Djokovic Opens Rome Title Defense; Birthday Boy Murray, Serena, Sharapova Also In Action Tuesday
by Staff | May 14th, 2012, 10:27 pm
  • 140 Comments

Now back on the familiar red clay, Novak Djokovic begins his Rome title defense Tuesday against young Australian Bernard Tomic. The 19-year-old Tomic eased past Santiago Giraldo in three windy sets to set up a second meeting with the Serb.

Last year en route to his maiden Wimbledon title Djokovic beat the teen in four sets. Almost 10 months later Tomic is 126 ranking sports higher at No. 32 while Djokovic is just 2-2 in his last four matches.

“Every year is different,” Djokovic said Sunday. “This year so far for me has been great and I have already won a Grand Slam in Miami and I have played in the finals and semi finals and other major events and so, obviously I set high standards for myself with 2011 how it was in the first six months but I never compare and I wanted really to focus on each and every tournament that I play on. Physically and mentally I am fine.. I am where I wanted to be. I am number one in the world and I am winning Grand Slams and I love the challenge and I will now have to work harder to stay where I am.”

Andy Murray will celebrate his 25th birthday by returning to play after resting a back injury during Madrid last week. The Scot will have a tough encounter Tuesday with Argentine veteran David Nalbandian. Murray has won four straight against Nalbandian (4-2), but this will be their first meeting on clay.

Murray, who has never reached clay final, reached the semifinals last year nearly upsetting Djokovic.

“I think that obviously have played 3 or 4 clay court event every year and they are all Master series or the French Open and so they are always the strongest events,. It is always a surface on which I struggle but I think last year I had some good results and this year,” Murray said. “I think that I am better that at the same stage last year and so I think that
this will help with certain things and being in better shape and being fitter will help get further in the events.”

Top contenders David Ferrer (v. Verdasco), Juan Martin Del Potro (v. Llodra) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (v. Troicki) are also in action.

The women are also sharing the spotlight this week in Rome. Tomorrow the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus, are on the schedule as is Maria Sharapova.

Serena is coming off her 41st career title Sunday in Madrid, and the she’s won her last 13 matches plus she’s 13-0 in clay this season.

“I absolutely love clay. I grew up on clay – I played on hardcourt until I was 11, then until I turned 16 I only played on clay courts,” Serena said Sunday after her win over Victoria Azarenka. “I actually love the clay but my results haven’t been stellar. I have won the French Open and lots of clay court tournaments, though. It’s really a myth about me not liking clay. I like it more than grass, which is weird. Hopefully I can start doing better.”

Madrid semifinalist Sharapova meets rising American Christina McHale while Venus Williams, who is trying to bolster her ranking to qualify for the Olympics, takes on Simona Halep.

CENTRALE start 12:00 noon
C Mchale (USA) vs [2] M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA
L Kubot (POL) vs [WC] P Starace (ITA) – ATP
D Nalbandian (ARG) vs [4] A Murray (GBR) – ATP

Not Before 7:30 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs B Tomic (AUS) – ATP

Not Before 9:00 PM
[9] S Williams (USA) vs G Voskoboeva (KAZ) – WTA

SUPERTENNIS ARENA start 11:00 am
[6] D Ferrer (ESP) vs F Verdasco (ESP) – ATP
[10] J Del Potro (ARG) vs M Llodra (FRA) – ATP
[WC] V Williams (USA) vs S Halep (ROU) – WTA
T Bacsinszky (SUI) vs S Errani (ITA) – WTA

Not Before 7:00 PM
V Troicki (SRB) vs [5] J Tsonga (FRA) – ATP


Also Check Out:
Andy Murray Admits: “I Swear On Court Regularly”
Djokovic Opens Madrid Title Defense Tuesday; Sharapova, Serena, Azarenka In WTA Action
Watch Grigor Dimitrov Get Birthday Cake In The Face [Video]
Federer, Djokovic, Serena Romp In Rome; Nadal Opens Title Defense Wednesday
Federer Opens Clay Campaign v. Gulbis in Rome; Djokovic, Murray Also in Action

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140 Comments for Djokovic Opens Rome Title Defense; Birthday Boy Murray, Serena, Sharapova Also In Action Tuesday

the mind reels Says:

I’m a Nalbandian fan, but I don’t see him giving Murray much trouble. He’s not been in good form, and Murray should be fresh as a daisy.

Unless Tomic has one of the best matches of his life, I think he goes down pretty tamely to Djokovic, who should also be fresh as a daisy. It’s possible (though unlikely) that Tomic is feeling a little revived after dropping the first set today and that Djokovic has a small let down after Madrid, but I just don’t see it.

Pretty disappointing from Raonic, as it would have been nice to see him test Nadal.


jane Says:

Does anyone know – is Fed injured? I read somewhere that he took pills during the Madrid final, but I didn’t watch it so I don’t know. He’s been hedging on whether or not he will play Rome too.


Skeezer Says:

jane,

Whatever pills (if he took them )….I want. Can’t seem to win a tennis match lately…:(

Did he or they say what they were for?

————

TMR!

Same here but its apparent Raonic needs some faster courts. He will be interesting to follow at Wimby ;)


Michael Says:

Tomic should be a tough one for Novak and this should be an interesting match where he should come through. I am surprised of Raonic’s exit so early in the tournament and I was eager to see him face Nadal which is not to be. But Florian Mayer is not a walk over by any means and he has beat Nadal before.


dari Says:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ANDY MURRAY! wishing him a fantastic Rome tournament and more! may 25 be the magic age you win that first slam!

*******
Starting to hear whispers roger is gonna go ahead and play.


dari Says:

Was the person who wrote the funk/trunk high on something when they did it? Makes no sense


racquet Says:

Delpo called out the trainer for something about his knee. Hope it’s merely a niggle and not something worse.


Steve 27 Says:

Let see if Murray finally close the gap an become a great Champion. I think either or Wimbledon or Us Open are his best chances. I would like Nadal Murray in Wimbledon or Djokovic Murray in Us open. We have to wait if its gonna happen.


Wog boy Says:

dari,

Regarding your question from the other thread about Federer playing Halle, to my knowledge Federer has a contract to play Halle until the end of his career. I might be wrong but I don’t think I am.


the mind reels Says:

The folks over on TT seem convinced that Federer has confirmed he will play. My German is poor these days, so not 100% sure. In any event, I don’t think he’d compromise his health, so if he’s in to play, that’s a good sign.

In other news, I don’t think that Llodra is most people’s favorite player, but the guy really is fun to watch. He’s got some of the best hands around, and for being such a successful doubles player throughout his career, he’s been pretty crafty on the singles court too. His run at the Paris indoors in 2010 was amazing to watch. He seems to be all but out against DelPo at the moment.


skeezer Says:

And Delpo slips and slides and goes down on the red Clay. So it happens on the Red. Next point he wins for the match go Delpo.


racquet Says:

@the mind reels – Federer is in Rome. He posted a pic (below) of himself going on a tour of the city. I would think he’s intending to play.

http://tinyurl.com/c7ebdo5


Mark Says:

Just in case some people are ignorant of the fact that slipping and sliding on the red clay is normal where the movements can be CONTROLLED, whereas on the blue smurf the slipping and sliding cannot be controlled!!


Mark Says:

Skeezerweezer. I think I beat you to it. Read it before your post. My comment answers your question!!!


the mind reels Says:

@Mark: DelPo might disagree, having taken a spill or two on the red clay this afternoon in Rome…

@racquet: thanks. I’d heard that Federer was going to Rome either way and that he was going to practice there and then make a decision. I think you’re right, though — seems he’s intending to play.

Serena’s “weenie” comment was pretty funny and almost makes up for the fact that she’s attempting her hand at rap.


IsnerFan Says:

Why wasn’t Federer able to adapt during Davis Cup? Isner beat him on that sh!itty court the Swiss conjured up. Afterward, Federer even whined about it.

“Without taking anything away from John in Switzerland, the conditions were extremely tough for both of the players. It was altitude, it was a clay that was virtually unplayable. Every second bounce had a bad bounce in it.”

Isner handled it better, that’s what happened. It wasn’t “uplayable”. Federer just didn’t adapt!

On these boards I also red that Nadal has benefited from the slower hard/grass/carpet. So why can’t Federer adapt to slower surfaces? Why can’t he beat Rafa on slower surfaces? Must everything be fast, slippery or indoor for Roger to succeed?


jane Says:

^ That is what I mean: this whole surface thing comes down to Fedal wars, to be continued ever after. It hardly seems to be about surfaces. It seems more about favourites. Players all talk about surface, good and bad. Of course they’d prefer more of what suits their game style. Be that more fast hard courts or more traditional clay courts.


racquet Says:

I can’t believe Kubot did his Folies Bergère routine in front of the Italian crowd after knocking out Starace. Next up Nalby and Murray.


jane Says:

Lol racquet. Every time I see Kubot I think of the actor Julienne Sands. BTW, are you on our bracket challenge? We have a few newbies, two of whom are at the top right now, who haven’t said hello. :)


Mark Says:

@IsnerFan. Great post. Keep it up.


racquet Says:

@jane – not this time. I saw the info too late. Hopefully next time (although if it’s the FO it couldn’t be a tougher debut).


jane Says:

Qucik start for Andy.

racquet the slam challenges are fun, but yes, lots more picks to make!


racquet Says:

Andy nearly hands his birthday gift back to Nalby but decides to keep it.


racquet Says:

Double break for Muzzah. I like what I’m seeing so far. Good clean hitting.


racquet Says:

Damn! I jinxed him. Good thing there’s a break in the bank.


the mind reels Says:

IsnerFan, Mark,

It’s clear you guys aren’t Federer fans, which is obviously OK. And jane is right that inevitably everything seems to come down to fans arguing in favor of their favorites or against the other guy(s).

To respond to IsnerFan, though, I don’t think there was any question about adapting in that Davis Cup match…since it was a red clay court, which both guys have played on plenty before. Federer lost, plain and simple. Isner outserved him and played better when he needed to. Yes, Federer complained a bit about the surface, but he also noted that the struggles he faced were John’s, too, so clearly Isner weathered the conditions better.

“On these boards I also red that Nadal has benefited from the slower hard/grass/carpet. So why can’t Federer adapt to slower surfaces? Why can’t he beat Rafa on slower surfaces? Must everything be fast, slippery or indoor for Roger to succeed?”

First, they don’t play tournaments on carpet anymore. Second, you’re asking three different questions that have three different answers.

(1) Why can’t Federer adapt to slower surfaces? Federer’s third career title (in 2002) was on a slow clay court in Hamburg. He’s won 10 clay titles overall. He’s also bagged multiple titles at the “slow” outdoor hardcourt tournaments. So…yea.

(2) Why can’t he beat Rafa on slower surfaces? On most days, Nadal is the superior player on slower surfaces for reasons that are not new to anyone (high bounce, easier for Nadal to play defense, etc.).

(3) Must everything be fast, slippery or indoor for Roger to succeed? No — see my response to (1). The AO isn’t particularly fast — Federer’s won that 4 times; Miami’s not particularly fast (2 titles). If what you’re asking is why can’t Roger beat Nadal on a clay court, I could give the smart-ass answer which is, “He has beaten him on a clay court — exactly twice.” or the less snarky answer, “Because Nadal is the superior clay court player and, in fact, the greatest clay court player of all time.” The second is actually also the response to someone’s wonder as to why nobody can seem to beat the guy on clay. You can choose which is a more suitable response.

You could also flip your questions around (for example, why hasn’t Nadal “adapted” since 2005, when he won his only indoor tournament?), but the answers are just as obvious, I think.

Meanwhile, Murray is rolling against Nalbandian.


racquet Says:

I wish he would roll faster. 15 min game.


jane Says:

What a long game! But Andy is cruising now.


racquet Says:

Nalby complaining about the glare or the shadows – or both. Do’t know what he thinks can be done about it.


racquet Says:

Murray wins 1st set 6-1. Looking good.


Polo Says:

Nalbadian will join the list of really good players who never won a major. Miloslav Mecir is the other player who I wish had won one also.


skeezer Says:

TMR,

To add…Fed just beat Nadal on a Slow HC ……IW….memories are short here blinded by envy and ill equiped to trashtalk.

Whatevers already…the statement has been made, Fed has the title.

Moving on, we’re on Red, not Blue, and Murray has come into this tourney very sharp. Nalby is no slouch. If he dispatches nalby in the 2nd, his statement has been made.


carlo Says:

WOW, Brav-O to your post at 12:20pm! The Mind Reels.

If that doesn’t clear it up, nothing will, those posters are hopeless cases. But your patience TMR, is laudable.

Happy Birthday to Andy! Though i love Nalby.

GO Murray. only watching livescore so don’t know if Andy playing well or Nalby out of shape.


carlo Says:

Yay Jane, our dear Kubot aka Julien Sands wins! of course neither of us picked him this time. I think from now on I’ll pick against him, then he wins :)


Steve 27 Says:

So, 2006 in Dubai was slow? Fed fans always undestimate Nadal abilities, but we know it!


jane Says:

Yes, I am happy for him carlo; he is good on clay usually. Nalby’s holding a little easier in this second set, but I still think Andy will get this done in straights. He won’t want to work too hard on his birthday. ;)


IsnerFan Says:

“Fastcourt Federer” last 11 titles:

2012 Madrid – Fast, Altitude, Slippery
2012 Indian Wells – Altitude, Fast, Desert
2012 Dubai – Fast, Desert
2012 Rotterdam – Indoor
2011 Barclays – Indoor
2011 Paris – Indoor
2011 Basel – Indoor
2011 Doha – Fair surface, Desert
2010 Barclays – Indoor
2010 Basel – Indoor
2010 Stockholm – Indoor

Only 1/11 came on a fair surface: 2011 Doha
7/11 INDOORS!
1/11 not on a fast hardcourt but a super fast clay court


rogerafa Says:

“Djokovic is just 2-2 in his last four matches”

One of the losses was to Nadal in a final. The second loss was to Tipsarevic who had an amazing serving day in very fast conditions. Novak is not a machine who can never lose to anybody. His season so far has been excellent by normal standards. He is leading not only the rankings but the race too. 2-2 is as misleading as it gets so far as his form and chances in Rome are concerned. He and Rafa are likely to reach the final again. Roger doe not appear to be in good shape and Del Potro has got to be fatigued after playing a lot of tennis recently. Novak should reach the final comfortably unless he meets Isner in IW-like serving form.


skeezer Says:

^yawn….plus your stats are wrong. For starters, IW was a slow HC


carlo Says:

thanks for update, jane.


IsnerFan Says:

@The Mind Reels-

On the fairest of surfaces this is their results:

Fairest hardcourt (Australian Open): Nadal leads 2-0
Fairest grasscourt (Wimbledon): Federer leads 2-1
Fairest claycourt (French Open): Nadal leads 5-0

That’s 8-2 in favor for Nadal on the “fairest” surfaces.

On the best hardcourt in the sport Nadal is undefeated against Federer.

On the best claycourt in the sport Nadal is undefeated against Federer.

Federer is still the goat but you and other Federer fans should be relieved Novak came along last year to snatch 2-3 Slams from Nadal.


IsnerFan Says:

@Skeezer-

Isner said this about Indian Wells last year: “And just being here at Indian Wells, it’s so nice. The ball is flying. It’s a pretty fast surface, but it’s also pretty gritty and it bounces up pretty high. That’s very good for my game.”


jane Says:

Eep, I thought Muzza would fight off Nalby’s push but Nalby converted on his third bp chance to force a third set.


racquet Says:

Ugh. Nalby takes the 2nd. He’s playing better and Murray’s level has dropped.


IsnerFan Says:

“Fastcourt Federer” recent losses:

2012 Miami to Roddick: Normal hardcourt
2012 Davis Cup to ISNER: Sh!tty clay court, Isner adpated, Federer couldn’t
2012 Australian Open to Nadal: Normal hardcourt and Federer can’t beat a Rafa who had a bad shoulder and knee!


Brando Says:

INTERESTING STAT that isnerfan!

IMHO i would say IW and Doha are on the slowside.

BUT nonetheless interesting to see where federer has had his recent success at!

Based on that USO is his best shot at another slam win!

Wimby may favour others………….


Polo Says:

To IsnerFan: and your point is?


Brando Says:

well done nalby!

the 6-1 flatters murray for the 1st set IMHO. Nalby just didnt get started at all really.

Further andy was getting just over 50% 1st serves in set 1, winning more on 2nd serves as opposed to 1st- shows where david was at!

This SHALL be interesting now!


the mind reels Says:

Ha — nice stats, IsnerFan. Since when do we qualify a surface as fair or not, more fair rather than less fair?

Your claim that Indian Wells is an “Altitude” tournament alone is enough to let me excuse myself from this discussion. Altitude, yea — a whopping 155 feet above sea level. I grew up in Southern California, and one thing we do not have is altitude.

And skeezer is right: Indian Wells is a *relatively* slow hard court in most players’ views. Just ask Andy Murray. Or the ITF, which had this to say about the surface at Indian Wells:

http://www.plexipave.com/tech_docs/certifications/ITF_Pace2%20_certification%202013.pdf


Skeezer Says:

IsnerRafa

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2012-03-17/9099.php

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2012-03-22/9134.php

Start studying on how they rate court speed:

http://www.itftennis.com/technical/equipment/courts/class.asp

Now go here and read about IW;

http://www.plexipave.com/tennis/plexipave.html

Go back to school,the bell rang and you’ll be late for class.. Come back when you’ve done some better research.
Spent too much time for you already.


IsnerFan Says:

@Polo: My point is all players have their favorite surfaces. Big deal!!!!

Nadal likes slow clay, that doesn’t make him less of a player. Federer and Isner like faster surfaces, and that doesn’t make them any less of players.

For the last week on almost every board on the internet and sites like this it’s surface this, surface that, Rafa can’t adapt, Roger can, it’s all very nauseating.

Federer fans are spinning it their way since Roger won. But it can also be spun the other way as well.


rogerafa Says:

@ IsnerFan

I could not understand why you brought “desert” into the discussion? IW, Doha and Dubai have a lot of night matches if you meant the heat aiding fast conditions. IW is not so high above sea level that altitude can be a factor there. That is the first time I have heard that. It is Rafa’s favorite hard court because of the high bounce and slower pace. Indoor definitely suits Roger because of the lower bounce but indoor these days is not necessarily synonymous with blazing fast surfaces with very low bounce as they used to be in the 1980s or 1990s especially carpet. There are fewer indoor tournaments today compared to those days and there is no carpet tourney at all. Barclays also is a slow to medium paced hard albeit with lower bounce. Cincy has been the only truly fast surface over the years. Dubai was very fast this year and Paris has also become fast recently. However, the balance is still predominantly in favor of slow to medium speed courts.


IsnerFan Says:

At Indian Wells the balls move through the air quciker.


the mind reels Says:

@IsnerFan: I’m sorry you’re feeling nauseous. In my comments over on this thread

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2012-05-14/9548.php

I give props to Nadal (and Djokovic) for adapting to different surfaces, so please don’t peg me as someone who thinks the guy can’t adapt.

If your point is that all players have favorite surfaces, then yes, I agree, and whether that’s a big deal or not, well, I don’t know.

What you can’t do, however, is rank courts based on how “fair” they are and say that such and such court is the best clay/hard/grass court. The obvious problem here is that you’re trying to apply a somewhat objective criteria — fair or not fair — based on subjective views (i.e., yours). Show me an official ranking of courts endorsed by the players the denotes which is most fair and which is the best, and I’ll quiet down. ‘Til then, let’s all *try* to play fair around here.


racquet Says:

Oh dear!


jane Says:

racquet, what do you think of Andy’s second serve; do you agree with his assessment that it’s improved?

eeek he’s living on the edge here – second bp for Nalby.


jane Says:

Double fault! Pah!


rogerafa Says:

@ IsnerFan

If you think Miami and AO are normal and the fairest hard courts, then I think slow has definitely become the norm for hard courts. Both Miami and AO can see slightly faster conditions on a hot day but you have to watch the night sessions there to see how unbelievably tough it is to hit through the court. The second week at AO becomes virtually a night tournament and that really suits some players more than others. Having said that, I agree with you generally that “it can also be spun the other way as well”.


racquet Says:

jane, from the last few matches I can see that he’s been going for it more but the serving overall today has been poor.


jane Says:

Love-40, Andy will get the break right back.


racquet Says:

Murray breaks back!


jane Says:

Yeah racquet, he’s only at 51% first serves in. But he does seem to be winning a lot of second serve points, which is good.


racquet Says:

Nice but nervy hold. Bit more aggression in that game.


carlo Says:

oh no. please Andy, please. sheesh, I picked him to beat Ferrer. Not good. Forgot this is clay. duh.


IsnerFan Says:

@TheMindReels: I admit these are my “fairness” rankings. I just go by the Slams because they are Slams afterall and they should have the best courts and fairest of surfaces. Moreso than a Madrid or Barcelona or Delray Beach.

I do mean to play “nice” but there’s been too much unfair Rafa bashing lately. That’s the nature though in this era.

@rogerrafa: That is my point. Federer fans spin it one way but it can be spun the other.


Polo Says:

I couldn’t believe it. Murray is losing.
Or may I should believe.


Polo Says:

“maybe”


Polo Says:

OK, now back on serve. Good for Lendl.


racquet Says:

Nalby is playing very well at the moment.


the mind reels Says:

Yea, Nalbandian is really moving the ball around well. Impressive. Murray’s got himself a real fight here.


Skeezer Says:

Well eat my hat. Where was that Murray chap I saw in the first set? Has anyone noticed Murrays FH and 2nd serve are still questionable. Nalby has no issue hitting to Murrays FH


jane Says:

Getting down to the wire in this match…


Polo Says:

Murray is fighting hard to prove that he is a worthy world number 4 … and no more than that.


jane Says:

skeeze, but Andy’s won over 60% of his second serve points so far. That’s not too shabby.


rogerafa Says:

Tough first match draw for Murray. In fact his draw is quite challenging with Gasquet likely in the next round and Simon/Ferrer thereafter. Rafa in the semis obviously is as tough as it gets on clay. However, if he comes through in this match, he probably will gain a lot of confidence for the next matches.


carlo Says:

IsnerFan the bashing goes both ways as to Fedal. Why not consider growing up and stop fighting in the sand box. There is an important match going on and your posts are ridiculous here. I could go into it more but have sworn off defending either Nadal or Federer. (except i defend Nadals knees and Federer’s mono – both are/were real problems) They are both greats but if your memory only goes back to 2010…well, you aren’t doing enough homework on Federer, probably because you can’t stand him, perhaps didn’t bother watching him in his prime, or were not born yet. Rafa is the king of clay but who made it to the final there vs. him the most, even in Djokovic’s best year to date, beat Djokovic? Federer and Djokovic and Rafa’s only true rivals on clay, barely even close. Weak Era in Clay?? I’m not serious but the point is: perhaps? so don’t go spouting about weak era for Federer 2003-2007, okay? it’s absurd. We are lucky to watch both of these players and Djokovic.

arrrrghh, Murray score not looking good. my bracket, my bracket….Muzzzzzza

oh, I see Dave is here. thanks Dave.


jane Says:

5 all… nice backhand at the end of that game.


jane Says:

Nalby make two errors in a row. Love-40, could be the match?


Skeezer Says:

Jane yes I saw that…and I forgot Nalby is a great returner. Big breaker points here


jane Says:

What a point…tense.


racquet Says:

Murray breaks with the help of a net cord! He’ll serve for the match.


Skeezer Says:

Luck of the Irish!,,….wait..he ‘s a Scot.


jane Says:

Oh my. Poor Nalby there. Murray got a birthday present … from the net cord. The crowd is whistling and booing – what the heck? Did they think Muzza used voodoo on the net, lol :)


racquet Says:

hehe..the crowd booing him like he did it on purpose.


jane Says:

I have to say, the way Nalby changes direction of the ball is just so buttery smooth, lovely to see.


Polo Says:

IsnerFan, you’re a misnomer.


racquet Says:

Looking like a tiebreak.


Polo Says:

The fans have turned against Murray because of the net cord. Tennis fans are really hard to understand.


the mind reels Says:

Wow. Should be Nalbandian’s break already except for Murray’s exceptional pick-up at 0-15.

Two BPs for David. Interesting…


jane Says:

Nail-biter this one.


racquet Says:

What a BDTL!


jane Says:

Murray’s backahnd has been great per usual.


racquet Says:

He wins….just! At least his birthday isn’t ruined :)


jane Says:

Congrats to Muzza – phew!

Sad to see Nalby out so soon though – wish that wasn’t a “first” rounder.


carlo Says:

Oh my heart. happy for Andy. wish I could have watched. Nalbandian must have given his all.


Skeezer Says:

Congrats to Murray. Great fight Nalby. Class match.

Jane…did you note Murrays deep second serve on match point? Nalby could not jump into it….;)


racquet Says:

That’s a tough “first” rounder for anyone. Nalby showed just why he is such a special player.


alison hodge Says:

so pleased Andy made his way through what was a trickier match than it looked on paper,great competitive match,Nalby very talented shame he never quite lived up to that potential,i would have loved to have seen him win a GS,although you can never say never i suppose,sadly i think his chances seem to have gone.
BTW happy 25th birthday Andy.


racquet Says:

I just saw a tweet that said the crowd (that booed Andy minutes earlier) sang happy birthday to him. Bipolar much? hehe

Now onto Djoker vs Tomic.


jane Says:

Nole is sporting some new duds: not too sure about that Uni-stripe. Tomic’s dad is funny.


Gordo Says:

Personally I am all for fair surfaces – constructed by workers paid a decent wage.

(Ha – I crack myself up!)


jane Says:

Nole looks sharp early too. Great returning.


alison hodge Says:

Nole breaks in the 1st game,looks like normal service has been resumed,much more focused more relaxed,agree not sure about the look,not one of his best,i have to say i wish he would put some weight on him,he looks way too thin IMO.


jane Says:

Tomic is a little too casual at times, but on the other hand when he starts swinging freely he’s more dangerous. He’s getting stronger at the set goes on. Good thing Nole has insurance.


racquet Says:

Two outstanding shots in this game, followed by a careless one – as per usual.


jane Says:

Nole’s returns have been great which is nice to see; his serves were fabulous too but dropped as the set went on.

Tomic’s arc went the opposite: looser = better. But it’s a catch 22 for him. He plays freely and is very dangerous; the risk seems to be that he gets as little too careless. It’s kind of like the opposite of “controlled aggression”; it’s wild aggression or something. ;)


Skeezer Says:

Tomic is one of these new guys that have great promise. Me thinks Nole’s defensive skills and match experience will prevail though.


jane Says:

I think there might be some surprises at Wimbledon: seems like Raonic, Tomic, Delpo could all do very well there. Hard to say of course, but they all have the game for it.


racquet Says:

Very entertaining match.


Rob Says:

Has anyone noticed that Andy Murray is always far from positive about his prospects during any given tournament.


jane Says:

I agree racquet – some beautiful tennis. I’d like to see the winners/errors stats at the end.


Skeezer Says:

Whats up with Nole’s back?


jane Says:

Nole’s targeting Bernard’s forehand yes? Seems to be, even on the serve.

skeezer, I hope nothing.


jane Says:

Some sublime stuff from both in these last games.


jane Says:

Tomic is great – Nice match, I very much enjoyed that.


Skeezer Says:

Not bad for a 19 yr. old.


racquet Says:

Fun match with some stunning stuff at times. If Tomic was more consistent he’d be a real force to be reckoned with. Dare I say it: this looks like clay court tennis once again ;P


Skeezer Says:

The tennis facilities there in Rome look spectular. Far cry from the Tuna Can look of Madrid.


carlo Says:

love those 2 players, Nole and Bernard. Score looks like easy win for Nole. Bernard is a work in progress.

Happy. Posts sound positive for Nole.


Wog boy Says:

Good morning from downunder,
Novak loves Rome and Rome loves Novak.
Nice to see him in the good mood and new outfit, one more short black and of to work, nice way to start a day.


jane Says:

Nole with 20 winners to 15 UEs, Bernard with 15 winners to more UEs (was it 30ish? just caught the end of the screen when they showed it). He makes a lot of forehand UEs, and Nole knew it. Nice handshake at net, these two are practice buddies sometimes and now Tomic has a place in Monte Carlo too I believe, or he was looking for one last year.


alison hodge Says:

Great match for Nole,nice clean ball striking,Tomic is such a talented player,one to watch for the future,i never thought he would do too much that would trouble Nole today though.


Wog boy Says:

jane,
Yes he moved to Monte Carlo, he comes back only for court appearance:) Sorry M….t , I had to say it:)
They are good friends.


alison hodge Says:

I must say i envy Wogboy and Jane living in coutries where the weathers so nice,in GB ATM,the weathers bloody awfull freezing Brrrr so not fair.


the mind reels Says:

@alison: NYC’s not so hot either…muggy and, at the moment, rain rain rain.

From the looks of it, Nole is back to his usual self, which is good to see. Curious to see how Federer plays given that he’s apparently been taking painkillers. As noted elsewhere, I doubt he’d risk anything serious, so I’m going to assume it was just precautionary and that he’s ready to roll with business as usual tomorrow.


alison hodge Says:

TMR well thats cheered me up a little at least,lol its like winter here,just wondering if we are ever gonna get a summer.
Anyway glad to here Rogers ok,though Skeezer said whats wrong with Noles back,and i saw Andy holding his back and grimasing a couple of times,hope they are all ok.


the mind reels Says:

Andy always clutches his back and/or leg when he gets beat on a ball :)

I suspect he’s fine.


skeezer Says:

alison,

Call me worried but I am always worried about any hint of Noles back. Technically, I never liked his service motion, as when he shoots his left arm up straight his back is contorted unusually ( his back arc looks funky ), and he tosses the ball not enough in front. I know I know..he hits aces and serves great. Not saying that.
A lot of pressure going to his back, unnecessarily. Imho his back is an accident waiting to happen ( hope not ).But hey..he’s #1…what do I know….hehe.


alison hodge Says:

Skeezer funny thats just what i was thinking about Nole,and Nina once said exactly what you just said,Noles back,Andys back,Rogers back,Rafas knees mainly,Delpos wrist,hell i worry about them all,its the carer in me,my backs not too clever either come to think of it lol,i suppose like you say everyone knows there own bodies and there limitations.


Polo Says:

Glad to see Murray win. I felt that a loss this early to somebody not names Nadal, Federer or Djokovic would have a devastating and negative effect on him for the rest of the year.

Can body language be learned? If so, he would need to take some lessons.


Miles Says:

“Curious to see how Federer plays given that he’s apparently been taking painkillers. As noted elsewhere, I doubt he’d risk anything serious, so I’m going to assume it was just precautionary…”

Taking painkillers is precautionary? You take painkillers to kill existing pain, not a pain that might appear in future.

Federer tweaked his left hip slipping slightly each time he got to full stretch on blue clay the whole week, so he took painkillers for days, and during the final he even called the trainer at one point to consult briefly, most probably about dosage (he was obviously in pain, propping his left leg on a panel and shaking it off during changeovers).

Nice little souvenir he got from Madrid, just like Del Potro (tweaked his left knee from constant slipping).


Wog boy Says:

@Alison,

You will be surprise to know that I am cold weather person, cannot function when it is hot and humid, Sydney is OK nice weather but not Brisbane, too humid and hot for me, love Melbourne, English weather, you can have four seasons in one day:)

@Jatt:
#6 not good
#9 nice


alison hodge Says:

Wogboy im the other way arouund,i function better in summer,i feel much happier when the weathers nice,i can get a bit deppressed in winter,i suffer with SAD (SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER),maybe we should swop places,you move over here and ill move over there lol,deal or no deal?


Wog boy Says:

Alison,
I wouldn’t mind but I have only one vote in my house. 5-6 years ago we went to Ireland, it was august, stinking hot in southern Europe, when we flu in Dublin it was 15 degrees and raining and almost every day after next seven days, I loved it and Guinness and Jameson too:)
I can tell you when I was kid I loved autumn , I loved yellow leaves on the ground and walking to school through park kicking the leaves. I didn’t mind rain either, even here when it is raining I loved to walk with my dog, it was beagle considering they came from England he loved rain too, then we use to sit on the balcony enjoying sound of the rain, helped with brandy for me and beer for my beagle, unfortunately he is not around any more and I don’t have a partner for walking in the rain like “singing in the rain”.


Wog boy Says:

Radwanska is about to bomb out of Rome and she bombed out.


mat4 Says:

Hi!

I am not at home, but I will come back today so I hope we will comment some matches together later. Hope you will enjoy some nice weather and have fun today.


Dave Says:

Carlo, you’re welcome.


jane Says:

Jatt thanks for the hair evolution link; it was kind of funny! :)

mat4, looking forward to it.

Miles, is that true? I wonder. I guess we’ll see as the week in Rome progresses.

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