Nadal, Murray Through To Tokyo Quarterfinals; Tsonga Stays Hot In Beijing
by Sean Randall | October 6th, 2011, 6:59 pm
  • 69 Comments

Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray appear headed for a big Sunday showdown in Tokyo. But first there’s still a couple more matches for the two Top 5 talents to get through.

Last night, Nadal took out the young Milos Raonic in the second round or their second rounder a year ago. And the result was almost the same with Nadal giving up eight games, this time 6-3, 7-5.

“I think I played well,” said Nadal. “His serve was impressive, especially at the beginning of the match. It was an important victory for me and now I am in the quarter-finals. Physically I feel fine and I have the motivation to keep going and keep practicing hard. I am focused on having a very good tournament. The fans really show their emotions and provide great support. They make me feel fantastic every time I am here.”

Raonic was playing his first tournament since Wimbledon so a loss was expected, but from the scoreline and reports he held up well and that’s encouraging.

Murray had no trouble at all with Alex Bogomolov, crushing the American 6-1, 6-2.

“It was good,” said Murray. “I wanted to get off to a good start, having played a long match against Baghdatis in the first round. It was good to get the first set in 20 minutes. It was a bit tougher in the second. Against Baghdatis I had a lot of long rallies and tough situations I had to get through, so I am pleased with today’s performance. It is nice to come back. The crowds are always good and I have enjoyed the Asian swing so far. My goal is to finish World No. 3 and pick up some titles before the end of the year. Winning in Bangkok was a good start.”

Next for Murray is a date tonight with David Nalbandian in what could be a good match. Or a really bad one depending on which Nalbandian shows up. My guess the latter. Nadal gets Santiago Giraldo.

In the other two quarterfinals it’s a good one between Mardy Fish and Bernard Tomic. Also, Radek Stepanek meets David Ferrer.

In Beijing, JW Tsonga continued his hot play – he’s really been playing some really good tennis since the start of the summer – reaching the quarterfinals where tonight he’ll face former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero.

In the match of the day Tomas Berdych battles Fernando Verdasco. Ljubicic v. Youhzny and Anderson v. Cilic round out the quarterfinals.

World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki is the lone Top 10 player remaining in the $4.5 million dollar women’s quarterfinals after the oft-injured Victoria Azarenka withdrew because of a foot injury. That women’s tournament seems to be snakebit every year.

FRIDAY TOKYO SCHEDULE

CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
[4] M Fish (USA) vs B Tomic (AUS)
[1] R Nadal (ESP) vs S Giraldo (COL)
[7] R Stepanek (CZE) vs [3] D Ferrer (ESP)
D Nalbandian (ARG) vs [2] A Murray (GBR)

FRIDAY BEIJING SCHEDULE
NATIONAL TENNIS STADIUM start 12:30 pm
[3] T Berdych (CZE) vs F Verdasco (ESP) – ATP
Not Before 3:00 PM
A Ivanovic (SRB) vs [11] A Radwanska (POL) – WTA
[1] C Wozniacki (DEN) vs F Pennetta (ITA) – WTA
Not Before 7:30 PM
[1] J Tsonga (FRA) vs J Ferrero (ESP) – ATP


Also Check Out:
ATP London Race (29 Sept 14): Murray Moves Up, Nishikori Strengthens London Bid
Serena Williams Pulls Out Of Tokyo, Beijing Remains On Her Schedule
Nadal, Murray Collide For Tokyo Title; Berdych Battles Cilic In Beijing
ATP Fall Guide: Where The Big Boyz – Nadal, Djokovic, Federer – Will Be Playing
Djokovic Needs Three In Beijing; Murray Survives 18 Aces From Karlovic In Tokyo

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69 Comments for Nadal, Murray Through To Tokyo Quarterfinals; Tsonga Stays Hot In Beijing

Kimmi Says:

its ironic that muzza crushed the two guys who beat him earlier this year (IW and miami).
Donald young last week 6-2 6-0
Alex Bogomolov 6-1 6-2

seriously, how did muzza lose so badly to these guys? somebody on the other thread said they cant wait to see muzza and rafa..a three set match. me too. go muzza.


jane Says:

It would be great to see Murray and Nadal in a final for a change. Muzza needs some wins to start turning their H2H around: a 3 setter on hard courts seems like a good chance for Andy, though it sounds like Rafa is playing very well also.


Kimmi Says:

AWWWW! love this one. federer with his girls

http://a.yfrog.com/img619/7566/plmtq.jpg


jane Says:

That is super cute. :) Wow they are getting big!


Wog boy Says:

Novak is not playing Shanghai.


DND Says:

Find this comment on another forum and could not control myself from laughing..

Can you imagine Nadal playing at this level if he had two small bullfighters running around in the house?
Running around in the house screaming VAMOS and moving their hips provocatively. And taking MTOs everytime papa Rafa wants them to eat or sleep.


grendel Says:

Disappointing end to radwanska/Ivanovic match, but plenty of interest in the match.

In the first set, there was a crucial moment with Ivanovic serving at 30-15 (3-4). It’s a good serve, followed by a firm drive volley and culminating in a finally adjudged volley to the corner. It is somewhat floating, however,which probably accounts for the Serb’s failure of nerve. She backs off, literally scurrying back, whereas in fact she was in position to conclude the business at the net. Furthermore, she HAD to do that to win the point – otherwise, the iniative would have been surrendered, and Radwanska would not show mercy. She didn’t, and the break duly followed. i suppose the lesson from this is that Ivanovic absolutely has to work more on the volley. She has the perfect game for it, she makes the transition nicely (have I got that one right? she knows how and when to approach, lets put it that way)and her volley is not at all bad, but it’s a bit tentative. Lots and lots of drilling is needed, I’d guess. She definitely cannot afford to get into endlessly long rallies.

Serving for the set and at break point down, radwnska gave Ivanovic an awkward bh. And at set point and on 2nd serve, she tied Ivanovic up with a body serve. Somehow, Radwanska makes the most of this weak delivery and with her sensational defence always has a fighting chance to hold serve. Apart from its lack of pace, the delivery seems so casual – think of Sharapova with her immense wind up, as if she were preparing to emigrate to Mars or something – and the viewer is lulled a little and you wonder whether also the receiver is. Incidentally, Radwanska does sometimes inject a surprising kick into her second serve, so its not all buns and daisies.

To earn her first set point, Radwanska cooly moved Ivanovic around before delivering the coup de grace, a bh down the line – employing a curious flip of the wrists. It is not elegant, but it is most effective and delivered with surprising power. This first set was a cracker – and close. Ivanovic,w:e, 19:15, Rad, w:e 12:11. But the Pole won the key points – something she’d been failing to do in the earlier part of the season, Sam Smith quoted her as saying even though she’d been otherwise playing well.

The 4th game of the 2nd set is worth describing in detail (for anyone who is interested), for it was all about Ivanovic, her glory and her weakness. Good serve down the T from Rad, but a terrific bh return into the left corner has Rad scrambling to get it back. She is only able to present Ivanovic with a straightforward drive volley – and into the net it goes. 15-0, should have been 0-15. ‘Nother serve down the T, but short this time and Ivanovic returns the ball in exactly the same place but with a fh this time. Again the scramble, an even easier shot for Ivanovic, who drives into the net. 30-0, shld be 0-30. Nice bh return on a reasonable 2nd serve – nice high bounce – and then a beautifully controlled volley right to the line. 30-15, shld be 0-40. Weak 2nd serve has Ivanovic in good position to eventually unleash the great fh. 30 all. Excited, the Serb lashes out at a reasonable 1st serve and just misses the line. 40-30. penetrating bh return sets ivanovic up for another unplayable fh. Deuce. Then, ace. Advan, Rad. Well placed serve, but no power on it, beautifully timed fh return winner. Does anyone hit a more effortless fh than Ivanovic? Deuce. Tremendous bh return has Rad lunging – but it’s just out. Advan Rad. Now, Ivanovic right on top with penetrating bhs, a reasonable volley (could do better..) and all leading to an easy smash. She misses, and Radwanska holds. Should never have happened.

Not surprisingly, Ivanovic then tamely surrenders her serve 0-40. Next thing we know, she’s retired. ????? Still, Ana Ivanovic looked very good. If Nigel Sears can get the best out of her, and especially get that volley going, Ivanovic will be a threat to anyone. As for Radwanska, in this form, she is formidable. I hope she can continue.


grendel Says:

Match point in the Pennetta/Woz game was revealing. A nervy serve from penetta was punished by Woz, so the Italian could only get it back short. Woz is in prime position to finish off the point but instead, she manouevres! Like its a build up! Old habits die hard, eh? But still, she’s in control and is presented with a volley asking to be put away. Instead, she lays it at the feet of Penetta. A solid shot, difficult to deal with – but why give her another look in? Pennetta, out of the blue, lifts a glorious lob, and all Woz’s careful planning comes to nothing. It’s over.


Brando Says:

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from next week’s Shanghai Rolex Masters with an abdominal muscle strain. “I am sorry not to be playing in Shanghai, one of my favourite tournaments, but I have not recovered yet from my injury,” Djokovic said. “I did another check this week and the results are not good so I need to continue my rehabilitation.” EXPECTED and wise I think- he was never really going to play shanghai after missing china open. Post Davis Cup he should have 6 weeks by the time of Paris masters, so he should be fine by then.


Dory Says:

O that’s disappointing. No Roger and No Novak in Shanghai. But of course rest is more important than risking further injuring yourself.


Brando Says:

Nole and rogers next tourny is Basel open on the 31st of this month. Boston of them would have had 6 weeks of rest and recovery by then. It shall be highly interesting if they were to meet in the final- surely roger would not want to lose to nole infront of his home fans after what happened at the USO? Hope it happens as it would be a very good match to watch.


grendel Says:

So Safina finally calls it a day. A goodhumoured young woman unfairly mocked for just doing her best – and also for not looking like a model. http://eurosport.yahoo.com/07102011/58/safina-quits-tennis-25.html

Strange scoreline – Berdych beats Verdasco for loss of only one game. Always been a puzzle, the Czech.


Kimberly Says:

Grendel, I remember at Indian wells 2010 he beat him up pretty bad with a similar scoreline. Then I think verdasco beat him montecarlo but tighter match.


dari Says:

Kimmi, this one is really cute, too.
I don’t.know much about kids, but is she pretty big for a two and a half year old?
http://desmond.yfrog.com/Himg640/scaled.php?tn=0&server=640&filename=g15dae.jpg&xsize=640&ysize=640


sar Says:

I think Novak is taking JMac’s advice. Take two months off after the US Open.


alison hodge Says:

@brando i agree a roger and nole final in basel would be a great final,if roger were to win that match it would give him a second wind,and an extra insentive ahead of the ao next year,i also believe just one victory for rafa over nole would turn the tables for rafa,and i think it may take a while but hes working on it and i think hes getting closer to figuring out nole,all adds to an exciting year in 2012.


Kimmi Says:

Grendel – thanks for the match summary post. I am enjoying watching top women tennis..it can be interesting sometimes.

Poor safina, i didnt think her injury was that bad. it turned out to be a career ending injury. 25 yrs old. very young. Well, at least she was able
to reach her potential. not many would say they reached world # 1.

Are players starting to figure out wozniacki? It could also be panetta is playing her best tennis right now.

Looks to me like radwanska is going to win this one too. I am rooting for her now.


Kimmi Says:

dari – great picture. they are soo cute. daddy fed is really enjoying himself. I think they look OK, exactly the height of a normal 2 year old.

Muzza looking good. rafa looking good. Fish looking good. C’mon muzza!

The berdy is playing well again?


Kimmi Says:

hoping djokivic injury does not take away his momentum. sometime these injuries do.


Brando Says:

@kimmi: I think it will since injuries to any player- no matter who- shall be affected by it. But question is how much shall it affect him? I feel not too much since if he plays at Basel, nole should most likely make the finals and there HR would most probably face a player who has also not played any tennis for the same length of time and had a tough loss the last time they met. Regardless, even though nole won in Canada and USO I feel his overall play has dipped post wimby it’s just that he hasn’t faced anyone other than Murray who would step up and take him out.


Brando Says:

@Alison: I agree with you re rafa. Right now raga does not nee to think about nole, just concentrate on his game and present opponents and when he does get nole I’m also confident that he is just a win away from turning things around. Fact is until 8 months ago this was a player he was doing very well against to say the least. Nole’s game hasn’t changed much but his mindset has against rafa. But so has rafa’s- and not for the better.


Brando Says:

Raga> rafa :-)


jane Says:

I think Fed certainly tried to step in and take out Nole. He was up 2 sets to 1, he had match points, etc. But Nole refused to lose, and stayed in the match even when it would’ve been over for almost any other player on the tour.


jane Says:

Actually I would say Fish in Canada and Monfils in Cincy also stepped in and tried to take out Nole, but again, they didn’t. I agree with you that his level dipped, but he still managed to win, but it wasn’t because he didn’t face stern contests and opponents imo.


jane Says:

I don’t really expect much more from Nole this year. Last year, in Rafa’s three slam year, he won Tokyo and got to the the WTF finals; if Nole could do something equal or even close to what Rafa did, it would be great. What Fed did in 2006 was truly amazing because he won 3 slams, reached the final of the other, then after the USO, he won Basel, Madrid and YEC. Wow.


Kimmi Says:

for all i know, djoko could win all the tournaments he enters. he is been surprising everyone so far. basel madrid WTF is very possible. But i am hoping federer or murray stops him.


Kimmi Says:

I meant basel, bercy and WTF!


Brando Says:

@ jane: what fed did in 2006 was the best ever after laver in 1968 with the 4 slams for me. Nole this season has surpassed rafa last year also I feel. Either way each and all of them are more than happy with what they have done I imagine. As for nole, I think tennis is a game of momentum and capitalising on it when you have it- maybe this break may affect him a little I feel. I cannot see rafa beating him on a indoor court at all BUT roger and andy can do so.


jane Says:

Agree that the break/time off could affect Nole, Brando, w.r.t., momentum. Tough to know, though. No matter what, I think he clearly needed it. Also agree Murray and Fed can play very well on indoor hard and could take out Nole in those events. Murray’s got some momentum going now too, and he has a goal of over-taking Fed, which will feed him.


Daniel Says:

Damm, what a flawless second set by Nadal. Almost no mistakes.

He is set to break a tabu of his and defend a hard court title for a change.


racquet Says:

That was the best I’ve seen Murray play on a HC since his demolition of Federer in Shanghai last year. Ferrer didn’t know what hit him. 6-2 6-3. If Andy maintains this form (and improves his 1st serve %) tomorrows final should be a doozy.


margot Says:

Just seen Andy play the most sublime, confident tennis. Agree with you racquet, that’s the best I’ve seen him play all year.
Interesting changes, backhand/forehand DTL, very aggressive flat forehands, some wonderful touches at the net, actually able to improve first serve percentage in second set, instead of sinking into his usual mire…sigh…
Have to disagree though with you racquet, no final against Rafa is a “doozy”!
Hilarious: Nole fans are worrying cos he’s not playing enough tennis, Andy fans clucking cos he’s playing too much!


Wog boy Says:

Andy, Nadal is all yours now. As a real friend, Nole is passing him to you. Dont let us down , please.
Go Andy, yes , you can do it.
Lets go Braveheart.
P. S. As for Nadal’s match against Giraldo, I think that Giraldo had his chances but mis them.


Kimmi Says:

ah, wish i had seen the matches. Go andy!


dari Says:

Wish I could see some of this tennis in Tokyo.
Rooting for Andy in the finals, he’s made it in doubles too.
MURRAY MURRAY MURRAY


grendel Says:

Radwanska hit an amazing fh off the back foot – very, very hard – to earn 15 all when all the signs pointed to 0-30. A break there, and Penetta would have been serving for the second set. As it was, the shot semed to knock the stuffing out of the Italian, and Radwanska proceeded smoothly to the win.

Penetta is such a good player, loads of variety, wonderful court craft – but, an unfortunate addiction to the unforced error. Judging by the way she constantly urges herself on, I guess the problem is she finds it harder than most to maintain concentration. That’s a bummer, difficult to see what can be done about it.

The final tomorrow, with the gangly, all whirring legs and arms Petkovic, looks about 50-50 to me. It’s the craftsman against the hitter – should be fun. Both players very confident – and within a few points of each other for the race.

It’s kind of irritating this race since it reflects the performances over the year. No doubt that is fair, but it does mean that the best players on the day will not be playing. Ni La, for example, can barely lift a racket at the moment.


margot Says:

Oh girls, you missed such a treat! No nail biting whatsoever needed, just gasps of wonderment at Murray magic :)


grendel Says:

margot – do you think the BBC might show the Murray/Nadal final tomorrow? Even if not scheduled, they sometimes have the wit to make room for an important match involving a Briton. Though I suppose with cuts etc….


racquet Says:

This is the Andy I wish showed up more often (sigh). Controlled aggression, playing slightly out of his comfort zone, frequent use of the FH & BH DTL. It seemed almost like a run through of the game plan he knows he’ll need to employ against Nadal. I’m so looking forward to the match tomorrow.

BTW Margot, I meant doozy according to the following definition:

“something outstanding or unique of its kind” :)


Wog boy Says:

Andrea can prove to be a late achiever. She is a character.
On the other hand ,Radwanska remainds me on Novak. She always gives you that extra ball that you can’ t handle.
I’ll go for ……….Andrea.


jane Says:

I hope to stay up or wake up for Muzza vs. Rafa #18! Come on Muzza, this is a great chance to grab momentum, charge headlong toward number 3, and begin turning that H2H with Rafa around. Go!!!


Kimberly Says:

challenge.atpworldtour.com shainghai bracket is up submission window closes at 1am ET. Very small window to pick.

Grrr to most of these comments. Go Rafa!


margot Says:

racquet: Thanks, obviously not familiar with “doozy” sounds like British, dozy :) I was thinking the same as you about Andy’s performance today. It did indeed look like a dress rehearsal for Rafa. His game looked so tweaked, in the right direction, I wonder if some coach or other has been whispering sweet advice in his ear..;)
grendel: shouldn’t imagine BBC will show it. They’re barely mentioning Andy anyway. Best to rely on a stream.


grendel Says:

with sky and eurosport, am quite well served for tennis, so rarely resort to streams. But I’d make an exception for this final. With Murray and Nadal in prime form, it should be exceptional tennis. Incidentally, I think it is worth watching exclusively for its own sake. A Murray win, imo, although desireable, enjoyable etc, means absolutely nothing w.r.t. slams except in a strictly negative sense. i.e., if he can’t beat Nadal on this stage and when in this form, you can kiss goodbye to any prospect of his beating Nadal in a slam. So he’s in the Alice in Wonderland situation – he has to run to keep still.

Still should be a fascinating match. Could some kind person post on this site a suitable stream – and also the time. Thankyou.


grendel Says:

@ margot (” His game looked so tweaked, in the right direction, I wonder if some coach or other has been whispering sweet advice in his ear..;)
I realise you are being a touch humorous, but at the same time you sort of mean it. Doesn’t make sense to me. Why would Murray need a coach to push him in the right direction? Why would ANYONE (except perhaps Nadal) have a better notion than Murray as to what he needs to do? Perhaps he should hire Nadal as coach?

Seriously, I think this whole coach business for seasoned (and as it happens also great) players like Murray is hugely overplayed. Naturally, like anyone, he requires psychological and emotional support, and also he needs an expert with whom he can exchange ideas. But – and this must particularly be so with someone as astute as Murray – the boss will be Murray. Murray’s coach will be Murray. Anybody else is strictly secondary. So if you’re looking for Murray to take the next step, that next step comes from Murray and nobody else except in the obvious sense that like anyone, he needs a team. But the composition of this team will not swing the balance. Have more faith in your man!


dari Says:

Several months ago, eg. Indian wells/ Miami time, i did not agree with your Murray needs no coach stance, but more and more I do agree.
Murray is actually the perfect prototype for coach-less because he has the tennis intellect, the incredible variety, tactics, he only really needs a hitting partner and a way to harness/release [WHATEVER] his emotions, and like you say, the best person for that is Andy Murray.
Ok, I am saying it, Murray first slam will be coachless. “Book it”


margot Says:

grendel: because he needs someone to keep pushing him in the direction he took today, he’s taking too b—-y long to get there IMHO.


jane Says:

But a coach can watch a match from a different perspective than the player playing it; a coach can help a player in a particular area witn a particular shot; a coach can give much needed support/stability that maybe a trainer or hitting partner or girlfriend or mum can’t.

I agree that no one knows better than the player him/herself and that ultimately he/she is on her own on the court anyhow.

Still, does it mean you have no faith in someone if you think a coach would help him/her? A coach need not be seen as the be-all-end-all answer, but a coach can help in some cases, imo.

That said, all players are different, and maybe some do operate better on their own, are actually better off without a coach. Maybe Murray is one of those. I’m not sure.


grendel Says:

Assuming normal degrees of competence, and also lack of personality clash, whether a really skilled player has coach A, B, or C will (imo) be marginal to the prospects of his success. I can’t help suspecting that the significance of a PARTICULAR coach plays, for the fan, the role of magic. Somehow, this incredible being will manage to facilitate a degree of success that the player himself has been helpless to achieve.

Lead me to this man, I would know him….


Colin Says:

Grendel, you might try this:

http://www.livescorehunter.com/Livescores/Livescore-Tennis.html

The ATP site says the match starts at 2 PM (presumably Tokyo time) which translates as 6 AM in the UK. Ouch!


Kimmi Says:

berdych beat tsonga..hmmm, didnt expect this result. berdych must be playing well again with breadstck in the final set..


Kimmi Says:

Cilic in the final again at last. Hope he can win , but i wouldn’t hold my breath..


alison hodge Says:

@kimberly yeah i agree i dont know what some people have against rafa sometimes,it would be fantastic to see him defend a hard court title,whats wrong with that,i sometimes think some people just enjoy seeing him fail,no disrespect to margot though as i also love muzza too,id be happy to see rafa win this one and andy defend shanghai next week,with hopefully the same 2 in the final.


jane Says:

For me, nothing against Rafa; this is my thinking: Murray has the goal of getting to #3; plus, he has taken a lot of losses to Rafa this year: 4-0; finally, their h2h is quite lopsided, which could be demoralizing for Muzza. So it’s really from a Muzza-centric perspective that I am looking at it. It could give Andy a boost if he could get a win over Rafa. That’s all.

Kimmi, I know. I kind of expected Tsonga to win that. Anyone Berdych vs. Cilic could be an excellent final.

grendel, another place you could try for a stream is fromsport.com. Re: the coach thing. Just out of curiosity I googled to see what pundits say (coach no coach?) and they seem split on the matter. Reed says definitely no, Muzza doesn’t need one. Others are more on the fence. Rusedski says, yes, get a coach. And so it goes…


alison hodge Says:

@jane sorry my post wasnt directed at you,i know your a fare fan that looks at things from all angles.


jane Says:

Well it would be a good win for Rafa too, in that he’d defend a non-clay title, as Daniel pointed out. And he is obviously playing well, judging by the win over Fish (breadstick second set). Rafa has nothing really to gain points-wise though. It might be even better for Rafa to target the Masters title. That one is Muzza’s to defend. So we’ll see. Good to see these two reach the finals! I really want to see this match.


Brando Says:

@Alison: The reason why rafa isn’t so popular or that some want him to fail is simple:

- Fed fans: they do not want rafa to match or equal fed’s 16 slams. Now they know roger most likely will not be able to stop rafa at this stage in his career hence they jump on the djokovic bandwagon. It’s not that they truly like nole its just that they cannot bear the notion of rafa matching fed. The funny thing here is federer truly believes he can beat rafa which is to be respected since he is a true champion, BUT some fed fans want nole to beat fed when they meet since they lack faith in their man to beat rafa. Raises the question as to whether they support the player or his records doesn’t it?

- Nole fans: rafa is nole’s main rival atm, they can only meet in finals so them not being too keen on rafa is understandable.

- Murray fans: same like nole, they just want their fav to win against rafa.

**There are fed fans of course who do not rafa and are fair Skeezer, Swiss Maestro and Madmax (the best and genuine fed fan).


alison hodge Says:

@jane yeah i see your point never thought of it that way,if muzza wins this one hope rafa wins shanghai,or vice versa,unfortunatly dont get the match where i am,i do get livescorehunter but the match does not start till 6am uk time sunday morning,by which time i will be getting up to go to work unfortunatly.


Brando Says:

@Jane: You are probaby the best blogger here. Always fair and consistent in your opinions.

As for the match, i would like to see rafa win for the reasons Daniel pointed out. But i also think Andy needs a BIG WIN against rafa and doing so here may not be it. If Andy were to beat rafa at the WTF then that could be the catalyst for him to go on win a big one.

A 3 set, 500 point tourny i doubt shall make a big difference between these 2.


alison hodge Says:

thanks brando yeah i seem to remember you and i having the exact same conversation only a few weeks ago,thank god for the sensible fair fans that you mentioned,and any others that you didnt,the rest are not worth bothering with,i will try to rise above it in future.


Kimberly Says:

Brando—Andy has big wins against Rafa. At the USO and AO. Just like Rafa has big wins against Andy. Andy crushes Fed in the masters and it got him nowhere in the slams. So I can’t see how winning a best of 3 in a 500 against Rafa who he has beaten in two GS semis is going to do much for him.

Andy needs to win a slam. Against anyone, I don’t care if he plays Santiago Giraldo in the GS final. THat is what will make the difference in his career.

Even if he had gutted it out and won against Rafa in the three semis he lost this year, does anyone think he would actually have won the finals against Djoko or Fed?

A GS WIN. That is what will give him momentum to move his career forward and play with similar confidence to Djokovic. Period. He’s done almost everything else.

His problem is NOT Rafa it is getting the monkey off his back. Rafa is simply a guy who is good enough to beat him and isn’t going to choke away and give the match to him (Victor Troicki). It just seems like Rafa is his problem because they keep meeting in slam semis because they are both so consistent.


Brando Says:

@kimberly: you hit the nail on the head with your post there kimberly. Maybe andy is fullfilling his potential ( 3 GS RU, 4 SF). All his losses have been against rafa, fed and nole- all 3 I think are just better than him. There is no shame in that for andy. I think he just needs to keep doing what he is doing, wait for his moment and shall happen for him.


jane Says:

Kimberly, you make strong points re: Muzza. Still, I think if a player keeps running up against another, and losing, it is going to get in his head, and perhaps that’s where it’s at with Murray and Rafa, I don’t know. But it’s true that a win under “bigger” circumstances could mean more in the long run.

Brando, no. You are too generous. So many great (and better) posters here. But thanks. :) ANYhow. It is good, isn’t it, to have a place for reasonable-and-sometimes-passionate discussions about tennis?


Brando Says:

@jane: definately. It is fun to discuss – and argue- here about the tennis. I think most here enjoy it and treat it for what it.


Kimberly Says:

Jane—-Murray knocked Fed out of the WTF 09 yet Fed handed Muzza his -ss at AO 2010. In my opionion Murray needs to win a Grand Slam to really alter his career and live up to his potential. To put Caroline Wozniaki, who is number one and Murray in the same sentence as Murray is insulting to him. He is ten times the player.

I think its about the moment. A grand slam final. He needs to get out of that best guy not to win conversation fast, or it will get worse and worse. I think AO 2012 is pivotal for him as I don’t give him any real chance at RG, so much presure at Wimbledon, and by the time USO comes around its the last opportunity of 2012 and creates more pressure. For his sake it would be ideal to face a Soderling, Berdych at a GS final. The Fedaljovic crew all know how to win too well in GS finals. And I don’t think it is about Murray fearing these players, i think its all the hype about him being slamless that causes him to under perform at big moments.


alison hodge Says:

@kimberly i agree imo nothing against wozniaki but i think she has out stayed her welcome as far as the number 1 ranking is concerned,anyway before muzza played nole in the final in the ao at the begining of this year i thought the odds were about 50 50,so i was quite surprised when he failed to win even a set,where with roger the previous year i thought the odds were about 80 20 in favour of roger,so no shock there,i agree hes the best of the rest,hopefully it could be 3rd time lucky.


Kimberly Says:

ncaa football=brutal. NFL=brutal. MLB=Brutal. Rafa is just about my only fav/player or team that is not an absolute inept disaster. Of course I have the Heat but there will be no season.


grendel Says:

alison hodge – Brandon is partly right, but it is not so simple. I know non-Fed fans, for instance, who intensely dislike Nadal, and all kinds of people greatly dislike Federer and Djokovic, and Murray too. I don’t think it is about “fairness” at all. One can be fair and still be animated by dislike. It seems to be more about temperament. You, for instance, come across as having a mild and equable temperament, you’re probably a very nice person.

Many sports watchers are pretty tribal in their affiliations, and project all sorts of their own hang-ups or just ingrained tribal feelings (who doesn’t have these?)onto individual sportsmen or teams. Some would argue that sport performs a valuable social purpose in “containing” somewhat violent feelings which might otherwise be acted out in the street. Some argue the opposite – George Orwell, for instance, in a famous essay which was, like everything by Orwell, intensely readable but a bit wrongheaded too imo.

I think it is easy to be self-righteous on this kind of issue, certainly tempting. But at the end of the day, it’s worth bearing in mind that “there’s nowt so queer as folk” (as they say in Yorkshire).


alison hodge Says:

thanks grendel just read your post from 8.15pm last night,yeah your right without blowing my own trumpet i would like to think of myself as a decent person,one who thinks everybody should get a fair hearing,unfortunatly like you say we do not live in an ideal world,i wish i was more like yourself or jane who are much more level headed than i am,but like you say nowt so queer as folk,and coming from north yorkshire that quote had me in stitches, how ironic was that.

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1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
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