Nadal’s Clay Campaign Shifts To Spain, Murray Wins; Wozniacki Faces Jankovic In Stuttgart
by Staff | April 24th, 2012, 11:14 pm
  • 51 Comments

Rafael Nadal’s clay campaign continues Wednesday in his homeland of Spain. Nadal opens his bid for a seventh Barcelona title against countryman Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the second round.

Following his Monte Carlo title, Rafa has won his last 16 matches on his favorite clay surface and 29 in a row at Barcelona where has won the last six times he’s entered.

G-Lo has a win over Nadal at 2010 Bangkok, and he pulled a similar shocker earlier this year beating Andy Murray at Indian Wells.

Murray was in action earlier today in Barcelona and the Scot cruised past Sergei Stakhovsky 6-3, 6-2.

“I hit the ball very well. Physically I felt in great shape, although I was a little tired mentally,” Murray said who reached the quarterfinals last week in Monte Carlo. “Stakhovsky is a different rival who varies his shots a lot. I served well and won many points on the first serve, which is something I have been working on lately.”

Other second round winners included Spaniards Nicolas Almagro and 2010 champion Fernando Verdasco.

In first round play, Bernard Tomic beat Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 6-4 in another notable result.

“I think I played well on my service games,” Tomic said. “I am starting to move better on the clay and it is the best I’ve played so far. Hopefully in the next round I’ll be ready to run and be physical with him. I think I’ll need to play a little more aggressively and be patient at times.”

Tomorrow Tomic meets Albert Montanes. Another youngster 20-year-old Filip Krajinovic returns from shoulder surgery to face 3-time Barcelona finalist David Ferrer.

The Top 8 women in the world are in Stuttgart this week. On Wednesday Maria Sharapova, Aga Radwanska and Ana Ivanovic are in action along with Caroline Wozniacki who meets Jelena Jankovic.

PISTA CENTRAL start 11:00 am
[15] B Tomic (AUS) vs A Montanes (ESP)
Not Before 1:30 PM
[WC] F Krajinovic (SRB) vs [3] D Ferrer (ESP)
[1] R Nadal (ESP) vs G Garcia-Lopez (ESP)
[7] F Lopez (ESP) vs F Cipolla (ITA)
V Hanescu (ROU) vs [5] J Tipsarevic (SRB)


Also Check Out:
Jankovic Pummels Bridesmaid Wozniacki in Indian Wells Final
Henin Beats Jankovic for 10th Straight Time to Reach Stuttgart SFs
Oxygen: Listen To Caroline Wozniacki Try To Sing In This Music Video
Nadal Might Have To Play Two On Friday In Rainy Barcelona; Sharapova Needs 3 Hours To Win Stuttgart
Serbia, Czechs Gain Fed Cup Final; Women’s Top 8 in Stuttgart; Previews

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51 Comments for Nadal’s Clay Campaign Shifts To Spain, Murray Wins; Wozniacki Faces Jankovic In Stuttgart

Legend Says:

I dont know why Rafa plays only one small clay tourney.
He should take a leaf out of Federer’s strategy and chase all the small (500s and 250s) clay tourneys around to world to boost up his ranking points and also increase the title count.

Oh well, the tiger doesnt eat grass.


Skeezerweezer Says:

^no…Fed already has 16 Slams…..why is Fed a mark here…isn’t this about Rafa? Rafa should be focused on getting more slams, not trying to get every Clay court title( tiny or otherwise) there is. Chasing after all the Clay titles just proves he is preserving his ranking and not going after the records that really matter when all is said and done. ( unless he just wants to be known as King of Clay, an admirable title )


Humble Rafa Says:

Rafa should be focused on getting more slams, not trying to get every Clay court title

Your Humble Highness has a low probability of winning anything played on non-clay court surfaces. If I win anything on non-clay, you can be guaranteed I can’t defend that title. I never have in my whole career.

Got to win what you can. Not what you hope for.


Borg Says:

Go Rafa go !! What a beating you gave to Djokovic and the critics who were doubting you after the seven streak loss. Federer is not here and if he dares to enter these tournaments, he will be murdered by our man. Now onto Rolland Garros and Rafa for his seventh title. None can prevent Rafa biting the coveted trophy.


nadalista Says:

http://blogs.tennis.com/tennisworld/2012/04/cha-ching.html

Bodo’ phrase, “Enlightened Professionalism”….I like that.

Wish respective fans could be as enlightened and civil towards each other and the players……

Sigh……


Ajet Says:

super balanced post by humble rafa! ;)


Ajet Says:

legend:

the fact that rafa doesn’t go after even more smaller 250/500 clay tourneys is coz montecarlo = 800 points. now even if you add 500+250, it is =750 i.e. < 800! ;)

fed doesn’t do that thankfully and he skips quite a few 250/500 tourneys on HC i.e. fed’s fave surface, unlike rafa who plays almost all tourneys attendable by him subject to his health on clay courts! rafa’s desperate you know! ;)


Rafalicious Says:

Ajet, you’re an A-Hole


carlo Says:

Unfortunately, only one stream for Barcelona this morning on center court.

Poor Filip Krajinovic getting a drubbing 1st set by David Ferrer 6-0, but the young Serb shaking off the nerves and keeping up better 2nd set. The kid couldn’t serve 1st set. Now he
is showing he has a good serve and has 3 games bur Ferrer wins 6-0, 6-3

Montanes d. Tomic
Nishikori d Kukushkin
Anderson d Delonis, (barely)

Lots of streams for Bucharest, Stuttgart and Fes

no stream for it in Barca but Raonic appears winning his match v Andreev, and feisty Santiago Giraldo making quick work over Robin Haase.

Nadal is on next v Garcia-Lopez – streams on the usual places


carlo Says:

Nice ceremony for grande tenista Manolo Santana prior to Nadal match. Prince of Spain there.


jamie Says:

“Your Humble Highness has a low probability of winning anything played on non-clay court surfaces.”

__________________

Agree, Nadal will most likely only win titles on clay from now on.


carlo Says:

Good way to brush up on the Spanish. Commentators doing a little (apparently) amusing comparison of Santana’s racquet v Nadal’s.

Giving praise to Almagro, Andujar, and Ramos….best i can tell.

There he is> the matador himself warming with G-lo. Vamos G-lo (lol, just kidding) lots of Nadal fans here this morning, i notice. Rafa appears ready to roll.


Casa de Rafa Says:

Jamie, please spare us from your crystal ball. Every time it’s said Rafa can’t do something, he does it, so STFU.

http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/7583/fackicknadal.gif


carlo Says:

Spanish commentators good from what I can tell. Very fair, low key, and keeping me updated on Albert Ramos v Benoit Paire match.

Rafa in his MC final form. Up a double-break now.

breadstick for G-lo. Rafa 6-1, 1st set. Time for me to get to work; though at least when tournaments are in Europe, i can get in a match or two.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Yawn. Hopefully will have some better tennis in May…


carlo Says:

lol, Skeezer…

you mean you aren’t feeling compelled to watch G-lo get a beating from Nadal?

Radwanska have a go at Gretta Arn in Stuttgart?
Balazs surprise win over Starace in Bucharest?


Mark Says:

@Casa de Rafa. The link u posted is hilarious.


skeezerweezer Says:

mark,

figured you would be the type to like that..hehe


skeezerweezer Says:

carlo,

yeah…sorry these draws are pitiful. Hard to get up for a 250( or 500 for that matter ) on Clay. I mean look at the draws….and no its not just because Fed’s not in it…gotta shoot that on over the bow before the comments come firing back…


jamie Says:

“figured you would be the type to like that..hehe”

_______________________

Some like to bite pillows like Mark apparently. LOL.


carlo Says:

okay, Skeezer, well then, i won’t let you know if Fognini beats Baghdatis, Atilla (the Hungarian) Balasz continues his run against X-man. Even though Malisse already beat Dimitrov and Florian Mayer…so might be a tough match. I’m talking Bucharest 250 ;)

Hurry up, May. But that’s Giro d’Italia time. Busy sport month for me.


carlo Says:

Uh, okay i clicked on the link, though had reservations about it.

Casa de Rafa – I get the Rafan happiness at that, but score says Tsonga v Nadal. And that’s Nole, of course.


alison hodge Says:

casa de rafa thanks for the link that was funny,i dont usually like tit for tat,but its nice sometimes to see the haters get a taste of their own medicine(aplogies sensible Nole fans).


Kimberly Says:

Why is Sara errani still number one in the funk. Poor rafa, the dude wins a masters title 8 times in a row and can’t even get in the tennis x funk.


skeezerweezer Says:

carlo,

lol…and then Montanes starts beating players left and right…oh wait…Clay


Kimberly Says:

Btw was at that match with rafa tsonga in Miami 2010 in the link it was an awesome point saved break point with an amazing winner hence the celebration showed in the video


jane Says:

Thanks for the Barcelona thread staff. I am hoping for a Murray versus Nadal final. These two haven’t played for a while and last year they had some pretty good matches on clay at Monte Carlo and the FO. It would be interesting to see where Rafa matches up with Andy now. If he pummels him too, then it’s “Rafa Time” again for sure!


montecarlo Says:

Interesting Stat about RAFA:-

Since losing to Igor Andreev at Valencia in April 2005 Nadal has not lost a singles match in the month of April.


jane Says:

Holy crow! It really is his time. :)


RZ Says:

Kimberly, the funk hasn’t been updated yet. Sara Errani is there from last week.


montecarlo Says:

I think I should make it Nadal has not a Singles Clay court match in April or Nadal has not lost a Singles Match in any tournament which started in the month of April because I am not sure but one or two of his losses at Miami (the tournament which starts in March and sometimes extends to April) must have been in April.

Anyway here is the record

2005-
6 wins at Montecarlo
5 at barcelona
2006-
6 wins at Montecarlo
5 at barcelona
2007-
5 wins at Montecarlo
5 at barcelona
2008-
5 wins at Montecarlo
5 at barcelona
2009-
5 wins at Montecarlo
5 at barcelona
5 at Rome
2010-
5 wins at Montecarlo
5 at Rome
2011-
5 wins at Montecarlo
5 at barcelona
2012-
5 wins at Montecarlo

i.e. 82 consecutive wins in April on Clay courts.


jane Says:

How come some are 6 wins and some 5 wins at Montecarlo (is it one word, I’ve always written it as two for some reason?) – was that before the “bye” system or something?


montecarlo Says:

Yes, ATP abolished the 5 set finals and introduced First Round Bye System in 2007 after the epic Rome Final in 2006 to protect the top players.


Kimberly Says:

watching sharapova match on fromsport.


Kimberly Says:

so much for that match. cornet retired


adam Says:

Glad to see krajinovic is back. I was wondering where he went. He is a really special talent with a lot of potential. More potential than even tomic and harrison in my opinion.


sheila Says:

imho, nadal will probably win fo & wimbledon & and i would be totally surprised if he wins uso again. i’d love 2c roger win wimbledon @ least but not holding my breath on that one. would like 2c murray win uso but not holding my breath on that one either. still think nadal takes 2 slams & djokovic takes the other 2(already has ao). i must be honest nadal & djokovic r 2 of my least fvt players although i totally respect their game. they r gr8 players just dont care 4 their style of play


Humble Rafa Says:

Interesting Stat about RAFA:-

Since losing to Igor Andreev at Valencia in April 2005 Nadal has not lost a singles match in the month of April.

Most players don’t play much in April.

I also have an excellent record in December.


Brando Says:

i think murray NEEDS to get to the final in this one.

IF he doesn’t, then going forward i honestly CANNOT see him being a factor at all.

He needs to step up NOW, since i am sure he didnt hire lendl to help him win 250 pt tournies!

His results/performance have been pretty much the same as prior lendl!


Brando Says:

^MEANT not being a facotr on clay


montecarlo Says:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2012/04/Features/Nadal-Serve-Forehand-Analysis.aspx

Nadal hit zero first serves on Nole’s backhand. Looks like a well planned strategy.


jane Says:

Yes, nadalista already posted that link montecarlo.

It seems indeed to have been a good strategy. However, Nole can hit forehand returns extremely well, too, probably better than he did so on Sunday. Just think back to his forehand return versus Fed at the USO down 2 match points, for example. Maybe the unexpected factor played into the strategy working so well for Rafa in the MC final. The article points out that Rafa had very specific serving patterns, or certainly favourite ones, so this rearranging of placement would’ve caught Nole off guard and by the second set he either didn’t have enough time to adjust, or didn’t have the will to adjust, fight back or even couldn’t cut down on the errors, as Rafa pointed out in his presser – i.e., that Nole played a worse second set due to “more errors” than usual. I think Nadal’s hitting deeper into the court was another factor, but it works especially well on clay because of the high bounce he can get, thus driving his opponent back and then opening the court accordingly. It might not be quite as much of a mitigating factor (for Rafa) on other surfaces, however, as lots of guys hit really deep now, so it’s pretty much the norm. But the other interesting point was hitting up the middle, which takes away Nole’s (or any player’s) change to go down-the-line right away.

Chess match!


Kimberly Says:

jankovic is just bad. being outpushed by wozniaki


Legend Says:

Why Federer didnt play his favorite 250 tourney on clay at Estoril this year ?
Oh yes he has already gained the maximum points from 250s from deplete indoor tourneys.


Legend Says:

Much like the MC final, Rafa is hitting DTL shots at will.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6DP_4u4JAw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqCypv0i78o

DTL were completely missing in 2011.


Kimberly Says:

so many retirements in Stuttgart, too bad


Ajet Says:

Rafalicious:

you’re a worm of @$$hole!


andrea Says:

Legend why so focused on fed?


Brando Says:

BREAKING NEWS FOLKS: Djokovic has WITHDRAWN from serbia open.

For those interested in the article, her’s the link:

http://espn.go.com/tennis/story/_/id/7854263/novak-djokovic-skip-serbia-open-next-week

Personally, i am ambivalent on his decision here.

Positives:

1- He has more r and r time going forward. Hence, saves energy for the FO.
2- More time with the family to overcome loss of grandfather- clearly he was close to him.

Negatives:

1- FACT is he did play at MC- and his tennis was patchy. Playing in Madrid- which will be a surprise teritory for everyone- may not be the best place to work on his game.

2- i LIKED WOG BOY’S argument that playing SO in front of home fans could actually help nole RECOBVER- get some positive energy back again.

3- This loss MUST BEEN GREATER than initially some thought- at least myself. Nole has struck me-always- as a very honest person. if he says he is affected by this loss to great extent, then his comeback could be diffcult considering his state and the competition out there.

ULTIMATELY, time shall tell- nonetheless get well soon nole!


Brando Says:

^apologies for the spelling error folks- again! Need to read my posts before submitting!

Top story: Nadal Dominates In Return At Beijing, Djokovic Stays Perfect; Serena, Sharapova Advance
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