2011 ATP Summer Schedule: Where Will Nadal, Djokovic, Federer Be Playing?
by Sean Randall | July 15th, 2011, 6:33 pm
  • 52 Comments

In the “dead zone” period on the tennis calender, this is a good time to preview what’s ahead on the ATP hardcourts this summer.

Fortunately, there are no major injuries to the top players to speak of. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray have all scheduled smartly this season and should be fully rested and healthy this summer.

And when you add the return of Juan Martin Del Potro, David Nalbandian, Lleyton Hewitt and the hopeful early recovery of Milos Raonic, who had hip surgery but could be back in mid August, we should have a great, competitive summer of tennis.

Here’s the US Open Series-ish calendar and the top/notable names at each event (subject to change):

ATLANTA – July 18
Mardy Fish
John Isner
Tommy Haas
Lleyton Hewitt
Grigor Dimitrov

LOS ANGELES – July 25
Juan Martin Del Potro
Mardy Fish
Fernando Verdasco
Jurgen Melzer
Grigor Dimitrov
Marcos Baghdatis
Lleyton Hewitt

WASHINGTON – August 1
Andy Roddick
Juan Martin Del Potro
Gael Monfils
John Isner
Mardy Fish
Fernando Verdasco
Jurgen Melzer
Lleyton Hewitt
Fernando Gonzalez

MONTREAL – August 8
Top 40 Players
Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer
Andy Murray
Milos Raonic (returns?)

CINCINNATI – August 14
Top 40 Players
Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer
Andy Murray

WINSTON SALEM – August 21 (NEW EVENT)
John Isner
Mardy Fish
Ryan Harrison
Alexandr Dolgopolov
Nikolay Davydenko
Marcos Baghdatis
Bernard Tomic

US OPEN – August 29

A few quick thoughts. The Big Four – Djokovic, Federer, Nadal and Murray – seem content on playing just the two weeks in Montreal and Cincinnati. That guarantees at least two of the guys will enter the US Open without a summer title (I think Djokovic gets at least one, Murray the other?).

Speaking of the Big Four, a healthy-again Juan Martin Del Potro should really make his presence felt. The last time he played the US summer season he went on to win the US Open. His summer begins in Los Angeles and if he gets hot again look out!

Mardy Fish has himself a busy summer ahead. Fish played Davis Cup last weekend and after a quick restbit this week he’ll play every tournament starting in Atlanta through the US Open! Fish has a lot of points to defend from last summer (Atlanta title, Cincinnati final, US Open R16) and I wonder if burnout will hit him by the time he gets to New York.

Along with Fish, I’ll be interested to see how well and how motivated Andy Roddick is after that tough Davis Cup defeat. Roddick opens his summer in a very deep Washington field.

And it’s good see some of the young European stars like Grigor Dimitrov making himself available for the U.S. events. The 20-year-old will be in the main draw at Atlanta, Los Angeles and Washington.


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52 Comments for 2011 ATP Summer Schedule: Where Will Nadal, Djokovic, Federer Be Playing?

sar Says:

I hope Nole wins Cincy this year finally!


Cherry Says:

I can’t wait for the next tournament to start. Thank you for the summer schedule preview! http://www.tennisround.com


jane Says:

Thanks for this Sean. sar, I agree that it would be great if Nole could win Cincy (although, have many Cincy winners gone on to win the USO…? ;)). If he gets just one more Masters title this season he breaks the record (now a three way tie with Fed and Rafa I think) of most Masters titles won in a season. The record is four, which he alreasy has. Murray is defending Canada, but he can really make a splash in terms of points, maybe even his first slam (?!) at the USO!. A lot of guys can do well pointswsie, like Delpo, Raonic, Tomic, Tsonga, maybe even Gasquet? Guys like Hewitt, Nalby or Roddick could always surpise too. Not sure about Soda or Berdych but it is definitely possible. Hard courts are loaded with potential contenders and esp dark horses.


Humble Rafa Says:

I hope I don’t lose to Nole more than 5 times before the year is out. Either I can beat him……well, I am on the other side of the draw, I will just lose before the final with a lame excuse injury. Easier than beating a machine. I will leave that to The Maestro to figure it out.


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic with one? Who’s going to beat him in the other?


Kimmi Says:

ben – so true. nole is the man of the moment. he could go on and win the whole american hard court for that matter

C’mon fed. beat him again but don’t go and lose to rafa pls :)


Kimberly Says:

My honest gut opinion is I think Djokovic will get Montreal and Federer will get Cincy. Cincy is too hot and fast even for the new Nole, unless he gets all night matches I will be surprised to see him win. Nadal has a shot at Montreal and about Zero chance on the fast Cincy. He always does terrible there. Murray is a contender in both. I like a Rafa/Novak final in Montreal and a Federer/Fish or Murray final in Cincy.

I played at 5pm and its just brutal on hot hard courts. CLay courts (which I hate) are much cooler. And Cincinatti is so much hotter than here, with no breeze whatsoever. Everyone was complaining last year. I remember Murray went and complained that it was so hot and he was getting all day matches, so they rewarded him with another day match against Fish (who loves the heat)which he subsequently lost.

So someone like Delpo will need to blast the opponent off the court. If he gets into a very physical match he will likely wilt. But that court plays so fast that maybe he will be able to keep short points.


Kimmi Says:

delpo is back to where he had his most success. good luck to him.
happy i can start watching some live matches after work….love american hard court season :)


jane Says:

Kimberly, old Nole has been in the Cincy final twice, so I don’t think it is too hot and fast for new Nole. ;) Hope he can win that one eventually, even if not this year.


Golf is barely a Sport Says:

Call me crazy, but I think Federer should play LA. No real humidity, but it would be a chance to get some wins and maybe take a title without having to dig too deep (exception if he plays JMDP).


jane Says:

Kimberly, Rafa has been to the semis as least twice in Cincy, hasn’t he (?), so not too “terrible”! But I do agree that Fed tends to do consistently very well at Cincy. Murray is a contendor at both, for sure, as he has won both. Of the big four, Rafa and Nole have not won Cincy, but they have all won in Canada. Delpo has come close in Canada hasn’t he? Finals or semis? Anyhow, who knows. Lots of possibilities on hard.


jane Says:

Golf is barely…, and he can hit with Pete in between matches? ;)


karthik Says:

i think rafa is montreal champ,but not cinci…if he plays better, than there is a new champ in cnci..


Kimmi Says:

rafa has to hope for someone to take out nole..in ANY surface, just like federer has to hope for someone to take out rafa..ha-ha, definitely a vicious circle..


Skeezerweezer Says:

Ladies,

Like the chat here about the preview opinions, good stuff from all!! Enjoyed the read.

Me still going through Milos withdrawals :(. Was excited to see how he would do in the Summer season. He is/ was a great addition to the tour.

The ? to me is Rafa. What cooking stew are they coming up with to deal with the HC guys, Delpo, Fed, Novak? Clearly he is one of the top HC players now, is has to be shaken with Nole’s dominance as of late, and has said so. That said, Unc Toni and Rafa have come up with successful adapting stuff in the past to compete on non-clay stuff, so bring it Rafa!!

For Novak, hope he doesn’t tinker too much, or not at all.. If it’s not broke, no need to fix it. if he does this, IMO his incredible run continues, no doubt. IMO he needs to keep playing, don’t rest too long or play too much, just jeep the train rolling.

Fed has been consistently top notch good, but not clutch in the bigger matches overall. He will be there, and someone will have to have a great day still to beat him. He can beat anybody, but he needs to find that higher gear in the big matches that he had a few years back.

Of all the top 3, Rafa has to come up with something different to get his reign back. He has proven he can, will he?

It will be an interesting Summer, bring it!


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer has done consistently well in Cincy? Until last year his record was pretty much: Odd years = win, even years = first or second round loss. Last year was a legitimate anomaly to his pattern. But based on it, he should be winning it this year.

But again, it would take a masterful performance by anyone, Federer included, to beat Djokovic. Lets not forget Dubai is one of the fastest hard courts around and Djokovic had his most comprehensive win over Fed there this year.

And, I guess this goes out to anyone, really, what is Nadal going to or supposed to do regarding Djokovic? This has been talked about before, but I’d love to hammer this point down. Djokovic isn’t a Blake, or Berdych, or Youzhny who basically never change their game ever. Djokovic, like Nadal, is always working to improve and do things better and maybe even differently. Nadal, seriously, has transformed his game as much as humanly possible. He’s an all court player and it’s taken him years to get to this point. His 2010 didn’t happen out of nowhere. Federer, maybe not quite as visibly, has improved over the years, especially on clay, and yet he still has a match up problem with Nadal no matter how close the matches (even though they’re actually becoming more lopsided than ever). So what, Nadal and Toni are going to magically cure Nadal’s match up problem with a guy who’s having a better year than anyone ever? Fat chance, especially considering the season we’re going into.

This really leaves Murray. Del Potro is another guy who doesn’t match up well with Djokovic. He can play him close, but he’s not consistent enough. Murray, however, well, I don’t know. He can, he can’t, I don’t know what to say about this guy anymore. He’s just gonna do his thing, that’s about all I can say.


Skeezerweezer Says:

^pretty much what I was thinkin Ben…this season it is not who is gonna take down Rafa or Fed, but who’s gonna take down Novak? He is the current proven King now, no doubt.


grendel Says:

Agree with your remarks, Ben. Especially, Djokovic is no Blake etc, whom Nadal can calmly work out before slipping him into his web. You’ve left out one thing – the intangibles (form, mood,sheer happenstance…..)


dari Says:

I will call you crazy, Golf!
Fed doesn’t just need a title- especially an American 250.
Getting the mojo going in a smaller tournament may be a good idea for a younger player, but not for a player like fed pushing thirty in a few weeks. His hurdles are (mostly) with the top notch players and guys he can’t break in the clutch.
He needs to figure that out on bigger stages, he CAN, I wish he WILL.
As far as nadal, he said it himself, he is going to have to hammer things down mentally more than anything else. A USO-2010-type serve would help, but like last year, we won’t see that in the warm-ups- he will keep that gun hidden till USO!
Meanwhile novak is resting and improving as well, so who knows what will happen.
I would love for Fed and Murray to be greater factors, though, as exciting as the nadal- novak match up is.
This time of year, things are slow on the tour, but in the parks, etc, people are into the full swing of their games and USO will come to the city just in time!
I find it hard to believe that Juan Martin is playing both LA and Washington?
When I found out he was going to LA I cancelled my plans to wash because I was sure he wouldn’t be there.


Brando Says:

I think Murray and federer are the only 2 players who can beat djokovic atm. Federer, if he’s on and the chance is there- he’ll take it. Murray, he will create the chance but will he take it is the eternal Murray question. Rafa, can see him beating the others but djokovic doubt it. That said his 2 closest matches 2 djokovic this year have been on hard courts, his serve should be easier to hold on hard courts than clay at least so who knows he could do it


jane Says:

dari, I think Delpo played those events in 2009, and he also won the USO. Ido recall he ended up pulling out of Cincy though.

Ben, Fed has won Cincy FOUR times (Canada two?) so to me that is pretty great. Maybe I shouldn’t've used “consistently” but my point was that he has an excellent record there.

Rafa’s USO 2010 serve was tough for anyone to break including Nole, but now that Nole’s own serve is functioning better (it could still be improved), he won’t face as many struggles holding his own.

Re:Murray margot said it best. He needs to keep his first serve percentage high (keep improving his second) and fire that forehand. Also, stay positive. The rest is there.


Ben Pronin Says:

Jane, no question about Federer’s record in Cincy, but it’s also weird in that it’s not a given he’ll do well there. And he’s talked about this odd pattern, too. I think it’s that the surface makes it a crap shoot where either your game really clicks or it’s impossibly to get any sort of rhythm.

Nadal has made the semis there twice, so given the opportunity he will win, but will he have the opportunity? Aka, will Djokovic, Federer, and Murray lose before getting to Nadal. I think all 3 of them should be favored over him on this surface.

But, again, if Djokovic isn’t going to win these events, who’s gong to beat him?


Ben Pronin Says:

Did everyone already forget Djokovic was the bagel machine on hard courts this year?


Tom Welsh Says:

I think you’ll find Del Potro is not playing the Legg Mason this year. Very wisely, he is giving himself a short rest between LA and Montreal – last time he played Montreal he got to the final and was pretty much dead even with Murray until he ran out of gas in the third set.

Besides, it’s Nalbandian’s turn to win Washington again. Delpo won in 2008 and 2009, Nalbandian won in 2010 so he has another shot coming this year.


Kimmi Says:

djokovic – montreal
djokovic – cincy
djokovic – USO

too bad federer spoiled his party at RG..he would have been going for a calender slam :)


dari Says:

Err bagel and breadstick served Swedish style to Berd?!
Jane you were right, JMdP did play LA and DC back to back but in 2008.
It seems like a lot of tennis to me!
Don’t see him on the players list at DC right now though. Even without him it is a good line up, I may scoot down to thee if it moves me.
Anyway, hope fed can make it 9 straight years winning a slam!


jane Says:

Dari you are right! :) I guess when Delpo wpn the USO he played only Washington (won) and Canada (final).

Just realized Murray has won Canada two years in a row now. I see him as having an excellent shot at at least one of the Masters titles and possibly the USO. I think his first slam will be the USO or next year’s AO.

I guess Fed has a lot to defend from here on out, especially post USO, so if Murray gets on a roll, there is a chance he could pass Fed? A lot depends upon…. (?)


madmax Says:

Jane,

you’re right. Fed has a lot of points to defend and there is every chance that should Murray do exceptionally well, he will over take him on his way up.

Fed could very well end up no. 4 by the end of the year. How long has it been since he was No.4? I suppose one has to be realistic.

Sounds strange.

I would hope though that he hasn’t been resting on his laurels these last few weeks (he did have davis cup, and though he lost the first set from an inspired opponent, he went on to win with his singles rubbers, as well as doing very well in his doubles with Stan).

Now I understand he is on a beach some where for a week, before he moves on to USA.

I would think that fed is still very much fully focused for this year, particularly with 2012 looming. This is his clear aim long term, so I can’t see him messing about inbetween letting these opportunities slip through his fingers. So the training will be hard and fast for sure.

I read something recently from Pagnini about Roger (within the last 2 weeks) about this and his training regime, which I will try and find – I’m really sure that Roger won’t let up this year, despite what happened at Wimbledon. That’s why I feel really positive about his game.

Rafa has points to defend too, so it’s pretty much a free for all for no.2, 3 and 4.


Julian Says:

Djokovic is the big candidate for Montreal, Cinci and the USO. I can see him winning at least two of these tournaments. However, I can’t see him winning on clay and grass consistently in the next 2/3 years.

It’s a real vicious circle. Djokovic dominates Nadal, Federer dominates Djokovic and Nadal dominates Federer. I think that the draws will have a big influence on these tournaments.

Murray and del Potro can always give you a surprise. Someone mentioned Fish, I don’t think he has a chance..


jeanius Says:

I suppose the WTA season is over in your opinion. No upcoming tournaments of interest? No excitement in the fact that the top ranked players are vulnerable? Where is your sense of adventure? And your sense of your audience?
A poor commentary because it is so one sided and sexist.


Kimmi Says:

Julian – federer does not really “dominate” djokovic. this year out of 4 matches they have played djokovic has won 3. I would not call that domination from federer.

federer has a chance of beating djokovic but he has to played very good through out the match. That RG win over djokovic is just an example of what federer has to do. Serve well and the rest of his game has to be on. If federer wins it will be a very close match that could have gone either way. while Djokovic wins over fed this year were almost one sided imo.

I hope federer can play that great again for the whole tournament, not just one or two matches… preferably at USO.

Nadal matches against djokovic however are becoming more one sided as the time goes. Close match in IW and Miami, straight set demolition in madrid and rome. no contest at wimbledon.


sumadinac Says:

I don’t see a 3 way domination circle between Fed, Nadal & Nole. Fed & Nole matchup is even at best with Nole getting the upper hand lately. Fed played a terrific match at RG (which he has to do in order to beat Nole) but he hasn’t shown ability to sustain that level of play last couple of years.


Ben Pronin Says:

Seriously, why do people assume Federer dominates Djokovic based on one match? Fine, Federer “dominates” Djokovic on clay, then Djokovic “dominates” Federer on hard. Seriously?

Their matches can go either way due to the match up. It’s not as simple as Djokovic-Nadal or Nadal-Federer, imo. It’s really based on the day. Sometimes it looks like Federer simply can’t break through Djokovic’s defense. Other times it seems like Federer just has too many options that Djokovic can’t cope with.


Kimmi Says:

federer with too many options is what i am hoping this USO. he needs one of those Grand slams this year and guess what, there is only one left.


brucenhk Says:

Is it time for Roger Federer to retire? I hope not, but I found the following to be very amusing: http://blogs.forbes.com/bluecarreon/2011/06/30/alternative-careers-for-roger-federer/


Brando Says:

Federer won’t dominate djokovic as many have pointed out here, but neither will anyone else against this djokovic. But he and Murray do have the best chance against djokovic since they have the most options available to them in terms of style of play. Federer has the winning pedigree and the attitude needed in order to beat djokovic, and in a best of 5 I think he will always be a threat. Murray has the return game and change of styles that can genuinely threaten djokovic. I remember djokovic saying during wimby that tomic’s style is the worst one for him, and murray’s is the most similar to that one. But with Murray it’s all about whether he is there mentally speaking.


Aravind Says:

I think in the hardcourt season, with the exception of the US open, some new players will win some titles. All the top 3 players have played too many matches already. Nadal is 58 matches, Federer close to 50 and Djoker a similar number. This is a very high number of matches.

1. Nadal has always played more matches in the first half. This year, he has been losing all finals to Djoker.
Historically, he has not dominated the latter half of the season and even last year when he won US open, he cooled off till the WTF.
Expect Nadal to be in the finals of Montreal. I think Cinci is his least favored. I expect a deep run for Rafa this year again at US open, but he is not going to dominate the rest of the season.

2. It remains to see how much more perfect Djoker’s season will be. Unless he is knackered from a gruelling 5 setter in the SF and having to play a finals the next day, I think he is going to win the US open this year.
He is going to cool off after that until the WTF. I think he will want to solidify his position as a number one and make a statement at WTF. Djoker has extra motivation this year. I think he will be a clear number one by the time WTF starts, but will want to win it this year.

3. Federer is going to have a tough time to hold on to his number 3 position. He has the most points to defend. His two titles in Cinci and WTF are going to be extremely difficult to defend. I think Federer drops to number four at the end of the year. With regards to US open, extremely unlikely for a 30 year old to win back to back 5 set matches against two of the top 3.

4. The beneficiary of Federer’s drop will be Andy Murray. Andy has played below 40 matches this year and entering the period of the season where he is most comfortable. I think he is going to defend one of the masters for sure and will definitely improve upon his US open result from last year. It will be touch and go with Federer for the ranking points and it may come to the WTF between them.

5. Other players
- Del Potro. He has played a lot of matches, but he is young and needs the matches to get into the groove. I think he will win WA and LA tournaments if he enters both and will probably withdraw from Cinci after making a deep run in Montreal(similar to his 2009 season). He is a dark horse to win US open, but needs some lucky scheduling. He is not going to beat Djokovic and Nadal back to back on subsequent days(yet). I wont be surprised if he takes out one of the top four before the semis. He is that good.
After falling to ranking 457, he looks set to qualify for the WTF. What an incredible achievement that will be.
- Tsonga seems to have found his second wind this year. His big game should work well on the faster surfaces this year.
- Soderling is going to fall from his heights of last year. I think eventually he will be replaced in the top 5 by Del Potro(his rightful position IMO). Same for Berdych


Nina Says:

I don’t know what will happen but the American hardcourt season is more exciting than ever. I can’t wait for it to start. I think Nole will dominate and hopefully win Cincy and USO. That would be incredible to say the least.


madmax Says:

Jane,

this was the recent interview I read from Pierre about Fed’s training this year.

Why age is no barrier for Roger Federer
swissinfo.chSwiss

Tennis star Roger Federer, in a new role as underdog to both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, is looking to win the French Open for the second time after 2009.

On the eve of the Roland Garros tournament in Paris, Pierre Paganini, Federer’s physical trainer, tells swissinfo.ch that the holder of a record 16 grand slam titles is still at the peak of his form and reveals some of the reasons why he has succeeded for so long.

Paganini, 53, has toned the muscles and legs of 29-year-old Federer for more than ten years. He follows him for about 140 days a year and also works with Swiss number two Stanislas Wawrinka, seeded 14 in Paris.

Federer, seeded third, has a tough first match against Feliciano Lopez, ranked 41 in the world. Although the Spaniard has never won in eight encounters, their most recent match – in Madrid earlier this month – involved Federer having to save a match point before eventually winning 7-6, 6-7, 7-6.
swissinfo.ch:

How is Federer’s physical form before Roland Garros?

Pierre Paganini: He is going from strength to strength. His game and legs are better than last year at the same time [12 months ago Federer lost in the quarterfinals to Robin Söderling, ending his six-year streak of consecutive grand slam semifinals].

After the Monte Carlo tournament, he trained intensively for two weeks. During the season, physical preparation can be divided into three periods. There’s one in December, one between February and April, and the third in summer. Sometimes there’s a fourth in the autumn. This helps Roger sharpen up constantly for key moments.
Each period lasts for a minimum two to three weeks. The emphasis is on the fundamentals at the physical and tennis levels. The different types of training are spread out appropriately so that he can deepen [his knowledge of tennis] and recuperate from this work, and especially put this into best practice on the tennis court. Between these periods, there are intensive weeks of maintaining physical condition and prevention of injuries.

” Roger is one of those rare people who will do their utmost to achieve their goal. ”

Pierre Paganini
swissinfo.ch: Is there any special training before Roland Garros?

P.P.: In order that he can adapt to different court surfaces, he has special training for muscles and the heart. On hard courts, the thigh muscles have to work more because of slips. On other surfaces, the muscles of the feet and calves are more important. But at the end of the day, it’s still tennis.

swissinfo.ch: Is a hard court more demanding physically?

P.P.: Some players say it’s harder, other say the opposite. There are fewer shocks on a hard court and it’s sometimes less harsh on your joints. On the other hand, the muscles, notably the thighs, are put to the test. Every player has his way of moving around in this situation. Roger has proven that he can play the game on any surface and knows how to use his legs.

swissinfo.ch: Do you work differently with someone who is 20 than with someone who is 30?

P.P.: Tennis is not a sport that makes you old at 30. On the contrary, it helps those who are more mature. At that age, details make the difference. Tennis demands intensive and differing efforts at the physical level, but pauses of 25 and 90 seconds and help partial recovery.

Let’s not forget that Roger already has 950 matches taking its toll on his legs and years of hard work behind him. As he hopes to play for several years to come, the proportion and distribution of training are extremely important.

Every training session calls for a different approach: speed, nimbleness and endurance. As far as Roger is concerned, we do it so that he can benefit from slots of necessary recuperation in every type of training. We did it before, but it’s more important today.

Pierre Paganini (swissinfo)
swissinfo.ch: What do you think of the “theory of decline” which pops up regularly in the media?

P.P.: I do not understand how people can write such things. Let’s judge Roger’s performances seriously, but objectively. On the courts, he has come up against four generations of players. Seven years ago, he was already the world’s number one. In 2011 and approaching 30, he is ranked third in the world but he continues to play extraordinarily.

It’s unprecedented.

Between 28 and 30, it’s impossible to progress at the same rhythm as when you were 22 or 25. Put simply, others are progressing too and that is the charm of this sport. I have enormous respect for Djokovic and Nadal but even more for Federer because his longevity is incredible. He is very near them and always has a chance to beat them.

swissinfo.ch: How does the continual travelling affect the players?

P.P.: There’s never much talk about this. The players have to put up with jet lag during the whole season. It’s essential to know your body to fight this as best you can. Roger manages to do this thanks to his exemplary lifestyle and his experience.

To give you an example, when he goes to the United States, his pulse rate goes up by ten beats a minute more during some efforts than in Switzerland. It’s vital to take note of these differences. Roger not only has an objective view of his body but also an uncanny feeling. It’s very useful for communication and planning.

swissinfo.ch: Federer has said he wants to regain the world number one spot. Is this realistic?

P.P.: That goes without saying, and it would be stupid not to believe it. That does not mean it’s going to be easy. If you look at the almost impossible things he has achieved in his career, you can only have confidence in him. It’s in the character of a champion to say what he will try to do. Roger is one of those rare people who will do their utmost to achieve their goal. That’s why he has every right to say things like that.

Samuel Jaberg, swissinfo.ch
(Adapted from French by Robert Brookes)


El Flaco Says:

“P.P.: Some players say it’s harder, other say the opposite. There are fewer shocks on a hard court and it’s sometimes less harsh on your joints. On the other hand, the muscles, notably the thighs, are put to the test.”

I think he meant to say there are fewer shocks to the leg joints on a clay court, but on average your leg muscles work harder on clay because the points are longer and when you slide there is often a deep knee bend.


tennis coach Says:

Since when Federer dominates Djokovic?!


madmax Says:

tenniscoach,

many people here quote the h2h (unfairly in my view), so in terms of h2h, you know the score.

Novak has dominated everyone this year. Everyone. So I suppose up until January, Roger WAS dominating novak. He beat him 4 times last year, so I suppose that is what the discussion regarding ‘domination’ was.

You could also say Roger beat novak in the much anticipated RG semi final, touted as the best match of the year and he is the only one to do so, that gives Federer the edge I think.


Brando Says:

@madmax, I agree I think federer has the best chance, and game to handle djokovic atm than either nadal or Murray. But the present rankings mean he shall now face nadal more often in the semi final stages, and that’s a bad matchup for him.


madmax Says:

Brando, is it a given that federer will always play rafa in the SF’s? I’m not so sure about that. I thought there was a 50/50 chance that he could fall on the same side of the draw and possibly play novak in the SF’s (like he did at RG?) or will that fall to Murray?

I’m not entirely clear here. It just seems that Murray always plays rafa in the SF’s and Federer always plays Novak, BUT presumably this could change for the US Open?

I think I would prefer Roge to play Novak in the SF’s to be honest and then go on to play Murray in the Finals, (that’s of course should Murray play rafa in the SF’s and beat him). Do you think he has more of a chance (murray) in beating rafa on hard courts?

I just remember the way that Murray played in 2008 in America, against Rafa. He was so aggressive and took every risk possible. He played amazing tennis. Since then, I think Murray has paid rafa too much respect. He idolises him too much when he plays him. He should not respect him so much on court, but play the way he did 3 years. He was in a brilliant place then, do you agree?


madmax Says:

*3 years ago*, when he played rafa in the SF’s. He was so pumped back then.


madmax Says:

Brando, is it a given that federer will always play rafa in the SF’s? I’m not so sure about that. I thought there was a 50/50 chance that he could fall on the same side of the draw and possibly play novak in the SF’s (like he did at RG?) or will that fall to Murray?

I’m not entirely clear here. It just seems that Murray always plays rafa in the SF’s and Federer always plays Novak, BUT presumably this could change for the US Open?

I think I would prefer Roge to play Novak in the SF’s to be honest and then go on to play Murray in the Finals, (that’s of course should Murray play rafa in the SF’s and beat him). Do you think he has more of a chance (murray) in beating rafa on hard courts?

I just remember the way that Murray played in 2008 in America, against Rafa. He was so aggressive and took every risk possible. He played amazing tennis. Since then, I think Murray has paid rafa too much respect. He idolises him too much when he plays him. He should not respect him so much on court, but play the way he did 3 years. He was in a brilliant place then, do you agree?


madmax Says:

*3 years ago*, when he played rafa in the SF’s. He was so pumped back then.


Brando Says:

@madmax, it’s not a given that nadal-federer shall meet at SF stages from here onwards but it shall be with same regularity I imagine as say federer-djokovic in the past. I am a nadal fan and I do agree that Murray circa 2008 was fantastic on the hard courts and IS a genuine threat to nadal. As for djokovic, for me federer was and IS the best equipped player to deal with djokovic atm. Whilst I have always supported nadal, the thing I always admired about federer is his champions attitude which he always seems to retain. Even after the tsonga loss he was talking positively and looking forward.


madmax Says:

Hi Brando, I hear what you say.

This is a completely different take on Berdyche. (He’s gone quiet recently). I had thought he was not playing his best this year, I am not so sure he is a contender for hard courts, but you never know. Anyway, it’s an interesting read so I don’t know what you think?

The summer hard-court season will feature the best players in the world and will mark Roger Federer’s last chance to win a Grand Slam in 2011. Here, we take a look at some of the greatest potential threats to Federer that he may need to overcome in the coming weeks.

Novak Djokovic: Not much needs to be said for the new No. 1 player in the world, who boasts an astounding 48-1 record this year. The reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champion was a runner-up at last year’s US Open after outlasting Federer in five sets in the semifinals. The Swiss did go on to defeat Djokovic on the hard courts of Shanghai, Basel, and London at the end of the year—and Federer is responsible for the Serb’s only loss of 2011—but Djokovic remains one of the greatest threats to Federer’s success on the hard courts this year.

Rafael Nadal: The other major threat to Federer’s hard-court season, Nadal will be looking to defend his US Open title. In the last hard-court meeting between Federer and Nadal, the Spaniard prevailed, 6-3, 6-2, in Miami this year, after Federer had defeated him in three sets only months earlier at the World Tour Finals. There is no doubt that Nadal is always one of Federer’s greatest obstacles on any surface.

Andy Murray: This year’s Australian Open runner-up had his struggles after the strong start to the year but has picked himself up since reaching the semifinals at Roland Garros, winning at Queen’s Club, and advancing to the Wimbledon semifinals. Murray defeated Federer in the final round of last year’s Rogers Cup before dealing the Swiss another straight-set defeat in the finals in Shanghai. Federer won their most recent hard-court encounter, however, triumphing in straight sets at the World Tour Finals.

Juan Martin Del Potro: If Del Potro can recapture his form of 2009, he will certainly look to give Federer a run for his money on the hard courts this year. The Argentine proved himself by overcoming Federer in five sets to win the 2009 US Open and scored another win over the Swiss at the World Tour Finals that year. Although injuries have hindered Del Potro’s progress, the Argentine has looked strong of late, recently pushing Nadal to five sets in the fourth round at Wimbledon, on the surface that he has struggled the most.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: Tsonga shocked many in the tennis world by coming from behind to oust Federer at Wimbledon. The Frenchman lost to Federer in straight sets in Doha at the start of the year in what was their most recent hard-court match-up, but if Tsonga is finding his groove at last, he may prove to be a greater threat to the top players than he has been in the past.

David Ferrer: Although Federer has a whopping 11-0 record against Ferrer and defeated him in straight sets at last year’s World Tour Finals, Ferrer has had relatively solid hard-court results, and the two have yet to meet at a Grand Slam. This year, Ferrer took down Nadal in the Australian Open quarterfinals to reach the semifinals, and recently, he notched hard-court wins over Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick in Davis Cup action.

Tomas Berdych: Federer won their most recent meeting, in the quarterfinals of last year’s Rogers Cup, but Berdych has a 2-1 career record against Federer that includes wins at Wimbledon and Miami last year. If Berdych can remain consistent on the hard courts this season, he may have a chance of toppling Federer once again.


jane Says:

Not sure where to put these, but some excellent video highlights of Nole’s season so far (for Nole’s fans or whomever is in tennis withdrawal… :))

Highlights of “finesse”

http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=CA#/watch?v=Eh9k5WqxVa4

Highlights of “attack / defense”

http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=CA#/watch?v=v2FX4l6zizQ


Lou Says:

For all the fans (Federer/Djokovic/Nadal/Murray), here is a nice article with the year round stats:

The Top 4 (Djokovic/Nadal/Federer/Murray) In Tennis And The Story Of Statistics So Far: http://bit.ly/mZfnaq

Top story: Federer, Nadal Breeze In Basel; Murray, Ferrer Advance In Valencia
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Rankings
ATP - Oct 20 WTA - Oct 20
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Na Li
6 Tomas Berdych6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Kei Nishikori7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Marin Cilic8 Ana Ivanovic
9 Milos Raonic9 Caroline Wozniacki
10 Andy Murray10 Angelique Kerber
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