Djokovic, Federer Struggle, Azarenka Rolls at Indian Wells; Thursday Preview
by Staff | March 14th, 2012, 10:51 pm
  • 102 Comments

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Roger Federer survived tough scrapes in the round of 16 on Wednesday at Indian Wells, with Djokovic up again on Thursday after a tough three-setter.

Djokovic overcame a second-set hiccup to defeat Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-0, 6-7(5), 6-2, setting up a meeting with the hot-handed No. 12 seed Nicolas Almagro, who steamrolled No. 7 Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-0.

“He surprised me with his aggressive approach. He was taking the ball early and was playing well,” Djokovic said of Andujar. “Second set, I start playing a little bit more defensive, and that allowed him to come back to the match. All the credit for him to play the way he played. The second set I could have won, but I managed to stay calm mentally and just find my rhythm again.”

Federer likewise needed three sets to subdue Tomaz Bellucci 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

“I struggled early on making the transition from day to night,” Federer said. “I wasn’t playing well so it was good to get the win.”

Other winners were No. 2 Rafael Nadal, No. 13 Gilles Simon outlasting American Ryan Harrison 6-1 in the third, No. 11 John Isner, and unseeded David Nalbandian upsetting No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three. Nadal and Nalbandian will meet in a much-anticipated grinder.

In women’s singles quarterfinals action on Wednesday, world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka blew out No. 5 Aga Radwanska 6-0, 6-2, and No. 18 Angelique Kerber upset No. 8 Li Na 6-4, 6-2.

“I was executing my shots brilliantly,” said Azarenka who improved to 21-0 on the season.

Radwanska fell to 1-5 career against Azarenka.

“I was pissed, yeah, in the first set especially losing 6-love is not fun,” Radwanska said. “Especially when you expect that you’re at this kind of level that you can beat anyone. But then I was seeing that she was playing just too good.”

The top-ranked American doubles pair of twins Bob and Mike Bryan withdrew from their quarterfinal match when Mike fell ill with the viral illness sweeping through the tournament.

Thursday play includes (1) Novak Djokovic vs. (12) Nicolas Almagro, an all-Russian match-up with (2) Maria Sharapova va. (20) Maria Kirilenko, (7) Marion Bartoli vs. (15) Ana Ivanovic, and Gilles Simon vs. (11) John Isner.

STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
[7] M Bartoli (FRA) vs [15] A Ivanovic (SRB) – WTA
Not Before 1:00 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [12] N Almagro (ESP) – ATP
Not Before 3:00 PM
[20] M Kirilenko (RUS) vs [2] M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA
[6] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) vs M Lopez (ESP) / R Nadal (ESP) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
[13] G Simon (FRA) vs [11] J Isner (USA) – ATP
[3] A Hlavackova (CZE) / L Hradecka (CZE) vs [2] S Mirza (IND) / E Vesnina (RUS) – WTA


Also Check Out:
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Henin, Clijsters Favorites: Indian Wells Draw Redux
French Preview: It’s Serena’s World, You’re Just Along for the Ride
Victoria Azarenka Has Withdrawn From Doha
Fedal Wars: Nadal Well Ahead Of Federer In Masters Titles, But Does It Matter In The GOAT Discussion?

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102 Comments for Djokovic, Federer Struggle, Azarenka Rolls at Indian Wells; Thursday Preview

sar Says:

Hotter than hades.
Saw umpire Steve Erlich get out of his car and go into the tourney.Lots of players on the practice courts today: Gronewald, Kanepi, Zvonareva, Llodra, Huber, Falla. Justin Gimelstob was getting out of his car and I said “hi Justin”.. He said to my husband, do you want to take a photo with me and your wife? LOLOL He’s very nice. Saw Nick Bolletieri talking to someone about Ft Lauderdale.

Nole pulled through, but ‘don’t do that again.’
They don’t seem to want to give Nole a night match here.
Rafa looking very powerful, very,very good today.


Michael Says:

Regarding the Almagro-Berdych match, I think Almagro had his revenge especially after that shameful incident at the Australian Open where Berdych refused to shake hands. It is good that Berdych is taught a fitting lesson and the fine thing is Almagro did that with the Tennis racquet in a fitting manner.


steve-o Says:

Istomin breaks back as Del Potro serves for the set. 5-5.


steve-o Says:

Del Potro too strong in the tiebreak, as expected. Don’t think Istomin will be able to put up much resistance in the second set.


jane Says:

Thanks for the updates sar. A picture with Gimelstob eh? It sounds like people are able to get up close to the players at the practice courts there. I think Nole will likely play night if he gets past Almagro and Isner is waiting.


skeezerweezer Says:

Very sloppy match here ( delpo / isto ). fed has got to be a likin….


steve-o Says:

Spoke way too soon. Istomin with three set points.


steve-o Says:

@skeezer: I hope Federer has tucked the twins into bed and taken to bed himself, rather than stay up late watching this match. He needs the rest.

If Del Potro gets through I don’t think it augurs anything for his form in the QFs. He always relishes the challenge of competing against Federer and puts 110% into their encounters.


skeezerweezer Says:

steve-o

well there ya go, isto makes them play a rubber. delpo looks listless and tired, isto energetic but inconsistent at times. i am hitting the sack too. whatever the outcome, hope fed is sleeping it off. these guys bring this kinda form into there match with fed he will eat them up.


Michael Says:

The match between Potro and Istomin gets interesting. It is now a set all.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Looks like NAdal can do a double of winning both Singles and Doubles.


Superhuman Says:

So disrespectful from organizers of this tournament to schedule Number 1 four times in a row to play during the daytime
!!!? WTF


Nirmal Kumar Says:

I believe schedule depends on the quality of opponents.


madmax Says:

Glad Federer came through the last two matches. Nothing worse than having flu like symptoms and playing sport. He seems to have come through the worst of it though.

Federer got by lefty Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a fourth-round match that finished under the lights and completed a parade of the world’s highest-ranked players. It was Federer’s 12th straight win, making him 19-2 on the year. It was also his 74th consecutive victory against a player outside the top 20, and he has won 36 of 38 matches since the U.S. Open.

“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.”

Federer used a big serve to go up 5-4 in the third set then won on his second match point when Bellucci committed his second straight forehand error.

“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.”

The crazy thing is that he plays Delpo again, already these two have played each other so many times over the last few months.


alison hodge Says:

michael just wondering about the almagra/berdych match,how were they at the net with each other,after the match,did they shake hands?sorry twenty questions lol.


I am not a fat American Says:

Djokovic will break you all….no matter who the opponent is.

We are being part of history, there is no better tennis player than Djokovic at the moment and as time will tell, EVER!!!

Maybe Björn Borg was close. I might not be objective here as a Swede, but who cares. BORG was great on court and off the court! Cocain Borg!


El Flaco Says:

If Fed gets by Delpo he will get beat easily by Nadal like last year in Miami. Fed needs indoors or faster outdoor hardcourt to beat Nadal. Nadal will crush Nalbandian. Perfect QF for him.


Lili Says:

@el flaco I don’t think fed will lose that easily to nadal. Only if he plays absolute garbage like he did last year in miami wshered his shots justg couldn’t find the court, but otherwise it will probably be a battle with nadal(2 close sets maybe 3 sets) comming out as the winner like usual. Also nalbandidan can make it hard for nadal he has done so in the past so I don’t see how you could say that he will get crushed.


Humble Rafa Says:

If Fed gets by Delpo he will get beat easily by Nadal like last year in Miami.

SShhh. Don’t belittle the “rivalry”. Fedal, NaFed..LOL. Media loves it!


jane Says:

Superhuman, my main concern is that IF Nole makes it past Almagro (by no means a guarantee as he’s playing very well to bagel Berdych), he will likely play at night versus Isner, and he will have to adapt to the different conditions (heavier ball, less bounce) as well as Big John’s serve. So it will be a double whammy, you could say. :) But whatever, I’ll be happy if he gets that chance! I’d love to know more about the behind-the-scenes decision-makers and how they arrive at those decisions – i.e., do players get any say when they play or is it totally up to the organizers? For all we know, Nole asked to play every day at 11:00 or 1:00 (although I kinda doubt it). He played great during the day at the AO this year (most of his matches were day there, until, I think, Muzza).


alison hodge Says:

i.a.n.a.f.a,dont get me wrong novaks an amazing player,but no offence i think he has some way to go before he can be concidered in that conversation,Rogers still the best ever,till someone wins more slams,novak has to win the next 6 slams,to first overtake rafa,and the next 12 slams to overtake roger,and rely on both never adding to there talley, hmm the best at the moment probably,the best ever nowhere near as yet sorry.


alison hodge Says:

i have to say how refreshing as a poster jane is,never ever taking noles success for granted,and only thinking about the next match,and never thinking about the final,till nole is actually there,and never as a fan thinking its over,until the last points been played.


Huh Says:

fedal matches are so sad with rafa always givin mind-bogglin throat-chokin morale-crushin beatdowns to fed. :(
to fed!


Huh Says:

fed better lose to delpo,
othrwise we r again in for the sorry sight of fed givin explanations for yet anothr whippin by rafa! :(
add to it feds denial dat rafa’s a mansion in his head, its plain disgustin!!


skeezerweezer Says:

Huh!! Spring break or out of school??


jane Says:

That’s kind alison, but seriously i am sure most fans don’t take wins for granted otherwise why would the players play the matches. Nole’s fans know that in 2010, for a while there, every other serve was a double fault, so you never know. Yes, he had an amazing year in 2011; yes, he raised his level and gained experience/confidence, but as you know being a Rafa supporter, anything can happen to throw it off – injury, off court things, etc. I don’t expect Nole to repeat last year, but would love for him to continue to do well. Honestly, judging by scores, I think your fave is looking the strongest at this tournament so far, but the Nalby match could be interesting, depending on which Nalby shows up – he’s a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde that one. :)


alison hodge Says:

lol yeah your right nothing can be taken for granted,for any fan of any player,i dont know about you ,but im always nervous when watching my favourite,no matter who hes playing,best to just wait and see,let the chips fall wherever they may,had not noticed actually rafas the only one of the top 3,not to have lost a set so far,but all that could change in the next match,nalby can be a tricky match like you say,it all depends on which one shows up,anyway good luck to rafa,and to nole im sure he will have another great year,enjoy.


Dave Says:

Ailing Federer has so far survived the odds at Indian Wells, having battled flu to beat three opponents in a tough draw. The competitor in Federer has found a way to dig deep and reach the quarter-finals at the elite ATP tournament. Federer’s flu has apparently kept him from practicing much during the tournament.

Asked if he had considered withdrawing from the ATP Masters 1000 event, Federer replied he had initially been worried he would not be fit enough to compete in his opening match but he managed to get through that: “The night was rough before my first-round match, and I was thinking, ‘I don’t know how I’m gonna do this.’ But I woke up and I felt a little bit better. “That went and I didn’t feel good in the afternoon again. One hour before the match I started to feel better again. At that point I always knew I was going to go out on court and give it a try, at least. “I knew I had a day off after that, after the first-round match. That really gave me the belief that I could do it, you know.”

Federer claims he has since felt better. “I’m still hurting a bit, but at least I don’t have a massive headache, aches and pains anymore. I got maybe a bit lucky but it’s taken some time to for me to get better, to be honest. I thought I would see quicker improvements.” 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. Federer is unlikely to fully recover 100% by Friday. It wasn’t good for Federer’s immune system to have been playing three setters.

Of his match with Bellucci, Federer said: “It’s always great to come through in a three-setter. I thought Thomaz played great.” “I struggled early on making the transition (from night to day). I’m happy and relieved to be through and still alive in the tournament.” “At the end I found a way, dug deep and came through.” “Obviously the concentration is always on elsewhere. You’re not focusing really on tactics a whole lot. You’re just focusing on managing point for point and going through.” “It’s really important. These are the wins that almost feel better, to be quite honest, because when you’re playing great, it’s simple, it’s easy, right? But when it’s not going your way and things are difficult, that’s kind of the good wins.”
http://nz.sports.yahoo.com/news/article/-/13178956/ailing-federer-finds-way/


Superhuman Says:

Thanks Jane, you brought up a very good point!


Sienna Says:

Dave
I really feel he should leave it alone and take the next 1 1/2 week for Miami or even skip the whole Miami tourney.
I am sure he will take a break in april and a trainingsblock for 2 weeks.
I think the trainingsblock is of more importance for him then making these matches.
What do ypou reckon? And d you have insight in his training schedule from here on to the start of clay?


Joe W Says:

Alison: Jane is a most thoughtful and the least “x-treme” contributor you will find. She’s also a college professor so I’m always mindful of grammar and phrasing when posting. I haven’t gotten the red pen treatment yet but its coming…right Jane?


jane Says:

Ha, lol Joe W. I will never forget “Hey Joe” and “Jane says” – that was us right? Way back you noticed both song titles. I make writing mistakes all the time, and obsess too much over Nole too. Have even had “X”treme days on the dysfunctional blog. But life would be boring if we were all functional all the time methinks. Better to just be human, flawed, ourselves. I am flattered by your kind words though. Hope the back is well (right? I am not mixing up Joe’s am I?)


alison hodge Says:

joe w yeah i completey agree about jane,one of the fairest and most objective posters on this forum,i thought she was a teacher,did not realize she was a college professor,and my puntuation and spelling, is terrible when posting too sometimes lol,im a humble care worker,so my skills are much better appreciated academically speaking.


jane Says:

Glad Nole was able to get that break right back and then hold. Hope he can serve out this set and get a lead.

alison, what would we do without care-workers? That’s such an admirable job – totally look up to any and all people in the health care field. They are there for us when we need them most!


alison hodge Says:

joe w just wondering if daves a doctor?


alison hodge Says:

thanks jane hope your enjoying the match,and good luck to nole,hope he has a more straight forward game,and manages to come through virtually unscathed.


Brando Says:

Nole’s playing better on the serve today. Not as many winners as his usual. Almagro playing decent at start of 2nd.


Brando Says:

Almagro hanging in with nole there- he’s got talent!


Brando Says:

What a BH winner by almagro!


Brando Says:

Commentators say nole is there for the taking but no one is stepping up! I’m not too sure about that. Maybe nole know he doesn’t have to go all guns blazing against these players and is saving his best for latter on in the tourny.


Brando Says:

Love hold for nole- better serving today!


Brando Says:

Poor play by alamgro here- BP nole.


alison hodge Says:

brando it seems like noles been vulnerable,all through this tourney,ive not seen any of the matches,im just going by other peoples comments,although hes still there,and thats full credit to him,even when not playing his best,its down to the other players to up there game and take there chances.


Sienna Says:

It such a pity Fed as the flu. I realish (is that ok spelling). the prospect of Fed meeting Djoker in the final. He’ll now probably fade against Rafa if he makes the Delpotro match.
Second time this year Fedal meet and Fed is not up to full fitness.
Revenge will be upon us….Earmark this;-)


Superhuman Says:

Relatively easy win for Novak, I expected more from Almagro. Keep it going Novak!


alison hodge Says:

much more straight forward for nole,i agree with brando hes getting much better as the tourney goes on.


Brando Says:

Nole was better today than previous rounds. He’s far from being spectacular as he was this time last year, but he’s efficient enough to get the wins. Like most said after Murray exited, he’ll easily get to the finals and there he might be tested.


Wog boy Says:

Nole says:
“Next one, please.”

Ana says:
“Next one, please.”

Double treat for for me tonight, when I get back home. I recorded both matches.

Ajde Ana, idemoooooo!
Ajde Noleeeeeeeee!


alison hodge Says:

wog boy annas had some great wins this week,over top 10 players,wozniaki and bartoli,hopefully she can get some concistency back,into her gme,a great week so far for the serbs,enjoy.


alison hodge Says:

^sorry game^.


Wog boy Says:

Alison, thanks I will. It is going to be nice evening, I got some nice wine in the fridge waiting to be tested:-)
I was wondering how long Nigel is going to put up with Ana, not because she is hard person but she is mentaly fragile, so far so good. I am happy for both of them. He is very, very good coach.
Cheers


andrea Says:

battle of the shrieking maria’s


jane Says:

Brando, “Commentators say nole is there for the taking but no one is stepping up! I’m not too sure about that. Maybe nole know he doesn’t have to go all guns blazing against these players and is saving his best for latter on in the tourny.”

Thank goodness you can be a little more insightful than some of the commentators (rolls eyes) – I mean, really Nole’s matches haven’t been that close barring the one set loss to Pablo-honey, and even that wasn’t lost due to a break of serve but in a tiebreak. If Nole is “there for the taking” then isn’t Fed? Bellucci was right there until the final game, 4-all in the third. Even Raonic kept it pretty close. So I don’t know about this “stepping up” comment. I agree Nole has been patchy and not at his best, but for the commentators to imply it’s just a matter of the opponent “stepping up” is a bunch of crap imo. Phew. Rant over. ;) Sorry, but sometimes commentators are annoying. :/

Looks like one shrieking Maria – Maria of the Sharapova – is about to win…?


jane Says:

Oh I guess she just won a set… Marias are still battling.

Brando, correction: you’re actually a lot more insightful!

And just to clarify, I wasn’t meaning to say Fed is “there for the taking” but just that his matches have in fact been closer, and he’s been suffering through the cold, so if anyone is it’s probably more him than Nole in some ways. He also has to negotiate through Delpo next. Nole’s got Isner. Neither are easy-peasy, so we’ll see.


steve-o Says:

I have never understood how it is that Maria Kirilenko has fans.

I’m told she’s good-looking; I don’t really see it and I think there are many other WTA players who are better looking.

Her game is nondescript and unremarkable. I’ve never remembered a single point she’s ever played.

Personalitywise, there doesn’t seem to be much there. She’s not even bubbly or willing to poke fun at herself, like Wozniacki.

So what is the attraction? Is it the very lack of any substance that is itself the attraction?


Brando Says:

@Jane:

Thank you professor for the nice compliment:-)

I think most tennis watchers here- seasoned or otherwise- know enough that on certain ocassions you do not need your best in order to win. Also in a tourny it makes basic sense to pace yourself. Thats why i found the comments by the commentators regarding nole abit odd, to say the least.

So your rant is justified, as far as im concerned.

From the 3 matches of nole that i have seen, i would say he is playing well enough to win the tourny. Truth be told, i expect a nole- rafa final, and i haven’t seen anything from rafa that says to me, as a rafa fan, that he is playing any better than nole atm.

I think both are doing what needs to be done. Being professional and taking care of business.

When nole gets to the final- he really should do so- then we will find out where he is at. Whilst rafa, i think should be fine against nalby- BUT if he faces fed or delpo, he will be tested IMO.


jane Says:

Rafa and Lopez seem to make a good doubles team – leading in the first set 5-2.


Kimmi Says:

maybe rafa should take on dubs when he retires from singles, him and his friend lopez are really good.

i think if they enter olympic dubs, they could win a medal, who knows..

they are giving top seeds at IW a run for their money. they beat no. 3 seed earlier in the week and now they are almost about to win a set against no. 6 seed.


mat4 Says:

Ok. After a long time, managed to read a lot of comments, and I would like to make some.

First, there are a lot of comments about Roger and Nole not playing well. Of course, and I agree. Djokovic is slowly improving his form, and Roger was ill, so they didn’t play the way they accustomed us. But, when they can’t blow out their opponents from the court, they use their versatility to win ugly. Just think a bit: why did Anderson, Almagro, Belucci or Raonic make so many UE? Why is that happening over and over again? Why are good players choking time and time again against Novak or Roger? Do they choke at all? Or is it, perhaps, something these two have in their racquets that makes all those mishits happen?

It is not only the players from the second tier. Just look at Murray: he likes to change pace, but he is prone to errors when somebody changes pace and spins against him. I was shocked recently with an article by Patrick Mouratoglou about Murray’s potential and his soon-to-be-number-1 status. (I guess he wrote it for his English readers, because it was exceptionnaly stupid.) Come on! It is not a question of mentality or FH, but of basic ability to adapt, and he can’t adapt because his game lacks the versatility of the others from the top.

(The most stupid part I read was that he lost the fourth set because of fatigue… The guy is stronger than Djokovic and Nadal together…)

So, if Roger can just run decently (it seems that the virus is far from benign), it will be enough to beat Del Potro once again. He will change the direction and depth of his strokes, the height of the rebound, the kind of spin and just wait for Delpo to miss. Technically, he has never played better.

For Djokovic, it will be crucial to find the consistency he lacks now. Although his game is patchy, we can see that he is slowly improving his serve, that he has made progress with his slice, and that he uses more his opportunity to go to the net.

Jane was right when she said that success are not granted. Djoko could never won a slam again. But I am certain he will be a better player that he ever was in a few month. For me it is enough.


mat4 Says:

More about Muzza.

We tend to forget that Federer and Djokovic play both very risky. Roger plays hard, Novak paints the lines. They can’t play at their top a whole season that top. The margin is too tiny.

Compare it with Andy. Big first serve and for the rest, a very cautious game allied with his uncanny ability to chase every ball.

But what happens in a slam final? Usually, his opponent has to be in great form when he gets there. I have watched a few time every of his three lost final. I never thought he choked, or was too nervous. Federer and Djokovic, at their best, are simply that much better.

So, yes, Wilander is right when he says that Murray lose the other day means nothing. But I would add that his great win, a few days before, meant even less.


jane Says:

HI mat4, “Djoko could never won a slam again.”

I sure hope he wins another slam – a French Open specifically, ;). Just watching his match with Nico now, as Nadal/Lopez are still playing so the TV is showing Nole/Nico. He is playing better today I think. The serve, as Brando said, looks better. Yay!


mat4 Says:

They can’t play at their top a whole season… of his three lost finals… he says that Murray loss the other day…


jane Says:

Oops just realized that I wrote as though Isner had already won above, but Simon could also get through. That match is coming up.


El Flaco Says:

Doubles teams get freaked out playing Nadal and Lopez because they don’t play like doubles teams they normally face. They never serve and volley. It’s that awkward one up one back cross court rally.


mat4 Says:

Hi, Jane.

I hope he will win a lot more, but you never know.

But I think his game will evolve in the next months. He had a “rafevolution” after the racquet change, and now he has a “rogevolution”, toward a faster game.

I was a bit harsh with Muzza, but Mouratoglou pissed me off. Just as you said once, fandome is a strange world.


El Flaco Says:

I’d play both guys back on return of serve and fire all the returns at Lopez.


mat4 Says:

BTW… Simon will win it.


jane Says:

Wow Rafa/Lopez win 2 and 0. They are “killing it” in doubles!


Kimmi Says:

he he he, rafa/lopez bagel no. 6 seeds. that deserves a wow!


mat4 Says:

Just saw the result. Quite surprised.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Rafa winnin big in doubs? Time to double down the bet for him to win the singles final…..


Kimmi Says:

simon and isner played only once before and isner won it. USO 2011


jane Says:

mat4 You should have a blog; you have a good knowledge of the game and tennis history. I know other posters here who have blogs too (MMT, Dan Martin) – you could do one too. But I suppose it takes time for that.

I hope you are right about Simon. I think I’d rather watch Nole/Simon than Nole/Isner.


contemperory Says:

Hmm, Fed playing tomorrow at 1 PM, followed by Nadal. How does that affect the chances of each player?


mat4 Says:

Jane:

Simon is very dangerous for Nole, maybe more than Isner when Novak is a bit off. But a match against Simon would help Nole find his A game.

About a blog: first, I should learn English. Then, I have time to watch just a few players, and without watching a lot of matches, comparing, you usually fall into clichés. And you forget too. The other day I found some Federer’s clips on youtube, and there was his extremely high bouncing serve down the T. I completely forget about it.

@Kimmi:

I watched that match between Isner and Simon. I believe that on a slower surface, with fluffy balls, Simon has a good chance. He played well against an excellent Harrison.


mat4 Says:

BTW… Did Almagro and Berdych shake hands at the end of the match?


jane Says:

Simon breaks game one – mat4 you’re looking prescient. :) And don’t be silly; you know English well, imo. Yes, I realize Simon will probably be tougher for Nole, but I still would rather watch that match. We’ll see – still early goings.

contemperory, the court or balls seem to play faster in the day so maybe that’ll help Fed? Delpo also doesn’t love the heat; he can get sluggish. Hard to say though. When has Delpo played most of his matches?


mat4 Says:

Simon played awfully in South America. But it could be that playing on clay helped him to find his game. In this match, with an Isner unable to hit through Simon, it is just a matter of patience for Gilles.


jane Says:

Funny – ball kid and moth. Simon is missing more this game, can Isner break back?


contemperory Says:

Jane, if I remember correctly, except for Delpo – Istomin match yesterday, he played all the 11:00 am or 1: PM matches. But I am not sure if we can really say he will struggle or not struggle due to the day time matches. My gut feeling is that he may be sluggish, but he was able to come out successfully until now, so we never know.

It will be a good encounter to watch given the fact both the players are playing well and hoping that Fed has recovered enough from the flu. I still remember Mirka coughing and the commentators saying something about that and the ongoing flu during the last match.


Hey Joe W Says:

OK Jane – in your honor I’ve corrected (get it) my handle. Now we can reprise our roles. Yes I’m your Joe, bionic back and all.

Alison – I’m not sure if Dave is a doctor. We have a doctor friend who is named Dave and so we call him…drum roll please…Doctor Dave.

Does anyone know how the Surfing Santa Claus guy scored the seats in the corner for seemingly every session? All Bare chested and all..


jane Says:

I am sure it’ll be a good match contemperory.

Simon is serving 80 mph serves and so Isner is bombing them back for winner. Simon has kind of gone off the rails. Isner now breaks and serves for the set; quite the change in momentum.


Kimmi Says:

Geez, simon was winning this set. WAS!


mat4 Says:

Simon let Isner step up in the court.

But Isner is playing quite well. Maybe it is easy to be courageous on the court when you have such a serve, but he is courageous.


Kimmi Says:

actually now i am watching isner, he is not just serve guy, his baseline game has improved so much..he is beating the counter puncher simon, by being a little bit more aggressive.


jane Says:

Yeah, Isner is stronger from the baseline than he used to be; I agree. He hits with a lot of zest, kind of like how Roddick used to hit with a lot of power.


Joe W Says:

Humble Rafa – I am predicting another clay court win for you over Fed this Saturday.

Sunday is not looking so good, though. More Serbian rain down on your plain, mi humilde hermano.

Long live the King of Clay!


mat4 Says:

The plan is clear for Simon: he has to play deep, move Isner from side to side and put some pressure on Isner’s backhand.

Isner tries to pressurize Simon second serve and to attack from within the court with his forehand. He is big and heavy so he can generate a lot of pace. Simon, on the other side, has problems with Isner’s slice. He can’t really do much against it.


contemperory Says:

Without an improved baseline game, Isner never could have beat Roger at the davis cup. Whatever other factors may be against Roger, for someone to beat him on clay, the baseline game should have a minimum level.

However wonder if Isner has peaked in his career. He is winning more matches, his all round game has improved for sure, but he is almost 27 (in April).


Joe W Says:

Jane: I responded to your post @4:27 under a slightly different handle and that post is apparently in X-treme quarantine. So yes I am your Joe, bionic back and all.


mat4 Says:

Gilles is not playing well. Quite unusual for him to make such errors.


contemperory Says:

And, don’t forget, making Nadal play for 5 sets at RG.


jane Says:

Hey Joe W, my husband called the surfing Santa Claus “shirtless Kenny Rogers”, lol. But yeah, how does he getting that permanent seat?


jane Says:

Oops -see? Errors galore. It should be either how is he getting or how does he get …

Now Isner and Simon have traded places so to speak and Isner is unraveling whereas Simon has stepped it up. Third set coming up.


Michael Says:

Alison,

For sure, they came to the net only to shake hands and this time Berdych maintained the decorum.


Michael Says:

From what I saw, Novak is slowly but steadily rediscovering his form and I am sure he will peak in the finals and that must be ominous to anyone who reaches there to meet him. Nadal too is playing good Tennis but he has still not been tested so far in the tournament as he had a very easy draw and Roger despite playing not so well is still in the tournament and that tells us about its high quality who is able to win even when not playing well. As regards my pick for the winner of the tournament, I would go with Novak.


Michael Says:

Of all, Del Potro has the toughest task ahead if he wants to win this tournament. He should beat Roger in the Quarters and may be Nadal in the semis and Novak in the finals. A very tall order indeed. But if Del Potro does the invincible and then he would have the momentum going for him and should dominate 2012. He surely has the game to do it, but does he have the stamina and will ? Time will tell.


Joe W Says:

Jane: I think Kenny Rogers is more appropriate.


jane Says:

Third set tiebreak looming large, so long as Simon can hold. Have no idea who’ll win.


jane Says:

Simon broken: Nole will play Isner.


Dave Says:

Sienna, Federer being stubborn Federer, he’s probably going to give Miami a shot as well, even though the smart thing would be to rest and recover. When the chips are down Federer digs deep, focuses and tries even harder, so we will see what happens over the next 2 weeks. Roger obviously sacrificed his February vacation and training block to use Rotterdam and Dubai to remain match fit and gain momentum to get a running start on IW and Miami, so from his perspective all that preparatory effort would go to waste if he pulls out now. He probably doesn’t care if he loses to Nadal or Djokvic, if he gets the points in the short term. He is probably planning to take a 7 to 10 day break to recover in April. But I cannot see him enduring three consecutive days of long, tough matches — he has to win efficiently, or it might carry into Maimi.

Could pushing his body while sick with flu turn out to be a bad short-term decision down the road? Easily. So he’s walking a fine line.

Roger is scheduled to take a break after Miami as Monte Carlo is not on his planned schedule (though he could enter as a wild card if he wants a few rounds of clay practice, as Monte Carlo is the closest clay surface to Roland Garros). You’re right that the training block is more important, especially since he did not implement his usual post Australian Open training block and he has played more matches than Nadal or Djokovic since last US Open. If only Ivan Lendl was Roger’s coach, he probably would have gotten Roger to invest in duplicating the four grand slam court surfaces for their training sessions. Alternatively if the weather is good in April, he should just camp out and implement his training block at Roland Garros.


Dave Says:

alison hodge: “joe w just wondering if daves a doctor?”

Why don’t you just call me Doctor Dave, instead of asking around :)

The symptoms, diagnosis and duration of most seasonal flus is quite standard and consistent. Every year up to half a milion people die from the flu. If you want to learn about the flu, there are several good sources, e.g.:
http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/infections/viral_infections/influenza.html?qt=&sc=&alt=

However, if you want to cure or prevent the flu faster and better, then you have to ask Doctor Dave. But my fees are not cheap :)

Sienna is right that Federer’s unneccessary exhibition in New York probably caused the flu in him and his family. Roger admitted that his family caught the flu bug before arriving in Indian Wells: “I don’t think I got or the family got this thing from here like all the rest of the players, because our symptoms are completely different. So I think ours came from just the travel going from cold to warm, cold to warm, and with the time change I think that’s what really got us.” It’s Federer’s stupidity playing the New York exhibiton that could derail him in both Indian Wells and Miami, after all that hard work building momentum by winning Rotterdam and Dubai. It was a bad decision.
http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=78456

Top story: Federer, Nadal Breeze In Basel; Murray, Ferrer Advance In Valencia
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