voicemale1 said: “Plus he was eager to get that SLAMLESS monkey off his back. He not only lost the match, but he didn’t even take a single set from Federer. He’d at least done that at the 2008 US Open. ”

Uhm…Murray didn’t take a set off Roger at the US Open final. In fact, Murray has never taken a set off Roger in the grand slams.


Voicemale1 Says:

Fot:

I apologize for the error. In that case, Murray should feel even worse.


stu Says:

jane, i’ve been stressed about this match ever since i saw the draw. Stan has been very close to beating Novak in their recent matches, especially on clay, and Stan has to be seeing the opportunity of a lifetime in tomorrow’s match!

Novak’s R2 match made me optimistic though..high percentage serving (relatively), belief in his eyes, vajda in the stands…

Nole is seeded #1..he needs to pull this one out for goodness sake!


stu Says:

And by the way, if he does, pull this one out that is, I think it sets him up really well for the clay season. The first big test of the sanity of his recent decisions is here. Ajde Nole, this is one of the few times I’d love to be proven wrong! (I picked Wawa)


Sean Randall Says:

As some have pointed out, there are numerous examples of a single loss that went on to haunt players.

Guillermo Coria never recovered from that French Open choke. Dinara Safina is still battling the demons (and injuries) after four Slam misses.

Pete Sampras dashed the hopes of Andre Agassi and Michael Chang, putting each into mini-tailspins.

And Federer’s done the same to Roddick. Look what happened to Andy AFTER he lost to Fed at Wimbledon. Roddick does seem to be over it and in time so too will Murray.

Murray went back to the girlfriend perhaps to get that loss out of his head. It didn’t work. Now what? Maybe change/add/subtract some coaches? I wouldn’t be surprised.

Punkbandit, why is Fed (or any player) a jerk for being “pleased” if one of his major rivals are in slumps? Instead, should he be in tears because Murray’s struggling? Hilarious.


funches Says:

OMG,

Kevin comes from nowhere and makes an appearance on the Tennis-X outer board, and you crystallized my thoughts eloquently about Sean’s latest post.

Any day now I will start that Facebook page and invite you. No really, I’m serious. I’m just slow on the uptake.


funches Says:

Now a tennis-related post.

Without a friendly draw, Murray might not win a match before Roland Garros on clay. His confidence is zero, and it is is worst surface, but this is hardly a career-defining period. Everyone takes each little period of an athlete’s career far too seriously.

Get back to me if Murray struggles at Queen’s and Wimbledon. Until then, this is just a minor blip on his career arc.


Von Says:

Murray’s recent losses, post AO, could be attributed to apathy, which is a symptom of depression, that’s characterized by the joyless mental state of our daily routine, and disinterest in the areas of one’s life which they once found exciting, or at least interesting. For Murray, tennis has been the very core of his existence ever since he was a kid in kindergarten. Therefore, it’s logical to assume that he’s suffering from the aftermath of the AO = sadness and apathy, as he was in excellent form prior to the final vs. Federer.

How could Murray not feel apathetic? He lost to a guy over whom he’s had a positive H2H, not once but twice at the GS level. Had he lost to Fed at the Masters level, I doubt the impact of such a loss would have phased him, much less produced such deleterious effects. He might have just shrugged it off and moved on to the next tournament. However, at the GS level, which is what most players live for, and only comes around four (4) times per year, that loss was very profound, hence his present state of mind and seeming lack of interest in the sport presently.

It’s easy for us looking in from the outside to say, Andy needs to get his act together and shrug off the AO loss, etc. However, we need to bear in mind, that each person reacts differently to emotional pain, as the mind is a fragile organ. And, what might make another stronger, could have the opposite effect on others.

I believe that in time, Murray will bounce back to his previous winning ways, but that will depend on how he comes to terms with the AO loss as being the root cause of his present problems. Healing of the mind is dependent on one’s acceptance that there is a problem and is willing to face it head on, instead of burying it, and pretending that it is not affecting us. Andy’s mind-set going forward will be the key factor as to how he bounces back and begins to win again, or is he going to sit back and throw a pity party by wallowing in his sorrows. Famous last words …. only time will tell ….


Long Live The King Says:

Anyone who thinks murray losing on his worst surface in a tournament, makes Federer happy is being very naive. If it is rafael nadal, then you have a point, but andy murray? oh please….

What next? roger being happy when berdych or baghdatis looses? be realistic guys!

And Roger isn’t such a petty guy he takes pleasure in losses of his rivals to other players….. maybe he feels good if the no.2 or no.3 players lose points, coz he can defend no.1 easier, but murray who is hardly any threat to him? I dont think so…..

And any Roger fans, who take pleasure in murray losing, shame on you! you are worse than the worst joker poster gals! try to be classy like Roger and Rafa….. not uncouth and stupid like cindy beach or goat galz!


OllyK Says:

Oh, I hate my job these days! :( I didn’t have time yesterday even to look at live scores…It will be the same thing today, I think. Arghhh… :O
From the stats and your comments I see Nole was pretty good yesterday. I hope it was the sign of good clay season! And only two sets! WOW! I still can’t believe my eyes. It’s been ages since the last time it happened. ;)
Jane, stu…I’m affraid of Stan, too. Their ecounters are always sooo tight and tensed.7:2 H2H in Nole’s favor doesn’t mean anything. And I’m even more affraid since Ricky Dimon picked Nole for the win..Almost always Nole’s opponent wins in that situation. Oh, Ricky, pls be right this time..


steve Says:

I think that the AO final was the first time Murray abandoned his usual tricks and smokescreens and tried to ramp up his game and really try his best to play aggressively against Federer. To his shock, he came up short. That’s why it was so devastating.

Even if you don’t like his tennis, you do have to feel for him a little bit, he’s under insane pressure from a rabid British media to bring home a major. When the Queen announces she’s cleared time in her calendar to attend the Wimbledon final in the event that you make it, that’s pressure. It can’t be easy.

And every time he is British in victory, but Scottish in defeat…


Long Live The King Says:

Novak fans:

stop going whacko on us. You guys are psyched if analysts pick Djoko to win or lose. what the eff are they supposed to do? damned if they do, damned if they dont.

Take a chill pill and Chillax guys!

FWIW, I think novak will get his 1st win on clay this season, against rafa. dont know when, but definitely in 1 of the 3 masters. Madrid is his best shot, but if he shuts out the drama, it will help him a lot. I still dont think he will beat roger/rafa at french….. he will need someone to take them out if he has to win french!


jane Says:

LLTK – we’re entitled to our opinions, yes? Psyched, whacko or whatever. ; )

Hope you’re right that Djoko gets a big win this clay season. Will have to see how the serve is going forward. I guess it was better last match. Unfortunately, due to the time difference, I can’t see any of these Monte Carlo matches except the last ones.

I still say tomorrow’s match between Stan/Djoko is 50/50 due to recent form.


Michael Says:

It is a morale draining loss for Murray and what must have hurt him more is the scoreline which reveals that he has capitulated without a fight. Ofcourse Kohscrieber is a very good player and he is capable of producing the upset on his day, but even considering that prospect the scoreline gives a different picture of a Murray who is just enjoying his Tennis and is looking rather uncomfortable.


Michael Says:

Who can stop Nadal in Montecarlo considering the way he is playing now ? May be Djokovic and that is it. But he too has only a slim chance of upstaging Nadal who seems to be in red hot form in his favourite surface.


AK-47 Says:

The question is not whether Roger feels or should feel pleased about his opponent’s slump or his continual losses to lesser players. To me if you can hurt your nemesis to the extent that it takes him longer than normally expected to recover, you should feel good about the blow you dealt. You should be pleased about the power of your game. In Roger’s case, only he knows how he feels but we can speculate, pleased, sorry, or indifferent, as it suits our taste.


pro rafa Says:

i think it is OK for fedrer to grin from ear to ear abt Murray losing in the 1st round to Phillip…. but come FO, barring injuries and bad luck, he will be absolutely shattered when he faces and loses to nadal in the semis or the finals wherever they meet… keep it up rog….keep smiling…. sooner or later u will pay dearly for this mockery


Kimmi Says:

cilic in danger already losing first set. montanes on fire here!


Kimmi Says:

verdasco starts very well 3-1 and then berdy takes next 3 games. berdy playing much calmer at the moment. verdasco serve to stay in this set. the fh leaking big time today! not good..

meanwhile cilic already broken in the second set. down a set and a break..oh boy!


Kimmi Says:

montanes continues to impress..2 breaks against cilic in this second set.


Kimmi Says:

berdych 7-5 first set.


Kimmi Says:

c’mon verdasco get yourself together in this set..get that FH going

cilic is trying to get a mini come back..montanes serving fo the match..nah duece, again adv cilic and he breaks.

6-4 5-3 montanes has anothe chance to serve ot out


Kimmi Says:

verdasco breaks..now keep it up..

berdy calls a trainer – looks like the ankle is bothering him, he twicked it on previous game but seem to be not serious..did not ask for time out


Kimmi Says:

like first set..verdasco 3-1 in the second…needs to maintain the lead this time..


madmax Says:

cilic saved two match points. granted a reprieve. now has to return well on montanes serve, c’mon cilic! make it 5:5, let’s go to a third!


madmax Says:

i didnt realise that montanes was this good –
cilic hasnt seemed that good so far, though only played two matches, he struggled during his first match. hold it cilic, hold it!


madmax Says:

third match point to montanes.


Kimmi Says:

montanes to serve the match out again – c’mon cilic make a come back

hmmm! not to be cilic – montanes the winner 6-4 6-4 first time qtr finalist in MC

who picked montanes all the way to the qtrs?


Kimmi Says:

hi madmax..i was talking to myself.

verdasco is playing a little better now..hope he keep it up..still leading this second set..but very close


Kimmi Says:

DF from berdy gives first set points to verdasco

big serve berdy..saved

the ankle injury seem to bother berdy movement but still in this match..saved 2 setpoint already


Kimmi Says:

on the third set point, verdasco was lucky. second set verdasco- great job..keep going man!


Kimmi Says:

berdych calls a trainer again, the ankle is sure bothering him…


Kimmi Says:

DF on break point …very bad berdych.

verdsco breaks early in the third 3-1

meanwhile ljubo is almost fed a bagel by ferrer..clay lesson?


Kimmi Says:

aaaaah berdy breaks back..verdasco getting tight again just like miami, he just can’t beat this guy..c’moon

ok, it a bagel to ljubo


Kimmi Says:

yay! verdasco breaks again..c’mon man. 2 more game, only 2


Kimmi Says:

one more game..goo verdasco


Kimmi Says:

3 match point verdasco…yes!


Polo Says:

Congratulations to Verdasco. Hopefully he gets deeper in this tournament. It could have been a really good match had Berdych not had that trouble with his ankle. Good job by Verdasco anyway.


Kimmi Says:

yeah! verdasco wins on his first match point. great win against someone who beat him twice in the last 3 or 4 weeks.

OMG, he plays montanes next…GOOO VERDASCO; All the way to the semis.


Polo Says:

Easy to pick the winner of the next match televised on Tennis Channel.


Polo Says:

Good morning Kimmi, we are the only people here!


Kimmi Says:

is that Nadal/ berrer match..yes ofcourse

i bet there will be a begal


Kimmi Says:

morning polo..yes. I have been around for a while. I won’t be here match longer though..have to go unfortunately


Kimmi Says:

match ..s/b “much” too early in the morning!


Kimmi Says:

has FERRER and BERRER ever played together? ha-ha!


Polo Says:

By the way, I just read Sean Randall’s comment directo to Punkbandit. Sean said,”…why is Fed (or any player) a jerk for being “pleased” if one of his major rivals are in slumps? Instead, should he be in tears because Murray’s struggling? Hilarious.”

Sean, that is what your article conveys. Punkbandit was not saying that Federer is a jerk. It was your article that implied that because anybody who rejoices in another’s misfortune is a jerk. Punkbandit was simply voicing how your article comes across.


Polo Says:

Bagel for breakfast. That would be perfect. I will be alone when you leave…but have a good day.


Kimmi Says:

ferrer to serve out the match, ljubo not very good today..could be the clay allergy?


Kimmi Says:

haha ljubo just breaks back..we have a match!

ferrer is furious


Polo Says:

Was Ljubojik ever good op clay? Being such a big server, I know he is excellent on fast surfaces but I don’t think he has a good record on clay.


Polo Says:

Kimmi, where are you watching?


Kimmi Says:

he could have a title here or there on small tournaments but never made impact on the big stage i think…

well, well…he is giving himself a chance in this match


Kimmi Says:

i am on tennistv.com..they have court2 on air too.

aaaah I predicted a begal for Nadal in this match and here it comes


Kimmi Says:

Ok, now I have to go. Enjoy the rest of tennis polo!


Polo Says:

There goes the bagel toasted into a fine crisp by Nadal. Goes well with my coffee.

Are you happy with tennistv.com. Was that you who wrote about having subscribed to it? I may not be able to do any work if I had one. But if the price is good, why not?


Polo Says:

Bye, Kimmi!


rsp Says:

nadal loses just 5 points in the first set!
of course its still early and berrer isnt much of an opponent, but with federer and (specially) murray not in great form, it may just be another near clean sweep of clay court titles by nadal


NELTA Says:

I watched the 1st 3 games of the Nadal match then turned it off. It was boring, not even a match. Berrer held a lead at 0-15 on Rafa’s serve in the 1st game then proceeded to only win 5 more points in the entire set. I think this one is going to be a double bagel. Get it over with so I can watch Robredo and Nalbandian.

People are now realizing Montantes is a crafty dirt baller. You wonder how he is able to hit the ball the way he does as his stature is about the same as Davydenko – 155 pounds soaking wet. Impressive victory over Cilic although I suspect Cilic didn’t bring his A game.


mafid Says:

Nadal get 2 free rides… nothing more.
tomorrow, i hope will see a match from nadal (the last 2… hardly a practice)
just remember last french nadal was crushing rivals (hewitt included) until… you know
i will wait to see how nadal (and his confident game) stand versus a top ten, before building any expectation.


Kimmi Says:

polo, love tennistv.com. For me its worth it coz not much tennis coverage in canada. coverage is reliable and very good quality. Now they have Hawk eye analysis on center court – interesting!

You can also choose which match to watch..normally they show two courts but in IW and miami had up to 3 courts.

There you go..did I sell it to you!

NALBANDIAN! Yohoooo!! very happy for the guy. Go go go!
Nooo, don’t give the break back .bummer!


Kimmi Says:

ferrero, OMG..he is demolishing Tsonga at the moment.


NELTA Says:

Ferrero is playing with a lot of confidence right now. He has already won 2 clay court tournaments this year. He will be a good barometer for Nadal’s game on clay. If Nadal wins easily then I don’t expect him to lose a set in the tournament.


Kimmi Says:

nalbandian breaks back..yes! keep going man!


Kimmi Says:

NELTA, you want ferrero to beat tsonga..I think your wish will be granted. I would like Ferrero to play nadal rather than Tsonga.

C’mon Nalby hold!


NELTA Says:

I have Ferrero advancing in my challenge draw then going down to Rafa.


Kimmi Says:

Nalbandian one more game…c’moon get it done in 2


NELTA Says:

Nalbandian has converted all 3 of his break opportunities and only given up one break out of 7 chances to Robredo. It was the exact opposite when he played Youzhny, but he still managed to pull out the win.


Kimmi Says:

Go go go daveeed! serve it out!


Kimmi Says:

DF..c’mon nalby concentrate

30-15


Kimmi Says:

2 match points go go go


Kimmi Says:

Yahoooo! 6-3 6-4 Congrats Nalby. happy for him.
In the qtr final..yeah baby!


Kimmi Says:

OK, Tsonga is waking up here NELTA


jane Says:

Congrats to Nalby, Hotsauce and Rafa – am disappointed that Cilic is out but clay is maybe not his thing? Ljub and Ferrer I felt quite neutral about; Ljub has had decent results on clay before but Ferrer is honed on it. Also feel kind of neutral about JCF and Tsonga. I like Ferrero as he’s a player with a lot of variety and smarts, and Tsonga of course can be so explosive. So let the best win today!


Kimmi Says:

Tsonga takes the second set NELTA, we have a match!


Kimmi Says:

EXPLOSIVES is the word jane..he is right now!


Kimmi Says:

oh..meant EXPLOSIVE..kind of routing for tsonga, though like ferrero too..


jane Says:

Yep, it’s probably appropriate that this goes to a third set.


jane Says:

The only drag is I am going to have to leave for work right when Djoko comes on versus Stan. Feeling queasy about that match. LOL.


Kimmi Says:

What a point for ferrero to break..fantastic!


Kimmi Says:

hohohohoh Tsonga..really wants to break back here


Kimmi Says:

and Tsonga breaks back. This match is turning out to be very good!


jane Says:

Yes, they’ve evened out here in this third set. Interesting…


Kimmi Says:

andy murray on the stand..smiling, looking pretty happy :)


jane Says:

Happy to see Andy M happy! : )


Kimmi Says:

oh no, bad miss by tsonga..matchpoint ferrero


Kimmi Says:

UNBELIVABLE..what a point by tsonga to save that match point..


Kimmi Says:

oh dear, DF give ferrero 2 match points


Kimmi Says:

FERRERO the winner..great match!


jane Says:

Congrats to JCF – sad for Tsonga because it came on double faults.

As expected, will have to leave shortly right when Djok and Stan take the court. Oh well, good luck and GO NOLE! It’s going to be tough I suspect.


rose Says:

great match ..at the end ferrero prevails..the Spaniards are taking over this early clay season..nadal vs ferrero will be a great match..


Kimmi Says:

yeah jane, i think I will watch a little bit of djoko match..I have a little time today so we will see how it goes. Good luck to your guy..


jane Says:

Thanks Kimmi – my fingers are crossed. But more importantly, will Djoko have a serve? Stan completely neutralized Gulbis, 6-1, 6-4, so he must be returning pretty well?? Don’t know as didn’t see that match either. Anyhow… gotta run! Enjoy!


Skorocel Says:

Kimo: „I’m sure some will accuse me of Fedtard-ness for writing this, but Roger has got to be the best rebounder there ever was. After a crushing loss at the 2005 AO to Safin, he went on to win Dubai, IW and Miami. After losing the 2008 RG final, winning only 4 games, he won Halle without dropping his serve once. After the most devastating loss of his life, 2008 Wimbledon, he rebounded by winning the doubles gold medal at the Olympics and oh, that little tournament called the US OPEN. After losing the 2009 AO final, he re-focused and won the one slam that eluded him.“

I’d agree with the USO 2008 (the Olympics don’t count), and even with AO 2010 (which has to be one of the most satisfying GS triumphs of Fed’s career, especially considering how much the Djoker + Nadal + Murray + JMDP quartet is struggling right now), but the AO 2005? First of all, 2005 was one of the best, if not the very best Fed’s season (only 4 losses). Secondly, that AO 2005 semifinal vs Safin (which, btw, went to five sets, with Fed blowing 1 MP) was precisely one of only TWO losses which he suffered to Safin in his entire career. No doubt it was crushing, but not even remotely as crushing as those 3 defeats which he suffered to Nadal at RG 2008 + Wimby 2008 + AO 2009. NOT EVEN CLOSE, Kimo. The AO 2005 win was an one off from Safin, whereas when Fed lost to Nadal in those 3 aforementioned GS finals, it pretty much confirmed what the casual Fed fan would be more than happy to overlook – i.e. Federer’s inability to cope with his BIGGEST rival Nadal. In other words, the AO 2005 semi, even though a painful loss, pretty much didn’t cost Fed anything, whereas those 3 losses to Nadal cost him a lot more than just 3 GS titles. You know it, I know it, Fed knows it, everyone knows it.

And Halle? You gotta be kidding, Kimo! What does a winning of a tournament which almost every decent grass-court player except Federer skips (and which Federer used to own from the start) have to do with Federer’s mental toughness? Had he beat Nadal (who had already been making a very strong claim for Roger’s very own Wimby title in 2006 and 2007) couple of weeks later in that Wimby final coming from 2 sets to love down, now THAT would be some mental toughness! That was an once in a lifetime chance for Fed to show everyone his fighting qualities (btw, just imagine WHAT would that match do to Nadal’s confidence had he lost it!), but he blew it. Not that he went down without a fight, but still, a loss is a loss :-(


Skorocel Says:

„I guess federer would be very happy if his voodoo dolls works for nadal too!:)“

You can bet on that, Kimmi! ;-)


rose Says:

@ Kimmi
Thanx Kimmi ..good luck to your guy as well…also waiting for novak vs wawrinka match..this match has the promise to be a good one..both players are great on clay..rooting for novak on this one.


Skorocel Says:

Sean Randall: „Punkbandit, why is Fed (or any player) a jerk for being “pleased” if one of his major rivals are in slumps? Instead, should he be in tears because Murray’s struggling? Hilarious.“

LOL :-)


Skorocel Says:

„To me if you can hurt your nemesis to the extent that it takes him longer than normally expected to recover, you should feel good about the blow you dealt.“

Exactly my thughts, AK-47! Unfortunately, certain people here (mostly Fedtards) believe that the author of this article (Sean Randall) views Federer as some „tennis version of Marquis de Sade“…


Skorocel Says:

steve: „And every time he (Murray) is British in victory, but Scottish in defeat…“

LOL :-)


Skorocel Says:

Tennis Vagabond: Good post on April 14th, 2010 at 7:31 pm!

Kimmi: Ditto on April 14th 2010, at 9:09 pm!


Skorocel Says:

Ben: „To me, honestly, Nadal’s response to his troubles will be a great indicator of who the GOAT is. But that’s a different topic…“

I would say FEDERER’S response to Nadal’s response to his troubles will be a great indicator of who the GOAT is. ;-) Thus far, Roger is responding reasonably well, but let’s wait another 6-7 months, and then we can maybe judge better.

—————–

„All in all, I do hope Murray bounces back and proves that he does belong. He has too much talent to be losing to Kohlschreiber 2 and 1.“

Same here!


Kimmi Says:

rose, my guy is federer is not playing and murray got knocked out yesteday but now I follow Nalbandian and verdasco..go go go!


andrea Says:

just watched the novak/serra match last night…novak is looking pretty sharp i have to say. haven’t watched any of nadal’s matches yet but the scores pretty much say it all.

would be great for novak to beat nadal on clay for once. he’s come close before.


Ben Pronin Says:

That’s a good point, Skorocel, but let’s wait for Nadal’s response first, and THEN Federer’s response to that.

I hate to agree but you’re right about the Safin thing, too. That loss, even back then, seemed virtually unimportant to Federer’s continuing legacy. But I’m still happy Safin got the win :)
A more important loss was the Nalbandian one in 05. Up 2 sets to love and later 2 points from the match, and to a guy who he was finally getting the better of after years of torment. Unimportant now, but I think it bothered him somewhat in the AO the following year. SOMEWHAT!


Kimmi Says:

djoko is hitting the ball very well so far..wawrinka has been hanging on with him…hanging on because his games are getting tougher to hold… so far its a good match!


Sean Randall Says:

This match is “snails”, as in snails pace.


Kimmi Says:

its true sean..the rallies are sooo long on almost every point. when the score was 3-3 the commentator said it was 22 points each..that’s how close this match is so far..


jane Says:

Just got to work but have to go to class. Looks like Stan’s stats are a little better in most categories. This doesn’t bode well since Djok’s level usually drops as the match progresses. Oh well, hope he can fight it out.


Kimmi Says:

oh no DF stan to give break point to djoko


Kimmi Says:

poor FH error by djoko..cheap!


Kimmi Says:

djoko is cranking up the FH..another break point


Kimmi Says:

Another big FH..break!


Kimmi Says:

great set from novak especially the last two games. 6-4


Kimmi Says:

wawrinka is losing his way a little bit here..UE bad!


Kimmi Says:

djoko in control of this match now..jane, you must be happy!


NELTA Says:

Djoko is serving well. 2 aces and no double faults so far.


jane Says:

Just got back to my office; I see Stan just broke back. But happy Djoko still up a break and took the first set. Come on Nole!! GO!

1 double NELTA, but it’s better than 5 on average.

Please please finish it Novak.


stu Says:

phew

not pretty, but Nole seems very pleased with himself…


jane Says:

Woot!! NOLE! Stan gave his backhand an incredibly good workout. Djok’s forehand looked really good though. And his serving was steady.

Heaves sigh of relief. That was a nice win, straight sets. Who does he face next? I’ll bet it’s only getting tougher from here…


Ben Pronin Says:

Two straight set wins in a row? How unlike Djokovic :)


stu Says:

Nalby! Should be awesome!


Fot Says:

I was pulling for Stan but Novak won it in the end. Congrats Jane on your boy winning.

I haven’t seen any of Nadal’s matches yet, but considering his first 2 opponents, I expected the score to be exactly (or worse) than what it was. So no surprise there. Nadal basically owns this tournament so if he doesn’t win here, he really IS in trouble. However, I expect him to win this title. Of course, he ran through the clay season last year until Madrid and the French so who knows what’s going to happen! lol!

I saw the JCF/Tsonga match. It was pretty good. Nice rallies, hard hitting, great match.


jane Says:

Thanks FoT. Stan the man won a title last weekend; it was Novak’s turn today, to protect his final run last year. ; )

Oh – but Nalby is next! Wowsa. Hope it’s a good match. That’s going to be an even tougher one. Well, if Nole has to go down to someone, I do like Nalby a lot. Still hoping Djok wins, of course, but I can be happy enough for his conquerer if it’s Nalbandian.


NELTA Says:

It’s not a coincidence that he had a straight set victory over a strong opponent and he only had 1 double fault. He went for a few big serves, but spun in quite a few as well which helped his 1st serve % and reduced the chances of missing 2nd serves. Good victory.


AK-47 Says:

Overall good match. Novak must be happy. The next clash with Nalby will be even bigger test.
Does anyone remember I suspected Cilic, Tsonga, Berdych, Youzhny and Baghdatis to go down in the opening? Well, three of them did and 2 went down today. Some coincidence.


OllyK Says:

WTG, Nole!!! Only 1 DF, straight set victory, it is even more than I expected! I’m relieved. ;)
Congrats stu, jane, contador, and other Nole supporters. Now, we are “in the game”! Ajde, Nolee!


NELTA Says:

I had all those guys out by this round in my challenge draw. Their records on clay are poor compared to other surfaces.


margot Says:

jane: u can breathe again! Congrats! re bouncer, it’s his face.
polo: like kimmi I subscribe to tennistv, only way I can watch just tennis, other than the slams, in the UK.
sean: think u r borrowing idea of Fed as “Grim Reaper” from past blog. BTW did not find Fed’s comments b4 AO in the least amusing.


funches Says:

People have become so hyper-concerned about every even that they lose the big picture.

Didn’t we go through the same thing last year with Djokovic. His career was supposedly at a crossroads (ridiculous, but people were saying it), then he had a terrific clay court season. But when he lost to Kohlschreiber at Roland Garros, everyone forgot about how good he is on clay. It’s Djokovic’s best surface, and it will particularly help him if his serve remains balky because serving is less important on clay.

Nothing in Nalbandian’s clay career indicates he can beat Djokovic. Tomorrow’s match will be a good referendum on the form of both players.


jane Says:

funches, I hear you. BUT, last year Novak wasn’t averaging 5 doubles a match, and he was in the quarters in IW and finals in Miami. This year he lost in R16 and round 1 respectively, so that was a little more concerning, considering the bulk of his titles have been on hard courts.

Interesting that you say clay is his best surface though! Will have to ponder that.

margot – the face. Yep I can see that. And yeah, feeling better re: Djok. Even if he goes out next round or whatever, that match he looked better, specially the serve.


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t think clay is his best surface. He can play great on clay, but Djokovic’s natural game goes best with hard courts.


funches Says:

If Nadal were not around, Djokovic would have a bunch of titles on clay. He’s not playing in a vacuum. Rafa’s presence renders the number of titles anyone else has won on clay irrelevant.

Close call about his ability on clay and hard courts. He’s a lot more vulnerable to big servers like Tsonga on hard courts than he is on clay. If he plays average on clay, I don’t think anyone but Rafa and Federer can beat him.


Ben Pronin Says:

What is average? If he’s missing a lot on either surface, he’ll lose. I don’t think his game is vulnerable to big servers, his head is.


funches Says:

Djokovic is 35-2 in his last 37 clay court matches not involving Rafa. ‘

That’s right, 35-2.

And it doesn’t matter whether it’s his head or his returns. The fact is he struggles against guys like Tsonga on hard courts and does not have to worry about them on clay.


Ben Pronin Says:

Why doesn’t he have to worry about them? Maybe because they can’t reach him, but he has yet to play Tsonga on clay.


funches Says:

He doesn’t have to worry about them because they’re not very good on clay, that’s why. Roddick falls into the same category.

There are a lot more players with a good chance of beating Djokovic on hard courts than there are on clay.


Ben Pronin Says:

The same can be said for Federer and Nadal. Federer’s best surface isn’t clay.

I still think Djokovic’s best tennis goes best with hard courts.


funches Says:

No one can beat Federer on hard courts when he plays well. No one. He’s the best hard court player ever.

That said, he is very underrated on clay. We’re hearing the same stupid stuff this year about how if he struggled on hard courts, he’s really going to be in trouble on clay. One problem: he’s one of the all-time best clay court players.

Djokovic’s game sets up perfectly for clay. This isn’t the old days where the best clay court players are retrievers who keep the ball in play and wear down their opponents. The modern clay-court star is someone who can hit winners from both wings, uses a lot of spin and has the speed and consistency to stay in points when needed.

Djokovic qualifies in every category. His serve lets him down too often on faster surfaces, and he also struggles with his return of serve at times on faster surfaces.

Again, it’s a close call, but I believe Djokovic is more equipped to win big on clay than he is on hard courts.

What part of his game do you think is ill-suited for clay?


Polo Says:

These guys, Djokovic and Murray, are very good. If they can get their confidence and focus back, they will come to the top again. Djokovic is starting to make his way back and hopefully will continue. Murray is too young and too talented not to find his bearings again. I just want all of them to play well so that I don’t get subjected to boring matches again…like that Nadal match today. Not Nadal’s fault, of course.

Kimmi and Margot, you are convincing spokespersons (how’s that for political correctness) for tennistv. Now if you could only asure me that I will never see or hear Mary Carillo there, I will subscribe in a jiffy.


sar Says:

Read someplace that Delpo might not play now until maybe Madrid!!!


sar Says:

Judy Murray:

I had to get back for a meeting tomorrow with the First Minister about my tennis club project and about the possibility of bringing an ATP Tour event to Scotland in the future. I’ve never been to Holyrood before so I’m quite looking forward to it. Alex Salmond is a big tennis fan so I’m hoping he’s going to be pumped to make things happen.


stu Says:

sar, its no surprise to me coz i always knew Nole was a trendsetter :P


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t think Djokovic is ill suited for clay. I just think that, when all of his shots are clicking, he’ll produce more awe-inspiring tennis on hard courts.

As much as I agree about everything you said about Federer, I’m tired of hearing that he’s “underrated” or “under-appreciated” or whatever else. People have been calling him the GOAT since 2004. Someone who’s called the GOAT is pretty well appreciated.


SG Says:

The classic definition of insanity is repeating the same actions over and over again while expecting results to be different. Such is the case for Murray. His head is the short term problem. The long term problem is his game. He needs to be much more aggressive againt Fed. Murray needs to look at the Wilander-Lendl tapes from the late 80′s. Wilander adapted his game to take on Lendl. He sliced more and kept the ball low. And when the opportunity presented itself (and sometimes when it didn’t), he attacked. Murray has the shots. Now he needs the guile.


jane Says:

funches: “Djokovic is 35-2 in his last 37 clay court matches not involving Rafa. ‘”

That does help put things into perspective. I still don’t know that I see clay as his best surface over hard, or if it’s just that there is more competition on hard courts (not to mention more events, which would explain more losses)? In any case, you make some interesting points to back up your assertion.


blah Says:

I agree that Djokovic is a better on clay now then he is on hard, tho I still think he’s better on hardcourts if it’s 5 set format.


puckbandit Says:

Sean wrote: “Punkbandit, why is Fed (or any player) a jerk for being “pleased” if one of his major rivals are in slumps? Instead, should he be in tears because Murray’s struggling? Hilarious.”

Do you read your own articles? I don’t think for one second that Fed is a jerk for perhaps getting a snicker our of a rivals loss. But you framed with such an over the top scenario that the Fed you characterized would be a jerk.

Polo wrote:
“Sean, that is what your article conveys. Punkbandit was not saying that Federer is a jerk. It was your article that implied that because anybody who rejoices in another’s misfortune is a jerk. Punkbandit was simply voicing how your article comes across.”

Exactly, thanks Polo, for “getting it”


jane Says:

I just read the following article, which lists 6 potential factors affecting Murray at the moment; here’ the link;

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-1266295/Whats-Andy-Murray-Six-key-issues-bugging-British-No-1.html


puckbandit Says:

Polo wrote:
“Now if you could only asure me that I will never see or hear Mary Carillo there, I will subscribe in a jiffy.”

I feel ya on this one. What happened to Mary? When she first started I thought she was a breath of fresh air, bring a new perspective to the game with elegant language and creative thinking. Now, her descriptions and analysis seem to be over- reaching for metaphor and poetics and when that doesn’t work she goes for volume, and just can’t shut up. I cringe when I find her commentating the matches.

Not to mention ruining so much of the Olympic coverage this year with her “off topic” special stories. When will NBC learn that we’d rather watch the sports than watch some travelogue narrated by an underachieving ex-athlete.

(Wow, three negative posts from me after a post AO hibernation. I’ve been in a sour mood this week- can’t you tell. LOL Maybe I have Murrayitis.)


sheila Says:

i am a huge fan of federer and i certainly feel the ao loss to federer did affect murray, but i’m more concerned w/rogers losses to berdych & bagdhatis, with matchpoints on federers racquet. murray may be going thru a drought, but i don’t get how federer, after dropping only 2 sets @ ao, and winning it beautifully against murray,hes not playing more relaxed & @ ease. i think federer opened the door for berdych & baghdatis because now they feel they can beat him. I hope roger does well in the slam events because 4me, that will be the real indicator as to where his head is at. as for murray, hes young & he will bounce back.


funches Says:

Federer’s not underappreciated overall, but he’s definitely underrated on clay.

As for his hard-court losses in America, they weren’t nearly as bad as some of his others in recent years: losing to Canas twice, getting blown out by Fish, etc. Even though he played poorly, he had match points against Baghdatis and an in-form Berdych. That’s hardly a cause for concern.


Ben Pronin Says:

Underrated by who?


margot Says:

polo:who’s Mary Carillo? On tennis tv, it’s usually Jason Goodall and another! Always blokes when I’ve tuned in.


Polo Says:

To Margot: Mary Carillo is a female tennis TV commentator. She never stops talking even when the play is going. Always makes ridiculous comments, almost always spews over the top metaphors as punkbandit said. Loves to drop names of big name players to show how close she is to them. Always the first to laugh at her own jokes. Has an irritating laughter that should not be heard constantly from a commntator.

In short, you are lucky not to know who she is.


margot Says:

polo: yuk!


Von Says:

Polo: Mary Carillo is a very smart commentator, but her major problem is her too active mouth.

I don’t know if you watched the recently held winter Olympics in Vancouver. Mary did the recap every night of the day’s activities and she was excellent. Of course, she was solo, so she didn’t have anyone to chat with, hence here excellent commentating. Perhaps the key to her being a good commentator is to let her do a solo act. Whenever she has a co-commentator, the chatter becomes a bit redundant and gossipy.

BTW, Polo, if you had listened to me and NOT discontinue the Tennis Channel, you would now be watching the matches on TC and not have to suffer through live streaming. TC’s programming has improved tremendously. boo hoo!!

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