Federer Blunts Raonic, Wozniacki Fizzles At Indian Wells; Top 3 Men Playing Today
by Sean Randall | March 14th, 2012, 9:22 am
  • 155 Comments

After a dominant first set of serving by Milos Raonic, Roger Federer got on track with the Canadian’s delivery just in time rallying to a 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4 victory Tuesday night at Indian Wells.

Raonic started the match as advertised, bombing serves and slugging winners. Federer, who was still under the affects of a flu virus, was also holding with ease, but in the tiebreaker the Swiss was the first to blink.

Federer, though, didn’t waver securing an early break racing to a 6-2 second set win. Then in third Roger broke in the seventh game to all but seal the match.

“Even though I was down a set, I don’t think I was playing poorly,” said Federer. “I might have missed one running forehand in the breaker, and that was about it. That cost me the set. That’s just how it goes sometimes. I think my experience in this regard helped me a bit, but overall I think I just played a good match. My confidence got me through as well playing so many matches as of late. I think that was maybe the difference tonight.”

Federer showed again that few players in history handle the big servers as well as he does. Sure, he only managed a single point against the Raonic first serve in the opening set, but Roger eventually figured things out.

“I guess my experience helped me to stay calm and just weather the storm,” said Federer. “Maybe if I would be younger I’d be more panicky about him hitting aces left and right and making me feel uncomfortable. I have been there so many times before against some of the all time great servers that it was obviously not going to happen tonight. I just hoped to stay calm.”

Raonic was playing in arguably the biggest match of his career, his first meeting with Federer in a huge night match inside a massive stadium, the second largest in tennis. And for a while Raonic displayed his awesome future.

“I felt at the beginning maybe I just went for a little too much, didn’t play within myself,” said Raonic. “I think I caught on to that pretty early and calmed down and did the right things. I think it just came down to a few poorly executed plays as well. I think I hit the ball well. I just was picking the wrong shot, and this is what makes the difference, but with experience hopefully I catch on to that.”

And Milos will get that experience and someday soon, very soon, he’ll be in the Top 10 and winning Grand Slams. The kid’s too powerful, too smart and too composed not to.

Federer moves on to meet Tomaz Bellucci today. The Brazilian’s a big-hitting lefty, a little in the Rafael Nadal mold. On a slow court and depending how Roger is able to recover from Tuesday – read: illness – it could be a tough match for the Swiss.

“Obviously it’s a quick turn of events to go from night session to day session, from a righty to a lefty, from a big server to a baseliner,” Federer said. “I’m looking forward to that kind of a challenge. It’s different. I hope to feel better again tomorrow so I will be able to last through long rallies.”

JW Tsonga, Juan Martin Del Potro, Rafael Nadal and David Nalbandian, who got a good win over Janko Tipsarevic, were the other big winners.

In the lone upset, Denis Istomin stunned David Ferrer. Ferrer had been so hot and in form winning 11 straight but the Uzbek was up to the challenge to collect his first career Top 10 scalp.

In women’s play, Caroline Wozniacki’s horrid season continued last night. The defending champion was bludgeoned by former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic 6-3, 6-2.

“She just went on a roll,” Wozniacki said. “She started to hit the ball harder, and, you know, it was going in. I stepped back a little bit, and it gave her the time to do what she wanted. She just played better than me today, and I just need to get back and practice on a few things and hopefully get back strong for Miami.”

Whatever Wozniacki’s doing she needs to stop. Boyfriend, coach, etc. Clearly nothing is working. She needs a complete overhaul.

Maria Sharapova also was a winner and a pair of American youngsters, Jamie Hampton, who retired to Radwanska, and Cristina McHale both lost. McHale squandered three matchpoints losing in a tough third set tiebreaker to Angelique Kerber.

With all eight fourth round men’s matches on the schedule, it’s a delicious day in the desert. Among the better ones, Nadal, who’s looked arguably the best of anyone, plays the tricky Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Upstart American Ryan Harrison tries to reach his first Masters quarterfinal against Gilles Simon. Tsonga meets Nalbandian in an intriguing affair and maybe Pablo Andujar, a hard-hitting Spaniard, can keep things tight with Novak Djokovic in the first match on Stadium 1.

Despite the deep schedule, I think all the favorites (higher ranked) win today. Though if his flu worsens and if the match does get played under the sun, Federer could have problems.

The women’s quarterfinals also begin with Azarenka-Radwanska and Kerber-Li Na. And maybe there’s still some bad blood between Azarenka and Radwanska after the Doha incident where Radwanska questioned Vika’s injury.

Tennis Channel has all the coverage starting at 2pm.

STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs P Andujar (ESP) – ATP

Not Before 1:30 PM
[1] V Azarenka (BLR) vs [5] A Radwanska (POL) – WTA
[21] A Dolgopolov (UKR) vs [2] R Nadal (ESP) – ATP
T Bellucci (BRA) vs [3] R Federer (SUI) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[18] A Kerber (GER) vs [8] N Li (CHN) – WTA

Not Before 8:30 PM
D Istomin (UZB) vs [9] J Del Potro (ARG) – ATP

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
[12] N Almagro (ESP) vs [7] T Berdych (CZE) – ATP
[11] J Isner (USA) vs [Q] M Ebden (AUS) – ATP
[6] J Tsonga (FRA) vs D Nalbandian (ARG) – ATP
R Harrison (USA) vs [13] G Simon (FRA) – ATP

Not Before 5:00 PM
M Lopez (ESP) / R Nadal (ESP) vs [7] L Paes (IND) / R Stepanek (CZE) – ATP – After Suitable Rest


Also Check Out:
Caroline Wozniacki Can’t Win A Grand Slam, And She Can’t Jump On A Balloon Either [Video]
An Earthquake Hit Indian Wells This Morning, Here’s How It Looked On The Tennis Channel (With Player Reaction) [Video]
Jankovic Pummels Bridesmaid Wozniacki in Indian Wells Final
Roger Federer: I’m Still Not 100% Over The Flu, But Feeling Better; I Was Impressed By Raonic
Sharapova Overwhelms Wozniacki For Second Indian Wells Win And First Title Since The French Open

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155 Comments for Federer Blunts Raonic, Wozniacki Fizzles At Indian Wells; Top 3 Men Playing Today

jane Says:

I was surprised by how many people in the crowd last night were rooting on Raonic but it could be that some Canadians were down there. The commentators Sam Gore and Koenig also mentioned that the crowd seemed pretty even. I think Milos will be a popular champion in the future. Could be so good for tennis over here.


Brando Says:

I haven’t seen milos play yet- but just by going on some of the blogs here, it seems him and tomic maybe the next big names in the game.


jane Says:

i think maybe Harrison too could to do well in the future.


Joe W Says:

I think Christina McHale is showing some promise as well. Which is good news for USA tennis, which hasn’t had a lot of good news this season.


El Flaco Says:

Unbelievable how slow the conditions are at night. Raonic could only manage 10 aces in 15 service games plus a tiebreak. I think night matches in IW and Miami are the slowest possible hard court conditions on the whole tour.


contemperory Says:

“Though if his flu worsens and if the match does get played under the sun, Federer could have problems”.

True because Bellucci is more of a clay courter so we could expect longer rallies. If Fed is sick , with the sun, he wouldn’t be able to play as well as today.

Nadal,Delpo,Fed are all playing well. Djoko should be able to raise his game when the time comes. All in all, we should see very good matches from now provided no sickness/retirements continue to happen.


jane Says:

Nole is the day match. Can’t remember if all Nole’s matches have been day, last one was, but I can’t watch this one, bummer. Maybe day is better is night is that slow? Not sure. Depends on how hot I guess.


andrea Says:

i was able to blast out to indian wells yesterday afternoon and had a great afternoon evening of tennis. there wasn’t much chatter about the dolgopolov/baghdatis match and that was highly entertaining and went the distance. both players are fun to watch. alex’s serve is very cool in person. such a low ball toss but then tremendous action and when he fires his forehand it’s a bomb. and then of course all the backhand slices. gotta say, marcos almost came back so good effort. alex needs to keep his foot on the gas pedal in matches – he was up 4-0 in the third and it went to 6-4 – but will be interesting to watch him play nadal.

fed/raonic was awesome. everyone was expecting a good match and it was. i’m glad fed started to read his serve a little so that we got some rallies instead of bombers all night long, but milos held in there and showed some nice variety. i may have junxed fed cos just before he gave up a mini break in the tie break i said to the guy that next to me that someone was going to have to make a mistake.

did not stay to watch all of ana/caroline but from the few opening games i watched, i knew ana would win. i have not seen her hit with so much conviction for a long time. and as much as i like Caroline as a personality, her overall game and lack of anything spectacular, really gets put under scrutiny in these types of matches. like the semi final at the USO against serena…she looked like a chump.

anyway, just wanted to say that in my travels watching tennis, i meet lots of fans, but none who are as obsessive and fanatical as the people on tennis-x, so hats off to our little community of tennis nerds.


Brando Says:

I think people should not read too much into nole’s performances pre SF. Last year he always seemed somewhat shaky, a bit patchy etc against some of the weaker opponents but as soon as he faced a big name player he would always produce. And that’s how it should be- producing when it matters. Nole will be fine. He’ll make the finals and he’ll do well there too. The onus to produce big is on his opponents not him, as he has been doing so- almost without fail- for 16 months now!


MMT Says:

Conditions may be slower at night, but Raonic lost 1 point on 1st serve in the first set, so apparently it wasn’t a problem for him!


Dave Says:

I said before that Milos Raonic is a threat to beat Nadal, and he agrees. Raonic had played Rafael Nadal twice – his only other meetings against the world’s top four – and said that, although he lost both times to the Spaniard, that he felt he had a greater chance of staying in the match against Rafa than Federer. “Federer has the ability to just take the match away from you,” he said. “He hits the ball like the other guys, but he has this ability to switch it and really just take you out of the court and put you on the back foot. He can do it a lot quicker, and he can do it off a lot tougher shots than the other guys.”
http://msn.foxsports.com/tennis/story/Indian-Wells-Roger-Federer-withstands-Milos-Raonic-in-three-sets-031312

“I got the answer early on that he was very good and it’s kind of what I expected,” Federer said with a smile. “You hope maybe he’s not THAT good! So you’re in a tough spot all of a sudden, which I was at the end of the first set. But finally being on court with him for 40 minutes I guess gave me a chance to see how the serve works, and what is his favorite serve, what is his pattern. I was getting to the ball often in the beginning but just not making the plays. That was hurting me early on. So the longer I stayed out there the better I started feeling and, as his serve dropped off a bit, it gave me more opportunities.”

“I thought he did well,” Federer said. “He has an amazing serve he can rely on all the time. And with his power and size, that will never go away. That will make him a threat for years to come.”

The classy sportsman Raonic left the match with athe right attitude and has showed he is ready to threaten the top players on big stages. “I want to learn as much as I can from this match and put myself in the position to try and win the next one,” he said. “I take a lot of positives.

Raonic also said : “I was playing against arguably the best player of all time.” As Bernard Tomic also admitted, Federer remains the biggest prize for players to beat. That’s the pressure that Federer faces every time he steps out on court.

Steve Tignor’s match analysis: Federer versus Raonic
http://blogs.tennis.com/racquet_reaction/2012/03/indian-wells-federer-d-raonic.html

Canadian newspaper’s perspective
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/more-sports/canadas-raonic-falls-short-in-bid-to-upset-federer-in-indian-wells/article2368520/

Raonic came into the match leading the ATP Tour in aces (278), service games won (95 percent), first serve points won (84 percent) and break points saved (81 percent). And in the first set, Raonic’s serve was untouchable as he won 22 of 23 first serves and was never broken.

Federer is the hottest player of the last six months (since after US Open), winning the most matches (35 of 37 matches), winning the most points (4,855 after beating Raonic at IW), and capturing the most titles (five titles in the last seven tournaments). Federer needs just 360 points more than Djokovic gets from the Indian Wells Masters to become the ranking points leader for the 2012 year to date. Federer also extended his winning streak to 81 wins over players ranked outside the top 19. The last player to beat Federer who was ranked outside the top 19 was No. 32 Lleyton Hewitt in 2010 in Halle (Hewitt is a former No. 1, Wimbledon champion and winner of more grass coiurt matches than Sampras or Federer). The other Big Four players have lost several matches in tournaments since Halle ended: Djokovic in his prime has lost 3 matches to players ranked No. 32 to No, 74; Nadal in his prime lost 6 matches to players ranked No. 20 to No 53; and Murray in his prime lost 6 matches to players ranked No. 20 to to 143. In 2005 and 2006 Federer lost just one match per year to a player outside the top 19 (Gasquet in 2005 and Murray in 2006).

A player’s competitive spirit shows in his losses, as well as in his wins. E.g., Nadal and Federer both lost 27 matches since January 2010. Of Nadal’s 27 losses in his prime, 15 losses ended in 0-6, 1-6, 2-6 or 3-6 final sets. Of Federer’s 27 losses past his prime, only 8 losses ended in such scores. On the flip side, of Nadal’s 27 losses, only 4 losses ended in 5-7 or 6-7 final sets. Of Federer’s 27 losses, 11 losses ended in 5-7 or 6-7 final sets. Federer was in a bad slump between 2010 IW to 2010 Estoril after a bout of pneumonia, but he lost all four matches 6-7 (three matches) or 5-7 (one match) in the final set. We should also check the losses of Djokovic and Murray during this period, but I expect a similar pattern: Federer may be losing, but this champion usually tries harder till the bitter end.

Despite being sick with the flu, Federer still found a way to compete hard without making a soap opera of his ailments. He wasn’t joking when he admitted in early January “I promise you I had a lot of pain throughout my career, and I’ve managed to play with it.”


Humble Rafa Says:

but Raonic lost 1 point on 1st serve in the first set, so apparently it wasn’t a problem for him!

You also need to consider the person on the other side of the net. “That Person” has trouble returning against big servers….Isner, Tsonga,Berdych…and even Karlovic. He lost to Karlovic not long ago.


skeezerweezer Says:

andrea,

Thanks for sharing. Cool you got to go and see the matches. Its a great layout there for watching, no?


Fot Says:

Roger started reading Raonic’s serve better after the first set. In the first set Roger wasn’t even getting a racket on his serve but he started returning much better after that set. I’mm glad Roger got through the match, now he can concentrate on this quick turn-around today. His opponent should be well rested since he didn’t have to play his last match.


Fot Says:

Humble Rafa, I actually think Roger is one of the BEST players to play against “big SERVERS”. Now big hitters may be another thing..but Roger return big servers much better than most of the tennis players on tour. (just my opinion)


JD Says:

I like Raonic, but not high power serving games. There should not be a tremendous advantage for players who can serve great over other players. After all the serve is there to start a point and not to finish it (all the time)? With the new advanced strings we could only watch serving instead of actual play. The game should evolve as to allow for more rallies and exciting tennis. How, I do not know, but a good start could be to allow net serves to keep the game rolling instead of endless waiting game for a perfect serve?


Dave Says:

Yesterday’s player interviews: Roger Federer, Milos Raonic, Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin Del Potro, Victoria Azarenka, Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Na Li
http://www.asapsports.com/show_event.php?category=7&date=2012-3-13&title=BNP+PARIBAS+OPEN


sheila Says:

humble rafa, do u ever give federer any credit 4 anything. i agree w/fot, federer is 1 of the best returners against big servers, but imho, his return is more often just blocking it back, whereas maybe someone like djokovic hits back returns w/more authority. also, nadal looked good because he played a player, granollers, who walked on to the court w/no belief that he could beat nadal. u could just feel the vibe from him that nadal was the alpha male & he was subservient to him. this is not to take anything away from nadal as he is 1 of the gr8st players of all time, but lets b real, his draw has no big servers or strikers of the ball. dolpogolov is so inconsistent that that should b a cakewalk 4 nadal. federer unfortunately, has a lfty who plays similar 2 nadal & i’m sure he will attack federers one handed backhand + everyone says the ball bounces high like a clay court. so yes, nadal 4sure will win his match & probably the tournament as he wants 2b the man again & start winning djokovic. imho, 2012 will b a repeat of 2011, nadal & djokovic in all the finals, but this time nadal will b winning. predictable & boring because none of these other players have the belief that they can win nadal & djokovic in big matches


carlo Says:

andrea @ 10:56 a.m.

Thanks for that report! Like you, I thought watching Dolgopolov was highly entertaining in person when I was there last year. There is something lost of that on TV, but he remains a favorite simply for the excitement he brings. Dolgo – Baghdatis and Federer-Raonic would have been my pick to watch too.

Today, I’d go for Almagro – Berdych :D
In fact, every match on stadium 2 looks like fun.


Angel Says:

Nadal has no much of a chance to beat Novak in a 2 of 3 sets match. Not now at least, I have to see it to believe it, too much time since I haven’t. Sorry.


mem Says:

comtemporary,

do me a favor and give it a rest! roger is not the only who has played a match when he was feeling less than 100%. stop trying to prepare an excuse in case he loses. this is sports!

had it been nadal claiming to be sick from a bug, sean randall would have been writing about how suspicious it was or suggesting that he was lying. you people need to stop this mess! if roger doesn’t feel well he knows how to withdraw.

i’m sure he will feel better depending on who he plays.


marrisv Says:

yes nico and berdy should be fun after their infamous match at the AO


Dave Says:

Federer has consistently been among the best in first service return points won since 2003. Only an ignorant person would claim Federer has trouble returning against big servers given Federer is considered one of the best returners against big servers.
http://www.atpworldtour.com/Matchfacts/Matchfacts-List.aspx?c=6&s=0&y=2006

Steve Tignor: “Federer’s return was just as crucial. After failing to earn a break point in the first, the man who has faced down, and gotten back, a million cannonballs from Andy Roddick gradually began to get a read on the Raonic missile. By the start of the third, he was timing it well enough that it appeared to be just a matter of games before the breakthrough. It finally came at 3-3. Federer started that game with a sharp crosscourt return of a first serve to go up 0-15, and he finished it with a block backhand return (of another first serve) that crawled over the net and gave him the open court for a winning pass to break.

A novice Federer observer might say that return was a slightly lucky stab, but it’s really his version of Novak Djokovic’s go-for-broke forehand return—at a certain point, if you make it enough times, it’s no longer lucky. Federer has a knack for putting returns, even reflex returns, in tough spots…

Clutch serves, well-timed returns, great passing shots, hooking forehands inside-out and inside-in, and break chances taken (from Federer). This really was a good night for Milos Raonic. He learned a lot about how to win a tennis match.”
http://blogs.tennis.com/racquet_reaction/2012/03/indian-wells-federer-d-raonic.html


NK Says:

“Stop trying to prepare an excuse in case he loses. this is sports.”

I swear I thought this comment was about Nadal, then realized who the sender was. Never mind.


marrisv Says:

Andujar just got a bagel for his lunch.


Brando Says:

Break point andujar!


Brando Says:

Nole looks good- but 1st serve needs improving!


marrisv Says:

nico with a break, go nico


marrisv Says:

Andujar on the board finally… maybe a breadstick to go with the bagel?


Humble Rafa Says:

Stop trying to prepare an excuse in case he loses. this is sports

This is BS. Your Humble Highness feels that you should prepare an excuse but never discuss it openly until you lose. Some people are never skilled on these things as I am. With experience, they will learn.


Skeezerweezer Says:

NK,
LMAO


tennisfan Says:

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Inspite of his ailment, Federer played some beautiful tennis. Go Roger!

From McEnroe-Borg to Roger Federer : A Fan’s Inspiring Two Cents! http://bit.ly/xtPz5P


Brando Says:

mmmm…. Nole’s groundies seem impressive- as ever (does he ever hit it short)- but he struggles getting his 1st serve in. Once he gets a rhythm going on that front, then watch out. Until then, others might think they have a chance….


marrisv Says:

Impressed that Andujar is staying with him this second set 4-4


marrisv Says:

Nico putting a beatdown on the bird in the second…


Brando Says:

@marrisv:

andujar has talent- he gave rafa a fright at RG last year. I think he was overwhelmed by playing ‘nole’ in the 1st set.

And yep, almagro is on fire. I think berdych has lost his early season momentum.


marrisv Says:

@Brando – Yes, i know Andujar pushed rafa hard last year. But the way he started looked like it would be short workout for Nole, but credit to Andujar for making this a tight set.


alison hodge Says:

brando hows the match going now?and how did rafa look last night in his match against granollers?


Skeezerweezer Says:

Nico putting a beatdown on the bird in the second…

Yes! Buh bye Birdy


Brando Says:

@alison: andujar is fighting hard- but nole is still superior. To me nole doesn’t seem as passionate as he was this time last year, he doesn’t have that fire in his eyes kind of look about him. It could be that he’s facing andujar, so he’s not as up for it….

re rafa: saw the 2nd set. Rafa was in control, BUT he took his foot of the gas a little, let granollers in to the contest. He was lucky he had the early break, since when granollers started to play better, the match was pretty much over.

He needs to keep his intensity throughout the match against dolgopolov..


Epsilon Says:

Out-Novaking Novak!

Impressive!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Pablo takes the second? Rafa fans must be popping the Cork in the Champagne bottle right now….


Brando Says:

Well done andujar!!!

shaky 1st game by pablo….


Brando Says:

@skeez:

nah- not until rafa beats him (i hope)!

pablo broken here, nole should seal the deal.


Brando Says:

Pablo had a mental letdown there. The effort he put in to win the 2nd plus the euphoria of winning, maybe he was bound to switch off.


Brando Says:

nole 2-0, should be smooth sailing from here for him….


Kimberly Says:

Glad Almagro won even though it sinks my bracket. Berdych deserves to lose after his poor behavior in Australia.


Brando Says:

yup, almagro most really be savouring this one. and rightfully so IMO.


Skorocel Says:

Too much ado about nothing… Djoker’s still the winner!


El Flaco Says:

I told you it was really slow. Almagro in the quarters of a masters 1000 beating Berdych. Andujar in the rd16 who has only won 7 matches in his entire career on a hard court. He is really challenging Djokovic.


mem Says:

skeezer,

dude, novak gave you quite a scare today.

you sound pretty worried; in fact you sound the most worried of them all because all your eggs are in novak’s basket. you are counting on him completely to protect roger’s record from nadal. you must be under a lot of pressure dude! you worry too much, relax, i’m sure you’re right when you say novak can’t be beat, unless of course, his level drops or he is sick or injured. so calm down, you have nothing to worry about.

i have to admit you do enough worrying for all rafafans combined. however, let’s be clear
you do not speak for me as a rafafan. you might speak for brando, allison, and some of the others who seem to think novak is invincible, but i’m not one of them. last i checked, nadal wasn’t running away from novak he was running toward him. so if another player takes novak out to help nadal like players do when they take rafa out to help roger, then we’ll just have to accept that. but rafa can only play the player across the net. that’s just the way the chips fall!


jane Says:

I think Pablo’s thing is clay; he played a tight match versus Rafa at the FO last year and really should’ve won a set there. But it’s interesting how well the “so-called” clay-courters are doing at IW; is it really that slow? Phew, just glad Nole was able to win and play another day. Hopefully I can watch the next match.


Skeezerweezer Says:

mem,

Thanks for setting me straight, I was really getting worried about myself there…hehe. Glad to know you know what is best. I’m worried, I need to calm down, I’m counting, I do not speak, and all my eggs are in my basket. Whew, good thing your always around to help :). Mem….my little buddy.


Brando Says:

@Jane: Yes it is that slow. I personally feel Madrid plays much more faster a surface than either IW/ Miami. And that’s meant to be a clay tourny, and these HC!

Nole did what he had to today. His groundstrokes are fine, just the serve needs work on. That said, he did not lose his serve, and only lost the 2nd set in TB!


mem Says:

skeezer,

i do what i can! don’t want you worrying too much, it’s not healthy!


marrisv Says:

IMHO, Actually Miami is even slower i think with the humidity and general conditions. The difference though in IW the ball does jump off the surface more than at Miami…


Skeezerweezer Says:

Big John into the Qtrs!


jane Says:

Thanks Brando, I didn’t get to see any of the match and only saw scores from 4-2 in the third set. Haven’t checked stats, nothing. The main thing for me is that he is through to another round. Can’t complain. Yeah, I fear the serve is an issue this year. Maybe he’ll get it back on track at some point but it seems “patchy” to me. ‘

Hope to see Rafa and Dolgo but not sure if I’ll be able to: enjoy it.


alison hodge Says:

jane sorry i dont get what you mean,about the rafa v dogo,and not been able to enjoy the match?BTW glad to see nole coming through,after that dip in the second set,and doing what he does best,regrouping to find a way through,as all great champions do,to be honest i dont think he was ever in any danger of loosing,congrats to pablo for managing to even take a set off nole.


skeezerweezer Says:

How come the Nalby/Tsonga match is on ESPN3 over Rafa? Rafa doesn’t rate?


mat4 Says:

Hi, everybody! Long time no… write.

I didn’t have a connection at work but I managed to see some good tennis and listen intelligent comments. Enjoyed.

Jane:

Andujar played the second set out of his mind, while Novak down the line backhand didn’t work. It was a really good match.

Almagro is playing great too. I am a bit disappointed for Baggy, who looked good against Dolgopolov.

Skeezer:

Fed looked supreme even with fluffy, slow balls on a slow surface. His sharp crosscourt backhand is a pleasure to watch. I am ready to bet we will see him in the final. So much about the eggs.

Caught the second set between Delpo and Verdasco. Good match too, though the outcome was clear.


skeezerweezer Says:

He mat4, welcome back.

Nalby?Tsonga a watcher. Nalby just got real cagey in the second and stole it..hehe. Now for the rubber….


mat4 Says:

Nalby plays well, angled and deep, and I have no doubts he will manage to break Jo’s backhand.


mat4 Says:

And break…

Not the way I expected, but shrewd anyway.


skeezerweezer Says:

Meanwhile…..trying to stay awake in between points to watch a point in the Rafa match. Avg 31 seconds in between points his serving game, ugh. I was cracking up watching him getting ready to serve once when the thought of the Bullhorn implementation idea we all were talking about came upon me again. What if the Bullhorn went off at 26 seconds, Rafa would immediately look like he got plugged into an electrical socket, would never recover…so funny…. no way he is voting for that change…..hehe


mat4 Says:

Djoko, in his last two matches, remained under 25 seconds, and was faster that Anderson and Andujar. Not bad for him.


skeezerweezer Says:

Yeah…noticed that too, much appreciated Nole!


jane Says:

oh alison, that was confusing. I meant, I don’t think I’ll be able to see it (just got back to office and checked scores – see Rafa is cruising again) – I meant “enjoy it” to Brando, or others who will be able to watch it. Didn’t word that very clearly.


mat4 Says:

Nalby just won. Glad to see him playing so well. How did he do in the SA clay court swing?


jane Says:

Hey mat4, long time no see. Thanks for the update on Nole’s match. What are your thoughts on his form generally?? I’ve seen two of his matches. Both were patchy I thought – some very good elements; some a little worrisome.


mat4 Says:

Finally managed to find a descent stream for Rafa, but the match is already over…


andrea Says:

good for nalbandian. bummed watching the dogopolov….he’s not bringing it. another snoozer nadal match. yawn.


marrisv Says:

rafa did short work of dolgo… Rafa-Nalby should be interesting.


mat4 Says:

Jane:

I wouldn’t be worry. The focus of the season will be RG, Wimby and the olympics, so there is still time.

But… you’re right. His crosscourt FH is not working well, his backhand down the line is a bit off, and there is still work to do with the modifications on his serve.

Generally, he plays better with each match, and I believe he needed a tough match before playing against Almagro, who is in great form.

Today too we have seen so flashes of brilliance and some dull sequences from him. The first set was a clean sweep, in the second he played Pablo Federer, not Pablo Andujar, and he was exceptional on break points. But he remained steady and calm even after losing the TB.

Generally, he plays better than in Dubai, but he is far from his peak.


Wog boy Says:

Hi mat4,

That is what I think about Nole’s priorites this year and I said it somewhere, didn’t I? I will not be suprise if he loses here and there until FO, but I will be suprise if his form is not going steadily up towards FO and he peaks there. He doesan’t need another 4-5 finals , neither Nadal needs them, before FO, that would destroy them and they would be flat for most important part of the year, FO- 2xLondon- USO imo.
He is playing another for masters prior FO, I don’t think he is going to play DC and Serbia Open.
I haven’t seen today’s game but thanks to you and the other posters I have prrety good idea how he played. Stats don’t look bad either but I am pleased that he saved 8 out 8 BP.


Wog boy Says:

another FOUR masters….shuld say ;(


Wog boy Says:

One more thing, when I said another 4-5 finals I meant between Nole and Rafa.


Kimmi Says:

federer is struggling. big time.

another break point..oh dear


Skorocel Says:

Federer’s shots absolutely all over the place in that 1st set…


andrea Says:

c’mon rog. where are you?


steve-o Says:

Federer not sharp right now, Bellucci very sharp.


Skorocel Says:

At least he got the break…


Brando Says:

@Jane:

Thanks. Yes i saw the match, and to be honest i rather wish i did not. Rafa was professional- as expected. But the real story was dolgopolov.

He just did not try, and quite literally just threw the 2nd set away. Awful display from him. I know he had a tough match the round before, but for goodness sake when your a player looking to make your way up in the game, you never will with such effort against one of the best in the game!


steve-o Says:

Bellucci reminds me of a young Davydenko, he plays so aggressive.


bstevens Says:

I think Fed is annoyed that he is playing a mini-version of Nadal.


Kimmi Says:

when you look at bellucci, you wonder why he is ranked 50? he has big weapons, that FH can be huge.


van orten Says:

i m back from after work party and fed is back on track i suppose!!!


van orten Says:

hate grunters i must admit


Skorocel Says:

3 BPs gone begging…


jane Says:

Kimmi, i agree about Bellucci – last year in Madrid I thought he’d be the one to end Nole’s streak. He can be tough, with that lefty serve, some good weapons, etc. But so far he is very inconsistent.


Kimmi Says:

ah, 3 bp went down the drain.

the commentator on the feed i am watching cant stop saying how federer look sick, c’mon..he is playing.


Kimmi Says:

that is the problem jane “inconsitency”


van orten Says:

the problem is those awful slow courts..


van orten Says:

lovely forehand fed!!! setpoint


van orten Says:

fed is sick????did anyone see that setpoint???? vamos roger


Skorocel Says:

Great defense from Fed! 1 set all


bstevens Says:

Fed plays great defense at set point! When he wants to, he can scramble with the best of them.


Kimmi Says:

yeah van orten, that was a “sick” point.


steve-o Says:

Federer playing with a lot more rhythm now, wins set 2 by 6-3.


van orten Says:

hahaha kimmi indeed it was


bstevens Says:

Tested by Bellucci could be a blessing in disguise in that Fed will be better prepared for Rafa. But then again, Rafa is Rafa.


Nims Says:

bstevens: I thought Roger plays Del Po next, not Rafa if he gets thru Belluci. Are you taking it for granted that Roger will win the 3rd set and against Del Po. OK.


van orten Says:

7:6 2:6 6:7 first 3 sets in melbourne this year so i expect a close match between fed and nad


Kimmi Says:

too close for my comfort..c’mon fed


bstevens Says:

Nims, yes I forgot to mention Del Potro, assuming he comes through as well.


Skorocel Says:

Federer still breakpointless in the 3rd. That doesn’t look good…


Kimmi Says:

crunch time..c’mon fed


Kimmi Says:

0-30 ooops


Skorocel Says:

Great serving from Federer to get him out of a 0-30 hole! 5-4


Kimmi Says:

OMG, that was clutch serving. lets go!


Kimmi Says:

ah, bad miss


van orten Says:

fed still very poor in returning second serves ..same crap as yesterday


Skorocel Says:

Matchpoint Federer


van orten Says:

mp!!!!


van orten Says:

what was that???


Skorocel Says:

2nd matchpoint for Federer


van orten Says:

mp nr. 2!!!! vamos roger wanna go to bed !!!


van orten Says:

good night everybody …good test for fed again…


steve-o Says:

Federer through! Such a close match, outcome in doubt until the end.


bstevens Says:

I hope to see more of Bellucci in the future. The guy has a good skill set and should be ranked higher than he is.


Kimmi Says:

Phew! another tough one. Good to see fed fighting after losing first set.

Nice to see bellucci playing well, he should be a top 15 player imo. needs to reduce those errors.


Skorocel Says:

Well, considering Bellucci didn’t play anything special today, this wasn’t exactly impressive performance from Fed…


Kimmi Says:

it was 5-2 for simon, now harrison has 3 game points for 5-5.


contemperory Says:

With this level of performance, I doubt if Fed will win against Delpo.


contemperory Says:

A day rest for Fed’s draw. Djoko and Isner playing their respective QFs tomorrow.

Nalbandian thru to QFs to face Nadal. Nadal should be able to defeat him , but this will be the first test of the tournament for him.

As I said, if Fed doesn’t up his level, we will see a Delpo – Nadal Semi.


Kimmi Says:

after watching federer/bellucci, simon/harrison makes me go to sleep. it is like slow motion.


jane Says:

contemperory is the schedule for tomorrow up somewhere? Is it normal that one side get a day of rest? I don’t remember. Or does it alternate?


contemperory Says:

It is there in the ATP site. I saw it an hour ago.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Scores/schedule.aspx?EventId=404&Year=2012&Seq=11


Kimmi Says:

djokovic side had rest yesterday, while federer and rafa played back to back. it makes sense that djokovic side would play back to back too.


jane Says:

Oh yeah, that’s right Kimmi: nole/isner etc didn’t play yesterday. Looks like Nole is day again tomorrow – around 1:00. Nico is in scary good form by the sounds and looks of it. Didn’t see his match but he hammered Berdy.

Thanks for the link contemperory.

I kind of want Gilles to win this match as he hasn’t has a good stretch for a while, but it would be exciting for the locals/organizers if Harrison won.


Humble Rafa Says:

Whatever you do, Dear Arrogant One..don’t lose to the Elf. You are my lunch and I am hungry.


Nims Says:

I believe Nadal has worked out with Larry to ensure Roger has a break before his quarterfinals. He can do anything to ensure Roger can get thru his quarterfinal match. Though he may not be too worried about Del Po but he knows for certain what would be the outcome when he meets Roger.

NAdal – DelPo = 80% – 20%
Nadal – Roger = 100% – 0%


Andrea Says:

Phew. Left on the crazy point that won roger the second set and saw that he pulled out the win. Nice work, although you had me worried. Looking a bit listless out there.


jane Says:

Who is Larry? Nims, could you clarify please? Fed and Rafa both get breaks as they’re on the same side. Well Rafa’s still playing actually, in doubles.


dari Says:

Missed fed match, it is a virtual heat wave in northeast, tennis courts are packed!
I cant believe he came back from set down again, these long matches cant be good for his recovery, but if he wants to play… might as well win
Delpo could beat him on a regular day, I don’t know how much longer Roger’s sick dog fight will last!


Swiss Maestro Says:

Jane:

Nims is trying to be a smart@$$. unfortunately he is a dumb@$$ and he will always remain so.

Larry is the owner of the tournament and Nims was trying to be “funny” with his stupidity about rafa working with him to get roger through.

I know it is tough to laugh at childish jokes like that, but let us all throw in a pity laugh for our “special” friend Nims.

Haha, you are so funny Nims. you would have been even more funny if you were not such a dumb@$$


Wog boy Says:

I don’t like 1pm start for Novak. For what I saw, it is going to be 29 degrees and sunny, not really Novak’s favorite time and conditions, but at least it is not humid.

Ajde Noleeeee


dari Says:

Oh I guess delpo has to play istomin first!


contemperory Says:

@Dave:

Taken from ATP site abt Fed’s win today:
“…securing his 73rd straight win against opponents ranked outside the Top 20 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings.”

Per your statistics (11:26 AM), “Federer also extended his winning streak to 81 wins over players ranked outside the top 19″.

There is something wrong.


Brando Says:

@ humble rafa: LMAO re 9.43 :-) .


skeezerweezer Says:

“Nalbandian thru to QFs to face Nadal. Nadal should be able to defeat him , but this will be the first test of the tournament for him.”

Precisely, what is it…the Quarterfinals? Rafa has had practice matches so far, so now he finally has to play. Fully expect him to handle old man Nalby though.

Re: Feds performance. Wouldn’t judge Feds performance today in what he is gonna do. He will have a full days rest tomorrow, Huge considering his illness. Expect him to be fully recovered from his bug and kick some major Potro! But Delpo still scares this fan, his form is good. But then again Fed knows how to play the big guys. Either wary, a fun match to watch. Not the snoozefest of a 31 second avg serve tic. Playing Nalby at least the pace will be faster. Nalby just sets up and plays, love it.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Swiss Maestro says : Nims is trying to be a smart@$$. unfortunately he is a dumb@$$ and he will always remain.

I thought the real Swiss Maestro gets mentally disturbed when he meets Nadal in outdoors. But looks like anyone with his name gets Mentally retarted with the name of Nadal. Is this a coincidence?

Yeah, what is it now 19-9. I believe the next target for Roger would be to get to 10, before Rafa can get to 30. Let’s see.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

skeezerweezer : “Nalbandian thru to QFs to face Nadal. Nadal should be able to defeat him , but this will be the first test of the tournament for him.”

I’m not sure if Nalby is a test for top 4 players anymore. But personally, I believe he is the best player not to have won a GS, inspite of general consensus that it’s Murray.

When Nalby played his best, I don’t think anyone other than Roger had a chance.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

jane : Larry Ellison is the tournament owner for Paribas Open. You can see him fist pumping the air after Roger won the match.

He is a huge Rafa fan. No doubt he is happy to see Roger win.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

I’m not sure if Roger has stopped practicing due to his illness. Probably he is taking his first set as practice sets.


skeezerweezer Says:

Ok Ladies…..

http://www.thetennisspace.com/opinion/racism-in-tennis/

Is Tsonga hot or not?

PS; didn’t know this went down at IW…Llorda….tsk…tsk


Dave Says:

contemperory: yes, something is wrong with the counting in the ATP site. The ATP site was wrong to state that, by beating Bellucci, Federer secured “his 73rd straight win against opponents ranked outside the Top 20 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings.” And here is why:

- The last player Federer lost to ranked outside the top 19 was Lleyton Hewitt at 2010 Halle final.

- Federer has beaten 76 players ranked outside the Top 20 (after 2010 Halle), i.e., players ranked No. 21 or higher. Thus, ATP staff undercounted by at least three players when they stated Federer had “73rd straight wins against opponents ranked outside the Top 20″.

- In addition, the ATP staff failed to consider that Federer has beaten all three No. 20 players he faced during this period (after 2010 Halle). Thus Federer has not lost to any player ranked outside the top 19 (not just top 20) since 2010 Halle. The only No. 19 player Federer lost to was Tsonga at 2011 Wimbledon.

- So at minimum, the ATP should have said Federer has beaten 76 players ranked outside the Top 20. But it is more correct to state Federer has beaten 79 players ranked outside the Top 19 (i.e. No. 20 and above) since 2010 Halle.

- In addition to those 79 wins, Federer received three walkovers from players ranked No. 31, 33 and 93. So Federer extended his winning streak to 81 wins over players ranked outside the top 19, if you want to be generous.

You can check by counting yourself Federer’s numbers after 2010 Halle. I have found other ATP stats which understate/downplay Federer’s achievements.
http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Top-Players/Roger-Federer.aspx?t=pa


skeezerweezer Says:

Commentators were confirming that Fed has a developed a major head cold and not doing well. Also mentioned how Fed will play on and NEVER complains, just goes out and plays. Love it. Class, and the media and press knows it.


Andrea Says:

I love nalbandian wearing a t shirt straight out of 1990. I hope he takes out nadal


Dave Says:

It seems Federer has not been practising much. He will probably use the off day on Thursday to recover, perhaps have a light workout on Friday and hope he gets the night match (unless Istomin prevails). Roger will surely turn up superfocused and try to beat his Friday opponent in straight sets…. while his opponent will play with the hope and confidence that Federer is weakened by his flu. Another long three setter on Friday isn’t going to help either Federer or his semifinal opponent win against presumably Nalbandian on Saturday and Isner on Sunday. Delpo has a very good chance of beating both Nadal and Djokovic, given the training and motivation Federer has given him in their three matches and practice sessions since the Australian Open. And his matches have given both Delpo and Federer match fitness on these courts.

It sounds like the first 3 to 4 days of Federer’s flu symptoms are over (that’s when you get fever, body aches, muscle pain, headache). Now Federer is in the next 4 to 8 days of his flu (that’s when you get cold-like symptoms such as runny nose, cough, sore throat, which become more noticeable as fever and other symptoms decrease). Complete recovery may take 1 to 2 weeks or longer. The fatigue and weakness can last for several weeks. It wasn’t good for Federer’s immune system to have been playing three setters. In other words, Federer is unlikely to fully recover by Friday if he relies on conventional treatments like Tamiflu pills and bed rest.

“I struggled early on making the transition from day to night,” said Federer, a three-time champion here whose cold has kept him from practicing much during the tournament. “I thought I would see quicker improvements, but still hurting a bit. But at least I don’t have sort of a massive headache and aches and pains anymore.”…”These are the wins that sort of almost feel better, to be quite honest, because when you’re playing great, it’s simple, it’s easy, right?” Federer said. “But when it’s not going your way and things are difficult, that’s kind of the good wins.”

Federer’s last three matches have give us a peek into his competitive spirit. The tough competitor in Federer digs deeper than his opponents — despite the disadvantage of his flu symptoms. He manages to find a way to play and compete with pain and sickness without making a big drama of it. He loves the heat of battle, expects to win, hates to lose. He does not get rattled, but stays composed, focused and zoned in under pressure at crunchtime. This week gives us an idea of how Federer managed to play the 2008 Australian Open despite actively suffering mononucleosis (as well as, before the AO, a bad bout of stomach flu).

What happened against Bellucci was almost inevitable (if you have observed Federer long enough). Sick with the flu, he made strong statements in his first two matches to show that he was competitive (similar in some ways to what he did in the first two rounds of the 2008 Australian Open). A letdown could be expected against Federer’s expected weaker opponent Bellucci whether due to his illness and tiredness catching up with him, transition from night to day, complacency in underestimating an opponent who has won few hard court matches, etc. That’s why I said yesterday: “Hopefully sick Federer can recover from this 2 hour 8 min, three set, high level match in time for his next match with Bellucci in 16 hours. And hopefully he won’t be complacent against Bellucci (who is better on clay/grass than hardcourt) or disoriented playing his first day match. For Federer, given his chances are compounded by the toughest draw and illness that will probably catch up to him at some point, every match (and points) won at Indian Wells is gravy. Even if he does not win IW, he will be in a good position to do damage in Miami. This year, Federer’s ground game is solid enough to do damage in night or day matches.”


Sienna Says:

Dave
It also is not so good for his overall recovery. I mean he defintely takes his body in the redzone playing on with flu. He is truly a little stubborn and old school when dealing with these immune sicknesses. Sometmes that works and he oays through them but in the long run … I wish he made the right decission and not jeopardise his year.


alison hodge Says:

i have to say im delighted to see,swiss maestro posting again on the forum,welcome back SM,missed your great and funny posts.


alison hodge Says:

skeezer@ march 14th 11.40pm,thanks for the link,never thought of him that way,but JWT is one hot sexy guy,prefer him with the shorter hair though,i have to say,as for Llodra i always liked him,but after this incident hmmm,definetly not on.


Dave Says:

Sienna, yes, the impact of these athletic efforts on slow courts could affect his recovery. Some of those points must have spiked his heart rate. The last thing he needs is an unexpected conquence to his health, which playing with flu could bring.


Steve 27 Says:

bore Dave as always.

Top story: US Open: Roger Federer Has To Like His Draw, Djokovic And Murray Probably Won't!
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