Nadal Tries To Build A Snowman In Monte Carlo, Can Djokovic Stop Him?
by Sean Randall | April 14th, 2012, 10:03 am
  • 143 Comments

With apologies to Houston and the earlier Latin American swing, the clay season officially starts this week in Monte Carlo. The familiar names return to the historic courts on the edge of the Mediterranean led of course by the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, who bids for an incredible 8th straight Monte Carlo title.

With Roger Federer vacationing poolside (or he just has a really, really big bathtub) and Juan Martin Del Potro recovering from Davis Cup, Nadal’s chief competition comes from arch rival Novak Djokovic, countryman David Ferrer and Andy Murray. But Nadal won’t run into any of those three until the final!

Looking at the draw which was just released, Nadal figures to have an easy go of it early on. Seeded second, Nadal will meet the winner of Nieminen/Stepanek, then possibly Florian Mayer before either Stan Wawrinka or Nicolas Almagro in the quarterfinals. Other than his ailing knees, that’s the extent of troubles for Rafa in his section.

In the semifinals Nadal could face JW Tsonga, who lost last weekend on these same Monte Carlo courts to John Isner (like just about all the Americans Isner is not playing the event). Tsonga is the slight favorite in a wide open quadrant that includes Janko Tipsarevic, Milos Raonic, Albert Montanes, Gilles Simon, Phil Kohlschreiber, Fernando Verdasco and Ivan Ljubicic who is playing his final event. So take your pick! I might lean to Kohlschreiber, Montanes or maybe even Verdasco. Perhaps Raonic who opens against Montanes can make a run. It’s really a toss up.

In the top half, Djokovic begins his clay campaign against a qualifier or Andreas Seppi. Then Dolgopolov or Chela who meet in a good first rounder. In his quarter he’ll likely run into Ferrer who should be able to set up that showdown with the Serb. And despite Ferrer’s acumen on clay and his strong play this season, I like Djokovic’s firepower in that matchup so I’ll take Novak out to the semifinals.

And that leaves the Murray quarter. Andy shouldn’t have an issue getting to the quarter where he could run into Tomas Berdych. And that’s a tough match but I’ll take Murray who really showed some improvement on clay last year.

If it all folds as I planned, we’ll have Djokovic v. Murray in one SF, and someone (sorry, I can’t pick one!) against Nadal in the other. And I think Nadal beats Novak in the final. Rafa’s had knee issues, which should (magically) subside, while Djokovic, even though he just won Miami, still doesn’t look like the same guy he was a year ago.

Also, Novak is focused on the French, as is Rafa, but the Spaniard, titleless since the French, desperately needs to get back in the win column. Rafa really needs this one and I think he builds his snowman (#8).

Worth noting is that with Madrid turning the color of its clay from red to blue and the speedier courts in Rome, Monte Carlo may offer the most similar conditions this season to the French Open.

Tennis Channel should have live wall-to-wall coverage starting Monday.


Also Check Out:
Federer Reverses Monte Carlo Decision, Will Take On Nadal
Rafael Nadal: I Have Amazing Feelings When I Play Monte Carlo [Video]
Novak Djokovic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Visit Musee Oceanographique [Video]
Djokovic Withdraws From Monte Carlo
Novak Djokovic Was A Busy Man After Winning Monte Carlo [Video]

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143 Comments for Nadal Tries To Build A Snowman In Monte Carlo, Can Djokovic Stop Him?

Shailesh Says:

Another easy draw for Nadal, hmmm i smell something fishy ;-)


Sean Randall Says:

Well, the tournament is by the sea!


Wog boy Says:

I wonder, if Federer was playing where would he end up, Rafa’s or Nole’s side? According to this one, with Nole, or maybe not? I will leave this one to more knowledgeable people.


Brando Says:

Agree with sean that it most probably will be a nadal- djokovic final.

Disagree that rafa would win. Rafa is my fav, BUT until rafa beats nole, nole is the fav in that encounter each and every time- regardless of the venue- until rafa puts a win on the board.

How many times during the last 7 matches was nole meant to lose for 1 reason or another and yet each and every time he’s ended up the winner?


Mark Says:

@ Shailesh. “smell something fishy”? Yes, that is only because your nose is above your big mouth!


jane Says:

Rafa’s got a good draw, and plenty of motivation; I think he’ll win – he’s coming through his size with little probably methinks. I don’t know who’ll come out the top, however – it’s a top heavy draw: could be Nole, Murray, Berdych, Ferrer? Will have to think on that one for a bit…


Shailesh Says:

@Mark: It was just a joke. Peace!


jane Says:

I mean not “through his size with little probably methinks” but through his *side* with little *struggle*. Need morning java.


Shailesh Says:

I think it will be Murray who comes out of the top half. No particular reason behind it just a hunch.


El Flaco Says:

Nadal all the way.


serbian hammer Says:

Well its obvious that again and again Nadal gets this easy draws.Who’s on his way to final ,Almagro,Wawrinka,Tsonga ,are they realy a chalengers for him on clay,its possible that they can beat him but by how much, 10% maybe.And on the other hand Djokovic got his first obstacle in the third round,unpredictable Dolgopolov who can be trouble,he plays russian roulette tennis,then Ferrer(in my oppinion second most dangerous player on clay),Murray(who has walkover draw himself except maybe Berdych but thats far away,and Troicki(just kidding,i wish my fellow countryman to win but lets be realistic here)its almost certain that Djoker will meet Ferrer and Murray on his way to the final(two out of four fittest players beside Nadal and Djokovic on tour),and there,in the final fresh Nadal is waiting.Other than that,its very fair draw for Novak.But it happened before,remember AO 2012,yes djokovic won, but it costed him dearly.That is the only strategy for the organisers now to stop Djokovic and return balance,tire him up,than strike with all they got.But as i said,it can be double edged sword,what happens if he beats them all and gain more confidence,and he is more than capable of it.Maybe this ‘fair draws’ aren’t such a bad idea after all.


Shailesh Says:

Is there any time left for Roger to enter as a wild card? Has Federer ever taken a wild card at any tournament? Any answers will be welcome.


Mark Says:

I predict a Murray/ Nadal final.


skeezerweezer Says:

Mark

Lol easy prediction Nadal = Final


serbian hammer Says:

Mark i have 3 words for you ‘Djokovic beats Murray’.


alison hodge Says:

serbian hammer 3 words for you,wait and see,or dont count chickens.


jamie Says:

Shailesh Says:
I think it will be Murray who comes out of the top half. No particular reason behind it just a hunch.

April 14th, 2012 at 11:00 am

_______________

And that is the only way Nadal will win if he plays Murray in the Monte Carlo final.

If it’s Djokovic in the final the result is a foregone conclusion with the Serbian winning as usual against Nadal. NO MATTER THE SURFACE.

Nadal can’t beat Djokovic anymore.


Green900 Says:

Yeah, federer took wildcard in monte carlo 2009 if I’m not wrong.


Mark Says:

@Jamie. Don’t care how or whom Rafa beats, just so long as he WINS. Vamos Rafaaa!!!


rogerafa Says:

“are they realy a chalengers for him on clay”

How many players are real challengers against Rafa on clay? The guy has won this seven times in a row. I think Almagro is potentially a tough opponent if Rafa does not have a good day at the office. If Rafa is close to his very best, even Novak will find it difficult to beat him in MC where conditions are much slower than at Rome or Madrid. Having said that, I do not think Rafa is physically or game-wise close to his very best. Add the lack of confidence against Novak and he could end up losing in the final should they reach there. A Novak win over Rafa at MC will be a huge psychological blow ahead of the FO. I get the feeling that Novak is on that mission here. I thought that he consciously avoided playing at MC last year and that was a very smart decision he made. Now, with the confidence of seven wins including two on clay, he is ready to invade arguably Rafa’s strongest fort.


Brando Says:

@rogerafa:

a very ACCURATE post of the scenario there. The maths is simple:

IF rafa is at his best, then he’ll beat ANYONE on clay, including nole, on ANY one of these surfaces.

BUT he’s far from it atm. Ultimately, the clay season is about RG- hopefully by then rafa will be firing on all cylinders!

I think he sees this as an important clay season this year- and he’s keen to put the naysayers in there place- and i for one hopes that he will do so!

vamos rafa!


Ajet Says:

rafa at best has no rival on clay. but if he plays scared like chicken, djoker may have chances.


karl tres Says:

wow, everyone take nadal in the final as granted.
i for one think nadal wont win here.

ohh forget to mention about the draw:

remember how nadal withdraw from miami cause he wont play murray in semi (get tired) and play djokovic in final.

seems montecarlo learn the lesson, they wont be another miami with “big retires”, so they give no excuses to rafa to withdraw.

but anyway, nadal wont play djokovic in montecarlo, he fears him, either djokovic lose before the final and nadal walks to the final, or djokovic gets to the final but nadal got a “surprise lose”/injury/retire


sheila Says:

im not a nadal fan but lets face it, on clay whoever nadal faces, the draw will be, imho, noncompetitive. nadal is a magician on clay so its not that he got an easy draw, its just that no one can challenge him on clay. true djokovic did win @ madrid & rome in 2011, but i 2 feel, djokovic is not on the same winning streak as he was last year. now to regress to my fantasy world, i wish federer could win the french. nice fantasy


racquet Says:

@Jane, have you seen Andy’s startling new look yet?


Shailesh Says:

Well, there’s a reason why Nadal is a favorite at Monte Carlo. Nobody wins a tournament 7 consecutive times if he is not the best at that particular tournament. Look at who all Nadal beat to win Monte Carlo the past 7 years:
Guillermo Coria, Roger Federer, Roger Federer, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Fernando Verdasco, David Ferrer.

All very good clay courters IMHO.

So Nadal is definitely the favorite.


Shailesh Says:

except for Verdasco ofcourse ;-)


Shailesh Says:

Also Nadal has beaten Djokovic at Monte Carlo in 2009.


Kimmi Says:

Yap, the draw is very top heavy. The positive thing is whoever comes out of the top group to the final will be tested. Lets hope they will be ready for rafa because he is definitely going to the final.


Kimmi Says:

hmm, i didn’t know tsonga just passed ferrer to no.5 and it is only by 35 points, looks like they swapped places only this week. No wonder ferrer is on murray’s side. I was wondering there for a minute.


alison hodge Says:

i agree with everyones comments,i think Rafa looks good for the final i would think Nole would be the only one likely to stop him,and Noles section looks more vulnerable for him imo ,anyway regardless of what rafa does now at mc, the pressures off him having won the trophy 7 times,the only person he to prove something to would be himself.


trufan Says:

Wow, the arrogant one again got an easy draw – dodged both Murray and Ferrer. I am amazed how it happens ALL the time. Something is rigged. Also refs not calling out his constant time violations. Too much money on the line I guess.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Great draw for Rafa. He will certainly make the final. If Nole can make it, he should win. But he certainly has more obstacles in his path. I suspect Murray may be more of a threat to Nole on clay than Rafa, but that’s just a hunch.
Last year, it was in the clay where Nole really showed distance between himself and Rafa. So, despite Rafa’s pedigree, I really have to imagine Nole will beat him on clay again should the chance arise. And it will this spring at some point!


Mark Says:

Just because Djoker beat Rafa twice on clay last year does not mean the same will happen this year. Rafa is the KING OF CLAY. He is phenomenal on this surface.


trufan Says:

As always, murray will tire djoke in the semi, if both get there, while nadal will have an easy semi.

Someone should investigate this draw fixing on behalf of nadal. The probability of his getting the draws he gets is too low to be a chance event.


Mark Says:

Yup I agree. Rafa should be arrested for influencing the organizers to fix the draw!!!!


jane Says:

racquet – no! But you’ve made me curious – do you have a link? I did a quick search and didn’t find anything, nor was there anything on the front page at Murray’s World. Please share? :)


Peka Says:

What? Rome is now super-fast, it is the “indoor-carpet” of the clay courts?

Last year everybody was saying: Ahhh, OK, Nole beat Nadal in Madrid, but that’s a much faster clay, we’ll see the order restored in Rome… where he beat him again, on a much slower surface, and much easier (64 64 vs 75 64).
Note that Nole’s most lopsided wins over Nadal last year were on clay. Clay is the only surface where Nadal failed to win a set (A SET!!!).

That said, I’m not saying that Novak is the favorite to win should they meet in final, BUT neither is Nadal. One thing is pretty sure – Monte Carlo and RG are the two tournaments Novak will be specially motivated to win this year.


racquet Says:

@jane, here you go:

http://tinyurl.com/ce7xsaj

Brace yourself. I think it must be the result of a forfeit.


Peka Says:

Hahaha, I forgot to mention… Novak will also try to build a snowman (8 consecutive wins over Nadal)… so this year MC falls in the “winter sports” category!


alison hodge Says:

the rafa/nole rivallry has becme so dismally one sided just lately,that even the most die hard fans of his,see there matches as forgone conclussion before they even play,shame really, i really hope and believe at some point rafa can turn things around,and also that some other guys can challenge nole,as i dont really think he has much competition otherwise.


alison hodge Says:

so silly people complainng,and coming up with conspriracy theories about rafas draw,hes won the title 7 times,just what exactly has he got left to prove in monte carlo now anyway?


Shailesh Says:

@Alison: You forgot good old Federer. I am sure he is capable of giving stiff competition to Nole.


alison hodge Says:

Raquet thanks for the link,love muzza,but not liking this look one bit,the sooner it grows back the better,love it short like he had it before,but not shaved.


alison hodge Says:

shailesh yeah thats true,and great if your a fed fan, but as a rafa fan,and a muzza fan,and as a fan of tennis in general i would like to see nole have more competition than what fed can give him,but what everybody can give him.


alison hodge Says:

sorry fed and noles fans,as i did not mean to sound disrespectful to either guy,i just want the competition to be well contested by all players if possible.


jane Says:

Wow racquet: yeah, that’s a little…different. :) Thanks for the link.


Kimmi Says:

alison – it was the same thing when federer was at the top, when rafa was at the top ie rafa dominated on clay for years..no competition. So, let djokovic enjoy his time. If the guys can beat him then well and good. he had to work very hard to be where he is now.


alison hodge Says:

kimmi yeah fair enough, i agree im not saying i have anything against nole,and hes a great guy whos worked hard for his success,and your right its all down to the others to rise to the challenge.


serbian hammer Says:

Yes Nadal is the favorite.So what?If he need a title of the favorite he can have it,nobody is going to stop him.As far as im concern he can be favorite from now till the end of his carier ,as long as Djokovic wins actual tournaments.


Kimberly Says:

challenge.atpworldtour.com

Join group tennis x fans.

Must pick tonight.

More the merrier, several of us in, lots of chat during matches too. All are welcome, encouraged and invited without exception, there is a variety of fans of all different players.


jane Says:

Having a tough time picking this one in terms of the top half – Rafa is in the final for me. Just can’t decide who he will meet: Murray, Nole or Ferrer? And how deep should I put Ljuby (a.k.a. the bald bomber) considering it’s his last official event – will he go out with a loud bang or a soft bomb? :)


Kimmi Says:

easy for me jane. i got nole winning this. maybe my wishful thinking. yeah re: bald bomber, have him winning two rounds, hope he does go away with a bang..


Kimberly Says:

jane—what about berdych too in top half, but i guess he would have to take out nole and murray. murray likely. nole not so.


Steve 27 Says:

The draw complaints again? Poor fans, they have to understand that there are not conspiracy here, all of you seem have symptoms of paranoia. lucky one time perhaps, but seven times, are you kidding me?


skeezerweezer Says:

Steve 27,

No complaints here. Just facts. All the media and posters agree. Give it a rest and enjoy your favs guarantee ticket to the Final.


carlo Says:

hey, bracketeers? anyone guessing Lluby goes 3 rounds and takes out Tsonga?

Or, is Verdasco going to spoil the party?

Agreeing with Sean. Nadal builds a “snowman” big one 8 time champ.


carlo Says:

lol, Florian Mayer has a 1-0 h2h over Nadal ( he beat Rafa last Shanghai); otherwise, all others Nadal likely meets are Armada boys: Andujar, F–lo, Almagro. Then if Verdasco beats sentimental favorite, Bald Bomber, plus a couple French, assignment completed.

Ferrer has the toughest assignment. I don’t think he will beat Djokovic. nah…


Fed Says:

Easy draw for Nadal again! What a surprise !!!??? LOL


Maso Says:

Come on guys, easy draw or no easy draw, I don’t think that’s going to stop Rafa from reaching the final. I was at Monte Carlo in 2009, from the quarters to the final (frustrated as hell ’cause Wawrinka ended my hopes of seeing Fed play, DAMN YOU STAN!) and remember how frightening (and amazing) it was to see Nadal play on the clay.

When you see it on TV, it already seems somewhat unreal but watching him bring back impossible shots against Murray in the semi or Novak in the final right in front of my eyes was downright insane. And I’m not a particularly big Nadal fan, this is just matter of fact. Nadal doesn’t need an easy draw to win on the clay. Novak is definitely a huge psychological factor for Rafa, now, and I’d say that’s really his main concern here. If we get a Murray-Novak semi and Murray takes out Djoko, though, expect 8 in a row for Rafa.


serbian hammer Says:

Do you think it means something to Nadal to win any more tournaments and not beat Djokovic on the way.Djokovic made a scar deep in Nadal’s head,and only obsession Nadal has right now is to beat Djokovic ,not once but 30 times in a row and be better than him which wont happen.Every player has his kryptonite,and Djokovic is just that for him.You may deny it but its just the way things are.Im not glad when someone beat me even when im at my very best,that is normal ,same goes for Nadal.But real champion improve,change,and adapt.Even Federer finaly ,after all this years slowly learning this.And Nadal stagnate.Everyone should remember the times when Djokovic was the one who was in that problem,but he learned his lesson,he’s maybe not the best but if you want inspiration how to turn yourself in a true champion and use your potential he is an example,and not only him Agassi,Sampras,Becker and many other players who improved and never looked back.


roy Says:

easy draws…that’s right, top 4 players get the easiest draws on the tour. nadal is a top 4 player last time i checked.

let’s see, mayer beat nadal last match, almagro gave him one of the toughest RG matches i can remember, simon if he got through is a worthy sf opponent, or tips by the way he’s playing these days.
nothing to complain about considering fed skipped.

djoker gets ferrer and murray. perhaps slightly tougher simply because of murray, but who knows what mood murray is in.
but then, if nadal got ferrer it would be considered an easy draw because of his record against him on clay and murray likewise.

point is, demonstrate an acceptably ‘tough’ draw for nadal on clay.
i’ll try. how about this:

2nd round: djoker
3rd round: federer
qf: djoker again
sf: fed again
f: djoker again

that what you’re hoping for? fingers crossed then.


Shailesh Says:

roy: How about this draw:
2nd round: Milos Raonic
3rd round: Ivan Ljubicic
qf: Jo-Wilfred Tsonga
sf: Andy Murray
f: Nole

just requires a little shuffling of the current draw :-)


Shailesh Says:

on second thoughts replace tsonga with david ferrer as nadal’s qf opponent. Then its a reasonably tough draw for nadal imo.


nadalista Says:

okay, to sum up:

1. If Rafa wins, it’s nothing, he had a cup-cake draw anyway;
2. If Rafa loses, it’s that big ugly scar stamped on his psyche by Novak, in fact it will be proof positive that he has stagnated (Serbian Hammer’s word, not mine.

Sheesh, God forbid Rafa should disappoint anyone!

Vamos!!!!! Bring on numero 8…………….


Mark Says:

NUMBER EIGHTTT COMING UP!! VAMOS RAFAAA!!!


carlo Says:

Well, come on. Can anyone really imagine one of Nadal’s compatriots preventing him from winning his 8th Monte Carlo? They’d be a villain.

Would like No1e or Murray to steal MC, but can’t see it happening. Also, would feel strangely sad if Djoker beat Nadal at MC (8 straight times) But, if anyone could, it would be Djoker. Murray winning would be nothing short of miraculous.

Pablo crushing Albert in Casablanca. ah, was hoping Ramos would get a title.


Kimberly Says:

Shailesh Says:
roy: How about this draw:
2nd round: Milos Raonic—sorry not worried about this one. Nadal would expose fitness and movement issues.

3rd round: Ivan Ljubicic–well considering rafa played one of the crappiest matches ever against him in RG still won in straights.

qf: Jo-Wilfred Tsonga–Davis Cup semi final last year anyone. I think it was 6-0 6-2 6-4

sf: Andy Murray–never posed any real threat to him on clay. Yes he got the set at MC last year but nadal annihlated him in the third.

f: Nole–well, this one we know what the result has been of late. But he has this opponent looming in his current draw.

On clay, i think its hard to design a really dangerous draw for Rafa on clay. Here is my stab and I am roping in players who are not playig this tournament–

2nd Round-Bellucci
3rd Round-Almagro
QF-Del Potro
Semi Final-Roger Fed
Final-Novak


jane Says:

Kimberly, I’d add in Isner somewhere.


nadalista Says:

…………and tie his left hand behind his back,that should do the trick………


Shailesh Says:

Kimberly I agree with most of your comments, but i did replace tsonga with ferrer in my next post.

Also i feel, believe it or not, murray has the game to beat rafa on clay. Yeah i know it sounds ridiculous but seeing the way murray played nadal at last year’s french and the way he played in rome against djokovic, he seems certainly capable of it. I think it is just a matter of time that Murray breaks through with regards to players like Nole and Rafa. He just has to believe in himself. I think why most people lose against Nadal even when they have him on the ropes in their matches is the lack of their self-belief that they can beat him unlike Nole ofcourse and this includes Federer. Remember the first set of their rg final last year.


Ajet Says:

am not holding my breathe for berdych, murray or tsonga to do any damage here. none of them’s reaching semi imo.


Ajet Says:

it’s funny to see people saying rafa got easy draw! i’m sure you guys think that ferrer/murray/any other guy could do a damn thing to nadal on clay(as has been genuinely proved through the years), lol! ;)

and yeah, arrest nadal for fixing the draws again in his favour, as mark would say, lol! ;)


carlo Says:

Ajet , just had a peek at your bracket to see who you have. Have to say, those are a couple interesting ‘dark horse’ picks in the semi. Montanes? surely you jest? right?

Nadal does have a rather easy appearing draw, but in the end, he still likely has to beat Djokovic. As great as Djokovic played in Miami in streaks, his draw is relatively easy. But the edge is to Nadal in MC, until proven otherwise, I agree.


carlo Says:

Rain delay in Casablanca. Maybe Ramos can regroup his nerves and win in 3. Have no idea why I cheer for Albert Ramos when he plays.


Kimberly Says:

will be interesting to see isner monaco. tennis channel is going to show it.


alison hodge Says:

i have to say as much as i love to watch rafa,and over the past year,ive felt more butterflies than ever when watching him play,i must admit to being relatively calm on this occasion about his chances going into mc,having already won the trophy 7 times,he has nothing left to prove there anyway except to himself,i would think that this would probably be one of the only tourneys,where the pressures completely off him now.


carlo Says:

Using 2 browsers, streaming both Casablancs and Houston finals. fun matches

Monaco won 1st set but Isner looking comfortable in the 2nd with 4-1 lead.

Rambo also came out calmer after rain delay and has a break in the 2nd. It’s a thin break. no, Ramos choking serving for set. Ramos’ body language says it all. Gave the break back without winning a point. but another rain delay might help.


carlo Says:

why on earth does tennis channel not show Isner-Monaco live? thanks to tennis gods for streaming.

Are you watching live on tennischannel east coast, Kimberly?


marron Says:

Sean: ‘…Rafa’s had knee issues, which should (magically) subside,…’

Gee. The human body, in most cases, has an ‘amazing’ ability to, get this…. heal. Fix itself. Given some time? You ever cut yourself, Sean? So are you still bleeding? Amazing how someone can have a major surgery and walk out of the hospital a week later, huh? I don’t get how, given some time, you don’t understand that anyone’s knees should be better than they were, once they’ve stopped doing the thing that injured them. Must be magic indeed.


skeezerweezer Says:

morron,

Ever had chronic Tendonitis?


Kimberly Says:

carlo—was watching the heat game instead, now turning to it


Kimberly Says:

skeezer-yes i do it sucks. But there are different levels of it. Ive been unable to turn my car keys, or chop veggies etc. because I get wrist/thumb tendonitis and I’ve gotten it on both sides. Its never fully gone but when its bad for ME it takes me about 2-4 weeks.


Kimberly Says:

carlo its not live, its delayed. I am swithcing back to basketball, lakers dallas and will check score!


Kimmi Says:

monaco wins. didn’t he beat isner last week in Miami as well?


Kimberly Says:

kimmi-no he beat fish and roddick i think isner lost to florian mayer


Kimmi Says:

oh yeah Kimberly, i remember now. Monaco has suddenly been playing so well. He started this from nowhere, i thought he was lucky to get that far in Miami when Federer lost but now i see it wasn’t all lucky..he has a good streak going on at the moment.


Michael Says:

Now, I feel that Novak plays Nadal well on Clay more than the Hard courts and the surface should suit him. If it is a Novak Vs Nadal final, my bet is on Novak to lift the title straightaway unless he flounders so badly which is not likely. If Nadal aspires to win his 8th title, then in the final he should not meet Novak.


Mark Says:

Watch the KING OF CLAY lift his 8th Monte Carlo title on Sunday!! Vamos Rafaaaa!!!


Colin Says:

First of all, can I point out that the word is, strictly speaking, not “tendonitis” but “tendinitis”. Seems odd, but that’s the case.
Marron, I don’t think you’re quite fair in your criticism of Sean’s remark. You, like nearly everyone else, refer to Rafa having an injury. An injury is a one-off event, from which the body does indeed recover. Nadal has an ongoing condition of wear, which will ebb and flow but never go away. It has to be managed, and he is mostly doing that these days.


alison hodge Says:

michael you will probably get your wish,if rafa faces djokovic in the final,theres no doubt in my mind either that djokovic will win the title,and this is coming from a rafa fan,but i have to ask with rafa having won the title a record 7 times already,just exactly what does he have left to prove now anyway?so what if he doesnt win mc this week,its all gravy here now anyway,and so what if he beats someone other than djokovic to win the title,rafas done everything there is to do on clay now anyway,i know how much you like djokovic,but surely rafa deserves to be given more credit than what you are giving him here.


Mark Says:

All the Rafa haters will come out this week stewing away!! Pfft!!


alison hodge Says:

mark it would be great for rafa to bag the title,does not matter whoever he beats to get it as long as he gets it,vamos rafa,go get number 8.


Wog boy Says:

Number 8 is Chinese lucky number:)


Bella Says:

If novak and nadal were to meet in the final I think novak will win.


alison hodge Says:

Bella just as well Rafas nothing to prove on clay anymore then anyway.


Bella Says:

Alison I agree nadal has nothing more to prove on clay. I didn’t mean any disrespect. I just kinda gave my prediction for the tournament.


alison hodge Says:

Bella no offence was taken honestly.


Ajet Says:

carlo:

were my picks really that crazy?? :(


Ajet Says:

i think nobody beats rafa 8 times in a row, so i pick rafa, but if djoker somehow beats rafa again at MC, i’d be very surprised!


Bella Says:

Could someome explain to me how the point system works, because before monte carlo nadal had 900 points more then fed. I always thought that when the tournament began they take away the point you had won in that tournament but going by the ranking points now I’m wrong. So could someone please explain?


alison hodge Says:

Ajet some of my picks are a bit iffy,i had young down to beat p.h.mathieu,and got that one wrong with bloody bells on,also have granollers down for a win against benneteau,that ones not going to plan either,hope marcell can turn things around,sadly i wont see any more,as i now have to go to bloody work damn it.


Ajet Says:

alison:

work is always goody and never bloody, so cheer up and go to work! :p ;)

and to be honest, i don’t think it’s so unthinkable to pick montanes for semi here. it’s possible. everything’s possible. if almagro can beat nadal, then why not montanes reach semi! and on clay, i don’t expect murray/tsonga/guys like them to do much noise. also am not holding high hopes for isner despite what he’s done on clay of late. isner will do well on clay this season, but don’t think MC is the place where he starts with doing so!


Ajet Says:

points system is too confusing to me also. just my brain can’t take that calculation stuff(particularly of tennis)! not that am otherwise miserable or something in maths, but tennis maths not interesting or worth utting time into! but there are perhaps many good teenis math junkies here who can help you Bella.


Ajet Says:

btw how many more ages of waiting before MC starts?? tired of so much yearning for tennis to start again! just bring it on already!


carlo Says:

Ajet, your picks are solid not crazy. I was just having a little nudge at you about Montanes to the semi. Anything can happen! The 1st or 2nd bracket I ever did was Rome 2010 and picked Gulbis to beat Federer and F-lo, and make it to the semi. I was jumping up and down excited. Gambling on a dark horse- it’s all in fun. I picked a bunch of unkown qualifiers, I’ll soon regret.

Montanes is good on clay. He’s also due for some good clay results.

About Isner, I’m thinking his recovery time is slow. He won a tough 3 set match v F-lo the day before. Only served 8 aces v Monaco; not good enough to beat an in-form, confident Monaco on clay. Isner was on empty, just like after beating Djokovic. I heard a commentator saying the plan is to make him work hard on fitness the next couple weeks- lots of running.


carlo Says:

Ajet I just posted a streaming link but it didn’t go through. Maybe they are moderating the link?

lemon sport . com or livescore hunter . com

streaming MC right now: Dog v Chela


carlo Says:

wow, Dolgo on fire! beat Chela 6-2 6-2 in less than an hour, meanwhile Benneteau and Granollers going 3 sets.


Dave Says:

Wall Street Journal article that should interest tennis fans and those who feel tennis deserves to attract more attention and money among major sports:

“Does Sports Need Dominance?

…Despite all the public’s patter about “parity” and the happiness of all teams having a chance, dominance is healthy for sports.

Now I’m talking about real dominance. I’m not talking about five-game winning streaks and consecutive years in the wild card race, I’m talking about merciless, wire-to-wire, soul-crushing dominance. Like the 72-10 ’95-’96 Chicago Bulls, the Bill Russell Celtics, Geno Auriemma’s UConn Huskies, or the late ’50s Montreal Canadiens. Like Tiger Woods in 2000. Steffi Graf in 1988.

We forget how invigorating a dominant team or player can be. We’re all conditioned by the parity-obsessed NFL to think it’s awesome that anyone could beat anyone on Any Given Sunday. But sometimes it’s better if the nobodies get smushed. We’re amid an extended, fickle era of champions—of the past 10 titles in the NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA, there have only been two back-to-back winners, the Lakers in ’08-’09 and ’09-’10, and the ’03-’04 Patriots. Forty possible titles have been won by 30 teams (thanks to the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, the NBA has done the least sharing). Does anyone feel we’re living in indelible, dynastic sports times? Years from now, is anyone going to prop a grandchild on his or her knee and say, “Let me tell you about the five years I saw the Angels, Marlins, Red Sox, White Sox and Cardinals win the World Series”?

The importance of dominance in individual sports came into focus a few days ago, when the observation surfaced on Twitter—apparently from the account of a user named Joshua Kay, and re-Tweeted with a “Wow!!” by U.S. tennis honcho Patrick McEnroe—that the world’s current top-3 ranked golfers (Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood) have won a grand total of one major event (McIlroy’s 2011 U.S. Open.) If you expand it to include the No. 4 player, newly-jacketed Masters champion Bubba Watson, that total expands to two. Phew. That’s a long way from Woods’s fabled Tiger Slam.

Kay then compared that meek total to the number of major tournaments won by the top 3 in men’s tennis—Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Are you ready? 31. That’s a record 16 for Federer, 10 for Rafa, and five more for Djokovic, who looks destined to grab at least a half-dozen more (and don’t rule out Nadal and Federer collecting a few extras, either.)

Now yes, yes, yes: this is an imperfect comparison. Tennis and golf are vastly different endeavors, and tennis players peak earlier than golfers, who have long careers, and nobody knows where the 22-year-old McIlroy will wind up before he’s through. But if golf’s current top three veer close to Roger/Rafa/Djoko’s 31, I will knit you a seaside castle out of cat hair.

Dominance has been very good for men’s tennis. It’s focused the sport, enhanced its biggest stars, and elevated the era; any combination of Federer v. Nadal v. Djokovic feels unmissable, since this may never arise again.

Golf, by contrast, finds itself in a post-Tiger personality and attention deficit—Masters TV ratings were down, and though Watson was an enormously likable Masters champ, he’s already 33, still a 5-iron from being a household name….”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304432704577346162514878488.html


Sienna Says:

Bella
Points count for a whole year. MC has been moved so the drop in points is a week extra. You would not want Rafa to benefit more form changes he himself is putting on the calender. would you?


Ajet Says:

carlo:

dolgo is surprising in the 1st match, but i don’t think he’ll reach qf.


Ajet Says:

carlo:

to be honest, bracket challenge is so tricky that i’m not sure if am ever gonna be even close to accurate! in fact imho, nothing sillier than predicting things, i can’t even predict a thing about myself, lol! ;)


Bella Says:

@Sienna oh oke thank you


carlo Says:

Well, I picked Raonic over Montanes, Ajet. But Montanes is also a clever player. I watched him at Indian Wells beat Almagro 2011. He knew how to get Nico frustrated. Fun Match.

Anyway that whole bracket section was confusing to pick. Was tempted to take Verdasco to the semi; but sentimental about Ljubicic. Tsonga was more like a desperation pick – not at all sure he makes the semi.

Your man Albert is playing great right now. Picking off Milos and making it look easy, atm. Montanes serving for 1st set.


trufan Says:

(If both reach the final) The only way Nadal beats Djokovic, even on clay, is if Djoke has a tough semi the previous day, while Nadal has an easy semi. Looking at their draws, it could happen.

A fresh and fit Djoke will beat a fresh and fit Nadal, even on clay, most of the time. Djoke is just a superior player.

Running like a rabbit and sending moonballs back works only till you are young. Nadal is just getting to the point where he is slowing down… and that is disastrous for his game.

When was the last time he won anything other than clay? Been a few years…


carlo Says:

Montanes is a skinny little waif of a person in real life; which makes his talent all the more impressive. He’s smaller, thinner than Simon.

He’s taking it to Raonic. Clay court lesson for Milos so far.


carlo Says:

Ajet. you never know about Sasha. I picked Tomic to beat him – but Dolgo burned me in too many brackets lately. One of my favorite players but impossible to guess what he’ll do. Would help if he went back to the ponytail. His hair in corn rolls… utter failure :D


Mark Says:

All hail the KING OF CLAY!! Nadal’s record on clay is a remarkable 231-18 – which includes 32 championship titles. VAMOS RAFAAA!!! Go man!!!


alison hodge Says:

Ajet i love my job,but it is bloody sometimes and thats quite literally speaking,working in a nursing home for the elderly,as well as sicky,snotty etc etc,the rest ill leave to your imagination,anyway just got home and some of my picks have gone pear shaped,leaving me bottom of the league,im hoping for better luck tomorrow, still its not how you start but how you finish.


skeezerweezer Says:

@alison,

We ALL are going to wind up being elderly and have those things, your job is an admirable one! Thank you!


mat4 Says:

I’ve just finished reading a great article on a French site. An amateur, member of that site, played against against Christophe Rochus at a local tournament in Belgium, and then had a few beers and a long chat with him.

The article is here: http://www.15-lovetennis.com/?p=16257&cpage=1#comment-112534

It is exceptionally well written (most of the articles there are outstanding), and very interesting. I have no doubts whatsoever that Eric would confirm this opinion.

A part that interested me was the one when CR mentioned doping. Here is a Google translate of the part in question:

“There are few things more emmerdantes for a player to play Berdych, Soderling or the cloud of their clones. He would trade ten Ukrainians for one Corretja. That there is such poor playing technique at the top, he said, fortunately obscured by the presence of two players touched by the gods, namely Federer and Murray. As such, the fact that Gilles Simon is unable to attack a ball mid-court does not unless one of the most interesting games of the circuit. That with the current inflation of the physical volume of actual players, the only effective way to fight against doping on the circuit would be to tighten controls at the junior level, because it is at the age of 14 or 15 times that kids, often unaware of what is being administered, are beginning to be “loaded” by their parents or coaches, that the argument that this or that player – nameless, friends of bullfights – would be “naturally” potent physically at 17 or 18 is irrelevant in this respect; it is not for him to criticize this type of player – nameless, friends of paella – that want to maximize their professional incomes but he would not be surprised if one is found to have a heart attack at 40, if the doping practices are more widespread among certain tennis cultures – nameless, friends of vodka and tango – they are still widespread in the top – follow my eyes, Emmenthal friends.”


carlo Says:

alison, what you do is invaluable; especially as you say you, “love your job.” It requires skills, patience, empathy, compassion, intelligence and wisdom; very much admire you. as skeezer says, thank you.


carlo Says:

Mat4:

Thanks for that link!

It took me quite an effort but I read/ confirmed what I read by translation. Very much worth the effort. “John” writes an interesting story and the comments below were fun to read as well. I just wish I had taken my high school French classes seriously – absolutely love the French language!

What CR says about doping starting in teens and the perpetrators really are the parents, doctors, coaches…tough to stop, once one has started and gets at least psychologically dependent, if not physically; at least that’s the shared opinion in the “clinic” on Cycling News Forum.

But I don’t want to think about that part. Two of my most favorite sports – tennis and cycling.

I get the “emmerdantes” effect of Berdych, ect. but what does he mean by, “…follow my eyes, Emmenthal friends” ?? Is he speaking to Swiss fans?


Michael Says:

Alison,

I am sorry if you are offended by my post yet again. But if anybody has bright chances against Rafa, then it is only Novak. He is the only player who can beat him on clay. Having said that, the victory is not granted for Novak. He has to earn it. Ofcourse, Rafa has nothing to prove on Clay. He is the GREATEST on Clay and just winning his 8th Montecarlo Masters can only solidify that position. But winning seven consecutive Masters title is itself a phenomenal feet which has not been done before and Nadal deserves all the praise that he gets. I eagerly anticipate a Rafa-Novak final which would be the highlight of the tournament. If that is the case, it would be difficult to pick a winner. But by his recent wins, Novak certainly has the edge.


jane Says:

Interesting Wall Street Journal article re: dominance in sport and whether, in that writer’s opinion, it’s good –

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304432704577346162514878488.html


mat4 Says:

@Carlo:

I think he wrote specifically about Fed. “Friends of the paella”, Nadal. About Russian and Argentinians too, when he mentioned “cultures tennistiques”.


mat4 Says:

BTW, John Pitneys is his real name. You can check it in the tournament chart.


mat4 Says:

… drawsheet.

Sorry.


alison hodge Says:

thanks carlo and skeezer for those nice kind words.


alison hodge Says:

michael sorry no hard feelings,rafa,novak,roger are all amazing,theres room for them all.


alison hodge Says:

michael btw im not offended by your posts,im just giving my opinion about your opinion.


jamie Says:

Nadal will only win Rome and Roland Garros during the clay season.

Djokovic will win Monte Carlo and Madrid.

Ferrer will win Barcelona.


jamie Says:

Madrid is the iffy one.

Djokovic could win it but because of the solar eclipse in May it could also be somebody else.

Nadal, Federer even Murray for Madrid!


Polo Says:

I think Nadal will win Monte Carlo. He seems to be predestined to have absolutely the best record on clay, way over and above everybody else. That seems to be where his most lasting mark will be in tennis.


jamie Says:

Madrid winner has won Wimbledon since Madrid moved to clay in 2009.

The defending champ in Madrid has never defended that title since its inception in 2002. Bad omen for Nole?

So who will win Madrid and Wimbledon this year?

Would be awesome if Murray wins Madrid and Wimbledon but it could also be Federer who wins Madrid and Wimbledon.


alison hodge Says:

jamie thanks ill take that,that would make 7 mc,6 barcelona,6 rome,7 rg for rafa in total,and murray wins madrid and wimbledon,hope your right,but we will see.


jamie Says:

@Alison

The solar eclipse will happen on May 21, 2012 for local time in the North Eastern Hemisphere. Since the Rome final will happen on May 20, Nole has chances of winning Rome as well. Just like Monte Carlo and Madrid. Is he playing Serbian Open? Anything before May 21 and he is huge favorite to win.

Unfortunately the Solar eclipse will affect Nole at RG which starts on May 28.

Nole has fantastic transits,lunar and solar until May.

During the last solar eclipse on November 25, 2011, Nole lost at the WTF to Tipsarevic. He had lost to Ferrer on November 23, 2011.

This was the last time he lost at one of the big five tournaments which are the 4 slams and the WTF.

The Solar eclipse was opposite to his natal Sun.

The next solar eclipse will be on May 21 and will be above Nole’s sun.

This is really terrible for Nole’s prospects at the French Open, he won’t win it.


jamie Says:

Would be awesome if Murray wins Madrid and Wimbledon but it could also be Federer who wins Madrid and Wimbledon.

Actually, Federer has better chances of winning Madrid and Wimbledon.


funches Says:

Djokovic comprehensively whipped Nadal on clay both times they played last year. He struggled to beat him on the other surfaces.

Watching those two matches, it was hard to envision how Rafa could beat the Djoker on clay without Nole having an off day. He can hit through Rafa without leaving his comfort zone, something no player has come close to doing before on clay.

If Djokovic plays well tomorrow, he should win. It’s that simple.


Nadal, Djokovic Collide For Monte Carlo Title, Who’s The Pick? Says:

[...] Monaco, 15 straight on clay as he bids for an unprecedented 8th Monte Carlo title i n a row Sunday. And I’ll stick with my original pick and say he gets [...]


Steve 27 Says:

Well, tomorrow all doubts we revealed. I choose Nadal, but his mental problem against Djokovic could have a great obstacle more the the serbian itself.

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