Federer Flushes F-Lo, Wozniacki Wins; Nadal vs. Isner Tuesday at Roland Garros
by Staff | May 24th, 2011, 12:35 am
  • 145 Comments

Former world No. 1 Roger Federer kicked off his 2011 French Open campaign in style on Monday, dismissing a potentially tough opponent in Spaniard Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3).


“I feel relieved when I look at the score or the match after playing three tiebreaks in Madrid against him,” Federer said of his fellow 29 year old. “It’s definitely slower than Madrid. So I think Feliciano was maybe not getting the free points he was looking and hoping for. The important thing from my side was to be solid in my own serve, which I was all the way through from start to finish, and I thought I played a good match.”

Joining the No. 3-seeded Swiss in the second round on Monday were No. 2 Novak Djokovic topping Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker, dropping only six games; No. 9 Gael “Force” Monfils beating German Bjorn Phau in four; and No. 10 Mardy Fish defeating Brazilian Ricardo Mello in four.

“It was a great first match for me at Roland Garros,” Djokovic said after extending his win streak to 40 matches. “I was serving, really, really serving and being very aggressive. Pressure is always there, over the years you learn how to deal with it. I know there is a lot of expectation because of the streak I have but I’m really happy the way I’m handling things right now on and off the court.”

Frenchman Stephane Robert pulled the biggest upset of the day, ousting No. 6 Tomas Berdych 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 9-7.

“No, I was not struggling physically,” Berdych said after his collapse from two sets up. “He lost the first two sets. I was playing quite solid then. But he’s one of these guys who really likes to play here. I cannot imagine somebody who can play tennis like this can be out of Top 100, but that’s the sport…It’s tough.”

Other upsets on the day were Dutchman Steve Darcis over No. 22 Michael Llodra in four, and German Michael Berrer topping No. 26-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic in four.

Among the lower notable seeds advancing were No. 13 Richard Gasquet over Radek “The Worm” Stepanek 6-0 in the third, and No. 25 Juan Martin del Potro winning the battle of big men against unseeded “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic in four.

“It’s good to be part of a small group of favorites,” said del Potro, who is trying to shrug off a hip injury. “Yet I am very much aware of my present condition. I need to take a rest. I need to recover from a physical standpoint. This is the most important.”

Bernard Tomic, Dustin Brown, Frank Dancevic, Pablo Cuevas and Tommy Haas were among other notable un-seeds booking plane tickets.

A number of high-profile matches are on tap for Tuesday in Roland Garros, including (1) Rafael Nadal vs. John Isner, American “Iron” Mike Russell vs. (18) Gilles Simon, Juan Monaco vs. (16) Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, (24) Sam Querrey vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber, and Dmitry Tursunov vs. Xavier “X-Man” Malisse.

Wozniacki Crushes; Sharapova, Ivanovic On Court Tuesday at French Open

World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki looked in the mood to make a statement that perhaps the 2011 French Open could be her first career Grand Slam title after brutalizing Japan’s Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-0, 6-2.

Despite a heavily-strapped thigh, Wozniacki hit through Date-Krumm, who stretched the Dane to three sets in their previous meeting at Wimbledon in 2009.

“The last time I played Kimiko it was a bit of a longer match, at Wimbledon,” Wozniacki said. “She plays a different kind of tennis so it was difficult to play as I wanted to. But a win is a win, so I’m happy to be through to the next round. Physically, I’m feeling good and ready to play this tournament.”

American Melanie Oudin was another player on the wrong end of the beating stick — happy to find herself up an early break on defending Roland Garros champ Francesca Schiavone — then not so happy when she was in the end pummeled 6-2, 6-0 by the Italian.

“I’m still shaking a little bit,” the 30-year-old Schiavone said after the match. “A lot of adrenaline. I felt really happy to be [out] there.”

Other Top 10 winners advancing on the day were (3) Vera Zvonareva and (9) Petra Kvitova, both in straight sets.

On the upset tip were Aussie Anastasia Rodionova, toppling No. 26 seed Nadia Petrova after dropping the first set, and Taipei qualifier Chan Yung-Jan ousting No. 31 Klara Zakopalova in straights. Qualifiers had their day on Monday, with five others advancing in Spaniard Nuria Llagostera Vives, Brit Heather Watson, German Sabine Lisicki, Belarus’ Olga Govortsova, and Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak.

“It is never easy to play seeded players, we play doubles now and I know her quite well,” Rodionova said of Petrova. “We practice quite a bit and that was really good for me. I knew some of her weak side and some of her good side and I think that was an advantage for me.”

Tuesday’s matches to look for include (7) Maria Sharapova vs. Mirjana Lucic, (20) Ana Ivanovic vs. Johanna Larsson, (2) Kim Clijsters vs. Anastasiya Yakimova, and American qualifier Sloane Stephens vs. Brit Elena Baltacha.

TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
Novak Djokovic
has won 40 consecutive matches. The last guy to beat the Serb was Roger FedererRoger Federer has won 32 straight Grand Slam
first round matches…Not playing the French Open, Serena Williams was seated courtside Sunday night for the Miami Heat’s game-three win over
the Chicago Bulls…Which choke was better, Christina McHale’s 5-0 blown third-set lead or Coco Vandeweghe’s fail to serve out the first set at
5-4, or in the tiebreak leading 5-2? Well, that’s easy…If Tomas Berdych is feeling the “points to defend” pressure now, wait until Wimbledon…Will Ernests Gulbis be a direct entrant in the French Open next year? Doesn’t look promising…How soon will Bethanie Mattek-Sands be the highest-ranking American?…Speaking of Americans, hey look, two are playing on center court on Tuesday…Will the French Open return to the traditional Monday start once the roof is built in 2016?…Rafael Nadal has never lost to a player over 6’7″ tall, we don’t think…Juan Martin Del Potro is undefeated this clay season…The French Open switched from Dunlop balls to Babolat balls. A move that’s not going well with the players…Ryan Harrison will take the spot of the next man, if any, to withdraw Tuesday…Look it up for yourself, Eric Prodon really did beat Roger Federer, in juniors…First round prize money is in excess of $20,000 (USD)…Rain is expected toward the end of the week, until then nice weather…Boris Becker says he knows about winning streaks, and tells Reuters that Novak Djokovic is feeling invincible: “He will be feeling invincible at the moment…I think the best run I had was something like 20 matches during the indoor season…You get into such a rhythm and the same situations start to repeat themselves and you know that you came through it one the previous occasion. The other thing is that it changes the psychology of the players opposing you. They already have doubts when they walk on to the court and that’s a huge thing in your favor. Having that is like having another shot in your locker.” — We think he’s probably feeling…tired…What was more amazing on Monday at the French, a French qualifier beating Tomas Berdych in five, or the size of Sania Mirza’s wedding ring? If that thing had a door you could rent it out as an apartment in India…Kim Clijsters recounting the wedding dance frenzy that resulted in her injuring her foot and missing the claycourt run-up to the French Open: “I was in bare feet, because I was wearing high heels, and I couldn’t dance in my high heels. So then I landed on another girl’s foot, and I twisted my ankle. Then, while I’m walking off, limping, somebody stepped on the outside of my small toe, as well, and I still have a problem there.”

FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE – TUESDAY
Court Philippe Chatrier 11:00 AM Start
Virginie Razzano(FRA) vs. Jarmila Gajdosova(AUS)[24]
Maria Sharapova(RUS)[7] vs. Mirjana Lucic(CRO)
Rafael Nadal(ESP)[1] vs. John Isner(USA)
Michael Russell(USA) vs. Gilles Simon(FRA)[18]

Court Suzanne Lenglen 11:00 AM Start
Andy Murray(GBR)[4] vs. Eric Prodon(FRA)
Johanna Larsson(SWE) vs. Ana Ivanovic(SRB)[20]
Benjamin Becker(GER) vs. Robin Soderling(SWE)[5]
Anastasiya Yakimova(BLR) vs. Kim Clijsters(BEL)[2]


Also Check Out:
By The Numbers: Rafael Nadal Wins The 2014 French Open
Soderling Real Deal at French Open; Federer Up Wednesday
Halep, Petkovic Win; Women’s Semis Thursday
Rafael Nadal Just Got Waxed At Madame Tussauds [Video]
Roddick, Querrey Contrasting Studies at French Open

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145 Comments for Federer Flushes F-Lo, Wozniacki Wins; Nadal vs. Isner Tuesday at Roland Garros

Kimmi Says:

ah, muzza cut his hair..how nice!

Good luck today!


Dory Says:

WHAT? Something wrong with Nadal? Losing a set to a serve-only player like Isner? Nadal was even up a break in the 2nd set! And he played the tie break so horrible.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Isner is playing really good at the net. Rafa’s one of the best passers in the game, and Isner is really beating him in his approaches.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Right now, Isner is playing the best tennis of his career. He’s executing perfectly, 17/26 at the net. Rafa is not playing much offense it seems.


Dory Says:

That’s because Rafa’s netting most of his passing shots. But yes, Isner is playing above his usual level. 3rd set especially he’s playing good. First two sets weren’t so good.


El Flaco Says:

Isner’s serve has been crap. 59% 1st serves and 4 aces so far.

Nadal is definitely uncomfortable playing against guys like Isner and Karlovic, but he has never lost a match to either of these guys.

He would much rather be out there against an experienced dirt-baller like Chela.


jane Says:

Querrey won over Special K? Maybe his and Isners success in doubles on clay in Madrid and Rome is finally paying off in singles? And Fish won yesterday too. It does seem like the big servers are doing well. Karlovic took a set off Delpo yesterday too.


Dory Says:

Yes I wonder why. Nadal is not a bad returner but always finds monster servers difficult to play.


Dory Says:

I wanted to watch the Juan Monaco vs Verdasco match. But Nadal’s match still going on.


jane Says:

That’s true El Flaco: think of how tight his match with Karlovic was at IW, and how much Rafa celebrated after. Maybe it is the inability to have any kind of rhythm. Or even very many rallies.


Dory Says:

But his volleys in 3rd set are goood. Why can’t he always play like this? Confidence I guess?


skeezerweezer Says:

One for the stats guys/gals, when was the only other time Rafa has lost a set in the first Rd of the FO?


Dory Says:

But most return games against Nadal are piss poor.


stu Says:

^ To Soda in 09? :)


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Rafa is doing a lot of hard miles, and this match will be close to 4 hours even if Rafa wins 3rd and 4th sets. Hard start.


jane Says:

He played Bellucci once very early I recall -did he take a set? Or, wild guess… 2005?


skeezerweezer Says:

I don’t have the answer, tryin to find out from our super intelligent bloggers here like me :).

Isner not going away anytime soon here……


dari Says:

I think never


Dory Says:

Yes never.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

The bounce on that serve is KILLING Rafa. I imagine he’ll have something to say about the new balls.


Nina Says:

Isner is playing the best tennis of his live. The guy can volley!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

HOLY COW, two mini breaks for Jiz!


stu Says:

Is Rafa going to lose ANOTHER set to Isner OMG!


stu Says:

Oops, Skeeze’s quiz said 1st round, sorry, too enthusiastic my response :)


jane Says:

The answer is never, before today. i checked. And he has had some tough first rounders over the years, including Bellucci, Delpo and Soderling!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Give Sean some props! We mocked him for calling Is a threat.
2 sets for Isner!


Dory Says:

Wow NO ONE I bet saw this coming although everyone thought tough match for round one!!!!!


scineram Says:

Two 7-2 tiebreaks, I missed the first. Unbelievable.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Rafa will need more than 4 hours if he’s to win.


stu Says:

Wow. wow.


skeezerweezer Says:

Regardless of the bounce( I suspect his camp will be b!tich about it for sure ), that was on heckava return and come in volley by Isner…..as well as a return for the tie – break set win….Rafa’s serve is not as effective as Isner’s…but we already knew that.


El Flaco Says:

Isner’s serve improved dramatically in that 3rd set. He has to win the match in 4 sets because there is no tiebreaker in the 5th. He will have to break Rafa to win it if there is a 5th and I don’t see that happening.


jane Says:

This is crazy. I know Isner is playing well but still. This is RG. Rafa will come through this.

But I still think Isner’s improved play / volleying is connected to all the dubs he and Sam have been playing on clay. Finals in Rome (winners by default) and deep at Madrid too.

Rafa often has tough matches at Wimbledon but still he ends up winning the whole thing.


skeezerweezer Says:

Isner has already won in my book, regardless of a win by him or not. Great performance he will be proud of. What is most disconcerting for Rafa fans is what happens after this? Is this result credit to Novak, Isner, Balls, or all 3?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I think they each broke in the 2nd, no?


Dory Says:

Isner did break in the 2nd set to make it on serve (he was down a break earlier). Of course Rafa will come through. But the score was totally unexpected.


Daniel Says:

I made a hoje with mg sister yesterday: “you know aura would be fun, Nadal losing 3 tirbreaks to Isner open up His side of the draw and Djoko already being n 1 in 2 weeks will lose due to pressure free. It would chance everything” off course not can at All by Nadal’s fans.

Neves in my mind I believed it could happen! But Isner needs the fourth, He Can’t break Rafa in a fifth.


dari Says:

Yeah, john would have to do it in four cause I don’t know if he could break Rafa in the fifth. Look at the Americans putting in a hood effort. Q with then win, Harrison w/ the set, JI hanging tough!


El Flaco Says:

Isner did get 1 break in the 2nd, but that is the only chance he has had the entire match. Besides that he hasn’t been close.


skeezerweezer Says:

Almagro in trouble? oo boy…what a day so far.


dari Says:

Almagro gonna f* my bracket if he doesn’t cone back.
Cute exchange, Rafa pats ump on the back.
And then returns like a bad ass ;)


stu Says:

Isner getting a bit excited now I think…


stu Says:

aww, double fault to get broken, too bad…


stu Says:

Almagro out. I had him going far too, dari…


El Flaco Says:

Nadal gets the break. Isner is toast now. He has to break Nadal’s serve at least one more time to win the match.


Nina Says:

Well, well, who knew? Very tough match for Rafa, it was about time that he had a tough draw. Isner is playing superb right now.


Dory Says:

Almagro lost to Kubot??? How!


Duro Says:

By playing and winning in Nice. That’s how…


skeezerweezer Says:

Almagro….joins the bracket buster parade…ugh!

Rafa with a break starting to run Big John side to side…..righting the ship.


jane Says:

^ Almagro is often a lughead at bigger events. Even when he was up 3-love in the fifth I knew he could still lose. Sigh. He is a bracket buster.


jane Says:

Yes it looks like Rafa is righting the ship. But could it be that his aura is a little rusty?


dari Says:

I’ve seen that dance before. Who did kubot take out at AO?


El Flaco Says:

You know Pablo Andujar is cheering for Isner.


Daniel Says:

Even so, Nadal will play His first 5 set match in Roland Garros, against the most unlikelly opoonent on the dirt.


stu Says:

Sigh, I picked Bird till R4, Cilic to the QF, Almagro to the semis (thought he would be the surprise of the tournament). Bracket disaster.


dari Says:

Roger 1st on lenglen tomorrow. They like to put him there at times. Is ok. Don’t know if ill be up that early!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Isner looks tired. Level of play dropped considerably.


Dory Says:

Hopefully Isner will keep holding his serve in the 5th so we will have Isner-Nadal like Isner-Mahut. LOL. Just kidding.


El Flaco Says:

Isner had an emotional let down at the beginning of the 4th set. How often do you see Isner double fault on break point? That early break helped calm Rafa’s nerves. He is looking really good right now. Isner’s legs are getting weary.


dari Says:

Monaco, do something!


jane Says:

Isner often looks tired in longer matches.

The announcer that I am listening too (Wilander I think?) suggested that getting this match win will actually improve Nadal’s aura.

Rafa’s never lost first round at a slam.


skeezerweezer Says:

@stu,

same here :(…but….there is always Nole :)


Dory Says:

Wow Nadal had zero UEs in set 4.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Davydenko and Verdasco are going to be very tough if Rafa is tired.


Dory Says:

What a disappointment after set 3 (from Isner).


skeezerweezer Says:

Rafa finally found a return a game, standing almost back in the stands, and breaks Isner. It’s over, nice run Big John.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Rafa looks like he just came on court. Great 5th set energy. Isner is dog tired.


Van orten Says:

Ha ha ha nad starting to make his fans suffer a little bit! Known speciality of the maestro..maybe the beginning of th end…


jane Says:

Crowd trying to rally Isner, but big John just has no energy seemingly, after the tiebreak in set 3.


Dory Says:

All those passing shots he was missing in the earlier sets.


Dory Says:

Looks like the match will be over before the 4 hr mark. Wonder how this same Isner played 70-68 at Wimbledon if he’s so tired? To me, he looks more like he lost his concentration (as he often does) than tired.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Isner comes out of each point looking like he just survived a round with Mike Tyson.


JCZ Says:

This kind of reminds em of Tipsarevic – Federer in 2008. Is it the beginning of a slow but sure decrease in dominance?

I guess Novak has done that to him anyway, but this is shocking.


jane Says:

Tennis Vagabond, ha ha ha. Yes, that is what Isner looks like.


andrea Says:

well, i was hoping for a less predictable clay court season, and so far so good. coulnd’t believe my eyes when i turned on coverage and saw nadal in a fifth set….for the first time ever at RG, in the first round to boot, against Isner. unreal.


andrea Says:

but today is great because we have seats to the game that may propel the cancucks to the Stanley cup final!!!! very exciting.


dari Says:

‘ Twas fun while it lasted. JI did well to be the first to take rafa to five!


jane Says:

Enjoy the game andrea… We went to game five of the Chicago series which was horrid. Hope Canucks can put it away tonight.


Dory Says:

If only he knew how to hit shots properly besides serving well.


jane Says:

I picked Dimitrov to upset Chardy. Maybe silly but Chardy has done nothing in a while and Dimitrov did well in Munich.


jane Says:

Isner should not get into rallies with Rafa. What the heck is he thinking. He needs to come in on those short balls. Especially him, because he seems so tired and he doesn’t have the baseline prowess needed to overcome Rafa of all people.


Dory Says:

Verdasco looks like he’s on another choke-job.


Peter D Says:

What a rally at 30:30!


jane Says:

Rafa is leaping. :) Shows how hard he was pushed. Great effort by Isner, good for him.


dari Says:

Good fight, JI!
Hope he plays like that more often.
Rafa moves on! Nothing to say about what this means for next rounds or what-not as the isner situation is pretty unique.


billyboy512 Says:

Just tunes in…on no …john mcenroe is working for tennis channel…quelle horreur!..wwhere’s the mute button?


contador Says:

THANK GOD!! 1st time in my life as a tennis fan i jump for joy with rafa! phew…couldn’t take it if isner beat him first round. that was too close.


Dory Says:

Soda closing it out in 4.


jane Says:

Darn t.v. is showing Mahut and Anderson rather than Hotsauce and Monaco. : /


marko Says:

Have to congratulate Isner.. He was close. Just needed to maintain his concentration for a bit longer. I’m sure this loss will fill him with confidence.

I wonder if this means that Rafa’s aura of invincibility has become a bit worn? I think everyone will believe now that they have a shot at him and will be gunning for him. But Nadal is a champ, never gives up.


andrea Says:

jane,

we’ve seen a couple of home games against chicago where they were always blown out, so i couldn’t do any first round games. tonight feels like a possible special occasion. do you live in vancouver?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

On its own, the match shouldn’t diminish Rafa’s chances. With one or two days off and then a very low ranked opponent, he should be well recovered for Davydenko if he gets him. But should Rafa have another off day, should Davydenko or Verdasco push him he will be limping into the quarters (Sod) and semis (Murray).

Thats still a long way from happening. Rafa was not at his best today and he survived a beyond-top-form Isner with only one break lost in 5 sets.

Definitely makes the next couple rounds more significant as Rafa will have to preserve energy (and absence of injuries) in the long term: here, Wimbledon, and the hardcourt summer.


jane Says:

Why’d I pick Dimitrov? And why are they showing this Clijster’s rout? I wish they’d show Hotsauce so I could see his form. They have shown NONE of that match for some weird reason.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Put another way, Rafa blew through his weak opponents at the USO and was able to really come in fresh at a huge advantage against Nole in the finals.


jane Says:

andrea, yes. And my 10 year old keeps begging me to go watch at CBC plaza but cannot bear it. Like big screen at home. My brother and his wife are going tonight.


Huh Says:

Nadal’ll win thia FO, but he surely looks less threatening now. Now others can at least push him whereas before none came even close! I honestly believ remainin at the top for 7 years’s startin to take its toll on Rafa. Rafa just doesn’t look as hungry for wins as before. It’s happened to all, now its happenin to Rafa too. 2007 was d beginning of d end for Fed, this year looks d same for Nadal. Never mind, Nadal still may sweep the remainin 3 slams of 2011, but seems like his aura of invincibility on clay is in danger of comin to end. Its not just an accident that Fed was pushd to 5 sets in 1st rd in WIM 10, nor is Rafa bein pushd to 5th set for the 1st time ever in RG! Both hav things in common. From my point of view, Nadal’s situation in RG right now is JUST ABOUT THE SAME as was Fed’s situation at WIM 07! Fed won WIM O7 n Rafa’d win IMO FO 11, but don’t expect Nadal to stake up innumerabl more FOs!


Dory Says:

Meanwhile, the “aura” is beginning to form around Djokovic – the unstoppable. So happy times for tennis with competition abound rather than single man’s domination.


Kimberly Says:

well at least rafa won his match which is more than I can say for myself :-(


Ben Pronin Says:

Didn’t Federer breeze through Wimbledon 07 until the final against Nadal? This is nothing like that. This is more like Fed’s 2010 Wimbledon where he almost lost in the first round.

This in no way helps Nadal’s aura. Most of the locker room probably expected Nadal to get through even down 2 sets to 1. But, now they have even more belief. If slow moving American Isner can push Nadal to the brink on clay, then a good and above clay courter should surely stand a good chance. I don’t think fitness will be the biggest issue for Nadal, it’s the mentality of the players that is beginning to change.


Eric Says:

This is the advantage of five sets — if this had been Rome, Rafa would have just been dumped out of the tournament in EXACTLY the same fashion Federer was by Gasquet – by just barely getting edged out in two tiebreaks after trading breaks earlier in those sets.

Interesting to realize that, eh?


jane Says:

Oh-oh Kimberly. Did you get moonballed? : /


jane Says:

P.s. kimberly, meant to tell you: there is a Sharapova blurb in the June Oprah mag (saw it waiting in line ;))


Kimberly Says:

Isner and Karlovic are different animals from other players. Expecting Nadal to win this tournament still!


Kimberly Says:

moonballed and sliced by counterpuncher with more variety than me. Don’t like clay either, doesn’t suit my game. Didn’t take enough risks. Depressed and sad.


Eric Says:

Given that Rafa usually loses about 2 sets in the entire tournament, what an achievement from Isner. I thought it was a pretty unfair first-round matchup, but I never expected him to win two sets.

Still, this doesn’t really mean anything for Rafa’s FO prospects. Fed and Rafa both often get pushed by first or second round matchups only to carry on into the finals anyway… Especially at Wimbledon last year, where Rafa almost lost two rounds in a row and then looked untouchable by later in the second week.


steve-o Says:

Nadal has no problems with fitness. At Wimbledon last year he claimed to have problems with the knees which forced him to play five sets against Haase and Petzschner. Amazingly, after running around on those injured knees for a week, he hit top form and destroyed Soderling, Murray, and Berdych with the loss of only a set.

By the quarters he’ll be his usual self.

And didn’t he have a “fever” in Rome when he almost lost to Andujar, and then he recovered in one day and blew through all his opposition until he ran into Djokovic?

So this doesn’t mean anything as far as Nadal’s physical state is concerned. Now whether other players have more belief as a result, that’s another question.


Eric Says:

steve-o, I guess you’ve never had a cold. They don’t make you sick for weeks on end, only a few days. (At least, assuming you drink your orange juice.) So yeah, he did just magically get better after his immune system created antibodies and destroyed the cells infected by the virus, allowing him to play with ever more stamina and vigor… geez


jane Says:

I mentioned Nadal’s tough rounds at Wimbledon earlier. I guess the difference is that this is clay and he has never, ever had to play five sets at Roland Garros. Period. At Wimbledon, I think most years, 2006, 2007, 2010 he had to play at least one five-setter before the final, if not two of them.


Huh Says:

Ben: I think Rafa at the beginnin was and still is the fave for FO 11, just like Fed(thou i might concede that Fed was the prohibitiv fave then, even moreso than rafa is at this point of time in the sens that peopl right now’re givin nole at least a chance whil none imagined anyone would threaten fed back in wim 07),
but regardless, I think nadal’ll win this IMHO, just like fed won wim 07, hence the comparison! coz everybody in his sense believes right now that FO belongs to either nole or rafa. Thus no way i can see similarity between Fed’s situation in 10 wim n nadal’s current state, coz threatened thou nadal might be at the moment, but he’s still fave to win FO, I bet none’d actually bet a penny on anyone else than nadal winnin FO until they actually see a guy like nole or JMDP beat him at RG! But Fed was already written off as wimby contendr as soon as rafa won RG 10, therefore no similarity between Fed’s WIM 10 situation n nadal’s FO 11 situation. Hope u get my drift.


Dory Says:

No worries as the unstoppable Nole is here now.


marko Says:

I think that Nadal will still be able to make it to the final, and perhaps win. But this match vs. Isner has definitely changed his perceptions. I look at this from the bettor’s point of view (though I’ve never bet on a match in my life, I’m just a scientist and like numbers).

If you look at the odds, this looks like a Pyrrhic victory. Prior to the match Nadal’s odds to win the tourney were around 2.12, now after the match they seem to be settling at around 2.4..Meanwhile Djokovic’s odds went from about 2.85 to 2.71 right now. If punters are seeing a change in Rafa’s form as a result of this one match, then I’m sure he’s looking less invincible in the locker room as well.


Huh Says:

in the first sentenc of my previos post i obviously intended to say that rafa was and still’s fave for FO 11 just like Fed was for WIM 07. Sory for typo mistake in previos post.


andres Says:

C’mon Verdasco , choke , choke, choke. What a headcase this guy


Huh Says:

completly agree with marko! even i think nadal’d win RG but nadal’s cloak of invincibilty surely seems to have been damaged. things wont be rosy for him from next year onwards at RG. Winnin the tournament’s one thing, nadal’s an exceptional clay player n exceptional champ, he can do it. but there’s an exception even to the exceptionals in the sense that none can be forever exceptional, time doesn’t so permit!!! the aura was goin to fade sooner or later, seems the process is already underway!


Huh Says:

the nadal of today woulda lost to a fit n on JMDP in 3 or 4 sets. its anothr thing that jmdp is in nole’s quarter, that too neither’s delpo playin his best tenis at moment nor’s he injury free. but its fun to speculate, no? ;) even the current jmdp woulda made life hel lot mor difficult for rafa today if it was he instead of isner(jmdp is so much mor complete playr than isner, thats why m sayin so)! again speculations, lol ;)


margot Says:

wow! Have I crashed and burned with the bracket today! My only hope is everyone else has too ;)


jane Says:

Come to think of it Isner took Nole to five sets on clay in Serbia, but it was when Nole had lost his serve. Still, it shows that Isner can play on clay, as does his doubles success. And he likes to go for big wins. Remember when he beat Roddick at USO?

Agree, however, that JMDP is a bigger threat by far. Nole will have his hands full if that match happens. JMDP will want to prove he can play with top guys. His best matches this year have been against Soda and also Verdasco in Estoril final.


jane Says:

^ I mean JMDP will want to reassert himself against top players; he has already proven he can beat them, but I mean since his comeback from injury/ injuries.


jane Says:

Simon is the third Frenchie to dish out a bagel, joining Gasquet and la Monf.


marrisv Says:

Congrats to Isner for a good match… Yes, imo Isner is not just serve and has definitely a better ground game than Dr ivo. Even Isner’s serve has better variety than Karlovic.

It is wake up call for Rafa. I was watching the match from the third set and it appeared that Rafa tried changing his return position late in the third set and got to 15-40 in one of those late games but was snuffed by some pretty big serving from Isner. I think Rafa needs to take this more aggressive return position so as to not concede too much court position expecially if the returns land short because of the spin.


madmax Says:

For tomorrow: Let’s go fed! Interesting to hear what Annacone has to say, he’s usually so quiet.

Federer’s coach Paul Annacone believes however that his man still has lots left to give and plenty more tournament victories in the locker, despite the rapid rise and hype surrounding Novak Djokovic.

“What Novak is doing is great; it’s a great thing for the game and it’s great to talk about, and he’s playing great tennis,” Annacone said shortly after Federer’s defeat of Lopez.

“But Roger is playing well. He hasn’t lost a million matches. If you look at his record since last August, he really has been doing well. As long as he’s right around there and there’s no alarm bell going off, which there isn’t, I’m happy.

And the great thing about a guy like him is he’s one of the few guys who can win any tournament he enters. I don’t really care what anyone says.

He can.”

Go Annacone!


Eric Says:

Man, how does Ana Ivanovic lose in 3 sets in the first round at the French, after doing the same thing at the AO? She won the middle set 6-0 after losing the first in a tiebreak… Sigh.


Nina Says:

@Jane, Delpo has never beat Nole before. That tells a story. Even though they haven’t played after USO 09. But still, Nole’s got Delpo’s number. And playing like he is I doubt he will lose.


skeezerweezer Says:

@marrisv,

Do ya think this will help Big John going into the Grass court season? Whoa! :). He’ll be hopin for a rematch with Rafa on the green dirt…..


marrisv Says:

@skeezeweezer – Yes i think so, he will be nightmare on the slick grass in the first week. Last Wimbledon, he didn’t have anything left after that marathon unfortunately for him.

But if i were one of the top four, the first names i will look for in the wimbedon draw given the current rankings would be where DelPo(even though his grass pedigree is not up there yet), Isner and Karlovic fall.


jane Says:

@Nina, thanks for the shot of optimism! :) I know those facts and am hoping for tne best. Nole is so relaxed and confident right now, which is awesome to see, isn’t it?


Eric Says:

Nina, true, but Delpo never really played at his potential until that USO. As recently as the mid-year slams in 2009 he was meekly rolling over for Roger. When he gets back to 100%, he will be a serious mid-top 10 player whose power will be dangerous for any opponent. I don’t think he has anything to scare Djokovic with right now on clay, though.


jane Says:

Not really Eric, in the second slam of 2009, the FO, Delpo took Fed to five sets!


jane Says:

But I agree that Delpo in his best form is upper top ten and a threat to everyone.


Eric Says:

Jane, oh, true! I stand corrected. I was thinking of the 2009 Australian Open, where Roger double-bageled him in the quarterfinals.


jamie Says:

Nadal is so over(as is Roger as well, btw.)

I predict this will be a slamless year for Fedal..


Eric Says:

jamie, Roger and Rafa are still the best contenders by far at Wimbledon – even if Djokovic wins the French, which I am fairly sure he won’t. But it’s true – the era of Federer and Nadal’s dominance is obviously well and truly over.


Ben Pronin Says:

I think Djokovic will win the French, but yeah I don’t see him winning Wimbledon. I’m honestly a lot more curious about his play and results at Queens than I am about his results at the French.


contador Says:

@ margot. looking at the order of play tomorrow. the only one of my picks i am sure about is nole. this has me worried: maxime tiexiera. never heard of him before. watch out feddy : ) popular 22 yr old parisian up next. will he serve like this tomorrow?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KplNnbadK9Q&feature=related

can’t believe i picked millot. very sloppy not to check out maxime. i’m sure team RF will be ready.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd2V-dZAip0&feature=related

and that guy on top of the atp tournytopia bracket challenge who picked stephane robert over berdych? he admits he “cheated” on that 1st round. i took time to glance at some 63 comments on his bracket, i guess many deleted….it’s R-rated for profane smack talk, rightfully or wrongfully. but he was duped by almagro like many of us today. not the genius we thought, “MCBAUER.”


Kimmi Says:

ha ha contador, where did you get those maxime tiexiera video..like the name by the way.

somebody picked robert to upset berdych? he should go to vegas next. the guy must have some luck.


contador Says:

hey Kimmi- yep. check out the main men’s bracket Tournytopia leader, a guy named “MCBAUER.” margot pointed out yesterday that he picked robert over berdych and got i think every pick right the 1st day. turns out he was somehow able to finish filling out his bracket AFTER most of the results were in. it’s debatable whose fault it is. did he “cheat?” well yeah, but the system let him. he admitted it. the serious prize seekers had some words for him. imo, he got a good start but it doesn’t mean he’ll go the distance. although he may. he picked nole to win.

“maxime tiexiera” love the name too. i’d heard of vincent millot and tiexiera is one of those without a picture on atp and ranked…i forget….but i was too lazy to be bothered sat. night.

hey, so i youtubed him out of curiosity today since he is fed’s next opponent. quite a collection of videos on max. more than other challengers with no atp picture or much info. don’t know if that means anything. just saying.

my wta bracket is flunking really bad.


Kimmi Says:

ofcourse it is cheating contador but it is not his fault. berdych played yesterday, that means the bracket was still open after 2 days of play.. Tournytopia website is losing its credibility.

I like ATP bracket challenge. updates come instantly and they have a countdown for closing, no questions everything is very clear..just great.

Now that you told me he cheated, i cant be bothered to check him out. wont be the same feeling..

Hey, have seen your comment on my bracket this morning. my real bracket is actually doing worse that my second best. ha-ha. I hope my real bracket pick up some points coz i like that scenario better.


grendel Says:

“I don’t see him winning Wimbledon”. Why not, Ben? He won’t be the favourite. But there is no overwhelming favourite, not like Sampras and Federer in their pomp. Therefor (as I see it) although one might pick say Federer or Nadal to win, it wouldn’t be with a great deal of confidence. So you wouldn’t be exactly amazed if somebody else won. And considering all the possible “someone elses”, I should have thought Djokovic ranked pretty high – in fact, at the top.


Ben Pronin Says:

Sorry, Grendel, I guess I phrased that bad. I mean, I don’t see Djokovic as the top favorite at Wimbledon, even with his current form I think Nadal, Federer, and even Murray rank above him simply because they move so well on grass. I mean I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he did win it, but I think his chances are higher at the FO and USO, for example, than at Wimbledon.


Kimberly Says:

contador, if you link me to your wta bracket i will copy you in our group and allow you as a “late entry” there are about 10 users on the tennis-x atp site whose brackets never showed up. I emailed some of them but only two later got correct brackets. It is so early i may email the rest and say if they can email me a link to a live bracket i will copy it in.


skeezerweezer Says:

It takes BALLS to play Tennis…..errrrr…what kind at the FO?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304520804576341380613199152.html?mod=googlenews_wsj


contador Says:

love the french. forget tinkering with surface. change balls! i hope gilou, tsonga, la monf, et al got to practice with them first! let’s have a frenchie win the FO! but as seen in the giro d’ italia, the italians can do everything imaginable but the spaniard is still going to win…contador is the best. <3 “bertie”

Kimberly. will do. thanks : )


jamie Says:

Ladies and gentlemen, here is your 2011 RG winner: Novak Djokovic

http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/28/rgwinner2011djokovic.jpg

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