Nadal, Djokovic Move Closer To A Sunday Monte Carlo Final
by Staff | April 20th, 2012, 9:14 pm
  • 83 Comments

Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal moved a step closer to a Sunday showdown in the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters.

A day after the passing of his grandfather, the top ranked Djokovic brushed aside Robin Haase 6-4, 6-2. Djokovic was broken four times in the emotional win.

“I was very close to him, so it was a big loss for me and all the family,” reflected Novak of his grandfather. “But he’s with me, I know that, in spirit. I’m remembering only the nicest memories, and that’s what gave me strength to play yesterday and today.”

Djokovic will meet Tomas Berdych in the first semifinal tomorrow. The Czech improved to 4-2 lifetime after beating Andy Murray 6-7, 6-2, 6-3.

“Tomas has been playing well,” Djokovic said. “He’s an established top 10 player for the last couple of years. He’s a threat to anybody on any surface. Big groundstrokes, powerful serve. He knows what it feels like to play on the big stage. He had a great match against Andy today. Hit incredible shots from baseline. You know, it’s a big challenge for me to see if I’m able to keep the focus throughout the whole match because this is the only way I can actually get a win against Tomas. We’ll see if that’s going to happen. I’ll give my best.”

Djokovic has beaten Berdych eight of nine career meetings including the last seven times they’ve played.

“It’s a semifinal, which is fantastic,” said Berdych. “But still, you know, I want to play my best tennis and I want to do well. That’s it. I just want to focus for myself and do the best on court. The last time I played him, I was just one point to beat him and finish it. Didn’t happen. So now could be another try.”

In the second semifinal, Nadal meets the surprising Gilles Simon as both were 7-5, 6-4 winners on the day. Rafa collected his 40th straight win and 14th in a row on clay after topping Stanislas Wawrinka.

“Yesterday and today I improved the level,” said Nadal who seeks an 8th Monte Carlo title. “Today was a difficult match. I had before the match big respect for this afternoon. He arrived for the match playing I think great.

“I am happy about the way that I played. I’m in the semi-finals. That’s a fantastic news for me. Just looking forward to playing a good match tomorrow.”

Simon upset countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who couldn’t keep the ball in court racking up a multitude of errors. Simon, who is 1-4 career against Nadal, looks forward to his first meeting against Rafa on clay.

“I will try to enjoy my match tomorrow,” said Simon. “Of course, it’s going to be a very tough match. I want to take advantage as much as I can of this match. I beat him once, and it was an accomplishment already. So it would be an accomplishment any time I’d do it, but even more here on clay. Even if I lose, I want to play that match the best I can.”

COURT CENTRAL start 11:15 am
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP)

Not Before 1:00 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [6] T Berdych (CZE)

Not Before 3:00 PM
[9] G Simon (FRA) vs [2] R Nadal (ESP)
[3] M Llodra (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs [2] M Mirnyi (BLR) / D Nestor (CAN)


Also Check Out:
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How Nice, Rafael Nadal Gets A Rose After Practice [Video]
Nadal Allows Verdasco 1 Game in Monte Carlo Final
Rafael Nadal, Girlfriend Xisca Head to Monte Carlo [Video]
Rafael Nadal: I Have Amazing Feelings When I Play Monte Carlo [Video]

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83 Comments for Nadal, Djokovic Move Closer To A Sunday Monte Carlo Final

carlo Says:

skeezerweezer:

Odds today on the MC final have shifted a little. Rafa is now at 1.55; Djokovic 2.5; Berdych is 17.00; Simon is 34.00.

For the semi’s it’s 3.50 for Berdych and 1.29 for Djokovic. Simon wins and even a small bet would be very good at 10.00, since Rafa is at 1.05.

Berdych is tempting for the semi. But of course, I don’t recommend betting; unless it’s casual and between friends like who buys the nice wine for dinner ;)


Michael Says:

In all probability it should be a Novak Vs Nadal final unless there is some major upset which I doubt will happen ? If the inevitable happens what a match that would be. In this court, you need to give the edge to Nadal against anyone he faces but not against Novak. I think the chances are even despite Novak beating Nadal seven consecutive times. If Novak is able to get over his personal loss, he should definitely make this a contest and the match should be much closer than what they had in 2009 when Nadal beat Novak in three. I would say 51:49 in favour of Novak. But that is very marginal.


steve-o Says:

I think Djokovic will be very motivated if he makes the final. He’s had to skip his grandfather’s funeral to continue in the tournament and he will want to play his best in order to live up to that sacrifice.

If he’s in the final there will be only one man standing between him and the trophy so he will be able to give it his all.

Winning the title and dedicating it to his grandfather would be a wonderful way to honor him.

If he can get past Berdych, and it looks like that may be tough, I think the circumstances will help him produce very best tennis in the final. Sometimes a personal tragedy like this can bring out inner resources you never knew you had.

He’s conducted himself with dignity and done well in a difficult situation. My condolences to him.


skeezeweezer Says:

carlo,

Interesting odds ;). What. Were they before the shift?


Wog boy Says:

Last night, while Novak was warming up with Haase, Vajda was calling him holding mobile phone in the hand and pointing to phone and telling something to Novak. At the end of the match I realize what was all about. Djole, the youngest of three, was in Nole’s box and he wasn’t at the begining of the match. He was rushed from Belgrade to Monte Carlo to be with brothers and the message from the family to Nole was clear, stay there and try to do it for Deda, that is what he would want you to do.
Good luck Nole tonight. I will not be able to watch but I know I will be secretly checking result on my mobile phone under the table and my wife is going get upset seeing me doing that. I don’t care I am sending you as much postive energy as I can. Stay focused and you will win. You are The Man.


racquet Says:

Lots of bad bounces already in this match. Nole has already had a word with the umpire. Windy too. Could be a tricky match.


Kimmi Says:

broken right back, it always happens. bad game from nole


Kimmi Says:

WOW! berdych is crushing the ball. nole no chance at the moment.


Kimmi Says:

so much power! berdych breaks..AGAIN!


racquet Says:

Big Berd breaks. Yes, he is crushing the ball…just like yesterday.


dari Says:

Wow, Nole surely not all himself, but berdych is playing great! He’s working these points and coming up with the goods at the end.

For emotional reasons I hope novak wins, but berdych the better man so far


dari Says:

Gotta go, kimmi and the gang keep me posted!

Novak has a bp chance!


Roger Federer Fan Says:

“For emotional reasons I hope novak wins”

For the same “emotional” reason I also hope Nole wins….more so tomorrow.


racquet Says:

First set to Berdych. The better player at the moment.


Kimmi Says:

berdych takes the first set…from 2-4 down, wins 4 straights games to win the set. lots of things to ponder for nole.


Kimmi Says:

nole seem to work so hard while berd is nice and relaxed. another break point here..


Humble Rafa Says:

Your HH sure hopes the Egg Lover doesn’t win this. My entire head space is leased to the Egg Lover. I can’t take in any more, trust me.

It is like eating only desert for lunch for 2 years. It is that bad.


Humble Rafa Says:

^^dessert


Kimmi Says:

2 DF on one game. berdy with 2 break back points.


jamie Says:

Nole will win today vs. Berdych and then Nole will beat Nadal tomorrow.


Kimmi Says:

gets out of jail, ah he needed that.


Kimmi Says:

jamie – enough with the jinxing. nole is not finding it easy right now. berdych is a tough cookie.


Kimmi Says:

second set we go!


racquet Says:

Nole takes the 2nd set but he’s showing irritation towards a lot of things like the court, the wind, even the diners at the restaurant.


queen Says:

Berdych beat that pile of shit!!!!!


jamie Says:

Nole is showing why he is the best tennis player on the planet. Ajde!


steve-o Says:

Berdych is explosive but he tires fairly quickly. The edge has come off his shots and he’s not blasting the ball like he was in the first. His best chance was to win in straights.

The longer it goes, the more winded Berdych is looking and Djokovic’s defense is wearing him down, bit by bit.

And I think Djokovic is playing a bit better and not trying to go for huge serves every time.

The wind is tough for both and Djokovic is handling it better.


racquet Says:

Double break for Nole – it’s all but over now methinks.


Kimmi Says:

double break..i think he is winning now..


jamie Says:

BTW, Nadal won’t win a tournament until May. Either he ends the drought in Madrid or Rome.

His astrology for April is lousy.

So unless a miracle happens, he will go title-less in April.


racquet Says:

DF count: 6 – Nole; 8 Berdy. Rough out there.


Kimmi Says:

yes the wind steve-o. the clay keep getting in their eyes too.

Djokovic 6 DF while berdych 8 DF so far

4-0 djokovic


jamie Says:

Berdych looks like Amelia Earhart. LOL.


Kimmi Says:

nole have to serve it out.


Kimmi Says:

break back point..ooops


steve-o Says:

It wasn’t pretty, but Djokovic is through. Congratulations to him on such a tough match, difficult conditions and while grieving on top of that. He dealt with all of it well.


racquet Says:

Nole wins. First time back in the final since 2009. Nadal should win and set up what will be one of the key matches of the year.


Горан Says:

Честитке Новаку на освојемој победи у овим тешким тренутцима у његовом животу.

Congratuation to Novak in this had moments in his life.


Wog boy Says:

Got back home on time to see my man winning.
This win and this final means lot to Nole in so many ways.
I hope tomorrow is going to be nice day and great match who ever wins. As for Nole, he is a winner regardless of tomorrow result.


jane Says:

Good for Nole: I wasn’t sure what to expect from his this week. It all positive in my opinion, even if he doesn’t win tomorrow, as he is defending nothing here, so he is gaining points he could lose if he doesn’t win elsewhere. Smart move to play this event. And he’ll get a shot at Rafa on clay here, which is closest to FO, so he’ll have a sense of things win or lose. Of course I am assuming Rafa will beat Simon which isn’t very nice to Simon. But I think it is a safe assumption. Tough conditions today.


jane Says:

Sorry for all the typos, on ipad…


Wog boy Says:

When I said great match tomorrow I meant Rafa against Nole. Nadal is going to win but I cannot watch him off to bed.
Alison, Brando and other Rafa’s fans, enjoy the game and c u tomorrow in final.


jamie Says:

Nole is having the best yoga of his life since last year, Budha-Aditya Yoga(Sun-Mercury conjunction) which is why he will be very successful until May 2012.


alison hodge Says:

congrats to jane,wogboy,nina,mat4,etc etc,Noles had a fantastic week,and imo the favourite for the title,after such emotional week for him,he fully deserves to be there,and without shadow of a doubt,is the worlds best player now,well done Nole.


racquet Says:

Surprisingly, Simon is giving Nadal a harder time than anticipated. He just can’t convert those BPs


alison hodge Says:

wow both Rafa and Giles are playing superb tennis ATM,heres hoping the final is as good,whoever gets there,missed Noles match against Berd due to work,but recorded it so will watch it later.


alison hodge Says:

Raquet i was just thinking the same thing,hes been unlucky not to have converted some of those bps.


john Says:

nole is facing hard times,he is very emotional after his grandfather’s death,i don’t know how this guy is keep wining and wining even after such a big tragedy,i have never seen such a mentally strong man.
his grandpa death will inspire him to win this trophy for the first time,what a great gift that would be by nole to his beloved grandpa.
i want nole to win,obiously for emotional reasons and the amount of respect he has gained from me as a tennis fan
nadal is playing god like tennis,but everything will come fare and sqaure against novak
novak give it a go,give your grandpa the best tribute by winning(no offence to rafa fans though)


jamie Says:

Nole is one of the mentally strongest players ever

Up there with Sampras in mental toughness.


jane Says:

Straight sets for Rafa, to me he is looking the stonger, but it is tough to say what will happen in the final. Should be a good one, I hope!


racquet Says:

Nadal through. Based on what I saw in today matches, it’s 50/50 tomorrow. Such a big match for both, for several reasons.


alison hodge Says:

John as a Rafa fan no offence is taken honestly,Noles the fav imo,if or when he wins the title,he will deserve it fair and square,and for Rafa i wont feel too dissapointed anyway,after all 7 straight finals,and a 41 match un beaten streak,not too shabby for Rafa,the king of clay.


Brando Says:

so its rafa v nole for the final.

DEFINATELY a 50/50 match- the one who serves better shall win, IMHO.


racquet Says:

Really Jane? Rafa had all those BPs against him – which Simon fluffed – but surely Nole wouldn’t. I thought both had chinks in their games today.


skeezerweezer Says:

Simon never had the firepower to deal with Rafa in the end, Congrats to all the Rafa fans.

I can guarantee that Nole is going to do better than 0/7 in BP’s ( Simons stats )against Rafa however…..

So it has come to this;

Time to see if Rafa can break the 0-7 streak?


jane Says:

True racquet, but Nole has been broken a number of times, including four times by Hasse. Rafa is more of a threat to break than Robin methinks. But we’ll see. I just feel Rafa throughout the whole event has looked stronger. Of course there are reasons for that too. Maybe Nole will raise his game in the final. He often does. Should be a good one!


alison hodge Says:

Heres hoping for a cracking final,have to disagree with Jane though,i think Noles so much more mentally stronger when facing Rafa,i did not see the match but Berdych is a great player,he showed that by the way he played against Murray,Nole showed great strength of character to come back,especially after been a set down,we could well be witnessing the new king of clay come tomorrow.


jane Says:

Fair enough alison. Nole has shown great mental strength indeed. Difficult week for him.


racquet Says:

^^we could well be witnessing the new king of clay

SharkoTennis says that this was Rafa’s 71st win in a row on clay in April (nevermind the 6 FOs). I think the crown is safe for a while yet. ;)


jane Says:

Agree racquet. Rafa will retire the King of Clay. I don’t see anyone trumping his clay records before then. He is a phenom on the surface.


racquet Says:

@Jane

I know it’s a bit early but the Barcelona draw is out. The projected match-ups are, shall we say, “interesting” and a shake up from recent draws. We should probably hold off discussing until after the final tomorrow but thought I’d throw that teaser your way. ;)


skeezerweezer Says:

@raqcuet

You have a link for that?


skeezerweezer Says:

racquet…..sorry


racquet Says:

@skeezerweezer

yep, here it is:

http://tinyurl.com/crnyxj8


alison hodge Says:

Racquet and Jane your right Rafa is the overall king of clay,ignore the last line of that post as its absolute BS,(sorry please excuse the language).


Brando Says:

The final is a 50/50 affair. Personally, I’d give nole the edge- he’s 0-7 on rafa recently and in the Simon match I also saw chinks in rafa’s game.


Brando Says:

On a positive note for rafa. Bjorn Borg, who is at the MC tourny this year, said he believes that rafa is the GREATEST on clay in the history of the game, not just present. I am a rafa fan, so I won’t deny the bias, BUT the numbers do say that Borg maybe right in what he says. Either way, it must be nice for rafa to know that his ONLY rival to this title thinks that highly of his game.


skeezerweezer Says:

Thanks Racquet!

While I was there found this….

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2012/04/Features/Nadal-Federer-On-Olympic-Tube-Map.aspx

make sure and check out the comments about it….pretty funny stuff…


alison hodge Says:

brando yeah agree id give nole the edge,id say 60/40 nole though jmo,just hoping for a great final,with rafa its gravy for him anyway,as a fan im at peace anyway with what hes done on clay.


alison hodge Says:

brando yeah agree id give nole the edge,id say 60/40 nole though jmo,just hoping for a great final,with rafa its gravy for him anyway,as a fan im at peace anyway with what hes done on clay.


jane Says:

Borg’s right Brando. And he should know! :)


alison hodge Says:

Brando so happy to here BB,say such nice things about Rafa,it will be interesting to here the Rafa haters try to pick the bones out of that one lol.


skeezerweezer Says:

That is a great stamp on Rafa’s career from Borg, one of my personal all time favs. Rafa’s achievements on Clay are not going to be surpassed for a very long time.


Brando Says:

@jane, Alison: LOL I agree. Re the final: I wouldn’t say their is an outright fav really. It all depends on how each posters sees the given scenario. Me personally, I have decided that UNTIL rafa actually beats nole, I’ll just expect nole to win when they meet. In this tourny nole has looked patchy, BUT to me that’s not because of how his game is atm it’s more to do with his private scenario. With Rafa, he’s improving BUT isn’t at the peak of his clay game yet. I think The weather will matter ALOT. Hope it isnt windy.


carlo Says:

Betting odds shift sometimes a little, sometimes lots everyday Skeezer. Of course they can be wrong, wrong, wrong….

Think about the Ramos betters that backed him v Gasquet at Indian Wells! I read all this stuff on the chat streams. Some people are very lucky and who knows if they have some inside info – injury stuff or whatever. There’s an Italian chatter that gets it right a lot picking underdogs.

Right now it’s a slightly closer edge to Nadal 1.69; Djokovic at 2.15 down from 2.5. The Berdych win reduced the pay out. With such odds it’s not worth a bet either way, imo, unless you have hundreds and thousands to blow.

Serious betters are heartless. they care nothing for the tennis/ are not attached to players – just focused on the money. and boy do they complain! lol I learn all kinds of stuff on the live chats. Can identify x-rated wording in many languages now.


carlo Says:

Meant Djokovic’s win over Berdych reduced…


jane Says:

carlo, funny stuff about the live chats. I should check those out sometime for comic relief!

Nole echoes Borg, but it’s nice that he continues to have self-belief:

“Rafa is the player to beat here. He’s the best ever in the history of the sport on this surface. It’s an ultimate challenge. I need to play well from the first to the last. But why not believe that I can win?”


courbon Says:

I think for Novak, will be very important to win tomorrow.If he wins,first clay tournament he will have enormous mental advantage over nadal for this whole clay season.If he looses, table may start turning in Nadal-Novak rivaly…Who is gonna win tomorrow?Head says Nadal, heart says Novak…


jane Says:

racquet, just looked at that draw: it really is a shake-up. It’s Murray who has all the Spaniards on his side – F-Lo (I guess Judy might come watch if that match happens ;)), Ferrer, Almagro, the whole Armada. Meanwhile, Rafa has Tipsy, Nishikori, Berdych, Anderson. I guess he has a few Armada too, like Hotsauce and Pablo-honey.


carlo Says:

The caveat is: it’s unedited and not moderated, Jane. The bettors get really angry and you can ‘flag’ someone for offensive language but it takes not just you flagging but many deciding to ‘flag.’

I think it’s funny but…I’ve gotten used to it/ ignore it.


racquet Says:

jane, yes it is an armada. Raonic is also lurking in his half – maybe they can cash in that rain check from Miami. I like a little shake-up in draws once in a while. Let Nadal deal with Berdy this time! ;) Although Ferrer would be a good test, presuming he makes it that far.


carlo Says:

Rafa’s knees appear to have recovered fast enough on clay. Can’t see Rafa not defending his title in Barcelona. Best wishes to Andy though.

Bucharest 250 draw out too. Simon #1 seed.

Top story: Djokovic, Murray Advance At US Open, Azarenka Survives; Federer, Monfils v Dimitrov Tuesday
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Rankings
ATP - Aug 25 WTA - Aug 25
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Simona Halep
3 Roger Federer3 Na Li
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 Milos Raonic6 Maria Sharapova
7 Tomas Berdych7 Angelique Kerber
8 Grigor Dimitrov8 Eugenie Bouchard
9 Andy Murray9 Ana Ivanovic
10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga10 Jelena Jankovic
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