Rafa Roughs Up Roger, Meets Djokovic for Miami Title; Will the Streak Continue?
by Sean Randall | April 2nd, 2011, 10:33 pm
  • 576 Comments

It’s almost fitting that the two best players of 2011, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, meet tomorrow in Miami men’s final, the last hardcourt match played until July.

They are the undisputed top two players in the world and some would say, provided that Djokovic wins, they may swap those ranking positions later this season.

But first before that happens they’ll play for a 25th time on Sunday.

Last night it was Nadal dusting an old-looking Roger Federer 6-3, 6-2 in a match that wasn’t even that close. Andy Roddick said a week ago that it was “ridiculous” to criticize Federer’s game, but that was before last night’s demolition.

I thought Nadal would win but I didn’t think it would be one of his easiest victories he’s had in Miami, and one of the most lopsided these two legends have played together.

As Federer said in the press, on a slow hardcourt, which I call his new worst surface, he simply cannot hit through the court against the likes of Rafa and Novak. At 29, Federer just doesn’t have the power he use to have off the ground nor does he have the quickness and consistency needed to stay with and retrieve the punishing groundstrokes off Rafa’s racquet.

For Nadal, he played his usual great tennis and now leads Federer 15-8 in their head-to-head. And while much has been made about his 10-2 advantage on clay, it’s worth pointing out that on an outdoor hardcourt Nadal now leads Federer 4-1 with the only loss coming when, as a teenager, he choked a 2-set lead in the 2005 Miami final.

“Playing the final even without play my best in Indian Wells was very important for my confidence, and I started this week playing much better,” Nadal said. “Since the first round I was playing I think very, very good. I didn’t have a good draw; last week I think I had a better draw than this week. This week I had a tough draw. In general, I think I played a very good week. Now remains one match.”

Nadal may be playing sublime tennis, but Djokovic has remained on another level. He is playing the best tennis of anyone and when we look back at this run, this may very well be the best tennis he’ll ever play! I thought after Indian Wells that he’d finally let down in Miami but he just hasn’t. In fact he may be getting better!

Yesterday, Djokovic destroyed Mardy Fish 6-3, 6-1 to up his current win streak to 25 keep his 2011 spotless at 23-0. And through five matches he has yet to yield even five games in any single set.

“I don’t feel that I can’t lose on the court,” Djokovic said. “What I feel is big confidence. What I feel is that I’m playing best tennis of my life. This is as simple as that. As I said before, it’s mental game, so physically I’ve been working very hard and dedicating a lot of time to some elements in my game, like serve, and it’s paying off now.”

And for both players tomorrow the serve will be key.

Nadal leads their series 16-8 with much of that advantage thanks to a 9-0 mark on clay,2-0 on grass against Novak. On hardcourts, however, Djokovic is ahead 8-5 including a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win at Indian Wells last month. That win was the first time Novak had beating the Rafa in a tournament final in six tries.

“I felt I had a chance last week in Indian Wells,” Rafa said. “I lost a little bit the focus and the rhythm on the second set, the intensity of the legs and of the shots, so I started to play a little bit more defensive. Against one player like Novak, is impossible win the match play like this, no? So on Sunday have to play very well all the match if I want to have any chance. I have to play aggressive and I have to play all the points, and that’s what I going to try.”

But unlike Indian Wells, the court and conditions in Miami favor Nadal (though Rafa has won twice at Indian Wells yet never in Miami). The slow court, Latin American fan base and the hot, humid climate (remember the match begins at 1pm) I think give Nadal just enough to take down a mentally fatiguing Djokovic.

That said, the match is really on Novak’s racquet. If he plays like he’s been (zero weaknesses) he’ll win regardless of Rafa’s level. On a hardcourt right now, if both players are at their max I give Djokovic the edge because Novak can exploit Nadal’s second serve.

Physically, after a day off both players should be well-rested, however mentally for Djokovic the streak, having to beat Nadal again and the pressure of being the favorite has to weigh on Novak. And I think that with the conditions and playing a motivated Nadal, who has never won the Miami title, will be just too much to overcome. I picked Nadal from the start and I’ll go against the better judgment of riding the hot horse by taking him to beat Novak in three.

I do expect it to be another long, grueling, physical match that we’ve come to expect from these two. It should be fun.

The match will be televised live on CBS starting at 1pm ET.

MIAMI SUNDAY SCHEDULE

STADIUM start 12:50pm
[1] R Nadal (ESP) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB) – ATP – SINGLES FINAL
[3] L Huber (USA) / N Petrova (RUS) vs D Hantuchova (SVK) / A Radwanska (POL) – WTA – DOUBLES FINAL


Also Check Out:
Djokovic, Murray, Soderling Open Play Friday in Miami; Sharapova, Wozniacki Winners
Rafael Nadal Meets Rafael Nadal [Video]
Nadal, Djokovic, Federer in Action at Miami; Wozniacki Upset, Sharapova Sharp
Nadal Denies Reports Of Not Playing IW/Miami; Marca Sticks With The Story
Ho Hum, It’s Federer v. Nadal in Madrid; Djokovic Hits 30 and 32

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576 Comments for Rafa Roughs Up Roger, Meets Djokovic for Miami Title; Will the Streak Continue?

Mila Says:

Contrary to what many of posters here thought, the trip to Colombia did not hurt Rafael and Novak.

They made:
- lots of money
- many Colombians happy, and
- Miami Masters final

Well done gentlemen!


Queen Says:

Mila,

I have a feeeling they will make many more masters this year. 2011 will be two men show. I hope Nadal will come on top.


Swiss class Says:

Its really pathetic to see a final without the name Roger Federer.


Swiss class Says:

I hope Federer gets back to form before the clay court season.
All my prayers with you Roger.


madmax Says:

rafa and roger are 4:4 in hard courts not 4:1 as sean pointed out.

likewise swiss class but the rivalry of novak and rafa has been there for a while now and only now being realised more and more. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s roger who has set the bar so high for so long. Times have changed. Anything can happen in tennis as you know.

Novak was always being talked about, but for the wrong reasons. He’s got his act together and deserves this. He’s worked hard.


Roger Says:

Roger is finished Swiss Class. Accept it. He had his time and its slowly up. There is finally a new breed of players that are hungry and moving up the chain.


Eric S. Says:

I have to disagree strongly with “Swiss Class” on it being “pathetic” to see a final without roger. Have you been under a rock in the last 2 years??? Nadal and Djokovic have raised their level of play beyond all the competition and it’s AMAZING to watch. Pathetic was Roger’s effort in the last game of the 2nd set vs. Rafa the other night. I honestly think Roger still has what it takes to challenge the top 2, but he needs to redefine his game. His serve used to be top notch and is now so so. He used to volley far more often, now only when pressed. Why doesn’t he work harder to make Nadal hit more backhands? Nadal is far weaker on that side as of recent. Federer is Great but he’s also an obstinate tennis player.


Skorocel Says:

Nadal’s “destructive” game once again proved to be too much for Federer – simple as that. Seems like nothing has changed from the past (and frankly, one has to wonder whether there will be any change?)…

Federer, just like in his previous matches vs the Spaniard (especially on clay) tried to “do the dirty job” of going for winners, whilst Nadal, as usual, did what he does best – that is absorbing everything that the Swiss (who, compared to, say, last year’s YEC, was UTTERLY slow – and not only here, but also in IW) tried to throw at him, hitting 5000 rpm forehand “hills” to Federer’s backhand until he had finally enough… In other words, another 75 minutes of boring, baseline war of attrition, with the same scenario, same pattern, same result, same numbers – just like it’s always been when these two were playing… It’s almost ironical that the best (and perhaps the only good) rally of the match went to Fed when he hit that FH passing shot past Nadal, who played a rather safe FH volley and thus gave Fed the time to react (can’t remember when it exactly happened)…

Federer maybe outhit Nadal with winners (20 to 11), but, as usual, commited much more errors (38 to 10)… That’s 38 points to Nadal courtesy of his opponent’s errors… The Spaniard maybe wasn’t serving that good as he was vs Berdych (no ace, if I remember), but then again, if you hit 74 % of your 1st serves in (most of which to Fed’s BH, which, as is usual with Fed vs Nadal, was TOTALLY harmless on Friday), you get the job done…

As for the final, well, if Nadal plays like this, I guess he’ll probably lose to Novak… In the 3rd set against Berdych, he was ripe for beating, but got away with it – partly because of his serve (which was, a bit surprisingly, perhaps the only shot which was working for him at that time) and partly because of Berdych once again choking (remember he gave Nadal the break courtesy of 3 easy UEs!). Had there been a guy like Novak or JMDP, he’d have probably lost, but that’s woulda shoulda, of course… He got the job done, and will certainly be supermotivated to claim one of only 2 tournaments of great importance which he’s yet to win (the other being the YEC, of course), so anything can happen… I’ll go for Djoker in 3 tight sets.


Skorocel Says:

Btw, what was that giant “suitcase” which Djoker came onto the courts in Miami with? Looked like a he had brought a sniper rifle with him ;-) Well, judging from his recent results, he indeed did ;-)


bryan Says:

@swiss class….pathetic is when some one like you thinks that tennis is all about federer.


Polo Says:

By all indications,Federer is now history. The new rivalry will be between Nadal and Djokovic. I also see del Potro looming in the background. He is the only one who can push Federer lower into the number 4 position which should happen by the end of the year. Murray’s picture has gone completely blurred. With extreme luck, Federer, I believe will have one last hurrah but it has to happen in the next two years. After that, no amount of luck will help. There will just be too many (three is a company) to contend with.


WTF Says:

“Nadal leads their series 16-8 with much of that advantage thanks to a 11-0 mark on clay,2-0 on grass against Novak. On hardcourts, however, Djokovic is ahead 8-5 including a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win at Indian Wells last month. That win was the first time Novak had beating the Rafa in a tournament final in six tries.”

Just wanted to say that your math does not add up Sean. If Nadal has 16 wins, he can’t have 11 wins on clay, 2 on grass, and 5 on hard. That adds up to 18 wins.

Skorocel: Nadal hasn’t won Cincy or Paris either.


Kimmi Says:

go noleeeeee…bring it on!


Skorocel Says:

WTF: I know. I just mentioned Miami as they called it “the 5th grandslam” one day. Paris and Cincy are indeed big, but they’re just “normal” MS 1000 events (even though still pretty big).


Kimberly Says:

Tennisxers should say congrats to Kimmi. Kimmi won the draw challenge already in the tennisxfans draw challenge with COntador in second place regardless of todays result.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Congrats to K I M M I and Contador, Tennis X ers champs! :)


Kimmi Says:

ha-ha, kimberly and skeezer thanks a lot. did skeezer get a special congrats last week too? i think he did :) Hoping for great tennis today.
will watch all of it..


dari Says:

Wow! Ladies representing on the tennisx bracket- way to go kimmi and contador! And some respectable circuit total scores, too.
Bravo to two great fans and pickers!


dari Says:

And third place for phantom kaiser, way to go!


jane Says:

^ congrats Kimmi & contador – good picking. :)


Tennis Vagabond Says:

This could be a historic match.
Call it the Groundhog Day match.
If Rafa wins, it means he enjoys another year at #1. If Novak wins, it means Rafa’s reign will be short.


fern Says:

Sean was saying Rafa leads Roger 4.1 on OUTDOOR hardcourt; Roger’s other 3 victories over Rafa were indoors.


contador Says:

hey thanks for the congrats ppl. : )

but really, all i did was pick 3 of the 4 semi-finalists and both finalists. prior to that, anyone in the bracket challenge knows, i was at the bottom or close. my early round picks were losers.

and i didn’t get on the murray bandwagon. that helped.

again have to thank Kimberly. tennis-x bracket challenge is fun, win or lose!

today’s winner? no one picked nole in bracket challenge. but if i were picking today, i’d pick him, not rafa. wow for djoko.

delpo making good progress. murray? c’mon! he should be in the mix with nole and rafa. he has the potential. what, i wonder is the problem? no confidence? hates tennis?

hoping for a great miami final!


stu Says:

congrats Kimmi and conty!


Kimmi Says:

aaaww! thanks to dari and jane :)

djoko is surprising everybody with this streak. can he keep it up? today is a very important match for him. I hope he does!

here we go..lets go boys!


Kimmi Says:

cheers stu!


Sean Randall Says:

Madmax, as fern pointed out I was referring to OUTDOOR HARDCOURTS.

WTF, correct, typo on my part (fixed). Nadal leads 9-0 on clay, not 11-0.


contador Says:

thanks, stu. shouda, woulda, coulda picked ole nole, right?

already can’t wait for monte carlo.

good point TennisVagabond: the “groundhog day match.”

let’s have a great match, c’mon! feeling neutral atm about who i will cheer. maybe i’m leaning toward nole…coz rafa will likely wipe up during clay season.


margot Says:

R we sitting comfortably? Let battle commence! Oooh xciting.
kimmi already congratulated u, but conty well done on your late surge :) Hmm, however, have noticed u both got there by NOT picking your fave..’)


stu Says:

3….2….1….they’re off!


sar Says:

NOLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


stu Says:

having trouble finding a good english stream…i know it’s on CBS but i’m not home :(


stu Says:

Nole playing well to begin. Needs to keep up this level.


Kimmi Says:

try here stu, there is a bunch of them..

http://www.tennisform.com/default.asp?action=LIVEStream


Dory Says:

Okay they’ve started showing it on TV after 1-1. Pathetic but at least I’ll be able to watch it live.


Colin Says:

Swiss Class (if you haven’t flounced off), I wonder what your church would think of your saying “all your prayers” are with Federer? We’re talking about a GAME here, nothing more.


Kimmi Says:

oooops..novak a little nervous or what? costly errors in this game


Kimmi Says:

vamos he says…early blood to rafa


stu Says:

goodness gracious. i’m glad my stream lagged on break point.

thanks for the links, kimmi.


margot Says:

Fabulous point in game 3!


Dory Says:

Both playing quite okay-ish aren’t they? Nadal breaks.


Kimmi Says:

novak needs to pick up speed…break back here!


sar Says:

how’s the weather


Dory Says:

I don’t see the scary Nadal yet today, the Nadal we say against RF so I’m totally relaxed now and quite SURE Novak will win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


contador Says:

yeah that 22 shot point ending at net – went to rafa. kinda brought about the rafa break.

but nole going to fight. rafa pull out one rocket serve but it’s bp nole!


Dory Says:

WTH!! Why are they playing so nervously????? No aggressiveness at all from either!!!!!!


Dory Says:

That was the first really aggressive point at 30-40 breakpoint on Nadal’s serve.


Kimmi Says:

rafa great costruction of point there..


contador Says:

one more break chance. but…

what a point!! deuce. rafa won the point but loved that splitz nole forehand!


stu Says:

Rafa seems very nervous today….does he know something I don’t?

what a phenomenal point to get to deuce on Rafa’s serve…


jane Says:

Nole needs to end points more quickly if he wants to win; he is giving Rafa the upper hand playing long points and rallying. Come on Nole ole.


jane Says:

Looks a bit windy.


Dory Says:

Both VERY nervous and committing errors!


contador Says:

bp nole. rafa going for a little too much.

here comes a rocket serve? yes , no?

2nd serve ad nole…..and nole biffs an easy shot into net


stu Says:

noooo Nole, how could you not put that away!!!


contador Says:

backhand nole into net

ad rafa and…second serve…

rafa holds. loving this match!


Dory Says:

Who are you two on this court and what have you done to Novak and Rafa?


jane Says:

3 Nole errors in a row give Rafa the hold. : / Not liking his chances a.t.m.


Kimmi Says:

timing off from nole..too much resting! he needs to get himself together quickly


contador Says:

nole needs to hold serve for his confidence here


Daniel Says:

Again Nadal is forcing too much his first serve, and missing a lot. Djoko lost patiance in this last game. He had all chances too break. Nadal played only one remarkable point to sabe a BP.


dari Says:

Ok missed first few games at brunch. Rafa up a break? Outstanding rafa or nole dropping form a bit? Guess it doesn’t have to be either or….


Dory Says:

WTH!! Someone took away Nole’s backhand before the match.


stu Says:

yeah a breadstick here would be quite appropriate :S


contador Says:

yeah. playing each other…lots more nerves involved. nole misses at least 3 easy shots on rafa’s last serve.


Kimmi Says:

ok, djoko is drving nuts with this errors. not a good match for him at the mo


Dory Says:

And the first serve as well.


contador Says:

okay ajde nole!! fight!


jane Says:

WTF Nole is falling apart…brutal to watch.


Kimmi Says:

bread stick for sure stu….


Dory Says:

Worst I’ve seen Nole play this year. Almost the old Djoko is back.


margot Says:

They started so well but alas Nole’s slipping now :(


Daniel Says:

Shii, Djoko start making a lot of mistakes. I don’t know if HD os ready to go the distance in this match. Seems he is truing to end points quickly. Nadal is very steady and not going for too much, He also missed some shots When He troes to attack. This match is more in the heads, and seems Djoko is mentally tired right now.


Kimmi Says:

jane, nole is watched federer too much. he is doing a federer now! :)


sar Says:

I don’t see scary Nadal but I do see a crappy Nole.


contador Says:

cr@p!! sheesh….

patience nole. confidence…

rafa in control atm. can nole lose 1st set, find himself and win?


Kimmi Says:

Novak has easy draw to the final..he has to wake up. he is playing rafa now.


jane Says:

Someone put something in Fed & Nole’s prematch meals, they both looked / look nervous and making bad choices, hitting errors all over. Sheesh! Well, with the streak over we can at least stop wondering about that.


Dory Says:

And Nadal isn’t playing normal either. 2 DFs already. But Novak’s level is even further below.


contador Says:

crowd chanting “nole, nole, nole”

and nole has help from rafa with a df…..0-30. nole had a chance on 2 nd rafa serve there. oh god awful, nole….


Dory Says:

This has got to be tennis of the lowest level from the TOP players this year. At least Nadal can somewhat control the wobbliness.


Daniel Says:

Another dumb point by Djoko in 15-30. Nadal is jat putrin the ball back in play and Djoko missing a lot on backhand wing.


Dory Says:

Almost ALL points ending on an error.


Kimmi Says:

OK..break here, rafa is nervous too. nole needs to take adv


dari Says:

Fight back novak, we want a match!


contador Says:

bp chance nole….

but rafa comes up with a great out-wide serve

deuce

huge moonballs from both and poor nole biffs again into net


stu Says:

can’t watch, just can’t.


Dory Says:

Okay now they’re playing badminton. Striking the ball high.


Kimmi Says:

thats it..go go go!


Daniel Says:

Well, maybe it is the wind!


contador Says:

yessssss. beautiful change of direction shots and nole gets ad.


Dory Says:

Nole’s backhand is just GONE!!!! Grrrrrrr


contador Says:

geez then nole goes for too much deuce again.

has to be nerves


contador Says:

rafa with another shaky hold. nole had his chances.


stu Says:

how many UEs has Novak made so far? at least 20…


contador Says:

shanky nole and shaky rafa match


stu Says:

all of Rafa’s service games have been close..there might be hope for the next set..


margot Says:

Ah, better from Nole at last :) Boy, doesn’t it look hot out there?


Daniel Says:

Finally Djoko adding some drop shots! At least he is truing something different. Nadal’s last 2 service games Djoko had BP first. He needs a clean game, error free.


jane Says:

Funny how Rafa is using a similar strategy of attacking Nole’s backhand.

True, Daniel, it is not even like Rafa is playing his best. Both are nervous, but Nole more so; Rafa is in his head methinks. Plus, Djoko must be tired from his super long streak. I don’t want him to lose, but I can understand.


Dory Says:

I hate abnormally strange finals. :(


stu Says:

NO! we don’t understand, jane. he’s got to the final, he needs to pull thru for one more match. physical tiredness/ emotional exhaustion/ lack of will don’t count in a FINAL because it wasn’t easy to get here in the first place. now that he’s playing, he needs to find a way to win.


contador Says:

that’s better. love service game for nole.

c’mon guys. at least play the tennis that wiped out feddy, rafa. and give us 3 sets nole. stop the errors!

oooh break back nole. but rafa says no. rafa rocket serve x 2


contador Says:

nice moonball rafa. 30-30


contador Says:

shoot the mooooon again


Kimmi Says:

he needs to get at least one of them


Dory Says:

YAY AT LEAST ONE BREAK BACK!!


Kimmi Says:

break! great..now hold!


stu Says:

ok. we may have a match yet


jane Says:

Finally, a moral break. Vindicates some of the missed chances and errors all over the place.


stu Says:

nobody bagels/ breadsticks new Nole, ya hear Rafa?


contador Says:

whoaaa. bravo nole. rafa played a couple awful shots that game.

can nole hold?


Daniel Says:

Great, Djoko is playing well again. Let’s ser if he can hold and force Nadal to serve for the set again. I don’t think I have ever sãs Nadal blue a 5-1 lead in a set before.


contador Says:

finally a lucky net cord goes for serbia


stu Says:

big serve now please…..40-30


Dory Says:

Netting or missing the backhand and forehand is too short.


contador Says:

massive return! rafa says no. taking this set now. on your serve, buddy.

deuce


Dory Says:

Federer would be frustrated he played horrible that day.


jane Says:

stu, good point. Djoko should definitely leave it all out there, no matter what, because after this we go to Rafa’s playground – clay! But so far I haven’t seen Nole’s best or even near to best tennis, and against Rafa he needs to get back to a higher gear.


contador Says:

ad nole…crucial hold. don’t be weak


Daniel Says:

Oh no, this os the worst that can happen. Nike break, has a 40-0 game and Nadal manage to break again. Will crush Nole’s spirit.


contador Says:

okay. i think we have a match???


jane Says:

contador, Nole says, nope not on my serve buddy!


stu Says:

excellent BH CC, new Nole, I can watch you for hours…


Dory Says:

YES! Finally! He can still break one more. Go Nole.


margot Says:

This Nole wont give up! So good to see :)


Daniel Says:

No, new Djoko hold and live to fight another game.


dari Says:

Ohhhhhh, nice deeeep bh get from novak! And kudos to getting it down to 1 break. I like this guy- when he is not playing fed :)


sar Says:

Nole, too many errors. Nadal just average today and winning.


stu Says:

nadal’s first serve% is a lot lower against Nole than the others…one can’t help but assume that he tends to go for more against him because he gets everything back…


jane Says:

Nice one Nole!


jane Says:

Rafa reply – pound the backhand.


Dory Says:

I’ve seen Nole and Federer playing some really nervous matches once in a while but Rafa usually is very strong and confident mentally. Rarely do we see him this shaky. And this year, this is Nole’s first shaky appearance.


stu Says:

i wish this was played 4 hours later :(

i’m sorry Rafa fans but he’s not playing all that great. where’s the aggressive attack he promised?


contador Says:

my god. that’s one of nole’s best talents. changing directions deep into one side of the court to the other. 0-15

but….rafa fights 15-15

then hits one long 15-30

that super out wide rafa serve makes it 30-30

djoko can’t return what would be a fairly easy serve. set point

1set rafa.


stu Says:

alright. not the worst way to lose a set…


jane Says:

The errors lost Nole that set. Humph. : /


Dory Says:

This would be a real good test for Nole if he comes through after a set down to tennis’ fiercest competitor.


Kimmi Says:

shaky but rafa manage to hold! OK, now we want great tennis from both..c’mon!


stu Says:

i thought Rafa’s backhand was long in that rally, but too risky for Nole to stop playing to challenge…

Nole on the upswing…can he win set 2?


sar Says:

error error error
Nole must sit and think about his stupid errors.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Nole looks good, I think he’s controlling the play. The difference has been the few real sloppy shots Nole’s allowed. Same feeling I had in Indian Wells- Nole seems sharper than Rafa, he could win this.


jane Says:

Dory, he did it – at IW – remember?


contador Says:

it was a respectable comeback from nole.

but he better calm down and play his tennis or this will be all rafa’s match in no time.


dari Says:

There was lots of chances on the first set from novak, and he did well to get 1 break back and even put a little preaaure (30-30) on rafa serving for set. Rafa not outright playing better than novak, so i hope he can take the 2nd- nole, that is.


Daniel Says:

Djoko should hav use a drop Sho in this close to the net balls. He os missing alo of thm going to the high part of the net. He need tonlearn with Fed the forehand drop.
Even do, a great fight back and you ser Nadal was down for a while.


Dory Says:

Maybe they both watched the women’s final yesterday and got “inspired”? LOL


stu Says:

just looking at the stats…they won the same number of points in the last set but Rafa won the more important ones!


contador Says:

what a point! what a shot! wow the speed from nole


stu Says:

clouds, please….


contador Says:

ouch! nole took a tumble on that great shot


Dory Says:

@jane, I’d almost forgotten he was a set down at IW because of today’s error-prone match. :)


contador Says:

nice serving super serb!

cheering nole all the way 2nd set. selfishly want 3 sets….

then a battle in the decider. c’mon nole!


margot Says:

wot a shot from Nole :)


Dory Says:

Robbie Koenig saying winner of the 1st set has won Miami 21 out of 24 times.


contador Says:

i dunno. can nole break rafa?


stu Says:

it’s almost like these 2 need to get to the finals without dropping too many games because they need to conserve as much energy as possible for their match against each other….

phew, at this rate, we may be looking at shorter-than-usual season for both. take it easy, boys…


Dory Says:

Okay now Nadal’s hitting that down the line forehand which means his shakiness is gone.


jane Says:

To me, guys, Nole looks zonked. He looks tired. Whether it is mentally, physically or both. I will be thrilled but truly surprised if he wins thism even though, like TV says, I can see that it is winnable. He is right there with Rafa, and even dictating at times. We will see. But that is my prespective.

Is “trivalry” a word, or is it a tennis neologism?


Kimmi Says:

carillo is back, i start to hear her..ggrrrrr!


Dory Says:

Great backhand from Nole at deuce. Break point now.


jane Says:

Good one Nole ole!


stu Says:

agree, jane. nole’s body language not as good as it has been so far…but he seems to be fighitng

YEAH BREAKKKK!!


Kimmi Says:

break! fist pump…lets go to the third.


Dory Says:

Unbeliveable Nadal missed that!! Djoko breaks. Will both play abnormal till the very end and one of them win??


sar Says:

Koenig always the optimist. LOL


contador Says:

ad nole. he has to break rafa’s serve but it won’t be easy. rafa has a way of brining it when it matters….

YAY!! nole breaks….but too soon to celebrate. rafa about to open his whup-ass? bound to happen.


dari Says:

Nice break, novak.
Actually they say Carillo made up “trivalry”
No.clapping nole


contador Says:

hold, hold, hold


Dory Says:

Nadal can be down 0-5 and still win the set. I won’t celebrate until Nole wins set 2.


Kimmi Says:

nadal want to break here..hold novak


contador Says:

amazing point rafa. that whip was whup-aaaa


jane Says:

Exactly Dory, lol.

Got an ace in your pocket Nole?


stu Says:

how did he find that little crack, Rafa?


dari Says:

Whew, what an athletic point. These young guys can really move


jane Says:

Nole! Don’t donate points by going for too much, doh.


Dory Says:

Whatever happened to hitting fast paced, good length flat shots, Nole?


contador Says:

that was a tired 1st serve from nole followed by another and…long rally goes to rafa..

looks really like rafa does have more in the tank today. but nole, ya never know


jane Says:

Throws racquet, lol.


contador Says:

racket throw!!! hahahaha i like it!


Dory Says:

I think 1st serve is the medicine for all of Nole’s problems.


contador Says:

dam racket


contador Says:

now rafa hots a fist on his racket. and rafa can’t braek back!

LOL…now hang on nole


dari Says:

True that, Dory. Even early break against Rafa means little, but nole holds again! Keep going, novak!


jane Says:

Dory, he’s fighting, trying. 25 straight, you know it has to end sometime. Ideally not today, but as I say, he looks fatigued, but i can tell that mentally he wants to win, so the disjunction between maybe tired legs and hungry mind may be causing frustration. If he can just take the second he may get an adrenalin surge?


Kimmi Says:

great HOLD!


Duro Says:

Can anyone shoot down that damn plain?


margot Says:

Ooer Rafa looking hot ‘n bothered now. Strikes me to beat Rafa you’ve almost got to have a two handed backhand, which can at least compete with Rafa’s mighty forehand.


stu Says:

i think an insurance break is needed here…


contador Says:

hits not hots

if nole can take this set. i’m likely gonna cheer for rafa…just saying.

like it’s up to me….ha!


contador Says:

speed…..and nole kne where rafa was going


stu Says:

Djokovic is winning and losing points all on his own here. Rafa is a short-ball-returning-wall for the most part.


Kimmi Says:

I am all nole today contador. all the way!


contador Says:

rafa ain’t gonna take a bagel.


Kimmi Says:

break again here nole!


Kimmi Says:

that point would have been duece


stu Says:

why is that a replay? Nole should get the point!


contador Says:

kimmi, i really can’t tell …maybe i’m pulling for nole all the way coz i know rafa will take clay season. or maybe i want rafa for my bracket…hm…

all i know right now is that i want nole to win this set….really bad!


stu Says:

what’s a guy gotta do to get some cloud action here


dari Says:

Ooof, good challenge from.novak, but its just a replay and nadal finishes off the game.


jane Says:

That should have been deuce, don’t get it but whatever.

Hope Nole can hold and maybe get insurance. The one-two points are good – serve out wide opening the court nicely,


Dory Says:

2nd serve points won 35% and 61% Nadal and Nole respectively!


Kimmi Says:

dropper lob combo..keep going nole


stu Says:

insurance break, Nole, you’re gonna need it I’m pretty sure..


jane Says:

Nice, excellent service game from Nole. Loved the dropper and lob combo. Even Rafa didnt bother with it.


Kimmi Says:

dory 35% for nadal..really! not good. hope nole keep it up.


stu Says:

both first serve% dropping. Nole playing better again, please let him find the energy to win.


margot Says:

Looks like 3 sets :)


Daniel Says:

Djoko listen to my mind advices. He only misse one point with a drop shot and now a perfect drop-lobby combo. And the lobby was do perfect that landed Almost 2 meters inside the court.


Kimmi Says:

break him..break him nole!


stu Says:

yeah Daniel, Nole really has perfected those lobs starting with the AO final…


Daniel Says:

Fantastic Djoko!!!


stu Says:

i can watch dropper-lobs all day :D


Kimmi Says:

Lob in! NO WAY!

nadal should try tweeners now!


Dory Says:

Wow this lob landed on the baseline.


contador Says:

wow, another dropper lob combo…..0-40 nole


dari Says:

Novak scratches his face between strokes and wins the point! Looooooove it!


stu Says:

I wish Nole hadn’t wasted time and energy making errors in set 1


Kimmi Says:

good serving..


Dory Says:

Now that’s the way to hit the backhand Nole. Fast and flat. Go break him!!


contador Says:

cc winner—-nole!!

this is as fun as fedals USED to be!


stu Says:

he’s very, very good jane :)


contador Says:

back to deuce. rafa needs a rocket serve here


blank Says:

I think Djokovic is going to sweep the HC tournaments this year. Nadal, as usual, will get everything on Clay. I hope Fed gets Wimbledon for one last time. The way he is playing and the way other things are shaping up, there is not much hope for him elsewhere.


Daniel Says:

Great serve and forehand wide by Nadal to save BP.


Kimmi Says:

ah, nole had this game


jane Says:

Nole starting to “feel it” – beautiful lob again after pulling Rafa into the net. But Rafa holds, and no insurance for Nole. : /


stu Says:

easy hold for 5-2 now please….


contador Says:

rafa holds. never out of danger with rafa.

nole can’t drop his level one teensy bit


dari Says:

“this is as fun as fedals USED to be!”
I’ll take it contador and agree to that statement in part because for me, they are way less anxiety-ridden as well :)


jane Says:

Please hold Nole. Find some aces, please. Stop missing. Don’t give this back.


dari Says:

Hey Charlie moya!


contador Says:

watch -out Madal is coming out.

oh la la carlos moya in the house


Kimmi Says:

hmmmm, he needs to hold nole, c`mon


stu Says:

don’t blow it, my goodness…


jane Says:

Phew. Confident play by Nole.


contador Says:

oh djoko soooo ready for that rafa shot!!


stu Says:

have i mentioned i love new Nole?


Kimmi Says:

rolex and federer..ah federer those days


dari Says:

Whew, novak. Way to hold.
Go go go!


Kimmi Says:

it will be good to break him here


Dory Says:

Wonder how many pure *winners* they have at the end of 2 sets minus the serves?


contador Says:

psych – dari! we both caught that charlie moya shot same time : )


margot Says:

jane, not sure about Rafa being in Nole’s head, rather think Nole is in Rafa’s – v. poor serving and ball going short into middle of court ????


stu Says:

jane has converted all of tennis-x into Nole supporters :)


dari Says:

Haha, kimmi. We will always have the Rolex commercials
Novak playing like he can win, seriously


Daniel Says:

Now will be ideal to break, so Nole can start serving first in third set. Nadal is really a beast, even When is clear Djoko has control of the match He still saved 3 BPast time HD serves.


stu Says:

aaaah i wish he had broken him right here


Kimmi Says:

needs to hold! go nole!


contador Says:

that out wide serve has worked almost every time for rafa.

c’mon nole serve this set out!!


Daniel Says:

Moment of the truth for Nole.


contador Says:

hahahahaha!! loved that point! djoko anticipation


Daniel Says:

Nadal has only 3 forehands winners in 19 games. Djoko has 10.


stu Says:

patience and anticipation… i thought he would blow that at 15-0


contador Says:

1 more novak for the set


Dory Says:

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


stu Says:

YESSSS NOLEEEE!!!!!


jane Says:

margot, Nole started very nervously against Rafa at IW and here, and he doesn’t usually do that. To me, given their H2H and all the close ones Nole’s lost to him, Rafa is a little bit in his head. But as for Nole being in Rafa’s? I’d say no. Only this: Rafa is smart and knows Djoko is a great returner so he goes for lots on serve to compensate. Hitting short balls in the middle of court is common for Rafa: same against Fed the other night. But there is a lot of spin and that can cause shanks, esp if player icannot create a good angle.

Good job Nole – way to find some form and push this to 3 sets!!


Kimmi Says:

we are going to the decider. great final so far!


contador Says:

job done.

*sigh* now, completely neutral on who wins. sit back and enjoy. : )


stu Says:

Save for a few UEs in set 1, Nole really has been the better player. He could have taken it in 2…but I’m not fully confident that he will take set 3..


sar Says:

I wish he could win this and then collapse and rest. Rafa will win everything on clay.


dari Says:

Kick- body serve, then an ace!
How could you not notice Charlie. The original mallorcan :)
Yes, Jane, has contributed greatly to influencing novak support here. His beastly tennis is secondary ;)


jane Says:

stu, he did it with his play…wasnt me.


stu Says:

2 hours already these 2 beasts have been playing


thark Says:

ok ok ok.

the nole train has been blowin’ its whistle for a while now.

everything i used to complain about when it came to his mental fortitude and overall attitude appears to have dissolved completely in 2011.

add to that whatever that “reactionary awkward pelvic volley winner” shot just was…

consider me on board.

let’s go nole!


Dory Says:

Whatever errors they may be committing it’s far less painful to watch than the Fedal semi. Thank God that match wasn’t the final.


Kimmi Says:

early break for nole here should puuurfect


Ike Says:

hey contador, dory, kimmi, stu, jane, daniel!!!

well, i m still picking Nole to win the third set!

Doesn’t matter … “Roger Federer: I’m Picking Rafa to Beat Djokovic Sunday” LOL!!!


contador Says:

if rafa takes a minute to think, he should throw down the out-wide serve if possible. but missing too many first serves.

vamos rafa! dont get hosed!


stu Says:

sar, my sentiments exactly


Kimmi Says:

that was a great return..gooo nole!


jane Says:

Come on Nole – stay with Rafa here, dig deep, find your highest gear. Rafa’s playground on clay is right around the corner,


contador Says:

c’mon


stu Says:

Ike, you really were more confident than all of us combined the other day!


Kimmi Says:

MADAL face is on now


contador Says:

betcha feddy is watching this match, ike.


kriket Says:

This match is Novak’s to lose. Nadal is struggling on almost every of his service games, but escaped cos Novak failed to convert too many break points. Nadal has been winning more points on Novak’s errors than on his own winners. We’ll have to wait and see what happens in the 3rd set, but I wouldn’t bet on Nadal.


jane Says:

Well, now Rafa has to replay one so they are even.


contador Says:

wouldnt want to see rafa breadstucking or bageled

vamos!!


Dory Says:

That point should not be replayed. oh well…


stu Says:

hey you got lucky last time, Rafa. suck it up now…


jane Says:

Nice point!


Kimmi Says:

what a defence from djoko..loving this


Daniel Says:

This 2 are just abobe anyone else right now!


Andrea Says:

Interesting seeing nadal get frustrated….which he never does against fed


dari Says:

Whaaaaaaaaaaat?!!!!!!
Nobody can handle Rafa like novak just did.


contador Says:

oh..super serb point! deuce


stu Says:

yeah, Rafa changing tactics as expected…more aggression…


Kimmi Says:

bad miss nole..


C!P! Says:

I would say this : the better they play ,Nadal wins ,the worse they play ,Djokovic wins


Dory Says:

OMG! This is turning into quite a game from Nole!!


jane Says:

Another nice one for deuce #2


Kimmi Says:

some great shot making here


contador Says:

djoko too good. that dtl passing shot


sar Says:

He’s like a gumby


stu Says:

i’m just sitting and staring at my laptop in absolute amazement.


contador Says:

rafa says thanks nole. thanks for hitting that long


jane Says:

Ah, too much spin – Rafa makes Nole shank.


Ike Says:

stu
confidence is key to success!!!
I believe that Nole believes he is going to win this third set!

contador
i agree! def. Roger is watching this match! he may deny it though LOL


Kimmi Says:

a hold, nole turn now!


Daniel Says:

Djoko better regroup fast and make his pen game. He can be fooled by his long gane He lost.


contador Says:

nadal hold. but barely. nole looked tired when losing 1st set but he sure doesn’t now.


stu Says:

how much does Nole have in the tank, anyone have a clue?

Rafa of course has limitless energy…


sar Says:

At least fans getting their money’s worth today.


Daniel Says:

Danger, his missed drop with the right shot.


jane Says:

Rafa going for the break here?


stu Says:

UE Nole is back? Say it isn’t so!


Dory Says:

Nole serving behind is making me nervous. Still not finding 1st serves.


stu Says:

9/12 net points won? really? :D


jane Says:

Agree Dory, also feel like Rafa’s energy bars are kicking in while Nole needs more bananas. ;)


Dory Says:

Wow! But’s certainly looking less tired now, Nole that is!


dari Says:

Anticipation, touch from nole. My my…


Dory Says:

Solid game from Nole!!!! Play like this till the end of the set.


stu Says:

this is a good time to break.


stu Says:

i don’t think my hungover heart can take a 3rd set TB today…


Dory Says:

Djoko raising the level here very clearly.


Dory Says:

Incredible defense from Nole.


Kimmi Says:

poor miss by rafa. nole needs to take adv..c`mon!


stu Says:

James LaRosa from the tennischannel called this match-up tennis porn. it really is starting to feel like it!


billyboy512 Says:

Will someone please tell Mary Carillo to STFU?


dari Says:

Whoa- Rafa muscles in the slick green shirt looks like the hulk.
Come on novak, break here!
Stu, best thing you can do right now is have a drink


contador Says:

yap. 1set i didn’t want nole to get into a long rally with rafa. now it’s just the opposite. nole winning the long rallies.

rafa serve gets him out of trouble


Kimmi Says:

big ace in the middle( x2)


contador Says:

rafa holds!


Kimmi Says:

rafa is very happy to hold. nole turn now!


stu Says:

oooh Madal is BACK


Ike Says:

i think Nole is a great actor!
most of the times he will have kind of tired look when he is losing a set, but few minutes later he is in great condition.


margot Says:

dari: it’s a win win isn’t it? If Nole wins I shall be so happy for him. He and Andy have lived too long under the shadow of Fedal and if Rafa wins I shall be so happy for my bracket :)


dari Says:

Uh oh, Rafa doing knee- up uppercut celebrations, novak will have to raise his level!


stu Says:

focus, Nole. you’ve played too well to lose now…


contador Says:

madal is not quite back idt. nole is donating atm


Kimmi Says:

2 bad bad errors..


Daniel Says:

Damm! 2 UE. Djoko needs to dog dip.


jane Says:

Stu, that was me yesterday; I bowed out of the women’s final. The screeching wouldve sent me over the edge.

Very nerve wracking with Nole serving behind. I hope he can hang on. I am glad he has dug deep either way. Rafa has also increased his level. Which makes it tenser in this final set.

Danger time for Nole…


contador Says:

great dropper nole. wow nole knows when to use it too.


contador Says:

nole even has rafa pushed back and that time wrong-footed.


Kimmi Says:

great shot down the line


dari Says:

Who wrong-foots Rafa?!


dari Says:

Who wrong-foots Rafa?!


Kimmi Says:

one more big point here

and…nole gets it


contador Says:

incredible


jane Says:

But not enough first serves! Be nice if he could get a few more easy points on firsts.


Kimmi Says:

great hold nole..that was a tough game to hold..from 0-30. now break him!!!!


Daniel Says:

Wow Djoko! Now go for it. Nadal’s moral has to be some how Low now.


stu Says:

very important hold. some cloud cover now pleaaaase…


contador Says:

nole wrong-footed rafa that game!


contador Says:

rafa df’s


Kimmi Says:

aaah, they are both nervous. double fault rafa!


stu Says:

Rafa’s a beast. he just patiently stays there waiting to pounce. i never write him off.


Ike Says:

it’s that time again…2-2
watch out! the match is going to be decided in next 10 minutes!


contador Says:

oh no!!


Kimmi Says:

aaaagh, 0-30 rafa trun now. can he save it


Daniel Says:

But that is key ti Nadal return. He may not return as well as Nold and Murray. But seems like He get more returns in.


stu Says:

this is it, Nole, 0-30, 2-2, this is your opening.


Kimmi Says:

aaaagh, 0-30 rafa trun now. can he escape


Kimmi Says:

what a FH rafa


jane Says:

Rafa with a dtl winner. Nole played that point too tenatively.


stu Says:

_excellent_ point from Rafa for 15-30. couldn’t have played it better.


contador Says:

trouble time….must serve well rafa


jane Says:

30 all both Nole and Rafa digging out of holes… Yep nerves.


Kimmi Says:

uncle standing to give rafa some support

still big point


Kimmi Says:

WHAT was that! c`mon nole..here is a chance


jane Says:

Oh bad miss there, Nole flabbergasted, lol.


stu Says:

*feels dizzy from Madrid deja vu*


Kimmi Says:

OK..nole gave away that game..rafa very happy to hold. nole turn now!


jane Says:

Lol, stu. Looked like a dizzy point, and now he is gesturing. Time to throw down racquet again? Helped last time he did it.


contador Says:

that felt like a big service game for rafa…holding off a nole break


Daniel Says:

This is a silly return. Djoko can’t allow himself to not return 2 second serves in a row. That’s the difference with IW final. In the third ser Djoko returned amazing. The match is pretty even right now with a Skank edge to Nadal who serves first.


stu Says:

if Nole manages to hold here, he really needs to break the next one to win.


Dory Says:

I’m worried he’ll crack in some game. Focus Djoker!


kriket Says:

Nadal still struggling though Novak us more tired now, not getting those break points he failed to convert in the 1st set. Still wouldn’t bet on Nadal to win this.


contador Says:

why can’t rafa play like that v fed?


dari Says:

Haha, “Skank” edge, Daniel? And with a capital s?!


jane Says:

What is a “skank edge” Daniel? Just wondering…?:)


jane Says:

Nole finish the points sooner!


stu Says:

Rafa lucky there


stu Says:

you are just brilliant Mr. Novak Djokovic. you deserve to win this.


Dory Says:

Phew! 3-3. This game was tense.


Kimmi Says:

not good serving from nole in second..good thing he is winning a good second serve percentage.


contador Says:

really such a gift to hit than deep change of direction that rafa can’t even get to.


Daniel Says:

Damm iPhone corrector. It was suppose to be small. Lol!


Dory Says:

Nole not returning as well now.


stu Says:

this is the 3rd second serve return he’s missed in a row


Dory Says:

That defense at 0-15 was so unbelivable from ND.


contador Says:

rafa missing long? vaamos


jane Says:

Yeah, Nole’s returns haven’t been “on” this game. Way “off” in fact. Hate the serving behind thing…too tense.


stu Says:

easy hold for rafa? momentum swing?


Kimmi Says:

crunch time now! nole should stay focus!


thark Says:

i’m on the skank edge of my seat atm…


stu Says:

Ack! Rafa 2 games away. When they put it like that…


contador Says:

can nole continue his winning streak onto clay…??


jane Says:

Very nervous… Crunch time for Nole here. Are nerves going to creep in? Uncle Toni on his feet for love-15.


stu Says:

it was at such a stage tht Nole lost focus for a fraction of a second in Madrid and the Olympics.

not “new Nole” I hope…

not liking the body language


Dory Says:

Novak losing wouldn’t be a big deal after this streak but he has fought in this match!!! He should win.


Kimmi Says:

danger here


sar Says:

Because that’s who they want, stu


jane Says:

Lack of first serves in this third set for Nole. Fatigue maybe,


stu Says:

get a fcking 1st serve come on~


contador Says:

what a shank rafa!


stu Says:

42%. ridiculous, Nole.


sar Says:

hold and break please


Dory Says:

Now just break Nadal once! Please!!!!


jane Says:

4 all… Freaking tense.


dari Says:

Serve is the word for this third set- novak needs to pick up his first, as Rafa certainly has.
Nice volley from novak- and nice fh with a big grunt! Was that a grunt, really?


Kimmi Says:

but he is winning almost all his second serves jane.


stu Says:

yeah he’s gonna break now.


Andrea Says:

Not used to seeing nadal caught in the corners all the time


Kimmi Says:

uncle toni on his feet..


thark Says:

dude uncle toni is out of his seat! how often does that happen?


stu Says:

Kimmi, first serve would be useful to shorten points..


Dory Says:

Nadal nervous as hell!!


jane Says:

I know Kimmi, but easy points would help. Then he could put more pressure to break and not work as hard to hold. That is all.

Tennnnnsssse.


dari Says:

Aww, nice family moment shots- uncle toni on his feet, novak parents linking arms


contador Says:

okay, rafa just gave nole the run around for once. change of direction worked…but it has to be perfct, otherwise nole gets to it.

rafa donates…a df

mm, kay….

big point


stu Says:

kill that second serve now


Kimmi Says:

tired FH frm nole..c`mon !!


contador Says:

rafa not out of jail yet. he needs to hold now.


Dory Says:

O dear!


Kimmi Says:

ah..pressure on nole to hold! pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure aaaaargh! go nole!


jane Says:

Yep, two tired looking misses frm Nole in a row – tired or nervous? Crunchest time of all next….


Dory Says:

Hope it doesn’t get to a tiebreak!! Nadal always wins tiebreaks.


sar Says:

Novak dig deep and hold


stu Says:

rafa, come on, he’s a friend. give him ONE record dammit.


jane Says:

Nole needs big serves NOW.


stu Says:

i dont understand why commentators are talking as if Rafa has already won. there hasnt been a break yet this set.


Kimmi Says:

rafa will be going for this..concentrate nole!


Ike Says:

jane
don’t be nervous, Nole will hold his serve!


Dory Says:

Very few points won on serve by Djokovic in this match.


Ike Says:

stu

u watching it on CBS? they are always pro no.1


TennisFan Says:

What’s the score?


jane Says:

What was with the moonballs from Nole there? *confused*


stu Says:

If Rafa wins this I won’t be able to root for him in any match ever again.


stu Says:

Ike, I’m watching a ten sports stream…


Dory Says:

Great job! Coming to the net!!! 2 points!


jane Says:

Two good points. pleasr hold Nole!


contador Says:

perfect volley nole. he’s confident! confident game from nole.


Kimmi Says:

5-5 all…break him nole. break him!


stu Says:

Nole has been playing better, if there is any justice he will win.


stu Says:

break him, no TB gosh


jane Says:

Ahhhhh my palms are sweating. Should I start vacuuming? Haven’t done that in a while!


Dory Says:

Ten Sports is the Dubai-based network. Same here in India. ATP commentators Robbie Koenig and Jason Goodall.


sar Says:

yep stu. NOle must win this and Rafa can take the clay.


dari Says:

Impressive hold from novak, net and serve game elevated. You know what he deserves for that- a BREAK!
Go novak!


stu Says:

He would need a serve for the TB


Kimberly Says:

wow, just got home figured i missed this match and it would have been over an hour ago. one way or the other.


Dory Says:

Djoko’s focus is gone in serving and returning due to exhaustion. Understandable.


Kimmi Says:

a love hold! nole turn now. passed first test..i think this match deserves the tie break


stu Says:

just one more game and a few more points to win, Nole. you can do it, dig deep. the ice bath is not far away.


margot Says:

Goodness! What a nail biter! R we going to a tie break? jane, stu hiding????


Ike Says:

it doesn’t matter how “tired” Nole looks, both players have played over 3 hours, they both are tired…Nole is going to win this Match!


jane Says:

Yep. Think Rafa will eek this out. Nole doesn’t have a great serve this set at all.


stu Says:

yea, jane, starting to feel a bit resigned too. been here too many times before with these two :)


Daniel Says:

Djoko record in tiebreak is not good against Nadal.


jane Says:

Ike, true, both would be tired. I think with Nole it is probably mental too. Rafa looking like a beater here…


Dory Says:

OMG! Rafa steps it up!!!


Daniel Says:

I think this os it for Nole. Nadal has that I am not going to lose this match Look.


jane Says:

Trouble …?


Kimmi Says:

tense..very tense..hold nole


Dory Says:

Please Djokovic ace needed.


jane Says:

Nice forehand Nole – tiebreak?


Dory Says:

That point at 30-30 gave me a mini heart attack.


Ike Says:

here we go……..


Kimmi Says:

tie break! this match deserve that..

noleeeeeeeee!


Dory Says:

Who’ll most the most 1st serves in the tie break will win.


jane Says:

Well, well, well, it is a classic finale to the spring hardcourt swing.


stu Says:

let the palpitations begin.
and may the best man win.


Daniel Says:

Wow Djoko. He refuses to lose.


Kimmi Says:

OUT!! take adv nole


Kimmi Says:

still no first serves


Kimmi Says:

mini break back..first serve needed here


Dory Says:

I fear he’s too tired now and Nadal is gonna make him run from side to side.


Kimmi Says:

rafa takes both points..


jane Says:

Rafa with BOTH Nole’s serve points. :(


Daniel Says:

3 points where Nadal topo initiative. 1 He missed and 2 He won. Djoko better go do it.


Dory Says:

What power hitting from the Serb!!!!!


sar Says:

Nadal sucking wind


Dory Says:

YES YES YES!!!!


jane Says:

Nole does the same! :) with some help.


sar Says:

noleeeeeeeeee take it now


Daniel Says:

OMG, 5 minibreaks. Are They WTA?!:)


Kimmi Says:

DF..nobody has won their serve point yet


Dory Says:

Nadal and 6 DFs!!! Is that a record high?


Kimmi Says:

nole go go go!


stu Says:

this is an epic battle. i love these 2.


jane Says:

Go nole GO – you can see the finish line. Of course so can Rafa, but, well, sputter, GO


Kimmi Says:

if nole wins this point he will relax and attack rafa serve..c`mon


Dory Says:

Would be so amazing I am starting to believe it! 2 finals won in a row after his previous 0-5 record!!!


sar Says:

omg can he do it?


Kimmi Says:

needed an ace there, no one is hitting the ace.

easy point for nole there..2 more points. another mini break here nole


Dory Says:

Against Rafa I mean.


jane Says:

Come on Nole…. Can barely stand it.


Kimmi Says:

Match points..4 ho ho ho!


Kimmi Says:

one more here


jane Says:

Ace? pllllleeeeeeeease


Kimmi Says:

3 more nole..c`mon BIG SERVE here


kriket Says:

Đoković has to win this now!


Daniel Says:

Unbelievable. Djoko breais Nadal spirit and body. Nadal felt the tiredeness.
1 more point Djoko to close a remarkable run.


Kimmi Says:

no aces..second serve.


jane Says:

Aaaaaaack


Kimmi Says:

RAFA save another..nole one more here! pleeeease!


stu Says:

too close


Dory Says:

And Djokovic wins the North American hard court double! FANTASTIC.


sar Says:

Bravo, can’t believe it

Now go rest


Ike Says:

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!


jane Says:

OMG!!!!!!! The best NOLEEEEEEEEEEEEE!


thark Says:

wow. wow. wow.

congrats nole!


Ike Says:

AND Nole will win 2011 USO!


stu Says:

i think im crying. Nole is the new Rafa!


kriket Says:

Nadal looks beaten.


Ike Says:

jane
i told u so :)


Dory Says:

I can also see to some extent Djoko being No.1 by the end of the year.


Kimmi Says:

he got the first serve in!!!!

CONGRATS TO NOLE and his FANS I WAS ON NOLE TODAY. I AM VERY HAPPY FOR HIM.

What an incredible run he is having.

happy to go on clay!


Maso Says:

What an incredible start of season for Djokovic. Maybe this is the year for him. Clay season ahead of us, ladies and gentlemen, we’re getting to the juicy part of the season!!


blank Says:

Unbelievable play by Djokovic!

Now if he stays healthy through the year, NOTHING else, not even a Nadal sweep of the Clay season, can stop him from getting the Year End No. 1 ranking!!

Congrats Nole and his fans!


stu Says:

I promise, no unreasonable expectations for MC.
Fitting match to crown your achievements.

Good luck on clay, Rafa.


margot Says:

Fabulous, fabulous match no losers!
Congrats to Nole and all his fans, jane, stu, Duro Nina and anyone else I’ve left out!
Nole’s fabulous run continues :)
jane: I aim to buy shares in Canadian champagne!
Can’t wait for the clay season. Nole is sure gonna trouble those Spaniards!
Role on Monte Carlo!


Dory Says:

Still remains unbeaten!! 40 winners in this match!! Ike believed in him.


dari Says:

What a final!
I am so happy for novak- making history!
Abstained from.comments during TB, too much.
CONGRATULATIONs To Novak!
And to fans!
Literally UNBEATABLE!


sar Says:

Nadal fans, I know he wanted Miami really bad but he is gonna sweep clay.

NOle gets the rare IW KB double.


Kimmi Says:

amazing run by nole. what a year he is having. wish i picked him on my bracket.

Now on to clay, who will pick against rafa


Kimberly Says:

COngrats to Djokovic fans, Jane, Sar, Duro, Stu, and all others. sad for Rafa (and myself of course) but from all accounts proud of the match he played.

Credit to Novak, I have never seen Nadal look completely physically exhausted.


stu Says:

i’d give anything to be Jelena right now.


jane Says:

I am so happy – what a sweeeeeeeep. He has beaten Rafa twice, Fed thrice. No one can doubt his quality. It is fabulous. And his heart? :)


stu Says:

No excuses. Rafa played well today :)


stu Says:

jane, I TOLD YOU SO!!!!


Dory Says:

8-0 against top 10 players.


jane Says:

Thanks Kimberly – Rafa’s playground is next, so take heart. Plus two finals is good,


Ike Says:

CBS sucks!!!!!!!


steve-o Says:

Congratulations to Djokovic on the IW-Miami double.


stu Says:

he’s so tired he can barely speak!


Dory Says:

4500 points before clay season! Would be difficult to defend next year.


Ike Says:

if anyone thinks Rafa is going to win 3 clay court Masters and French Open this season, then they are fooling themselves!!!


Kimberly Says:

stu-no excuses, rafa played AWESOME from what I hear. His complete physcial exhaustion at the end is a testament to how much djoko ran him arund and how much rafa got to. If anything I thought the long match would benefit Rafa but he was keeling over grabbing his knees. Never in 6 years of watching Rafa have a seen a player do that to him.

With that said, from my husbands account this will go down as a sony ericsson classic and was one of the better matches he has ever seen Nadal play on hard.


dari Says:

I have never see. Rafa holding him self up on his racket like that. Nole gets so many balls back and makes his opponent run, too. Both guys played amazing match, was so fun to watch them in both tourneys. I thought Rafa would get this missing miami, but novak wanted the double bad!
I’m not the type of fed fan who says they wont watch tennis when he is gone, but these guys are carrying the torch beautifully. Tennis is the best! And clearly nole is the beat right now!
Onto the clay!


Dory Says:

Nadal will need to rest as well! And JMDP will give him a tough time I believe as well.


jane Says:

Stu – yes you did GIRL! Scream it! Ike told me so too! :)


stu Says:

Kimberly, you must watch this match when you get a chance. Especially the 3rd set. There was really nothing separating these 2….


contador Says:

yeah, nole and nole fans time to shine!

that was a fun battle to watch.

but rafa couldn’t get a 1st serve….seemed like.
and on nole’s 2nd serve was not stepping in and taking it to nole.

weird to see rafa lose like that. and weirder for me to be saying vamos rafa! that decider. last week i was cheering nole at IW.

maybe has something to do with who beats federer. the one who beats my man better win the tourny. but nole had the upper hand. really well done by nole. he was confident throughout the 2nd and 3rd set. won that tie break in style. no choking.


stu Says:

Duro, where are you? :)


Duro Says:

In Novak we trust!!!

Thank you dearest, dearest boy!

If wasn’t 39 and a man, I would have cried from a joy like a baby!

SuperNova(k), the brightest star of them all…

Thank you all.

Cheers.


Kimmi Says:

nole has to pass monte carlo..seriously. even robby koening and goodall are saying so. needs about three weeks rest.


Debra Says:

I’m proud of both of them! What a battle. Just the way a final should be.


jane Says:

margot, not sure Canadian champers is the way to go. ;)


Dory Says:

For doing well at the French Open, he should one of the 1000s. And MC is not the mandatory one, so that’s the one he should skip.


blank Says:

Kimmi,

Novak needs to sneak a win or two on clay to ensure he is a safe bet for YE No. 1. Monte Carlo being the fastest of clay surfaces, I reckon he has a good chance there, especially knowing that now Rafa is at least as tired and exhausted as Novak.


dari Says:

What is the official status with Monte Carlo? Still 1000 points, but not technically a mandatory masters?
Best bet for him to take a break, cause the ATP train will be going full steam after that.
And he lives in MC so if he wants to check out a match or two he can ;)


contador Says:

i’m with you , ike! CBS sucks!! no trophy ceremony, nothing….really should have streamed the match not watched it on TV….


dari Says:

Did I mention that was a great match?!


Huh Says:

Wasn’t sure whom to support in this match, but thought nadal’d win. but now datdjoko’s actualy won, KUDOS KUDOS KUDOS DJOKO DJOKO DJOKO!!!
Now I know whom to root for, Nole showin his greatness n dats awesom 2 see!

Allez Nole!!!
finsly som1 apart frm Fed beat Rafa in a tight match, well done, very wel done Nole, CONGRATS!!!

Now dat we Fed fans r d poor guys here, I’d humbly like to congratulate Novak Djokovic n his fans. No problem wid Nole beatin Fed so long as he also keeps beatin Rafa, hehe!

Congratulations Mrs. Jane, sar, duro, stu, dory, danica n othr Nole fans. I’d start rootin 4 ur guy frm now onwards unles it’s against Fed or JMDP or Muzza.


Mila Says:

Soooooooo very, very, very, proud to be Serbian in Miami today!!!

Heck so proud to be Serbian, period!

Novak’s ball cap at the ceremony both here and in IW said “SERBIA” for those who do not read Cyrillic. His shoes are in Serbian colors as well. Just sayin’…

As I said before, I am going to enjoy every moment in this new era of tennis to come.


Huh Says:

thank u nole 4 denyin Rafa 2 masters titles n thereby keepin Fed’s masters record look decent vis-a-vis rafa, lol! :D


Dory Says:

He’s definitely going to play Serbia and not playing and Madrid and Rome follow that immediately. They should have allowed two weeks rest after Rome and before French Open.


dari Says:

Don’t worry, guys I’m sure there will be the video of dull ceremony up here later.
But I could tell the way Mary Joe was rushing through interview with shirtless nole on the bench that we werent gonna get a touch of the ceremony.
Rafa needs to step up his chest hair game in the top 3


Duro Says:

And I must ask something:

Is there a living soul on earth that beat Rafa 9 times?

No one else!!!

And Rafa is the best player in the world!!!

Be proud my boy. You grew up finally, as a man, as well as tennis force.

Two Grand Slams, 7 masters titles, one master cup title, an Olympic medal, Davis cup title, doubles title, 22 titles overall and you are still 23…

Novak Djoković, our brightest star in the sky.

God bless you.


chrisJ Says:

What a match…What a match! I don’t think I could be more proud of Novak…He never gave up and kept fighting until the end and slowly wore Nadal down even when I thought he would lose this match several times while watching…my hero


blank Says:

Mila,
Very happy for you. I am sure you will have many more such joyous moments this year with the grand prize waiting for at the end of the year.


tennis coach Says:

Nole is a tennis God!!!!


dari Says:

Huh- fed, JMdP and muzz my order of faves, too! Novak has always been up there, but I’m not gonna supplant any of my 3 for outstanding novak play.
Still, novak PHENOMENAAAAALLLL!
Big pay off for fans who made it through last year
He’s basically won two majors already this year- pointswise. Just call IW-KB a three-week multi-site major.


Kimmi Says:

nadal actually gained point in IW and miami. the clay season is where point MIGHT come off. I hope nole is healthy, federer and muzza wakes up and JMDP keeps improving. we need some competition.


Skeezerweezer Says:

N O V A K!!!!

You are the hottest player on tour, no doubt. Congrats to you, one of the few players who has ever got into Rafa’s head and beat him physically. Twice in a row in a final. Ladies and Gents, we have a terrific season ahead!!!


Dory Says:

RF 8-15 against Rafa. Novak 9-16 against Rafa. Interesting!!


penster Says:

madmax @ menstennisforums:

http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=180025&page=3

“retire Nadull
Getting owned on a blue clay by an inferior grinder like Faker warrants a retirement really.”

———————————————–

madmax was it you?


Little Wing Says:

Congrats to Nole. Well played, the better man.

I must have watched a different match than some you because Rafa did not play awesome. The only reason Rafa won that first set was because Djokovic came in cold. From the beginning Rafa was tentative with his forehand and dropping balls short. Rafa only started to play better in the 3rd set and even then it was his serve that got him out of trouble. Rafa just kept hitting to Djokovic’s backhand, right in the strike zone and without enough depth and allowing Djokovic to dictate, which he did. Rafa has got to work on his backhand return. In the 3rd set Djokovic’s serve was below par and Rafa had so many looks at 2nd serves but was too tentative.

Where was the aggressive Rafa who ripped forehands against Berdych? Where was Rafa’s net play? To me throughout the match Rafa looked slow and just tight. I think the Djokovic aura of invincibility on hard courts got to Rafa before he even came out.

The positives from the match: Rafa didn’t go away in the 3rd set and his serve improved.


dari Says:

Rafa did rip some forehands, but a few more came back than he expected.


Huh Says:

The tenis so far dis year doesn’t convinc me dat any1 can beat or evn chaleng Nadal at RG, but if Nadal n Djokovic meet at Wimby, then it’d not be a straight setter at all. Confidenc does wonders to anybody n Novak wid confidenc is doin wonders right now. Winning Wimbledon is the ultimate wonder in tennis. Howevr, d only thing wich wouldn’t be a wonder to me is dat if Nole finaly wins a Wimbledon in 2011.

IF, n dats d BIG ‘IF’, Nole somehow beats Nadal at Wimby dis year, then dat wud b d real blow 2 Nadal, a blow wich wouldn’t stop Nadal, but for sure signal d beginin of d end. Al d gr8 wimby champs hav reachd der ultimat glory on capturin wimby, but sadly der ignominy too starts d day dey fail to defend der most covetd n much cherishd Wimby title in a landmark battl(latest case is of Fed wen he lost 2 nadal his wimby titl in 08, it signalled d beginin of d end. N only few hav recoverd frm a real loss at WIMBY. Thus Rafa may afford 2 lose his WIM titl 2 jst abt any1 includin Fed, bt Nadal at al costs must avoid losin 2 nole at wimby.


kriket Says:

@Little Wing, by your criteria, neither did Novak play awesome. He also didn’t go for the lines (like hi did in IW final) but hit balls is the strike zone. His break points conversion was 2/9. When you look at it like that, they both played below their capanilites, but still it was
an awesome match and Novak came on top in style. Everyone favored Nadal to win just because of his past successes and Novaks past chokes. Fact is, Novak is the better player right now no matter how you spin it. It’s the same story when Nadal took over Fed at No.1 and many people even today refuse to admit that Fed isn’t the best anymore. Same here, nobody can’t believe that there is a player other than Fed who can really challenge Rafa. But scores speak for themselves, and you could call one finals victory a fluke, but two victories back to back? Sorry Rafa, not so untouchable anymore!


grendel Says:

Pulsating 3rd set, goodness meso! Been curious reading thru the posts (after end of match) – doesn’t seem to have been a single Nadal fan posting, not till after match. Why?

I predicted a Nadal win in a tight match. I admire those non-Djokovic tennis fans who got it right. The fact is, Djokovic played by far the better tennis for the bulk of the match – not the beginning, obviously, and not the end either. Nadal’s warrior spirit nearly saw him thru, Djokovic was on a definite wobble, but he held on all the same. Nadal really went for it, and to me it looked like he was subduing Djokovic. But the Joker’s hard to read. When in a corner, Nadal exudes fight and spite and a sort of manic intensity, whilst Djokovic huffs and puffs and looks just about on his feet. But he rode the storm with admirable calm, and threw in one or two of his own dazzlers for good measure – and that carried the day. In the end, astonishingly, it was the Spaniard who cracked.

One or two thoughts. At some point in the second set, Djokovic earned 2 break points to get a double break. First break point he put lamely into the net – it was clearly a lapse in concentration (perhaps he was already savouring the break to come) and Nadal eventually pulled through the game. Such is my unreasonable and exaggerated respect for the magical properties of Nadal that I was instantly overcome with gloom: game gone, probably set too, and thus the match. That sort of thing. Why watch any more, foregone conclusion, might as well go and peel the potatoes. However, I pulled myself together, and was rewarded with a thriller.

I thought Nadal’s serve – towards the end anyway -was much sharper than Djokovic’s, which is a surprise. But what really was an eye-opener was Djokovic’s volleying – quite outstanding. Is there a better volleyer in the game now? It’s a tribute to his work ethic, enterprise and natural ability since he is not a natural volleyer (though he is surely becoming one). Whereas Murray IS but seems intent on hiding his talent.

On to the clay season. I agree with Ike, I don’t think Nadal will win everything in sight. Most things, though…


oggy Says:

Wow, as a Nole fan, I’d always feel the nerves tingling when he’d play Nadal. I might’ve had them this evening as well if I watched the beginning but luckily I only joined the match at 5-2 Nadal LOL. I was expecting Rafa to win tonight, but Nole’s level was so high and relentless. It sort of reminded me of the USO finals, just with the roles reversed. Unlike the implosion at IW, Rafa was playing very well IMHO throughout the match, I even felt he stepped it up a bit in the 3rd, bit more aggressive, his 1st serve was firing pretty well, but short of him hitting ridiculous winners, the match seemed to lie in Nole’s hands. By the end, I was feeling confident Novak would win, and I think if it wasn’t for the drop in his 1st serve %, he would’ve wrapped it up before the breaker. I don’t remember ever seeing him have control over an in-form Rafa… the win at IW was big, but this somehow feels like a game changer. We’ll see, we’re on Rafa’s playground next…


Little Wing Says:

@Kriket, Nole is the best player on Hard court right now, no question.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

This is a sea change in tennis. I felt Nole was in control for most of the match, outplaying Nadal except for a few awful but unforced errors in the first set. Nole really picked it up on his serve in the third, but he had really no offensive firepower today.
What happened to the New Rafa we saw at USO, that could flatten the shot out of nowhere and blow it by you? Novak kept him way behind the baseline, and out-physicalled him.
From my perspective, it was like Nole’s defense was 90% to Rafa’s, but Rafa’s offense was only 80% of Nole’s,
Nole was an excellent clay courter already, I feel like he is actually improving with each tournament so I do think he can challenge on clay this year. Ferrer as well. DelPotro will be a wildcard.
RIght now, Nole looks good for year end #1, but Wimbledon may well decide it. I still think grass is too specialized to make Novak a favourite. If Rafa wins it, assuming he gets RG, Rafa will likely get year end #1. If not, its Nole’s race to lose.


scineram Says:

Vagabond, the slowed down tour applies to Nadal, not just the big hitters. He cannot blow by flattened shots on this surface. This is not decoturf.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Scineram, that is a good point, but Rafa made a point of saying last week that his mistake was playing Nole too defensively, so one would have expected him to at least try to play more aggressively. To my eyes he really never stepped up in that way. And Nole managed to hit winners today on that slow court. Rafa didnt.


aleish17 Says:

Congrats to Jane, Sar, Stu, Duro and to all those who rooted for Djoko.

My man was clearly outplayed. Too many errors and double faults. He sure looked tense to me in their match. Djoko really put the pressure on Rafa.

Cant help but noticed the disheartened Rafa right after the match. Hope he’ll practice harder.

On to the clay season!

Top story: Fedal Wars: Who'll Finish Higher Ranked In 2014, Roger Federer Or Rafael Nadal? [Poll]
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Rankings
ATP - Jul 21 WTA - Jul 21
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Na Li
3 Roger Federer3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 David Ferrer6 Maria Sharapova
7 Milos Raonic7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Juan Martin Del Potro8 Angelique Kerber
9 Grigor Dimitrov9 Jelena Jankovic
10 Andy Murray10 Victoria Azarenka
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