John Isner: Nadal Is An X Factor In Doubles; I’ll Have To Serve Well To Beat Djokovic
by Tom Gainey | March 16th, 2012, 12:42 pm
  • 26 Comments

Rafael Nadal has been a busy man this week at the BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells. Not only is the former No. 1 in the singles quarterfinals today against David Nalbandian, but he’s also still alive in the men’s doubles competition partnering with friend Marc Lopez. Last night the duo who won Indian Wells in 2010 returned to the final after crushing Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 62, 60.

The Spaniards will play the winner of tonight’s semifinal between John Isner/Sam Querrey and Max Mirnyi/Daniel Nestor. Isner offered high praise for Nadal’s doubles skills.

“Rafa is the X factor,” Isner said yesterday. “Marc, I have played him a couple times in doubles. He’s savvy and does a lot of things, but I think when you have Rafa on your team he just does so many things that it forces guys to go for bigger shots.

“I was just watching on the TV. Seems like couple deuce points the guys double faulted to Rafa just because they have so much respect for him. It’s tough when can get his racquet on the ball in doubles with that forehand, because he runs around the backhand and hits the forehand, it’s no surprise at all. Hopefully Sam and I can get a shot at them.”

Isner beat Gilles Simon in three tough sets last night to set up a semifinal showdown with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

“I remember I played him in Beijing,” recalled Isner. “I think it was 2010. You know, I felt like I was serving well, and he was making every return within this far from the baseline. His anticipation, his hands, everything, it’s just world class. I mean, arguably the absolute best in the world. I’m gonna have to serve well, hit my spots, and have to serve smart. After that, I’m going to have to back it up with some very good shots, especially on my forehand.

“So a lot of things are going to have to go well for me on Saturday, you know, if I have a chance to beat him.”

Djokovic also beat Isner later in 2010 in five sets at Davis Cup. If Isner upsets Djokovic he will make the Top 10! The 6-foot-9 giant is into his second straight ATP Masters 1000 semifinal.

And if Isner does win his doubles tonight he’ll have the rare treat of trying to beat the top two players in the world, Djokovic (in singles semifinal) and then Nadal (in doubles final) on the same day, Saturday!!


Also Check Out:
Djokovic, Isner Set Indian Wells Semifinal Meeting
Ginepri Gives Countryman Pep Talk for Federer v Isner US Open Match-Up
John Isner: Not Many People Can Say They’ve Beaten A World No. 1, I Will Always Be Able To Say I Did!
Djokovic Assesses Federer v Isner US Open Match-Up
John McEnroe Rips Doubles, Says He’ll Take Federer/Nadal Over The Bryans Any Day!

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26 Comments for John Isner: Nadal Is An X Factor In Doubles; I’ll Have To Serve Well To Beat Djokovic

jane Says:

“If Isner upsets Djokovic he will make the Top 10! ” Wow that would be a good milestone for him.


skeezerweezer Says:

Win or lose, John is coming into his own. Getting a chance to crack the top 10 a his huge moment. If he stays healthy, by years end he’ll be a top 10er for sure. Go for it Big John!


Brando Says:

Isner should test nole. He’s got the serve, his movement has improved and most importantly, he is mentally alot more there than some of the other players nole has faced so far. Nole in 2 tight sets.


Humble Rafa Says:

Twin Towers plays ping pong, not tennis. You have to be an America to watch his game.


Skorocel Says:

@Humble Rafa: As if your “1 m above the net & 3 m behind the baseline” game was a tennis…


jane Says:

Delpo just can’t get anything going versus Fed – Fed’s too fast or something. Not sure what it is, but looking like this will be over in no time.


Andrea Says:

Wow. Juan better get his head on straight soon or this match will be over….


jane Says:

Wow this is a thumping.


tennisfansince76 Says:

Wow Fed has really owned Delpo since Delpo came back from his wrist injury. Delpo seems like he has played well. I have noticed Fed is not really engaging in a mano a mano FH battle in these matches as he did at the USO. he is using a lot of angles and droppers and picking his spots for attacking the Delpo FH


jane Says:

Yep Fed has Delpo’s number since FO-USO span in 2009 (he had it before then too). I wonder if Rafa’s match with Nalby will be as quick.


jane Says:

It’s kind of like Delpo was just really getting “into it” at the end there, but the match is over. Too little too late, esp. against Fed. Now Fed will have to wait to see whether he has a Rafa rematch or not. I suspect, yes.


jane Says:

Delpo aces = 0
Fed aces = 13


mem Says:

NK,

since you and i were discussing hawkeye the other day, this may help explain my thoughts on the subject.

if you watched the del potro vs federer match today, the controversial call at the beginning of the match which went roger’s way, will help you understand my theory about why i think roger doesn’t want hawkeye. simply put, more than likely, a questionable call will end up going his way.


Miles Says:

“Delpo just can’t get anything going versus Fed – Fed’s too fast or something. Not sure what it is, but looking like this will be over in no time.”

Very simply put: after losing to Del Potro at that USO 2009 final, Federer stopped doing the stupid thing, i.e. going forehand to forehand, as he stupidly did in the last two sets of that match.

Instead of being stubborn and trying to prove something by slugging it out from the baseline, for the last 5 matches they played Federer denied him a regular pace and applied variety: short slices, dropshots and acute angles, drawing the lumbering Ent forward.

The result: Federer has never lost a set since.

Del Potro’s game is highly limited: it consists of standing more or less still, planting your feet and whacking the ball safely but powerfully into opposite corners. Move him, and he misses. Move him, and he’s getting progressively more tired, so his serve also suffers. Today he had 0 aces.


tennisfan Says:

Nadal is the toughest player mentally out there. Isner will have to do a lot more than just serving well!

What a mtch today by Nadal. Rafa rules!

The Humble Rafa- Part I http://bit.ly/yj0JqW


steve-o Says:

Miles has more or less nailed it.

I only add an analogy: a boxer with long arms has an advantage in distance fighting because of his reach. However, if the opponent can get inside his guard, his long arms slow him down and he becomes easy prey for a quick-attacking opponent. He can’t react fast enough to stop the other guy.

Federer has implemented a similar strategy. Del Potro is at a disadvantage if he is forced to play so close to the baseline instead of having lots of time to wind up and drive the ball. In a first-strike match, the edge goes to Federer, and it has worked ever since they played in London in ’09.


mat4 Says:

Basically, Roger does two things against Delpo: he makes him change direction whenever he can, and he plays cross court to stretch him in the double alley, especially since he has improved both his crosscourt FH and his crosscourt BH. Although powerful and tall, Delpo is a slow starter, so the ball is always a little bit out of reach and he can’t really attack those ball.


jane Says:

Very Interesting Article – “Do the big 3 get paid too much?”

http://www.nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/46763519/ns/sports-tennis/


roy Says:

so many keep expecting delpo to dominate. but the question is, what has he done outside of the tail end of 09?
sure he had year away, but it’s 2012 now.

he has losing records against all the big four and horrible records against some of them.

he’s not in the same class. and i doubt ever will be.
and part of the problem is he has a terrible serve for a 6’6 player, possibly the worst serve of any big man in the game.


Michael Says:

I hope Isner doesn’t upset Novak since I want a blockbuster final. I want a Novak-Nadal final although Novak-Roger too would be welcome. There are some things for Nadal to prove and he can do that if he wins this edition of Indian Wells. He definitely has a chance considering that Novak is not playing at his best. But I think the final will be a different one altogether where the best normally discovers their form.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

mem says “if you watched the del potro vs federer match today, the controversial call at the beginning of the match which went roger’s way, will help you understand my theory about why i think roger doesn’t want hawkeye. simply put, more than likely, a questionable call will end up going his way.”

It should be the other way. The calls are being poor because of the Hawk-eye. Hardly there are overrules anymore, because of Hawk-eye. If Hawk-eye was not there, thee umpire would have over-ruled the decision, since it was under his chair. So what is the point?


Sienna Says:

Nirmal
it is ridiculous to state that Fed is getting advantage. But with the hawkeye and the overrule you have got a point.

I think Fed is opposed to hawkeye because it is used strategic andnot only to find the truth.

Also sometimes it;s unfair when the hawkeye is used after the player saw his initial ball go for a fault. So they quickly challenge when they notice there ball is not going to make it.

Nottostir anything but I think Nadal is doing that kind of trick.

Maybe is they speed the hawkeye up. Refereeshould take the luxury of using it whenever the y want to overrule.But they canonly do that at pointending/deciding balls.

The last issue I have with Hawkeye is that the players firts look at the mark or at theire res[ected coaches to decide if they want to challenge. This is also I feel not the right way to use the hawkeye.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Sienna: I’m not sure if you understood my point. Basically I meant Roger does not get any advantage because of Hawk-eye. I said a counterpoint to “mem” who said Roger has an advantage with Hawk-eye, which I could not understand how?

You are right. Hawkeye rule is now the way it’s implemented ie with respect to time taken for the calls. I think Roger is the only player who does not look at his Box before making a call, which is the right way.

Everyone else seems to enquire their coaches or partners before making a call. This I believe is as good a being coached during a match.

We are on the same page.

Below is the point mem raised to me, since myself and mem has engaged in few posts about Hawkeye.

NK,

since you and i were discussing hawkeye the other day, this may help explain my thoughts on the subject.

if you watched the del potro vs federer match today, the controversial call at the beginning of the match which went roger’s way, will help you understand my theory about why i think roger doesn’t want hawkeye. simply put, more than likely, a questionable call will end up going his way.


Sienna Says:

Absurd to think Roger gets the calls on purpose.
There is nothing to gain by giving him those calls. I understood that the first time.

The same can be said about Rafa or anyother top player.
Heck in football Referee are always a litle milder to the topside then the underdog. But I think the referees in tennis are actually quit good and professional and they of course make bad calls but not intentional fo 1 player.


Sienna Says:

So next you are trying to see that the organisers are intentionally jinxing the hawkeye whenever Fed gets a dubious call. That would be something.

Are you someone that beleive in conspiracy theories? You probably do.


skeezerweezer Says:

WTF?

Wimbledon…..night lights….all over again. geez…Rafa must have some Irish in him….after all its St. Patricks Day….

Top story: Nadal Returns Tonight In Beijing, Djokovic Begins Final No. 1 Push; Serena Survives Scare
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