Federer Survives, Djokovic Getting Scary, Nadal Oddly Perfect at Indian Wells
by Sean Randall | March 17th, 2011, 12:06 pm
  • 129 Comments

There’s lots to talk about after a very, very busy Wednesday at the Tennis Masters Indian Wells. I’ll lead with Roger Federer’s 7-6(4), 6-3 win last night over American upstart Ryan Harrison.

The match went true to form early as a nervous Harrison was broken in the very first game. But credit to the 18-year-old, Harrison settled in and really gave Federer quite a fight, even a fright. As I wrote yesterday, Harrison can play many different ways and last night he got to Federer a little by breaking the Swiss twice in the first set behind his all-out aggressive style.

“I kind of struggled in that first set because I knew that lead wasn’t real because it was more because of his nerves, so I think that’s what made the whole match be a bit tricky for me early on,” said Federer. “When I won the first set and I felt like I played a tough breaker, got out of some tough situations, is when I felt like, ‘You know what? Now I can play more freely.’ That’s how I played in the second set.

“I thought he played really well under the circumstances. It’s not easy coming out playing a night session against a top player, and I thought he did really well. He competed great. Believed in his chances. That’s exactly what he’s supposed to do. But he bounced back after a tough first game, and that was impressive to see.”

Overall, Federer just didn’t look that great. We saw Roger spray many forehands and backhands, horribly miss volleys and even throw in ill-timed double faults. And if he plays like that tomorrow night against his doubles partner Stan Wawrinka (who beat Tomas Berdych) and especially against Novak Djokovic on Saturday (if it happens) he’s not going to win.

For Harrison, the match was another indication that the baritone-voiced kid from Louisiana is going to be a serious factor in tennis for the next 10 years. And Ryan sounds hungry for more.

“Hopefully it was the first of a thousand,” Harrison said. “I’m not trying to be the guy who played one match against Federer that was a tight match, and I played well. He played well. There was a couple points here and there that made a difference. But I’m not planning certainly on this being the highlight of my career.”

Top seed Rafael Nadal also struggled but got through a spirited bid from Somdev Devvarman 7-5, 6-4. The Indian Devvarman is fleet a foot and can get a lot of balls back into play, so Nadal had to work for the win.

“He didn’t play well, but I played terrible in the beginning,” said Nadal of going down 2-0 at the start. “After that I improved a little bit, but the first set in general, for me, was really bad, because I wasn’t able to play aggressive with my forehand. I didn’t see [any] opportunity to go inside and to play the winner… It wasn’t a bad second set. That’s the most positive thing. I played much better in the end of the match than in the beginning.”

Tonight, I expect another tight match for Rafa against Ivo Karlovic. The 6-foot-10 Karlovic who is returning from a serious achilles injury, knocked out Nadal’s countryman Albert Montanes.

Rafa has beaten Ivo all three times but on the fast Indian Wells courts it should be a close match though Rafa should get through. And Nadal has never lost a match at Indian Wells in odd years (15-0 with two titles).

While Federer and Nadal struggle, Djokovic has been obliterating everybody. Yesterday the Serb crushed his countryman Viktor Troicki 6-0, 6-1. That’s three matches for Djokovic and he’s lost just six games vs. quality opposition. And he says he’s not playing his best! Scary.

“I don’t think I’m playing incredible tennis,” said Djokovic. “I think I’m playing really, really solid and getting a lot of balls back into the court and making my opponent play an extra shot… I think he had a very bad match in general. But I was very solid, and I keep on playing well, so this is what makes me happy.”

Djokovic, who has now won 17 straight matches (15-0 in 2011), now plays Richard Gasquet tomorrow afternoon. Yesterday, Gasquet scored the upset of the day beating 2010 finalist Andy Roddick 6-3, 7-6(5).

Going in I thought Roddick would force Gasquet into enough errors to pull out a win, but Gasquet was on the mark and the unfortunate reality for Roddick these days is when his opponent is playing well Andy gets into trouble.

“I think he outplayed me from the first ball. He was obviously very confident,” said Roddick. “I tried to force it and be more aggressive in the second, but when you play that way, it starts coming in bunches. You win in bunches and you lose in bunches. So it’s a little bit inconsistent. I think it caught up to me a little bit in the tie-breaker.”

Roddick now has 1,000 ATP points defend at Miami next week otherwise he’ll be looking up at the Top 10 in April.

Juan Martin Del Potro continues to impress. The Argentine is well ahead of schedule in his return and yesterday he took down Phil Kohlscreiber in two breakers. This afternoon Delpo meets Tommy Rorebdo who despite a groin injury did in Sam Querrey 6-1, 6-3.

Four games for Querrey against an injured Robredo is not how you want to leave the biggest tournament in your home state, but that’s what Sam did.

“I don’t think I played that well. Racquet didn’t feel great today,” said Querrey. “Just couldn’t get my rhythm. Couldn’t really sink my teeth into it. I couldn’t quite get it going.”

Fittingly, a disgusted Querrey left his racquets on the court after the loss. At this point Sam needs all the help he can get. So why not?

For Robredo, even if he is 100% I don’t see him beating Delpo in the quarterfinals this afternoon.

Also today, two more women’s quarterfinals are scheduled with Caroline Wozniacki against friend Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova is on at 6pm ET against Peng.

Tennis Channel once against will have the coverage starting at 2pm ET.

INDIAN WELLS THURSDAY SCHEDULE

STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
[1] C Wozniacki (DEN) vs [8] V Azarenka (BLR) – WTA

Not Before 1:00 PM
J Del Potro (ARG) vs [25] T Robredo (ESP) – ATP

Not Before 3:00 PM
[16] M Sharapova (RUS) vs S Peng (CHN) – WTA
M Knowles (BAH) / M Mertinak (SVK) vs R Federer (SUI) / S Wawrinka (SUI) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[1] R Nadal (ESP) vs I Karlovic (CRO) – ATP
D Hantuchova (SVK) / A Radwanska (POL) vs S Mirza (IND) / E Vesnina (RUS) – WTA


Also Check Out:
An Earthquake Hit Indian Wells This Morning, Here’s How It Looked On The Tennis Channel (With Player Reaction) [Video]
The Two Andys Try to Thwart Nadal, Federer Today at Indian Wells
To Rest His Knees, Rafael Nadal Might Not Play Indian Wells
The Nightmare Is Over: ATP Finally Approves The Indian Wells Prize Money Increase
Andy Murray: The Courts At Indian Wells Are Very Slow, They’re Also Very Slow Here In Miami

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129 Comments for Federer Survives, Djokovic Getting Scary, Nadal Oddly Perfect at Indian Wells

Kimberly Says:

I am rooting for Azarenka and Sharapova. Then of course for Sharpova Wickmeyer final with Sharapova winning. Am I in total fantasy land?


sar Says:

I wish Sharapova would win this too.


jane Says:

Yep, I’ll third the wish. It’d be nice to see Sharapova get back to her best and a big win could really propel her confidence.


dari Says:

was really looking forward to the wozniacki/azarenka match. they started off with a lovely tribute to japan, but vika retired quickly with a leg injury, no volume on, but was looking and it seemed like quad muscle. :/
loyalty is usually with kim, but she is out and sharapova looked FANTASTIC the other night against safina, so i could def support a win for her!


dari Says:

more injury news, robredo is dunzo. w/o gives delpo a seat in the semi’s! skeeze’s bracket is going sky high!


skeezerweezer Says:

Off topic here a little but just wanted to give props to the top players playing doubs at IW. VERY ENTERTAINING :). Maybe it was the format they made for the tourney that made them come out. Format is, short, sweet, and doesn’t take up too much time. ( no add format, 2/3, Super TB if a third )

Go Delpo today!


skeezerweezer Says:

dari,
Delpo in the semi’s? woot! Bummer for Robredo though..now if David Ferrer could be give a second chance in Rafa’s side…..


margot Says:

skeeze: congrats on your mighty bracket score :)
BUT stuff David, give Andy M another shot…;)


Lulu Iberica Says:

I saw Delpo play Robredo live at 2009 Roland Garros, and that was just sad, like David v. Goliath, but Goliath won! So, with an injury Tommy had no chance. This stinks though, as Rafa has to get through Ivo and JMDP will be all nice and rested, and Raf is not playing so great anyway. Please, Rafi, just make it past Ivo and defend your points from last year! This whole thing looks like Joker’s to take, anyway. It’s incredible how he’s ripping everyone to shreds.


stu Says:

There should be a new rule in tennis that every time there is a walkover, there is someone on standby (maybe the person who lost to the injured person) to play the match in his place. Second chances could be SO exciting for the game!


Kimmi Says:

last year was nadal year, this year is for the djoker. come USO he will be going for callender slam or it is djoko slam, now that will be incredible!

hope delpo is not too much rested come the semi…lose the rhythm i mean. I hope he plays well and make it competitive. he is still not up there yet. has not beaten a top 10 player yet.

Lulu, if delpo beats rafa, it will be the first for top 10 since his return…is that possible?


madmax Says:

Overall, Federer just didn’t look that great. We saw Roger spray many forehands and backhands, horribly miss volleys and even throw in ill-timed double faults.

Sean, I absolutely disagree. Federer played brilliantly for the most part in this match. He played some scary good shots. He got a bit casual and show offy at 5:4 – I watched the match – and Harrison, – well, forget the wild card label – he was brilliant, aggressive and attacking all the way through. As well as this, he unnerved federer by coming to the net, but never at any point did I feel federer was going to lose this match. He was in control.
s –
Why is it that people expect federer to win easily, to win in straights (which he has), and not to be tested? Federer has been tested from the get go with Andreev. We all know it wasn’t long ago that he was World no. 18 and a dangerous player.

Harrison has nothing to lose. I thought he played really well against federer. It was a matter of a point at 5:4, a net chord that fell over the line – that one point gave harrison confidence. But some of the shots federer was playing were just sublime.


jane Says:

skeezer – wow! that’s like an A++. Way to go. I hope Nole wins for your bracket’s sake ;)

stu – love your idea. I was just thinking how it’s too bad for Sam, the guy who lost to Robredo. It’d be fun if he could have a second chance.


Kimmi Says:

sharapova vs peng on court.


Kimmi Says:

From ATP

Spaniard Tommy Robredo retired ahead of their match Thursday afternoon with a strained left adductor muscle, suffered during his match against Sam Querrey a day earlier.

“After the match I knew that if something strange happens maybe I could play, but if not, for sure I will not play,” said Robredo. “We did an MRI yesterday night, and we saw the results. Obviously the doctor here says not to play. We have been delaying it as much as possible because we were contacting our doctors in Spain to see what they feel about, and now the decision is done. Everyone is saying the same, so I am out of here and I am out of Miami, as well.”


Kimmi Says:

more from delpo

“I’m sorry for Robredo; I wish [him a] fast recovery, but I am glad to be semi-finals,” said the 22 year old. Maybe I could play with Nadal again. We’ve had very good matches before, so I have two days to be better, in good form, and hopefully I can play 100 percent.”

However, del Potro has yet to defeat a Top 10 player since his comeback from wrist surgery.

“Maybe I feel little difference at this moment between me and the Top 10 players here because I already play against [Andy] Roddick, against [Fernando] Verdasco, and I feel little difference,” said the former World No. 4. “Maybe against Rafa I can feel the same.

“But it’s a long road. If I lose, I will take good things to improve in the future. That’s the main and important thing if I lose. Even if I win, I know it’s a long road to be in the top again. Of course I would like to win, but I will see in the future.”


Lulu Iberica Says:

Kimmi, I really hope you are wrong! It’s okay if this is Novak’s year to shine, but I am seriously not ready for my man to be dethroned on clay or even grass. Between Djoko and the new kids, I’m starting to fear that Rafa will not be on top for long.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Darn it, Delpo is so cute (personality wise) that I can barely root against him. Best of luck, Juan Martin.


Kimmi Says:

maria looking strong! i think she is playing wozniacki next..tough one it will be!

Good luck to your man Lulu. I will be rooting for delpo come saturday.


Kimmi Says:

sharapova has lost the rhythm on her serve..one double fault after another. peng is back in the match!

9 DF in total…ouch! no way she can beat wozniacki!


dari Says:

I missed this sharapova match, but man did I enjoy her attacking baseline game the other night. Thats the kind of tennis I want to see win, so cheering for against woz semi. How was she tonight?


Kimmi Says:

Dari – sharapova was definitely not the sharpie of safina’s match. DFs, too many errors..she was hard to watch. I don’t know how she came back in the third..no one could hold serve, they exchange breaks until 3-3. when serving down two break points, she went for couple of big shots to save them. probably that was what she needed, she didn’t look back since.

she definitely needs to play and serve better tomorrow.


Kimmi Says:

federer and wawa in doubles. first set in the bag! go fedrinka


Kimmi Says:

wish could have watched these doubles matches! aaaarrrg!


Kimmi Says:

wow! just checked the doubles results, dolgo and mallise still rocking. beat the bryans, murrays, and now the conqueror of djoko/victor! very impressive.


contador Says:

big, big letdown having to leave IW. but now i know how exciting it is to watch matches courtside. doubles and wta tennis has new life for this tennis fan.

agree with stu about having someone on standby…a LL from previous round and make it one of those from their quarter of the draw: querry…yeah, that’d be great. give sam another shot!

jane- your man will win IW no matter who makes it to the final. not guessing that by the way he rolled gulbis. gulbis barely made it past lu. i was there for both gulbis matches. gulbis somehow found his serve in the decider and lu wasn’t able to come to his senses after losing 2nd set in a tie break. gulbis wasn’t fit enough or lacked the concentration to hang in a rally and his return game needs help. i had a seat very close to the court and watched nole/gulbis. what an easy win for nole! nole definitely was not tested in that match. also watched nole v golubev from a great seat. golubev was too nervous the first set but came out strong in the second. immediately a surprised nole was down 0-2. but nole woke up, notched up the heat and i got to see his speed and his return game that second set. first set nole served well but i thought some of those would have been returned by nadal or fed…or certainly murray, if murray was into it.

only watched rafa in doubles on a practice court. same goes for federer. exception: did have a great seat for federer/ chela, which was a showcase for federer like the nole v gulbis was for nole.

the only ones left i saw i tested in a fight were wawarinka and delpo. both are playing some great tennis. and i agree with sean about wawa able to beat federer but will stan do what he can? he didn’t at AO but stanley is playing so well. he really could beat federer. but….

by accident i actually got karlovic to sign my RF cap, lol… and melzer too. then, i happened to be standing at the spot where melzer was walking past me and got his autogragh. wow was tuna melt royally pissed for me asking. then a couple others realized who he was and got his pissed off signature also. more like a smudge than a signature. i didn’t realize he had just walked off stadium 3 drubbed by gasquet 6-1,6-3. wouldn’t have bothered him had i known! sorry, jugen :/

however, i got a very amiable dr. ivo to sign my RF cap, i didn’t see him play. can’t believe he has much of a chance against rafa. nor can i imagine gasquet beating nole. i think the best quarter singles match will be rog and stan. just a guess. stan won’t fold this time.

wta: no way can anyone left beat woz, Kimmi. also agree with such great doubles matches….c’mon show these matches!! i’m following the stan/rog v knowles/mertinak match on livescore. winner will play rafa/lopez! hope somebody streams the final.

btw kimmi, do you have a stream for tonight?

doubles rulzzzzzzzz!! ALEXAVIER rolls on! OMG alex is such a great doubles partner…for anyone. his skills are unusual. ask the bryan bros. LOL…

c’mon fed and stan!!.


Kimmi Says:

contador – now i believe you about dolgo and doubles. they are beating everybody..where was he before this????

fedrinka won, next is rafa.lopez..ha-ha bring them on. the olympic doubles team must be better, right?


sar Says:

I’m surprised that Robredo was sick/injured. He’s so critical of people who seek medical attention. Does anyone know if Robredo had a MTO during the Querrey match?


sar Says:

Following the injury timeout, Robredo’s movement was compromised”

Found it, so he did have a timeout. Tsk Tsk


contador Says:

got a great stream. same old site. : )


jane Says:

What is on now? Will have to look. contador, great report again. I wish I felt as confident as you about Nole’s chances, but either way, I am thrilled with his year so far!


dari Says:

Shucks, didnt know karlovic was THAT old. Good for him.
Welcome back, contador. I’m sure you’d rather not be back, bit enjoyed your posts thoroughly!
Who to cheer…?


jane Says:

i am cheering for Rafa – would love to see Rafa versus Delpo!


dari Says:

Tennis channel is indeed showing federinka and lopal? but they’re making a big fuss, about how they’ve changed their programming when its a no- brainer the match needs to be covered!
You want a cookie tennis channel? Probably should have televised a couple of the dubs matches already. Oh well, i will just shut up and be grateful! Thanks tennis channel!


contador Says:

thanks peeps! yep would love to have stayed at IW.

i’m cheering for dr. ivo cos he happily signed my RF cap and smiled when i looked up at him and told him “i LOOVVVEEE you!!!

would have had to have that rent-a-kid business stu likes to get rafa’s.

btw dr. ivo is better looking in person. what a giant!!


dari Says:

Ivo has got to win some of these net points if he wants to do anything big in this match.
OR hit second serve returns like that!


dari Says:

Wow, the Dr. breaks! And at love.
Still neutral.


jane Says:

Ivo wins set one (well unless Rafa can break back…)! Surprised. Really looked to be going Rafa’s way and then suddenly one game Rafa plays so-so and Karlovic plays well. And that’s it.


contador Says:

cant believe my eyes!! karlovic broke. * had to be my, “i love you * hahahaha


contador Says:

now pleeeze dont choke, ivo


dari Says:

Awww, you tipped me to karlovic contador. Cute story, and I kinda thought today he looked handsome. Done deal, go Ivo!


jane Says:

I like Dr. Ivo too, but I do miss seeing some rallies when I watch his matches. A few good points at the net are a nice change, however. That serve is wicked!


skeezerweezer Says:

contador..good stuff ;)

dari..tx for the delpo dig
jane, margot, kimmi…:-)

………..Dr. Ivo playin beastly!


jane Says:

Did you know Dr. Ivo is a rapper too? :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neWHz-xa9LQ


Kimberly Says:

Grrrrrrrrrr. This time I’m going to bed. Rafa not even playing so bad but just unpleasant match to watch. I hope rafa can turn it around.


dari Says:

Now Ivo has just pissed Rafa off!


contador Says:

hey Kimberly!

you know rafa will win this. just a set for dr. ivo now. this is a good challenge for rafa. rafa has been playing well but this improved ivo has surprised him. definitely.

( he really did give a big smile skeezer. i actually said “we love you ivo!” )


dari Says:

Happy St. Patty, folks!
Rafa breaks, wow.


jane Says:

anyone drinking green beer? i am sticking to white wine. :)

rafa in “madal” mode. look out doctor…


dari Says:

Did somebody just get proposed to at Indian wells?


contador Says:

Kimberly – rafa up 3-0 in 2nd set. order restored.

Jane – listening carefully. always trying to understand a language. no druga..go natural…something like that and you can tell that is nole rapping at the very end…with a different cool pic of ivo. : )


jane Says:

kimberly i hope you are still watching…rafa just hit a brutal forehand. gasp… gasp.

dari, yes indeed. girl was crying. she said yes.

i like that picture of dr. ivo contador; he can look quite handsome. the music is good too. not too shabby at all.


dari Says:

Ok, now I gotta look at this video you guys are talking about…


skeezerweezer Says:

Guess Rafa got tired of seeing the Dr….lol


contador Says:

dari, i didn’t see. was listening to jane’s youtube link.

now rafa in madal mode serving a bagel. wouldn’t be surprised if rafa breaks karlo again. 2nd set…easy to rafa


dari Says:

Nice get RafA!


skeezerweezer Says:

The bad..the Dr. is getting crushed in the second. The good…if he is first to serve in the third he might make it a match


contador Says:

yep, that was madal. no mo’ nice guy.

give ive some love and a big shaammon! skeeze


Andrew Miller Says:

I can’t see Nadal winning IW again – he’s not playing as well. Maybe he’s saving something, just not looking grooved in the last few matches – vs. Somdev Devvarman, vs. Karlovic.


contador Says:

ivo not ive

where is grendel? missing your posts grendel wherever you are.


contador Says:

whoa….huge forehand, ivo.

karlo is back. c’mon make this a match, you big sweetie!!


jane Says:

the announcers said ivo is a funny tweeter. :)


contador Says:

btw dolgo has been playing doubles Kimmi. at least i know he was during the so. american clay swing. but he hasn’t had the same partner. though xavier is not as good as alex, they appear to have great chemistry and are out there thoroughly on a lark, enjoying the moment, whether they win or lose a point – something that mike and bob were definitely put off abt in the end. and the tie break end was something to behold. alexavier could care less who the crowd was cheering!


jane Says:

Ivo has bounced back now, getting more serves in first shot.


contador Says:

lol rafa….that exaggerated smash. then a rocket serve


dari Says:

Just verified that Jane. It’s true, I think of him.completely different now. But can he win this match?! Much better this set for sure.


contador Says:

3-3. lets see if ivo was intimidated by that demonstration of macho by rafa.. XD


contador Says:

answer is “no” 40-0. karlovic but then a df.

no choking!!


jane Says:

down to the wire… 5 all third set.


contador Says:

match is on. important hold here for ivo. crowd is siding with rafa as was one of the brit commentators on my stream.


contador Says:

tie break coming…


jane Says:

tiebreak…


dari Says:

Tie break! Let’s go,
Ivo!


jane Says:

rafa with the immediate minibreak.


jane Says:

ivo gets it back.


contador Says:

big big chip by i ivo


jane Says:

rafa gets it back. good tiebreak so far.


contador Says:

mini break back to rafa


jane Says:

rafas speed…

hard to say what’ll with delpo.

what do you think contador; does delpo have a chance versus nadal? i’d favour rafa’s chances.


contador Says:

this is it. another point and….

the crowd denied and rafa. temporarily


jane Says:

spoke too soon! ivo makes it 5 all…


contador Says:

i think delpo has a chance, jane. definitely. rafa will have to bring it like he did in the 2nd set. madal can beat delpo.


jane Says:

6 all. very tense.


dari Says:

This is really intense you guys


contador Says:

6-6 barvo karlo. unintimidated karlo


jane Says:

i haven’t seen any of delpo at i.w. contador, that’s why i was asking. knew rafa would make that passer.


contador Says:

match point rafa….


jane Says:

7 all – wow ivo is hanging on.


Ben Pronin Says:

Celebration a little over the top, no?


contador Says:

oh no another rafa matchpt and….

he gets it. Kimberly…..that was a great match!!

well earned V for rafa.

but love dr. ivo!


jane Says:

good match – ivo very focused and hung on well. but rafa was so hyper-focused by the end … forgedaboutit. no one gets out alive. congrats to him, and good effort ivo!

look forward to rafa vs. delpo!! totally.


dari Says:

Good match!
Thats a big win for Rafa fans, that must have been so nerve wracking! Congrats!
Wow, Rafa really excited too.
Good job for.Ivo to.come back to life after that second set.


aleish17 Says:

Wheeew! Now I can take a breather. Nadal gave me a hell of a scare!


The fighter Says:

Go Rafa….congo n thanks for the win…


aleish17 Says:

Great job by Karlovic for giving Nadal a difficult win. Nadal just pulled it through. I hope he does better vs. Del Potro.

Congrats to Rafa Fans!


contador Says:

yes celebration over the top as usual.

jane, delpotro is not quite his top ten self but getting there. the dolgo/delpo match i watched up close and didn’t notice any signs of the wrist or anything bothering him. served big, big forehand. moving well…um…dolgo was donating that day some. dolgo has a good block return and maybe next time tigger can handle delpo’s power better…

but rafa can handle what delpo has atm. i’m thinking.

skeezer also watched the match i did. maybe his opinion is better informed. : ) big sascha fan here…even over delpo. so i might be making more of delpo than the reality ; )


jane Says:

hi aleish 17, haven’t seen you here in a while. congrats on your fave’s win. it was a well earned one. i was surprised how well ivo played overall, not just serving. he played some awesome points at net. he can’t compete with rafa from the back, really, but he made it tense. for sure when his first serve goes in, it makes it definitely more difficult for the opponent…


jane Says:

contador, yeah that’s what i was wondering; how near to his “top ten” or “top five” self is delpo? because that may determine his chances. not sure if rafa is back to his heights of last summer – especially at wimbledon/uso. but i wonder if his over-the-top celebration isn’t because he was feeling closer to that form? i saw some of the “inexorable” rafa in that match.


thark Says:

surprised folks are taking issue with the celebration – it’s a natural release of stored tension when a match is that tight at the end. harrison had a similar reaction to beating raonic and that didn’t seem to bother anyone. maybe it is because we assume rafa will win that we think it somehow indecent for him to celebrate so? if anything it is evidence that he does not take such wins for granted, which is one reason he so often pulls them out. had karlovic won and celebrated equally would anyone have taken issue with it?

anyway i don’t think he means any disservice to his opponent.

great match! great fight by the doc.


skeezerweezer Says:

aleish 17,

Welcome back :). Congrats to you and the Rafa fan ( girls )

Now for the encore…DELPO! Someone who can hit big serves…AND hit groundies.

@Dr. Ivo…thanks for the show :-)


Kimberly Says:

Of course I was unable to sleep. I turned the volume down and took my head out of my pillow at five all third set. Between sharapova and nadal it was not a pleasant day. Seriously, headache and cold sweats.

On the up side my own tennis game is JAMMING!!!!!!! I was smoking the ball tonight. Its really hot here at five pm, wore ivanovics purple dress, it’s very light and appropriate for the heat. However, for the sony Ericsson there is generally a good breeze by key biscayne, however, djoko and dr. Ivo were having serious issues in the heat last year. Dr. Ivo was cramping bad on one of the outer courts against gimeno traver and his trainer sent him mess for cramping during changeover.

Between rafa, Maria and the Miami heat I’m a mess. I’m not even stressing about fsu in march madness. They have zero chance,

Now I’m into the doubles too, how outgunned is marc Lopez with three serious heavy hitters? So I don’t even get a day off stress and sharp ova, the heat, and the doubles match with rafa are all tomorrow.


dari Says:

Need to manage expectations for delpo on the next match, especially since he isn’t perfect physically right now. But the extra days rest was hopefully a good thing and he can have a good match against Rafa. Really thats all he needs ia a good match against the number one, but boy, what would a win do for him!
Vamos, delpo!


contador Says:

jane you are so right. the celebration might be as you say. what i saw of rafa in doubles and on the practice courts…( he practices harder than anyone and takes those practice matches seriously )…he is close to his form at it’s height last summer. when i saw him getting mad at himself it was over the serve. and his rocket serve is so important for wins like at us open.

djokovic is very confident and rafa could lose to him. federer is federer…his majesty. i doubt he’s win if one judged by his practice court tennis. but when he’s announced for any match i get all proud. so what if he shanks. win or lose, it’s his grace i admire, whether he’s shanking, playing like 2004-2007, experimenting with cute shots, whatever the case. i can’t help but stand and applaud him.

stan could beat the fed. but will he? it has to come down to something mental, really imo from watching each.

and djoko might have more trouble with wawa…i dunno.

big congrats to skeezer on the bracket leaderboard!!


skeezerweezer Says:

Contador,

tx :) but I just dropped from 39th to 1129( overall ). ugh. It was fun while it lasted!


aleish17 Says:

Thanks Jane & Skeeze!

Yep, it’s nice to be back here. Been out of touch since Nadal’s loss in AO. Now, I am committing myself to waking up early to watch Indian Well’s matches (especially Nadal’s).

Good luck to your respective faves!


margot Says:

skeeze; just put my commiserations in the wrong place, far too early in the morning here in UK.


sam Says:

“He didn’t play well, but I played terrible in the beginning,” said Nadal of going down 2-0 at the start.

Real classy from Mr nice guy Nadal…… and the celebrations after Ivo’s match totally not over the top.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Rafa doesn’t look near top form in last couple matches. He is ripe to be knocked off if he doesn’t pick it up. Fed too. Great set of quarters and semis remaining, no?
How about Stan vs Rog followed by Stan AND Rog v Rafa? That is a schedule the likes of which I’ve never seen.


contador Says:

it’s just my opinion of rafa on court. i get annoyed at what i see aside from his actual play. he is fist pumping and celebrating ALL the time; he’s not storing up any tension whatsoever. his knee is up to his chin, fist pumping, mouth wide open shouting something after every point he wins. watched a verdasco match too at IW. rafa and verdasco are the players i least like watching live, courtside. just me, okay. both are fine on a practice court. rafa is funny when he gets mad at himself…kicking tennis balls… then he’s back to sweet and patient to sign autograghs. on the other hand, federer wasn’t in the best mood for signing autographs – he wasn’t taking much time at all for that from what i saw.

and delpo makes a ‘death growl heaving groan’ when he gets on a roll. i don’t like it. but it serves its purpose, i guess. i mean when he gets that ‘heave ho’ groan noise revved up – watch out. but if i had a chance for one of the great seats, like i had earlier in the week, for a rafa-delpo semi final match i’d take it. annoying or not, that has got to be a great match.

rafa off court couldn’t be more sweet and generous. delpo too.

TennisVagabond – my guess is rafa and lopez will have an advantage over stanley and roger. that’s just cruel. rog and stan going at it in singles, then playing doubles. fight and make up, and make up and fight. sounds like bad bromance stuff. interesting day. hope they are having breakfast together and a nice heart to heart about the whole thing in advance, lol….

go ALEXAVIER!!


Paradox Says:

Is this Sam the same one who utters his rubbish in every tennis site?.Pathetic looser.


dari Says:

contador+ “fight and make up, make up and fight” like your ABBA literary style :), but you’ve really stirred me up, and make me feel like this is the biggest swiss emo.day!
they have to win dubs now to mend after that battle, cause I think its gonna be a tough one. *may* slightly side with Stan :/ that would be best for the dubs maybe ? Ugh


jane Says:

contador, Nole/Troiki had the same situation: played singles then a couple hours later played doubles, and lost. Stan and Fed are an experienced doubles team though, having won Olympic gold, so it will be an interesting match.

What were the conditions like at IW? Dry? Quite windy?

I see Nole/Gasquet is on first thing: it has been working well for Nole so far to start right away. His only night match was Golubev.


dari Says:

Ps, had a CRAAAAZY dream about a bday party with novak djokovic, he was a really fun and nice guy and we were best buds, he looked great in his suit and he had a diffetent mom. weird. He hurt his back messing around at the end of the party, I felt really bad/scared, but we had to climb under a fence to get back to the party and he seemed ok doing that, so we thought he was gonna be fine :)
Too much tennis.


jane Says:

Nole says very nice (and true) things about Gasquet:

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He’s kind of unpredictable player, you know, lately. I think he’s one of the most talented players that I have seen. He can play serve and volley defensively well, offensively well. He has a lot of varieties in his game.
If he’s on the top of his game, he can beat anyone, I think, in any surface. This surface, you know, ball bounces a little bit higher and it’s a bit slower, which I think is suitable to his style of the game.


jane Says:

dari, i wish i had your dream.:)


Kimberly Says:

contador—its funny, what you don’t like about Rafa is probably the number one thing that draws me to him—the intensity. Frankly the Karlovic match was the first one where he actually seemed like Rafa, whether he played good or bad and I actually thought he played ok. Karlovic is tricky.

The first three matches Rafa had this blase I don’t want to be here look on his face. He looked like he was on vacation. THe Karlovic match, maybe getting behind got his adrenaline flowing, he seemed like Rafa.

Kaiser dislikes the same thing you do, the fist pumping, lawnmowers, uppercuts, pelvic thrusts, and leg kicks. For some reason to me it seems spirited not obnoxious. It seems to show how much he cares.

Now the shorts picking and snarl I can somewhat understand.

I thought it was nice to see him excited. Maybe now that his juices started flowing he can play a great match against Delpo.


stu Says:

Haha that’s such a cute dream, dari. I wanna climb under fences and party with Nole too!


Skeezerweezer Says:

dari,

fun dream :). ( and watching too much tennis? not! )


Ben Pronin Says:

http://blogs.tennis.com/thewrap/2011/03/the-drive-to-like.html

Perfect article to explain why some people (me included) don’t like Nadal’s on court antics while being drawn to others. Although I can’t say I don’t like Nadal’s fist pumps, otherwise I wouldn’t imitate them, but his celebration seemed too much last night. It made sense after he won Wimbledon, but it was just a quarterfinal in Indian Wells.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Kimberly, I’m with you, although I like the snarl/sneer. I could definitely do without the shorts tugging, though.


stu Says:

Aah, Tignor. How I enjoy reading everything you write!


Kimberly Says:

Ben, to me thats what so awesome about nadal, that each match matters so much….when asked about his long term goals he will always answer that the most important thing is his next match


Kimberly Says:

personally after a ripping shot i do the serena williams “yeah, come on!” one of the worst in tennis so I can’t criticize anyone.


jane Says:

I could never really put into words why Stan/Wawa has never really appealed to me, but Tignor does a good job of it. He is so so so right. Fandom is idosynchratic, maybe even sometimes idotic. Lol. But it is fun to see all the different types, watching matches, reading blogs, etc. :) Thanks for posting that link Ben. Good article.


stu Says:

Funny that Tignor and I completely see eye-to-eye, about all the players he chooses to write about. Wonder what that means.


dari Says:

That was a generally good article, thanks for sharing. I’m probably little guilty of the swiss spill over for Stan, but he has one of the things I like most about roger: a one-handed backhand, and a banging one at that. I’ve also seen him play live a couple times and when he’s on, its really exciting and he has given me two five setters at the uso live, which is the best gift any player can give you when you go to the stadium. At any rate, I like serena’s celebrations, and Ana’s twirls and fist pumps, and engage in some myself on court so its hard to say too much about Rafa. It’s the un-modest part about him.
Don’t wanna see it when he’s playing my faves though!


dari Says:

Oh, gasquet firing early!


contador Says:

ha! i ran across the tignor article just a minutes ago. saved it, and was going to post it here but Ben got to it before i did. thanks

tignor explains how what i see and feel has nothing to do with anything but my own undefined likes and dislikes. undefined truly. i never know really. like the delpo/ dolgo match: when sitting there waiting for them to come out i realized there were sascha fans behind me and delpo fans to the left. only after they started playing did i realize i was cheering along with the dolgo fans…maybe skeezer has a different opinion, but where i was sitting stadium 2 sounded like more were were surprisingly cheering for sascha. and i’m usually a delpo fan. in the end we sascha fans had to applaud delpo. and wish dolgo better luck next time.

the doubles final i kept my mouth shut until moving down to the dolgo “fangirl” bleacher. bryan bro. fans were bewildered by the engergetic alexavier team. but i’m certain alex picked up fans that night.

Kimberly – it is funny – funny odd. but hey, we both like li na, remember? and here’s an idiosyncrasy: i like marion bartoli. watching her play kim clijsters a few days ago at IW, seeing how she jumps around all the time swinging her racket and yes has a fist pump endears her to me. sharapova’s shreiks are annoying and azarinka’s obnoxious. but i love schiavone the most and she has a double grunt/groan serve with a grunt to every shot. go figure. though i like sam stosur, i cheered for dinara. she swears in russian and throws her racket. i like a good racket toss. not after each point lost but…for some, even serveral times a match seems reasonable = gulbis.

ps dari…love the dream!

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