No Djokovic in Monte Carlo Where Nadal, Federer Begin Clay Season
by Sean Randall | April 9th, 2011, 11:28 am
  • 93 Comments

Novak Djokovic announced yesterday that because of a bad knee he was going to skip the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters event. I’m no doctor but regardless of the condition of his knee – which I suspect is nothing to be concerned about – it’s probably a wise move by the Serb given the amount of tennis he’s already played this season.

“It is a very sad moment not only for this tournament and my fans, but also for myself,” Djokovic said. “This is my favourite tournament and one of my two home events. Monte Carlo is where I spend most of my time away from the circuit and this is my club where I practice and train all year long. Unfortunately I had to take this decision to withdraw and I would like to thank Tournament Director Zeljko Franulovic for his understanding and support.”

With Djokovic’s absence we do miss out on the chance to see him and Rafael Nadal battle on the dirt. The top two in tennis who have already given us two memorable matches this season could meet in Rome or Madrid next month, though part of me wonders if either guy really wants a rematch until the French Open.

As for the European-heavy (American-less) Monte Carlo draw, Nadal is the top seed and the strong favorite. Rafa has won 32 straight matches in Monte Carlo which translates into six straight titles. And looking at his draw there’s no overwhelming reason to deny him a seventh.

Still, Nadal’s road is a little tricky with potential matchups against Richard Gasquet (who beat Federer at this tournament years ago) in the third round, Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals.

In the second quarter, the slumping Andy Murray begins his clay campaign against either Radek Stepanek or Marcos Baghdatis. That could be a loss for the Scot right away. If Murray survives he’ll be tested again by either Gilles Simon or Tomas Bellucci who play in one of the better first round matches. Murray is seeded to meet my man Gael Monfils in the quarterfinals. I like Monfils, who has been recovering from bad wrist, to get out of that section, maybe beating Simon the quarterfinals.

In the third quarter, Spaniards David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco are the class. While 2010 finalist Verdasco has struggled – and could lose in the second round to countryman Tommy Robredo – I think Ferrer should emerge out to the semifinals. Alexandr Dolgopolov and Milos Raonic, who makes his red clay debut against Michael Llodra, are also in that section. Dolgo plays Ernests Gulbis in his first rounder!

In the final quadrant, Roger Federer aims for a first Monte Carlo title. The Swiss, however, will have his hands full in his opener against either Phil Kohlscreiber or Andrey Golubev. If Federer gets through – I certainly can see him losing that match – he should get out to a clash against Nicolas Almagro in the quarterfinals. Nikolay Davydenko is also in the section. The Russian meets Robin Haase in the opener to play Jurgen Melzer in the second round.

So my semifinals look like Nadal v. Monfils, Ferrer v. Federer. In the final I’ll take…Nadal to win, quite possibly over Ferrer!

First round play begins on Sunday with Tennis Channel picking up live coverage again (I hope) starting Monday.


Also Check Out:
Federer Reverses Monte Carlo Decision, Will Take On Nadal
Roger Federer: “Time for the Clay Court Season!”
Rafael Nadal: I Have Amazing Feelings When I Play Monte Carlo [Video]
Streaks That Ended After Rafael Nadal Lost To David Ferrer Today In Monte Carlo [Chart]
Rafael Nadal Surprises World By Declaring Clay Season Is His Most Favorite Part Of The Year!

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93 Comments for No Djokovic in Monte Carlo Where Nadal, Federer Begin Clay Season

Kimmi Says:

WOW! Kei nishikori gave Fish a beating..

The talent of Kei is starting to show up. i was impressed when he played Nadal in Miami. Great to see!


Kimmi Says:

Tough road for federer i think!

but for nadal any draw on clay would be easy i guess! Lets go fed!


jane Says:

Some great sounding match ups. Have to go have a look at the draw. Tough crowd of players for Murray to get through by the sounds of it! :( Kohls I think took Murray out here last year, so that could be a difficult opener for Fed, if it goes that way.

I think Nole’s knee is likely tweeked. He’s had it taped for a while, and he did have one fall during the Miami final. He probably could have played on it but why risk making it worse, espcially when this is not a mandatory event? Better to take the time to fully rest & recover. I think he probably wanted to play, given that he does live & practice @ MC, but in the end he and his team decided against it.


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t think Djokovic has an injured knee. Can’t you just cite fatigue as a reason to skip an event? Maybe he’s saving that for later. I felt like he had no business signing up for Monte Carlo in the first place. Glad he’s taking some extra time off.


Kimberly Says:

Fed got the armada with almagro and then the verdasco/ferrer winner. But I took him out to the final. I remember last year when Ferrer was hot and Fed was slumping I took Ferrer to beat him and got punished for it. I don’t think Almagro has the belief to beat Fed. And I just don’t think Ferrer or Verdasco have the game.

I am struggling with Gulbis Dolgo pick.

my little son just did his picks.

for all who want to do the bracket challenge:

challenge.atpworldtour.com

join group tennisxfans


Kimberly Says:

the way i see it, you don’t HAVE to cite any reason. But if you don’t want to piss off the tournament organizers or fans you should cite a reason. Prob a good decision for him seeing he has big ambitions.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Novak had his knee taped all during IW and Miami, so I am a believer more than not with that hard running he does also….


Kimmi Says:

Skeezer – actually the knee was taped from Aussie open, so yeah its been a while..


Kimmi Says:

kimberly, no struggle picking gulbis or dolgo. Dolgo has played better than gulbis recently. He reached the final of clay in south america early this year…i could be wrong if gulbis decide to defend all his clay points from last year. he did very well on this stretch.


jane Says:

Yeah, agree with Kimmi: I am going to pick Dolgo, but I cannot do picks until later; hope to not miss out. Likely this means Ernests will win, lol.

I agree skeeze – the movement, the tape, there was that shot with the ice on it. That knee has been tweeked for a while, and with the change in surface, you never know. Better to be safe that sorry, making it worse.


Kimmi Says:

easy to pick the winner on clay. huge points for grabs. hope nadal gets the challenge though…


contador Says:

not picking davydenko again! which means he’s probably go far. but he’s hosed all my brackets. the end.

andujar beat montanes in casablanca? and potito beat simon?

confusing draw this monte carlo. except for the winner. everybody…all aboard the murray express! lol….


dari Says:

followed the rest of the tennis world and played clay today. still working on a good slide :)
tried to go against fed and take him out before final, COULD NOT do it!
i gave gulbis the first match :/
not done yet, and we won’t get a chance to see which qualifiers are which in time!
contador, thanks for the davy reminder, still might give him a match.
sweetie made a nice run of it, taking down querrery, ivo and gabashvili on a wild card to get to the final!


contador Says:

1st round: (giving up my picks…please edit me!)
qualifer over niemenen
GGL over qualifier
gas-k
tsonga
chardy
chela over qualifier
baggy
x-man
simon (but,,,,wtf? potito beat him) might change to bellucci
mayer (youzhny is a bracket hoser)
staks over qualifier
giraldo
robredo?
fabio the claymaster ninja
vik
pogoserve
raonic? should stick with the french but…
tipsy
haase over davy lol..
hanescu over qualifier
nico
cilic
potato
kohls

please help! early round picking was on the bottom for miami and IW!


contador Says:

dari, i watched a little of the karlovic-sweeting match. sheesh, only reason sweetie won was coz ivo looked like he puked on a changover and could barely stand up.


dari Says:

but look how you turned out in the end, contador.
coronas were just brought to my house. if i wait to pick until after those, i will have fed beating rafa in the final.


contador Says:

ernests v pogoserve. anybody’s guess? really flipped a coin and going with sascha. gulbis was coming off a del ray win last year and had some confidence going.

but both are rollercoasters.


contador Says:

too early for me to be drinking. but i’ll prolly switch a bunch around. that’s why i sucked early rounds in miami. too much time to second guess.

picks above are my 1st impressions.

i have a fedal final. i doubt verdasco wants to go to the final.

was going to take ferrer to final but the h2h is 11-0 federer….all surfaces


contador Says:

always i fall for robin haase. ah, what’s one point. davy was terrible.


dari Says:

whew, i got my picks done. do not want to go back! ah! contador, do not make me fall for haase!


contador Says:

haase is so talented …ooo pick haase, pick haase….

i think melzer had some kind of tuna meltdown in IW and a problem in miami

have to back and check. all i know is that if looks could kill, i’d be dead after asking for jurgen’s signature on my RF cap just after he lost an early round match to gas-k at IW!


Kimberly Says:

contador, i went with Fedal, and Gulbis. you know my five year old son picked a draw.


Skeezerweezer Says:

@contador

U got Jurgens sig on ur RF hat?

Blasphemy! :)


Skeezerweezer Says:

dari

Corona’s?

I’ll be right over


contador Says:

ah, that is sweet, kimberly…your son an ernie fan? but this ernie is not from sesame street…lol…

did your son pick mostly spanish and have rafa winning?

can’t go wrong with those picks, i’m guessing.

i see there are some tricky qualies that will go who knows where; names which usually don’t stand out but can win a match or two close to home in monte-carlo. frenchies and italians. ollie rochus is in there too. : )


contador Says:

hahaha, skeeze. yep. handed the cap to him and he put his grumpy smudge on it.

jurgen just happened to be at the right place at the right time…for me.


dari Says:

7 wins is too many tournament wins in a row
I’m about to do something crazy, guys.


Kimberly Says:

contador, he didnt pick ernie he likes dolgo, he picked a lot of qualifiers and put verdasco in the final because he wears his outfits too and he likes his monster forehand. Then he chose the final number of games at 12 games.

some of his picks were completely insane but I let them stand. I will just have to listen to the crying when it doesn’t pan out.

Actaully kaiser and my draw look very similar so at least colinO5 will provide variety.


Kimberly Says:

and he axed murray first round to Baggy saying Judy will make him lose.


contador Says:

i dunno dari. thinking rafa could win his 7th MC blindfolded and in handcuffs.


dari Says:

Yeah, contador, but so does 99.2% of the bracket pool.
What fun is it if there is no risk?!
Let’s just say since this isn’t a “mandatory” masters, I’m gonna go a little AWOL!


contador Says:

LOL…picking verdasco’s outfit… verdasco went out to andujar in miami and i watched verdasco lose to querry at IW.

nothing wrong with losing to andujar he beat montanes today and is in a 250 pt casablanca final with starace. but..the monster forehand couldn’t find the court v sam querry at IW.

plus, didn’t nando take a severe beatdown from rafa at MC last year?


contador Says:

can’t wait to see AWOL dari! go for it. ya never know….true, not a mandatory masters….if i had my choice gulbis or dolgo would win the whole thing….or fognini…and the sailing pictures of t-berd on atp website are fabulous. made me have him winning an extra match.

how about monfils winning? : )


Kimmi Says:

hey guys! crap!! just reading your comments, i feel a need to change all my picks..except the winner ofcourse.

Murray, youzhny, simon or monfils..who to take to the semi. i have la monf at the mo :)


Kimberly Says:

I took Murray although why after he made me bomb Miami I do not know.


contador Says:

yap. that whole section with murray, baggy, simon, malisse, bellucci, mayer, youz, staks, gimeno-traver. giraldo, monfils and perhaps a good qualifier is messed up.

have been switching it around until i now have to go to dinner.

but its a fun diversion. and who knows who i’ll have there when i fall asleep. then there is no turning back.

monfils is sounding rusty to me atm and murray is due, LONG overdue. leaning toward him…i’ll hate myself later….

youz has been a bracket buster too. really, mayer, malisse, simon sound good but bellucci is a good clay courter (except in brazil) , giraldo did well on the so. american clay swing…..

right now i have monfils to semi but not comfortable. thinking of murray… or thinking, who is up for taking on nadal and getting beat in the semi?


dari Says:

i couldn’t decide if monfils has just been banging on the walls of the box and is gonna burst out at MC or if he just has not played enough to do anything?
T-Berd pics were INSPIRING, contador.


Kimmi Says:

I agree with la monf being rusty. he is just coming back from knee injury i think.

What i know is la monf loves clay, the hard court sliding he does gets even better on clay. his best GS is RG. I feel like he should feel at home when he comes back, hungry for a win, win, win.

I had murray earlier but when i saw he has first round with sexy step..hmm, stepanek always gives muzza trouble.

Youzhny is coming back from some injury thing too. simon loses to people he shouldn’t.. murray..idk


Kimmi Says:

bother of djokovic “djole djokovic” sent this on twitter!

Rafa: Hello, is this Roger? Roger:Yeah its me Rafa, what`s up? Rafa:Roger, I think we got a problem! Roger:I know buddy..trust me I know :-D

http://twitter.com/djole_djokovic


Dory Says:

Ferrer beating Federer? Not a chance.


billyboy512 Says:

What is up with funk/ trunk? Miami ended a week ago.


Deborah Says:

Roger’s turn to win this year. I think Nadal will not win a tournament in the next two months to four months. I say Roger gets back to number one this year because Nadal has soooooooh many points to defend. Roger wins Monte-Carlo!!!


margot Says:

kimberlie: nothing wrong with picking cos of outfits, after all I pick becos of “romantic” names and have picked cos I liked someone’s face….welcome to shallowville :)
Am finding this one hard, not naming qualifiers at GMT 8.20. R they still qualifying? Tomic and Rochus r in there somewhere I think. Yikes, whose in form, whose not? Have not taken Andy near the final, fell for that one in Miami:(
Talking of which…fab pictures of Andy at MW page 556 and no, I haven’t been drinking…;)


scineram Says:

Dream on, Deborah!


Maso Says:

So disappointing that Novak isn’t playing in Monte Carlo, kind of kills the momentum of the season. Well, anyway, let’s see how Nadal begins the defense of his 5,000 points on clay (somehow, I’m not too worried for him).


Polo Says:

OK Deborah, so Nadal will not win in the next two to four months. I hope you realize that that is the clay season (then a bit of grass) where Nadal currently reigns supreme. But OK, I will not contest your dream. You then suppose that Federer gets back to number one. But have you forgotten that there is a Djokovic wedged firmly between him and Nadal?


Kimmi Says:

swweeting vs nishikori in Houston final.

Go nishikori! i think this will be his second title if he wins. If he wins he should be able to get direct entrance to masters 1000.


Kimmi Says:

i see couple of first round have finished their matches.

Milos beat llodra with strange scoreline. 6-3 0-6 6-0. Lets see how milos does on clay. i didn’t pick him further than first round though. waiting to have egg all over my face.


dari Says:

Yes, its a nice tournament for these young guys, happy for them both. Can’t lose with either winning.
Novak seems to be enjoying himself in his time off. Happy for him.to get rest and share a cute little video on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/djokovic.official?m2w
Meanwhile, the first round match up everyone wants to see is in a vacuum- can’t find anything for dolgo and gulbis.


dari Says:

Good morning, kimmi! I was up “watching” the live score on my phone. Second set I just kept seeing the the games pileup for llodra up to 6, though milos was hurt or something, then he went and did the same thing as mika in the third!
My phone isn’t showing the draw page at the moment, but good luck to you and the rest of the crew!


dari Says:

“THOUGHT milos was hurt or something”


madmax Says:

we all have dreams polo and the firm wedge you refer to?

Polo Says:
OK Deborah, so Nadal will not win in the next two to four months. I hope you realize that that is the clay season (then a bit of grass) where Nadal currently reigns supreme. But OK, I will not contest your dream. You then suppose that Federer gets back to number one.

But have you forgotten that there is a Djokovic wedged firmly between him and Nadal?

April 10th, 2011 at 6:35 am

if as deborah says fed wins monte carlo (and why not?!!!), he over takes novak as no. 2 as novak has 360 points to defend there, so he is -360 points as of tomorrow which means that another 1,000 points for fed – as he has nothing to defend – sees a spirited race to the finish line, with fed ending up no. 2!

Go fed!


margot Says:

Where’s conty? Chardy and Llodra r on my “lughead” list now grr. Getting a VERY long list….


Kimmi Says:

Hi dari – i didn’t even know some matches started today. strange score indeed. glad meelosh won though.

I wanted to see if i could change monfils as i have him to the semi, that was when i notice the score. Monfils better make me proud.

i cant see the group standing either.


Kimmi Says:

Gulbis beats dolgo 6-1 6-4. OMG, i did not expect this score. so unpredictable gulbis. Good for him though.

Kimberly, i hope you end up picking gulbis. i remember reading your post that you were undecided.

Gilbis meets meelosh next. in my world dolgo was suppose to beat both. more egg on my face.


margot Says:

kimmi, last time picked Gulbis to soar, he crashed:( This time I pick him to crash, he soars :( Whaddyado??


Kimberly Says:

i can’t get into our group for someone reason. Problem on the atp site.

I stuck with Gulbis against my better judgment and it paid off—–i guess i will have to call Chardy the lughead so far.


jane Says:

Dang, I knew if I didn’t pick Gulbis, he’d win. What a case he is. I like how conty put it; both he and Dolgo are rollercoasters.

dari, thanks for putting that link of Nole & Jelena up. Nice that he is relaxing but hope he is back asap.

Going to check Murray’s photos margot; i put him middle-ish in draw – that way if he falls early I am not totally up the creek, but if he wins or goes deep then I can cash in a bit and cheer. :)


jane Says:

^ ooh yes, very much like the white shirt pictures. His hair seems extra curly; maybe it is a good sign. Lol. Hey we’re talking surfaces right?!


margot Says:

hi jane, Andy looks lush, doesn’t he ;) I’ve got him going out middling too, to Monfils.
I’ve made the WORST start ever ;( Should be getting better at this picking lark, not worse! Now I see kohls has lost first set…oh my lord…
kimberly, looks as if they’re having probs with atp site.


Kimmi Says:

back and forth for kohls and golubev, anyone game this one.

oh, just as i type kohls breaks. serving for the match now..


Kimmi Says:

I get another point. kohls wins.


dari Says:

Just got back from tennis and see all my boys after chardy have won. Decent first day so far.
Checked those Murray photos. The clean-cut is from another time, no? Cause his hair looks really short compared to the clay court pics. Both he looks great, hope he can win some matches! I thought someone’s comment was funny- in the photo where he is hitting a low ball and not looking at it- that person thinks that why he is having such a hard time!


Ben Pronin Says:

Pretty sure Djokovic stays number 2 regardless of Federer’s result in Monte Carlo. He can make the race closer, but not overtake him. Plus he can’t beat Nadal on clay.


dari Says:

http://www.crunchsports.com/category/Tennis/ATP-Monte-Carlo-ranking-implications-201104090013/
Those guys say fed can if he wins the whole thing. I will not remark on the last part of your comment. ;)


dari Says:

That is not my research, credit to Jury.


contador Says:

can’t check out the “group” either, Kimberly. in fact the page does not come up for “groups” in general on bracket challenge. ah well, will be working later …probably.

so i don’t pick gulbis and he wins. don’t pick bald bomber and he wins. that’s luck. this is the 1st time gulbis wins and i’m not happy about it. i must really be a pogoserve fan. sascha was so much fun to watch playing doubles at IW. and he did make it to a clay final somewhere in so. america….250 event but..,

will be fun to see who wins between milos and ernie!

and hopefully kohls will be sufficiently outta gas after that golubev struggle when he meets roger!

aack, 2 out of 4. and not liking where a couple qualifiers landed either.

again, not a good start. but counting on nadal and rog in the end. (meant to change semi finalist monfils to somebody else with the last name starting with “m” but was asleep when the draw closed) murray is long overdue to go deep.


Kimberly Says:

the five year old has two points, i have three, kaiser has two, and I have three because I PICKED ERNIE!!!! loooool


Ben Pronin Says:

Dari, but what about Basel. Djokovic has 300 noncountable points from making the finals there and I’m pretty sure once he loses 360 from Monte Carlo, he gets 300 back, thus losing a net worth of 60 points which means he will stay at number 2 if Federer wins. At least that’s what I’ve read elsewhere and I think that’s how it works.


contador Says:

LOL! Kimberly, is your 5 yr old in the tennisx group with his own nickname?


dari Says:

Hmmm, but I thought those points had to be replaced by another 500 series dropping off, not a 1000. It’s a hell of a long shot for fed to win this.


Ben Pronin Says:

But Monte Carlo is kind of considered a 500, isn’t it? Man the ranking system is dumb.


dari Says:

The qualies shook out kinda funny, indeed. They were still playing today after the picks had closed. I chose Q1 to win and turns out it is UC of benneteau vs niemennan, hope it works out.
That’s a decent showing for your son, Kimberly. I went for gulbis, too. He rarely fulfills expectations, so it feels
good he did today!
Kei and sweetie making this look faster than clay!


dari Says:

Haha, Ben. I don’t know, MC is a little tricky. its a non-mandatory masters, worth a thousand points. Lets not give ourselves too much headache, fed has to win for this to even be an issue! Go rog!


Eric Says:

Monte Carlo isn’t in any sense a “500.” It’s a masters 1000. The only anomaly is that it’s not mandatory, which is borderline meaningless since you can skip anything for “medical” reasons. Since Federer didn’t play it last year, he can only gain points. Basel has nothing to do with anything.


Kimberly Says:

contador my five year old is ColinO5, guess how he dreamed up the nickname. He chose his own bracket and i was tempted to interfere but let him at it. He is extremely upset that atp site is not working and can’t check how he is doing in the contest.


Eric Says:

Actually… upon further reflection, I guess Basel is relevant if the Davis Cup points don’t count as one of the required tournaments. I forget if they do. But the point is, Federer will only improve his point total, whereas Djokovic will be losing either 60 or 360 points.


dari Says:

AKB just told me he checked his picks now, site seems to be working. Not on my phone, but regular computers oI guess :)


contador Says:

Kimberly, tell him i was really upset too, steaming mad at the atp that i couldn’t check my bracket. and my picks better win tomorrow, or i’ll never pick them again! right.

also good luck, ColinO5!

checked where all the qualifiers went and i’m satisfied. old benny had a super tough match with tomic though….so he could lose to niemenen. but it’s not where the 7 unknown qualies went that worries me. it is my main draw picks. like foggy over anderson and haase over davy, ect…

colin05 will kick my butt! ( i hope. i don’t want him to cry. GO ColinO5!) that is too cute…he did his own bracket. he’s a tennis junkie for sure.


Kimberly Says:

He was watching us in the Indian Wells and Miami and really wanted his own bracket.

first he created an account but apparently mistyped my email account so he couldn’t find it Colin5. Then we had to create another one and he chose his draw with so much excitement then went to sleep, quite smug with his great picks:

several qualifiers because he loves qualifiers
Verdasco to the final
Raonic Deep
Rafa to win over Verdasco–12 games in the tiebreaker question, 60 60.


contador Says:

LoL! 12 games in tiebreaker…..raonic deep, verdasco v rafa…he’s an official bracketeer, Kimberlly. remind him not to give up if his 1st bracket doesnt work out. practice, practice….he’ll be at the casino’s before you know it watch out! j/Kidding : )

many more brackets to go, Colin05. rafa will win buddy!


Kimberly Says:

I actually took verdasco out to troicki at the last minute.


Kimberly Says:

I’m just hoping for no tantrums or meltdowns.


Kimmi Says:

ah sweeting beat nishikori, i was cheering for kei but big congrats to sweeting for winning his first title. beating some good players on the way.

Another young american to watch? who knows!


dari Says:

Sweetie played a very good first set, but he started to get upset with the wind and the heat and was on his way to a melt down, i thought. Somehow he finished in two, after holding an 18 minute game!
I hope he is an American to watch. Hes 6’5″, he HAS to serve better than he does.


dari Says:

Kimberly, I am genuinely unsure whether you mean “no tantrums, meltdown” from your 5yo son, or from.verdasco/troicki.


Kimmi Says:

missed the match, thanks for the summary dari. at least he didn’t choke coz i know kei is really good, so sweeting must have played very well.

6′ 5″..another tall tennis player! is this where we are going? good serve should help..i agree.


Dory Says:

Llodra vs Raonic would have been nice to watch. Why didn’t someone wake me up? :)


dari Says:

It was no where to be found on livestream, Dory!
Rafa has some very lovely pictures of himself out and about in monaco, and with prince Albert, too! He looks very happy, handsome and thinner in his off-court clothes.
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=64822581025&aid=296524


Nina Says:

Ben Pronin Says:
Dari, but what about Basel. Djokovic has 300 noncountable points from making the finals there and I’m pretty sure once he loses 360 from Monte Carlo, he gets 300 back, thus losing a net worth of 60 points which means he will stay at number 2 if Federer wins. At least that’s what I’ve read elsewhere and I think that’s how it works.

Yep, you’re right. Nole would only lose 60 points. Obviously he was aware of that before withdrawing. Smart move. He knows what he’s doing.


madmax Says:

yeah right ben. No one can beat rafa on clay, except soderling and he isn’t playing in monaco, so it’s a done deal.

In fact, I wonder what the point is in anyone playing at monaco. I suppose it’s because they give themselves half a chance.

Someone, at sometime is going to be the second guy to beat rafa on clay. One day.

Right now, Gasquet seems to be making a come back, though it’s close. No one gave Istomin a chance on clay against Gasquet, saying it’s his worst surface, but he seems to be making a good show of it. Murray also seems very positive, which is a step up. Go Murray.

In fact, there’s no point in watching monaco tournament at all, unless you’re a rafa fan.

Nina, I’ve read differently, but Ben is usually right on statistics. In fact he’s usually right about most things.


Ben Pronin Says:

In all fairness, has anyone dominated 1 tournament the way Nadal has dominated Monte Carlo? I realize this is tennis and anything can happen on any given day but it’s as if though Monte Carlo was built just for Nadal. I’m pretty sure Federer reached more finals against Nadal at MC than any of the other Masters and he never really came close to winning. They had a 4 setter in 06 and Fed had that 4-0 lead in the second set in 08 but ended up losing in straight sets. Take Rome and Hamburg/Madrid for example. In Rome they played as even as possible and in Hamburg/Madrid finals they’re actually tied 2-2.

I don’t think you have to be a Nadal fan to watch MC. He plays at most 5 matches, there are over 50 other matches to watch. But since 05, it’s always basically been a race for second place after Nadal during the clay season, it’s not something new.


jane Says:

True, Nadal has dominated clay almost more than any player has ever dominated a surface that I can recall; I remember his winning streak hit 81 (!!!) matches on this surface, which is the longest ever on one surface. And he’s been particularly dominant at MC & RG. Still, he’s been beaten once at one of them, so ya never know. Eventually, all, or most, things change.

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