Schiavone, Murray Thrill with Fight-Backs at French Open; Nadal Wednesday; X-Notes
by Staff | May 31st, 2011, 3:03 pm
  • 305 Comments

Defending French Open champ Francesca Schiavone overcame a slow, slow start on Tuesday at the French Open, rallying from 1-6, 1-4 down to defeat Russian teenager Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 to move into the semifinals at Roland Garros.


“I started too slow, absolutely too slow,” Schiavone said. “The key was to hit three, four, five, six, seven balls, but I couldn’t arrive at three, four. That was the way to win — if I went to the net in one shot, there was no way to win. From 4-1 down I played two really good games then she went a little bit down.”

The 30-year-old Schiavone cut down on the errors, which began to pile-up for the Russian. Serving at 4-5 in the second set at game point, Pavlyuchenkova spun a slow, nervous double fault into the net to hand the Italian a chance in the third set.

“It’s very difficult to lose these kinds of matches, and just to lose in general,” said Pavlyuchenkova, whose movement looked vastly improved after dropping some weight. “I’ll just try to move on, forget this match and just take all the positive things. It was a very good experience — it was my first Grand Slam quarterfinal and it’s never easy to play well, especially against Francesca. She was really great today. She had courage — it was tough to stop her.”

Schiavone will next face French veteran and No. 11 seed Marion Bartoli, who defeated No. 13 seed and former French Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6(4), 6-4.

Bartoli is through to her second Grand Slam semifinal after 2007 Wimbledon, losing to Venus Williams in the final. She is only the second Frenchwoman in the last 30 years to reach the final four at Roland Garros after Mary Pierce (1994, 2000 and 2005).

Wednesday will be the completion of the women’s quarters with (4) Victoria Azarenka vs. (6) Na Li, and (7) Maria Sharapova vs. (15) Andrea Petkovic.
 
On the men’s side Roger Federer rolled over French hope Gael “Force” Monfils 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(3) to set up a much-anticipated semifinal against Novak Djokovic.

Federer has yet to drop a set through to the semifinals at the 2011 French Open.

“I’m very happy to be in the semifinals,” said Federer after both players put in an error-strewn performance in the gusty conditions. “Playing a semifinal here at Roland Garros is a great moment and playing such a great player is what we train for.”

Djokovic, who has beaten Federer in their last three meetings, will take the No. 1 ranking from Rafael Nadal if he defeats the Swiss in the semifinals on Friday.

No. 4 seed Andy Murray finished his darkness-delayed match from yesterday, staging a comeback in the final set to move into the quarters. No. 15-seeded Viktor Troicki was serving for the match at 5-3, 30-0, but couldn’t close the door, allowing Murray to eventually walk away (nursing a sore ankle) with a 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 victory.
 
“I don’t think many people recover from a sprained ankle and a tear in a tendon in two days,” Murray said of his ongoing problem. “I was told to stay off my feet totally the day in between the match, the (Michael) Berrer match. I was given crutches which I didn’t use because I didn’t know how to. I had never used them before…I’ve done a lot icing, taking a lot pills. Had an MRI scan, had an ultrasound scan. Done everything that I could to get myself as best as possible going into the match.”

To Troicki, the Brit did not seem hindered by injury at all.

“No, not at all,” he said. “I mean, to me, he ran normal. We played a couple of times before, so he was running full power and going for his shots. He seemed normal.”

Murray tomorrow will face Juan Ignacio Chela in the quarterfinals. Murray beat Chela the last two years at Roland Garros, and is 6-1 lifetime against the Argentine.

“The fact that I recovered well enough to play, I mean, was probably the best point for me,” Murray said. “I haven’t really been in this position before in a Slam. And obviously, no disrespect to any of the guys I’m playing against, I felt like there’s a good chance for me to do well here. I have a very good record against Viktor and a very good record against Chela.”

The other quarterfinal on Wednesday will be a French Open final rematch when (1) Rafael Nadal takes on (5) Robin Soderling.

TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS

SUCK THESE BALLS – The top players such as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal say the Babolat balls introduced at this year’s French Open are radically different than the Dunlop balls used last year, and the Dunlop’s used in the warm-up tournaments leading to the French. Roland Garros officials say the players are wrong. “We are convinced that we have the exact same ball as last year,” French Open Tournament Director Gilbert Ysern told reporters. “We clearly asked Babolat to produce the exact same ball as the one we had last year.” Nadal isn’t happy. “I only practiced four or five days, six days with this ball after one month and a half or one month playing with another ball,” Nadal said. “The feeling is something very important in tennis. From the outside it is sometimes difficult to see. But from inside for the players, it is something dangerous for the shoulders, for everything.” Who are you likely to side with? Babolat must be giving the French a CHUNK of money to use the new ball. Way to regulate the tour ITF.

CRAZI DANI BANNED FOR LIFE – Austrian Challenger-level player Daniel “Crazi Dani” Koellerer has been banned from the sport for life for match-fixing by the Tennis Integrity Unit, the anti-corruption partnership between the ATP, WTA and Grand Slam Committee. He has also been fined $100,000 after being found guilty of “contriving or attempting to contrive the outcome of an event; soliciting or facilitating a player not to use his best efforts in an event; and soliciting, offering or providing money, benefit or consideration to any other covered person with the intention of negatively influencing a player’s best effort in any event,” the TIU said, according to Bloomberg News. Crazi Dani’s manager piped-in with an odd statement to Bloomberg: “This is a massive shock,” Manfred Nareyka, Koellerer�s manager, said. “This investigation has now been going on for a year and a half. It has affected him making a living. There is no proof. I distance myself from any form of match-fixing.” — Maybe distance yourself from your client too.

NOTES
Former No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo was entered in the French Open mixed doubles with Michael Llodra, but was then informed that she was ineligible because she has not taken part in the tour’s anti-doping program for the last three months. Tennis, you keep finding ways to kill the excitement, nicely done! Keeping the 31-year-old Mauresmo from making a comeback (even if it was a one-off) — in France yet! Golf clap to you Roland Garros! Dumb-asses!…Former No. 1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov, playing at the ATP senior event in Sao Paulo, had predicted Juan Martin del Potro beating Novak Djokovic at the French Open: “It’s my gut instinct that Djokovic will lose to Del Potro. I think Del Potro’s game matches up well against Novak’s. He’s got a big serve, big forehand and it seems to me that the court is a bit faster and the balls are a bit faster as well which will suit Del Potro. The fast balls will probably be in Djokovic’s favor too because I’m sure he doesn’t like slow balls, but I just think that it’s time for Del Potro to step up and show once again that he can be at the top. I’m sure he feels himself he has a good chance.” — Wrong…ESPN’s Chris McKendry, what is up with the horrible outfits day after day of the Frenhc Open coverage? Let the ESPN people dress you. If they already are, make them stop…Viktor Troicki on a ball boy interfering with a point that was subsequently won by Andy Murray when the umpire called a replay: “I mean, since I watched tennis and I played tennis, I have never seen such a situation. Kid just jumped in and messed up my point.”


Also Check Out:
Stosur-Schiavone French Final a Happy Affair
Schiavone Heimlichs Choking Stosur for French Open Title
Haas Has More Juice in Beating Simon; Sharapova Wins at Sony Miami
Stosur, Schiavone Unlikely French Open Finalists
Roger Federer Arrives In Australia, And He’s Already Hitting Tennis Balls

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305 Comments for Schiavone, Murray Thrill with Fight-Backs at French Open; Nadal Wednesday; X-Notes

El Flaco Says:

“said Pavlyuchenkova, whose movement looked vastly improved after dropping some weight.”

Yikes! I’d hate to see what she looked like before because she still looks too heavy. Movement is so important in tennis


Eric Says:

“Tennis, you keep finding ways to kill the excitement, nicely done! Keeping the 31-year-old Mauresmo from making a comeback (even if it was a one-off) — in France yet! Golf clap to you Roland Garros! Dumb-asses!…”

Dude, it’s not like it’s their fault. The rules are the rules. You’d be f***ing bitching about the French breaking all the rules for their own if they had let her play.


jane Says:

I was surprised by how well Bartoli was moving!


PJ Says:

I know that the commentators have been talking about no one stepping up in the women’s field, and how the Williams Sisters could’ve dominated this field. I actually feel bad for Elena Dementieva. I thought her best chance would’ve been last year (so unfortunate that she had to retire in the semis), but she absolutely would’ve been a contender this year.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Awesome how Fed mentioned in his post presser he entered the tourney to win it. Yes never enteres it thinkin he never could win it. Nuff said. He is not in it to stop Novak, nor thinkin he won’t win it. Eye always on the big picture. Attitude is everything. He may not win it, but love the atitude.


andrea Says:

great stuff from schiavone. she looks like she can win here again.

what a great semi between roger and novak. it’s almost a final in feeling. hope it’s a classic battle. novak will be fresh so it’s good that roger didn’t get drawn into a long match today…but they still have lots of time to recuperate.

also, congrats to murray for coming out on top. that must feel good.


contador Says:

jane, lol on bartoli!

she always is moving, swatting, jumping, swinging, shadow-boxing with herself…she’s actually fun to watch. she doesn’t screech and she’s not a stunning blond from russia, so not even matt cronin on radio RG could hide his lack of interest while commentating the match. he was hoping for APavlyuchenkova (there’s a name i can’t pronounce) to win. cronin i used to like. now he’s annoying. “eli” is the best but he’s mostly moved on the bigger things, i think. on RG website there’s a classic eli production video with the french fans. i notice he’s the one behind the quizzes.

i have a nickname for pavlyuche…nah, never-mind…

El faco! there you are. i see you are still saving my place in the tx bracket challenge. top spot and tip of the hat.


contador Says:

El Flacko not faco…sorry.


contador Says:

El Flacko not faco…..sorry.


contador Says:

double post! :/ and in my excitement still didn’t get it right…

El Flaco = genius of predicting.


El Flaco Says:

Yes Contador. Most of my picks aren’t that different than everyone else when it comes to the big guns. It was really 3 picks that made the difference; Montanes beating Cilic/Youzhny and Wawrinka over Tsonga. A bit of luck involved as always. Sometimes you can have great picks up until the semis/final then you can crash and burn when the most points are on the line so we shall see.


marrisv Says:

Fed’s press transcript was very interesting to read…. good stuff.


Kimmi Says:

just watching bartoli vs kutzy. great win for bartoli..a frenchy in the semi at last :)

her H2H with schiavone is 1-4…she has a mountain to climb..

talking about shrieking.. kutzy is not known as one of the big shrieker, i wonder why? she is as loud as maria and vika in this match.


Eric Says:

Oh god, the shrieking… I usually watch tennis on mute so I can listen to music too, but I turned on the sound for the Schiavone match for a while. And my god. I love her, but does she need to let out a guttural war cry every time she hits the ball? goodness…


Kimmi Says:

great women matches too..

Li Na vs Vika..go Li Na
Sharapova vs Petkovic ..don’t really care who wins.


Kimberly Says:

I am rooting for snarapova and azarenka. I like li nA but like azarenka more. However I like sharapovas chances against li nA better so maybe I should root for li na


Kimmi Says:

sharapova vs petkovc H2H is 2-1

azarenka vs Li Na H2H is 1-3

wow, these matches could go either way..


jane Says:

Kimberly, Not sure if you saw my post from the other day but I was majorly impressed with Vika’s presser after her last win, so I would be happy to see her go deeper and maybe even win her first slam. Although my first choice is for Sharpie to get the career slam. So I think you and I and more or less on the same page with the ladies. :)


Kimmi Says:

just watching the moment were the ball kid run into court when troicki was hitting a smash..that should have been troicki point but ump calls for a replay.

Poor ball kid, he looked really sad..looked like tearing a little. troicki did not help either by complaining to the umpire. cant blame troicki but just feel sorry for the kid. hope he does not take it too bad..


Lulu Iberica Says:

I’m rooting for Rafa, Li Na and Sharapova tomorrow. Andy versus Chela — just going to see what happens with the ankle I guess. BUT I think it would be freaking hilarious if Rafa gets through and faces Chela in the semis. I can hear all the “cakewalk” complaints now! Although, it might not be good to face mostly lower level opponents and then meet Fed or Djoko in the final. Maybe I should root for Murray!


Kimberly Says:

as the mom of two little boys I feel really bad for the little guy, as a tennis player I feel bad for troicki.

Jane, I think we are exactly the same. My first choice is for Maria to win then my second for Vika. So I would want Li Na to win only to enhance Sharapova’s chances but if Sharapova does not win would like to see Vika win. Does that makes sense?

Kimmi is right. Both matches could go either way. Great day.


Kimberly Says:

You know how I love Rafa everyone but if Djoko wins the tournament maybe Colino5soon6 can move ahead of some people and not finish last? He is very upset.


jane Says:

Yes, Kimberly that makes sense; I will follow the same cheering strategy and maybe we can influence the outcome with vibes. ;)

Kimberly i just posted a cheer up message to Colin05soon6 at the bracket challenge. Poor little monkey. My son is sensitive too, but now that he is 10 he has to act “tough-like” a lot of the time. So he’d just be mad. ha ha.

Aren’t the Heat tonight or is it next Tuesday?


jane Says:

But could Bartoli throw a wrench into things? She will be gunning for it. She is the first French woman in ages to reach the semis here, excepting Mary P.


El Flaco Says:

Lulu Iberica Says:
I’m rooting for Rafa, Li Na and Sharapova tomorrow. Andy versus Chela — just going to see what happens with the ankle I guess. BUT I think it would be freaking hilarious if Rafa gets through and faces Chela in the semis. I can hear all the “cakewalk” complaints now! Although, it might not be good to face mostly lower level opponents and then meet Fed or Djoko in the final. Maybe I should root for Murray!
———————————————–

I said a day or two ago on another thread I would laugh my butt off if Nadal’s semifinal opponent was Chela. He would be the ideal 1st round opponent for Rafa – not much of a serve, solid off the ground, no scary weapons.


Kimmi Says:

for women i am into first grand slam winner. i want to see some emotions like last year schiavone. even if you didnt like her, you had to feel something. it was incredible.

li na, azarenka, bartoli or petkovic should give us beautiful emotions


skeezerweezer Says:

^ li na would be a BIG story, and for her country… :)


Andre Agassi Says:

Mary P = Canadian


Kimberly Says:

GREAT START FOR MIAMI HEAT, LEBRON AND DWADE ARE DA BOMB! 1-0. 3 MORE BABY!!!!!


Kimberly Says:

Jane, the HEAT were tonight, won the game!

Again on Thursday. Hopefully they can pull the win and put Colino5soon6 in great spirits. My cake has all of the players surrounding him on it and the heat logo! Apparently aggarding to the cake bakery it is the little boys theme of the month! Tomorrow is your big day right. Colino5soon6 said so at least. If so we will watch.


jane Says:

Wooolt Kimberly!

A.A., yes I know re: Mary P, but she played for France yes?


Michael Says:

Nadal Vs Soderling will be a very interesting match. I will give the edge to Nadal and might be he will romp home in four tough sets. But Soderling always has some surprises up his sleeves. Who knows ? If Nadal has a bad day in office, then Soderling can definitely pull the upset provided he serves well with a good number of first serve percentage. Soderling is the only man to beat Nadal at the French and that might play a big part in Nadal’s mind. Nadal’s performance in the rest of the tournament hinges on this match. If he has it easy over Soderling then he might feel confident once again and will be fully ready for Djokovic or Federer. If it is against Djokovic, it will be 55:45 in favour of Djokovic and if it is Federer it will be 60:40 in favour of Nadal.


Eric Says:

Hey congrats Kimberly, looks like the they can handle the Mavs indeed. :)


Kimmi Says:

Hello everyone and good morning.
I am writing this just minutes before going to the tournament site and getting ready for my match today!. I am practicing at 12 noon and then closing my self in the locker room waiting for my match, a very difficult one as you all know. I lost to Soderling 2 years ago and I am not playing well today. I have to play much better than what I have played so far f I want to stay alive in the tournament. Otherwise you’ll see me sooner practicing on grass.
And one more thing, I went last night to receive the trophy that the ITF gives to the #1 player of the year. I was very proud of that and thankful. It was in front of the whole tennis family and that’s very important since we are like a big family in our sport. And as a family we have to take care of each other and the ITF must also do that…
Thanks.
Rafa

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/rafaelnadal/8532304/Rafael-Nadals-exclusive-blog-world-No-1-answers-your-questions-throughout-the-French-Open.html


Kimmi Says:

“I am not playing well today”

oh, please..this is getting ridiculous!!!


Kimmi Says:

Skeezer, yeah Li Na will be a big story. Go Li Na


contador Says:

good morning, kimmi – go Li Na!

streaming sharpie v petko. petko is getting slammed. she looks tight. really missing the lines. i’m sorry but maria’s high pitched howl is grating on me and i don’t like to put the mute on watching tennis…

“auf, auf, auf” says andrea…allez petko! get on the board : /


Dory Says:

So this means we get to see little bit of Murray’s match live before Nadal’s begins!


Kimmi Says:

contador – i am on Li Na and azarenka, more commutative this one..

but it is time for me to go..so you guys enjoy the matches


Kimmi Says:

commutative ha-ha should be more competitive…


dari Says:

Buenos dias, kimmi, contador.
Petko giving it away right now, she needs to straighten up! I’ve been pulling for Maria before, but I don’t want petko going down like this. Tv is on that match so I can’t see li sand aza. Li na is terrific, but I cheer aza. Seems like a very right battle over there…


contador Says:

yap. maria is playing fast and beautifully. wailing and howling in high soprano…i have her winning in my wta bracket. it’s a wipeout.

i say the noise sounds like a hawk swooping down on prey.

guess i’ll switch streams or screams and see how Li is doing v vika.


contador Says:

bon jour or ”BJR”, dari! : )

stupid epsn2 doesn’t show FO live and i have to be at work when it tennis comes on. stream is okay, thank god!

maria is getting this over fast. she looks large and in charge.


Daniel Says:

MaShaa is on fire! I am rooting for a Schiavone x Sharapova final, would be a great contest of the two biggest fighters this tourney.


dari Says:

Of course, bjr, we are in Paris after all.
Maria such clean tennis on clay this year, error and df fests of the beginning of the year not in sight!
Petko with all the errors and Maria the calm one :)


contador Says:

me too, Daniel. not a sharpova fan but she’s playing like a champ. and schiavone is a favorite. her grunting and maria’s howling, lol…

but the contralto octaves are easier on my ears and frankie has variety in her noises. the screecher vika and howler maria just make their noise louder as they hit more vigorously.

and now that i’m streaming vika, i realize her screech has vibrato which makes it more tolerablle than the flat out howl. this is a good match for wta.

Li…..c’mon Li!


contador Says:

yeah, i think it will be hard for frankie to defend her title against maria. maria has been getting better and better. frankie struggled too much yesterday. but that’s how she wins. fight! fight! forza francesa!


Dory Says:

Daniel, Shara vs Schia! Have pity on our ears.


dari Says:

One bad serve game by aza gives li the match. That’s too bad both were playing quite well till then.


dari Says:

The SET I mean


contador Says:

Li is sharp today : ) takes the first set. c’mon, no lapses, Li. would be nice if the ladies matches finish in straights. like to see some atp before work…

but andrea has life in the 2nd. matt cronin says maria is not fond of the petko dance. famously commented after beating her that “maybe she’s tired from all that dancing.” that’s catty.


Daniel Says:

Haven’t realize the scream contest. Just watch the match with some soft music in the back!


contador Says:

well, some fans on the livestream chat find the high noises uh, appealing, shall i say…..hahahahaha…


Daniel Says:

No Masha, adv to seal the break and she misses 3 forehands in a row…


contador Says:

yes, i like the “auf, auf” andrea. but maria is pulling ahead i see. my wish could be coming true….Li is on the verge of winning if she can hold serve, which means i might see some soda v rafa match…


dari Says:

Ok, aza played great for five rounds then ran into li na! Looks like she has this one, and really how can you not like li.
Gotta go, have a good day folks.
Allez muzz


Dory Says:

Why did both wimmen’s matches have to end at exactly the same time? Now I can’t watch Murray beating Chela.


contador Says:

ciao, dari. have a good day yourself!

YAY! Li is so smart and tough. that’s what i like about her. she and frankie will be good. and sharapova is not going to have to watch the petko dance. match point. her fiance is “appealing”


Eric Says:

Congrats Maria Sharapova, Li Na…

I’m not sure Schiavone will be able to handle Maria. She had endless trouble with Jankovic, and Maria is basically Jankovic but five times better. And it looks like she’s playing at the tops of her ability, unlike Francesca. So… Hum. Well, they both have semis before then, anyway.

Now on to the men!


Eric Says:

I really thought Azarenka would blow past Li Na. I don’t really understand this Li phenomenon… it’s like if Gilles Simon were constantly getting to the last couple rounds in slams. Bizarre.


contador Says:

maria has to get past Li first. i really underestimated Li on clay.
i’d pick maria but rather have a schiavone v Li final. i think for ratings though maria rules.

time to go …have fun watching ppl.

rafa in 3. but GO Soda! and….GO Muzzzzzza


Lulu Iberica Says:

Congrats to Li Na and Sharpie! At this point I’ll be happy with whoever wins the women’s final. I really like all the remaining players. Schiavone is kind of my fave, but I’d like to see Maria win the career grand slam and get back in the big leagues as well.


Polo Says:

Petkovic’s match win dance, to me, is one of the most irritating sights in tennis. I find it to be a distasteful display while your losing oppenent is still in the court. I will be so happy if I never see it again.


Polo Says:

I have a feeling Sharapova can will her way to win the title. She can overpower Schiavone if they get to meet. And she won’t mentally give away any match the way Stosur did last year…and all of Safina’s majors finals.


Kimberly Says:

polo-agreed, i don’t like it either

GO MARIA. Now I root for Maria because I love her but for others think of it this way, yes she has won GS before but two months ago people on this site were saying she would never win another tournament, no one has ever come back from such an injury as hers, it would be amazing. However, Na Li is tough. I would be happy if Sharapova, Schiavone or Li won. NOT bartoli. I can’t stand her.

I have a strange sense of calm and whatever is to be about the Rafa match. If he loses he loses. My expectations are shockingly low. Maybe cause Maria and the Heat both pulled it in I can’t be too greedy. But VAMOS.


Eric Says:

Robin not off to the greatest start here. Rafa looks good. Hopefully he’ll shut his trap about how he’s not playing well after he wins here…


Eric Says:

First set to Rafa already, pencil it in, folks.


Van orten Says:

The thing i like about this nad vs sod match up is the fact that the sod has never failed to show up to every single encounter before the semis either vs nad or fed. He lost most of them but you consider him def. A dangerous player


Daniel Says:

So far Nadal has his best beggining of a match in the tourney.


Eric Says:

Chela is up a break against Murray? What is happening in this world???


Daniel Says:

Soderling can’t open the crosscourt with his forehand to push Rafa’s BH, and he is not serving loy’s of first. Thsi cluld be over quick.


Van orten Says:

Bye bye first set


skeezerweezer Says:

Sod’s start: Nervous
Sod’s play: Like sh!t

Rafa’s start: Less Nervous
Rafa’s play: I’ll take that


stu Says:

Agree about the Petko-dance. The girl tries too hard, like young Nole. Someone needs to tell her to chill.

And Soda, c’mon show some fight!


Daniel Says:

Soda is making too many errors.


Eric Says:

Soderling! Too bad he’s already down two breaks and there’s no way he’s getting them both back without eliciting Rafa the Bull’s comeback charge.


stu Says:

Wow Muzz is 1-4 down real quick!


Polo Says:

Does anybody really expect Soderling to beat Nadal? This match is already in Nadal’s bag before it even started. The only player who can give Nadal a close match is Djokovic.


Daniel Says:

Soda serve % is low. He has to unleash it.


Daniel Says:

Nadal is returning every serve back as well. He doesn’t missed a single serve in so far.


Eric Says:

Daniel, exactly. Robin is serving so poorly it’s making it easy for Rafa to get into his games (although even when he hits a great serve Rafa returns it very well, so maybe he’d be losing anyway). If he can start hitting harder and maybe even firing a few aces every now and then he’ll be a lot more competitive.

Polo, I don’t think too many people would have predicted Soderling to win, but there are plenty of other people who can give Rafa a close match. Maybe you’ve heard of John Isner, he took two sets off Rafa a few days ago. Soderling could definitely do better if he plays his very best tennis. So far he’s failed to do that.


mat4 Says:

The match isn’t over.


Daniel Says:

Finally, a sequel of first serves in and an ace to close the game.

Well Polo, I do. You noted one forehand Nadazl missed down the line by an inch. The old Nadal wouldn’t, so.. If Soda puts more pressure in this next game, Nadal may feel it, as he was 3-0 up and serve.


Van orten Says:

The wind again


mat4 Says:

And Rafa has not won still.


skeezerweezer Says:

@Daniel

So ture about the serve, AND the FH. If Sod can’t unleash that FH with consistency and power like he can, this match will be over in 3. imo this match is in Sods hands not Rafa. Rafa no matter how he feels, will keep the ball in play and not make mistakes. You have to take it to him. We’ll see if Sod can do it. Dang I gotta go work can’t watch either match have fun everyone….


skeezerweezer Says:

So true….


Eric Says:

Soderling is playing better in Rafa’s service games than in his own…


Eric Says:

Well, maybe I spoke too soon. Robin doesn’t seem to be going after every ball with 100%… also, he just hit a great shot but then was unprepared for Rafa to return it, so his own shot was way long. He needs to stay a bit sharper focus-wise.


Daniel Says:

Soa had all the chances in his last point, and once he didn’t tryed to wrong foot Nadal again, I knew he will lose the point. At least he is trying, if he polishes his game a bit we can have a match.


Eric Says:

Oof. A bit unlucky not to get to deuce there. But I’m encouraged – Robin is hitting fewer unforceds (only 6 in the past 3 games, on 7 winners) and generally looks better. But if he could find the net a bit less often those nice back-and-forth balls would work a bit better…


mat4 Says:

There was an interesting discussion on another forum about chess ratings in tennis. Since I played chess a lot, I saw it as a good opportunity to change the ranking system, and to compare players from different decades. Unfortunately, the calculation found on tenniswarehouse are a bit wrong: the starting point cannot be 1500 ELO for a top professional. It causes too much disparity between the players. But, basically, it could be an excellent system, since it values the opposition, not the place a match is played. A win against Roger in Basel has the same weight as a win against Roger in Cincy.


Van orten Says:

Sod dictates most of the points..lots of potential for improvement te next couple of games


jane Says:

Soda is hitting long too much, but maybe the wind?

Muzza coming back! Goooo Murray.


stu Says:

Even if Muzz lets Chela take this set, I don’t see him taking 3 now that Muzz is coming back…


Eric Says:

Soderling is finally playing really well.

Mat4, yeah, I’ve always thought it would be very interesting if they had an ELO system too. That would be a way to track people’s essential skill, like in chess… but I’m not sure it would be better than the ranking system we have now. After all the tournament IS important to the players and there are lots of psychological factors at work.


Daniel Says:

Good hold by Soda, now he passes the pressure to nadal to serve for the set. Soda is missing too many returns for my taste, he has to put more balls in play.


stu Says:

Muzz has more UEs than Soda, against a lesser opponent, in the same # of games :S


Van orten Says:

Haha murray is such a grinder..he is not that bad on clay actually


Daniel Says:

Why, Soderling didn’t tried to wrong foot him again, and worst, let the volley go?! He is losing too many of this points when in control.


Van orten Says:

Boooo for nadal..haha le francaise


Eric Says:

Soda easily could have won both of those opening points. A bad call on the volley and then just…ugh. If he hadn’t opened so shakily…


Van orten Says:

Le sod in control of every rally


Eric Says:

ugh, stupid Robin. That was a very winnable game there, just racking up the UEs….


Daniel Says:

Well, eventually the backhand breaks down. I think Djoko and Murray are the ones whom Backhands will never breaks.


Van orten Says:

Le sod misses too much.. Nad will be in trouble when sod stops producing ue. He contols the pace of every rally..sod needs to stay focused on his service games now


Eric Says:

I have high hopes for Robin in this set if he can just focus!!


Van orten Says:

The sod has decided to step inside the court and take all the risks necessary to win the point


jane Says:

Soda needs Magnus back; no one helped him more mentally on the court. But he is playing his usual game, unleashing. Just too many errors. He needs to come in and gobble up those short ones more often.

All that said, I don’t see what is so terrible about Nadal’s form! He looks fine as far as I can tell. Maybe just too much press hype.


stu Says:

whats wrong with the crowd, they’re booing both players?


jane Says:

Come on Murray, take the tiebreak.


Daniel Says:

Wow, Murray saved 5 set poins


Eric Says:

What the hell… I think Rafa bribed the clay in the court to show Soderling’s good balls out and his out balls in… jk, jk, but seriously, so lucky with the lines on the last 3 points!


Humble Rafa Says:

I am not in form. I never play well. I am going to lose.


Van orten Says:

Nad plays like always..he grids and counter attacks incredibly.the trouble begins when sod stops missing


Van orten Says:

Grinds


Eric Says:

van orten…soda has stopped missing as much as he can. What more do you want? He’s hit 18 winners on only 12 unforced errors since the fourth game of the first set. What’s actually happening now is NADAL is the one stepping it up. Going for winners and getting them.


jane Says:

Soda’s letting Rafa dictate. Just reacting. And he is not a fast enough mover to play defense with Nadal. Forget it. Nole would be doing better. :)


Eric Says:

ugh… Rafa has the luck of the champion. Soderling is completely outplaying him but still losing. This sucks… waah.


Daniel Says:

Nadal’s slice are killing Soda. But he should go to the net and finishes the points. He is too predictable for Nadal right now.


Van orten Says:

Too many errors ..its a pity we could have a match there but so nadal just needs to keep ball in play


jane Says:

Muzza wins set one! Great comeback. His confidence will be increasing. It is looking like we are going to have the top four ALL in the semis. When did that last occur? Anyone know?


sam Says:

Jane, US open 2008.


Eric Says:

Robin is playing terribly now… this match has become flat and boring.


Daniel Says:

See, Nadal’s slicing are impecable, seems he is controling the ball short or deep.


jane Says:

Daniel so true. In fact, in many of the rallies, you can see Nadal already moving to where Soda is going to hit it as he has figured out his patterns. Murray will mix it up a lot more and throw in the element of surprise.


Van orten Says:

I dont say nad is not playing good . He is rock solid. But in order to beat him u need to dictate the points and finish him off or as djoker miracously does: force him into erros by controlling the points


jane Says:

Thanks sam.


Daniel Says:

In this set soda was 1-0 15-30. In that game he could have and went for broke, Nadal miraculously painted the line 2 times and that was it.

Soda has to entre in that stage all or nothing, like Fognini was and see if everyhtiong cgoes in.


Eric Says:

Soderling hasn’t hit a winner for three games.


Daniel Says:

Jane,

And Murray tends to raze to the occasion when playing Nadal and Federer, so..


Eric Says:

Bye-bye, Robin, thanks for playing, maybe you should try not sucking if you want to win matches in the future.


jane Says:

Soda Errors! Point after point ending with them.


Eric Says:

This is just embarrassing now. Robin is barely trying and hasn’t hit a good shot since Nadal’s first service game in this set, which he should have won. When he didn’t, I guess he just gave up, because he is down, out, and soon to be gone for good.


Daniel Says:

Nadal is so full of s… He with all this weird anwers to the press that no teenis player ever in history says. And now he is destroying Soda like this, c`mon.

I am not playing to win the toruney my a…!:)


Eric Says:

Rafa just won 6 games in a row.


Van orten Says:

It s only over when its over


stu Says:

the commentators have been calling Soda’s game “horrible” repeatedly!


jane Says:

Exactly Daniel. Too bad about the ankle, but Muzza has a couple of days before the semi (I am assuming he is winning today) so he can be ready. He may not win but he will play better than Soda.

For all the talk, Rafa is playing very well. I hope he says so in his presser today! :) Robin is helping too, by sucking, but Rafa has been the aggressor in this match. Soda is not serving or playing as well as he did versus Simon, though.


Van orten Says:

Jane is right by the way …le sod can only win when all his unleashing works out..he cannot change tactics.murray should mix it really a little bit


jane Says:

^ I meant “exactly” re: your comment that Murray rises to the challenge of playing Fedal.


jane Says:

What Nadal will likely be happiest with is that he is not retreating behind the baseline.


queen Says:

BUHHHAAAAAA HAAAAA IN YOUR FACE TO ALL OF YOU NADAL HATERS. FU!!!!!!


Eric Says:

wtf how did that ball not bounce like three times before Rafa got to it? luck of the champion…


Daniel Says:

Well, Nadal has the devil in his body. What was that!! Can’t believe he got to that ball.


Daniel Says:

From the moment he steped into the court he was super foccused, and from the very first point where they exchange a lot of balls he was on.


Eric Says:

The way Soderling was playing in the first set (after the first 3 games) and the beginning of the second was good enough to beat Nadal. But he’s just completely fallen apart now. Match: over. If Rafa says one more word about how he’s not playing well, someone should punch him in the face.


Polo Says:

I am not a Nadal fan but if I were to bet on who would win the 2011 French, I would pick Nadal. Well, even if there is no betting involved, Nadal and the French Open always go hand in hand. If Federer can beat Djokovic tomorrow, which he very well can, Nadal wins the title which he very well can over Federer, not the other way around.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Second set bagel is due to Robin playing like garbage. He’s made so many UEs, but also at times just passively swatted the ball right back to Nadal when he could’ve crushed it. Nadal is playing better, but still hitting very short at times. If Murray is close to 100% he’ll be major trouble for Rafa. Raf has definitely slowed down, he’s getting wrong-footed a lot more often, and he is isn’t hitting with his usual precision. I just want him to win FO and Wimby and tie Borg’s records. Then Djoko can resume his domination, or Fed, or Murray, or JMDP or whoever can win USO.


Polo Says:

…and when Nadal wins the French, it will be 2010 all over again.


Eric Says:

Big test for Robin here. Maybe he can at least level this set and save some face.


Eric Says:

Sweet!


jane Says:

Agree Lulu: it is a combo of Nadal upping his form and Soda’s level being pretty good set one and horrible in set two. Nadal has a champions mentality on the court. He does not seem anxious today. :)


Eric Says:

I’m rooting for Soderling because I wanted something more interesting than just Rafa winning the French Open…again. I’m bitter that he totally just flubbed away that second set, which he NEEDED to win and should have been able to take. Even if he wins this third set there’s no way he’s winning sets 4 and 5 too. Rafa is just playing too well.


Dory Says:

I still firmly believe Djokovic will win the French. He’s not one to get bullied by Federer and Nadal any longer.


Dory Says:

Soderling’s game is based entirely on his first serve firing. Serve goes bad and he collapses against the top players.

Federer also doesn’t play well when his first serve % is low.


Eric Says:

Dory, Djokovic is playing superbly but I don’t think he can beat Federer and Rafa both in consecutive matches at the French. Of course, he can and I know many people are expecting him to win, but I think it’s just about as likely as Soderling winning this match was. Nadal is going to come out of this with a lot of confidence – straight sets win over a Soderling who actually mostly played excellent tennis outside that 6-game stretch in set 2. (Assuming Rafa wins this set, of course. Even if it’s 4, big deal.) And Murray might take him out but I quite doubt it. Even if Nole gets past Roger, Rafa will be all fired up in the final…


Daniel Says:

Murray served for the set and was broken.


Eric Says:

But we’ll see. :) It would be cool to have a new French champion.

It’s too bad Robin has been so up and down. I really thought he had a good chance to pick up at least two sets.


Dory Says:

I think Djokovic has overcome all his past troubles. It will be difficult to beat Federer (that match I’m not so confident) but if he beats Federer, he will beat Nadal in the final.


Daniel Says:

Does Soda knows how to drop shot?! Please, I just want to see one drop, form either player.


Daniel Says:

Now is Chela time to save a bunch of set points. Murray will serve for the set again, and he better do it.


Dory Says:

It is a monumental, impossibly difficult thing to reach No.1 in the age of Nadal and Federer. Winning a Slam is less difficult IMHO than reaching No.1.


Eric Says:

Daniel, yes, or volley for that matter…Robin’s net game has been terrible.


Van orten Says:

Le sod wouldbe far mor effective if he could volley ..


Eric Says:

Real Robin has shown up again… can he actually take this set? Go Robin!!


Dory Says:

OK Soda time to break just once. Please. Take 1 set at least.


Daniel Says:

OMG, Murray was leadin 5-1 in second set and now is 5-5 Chela serving.


Van orten Says:

Sod did one half volley drop shot..nadal won the point


The fighter Says:

Dats d rafa we want to see…..


Eric Says:

Wow… Murray is pulling a Schiavone, how many times will he need to serve for the set before he takes it?


Daniel Says:

Murray breaks and will serve for the second set for the third time??!?!


Daniel Says:

This forehand by Soda may cost him the match, it was a simple put away for a 40-15 lead.


Van orten Says:

No drop shot at all by sod. He wants to overpower nadal. Hit through him no matter the cost!!!!!


Eric Says:

Double bp for Soda!


Van orten Says:

Bring it on !!!!!


jane Says:

Dory “It is a monumental, impossibly difficult thing to reach No.1 in the age of Nadal and Federer. Winning a Slam is less difficult IMHO than reaching No.1.”

Although reaching number 1 pretty much entails winning at least one of the slams right? Otherwise, you are 100% right. Look what Nole has had to do to close the points gap on Rafa!!! It is amazing what Nole has done. No one but Fedal has been number 1 since 2004 – 7 years!

This is precisely why I so badly want to see Nole get number one. He has fought hard and consistently in the shadow of these two champs since 2007 when he rose up the ranks. He has also accepted the challenge and taken it on whole-heartedly. I am proud of him.

Now, Muzza, close it out!

Can Soda get a break?


Eric Says:

Damn it… Soderling was right to play aggressive on the first point but got overexcited. And nice serve from Rafa to save the second. Boo…


Daniel Says:

2 services in the line on BP, wow!


El Flaco Says:

The Sod is toast if he doesn’t break this game


Van orten Says:

Well u wanna win vs nad u gotta take the chances


jane Says:

Arrrgh Soda. Likely Fed or Nole or Muzza would have used this opportunity and got the break. Soda is not the best returner in the game.


Van orten Says:

Sod complaining bout tme play by nad ha ha ..


Daniel Says:

Wow, this is the best deffense from Nadal all year!


Van orten Says:

Sod was a little bit unlucky that nad again played his best when it most mattered


Van orten Says:

Its for him predictable defense sod has zero changes of pace in his game..he just crushes teh ball…


andrea Says:

soderling has to start mixing it up….slugging it out on the baseline with nadal is not the strategy. 2 points from defeat. might be too late.


Van orten Says:

Nadal stands 4meters behind baseline..


Eric Says:

What a brave hold! 0-30 down, Soda plays two great points and then fires two aces. Awesome!


Daniel Says:

Tiebreak!


jane Says:

Yeah, Nadal is definitely in fine form.

Soda played better this third set though, but realistically he should have had that break: he made some errors that canceled out chances, just as Rafa played some great defense to cancel out some chances. You have to be persistent versus Nadal of all players!


Van orten Says:

At least he is not losing without a fight. He has had lots of chances to win the set..nad just doesnt convince me with that defensiveness oh his


Van orten Says:

Sod keeps contolling 90% of the rallies


Eric Says:

Both players won the exact same # of points during the set proper (38)… Soda with the early minibreak here but it definitely won’t last.


jane Says:

Soda no double faults allowed! :(


Eric Says:

Double fault… oops.


Daniel Says:

DF and an UE on his first ball, after a fantastic point?!


Van orten Says:

Incredible ue by sod …wow


Eric Says:

Bye Soda.


Van orten Says:

Three in a row…


jane Says:

Soda has fizzled out. No pop in tiebreak.


The fighter Says:

vamos rafa


Van orten Says:

Why doesnt he come in there..no sense at all


Eric Says:

Wow, I can’t believe that DTL was in. Nice shot.


Van orten Says:

All the points played in tie break were on his raquet


Van orten Says:

No ue by nad in the breaker..chapoooo


Daniel Says:

Soda didn’t find one first serve in the tiebreak, choke after that DF.

Now Nadal just remind us why he has 5 titles in RG, and is favorite to win, maybe 50-50 versus Djoko in the final.


Eric Says:

ugh. What a sad match. That set was all Soda but he completely failed to grab it when it was his. At least maybe now Nadal will stop talking about how poorly he is playing.


jane Says:

Well, congrats to Rafa and fans, your boy is back. Soda didn’t play his best throughout, but Rafa played a very solid match overall.

Come on Muzza: finish up and we have The BIG FOUR in the semis! :)


Eric Says:

Jane, it’s true, at least now we will have the top 4 in the semis, always an exciting happening. Just shows how good they all are!


andrea Says:

looks like murray nadal, which should be a better battle than soderling.


Humble Rafa Says:

Eric,

I played very badly.


Eric Says:

HR, yeah, you sure did. That time you won six games in a row was just sad, you were shanking every other ball!


Daniel Says:

Murray made 2 return winners, 1 return that Chela just put the racket and another return for a short ball. He attack 4 serves in a row. Why doesn’t him do this all the time, insteado of just returning to the midle, and short sometimes?


jane Says:

Goooooooo MUzzzzza! Whack that forehand.


i am it Says:

Rafa’s averaging 27 seconds to serve makes this win (perhaps all wins at Slams) tainted. You are allowed only 20 seconds. That’s 7 seconds more than permitted by the rule. Imagine how many he seconds more he took when he faced break points or 15-30.

That’s that.

I said long ago that Murray’s first major would be on dirt and I was laughed at or dismissed back then. I am sticking to my prediction that it will happen, if not this year, some day.
Imagine Djoko vs. Murray RG final, 2 Slams in a row without Fedal. That would usher into a new era of rivalry, not between Djoko vs. Rafa, but Djoko vs. Murray. I would welcome it almost whole heartedly, though I’d like to see Djoko-Nadal for another year at least.


stu Says:

awww Andy looks so happy :)


jane Says:

YAY ANDY! I am so happy for him, to see him doing well at another slam! He is going to be good for Wimbledon and USO.


jane Says:

Hi i am it. :)


kriket Says:

>Dory Says:

>I think Djokovic has overcome all his past >troubles. It will be difficult to beat Federer >(that match I’m not so confident) but if he beats >Federer, he will beat Nadal in the final.

Agreed with you on that. If Đoković overcomes Federer, I think he can beat Nadal again. Federer looks good, question is can he maintain his game in a best of five against Đoko. I think Novak has the game to win the tournament, if he could play 100% in both matches. The only hope for Fedal is that Novak has a bad day at the office. I don’t think it would be a problem for him to win both Fed and Rafa consecutively. Only has to play at his usual level consistently.

Soda disappointed me. I thought he could trouble Nadal a bit more, not losing in straight sets.


Humble Rafa Says:

The British press are awfully quiet about Murray. I think they are waiting for him to lose, so they can jump on him.


Eric Says:

I know I am just being a sore loser… but I really hate these matches where it seems like the hand of god comes down and protects the other guy. Soderling played better than Nadal from game 4 to 12 and then again all through the third set but it was all timed wrongly and he missed all of his big chances. Very disappointing indeed.

Torn because I like Rafa but I also wanted something new to happen in tennis… maybe Murray can actually pull off the upset; he’s playing very streak-ily but his highs are very high indeed.


stu Says:

Don’t think Murray can pull off the upset. Not sure about Nole winning either. Another Fedal final will be a slap in the face of all those who have been heralding a new era in tennis. Including me, of course.


Eric Says:

Personally I would love to see a Fedal final. They haven’t had one in a slam since 2009 AO, right? And this Federer is playing really well. Especially if he can get past Nole. :)


tfouto Says:

Eric, when was the last time Federer won Nadal on a GS final?

If there is a Fedal final, Nadal will win no matter what… That’s the final i dont want to see…


Van orten Says:

Nadal played good but will i be enough to depend on his opponent errors. I guess the fact that the other three players left in tiurney are more diverse should make the last two rounds tricky for every one of them including nadal


jane Says:

When was the last time Fed beat Nadal in a slam final? Was it Wimbledon 2007?


El Flaco Says:

Daniel Says:
Murray made 2 return winners, 1 return that Chela just put the racket and another return for a short ball. He attack 4 serves in a row. Why doesn’t him do this all the time, insteado of just returning to the midle, and short sometimes?
————————————————
Murray will have to attack Nadal’s 2nd serve. He hit some viscious returns against Djokovic in Rome. I can’t remember when it happened in the match, but Murray hit 2 clean winners off of Djoko’s 2nd serves to break him.


Eric Says:

Jane, yup. The only finals they’ve played since then were FO and Wimby 2008 and AO 2009, all of which Rafa won. But in fact they’ve only played like 3 matches since AO 2009 as far as I can remember (Madrid 2009 and 2010 and IW or Miami this year… I forget exactly). So we are due for another real Fedal match and they are both playing well…


steve-o Says:

What was all that crap Nadal was spouting about not playing well enough to win the tournament, again?

It was the usual playing possum and sandbagging, as we see yet again.

One thing about Soderling, he hesitated to approach the net. He’s not sure footed and he knew Nadal would most likely pass him. Of course this hesitation led to his making mistakes and giving the game away to Nadal anyhow.


tennisfansince76 Says:

@Iamit. tennis needs a clock so the selective enforcement by the umpire of the time limit is taken out of it. the clock is set if it goes off and you haven’t served.. BAM! you lose the pt. doesn’t matter what your ranking or standing in the sport. that will fix the problem.Nadal and some others have gotten away with the delay tactics for too long. you are tired, breathing hard, nervous. i don’t care. serve the damn ball w/in the time limit. that should be part of the game. imagine in football if peyton manning or tom brady could take how ever long they wanted to snap a play off if they were sucking air or their nerves were a little shaky. it would be ridiculous. tennis should be like that too. there should be a timer and if the timer goes off and the ball hasn’t been served then there is a penalty whether you are Rafa Nadal or the 234 ranked player in the world.


tennisfansince76 Says:

at this pt i really wish Fed was in Nadal’s half of the draw. that way Fed could have a shot at Nadal in tyhe semis and if he failed there would still be Djoker in the final the put Nadal to sleep and prevent him from winning his 10th grand slam. now if Fed wins that puts Nadla in good shape. that is a conundrum for a fed fan like me. i want Fed to win win but i don’t know if i want that more than i want to see Nadal squashed like a grape in the final. i want to see him sucking air like he did in Miami.


Eric Says:

tennisfan, I’m not sure I agree. The 20 second limit is fairly arbitrary anyway, as is when to start the clock. Does it start as soon as a line judge calls a ball out? As soon as a winner bounces the second time? I think the umpires should be instructed to actually enforce the darn rule but automatically losing a point for a time violation would be really unpopular among the players, I suspect.


kriket Says:

tennisfansince76 join the club :)


contador Says:

just popping in to check scores : ( didn’t see men’s matches.

jane- obviously i’m not right that much, but about how it sounds like soda played rafa, i predicted it. *rolls eyes* soda started to get tight playing his last match. when he gets tight and loses his cool, his weapons don’t fire.

so glad murray is through to the semi final! great for him! i don’t think he’ll get too far with rafa but it will be more effort for rafa than robin was. Go Muzzzzzza!

semi prediction: (happy to be wrong)

rafa in 3 sets 2 of them tight. murray is a slow starter atm ; )

nole in 3

sharapova in 3 Li will fight but maria’s on a roll.

schiavone in 3 she’s i doubt bartoli can beat a fired up francesca but the italian will have some lapses, so giving bartoli a set. not sure how much the parisians cheer for marion.


kriket Says:

Eric they shouldn’t have to lose a point, just, say lose the 1st service and force to serve the 2nd. Smth like foot fault. That would be fair, more so than having us wait for Nadal to wipe himself with a towel from hand to toe, pull his pants out of his @ss and wind himself up for the “big serve”.


Eric Says:

kriket, maybe that’s a fair idea, I don’t know. I’m not sure why 20 seconds would have to be the best choice for time between points. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking 27 seconds to compose yourself before a big point. Receivers are required to play at the server’s pace, and that should also include taking a few extra seconds to get ready to serve if needed. Of course if Rafa is taking 40 seconds between every point it gets pretty boring and annoying for whoever he’s playing. Djokovic is (used to be?) the same way.


Eric Says:

Nole definitely will not win in 3 unless Roger completely fails to show up. It will probably be four sets, maybe even five, and I think Fed has a 49% chance to win.


i am it Says:

tennisfansince76,
They should have a device like they have one in the net chord, to detect time violation. Funny thing is TV commentators time the serve and mention it but let it pass as if no harm were done. Sad.

Hi Jane,
Allow me to put you on the spot.
What would you like to see happen better if both Djoko and Murray reach the final,
1) Djoko gaining the No. 1 with the French title?
2) Or,Murray winning his first major?
You don;t have to answer, not even ambivalently, if you are not comfortable.


jane Says:

i am it, let me put it to you this way:

1. More than anything, I want Nole to have number 1, so I want him to win against Fed first. That will be a tough task!
2. If Nole is going to also win the FO title, personally I would love to see him accomplish it over Nadal, because, let’s face it, this is Nadaland. And he has owned it for a long, long time. If Nole wins the FO by usurping Rafa, he will have cemented his name in the minds of everyone and there will be *no doubt* about his number 1 status. Even if it is a 5 set classic and Rafa narrowly wins, Nole will have made his mark.
3. If it does happen to be a Nole-Andy final, I will honestly and truly be happy no matter who wins, although i would like for it to be a competitive contest. On one hand, I would be happy to see Nole get his third slam, but on the other hand, I would be happy to see Nole get the number one ranking and Muzza win his first slam and get closer to number 3 in the world!

I hope to see Nole and Muzza, even others, like JMDP or Gasquet rise up and continue to challenge for, but most importantly, WIN some slams. Rafa and Fed have ruled the slam roost – owning all four slams – for longer than any other two players at once as far as I can remember. I would like to see more slam winners. I want to see Nole at number 1. Then I want to see him, one day, probably not this year, win Wimbledon. His goal – reach number one. His dream – win Wimbledon. Hope he can tick both of those off before he ever hangs it up.


Polo Says:

A Nadal-Federer final will be boring because it would be so predictable.


stu Says:

i am it, I know the question was addressed to jane, but in that situation I would be rooting for Nole winning his first French, because he has worked through a tough draw to get there, having been denied the opportunity many times by clay King Rafa. OTOH, considering it’s Muzz who will have beaten Rafa this time, maybe he would deserve it? Naah. Not with his draw up until the semis…


tfouto Says:

Yes, last time Federer won Nadal on a GS final was 2007 Wimbledon 4!!! years ago…


kriket Says:

Wiping yourself with a towel from head to toe, chosing “the right two” out of five balls, asking for the balls from every boy holding them etc. is not exactly composing for the service. Composing is when a player actually stands on the service line and prepares to serve out, everything else is wasting time. I don’t think Novak takes that much time before actually stepping up to the service line and preparing to serve it out.
And moreso, Nadal repeats the whole “procedure” before every service, be it the repeated 1st serve (net), be it the 2nd serve or whatever. Pay attention next time if you will, and see how much time Nadal wastes before actually stepping up to the service line and preparing to server, and how much it takes Novak to do the same.


margot Says:

Yay! Andy into his first RG semi :) I hope he’s happy tonight. :)So windy out there again though wonder if that effected his first serve which was awful and double faults, don’t see many of those these days :( Don’t think he’ll beat Rafa as Daniel(?) said he is blooming up and down at the mo and I expect Rafa to step up as the finishing post comes into view. But no pressure on Andy for this one so that must be good news.
darling i am it, I would love u to be right, but do I really have to wait another year for that elusive slam? BTW your garden growing sounds gr8. Today I found the sparrows taking the tops off my peas…the little b*****s ;)


contador Says:

just guessing how it goes, Eric.

nole is riding a wave of momentum and motivation. then, again if he begins to think ahead during the match and start thinking of rafa in the final, winning FO trophy, taking #1, there could be a hiccup and then it will be a battle for nole. and, whoever gets to the final. advantage rafa.

if i was fairy godmother i’d have given this FO to lamonf, would give wimbldon to murray, and us open to fish. ; )


Eric Says:

conty, of course. So am I. :) But the fact is that Federer seems to be playing his best tennis in years – laugh if you want, but I don’t think he’s looked this strong since 2007, or USO 2008, except for the post-USO hard court stretch at the end of 2010. Of course Djokovic is also playing one of the most remarkable brands of tennis we’ve ever seen, so it’s not like it’s a stupid prediction to call for Nole in 3. After all, he beat Rafa in straight sets on clay twice in a row, why shouldn’t he do it to Federer too? But I would be very shocked if Roger fails to win a single set. I don’t know if he can really play with Nole’s pace and power and precision for long enough to BEAT him but he will definitely make a match of it!


margot Says:

conty, an awful lot of pressure on Andy at Wimbledon, like i am it, I feel the first wont be there :(


Eric Says:

kriket, spin it however you want, but the only reason you care about the time Rafa takes to serve is that you think he uses it as an unfair way to disrupt his opponent. Maybe so, but it’s also just the case that he has a ritual for composing his mind and preparing himself for the next point. Rafa is actually mentally quite fragile, much like Sharapova. But (unlike Masha) he is very, very, very good at setting it aside and composing himself – but that’s why he needs all of his little rituals, like everything to be perfect and ordered exactly as he wants. And his pacing around in little circles after points, taking 30 seconds to serve, etc.. it’s all part of how he plays. Anyway, I agree that the umpires should enforce the timing rules (with appropriate warnings, of course) but it’s not like Rafa is some kind of evil monster for taking a few extra seconds.

(And Djokovic is famous for bouncing the ball gazillions of times before he serves. Not as much anymore, but back in 2008 or 2009 no one could talk about him without complaining about it…)


Alexander X Says:

I like Andy but let’s be realistic here, and the mission impossible discuss some other time. Andy had really hard time with Troicki and face it, he was extremely lucky.

You may believe in God, Moses, Mohamed or Buda, the one thing I will believe in after this FO is the fixed draw. I was expecting the best ever tournament so far I did not see one single game that I would remember and we are already in semi.

The listing of players that reach the 1/8 is just amazing and JMDP, Ferrer or Gasquet even Wawrinka burned so early. Well they accomplished the goal of the first four in semi.

The goal kills the games VIVA la France.

Hopefully we will see some good The Grand Slam quality of tennis in the next 3 matches.


Eric Says:

Alexander X, what are you talking about? There have been lots of amazing matches so far. Yes the top seeds have mostly just cruised easily, but Federer/Wawrinka was excellent, Fed/Monfils was exciting, Monf was inspiring against Ferrer, Djokovic and Delpo part 1 was a nail-biter, Gasquet/Bellucci, …


Kimberly Says:

I’m rooting for Federer on Friday—sorry Jane, Duro, Stu, Mila, Ben etc.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Rafa setup is in play. I never went for it.


Alexander X Says:

You do not need to tell me that you like Fed, keep going, it is just my opinion and I do not like tennis part-1 and part-2 special with top guys.


kriket Says:

Well, his mental fragility and his superstitious rituals are his own problems. It is rare to see someone so young yet so superstitious. Be it as it may, he shouldn’t be allowed to repeat his little rituals each and every time he’s about to serve out. It simply is not fair and is boring to say the least. He might as well go to his chair and take a few seconds to chill out, while he’s at it. It’s only a few seconds, so what, right?
I’m not saying he’s an evil monster, just a boring and usurpatious one, at times.


stu Says:

Understandable, Kimberly :)


Huh Says:

nadal played like nadal today. cant beliv dat i was realy happy to see him bullyin sod(thou i lik sod a hel lot mor than rafa btw), its a tradition lovers’ thing i guess. media has been extremely unkind n disrespectful to rafa with this silly talk of nole bein fave at RG n all that. its not like it was the real in-form nadal who lost to nole in madrid n rome in straight sets. but today aftet a good deal of time, i finally saw nadal hittin those trademark FHs(runnin or standin) n doin clutch servin to put himself out of danger. nadal’s beginnin to look dangerous again, like the king of clay again. if he’s able to up his level further even slightly(n this i think he will!), then good luck to whoever faces him(yes, its intended at dear muzza, nole n fed), they’ll need it badly here right now coz i saw glimpses of nadal of old today, it was majestic. And with this i dare say none might be able to stop him this year, FO’s his to lose. Cant think of anyone beatin him anymore after seein today’s match. TAKE CARE GUYS.


steve-o Says:

Huh, Nadal has a pattern of looking raggedy in the early going, only to get stronger and stronger as the tournament goes on.

In Rome he said he had some kind of virus in the early rounds, and he struggled in his first match. Then he easily destroyed Lopez, Cilic, and Gasquet.

Nadal’s been playing extremely well this season: starting with IW he has made six straight tournament finals and I think he is about to make a seventh. He didn’t do that even in 2008 or 2010.

But he has been overshadowed by Djokovic because Djokovic has beaten him in four straight Masters finals.


Alexander X Says:

I would rather implement the rule that players cannot play two matches on GS without 24-hour rest or time to relax physically and mentally. Monfils was not ready for FED or NDJ for Rafa at US-10


dari Says:

Congrats to Mr. Murray on his first RG semifinal! Good for him, finally doing his thing on clay, and on a less than perfect ankle :)
Will watch that later.
Raf/rob: looks like I didn’t miss much besides Rafa getting his form back. I wasn’t giving him too hard of a time about the press conference bad attitude, cause I know how Rafa does it, but I did think sod had a chance cause Rafa wasn’t playing superb and sod played well against gilles. Too bad that two time finalist couldn’t get a set!
it was weird what kimmi posted this am about Rafa saying he is not playing well, like a few hours before the match. Whack.
Alas, it is not a talking contest, it is a tennis contest, and the four best dudes in the world are in the semis!
Allez Rog
Allez Muzz


dari Says:

Also a props to JI Chela- qf of RG at age 31 in a tough field.


stu Says:

Ackk! Match is at 9 am ET! Better make sure tomorrow is a productive day at work!


marrisv Says:

Wow, we have the top four in the semis again…amazing and they have been most consistent since Andy’s breakout in 2008 USO…

Fed’s achievement is unparalleled in the consecutive semis and now the quarters….

2008 USO (since Murray’s breakout) – All 4
2009 AO – Nadal and Fed
2009 FO – Fed
2009 Wimby – Fed, Andy M
2009 USO – Fed, Rafa, Novak
2010 AO – Fed, Andy
2010 FO – Nadal
2010 Wimby – Nadal, Novak and Andy
2010 USO – Nadal, Fed and Novak
2011 AO – Fed, Andy, Novak
2011 FO – All 4


jane Says:

If Nole does play an excellent match and beat Fed, I guess he would be only the second player ever to beat Fed at three of the four slams, like Rafa has done?

However, this is clay, so it is different than the two hard court slams where Nole has won 3 times. Nole has played Rafa so much more on clay;it will be entirely different versus Roger. I think the 5 day layoff is good physically for Nole but it could add pressure mentally with more time to think about things: The streak, number 1, first FO final. Hopefully his team have helped and considered all of this.

In the ladies I hope for Schiavone vs. Sharapova – it would be a study in contrasts.


Duro Says:

Kimberly, 3:16 pm,

You don’t have to apologize to me ever for such an attitude. I find it to be a healthy one, opportune, in a sport spirit and acceptable. Only like this it makes sense for real fans.

As for me, I’ll be rooting for your fave! I have my own reason ;-).

Secondly, who ever I would root for, it will be him in the final, so why bother?


Eric Says:

Jane, I am sure when we hear from Djokovic next he will be making jokes about how much sex he and his girlfriend had during his week off…

But seriously, getting a free pass through the QFs must be one of the best things ever. It’s not like he’s going to be rusty after just a few days off, and it gives him a chance to really refresh himself physically before a very demanding SF and (potential) final…


Ace Says:

“Alexander X Says:
I would rather implement the rule that players cannot play two matches on GS without 24-hour rest or time to relax physically and mentally. Monfils was not ready for FED or NDJ for Rafa at US-10″

NDJ got lucky and had 2 days rest at US-10 due to rain. Get your facts right…


stu Says:

Duro, I am rooting for Rafa in the semis for the same reason as you :)


Duro Says:

Stu, we can’t get enough of it, can’t we, ha ha ha?


Eric Says:

For maybe the only time, Robin comes across as humbler and more sportsmanlike than Rafa in the interviews. Robin spends half of his praising Rafa’s handling of the conditions and his game, and Rafa spends half of his own interview complaining about the umpire calling against him in the third set when Robin broke his serve…


dari Says:

Hehe Eric, gotta throw in a dirty joke around here to loosen things up at tennisx before the semis!
However, I don’t think jelena is in town, so…


Eric Says:

“However, I don’t think jelena is in town, so…”

Ah, too bad for Nole. I love his endearing girlfriend-related jokes… he, Soderling, and Monfils are probably the nicest/coolest-seeming players in the top 10.


dari Says:

I like those jokes, too. They’re a lovely couple. She shoulda stopped by once she found out he had four days off- or its best he stayed focused.
He says she will be there for Wimbledon.
RG went by fats, guys. Cant believe semis already!
It’s been a good one


stu Says:

Love the semifinalists’ preview on the tennischannel –
http://www.tennischannel.com/news/NewsDetails.aspx?newsid=8987


jane Says:

Hey Kimberly, I agree with Duro. No need to apologize for rooting for Fed or whomever! We all have our faves and our reasons and that is totally cool. Even better, imo, if we can chat all the while without too much smack talk. ;)

Hey where is grendel? I haven’t read his postmatch summations in a few days. But what he predicted about the draw and Rafa’s progression through the draw has been bang on.


jane Says:

dari, it did go by fats. ;)

Stu, thanks for the link.


tfouto Says:

I hope Murray-Nadal is the first semi-final so i know who should i root for. :)


tfouto Says:

for the Federer-Djokovic of course…


kriket Says:

I have to say I didn’t like Soderling’s attitude, when he had beaten Nadal and played Federer in the final, the only time Fed won FO, if I’m not mistaking the occasion.
He basically folded, and didn’t show up for the final match against Fed. His attitude after the match was smth like, he was content he’d beaten Nadal in FO, and that Federer “was the best player in the world for him” as in, he wouldn’t wanna stand in his way of winning the FO. At least that’s what it sounded like to me, and Soderling definitely didn’t put much resistance to Federer in that match, so little it wasn’t even fun to watch how he laid himself down for Federer to walk over him and win the title. It was as Soderling was happy to do the dirty work for Federer, get Nadal off his way to the FO title, and basically hand him over the trophy himself. I mean, I understand that he was happy to play in the final, but he made it sound like that he was even more happy that Federer had finally won the FO. And that’s not the attitude I wanna see from a player. It wasn’t just pure courtesy, it was almost self-humiliating.

Just my two cents on that occasion.


Eric Says:

kriket, okay, but he did the same thing in reverse the following year. He’s proven that he can beat both Rafa and Roger at the French, which is more than anyone else can say for at least a few more days. I think it’s probably just that in 2009 Roger was playing well and Rafa wasn’t that great, and in 2010 Rafa was playing really really well and Roger wasn’t…

Although I agree that sometimes it seems like he doesn’t necessarily have the insatiable desire to prove himself that Rafa (say) has. It’s like he doesn’t want to commit lese majestie by taking anything really important from anyone… but at least he played a really good Masters tournament in Paris last year, so he has proven he can win big tournaments and not just reach the finals!


kriket Says:

Eric, I never said he couldn’t, on the contrary. And I like Soderling, he seems like a nice guy, but my point was I’m disappointed by that attitude from a title contender. He shouldn’t be all happy that the other player won over him, calling him his idol, basically making it sound as if he didn’t really want to stand in the way and deny “the best player in the world” the satisfaction of winning the carrier slam.
I’d very much want him to “stand in the way” and give it his best shot, instead of being content to enable his idol to win his much desired FO title.


Eric Says:

jane, sam, actually last time that all top 4 seeds made the semi at a slam was the 2006 French Open (Roger, Rafa, Nalbandian, Ljubicic). And before that, the 2005 Australian Open (Fed, Roddick, Lleyton, Marat). In 2008 at the US Open Andy Murray was the no. 6 seed – not in the top 4. (Ferrer was the 4th seed then, but he was upset in the third round by Kei Nishikori.)


jane Says:

Eric, whoa, it’s been a while then. Thanks for clarifying: the seedings /rankings have shifted around a bit, even though it’s seemed like Fedal, Andy and Nole have been top four for a long time.


rogerafa Says:

tfuto,I am sure you will root for Djokovic if Nadal beats Murray in the first semi-final. I think you have raised a very interesting point especially from Federer’s perspective. If the first semi is Murray-Nadal and Nadal goes through, I am not sure it will have zero effect on Federer’s approach in the match against Djokovic especially if Djokovic were to, say, take a two sets to love lead. Federer has had so many disappointments against Nadal that, beyond a point, he is bound to see the futility of it all. Playing another best of five final against Nadal on Chatrier is not something he is likely to relish.

OTOH, if Murray does pull off the improbable and beats Nadal in the first semi scenario, there will be an extra bit of spring in Federer’s step and, I daresay, in Djokovic’s too even though he is the hottest and the most confident player today. The match could then turn out to be an absolute cliffhanger.

If Fed-Djok is the first semi and Fed does the improbable and beats Djok, Nadal will think that the trophy is totally on his racket and he may end up routing Murray. In case of a likely Djoko win, Nadal will probably get just a bit nervous although he will most likely win comfortably. It is a pity that Murray is not hundred per cent. He could potentially have given all the other three players a big headache had he not injured his ankle.


skeezerweezer Says:

anyone know the status of Andy’s ankle? Better worse same?


Kimberly Says:

Jane when is the hockey match on? we want to watch it!

Duro, Jane, Stu….I should be a braver fan and want Novak to win but I don’t. A real champion would want to play the person who beat them four times to set the record straight but as someone who has played matches, leagues etc I can tell you you always want to play the player you think you will get the W against.

However, when you lose to a worse player when you know you played like crap and no business losing you are ITCHING to play them again to set the record straight. But that is not the case here.

Skeez, Kaiser has gone down to the key to play his dubs match. Hoping for a W. No livescores for it!!!!!!


Kimmi Says:

azarenka was looking invisible in this tournament and then she met Li Na. what does that tell us…it tell us that you are only as good as your opponent lets you play.

I fear it will be tough for fed against nole.


jane Says:

Kimberly, it starts in 50 minutes … ahhhhh. The entire city is getting nervous. Even the hockey gods are; there was just a huge crack of thunder. I am not kidding. :)


Kimberly Says:

we will have french open tonight on one tv and hockey on the other and alternate. watching marias replay right now, shes really striking the ball nice.


skeezerweezer Says:

@K,

Ur not gonna watch? Those courts are Clay, right?


Kimmi Says:

Congrats to muzza.

It will be do or die on friday. attack attack attack. good luck :)


Kimberly Says:

Yes, not his best surface. I am home with the kids, babysitter left at 7. Didn’t want to ask her to stay tonight because I am planning on her coming tomorrow night assuming the prices go down a little for the heat tix on Craigs list.


marrisv Says:

Congrats to top 4. On to blockbuster semis…


blank Says:

Well done Rafa and Andy. Hope Andy is fit and give Rafa a run for his money.

Exactly a month from now, the finalists at Wimbledon would have been decided. It’s going to be an action packed next 1 month! My bet is top 4 will again reach the final 4!


Kimmi Says:

skeezer – andy murray re: his ankle

“It’s definitely getting better with each day and playing a match on it. You gain confidence more with the movement each time.

“I still, at times, wasn’t moving great. I was moving a lot better forward today, sideways could still definitely be better, but I felt it a few times. Nothing major, but I just need in the next couple of days to do all the right things again. A lot of treatment, a lot of icing, and I’m sure it will get better.”


dari Says:

jane- saw a moment of hockey on the tv before i left, good luck to your boys!
in the commercial break they had some bam pow pop get ready for men’s RG semi final on NBC moment, i imagine for a tennis and hockey fan it was a pretty hype moment!
i know very little about hockey, but in college i worked the penalty box and it was scarry!
g’luck!

speaking of TV, is it really only 3 hours coverage and a delay for the semis on NBC? what are we supposed to do? live stream a grand slam SEMI? the world shouldn’t come to that, especially since we have HD now, c’mon.


jane Says:

Thanks dari: period one, no goals, too many penalties.

I am hoping TSN2 will have better coverage of the French Open semis than 3 hours!


Kimberly Says:

Skeezer–Kaiser won his dubs match 6-2 6-1


skeezerweezer Says:

@K

Totally awesome! Please pass on my congrats! Sounds like-a-spankin!


skeezerweezer Says:

@kimmi thanks for that have been out of tennis touch for the day mostly, so appreciate you findin that. Glad to hear he is gaining confidence on it, that is the main thing :)

BTW, don’t think I don’t see you are “Queen” of Bracket challenge….hehe


Kimberly Says:

Jane what’s up still 0-0 I see


Kimberly Says:

Yay! Canucks score, jane must be happy, only 18 seconds left.


jane Says:

Woooohoo posted on the other thread Kimberly. A game of great goal tending both teams, but what a finale! :)


Kimberly Says:

Me and my family are the court jesters of bracket challenge

Top story: Andy Murray Reportedly Engaged To Girlfriend Kim Sears, Makes Coaching Changes
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ATP - Nov 24 WTA - Nov 24
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
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6 Andy Murray6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Tomas Berdych7 Eugenie Bouchard
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9 Marin Cilic9 Angelique Kerber
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