Djokovic Hits 43, Federer Looks Good While Fognini Steals One at French Open
by Sean Randall | May 29th, 2011, 6:39 pm
  • 323 Comments

The thrill ride of the 2011 French Open continued on Sunday. There were no major surprises or upsets, we did have some more drama.

First though, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer continue to play about as well as anyone this tournament. Faced with a very tough draw, Djokovic has been hardly tested. Today, the 24-year-old easily knocked out Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. Gasquet had been playing some good tennis of late but on the court it was a mismatch.

“It’s never easy and I didn’t expect it to be easy, that’s for sure,” said Djokovic. “Maybe the score line says differently, but I had to work. The first two sets it was only one break that decided it. We were both winning our service games quite comfortably. Each set I played one really good return service game and that was enough.

“I think I’m playing really well at the moment and today I increased the level from the last match, which makes me even happier. I just want to maintain this level.”

Djokovic has now won 43 straight matches dating back to the Davis Cup last year. And this season he’s 41-0, and really, he’s been better than that if that’s possible.

Strictly by the numbers, Federer, however, has looked better. Unlike Novak, Roger hasn’t lost a set and today he was handed the familiar task of wiping out Stan Wawrinka, which he did. Why they continue to play these matches is baffling because once again Stan had little to offer losing 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.

Wawrinka did go up a break in the third but naturally couldn’t maintain it. Stan actually has a decent game and is good on clay but Federer is like his kryptonite.

Playing in his record 28th straight Grand Slam quarterfinal, next for Federer will be the winner of the Gael Monfils and David Ferrer. The two speedsters had their match suspended with Monfils up 2-1 in sets but down 2-0 in the fourth. The Frenchman also injured his ankle just before the darkness halted the contest.

With the carryover I’m going to guess Ferrer comes back to take the match. Monfils expends a lot of energy and after today’s burn I’m not sure he’ll have enough tomorrow.

As for Djokovic, his opponent Tuesday will be Fabio Fognini who saved 5 matchpoints in a controversial 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 11-9 victory over Albert Montanes. Late in the fifth Fognini began to cramp for which he inexplicably received treatment for mid-game.

Under rules, players must wait until a changeover or set completion to receive treatment for cramping but Fognini got his during the 14th game just two points from losing the match down 6-7.

The French Open trainer came out and determined that Fognini’s injury wasn’t cramps but something else, and treated the Italian. But watching the match and listening to the commentators, it was clearly cramps. The ATP website even acknowledges as that!

After the rub down on his leg, Fognini still could hardly move but against the choking Montanes he really didn’t need to.

Fabio, when not foot faulting, ripped any ball close to him and eventually the nerves got the best of Montanes who caved in the end after almost four-and-a-half hours.

With a first-time quarterfinal on the line it was fascinating to see how mental both guys were getting. That said, with Fognini in physical distress Montanes has to win that match. But didn’t.

And regarding the injury, Fognini should never have been allowed treatment for cramps and instead should have been told to play on. We all saw it as cramping.

If he really is injured with a muscle strain then Novak’s going to tear him apart on Tuesday, should he even play.

Looking at tomorrow, Rafael Nadal should have his way with Ivan Ljubicic and if his ankle is healthy I expect Andy Murray to take care of Viktor Troicki. If Andy’s still hobbled the Serb will do what Berrer should have done. Troicki’s a good player and I don’t think Murray can beat him if he’s not near 100%.

Also, in maybe the best match of the day Gilles Simon and Robin Soderling collide. Simon’s played better than the Swede this week but I like Robin to overpower Gilles. And I think the run for Alejandro Falla ends to Juan Ignacio Chela who might find himself in the semifinals on Friday if things break right.

For the women, defending champion Francesca Schiavone and former champion Sveta Kuznetova continue to be the class of the top half. Tomorrow Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova are back in action. I expect those four to be in the semifinals and right now I’m thinking a Schiavone repeat may be in the cards.

Matches are on the Tennis Channel with ESPN back on in the afternoon.

Court Philippe Chatrier 11:00 AM Start Time
Na Li (CHN)[6] v. Petra Kvitova (CZE)[9]
Rafael Nadal (ESP)[1] v. Ivan Ljubicic (CRO)
Gilles Simon (FRA)[18] v. Robin Soderling (SWE)[5]
Maria Sharapova (RUS)[7] v. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)[12]

Court Suzanne Lenglen 11:00 AM Start Time
Alejandro Falla (COL) v. Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG)
Not Before:12:30 PM
David Ferrer (ESP)[7] v. Gael Monfils (FRA)[9] To Finish 4-6 6-2 5-7 2-0
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) v. Victoria Azarenka (BLR)[4]
Andy Murray (GBR)[4] v. Viktor Troicki (SRB)[15]
Andrea Petkovic (GER)[15] v. Maria Kirilenko (RUS)[25]


Also Check Out:
Fabio Fognini Fined $27,500 For Being An Overall Idiot At Wimbledon
Poor Sport Fabio Fognini Made This Obscene Gesture When Leaving The Court Today In Shanghai [Video]
Did Fabio Fognini Try To Fight A Chair Umpire Today? [Video]
Fabio Fognini Slapped With A $2K Fine For Obscene Gesture
Federer Gets First Clay Win; Djokovic Debuts in Serbia

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323 Comments for Djokovic Hits 43, Federer Looks Good While Fognini Steals One at French Open

blank Says:

I hope it’s not a ‘misfortune’ Murray again. If he is not 100%, he has no hope considering Nadal would be waiting in the SF in his half.

I am worried that Federer, in this current form, might take out Djokovic should they meet. As ardent a Fed fan as I am, I don’t want him facing Rafa on clay, at least never, ever again at the FO finals. That 2008 FO is still fresh in my memory :( I think Djoko will have a far greater chance of upending Nadal.


jane Says:

Hard to say what will happen if Fed and Nole meet. Fed is clearly in good form, but I haven’t seen his matches because they are all too early. Nole’s form was even better today than versus Delpo. Nole played really clean tennis today, with double winners to errors. So heartening to see him play like that. Not one double fault, more aces than usual. Hope he keeps this up. It could be quite a battle royale between Fed and Nole, who are both on song. Both will be determined to take on Rafa. Or someone else. Well, it is possible. Sort of. Not. Haha.


skeezerweezer Says:

Fed came in “flying under the Radar” at FO, with the new Rafa/Nole rivalry taking center stage. Fed has quietly went through the draw and is now into the second week, looking very strong. IMO he is building one of his “classic” GS runs. If the weather stays hot and dry……fingers crossed and beware…..


jane Says:

At the slams, Fed and Nole seem to be always meeting in the semis. Even now with Nole as two and Fed as three, they get each other. Is that standard? Number one gets number four and number two gets number three? Or is it random? Murray and Nadal seem to be on the same side at the slams most of the time. At Masters it seems more random. Anyhow it doesn’t matter really. Would just hate to see Fed or Nole arrive at the final knackered, esp. If they have to try to beat Nadal on clay over five.


blank Says:

Well, actually I shouldn’t be too worried about Fed. If he reaches the final, that’s a great result. I just hope that it would not be Rafa he is facing (maybe Chela ;-)?).


jane Says:

Lol, yeah Blank. That is what I wish for Nole if he makes it too. ;)


blank Says:

jane,
I am not very happy that the ankle injury of the ‘misfortune’ Murray, or the absence of him, would make it too easy for Rafa to get to the finals and give him lethal confidence boost!


Kimmi Says:

blank – i am with you. i don’t want a fedal for the same reasons.


jane Says:

I know blank, but maybe if Murray can get through the next one he will be good to go? Never know. Keeping everything crossed for him. Also, Rafa has to face winner of Simon and Soda, which could (?) be a tougher match. Ah well, all we can do is…watch. Are you going to the Masters in Canada again this year?


Kimmi Says:

ha-ha what a the chances for chela to reach the final in the top half?


Kimmi Says:

federer on his interview with eurosport says he would like to reach the final again as he hasn’t done for a long time. how much does he want it?


Eric Says:

jane, it’s ostensibly random, right? But as someone (Dory? I honestly forget) pointed out, Fed and Djoko have basically always been on the same half of the draw at the AO and USO every year since 2008. Which probably isn’t random but rather the result of the organizers fixing the draw so as to produce the most interesting semifinals. And most of those times Fed was no. 1 and Djoko no. 3, but it still held when Fed no. 2…


andrea Says:

fed is looking in great form. seems at ease without all the pressure. feel sorry for stan and the straight set beat down. amazing for novak that he keeps on winning. i do hope it’s fed/novak for one semi. they both have a chance at winning, me thinks, based on play to date.

not sure about rafa’s side. he walked all over veic yesterday, but it sounded like nadal could have sneezed on veic’s face and he (veic) still would have been ecstatic, he was so happy to play against him.

don’t think ivan will pull out the upset in a 5 setter…maybe in best of 3.

simon and soderling lurk, but soderling doesn’t seem to be the man on fire he was last year overall.


trufan Says:

Look at Nadal’s luck (yet again). The only player likely to take him out on his side of the draw is injured (Murray). Verdasco could have troubled him, but he lost. What a soft draw to the final.

Same thing happened at USO last year. And many times before. What’s that saying – I’d rather be lucky than good?


Kissmygrits Says:

You don’t know what was wrong with Fognini so STOP speculating. The trainer said it was a muscle strain so there you have it. To say he stole one is completely wrong, because Montanes had many chances to win AFTER Fognini’s medical time out but he DID NOT. He got BEAT and that is the end of it.


Kissmygrits Says:

Nadal looks terrible. Anyone is likely to take him out.


skeezerweezer Says:

Are you all discounting Lube’s chances against Rafa? He has had a nice run. Monte Carlo is his hometown so he is comfortable on the stuff. He beat Rafa in IW in ’10, though it was HC. IF the weather is dry, not humid, and IF Lube serves out of his mind…..well….never mind what am I thinkin!


mat4 Says:

@Jane:

In the semi, it’s never “random”. Somewhere on this side I made a post with some stats, explaining that the organizers always get the draw they want, to have the most attractive final. So, it was always Fedole on hard, Rafole on clay except in 2009, when at RG they wanted a Rafole final, after the great matches Rafa and Djoko had in MC, Rome and Madrid.

This year, it’s Fedole again, since Frenchies expected Doudou to have better chances against Djoko than against Rafa.


Eric Says:

trufan, Murray was NEVER the most likely player to trouble Rafa at the French. Sorry I have to keep pointing this out, but Murray has an abysmal record on clay. He has never been in a single clay final. Soderling or even Simon is a bigger threat, especially since Rafa tends to come into every round more prepared and determined to win than the last one.


mat4 Says:

… on this site…

Sorry.


Eric Says:

Jane, mat4 — sorry, right, it was mat4 who pointed out the pattern about the semifinal matchups…


Kimmi Says:

i think the only chance ljub has is to take the sets to tie break..rafa was really bad on those tie breaks with isner.

Kissmygrits Says:
“Nadal looks terrible. Anyone is likely to take him out.”

ha-ha who is anyone? he had a bunch of “anyones” in his last 3 matches and you know the rest..


Eric Says:

Imagine if Isner had been just a bit more resilient and able to take Rafa to another tiebreak… that would have been the craziest result EVER, Rafa losing in the first round at the French! Isner would be a hero for Nole heroes everywhere. ;)


mat4 Says:

I will repost here my little analysis from march.

————————————————-

A little analysis. I used initials: F=Federer, N=Nadal, M=Murray, D=Djokovic. The assumption here is that Djokovic is an easier match for Federer, and Murray for Nadal on hard, or, if you want, that Murray is a trickier match for Federer, and Djokovic for Nadal. On clay, Murray doesn’t count, and the expected draw is N-D in the semi.

Event Most valuable final draw 1-4 odds
AO 2011 F-N F-D, N-M 1/2, 50%
USO 2010 F-N F-D, N-M 1/4, 25%
W 2010 F-N or F-M F-D, N-M 1/8, 12,5%
RG 2010 F-N F-M, N-D 1/16 6,25%
AO 2010 F-N F-D, N-M 1/32 3,12%
USO 2009 F-N F-D, N-M 1/64 1,56%
W 2009 F-M** F-D, ?-M 1/128 0,78%
RG 2009 N-D* F-D, N-M 1/256 0,39%
AO 2009 F-N F-D, N-M 1/512 0,20%
USO 2008 F-M or F-N F-D, N-M 1/1024 0,09%

Since Rafa won Wimbledon and the rivality between him and Fed took another dimension, the draw in the slams was always protecting them in the semi. The stats above are blatant: there was 1/512 chance to have such draw in 9 slams in a row. From a scientific point of view, it’s a proof. The semi F-D was projected 7 times in a row, from W 2008 to RG 2010; the chances for such thing are 1/128, or 0,78%. It is obvious that there is a pattern.

There can be disagreaments about the “Most valuble final” thing, but not too much.

I do not know which draws are fixed, in what measure, and how it is done. I do know that it can be easily done.

If Djokovic takes the num 2 rank, you can bet that Roger will be in his half at RG. If Roger continues to play exceptionnal tennis like he is doing now and makes a step toward num 1, Nole will land in Rafa’s half.

* In 2009, Djokovic had an exceptionnal clay court season until RG, and after the final in 2008 when Rafa destroyed Fed, a final N-D was the only where some fight could be expected.
** Nadal didn’t play.


Eric Says:

Er, Nole fans.
But yeah, I think if Ljubicic can keep his serve all through the match (unlikely) he could pick up a set or two in TBs…


Kimmi Says:

what are you guys talking about..the draw is totally random. it is 50/50 chance nole or rafa gets murray or federer..


mat4 Says:

I forgot I wrote this:

“If Djokovic takes the num 2 rank, you can bet that Roger will be in his half at RG.”


skeezerweezer Says:

mat4

I do not understand your objective here. That the draw is fixed? Surely not for 1-4 ranked players. 1 is always on top, 2 at bottom. 3 & 4 can switch (this is where it is suppose to be random ) in the upper halves, respectively….so? Are you saying that they are “placing 3 & 4?, not by drawing of out of hat, per se?”.

For the sake of argument, please just summarize, I trust your numbers….

1 & 2 are legally always placed in top / bottom


Alexander X Says:

Eric: “Fed was no. 1 and Djoko no. 3, but it still held when Fed no. 2…”

And also when Fed is no.3 and what else to say……….


Eric Says:

Skeezer, the core observation is that at the US and Australian Opens, Federer and Djokovic have been on the same side of the draw for every single edition since 2008. That is extremely unlikely if the draw is truly random.

So mat4 concludes that the organizers fix the draw to produce the most enticing final pairing (Federer-Nadal, usually). I am not sure if I agree (I think it is probably more likely to be out of a desire to have the best SFs, but who knows).

Of course, it could also truly be random, but that seems unlikely. I was reading the other day that American Airlines will now make about 10.5 million dollars for every game of the Mavs-Heat series (since they have naming rights for both the Dallas and Miami stadiums). Tennis might not play with such high sums of money, but it’s naive to suppose that organizers are above trying to jigger the draw to produce the “best” finals.


Eric Says:

(Specifically, there is a .78% chance of getting the same result seven times in a row if there is a 50% chance of getting it each time.)


mat4 Says:

@skeezerweezer:

Eric summed it up: not only the semi are fixed to obtain the most valuable final, but the quarters too. You don’t have to read the numbers (it is difficult to read the table) but the intro and the conclusion are clear, I hope.

Here I analyzed the last 10 GS. And the pattern is always the same.

By the way, although I found something in dictionaries, what does skeezerweezer mean?


trufan Says:

Eric,

Murray really troubled Rafa this year at MC – took a set off him. Plus he is one guy who has tons of stamina, and can move and retrieve. Has also trained in Spain. He just hasn’t done well on clay so far.

Still, Nadal got lucky again. He could have had a tough semi against Murray. Now he will have a softball, like the USO last year.

Soderling is done. We saw what happened last year in the finals.


Eric Says:

trufan, apparently Murray is probably going to be fine, and the SF is still a long time away. He should be fine and able to put up as much resistance as he ever was.


skeezerweezer Says:

tx Eric & mat4…

mat4,

skeezerweezer, in my case, is just a name I picked with no thought. However, if you search in the “urban dictionary” you’ll find meaning for skeezer(be careful there, it is quite skanky), which is like a lady I once knew, and am glad I do not know her anymore. Otherwise, it is a meaningless thought I made up. Either lucky, stupid, smart or dumb. Just tried to be original :)


Eric Says:

This is totally random, but does anyone know what would happen if both players had to withdraw in advance of a match? Like, suppose Murray withdrew and then Troicki got in a car crash and had to withdraw as well..what would happen? Obviously this must never really happen in real life, but still, I am curious.


jamie Says:

RG final will be:

Nole vs Soderling

OR

Nole vs Murray

Take it to the bank.


Kimmi Says:

@jamie, you must be a soderling fan


mat4 Says:

@Kimmi:

Poor Soderling…


Polo Says:

Eric, if neither player could play, then obviously, whoever is supposed to play either of them automatically advances. Both players probably get a loss count in their career record.


Kimmi Says:

@mat4: exactly my thoughts


Andres Says:

Did it look serious Monfils injury or was it one of his ‘fake’ ones, he often pulls that kind of gimmick to break his rival concentration.


El Flaco Says:

I will laugh my buttt off if Nadal plays Chela or Troicki in the semi. Chela would be lucky to win 3 games. If Troicki serves great he could win maybe 9 games.


contador Says:

without fail. every GS the subject comes up…

hm, i always assumed it was up to the tournament where 3 and 4 went. what we watch {publicly] in those GS draws appears legit as for the names filling in the bracket. providing 1 and 2 do their jobs and make it, fans will watch a nadal v djokovic final. repeating myself: but even if the draw is “artificially enhanced” the seeded players have to perform to win. i’d rather not go all cynical about draw fixing and match fixing in tennis :/ then you start looking closer and wonder about berdych going out like he did and if something more sinister is going on. but where’s the proof?

or…tbird had a bad day.

you would think players themselves or someone would leak information backed up with eveidence…photos…text messages, email…

djokovic is making his draw look easy imo. his tennis is punishing everybody! ; )

Fabio Fognini…gotta use capitals for that match! mama mia he was called for foot faults and it appeared he got so mad he did half of them intentionally. but the sudden mto when he was serving in the 5th and montanes 2 points from winning was pure foggy…he got away with it. then went on to rattle montanes by playing all or nothing, full throttle. when his ranting gets on a roll in italian he’s the best in atp! makes for entertaining 5th set tennis. everyone remembers monfils v fognini 2010. personal fave match of the tournament. impassive tennis for 4 sets and bam! foggy steals the show… so happy he’s in the quarters : )

don’t worry nole fans…foggy will be over in 3. maybe a bagel.

trying to remember which spaniard he had some colorful fireworks with on the so. american swing. i think it was almagro. whoever it was popped up in his draw the next 2 tournaments.


Kimmi Says:

wawrinka problem is, he overplays when playing federer. he had lots of hitting long errors. if he can relax and play his game, he should really give fed a tough match.

I have seen him playing djoko and even nadal pretty close, but what is going on when playing federer..

the commentator said before the match wawa talked about how much would like to beat federer, he would love to do that but….


Kimmi Says:

contador – nice to see you. you should post some more..it is a GS afterall :)


Andrew Miller Says:

Stan just rolls over when he plays Fed. Roddick at least pushes the envelope when he loses to Fed, but Stan just plain loses the ability to play tennis when he plays Fed.


contador Says:

thinking wawa has to beat federer someday again. thought the same when they met in AO. wawa was playing so well then froze v federer. nadal has a similar effect on the majority of his compatriots.


contador Says:

thanks Kimmi ; ) i’m back. was busy winning the giro d’ italia and i am supreme grand tour winner! wonder if he talks to rafa?


contador Says:

had to look it up. it was fabio v robredo. highly entertaining match. at the net tommy refused to shake hands and FF called him a man of **** in very clear spanish… the rematch in wherever it was, was a disappointing. tommy in 2. boredo must be tunning up for grass, lol…


Eric Says:

contador, there’s a HUGE diff between setting up the draw in the way most likely to lead to good SF and F matches and MATCH fixing. I don’t see what Berdych had to do with it!

Polo, yeah, I guess that match just wouldn’t happen. It’s a shame, though, it would completely rip open a draw, two matches would be gone instead of just one. But like I said, it wouldn’t really happen.

El Flaco, that’s pretty cynical. Troicki and Chela are both very, very good. Chela I think is especially good on clay. I’m sure they will win more than 3 games, although obviously no one would call it a tough match for Nadal.


truefan Says:

El Flaco

Get ready to laugh your butt off. Nadal is probably playing Chela or Troicki in the semi.

Eric,
No way can Murray be 100% by friday the way he rolled his ankle. Its a 3-4 week recovery, with a drop in level of play as the side effect. Ever twisted an ankle? Never heals in 5 days.

Nadal will again have a chance to win a slam by playing just one top level player (in the final). Perhaps a repeat of USO 2010, when Fed softened Djokovic for Nadal to beat him in the final. Looks like it might happen again.

The way they are playing right now – a fit and fresh Djokovic beats a fit and fresh Nadal, even at the FO.

But then, Nadal is lucky……


jane Says:

Contador, there is a full transcript of FFF’s interview at SportCampus. He is quite funny and perfunctory isn’t he? “Well, I laugh. What else is there to do?” re: the foot fault calls. I remember he played Nole on clay once, maybe in Serbia. Nole sent out a victory message for him on Twitter:

“DjokerNole Grande vitoria di Fabio oggi. Ha soferto tanto,pero bravo per forza mentale e resistenza. Adesso quarti giochiamo,amico ;-)
about 10 hours ago”

Mat4, Thanks a lot for reposting all that info about the draws. Crazy the amount they have faced one another, but at least they usually play great matches. I am sure we will see another good one should it come to pass.

Eric, you’re tempting fate a bit. I am sure you realize Troicki had food poisoning tnis week and pulled out of doubles, and then Murray with the ankle. It would be mad if they both pulled out!


jane Says:

Looks like possible showers this week, mainly isolated, but Tuesday and Sunday look the worst on the “long term” forecast I checked. Hopefully it is nothing much and doesn’t mess up the schedule for players. Nole has played his best matched in the dry warmer weather too – versus de Bakker and Gasquet, and part two of the Delpo one.


Eric Says:

Jane, I actually didn’t know that about Troicki – that’s kind of eerie… I hope they are both able to play.

truefan et al., Murray rolled his ankle, but there’s no real word on how bad it is. What I have read is that there is no serious damage, but that he’s not sure if he will be able to play yet or not. But he is out practicing and such, so – while it must hurt and will probably limit his mobility a bit – it must not be that bad. Not 100%, maybe, but…

As for the bigger picture that Nadal won’t have to play anyone, well, I call BS. It was true at the USO, but he’s already been pushed a fifth set for the first time ever, Andujar was a perfectly respectable second-round opponent, and if he beats Ljubicic he will have to play Soderling or Simon, who are not slouches. I’m not sure what counts as a “top level player” to you, but Soderling is the only person in the world to beat him at the French, so I’d say he probably should qualify.

By the way, this is interesting — http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/news/2011/05/30/andy-murray-splashes-out-15k-on-an-ice-bath-to-cure-his-ankle-115875-23166395/

Apparently he just got it two weeks ago. Wonder if it may have actually contributed to muscle weakness in the ankle? Probably not, but still. Does he have a history of rolling this ankle?


gazman Says:

Your comment regarding Stan ‘punching bag’ Warwinka and his losing record against Roger reminded me of what Vitas Gerulaitis once said after finally, finally beating Bjorn Borg (or was it Connors?): ‘No one beats me 17 times in a row and gets away with it’. One of the best sports quotes ever. Stan will finally have his day one day.


Dory Says:

Agree with ‘blank’ about not wanting Roger to win against Djoko because he gets paralyzed in the final against Rafa and really can’t DO ANYTHING. All past Fedal FO encounters have been nightmarish for Roger fans. Djoko FTW. That way he’ll also become No.1 irrespective of who wins RG.

Looking at their current forms, I think Djoko is still far ahead. Roger is in good form but when it comes to facing the very top 3-4, Djoko’s supreme at the moment. I SO want RF and Nole to meet in the final at the next few Slams. Like everyone’s observation, they ALWAYS meet in the semis. But I believe in the ITF/Slam committees when they say the draw is random. Anyways, things will change when Djoko becomes No.1.

If Rafa is out before the finals (which seems really impossible), then I would want Roger to win the FO again!


truefan Says:

Other than an out of form Soderling, Nadal doesn’t have anyone else he could meet before the finals who has much credentials. Isner, Andujar, Veic, Ljubicic – come on, none of them have any grand slam record of stature. Murray could have really put him through the paces in the semi – but with a rolled ankle, even if he plays, he can’t be 100%. And on clay, he needs to be 100% to give Nadal a run.

Nadal avoided JMDP, Ferrer, Verdasco, Murray – each one of whom could have really troubled him, especially since he is not at his peak anymore. The only likely strong opponent he will play is either Fed or Djokovic in he final. I am sure Nadal wants Fed in the final. I just hope Fed-Djokovic is a one-sided affair, so that whoever is in the final is fresh. But given Nadal’s incredible luck, he might have the same USO situation repeated – Fed softens Djokovic in 5 long sets, then Djokovic loses to Nadal in 4 sets.

If JMDP hadn’t been injured all of 2010, Nadal wouldn’t have had the year he had. Wow, he just has a way of jinxing his competition into injuries!


Dory Says:

They just announced that Fognini has WITHDRAWN and Djoko gets a walkover to the semis!!! He deserves one certainly.


Kimmi Says:

Will this win be counted..i don’t think so will be counted.


trufan Says:

Djoko misses one win in his win streak….


Kimmi Says:

*I don’t think it will be counted*
I had a feeling that is what will happen.

c’mon petra. li na playing much better now..


Dory Says:

O shit! I forgot about the steak! :) Even if this isn’t counted officially, Djoko’s a winner for me always. Now wherever his streak ends, he’s won one more match (this one) for me.


contador Says:

@Eric

all i was adding in an unclear way, is that personally, i am not keen on the “draw fixing” or “setting-up” idea. and if it is true and they still have these public ceremonies to make GS draws appear random, that’s smarmy. and if we are talking “fixing” draws and staging, then it brings up other cynical questions of smarminess, (imo). so until i have more facts, i want to believe tennis isn’t on par with WWF. just tossing my 2 cents in on the subject.

seeds 1 and 2 are set. and maybe they set 3 and 4 and more? being serious. i forget.

inevitably, each GS the topic comes up abt the draw being more than random. if so, i wish it were made news, “this is how we set-up the draw to make it more exciting.” however, to me, what is exciting would be a matter of opinion, really. take a vote on it…lol..j/k.

thanks for the tip Jane. great tweet! nole is funny. not that i’m an expert, but nole’s italian sounded good in his rome speech. have to laugh at the tweet. strong mental resistance? wow, the french boo’ed FFF’s version… i could see nole, laughing. what a memorable 5th set for montanes! i wanted a monfils v fognini rematch. that was my draw hope this RG.


Duro Says:

A big hug for my countess… ;-)


contador Says:

Dory. FF has withdrawn. that doesn’t surprise me at all. he was not looking in good shape. he had the thigh taped in the mto but commentators were saying it was cramps.


contador Says:

oh thanks, Duro. : ) and a hug to you too. i was at a friend’s house and got to see some tennis channel last night and novak djokovic’s “bag check.” he carries the davis cup serbian flag with him! and a bracelet with all the saints on it. sweet.


Duro Says:

That’s why he stays so fit. Carrying all these things on his shoulder all the time… :-)

Fognini spoiled Nole’s party. One certain win less in his unbelievable streak…

He would have equaled second best of all time in open era…

Now it will take Federer for the task to be completed… Tricky, tricky one…

On the other hand, some more time and rest for preparation for this colossal match up.

Number 1 battle and streak battle at stake!

For me personally, only No1-vak matters!

Allez alleeeez, allez alleeeez, No1-leeeee, No1-leeeee…


Wheeler Says:

I HATE FOGNINININI FOR SPOILING NOLE’S STREAK.


contador Says:

Duro -

“Fognini spoiled Nole’s party. One certain win less in his unbelievable streak…” ha! so true.

nole has the most interesting bag, for sure. he’s very funny.

not yet certain on federer v nole…he has to beat monfils or ferrer first. i think i prefer him to play ferrer, monfils being completely unpredictable.

having a real wta rollercoaster match…li na v kvitova. c’mon li!

to me, nole looks unbeatable other than rafa maybe …ober 5 sets.


Kimmi Says:

too many errors from petra. she cant move well either. li na playing playing very well


Duro Says:

Wheeler,

He is a good buddy with Nole. He should have shown up, played three points and retire ha ha ha… That would be friendly. Or, he should have let Montagnes beat him and allow Novak to continue his streak anyway.


Duro Says:

Countess,

That bag is so big and so loaded that if you lose something and can’t find it, ask No1-vak to look up in his bag for it. He’ll have it, for sure…


Kimmi Says:

li na wins. petra too many errors.

congrats to li na..maybe she gets to the another final.

another try next year petra


contador Says:

having my usual difficulty knowing where to post, Kimmi. i’m very happy. Li Na won!


Kimmi Says:

the qualifier falla reaching his first qtr final..amazing


contador Says:

lol, Duro. his bag!


contador Says:

less than riveting idea….chela v falla. but maybe if i get a stream i will get more excited …


Kimmi Says:

i was rooting for petra but yeah, great win for li na.

i thought chela would get this but falla seem to be moving well in this match..


contador Says:

FFFFFFFFabio! he wasn’t thinking of the greater good…


trufan Says:

get ready for Fed versus Nole semi. Not good for Nole, not having played a match for 4 days. I think Nadal gets REAL lucky and draws Fed in the final, and saves his No. 1 ranking till wimbledon.

I hope Nadal faces Isner at Wimbledon in the first round!


Kimmi Says:

falla will be the first man from colombia to reach qtr final, if he gets there that is…well if they put it like that :)


contador Says:

it’s 5 am here, Kimmi. falling back to sleep. oh wait. rafa v ljuby next on chatrier…


Dory Says:

Ljubicic is one of the big servers whom Nadal always has trouble against. If only Ljubicic can string together some points to win the match…


Duro Says:

There wasn’t one single match of that importance for a long, long time…

Everyone can lose and gain. Interested parties: all three of them!

Novak fights for number 1 directly!

Fed trying to end The Streak (it’s becoming a living thing, a monster almost) and make it to the finals and eventually win it all!

Rafa – to preserve his number 1 and and wait for the rival, hoping to see Roger in it!

Meaning – Nole against all!

What a colossal match up that would be, again…


contador Says:

confirmed from radio RG. FF had a pulled muscle. knowing it wasn’t cramps, now the sudden mto when montanes was 2 pts from victory on fabio’s serve dampens the drama. the french crowd boo’ing thought it was some great acting…so did i. FFabio…


contador Says:

the “streak” has a life of it’s own, Duro. *giggles*

RG radio taking a poll on whether or not rafa would rock the bald look. i say he would. ljuby does.


Kimmi Says:

yeah contador, i thought it would be early there. it is 7:30 am here. time to go to work.

ljub not with the greatest start. too many eu at the moment.

falla up a break in the 4th but facing break point.

doublr fault ljub, not fun


Duro Says:

Countess, absolutely. A living thing!!!

The Streak!


Miki Says:

I agree contador, Mr.Streak is actually another player, so when Novak shows up on the court, Mr. Streak is right there beside him, so when players play vs Novak, they freak out cause they see 2 players instead of one. Quiet an explanation for Novak success this year :D


Kimmi Says:

chela fighting, not giving it to falla yet..back on serve.

ljub needs to hold here, and he does


Kimberly Says:

wow, you’ve got to give it to Na Li i’m not sure she won a single match since the australian open yet here she is the qfs. good morning all. Hope my favs keep it a good morning!


Dory Says:

Nadal is playing so crap!


Kimmi Says:

ljub breaks back, there is life into the old man after all..

rafa truly rattled…


Duro Says:

Good one, Miki. But is it pressing Novak a bit as well?

I’m impressed how maturely he handles it, though.

A champion mentality, what else. He is ready. He is ready…

In No1-vak we trust!


trufan Says:

Nadal is playing so poorly!! I wish he was playing Del Potro right now…

Anyway, its always a snooze fest with Nadal. only 3 service games (total 7 games), and its 35 minutes! The guy takes so much time between serves. I am just amazed referees allow this violation of rules all the time.

Remember Wimbledon 2008 final? Of the 4 hours 48 minutes match, he spent 110 minutes waiting to serve, and making his opponent wait. Tell me that its sporting!!


contador Says:

good morning, kimberly. after listening to the level-headed, nothing to lose ljubicic interviews, was wondering if he might be trouble for rafa.


Miki Says:

Of course it’s pressing him. In almost every interview there is a question about the pressure form the streak, and I remember that in one interview he said that the pressure is always there, it’s just that he learned how to deal with it. And why shouldn’t he deal with it the way he did? He is playing great, he is experienced, and if he thinks match at a time, or even point at a time, only thinking about his current opponent, then there is no problem. He is a professional, he thinks about his game now, not bothering too much with the media and everything, I think he is in a state of mind we mere mortals cannot even comprehend.


Miki Says:

Duro, I just realised that me and you could write in Serbian/Montenegrin, but I guess it would be quit rude :)


Dory Says:

Falla vs Chela 1st three sets they broke each other’s serves like a dozen times and now every serve is being held in 4th! Hope this goes to the fifth set so I can get to watch both Soderling and Murray’s matches.


Kimberly Says:

crap, not a good start to the morning. Really poor play.


Duro Says:

“He is a professional, he thinks about his game now, not bothering too much with the media and everything, I think he is in a state of mind we mere mortals cannot even comprehend.”

Hu hu hu hu, I like it!

Miki, of course, and since we know some of English, why should we? I’m practicing mine every day on his site! Thanks to X-tennis, my English is getting better and better. It was like laboring first couple of posts here 3 years ago, with a bunch of dictionaries on my lap…


Duro Says:

… on this site. Typo.


Duro Says:

Do I have to mention how I admire and envy Grendel, Jane, i am it and others because of their impeccable English and knowledge overall, avoiding to answer some times because of it?

There are some scary clever people here…


Kimberly Says:

well at least he won the first set. Maybe he can increase his level now. If he were playing a better player Ferer, Soderling, etc he would be losing.


contador Says:

thinking the same watching nole, Miki. and it’s what i saw in alberto contador in how he won another grand tour. it was there watching federer or nadal at their best. nole has that similar state of mind. supreme confidence in the mind backed up my talent and hard work paying off. it’s inspiring.

nadal is not at his best this tournament and i wonder why. he is managing to win though.

Duro, you do sound happy!


Miki Says:

I agree, why should we? I don’t have an everyday opportunity to practice my English, sure this isn’t like actual speaking, but it surely helps with making sentences. Why do you need dictionaries? I just a keep an open google tab in my browser, just in case I don’t know how to spell something.

Now I’m kind of pissed that we won’t see Novak ’till Friday :( And Fognini should have helped a little with the streak :)…bad boy Fabio, bad boy…


contador Says:

“by talent” not “my talent” arrrrrgh! can’t multi-task to save my life…


Miki Says:

Oh Duro, I’m with you on that. Grendel is one wise man for sure. I mean, it’s not just about the words he uses, cause most of us knows all that English words, he have them in our vocabulary, it’s how he puts them together in a very beautiful way. I mean, I learned English mostly trough TV and Internet, it’s not my first language, but my Serbian is a far cry from his English . But enough of praising him, we don’t want to spoil him :)


C!P! Says:

who announced Fognini will not play?


C!P! Says:

cause i believe he will if he is not stupid ,he can play a couple of games, then retire ,but this way he can get the cash ,which is roughly 6 figures


Dory Says:

Ljubicic is somewhat of a weirdo, isn’t he! Makes some really great shots and then falters on some of the very basic ones.


Miki Says:

C!P!, I don’t know who, but it is official. Even Novak wrote on his Twitter (or FB) that Fognini withdrew and that he is going to enjoy Paris in a different way :)


Dory Says:

Fognini himself announced in broken English in a press conference.


Duro Says:

Miki, I’m professional now! These were my beginnings… :-)

Countess, I am proud, not only happy!


Kimberly Says:

poor montanes


Dory Says:

Wow what a volley by Ljubicic at 3-3 15-15-.


contador Says:

Kimberly, did you see fognini v montanes? montanes handled it well. when foggy won, he was interacting with the crowd and took his time limping to the net. montanes stood there with the body language of a man not angry but guessing he was looking on with irony. almagro or robredo wouln’t not have been so ….uh, objective . almost felt like a montanes fan for a minute.

Duro. when you see performances like nole has been giving us, it’s brilliant. proud and smiling with you.


Van orten Says:

Two ue from liubicic to give nad the break.why no body can have the match of his life vs nad who is clearly not playing well…it s bOring watching him play cuz its so predictable


marko Says:

watching Nadal play the way he is right now, against Ljubicic, I just can’t see how he can beat a top 5 player with this current form.. If he shows up at the final looking like this, he’ll definitely lose regardless of who’s on the other side.


Dory Says:

The big question for me was whether Fognini deserved to win because he was intentionally doing foot faults as if he didn’t care. They reached double figures I think. Is quite a record for most foot faults ever. I bet the Serena line judge wasn’t impressed at all.


C!P! Says:

i’m glad to see nadal stepping up a little ,just a little ,good enough for the confidence though


Kimberly Says:

off the the gym in a few for a session with the angry bulls fan trainer then to play tennis with kaiser, i am afraid I will miss most of the matches as after that, hope Nadal can hold the lead.

Duro, you know my mother in law is from Croatia. They own an apartment still in Split and spend a few months a year there. Never been yet as I have young children and it is hard to travel anywhere but DIsney World.


Miki Says:

Kimberly, as soon as possible, go to Split, it’s beautiful. And not just Split, but also the islands around it, and many other smaller but equally beautiful cities.


stu Says:

SO annoyed with Fabio. They should just let Montanes play.


Miki Says:

Hey Stu, you just made me thinking. Maybe ATP should introduce something like, like a lucky loser, just during the actual tournament.


Duro Says:

Kimberly, I’m from Montenegro, but all I can say about Croatia is: a beautiful, beautiful country.
You should go there definitely. I have been in Split couple of times, three years ago last time, on my way to Monte Carlo. Beautiful town (city), as well. All Mediterranean is. If you go to Split, come visit Montenegro and be my guest. I live on the coast too. No beaches like ones in Montenegro… You are welcome.


Duro Says:

And say hello to your mother in law. I know she cheers for Nole, I didn’t forget it ;-).


tfouto Says:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2011/05/22/Roland-Garros-Monday-Djokovic-One-Win-From-No-1.aspx

Any of you think Djoko can feel the pressure on SF against Federer because of the No.1?


jane Says:

You really have to feel for Montanes, but then again, he couldn’t finish versus an injured opponent. Too bad Nole will lose a match, but the rest is fine after three days straight against two tough opponents. He will need to find someone to have a good hit with tomorrow though.

Looks like Ferrer is cruising.

Nadal is through too in straights. But I wouldn’t have expected different.


marko Says:

Kimberly,

I’m from Serbia and I’d advise you to book a trip to Split as soon as you possibly can..It’s absolutely beautiful, the whole coast line. And the kids will love it..Try to visit Kotor and Plitvice as well if you can.


jane Says:

Tough one tfouto, especially beating Fed over five sets. I guess Nole did beat Fed at IW to get to number 2, but that was best of three sets. In any case, Nole shouldn’t worry too much about rankings. He can gain points at Queens and Rafa also has to defend Wimbledon and the USO. Nole should just stick to his one game/match at a time mentality.


tfouto Says:

I guess Nole should win, but if Fed plays really well and takes one or two sets, Djoko ‘might’ have to struggle with his own mind… I dont know. I think no.1 is a really special and heavy goal to any player…


jane Says:

Soda is off to a fast start, and Monfils did well to regroup for the fifth set!


jane Says:

Monfils is choking on his chance to serve it out. Awww, Gael.


contador Says:

wow. i fall back to sleep and monfils-ferrer in the 5th. having another corker 5th set to watch atm. crowd roaring!! or groaning in unison…cheering. matchpoint monfils…oh no ferrer saved one mp and…

yeah soda wants to get it over fast. but gilou might have other ideas.

Kimberly lol… a session with the angry bulls fan trainer and a match with kaiser sounds like trouble.


jane Says:

Monfils! I cannot stand to see a player choke like that. It was so obvious he was nervous trying to serve out the match at 5-3. His dad was adorable, performing breathing and nodding gestures in Monfils’ direction, trying to encourage and calm him at the same time, standing and clapping.

No fifth set tiebreak either. Hmmmm. Ferrer has momentum.

Soda with the first set 6-2. He has beaten Nadal and then Fed, both defending champions in back to back years. Is it possible to think he’d do it again? I didn’t see Rafa today so I do not know what his form was like. Looks like 23 winners to 24 UEs, so not the best stats. Okay, Soda, still has a couple of sets to go, and Simon often starts slow, so I am getting ahead of myself.

Where’d everyone go?! :/


contador Says:

OMG vamossssssssssss from ferrer. and he saved those mp’s. drama, drama alert! tie breaker coming…woohoo


contador Says:

oh that’s right it’s not a tie break. i love this scoring. can go on and on….er, like it if it’s not isner-mahut tennis.


Miki Says:

No tiebreaker in the 5th contador. :)


contador Says:

jane my money is on gael now. he loves this! ferrer is annoyed but not giving up. 2 characters…this could go on.


Dory Says:

Almost every streaming is showing Monfils match. I can’t watch Soderling vs Simon simultaneously from the one stream that is too much for my net speed. I will have to watch Soda vs Simon via torrent downloaded. Can’t miss that match.


jane Says:

Monfils needs to think a little more. Sometimes, with the entire court open, he hits it right back to Daveed, who is much more court savvy. Also Monfils gets lured into these 20+ shot rallies and passively goes along with them instead of going for a kill shot, which he could! He has the ability. But he maybe gets nervous. He reminds me a little bit of a hyper kid. Very fun to watch, but exhausting too. And frustrating. Think la Monf!


jane Says:

Here! Take it!


Dory Says:

Ferrer self destructed in the last game!!!!!!


Dory Says:

C’mon this is not the final. The crowd is cheering as if Monfils has defeated Nadal in the final or something. But GREAT MATCH.


jane Says:

Yay la Monf! So glad he was able to salvage that match after blowing it at 5-3. Ferrer made too many errors at the end there. Now I feel sad for him. Oh I could never be an athlete. Don’t have that killer instinct at all, haha.

Dory, now you can watch Soda and Simon, hopefully.


contador Says:

i hear you Dory. almost started a fire on my duvet yesterday. laptop battery got so hot. soda and simon streaming is back now.

laMonf!!! he made it. allez allez!! crowd really appreciated that and lets davide know…


Van orten Says:

Fed plays solid monfils with his notorious passive play will stand no chance at all


margot Says:

Fabulous final set- the flair of Monfils versus the iron will of Ferrer :)
Well I think he’ll give Fed a bit of a run. Should be a better match than Rafa v. Lubi anyway.
BTW Greetings from a wet, cold UK, in fact a typical May Bank Holiday ;)


jane Says:

Agree Van Orten. Fed will straight set la Monf. He was silly in a lot of that Ferrer match. He will take a set from Fed only if he plays an amazing tiebreak, and he was serving well versus Ferrer. But no way la Monf beats Fed. He will be happy with quarter finals, and in a way he should be happy as he has been down with injury or cheese allergy or whatever for a while.

conty, Soda has ICE today. Wow.


Dory Says:

What is ICE? :)


jane Says:

margot, greetings back from rainy, cool and beautifully green west coast of Canada. :)

You really think la Monf can give Fed a run? Hmmm. He is full of flair, as you say. But not much savvy. Almost the perfect counter point to Ferrer. Now if you could hybrid the two through some DNA manipulation…


El Flaco Says:

The schedule on Lenglen is even worse today than it was yesterday. They will have to move one of the matches to Court 1 again.


jane Says:

Dory, conty always talks about the “ice” in Soda’s veins when he is playing well. He is focused, with the towel-over-head at changeovers, and he definitely has that killer instinct. But really contador should explain it; she would do a better job.


Dory Says:

Wow Soderling is a class apart right now! No chance for a mostly-counterpuncher like Simon.


contador Says:

greetings, margot. happy bank holiday…

mr. dimples is in a good mood. simon showing signs of life.


Van orten Says:

Yeah the sod is on today..by the way all the sod is out of form talking …last year he wasnt steamrolling through the pre french tourneys but we all know what happened then


jamie Says:

RG final will be either:

Nole against Soderling

OR

Nole against Murray

Book it.

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


Skeezerweezer Says:

Sod up 2 sets in a little over an hour, mr bludgeon


contador Says:

that’s my opinion, jane. soda has to stay chilled. it’s vital for him. his serve goes away and forehand sprays when he’s po’d. looks like a beautiful day in paris.


tfouto Says:

Now jane that’s someplace where i want to go someday. West coast of Canada and British Columbia, Alberta and surroundings…


contador Says:

mr. bludgeon…lol..


Lulu Iberica Says:

Took him too long, but Monfils finally closed out the match! I really like David and usually root for him, but I hate to see someone have MPs and self-destruct, especially a Frenchman at RG. Good job, Le Monf!

That Rafa match was horrible, one of the most boring I’ve ever seen him play. I understand him losing his confidence against Djoker, but this is getting ridiculous. Le Monf or Ferru would’ve beaten him today. I think it’s a combo of him being burnt out and Djoko being so strong. This is pure speculation, but I think if the competition had remained at the same level, Rafa would’ve kept winning, even being somewhat unmotivated. Djoko has taken the competition to a whole other level, though, and Rafa doesn’t seem to have the fire to fight back. I’m not saying Rafa could beat THIS Djoko, even if Rafa were playing at 2008 level, but he would certainly be more competitive. Anyway, the worst thing for me is no longer Rafa losing to Djoko, but seeing him play with no fire, no “vamos!” or fist pumps. I just hope he gets his mojo back somehow. Tennis is not the same for me without it.

Anyhow, Djoko is really earning his success. I don’t know if anyone could be more focused, dedicated, and “all-in” than he seems to be this season. That said, I hope someone, ANYONE stops him, already! Perhaps the FedEx of old?


Skeezerweezer Says:

Sod is bashing around Simon like a rag doll today…sheeez


Dory Says:

Federer and Nadal (and now Djoko) have it in them to lift their form when it really matters so as good as Djoko is playing, Federer may beat him. As good as Roger is playing, he may lose again to Novak. We never know with the very top 3-4. Nadal still I think will beat Soderling although Murray is questionable with this sort of sloppy form. But you never know. Rafa’s Rafa, esp on clay.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Hmmm… I cannot watch at the moment, but Sod playing extremely well? Perhaps he is gearing up to take out a clearly vulnerable Nadal. :(


jamie Says:

Soderling is beating Nadal. Take it to the back.

Either Soderling or Murray will reach the final from the top half.

Nadal is done.


jane Says:

Tfouto, BC is gorgeous terrain, from the beaches to the Mountains. If you can, try to drive through the Rocky Mountains, say from Vancouver to Calgary or Banff; in the summer time, it is especially sublime. But if you like skiing, come in early spring.

Wow Soderling is having a great day on the court. Simon has no chance.


contador Says:

Lulu Iberica,

“but seeing him play with no fire, no “vamos!” or fist pumps. I just hope he gets his mojo back somehow. Tennis is not the same for me without it.”

thanks. i was wondering why i was cheering for rafa lately and what you say explains it. all that fist pumping and vamos’ing – strangely sad. wondering if that’s what has the pop back into soda. absolutely bombing gilou atm.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Rafa is fine. He’s in the qtrs and on his fav surface. Don’t take much into Rafa’s current demeanor.


tfouto Says:

jane i am not much into skying, more trekking…


jamie Says:

If I were a betting man I would put money on Nadal not winning anymore slams. He lost motivation to improve. In tennis when your game becomes stagnated the others overtake you, simple as that. Right now, Djokovic and Federer are light years ahead of Nadal. Nadal looks to be going the way of Wilander who lost motivation after winning 3 slams in 1988. And never won another slam.

Federer and Djokovic will win many more slams. They will both dominate for some years.

This year, Djokovic and Federer will very likely split the slams like this:

AO Nole(already)
FO Nole
Wimbledon Federer
USO Federer

Book it.


contador Says:

i imagine rafa v soderling would get rafa pumped.

rafa is saying he is not playing well enough to win the tournament…yet. that’s true.

simon was furious. what was that with the umpire? my stream failed…again.


Dory Says:

Watching on TV is so much better than streaming which is Super Fuzzy Quality (TM). I wonder if they will show Murray’s match on TV with Sharapova’s match coming up.


Dory Says:

Wow Soderling has 6-pack washboard abs. Nice to see when he wipes his sweat with this shirt.


contador Says:

simon is really loud! i got my stream back in time to hear “sacre”….something, something…a blue streak of some french more creative than the usual! LOL….


contador Says:

simon broke and the crowd was cheering like he won the mooskateer (sp) cup!


contador Says:

and the wave is going on. soda’s ice is melting fast! help him somebody, he has completely lost it!


Skeezerweezer Says:

conty,

Hi :)

I guess what gets me about Rafa is he seems to me always downplaying his chances, etc. I know he is not playing up to par, but….to go out and let everyone know he is not well enough to win the tourney…I mean..really? Even though he is playing badly, apparently, he has advanced to the quarterfinals of a GS major, so I guess I will believe him when I see it, per se…just me. He has not lost his “King of Clay” title….yet.

Meanwhile…how many games has Sod won since his finger blister thingy?


Dory Says:

O dear Soda finish the match. Simon is dangerous.


contador Says:

soda found some ice. simon found hope and a stadium of roaring and chanting fans.”gilou”…”gilou”

hi skeeze. the change downturn started with blister i think. but he’s has to have confidence for the bludgeon to work.


contador Says:

sorry can’t type atm. not sure who i want to win …


contador Says:

oh man. i am for soda. but he can’t falter like this if he’s playing rafa.

like what Dory said abt soda’s abs…that guy is super fit. but he has to get back to how he was when with magnus norman mentally.


jane Says:

Simon is giving Soda a workout in this set after all.


contador Says:

skeeze..lol on rafa getting under your skin…

oh no. matchpoint for soda but he lost it.


Dory Says:

Why doesn’t Soda improve his volleying skills? Would be so much more dangerous than he already is. Is there any improvement in his game ever since he defeated Nadal at that RG?


contador Says:

simon! playing tough. saving matchpoints x 2. now game pt for simon…allez!!

confused again. cheering for both. thinking simon v rafa will be a real dud.


jane Says:

contador, ESPN analyst asking if this extended break for Nole is too much, but most of the article is about the drama-monger Fabulous Fabio Fognini. Here is the link:

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/french11/columns/story?columnist=garber_greg&id=6606928


Dory Says:

Perfect timing for Soda to close out the match. Azarenka also finished so Murray vs Troicki will start soon.


contador Says:

yesssssss! soda shows just enough ice to get through. sigh…..


jane Says:

Soda, a.k.a. Mr. Dimples, a.k.a., FO upset King, a.k.a. Robin is VERY happy to get through those blips at the end. Nice win for him overall. It wasn’t really Simon’s day. He needs more aggression.


margot Says:

Yikes! Certainly backed the wrong Frenchman today! Bang goes my bracket :(
BBC showing Azarenka match, soooo boring after drama of Monfils-Fer. This is why I suck at WTA Conty, usually sooooo dull…
Want Women’s to go slow so Andy only has half a match today but doesn’t look like it :(


dari Says:

ALLEZ MUZZ!
hope the ankle is good and play level is high.


dari Says:

Ps, highly recommend the Roland garros app for anyone who wants to keep track on the go.
Great design, great content (saw Fab fog video of his withdrawal announcement on that app. he had some sly smile or something the whole time. Must be a little nerve thing, nothing to be happy about withdrawing) and it just made the phone buzz to tell me muzz match was starting. :)
Way to go, rob sod and Aza!


dari Says:

Pps, can someone give an update how AM is looking?


skeezerweezer Says:

jane

Interesting read, tx. I did not think that out, but Nole would have for sure got another another notch in his streak if Mr. Fab walked on the court to play. Sounds like Mr. Fab was advised to retire if he couldn’t put up any resistance and be safe.

But it’s only fitting if he can defeat Fed to keep it going. IF Fed wins against Monfils, it will make for quite of a build up drama match, perrrfect for fans, no? Go Fed :)


marrisv Says:

Murray is being blanked unfortunately troicki leading 4-0


scineram Says:

MAndy will probably retire after 0-6.

Meanwhile in the live race Federer overtook Ferrer for 3rd place after today, Del Potro stands at 8th for a WTF spot.

http://tennislive.free.fr/race


skeezerweezer Says:

dari,

Funny thing about a twisted ankle, even though you can play on in it it can wreak havoc on you mentally. It’s not the pain, you always feel like your going to roll it again……and his playing is showing that at the moment…


margot Says:

dari: Andy looking awful, awful, awful! Can’t watch any more. He should withdraw and prepare for Wimbledon.


marrisv Says:

Yes, hopefully, he doesn’t do more damage to the ankle with the wimpy coming up, where he needs to be at his best


marrisv Says:

wimpy s/b wimby


M Says:

Thanks, Sean, for the recap of Fognini-Montanes. I couldn’t figure out what happened till you cleared it up.


Dory Says:

I thought when I saw this matchup that Troicki is not someone to be taken for granted and could give Murray a run for his money. Murray wasn’t playing aggressively until 0-5 and Troicki just played solid. Then he panicked but managed to get the set.


Dory Says:

I mean Murray is far more talented and mentally strong as well but if Troicki plays more aggressively and solid. But Murray’s starting to play more aggressively as well.


Eric Says:

Wow, Monfils managed to stay strong all through an 8-6 final set. Looking forward to Roger’s Revenge… :)


marrisv Says:

Murray has really worked on his forehand and when he is aggressive, he is smoking it


contador Says:

really enjoyed that link, Jane. Fabio “channeling Fellini.” can’t stop chuckling about the montanes match. Fabio Fellini did it again…2 years running now, the most entertaining. so far…

greg garber said it best, “… but with Fognini you never really know.” i give him ths benefit of doubt.

my stream is gone. andy must be soldiering on injured?

“The Streak” has a life of its own. when nole steps on court it’s magic. how many wishes did the genie grant him? can’t say if those days off help or hurt or does it matter. but it was interesting to read that nole had a wo by tipsy = 42 matches for “The Streak,” techinically.

oh murray is clawing back? i have radio RG. he’s not going to retire.

yeah, why is wta so dull, margot? i try my best but find the tennis boring. unless the girl has personality like Ni La, i cant get into it. i keep trying. the screeching of vika… awful. and without the picture, sharapova over the radio is torture.


Dory Says:

It’s almost as if Dolgopolov played so many drop shots that Troicki’s ability to handle them improved. LOL.


margot Says:

OOOf have started breathing again…;)


Eric Says:

Also, I think Murray’s walkover counts as a win for him, no?


Eric Says:

Or Djokovic’s walkover, I meant, obviously. Mornings…


Eric Says:

Murray is lucky his serve is so good. It doesn’t actually look to me like his mobility is that restricted, but he’s still playing far below par… What do you guys think?


Eric Says:

Well. His ball-striking is unimpaired. What an amazing few points there!


contador Says:

troiki giving simon a run for the money …swearing in serbian? i can’t speak any serbian except , “adje” and i didn’t hear that word.

i think murray has a great serve. watched him practice at IW. it was great to see muzza pounding down a serve to pull out the win v berrer.

NO, dont give break back but he does. lol..andy now angry, very angry but my stream is back and i like the look on andy’s face. fight for the chance to play chela!!


skeezerweezer Says:

His footwork is better..he just seemed to be running around too gingerly in that 1rst set.


Dory Says:

WTH now Troicki is playing dumb passive rallies instead of trying to finish the point.


Mila Says:

Fabio’s injury was obviously legit, and yet he gets lots of crap from almost everyone. It was not Fellini after all, his muscle was busted!

On the other hand, Murray was very dramatic against the German and still easily won, and today against Troicki I see no effects of any injury. This looks like Fellini to me, or actually Hitchcock (or Boyle to be nationally precise).

It is second set and Murray is flying all over the court, the same level as Troicki. Too much hype about his ankle, likely just a tiny tweak…


Eric Says:

Mila, his ankle is definitely slowing him down and impacting his play in general. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s definitely keeping him from playing his best consistently.


jane Says:

Having hellish day. For the second time during the FO, the cable truck cut power at my house. Last time was just before Delpo/Nole match part one and missed almost entire first set. Today it was cut just before Murray and Sharapova began their matches. So I have hightailed it into my office to watch tennis online, ha ha. My poor plants needed watch anyhow. :)

Okay, phew. So what is going on with Andy M? Is his ankle bothering him? I see Troicki won set one. : / Will read comments.


Mila Says:

@contador,

That one Serbian word you know is also incorrect.
It’s not adje but AJDE, pronunced I-De, meaning let’s go or come on.


Eric Says:

Jane, Murray was up a break in the second set and lost it, then got up 15-40 in Troicki’s next game, but lost both points and another bp later, and now he was just broken again. Basically he needs to figure out some way to, you know….win. helpful commentary right? :/


Dory Says:

Just what the commentator said I agree 100%. Lots of people pick Murray to defeat big players and reach the finals and semis but because of his defensive style, some aggressive player always takes advantage in the Slams and defeats him. Roddick at Wimbledon, Cilic at US Open. Maybe Troicki can pull the upset.


Mila Says:

Eric,

You are probably right, it slows him down marginally, however my point about different standards for him and Fabio still stands, don’t you think so?


Eric Says:

Mila, I’m not sure what the double standard is. Fognini looked like he was cramping, even in the eyes of the ATP’s writers (in the ATP article about that match) and he received treatment for it (which was obviously decisive for the outcome of the match, and is not allowed for cramps). Murray rolled his ankle and received treatment for it (allowed). Now he is playing on it. Fognini had something more serious than cramps and withdrew. So what is the problem?


Eric Says:

Anyway, I don’t think there’s any way Murray can come back and win 3 sets in a row. He should have been able to level it at 1-1 and then maybe he could have played another 2 sets to win. But at this point it’s obvious he can’t play his best and he should just retire to give the ankle a break.


Dory Says:

Troicki leads 2 sets to 0. Hope he doesn’t panick/choke when he starts to win the 3rd. I would have wanted Murray to go through even though I don’t like his playing style much just to beat Nadal. There’s no way Troicki can beat Nadal. Really, one by one, Nadal’s opponents are falling apart.


jane Says:

contador, Tipsy wo in Serbia was never counted. Nole got only three matches credit for Serbia so streak count is correct. :)

murray! What is going on. I like Troicki but Murray could do more here if he could play well and aggressively. Sigh… is this when he went out last year? It seems to me it was around 4th round.


skeezerweezer Says:

conty,

On a side note re:Rafa I read more regarding his latest comments and what struck me the most out of all the negativity he is saying about his game was this;

“Sometimes it’s like work. And, in my opinion, tennis is not work. Is passion. Is different—the perspective, in my opinion, is different…”

So very true. The grind on the tour, mentally, maybe taking it’s toll. Take some time off Rafa till you find the passion. Scary stuff this kinda thinkin…..remember Borg? Just sayin….


contador Says:

well, Fabio’s injury was legit. but was it a cramp or what. that’s what even, a fabio enthusiast like me was questioning yesterday. cramps are not a reason for mto, so…that part wasn’t clear. the author in jane’s link is even questioning fognini’s diagnosis today of a quad sprain. that’s a bit harsh. maybe. but montanes was sucked in and had his chances.

andy has lost the fight for set 2 but i still like that he fought. he was mad at himself but not slunping. sheeesh every murray steam i get ends up sharapova v radwanksa. sorry, i’m not a fan of shrieking. i like the “nyet, nyet’s” but the scream is…aaack. i am cheering for radwanska.


Mila Says:

Eric,

You still keep going on about the cramps – don’t you get it – it was not cramps! But you still implying it was and about unjust treatment that he wasn’t supposed to receive.

What the heck, why do you spin it?

He pulled his muscle and that allows treatment in the middle of the game. Honest Fabio #1.

He did not fake it, since it was really serious and he had to pull from next match. Honest Fabio #2.

Why then everyone gives him crap about it?

Murray’s injury, on the other hand, could be seen as a little too much drama. Many players wouldn’t even mentioned it before the match, which he obviously plays fairly well for almost 2 hours now.


Eric Says:

conty, I agree, whatever one might think of Fognini and his medical treatment and decision to withdraw, it’s totally on Montanes’ shoulders that he lost. If you can’t beat an opponent who can barely move…


Eric Says:

Mila,

I know it is not cramps. The point is that at the time everyone except the trainer thought it was cramps – including even the ATP writers. So people were giving Fognini crap because he received treatment for what everyone thought was cramps, which is not allowed.

Your point appears to be that you think Murray is “faking” his sprained ankle and we’re all falling for it or something. Bullshit.


Mila Says:

“the author in jane’s link is even questioning fognini’s diagnosis today of a quad sprain. that’s a bit harsh.”

@contador,

My point exactly, and nobody is questioning Murray’s diagnosis – looks like double standards to me…

Why not say that both are legitimately injured and stop with “Fellini” innuendo or “it was cramps” innuendo. Heck, the FO doctor determined at the spot that it was not cramps and Fabio deserves a treatment. Why is that so hard to accept?


jane Says:

For me the difference between Murray and Fognini is found in all the surrounding circumstances.

1. Murray was winning his match; Fognini was losing his.

2. Fognini milked the drama, adding all the foot faults, goading the crowd, etc. Murray just figured out a way to win after his ankle was taped. There was no additional drama other than the fall itself.

3. Fognin withdrew from next match with a wink and smirk (?) whereas Murray is (trying?) playing his.

All this combined make me see why Fognini is being called Fellini-esque, whereas people are just bummed about Murray’s drop off, as some of us thought his form was good, and that he really had a chance to make a match of it, if he got to the semis. Fognini, imo, wouldn’t've been able to beat this Nole.

Now, having said all this, if Troicki is playing really really well, and continues to do so, and if he wins this match, he did trouble Nadal on a fast hard court last year, even holding match points, so, I guess it’s perhaps maybe just a little bit kind of sort of maybe possible (?) that he could give Rafa a workout in the semi. :) Maybe even win a set? I don’t know.


Eric Says:

(As a note, obviously his ankle is not exactly debilitating, but there’s no way Murray drops his serve twice in a row like that against Troicki’s unspectacular play if he’s able to actually move around at top speed. One of Murray’s biggest advantages is that he’s actually very fit, and now he can’t really take advantage of that. I’m not saying Troicki’s imminent win somehow doesn’t count. But this is a match Murray should win without injury.)


kriket Says:

Whats up with Murray? Ive just tuned in and see he’s two sets down and a break down in third.

Is he injured or just playing lousy?


Mila Says:

Let me also state that as Novak supporter I’d prefer Montanes to have won that match, since Novak would be able to get another win.

However, Fabio is treated totally unfair and I have to stand up for him when no one else obviously wouldn’t ;-)


Dory Says:

Playing lousy on important points, not playing aggressive. Troicki is playing solid from baseline and feeling confident coming to the net as well.


contador Says:

murray is saying “i’m so angry, just so angry’…and a few other things loudly. it must be frustrating. omg, the sarcasm pointed to himself. what a lecture! and he’s slumping. not a good sign. andy went out there and fought.

time to wrap this up, viktor.

yep, eric. montanes had lots of chances. foggy plays with his own personal charm. like him or hate him. ; )


jane Says:

Let me clarify that I think neither Murray nor Fognini are or were faking their injuried. I just think Fabio likes drama that’s all. It’s his personality, which is actually quite cool and refreshing. We need stuff like this in tennis. I like him! Felliniesque is good for some players. I hope it doesn’t come across that I am dissing him. But I just think he is different in his approach to things and pointing it out, at least in my opinion, was meant as no slight to him.

But yeah, that writer should NOT call him out for faking for sure. And definitely Montanes was a bit of a putz for not finishing off that match, hitting the ball right to his injured opponent for example. Kind of silly. :)

Looks like Murray is still trying to fight Troicki, who also has issues with the food poisoning. Poor guys!


Eric Says:

Mila, no one is treating Fognini unfairly. Everyone thought he had cramps because that’s exactly what it looked like and it was at the end of a very long match, exactly when players often start cramping. We were wrong, but to all appearances it looked like cramps. And no one serious is questioning his injury now.


margot Says:

Andy caught fire for 5 games in the first set, should’ve won the second and has now slumped into a trough of despair…as have his (ex) fans. I would say his movement is slightly compromised but it has totally upset him mentally. He has NEVER lost a set to Troicki b4 :(
He needs help…..


contador Says:

hello Mila. i’m a big fabio fan and i liked the comparison to fellini! love how he strikes the ball and when he wants to win, he’s really fun to watch.

but i understand, “The Streak” needs to feed, lol..waiting until friday is a long time to fast.


Eric Says:

Personally I think Djokovic got yet another massive stroke of luck. Several days of rest in a row? No quarterfinal match while Roger has to fight through a red-hot Gael Monfils? Bah, say I.


contador Says:

he needs to do what you tell him to, margot. go rest and get ready for grass. oh wait. he’s still fighting! murray keeps growing on me when he does that.


marrisv Says:

Troicki seems to be on the up. He is really playing well and could be in his first GS semi.


El Flaco Says:

Eric Says:
Mila, no one is treating Fognini unfairly. Everyone thought he had cramps because that’s exactly what it looked like and it was at the end of a very long match, exactly when players often start cramping. We were wrong, but to all appearances it looked like cramps. And no one serious is questioning his injury now.
———————————————

If it was a cramp you would not do a tight wrap on the muscle. I didn’t see the treatment so not sure if the trainer wrapped it or not.


contador Says:

viktor is not being a montanes. staying with his tactics is vik and moving andy around.

wow! what a point by muzzaaaaaaa!


Eric Says:

Murray actually looking good again here. He really, really should have won that last set — how do you drop serve twice in a row like a limp rag after kicking face?? — but it looks like he might be getting into it. If his ankle is as un-serious as it seems, maybe he actually can play five sets to squeeze out the win. But my head says not likely…


Dory Says:

Troicki let go of the break in the 3rd set too easily as if it didn’t matter. Now Murray again looks determined (good for him).


margot Says:

Eric, not likely at all I’d say :( And what sort of damage is he doing?


jane Says:

Sharapova is such a fighter. I love that about her so much that it drowns out her screams. :)

But speaking of which, Murray seems to be coming back and EVERY feed I can find has switched away from his match! wtf?

margot, Murray has had such bad luck with injuries so that’s probably why they play on his mind. He has come back from two sets down before. So it’s not impossible if he buckles down. But it’s difficult.


Eric Says:

ooof. Murray really, really unlucky to lose that point.


margot Says:

BTW Pass the Chardonay conty..it’s needed …;)


Eric Says:

Margot, exactly. The fact that he was even considering playing is why I was saying last night that it can’t be serious. And if you ask me, he is playing at 98% physically now. Just look at how good his footwork is. There is just no way he is skipping around and changing direction that quickly if there’s anything remotely serious wrong with his ankle. I could barely walk for weeks when I rolled mine. Based on the comments here, his movement was a lot worse in the first set (I only tuned in for the second), so chalk that loss up to the ankle; the second set was just a terrible misfortune for him. If Andy can snag this set, he might be back in the match for good.


jane Says:

Eric “yet another massive stroke of luck.”?? What were the other ones!? He’s had to play three days in a row; he got drawn Del Potro, the one guy every top player was no doubt watching out for in their draw; and he had to beat Gasquet, who’d just beaten Fed in Rome and was in some pretty lovely form yesterday imo. Personally I don’t think Nole has had many massive strokes of luck in keeping this streak going. Up until now, he’s had to do it the hard way, for the most part. However, it could backfire; you never know. Having said that, Fed will have to play Monfils, but he should come through with flying colours.

Murray coming to life!??? He gets the break.


Dory Says:

Troicki has wasted so many opportunities to close it out in set 3. Almost disinterested. I dislike such players.


Eric Says:

Murray serving for the set now… Starting to believe he can win.


kriket Says:

Troicki hitting too short, and that unforced smash into the net instead of a winner didnt help either. Now he’s gonna lose this set and who knows, maybe the match.


contador Says:

GO Muzza! that’s the spirit. or a miracle!


margot Says:

jane: think you’re right re ankle, had a terrible injury on left one lol here we go with that legless knight in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” again…
Eric: cheers, but I fear the mountain is too high :(


jane Says:

If Murray can level it next set, he will definitely win the match, imo.


Eric Says:

Jane, actually I think having the Del Potro match split into two days was an unalloyed advantage for him. Not only did the timing of the break completely destroy Del Potro’s momentum and groove, but it meant that he only had to play for about an hour and a half each day. Yes, it took away a day of rest, but playing for 90 minutes on consecutive days is actually a lot less physically demanding than playing for 3 hours on one day and not on the next. He’s also had a retirement (Hanescu) and his QF was going to be cushy even before injured Fognini topped Montanes and then had to withdraw. And he’s had other walkover this season so far too, like Tipsy in Serbia, I think, and maybe one other…


El Flaco Says:

They have about 30 minutes left so unless this set is a blowout they will have to finish it up tomorrow and possibly play a 5th.


Dory Says:

Murray’s going to win this as Troicki went to sleep when he was up a break in set 3 and still hasn’t awoken yet.


skeezerweezer Says:

margot…

Monte Python HG Knight scene & Andy…lol. At least Andy is makin a go of it and playing. It’s very tough mentally when you’ve just rolled your ankle, despite how it feels. He’s tryin. Give him credit for that. He could have pulled out…..


kriket Says:

If Murray levels the score, the match gets stopped due to darkness. Tomorrow Murray would win the remaining set hands down. So lets hope Troicki can snatch this set.


Dory Says:

OK at least Troicki is showing signs of waking up in early set 4.


jane Says:

Eric, he would’ve beat Hanescu in a few more games, and Tipsy in Serbia would’ve probably been a good match to get him ready for F-Lo. As it was he came into that final a bit rusty and took a bad fall. Plus he’d'v’e gotten another streak point versus Tipsy and another versus Fabio. Too me, it would’ve been better for Nole if Fabio had played at least one or two sets, and then Nole would get the victory as well as some match practice. Like I said, having the break could backfire, as sitting idle could cool the fire.

I do take your Delpotro point and I think it is a valid one. Nole was definitely much calmer when he took the court on the second day. However, the bad luck of having to face him in the third round in the first place is paralleled by the “good” luck of having the match split over two days, and thus having to play three days in a row and two high quality opponents back-to-back.IMO the good and bad of the situation cancel each other out.

I guess it is just how you perceive, or even spin it. So that’s my spin.

OK Muzza buckle down, and focus. This is still a match with your grasp!


contador Says:

ah, may the best man win here. troiki to the semi would be a huge for him. ( maybe underestimating chela)

1 pm here margot. but i hope you are having some…or a lot, lol.


dari Says:

LET’S GO MUZZ
we believe, you do the same!
Could get a break tonight if he wins this set.


jane Says:

How much longer can they play I wonder? It’s nine now, so maybe 15 minutes or 30 at most??


Daniel Says:

Breakdown of #1 Ranking before Wimbledon with Djoko’s semi spot secure.

As of now, entering RG:
- Nadal: 12070 pts
- Djoko: 11665 pts

The number one ranking is in Djoko’s hand, racquet.

1 – If he wins one more match in the semis, he will be n. 1 regardless of Nadal winning:

- Nadal: 12070 pts
- Djoko: 11665 + 1200 (finalis) – 360 (quqrters 10′) = 12505 pts

2 – If Nadal loses in RG, in one of his next 3 matches, Djoko will be n.1.

- NAdal: 10430 losing in quarters;
10790 losing in semis;
11279 losing in final;
In this case Djoko can lose in the semis and will be n. 1 with 11665 + 360 = 12025 pts (he is guarantee to have this number if he loses his semis next Monday)

3 – If Nadal wins RG and Djoko loses the semis:

- Nadal: 12070 pts
- Djoko? 12025 pts

45 points diference.

Next tourney they play will be Queens, where NAdal was Quarter finalist and Djoko lost R16, NAdal defend 45 points which are non coutable due to him play other tourneys and Djoko defends 20, coutable. Nadal has 90 points in his 2 other 250 ATP tourneys, so if he wants to gain points in Queens he will have to reach finals or win.

Djoko can gain points and surpass Nadal as #1. before Wimbledon.
4 – If Djoko reaches semis in Queens, he will have 12095 against Nadal 12070, so Nadal will have to be a finalist (12070 + 60 points) to keep n. 1 ranking.

5 – If Djoko reaches final in Queens, he will have 12155 pts, so NAdal will have to win Queens to keep n.1 Rank (12070 + 160 = 12230 pts).

So basically, even if Djoko loses the semis, he can get n.1 rank in Queens, as long as he and Nadal make the same round, or if he goes deepr than Nadal, or if he beats NAdal in the final.

But I bet he is praying for Soda to beat Nadal and get this #1 monkey of his back once and for all!!:)


contador Says:

chardonnay, i meant, margot. or something during match. mission accomplished i say muzza…you got a set!


Eric Says:

Dory, what made this match somehow destined to be Troicki’s to win and not Murray’s? You keep saying that Troicki “went to sleep” to lose the third set, but how about how Murray gave up his break-lead in the second set and then got 3 more bps in the next Troicki service game? Seems like you are only looking at Troicki’s up and downs and not considering that Murray should be up 2-1 in sets now…


contador Says:

wow O muzz. every time i think he should hang a white flag he does something brilliant. muzzzza


jane Says:

Daniel, wow! Thanks for all the maths. You rock at these calculations. From what I have read, Nole wants the title / another slam and is not really thinking about the streak nor the number one ranking. But of course one would take care of the others.


jane Says:

The announcers I have did not say anything about how much longer they could play. Anyone else hear anything?


kriket Says:

I’m guessing, since the match will clearly be interrupted due to darkness, that Murray will win in the end. Too bad since Troicki could have won him if they played the whole match tonight. That’s what these interruptions mean for the underdogs – even if they’re winning, they end up losing, because it’s unlikely they could pull up essentialy two wins in two days against top players.


Dory Says:

Eric, note than I’m not a Murray fan at all because he has an exceptionally talented game but fundamentally defensive style which he’s very arrogant about changing. I just prefer him to Nadal much more. Murray should have won straight three and he’s quite capable of that. Troicki overall played aggressively than Murray, solid on important points in first two sets, and also a lot of points at the net (or was winning in first 2 sets). Now he seems to have either run out of gas or lost confidence or lost concentration. The match is Murray’s to win.


contador Says:

petko moonwalk! there’s 2 more wta i like watching, jane. petkovic and goerges.

great volley wally! and muzza has 2 bp’s….arrrrgh 1 bp. commentators obliged to apologize for language. but muzza breaks!

somebody above on thread was right. this match could might go into darkness


Dory Says:

But if the fifth set is played tomorrow which I think it will be, I think in fact that Troicki can wake up and be fresh.


Eric Says:

kriket, are you even still watching the match? Murray is clearly outplaying Troicki. The match is his already. He should, in fact, be only a few games away but for a patch of bad luck in the second set that cost him, basically, a 4-game lead.


Dory Says:

I’m completely unsure of whether I want to root for Murray or Troicki as I’m not a fan of either. Maybe the one who’s capable of beating Nadal on clay win. Murray hasn’t show any prowess of beating Nadal on clay but neither has Troicki.


jane Says:

Murray is playing better and better; Troicki is getting frustrated.


kriket Says:

Eric, Murray got a lucky break in the third set when Troicki smashed into the net to give him yet another break point. If he hadn’t broke him in that third set game, and serving for the set afterwards, maybe he wouldnt’ have won it.

But apart from that, what I’ve said about the interruptions and the underdogs still applies. Even if Troicki was winning now, it is unlikely he could pull it off yet again tomorrow, basically winning two matches back to back two days against a top player.


contador Says:

nice dropper’s finally muzzza,

talent on exhibition now. tweeener fail!


Dory Says:

Okay I’ve made up my mind. Murray because Troicki never seems to have the belief that he can upset big players even when he gets golden opportunities like this.


contador Says:

hahaha the backhand dtl winner and…muzza has the set! almost.


kriket Says:

Troicki is still young, still learning and getting experience in big tournament matches. He is on his way up the ladder. We’ll see how far he gets, but my point is that he is still too young and unexperienced for anyone to make judgements about his abilities.


contador Says:

murray the dropshot master.


Eric Says:

Kriket, a match isn’t about just one point. Murray has been playing better than Troicki since the beginning of the second set, except for the middle few games of that set where he totally fell apart.

And what you’ve said about interruptions is wrong. Conventional wisdom is that an interruption harms whoever has the momentum. What the real point is, is that in a best-of-five set match, an upset requires outplaying your opponent for three entire sets – at least – which is a tall order. Murray is about to level the match at 2-2 with no terribly unfair interruption to the poor baby underdog Troicki. Murray is just a better player. That’s what’s so awesome about slams — they really show who is the better player. Losing the first two sets and then winning three in a row basically shows that you should have won in straight sets but had some issue at the beginning.


jane Says:

Dory, definitely. The one time Troicki really showed belief to me was when he won the final tie of the Davis Cup. He played fantastic against Llorda. But against top guys like Nadal, Nole, Murray or Fed, I don’t think he has the mental fortitude. If Murray gets to Rafa he will rise himself to the occasion, imo. Murray likes those kinds of challenges. Look how he fought Nadal in MC or Nole in Rome. That’s why Murray is #4 and Troicki #15, imo. Nothing against Viktor personally. He is very sweet. But he needs to really put the clamp down when he has the chance against the big boys. Glad he didn’t versus Nole at the USO though. :)


contador Says:

beautiful ace…so easy. 6-2 muzza. the miracle maker.

that’s it. tbc


stu Says:

Viktor vs. Muzz will be decided tomorrow!


Eric Says:

Play suspended; fifth set tomorrow. If anything, this is a golden chance for Troicki to rest up, figure out a new plan of attack, gather his mental resources, and come out blazing and hope to just sprint past Murray.


dari Says:

Proud of Murray for coming back! Hope ankle is taken care of tonight and he is ready from the jump tomorrow. Allez Muzz


margot Says:

Wracked, wracked!! Andy shows us what a class act he is…but why oh why leave it to the fourth set!! Time for a huge glass of Pinot Grigiot…:)


Dory Says:

jane my thoughts exactly. Okay, I’m signing off it’s 1:00 AM in India. Bye jane, Kimberly, contador, Eric, Daniel, Kriket, skeezerweezer, El Flaco, margot, Mile, marrisv and anyone else I forgot.


jane Says:

Actually Troicki apparently played excellent tennis and stayed mentally focused versus Dolgopolov, not getting rattled by 68 winners, most of which were drop shots. I guess Viktor was really steady that day. But Murray has kind of raised it a gear and Troicki isn’t sure what to do so he’s lost focus. Viktor is 25, so he isn’t that young; nevertheless, I suppose he could still improve & find his inner focus/confidence more consistently and in big matches.

They will play for it all in one set tomorrow…


El Flaco Says:

Murray/Troicki will continue as the 1st match on court tomorrow which is good news for Murray because he can time his warm up and hopefully get the ankle nice and loose. If you are the 2nd or 3rd match on court your warm up could be 4 hours before you play.


jane Says:

GO MUZZA!!!! Rest and come back ready. (no offense to Troicki fans)


kriket Says:

Eric, granted I haven’t seen the first two sets, but I’ve seen the scoreboard. For Troicki to win two sets against Murray is in itself a big accomplishment for him. If Murray was playing as well as you claim, how come he lost two sets, and was on the edge of losing the match, hadn’t Troicki choked? Okay, Murray came back, but that’s why he’s ranked 4th and Troicki is ranked 15th or something. It is ridiculous for you to make a claim that Murray is some big hero to overcome Troicki, at this time. He should’ve won in straight sets, considering the facts or stats.


contador Says:

interesting point about momentum, Eric. but wondering about murray’s slow start today and if it had to do with his ankle being stiff and sore. i’m sure team murray will have a plan but not holding my breath over him winning this time. nothing against troiki, would be happy for him to win and have his 1st GS semi-final. murray, is simply in different class when healthy, imo. murray unreal….he was just getting warmed up by 4th set.


jamie Says:

Will Nole become the first FO winner to win by only playing 6 matches?


kriket Says:

Troicki is 25? Okay, I didn’t know his age, but he is surely unexperienced. How many slams has he participated in? Not too many I’d say.


jane Says:

jamie, I am guessing admittedly, but I wouldn’t doubt that each one of the slams, at some point, has had a victor who received a walkover. Off the top of my head, I remember that Fed won Wimbledon in 2007 with a walkover due to Hass’ injury. It happens!

Besides which, Nole hasn’t won yet, and likely he has to play Fed next. You should not count your chickens before they’re hatched. Or maybe it’s a jinx thing you got going on. ;)


margot Says:

kriket: because Andy seems to like to do it the hard way….and clearly unsure of ankle in first set…
Night all…hiccup ;)


Eric Says:

@all, from what I read – I only started watching in the second set – Murray was moving pretty badly in the first set. Troicki is an excellent player, so it’s no surprise he was able to get the advantage there.

Winning the second set is, again, a tribute to his skill and focus – Murray was up a break and very nearly two, but Troicki kept it solid and was able to win the set 6-4 in the end by taking advantage of a 5 or 10 minute stretch of Mediocre Murray. Impressive.

I never said Murray is a hero, but he is, in general, better, more capable, and more solid than (just as an example) Troicki. That’s why he has been in the top 4 for most of the past few years. And that’s why he should have won in straights, like I just said. So I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree about whatever it is you think we disagree about, which I admit I have no idea about.

BTW, Troicki has played at every slam since the beginning of 2008. He’s not some sort of rookie.


Fritz Says:

Wow Andy,

Played well for almost 3 hours with serious injury. Imagine what he could have done if uninjured!!!

Final is close…


Kimberly Says:

jamie, its nice that your guy is playing well and you can speak with such confidence and probably be right. HOWEVER, I can promise you he will fall on hard times again as all players do, remember that while you run your mouth.

Workout with Angry Bulls Fan Trainer=Brutal. Forced to squat and deadlift 25 lbs more than I weigh, 5 sets of 10 each. Tennis with Kaiser in the Heat=Brutal, running every point in 10+ ball rallies crushing the ball as hard as I could with Maria Sharapova like screams. Waterpark with two toddlers=brutal, one tantrum after another. Sorry to have missed what sounds like a great day of tennis.

At least Maria won and Nadal lived to see another day playing bad tennis. He better gear up not get popped by Soda. However, Mr. Pop sort of lost fizz of late, both will be trying to recover their best form.

I think the delay certainly benefits troicki but whether he can actually do anything about it is another story.


contador Says:

Mila,

had to come back and thank you for the mini lesson on “ajde”

Duro corrected my spelling of the word a long time ago. i knew it meant “go” or “c’mon.” such a pity i think i have it but cant remember how to spell one word and i have seen 1000′s of times on live chat. maybe now that you tell me how it’s pronounced, I-De. it helps to hear a word and see it at the same time. i think since djokovic is as it is, i mispell ajde to adje.

came back to read the match comments. that was a fun thread today. thanks everybody.


contador Says:

made me laugh/snort about the bulls fan trainer, Kimberly. i knew he’d take it out on you…lol.

magnus norman, please help!

the thing about mr. bludgeon is that when he gets tight or po’d he loses forehand accuracy and his mighty serve fails. and on those 2 potent weapons his game depends. you know he’s not the icy cool swede he was. a finger blister time out nearly allowed gilou back in the game. i don’t see rafa losing this year to soderling. no, it’s not going to happen. and who might he get in the semi? injured muzza, troiki or chela? i like rafa’s chances to get to the final.


Kimmi Says:

great read today guys.

it helps to read what was happening to muzza. i agree with those people that said the break like this can hurt a player that has momentum. muzza needs to start fast tomorrow, cant afford to be slow, stiff etc. only one set is to play for…things can go pretty fast.

Lets gooo muzza.

Ha-ha la monf..happy for his win but can he topple the fed? last time they played fed lost the match with some match point on his racquet. OK, five set is different animal, but still..go fed :)

and last but not least, nadal should stop complaining about not playing well..he is winning his matches in straight sets…only isner match went to distance. i agree with skeezer, he is still the king of this surface.


jane Says:

I was watching a few interviews from today – la Monf, he is so smooth and soft spoken; he admitted to being a bit “vulnerable” on those first match points he blew. Soderling sounds very relaxed in his interview; he clearly loves Roland Garros. The atmosphere and memories put him in a positive state of mind. Nadal’s english is getting sooooo good! I am impressed. He seemed pretty realistic in his interview I thought. He pointed out areas in which he can improve and other areas that he has already improved since the first two rounds. Very straightforward sounding from Rafa. It didn’t sound negative or whiney imo.


Eric Says:

Rafa: “The thing is you have to be a realist, and I’m not playing enough well to win. We will see after tomorrow if I am ready to play at this level. I’m going to try, but I won five times already here and I don’t have an obligation to win six.”

mind games…


jane Says:

Eric, LOL – Bodo wrote an entire article on Rafa’s interviews and “confidence” or lack thereof. Here is the link:

http://blogs.tennis.com/tennisworld/2011/05/five-time-realist.html


Eric Says:

Interesting article. I think it’s especially interesting that he basically goes up to the edge of saying “sports writing and sports narratives are basically a bunch of BS” – but without QUITE stepping over that line…


Daniel Says:

The commentors in my tv are saying Murrays is their favorite “bipolar” player on court!:)

They are also saying he is the most creative.

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