Rafael Nadal Is Still Mad About Madrid’s Blue Clay, But At Least His Knee Is “Perfect”
by Staff | May 4th, 2012
  • 80 Comments

Rafael Nadal weighed in on the newfangled blue clay tennis courts now installed at the Madrid Masters. Nadal had been critical of the switch leading up to Spain’s biggest tennis event, and after a hit on the blue dirt he hasn’t changed his position.

Nadal said given its prominenace and place on the calendar, the ATP should never have allowed the Madrid tournament to move from the traditional red to blue court color.

“Madrid is one of the best tournaments in the world and does not need this. It is played at altitude. That makes it different already. I appreciate the idea but it should have never been allowed,” Nadal said.

“I trained on it yesterday (Thursday) afternoon and I think it’s a mistake — not by the organisation but by the ATP,” he added.

Of the courts, Nadal said the surface was more slippery than usual clay, and there are soft spots in the court. And these two things which may help the power players.

He also said the low position/color of the advertisements at back of the courts made it difficult to track the ball.

But, reminded Nadal, these issues and the altitude are the same for everyone.

On the bright side, Rafa revealed his troubled left knee is now 100% perfect.

“I’ve played two weeks back to back in Monte Carlo and Barcelona with no problems,” Nadal told Reuters.

“That’s very important for me, a lot of confidence for my mind. And the answer: the knee is now perfect.”

Nadal is riding a 21-match clay winning streak after titles last month in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. He’s also won 14 straight matches overall including 11 consecutive sets.

Rafa won Madrid in 2010. He lost in the final last year to Novak Djokovic. The Madrid men’s draw will be released Saturday.


Also Check Out:
Roger Federer: Madrid’s Blue Clay Feels Different Than Regular Clay; Reclaiming No. 1 Would Be A Dream
Nadal, Djokovic, Murray Give Thumbs Down On Madrid’s Blue Clay Courts
Novak Djokovic: Madrid’s Altitude Helps The Big Servers And Aggressive Players
Andy Murray’s Having Court Issues: Monte Carlo Has Bad Bounces, Madrid Has Turned Blue
Novak Djokovic: I Was Very Close To My Grandfather, It Was A Big Loss For Me And My Family

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80 Comments for Rafael Nadal Is Still Mad About Madrid’s Blue Clay, But At Least His Knee Is “Perfect”

steve-o Says:

Carla Suarez Navarro is in the Estoril final. Go Carla, win your maiden title!


Humble Rafa Says:

I look forward to the pink courts next time around.


Sienna Says:

Rafa shows just that he is a very closed minded person. Very good he is not anyore involved on the players council. Guys like that make me sick they only are there for their own benefit. Narrow minded, closed minded, small minded it all results to 1 thing.


Noogie Says:

True Sienna. Why should all circumstances be fit for him and his game. He has a problem with hard courts. Then knee problems. Then his knees are perfect. That guy is a real @sshole


Ben Pronin Says:

Didn’t take long for the criticism to come out. Nadal is close minded because he doesn’t like the surface after playing on it? So Djokovic and Raonic must also be close minded, right? How about when Federer was one of 2 players to oppose hawk-eye and the challenge system when it was first introduced, wasn’t he being close minded then?

Nadal has his own ideas, and I happen to disagree with most of them. But he’s the one who has to play on the blue clay and if he doesn’t like it then he doesn’t like it. Am I close minded if I don’t like a public court that has cracks running through the middle because it makes it harder to play? Nadal HAS to like everything about everything, right?

Criticizing a guy for disliking something that actually has an affect on him, and by his claims, a negative affect? New low.


jane Says:

Actually I believe Ben that Fed, too, has sided “against” blue clay. There was a recent piece at ESPN about it I seem to recall. Look, it’s new to ALL of them not only Rafa, and Rafa has a good point, that while they’re leading up to the FO, this throws them a curve ball to deal with, it’s not consistent. I am sure they will adjust, as they did last year to the faster balls at Roland Garros, but I am sure they’d like some consistency.

During the hard court period there was much discussion then, too, from premiere hard courters like Fed, Fish, Nole, Murray, etc, about how Rotterdamn and Dubai play much differently than IW and especially Miami, which are slower. I don’t see how this blue clay discussion is much different.

it would be nice, however, if they perhaps eliminating one hard court or clay masters so they could add just one on grass! I’d love it and it would give the players a little more prep for Wimbledon.


Oleg Says:

Whenever you change something as fundamental as the court surface, you can expect the players to complain.

Does anyone know the characteristics of this blue clay? Is it slower/faster than red clay? Higher/lower bounces?


alison hodge Says:

Ben thanks for saying,what i was thinking yet couldnt find the words to say,hell its not as if he was the only one that was complaining anyway,and strange how people suffer with selective memory loss when its there own favs complaining about something,double standards,not that i agree with everything Rafa says or does dont get me wrong,but your right does he have to be a yes man and agree about everything?


Brando Says:

@Jane, Ben:

Class posts- as usual- and i do agree with the points you have made.

I think i have seen nole, fed and andy ALL either support rafa on the arguement he has made against the blue clay OR have made valid points of their own against this move.

BUT REGARDLESS of that some here JUST SEE the bad with rafa.

Closed minded nadal? how about the posters asking themselves that EXACT question once in a while before labelling someone else as such!


the_mind_reels Says:

@jane:

I agree that it’d be nice to have a grass Masters 1000 tournament, if only in the name of balance. For such a historic surface in the sport, it gets little love in terms of playing time during the season.

As for Nadal’s comments, eh — whatever. Assuming the above quotes were given in English (which perhaps they weren’t), I suppose I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt because his quote otherwise makes him seem like a bit of a whiner. As in, the tournament is looking to distinguish itself somehow, but isn’t the fact that it’s played at altitude enough? (As if that were something the folks of Madrid could do anything about anyway.) He calls it a “mistake” and says that the tournament doesn’t need it.

I think where Nadal tends to get into trouble (and where people like to feast on his words in this forum) is when he goes beyond just saying “I’d prefer that the courts were not blue, but I’ll give it a good fight just like everyone else” (which Fed fans would hopefully just identify as the more “sportsmanlike” approach) and instead starts saying things like the above. Of course he’s entitled to his opinion, but it paints him in a certain light when he is publicly as opinionated as this.

It sort of sounds like he’s hedging his bets in case he loses, as he knows he’s not had as much success in Madrid as anywhere else on clay (even the low likes of Federer has as many titles in Madrid as Nadal!), so let’s see what he’s saying about the surface a week from now next Sunday.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Well, I was going to say I wish Rafa would stop talking about the blue clay already and just focus on his game, but then I saw he was being attacked once again! I think the blue clay is silly and most of the big name players seem to be against it, but they all have to play on the same surface so it’s not unfair or anything. Let’s see how it plays out.


Sean Randall Says:

So the knee is perfect? But for how long?


Dave Says:

Tennis Magazine’s Steve Tignor pointed out, it was Nadal’s threats to skip Madrid that led to the swap between Madrid and Rome in the calendar: “Nadal said that the red-clay season is the red-clay season, and that he wouldn’t play on anything that would hurt his chances in Paris. But even before it went blue, Rafa has had his issues with this tournament. He talked about skipping it three years ago because Madrid is at a higher altitude than Paris. Those concerns did eventually get the ATP to flip the event with Rome, so that it wasn’t the final Roland Garros tune-up.”

Does anyone know whether the decision to turn Madrid into a clay event held in May was all Tiriac’s doing? Or did the Nadal camp ask for the change to clay? The Madrid Open had a 29-year history as an indoor hardcourt/carpet event held in late October every year between 1990 to 2008, when it was held in Stockholm (Sweden), Essen (Germany) and Stuttgart (Germany). From 2009 it was turned into a clay court event and changed in the calendar to May, at the expense of Hamburg’s clay event, which had an even longer history all the way back to 1892.


L Says:

Dave,

A few days ago in an interview Uncle Toni said he would have preferred if Madrid had stayed an indoor tournament on hardcourts and played in October as it used to be.


skeezer Says:

Rafa didn’t have any issue when they changed balls ( babolot , which sponsors Rafa )at the FO last year ( he won the tournament ). Most of the top players did. Talk about breaking tradition….

He already shot out before he even practiced on the stuff he did not approve. After he practiced on it, did anyone expect him to reverse his position?


Mark Says:

@Sean Randall. In answer to your question – how long is a piece of string?????


Fleischer Says:

The usual suspects are already here to bark at Rafa.
Rafa should continue winning and make them bark even harder.


skeezer Says:

@mark

It’s not how long a piece of string is, the answer is “depends on which way is the wind blowing today”


Kimberly Says:

skeezer—he complained bitterly about the new balls along with others. But he still won the tournament.


Roger Federer Fan Says:

It is great to see all my fellow fed fans (skeezer, dave, sienna, etc) work here really hard even during the clay season when Federer is still not even in the picture.

Keep up your good work. Federer really needs fans like us.


the_mind_reels Says:

Anyone know when the Madrid draw will be out? I assume tomorrow, but not sure.


Ben Pronin Says:

Here’s my issue with Nadal complaining about the Madrid altitude: he’s been incredibly successful despite it. The swap with Rome and Madrid only happened last year. That means, the year that Nadal became the first and only player to complete the “clay slam,” he won Madrid right before winning the French Open (where he didn’t even drop a set despite “questionable” preparations).

But as far as this blue clay, his complaints are consistent with everyone else’s. It’s slippery and bounces slow and whatnot. I’m sure Nadal will still probably make the final, if not win the whole thing. But that’s because he’s better than everyone anyway.


Oleg Says:

From Darren Cahill’s twitter feed:

“Beyond the blue, the state of the courts in Madrid has always been the major issue. Some have been near unplayable, others ok at best.”


skeezer Says:

montecarlo,

anti nadal ball? Thats a good one ;). Maybe he should be playing with more anti nadal balls, seems they do him well….

hehe you got me there. My weak reference was here at this absolutely wonderful non biased site….

http://www.rafaholics.com/2011/05/new-babolat-balls-get-rafa-nadal.html


Dave Says:

Blue ‘Clay’ court: Here are the maintenance managers responsible for the courts at Roland Garros and Madrid explaining that the process used to set up the courts at Madrid. Basically, the process is exactly the same — except for the dye color used — as between Madrid last year and Madrid this… and also between the Madrid and Roland Garros center courts. Only the dye used was blue instead of red (but made with the same natural ingredients). If what they said is true, then there should be no difference in how the court plays last year and this year — other than what’s caused by changes in the weather from last year. So the changes some players are sensing may be all in the head, assuming what the maintenance people said is true and the weather isn’t a factor. Remember we know only what a few players have said so far.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlaSWrQdUak

You can see the white limestone base (yellowed by the red clay dust) of the court before it is laid with a 0.10 inch (2.5 mm) layer of blue clay grains of 1 mm size. The clay grains come from crushed brick that’s dyed.

***

Skeezer, Kimberly: This was what Nadal actually said about the Babolat balls after his five-set match with John Isner. A week before this interview a rafa fansite had announced: “New Babolat balls get Rafa Nadal approval”.

Q. “You mentioned the new balls. Have you any problem with controlling those balls?”
RAFAEL NADAL: “I don’t have any problem, but is big change between the previous Masters 1000. I didn’t love the balls of the previous tournaments. I think that the Dunlop lines this year the ball gets less topspin. In my opinion, the ball is softer than other years. So when you play a few games, the ball– you feel the ball a lot of times in the strings, and I don’t like that.But I think this ball is better for me in general. But at the same time, is dangerous ball because is a big change. So I only practiced four or five days, six days with this ball after one month and a half or one month playing with another ball. So is something that change a lot, the ball.The feeling is something very important in tennis. I know from outside sometimes is difficult to see, you know. But from inside for the players is something dangerous for the shoulders, you know, for everything. Change a lot of feelings, no? So I think the ball is good. The problem is that the previous ball was not that good.”


Dave Says:

Skeezer, your article revealed that Babolat sent Nadal a sample of the new balls from the factory to test last year before the French Open… and Rafa gave his approval because these new Babolat balls took his “spins” and had a “lively bounce”. Yet at the French Open press conference, Nadal claimed he only practiced for 5 to 6 days before the French Open started. Hmmmm. It’s quite possible he was practicing with those new balls a lot longer than just 5 or 6 days. No wonder Federer had no chance at the final, now we know why :)

And here is Tiriac talking about the blue clay courts.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPnuZW20He0


Roger Federer Fan Says:

Dave,

Thanks for letting us know why Federer had no against Rafa in the final.
You are the most sensible, objective, fair and blah blah poster I have ever seen in my life.

Also please do your research and provide us the reasons why he never had a chance against Rafa in the years before at FO.

Needless to say, I would be delighted if your response has MORE than 5000 words.


Roger Federer Fan Says:

^had no chance


skeezer Says:

Roger Federer Fan

https://www.facebook.com/Federer

You’ll be happier there with your homies.


madmax Says:

God, RFF is so negative. It really isn’t a pleasure to read. Boring.


skeezer Says:

Dave,

Thanks for the Tiriac link. I have mixed feeling when it comes to change. Hated what they did to WImby, BUT…..for viewing it is way better ( the grass stays mostly green throughout the tourney ). I can see that Tiriac is earnest in trying to make the game better for the fans. He did go to lengths to mention that other pro players have been hitting on it for awhile now and gave it a thumbs up ( verdasco, safin, lopez ). He also mentioned outside of the Slams Madrid is almost at the level of the GS in prize money. Hell ya they can change the color……!!

My beef is that if change doesn’t work out to benefit the majority they should have the gonads to change it back…..


Noogie Says:

I wish we could establish a tennis site for Alison Hodge as she has a habit of giving all posts a thumb up. Let’s please just speculate on her level of intelligence. Maybe in the region of 4 (mat 4 ) or 27 ( steve. 27). Problem with rafa is that he thinks the clay should always satify his needs. If he feels hard done by just skip the tournament or is clay the only haven where where he can still win a title or two. Federe might have complained about hawk-eye. But that was a once off thing. Rafa not long ago complained about hard courts and how it affected his knees. If he is so good why don’t Conman uncle Toni changes his style from clay approach to all court approach. But what can you expect. All Rafatards are fossils


alison hodge Says:

Noogie if you want to speculate on my level of intelligence then go right ahead,personally i dont really give an SH*T what you think of me,its your opinion and your quite entitled to it,and believe me if something someone says gets right up my nose i will say so,just as much as the next person,as a Rafa fan he does say and do some things that get on my nerves,from time to time,but on this occasion i believe hes right and hes not the only player with an issue about the blue clay either,but dont let that stop you from throwing insults my way,hope this is all good enough as i was not exactly giving thumbs up to your post,but then again as they say tough bloody luck.


skeezer Says:

alison,

Don’t let these types get to you. They read your stuff and see u are a nice person, then jealousy prevails and you become an undeserving target. Blog on!


Brando Says:

@Alison:

skeez is 100% correct. Don’t give them your time- they’re not worth it! and yes- BLOG ON AS YOU WISH!


Rave Says:

Yes Allison, keep posting and not let some crazy posters get to you. I, for one, love reading your posts, which are always intelligent and thoughtful and fair.


Master Ace Says:

Ditto to alison, skeezerweezer, rave n brando. Alison is intelligent and reasonable.


jatt Says:

I can never understand Nadal’s knees..one moment perfectly fine, another moment bad..


Steve 27 Says:

Noogie aka scumbag. Another fedtard. There a lot in this blog.
Madrid Final Nadal and Djokovic and the winner is…we know it.


Michael Says:

I think Nadal is making a very big deal about the colour of the court and imparts more importance than is warranted. More than the colour, Nadal is bothered about the bounce and pace as generally Madrid plays fast and it is where Nadal doesn’t enjoy domination like he has on other clay courts. He should expect a tough tournament and it is one clay surface where he is beatable. I eagerly await a Novak-Nadal final yet again which should be a superlative treat for Tennis fans with the mighty battling out on the blue dirt.


alison hodge Says:

Thanks Skeezer,Brando,Rave and Master Ace,for those sweet words,right back atcha guys,i love all your posts too.


alison hodge Says:

Michael i completely agree,although he was not the only player to voice concerns over the blue clay,Nole,Roger and Andy all agreed on it also,i suppose it came to light more on Rafa as he is seen as the man to beat on this surface,even though madrid seems to be his less sucessfull clay tourney,also i dont think its a shoo that Nole and Rafa will necassarily make the final,Rogers a great clay court player too,and Rafas half is full of pot holes,Delpos a big one.


carlo Says:

Hey alison. Yeah, forget Noogie whoever that is.

Anyway, I have a link for Haas v Cilic. Cilic doing some nice serve and volley the 1st set 6-3, with drop shots, serving well. Impressive. Have not seen Cilic play this well for a long time. I remember that epic match at Wimbledon 5 setter between Haas and Cilic, which Haas barely won.

Haas has the crowd support, maybe he can turn this around 2nd set but Cilic just looks good. Haas is good too. But Haas has been trying to test Marin’s movement but he’s answered with coming to net, volleying and covering the baseline. Cilic through to the final. He had an impressive win over Youzhny yesterday. wins 6-3,6-4. Impressed with his serve and coming to the net. Looking like the Cilic of 2009, light on his feet, the tall man.


carlo Says:

Just checked the Madrid draw. Cilic’s 1st match is v Montanes. Hmm, Montanes couldn’t do much v Delpo yesterday in Estoril; but this will be Madrid. Tricky pick.


steve-o Says:

Just saw that Cilic won. I’m sad for Haas, but happy for Cilic.

And would like to add to the chorus of compliments for alison hodge, she’s very fair and level-headed.


carlo Says:

Me too Steve-o, sad for Tommy he played well. But I see he’s skipping Madrid. The good news is how Cilic played. Did you see the match?


alison hodge Says:

Thanks Steve-O honestly your all very nice,but im just being myself.


alison hodge Says:

Hi Carlo yeah have to say its great to know,that Cilic is playing great tennis again,but its a shame about Tommy,i picked Melzer to beat Lopez,and then wawa,i believe 2 years ago he took Nole out at the FO,after going 2 sets down,mind you Nole and Melzer are both different players now,and i suppose best of 3 sets favours Nole,theres some great potential clashes to look forward to,Rafa/Delpo,Roger/Milos,Davey can trouble Rafa,but whether he gets through Dr Ivo is another thing,never the less both are tricky games for Rafa,all in all its a tricky bracket to pick.


steve-o Says:

@carlo: I did not see Haas and Cilic, but I’m glad to hear Cilic is playing well again. It’s very early in the morning here, I got up to watch the Estoril women’s final. Go Suarez-Navarro!


carlo Says:

It is tricky, alison. But they always are. In general i do better to stick to my main picks but i have tiime to kill this morning and am already switching everyone around.

Steve-o, I got up at 4 am to watch Cilic and Haas :D
Vamos Carla!

Watching Paire v Andujar in Serbian. Waiting for Kohls v F-lo in Munich.


carlo Says:

alison, heads up. Dolgo has Andujar 1st match in Madrid. Benoit Paire is not playing Madrid and Andujar doesn’t have his head on straight – maybe thinking about getting to the blue clay. It’s always dicey picking Dolgo – but I have him beating Andujar.

Benoit Paire 6-3, takes 1st set. I think this would be Paire’s 1st atp final.


alison hodge Says:

Carlo i think thats part of the fun in doing the bracket challenge,the last one threw out quite a few surprises.


carlo Says:

Really fun watching Paire, he talks to himself constantly, a little louder than Simon. But Paire played so well the 1st set. Now he just appears to intentionally throw away the 2nd set, when he didn’t serve well at the start.

Andujar not playing that well. But Paire getting a bagel or breadstick. Paire threw his racquet, just seemed to do what he did yesterday, go mental for a set.

Now we’ll see what he does in the 3rd set. Andujar doesn’t look into it, Paire a little mental. fun….


Wog boy Says:

Kohls is winning the battle of singlehanded BHs. One set up, 6:2.


carlo Says:

yay. go Kohls. I was going to switch to that match but having too much fun watching Paire either play brilliant or totally screw up. He seems to have the support of the Belgrade fans over Andujar, Wog boy.


grendel Says:

just read the comments here, for May5th. It’s like a breath of fresh air, just people chatting about the tennis they are enjoying watching. Without posters like you lot, this site would be as dead as a dodo – screeching on the blackboard, know what I mean? As it is, I feel the cool scent of early summer in my nostrils, and I am grateful for it.


Dave Says:

Madrid Open wants “good faith” from top stars on blue clay
http://tinyurl.com/745a5lz


Wog boy Says:

Actually, it is pretty good match, carlo. I cannot watch Belgrade, where I live I cannot have good speed on my comp. I can only watch TV and whatever is on Foxtel sport channels.
Is there enough spectators in Belgrade and what is atmosphere.


carlo Says:

hi grendel, have you watched Paire? Interesting character on court. He can self destruct but also look real confident, almost cocky.


carlo Says:

Stadium is a little sparse in Belgrade. Lots of empty chairs. But those who are there are enthusiastic.


Dave Says:

Alison, what a special fossil you must be… to have intelligence, be able to put your thumb up and even watch football games! Two thumbs up to you.


Wog boy Says:

I was afraid that is going to happen if there is no local player.
Can you see rivers Sava and Danube in TV coverage?
This match is getting better in second set.


carlo Says:

Andujar outplayed by Benny Paire. Andujar, as i said, has never appeared into this match. And Paire definitely tossed a set, like he did yesterday.

Benny has a 5-2 lead in the 3rd, but with Paire it’s not over until it’s over. I’m a Paire fan now, win or lose here. You would think Paire can win but… now 5-3 and serving for his 1st atp final. Yikes.


carlo Says:

yes, yes… Benny Paire wins! haha, I’m a Paire fan. He’s unconventional, eccentric, and fun watching. Soft hands at the net and big serve. He’s fights himself. lots “merd*’s” and other chastising himself in French.

But Andujar was not at his best.

Wog boy, I don’t have this on TV. I’m streaming online. Good picture but unfortunately no shots of the scenery outside the court.


alison hodge Says:

Dave lol nah not really but thanks for the compliment,although today i will admit to having one eye on the forum,and also one eye on the FA cup final,love football,but tennis will always i have to say be my number 1 passion,Wogboys also a big fan of liverpool,come on the reds,thanks for the thread BTW.


Wog boy Says:

carlo, I see, thanks.
The way you described Frenchman tells me the reason why the spectators got behind him. They love that kind of players:)
I don’t remember watching him but, I would like to, though.


Wog boy Says:

Alison, you are not wrong!
YOU WILL NEVER WALK ALONE


alison hodge Says:

Carlo thats a fantastic result,a 1st final what a brand new talent emerging,i love to see an underdog making an impression,as long as its not against one of my favs lol,selfish i suppose though.


carlo Says:

Sorry steve-o, Carla lost but Kanepi looking as fit as I’ve ever seen her.

Switched to Munich. Come on Kohls. Lopez good start in the tie break. Thinking F-lo wants this title, imagining him not into the Madrid contest too much. I have him losing his 1st match there, alison. Well right now, anyway. That could change. Not picking F-lo in Madrid if he wins in Munich.


alison hodge Says:

Wogboy my significant other will be cheering for Chelsea on purpose,because hes an Everton fan just to wind me up grrr lol.


alison hodge Says:

Grendel yeah too right,peace and harmony on the tennis x forum,a refreshing change,i suppose we should make the most of it you never know how long it will last lol.


alison hodge Says:

Carlo i have him loosing in 1st round in madrid also,i would like to see Melzer win that one,and the one against wawa,heres hoping things get that far.


Wog boy Says:

Alison, I know the feeling, My wife does the same thing to me when we watch rugby league and tennis, she knows nothing about football…thanks God:)
I thought Kohls was going to finish this in two, I have to wake up early to roast some lamb, it is St.George day (julian calendar) and I have guests and it is 1am now.


alison hodge Says:

Wogboy my hubby cant stand tennis,although when i watch wimbledon he will always ask me how Andy Murrays getting on,so hes quite patriotic,we dont follow rugby though,hope you and your family enjoy st georges day,1am eh good grief you are night owl.


steve-o Says:

Nearly three hours to see Suarez Navarro lose. She is now 0-3 in finals.

Failed to play well on of the important points and got passive and indecisive at the worst possible times, as many shotmaking players do.

She had all the chances to put it away. Won the first set and had the lead nearly the whole time. Served for it in the second set and was two points from the win. Three match points in the second-set tiebreak! 4-2 in the third set. All in vain.

Kanepi played well, moved well, never gave up. But my feeling is that this was one that got away from Carla rather than Kanepi really outplaying her.

There is a world of difference between playing well for large stretches and winning. The understanding of this is what separates champions from good players. You have to make the most of your opportunities when they come and when you have the lead, you have to harry the opponent and constantly pressure them.

After three finals, this mastery still escapes her. I don’t know what’s holding her back, some unconscious element in her mental makeup. Certainly she wanted it, because she looked very sad afterwards.

I have two wishes for her this year: first, and most important, that she stay healthy. Second, she gets another chance to win a title this year–and that she makes it next time. One could take it as a positive that she had match points this time, and I guess I have to.


carlo Says:

oh, I bet you roast some good lamb, Wog boy. My Greek BF is a lamb specialist. Makes the best grilled to perfection, melt in your mouth.

Watching Gasquet v Ramos now. Interesting because the two had never met before. Ramos coming of a decent run during the golden swing and surprised Gasquet in Indian Wells. Then, Gasquet also got matched with young lefty Ramos in Miami and Richard won in 3 sets there.

Here they are on clay in Estoril. Ramos is up 5-2 in the 1st. Richee looks cranky. But he looked unhappy playing the loud grunter Munoz-of-the- Navel yesterday but won after a tight 1st set. Never know about Gasquet, he should win, but little stuff seems to bug him. I love French players – Richie is shrugging; can’t tell if he’s complaining about the conditions, lines calls, his own play or what, just lots of body language, no chatter like Paire or Simon.


carlo Says:

Meant grilled and spiced to perfection rack of lamb – lamb chops, Wog boy. I leave the meat to him.


carlo Says:

yes, that was sad for Carla, steve-o. I only caught the last bit after the Belgrade semi-final. Good luck to Carla next match.


Wog boy Says:

carlo,

When it comes to roast lamb Greeks are the best, I don’t mind being second best:)
Off to bed, everything is ready in the fridge I have only few hours to sleep.

Alison, thanks. Wow it is 3am

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8 Andy Murray8 Jelena Jankovic
9 Richard Gasquet9 Maria Sharapova
10 Milos Raonic10 Dominika Cibulkova
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