Djokovic Wins, Denies Money Motivation; Federer v Gasquet Thursday At Paris Masters
by Staff | November 10th, 2011, 1:42 am
  • 83 Comments

The top seeds were all winners Wednesday at the Paris Masters 1000. Top seed Novak Djokovic showed no signs of any shoulder injury Wednesday in a comprehensive 64, 63 win over Ivan Dodig.

“The back wasn’t in any kind of injury state, it was only the shoulder that was a little bit troubling me in Basel, and I took the necessary measures in the last couple of days to recover in order to play in this tournament,” Djokovic said. “I have been back home in Monaco, and then I have been trying to recover there with a team of people. I took a couple of days off and I came here yesterday, because I wanted to take time in recovery rather than just going out on the court to prepare for the conditions.”

Djokovic also brushed aside speculation that he played Paris only to collect a hefty bonus of almost $2 million.

“There are a lot of stories around,” he said. ” It’s normal when you are one of the top players that you get some attention, and things that you do on and off the court are being watched. I don’t want to say if it’s fair or not fair. Everybody has the right to –and freedom to – say what they want and everybody has a right to their own opinion. But I came here because I’m professional tennis player and I want to compete. That’s about all it is.”

Djokovic moves on to play countryman Viktor Troicki tomorrow.

Roger Federer and Andy Murray were also easy winners over Frenchmen. Federer blew past Adrian Mannarino while Murray rolled over Jeremy Chardy.

“I felt rested coming into this tournament, even though it’s been busy the last few days,” Federer said. “That’s a good feeling to have, because now I’ve got to back it up day after day if I want to do well here. I was happy with my performance today. It was great.”

Next for Federer is the dangerous Frenchman Richard Gasquet who had been sidelined for seven weeks with a bad elbow. “I’m going to prepare as if I had the best Richard Gasquet ever against me,” said Federer. “I will need to play a good match, otherwise it is not going to be enough tomorrow.”

Federer had won eight of 10 meetings with Richard with both Gasquet wins coming on clay including their most recent clash at Rome this year.

Seeking a fourth straight title, the red-hot Murray meets Andy Roddick Thursday. “After taking a break, things feel a little bit different,” Murray said. “You’re not quite in the rhythm you were a few weeks ago. Hopefully I can build on today’s win. Maybe if I get through a couple of rounds, I’ll feel that momentum.”

Murray holds a 7-3 head-to-head lead and in their only meeting in the past two years he destroyed Roddick 63, 61 at Queen’s Club in June.

Gael Monfils was the big casualty on the day losing to Feliciano Lopez 63, 64.

Tomas Berdych, Mardy Fish and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga can all wrap up the final three berths at the ATP London Finals with wins on Thursday. With losses today by Monfils, Nicolas Almagro and Gilles Simon, Janko Tipsarevic is the only other player in the hunt for London.

CENTRAL COURT start 10:30 am
[13] A Roddick (USA) vs [2] A Murray (GBR)
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [15] V Troicki (SRB)
[Q] A Seppi (ITA) vs [6] J Tsonga (FRA)

Not Before 4:00 PM
[7] M Fish (USA) vs J Monaco (ARG)

Not Before 7:30 PM
[16] R Gasquet (FRA) vs [3] R Federer (SUI)

Not Before 8:30 PM
J Isner (USA) vs F Lopez (ESP)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
[5] T Berdych (CZE) vs [11] J Tipsarevic (SRB)
[4] D Ferrer (ESP) vs [14] A Dolgopolov (UKR)


Also Check Out:
Serena Williams: I’m A Complete Perfectionist
Rafael Nadal: I Never Lost Motivation To Play Tennis Last Year [Video]
ATP Finals Preview: Will Novak Djokovic Stay Hot And Defend His 2012 London Title?
Weekly Pro Tennis Top 5: Nalbandian Repeats, Catching Betting Cheats
Gasquet Pulls from US Open, Young Walks Into 3rd Round

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83 Comments for Djokovic Wins, Denies Money Motivation; Federer v Gasquet Thursday At Paris Masters

BT Says:

Dominating win by Murray over Roddick. He is looking very sharp!

Tipsarevic served for the first set over Berdych at 5-2 and has now lost his lead. Was kind of hoping for a fairytale run for Tipsy but looks less likely now.


Kimmi Says:

wooo, roddick cant do anything against top guys now. bad loss. way to go murray.


BT Says:

WTF field is now set.

Berdych has beaten Tipsarevic sending himself, Tsonga and Fish through to join Djokovic, Nadal. Murray, Federer and Ferrer.


Kimmi Says:

Nole too many UEs. serve is not good, only 18% won on the second serve.

troicki takes the first set. i was hoping a djokovoc resurgent here, c’moooooon nole, wake up.


BT Says:

Looks like he heard you Kimmi. Got the early break!


alison hodge Says:

jmo but i think it would be great for tricky to win this game,been as hes lost so many to nole,still i think it wont happen though,nole will find enough to get through even if he is not playing his best,very up and down performance from nole.


Kimmi Says:

Nole too many EUs. i dont think he will survive this match. only his fighting spirit is keeping him here. and troicki choking a little.

Amazing how the injuries can take away momentum of a player. this is not the same nole, but then we might not see the “same” nole again. Look at delpo.


alison hodge Says:

nole will have to dig deep to find a way through,and some help from troicki choking.


Kimmi Says:

The fight is on. Go nole!


Kimmi Says:

OK nole, take this one..


BT Says:

Double break. He’s cruising now!


dari Says:

Yay Mardy for making wtf! Very happy for him!


BT Says:

Well done Novak. Strong comeback!


Wog boy Says:

I need a drink, a big, big one.


Kimmi Says:

44 UEs from nole. but he did it. Congrats, it will get tougher from here


Brando Says:

Did not see it but 44 UE against troicki does raise the obvious question: should nole be out there playing? Nole has always had close matches against his fellow countrymen, but judging from some of the post it seems that all is not well with the djoker. It would be good for him to him lose the next one and skip WTF- get some rest as opposed to unnecessary matches under his belt.


Chico Says:

Congrats to Fish&fans for making the Finals :)!

Nole looked awful against Troicki, first it as like ok, we got the bonus and a friend is a,s good as any to loose to, lets rest some shoulder ;) .. but then there was a few incidents that made him think: naah this will look to bad, Viktor has to step up a bit for it to be more convincing. Good to see Nole pulled it off in the end. The point he almost walked away from and a few givaway dropshots looked way scetchy. Not the standard of a numbero uno.

- Paranoid


alison hodge Says:

a wins a win,which ever way you look at it,however it will get tougher from here on in,to be honest i think he had some help with troicki choking at key moments,jmo i think he would have struggled against a better player,one whose better at holding or breaking serve,still he did what the very best do,and found a way through.


alison hodge Says:

brando looks like noles running on empty,scraped through this one,its like we have been saying for days now,time to call it a day for this season,like he said in his interview after the match the shoulder is still bothering him,surely more play will only make things worse,it would be a shame if he were to do more damage because hes too proud to take a break.


jane Says:

Too proud? Hmmm… He said he just wants to compete and was hoping he would be able to do so to the best of his abilities. Yesterday’s match suggested he could. But today maybe not. The serve wasn’t consistent. Defintely next round against Tsonga (probably) will be tougher. Be interested to hear his interview from today.


Wog boy Says:

@Brando: I have to agree. I posted it at previous news, for you, by mistake. He knows, his team knows ( just look at his box ), he is spraying forhends everywhere, because of shoulder problem etc. ..etc . His face tells you that he is not right. But at the end off day, it is his call.


jane Says:

Congrats to Tsonga, Fish and Berdy for qualifying. And also to Muzza, who destroyed Roddick again, just like at Queens. Both times he kept Roddick to 4 games. Maybe it will be Murray in the final.

Looked for interview and could find only a couple snippets but Djoko is still talking about WTF. My interpretation is that his primary movite to be in Paris to get a few matches before that event and see how the shoulder holds up. He’s made so much money this year I doubt that money was his primary motive to play, though I guess only he knows the reason he is playing even when not 100%. Just hope he knows what he is doing.


mat4 Says:

I think that playing – even if it means losing – is not bad if the shoulder problem is just an inflammation (I read it somewhere). Nole wants to play the WTF, and he needs to find his range from the baseline.

Then, I honestly do believe that his team wouldn’t let him play if the shoulder injury was serious. On the other side, he had similar problems in 2009, and, who knows, maybe the change of serve proposed by Todd Martin wasn’t a bad option. Martin improved his slice, volleying and timing when rushing to the net, so it wasn’t all bad after all.


mat4 Says:

Hi, Jane.

See that you also think Nole wants the WTF.


mat4 Says:

If you are still there…

I watched some Murray the last month. I think he is ready to finally win a slam. Looks great. What’s your opinion?

BTW: on essentialtennis.com/tournews/ you have a lot of articles about AM.


jane Says:

Hey ya mat4, thanks once again for the reference. Have bookmarked the site to read later. Yes, I agree. I think Murray will win a first slam in 2012 – providing the world doesn’t end. ;)


alison hodge Says:

hi jane too proud probably the wrong choice of words,i think its difficult to know what to think,i admit i wanted troicki to win today,to get a result against a player who hes lost to 10 times in the past,and also i thought it would do nole a favour and let him have some must needed rest time,ahead of the wtf,its obvious he enjoys competing its not about the money,thing is sometimes i think sometimes what starts off as a small problem,can be made worse by over doing things,still like mat 4 says,his team wouldnt let him play if it was that serious,but i still cant help worrying when im watching him,just the way i am im afraid.


Brando Says:

@Alison: I agree with your posts, nole could risk further damage here when he could easily avoid it.

@Wog Boy: Does sound worrying. Nole really does not need the matches in order to boost his chances at WTF, he needs rest and recovery time. Whilst rafa did play in japan open and 1 mere match at shanghai masters, by the time he gets to WTF it would be over a month since he last played a match, not exactly loaded with match sharpness there!

Rafa made that decision, right or wrong, out of choice in a matter of what he would prefer as preparation for WTF.

Nole’s advisors/team should look at what he needs, and should be rest as opposed to matches. He has 3 matches guranteed in the group stages, he’s more than capable to get to the SF stage and from the who konws what momentum and good fortune can do for him?

Nonetheless, as Wog Boy said, he’s made a decision and i hope it works out for him.


carlo Says:

Multimillionaires, I hear, usually need more money. They have lots of expenses. Djokovic will get his millions from playing Paris and London. If he needs to, he can withdraw from WTF after 1 match and let his mate Tipsarevic have a turn. It’s a savvy decision from Djokovic camp. There will be plenty of time to recuperate before his January commitments. He knows what he is doing.

I see Fish is having a massage and got some massage oil in his eye. Lavage the eye, Mardy! Now he will have to win with a thigh injury and blind in an eye, Fish can’t play. He has to retire!


jane Says:

Shame for Fish as he’d won the first set so comprehensively. Hopefully he is well for WTF.

hey alison, methinks Troicki is like that versus pretty much all top guys; he doesn’t beat Murray (remember at the FO, he was choking there), or Rafa (Victor had match points against him in Tokyo last year) or Fed (took him to two tiebreaks once). I think it’s a belief thing with Troicki, not a Nole thing. ;) Just imo.


jane Says:

margot, you should check out the link mat4 posted; there is some good analysis of Andy M’s game there, i thought. (the writer made some valid points re: Andy R too).

essentialtennis.com/tournews/


jane Says:

Nole took one month off already. That was a wise decision; he got rest and recuperated. I think if anything he should’ve skipped Basel altogether and just played Paris and WTF.


alison hodge Says:

carlo yeah but not exactly fare on his fans ,or the people who pay to see him play,god i wish i could aford to think like that,and turn up for work as and when i felt like it,how selfish would that be,its his duty to do his best at all times if and when he decides to step onto court,been a millionaire he doesnt need the money as much as an ordinary guy working in a supermarket either.


alison hodge Says:

jane i do remember those matches,but the nole one was just this morning so its still fresh in the mind,shame as he is a great player but has these mental lapses against the top players,all between the ears.


Nina Says:

@jane… yeah, nole got six weeks off to heal his back after the US Open which was a serious injury (in his words “the worst injury of his career”). That seems totally healed now.

But the shoulder is a different problem. He has a tendinitis, an inflammation, which kind of comes and goes. That’s why he’s playing. It’s not at risk of becoming a serious injury, just a nagging ailment. And on top of that because he can’t serve well, he’s lost consistency of his shots, specially his forehand. Obviously the shoulder problem is not something new, he had it too last year that’s why he signed Todd Martin. The outcome wasn’t the desired but he said that he had unconsciously changing his serving motion to aliviate pressure on his shoulder and then it all went to disaster. I hope he won’t go that road again, for my mental sake.

On a different note, Murray looks impressive. I think and wish he’s ready to take a slam or two. He’s due just like Novak was. I don’t think he can sustain the amazing level of Novak through a whole season because his game is more up and down, but when he’s on he can beat whoever is out there. Looking forward to a clash with Federer to test where Andy really stands. Fed looked great too this week and last.


jane Says:

Yep, it’s a shame alison: Troicki has a lot of talent. But he’s never won one match against Fed, Murray or Rafa and he’s lost most of them to Nole.

Nina, I think this shoulder thing can get better in the off season; at least I hope so! Maybe he should try whatever Rafa did for his knees as his problems seem to have abated since that difficult 2009 season.

Totally agree with you and all points re: Murray. I really really hope we get to see Andy and Fed clash here. It will be a good gage. I picked Fed but was thinking Andy might still have a sciatic problem. In “hind”sight (lol) I wish I would’ve picked Murray to win it all, although part of me thinks his real goal is winning WTF – in London no less! That’d be akin to Nole & CO winning DC in Belgrade. :)


mat4 Says:

Jane,

just search the archives. There are plenty of articles about the way Murray plays: against Nadal, p.e. There are also interesting analysis of the way other top players play, or have played in a particular match.

A lot of insights. Sometimes it made me feel just plain stupid: I watch some matches, sets multiple times to understand what really happen, what has changed in the game of a player, just to find that Lin uncovered and explained it already.

BTW, did you watch the videos from the fuzzyyellowballs site?


Brando Says:

Tsonga with some spicy comments in reference to djokovic:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/10/us-tennis-men-paris-tsonga-idUSTRE7A94RA20111110

The comments are unnecessary- and stating the obvious- but should spice up their match. One gets the feeling that there is a certain ‘intensity’ in this particular rivalry.


alison hodge Says:

nina and jane i remember as a fan of rafa, been so heart broken in 2009,that i actually cried,when he with drew from wimbledon with tendonitis,so im delighted now that he appears to have put those problems behind him,i was so scared at the time that his career was going to be cut short too,that said i would not like any fans of any other players to go through that same thing,as its not nice for fans of players or the game in general,so if i keep saying about nole taking a break from the game,im only saying it for the good of his career,i wouldnt want noles fans to go through,what us rafa fans went through.


alison hodge Says:

jane its a shame that muzza and fed are on the same side of the draw,i think they are both looking in the best form,would make for a cracking final,jwt will be a good test for nole to see where that shoulders at too.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Great quarterfinals line-up and its really feeling like a sneak peek at WTF. 6 of the 8 will be playing tomorrow!
I have to like Tsonga’s chances if Novak is not 100%, but we’ll need to see Good Jo. If Novak does escape, he may be done against Ferrer who is always Good David.
I expect Murray and Fed to advance and give us the match of the tourney in the semis.


Brando Says:

@TV: Complete agreement. Nole is playing with obvious issues, therefore he is there for the taking BUT you have to beat him nonetheless. Jo has to turn up on order to do so- no mental walkabouts. He seems up for it though.

But somehow i see nole winning tomorrow and if he does i also sense ferrer will take him out, if they meet at SF stage.

Winner of murray v federer should win tourny, and right now i would say murray shall do so- only because i feel out of the 2 he wants/ needs it more, but roger also seems very hungry and full of desire in his matches atm.


jane Says:

Meh, Tsonga’s comments were neither here nor there. Yes, it’s true, he hasn’t won as much as Fedal, nor therefore does he have their aura (as you say Brandon, quite obvious…). He’d need to be dominant longer for that to become a reality. Additionally, Tsonga and Nole have always had tight contests, so from Jo’s perspective, it makes sense. All that said, I have a feeling Tsonga will win tomorrow.

alison, I hear you. I can imagine how badly Rafa’s fans must’ve felt when all of that was going on. And if Nina is right, then what Nole has with his shoulder is similar to what Rafa had with his knees: tendonitis.

Also agree that Murray vs. Fed would’ve made a cracker of a finale.


alison hodge Says:

jane some people might think im a big baby,im always crying at tennis,i cried today when fish retired through injury,especially when i saw him crying,and roger at basel last week,but id rather cry tears of joy rather than tears of sadness,hope both nole and mardy are ok,i dont want any more tears lol.


Brando Says:

@Jane: Likewise. Thought it was somewhat silly of jo to say.But anyway whilst i agree that jo can and if he plays his best should win tomorrow- due to nole’s situation, it ultimately depends on which jo turns up. My gut feeling is, bad Jo shall show.

As for nole’s shoulder, nina seems to be well read on that subject area, therefore going on the information that she provided, and nole’s press remarks, hopefully it shouldn’t be anything other than a temporary thing.

BUT IMHO, his serve/ shoulder has seemed somewhat of an issue since montreal- and that was in august! But credit to the man for his amazing results nonetheless- he’s really improved his mental strength this year!!!


Nina Says:

@alison… i don’t think Nole is facing any career threatening injury like Rafa did. Luckily for all of us Nadal found a solution to it (after reading his bio it actually looks like his dad was the one fighting for a solution). Nole has never actually been seriously injured, but this thing with the shoulder is repetitive, he had it before, that’s my only concern. That may be due to his serving motiong not being gentle with his shoulder.

However, if Nole had to retire young I don’t know what I’d do. I’d very devastated for sure and I think i would stop watching tennis for a while.

About Jo’s comments… for some reason he’s always had some beef with djokovic, don’t know why. Nole has always been nice to him. Maybe because he lost his only slam final against Nole in 2008. That could be it. It looks more like jelousy than anything else. I respect tsonga as a player but I never really liked him.


mat4 Says:

About Jo’s comments:

“Pour moi il a un peu moins d’aura que ces deux là. Je n’ai pas dit qu’il était moins bon hein (rires). N’allez pas m’écrire cela parce que cela ne va pas aller ! Mais c’est par rapport à ses victoires en Grand Chelem. [...] Le fait de gagner un match contre Djokovic c’est pour moi moins fort que quand je bats Roger.”

That’s what he really said, giving a obvious answer to a question, then warning that he didn’t want his word distorted.


jane Says:

Hi Brando, I think you’re right that Tsonga and Djoko have an interesting rivalry. Perhaps it stems from them both playing their first grand slam final against each other, which also was (I think??) their first meeting!? Nole won, and Tsonga has never reached another slam final. I wonder if Jo looks back at that as a missed chance? Mind you, had he been able to beat Nole at Wimbledon this year, he’d've had another shot at a slam. But while Tsonga has winning H2H, in the “grand” scheme of things, Nole has won the more important matches. They seem on good terms on the court though; there were some lovely rallies in that Wimbledon match. I remember one that ended with both guys lying on the grass grinning at each other. :)

mat4, no I haven’t watched those videos. Should I? I think you are a far superior analyzer of matches than I am so I trust your judgement and appreciate all the references, input, chats and so on.


jane Says:

Oops just realized I repeated Nina’s point, sorry.

Also, here’s what mat4 posted in English, via Google translate ;)

“For me it will be slightly less than those two. I did not say it was not so good huh (laughs). Do not write this because it will not go! But it is from his victories in Grand Slam. [...] Winning a match against Djokovic is less strong for me when I beat Roger”


alison hodge Says:

thanks nina sorry if i sound like a broken record,i expect your right,noles injury not career threatening like rafas was,hubbys ordered me rafas book for christmas,should make for an interesting read to find out more about that injury,as for jo maybe a bit of history between them who knows,like brando said all adds to the spice of the next encouter,that is for sure.


margot Says:

jane, checked it out thanks, but could only find the analysis of Andy v Andy match. Mat4 seemed to imply there was other stuff, but couldn’t find it. Where should I dig?


mat4 Says:

I am sorry. I left it in french because I am not able to translate it well.

@Jane: no, I am not a superior analyzer than you are. It is just common sense, and I often have to ask Skeezer, or Grendel or you what you think, and I often read valuable thoughts on this site.

Just to add: Nina is wrong. I sometimes go to Jo’s site, and he openly expressed his satisfaction with Nole becoming number 1. He had an altercation with Rafa, though, a few years ago, but I think it is long forgotten.


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

I searched the complete interview, but didn’t found it.

So I started from livetennis.fr/joueurs-francais/Tsonga-Jo-Wilfried.php, found parts of his interview, then collate the parts left aside from one article to the other.


Brando Says:

@jane: I also enjoy their matches. Nole has won the big ones , but I would say tomorrows match is one that should be a less high profile match, therefore less of a mental test for jo. He’s beaten rafa (aus 08) roger (wimby this year) so sooner or later I think he shall also beat nole too. He’s reached the WTF for 1st time ( I think), finished inside the top 10 and generally speaking he’s had his most consistent season. I think he got his career best slam results at wimby/ USO too this year. He is a colourful player and character too.


mat4 Says:

@Nina:

Jo just likes to brag a little. Nothing mean.


jane Says:

Brando, Jo has beaten Nole in big events, AO 2010 and at the WTF in 08, but the matches didn’t end up being “big matches” in terms of where they lead to. Nole still went on to win WTF 2008 and Tsonga lost to Fed next round in A0 2010. Whereas in the matches Nole’s beaten Jo, he won his first slam and reached number 1.

margot, you have to ask mat4 where to dig. i was referring specifically to the article about the Andy vs Andy match and the changes they note in Andy M’s game (for e.g., not going cross court a lot – I feel Delpo often does that too).


Brando Says:

@jane: did not know that. It’s going to be interesting tomorrow i feel. Jo sounds up for, and nole, well he has conpleted 2 whole matches, so it could be that we are barking up the wrong tree here in regards to his physical state. It’s still 2011 and the djoker is still in the tournament- usually spells bad news for the rest:-)


Tennis Vagabond Says:

That’s a bad translation. WHat Jo said was, “For me, his aura is slightly less than those two. I didn’t say that isn’t as good! Don’t write that! But it goes with their GS wins. For me, its less of a big deal [or "less had" could mean either] to win against Novak than Roger”


Tennis Vagabond Says:

meant “that HE isn’t as good”

sorry


Brando Says:

up for it> up for. Completed>Conpleted- damn the iPhone!


rogerafa Says:

I am sorry if I am being daft but I don’t see anything in Tsonga’s comments which will add “spice” to tomorrow’s match. He was stating a point from his perspective and I don’t think Djokovic is silly enough to be offended by it. He was pretty careful about not creating any misunderstanding. I can’t recall a single instance of any animosity between them. They are extremely warm to each other going by their post-match smiles and handshakes at the net irrespective of the result. This is in contrast to, say, the warmth shared between Nadal and Djokovic when Nadal was winning most of the matches. Things have turned decidedly cold from Nadal’s side this year.


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

Sorry, I thought you were writing about Tsonga.

On tennis essential every second article is about Andy Murray, every fifth about Andy Roddick. So, just look in the archives (on the right side of the page). There are repeated analysis about the way Murray plays against Nadal, Federer against Nadal, Djokovic against Nadal, Federer against Djokovic…

A few links:

essentialtennis.com/tournews/2011/06/the-strange-odds-of-federer-vs.-djokovic/#comments

essentialtennis.com/tournews/2011/06/french-open-mens-final-preview/

essentialtennis.com/tournews/2011/10/can-andy-murray-break-through/


alison hodge Says:

@rogerafa i wonder if the frosty turn in the rafa nole relationship,was due to the gun prank between nole and tipsy,could be just wondering, or could be that rafas pissed at nole getting the better of him so many times this year,as for jo i dont know press sometimes like to make up something that doesnt exist.


alison hodge Says:

it will be intersting to see the way they act towards each other tomorrow,and also the handshake after the game,that will tell us if theres any animosity between the two of them.


Kimmi Says:

I am hoping this is another one of nole where he plays badly against lower ranked player and then bring his best game when playing top guys. we have seen him doing that this year.

I only need him to get to the final…goooo nole!


Ben Pronin Says:

What Tsonga said is obnoxiously obvious. No crap Djokovic’s status isn’t as historic as Federer and Nadal’s. But he points it out because he’s still pissed about losing the Australian Open final and he makes sure to knock Djokovic down a peg every chance he gets. I hope Djokovic wipes the floor with him tomorrow.


rogerafa Says:

@alison

So far as I can recall, things had turned cold much earlier than when that gun prank took place. I also don’t think Djokovic (he doesn’t appear to be that sort of person) or Tipsy intended or meant to offend Nadal although it was in poor taste and pretty stupid. I do think he is really pissed at Djokovic for beating him in so many big finals and that is quite understandable. I have nothing against any player who is strictly formal and business-like at the net after the match. It is just that the contrast from their earlier matches is too obvious to go unnoticed.


mat4 Says:

@Ben:

The question about Djoko’s aura was repeated three times, Ben. Tsonga just couldn’t avoid it.


mat4 Says:

@alison:

I think it all started when Nole fired Perez Barbadillo, his PR, who is also Rafa’s PR. Then, there was that Vajda’s celebration in Madrid (you can find it on Youtube).


Wog boy Says:

My grandmother use to tell me “morning is wiser than evening” but it doeasn’t work with me.
Maybe it is about pride for Novak, maybe he wants to finish the year on high note, knowing mentality of my people it could be that or maybe ” we are just barking up the wrong tree” as Brando said. I would be more than happy if that is the case. Sugar….I need Panadol, it is one of those morning.
Nole….Nole what are you doing to me, my wife is not happy, you are in a big trouble…..so am I :)


Kimmi Says:

tough one for muzza tomorrow. H2H berdych leads 2-1, winning the last two. fingers crossed for murray.

congrats to isner and monaco for reaching qtr final. what a run monaco he is having. hope fed can stop him tomorrow.


mat4 Says:

Another link from essential tennis, for Nole fans:

essentialtennis.com/tournews/2011/05/rome-djokers-wild-as-2011-win-streak-reaches-37-with-rome-win-over-nadal/


rogerafa Says:

Djokovic has looked rusty in his matches. The lack of sharpness is understandable after a break. Physically, he doesn’t appear to be having any obvious issues. There was a 42-shot rally which Troicki won with a brilliant drop shot. However, it left him panting while Djokovic seemed surprisingly strong. He served alright today and the speed wasn’t compromised much. Frankly, the 2011 Djokovic does not need to be 100% against the likes of Dodig or Troicki. He should beat Tsonga unless Tsonga plays at a consistently high level and that happens rarely. This has been a very good draw for Novak with the quality of opponents gradually increasing with every match. This is exactly what he needed to play himself into some rhythm. The semi-final would likely be easy and he could end up playing a very tired opponent in the final if the other semifinal lives up to the hype. The way the season has gone for him, I won’t be surprised in the least if he ends up winning Bercy too. I agree with Kimmi about him playing well enough to beat lesser players but stepping it up versus better players.I think the only player who could beat Djokovic is Murray if he has an easy semi final. On today’s evidence, Murray could embarrass Federer if they do meet in the semi. If that happens we could be in for a cracker of a final. A long semi is obviously likely to hurt Murray’s chances in the final.


mat4 Says:

@rogerafa:

Djokovic is often struggling against big servers, especially when he doesn’t serve well himself.

He needs to be more consistent from the baseline at least.

Then, he was serving 180 kmph his first, and about 130 kmph his second serve. It could be a feast for Tsonga who likes to takes risks.

But Djoko is the number 1, and he won’t lose without a fight. And, who knows, maybe today’s match against Troïtsky was what he needed to find his range.


Nina Says:

I think what it’s really troubling Nole at the moment is his second serve. The stats on that one are very poor. And his first serve rate is not that high, so make the count: 2+2 should = 4.

@Mat4… thanks for giving a better quote from Tsonga, it doesn’t sound as bad now, but still… sounds a bit bitter.
But i remember he was one of the first to publicly say that Nole would be number 1 this year, i think as early as AO.
I don’t know with Tsonga, he seems friendly with Nole on court but then he says some bad stuff like when he joked about Nole’s many health ailments last year, almost suggesting he was a faker. I know Nole has got this reputation, but I don’t believe it’s deserved.

Anyway I’m not very confident about Nole’s chances tomorrow. He’s not playing anywhere his best level, but I agree it’s good enough for beating most guys. Now, tsonga, muzza or fed are a different kind of breed. Specially Muzza seems to be playing fabulous tennis at the moment, I’m glad for the guy if he can win it. Hell of an end of a season he’s putting, reminds me of Nole’s fall season in 2009.

The WTF look more interesting by the minute. Curious to see how fit Rafa will be and specially what improvements has he done. It seems an eternity since I watched him play.


rogerafa Says:

@mat4

If Novak returns the way he is capable of, Tsonga himself will come under tremendous pressure. He had 65% first serves against Troicki which is quite good. I agree about Tsonga taking risks but they come off very rarely especially against quality opponents. He could end up hitting a flurry of unforced errors too. It is always a double-edged sword. It looks spectacular when it comes off but it is not easy to sustain it over a long period. If, as it appears, Djokovic is physically alright, I do expect him to step it up against Tsonga. I hope he has shaken off whatever rust he had. I guess we will get some definite answers tomorrow.


Kimberly Says:

fed ate monaco for dinner last time they played at us open. in miami their match was tighter on the slower court. im not expecting much of a match.

Berdych Murray and Nole Tsonga, not sure, a lot depends on which Tomas Berdych and JW Tsonga show up. Tight match if the right ones show, total blow out for Nole and Muzza otherwise.


WTF Says:

Didn’t Djokovic like.. get injured only a week ago, and gave up a bagel set instead of retiring?

This guy sure recovers fast.


Michael Says:

I do not want to doubt Novak on his honest talk. He has his own reasons for playing. But I thought that some amount of rest will do lot of wonders to his already bruised physique. Any player will experience that after winning almost everything in sight. To the credit of Djokovic, he won many titles pitted against some of the best in Tennis like Federer, Nadal, Murray etc. He has already proven to the World his Championship like qualities. We only hope that Djokovic has a injury free career. If anything can upset his calculations it is his body as he is always prone to injury and wear & tear. Apart from that, I see Djokovic winning atleast 10 majors in his career.


tennis coach Says:

Who cares what Tsonga think about Novak Djokovic!!!


oop Says:

Djoko will be in trouble next year defending all those points, esp that he has never defended a grand slama successfully


margot Says:

Thanks Mat4, enjoyed article Andy v Andy. Analysis rather than nasty biased writing.
kimmi, last time Big Bird beat Andy was on clay I believe.
So, Come On Andy, all the way to the trophy!


Brando Says:

@ michael: I agree. I have always felt that nole would win slams. At a strech 12. Thing with nole is rafa is only a year older, Murray is the same age and del potro is only 2 years younger. For all those guys from here onwards each and every slam they will face INTENSE competition.

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ATP - Jul 28 WTA - Jul 28
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Na Li
3 Roger Federer3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 David Ferrer6 Maria Sharapova
7 Milos Raonic7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Juan Martin Del Potro8 Angelique Kerber
9 Grigor Dimitrov9 Jelena Jankovic
10 Andy Murray10 Victoria Azarenka
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