Youngsters Raonic, Dimitrov, Tomic Win In Stockholm; Blake Upsets Del Potro
by Sean Randall | October 19th, 2011, 6:01 pm
  • 62 Comments

Don’t throw dirt on James Blake just yet. Today, the American put together one of his biggest wins in recent memory upsetting former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4, 6-4 in Stockholm.

“This is my best win in the last three years I’d say,” said Blake. “I played some of my best tennis and I’m really proud of it.”

After finishing 2010 ranked No. 135 Blake, now at 31, has sliced his ranking in half to No. 69 this week. Blake, who won Stockholm in 2006, will await the winner of the David Nalbandian-Ivan Dodig match on Friday.

The loss for Del Potro results hurts his chances of qualifying for London. The Argentina still has Vienna, Valencia and Paris, but he’ll have to post some good results to have any chance to finish Top 8. And unfortunately, as a fan I don’t think he’ll get in.

Other results from Sweden saw a trio of the younger generation advancing. Milos Raonic, who missed a good deal of time with a hip injury, defeated Philipp Petzschner 6-3, 6-3.

Grigor Dimitrov was a winner over Ryan Sweeting and Bernard Tomic stopped some qualifier named Zopp.

Tomorrow Dimitrov dances with Chela, Tomic meets top seed Gael Monfils.

In Moscow, former champs Viktor Troicki and Nikolay Davydenko won won second round matches.

THURSDAY STOCKHOLM SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 12:00 pm
[4] J Chela (ARG) vs G Dimitrov (BUL)
J Nieminen (FIN) vs [3] S Wawrinka (SUI)
J Erlich (ISR) / A Ram (ISR) vs M Baghdatis (CYP) / J Del Potro (ARG)

Not Before 6:30 PM
[1] G Monfils (FRA) vs [WC] B Tomic (AUS)

Not Before 8:15 PM
[7] I Dodig (CRO) vs D Nalbandian (ARG)

THURSDAY MOSCOW SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 1:00 pm
E Vesnina (RUS) vs [Q] E Ivanova (RUS) – WTA
[3] M Bartoli (FRA) vs K Pervak (RUS) – WTA

Not Before 4:30 PM
J Benneteau (FRA) vs [6] D Tursunov (RUS) – ATP

Not Before 6:30 PM
[1] J Tipsarevic (SRB) vs I Kunitsyn (RUS) – ATP
[6] S Kuznetsova (RUS) vs T Pironkova (BUL) – WTA


Also Check Out:
Monfils Tops Raonic To Reach Stockholm Final; Serbians Battle In Moscow; WTA Champs Field Set
Americans Isner, Querrey, Harrison, Blake Highlight Memphis Tuesday
Federer Destroys Dent in Stockholm; Tsonga Falls in Moscow
2014 Fall Preview: With No. 1 At Stake, Where Will Federer, Nadal, Djokovic Be These Last Few Months
Del Potro Wins Two, Sets Up Anderson Clash Tonight In Washington; Dimitrov Duels Haas, Raonic Crashes Out

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62 Comments for Youngsters Raonic, Dimitrov, Tomic Win In Stockholm; Blake Upsets Del Potro

andrea Says:

nice one james! betcha no one had money on you.


Kimberly Says:

hahaha andrea, i was watching the match on fromsport and some guy on the chat actually DID have money on James and he was very nervous!


Kimmi Says:

delpo always has problem with blake. even if he is beaten him before, their matches have been very close. could go either way and today it went blake’s way.

radwanska lost to safarova. now she has to wait for someone to beat bartoli so that she qualifies for year end championships. ah! tough first round match for radwanska.


carlo Says:

That’s pretty dumb – Betting on Blake. Unless you have money to burn, I wouldn’t bet on a match in Stockholm or Moscow.


Kimmi Says:

too much rest for delpo i think, a little rusty but ofcourse blake probably played one of his best match. he was a top 10 player after all..when is delpo playing next? Valencia, Besel?


Kimberly Says:

Blake just looked so athletic, played veery agressive inside the court and coming to net and delpo looked kind of big and slow, very unimpressive performance from what I saw from delpo.


jane Says:

Seems true Kimmi. The last time that I saw Blake and Delpo was in L.A. this year, and that was a close match too. Anyhow, nice win for James. Hope he can capitalize it and go further.


Stella Says:

Also the win for Dimitrov today in Stockholm sits sets up a QF match with Raonic.


Humble Rafa Says:

I think the adults have left Tennis-x for the year. The children are running the show.

News must be slow. “Rafa doesn’t pick his butt while playing golf”. Nice catchy headline. Creepy.

I did have 3 medical trainers with me. In case, I get cramps or something. Uncle Toni was giving me signals from the stand. Xisca stayed quiet like she always does. I just look at her!

I hope newly minted World No. 4, The Arrongant One is practicing this week. My road to greatness goes through you, not Novak.


jane Says:

Dimitrov vs Raonic should be good, also La Monf vs. Tomic.


Colin Says:

Nice result from a British viewpoint – Keothavong beat Ivanovic. Mind you, a lot of people do that nowadays!
Humble Rafa, I know the person you’re pretending to be isn’t a native English speaker, but I think he could do better than “Arrongant”. Anyway, kindly give me one tiny bit of evidence that Murray is arrogant. Come on, just one tiny bit.


Kimberly Says:

Colin—I think Federer is supposed to be the Arrogant One in Humble Rafa’s posts. Humble Rafa is not a Rafa fan. In fact he rags on everyone so badly I’m not sure who he/she is a fan of. But the general point of his/her posts is that Rafa needs to Roger/MTOs/Extended time between points/Bathroom breaks to win and sandbags by saying he is playing badly.


alison hodge Says:

i have only been posting on this blog for a short time,and still have no idea if humble rafa is male or female,or who he or she actually follows,in fact none of his or her posts make any sense to me whatsoever,all hot air always the same thing,nothing interesting or constructive to add to any discussion,jmho boring and not the least bit funny.


RZ Says:

Colin, that is a nice win for Keothavong, who’s from the same hometown as me. I don’t know what happened to her in recent years. She got as high as 50 and then faded. Hopefully the improving British women’s field (Baltacha, Robson, and Watson) can inpsire her back to #50 at least.


tennisfan Says:

for me, to read about roger is pretty frustrating. Humble rafa needs to know that there are other fans too..Nadal is not the only player…anyways..for federer fans, if they want to read a worthy article, here it is: http://bit.ly/nUKaLC Hope u all enjoy it..federer rules…


Colin Says:

Kimberly, thanks for the correction – I can’t count! I suppose I was misled (by Humble Rafa’s recent”lady forehand” nonsense) into thinking he/she was having another go at Murray.
RZ, what hometown is that? Keothavong was born in London as far as I know. She has worked hard to make the most of her game, but I suspect it’s too late for her to achieve much more in her career. But I’d be glad to be proved wrong.


carlo Says:

Not sure what it says about me but I have no problem at all understanding Humble Rafa.

He’s having a go at Nadal, Federer, and Murray rather lightheartedly is what i think and is a rather nice Djokovic fan.


MMT Says:

Looking forward to Dimitrov vs. Raonic. Both have excellent qualities – movement, good stroke production, and very competitive. Although Raonic has better results, and a (much) better serve, I think Dimitrov is a better player overall, although…that could just be an aesthetic evaluation, to be honest. It’s hard to not like Dimitrov’s one-handed backhand. But Raonic seems to be less proned to unforced errors, and seems more effective at net. Both of them have huge potential.

Good result for James Blake. I haven’t seen any of the match, but any win over del Potro is a good one. Blake did beat Nalbandian in DC this year, so it’s a nice rematch. In DC, Blake just blew Nalbandian off the court with his power, and ruined his shot at repeating his victory from 2010. I think the surface favors Blake’s power, but Nalbandian is no slouch indoors – his best results (ever) were around this time of year in 2007.

Should be interesting.


carlo Says:

Monfils vs Tomic wasn’t bad. Tomic got a set. Monfils played the match like it was an exho mostly but pulled out the win.

Nalbandian gave Dodig a tennis lesson. 6-1, 6-1

Nalbandian was serving better than in Asia and looking very fit.

Nalbandian vs Blake might be good.


Kimmi Says:

i like humble rafa. he/she make me laugh a lot.


alison hodge Says:

wow cracking match between zvonareva and cibulkova,and a gutsy fight back from going a set and a break down from cibulkova to take the match,i like zvonareva but im glad cibulkova got this win,i hope she can go on and build on this victory, she has the talent and the game,but lacks concisteny ,so frustrating.


Mike Says:

WTG JAMES….
This guy has one more magical run in him at a slam … He’s still got the athleticism and like Andre he has had a lot of time off over the years.

Keep it up James and if youre reading this NICE ONE


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Great win for Milos. He didn’t look that great but still pulled it out. With that serve- which seems to be ALWAYS on- it is very hard to get away from him.
This is a match that, rankings wise, Milos should win, but to go out and do it, as he has this week, shows that he’s no flash in the pan. I imagine when these guys meet, they see each other as their competition for years to come and want to send a message. They are each trying to storm the fortress of the top guys, and neither wants to wait in line for the other.


margot Says:

TV: Yes, and I’m finding it exciting watching them jostle for position with each other.
Come on Tomic, come on Dimitrov, my favourites of the young’uns! Young Grigor needs to watch some videos where Raonic gets beaten. His ROS needs some work but he was getting his racquet on most serves.
Have 4gotten, but is it Ferrer who does this to Raonic routinely?


jane Says:

Yay Milos!


grendel Says:

“His ROS needs some work but he was getting his racquet on most serves.” good to hear, margot, whenever I’ve seen Dimitrov, his return has been rather woeful. I think it is true to say that the ROS is a stroke which tends to get absorbed into the repertoire just about last in the player’s career. maybe dealing with huge serves is inherently so difficult that it just takes longer than anything else to come to terms with.

I notice when Dimitrov gets beaten these days, by strong opponents too, the score is fairly tight. That bodes very well, I think. Slow but steady improvement.


jane Says:

Blake’s into the semis: walkover from Nalby.

Dimitrov’s ROS is perhaps a weakness but it seems on par with the other young guns mentioned. He’s won 77% of serve games, 20% of return games, whereas Raonic has won 86% of serve games, 17% of return games, and Tomic 78% service games and 18% of return games. So they are all in the same ballpark, really, except Milos has roughly a 10% edge in service games. Going by stats only, of course.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Jane, thanks for those stats!


grendel Says:

well, Tomic’s return seemed pretty dire when I saw him, too. Have barely seen Raonic, but your figures bear out – perhaps – my tentative suggestion that the return is the last shot to be mastered, generally speaking anyway. So you’d expect all the youngsters to be a bit lacking in that area.


alison hodge Says:

it stands to reason when your still young and inexperienced,theres going to be room for much needed improvement in certain areas,alot of these players are still relativly new,and developing there game ,some will come on in leaps and bounds,and reach the very top of the game,others unfortunatly wont be so lucky,who will be the lucky ones only time will tell.


carlo Says:

Of the 19 to 21 age group, I like Raonic the best, then Tomic. Dimitrov and Harrison – not too sure about them.

There could be hope for Nishikori or did he mostly get lucky in Shanghai?

It’s a good result for Raonic making it to the semi in Stockholm but I don’t expect him to get past Monfils. Other side of the draw, Blake or Niemenen would have been better.


carlo Says:

I am confused about what happened to Nalbandian. He moved well, the really was no noticeable problem in his match with Dodig.


grendel Says:

alison hodge – you are quite right. And yet in 5 years time, we will all have the feeling that we always knew so and so would make it, but such and such wouldn’t. All our current hesitations and doubts will be quietly forgotten.


alison hodge Says:

thanks grendel you as always you make perfect sense.


carlo Says:

His hamstring.

Nalbandian has some of the worst luck.

http://www.supersport.com/tennis/davis-cup/news/111021/Nalbandian_hands_Argentina_Davis_Cup_final_worry

Del Potro stay healthy!


Kimmi Says:

yap unlucky nalbandian. he is stopping and going a lot, that wont help his game.

So, milosh is better than dimitrov! well, the ranking says so but i thought the match would be close. congrats to milosh. he gets la monf tomorrow.


carlo Says:

I’m thinking Raonic, even being out with a hip injury, had the most solid year and thus the highest ranked of the ones mentioned: Tomic, Harrison, Dimitrov, and Nishikori. But Tomic had a great win over Fish in Shanghai and Nishikori surprised by beating Tsonga and getting to the semi. I don’t know, Raonic impresses me as the most mature and likeliest to get to the top 10 first. But I think all of them have a chance to get there eventually.

(not that I expect Milos to beat Monfils) Could be a good match though!


Wog boy Says:

I do believe that Milos can and will beat Monfils, if he stays cool. I also think he is a better player than Dimitrov and Tomic. I don’t like when I see that somebody (Dimitrov) is copying the other player (Federer), he should be more himself, on the other hand Tomic need more consistancy, not like he basically threw it away, his match in Shanghai. I am not sure if his head is at the right place, but then, he is still young. Milos is a more complete player than either of them. His arsenal is more potent. He is basically more convincing as a package. But then, this is only my humble opinion.


margot Says:

kimmi: A purely subjective view, but I don’t think Raonic is “better” than the other youngsters. What he does have is an excellent match temperament and a huge serve, which is why I mentioned Dimitrov’s ROS. Was watching where he stood to receive second serve and the top players step right in and threaten the second serve, but D didn’t have the confidence to do this and made little headway.
Otherwise the match was very close. Also think D needs to put some muscle on, he seems to have grown and looks quite skinny.
But has anyone noticed how MASSIVE Tomic is? And he plays so delicately too, with such lovely touch, whereas Raonic, more massive even, doesn’t seem to have much subtlety in his game.


Kimmi Says:

great match blake and nieminen. nieminen had 5 virtual match points..lost them all and went on to lose the second set.

3rd set!


Kimmi Says:

ah nieminen came back to win the match anyways. great run by blake, when was the last time he reached the semi?


Kimmi Says:

margot – I get what you are saying but at the moment it looks like Milosh a bit better than dimitrov. I dont know how he will fair up against tomic though, as i havent seen them playing.

in few years time it will definitely be clear who is real deal among these youngsters, they are all exploring at the moment. Love dimitrov though, just hoping he becomes better. he is a good one to watch imo.


Kimmi Says:

enjoyed kanepi vs safarova in moscow. was a great match. Jason Goodall was commenting this match on tennistv. Love Goodall commentary. congrats to kanepi.


margot Says:

Ah, the gorgeous, in every sense of the word, Gael beats the bulldozer and artistry triumphs. Hooray :)


jane Says:

I am happy for la Monf, hope he wins it all, was hoping Blake would make the final. I don’t see Milos as a bulldozer margot. He has nice feel at net. That was one of the striking things I noriced about him when he won in San Jose and got to the final of Memphis. But I suppose with a serve like that it can be easy to stay back. Anyhow, be interesting to see how he develops. I am hoping Canada has a top player for once. So it is hard not to ger behind him, and he seems like a nice kid too.


carlo Says:

From a subjective perspective, I get what many like better about Dimitrov > Raonic. But the rankings don’t lie, as they say. Raonic’s tennis is more effective at this point. Potential is another matter. Hard to say for sure. But Raonic keeps moving up. And his record on all surfaces for the year is pretty good.

Monfils is fun to watch. 2nd set was great.

Vasek Pospisil made it through 1st round qualifying in St. Petersburg. His opponent retired, but it’s a start.


margot Says:

We’ll agree to differ on this one, jane, lol I nearly wrote “boring bulldozer.”
However, he’s about as Canadian as Rusedski is British…;)


grendel Says:

“But I suppose with a serve like that it can be easy to stay back.” you mean, if your serve is weaker, you are more inclined to move in? Surely not. Surely with a big serve, it is actually a good idea at least to have the option of moving to the net. On the other hand, with a big enough serve, providing it is accurate, you can win doing just about anything. Still, you get the feeling that if Roddick had learnt to serve and volley early on in his career – instead of trying to tack it on in the latter stages – he’d have had more success.


margot Says:

Did you guys see the match? Gael used the drop shot most effectively, made Raonic look slow.
Agree though, absolutely he comes in after this big serve and volleys very effectively. Just a lack of variation though and being rather fond of Andy younger Fed, Tomic etc I just can’t warm to him.


Kimmi Says:

Either tipsa is very good today or davydenko is very bad. 6-2 first set!


carlo Says:

Davydenko is improving in the 2nd set. Maybe. If he can’t break Janko, it’s over. Sad.

I watched Monfils – Raonic. My favorite shot was his jumping lob.

Tomic did a little better against Monfils than Milos. But Monfils might be getting more serious with each match. He should win tomorrow.

Another youngish player I liked in Shanghai was Santiago Giraldo. Slowly climbing the ranks at age 23. But he might be a bit like Zeballos.


Kimmi Says:

davy playing better in the second. it is becoming a great match..


Kimmi Says:

How many break points davy missed..3? he needs to break i agree carlo.


carlo Says:

LOL. Thanks for that, Janko! Kolya is still alive.


carlo Says:

3 set points for Kolya.


carlo Says:

That was heart-breaking. Lost all set points.


Kimmi Says:

horrible! needs to forget that, important game coming up.


Kimmi Says:

that is what i was worried about..tipsa break. now serves for the match.


carlo Says:

That was tough to watch. I really like Kolya. Janko is too good.

So, who will be confirmed next for WTF?


Kimmi Says:

congrats tipsa. apart from playing well, he is becoming very strong mentally too. those sets points he saved were spectacular. maybe he will win his second title tomorrow..


jane Says:

Oh for sure, I like Dimitrov’s variation.
margot, Raonic was raised in Canada since the age of 3. He is more Canadian than Rudseski is British in my opinion.

I agree that “serve, serve, serve” can get boring quite fast. But I think Raonic brings a little more to the table than Dr. Ivo, for example. He is as rounded as Isner, if not more so.

grendel, what I meant to say, which I guess didn’t come across, was that he can often win the point on his serve alone, and maybe one big forehand. So perhaps he doesn’t have to develop the variation that others do, who cannot rely so much on one big shot. Meaning, he can easily stay back if he wants to. Does that make sense? Of course, he can, and likely should, follow the lead of Sampras, and try to serve and volley more.

Personally, In terms of watching tennis, I prefer to see more variation, more point construction. I like to watch Dimitrov for that reason. All the top four are great to watch too. I like, for example, that Nole’s serve is a now weapon more due to placement than power, and that he can win without a first serve, even. Heck he was still able to remain number 3 when he was double fault king in 09-10. ; ).

Milos isn’t my fave by any means; however, I like cheering on a guy from here, who came up through the Canadian tennis system and who has a nice disposition and talent. It is a welcome change.

That said, I actually prefer Vasek Pospisl’s game and personality, so I hope he can continue to develop and rise up in the rankings.

Congrats to Tipsy; looks like an all Serb battle for the Kremlin cup.


margot Says:

Gosh yes, jane. Raonic has a lot more game than just serve, serve, serve! His volleying behind serve is excellent for a start. I think he’s easily top 10 material btw, top 5 perhaps, who knows?
Just teasing about darling, true blue Greggie, who also must’ve been East European at one time.
Haven’t seen Popsicle :), will look out for him.

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