Nadal Steamrolls into Monte Carlo SFs, Ferrer Next
by Sean Randall | April 16th, 2010
  • 173 Comments

Aside from Andy Murray’s misery, things have gone almost according to form this week. The first major clay event of the season features a quartet of semifinalists one would expect to have at the Monte Carlo tennis masters.

Leading the way is the Clay King himself, Rafael Nadal, who racked up his 30th straight win in Monte Carlo after pounding two-time champ Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4, 6-2. Nadal will face another Spaniard tomorrow in David Ferrer who needed two tough sets to turn away Phil Kohlschreiber 7-5, 7-6.

“He is better player on clay I think,” Nadal said of Ferrer. “[It will] be a really tough match. The style of Ferrero and Ferrer is different. Juan Carlos probably has [a] little bit more control of the ball. Ferrer plays with intensity, high intensity. When he’s hitting his forehand from the backhand [side], [it] is very difficult to stop him.”

Nadal has beaten Ferrer nine of 12 times including five straight. Ferrer did get him way back in 2004 on the clay in Stuttgart. Since that loss, though, Nadal has won 13 of 15 sets and all six meetings on the dirt against David.

The second semifinal pits Novak Djokovic against Fernando Verdasco. Djokovic is arguably playing his best tennis of the year after enjoying a third consecutive straight-set win with an impressive victory over the David Nalbandian 6-2, 6-3.

“This is one of the best matches I’ve played in 2010,” Djokovic said. “I’m just happy to regain my confidence I wasn’t playing well in Indian Wells and Miami.”

Verdasco had the rockiest of roads today. The lefty was up 6-3, 5-1 with three matchpoints on countryman Alberto Montanes before Fernando seemingly did a dive off those nearby Monte Carlo cliffs to drop the set 7-6. But remarkable Verdasco did an about-face, recovered and took the third 6-0.

Since losing the first two meeting to Hot Sauce, Djokovic has won the last five meetings including a three-set quarterfinal win in Monte Carlo last year.

“So I know what game to play against them,” Djokovic said of Verdasco. “I need to stay closer to the lines, I guess, and be aggressive, but still not too much, because then I can make a lot of unforced errors. I shouldn’t force it too much.”

As for the picks, again it should be another straight forward day. Nadal remains the man to beat and while tomorrow should be his closet test of the tournament thus far I think he gets through in straight sets.

I think Novak also wins in straights. Verdasco’s second set brain cramp today gives me plenty of pause while Novak seems to have hit his stride just in time. Let’s hope, because it could be quite a clash come Sunday.

In the Charleston women’s WTA event, Caroline Wozniacki and Vera Zvonareva will play in one semifinal. In the other it’s Daniela Hantuchova and Sam Stosur.

COURT CENTRAL start 11:30 am
[7] S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) vs [5] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Mirnyi (BLR)
Not Before 1:30 PM
[11] D Ferrer (ESP) vs [2] R Nadal (ESP)
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [6] F Verdasco (ESP)
[1] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs [4] W Moodie (RSA) / D Norman (BEL)


Also Check Out:
Federer Reverses Monte Carlo Decision, Will Take On Nadal
Streaks That Ended After Rafael Nadal Lost To David Ferrer Today In Monte Carlo [Chart]
Djokovic Withdraws From Monte Carlo
Rafael Nadal: I Have Amazing Feelings When I Play Monte Carlo [Video]
Novak Djokovic Was A Busy Man After Winning Monte Carlo [Video]

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get Tennis-X news FREE in your inbox every day

173 Comments for Nadal Steamrolls into Monte Carlo SFs, Ferrer Next

Voicemale1 Says:

These two met in the Quarter Finals of this tournament in 2008. After winning the first set 6-1, Nadal found himself down a Double Break at 0-3 before regrouping to win that set & the match 7-5. The good thing for him is that he’s playing here much better now than he did then, so it’s unlikely we’ll see him go down a double break again to Ferrer. And he’ll need to be on guard too. Ferrer has already won a clay title in Acapulco this year, and these two played a tight one in Miami two weeks ago. Agree Nadal wins it tomorrow, but Ferrer could make it some rough going with his best stuff combined with any mistakes by Nadal.


O-Kerr Says:

I think Sean’s predictions will turn out to be right this time. It is about time after getting a few wrong. I am getting impatient for that Sunday classic.
To remember Federer in the midst of all these he just reiterated his full time practice on clay a couple of hour ago to the satisfactions of his Facebook fans “Back on the red clay, been practicing fitness and tennis and I am really excited for the upcoming stretch of tournaments!”
He said the same on March 31 “I am back on clay.”
I believe he is aiming at repeating his FO and Madrid titles. Bless us maestro.


Michael Says:

As the only non-Spainard left in the draw, Djokovic must be representing the rest of the world. I fancy his chances against Verdasco and he knows what it takes to win against him. But against Nadal, Djokovic would have his task cut out as it is a different and difficult proposition altogether, to beat a man who has won here a record five times on consecutive occasions, a man who knows what it takes to win here, a man who beat Federer on two occasions etc etc. It will definitely be a challenge to Djokovic and hope that we will relish it and surprise us with his heroics in the finals. If anybody can win against Nadal in this tournament it can only be the Djoker.


Von Says:

Nadal should get through Ferrer in two close sets, but he’ll do it, and that win will give him the necessary boost to win the final, as his adrenalin will be at an all-time high. He knows what it takes to get the job done (saw him on the Tennis Channel talking about this) and he is very motivated to obtain the win. Hopefully, tommorrow’s matches will live up to the media’s expectations and fans as well.


Kimmi Says:

hey guys, are you watching?

rafa and ferrer are on court BUT there is a little rain..

aaarg! rain go away, we want some tennis !!


Kimmi Says:

ferrer few errors are costing him..and that horrible attempt of drop shot..oh dear

nadal breaks


Kimo Says:

Ferrer has got his game plan all wrong. He keeps trying to hit through Rafa. That’s just not gonna work. Instead, he should try moving Rafa left and right. Easier said than done, I know, but at least it can work. Trying to hit through Rafa on a clay court is never gonna work, just ask Roger.


margot Says:

kimmi: just thinking that myself. Ferrer is not going to out baseline Rafa. Come on Ferrer Roddick showed how to do it!
Hope this isn’t gonna be a massacre!


Kimmi Says:

not looking good for ferrer i am afraid. rafa looks to be cruising in this set

another break for rafa


margot Says:

Yes, that’s what you do, David, you put the ball behind him! How easy for me to say from safety of my computer!!


rafazilla Says:

does anyone have any live streaming links to ferrer v nadal?


Kimmi Says:

kimo. guys with big FH can hit thru rafa but ferrer shots are not doing any damage.

yap, needs to move nadal


Kimmi Says:

how well is nadal constructing points..THE KING OF CLAY! cheers!


Kimmi Says:

ok, i thought ferrer will do better than ferrero…hmmmm!

at this point ferrero was definetly better


Kimo Says:

Kimmi: Not when Rafa is playing like this, they can’t.


margot Says:

Rafa’s come home hasn’t he, and looking unbeatable, but as a contest this is so boring I think I’ll go and watch some paint drying for a bit of excitement!


Kimmi Says:

margot: hahaha ferrer starts well this second set..maybe..maybe we have a contest here


margot Says:

kimmi: not holding my breath….


Kimmi Says:

yap! ferrer is going for too much..and he gets broken…margot, where is that paint drying?


Kimmi Says:

BTW, Happy birthday to J.W tsonga..25 today!


blank Says:

Maybe Ferrer will take an extra game this set and go down 3-6. Looks like that’s the best we can do.


Kimmi Says:

ok ferrer break chance here..take it!


Kimo Says:

Ferrer is starting to learn how to play Rafa.


margot Says:

WOOO! At last!


Kimmi Says:

excitment, excitment !!

ferrer breaks! blank, three games are not looking too far now!


Kimmi Says:

about to give the break right back..what a FH from rafa!

break


margot Says:

kimmi: we spoke too soon! Paint drying nicely on wall….soooo exciting….


blank Says:

Kimmi, First match I am watching live on TV (hope you are too :-) ) and this has been so one sided. Hope the next one goes to 3 sets and is really good!


Kimmi Says:

c’mon, we said he gets 3 games..what is wrong with ferrer, very poor game.

6-2 6-2


Kimmi Says:

me too blank..TSN2, first live match since AO. I even forgot how it looks..looks great!

Ferrer break point..maybe blank..maybe


Kimmi Says:

Blank..3 games..did u see that coming on your crystal ball?


blank Says:

Kimmi – LOL. I am not a betting person, wish I had placed a bet.


Kimmi Says:

Bad game there serving for the match by rafa but got the order restored by breaking right bak! 6-2 6-3

So, who will meet the “king” tomorrow?


margot Says:

Well, I really want Djko to win but I do hope the next ones more competitive. If I want to watch a massacre I’ll just re-run “Braveheart”
R both u guys in Canada? What time is it? Am just wondering if jane’ll be up to watch Djko.


Kimmi Says:

margot; its 9:15 am where i am..jane is on the west coast, it should be 6 am over there!


funches Says:

It’s funny reading the comments from people expecting various players to challenge Rafa.

There’s no strategy Ferrer could use to beat Rafa because he just doesn’t have enough game. Trying to hit threw him saves some wear and tear on his body.

As for the brief debate I started yesterday about whether Rafa was better on clay than Federer was on grass, the answer is simple. Are we even sure that Federer is better than Rafa on grass? The evidence from 2007 and 2008 made the look dead solid even.


margot Says:

kimmi: Thanks, I forget how vast Canada is and assume you’re all in the same time zone! I wonder if jane will set her alarm clock or will have a nice weekend snooze!


Kimo Says:

funches, your post at 9:26 is so funny. Of course Fed is better than Rafa on grass. He’s made the final 7 years in a row. His grass streak was 65 before the Wimbledon 2008 final. Rafa’s grass streak is what? 12, 13, something like that. Now the fact that the 2007 and 2008 final were close has more to do with Roger not being at his best than Rafa being on Roger’s level. Just look at how Roger played against Safin in the semifinal and how he played Rafa in the final. It’s like he’s not even the same person. He misses more against Rafa.

I’m not going to deny that Rafa is in Roger’s head. But to say Rafa might be close to Fed’s level on grass is outlandish to say the least. In the 2008 final Rafa played his best, Roger didn’t, yet Roger stretched the match to five sets. That to me says it all.


montecarlo Says:

In 2008 final but for certain choke job by Rafa in set 3 (he had 4-4 and 0-40 on federer serve)and again in set 4 (he had match points in tie break) match would have been over much sooner.


montecarlo Says:

Just to add to above post in 2007 final also Rafa was looking like the better player till he got hurt in the 4th set and then missed break point chances in first two federer games of set 5.


blank Says:

After every long point Djokovic looks like he needs to be put on a ventilator!


margot Says:

pleeaaase don’t start a roger-rafa row here, there’s a nice little contest to watch!
Duro:is that you in the blue hat leaoing up and down when Djko does good? Or perhaps your brother…??


blank Says:

If there is a dropshot contest here, I think Djoko wins.


Kimmi Says:

what a point Hot sauce…cheers!!


Kimo Says:

blank, I agree. Djoko breathing really heavily out there.


Kimmi Says:

oooops 0-40 verdasco is taking a leaf out of Djoko droppers


Kimmi Says:

DF gives verdasco the break..wooot!


margot Says:

First blood to Verdasco! Is it my imagination but is Djko not moving as well as he did yesterday? Also, agree with you two, he’s looking all hot and bothered.


Kimmi Says:

what a game by verasco to hold..poor errors by djoko helped


Kimmi Says:

djoko UE are not helping..verdasco three break points AGAIN! WOW!!


Kimmi Says:

do you guys see..djoko is completly breaking down..

Verdasco is playing well but Djoko..what is happening…

verdasco to serve for the set!


margot Says:

Wow! Now this is turning into a massacre! Cannot believe Djko will let this match go without a big fight back!


anel Says:

As a Nole’s fan to other N’s fans listen to Jane, and do not say hop before You jump.


Kimmi Says:

Didn’t think it will be that easy, verdasco is happy, what else can he ask for! 6-2


Kimo Says:

If Verdasco wins this match, and that’s still a big IF, Rafa will definitely win tomorrow. Verdasco can’t hurt Rafa on clay.


Sean Randall Says:

Novak looking flat, gassed, lethargic, etc. He needed a potty break. Hope the runs haven’t returned.


Kimmi Says:

djoko left the court to re-group I guess…will it be the “infamous” toilet break!! i mean, like the one federer took at the AO, and suddenly things change!


Kimmi Says:

that was a very important game for djoko to hold,saving a break point on way


margot Says:

This Verdasco reminds me of the one that beat Andy at AO 2008.


madmax Says:

skysports have said “does novak have a cold?! he seems to be blowing his nose, breathing heavily, not enough fitness”. what is going on? Nothing seems to be going his way right now, he seems to be breathing strangely, and his shoulders are down. Not a good sign.

Margot, Hi. Yes, verdasco is playing well, and I agree with you. Problem is “if” he goes through (verdy), tomorrow, he ALWAYS CHOKES when he plays rafa.

But on Novak’s form right now, he’ll not get through the first set!

I dont want this to happen! C’mon novak! Play!


madmax Says:

Novak definitely has fluey symptons, just blown big time into his towel (sorry everyone).


funches Says:

Kimo,

actually the funny part of my post was using threw when I meant through. Weak.


madmax Says:

better point novak. well done.

Now what? DF?


madmax Says:

too many long points, whoever wins, will be KNACKERED tomorrow.


Kimmi Says:

Verdasco is too passive at the moment and djoko is taking it to him..missing some though!


madmax Says:

Kimmi, novak has definitely found a second wind, but his shots are too erratic.


blank Says:

All signs point to Nadal winning the title tomorrow. If he wins this, it’s almost like he never played this tournament…even in practice sessions he’d have spent more energy than what he did during the real matches this week. Good for him.


madmax Says:

beautiful shot from verdy. wow.


Kimmi Says:

verdasco..very tight! oh boy!


madmax Says:

c’mon! this game is toooo longgggg! wrap it up! move on!


madmax Says:

A brilliant game from verdy! just fabulous! It’s just incredible to see shots like this, novak is definitely sub-par today :(


Kimmi Says:

WHAT A POINT by verdasco..and defense from djoko but not to be.

Verdasco breaks.


madmax Says:

verdasco gave an interview yesterday about how much it means to him to have his father now travelling with him. It was very sweet. His father is there in the audience willing him on.

Novak still has time to pull it back, but he seems to have given up a little bit.


margot Says:

Gr8 rally to end crucial game! Djko’s serve is off and therefore the rest of his game is suffering.
madamax Hi!: yes, I agree Rafa will walk all over Verdasco if he gets to the final but if THIS Djko goes through Rafa will walk all over him too!


Kimmi Says:

verdasco still has time to choke..two bad errors give djoko 2 break points

and a shank give the break right back


madmax Says:

Hi Margot! Oh, you know what – twists and turns, all the time here – I really dont think either player has the power to beat rafa tomorrow. I know that rafa hasnt played anyone who is capable of beating him, qualifier, no.51 berrer, ferrero (no. 16? or 21?), so really, rafa should walk it tomorrow.

I just really love to see a competitive SF margot, and whoever does win, will be too tired to take it to the final – but this is what happens, good to see you margot.


madmax Says:

break back again? 15:40 back to verdy?


Kimmi Says:

three breaks in a row…unbelivable!


Sean Randall Says:

Three straight breaks. Inexplicable. Novak’s serve is DOA.


stu Says:

sigh. moody Nole, bad Nole!


jane Says:

Just woke up & checked scores and posts – ugh. : / Sounds like Novak is flat today. Think I may take a weekend snooze as margot aptly put it. I don’t want to watch. But someone tell me, is Novak’s serving crap or what?

Glad for Hotsauce. As anel points out above – I couldn’t see why people were writing Nole into the final and overlooking Verdasco, especially after the first and third set performance yesterday.

Well semis it good for Djoko; his play was good those first few matches so it’s progress. Maybe.

Is it rainy or something?

Anyhow – great for Hotsauce.

Only Rafa is getting the six- peat. No one is stopping him.


Kimmi Says:

madmax, it does not matter with the ranking..djoko is ranked # 2 and playing like number 50 at the moment!


margot Says:

Goodall has just said they’re both trying to “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory” yep!
also said Rafa in dressing having nice shower, massage, cup of tea, rest etc etc yep!


jane Says:

Oh, I just saw – 3 consecutive breaks. Yuckly. >: (

Kimmi I know you like Hotsauce, me too. I don’t think he can beat Rafa, but this is a great run for him. And if he can play like he did at the AO 08 as someone said above (margot I think), then maybe he can make a halfway decent contest in tomorrow’s final.


jane Says:

Make that 4 breaks. WTF?


Kimmi Says:

HOT SAUCE – really pumped up. He is playing well!

another 2 break point to finish this match off

and he break!

Hang on a minute – this verdasco is playing VERY well..djoko seem not deal with his shots..really, verdy is becoming a better player everyday..happy for him!

Lets hope he can serve out this match..don’t choke!


margot Says:

Morning jane: just in time to see what looks like a rout, alas! Yep serve is c–p!


stu Says:

Is he really losing 2-6, 2-6?!


madmax Says:

Kimmi, i know about the seeds, but i was talking about rafa, i dont think he has been pushed that much this tournament, so i would expect him to win tomorrow.

i am very sad for the novak fans today though. especially duro and ollyk and zare, (and Jane and Margot, goes without saying), i just dont think that novak is in the best of health right now. his breathing difficulties continue.


madmax Says:

and jane. should verdy go through, I just hope he plays lights out tennis, because it is going to be mega boring otherwise.

I wish someone in verdasco’s team would just pump him up for tomorrow. PUMP IT! get him to believe in himself a bit more because he is a really great player, just not consistent.


Kimmi Says:

VERDASCO WOOT!!!

I am happy for him. Really, did not believe he will beat Djoko that easily! WOW and WOW!

first masters final..good for him!!


jane Says:

Congrats Fernando – he looks happy. He must be following that Stanley Cup/NHL playoff, don’t shave, superstition. LOL.

Nole – go fix that serve – NOW! : /


madmax Says:

well. :( just very glum about novak’s performance. what is he going to say in his presser? Novak!

Congratulations to verdasco though, such a great player. hope we are in a for a tough match tomorrow.


Ben Pronin Says:

When Djokovic and Murray get blown out like this, it just annoys me that much more when Federer-only fans complain about him blowing match points. It’s like these youngsters have no fight in them. Pathetic.

Good win for Verdasco. If he plays like that tomorrow with the big serving, he could trouble Nadal. But he has to believe, otherwise it’ll be another easy win for Rafa.


margot Says:

Two really disappointing matches. Oh well, beautiful day here in UK and skies strangely silent. I like it!
See you folks, have a good weekend yoall.


Kimmi Says:

Even if rafa wins Djoko will still be # 2..but rafa will be closing!

I hope Rafa wins his first title after a long time…we need this rafa baaaack..VAMOS to both rafa and Verdasco!!

Djoko was beaten easily by verdasco in kooyong and he is done again today..maybe verdasco game has improved and is starting to trouble djoko..who knows..it seem to make a trend!


madmax Says:

Ben, Hi.

What do you mean Federer-only fans complain?

Roger is world no.1, we dont expect him to make some of the silly mistakes he has made, for example on match point, but he is human.

Novak was sub-par today and i will be interested to see what he says in his presser.


jane Says:

margot – enjoy the weekend. Cheers.

Ben – “these youngsters” LOL – sounds like you’re 80. “In my day, I used to walk through 14 snowbanks, 34 miles, barefoot to get to school, and do you think I complained – NO” But “these youngsters” nowadays are just poofs!

; )

No offence Kimmi – but I want Rafa to win more. VAMOS Nadal! Take home 6 in a row.


madmax Says:

Kimmi, problem is that the kooyong tourny doesnt count as it’s an exhibition tournament. so technically, this is the first time verdy has beaten novak (is this right?).


madmax Says:

Jane, haha. that was funny!

Ben does sound like my grandpa sometimes (but I still love him!). Remember the days eh Ben, when you were the lovely, charming, devastatingdjokovic! where has he gone? :(


jane Says:

Kimmi, no doubt Verdasco has the game to trouble Djoko. He took at set off him last year here, and Djoko wasn’t having the serving woes. Credit needs to go to Verdasco. By the looks of the comments, he served well and executed drop-shots well. Nole meanwhile was back to his average of 5 doubles a match. Sigh. But even if he was serving well, Nando still could have won; it just would’ve been a better match.

Anyhow, what’s done is done. And this is still tennis to be played.


jane Says:

madmax, trying to get over my despair with humour. Usually works. ha ha. No Nando has beaten Djok twice before, and has played him close a number of times. But Djok had won the last 5 matches till today.


Duro Says:

I feel embarrassed. Novak embarrassed himself and his fans. Since I feel ashamed to post, the only right thing to do is to leave and come back if he deserves it. So long everyone.


jane Says:

Awww Duro. Cheer up. Novak will eventually get back to his old self. It’s just a matter of time (she gulps and crosses fingers and toes). This week wasn’t a bust, just today was. At least it was in the semis and not the first round like at Miami!


Kimmi Says:

Duro, you have to post on good times and bad times..not good time only! So stay and wish Verdasco and rafa a good final!


Sean Randall Says:

I’ll be interested to hear what if anything was ailing Novak. He had a potty break and reports above had him blowing his nose, etc.


Ben Pronin Says:

Madmax, what I mean is, when Federer plays bad, he fights to the end. Of all the things that’s overlooked about him, he went 194 matches without losing in straight sets. That means no matter how good or bad he or his opponent were playing, he would not lose in less than 3 sets. So even when he’s blowing match points to guys who are just dying to beat him, it’s not that bad. 4-6 7-6 6-7 is a much better scoreline to lose by than 2-6 1-6 or 2-6 2-6. I mean seriously, number 2 and 4 in the world getting destroyed like that? And there’s no brilliant play in between for them. Federer has random stretches of good play in between his 60 UEs, but Djokovic and Murray don’t. And I don’t think it’s because they can’t, it’s mental, they just accept they’re playing bad. Bodo actually wrote a brilliant article about this yesterday. The difference between Nadal and Djokovic is that Djokovic feels like everything is against him whereas Nadal understands you win some you lose some but you always have to move on.

Compared to Federer, Djokovic and Murray are the youngsters. But technically I can’t really call them that since I’m younger than them.

I don’t think Duro should stop posting but I agree with his embarrassment. It’s not the poor play that bothers me it’s the inexcusable poor body language and the mentality of giving up when things are bad.


sar Says:

Good win for tabasco. I hope he can win but we know the odds of that happening.

Agree Max, Novak looking fluey, eww blowing into the towel. Crap serve, tons of errors. Heart NOT in it. Doesn’t lose too many points. Did not want to stand next to Nadal with a plate.


Kimmi Says:

good points ben. So you are younger than 22. hmmmm!


stu Says:

“It’s not the poor play that bothers me it’s the inexcusable poor body language and the mentality ogf giving up when things are bad.”

Exactly. He needs to drop the pity-me attitude.


sar Says:

Ben you seem much older. You do a wonderful job here.


stu Says:

Possible, sar. Didn’t want to stand next to Rafa with a plate. Again.


Kimmi Says:

djoko had patches of brilliance this week..so, he is in a much better position than murray. but he is definetly struggling this year. he likes clay courts, so he has time to re-group when he gets more matches in his belt.

Murray is the one in big trouble right now..
he is in barcelona training at the moment and will not enter the tournament next week.

hopefully, this time off will help him to re-focus!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Anyone have a handle on the points standings with these results and these two in the final?


Ben Pronin Says:

Thanks, sar.

I have to give credit to where credit is due, though. Verdasco played some of the best tennis I’ve seen from him in a while. What I liked was the he was going for his serves. That’s something he started to do right before last year’s AO run and it did him wonders. Since then he’s went back and forth with that but today he hit some second serve aces. He won’t outlast Nadal but he does have the fire power to beat him. If he can keep the points short and try to push Nadal back, then we’re in for a treat. But, like everyone says, it’s in Verdasco’s head. Someone needs to carve it into his hand or something so that he has some sort of constant reminder: “You CAN beat Nadal. You CAN beat him. You WILL win.” Something like that. Obviously Nadal isn’t going down easily, but he sure as hell can win easily and I don’t think any fan wants to see a blow-out final. Considering the last 5 MC finals have been great matches, Verdasco has high expectations to live up to.


jane Says:

By all means -I agree with you Ben that Djok needs to be more positive and perhaps fight harder. Although, with a s–t serve, and facing Nando’s good lefty serve, that’s a little tough, but yeah, he could’ve given more today. That said, at least he’s not retiring. He takes the loss and moves on.

Sean’s trying to stir the pot(ty) but I don’t think Djok blowing his nose is worth a whiff. He just couldn’t serve and in addition was outplayed by Nando.

I don’t agree that Murray and Djoko don’t have stretches of good play in between their bad play periods, however. Djok’s first 3 matches here were good. No great, but solid. Or do you mean during a match? Perhaps I misunderstood that comment.


Ben Pronin Says:

I mean during the match.


Kimmi Says:

skeezer, someone was working out points in this link. you need to add 240 for nadal and verdasco though..it not updated yet.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A66356670


jane Says:

Ben, oh okay – yeah it’s true that when Murray and Djok have bad days they seem to be really bad days/matches. But again, we can’t say this is always true. Djoko was up and down versus Fish in IW and fought hard against Kohls to get the W there too. He ground out all his wins at Dubai and even at the DC matches so he showed some fight then. Murray played pretty well at IW until he faced Sod. Both played crap in Miami. And both losses here were bad too, though Djoko’s came later in the event. Maybe they’ll come around in this regard, and maybe not. Just have to wait and see I guess.


madmax Says:

Ben, now you have explained what you meant, I understand. Thanks.

That is what makes federer so great – he is just a class act.

As you know, anything can happen in tennis, a quick run of good fortune, a minor/major (no pun intended!), setback, can change things in a flash.

Novak was not brilliant today, but he has struggled this tournament. Some flashes of brilliance, and some mediocre play.

DURO I AM SO GLAD YOU ARE BACK! I HOPE YOUR FATHER IS ON THE MEND, HAVE BEEN THINKING OF YOU OFTEN! You must absolutely not go away, (now that you are back amongst friends). You are here, as Kimmi said, in good times and in bad), but Novak is young, has made a major change, (got rid of Todd), things can only get better for him. Dont be down for too long – what’s the point?

Ben, you do seem a lot older, are you using your “showbiz age?” :)


sar Says:

With Bryans out my other dubs team at least won today, Nestor and Z….yeah. Tomorrow they face Bhupathi and Mirnyi.


anel Says:

Congratulations to better player today.
Duro brother next time do not be so sure and you will save your self from embarrassment.
To be honest I do not feel any better then You.
Friendly greeting.
Jane, thank You for every thing done for our Nole.
I Hope and pray,but I am Worried.


skeezerweezer Says:

Thanks Kimmi!

And “hugs” to you, Madmax( can you see the sun over there? :( ), and the others for doing the blow by blows. Again, missed the match. So it really helps us that don’t get a feel for how the match went…

About the points, amazing Fed doesn’t play and will only drop a measly 75 points……


jane Says:

Djoko says ““He played very good, but I think I made his win much easier because I made so much unforced errors.” Indeed – Fernando might’ve won anyway but Novak’s play probably helped his make his efforts smoother (I read at one site Novak made 42 UEs in those 2 sets).

Well it takes two to tango and I guess we know who was leading today.

anel – I am a little concerned, too, but overall a better week. Cheers!


Fot Says:

I didn’t see the Nadal match (too early for me here), but I did see the Djokovic match and Verdasco just outo played Novak. He deserves to be in the final based on how both played. However – he has NO chance (I think) against Nadal. Every time Verdasco plays Nadal, even if he (Verdasco) is playing great, he will choke the match away or something happens in his mind that makes him ‘lose’ the match – plus, Nadal is just a better player than Verdasco. I think it’ll be 2 quick sets, unfortunately. Nadal will have his first title in – what – 11 months? Or something like that – and everything will be fine in the Nadal camp because he’s back on his beloved clay. Even though Roger won Madrid and the French last year, the clay season is still my least favorite so I’m just tolerating this season until it’s over! lol!

On the women – I see Wozniacki is in another SF. Maybe it’s just me, but I just do NOT like Wozniacki’s game and she’s #2 in the world! *pulls hair out*! Zvonareva is leading her 4-1 in the first set but you know I must be desperate backing someone as unstable as Zvonareva to beat Wozniacki! lol!


linda Says:

Federer has 5000 points to defend between Madrid and Wimbledon, he wasn’t doing well this time last year, so he is not under any pressure at the moment.

If Rafa can defend his points up to RG, the pressure will be off because he can only gain points up to to the point he came back from injury last year.


Ezorra Says:

Ouch! that was definitely hurt! poor wozniacki…


jane Says:

Verdasco says of the final: “”The best surface to play him (Nadal) would be grass or hardcourt,” “But it will here on clay and I cannot change that. I will try and handle this as best as I can. I will take my chances although he does not give many chances on this surface.”"

source: http://www.tennis-open.net/news.php?nid=5381&lang=en


Ezorra Says:

“After the performances I had in Miami and Indian Wells, this is great. I have to consider this as a success and move on…” – Djokovic

Great attitude! Loved it.. loooved it!


Ben Pronin Says:

Honestly, I don’t like that attitude. He may have played better throughout the tournament, but he exited the same way he exited in Miami and IW. Also, how many semifinals/finals is he going to make until he gets sick of it? He’s supposed to be a champion and champions win the titles. It’s good that he made it deep, but his attitude still needs work.


Huh Says:

Not happy with Nole losing. :(


jane Says:

Hi Huh – hope you’re well.

Ezorra, although I like Hotsauce, am very much hoping your Rafa gets this title; he needs this one, as it’s been a while and will give him a confidence boost. He looks SO focused in every picture I’ve seen of him; he is not about to celebrate or underestimate anyone now.


Ezorra Says:

Ben says:
“Bodo actually wrote a brilliant article about this yesterday. The difference between Nadal and Djokovic is that Djokovic feels like everything is against him whereas Nadal understands you win some you lose some but you always have to move on.”

Sorry Ben, I’m lost!


jane Says:

Ben, which is better: obsess over the loss, not get over it, let it get in his head and become negative, OR accept the loss, find the positives, and move on? I don’t think Djok’s saying he’s happy with his play today, but he’s saying this week’s an improvement and that it’s a step in the right direction. It’s not good when he doesn’t get over losses, and it’s not good when he does move on from them? What’s he gonna do then? : /


Fot Says:

I actually don’t like Verdasco’s attitude! lol! It seems like he thinks he’s already lost before the final (of course we all know he has, but HE needs to think he can win) lol! Oh well.

They are actually pitting a clock on the amount of time Hantuchova is taking beween points. She’s around 31-32 seconds between points and she seems fast comparing her to some of the men (no names mentioned) lol!


Ben Pronin Says:

Sorry, it was Tignor not Bodo. I can’t summarize well.

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/thewrap/2010/04/theatre-of-the-stressful.html

Jane, he shouldn’t obsess over it and yeah it’s important to see it as progress. But with Djokovic, you get the feeling that even if this was his 6th semifinal in a row, he’d still be happy with it. He needs to motivate himself to cross the finish line, not just come close.


Ezorra Says:

Thanks Jane. Me too! (obviously). However anything can happen at this stage. I’ll be very sad if Nadal fails to win the title tomorrow. From my point of view, Verdasco is a very tricky player. Like Nadal, he is also lefty player so I assume Nadal’s forehand might not work as effective as when he played against other players. I also believe that Verdasco’s serve and the number of unforced errors he makes will be the other factors that will determine the pattern of the tomorrow’s match.

Vamos Rafa!


jane Says:

Ben, thanks for posting that link; I like Tignor’s writing, though I know some don’t. This line ” While I’ve always thought of an excuse as a kind of lie to yourself, he says that it’s rarely a lie at all, that most excuses are, to some degree, true” is topical. It’s a fine line between an excuse and an explanation. BUT I also found it interesting when he writes about how a player may start subconsciously listening to the excuses/explanations building in his head rather than focusing on the game/set/match itself! It does seem that both Murray and Djok may do that – they start trying to analyze why they are losing instead of focusing on the match itself. On the contrary, I don’t think Fed or Nadal do that. They seem to stay so focused on the match.

To reiterate Sampras: “you win with your heart and your mind”. Djok and Murray should go get tattoos of that or something. :)


Ben Pronin Says:

I can’t speak on Djokovic or Murray’s behalf, but it’s amazing how much I get the article. I know when I play tennis, due to all the tennis I’ve watched over the years, I commentate in my head. In my “commentating” I will usually explain why I’m playing well or poorly or whatever it is. The double edged sword is that I think so quickly so as soon as I miss the shot I’ll have a long drawn out excuse. I think I see that in Djokovic a lot. He knows exactly what happened and whatnot and he accepts it as an inevitability. It’s like sometimes you’re too busy talking to yourself about your footwork and serve that you forget that you’re still playing and have to win.

Also, that whole thing about how the score in tennis makes it one of the most stressful/pressure-filled sports is rather amazing. I never even thought about it before but it’s so true. You can hold serve at love while taking your opponent to deuce on all his service games but if you lose the tiebreaker, it doesn’t matter how well you played before that. Crazy, damn tennis.


sam Says:

Jane : To reiterate Sampras: “you win with your heart and your mind”. Djok and Murray should go get tattoos of that or something. :)

LOL :)))


Naresh Says:

Just saw the repeat of the Nadalv Ferrer match. Nadal’s playing awesome. We all know how good his forehand is, but he was hitting some kileer backhands too, so that shows he’s in great form. Ferrer on the hand hit way too many errors. It was like he just didn’t want to rally with Nadal and so tried to finish off points asap. I think if he was a little more patient he might’ve given Nadal a much tougher fight. In the end he was as error prone or maybe even more error prone than Nole was against Verdasco !


funches Says:

I don’t think Djokovic wanted any part of playing Rafa in the final. That contributed to his typically terrible body language and the “not feeling well” on court.

I’ve seen him win several matches while exhibiting that lousy body language, though. Credit to Verdasco, who’s having the clay court tournament of his life, for ignoring it.

Verdasco played the best match I’ve ever seen a losing player play in Australia against Rafa in 2009. Alas, that was on hard courts. He does not move well enough to hang with Rafa on the dirt unless Rafa gets nervous about his title drought.


Duro Says:

Maxi, dear… We seem to be at different threads all the time. I left you a personal note yesterday on the thread bellow this one. Consider it seriously. I’d very much like it to happen.


Ben Pronin Says:

So Djokovic tanked?


Duro Says:

anel, to clarify it, I wasn’t feeling embarrassed because of me being sure, I was embarrassed because of Novak’s play. Novak embarrassed us.

I want to apologize to all Novak’s fans because of his performance today. He ashamed us. Period.


Voicemale1 Says:

Vaerdasco & Nadal played in the Madrid Quarters last year. Nadal won the opening set, and then fell back a Double Vreak at 0-4 i the Secod Set before rallying to take the match 7-5. The altitude there helped Verdasco’s Serve. He won’t have that in his favor tomorrow. There is the possibility Nadal could tighten up since he hasn’t won in while. Having said that…

..he’s not playing like he’s tight at all. He’s moving as well as he ever has – as if he has no fear moving at optimum movement on clay will injure or aggravate his knee. And he’s hitting a little bigger and much deeper more often than he used to – even on clay. He used to construct points on clay as a War of Attrition, waiting for the opponent’s lungs to collapse, or arm to turn to jelly, or legs to buckle. Not this year. His matches are averaging WELL under 90 minutes (two of them under 60 minutes), going for the kill as soon as the opportunity arises. In his last two matches, he’s played the two guys who cut up all the previous 2010 clay titles between them in Ferrero & Ferrer and lost only 11 games in four sets. Up to this point, he’s played as good or better here than he has since he went through the French in 2008 without dropping a set. He’s getting scary again.


Ben Pronin Says:

It shouldn’t be surprising Nadal is playing so well. He is only 23 and he’s been added more and more variety to his game over the years. The question will be how long his body will allow him to play so well. Until then, we can expect him to dominate the clay .


jane Says:

The way VM1 describes Nadal’s form (I haven’t seen his matches due to time difference), Nadal could be very scary on grass too. If he is hitting deeper and looking to end points quicker, that could translate incredibly well to grass, where he already plays well and moves well. Plus, from the FO through the grass season, Nadal will only gain. Could this foreshadow his ultimate return to the top? I don’t know, maybe I am leaping ahead. But we’ve seen him get there before, and when he’s determined he’s one of the most difficult players on tour to stop, coupled with Fed, of course. : )


anel Says:

Duro, I am sorry that You feel that way.Novak did not say that he is going to win 100%.That was us fans who were sure in his win.So You should not apologize in his name.His performance was bad and it ashamed himself and made me sad and You angry.My hart goes to Nole because he made us many times happy,and he must be sad today.I did not want to make You more angry,sorry Duro.


Kimmi Says:

VM1, its easier to see somebody is very good when there is no competition. I saw nadal matches and he had played excellent but he has not been tested and will probably not be in this tournament.

If djoko was playing well like last year, it would have been a good gage for rafa…to beat him in straight set 3 and 3 or 4 and 4 and say now i am really playing well, almost back to my level best (2008).

maybe he will not get a better contest this year because most of players that could challenge him are either injuried or slumping. What is important for him is to bag more titles and get his RG back.

Anyways, we will see what happenned, as I said previously..tennis needs nadal back and very glad he is.


stu Says:

Ben, I agree. Enough semis and finals already!

I like your analysis about Djokovic having a conversation with himself and analyzing his shots while he is playing. I also think he feels dejected if he as loses a few unlucky points and can’t shake off the feeling that he is cursed. He really needs to STOP feeling sorry for himself. Take a leaf out of Rafa’s book; the guy lost possibly the best months of his life due to injury and still came back strong with the fight intact. I’m sick of all the excuses – not enough training in Serbia, bad weather, illness, bad luck, surface change, Madrid flashbacks. Either live with that attitude and give up all hopes of getting to #1, or start focussing on winning matches. _All_ the matches in most tournaments.


jane Says:

stu, In the presser, he talks about how when his serve went off it was in his head [not sure if he means in this match or over the last little while]. This is the quote: “Just got automatically in my head that I lost my balance in the serve, I lost the rhythm. It’s not easy to get it back. ” So it’s similar to what we’re talking about, lack of focus etc. The full presser is at the Monte Carlo site.

Anyhow, the final is tomorrow and I am still looking forward to that and more clay matches.


anel Says:

Stu it looks like You expected to much from Novak.It is very easy to do analysis.If You are sick of all the excuses,become fan of Nadal or Rogers or be the fan of all the winners or start playing tennis yourself.


skeezerweezer Says:

Stu,

Way to go on letting your Fav have it. You and other Nole fans have the passion, he needs it. Give it to him. Let him have it! C’mon Nole!!!?

I hope for you the Nole fans he comes to grip with the excuse thing. You’re right about Rafa, and Fed is the same. Heck , Fed was crying a little over a year ago at the AO and ALL the commentators were saying Rafa is the King now. What happened? The Maestro returned to full glory, with two new children and a marriage to boot.

Nole needs to look up to those two guys and study more, he needs that kind of mental heart. I mean he has beaten the guys above him, WTF?

He has the shotmaking, and the movement when he is not mysteriously ailing? I am confused, because I have seen him very tough mentally in matches. He had a stretch at one time where he would most always start slow and finish strong to win, not an easy thing to do.

In his defense, watching his young career he seems to have a mysterious condition, asthma? I don’t know, someone help me here maybe that flares up quickly? This isn’t the first time I have seen him come out to a match flat when the previous rounds he looks like a stud. Not to take away Hotsauces glory, he deserved it and took it…..


Ben Pronin Says:

The problem, if you want to call it that, for Djokovic fans is that he HAD this passion and drive when he first burst onto the scene. With Murray, he’s always been a head case and his attitude started to improve. Right now he’s struggling with his old-type of head case problems, but I feel like he’ll straighten out again because he’s done it before and the first time is always harder than subsequent times.

As for Djokovic, let’s look back at 2007. He claimed he could beat Federer in Australia but he lost in 3 fairly straight-forward sets. He would take a set off Federer in Dubai. He made his first Masters final and lost something like the first 12 points against Nadal. About a week later in Miami, he beats Nadal in straight sets (that match was AMAZING from both ends, btw). Wins Miami. Has a decent clay season where he wins Estoril, reaches the semis of FO and Wimbledon. Beats the top 3 in Montreal, finals of USO, burns out by the end. Wins the AO, wins IW, then it stops. For a year, he was sky rocketing. And he was determined, bloody thirsty, practically unstoppable in his quest to be the best. But then he falls apart. His results have still be there, but he’s not challenging for the slams like he used to because he doesn’t have that drive and passion. And I look at it like, when’s he going to get it back? And every time he fails to, it sucks.

I’ve been wondering where all this self-pitying started. Unlike Roddick, who can legitimately claim bad luck for being born in Federer’s era, Djokovic has a pretty good record against him. He’s beaten him in a slam, has wins over him on clay and hard, and even beat him in his back yard. Why pity yourself? The Roddick incident is fairly unrelated to being born in this era. The Safin loss is like, who cares? It’s Safin, it happens. With most players, Federer is the grim reaper, but with Djokovic, I think it’s Nadal. I think his troubles really began when he pushed so hard to beat Nadal in Hamburg and then at the FO, but fell short both times. These matches planted the seed of “I hate this time period” in his head. From that point, it seems like he really accepted his doomed fate, which fuggin sucks.


skeezerweezer Says:

Ben,

“well said”


stu Says:

Playing devils advocate now, on the wrong era thing, I think he made that statement as a joke and it was sensationalized. It’s not completely untrue that he’s had his share of bad luck from 06 to 08 tho, ranked 3 and meeting rafa at the semis of clay events and roger at hc events…although in 08 and 09 when they were playing at a lower level, he decided to become a head case.

anel, I’m doing fine in my chosen career, thanks.


skeezerweezer Says:

And another thing,,,,,,

That perplexes me, again I say where did all the Rafa fans go? I know Mindy and a few others posted, but there use to be some passionate Rafatards up here? C’mon? Let’s here it!

You know if Fed, Murray, Nole, Roddick was in the final of a tourney the blog would never stop tickin…

I mean who likes Hotsauce? I know Kimmi does and she is a likin’ it!

Shammmon!


stu Says:

Sneezer ur right- if the asthma story is true, I take back all my criticism!


stu Says:

Skeezer ur right- if the asthma story is true, I take back all my criticism!


stu Says:

Sorry skeezer! My phone autocorrected it to sneezer ;)


jane Says:

“Sneezer” weezer kinda works! Maybe you have breathing issues? Hence you’re “out” a lot. LOL.

Seriously, though, I’ve often wondered to where Rafa’s fans have vanished also; are they all drinking read wine in Spain? Well, Ezorra and Mindy pop in, Voicemale1 does too. But there used to be more, like Kroll, and zola, and rafafan, and, well, I don’t know – I can’t remember names too well. Anyhow, now’s the time to hear from them indeed. It’s Rafa time.


Von Says:

funches: “I’ve seen him win several matches while exhibiting that lousy body language, though. Credit to Verdasco, who’s having the clay court tournament of his life, for ignoring it.”

Yes, so have I, and it’s one of the reasons I don’t like watching his matches, it’s a sort of gamesmanship tactic. Unfortunately, for the lesser ranked players, they buy into his histrionics, thinking that he’ll fold, and they lose, but kudos to Verdasco, he didn’t, hence he won.

____________________
skeezer:

Do you really think that there’s freedom of speech here on the blog? That sholuld serve as an answer to your question.


Mindy Says:

Ben,

You don’t know Rafa, so don’t complain about his attitude! If you knew him, you would realize that he never says what he’s thinking in interviews. He keeps a lot to himself. He doesn’t want his competitors to know what is going on inside his head or anyone else for that matter.

Maybe you want him to say that he is fed up, mad as hell and not going to take it anymore! But that’s not Rafa. He had one rare display of anger and frustration on that changeover in the third set of his semifinal match with Roddick. That tells me all I need to know about how he was feeling. Rafa keeps his cards close to his vest and shows very little.

Rafa also doesn’t talk himself up all the time. I have no doubt that Rafa is sick of losing and just getting to semis in tournaments. The guy has a champion’s heart, so he will never be satisfied with anything less than winning. The difference with Rafa is that instead of doing the talking with his mouth, he does his talking with his racket! I think everyone has gotten the message loud and clear this week! The King of Clay wants his most prized possession – a RG trophy – back!

I never take anything for granted these days. Verdasco has the ability to raise his game and give Rafa trouble, but if anyone is thinking of a smaller version of AO 2009, forget it! Verdasco hasn’t played as well as he back then. He could play out of his mind tomorrow, but Rafa wants this so bad he can taste it! I think Rafa will do whatever he had to do to get the win, defend his points from last year, earn his sixth straight title here and announce to the rest of the players that he is back!


Mindy Says:

skeezerweezer,

I am here, as you can see from my post above. I am thrilled to see Rafa in the final! I don’t know where the other Rafa fans are. Did you guys scare them all away?


Ben Pronin Says:

Mindy I wasn’t complaining about Nadal’s attitude, I was complaining about Djokovic.

I wish Djokovic had Nadal’s attitude. Are you kidding me? I was utterly shocked by Nadal’s frustration in Miami for the simple fact that he never does that. I’ve been watching him since 2004 and in 6 years I’ve never seen him do that. Djokovic? He’s showing frustration every other point, at best. With Nadal, not only will he break his drought, but he’s going to continue collecting big titles. Djokovic’s last title was only a few months ago, Dubai, but what is Dubai? It’s incredibly hard to actually rely on him to win a big title. Nadal? Cmon, it’s Nadal. 15 Masters and 6 slams, and counting. I don’t think anyone could possibly complain about his attitude, he’s a true champion and fighter at heart.


skeezerweezer Says:

Mindy,

I hope not. Glad to see your post and your passion for your fav :). Looks like a great start this year for his comeback this year all in all….

Ben,

So I hope it puts to rest that “hit to the leg” by Rafa on the changeover in Miami WASN”T a injury that posters were claiming……


skeezerweezer Says:

“stu Says:

Sorry skeezer! My phone autocorrected it to sneezer ;)”

“jane Says:

“Sneezer” weezer kinda works! Maybe you have breathing issues? Hence you’re “out” a lot. LOL”

Actaully, I have had a bad cold I am getting over so no worries “Sneezer” makes absolute sense……LOL :)


skeezerweezer Says:

“stu Says:

Sorry skeezer! My phone autocorrected it to sneezer ;)”

Regarding phone autocorrected, I have the same experience when I type in “Rafa” it changes to “Fed” :)


margot Says:

anel@6.54: like loads of players but Murray my top one and usually I accept it’s gonna be a roller coaster and that’s OK. That’s said not enjoying current stop in the water trough….
Ben@7.36: yes,I agree, Murray always has been a “head case” as you say, though I don’t think this ongoing wrist injury is very helpful to his mental state, not to mention your hopes of glory. However, like with Djko I feel a couple of years ago Murray had a lot more fire in his belly and that I find really worrying.
sneezer- weezer: gr8 blog name lol. You and Djko both.


madmax Says:

skeezerweezer Says:
Thanks Kimmi!

And “hugs” to you, Madmax( can you see the sun over there? :( ),

Hugs to you too skeeze, hoping for a competitive match today with rafa and verdy. really am.

DURO, hi. didnt see your message, so am going to search for it now. hugs to you.

Top story: Novak Djokovic: My Wrist Injury Isn't That Bad, I Will Play Madrid!
Most Recent story: Maria Sharapova Has A New Nike Ad And It Includes Boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov [Video]
  • Recent Comments
Rankings
ATP - Apr 21 WTA - Apr 21
1 Rafael Nadal1 Serena Williams
2 Novak Djokovic2 Na Li
3 Stanislas Wawrinka3 Agnieszka Radwanska
4 Roger Federer4 Victoria Azarenka
5 David Ferrer5 Simona Halep
6 Tomas Berdych6 Petra Kvitova
7 Juan Martin Del Potro7 Angelique Kerber
8 Andy Murray8 Jelena Jankovic
9 Milos Raonic9 Maria Sharapova
10 John Isner10 Dominika Cibulkova
More: Tennis T-Shirts | Tennis Twitter | Live Tennis Scores | Headlines

Copyright © 2003-2013 Tennis-X.com. All rights reserved.
This website is an independently operated source of news and information and is not affiliated with any professional organizations.