Heavy-Hearted Djokovic Powers Through Three-Setter At Monte Carlo; Rafa Romps
by Sean Randall | April 19th, 2012, 6:42 pm
  • 121 Comments

Playing with a very heavy heart, Novak Djokovic battled his way from a set down to top Alexandr Dolgopolov 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the third round at the Monte Carlo Masters. Just hours before the match Djokovic learned that his 82-year-old grandfather had passed away. But in what had to be an emotional, difficult win the Serb got through the news.

I’ve criticized Djokovic in the past for not having heart and mental toughness, but here he showed it. You cannot fault his decision either way for playing. It’s his decision. I respect it. And I wish the best to the Djokovic family.

Djokovic was not available for his post-match press conference.

Tomorrow, if he remains in the tournament Djokovic should have an easier time on the court against talented but fragile Dutchman Robin Haase who bounced Ferrer-conqueror Tomaz Bellucci.

Rafael Nadal kicked into high gear losing just two games in crushing Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1, 6-1. Nadal has now won 39th straight in Monte Carlo and his last 13 on clay as he charges toward a 8th straight title in Monaco.

“The match started in the perfect way,” said Nadal. “I played much better than yesterday, in my opinion. More aggressive, more solid. My serve was much better. The return, too. In general today I was very happy with how I played.”

Nadal now plays Stan Wawrinka who upended Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-3.

Andy Murray had a shortened afternoon when his opponent, Julien Benneteau, injured his ankle and wrist down 6-5 in the first set. The Frenchman had to be taken to the hospital for recovery.

Murray moves on tomorrow to meet Tomas Berdych in a good one. Berdych bested the pesky Kei Nishikori in three.

“He plays a different style of tennis on the clay, as well,” said Murray who’s lost three of five to Berdych. “A lot of the guys sort of work the points quite a lot, play with more topspin and stuff. He has so much power, he’s able to go through the court, hit pretty flat. It’s quite a different game he plays compared with a lot of the top players on the clay. Plays a lot flatter.”

In the final quarterfinal, two in-form Frenchmen lock up as Gilles Simon clashes with JW Tsonga. “We do know each other, but it’s going to be tight because both of us will want to win,” Tsonga said after beating Fernando Verdasco. “I believe it’s going to be an electrifying match.”

JW offered his thoughts on the news of the day about Novak.

“What is strange with me is when this happens, I usually play very well because in those cases nothing seems important,’ Tsonga said. “So if you lose a breakpoint or you miss a point, it doesn’t count. Since my game is to go forward and be aggressive, it helps me being relaxed when I play, but it’s tough.”

As for picks, it’s hard not to like the Top 4 seeds at this stage. I think Nadal gets tested, Murray might need three and Tsonga subdues Simon in a toss up. And if he takes the court Novak should prevail.

The full quarterfinal day will be live on the Tennis Channel.

FRIDAY MONTE CARLO SCHEDULE

COURT CENTRAL start 10:30 am
[3] A Murray (GBR) vs [6] T Berdych (CZE)
Not Before 12:00 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs R Haase (NED)
S Wawrinka (SUI) vs [2] R Nadal (ESP)
[9] G Simon (FRA) vs [4] J Tsonga (FRA)


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 Was A Busy Man After Winning Monte Carlo [Video]
Novak Djokovic: My Wrist Injury Isn’t That Bad, I Will Play Madrid!
Marquee Clay Schedules: Where Will Nadal, Djokovic, Federer And Murray Be Playing The Next Six Weeks

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121 Comments for Heavy-Hearted Djokovic Powers Through Three-Setter At Monte Carlo; Rafa Romps

RiCK Says:

First!!!


Brando Says:

Agreed- top 4 should make SF. Andy M might be vulnerable against almagros pen pal t bird- BUT I hope he makes it through. CANNOT stand bird***t at all after his stunt in AO.


Brando Says:

PS: nole should do whatever he feels is best for him. Everyone grieves the loss of a loved one in their own way. However nole chooses to do so should be respected. NO ONE should judge him on whatever he decides in this regard-they have ZERO say or right to even do so!


Wog boy Says:

Nole you made the autumn of your DEDA’s life the happiest and proudest that any DEDA could wish or imagine. He died a happy man knowing that he raised a nice family and best player in the world, and more importantly, good man. It is tough, only you know how tough, but these are the moments in life that make the difference beetwen a BOY and MAN. What ever you decide we, your fans, are with you.
RIP Vladimir, you are in the hands of angels, thank you, without you we wouldn’t have Novak.


dari Says:

Saw some of the novak match and the emotional end. They are superstars- but they are human. However novak and family deal with the loss, you cannot judge.
Best to him and the family

*****
Ready to see some of the tennis live maybe in the morning. It’s a packed schedule and looks like rafa is ready to rumble again!


bojana Says:

Wog boy,

Your post made me so sad,but You are right about DEDA,and about our BOY who became MAN.The MAN that is loved by so many fans.The MAN that is THE PRIDE and THE LOVE of whole one nation.
My hart go to family Djokovic.
Vladimire,where ever You are You must be praud.
Bog da ti dusi prosti.


jane Says:

Thanks, Sean, for the kind respectful post.

Wog Boy, you raise good points: not that many grandfathers in the grand scheme of things can say his grandson was the number 1 tennis player in the world. It’s nice he got to see that happen.

——————————————

The Murray- Berdych match should be interesting indeed. I hope I can watch it. His matches have been too early for me so I’ve been missing them.


skeezerweezer Says:

Echoing janes comments…

Tennis X AGAIN is on top of the news, and they called it right again, calling for some respect to A fallen relative of of one of our current beloved Tennis greats. Haters go suck an egg, maybe you’ll feel better after the sulfur makes your breath worse.

Thanks Sean……no site does it better!!!!


Humble Rafa Says:

calling for some respect to A fallen relative of of one of our current beloved Tennis greats

Is the Egg Lover not the GOAT? Just curious.


rave Says:

My condolences to Novak for his loss. ANd yes, people grieve in their own way. I worked for hospice for a short while in my nursing career and it was truly different in each case.There is no formula to plug in, just respect.

Novak has a strong family support, that really helps in times like these. Novak, hope you feel our support and prayers.


Michael Says:

My heartfelt condolences to Novak and his family. It should be really heart breaking to learn before a match that his Grand father is no more. But Djokovic got over it and showed to the World that he is a true Champion. He fought from a set deficit to outlast Dolgopolov who I thought was playing his best Tennis. After a very long time I saw the first serves of Dolgopolov click. Now it is a question mark if Novak will continue in the tournament and if he doesn’nt then that should be a huge disappointment. I hope he continues in the interest of the tournament.


roy Says:

he was probably super old and had lots of sicknesses anyways


Roger Federer Fan Says:

Dear Nole,

We are will with at this difficult moment. Hope you will be able to concentrate on court today.
We need you come back and play well….especially in the finals.


Steve 27 Says:

especially in the finals.

My condolences too with Djoko, but I expect Murray beat him in sf, Djoko is not the same as 2011. I predict something predictable: Nadal will win his 7 Roland Garros, tied with Sampras as the second tennis player who win the same major seven times. Amazing!


harry Says:

sad for novak and his family.


Steve 27 Says:

My condolences with Djoko too, I mean.


Steve 27 Says:

he was probably super old and had lots of sicknesses anyways

I expect you will live until that age and taste that suffer in your body


skeezeweezer Says:

HR,

That wasn’t funny, frankly pathetic. Your reaching….try again. And why is it nowadays your posts and RFF are so uniquely timed close together? Careful, your feathers are showing….

@roy

Your in the same gutless cowardace league as Mark for those remarks, you should be ashamed to be a Rafa lover.

Steve 27,

Respect. ;)


skeezeweezer Says:

Mark (or Marcie ),

Here is another fantastic article by your fav journalist

http://espn.go.com/tennis/blog/_/name/bodo_peter


nadalista Says:

skeezerweezer,

has it occured to you the same things you accuse others of being apply to you?

Dude……you are the mirror image of Humble Rafa, Roy, Mark etc……….funny how you pick each other out……..


Dave Says:

nadalista: skeezerweezer is definitely no “mirror image of Humble Rafa, Roy, Mark etc” or even mirage. .. so there is no need to pretend he is.

On another note, I think all humans can agree that it is classless and pathetic to take cheap shots at Djokovic when he heard of his grandfather’s death only a few hours earlier. There is no need to go there.


Mark Says:

@skeez. You r top of the list of A$$€€€S on this forum. How old r u?? 80+?? reading and enjoying clown Bodo’s articles. You should widen your horizon by reading and enjoying Steve Tignor’s beautifully written and analyzed articles. Not some clown by the name of BODO!!


Nina Says:

Please someone ban this Mark clown, you make this forum insufferable. Go away please!


Michael Says:

Murray is out of the Montecarlo Masters beaten by Berdych.


dari Says:

Tomas played great! Impressed with his point construction, even net play, when you think Murray should have won in that catwgory.
Andy’s gotta find the weapons and the way


Michael Says:

As regards consistency, it is only the top three -Novak, Rafa and Roger. I think Murray is just not in that celebrity list and he has many things to improve upon. Although Murray is sounding confident that he will one day win a major, I do not think he can do it especially in a five set format when he has to beat two of the top three for the title.


Michael Says:

As regards consistency, it is only the top three -Novak, Rafa and Roger. I think Murray is just not in that celebrity list and he has many things to improve upon. Although Murray is sounding confident that he will one day win a major, I do not think he can do it especially in a five set format when he has to beat two of the top three for the title.


Mark Says:

@Nina. How dare you!! This is an open forum and I am entitled to my opinions same as you are. You can opt not to read my posts!!!


alison hodge Says:

michael it does happen at times,it seems to be that berdych is a bad match up for murray alot of the time,but i thinks its unfair to say he wont win a slam,never has doesnt mean never will untill he retires from the game,and not forgetting that he pushed novak very close in the semis of the ao,novak was deffinetly there for the taking imo,and like you say he is sounding positive about his chances,your entitled to your opinion but i do think your being a little bit hard on the guy.


alison hodge Says:

i think novaks side of the draw just got a whole lot easier,with murray out i cant see anybody else capable of troubling him,i think we are looking at a novak/rafa final with novak taking the title now,rafa has such a mental block these days against novak,so novaks a shoo imo.


alison hodge Says:

michael sorry dont understand,whats the celebrity list got to do with anything?


Brando Says:

Well this just proves that andy maybe world no.4- justifiably- BUT on clay he’s well outside the top 6! Rafa, roger, nole, ferrer, del potro, berydch shall all beat him if they face him. Sure he got to SF at RG last year- BUT does anyone remember his cupcake of a draw? Really disappointed with this result!


Brando Says:

@Alison: I AGREE. Nole’s playing on since he wants to, he’ll get through to the final and beat rafa. The MENTAL block matters big time. Of course others around here shall downplay his chances, BUT when it does happen he’ll be made to look like superman when we all KNOW tennis a game of matches and ATM nole> rafa: each time and every time they play.


Brando Says:

@michael: agree. Also do not see murray winning a slam. Has he EVER beat any of the big 3 in a slam when it matters? JUST rafa at USO in 2008- 3 years ago and we all know how he certain other factors helped him on that occassion! Mentally also, how many times has the going got tough and andy wobbled? I have lost count really! Because of those 2 reasons I don’t see it happening. It’s a shame.


alison hodge Says:

brando the rivalries only gonna get more dismally one sided,just as well as a rafa fan im at peace , really with whats hes achieved in his career,anything now on clay is gravy anyway,i disagree about muzza winning a slam though,as i said to michael berds a bad match up for muzza,and he did push nole close at the ao,so i believe hes getting closer,and it took novak years to get close to roger and rafa,so whos to say murrays not gonna make that break through.


jamie Says:

Brando Says:
@Alison: I AGREE. Nole’s playing on since he wants to, he’ll get through to the final and beat rafa. The MENTAL block matters big time. Of course others around here shall downplay his chances, BUT when it does happen he’ll be made to look like superman when we all KNOW tennis a game of matches and ATM nole> rafa: each time and every time they play.

April 20th, 2012 at 8:28 am

=============================

Since 2011 Nole has been a better player than Nadal, in every single department. :=)


Wog boy Says:

Berdych was impressive, I wouldn’t count him out if Nole goes through to SF. He kept Andy well behind base line and moved him around with ease, he won 27-28 points on the net compared to Andy’s 4 or so. Andy had first break point in the third set and he didn’t even deserve to win first set. Berdych was a better player from the word go.


jamie Says:

Steve 27 Says:

I predict something predictable: Nadal will win his 7 Roland Garros, tied with Sampras as the second tennis player who win the same major seven times. Amazing!

April 20th, 2012 at 1:05 am
===========================

But only because of the solar eclipse.


alison hodge Says:

jamie no offence but why is it in every post you send,you always repeat word for word what another poster has already said?why cant you just reply to that particular poster?


Wog boy Says:

I don’t know if it is only me but Andy is moonballing a lot.


jamie Says:

Because I’m quoting the specific message.

Sometimes I use the @ as well.

Stop being so anal.


alison hodge Says:

^jamie there it goes again lol,people talk about suffering repetitive strain injury,you suffer from RPS repetitive posting syndrome^.


jamie Says:

Alison is upset that Nadal won’t win Monte Carlo. :)


Brando Says:

@wogboy: nah, nole shall have him. What happened in the 1set when berdych faced some ressistance? He crumbled. Nole is WAY MORE tougher than andy. I think andy might make a SF- if he gets a good draw or plays unbelievably well-BUT I do not see him contending for the titles at all on clay, IMHO. I think it shall be rafa, nole and roger, with the dark horse who can beat them being: JMDP- the giant from tandil!


jane Says:

Just woke up. Bummer for Andy, and my bracket.


jamie Says:

The only reason why Nadal will win Roland Garros this year is because Djokovic won’t reach the Roland Garros final this year. *solar eclipse*

You heard it here first.

It is written in the stars.


Wog boy Says:

Brando,
I am watching Nole now and he is just not focused, due to circumstances. He was broken 3-4 times by Haase.
He just won, good on you Nole. I can see his youngest brother here, good move to send him from Belgrade to be with Nole. Sll three brothers together when they need each other.


jane Says:

Good job Nole; Berdych can be tough, so Nole will need to be at his best tomorrow.


Wog boy Says:

Shuld say ALL not SLL


Kimmi Says:

Go noleee! A little wobble at the end but close it out anyways.

berdych is a tough match up for murray. Murray could not hurt him today. Too bad.

Hoping nole can beat him.


Brando Says:

I’ll be supporting berdych tomorrow- even though I hate him. It’s GOOD for competition that someone outside the top 3 can make the finals in a major clay tourny. Good for the game of tennis. Don’t we all agree?


Miki Says:

OK, tell me is there a way to forbid someone from writing here. Cause if there is, then please do it for jamie. Jamie, nothing personal, but really, this is a sport, this is tennis, will you ever stop talking about stars and charts, I am sick of it, and no, it’s not f…ng written in the stars. If it was true, then it would be a paradox, we wouldn’t really need matches, cause you are telling us who is going to win, and without matches, there is no tennis, you get it, right?


Wog boy Says:

Brando,
:-)


jane Says:

Brando, are you being ironic? I want Nole to win. I could make the same argument that I am cheering for Wawa to beat Rafa, i.e, good for competition, but I am not. I would rather see Rafa win. :)


Fed Says:

This Novak’s win is dedicated to all low life’s and haters. I do not need to name them, they will recognized themselves when they read my post.


alison hodge Says:

jamie on the contrary he has nothing to prove at monte carlo now any more,and not on clay either,all gravy now ,incidently im not some rafa hero worshipper anyway,i love to watch many of the guys out there,even your favourite nole is a fantastic player whom i also like to watch,i recognize greatness in many players,not just my favourite.


jamie Says:

@Brando

It’s good for Nadal. LOL.


jamie Says:

@Miki

Get a grip, ffs.


Wog boy Says:

Brando,
Nadal is about to start and Don Vito Corleone is in his chair. I want Nadal to win and he will but I have to go to bed…….maybe just to see few games :)


Kimmi Says:

Berdych when playing like this can be tough to anybody imo. Rafa and nole has played him well though. I think this berdych would have given federer a tough time too. I always worry when i see berdych on murray or federer’s draw.


Brando Says:

@wogboy,jane: lol, I am being ironic. IMHO opinion I think it’s important for rafa to beat nole pre RG, so therefore as many oppurtunities against him would be good for rafa. BUT I do think berdych can beat nole in a big game (wimby 2010 SF) and nole does seem shaky here- for very understandable reasons. All that said, it should be a rafa- nole final.


Brando Says:

@wogboy: LOL, when don corleone is there sat in his chair during a clay tourny, hopefully not eating any oranges, the family always rests easy! I’m also sure the don would also approve of nole being with his brothers in this moment of time as like the don once said, ” a man can never be a man unless he spends time with his family”! :-)


alison hodge Says:

congrats to nole,on a very good solid performance,i sense his mind is else where which is understandable,well done nole you are such a proffesional.


jane Says:

Rafa is playing scary-good again I think – really getting into his opponent’s service games. And Wawa is a good clay-courter.

I just read that Berdych hit 50 winners in his match with Andy; wow, no wonder Andy had a tough match with him. Berdych, like or dislike the guy, can really hit an opponent off the court when he gets in the zone.


alison hodge Says:

Berdych choked at match point against Nole at the wtfs,so he is capable of causing Nole problems,he also beat murray in straight sets two years ago at the fo,so clays a good surface for him,although i think i would still give Nole the edge.


Brando Says:

Agree with the comments re berdych- IF he had the mental side sorted, an obvious GS slam winner!


Kimmi Says:

wawa toe to toe with rafa at the moment.


Kimmi Says:

break at the perfect time.


jane Says:

So, any picks on Tsonga/Simon? I would normally go with Tsonga, but Simon has clicked through this draw nicely, so it’s a toss up.


Kimmi Says:

I thought that was a good match, but rafa too good in the end.

Great match by stan.


Kimmi Says:

I will go with tsonga jane, h2h is 4-1 tsonga. Tsonga is a big match player obviously, he is a top 10 player.


jane Says:

Yes it was a good match, probably just what Rafa needed. I lean towards Tsonga too Kimmi. My bracket is basically toast at this point, so whatever happens, happens.


Brando Says:

Good match- also what rafa needed. He needed someone to stand their ground and make him fight for the win. Credit to wawa for doing that.


Brando Says:

I want Simon to win- purely because I think he’ll test rafa moreso than tsonga. Rafa spanked tsonga last year on clay. Either hope the best player wins.


Kimberly Says:

Good win for Nadal. Wawrinka, once in a while can be a quality player, then the rest of the time he crashes my bracket and plays like garbage. SO it figures the time I pick him to go nowhere he actually performs.

I didn’t see the murray berdych match but berdych not as much a bunny as people think. Personally I picked Berdych and didn’t really see any other option on clay but apparently Colin (my son not the poster on tennisx) and I were the only ones who thought this. I used to be somewhat anti-murray but he has grown on me and I am very anti-berdych after he was just so rude to almagro and seeing him live he has just such an arrogant obnxious air about him even if he did sign colino6 ball. But the dude is big and strong. If anyone can hit through the slow court its him. He almost made RG final in 2010 but choked it away and lost to Soderling. He absolutely could beat Djokovic and Rafa (MUCH more likely in a best of 3) but he would have to play the matches of his life. Soderling did.


Kimmi Says:

jane – you could be right, simon doing all the right things now.


jane Says:

I picked Berdych to meet Muzza but not to beat him, but I agree with your take on things Kimberly.

Kimmi, yeah, Simon has been playing well, and traditionally he’s a bit of a “grinder”, he’ll “work” a point, so clay may suit him more. What I mean to say is that he is definitely more of a patient player than Jo-Will. Jo’s time will come on grass, I feel. Last year he was in the Queens final and he played amazing versus Fed in the QFs and Nole in the semis at Wimbledon. In fact, Jo might just be a dark horse at the Olympics given that it’s best of three on grass (it is best of 3 right?) Murray too has a good shot there given the surface and format.


jamie Says:

Djokovic could become the first player ever to win Monte Carlo and Miami in the same year.

Wow, I didn’t know this had never happened before.


jane Says:

I can’t believe Wawa is already playing doubles! And I didn’t know he is playing with Troicki either.


Kimberly Says:

ugly weird set to simon who apparently called the trainer and complained he was lethargic?


Brando Says:

Rafael Nadal’s take on nole’s scenario:

Q. A sad day for Novak today. I don’t know if you heard about his grandfather. Do you think he was brave to play today?

RAFAEL NADAL: These are personal things. I cannot have a real opinion that because you have to be in the position. Depends how the thing happened. It depends is something you are expecting for a long time and you can imagine.
But always when happen is tough, no? So I think he made a fantastic effort today. That’s mean that he is very strong mentally today. So just congratulate him for what he did this afternoon, no?
I’m sorry for him. I’m sorry for his grandfather. Well, I tell him in the locker room. Is difficult to say something in this situation. Just congratulate him because his attitude was very positive.

I think that was an excellent response by rafa for the following:

1- Rafa’s right- NO ONE has the right to have an opinion on whether nole should play on or not. It’s HIS personal scenario. His privacy and decision should be respected whatever he decides.

2- Nice touch by rafa to say that he shall speak to him in the locker room. It’s nice to see that rafa rather express his thoughts privately and sincerely to nole rather than choose to satisfy the press need for a story.

3- Also correct to congratulate nole for his effort, given his tough scenario. Rafa correctly pointed this out.

So well done to rafa for saying the right things, moreso to nole for showing strength at a tough time for him.


Kimberly Says:

tsonga taking control of the second. Simons shots just lack power. He just can’t do anything to hurt the better players.


jane Says:

Yes, that’s nice Brando. I think Nole and Rafa are beyond the shift that happened last year in their rivalry, etc, as there were pictures of them having fun at IW off court. I am glad to see that, as they were always friendly before and Nole clearly looks up to him. Rafa was measured and yet kind in his response: media savvy but not cold by any stretch.


jamie Says:

If Nole wins Monte Carlo he is truly an all time great. Not only is he mourning his beloved grandpa but he would do something no other player did ever before, winning Miami/Monte Carlo double. Wow.


jane Says:

Simon it is – interesting how well he’s been playing here. Good for him.


Brando Says:

@Jane:

Yes, i agree. I think rafa’s also over last year’s change too. I think him, nole and andy also get on really well with each other.

Nole and andy have a natural respect for rafa, BUT rafa too has always had genuine respect for their game too.

Further, i think they genuinely like one another’s personalities- they certainly have socialised with one another enough times to suggest it!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I really like Simon, but he has no shot against Rafa. Tsonga at least has the weapons to hurt Rafa if he gets lucky. Simon has nothing to get lucky with. Rafa will have a great workout, but he’ll be in the finals.
Berdych surely has massive firepower if he’s on- recall how he stormed through Fed and Nole at Wimbledon. But I think Nole’s speed and defense will trump that power on clay, even if Berdych is on. But, as someone said, like Soderling, if Berdy plays at his very best level, he can upset anybody.


Brando Says:

@Jamie:

IMHO nole doesn’t need MC to prove he is an all time great. In my mind, when nole does finish his career he DEFINATELY will be an all time great.

If lendl and agassi are seen as such, then nole will be very easily.


Brando Says:

Simon will be good for rafa, better than tsonga IMHO.

He’ll make rafa EARN the win. Truth be told neither really has a chance against rafa- BUT at least simon won’t roll over like tsonga did against rafa on the clay last year.

Simon CAN make it a competitive match against rafa on clay, tsonga on the other hand, despite his weapons, would roll over against rafa on clay.


Brando Says:

Berdych does have pedigree on clay, BUT nole should take him down nonetheless.

IF nole is erratic and birdman is ON, then he has a chance- provided he doesn’t get cold feet when it gets tough.


alison hodge Says:

jamie what a lovely touching post,about nole and his grandad,but such a shame when you use such disdain and resort to belittling and name calling,when talking about Noles rivals.


alison hodge Says:

Brando yeah some great posts,Nole,Roger,Rafa are all amazing for tennis,room for them all,its ok to be a fan of one but we should appreciate them all,you are right Nole will go done in history as an all time great,all are breaking there own records and thats great for the sport.


alison hodge Says:

i have to say i love both guys simon and tsonga, but congrats to simon on reaching the semis,for a meeting with rafa.


Kimberly Says:

Brando—tsonga won’t roll over for rafa he just is not a clay court player and it looks like an easy win because he makes too many mistakes without a consistent bounce–couple that all Nadal’s spin on the ball and he starts spraying the ball all over the place. He is a one two punch player anyway and once he needs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 punches he is bound to make errors. Simon is more consistent and can go forever with long rallies.


Kimmi Says:

just got back and see simon is a winner. congrats to giles. He is playing well again. Hope to see great semi finals.


mat4 Says:

About Murray:

http://blog.oregonlive.com/tennis/2012/04/why_andy_murray_keeps_falling.html

Usually I don’t like Douglas Perry’s articles. He may be knowledgeable in tennis, but he’s a mediocre writer. But this one can explain also my deception with Andy Murray.


Brando Says:

@Kimberly:

Fair play, but im glad simon won. I don’t think him or tsonga have a great chance against rafa on clay BUT IF rafa does face either nole or t bird, then simon is the best guy to play as preparation for that.


Kimmi Says:

I would like to see rafa and nole final, so i hope both of them win their semi with no drama. I agree those who said nole vs berdych could be a tough one.

Nole has not looked like last year so far imo, so it will be interesting to see how he will fare against rafa if he goes through the semi that is..


Brando Says:

@mat4:

Thanks for the article- it’s excellent, and correctly addresses the murray question.

for me IF he doesn’t win a slam or say the olympics/WTF this year, then i cannot see him doing it.

He’s talented BUT the other 3 are moreso, more importantly though, mentally they exist in a different planet compared to murray. THAT is the big difference.


Kimberly Says:

Brando-agree, he won’t establish any type of rythm against tsonga so in that sense simon is better prep but he is more likely to win easy against tsonga and conserve energy (and of course be there)!


Kimmi Says:

I know someone who wouldn’t like to play simon now..federer! lol


Kimberly Says:

ok back to my starpower point—which final would you rather watch
1. Novak v. Rafa
2. Simon v. Berdych

Of all order of excitement finals of the existing combos my, and I imagine most others goes:
1. Novak Rafa
2. Berdych Rafa
3. Novak Simon
4. Berdych Simon


alison hodge Says:

big congrats to Rafa on his 40th straight win at monte carlo,wow a fantastic achievement.


Roger Federer Fan Says:

Kimberly,

I disagree.

We would take any non Rafa final anyday. And if Rafa gets there, we would want Nole also to get there.


stu Says:

mat4, that’s an excellent article. this is a particularly eloquent line:
“In a perverse way, natural physical greatness is a burden, for becoming an elite athlete requires years of repetition, monotony. Natural talent rebels against such constraints.”


Roger Federer Fan Says:

Federer won 41 straight at Wimbledon.


Ajet Says:

nole’s grandpa died a proud and satisfied man. hats off to djokovic family. very few are fortunate to die with their dreams/aims of ”seeing their family happy” fulfilled. but nole’s grandpa is one hell of a lucky man who bid adieu gloriously when his family was happier than ever before. what can be better! I wish i could die like nole’s grandpa someday(at least close to him in terms of fulfillment of my life), with all my wishes fulfilled. RIP Senior Djokovic!

and the photo of nole with his grandpa in the other thread was as moving as it is amazing!


mat4 Says:

@stu:

Perry is first a fan – of Fed, of Muzza – then a journalist. Most of the time, he’s biased. I guess that he read some of Grendel’s or Jane’s posts here on this site, copy pasted a few sentences, and managed to create a decent article. (Forgot to mention he uses most of the time Dave’s stats.)


jane Says:

LOL, mat4. :) I liked Tignor’s summation of the matches today; I posted a bit of it on the “Nole” thread with his interview. Did you read Tignor today and yesterday? What do you think of Nole’s chances here?


mat4 Says:

Hi, jane.

BTW, I really think that Douglas Perry is biased. Whenever Fed loses a match, he doesn’t write for a fortnight at least.

I read STignor’s article, of course. I read most of them, and I certainly don’t miss his blogs when he writes about Novak. He’s not like Dan Markowitz, a Novak fan, but nonetheless he find astonishing ways to uncover the hidden life of tennis.

But if you want something touching from a Nole fan, just find Yolita’s posts on tennis.com. She’s really something. Almost poetry. Not a bit of grammar. Ana Ivanovic didn’t show that much feelings for Nole at the AO last year.

To answer your question: if Nole plays the way he did in the last two round, and Berdych plays the way he did against Muzza, it will be a straight sets victory for Berdych.


jane Says:

Yeah, that’s what I was afraid of mat4. I saw Nole’s post-match interview and he doesn’t seem very confident, more tired. Which is understandable, in the emotive sense. But he may raise his game in time for tomorrow’s match, and/or perhaps Berdy might not reach the same heights. I didn’t see the Murray match but I read that Berd hit 50 winners. Yikes!


mat4 Says:

Here is a link for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pnt4W1r0kNA

Berdych looks ominous here: power, precision, flat hitting… volleying… blahblahblah…

I guess that Novak will play better. After a year and a half of terrifying results, we just can’t get accustomed to the great champion he became. Will it be enough? Who knows.


mat4 Says:

BTW, Mouratoglou wrote a post about Novak. The french version is longer, but there is a video too. He thinks that Nole is the favorite to win the FO, and that only one man can stop him, RF.

My seven old years son could have written such a stuff.

Finally, I always thought that STignor was very creative, but lately, he has added a certain distance toward tennis and toward writing, and gained a melancholic maturity.


Brando Says:

Nole WILL improve against berdych. Question is- will he improve enough in order to win? Either way- 1 thing I am certain, NO WAY is berdych going to dominate nole like he did Murray! And remember Murray did take a set of him!


jane Says:

Thanks for the link mat4, will watch it later and look for the Mouratoglou piece maybe. I sort of get what you’re saying about Tignor. I find it’s off and on: sometimes he seems really hyped on the tennis but other times less so, more distanced. You know he also wrote/writes about music.


Dave Says:

mat4: “Usually I don’t like Douglas Perry’s articles. He may be knowledgeable in tennis, but he’s a mediocre writer… Perry is first a fan – of Fed, of Muzza – then a journalist. Most of the time, he’s biased. I guess that he read some of Grendel’s or Jane’s posts here on this site, copy pasted a few sentences, and managed to create a decent article. (Forgot to mention he uses most of the time Dave’s stats.)… BTW, I really think that Douglas Perry is biased. Whenever Fed loses a match, he doesn’t write for a fortnight at least.”

And yet you continually look for Douglas Perry’s new articles, assiduously read every word he writes, recognize my intelligent and compelling stats in his articles, recommend we read his articles that fit your worldview… but repetitively tell us that Perry is biased to Federer just in case we start reading other Perry articles that don’t fit your worldview, such as…

Why Roger Federer bests Rafael Nadal in the latest GOAT debate
http://blog.oregonlive.com/tennis/2012/04/roger_federer_beats_rafael_nad.html


mat4 Says:

@Dave:

Admit: you wrote that one.

Then, I am biased too.


mat4 Says:

@Dave:

On a more serious side: I don’t read his blog continuously. It is a erroneous supposition of yours. One can notice that he is a fan just looking at two or three posts and at the topics of the others.


mat4 Says:

And when we’re there: I am an assiduous reader of Ruan’s Federer blog. The guy is a Fed fan, but he is clever, writes well, and is biased on an ernest way. He is a bit too pessimistic, though.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Tignor could be tired, you know. I noticed they have to write at least a post every day in the last few months. Global crisis. And he is a bit older.

Usually, when I work too much, I am very depressive (don’t need to mention that I am older… though I feel young!). I write quite well at those moments. Could be the same with ST.


Steve 27 Says:

Federer won 41 straight at Wimbledon.
No, was 40 straight victories. Hass didnt presentate against Federer

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