Murray Miraculously Forces a Fifth at French Open, Djokovic Awaits Federer v Monfils Winner
by Sean Randall | May 30th, 2011, 6:18 pm
  • 273 Comments

It will be a long, anxious night in Paris for Andy Murray who after going down two sets and a break to Viktor Troicki now finds himself deadlocked in a fifth set when play resumes tomorrow in the French Open fourth round.

Murray, hobbled early by his injured right ankle, was unable to stay with the powerful Serb early in their match, and when Troicki took the lead with a break in the third 2-1 it looked like curtains for the Scot.

But credit to Murray who seems to play his very best when the pressure is the least. With everyone giving up on Murray, he roared back taking the third and then the fourth before play was stopped because of darkness at about 9:30pm local time.

Murray will have to tend to his bad ankle in the evening and then see how it feels in the morning when he wakes up. Troicki, who was on the verge of choking had it not been for the darkness, has some time to regain his energy and focus.

Obviously, the key will be how Murray’s ankle reacts to the three hours of strain it went through today. If it holds up I think he wins. If not, the Serb, who did fight the nerves in winning the Davis Cup for Serbia, should come through.

It should be quite a battle.

And the winner of the Murray-Troicki match will take on the underdog Juan Ignacio Chela. The veteran from Argentina outlasted his fellow South American, qualifier Alejandro Falla, in five sets to advance to his second French Open quarterfinals.

Chela, who has a sneaky good backhand, will have a day off to enjoy Murray and Troicki’s battle tomorrow.

In the earlier matches, Rafael Nadal beat Ivan Ljubicic as expected, but again the 5-time French Open champ wasn’t terribly impressive in his 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 victory.

“I have improved since the tournament started,” Nadal said. “I’m able to play better and I’m going to continue on this path.”

Up next for Rafa is a rematch with the only man to beat him at Roland Garros, Robin Soderling. The Swede hammered on Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-3, 7-6.

If Soderling plays like he did today and Rafa doesn’t tighten up his game, I give Robin a real shot at the upset on Wednesday in the quarterfinals.

Not playing tomorroy is Novak Djokovic who got a pass into the semifinals when his opponent Fabio Fognini withdrew from the tournament with a strained thigh. Fognini reminded the press again today that it was in fact a thigh injury and not cramping that required treatment yesterday in his controversial 5-set win.

Regardless of what the injury really is – and only Fabio knows – Djokovic advances and also gets four days to rest and relax before a final six set push toward history, and just three sets from the No. 1 ranking.

With Djokovic’s quarterfinal determined that leaves the center stage tomorrow to Roger Federer and Gael Monfils who battle for a third time at the French Open. Monfils impressively finished off David Ferrer Monday in five sets 8-6 in the final set. The match was heldover from Sunday night with Ferrer leading 2-0 in the fourth.

Monfils has only beaten Federer once in six meetings that coming in Paris last fall. But tomorrow I think Federer has to be feeling confident and on his mark after thjose “practice sets” with Stan. And Fed knows the gameplan against Monfils which is to attack the Frenchman, something Ferrer really cannot do. Plus, playing three straight days might be a factor for Monfils.

Monfils, though, will have the crowd and the emotion and he has the ability to get a lot of balls back which will cause problems for Federer if he’s on his game. Also, he is playing a smarter, more controlled brand of tennis this week. But I do think in the end Federer is the fresher, fitter player of the two and he scrapes through in four sets.

As for the women, we saw a good performance today from Victoria Azarenka who seems ready to win her first Slam. Maria Sharapova, who is trying to complete her Slam, looked a little spotty in a win over Agnieska Radwanska. Aggie had several chances to take the second but couldn’t in a straight set loss.

Tomorrow the defending champ and my pick to win the title Francesca Schiavone meets AP to play either Sveta Kuznetsova or Marion Bartoli in the semifinals.

Matches begin a little later at 8am ET Tuesday on the Tennis Channel with ESPN picking it up in the afternoon.

TUESDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE

Court Philippe Chatrier 2:00 PM Start Time
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)[14] v. Francesca Schiavone (ITA)[5]
Gael Monfils (FRA)[9] v. Roger Federer (SUI)[3]
Robert Lindstedt (SWE)[9] v. Max Mirnyi (BLR)[2]
Horia Tecau (ROU)[9] Daniel Nestor (CAN)[2]

Court Suzanne Lenglen 2:00 PM Start Time
Andy Murray (GBR)[4] v. Viktor Troicki (SRB)[15] To Finish 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-2
Scott Lipsky (USA) v. Michael Llodra (FRA)[4]
Rajeev Ram (USA) Nenad Zimonjic (SRB)[4]
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)[13] v. Marion Bartoli (FRA)[11]
Bob Bryan (USA)[1] v. Rohan Bopanna (IND)[5]
Mike Bryan (USA)[1] Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (PAK)[5]


Also Check Out:
Watch Gael Monfils Hit This Fantastic Forehand Winner [Video]
Federer Thumps Djokovic to Reach US Open Final; Awaits Delayed Murray, Nadal Winner
Novak Djokovic: My Ankle Is Not Bothering Me, I’m Confident Of Playing Well The Next Few Weeks
Gael Monfils And Laurent Lokoli Show Off Some Sick Dance Moves [Video]
Andy Murray Admits He Had Fun Beating Gael Monfils Today At The French Open

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273 Comments for Murray Miraculously Forces a Fifth at French Open, Djokovic Awaits Federer v Monfils Winner

Eric Says:

“Regardless of what the injury really is – and only Fabio knows – ”

Actually, I suspect that the trainer who came out and treated him for not-cramping knows, too.


mat4 Says:

For those who read french:

http://www.eurosport.fr/extra-time_blog147/federer-c-est-nadal-qu-il-prefere_post1470605/blogpostfull.shtml

It is an article about the relations among the top three players. Things have changed since IW, where Rafa and Djoko were in excellent relations…


Miki Says:

I wish there is an English version, but higly unlikely. Or maybe someone could translate it, not the whole text of course but few important bits of it.


mat4 Says:

I try to find an english version, Miki, hoping there’s one on Eurosport UK. Unfortunately, my english is not good enough to translate that text.

In short, the text says

1. that Roger and Djoko have the same glacial relations they had before,

2. that the friendship between Rafa and Nole is about to be over,

3. that Roger and Rafa are in good relations.


mat4 Says:

And this article is quite cute:

http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2011/05/30/how-to-beat-the-djoker/

The last sentences, especially.


Miki Says:

Well, I don’t think there was any real friendship between Novak and Rafa, after all they are big rivals, but it wasn’t nice to see such a cold handshake at the net in Madrid and Rome. But I guess it’s just temporary, one guy is winning and the other guy doesn’t like it.


Eric Says:

“There is also the method del Potro used to win a set, which was hitting forehands at 200 miles an hour. Djokovic panicked for 20 minutes there.”

Nice… But like Grosjean says, the most remarkable thing about Djokovic is how he never hits defensive balls. Even when he has just run from one side of the court to other eight times in a row he is hammering balls that are all potential winners…


Kimmi Says:

djokovic has been talking about his friendship with his rivals recently, i have read one or two articles talking about the same. I have not read rafa version or any other player ie federer and muzza.

djoko was very clear that he can never be friends with his rivals. he could have dinner with them once in a while but they can never be buddies. That including muzza.

My question is, before this rafa/nole cold handshake in madrid/rome..what was their relationship like in the past? i don’t think they ever were that close…


trufan Says:

This is it – Nadal’s first real match at the FO this year (Soderling). He has a cakewalk in the semi anyway. Lets see.

We are almost set for a Fed-Nole semi. Somehow I feel Fed will win – he is playing very well, and Nole will have a lot of pressure.


Kimmi Says:

federer has to win la monf first, so people stop counting your chickens..


mat4 Says:

@Kimmi: There was a video from IW, filmed by an amateur, showing Nadal and Djokovic in quite friendly terms. You don’t change your way to hug somebody you dislike, like Nadal did.

I think that the Djoko’s interview was a reaction after the recent changes, and, although I was reading in english, I felt the presupposition: “although I’d liked it rather the other way”, evident from the sequel, where he hopes that everything will change when their careers are over.

Anybody who watched the USO final, or the IW final, could see that Djokovic was friendly toward Nadal. Obviously, the situation has changed now. Also, we can see that Djoko is in good terms with DelPo, Murray, Monfils, Ferrer, from their interviews.

With Nadal, I believe that the changes occur after Madrid, where Rafa was offended by the way Djoko celebrated his win.


Kimmi Says:

interesting mat4. i don’t blame djoko for celebrating. the guy has the biggest win of his career..to beat rafa on clay has not been easy for all players. djoko would know more because of his 9 straight loses he had from him.

i might be mistaken but i think rafa is finding this djokovic resurgent pretty difficult to take.

Hopefully as time goes things will change between them..federer i think started the same way with rafa but then as time went he learnt to like, respect etc him.

for us fans, bring it on. we like drama, fights whatever..i hope we get some of those fights on court too..bring on fognini personality. its very good for TV.


marrisv Says:

I think so too…. it took a turn in Madrid and especially in Rome, they didn’t even look each other in the eye at the net…


marrisv Says:

I think the Madrid final was the one that hurt nadal the most… – Playing at home , it was almost like a Davis cup match…


Kimmi Says:

i think in rome, djokovic was celebrating even loudly..his mouth was almost like murray at the AO. i think rafa did not like that mouth :) but he seem to like murray’s. hmmmm!

murray needs to win those big matches again..i miss that mouth.


jane Says:

Kimmi, I am assuming the majority of players are probably on fairly “friendly” terms off court. Meaning they can joke around, practice, go to soccer matches, call each other up, maybe have dinner sometimes. BUT, I think what Nole meant in that one interview, which has now apparently generated a few articles, is that ON THE COURT they cannot be “friendly” because they are rivals fighting for wins; they have a job to do, i.e., win matches, and are professional. But that doesn’t mean they cannot still be friendly or that they are enemies or something. Muzza and Nole were clearly on good terms in Miami, playing doubles, chatting and laughing during the match, etc. But anyhow, what do I know about whether they are “Friends” or not. It’s all specualtion. I am not really sure why it even matters?


jane Says:

LOL Kimmi, I remember. Bring it back alright.

What is wrong with the celebrating; I do not get it. They are happy to get bigs wins, so what? Rafa sometimes has big celebrations. Remember how he lept into the air and punched his fists when he beat Dr. Ivo at IW this year? It wasn’t even the quarters, I don’t think, but he was just blowing off steam, letting out the tension held in all match. Methinks it’s good!


Kimmi Says:

I was looking for djoko mouth but cant find it :) those photographers, they were hundreds in that match..why, no photo!!!!!!

I don’t really know why these articles are showing up jane, i think its all due to djokovic gate crushing the party.

which one of those rivalries that guys didn’t like each other? started watching tennis in 2003 so really dont know a lot of those rivalries. i guess agassi and sampass were ok, weren’t they?


Eric Says:

Kimmi, In “Open,” Agassi actually talks about Sampras (although not nearly as much as the tennis faithful might have expected). Apparently they were more or less happy to be collegiate and professional to one another, but Agassi thought him “robotic,” boring, and cold. And interestingly, he felt he had more of a rivalry with Becker than Sampras, although who knows how much this is all after-the-fact attempts to rewrite history.


Eric Says:

I think a lot of this turns on what we mean by “friend.” When normal people talk about their friends, they mean people they hang out with after school/work, maybe go to movies with, grab a beer, whatever. When pro athletes talk about being “friends” with one another, who knows what it means? Supposedly I thought Djokovic and Murray were something like normal friends who played Playstation together (or whatever). But when Roger and Rafa talk about being friends, I am sure what it means is that they send each other texts a few times a year and maybe grab lunch every few tournaments. I was never picturing them hanging out in the evenings at Rafa’s swingin’ bachelor pad drinking a few cold ones and watching Terminator 2, though…


jane Says:

Eric, I bought Open, am going to start reading it now.

Kimmi, there must be a Djoko-mouth photo out there somewhere! I will look too.

Rafa fans, Bodo has written an interesting and rather positive article about Rafa; here is the link for you:

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


stu Says:

Kimmi/ Jane – An aerial view of this one would be nice :)

http://www.thenextpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Djokovic-Rome-2011-8.jpg


stu Says:

yup, here it is, Djoko-mouth!

http://goo.gl/0VBsD


Kimmi Says:

stu – ha-ha you got it. second link nailed it. he looked very pumped up there.

he is probably saving the big one for RG! ok, one match at a time.

did you actually freeze the picture from youtube clip? fantastic!


tennisfansince76 Says:

here is the google translation of the eurosport article mat4 posted. google translate still needs some work, ha ha.

It is a time for less than twenty years can not know. The one where the great duels of tennis does not play only on the court. Behind the scenes, in the media, we also watered forehand along the line. Jimmy Connors Ivan Lendl dealt such a “sissy” for his disability – which would not last – to win Grand Slams. The duels between these two, and as John McEnroe, smelled sulfur at each change of ends. The story we will tell you here is not much to see, but it shows us, though, that beneath a highly polished and genuinely friendly, the three men’s tennis ace today – Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – also need not to love each other to better compete.

To be more precise, is the eruption at the summit of a proper Djokovic unbeatable in 2011, and perhaps the world number one next week, which was greeted with some stiffness in the other two. Nadal and Federer are a priori above suspicion with regard to their bilateral relationship. March 12 at Indian Wells, said the Spaniard, without knowing how the Joker threatened: “Roger is a good guy and one of my friends right now. It is clear that we are increasingly relatives. It feels good together. ” On Djokovic, Nadal does not speak. Or with the look. Those who saw his press conference pre-Roland Garros at the media day, we have described a pressure cooker close to the maximum pressure after half an hour of questions revolving around the current level of the Serb.

“I do not know me at all Novak” (Federer)

This, said the rumor circuit, Federer would have relations with the coldest. He is happy for now to note that in his eyes Nadal is more “big” Federer relating to the history of tennis, a position that is not isolated but still a little freestyle to defend. “Nadal is not yet twenty-five years and is a legend. (…) Everyone has an opinion. For me, with what Nadal has done, and given his age, as it will still play at least five years, he is the best ever. ” Roger Federer did not read those lines when responding, also in the sports daily, questions about the state of grace for Djokovic. State of grace? A little close, the Swiss was presented as a lovable “newcomer”.

“I does not detract from what Novak has made, but I think we need to do more. Rafa has nine Grand Slam titles, I was sixteen, her two. He must do more to create that famous monster. “Rafa’s had become this year in Australia when he came driving his” Rafa Slam “, that was something extraordinary. (…) I had created a monster extreme. I had the dozens of records in progress, semis in a Grand Slam in a row, won the finals in a row, etc. … I do not know if Rafa or Novak moving in the same category of ‘monsters’. ” Federer pushed the comparison further, to establish him among the Serb sealing the wall: “As players, we are very different. Level attitude, the same. I do not find myself in Novak.”

“I prefer the option Djokovic”

Talk about Nadal “Rodger”, and the music will be different. In Le Figaro, at the opening of Roland, that’s the kind of words that Switzerland was on the Spanish: “The first time I played against him in Miami, I realized he had something special, be as hard on cement so young when he was a clay court player … I began to respect him greatly. And when I discovered that he also respected me very much, I found that this rivalry was really nice. With his looks, my looks, his style of play, my style of play, it created a great opposition. Finally, he made me move forward, it forced me to think my way of playing, train. Because nobody plays like him and nobody will like him in the future, I think. ”

In the same interview, talking about Federer Djokovic: “It is not known to have a forehand, a backhand or a service incredible. But he managed to achieve something extraordinary with the means at his disposal. He much progress. ” It feels like a shift, this shift that pushed Federer, even after two consecutive defeats against the Serbian Grand Slam, to ensure in L’Equipe: “I’d rather not be in the array of Rafa. I prefer the option Djokovic. (…) Even if I lost my matches against him, I do not think it dominates me. ” Federer, in general, not used to regret his remarks. In the same interview, he observed: “I was criticized Murray also commented on, because after having lost against him in Dubai, I said that playing so defensive as he was going to be difficult win big tournaments. I do not think I totally wrong on that. ” The Federer-Nadal series continues this week against Djokovic at Roland Garros. And Andy Murray could spice it all. Murray, only one other time, one of the three could have been dubbed the “chicken” … (CR)


tennisfansince76 Says:

re Djoker and rafa i think Rafa is just sour that Djoker is upsetting the apple cart. sure Djoker could beat Nadal on occasion before but the two times before he threatened Nadal’s place in the tennis universe he was turned away.


stu Says:

no Kimmi, someone else did that from the youtube video :). i just googled it!


Kimmi Says:

funny quote:

“Now I need to recover and at some point I’ll stop losing against this Swiss.” With five defeats from six matches against Roger Federer, Gael Monfils plans to stop the rot when they meet in Tuesday’s quarter-final.

ha-ha classic. but you beat him gael..


andrea Says:

that french article is interesting. the gals on teh WTA have often cristized sharapova for not being friendly, and maria has come out lately stating that it’s impossible for her to be friends with people she competes against. she likens having a girlfriends out lunch date and then having to cream them that night on center court. it is a strange dichotomy.

in a way, roger and rafa have been forced to be friends (although i believe that there is true respect and camaraderie between them) because they were the ‘faces’ of the sport for several years when they dominated. as a result, they are doing media together, pushed together really, and always had to talk about each other. i believe roger once said that he gets tired of always having to talk about rafa, but fair enough.

i also believe that rafa and roger have a similar upbringing – low key, lots of family support, in stable countries. they don’t live too large and are therefore quite humble.

novak comes from a besieged country and there is lots of passion and turmoil from that region, which impacts you somehow. he’s more in your face, which is one of the reasons why i don’t like him all that much, but it is what it is.

plus, lets not forget the impersonations he did back at the US open, which apparently really rubbed rafa the wrong way. and now that novak is whupping him, certainly no love lost!


jane Says:

Fed and Rafa have had to do a lot of “Nike” promo things too.

Nadal and Nole had been friendly for a while, until recently. They have golfed at IW, played doubles, exos, went to soccer games together and so on, pics of them in hot tub with others, etc. So if there is a change, it is quite recent, seems to me. Then again, who knows?


steve-o Says:

Monfils is dangerous and a fantastic shotmaker, even though he relies on defensive grinding a lot of the time. He could be real trouble for Federer.

But Federer is not going to give Monfils the kind of steady baseline rhythm that Ferrer did, he has many more options. He’ll come in a lot, change the plays, and serve well.

Over five sets I would expect Federer to have the edge. And he will be on his guard against a repeat of what happened last time they met.

Djokovic will be fresh and well-rested when it comes time for him to play the semi. A tough challenge for Federer, should he win (as if it weren’t already tough enough).


mat4 Says:

@Andrea:

I don’t believe that ND’s extrovertion has anything to do with a besieged country.

On the other side, I am absolutely certain that Roger Federer is anything but humble. And, although I know that Rafa is in private a very nice person (he even apologies for celebrating his victories the way he sometimes does), the way he reacts when he is facing, for the first time in his life, a challenge he has difficulties to overcome, makes me think that he is not so humble as many want to believe.

Steve Tignor wrote it once: Novak wants, more than anything, to be loved. This is the key difference between him and Roger: Roger wants, more than anything, to be admired.


sar Says:

that the friendship between Rafa and Nole is about to be over,

I wonder why? I know they have/had the same agent.
As for the Madrid celebration, I think it’s OK to celebrate after finally overcoming Nadal 0-9.


fed is afraid Says:

rafa is ticked that novak is beating him like a drum. rafa was all hugs and graciousness when
it was him winning the matches against novak.
now that novak is winning all the time rafa
can’t cope, he knows he can’t beat him anymore.
rafa looks licked.


Michael Says:

I would rate Djokovic and Del Potro as the best sportsmen in Tennis. The graciousness is exhibited not when you win but how you react when you lose. More often than not, when Federer and Nadal loses, they give an expression that they have lost the whole World and we do not see the kind of gesture they exhibit when they are on the winning side. On the other hand, we have Djokovic and Del Potro who behave in the same fashion of appreciation whether they win or loss. That is real Sportsmanship. The uprising of Djokovic and Del Potro is good for the game and we needed players who can break the shackle of Federer and Nadal. It is nice to know that Tennis has become more competitive than it was before.


Michael Says:

I am just upset at the way Nadal reacts when he loses to Djokovic. The bonhomie that he exhibited when he outlasted Djokovic is not visible now. Rafa as a Champion must realise that graciousness is part of the valour. He must also recollect how Djokovic behaved in a sportsmanship manner when he was on the losing side often against Rafa in his early years. Why this kind of graciousness is not upcoming from a player like Rafa who talks so much about human behaviour ????


skeezerweezer Says:

I do believe Rafa & Fed are sincere friends, although I agree with Eric it’s more formal than hangin out playin Playstation and a few beers.

Look they don’t threaten each other, despite what us and the media make of the “Fedal”. They both have made there mark, no matter what happens from here on out, have plenty of slams, etc. Nole is still trying to make is mark on his own, and friendship SHOULDN’T be a priority. Winning titles and Slams should, along with playing entertaining tennis.

He is nice to his fans, it’s obvious from a few years back he has grown up some, and wants to become his own man. So give him some slack and let’s see where he is at in a few years. He is a country leader now, and from his little media bio, he knows it and wants to represent his heritage proudly. He has the opportunity to do that, so let’s see what he does with it.

BTW I do not agree that Fed gets tired of talking about Rafa, or vice a versa. Say what you will but I am totally amazed by there friendship, and genuinely feel it is not forced. Seen too many videos, interviews, and quoted time together. Heck I think it was brought up they both got colds after spending to much time together. Too many high fives with each other talking about how great they are?

Rafa..you…you….Fed…no…you….you…you!!! Ok quoting too much “analyze this and that”

out


skeezerweezer Says:

sar,

If the friendship is cold, it’s not Nole’s doing. He’s just playin tennis. The stuff about Nole celebrating is ludicrous and hypocritical. How many times have we seen Rafa fist pumpin jumpin Fed, Nole and others etc.? I mean it’s all so childish. The victor deserves to celebrate(especially in a final), it’s not like Nole was in his face about it. If Rafa has cooled off towards Nole its’ because there is a new sheriff in town that can beat him on his fav surface. We all criticize in a finals the celebration and emotion ( Crying ) but these guys leave there emotions in check until its all over. What follows is just uncontrolled emotion. Sorry I do not see it as an “in your face” act.


Eric Says:

If you watch the Madrid final, Rafa was “cold” to Nole at the net before Djokovic even really did anything to celebrate. Plus this would be coming from the guy whose celebrations take the form of violently humping the air and ludicrous fist-pumping, so I doubt Djokovic’s rather tame offerings would offend Nadal. Rather, if their relationship has cooled, it is probably because they aren’t and weren’t ever great friends to begin with.

Rafa and Roger have always had a lot of respect for one another; after all, Rafa won their first-ever match (in Madrid) in straight sets, so it’s not like Federer could pretend he didn’t exist. In tennis terms, Federer is a couple of years ahead of Rafa (because he took longer to “bloom,” even though Roger is 5 years older than Rafa, his first really good tennis year was 2004, whereas Rafa was already winning his first French Open in 2005), so there was that slightly awkward time – back in 2006 and 2007, say – when everyone was already talking about the Roger-Rafa rivalry even though Roger had already accomplished far more.

So I guess my point is that Roger was always really important to Rafa, and Rafa became increasingly important for Roger (as tennis players), and they already had an important rivalry and connection before Djokovic did anything with lasting importance. And to us fans, it’s always seemed like Novak was just sort of waiting in line for his turn to win more slams, a stable third wheel — but I think maybe to Roger and Rafa, he was just another guy in the top of the rankings who was maybe a bit more consistent and dangerous than the rest, but wasn’t part of their world. But now he’s destroyed Fedal seven times in a row, claimed another slam (that used to be Fedal property), stolen two of Rafa’s long-dominated clay Masters titles, and, worst of all, is widely being viewed as a favorite to win the French.

So who WOULDN’T be cold to this upstart runt, if you’re Rafa? A saint, perhaps.


Eric Says:

Also, Roger and Rafa’s first match was in Miami – practically the same place, right? :)


trufan Says:

Nadal is not a sporting loser, contrary to his public statements. His expressions clearly show his real personality.

You often see djokovic smiling or commending an opponent’s good shot.

Del Porto is a true gentleman – see his interview after winning the USO.


Skeezerweezer Says:

^it started with IW, when Rafa lost in the final..why is that?

Sorry but this physco babble talk from Rafa, he is a classier guy than that. Don’t know what to make of it. Some say he is being honest, others say he never is. Me thinks it’s a little of both, and with Unc Toni gamesmanship is always in play. We all will be laughing at it or agreeing with his statements soon enough depending on how far he goes.

I read the weather is going to be kind to faster play through the week, but finals day the humidity will be the highest of the tourney, which will slow the balls down.


jane Says:

I wonder if Murray will win tomorrow? Hope so!


Possum Says:

Looking forward to Fed beating Djoker. You can’t go on winning forever and he’s had a cushy run here. I’m not a fan. Might be because he’s a smart-arse; too smug on the court, too caught up in his supposed ‘charm’, sick of seeing his family members do the fist pumps – and what’s with those friggin’ ball bounces. What a pain!


Michael Says:

This is probably the best chance for Andy to fulfil his avowed ambition of winning a Grand Slam. He will never get a easier draw like this. If he gets past Troicki (which I hope he will) next will be Chela and Murray may beat him 10 out of 10 times. The best scenario for Murray would be Soderling in Semi finals instead of Nadal and if he gets through that then the all important finals where he could be facing either Djokovic or Federer. My gut sense tells me that Murray will fare better against Djokovic than Federer. I just pity Murray. He has the game to win a grandslam or even more but he is not able to execute it. With three finals going abegging twice against Federer and one against Djokovic, it is cruel luck for Murray. It seems that his opponent secures fine form if they are up against Murray. Hope this time around things will turn different and Murray will bring his “A” game to win this title. That will do a lot to boost his confidence and may be go on to win more slams.


truefan Says:

Nadal’s compliments to his opponents are never genuine. In fact, he takes digs at them. For example, even when it is clear that he is playing better than Federer, ranked higher, and winning most of his matches against Federer for the last 3 years, he still says, just to sound politically correct, that Federer is better than him. Though I agree with him on this, I doubt if he does.

What a gamesman. Always making his opponents wait – from toss to every serve till the end.

Amazing that many of you don’t see it.


xyz Says:

^^ truefan??? more like a blind fedtard…who is just capable of seeing the negatives…pathetic


tennis lover Says:

truefan..why all the time you are talking against nadal…you are trying to convince us that nadal draw is so much easy from last two days..i think you didn’t look on murray or federer draws :)

secondly if nadal making his oponents wait then match refree should handle this…if match referee is ok with nadal..this means nadal await his oponents in limited time which is legal for any player..

i think you must think about qualities of Nadal too..


trufan Says:

Ha ha, I am not a Fed fan!! I want Djokovic to win… So much for your perceptiveness….


mat4 Says:

Tignor is really the master of the word: “three men Armageddon”… Or is it four?


Kimmi Says:

muzza pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssssseeeeee!

start well, i beg you.


Kimmi Says:

murray needs to be aggressive…


Daniel Says:

Sometimes Murray misses this silly second serve returns on the net because he plays too much inside the court.


Daniel Says:

Murray already had 1 BP in each service game by Troicki. Is better for him to not let this opportunities go.


Kimmi Says:

easy hold by trocki…muzza 4 straight errors. where are going in this much..it is very close at the moment and troicki serving first.

no mistakes murray

Pavlyuchenkova outplaying schiovone..no chance at the moment.

what happened on that point..who touch the net


Dory Says:

Poor ballkid! He didn’t do it intentionally. GROW UP, Troicki.


Kimmi Says:

” where are going in this much”

where are we going in this match..cant type..muzza gets another chance,

bad backhand error


Daniel Says:

Murray should have misses intentionally to give Troicki the point. That would be fairplay, he already lost that point, only Trociki could have being damaged by the biy who almost touched him.


Kimmi Says:

bad miss..


Dory Says:

I’m sorry but if this is how Murray is gonna play, he has no chance against an out-of-form Rafa either. Might as well Troicki take a shot at it. Why is he so stubborn about playing aggressively?


Daniel Says:

Murray is playing to short. Troicki is more brave in this set and is rewarded with the break.


Kimmi Says:

break! murray not aggressive enough…and that is what you get.


Dory Says:

Troicki is also playing really LAME than usual.


Dory Says:

Troicki is also playing short on the forehand but better on the BH.


Kimmi Says:

wow, what a rally
5-2 troicki


Daniel Says:

Unbelievable point by Troicki! He won the match in this point. Murray trew everything on him and he returned only to find an excelent couter punch.
Now Murray has to hold his on and hope for a small choke job by Troicki serving out the match, which can possibly happen.


mat4 Says:

Troicki… choke… nothing unusual.


Dory Says:

CHOICKI.


dari Says:

Wow, got out of the shower and as soon as I started watching, Andy scored those four points! Keep going MUZZ!


Daniel Says:

Dory,

Choicki, priceless!!:)


Kimmi Says:

OH LORD!


Daniel Says:

That’s why you cna’t lose a game from love when you are one game away from victory. Murray serving 2-5 and hold to love, next thing you know triple break point. Murray needs to hit deeper!


dari Says:

And pavlyuchenkova storming through. Will miss franki if she is out, but frankly I love these women’s qf’s!
Pav- schiavone
Bartoli- sveta
Petko-Maria
Aza- Li
Yeah, MUZZ! Ps it seems like he could go one- handed tomorrow if he wanted, he sure can slice well for a one- hander


dari Says:

I mean for a two- hander.
Ok, now serve it out, AM!


Daniel Says:

And Murray will serve for the match in 6-5 after being down 2-5. At least Murray has a better shot agaisnt Nadal than Troicki, let’s face it, even if it is a small one!


Dory Says:

Never gonna see another match played by Mr.Choicki.


Daniel Says:

Murray is playing with fire, and it is windy now!


Daniel Says:

Murray missed 3 first serves in all match points. C’mon Murray, where is: one of the best closers in the game?!


Daniel Says:

Master in passing shots!

Congrats Murray and his fans for surving a heart stroke.

The commentors saying: Murray on court is guarantee emotions.


dari Says:

sorry for troicki, couldnt hang on.
Yayyyy!!! To AM! What a match point, so happy for him. I hope this one is a life/ game changer for him.


tfouto Says:

Murray is one of the best chokers closers in the game…


Kimberly Says:

can always count on troicki to choke it out. Wow!

Meanwhile Schiavone about to be out?


farley Says:

Murray will be a formidable opponent against Djokovic. We do not have to count Nadal anymore. Nadal is up, because he had reached the top of the game. Like when he said, he felt he had played for 100 years. Nadal’s game is not growing anymore, he now does not have a new weapon to defeat his opponents. It’s rather sad.


dari Says:

Oh, wow, Murray laying it out in that interview. He has a tear :( and didn’t appreciate people who thought it wasn’t serious. He’s “on more pills than ozzy osborne” ! Haha
Well done to him, hope he can keeping it going for another… five days.
Schiavone may not be done


Duro Says:

This man is not going to be number 1 in the world ever.

Counter punch and counter punch and counter punch and nothing else…

As for Viktor: limited. Nothing else.

Second class tennis. Not worth watching…


Dory Says:

Duro, well said. Viktor is a below ordinary tennis player in my books now and Murray is never going to win a Slam. (No offense to Murray fans).


mat4 Says:

@Duro:

Troicki is perhaps limited, but he is not the only one. Yesterday and today, he had the game and the score to win. But, unfortunately, just like he did against Nadal last year, he lacks the nerves, the heart to win.


Duro Says:

Mat4,

Meaning, he’s limited…

As for Murray, he’s gonna win a Slam most probably, but number 1 – never.


madmax Says:

duro,

I think that troicki has to work on the mental side of his game. He played some great rallies today; I don’t think that even the murray fans here would have said it was clear cut. It was very close.

Congrats to murray though. I hope he recovers fully and is able to play his best tennis.

Frankie is making a meal out of this one!

Come on!


madmax Says:

Fed’s match delayed because of this one?

I’ve never heard of Francesca’s opponent. Where did she come from?


Daniel Says:

Wow,

Lobby return winner in a first serve by Pavy. Schiavone served twice for the match and couldn’t close it out. Drama and Fed x Mofils wait increases.


jane Says:

Pav’s been around forma while: er, both in this match and in terms of her break through and rise in the WTA. At least siince last year she has been doing well, if not longer. Franie having a hard time closing.


jane Says:

^ excuse ipad typos. Touch typing sucks.


Gannu Says:

Enjoying this pavy vs. schiavpne match…. very interesting..the young russian is showing some good fighting spirit…

anyways waiting for my feddy bear match..come on feddy.. !


Daniel Says:

Wow, very high level the end of the woman match, excelent points when both of them controled the nerves.


dari Says:

Exciting set!
Pavl was a juniors star, and has had some good results here and there last couple years. did well to get to qf here, almost had it.
Gotta be happy for frankie!
You-know-who is next
ALLEZ ROG


Gannu Says:

Yes dari…allez rog ;-) He is under the radar this entire tournamet and quitely moving through.. ould love to c him take his 17th slam here! Come on Feddy ..its been a while havent seeen u winning ;-)


Van orten Says:

Good murray beat chokcki ..he knows now he is able to hang in. Build up confidence..he ll need it the rest of the tourament provided he passes chela


Nina Says:

I strongly think Nole is going to win RG and it won’t be Nadal on the other side.


jane Says:

If Murray, Rafa and Fed all win their next matches, it could be top four seeds in the semis. When is the last time at a slam that it happened, I wonder?


jane Says:

BTW, I don’t think Fed is under the radar anymore. There have been tons of articles since his win over Stan, I have noticed. ;)


dari Says:

Under the radar/ over the radar… ;)


Gannu Says:

Jane ;-) Still everyone is talking abt nole rafa final…and its nole who can defeat rafa in the final..Thats the first time its happening since Aussie 2004 that fed is a distant third contender for a gslam… and thats indeed under the radar for him!


skeezerweezer Says:

Hey looks like 2010 Fed is back :(


Gannu Says:

That was such a shoody game for fedex to lose his serve… really wonder how he messes up these days!..he is over the radar now ;-)


jane Says:

I was kind of surprised by Sean’s comment that Monfils is playing smart tennis. I haven’t seen much of his play here, but I did see all of the Ferrer match and la Monf wasn’t playing smartly in that match. He was playing passively and also into Ferrer’s hands (e.g., long rallies).

I think Fed should get a straight set win if he is on his game. But there is no doubt Monfils can be unpredictable and also explosive.

Oops, Fed had an off service game there. Two doubles. He will need to pick up his serve. It is just one break, though. He can get it back right away.


Daniel Says:

2 DF by Fed to be broken, weir! Seems he is more nervous than usual.


tfouto Says:

@skeezerweezer can you explain? i cant see the game…

the wind will not help Federer at all…


Gannu Says:

I am going to stop heaping praise on fedex on tennis -x… wat a horrible play so far by fed ;-) i am ultra jinx for feddy bear


Daniel Says:

2 forehand UE’s in a row, weird?!


Daniel Says:

easy volley to set BP, Fed is strange. Seems he is having some problem, very unusal last 2 games, to say the least.


jane Says:

It is breezy out there today, not easy conditions.


skeezerweezer Says:

tfouto,

Fed with a lot of UE’s to start, which is always not a good start for him and usually a telling sign. However, the wind is having a big effect on both players to start….. we’ll see. Monfils up an early break..


Van orten Says:

Just wait for it!!!


Van orten Says:

Told ya so!


Dory Says:

How Federer can change form in one game! Amazing.


skeezerweezer Says:

If Fed stays in this early form, it will be a long day. Hopefully he can get use to the conditions and take it to another level….Fed breaks back and rights the ship for the moment..


Dory Says:

He certainly can’t start like this against Novak.


Gannu Says:

Dory .. control.. he can change in the next game again suddenly;-)


Maso Says:

Alright, Fed’s back in this set! If he does win this match, though, he’ll definitely need his forehand to work better than this to beat Novak.


Van orten Says:

They both struggle with the wind….


skeezerweezer Says:

In defense of both players…it is very breezy conditions today as jane had mentioned…


pigirl1 Says:

insane topspin lob by federer


tfouto Says:

the wind is better for defensive players… the one who attacks produce more UE with wind…


Dory Says:

Monfils hardly attacking Roger’s BH.


Daniel Says:

Monfils only bothered Federer when he was unleashing his forehand. Once he went with this passive game, Fed can run away his Backhand and dictate.

It should get easier for Fed from now on, and he served only 54% first serves in.


jane Says:

Dory, Monfils doesn’t seem to step onto the court that often with much of a game plan. I suspect he has the attitude,”just play my game.” The crowd seems quite neutral, cheering for both the same amount, so that isn’t an issue.


skeezerweezer Says:

@daniel

Agree. If Monfils starts to play Mr. Passive…Fed will eat that up. Notice when Fed broke to win the 1rst how Monfils was out of gas, Fed hardly breathing?


skeezerweezer Says:

^Don’t think this is the kind of day either( conditions ) where you can just willfully attack all the time groundies/and/or transition, you have to pick and choose your spots.


margot Says:

Completely wrong about Monfils! Any minute now he’s gonna lie down and ask Fed to tickle his tummy.


jane Says:

ROTFL margot. Almost spit out my coffee. :)


margot Says:

And PS
1. “never” is a very long time.
2. You are wrong about Andy being only a “counter puncher.” He won sets 3 and 4 by being aggressive and “bossing” Troicki around the court.
He was very tense in the 5th and I think that’s when he reverts to his familiar passive game.
When he gets the balance right, as he surely will, your guys better watch out ;)


margot Says:

lol jane, would not like to be responsible for killing your lap top :)


Daniel Says:

Well, better Fed win playing bad and save a good day agaisnt Novak!


jane Says:

There is that utter unpredictability of Monfils. Suddenly, after playing miles behind baseline. He comes into the net and wins a point, wins a rally on an error because Fed’s probably thinking “WTF? Where’d THAT come from” and la Monf breaks. Looks a bit sunnier, calmer maybr?


Van orten Says:

Fed keeps playing like this monfils has a chance…if fed played 3-4 games in a row high class tennis he would eat monfils with his passiveness alive


Van orten Says:

Yeah daniel…the same i thought when playing noe at us open 2010 ..i hope he gts through


Duro Says:

Nole is watching at his number 1 path at the moment…


Daniel Says:

The WIND!!!


jane Says:

Now silly la Monf is back, trying to do jump shots at the net. He is hilarious. Gotta love him.


Van orten Says:

Wow what a mishit by monf


Van orten Says:

And by fwd ahhhrgggg


Van orten Says:

Fed is really tough on the nerves playing like this


jane Says:

The wind is still kicking around; it didn’t look like Fed overhit there, but it floated long. He is shaking his head. He is the more patient with the conditions though; that is experience talking.


Daniel Says:

We have to get the wind in consideration here, that’s why the level is not higher, with both of them shifting gears. Monfils had 6 double faults so far, his toss is damaged.

Even your Djoko wouldn’t fare so well in this conditions Duro.


jane Says:

7 double faults by Monfils, including on break point! He served much better versus Ferrer.


Daniel Says:

Federer changed his serve to work with his first serve due to wind. He shorten the toss and movement. Experience talks huge in Slams, that just makes DelPo win in 2009 US Open that more special.


Duro Says:

Nothing can stop my boy from fulfilling his destiny…

The shiniest star of them all… The SuperNova(k)!


Van orten Says:

( us open final 09)Where clearly fed didnt have his best day ..but thats how it goes sometimes…


jane Says:

It is true Daniel. Usually experience trumps youthful exuberance and power. Though not every time. Monfils is just not doing anything consistenly, excepting double faulting and serving poorly. He will play a good couple of points at net, and then make embarrassing errors. He will win a rally, then hit three long.

Fed has made some errors but he is more patient and intelligent, figuring out how to deal with things that he can’t control, like the wind and the odd Gael force. :)

I figured this would be straight sets, but I thought they may be tighter.


jane Says:

Yuck, red dirt in the eyes! It is very gusty. Poor guys!


jane Says:

7 winners to 29 UEs for la Monf.


dari Says:

haha cliffy and mary jo are the perfect
work-husband-and-wife duo.
whew, some craptastic wind tennis, but fed up two sets. simultaneous set points for fed and bartoli
:)
allez rog


jane Says:

This is kind of an “ugly” match. Too bad about the wind as it had potential to be more about the shot-making and less about coping with conditions. Hopefully this goes away and we see better weather/condtions for the players from here on out.


skeezerweezer Says:

Well as tough conditions as they are, the scoreboard shows Fed up 2 sets to 0, no TB’s. Go Fed! #rd should be closer, as Monfils starts to serve.

Duro,

When is the last time your guy played in these conditions? :)


Polo Says:

Nadal is probably praying for Federer to win against Monfils then beat Djokovic in the semis. That will ensure a Nadal victory.


tfouto Says:

If Federer wins this game, maybe it would be for him to play against Nole with very tricky conditions, like lots of wind. Djoko has so much confidence he feels he’s full control his game. If the conditions are really tricky, maybe that would bring Djoko out of his confort zone and his confidence might drop. Just a lucky guess.


jane Says:

Wow Monfils didn’t even try to hit that backhand from Fed. What’s up with that? It was game point and within arms reach.


skeezerweezer Says:

Magnificent play to break. Huge.


stu Says:

SuperNova(k)! Love it, Duro!

Yeah, Fed’s looking good. I’d pick him, but Nole has surprised me so many times this year!


jane Says:

Apparently Monfils lost a winner, lol: it now says 6 winners to 32 unforced errors for Gael. Horribly passive in the last game of his serve. He was way behind the baseline and Fed smartly played the dropper.


tfouto Says:

Nadal is happy…


skeezerweezer Says:

Rafa has to get through Sod-a-pop ;-)


dari Says:

and CHELA ;)


jane Says:

Another sudden Gael force.


skeezerweezer Says:

Fed better watch it here, Monfils is the type to pull out dramatic stuff. Don’t want to have this turn into a 5 setter for a Fed fan :(. Monfils breaks back….on serve


Van orten Says:

They both hate the conditions


jane Says:

Now bees flying in front of Fed’s face. What’s next? A streaker? (I guess Nole is a streaker, lol…)


Van orten Says:

Fed giving monf plenty of chances to get back into the sets


skeezerweezer Says:

Now the shade is coming on….what next?


jane Says:

Skeezer, don’t worry: Gael forces don’t last long. ;)


jane Says:

Thanks skeezer. Hope that fan is right!


Dory Says:

Monfils can’t blame the wind for all of his double faults.


Dory Says:

Federer’s forehand firing on all cylinders today. Some massive topspin crosscourt forehands. Monfils meanwhile hasn’t played offensively consistently, too many double faults and overall seems caught offguard amidst windy conditions and Federer’s artistry.

The pace with which Djokovic plays will be higher so Federer will find it tough to pull up his artistry against speedy, powerful and accurate groundstrokes. I think Nole will win the next one.


Dory Says:

Wasn’t expecting Monfils to hold for so long in the 3rd set.


Dory Says:

O dear Outova is OUT!


Van orten Says:

Wow typical fed there…nadal or djoker would have finished already with monfils


dari Says:

bartoli is ballin at RG this year- good for her!


Eric Says:

Wow, Bartoli took out Kuznetsova? Did not expect that…


jane Says:

Wow 11 doubles from la Monf.


skeezerweezer Says:

Fed going through BP itis


dari Says:

must find cure NOW


jane Says:

Both with errors at net in last two points.


Daniel Says:

Fed should lose this match just due to that silly drop in BP to serve for the match, bizarre mistake.
Now he will have to serve to go to a tibreak, making his life dificult, and us fans.


Dory Says:

The match at Paris Masters was so different. Extremely fast and hard hit shots from Monfils that took time away from Federer.


skeezerweezer Says:

Now there is shade mixed w/sun on court, condusive to ball tracking :(. We had wind, bee’s, what’s next, streaking naked man on the court?


Van orten Says:

Incredible .there will never be a top 3 player that forgives his opponents so much…its santa fed time right now ,.unbelievable that the match is still on


Dory Says:

A similar thing seems to be happening at the end of set 3. Hopefully Federer will close it out in the tie break.


Van orten Says:

Monfils does not have the game to hurt rog but what rog is doing is careless..just that


jane Says:

Fed off to a nice start in the tiebreak: great cross court forehand!


Eric Says:

At least Monfils is being a friendly chap and handing Roger the tiebreak. Santa Gael? :P


marrisv Says:

Fed is running away with the breaker…


skeezerweezer Says:

Think Fed did an awesome job today, all things considered. And no don’t think Nole/Rafa would have faired any better. Very tough conditions for both, and Monfils being ranked #9 in the world is no slouch. He has some of his best performances here. So for Fed to get through in straight sets is awesome.

ANOTHER semi-final for Fed, keep marking those record books for as long as you can Fed.
Best, EVER.


Van orten Says:

Toughening his nerves in the breaker, i hope this was tactics by fed ;-) well done


marrisv Says:

So it is Fed vs Novak for the third straight slam semi….


Dory Says:

Roger just 2 matches away from his 17th Slam!!! If only Nadal would lose early, then the FO’s Roger’s. If Nadal comes to the final, FO’s Djokovic’s.


dari Says:

monfils always giving sweet nothings to rog at the net
congratulations to rog, getting another slam semi!
we’re at the matchup everyone was waiting for, hope its a great one!
allez rog in the semi
allez rob sod, allez muzz


dari Says:

and if i heard correctly, la monf goes up a few spots in rankings to six after this?
good on him!


jane Says:

Nole versus Fed done. Let’s see about Rafa versus Muzza!


jane Says:

Dari, anyone but Nole or Rafa then? ;)


dari Says:

jane- or chela ;)
but… yup!
i cannot cheer for novak at this point of course, and rafa is a little ripe. someone should pick that!


marrisv Says:

top 5 in the world still progressing true to rankings makes up for an exciting finish…


steve-o Says:

Yesss! Federer gets by Monfils and the dream semi is on!

Monfils fought very hard in the third set and if it weren’t for some dumb mistakes in the second it would have been much tighter. He was really trying to be aggressive, but he’s not quite as consistent as he needed to be.

Federer had to play some very good service games at 4-5 and 5-6 in the third set; he was behind I think 15-30 or 0-30 both times. He made some mistakes but was very strong overall and adjusted well to the wind.

C’mon Roger!


Lulu Iberica Says:

I’m so pissed! ESPN 2 died (on my tv, anyway) at 5 all! Aaarghhh… Anyway, congrats to Fed! I expected him to win, but thought we might get a 4 set match. Monf is just too inconsistent.

Polo, I don’t know what Rafa is hoping for, but I’m definitely pulling for Fed to take out Nole! I’m not taking it for granted that Rafa makes it to the final, though. I’ll be crossing my fingers during the Soda match tomorrow.


dari Says:

No, but all jokes aside, Jane, it is quarters and semis, its not really about “anybody but Rafa or novak” its about who I cheer in the remaining matches :)
Like marrisvvsaid, kudos to all the top 5 getting to where they are and giving us some exciting matches!


Andre Says:

Does anyone know if both men’s semis are played on Friday at the French? Or do they stagger it..one on Thursday and one on Friday?

Picking Nole to beat Fed and Soda to beat Rafa…


marrisv Says:

I hope Rafa takes confidence from how he played Wimbledon 2010 in the second week after playing a crappy first week. He played Sod in the Qtrs with Murray in the semis, with Murray match being of very high quality…

As for Fed/Novak, it is an interesting dynamic this time around. Novak will be the favorite which was not the case in the last two slam semis…


jane Says:

Andre, the remaining two quarter finals are tomorrow: Soda vs. Rafa and Muzza vs. Chela.

Then Thursdays is no men’s. And then Friday are the two semis. I think anyhow…?


Huh Says:

Well, I know everyone’d disagree with me here, but imho if fed beats nole n reaches final, then no matter who’s on the other side of the net(including nadal), fed’d be dangerous in the final and has chances of winning the whole thing coz, right now, if
he can overcom the dreaded shots of Novak which’s currently breakin down everyone’s game everywhe(includin that of nadal on clay), then Fed would be able to deal with the much talked about Nadal FH too, imho. A federer win over nadal’s long due n I wont b surprised if it happens here, in final. coz regardless of who thinks what, in reality, nothing is absolutly guaranteed(includin nadal victory over fed in RG). Simply put, if Fed’s actually able to overcome this almost unbeatabl djokovic, then he’d hav for the 1st time in his life done something as undoabl as beatin Nadal at RG, and if it so happens, Fed, with his relatively less pressurisin underdog-cum-hunter role would be probably for the first time in his life, in the position, to give nadal the battle of his life at RG. I expect the toughest nadal-fed FO final(which’d go the full length in determining the victor imo) till date, at RG..


fedeRER Says:

both semi´s are on fridays


jane Says:

Yes, huh, and especially considering that we know Rafa isn’t playing his best and is “admitting” he is not confident. Fed over/under the radar would definitely have a shot to win it all in a Fedal this time, methinks. But I hope Nole wins the semi so he can get number 1.


tfouto Says:

Jane, if Nadal looses tomorow against soderling, then Djoko can loose also with Federer and would become no. 1. So we became all happy… :)

i think if Federer beat Nole, Nadal confidence would boost to the peak on that moment and would play the final extremely accurate that he can beat Federer… It would be an different Nadal the one playing a final against Federer then one playing Nole…


Humble Rafa Says:

Even when I win, I lose. I never play well :)


Huh Says:

if that nadal vs fed happens of cours

CHEERS FOR MY GUYS BTW FOR QTRS:

ALLEZ SOD!
ALLEZ MUZZA!!
ALLEZ FEDERER!!!

C’MON FEDERER!!!


jane Says:

tfouto, lol, you have all the bases covered there at 2:22.


Eric Says:

I agree with huh, everyone here is taking it for granted that a Fedal is basically a 99% chance of Rafa winning. Someone said the other day that the last time there was a competitive FO final was 2004. I call BS – people’s views of Rafa-Federer matches are colored by the massive beatdown in 2008. But 2006 and 2007 finals were very competitive, and Federer has every chance (as much as Djokovic, IMO) to beat him if they meet in the final this year. The biggest problem will be that Federer or Djokovic will probably be much less fresh than Nadal. (Well, or maybe not – I think actually the commentator in the Fed/Monf match said that the Fed/Djoko SF will be on Thursday. If he was right, the top half SF would be on Friday, giving Roger or Nole an extra day to rest.)

Of course, I also think Robin has a very good chance to pull off a ridiculous three-peat of his French Open craziness. I really hope he does, because as much as I like Rafa, that would just be too good of a story! :)


Gordo Says:

This is going to be facinating.

In the past 12 months Fed and Nole have played each other 8 times – all on hard courts. Twice in finals and the other 6 have been in semi-finals. Nole has 4 wins (1 in a final), as does Fed, but of course 2 of Djokovic’s wins come at the Grand Slam level.

The most interesting stat is the fact that they do not play each other on clay that often.

Fed is playing very well and I wonder if the wind keeps gusting then perhaps it may favour Fed.

For Djokovic this is a dream run and it will be interesting to see if Fed or Nadal/Soderling can stop it.

My guess is whoever wins the Fed/Nole Semi is going to hoist the trophy on Sunday.

Lots of drama ahead.


dari Says:

good plan, tfouto!


Lulu Iberica Says:

Huh, I agree with your points above, and I certainly don’t think Nadal would be a lock over Fed in the final. It’s just I think Rafa has a better chance against Fed than against Djoko. At the very least his confidence would be higher, as Rafa has beaten Fed recently, while we all know what the Nadal — Djoko matches have looked like of late. :(

For tomorrow: Vamos, Rafa! It’s a matter of pride — Le Sod must never beat Nadal at RG again!


marrisv Says:

Even Uncle Toni has come out and said Nadal is not playing well and Djokovic undermined his confidence.

As the coach of a top level athlete, why would you come out and say your charge is in crisis when you are in the middle of a competition!!!!!. Wouldn’t that make others that much more confident?

Is he playing a game to take the pressure off of Rafa… Wow whichever way i look at this, i find this pretty pathetic. I don’t know if this will help rafa or hinder him…

Being a rafa fan, i hate the attitude in their camp.

If i were Sod, i would take lot of confidence from this and let it rip from the start. Serve huge, push Nadal back, get short balls and feast on them…


Huh Says:

well, the nole vanquishin fed’ll also b a different animal(if it so happens) coz mind u, men like fed r dangerous fighters when the chips are down, but they becom devastatin superpowers once they taste blood. and to jug ur memory up, it was the one and only federer who not just should have, but also COULD have beaten Nadal in a 5 setter(not talkin about best of 5, but purely 5 setter) on clay. And I dont care what others say, the hungry Nadal of 2006 was far more predatorial on clay than this current, this current nadal doesnt hav half as much confidenc or determination or energy compared to that nadal(there was a reason why he won 81 straight clay matches then). That young crazy nadal of 2006 wins hands down imo against this unmotivated, confused n scared 2011 nadal(improvd game of this nadal notwithstandin, this nadal plays like wantin not to lose rather than the willin to win nadal of 2006). The nadal-fed match, if it so happens here, may b anothr rome masters 06 kinda close call, no matter who wins.


Skeezerweezer Says:

^exactly. I don’t understamd why u talk like that in the middle of a tourney either. Negativity is not an option. That is why i don’t believe it. Its a setup ti take pressure off of him. He is being hunted, he thrives being the hunter.


Eric Says:

That’s a good point, Gordo. Federer and Djokovic have only three matches on clay: in 2009, 2008, and 2006. Federer won the earlier two, but even in 2006 Djokovic took a set off him (!). Their 2009 match was in Rome, and Nole won 4-6 6-3 6-3. This is not encouraging to me in my hopes for a Federer win over him in the semis, I have to admit. But the fact is, only 2 matches on clay since Djokovic really became a force are not that good of a base for guessing who will win, and none of them were at slams.

I think the way Roger is playing, he definitely has his chances, but he hasn’t had to prove himself against a really solid player like Djokovic yet. Okay, Monfils is very, very good, but he also gave Roger a bunch of errors to work with; Nole won’t. And he will play with more power and pace. It will be a very close match, I think; if Roger can get the first set or two, he’ll have a good shot, but I can’t see him coming back from two sets down to win. So he has to start really strong.


jane Says:

Considering the wind, Fed’s winners to errors ratio was WAAAAY better than Monfils’. Fed finished with 42 unforced to 41 winners. Monfils hit 53 unforced errors to 24 winners, so 50% more errors than winners and 11 double faults. But the wind was a part of it, and if it is windy in the Nole – Fed match again, Fed may handle it better. He has always handled tough conditions better than most players for what I remember.

According to weather.com it should be “sunny” Wednesday and Thursday and “mostly sunny” on Friday, but there is rain forecast for both Saturday and Sunday. : /


tfouto Says:

to me its simple:

Chances in %:

20 Nole in 3
20 Nole in 4
25 Nole in 5
15 Fed in 5
15 Fed in 4
5 Fed in 3


Huh Says:

Mrs. Jane:
How about makin a deal with me to wish the earning of nole’s No.1 by rootin for a Sod victory over nadal in qf instead of rootin for nole’s win over fed in semis? ;)


Huh Says:

jokes aside, one of these 4 guys deserv to win FO: nadal, fed, nole or sod.
muzza must win this year’s uso for heaven’s sake(if not muzza, then jmdp)!


jane Says:

Huh, I can root for Mr. Dimples. :) I do not know if he can do it though. Rafa will raise his game like he always does. One of Nole’s lifelong goals has been to reach number one, and he has played so well and worked so hard, that I just really really want to see him get it! I am happy Fed won over la Monf, though, because if Rafa does win over Soda tomorrow, and Nole has to win his semi to get to number 1, then who better to try to beat than Mr. Fed? It is one of the toughest contests to beat Fed at a slam. If Novak does it he will have earned number one in spades. If he doesn’t win, then Novak loses his streak to the last guy to beat him. And he can go get ready to take number 1 on grass. We’ll see, but lots of drama building up, and nice to see the top five guys reach the final stages of the slam. + Chela! Who’d've thunk it?!


tfouto Says:

Well Chela lost just to Del Potro on Estoril SF and played great… But also a good draw.


Eric Says:

Yeah, here’s a thing… everyone is talking about how Rafa lacks confidence or is playing poorly. But the fact is he just won three matches in a row in, frankly, not very competitive straight sets (except for the one TB against Andujar where he recovered from like two breaks down).

And there is also a big difference between Rafa and Fed. Fed almost always plays his best tennis against weaker opponents, because they give him the slower balls, less devastating shots, etc., that let him work his magic. Rafa, though, doesn’t play his best tennis until he is playing someone really, really good. Early matches at a slam are thus a poor indicator of both of their future performance (unlike most players, including Djokovic, who just sort of go out and play their game… but Murray is another one who changes his game a lot depending on who he’s playing and how they are playing him.), and for opposite reasons – we’ve already seen Fed wending his way through a draw playing lights-out tennis only to fall on Djokovic’s sword in the semis. And we’ve seen Rafa have plenty of trouble in early rounds only to blow out the finalist in 3 uncompetitive sets. We really just can’t say how they are going to play in the semis, even after teh quarters. Djokovic isn’t going to give Federer much to work with; the question is how much he can make something for himself. I think he can do it, but Djokovic is playing really really well, and he just really doesn’t have any apparent weaknesses. It’s such a tough match to call.


Eric Says:

As is Rafa-Soderling… we know Soda has the mental fortitude to just bear down and fight, but I think it might be a match where Rafa will just refuse to lose – not again, not now, is what he’ll be thinking. And for all this talk about how poorly he’s playing, again, he’s through to the QFs and hasn’t dropped a set since the first round. I’d definitely have to call this one for Rafa in four, but I hope Robin can surprise me.


Duro Says:

Skeezy,

“Duro,

When is the last time your guy played in these conditions? :)”

In Miami ’09 when your fave smashed a racquet, hi hi hi…


contador Says:

yes, that is exactly my thinking too about rafa v soda, Eric. except, i disagree abt the no. of sets it will take to send poor soda packing.

maybe the conditions will change but wind is not a friend to mr. bludgeon’s serve. he will be tense and we know what happens when he’s tense. i hope magnus norman is talking to him right now so we at least have a chance for a 4 set match.

fun to read the match thread. thanks ppl

margot and dari -very funny : )


Skeezerweezer Says:

Duro,

Really? Ya got me there. I didn’t know Fed after 700+ matches ever smashed a Racket? Must have been an anomaly. Better hope there it is a calm day for your fav..hehe

You know I will only cheer for Nole once he gets by Fed. Until then, our swords are crossed! Touché ! :)


Eric Says:

Skeeze, oh man, you haven’t seen Roger’s racquet smash video? Like Duro said, it was Miami 2009 against Nole. Roger basically turns his racquet into graphite-fiber kindling with one smash. (He even smashes racquets with style and immense skill, too bad he couldn’t hit a shot to save his life that afternoon…) Anyway, you can find it on youtube easily…here’s one version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H28N8npm3H4 but there might be ones with higher-quality video too, I dunno.


mat4 Says:

I could be wrong, of course, but for me, the question is how will Djokovic perform in the semi. If he plays like he did in the last set against Gasquet, I don’t give Fed much chances. He will have them, of course, because the clay is fast and he was serving quite well against Wawrinka, but not many.

But the pressure on Djoko is bigger every day, and, who knows? he could have a bad match. A victory would give him the n. 1 rank, a record, and a GS final. It could be to much.

At IW, already, Fed showed that he was close, but Djoko played even better since the beginning of the clay season. If the surface slows down (it could rain a bit), then it will be more difficult for Roger.

They will be both very nervous, like they always are in their matches, and most of the time Fed managed to keep his nerves under control, but now, it is not certain. The beginning of the match could be crucial.


mat4 Says:

Just for fun, some predictions (I assume here – although it is unlikely – that all the players will keep their level):

Nadal – Soderling 3-0
Murray – Chela 3-2
Federer-Djokovic 0-3
Nadal-Murray 3-0
Djokovic-Nadal 3-0


skeezerweezer Says:

Duro

Yeah so? Was it windy like today? Nada.

Besides, Novak learned that from Fed…see here against Rafa;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFXkHefhGUM

BTW the way Eric, thanks for the other link,,,love the quote there;

“Are you kidding? He destroyed that racquet….his technique was flawless……lol”


Duro Says:

Skeez,

The wind was the whole point! Look at it more carefully, when Fed turns his back and walks away. You can see it there, but I remember it perfectly. Windy as hell…

So, that’s my answer to your first question.

Touche indeed! :-)

Can’t find that French apostrophe, though…


skeezerweezer Says:

All in good fun Duro :). I hope it is not windy actually, makes better tennis for everyone :)


skeezerweezer Says:

Duro,

Someone had to give you a hard time up here so I guess it had to be me, your guy is playing extremely well. Tried to put some doubt in you, but you are not budging, a true Nole fan!

Hope it is an exciting match.


Duro Says:

I said it previously, single most important match in a while…

Novak – direct battle for number 1, Jmac’s record, The Streak and Slam final.

Fed – Last time possible RG glory, most probably, and ending of the Streak (which began with him after all).

Rafa – Losing or retaining his number 1 Kingdom, and very dependently expecting his destiny on RG crown…

What a match, what a match…


madmax Says:

Duro, you forget that fed will be working full tilt right up until olympics 2012, there is no way this is his last chance. He has set his stall out, made his goals known, and despite your obvious joy at Novak’s rise. *clap*, Federer is here to stay.

Federer is in it for the long haul, he has made that abundantly clear.

I would not surprise me in the slightest if Federer continued playing until he was 35 years old.

Play nice duro.


tfouto Says:

I dont think either that this might be the last chance for Federer to win a GS. He will not win many, he might not win anymore, but he will have more chances… More SF, maybe more finals…


Duro Says:

Skeez, nothing can put a doubt in me about Novak. I believed in No1-vak four years ago, how do you think is now?

Maybe Friday, maybe not, but he’ll be what he’s destined for.

In No1-vak I trust.

Some things you know from the very first moment…

First time I saw him playing I knew he’s gonna be the number 1 in the world.

It didn’t change…


tfouto Says:

madmax, Federer said he would play until 2012 Olympics, but after he said he wants to keep playing after that. He just said that date so the press dont keep bug him asking when would he retire…


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer playing until he’s 35 doesn’t mean he’ll always have a chance until he’s 35.

I’m not sure if Federer will be able to win this French Open. But I’m pretty much convinced Wimbledon is his.


tfouto Says:

Ben, he’s playing really well. Of course, Djoko has more chance to win. Or maybe Nadal. But you never know. I dont think its impossible for Federer to win against Djokovic. Djokovic won against Murray on Rome on tie-break even tough he was tired. He won Nadal in tie-break on IW or Miami, cant quite recall. He might loose on friday, or win in straights. But Federer is playing much better then on the AO. I recall his win against Wawrikna on the AO, he made to much silly UE’s.


Duro Says:

Maxiiiii…

You – me, Friday! Prepare!!!

En guard Federerians!!! It will be the battle of the battles. Big Friday, God forgive me.

Maxi, I said – most probably. You know that I respect him. And only because it’s RG. When other Slams are concerned, he’s still on the horse…


skeezerweezer Says:

Agree Ben. Excited that he may it this far in the French. This may be as far as he gets, I get it. It’s not his fav surface. But the aggressive style he has shown since the end of last year looks like it’s paying off, he is getting far into FO with it. If he holds form and brings this to Wimby THAT will be fun.


mat4 Says:

@skeeze:

I agree. I think that it was his plan from the beginning.

I also think he played well in Australia. Maybe too close to the baseline against Djoko. He plays better than in 2009-10, he serves better too, and if he gets half a chance, he will make an excellent season.

But he will lose thursday. (I wonder: will he be able to break a racquet on clay? That would be the flawless, ultimate breaking technique…)


Dc Says:

@ Eric
And there is also a big difference between Rafa and Fed. Fed almost always plays his best tennis against weaker opponents, because they give him the slower balls, less devastating shots, etc., that let him work his magic. Rafa, though, doesn’t play his best tennis until he is playing someone really, really good
————————————————–Eric – you really contradict yourself.

What you are saying is that
1 – Fed does not play good tennis against Rafa.
2 – Rafa plays good tennis against someone really really good; now since Fed is not really really good when playing Rafa therefore Rafa will not play good against Fed

One could conclude that Rafa and Fed don’t play good against each other; however the entire tennis world agrees that Fed and Rafa have produced their best tennis playing together.


Eric Says:

Dc, erm, I think you are missing the point. What I said was that Rafa saves his very best form for the most dangerous opponents. That includes Federer.

Whereas Federer plays his very best and most beautiful tennis against opponents who can’t really trouble him. Just think of how many times he has sailed effortlessly past Wawrinka, Roddick (yes, many of their matches have been close, but even more been blowouts), Ferrer, and other guys who are all excellent players but don’t play with a game that gives him much trouble. But when he comes up against someone like Djokovic or Rafa, he can’t do everything that he wants to do with the ball, and it really shows in his playing.

I think most people would agree that the Federer-Nadal rivalry was from 2006 to 2008 the main and most exciting story in tennis, and that their matches were epic classics. But it was always Rafa who played his A+++ tennis in their matches, not Federer. That’s because Rafa keeps Roger from hitting his stride. There’s a difference between Roger and Rafa playing epic matches and Roger and Rafa both producing their very best tennis.


Kimmi Says:

rafa fans never cheer for federer before but i can see all of them cheering loudly this friday.


Eric Says:

But the bigger point is that I was making a generalization about the way they progress through a draw. Rafa, much more often than Federer, finds himself in unexpected trouble early on, but by the time he gets to a final, he is boiling over with confidence, preparation, and will to win. By contrast, Federer in recent years has sailed through draws only to come up unexpectedly and woefully short in the end – think of the AO this year. Aside from Simon (who was at that time even more woefully under-ranked than Del Potro was at the French, BTW, for all the whiners about Djoko’s draw – he met Federer in the second round, even earlier than ND and JMDP) he ransacked all of his opponents easily until Djokovic took him apart. No one expected that. Or think of the USO. Roger played through Soderling and Melzer and didn’t a set in the tournament until he met Novak. Rafa didn’t drop a set either, but he came through in much, much tighter matches even against nobodies like Istomin.


Kimberly Says:

i always kind of cheered for fed as long as it wasn’t against rafa, the motivation was rafa-oriented however. If Fed wasn’t winning every match outside of Rafa it wouldn’t make Rafa’s winning against him so special. I was cheering for him in USO 2010 semi because i thought it would be nice to have Fedals at all four slams.


Kimberly Says:

Eric as always your posts are very smart. Hopefully you will be seeing me posting around midnight tonight if you know what I mean!


steve-o Says:

I think Federer will be able to win majors until he retires. That doesn’t mean he will win every one. But he will continue to be in semis and finals and from time to time he will win one.

As for racket-breaking, Federer does it like he does everything: whole-heartedly. When he decides to smash it, he commits completely. None of these silly tentative taps that barely crack the thing.

In Miami, he broke the frame in half with one smash. No wasted motion.

Sometimes you look at a broken racket and it still looks like it could be made usable, with some repair work.

Not so with Federer. He mangles the thing beyond recognition. You know, beyond all doubt, that that is a broken racket. There’s no mending it or fixing it. He does the job right.


mat4 Says:

@Eric:

Although I could agree with your analysis in a certain measure, the AO example isn’t the best: Fed played a great match in the semi there, for me certainly his best match in the tournament. Djokovic was just a bit better.


mat4 Says:

I would like to add: Federer has been a pleasure to watch this year, and I wish he continues for years to come. I don’t really care if he doesn’t win much as he did: he got a fair share of tennis glory (and everything that goes with it).


skeezerweezer Says:

@Kimberly,

Your the best Rafa fan I know, you are not in the Rafa-in-love-fan girl category, although I would be naive not to think you don’t find some of his “attributes” attracting ;)

If Sod has a chance against Rafa, and his head is right, he should be thinking “revenge”. It’s well known knowledge that many think Sods big win at FO against Rafa was a “fluke”, Rafa injured and so and so. This is his chance to prove otherwise. Rafa got his revenge on that loss last year with a convincing win.

If Rafa wins, and just as importantly, how he wins ( dominating ) he can make a statement he should be proud of and say “Yeah, I am still the guy to beat here”. I have been givin Rafa flack in this tourney, not with his play, but with his comments. He needs to wake the F**ck up and play. He needs to say “who am I?” He is #1, that’s who he is, won 3 out 4 slams last year, and he OWNS this tourney for the last umpteenth years. Quit rappin about how bad your feelin or playin and go play like Rafa on Clay does. YOur in the qtrs, won all in straights. You’re 25, not 30, fit, and has had proper rest.
If he does that, he should roll and make it a great final with most likely Nole. I do not believe his comments one iota and expect and aggressive Rafa tomorrow. Moping is unacceptable. Maybe he does not seemingly know how to be #1, he just knows how to get there. His comments are/will only be an excuse if he loses, and he can’t afford to get tagged again for that.

Should be a battle.


Eric Says:

@Skeezer, Rafa and Soderling have a pretty antagonistic relationship as far as I know. I remember they had a bit of a spat at Wimbledon a few years ago, and then of course it didn’t help that Soderling knocked him out of the French… So Rafa will definitely be out for blood. I don’t believe his moping act either. If Robin wins tonight I guess I will eat my words, but I frankly find that unlikely. Still, we know that when Robin is clicking he can take Rafa down. The question will be when their respective ups and downs match up and who can get on a momentous roll…

@mat4, good point. Still I think it’s a pretty accurate generalization that Federer looks amazing early and then comes up short whereas Rafa looks shaky early and then plays amazing when it counts. (In the past few years, I mean. Obviously in 2007 Roger was just amazing all the time.)


marrisv Says:

I am a hardcore rafa fan and have been since 2006 wimby final, but i love Fed as well. He makes tennis look so simple…

In fact i love Andy and Novak as well.


Kimberly Says:

colinO5soon6 is devastated that he is in last place, cried for a really long time. I would offer to help him on his next bracket but my picks haven’t exactly rocked the house.

Skeez, kaisers match delayed again until 7 tomorrow. They had to get the deadline extended but did.


Kimberly Says:

skeezer, i agree with your comments about rafa, i don’t know how much if it is him and how much of it is the media taking bits and pieces of what he says. Have been too busy stressing out about Maria Sharapova and the Miami Heat in addition to Rafa to investigate and read his full transcripts. But I don’t like what I’m hearing.


skeezerweezer Says:

@K,

Heat are playin tonight right? Life is good :) and your fav is still in. Me just think he needs a kick in the butt or take some time off, or just win baby.

Thanks for the update w/Kaiser. I have a match tomorrow nite with a limping hammy..ugh. Have to go on the road tomorrow also so I will miss Rafa/Sod match. :(

Maybe you can help Colin put in multiple entries next time under different names or?, just for fun? Tryin to help there.

marrisv,

You can’t lose this tourney can you? LOL!!! live is good to be a tennis fan like you…no disappointments…..

mat4 & Eric,

Yah remember the days when Fed had some tough early rds then cruised? Now we deal with Fed 2.0 :(


Daniel Says:

You know what, the one who deserves the most this title is Soderling. Murray winning would be awesome, cause no one would expect. Djoko it will be the cherry on top, Federer it will set fire in the race for n. 1, and Nadal to exorcise recent demons and motivate himsefl for the batle until Year end.

But if Nadal beats Djoko, it will be bizarre as he is going to be #2 holding 3 Slams, while Djoko would be #1, hold 1 and 2 finals. So, this scenario is the worst.
To me at least, Nadal losing tomorrow would be the best and anyone winning would be awesome: Soda, Murray, Fed or Djoko, that’s what I see adding more spice to the tourney!
But if Nadal keeps winning and reaches final, I hope for a Nadal x Djoko final, even as huge Fedfan. Cause this scenario will close the clay season with a bang!


sar Says:

Skeezer
Yes, I think Nole always was gracious at the net whenever he lost to Rafa and while he was on stage holding the plate.

Jane
As for friendship between Nole and Murray, I believe at the AO this year, Nole said… if I cannot hold the trophy myself, I hope Andy can win it.


jane Says:

sar, exactly. I do think Nole and Murray have a certain kinship having come up through juniors together and having been trying almost simultaneously to break through the Fedal duopoly at the slams and Masters. Because Murray turned pro behind Nole he is just a little behind in terms of breaking through. But he will. I read Nole recently say that he hopes he and Muzza can be the next big rivalry in tennis – in other words, share all the slams. ;)


jane Says:

marrisv, I love that you love everyone. :)

Daniel, i know what you mean about Soda. Two years in a row he took out the number one and the defending champion, doing the hard yards, only to get to the final and lose to the “other” guy in Fedal. Got to feel for the guy. But in his last presser he seemed calm and happy, at peace, and loving the Roland Garros atmosphere. I think he is glad to be in the quarters again, to keep going deep in the slams and putting himself in position.

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