Nadal Baking More Breadsticks on Clay, Nears Soderling Rematch in Rome
by Sean Randall | April 28th, 2010
  • 153 Comments

If you are Robin Soderling, do you really want to even play Rafael Nadal on Friday? That is question in front of the Swede who is just a Stan Wawrinka away from a going face-to-face again with Nadal. And not just any Nadal. A pissed off, angry Nadal out for revenge.

Soderling of course has to beat the Swiss, no easy task. While Nadal, based on his recent performance shouldn’t have any trouble against Victor Hanescu. Earlier today, Rafa continued on his torrid clay run hammering Phil Kohlschreiber 6-1, 6-3.

“It wasn’t my best match but it was a correct match,” the four-time Rome champ Nadal said. “I did well, I played safe, I played focused all the time and Philipp tried to play more aggressive for a few moments but he made more mistakes than usual and that helped me a little bit. Philipp is a tough opponent and to play against him in the third round was a challenge for me. I am very happy about my victory.”

It wasn’t his best match? Amazing. I guess since he actually lost three games in a set, I’d be upset, too. This month on clay only three times has an opponent even won more than two games in a set against Rafa: Juan Carlos Ferrero won four, Ferrer three and today Kohlscreiber.

Even though he says he isn’t, the guy is playing some scary, scary tennis right now.

Also today, Soderling, Fernando Verdasco and David Ferrer all tripped up Italians. Ivan Ljubicic scored a mild upset win over Nicolas Almagro. But Spain got revenge on Croatia as Feliciano Lopez knocked out the suddenly struggling Marin Cilic who seemingly hasn’t won a darn thing since teaming with Goran Ivanisevic last month.

Lleyton Hewitt’s nice week ended at the hands of Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Wawrinka got the win of the day by doing something Roger Federer couldn’t do in Miami, defeating Tomas Berdych in a third set breaker.

And speaking of Federer, the World No. 1 got another win playing doubles with bud Yves Allegro. That’s what friends are for, right? Roger and Yves beat dubs specialists Paul Hanley and Simon Aspelin.

That all makes for a great line-up for Thursday’s third round. In addition to Soderling v. Wawrinka we get Novak Djokovic v. Thomas Bellucci plus Andy Murray v. David Ferrer. A trio of great matchups, take your pick.

On a hunch I’ll take Wawrinka who was a finalist in Rome a few years ago. I really don’t get the sense that he wants that rematch against Nadal.

“The body feels good,” Robin said today. “I know I’ve played a lot of matches and it’s tough to stay 100 per cent focused all the time and so it is something you really have to work on but so far I feel really good.”

Tough to stay focused? He’s already sounding like someone who’s at the end of his line.

That said, I’ll be Robin’s biggest fan tomorrow because I want to see him play Nadal again.

As for Djokovic, he’s been a real enigma. One day good, next day bad. He played great against Chardy in the opener and he’ll have to play just as well to beat Bellucci. And I think he will. The two have never played and Thomas has never won a match over a Top 10 player so I like the Serb.

Ferrer and Murray is another toss-up. Ferrer’s been hot, Murray not. I’ll go with the hot guy Ferrer. But a Murray win wouldn’t surprise me. Andy got a strong win over Seppi yesterday and that might be all that he needs to get out of his funk.

CENTER COURT start 1:00 PM
[WC] T Bellucci (BRA) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)
E Gulbis (LAT) vs [WC] F Volandri (ITA)
[13] D Ferrer (ESP) vs [4] A Murray (GBR)

Not Before 8:30 PM
[3] R Nadal (ESP) vs V Hanescu (ROU)
[WC] S Bolelli (ITA) / P Starace (ITA) vs [8] M Knowles (BAH) / B Soares (BRA)

PIETRANGELI start 1:00 pm
[6] F Verdasco (ESP) vs G Garcia-Lopez (ESP)
[7] J Tsonga (FRA) vs [Q] S Giraldo (COL)
[11] I Ljubicic (CRO) vs F Lopez (ESP)
S Wawrinka (SUI) vs [5] R Soderling (SWE)


Also Check Out:
Soderling Bows Out Ahead of Nadal Rome Challenge; Djokovic, Verdasco Meet Again
Nadal vs. Soderling French Final After Fade by Berdych
Federer, Nadal Seeded to Meet in Rome Semifinals
Back To Red: Can Nadal, Djokovic Regain Their Form In Rome?
Watch These Fans Meet Roger Federer In Moment Of A Lifetime [Video]

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

Get Tennis-X news FREE in your inbox every day

153 Comments for Nadal Baking More Breadsticks on Clay, Nears Soderling Rematch in Rome

Miss Sydney Says:

I sooo want a Nadal v Soderling rematch. Rafa will crush him!


Kimmi Says:

careful what you wish for miss sydney….


jane Says:

Hope Gulbis continues on past Volondri, Fed’s Rome killer of yore; Tsonga looked dominant against Troicki today, but it’ll be interesting to watch his match against this crazy Qualie-Columbo-Giraldo whose been blasting through the draw. Bellucci beat the big serving Isner today, so Djok better have a good serve and a better return tomorrow. And Murray better be prepared to run. I think Murray can beat Ferrer but he needs to serve better than he did against Seppi as David’s a much better returner than Seppi. So is Murray too though. Fingers crossed!


Kimmi Says:

Good luck to all players especially Muzza and hot sauce. You can do it!


Von Says:

I wonder if Nadal would be interested in buying a bread machine? It’s a lot easier than kneading the dough manually. LOLZ


Mindy Says:

Von,

Thanks for the link! Yay!! Rafa is finally realizing what is important. He has to reduce his schedule, play smart and take care of those knees! I want to see him play a lot more tennis and break more records!

Thank God reason has prevailed!


Lion Says:

I dont want robin to play nadal tomorrow. The next time he should play nadal should be on grass at wimbledon and then at the USopen, both of which will suit Robin’s game better.

Enough of rafa fattening his H2Hs on clay.


steve Says:

It’s a trade-off. He needs lots of wins to build momentum and play his best, but he can no longer enter every clay tournament like he used to.

Excess was success for him when he was younger, now excess is no longer possible.


contador Says:

as a soda pop fan, i have to agree with you , Lion.

though when you watch the RG highlights of that soda/ rafa match, i does not look at all like rafa is having knee trouble. i think more his (rafa’s confidence was shaky after the madrid loss over federer, but after RG he was forced to face the chronic patella issues, his personal challenges (parents divorce) and take some time for recovery and adjustment.

became a long road back but he is back more a monster on clay than ever.

nope i don’t really want to see that demolition of my mr. dimples. rather have birdie take the beating. he’s used to it. poor tomas, though.

about the matches on now:

NO! i see bellucci is not making this easy for nole. AJDE NOLE! break back buddy!

hot sauce is still da man. unbelievable nando’s fitness! he could challenge rafa and win, if he’d have an ounce of confidence against spain’s #1, instead of lying down for a beating.


contador Says:

Yay! djoko through to quarterfinal. was a tougher contest, but that’s great.

he’ll need it.

next up Erno!


OllyK Says:

pheeew…WTG, Nole! :) I thought it would be easier today, but win is a win.
I’m soo happy cause I finally watched him play…I missed it so so much. And I like his new shirt with wings on the back. He’ll need them, I’m sure! :) Ajde, Noleee! :)


Polo Says:

Djokovic seems to be playing with a better attitude now. He looks calmer and more focused to me. Even Coach Vajda looks more composed and happy.


Skorocel Says:

“If you are Robin Soderling, do you really want to even play Rafael Nadal on Friday? That is question in front of the Swede who is just a Stan Wawrinka away from a going face-to-face again with Nadal.”

“It wasn’t his best match? Amazing. I guess since he actually lost three games in a set, I’d be upset, too.

LOL :-)

=========

„That said, I’ll be Robin’s biggest fan tomorrow because I want to see him play Nadal again.“

Me too! ;-)


contador Says:

hi ollyK-

was nervous for nole in that 2nd set but i loved what i saw. what a forehand today! and way to fast for belucci.

i’ve been looking at the leader board on the atp site and anticipating (understatement) the gulbis match, wondering if he’ll keep his pants fresh and make it past volandri.

however, most of the stars on the leader board pick volandri.


contador Says:

Scorocel-

oh i forgot, it’s wawa up next not birdie against my swede.

wawa played a great match yesterday. he put a dent in my chances to rise in the picks. 10 off from the winners right now. but nole winning and hot sauce helps.

i don’t think anyone can touch rafa. just hoping whoever ( nole ) gets to the final they don’t shrink at the challenge.

GO GULBIS!


contador Says:

flippo gave erno that break.

erno looks very nervous again though. c’mon hold.

viva ernie!


OllyK Says:

Hi, contador!
He was good, but not as good as I wanted him to be! :P (ok, maybe I’m expecting too much, but…). I was mesmerised with some of his backhands down the line today..definitely his best shot when its on! :)
I think Gulbis will win today! I really do. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for him!


contador Says:

I dunno Ollyk

Ernie looks very nervous. must be pressure after such a huge win over federer and now playing an italian favorite.

Gulbis! chill, man.


O-Kerr Says:

conty, are you watching Earnie’s match?


contador Says:

and….most of the top “guesser” picked volandri to win at this point over federer! lol….poor ernie.

he’s too nervous. volandri looks shaky too but at least he has his fans to boost him.


contador Says:

O-Kerr-

are you kidding?

yes, i am!


MarkoPolo Says:

Patchy play from Nole, but a win is a win!!!! Serve is still erratic at times…..Stepping it up from this point on, is a must for Nole! Next is probably going to be Verdasco, even though Garcia-Lopez is giving him a run for his money in the 2nd. The 2nd set just went to a tie break!!!!


contador Says:

ernie with a second break.

now HOLD this time. keep your focus, pretend flippo is federer.

fight ernie fight! to much cursing yourself already.


Kent Says:

Would it be too much to ask for another Soderling upset? Probably. He might, if he plays his best knock out-tennis hemight be able to clinch a set. Or he might lose against Wawrinka today.


Polo Says:

Contador, it may not be a good idea for Gulbis to pretend that Volandri is Federer. He may do something in his pants again!


O-Kerr Says:

Earnie won’t be easy for Rafa if he continues to play in this form.


contador Says:

LOL! i don’t care what condition his pants are in hahahhaa

just won, baby! poop the pants and win.


Polo Says:

Would it be appropriate to call Gulbis a Federer party pooper? And wouldn’t it be amazing if he poops on everybody in this tournament?


contador Says:

LOLzzzzz


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Hey- where are all those experts who told us a few months ago that Nadal’s elite-level career was over, who explained so condescendingly to us meatheads that a player whose success depended altogether on his wheels and aura of invincibility could never dominate without those two aspects at their peak level?

Love to hear from you,
Vagabond


contador Says:

uh TV, “those are in a hole somewhere, where the ones who said federer’s career was over last year this time.

c’mon gulbis. don’t let him break. you don’t want the italian fans going loco


Polo Says:

Vagabond, do not bother them because they are too busy eating their own words…with a side of bagels that Nadal has been scattering all over the place.


jane Says:

Polo – Gulbis as party pooper, LOL!!

Slept through Nole’s match as was just too early to get up. I am happy he’s made it to the QFs. If he was patchy against Bellucci, it may be the end of the line with Tobasco Hotsauce up next, but whatever will be, will be, and all that. Hope Nole can win and keep going. Still have fingers crossed for Murray vs. Nole in the semis.

Meanwhile – Go Ernests!!


jane Says:

Ha Ha Polo – you are “on” today, our resident comedian. I love the side of bagels comment, and add some breadsticks too of course. All those carbs must be keeping Rafa’s critics stuffed and quiet.

Santiago Giraldo hanging with Tsonga – so far.


contador Says:

that was a great hold, Erno.

but the itlaian is playing tough.

and gulbis’ fan federer is right. Gubis second serve is great but best on a hard court.

the italian i see, is a great clay courter. his grounstrokes…ernie has power but best on hc.


contador Says:

and erno’s fitness…..i wonder about him physically after the great mrntally, emotionally draining 3 set win over federer.

ernie doesn’t like to work too hard.


contador Says:

oh man. volandri held.

i’m worried about gulbis.

this is going to a decider.

think i will switch channels and check what the coumbian looks like, haven’t had a chance to see him play tennis yet.


jane Says:

Damn. Volandri broke.

So did Tsonga.


contador Says:

yep. gulbis “going off the boil” kicking tennis balls, lots of cursing.

but now volandri DF’s . volandri giving ernie a break chance


contador Says:

ah a perfect drop volley from flippo and now deuce.

ernie may well be wanting to go home if volandri takes this set.


contador Says:

gulbis is not attacking in the rallies. he’s too far behind the baseling. if he could take the ball earlier and get aggressive.

c’mon ERNO

oh brother.


Polo Says:

Oh crap (pardon the pun), Gulbis lost the second set. Hope he regains his composure.


contador Says:

oh he lost composure in that second set and that’s sort of the fun watching the likes of gulbis, gonzo, safin….


jane Says:

Come on Gulbis – fight, hold! Follow up on your big win!


contador Says:

at least gulbis covers his mouth when he curses himself…lolzz

fine manners.

the crowd is cat-calling and booing. gulbis is disintegrating at the moment.


contador Says:

yes volandri is fighting, unlike federer did in the decider.

feels like the italians are going to get their joy.


jane Says:

But good lord – Gulbis has let WAY too many break points go begging in this match. Volandri has now saved 13 of 16!!! That’s too many missed chances on Gulbis’ part; he has to take advantage of more of those; this match would be over if he had.

Qualie still trying to hang in but Tsonga has him on the ropes right now.


jane Says:

We could have 3 great QFs if they all come to pass: Djok v Tobasco; Rafa v Soda; Murray v Tsonga. The other one? Enrie v Ljub? F-lo v Volandri? I am hoping Ernie v. Ljub.


contador Says:

it appears mergo888s luck is about to run out. in at least one probably two of her picks.

good hanging in by gulbis that last game though.

fun match, this gulbis one. quality tennis and lots of emotion out there!


jane Says:

Come on Gulbis – GO!


contador Says:

Jane-

i have to leave for work, like NOW.

i don’t think gulbis will survive. will be happy if he does but please fill me in, okay?

if you can on the other matches…

be back tonight to check results.

cheers!


jane Says:

Okay conty – have mega marking to do today but will have one eye on computer… Cheers.


Kimo Says:

I love the fact hat Rafa is now by everybody’s admission playing scary tennis, coz this way when he gets beat there will be no excuses.

I just have a feeling Soderling will win if he meets Rafa. Of course, such a prediction is either very insightful, or very stupid. We’ll see which.


jane Says:

So much for the bald bomber; F-lo got a walk-over. He’ll be fresh for the winner of this. 2 all in the tirebreak conty; Ernie looks a tad nervous. Stretching jaw and rolling eyes. Very nasty crowd. Sheesh.


margot Says:

What a fabulous engrossing match!
conty be very, very thrilled!
Now let’s see what Andy can do against another clay courter. Come on!!


Polo Says:

That is what I want a player to do after beating a top ranked player, win his next match. Very good job and congratulations to Gulbis.


OllyK Says:

Conty – told you so!!! :P Congrats to Gulbis and his fans!


jane Says:

Phew! It’ll be Ernie vs. F-Lo. Conty – woot!

margot – go Andy M.!!!


Polo Says:

The crowd got nasty towards the end. Gulbis just pooped on their parade!


Polo Says:

Let us all use our will power for an Andy M win. I would love to see another match as scintillating as the Gulbis-Volandri. Gulbis has been providing us some nerve-wracking matches in this tournament. And I am not even a fan. But one more win like that and I could be a Conty convert.


C!P! Says:

I don’t know why some people think that Soderling should be a problem for Nadal just because he defeated him in RG last year! i mean come on ,the swede beat him in 4 sets ,with 3 tight sets ,when Rafa was weak both physically and mentally (cause of his parents’ divorce) otherwise how can you explain that loss since no less than 3 weeks earlier Nadal destroyed Sodering 61 60 in Rome?no player could drop his level that much in just 3 weeks on the same surface against the same opponent ,unless something else happend
Nadal is simply to good for Soderling no matter how you put it!


margot Says:

Polo: Thankyou! You’re a star! All together now..send those good vibrations!!
jane: hey, I see Djko won, scoreline looks good.


Polo Says:

Nadal cannot be beaten by anybody on clay. His biggest and the only troublesome opponent are his knees. And they seem to be doing just fine.


jane Says:

margot, didn’t see the match but from reports Djoko was iffy on the serve, only 57% first, 3 doubles, and a break against in each set. However, Bellucci is a comer on clay and Djoko managed to break back in each and break again, so that’s good. The bad news is hotty hotsauce is next. : / Oh well, even if he loses, semis at Monte Carlo and QFs here is better than his hard court results.

Anyhow — sending waves of good vibes Andy’s way. Come on!!


jane Says:

Murray and Ferrer are both great defenders; one of them needs to look to end points sooner. Ah Murray? That’d be you. : )


jane Says:

: ( Come on Murray, step inside the baseline and break. Quit playing so far back.


margot Says:

uh oh…First break to David Andy’s first serve is c–p and he’s far too far behind the baseline, and not taking the ball early enough. Hope this isn’t over in two!


Ezorra Says:

What a point by Ferrer!
What a waste by Murray!!!


C!P! Says:

i wonder: can someone play a more defensive game than Murray ?


Sean Randall Says:

Murray had a busted string on that last point of the sixth game (4-2). Still a great rally!

I don’t think Murray can beat Ferrer on clay playing defensively like he is now. He could beat Ferrer if he opened things up or Ferrer falls apart, but that remains to be seen.


Sean Randall Says:

Geez, out of nowhere Ferrer has made six or seven bad errors. He was up 15-40 with two sets points on Murray’s serve. Now down 0-30 trying to serve for the set.


Sean Randall Says:

Ferrer recovers and takes the set. Murray too defensive. Caught too far behind the baseline and often out of position. I can’t see how he can win playing that way.

Great win by Gulbis over Volandri. Good tennis, too.


C!P! Says:

one set down ,one to go for Ferrer ; at this point ,it seems like Murray does everything not to lose ,but does nothing to win !


jane Says:

Ferrer creates good angles; haven’t watched him play in a while. He’s such a dogged competitor as well. Not a horrible set from Andy M, BUT he does need to position himself less defensively. He’s making Ferrer play like the aggressive one and usually it’s him chasing down everything.. Come on Murray it ain’t over yet!!


Polo Says:

Why does Murray keep retreating farther away from the baseline after he hits a good shot? Or after every shot, that’s what it looks like.


NELTA Says:

Murray needs to start stepping up and hitting backhands down the line to keep Ferrer honest. Ferrer loves playing from the backhand side of the court where eventually he will start hitting inside out forehands which are very good. His forehands on the forehand side of the court aren’t that impressive.


Sean Randall Says:

Unless you are a claycourter, the way to beat a claycourt on clay is to not play like one.

Reminder: Tim Henman got to the French Open semifinals.


SG Says:

Von Says:
I wonder if Nadal would be interested in buying a bread machine? It’s a lot easier than kneading the dough manually. LOLZ

———————

He’ll need the bread machine to make bagels…LOL.


margot Says:

Much better service game! Come on!
Tim Henman..sean now that’s a whiff of nostalgia for us Brits.


NELTA Says:

Koenig just made the same comment after Murray hit an unexpected backhand slice down the line which put Ferrer on the defense. Koenig said what Murray may have been thinking on that shot, “Try to hit the forehand from the other side of the court”


Skorocel Says:

„I love the fact hat Rafa is now by everybody’s admission playing scary tennis, coz this way when he gets beat there will be no excuses.“

Keep on dreaming, Kimo! ;-)

=======

„I just have a feeling Soderling will win if he meets Rafa. Of course, such a prediction is either very insightful, or very stupid. We’ll see which.“

I’d be happy for Soderling, but I don’t see that happening. Firstly, Robin must beat Wawa in order to get there, but that’s about it. Nadal in 2. If not, I’ll gladly eat my words! ;-)


Skorocel Says:

Sean Randall: „Murray had a busted string on that last point of the sixth game (4-2). Still a great rally!“

Great indeed! Had it not been for that busted string, he would’ve most probably won it…


NELTA Says:

Maybe he’s listening. Nice backhand down the line put Ferrer on a string. Now don’t do this too much Murray. I picked Ferrer in the challenge draw.


jane Says:

Wawa’s up a break on Soda. Murray’s playing better but Ferrer won’t let up! LOL. Come on Andy; look more into it. Keep fighting.


C!P! Says:

All Murray does is work, work ,work ; the problem is he doesn’t work his brain at all !


montecarlo Says:

I wonder how many % people here will say Soderling tanked to avoid Nadal if he loses today.


Ezorra Says:

Ferrer reminds me of Taz the tasmanian devil, an animated cartoon character featured in the Warner Bros cartoon. Always looks fearless!


Sean Randall Says:

Well Stan just won the first set. Hmm??

Murray’s tactically playing a little better, but it’s still not enough.


jane Says:

Oh Murray. : ( Credit to Ferrer who just hasn’t give up. I wonder if Murray can break back now?

Wawa has the first set; Soda tried to get the break back but Stan the man wasn’t having it. On to set 2.

montecarlo – I don’t think Soda’s tanking; he was just in the finals last weekend, and don’t forget that Wawrinka has been in the Rome finals before, so he plays well here and clay is his best surface.


Polo Says:

Can’t Murray change his style of play occasionally and try not to languish so far behind the baseline? He is exhausting himself too much and when you are fatigued, you cannot think right.


jane Says:

Ezorra, yes, I can see Ferrer as Taz, although Roadrunner suits him too. : )

Love-30 Can Murray capitalize???


Polo Says:

If Murray would play aggressively and step in, Ferrer would be so surprised that he’ll have a heart attack. Then Murray can still win this match.


jane Says:

Wawa breaks to start the second set …. Hmmm.

Murray: shoulda, coulda, woulda! Well, one more chance to break back.


Sean Randall Says:

Murray “thinks” he can out-Ferrer Ferrer, but that’s tough to do on a clay court. His court positioning has been much better in the second set but he’s just made two many loose errors.

But yes, Murray can beat Ferrer on clay. Today will likely not be that day.


montecarlo Says:

Looks like we will miss the revenge match afterall. :(

First Federer now Soderling. Nadal will still stay winless against Top 10 players.

I was just checking the H2H and Nadal is 4-0 against Wawrinka and Never lost a set against him although Wawrinka defeated him 4-6, 7-6, 10-3 on Grass Court exhibition (before Nadal withdrew from wimbledon last year).


Duro Says:

Kimmi, Kimmi… Shall we ever meet? Your guy again.


jane Says:

margot, our vibes didn’t work today, but losing to Ferrer on clay is nothing to be ashamed about – though Murray can play better and can beat Ferrer on clay as Sean says!! So much for my dream semi-final of Murray and Djoko. : ( It’ll probably be the two Spaniards instead. Sigh.

Oh well congrats to Taz Ferrer.


margot Says:

Oh well, no shame losing to Ferrer but obviously I wish he hadn’t. Murray’s serve not good today and also to me he still didn’t look as sharp as usual, nice to see him smiling though!
jane: up to Djko now.
WOW Warinka manhandling Sodapop out of Rome now! Sorry conty you can’t win em all.


margot Says:

jane: our thoughts are as one!


Polo Says:

Sorry, Margot. I tried but Ferrer on clay was a bit too much for your man. Although I think Murray looked happier today playing than the last time I saw him. It’s too bad that it is the clay season which is not an oppotune time for Murray to regain his confidence.


montecarlo Says:

Soderling in danger of eating a bagel


Polo Says:

Sodapop has lost his fizz.


jane Says:

margot, yep – anyhow a step in the right direction for Murray. At Madrid he’ll go another round to the quarters. He’s just getting clay feet and he met a tough competitor in the 3rd round here.

Soda avoids a bagel conty but it’s 4-1 for Wawa in the second. I’ve been watching Murray and following Soda’s scores, so not sure what’s up. Neither seems to be serving well (48% for Stan / 49% for Robin) but Stan is winning way more points off his serve regardless, while Soda has faced 11 break points already! Looks like he just cannot get a read on Stan’s serve. Or something.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I think what this Wawrinka match tells us is that, barring a miraculous return by DelPo, or a real red hot streak by Djoker, there is only Federer between Nadal and the RG crown.
Its true that Soderling has the potential to match up well against Nadal, and that Wawrinka is capable of bits of brilliance, but losing to Verdasco (after Verdasco was Rafa-whipped), now this… hard to see Soderling as a probable threat.
Mind you, I don’t think anyone is a probablye threat, so I guess the word should be plausible.
PROBABLY, no one can beat Nadal. POSSIBLY, anyone can beat Nadal, PLAUSIBLY, only Federer now.


Rsutherland Says:

So what now, he has to win more than one in a row to get all the buzz he did this time around?
All sarcasm aside – someone please (without bringing up the name of another tennis player) educate me on the appeal of Andy Murray.
Very many bloggers on here who seem like nice, reasonable people seem to like him. Fine, But exactly why?
Is it because he is the best British player and many desperately cling to the hopes of success as they did with Tim Henman for so many years? At least I saw charm in Tim Henman.
Yes Murray is talented – but so are several others who play. Yes, he (IMO) he seems to have grown out of his much of what I thought was brattish behavior.
But still, he seems so sullen, makes a Freddie Kruger-ugly face when he screams (he does have the bucks for a good hair stylist and orthodontist) and seems to give up during matches.
OK – I am open to a conversion… Give me the ‘ol one two’.


jane Says:

Rsutherland, I’ll take you up. While my top fave player is Novak, Murray is a near second. I love the variety that Murray *is capable of*. He doesn’t always use it all, but when he does, to me he’s a joy to watch. My favorite surface to watch him on is grass, although I know he’s had his greatest success, reaching two hand court slam finals, and losing only to Fed. But Murray has speed and touch and charm. I like that he’s a very straightforward lad in interviews, and I think he smiles quite a lot actually. He may seem sullen at present as he is in a wee slump. I am not British or Scottish (though I love the people and places of both), so that is not an issue for me at all. I just like Andy Murray. He is very appealing.

As you yourself pointed out in your “list of player’s visual qualities” last week, they can all pull an ugly face or two, so no need to single out Andy M for this. : )


Rsutherland Says:

Jane – OK, ugly is below the belt and I admit I put too much stock in the visual (part of my profession) but thanks. The next time I watch him, I will look for what you articulated.


jane Says:

Cheers RS.


Sean Randall Says:

TennisVagabond, for Paris my shortlist of guys who can “trouble” Nadal are (in order) Djokovic, Bellucci, Verdasco, Tsonga, Ferrer, Federer, Soderling.

I honestly don’t give either Federer or Robin much a chance of beating Nadal at the French.

In 100% healthy: Del Potro, Davydenko, Nalbandian. But I doubt Del Potro plays and Davydenko will be at 100%. One never knows with Nalbandian.

A couple other guys who can do well are Wawrinka, Gulbis and a real longshot Hewitt. They could get a set but a win? Doubt it.


Von Says:

Sean: @2:08 pm, you left out Andy Roddick. LOLZ


Von Says:

Rsutherland: Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder!!
________________________
Soderling has run true to form. He got deep in Barcelona but gets ousted early at Rome.

I wonder if we’ll see a repeat performance between Djoko/Verdasco at the QFs.


Sean Randall Says:

Well believe it or not I fully expect Roddick to make the second week at the French. Maybe even a QF or SF.

He now has a strong clay game.


margot Says:

Rsutherland: you don’t “get” Andy and that’s fine with me. There are many players I don’t “get” either. It would indeed be a boring old world if we all liked the same things. Anyway, jane has articulated much of Andy’s appeal so I don’t need to add anything. BTW he smiled a lot during this match in an entirely ironic and self depricating way which is actually very much his style.


Von Says:

Sean: I was being facetious, but am happy to know that you have such faith in the Roddick.

I think if Roddick gets to the Sf at the FO, there would be a kinda hush all over the *tennis* world, don’t you think?? You know, wonders never cease but daily increase. And, with the double-decker providing Andy with inspiration, one never knows what could happen.


Rsutherland Says:

Von – I agree about beauty being in the eye of the beholder. The problem is, I am so frigging gorgeous I have tunnel vision in that regard. Speaking of which, where the hell is Tommy Haas?


margot Says:

sean: you really don’t think Delboy will be fit for FO? Please elaborate.


margot Says:

PS Haas has hip op.


Von Says:

Rsutherland: I can identify with the tunnel vision. LOL.

I believe Tommy Haas is out of commission due to surgery. Funny, he became a US citizen and then had to have hip surgery — is that a bad omen?


Rsutherland Says:

Von – I am sure you can. I mean look at our Andy (Roddick) and how cute he is (in a Woody Woodpecker sort of way).
Hass is a US citizen – didn’t know. Well at least he can afford the US health care system so not too scary,


Von Says:

Rsutherland: Whatever is lacking in Roddick, the double-decker sure makes up for it, and then some.

Not only does Haas have US citizenship, he’s also got a very famous American fiancee, and a famous Canadian father-in-law in David Foster. I’m sure you’ve heard of David Foster. Not to mention his friendship with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’d say dear Tommy is very well connected, don’t you think. Gee, I sound like I work with Entertainment tonight, dishing out all the gossip. LOLZ


Sean Randall Says:

margot, unfortunately with the French 3 weeks away, no. I don’t think we’ll see DelPo. He hasn’t played in three months, he’s not playing next week. This is obviously a bad wrist injury and hitting heavy clay balls might not be the best road to recovery at this stage.

I have no concrete info, just a hunch. I hope I’m wrong.


margot Says:

Cheers,Sean. Certainly seems a bad injury. Shame.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Sean- well, your picks are gutsy at least. Tell you what, I will take RF against the (rest of) your field in this sweepstakes. Talk to you in a month!
(‘Course, we’ll both probably be wrong)


Polo Says:

Since when did tennis become a beauty contest?


Polo Says:

RSutherland wonders why anybody would like Andy Murray by saying,”…he seems so sullen, makes a Freddie Kruger-ugly face when he screams (he does have the bucks for a good hair stylist and orthodontist)…”

I cannot answer that but the one person who you should ask is Jessie James, afterall, he chose to have an affair with Michelle McGee when he has Sandra Bullock for a wife.


janadev Says:

Breath taking stuff from Rafa… Second set, 1st game..


Von Says:

margot: Sorry about Andy’s early loss, but look on the bright side, he’s not a clay specialist and he was up against a very good clay specialist, who would be a handful for the other clay-courters. I think Andy will do better at Madrid, so here’s hoping ….


montecarlo Says:

So will Rafa bake a breadstick or bagel in this second set or hanescu will make a recovery?

Wait and watch.


Rsutherland Says:

Lol – All this breadstick/bagel stuff reminds me of pre-presidential/vice-presidential debate talk in the states.
One raises the expectations of the opponent (Sarah Palin: “you betcha that Joe Biden sure is a good debater’) in order to color results. “Uh Oh, no breadstick/bagel…Nadal must be in trouble”.


C!P! Says:

i really want to see Nadal playing in close clay matches to see how he handles there ,but unfortunately no one is able to keep the pace with him thus far


Von Says:

montecarlo; Well, I sold Rafa a bread machine, and it’s making life easier for him to bake the breadsticks and bagels. LOL.

It seems that he’s intent on disposing of his opponents at record breaking speed. And, it appears as though he chasing some sort of record within himself, as to how quickly he can complete his matches. I think it’s wonderful that he’s cutting down on the amount of time he spends on court. Way to go, Rafa.


montecarlo Says:

Well Done Hanescu. He is playing well today. Very good winners-U.Error ratio. Too bad he will have only 5 games to show for this effort.
But some other players can take some hints from this match on how to tackle Nadal.


montecarlo Says:

Oh my god!!!

Insane point


jane Says:

Yes, you have to play with few errors to beat Rafa on clay, but you also have to hit a load of winners, and even all that won’t stand a chance much of the time.

Congrats to the King of clay for another win.


Von Says:

montecarlo: Thanks for the ino on Minar. Hopefully, he’ll be able to stay out of trouble in the future.


montecarlo Says:

Von: No problem mate. :)


contador Says:

lozzzzz

rsutherland. thanks for the palin quote! me really laugh! for many reasons but the one i’ll mention is that where i live people talk just like that: “You betcha”

hanescu didn’t have a prayer of a chance and neither does anyone else. apologies to myself and all those sort of tired of rafa’s reign on clay (not that i don’t like him) just tired of same old, same old clay season.

i want nole to win or verdasco but nole would have a somewhat better chance. he *possibly* could have less awe for rafa but certainly not less worship than verdasco, rafa’s whipping boy.

but that semi-final of the last US Open hangs in my mind. nole seemed to barely try against federer, one federer played some amazing points. AJDE AJDE! if federer won’t step up or can’t, then c’mon, let’s have a competition on clay, alreay!

now is when i really miss delPo and nalby in the draw. no excessive awe from the argentines.

there i said my bit on the rafa winning rome certainty.

now to congratulate the winners today:

wooooot! for GUTSY GULBIS! i’ll be pooping my own pants if he manages to beat f-Lo! though i can’t see either of them thrilled to win the prize….playing nadal.

sorry muzza fans. i couldn’t see him beating ferrer on clay though. i love the UK. and nothing against muzza. i missed his fire to win in IW and miami.

Dang – if soda didn’t fizzle. my bracket challenge is officialy dropped to 19 points off the leaders, even with ferrer winning personally got 7 of 9 right….on the daily pick but in the bracket race only 4 counted. the more experienced picked wawa to win, i see, plus f-lo.

O-Kerr-

check out “cagnette” also a shameless gulbis believer-nervy, picked gubis over federer.

but what worries me is he/she picked verdasco over nole! i sure hope cagnette gets that one wrong.

oh well, robin soderling let me down. but seems stan is on a roll.

i want to get a prize next year! : )

free trip for two…..even a new racquet would be cool.


Polo Says:

What’s wrong with Nadal? He hasn’t bageled anybody in two straight matches now!


contador Says:

sorry about my typos-

too excited to see gulbis DID finish off volandri, in under what had to be really nere-wracking circumstances

and typing fast cuz i am slacking…just couldn’t wait to check out livescore.


contador Says:

nerve-wracking, i meant.

and yeah vic wouldn’t eat a bagel or a breadstick. wow. great effort!


C!P! Says:

in Nadal’s case ,i can’t help but remember Jim Carrey in “The Mask” saying : “Somebody stop me !!!!”


Von Says:

montecarlo: “Von: No problem mate. :)”

I’m a gal!

___________________
Polo: “What’s wrong with Nadal? He hasn’t bageled anybody in two straight matches now!”

The oven’s not heating up as it did previously, and that’s the reason it’s only baking breadsticks. LOL.


montecarlo Says:

Von: oops Sorry.. Lemme rephrase

No problem madam. :)

BTW I am waiting for someone to upload the video of that insane point in the end. My live stream died twice midway that point. Hope to capture it fully on youtube.


jane Says:

montecarlo – thanks for posting that! I mean – wow! Beautiful clay tennis, touch, speed, slides, all of it. And then Rafa’s smile and Hanescu’s bewilderment. : ) Classic, as Skeezer would say.


Von Says:

contador:

“…apologies to myself and all those sort of tired of rafa’s reign on clay (not that i don’t like him) just tired of same old, same old clay season.”

Come on, give Rafa a break! Barring Monte Carlo, he didn’t win anything for close to 12 months while the other top 4 were wining titles left, right, and center. That said, isn’t it about time he starts winning some titles again? After Wimby, he usually slows down until the USO, and that will give the other players the opportunity to clean up titles. also, it’s not a given that Nadal will win all of the clay titles this year.

_______________________
montecarlo: Thanks for the YouTube clip; that was awesome!

I’m all for sharing the wealth, but I’m not going to complain if Nadal dominates the clay season.


O-Kerr Says:

conty, you want to win prize, right? next time go for double entries on bracket one like mergo888 and another like caganette or BadEvans.
ernie is really hilarious in his interviews. He said he played like you today:)”Basically all of the second and third set I was playing – I don’t know why – a kind of women’s tennis. I was trying to push the ball and I wasn’t playing my game at all in the second and third set.” next he goes “I played the Davis Cup here in Italy and we won. They don’t look at the history. Maybe they should cheer for me and I might lose…” Then he says he has not wasted his life at all cuz now he knows what he does not “need to do – to not succeed! I know how to do that perfectly! If you need some tips on how to not succeed…! Now I’m a little bit smarter and I think I’m doing better.” how can anyone not be earnie’s fan with such goofy stuff. I love it I love it I love it I simply love it.


Kimmi Says:

O-kerr..lolz Love it too. Now I getting more of gulbis, I am loving him even more. Good for him..congrats his biggest fan here Conty.

Volandri really impressed me in this tournament too. soo much fire, played very well the whole week..sad to see there was a loser in that match.

WOOOOT…So happy for verdasco, quarter final in rome is not bad at all..he give himself a chance to play Novak again. I am sure novak will be very prepared tomorrow..hope it is a good match..

Surprise to read a quote from Djoko presser. I guess he is learning to take a leaf out of rafa’s book..why not, it works for rafa.

“I don’t think I’m the favourite at all,” said Djokovic. “I suppose if I play an aggressive game then I will have a good chance to win.

What can I say about Muzza, he still has a long way to go i am afraid..a good step in right direction.


jane Says:

Kimmi, I agree with you and O-Kerr; Gulbis is reminding me of Safin and I loved Safin, so I hope Erno can carry on with these winning ways – on and off the court.

Re: Djoko’s interview, he also said he knows he needs to play better than in Monte Carlo, obviously, but I think he has a point – *this year* Verdasco has been the better man on clay especially – he was in finals of Monte Carlo and won Barcelona. So right now, given their current form, I don’t think what Djoko says is that far off. These are both top ten players, and right now Verdasco is the form player. The thing Djoko has going for him is that he’s fresher; it may be good that he played a leftie today also.

Anyhow Kimmi – where have you been during the matches? Did you get in trouble at work? ; ) Just kiddin. But you were missed.


Kimmi Says:

Hi jane; thanks for the love, I missed you guys and the fun we have commenting on live matches. Unfortunately I can’t visit this site at work. they have blocked it for some reason *sigh*..strange because I can visit a lot of aother tennis site but not this one.

I followed the live score though. Gulbis match seem to be a nail biting one.

I agree with you about djoko being fresher..verdasco keep surpring me though..so many time I thought he is gonna lose, he keeps coming back..he was down a break in the first set on both his matches (bolleli and G-Lopez) and still came back to win the set and then the match.

The favorite tactic I always find it funny :) especially when top players use it. Seriosly though, I never heard federer use it to players that are ranked 6, 7, 8 places below him even if he was beaten by those players before lolz


funches Says:

It’s funny that a previous poster said now someone would probably say Soderling tanked against Wawrinka as if that were an absurd possibility.

Of course he tanked the match. I honestly don’t understand why everyone doesn’t agree with that. Wawrinka is a very good player on clay, so it’s not like Soderling had to purposely miss shots. He just had to play with no plan and no focus and he knew he would lose.

Why in the world would he want to play Nadal in Rome? The beatdown would do nothing for his confidence.


Kimmi Says:

funches, I am not the one to believe in tanking matches but 6-3 6-2 score line makes you wonder. As you say, wawrinka is good but this scoreline is too easy for someone of soderling calibre.

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.