Rain Pushes Djokovic-Nadal To Monday; Sharapova Out-Weathers Li Na For Rome Title
by Sean Randall | May 20th, 2012, 4:39 pm
  • 212 Comments

The forecasted rains hit Rome Tennis Masters on Sunday postponing the men’s final about 24 hours to Monday noon local time.

Luckily, neither player has a tournament this week and they won’t be playing in Paris realistically until a week from Monday.

As for the delay, as long as they can finish the match Monday I don’t think the postponement will have any impact on what happens in Paris.

If the rain continues, though, it will be interesting to see when and if the final will be played. With the No. 2 seeding at stake it’s paramount to get the match in, but how long can they and the players wait, especially when both guys are the two slowest players in the sport? So they’ll need quite a rain-free window to get the match completed.

Before the weather hit, Maria Sharapova defended her Rome title beating Li Na in a wet women’s final. Li Na led a set and 4-0 in the second before completely collapsing. Na was able to recover a break deficit in the third to get back to level – holding a matchpoint even – but as the rain drops intensified the match was halted for two hours just before the third set set breaker.

Finally, after both players agreed to finish the match in wet conditions, Sharapova got the win 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5).

“I don’t mind rain – actually I like it,” Sharapova said. “One time it helped me a lot, when I won Wimbledon. In the semifinals it started raining when I was down and out against Lindsay Davenport. I was pretty much booking my ticket back home. But when we came back I managed to turn it around.

“Today the court was wet and slippery when we came back, but the umpire told us it was our decision, and both of us wanted to keep going.”

Sharapova, who also won in Stuttgart two weeks ago, is missing just the French Open to complete her career Slam. With the way she’s been playing this year she’s among the Top 3 favorites.

Li Na, who won the French Open last year, was in good spirits after the tough loss.

“Obviously it’s tough to rest for two hours and then play again, but I still have many positive things from this match,” Li Na said. “Playing a tough match like that showed me I’m strong, and physically I felt great. I can take a lot of positive things away from this week and I think I’m ready for the French Open.

“We both had our chances today, but in the end she was just better.”

Tennis Channel will (hopefully) have live coverage of the men’s final starting at 6am ET.


Also Check Out:
Sharapova Beats French Open Finalist Stosur to Win Rome
Nadal Beats Ferrer for 5th Rome Title
Maria Sharapova Celebrates Her Rome Title With A Swig Of Champagne [Video]
Wozniacki Breezes to Rain-Delayed WTA Rogers Cup Title
Oudin Beats Jankovic, Wins 1st Career Title Monday at WTA Birmingham

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212 Comments for Rain Pushes Djokovic-Nadal To Monday; Sharapova Out-Weathers Li Na For Rome Title

jane Says:

” it will be interesting to see when and if the final will be played. ” Sean can they actually cancel a final? You say “when and if” as though it’s possible they could cancel it. Is there a precedent for that? I do hope they get it in tomorrow ideally.


scineram Says:

Why would it be cancelled? There is an entire week to play.


Sean Randall Says:

Jane, I’m sure they’ve cancelled finals in the past – not in Rome. Ultimately, that decision may come down to the players. If – a big “if” given it’s a longshot – on Tuesday night they still haven’t played then it could be called off if that’s the players’ wish.

Fortunately they are playing on clay so I think they’ll finish tomorrow!


jane Says:

Hope so Sean. It’s a holiday in Canada tomorrow so it makes no difference around here. I’m not sure if the delay is good for the players or not: could slow momentum, or it could actually help, with the extra rest. Eh, it is what it is.


mat4 Says:

I remember a final between Lendl and Connors, when the final was cancelled. I don’t remember why.


mat4 Says:

Find it! It was in Rotterdam 1984, and there was a bomb threat during the match. Connors and Lendl chose not to play the following day.


jane Says:

This was posted by a poster on Tennis.com

“Each day matches are planned and cancelled, the tournament is wasting money—money they probably do not have to begin with. Therefore, the ATP has a rule in place that states, “If because of rain, etc., a tournament cannot be completed within the tournament week, then, at the option of the tournament, one (1) extra day shall be allowed.” Only one day is permitted, it is not a decision for the players to make, and one does not need “insider’s news” to read this in the ATP rulebook.

To add, it would not be the first time in history that this would happen; it has happened many times before. In the 1984 Rotterdam final, there was a bomb scare. In 1981, Monte-Carlo was rained out. Queen’s Club has been rained out more times than one can count on their left hand. 1971 Kitzbuhel, 1973 Kitzbuhel, etc. Every time this has happened, the title was shared between the finalists, and obviously, no winner was declared.

Because of all these inconsistencies, I can conclude that your comment about splitting the points is inaccurate as well. Although I cannot say for sure, it is much more probable that each player would be given finalist points (600), as both of them would be considered finalists by the ATP.”


the mind reels Says:

@jane: correct that’s what the rule book says, but the next bit is also useful:

“If because of rain, etc., a tournament cannot be completed within the tournament week, then, at the option of the tournament, one (1) extra day shall be allowed…No further extension of the tournament shall be permitted without the approval of the ATP.”

So, in theory, it’d be possible for the ATP to permit, say, a Tuesday final, if they thought it was appropriate. Given the stakes (i.e., if the final isn’t played and each receives finalist points, Nadal would remain #3 in the world, and Federer would be seeded second at RG), I’d guess that they would allow a Tuesday final, but who knows.

This all presupposes it rains all day tomorrow, which it may not.


Wog boy Says:

Match is due to start at noon.


the mind reels Says:

Yes, Wog boy, but it’s forecasted to rain straight through tomorrow. They’ll either end up playing in a steady light rain, or they won’t play at all.


Wog boy Says:

Is it good for both players and does it make sence to play just for a sake of playing? I know it is about masters title and who is going to be #2 but still…. What do you think about this?


Brando Says:

@Wog Boy:

that’s TRICKY. i think NEITHER wants to play if its not safe to do so.

It’s a BIG title, regardless of what is ahead.

I think IF they get 3hours throughout 2moro w/o rain interruptions it should be enough to get 3 sets in. An HOUR per set- should be enough, i hope :-)


Wog boy Says:

I just checked, wednesday is the first day without the rain. They cannot wait until then, can they?


PJ Says:

In 1998, the women’s event in Birmingham cancelled the event prior to the semis due to rain.


Wog boy Says:

Brando,
Yes, we have to wait and see.


jane Says:

I’ll bet if they don’t play tomorrow, they’ll call it off. It’s just a hunch.

Is Rafa number 3 for Roland Garros regardless, or not? I mean, were he to win Rome tomorrow, or say Tuesday, would the points be added in time to affect RG seeding or not?


jane Says:

And does it make any difference if Rafa is seeded number 3?

Rafa could have to face both Fed and Nole whether he was #2 or #3 right? Nole could have to face both Fed and Rafa, or Fed could have to face both Rafa and Nole? Aren’t the possibilities essentially the same? Unless we believe the draws are fixed? Or am I mistaken?


mat4 Says:

The points will be added after the final, and they will count for the FO. If Rafa wins Rome, he will be the number 2 seed.

It changes a lot of things. As the number 3, he could land on Novak side. Imagine a semi lasting six hours… Rafa and Nole needed two months to recover after the AO. After the USO, nine months of playing one against the other, their seasons were over. So, yes, it matters.

“Unless we believe the draws are fixed? Or am I mistaken?”

Nole vs Fed twelve times in a row in the semi of GS, if we except RG? Muzza vs Rafa twelve times in row too? Although they changed rankings in the meantime? ;-)


mat4 Says:

jane, just imagine this scenario: since 2008, Muzza always landing on Fed’s side, and Novak on Rafa’s. We know that Muzza had a good H2H against Fed on hardcourts, and Novak had a positive H2H on hardcourts against Rafa. Tennis history would have changed, perhaps? One can never know, but it is almost safe to think thay Andy would have already won a slam.


jane Says:

mat4, it is crazy, those odds, and we’ve discussed that here before. But I am mostly thinking ahead. What are the odds for THIS FO? Even if Rafa is #2, Nole and him could still play, and one of them will have to beat Fed before the final if that is to happen. Last year it fell on Nole and he didn’t do it. Perhaps this year it would be the other way around?


Wog boy Says:

mat4,
I said something about that on the other thread, Brando responded with his opinion, what do you think about that. BTW i loved “Cabare” and Liza Minnelli in that move:)
I do agree with you that it is little bit “strange” 12 out of 12 :)


Dave Says:

jane: you’re right that practically it doesn’t make a difference if Rafa is seeded third. But the ‘top seed’ should be the player who is the real ‘top seed’ for that surface, which should be Nadal. Wimbledon has used a seeding committee since the 1920s because of the special issues of its (formerly) fast surface instead of using ATP or previous rankings when deciding seeds. (Something similar should be done for the French Open)

I noticed that the ATP site left the winners off the past champions list for 1981 Monte Carlo and 1984 Rotterdam. That’s a shame, as I feel the title and points should be shared if the situation is outside the player’s control.
http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Tournaments/Monte-Carlo.aspx


mat4 Says:

My guess is that Fed will be protected. But, this time, there is also the possibility of a final for history books: 7RG vs a GS. So, I could be wrong.

We just can check the past. In 2008, Novak won Rome, played the semi in Hamburg, and was the second or third player on clay. He was in Rafa’s half. In 2009, exception: Rafa and Novak played all the final on clay that year, and Roger was utterly destroyed the previous year, so we got a potential Roger/Novak semi. But in 2010, Novak landed again on Rafa’s side. In 2011, Nole was the nb 2 seed, and, of course, he got Roger.

In the last four years, Novak was 4 times in the more difficult half of the draw.

It could change, but I am not sure. Roger is at home in France.


jane Says:

Wog Boy, I love “Cabaret” too – old one, but a goodie. :)

Dave, it will/would seem odd to see Rafa seeded 3rd at FO, given that he’s won 6 of them, is the defending champion, has lost there only ONCE in his lifetime, and is going for his 7th. But I guess it was somewhat similar for Fed at last years USO, given that he’s won 5 of them and was seeded 3rd. The difference I guess is that he wasn’t defending champ, not since 2008. Anyhow it’s a tough call, whether to go with present seeds or whether to do a specialty thing like Wimbledon has traditionally done.


mat4 Says:

@WB:

I read your post. I wrote last year, or two years ago a lot about this. If I remember well, I foretold the draw for the AO 2010: Rafa/Sod, Fed/Nole, and since Muzza was the 5th seed, I wrote he would land in Sod quarter. That’s what happened. So I didn’t want to write again to much on that subject.

Of course it is a question of money.


jane Says:

mat4, and at the USO and AO, it’s always, always been Nole/Fed since 2008. At USO, 2008 & 2009 Fed beat Nole; 2010 & 2011 Nole beat Fed. At AO, 2008 & 2011 Nole beat Fed. 2009 Nole retired (but was he on Fed’s side?) and 2010 Tsonga beat Nole and played Fed. I am not sure if there is an exception? It is bizarre. It does seem like all the slams have been slated for a Fedal final, but I hate to believe in conspiracies. : / Only those Fedals aren’t quite as good as they used to be maybe? So perhaps other finals and permutations will come about? This year’s AO it was Nole/Muzz and Fedal, and in my opinion, that created some pretty awesome semifinal matches in both cases – tight and well contested.


Wog boy Says:

jane,
Agree.

mat4,
Thanks, I wasn’t here then so I didn’t know you already wrote about same topic.


mat4 Says:

jane, Nole landed on Fed side in ALL AOs, USOs, WBs since 2008! In 2009 too.

Then, there was that story after the USO that Fed played so few finals against Nadal, and since the avenement of Djokovic there was less and less hope to see such a final that I expected a Fedal semi.


funches Says:

The conspiracy theorists make me ill. How could so many people be so ignorant and so paranoid at the same time? It’s mind boggling.

Here’s a lesson for you wackos. A couple of years ago, the New Orleans Saints lost the opening coin flip 16 times in a row in the NFL. I guess the coins were rigged.

Sheesh.


jane Says:

Well it would suck – hence I say I hate to believe in conspiracies. That said, it’s not insane to think that from a business perspective Fedal finals generate the most revenue from TV viewing audiences and from a marketing perspective, filling seats, garnering interest in the sport, and so on. The number of times the semis have been the same is striking. But anyway, I hope it’s not true.


Kimberly Says:

Wow, only the saints could be so unlucky. My fav team


mat4 Says:

We all hate conspiracies. That doesn’t mean that they are none. 1/2 exp 16 is the possibility of such draw, that is 0,0015259%. It is clear that we should think that something isn’t normal.

But we have to look things in a broader context. There are other clues. eg, the case of the IW/Miami masters. Or the MC draw in the few last years, or Rome’s draw. We could check the draw of the Williams sisters for a period of timem too. There could be surprises there, too.

Those don’t have to be such oddities, but repeated deviations from the statistical average would add weight to the theory that the draws are controlled.


skeezer Says:

“They were multiple tough losses [in 2011], but I decided to face the facts,” … “OK, some guys are playing better than you :”

As a Fed Fan, am glad to see him own up to this. Why, cause imo he got soooo good he thought he could beat anyone anywhere with whatever he had. I called it “stubborn” others accuse him of “Arrogance”. What ever the reason, this is really the best thing that happened for him, as in the past year he has been slowly improving is game, and his tactics. And, it is bearing fruit.

You can’t always win all the time and get better..where is the mark and measure for continuing improvement?


Michael Says:

Rain spoiled the show. A fanatastic match eagerly awaited has to be postponed due to wet weather. What a tragedy ? I for one was glued to the TV sets to watch this one but unfortunately it couldn’t materailize. Hope they atleast play today.


Michael Says:

Rain spoiled the show. A fanatastic match eagerly awaited has to be postponed due to wet weather. What a tragedy ? I for one was glued to the TV sets to watch this one but unfortunately it couldn’t materailize. Hope they atleast play today.


skeezer Says:

^
We will all be lucky if they can finish in this weather…

Well, if it was a normal tennis match, 2/3, they only need max 2 1/2 hr window. But it is Rafole, they need 6 hours and 22 minutes.

Why?

-Towel wiping both arms, every point.
-Butt tugging(notice nowadays is the LONG tug, not the itty bitty one )… I mean really…what is in there anyways?
-Combing hair precisely over both ears
-Then the famous Nose wipe, all the while touching the bacterial free balls (hey Rafa, member those times you got sick…….hehe?)
-Ok we are not done yet. Now, finally, comes the methodical ball bounce (errr..bounces?)
-Then the look, the Elvis upper lip look and then;

VAMOS! A serve motion in 562 seconds, but, this is what we all watch Tennis or, no?


Dave Says:

skeezer “They were multiple tough losses [in 2011], but I decided to face the facts. Okay some guys are playing better than ‘you’ but I had to just be confident, work hard and it turned around at the end of the season.”
http://gulfnews.com/sport/tennis/roger-federer-badly-wants-to-be-no-1-1.958821

Like I said, when Federer reveals something, that probably means to him it is no longer an issue or not the real issue. Federer said this at the Abu Dhabi Mubadala exhibition over the new year… after he had won 3 straight tournaments and when he was trained and confident about winning the Australian Open (before he got injured in Doha).


Dave Says:

jane: “But I guess it was somewhat similar for Fed at last years USO, given that he’s won 5 of them and was seeded 3rd. The difference I guess is that he wasn’t defending champ, not since 2008.”

The Wimbledon formula is applied to the top 32 ranked players. They take the player’s ATP ranking points (the week before Wimbledon starts) and add:

1) 100% points earned for ALL grass court tournaments in the past 12 months.

2)75% points earned for BEST grass court tournament in the 12 months before that.


jane Says:

^ Thanks for those details.

Well, this blows. How am I going to wake up and not check the scores? Impossible! Which means I’ll be watching the match knowing the outcome, unless I can stop from peeking, which is doubtful. And of course, all that is contingent upon the fact that they’ll be able to play it in the first place.


Colin Says:

Isn’t this a perfect demonstration of the fact I keep proclaiming – that we cannot predict the future? It should be noted particularly by the people who were saying a while ago “Rafa will win all his remaining tournies in the clay season.”
Well, he didn’t win Madrid, and he may not even have the chance to win Rome. Anyone want to bet their life savings he’ll win the French?
Thought not.


van orten Says:

fed had a great clay court season so far!
won madrid and semis in rome.
better preperation than the last couple of years at least.
nole is in great shape too.
final mc final rome ..

and nadal is nadal


Dave Says:

This Rome hourly weather forecast shows ‘scattered showers’ throughout the morning until 2pm, Rome time. The match has a better chance of starting after 2pm, though isolated showers might disrupt it. Note: such forecasts can be inaccurate so check the ATP or rome tennis websites.
http://www.theweathernetwork.com/hourlyfx/itxx0067/hourlytable/1/?ref=tabs_hourly_table

Djokovic and Nadal should agree to split the first two sets fast (say 6-2 and 2-6 in 60 minutes) and then battle for the third set for the next 90 minutes or before the next shower arrives.


Mark Says:

Madrid has never been a gimmee for Nadal. He hates playing there because of the altitude and to crown it all this year’s controversial blue clay. BUT he does love the glorious red clay of the FO!!


Wog boy Says:

Houston calling, Houston calling…..

madmax…….madmax……..

Is it still raining, any chances that match will go ahead?
Thanks in advance:)


Michael Says:

More bad news. Wet weather is forecasted even today. This means the Men’s finals may have to postponed to tomorrow if there is heavy rain. If they do not play tomorrow, then the organizers will have the option of splitting the purse.


Dave Says:

There might be a sunny period between 4 pm to 7 pm Rome time according to this hourly weather forecast from Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport:
http://www.weather.com/weather/hourbyhour/graph/Fiumicino+Aeroporto+ITLZ1289:1:IT


van orten Says:

they will start in a few minutes…they are already warming up…have a feeling djoker really wants to make a statement today…nadal playing for number 2 and the ultimate momentum swing..but we know it is practically on djokers racquet..looking forward to a great match


Kimmi Says:

c’mon nole! 2 errors already.

I wonder why nole was a little late to be ready.


van orten Says:

wow wow already high intense tennis..from both..i dont know how djoker can handle nadals clay court game so well…incredible


van orten Says:

couple of breakpoints saved..1:0 nole


Kimmi Says:

phew! important hold. rafa had 2 break points!


van orten Says:

so strong


tfouto Says:

van orten, who is so strong? Nadal?

I cant see the game. On work…


van orten Says:

what is most impressive is the tenacity of djoker…he is the only player in the world making nadal hit unforced errors on a regular basis throughout the match


Kimmi Says:

tfouto – they are both equally strong at the moment imo. Djokovic is making few errors though! he is trying to attack more it seem.


van orten Says:

tfouto djokers backhand defense is so strong..practically both players are showing all their typical play what makes them so tough to beat


Kimmi Says:

Djoko 5 winners 7 UE
rafa 3 winners 1 UE


Kimmi Says:

oh no, missed easy smash! feet stuck


van orten Says:

when it comes to overhead smashes there is no one that elegant and efficiant as roger …bad miss by djoker there


Kimmi Says:

break point rafa..nole missing more.


Kimmi Says:

Rafa twice missed down the line FH…there was a chance there


Kimmi Says:

what defence by rafa. djokovic missing again. going for too much. I guess he has too

drop shot! horrible one. rafa ate it for lunch. BREAK!


Polo Says:

Looks like the order of things of has come back. Nadal will prove that he is still the better player.


Kimmi Says:

too many UEs nole. missed another..12 now.


Kimmi Says:

Poor game by rafa. nole breaks back.


van orten Says:

nole breaks back…starting to push nadal around a bit more…couple of ue by rafa there


Kimmi Says:

easy hold. what the dr ordered.


van orten Says:

3:4 0:15 nadal needs to take care now


Kimmi Says:

rafa missing those dtl fh


van orten Says:

that last point are the points djoker cannot lose…he had it


Kimmi Says:

ugh djokovic had good return and he loses the point.


Kimmi Says:

UGH!!! djokovic did all the work and then MISSED!


Vinod Says:

Hi guys is any radio available for this match ? i am at work and so cannot use live streaming


van orten Says:

another big chance gone heere


van orten Says:

djoker has it on his racquet in my opínion,..every key point he controls the rally with a winner or an ue to end it ..


van orten Says:

another game djoker shouldnt lose..but thats how it goes vs nadal


van orten Says:

easy hold now…pressure back on nadal


Kimmi Says:

hmm, what should be an easy game is becoming complicated.

NOVAK should finish these points at the net!


Kimmi Says:

BREAK!


van orten Says:

i cant believe djoker doesnt win this set..he is the better player..but what can you do vs nadal who runs and runs and runs,..it is a pity..but nadal is too tough


Polo Says:

Errorfest from Djokovic. He deserved to lose that game, maybe the set.


Kimmi Says:

why nole stays back when he sees rafa going for defensive slice? he should not be broken there..


racquet Says:

Nole destroys his racquet on the net post and gets a warning. He must really want this.


Polo Says:

The better player is the one who wins the game.


mat4 Says:

Novak lost his composure.


van orten Says:

wow nadal is on fire but thanks to nole who really should be more clever..he is the better player after all…at least in shotmaking and controlling rallies


van orten Says:

he should have never lost that set…but it is always the same vs nadal…roger can sing a song a bout it


Kimmi Says:

set rafa


van orten Says:

poor nole…but he had it on his racquet ..i expect an easier set now for nadal…


Maso Says:

Damn, Novak really should have taken this set. Nole was ripped off by a bad call at 30-all at 5-4, though. Not that he would have been guaranteed to break afterwards, but it definitely broke his momentum. Let’s see if he can recover in set 2.


mat4 Says:

You never know. I rather believe that Nole will be fired up now. Especially after that ball at 5-4, 30-30.


Polo Says:

This is not the Djokovic of 2011. This is the Djokovic of earlier years. He has lost the composure which he had last year. Nadal looks like the pre-2011 Nadal.


Kimmi Says:

this game is important to win for nole, so his confidence is not crushed some more


van orten Says:

nadal looks like always there is no improvement or whatsover…always the same…nole had the set …


van orten Says:

nadal at his moonballing best..


Kimmi Says:

two errors to bring rafa back to 30-30.

rafa breaks here that is it.


van orten Says:

i wonder why bad calls never happen to nadal??


Polo Says:

It’s over for Djokovic. Nadal’s game does not have to change. He wins with it so why change?


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Any one can not see Rafa not being No 1 shortly and ending the year too as No 1. If it does not happen, I would be surprised.


Polo Says:

Nadal has regained the confidence which he lost against Djokovic last year. That is enough to bring him back to number one.


van orten Says:

ohhh nole ohhh nole…hurts watching…better go now


van orten Says:

this is not about confidence..nole playing his best…no chance for nadal….!!!!


Polo Says:

I really prefer Djokovic to win but it is irritating to watch him commit so many errors, especially at crucial points.


van orten Says:

in ten years from now..i will enjoy watching tennis again,…how could this happen to tennis ??why did this happen to tennis…


Polo Says:

I hope that Djokovic at least learns something from this. Hopefully he’ll get Nadal at the French Open. But a five-set match against Nadal on clays is almost impossible.


Polo Says:

2011 was a fluke year.


van orten Says:

do not write anyone off just yet…there must be a bad day for nadal one day…even at RG!!! the tennis gods cannot be so cruel and partial


Polo Says:

The tennis gods smiled on Djokovic last year. He has so much pressure to play as well this year. During interviews, when he said that 2011 was an amazing year for him, didn’t he say that it will be very difficult to have another year like that? When I read that, I took it as a bad sign that his confidence will not be holding up well for more than that year. It is starting to show. I hope I am wrong.


kriket Says:

Even if Nivak loses the match, it would be due to his general lack of concentration and bad luck, not his fear of Nadal. He has shown that he still has the game than baffles Nadal, and Nadal has shown that he still has Djoko in his head, regardless of the outcome.


Kimmi Says:

rafa has the greatest defense on clay, but there is moments where djokovic did not play smart. I dont he know what to do out there..

the king of clay order restored?


van orten Says:

nadal is in that match because djoker plays really really bad on crucial points


van orten Says:

nadal is running for his live ..and djoker does not pull the trigger here


mat4 Says:

Kimmi, I am not quite sure. I think that there could be something else behind.


racquet Says:

It has been a long time since I’ve seen Djokovic make such routine errors. The missed OH and botched volley were humdingers. He’s definitely having an off day.


van orten Says:

this is not accaptable..someone tell me how can you like the style of nadal.. i always try to relax and after 5 minutes of watching him i cant help myself than be for the other guy


Maso Says:

Wow… Djoko is really messing up this match. Rafa could barely put in a 2nd serve, Nole had so many break opportunities, and still, 3-1 Rafa. Credits to Rafa for making Djoko play the extra point each time, but I can’t help but think Nole is missing opportunity after opportunity.


Maso Says:

Lovely drop shot!


van orten Says:

djoker already got 6 bpoints and couldnt convert…guesss who had only one and broke


mat4 Says:

The number of easy mistake on break points is irritating.


van orten Says:

djoker is angry because he knows he should win..and nadal is angry because he knows that he is winning with his usual and djoker is way to forgiving


Kimmi Says:

well, stay with him nole. i am not giving up yet.


van orten Says:

mat4 welcome to the real tennis world,, i remember federer having 12 breakpoints in the first 2 sets in that wimby final 2008..no breaks there


Polo Says:

Djokovic played Nadal vary patiently last year. He would hang in there on every point as long as possible and wait for a good opening before he pounced. That seemed to bother Nadal, seeing somebody across the net who plays like him who could actually hit better shots. Djokovic is not playing as patiently as he did last year. That is just what Nadal wants.


madmax Says:

Wog boy Says:
Houston calling, Houston calling…..

madmax…….madmax……..

Is it still raining, any chances that match will go ahead?
Thanks in advance:)

May 21st, 2012 at 4:13 am

No Rain. Won’t rain for another hour or so. Match will be over by then.


mat4 Says:

van orten: I watched all those matches. I find this one very encouraging for Novak. I was afraid it would be worse.


Rahul Says:

Cant watch because of work but that break point stat is so familiar to Federer supporters. I still think Novak has the edge in this matchup but it seems to be a more equal affair than Fedal.

Have they already played 2 hours?


Michael Says:

So far it seems Nadal is winning the match unless there is a twist in the tale with a Novak upsurge which is probable and possible.


Polo Says:

Why would this match be encouraging for Novak? It is for Nadal but Novak?


mat4 Says:

His clay preparation didn’t go well – MC, Madrid… It is clear he is not still at his top. Then, he is not playing his usual pattern of play. Finally, whatever happens, he is something to win, and something to lose.


mat4 Says:

Then, I think he is faking his body language.


racquet Says:

Crunch time.


van orten Says:

encouraging for novak because it showed he can easily beat nadal on clay…nadal played the same..as always and he is aware that if the offensive skills of djoker are at 100% his defensive skills wont be enough


Polo Says:

I don’t think I would like to watch the French Open this year. I think I know already what the outcome would be.


van orten Says:

is it only a rumour=? but i heard they would speed up those balls at wimby this year..that would be the best news of the last 10 years i guess


van orten Says:

another win for the most annoying player in the history of the sport…i wish tarango to come back


racquet Says:

Nadal wins and reclaims the No.2 spot.


Michael Says:

Congratulations to Nadal. He has won the match.


van orten Says:

ok no matter what i want fed to fall on nadals side of the draw,,maybe a miracle will help him to reach the unthinkable


mat4 Says:

Expected result. I don’t know what to think.


Michael Says:

Nadal has once again shown as to who is the “KING OF CLAY”. Novak tried his best but couldn’t find his extraordinary form of 2011 which is required if he needs to beat Nadal.


jamie Says:

Told you so.

Astrology said Nadal would win.


Polo Says:

That’s it…and order in the tennis world has been restored. Sad but Djokovic has reverted back to the guy who is a shade behind the two greatest names in tennis, Nadal and Federer. I think his confidence has been dented. You can’t beat Nadal with a chink in your armor.


Kimmi Says:

congrats to rafa


Mark Says:

RAFAAAA KING OF REDDD CLAY!!!! VAMOS!!


queen Says:

Oh Novak no excuse this time huh? Are you sure there was no death in your family?


Polo Says:

Not just red clay, this year, Rafa will be king again. Period.


racquet Says:

Nole has enough time before Roland Garros to regroup and put this performance behind him. But Nadal has a psychological edge now with two wins.


Polo Says:

Nole has been falling a step backward each time he played Nadal this year. Nadal, on the otherhand, has been taking forward steps. I don’t think there is enough time before the French for Djokovic to catch up.


Polo Says:

Nadal is biting that trophy again. He is really quite annoying, isn’t he?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Congrats to the King of Clay, last and next winner of the French.


Polo Says:

Nadal is making me schizophrenic. I hate it when he wins but I cannot help but applaud him when he does.


C!P! Says:

van orten ,stop kissing Nole’s ass ,and start watching tennis


racquet Says:

@ polo – I don’t know. I don’t think the tournaments just before slams are always such accurate indicators of form. Last year Fed lost here in the 3rd to Gasquet and then made it the final at RG. Five setters are a different animal.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Congratulations to Rafa on his 6th Rome title, 21st Masters 1000 title, and regaining the #2 spot! I can’t wait for Roland Garros! I’m sure Novak will pick up his game and present quite a challenge there.


Wog boy Says:

Congrats To Rafa fans. See you in Paris.
Proud to be Nole fan.

madmax,
Thanks, I wish it was raining. Just joking, Nole had a match on his raquet (agree with van orten), one wrong call ( he would have a set point) lost of composure and Nadal took care of rest.


Rick Says:

Polo, it is annoying only if Federina wins a tournament not playing Nadal or Djokovic. And it is digusting when Federina won his finals in best of three sets not five.


jane Says:

Congrats to Rafa and fans! Back to #2 then.

Nole closer this time than Monte Carlo judging by scoreline (didn’t see match), but he couldn’t get the W today. Better luck next time.

On the plus side, my bracket must look good. :)


queen Says:

Instead of biting that trophy he should take big bite of Djokovic and spit it out on the court. Well, he is not a vicious b..ch like me.


Wog boy Says:

jane,

It was good match, Nadal deserved to win. Pleased with Nole alltogether, had his chances didn’t use them and you cannot aford that against Nadal. To many UE and not converted BP. That is about it:)


Polo Says:

queen, I thought Nadal just did that to Djokovic…in a figurative sense.


skeezer Says:

Court conditions sucked. It was like they poured molasses on the balls. Very painful to watch. Anyone know the winners count? Did they have any? Seemed like they could hardly hit any. Nole was missing that 2 hander down the line. Seemed he lacked conviction when he needed to hit that shot, and he wound up hitting it into Rafa FH wheel house, not good. Congrats to the Dirt Master, he stayed back 1000′ and defended well. Congrats to his fans and to him back @ #2. On to FO!


Rick Says:

What you are on about, Polo? Novack was nursing on Fed the other day. And it would be difficult for to beat him these days.


Brando Says:

VAMOS RAFA!!!!

I thought djokovic didn’t play his best today- BUT he was much better than in Monte Carlo, he also put a REAL effort in.

Rafa also DID NOT play his best today, certainly he was MUCH better in Monte Carlo.

Positive’s for nadal are:

- He’s won his last 2 against novak.

- He hasn’t dropped a set against novak on clay this year.

- He hasn’t dropped a set against ANYONE on red clay this year.

- He’s won ALL red clsy tourny this year.

- His 1st serve % in was LESS than 60 %- very poor against novak, YET he only got broken ONCE. Confidence booster.

- Koening mentioned that nadal’s serve can be MUCH better- it can- BUt it is a real confidence booster to not serve your best against nole and win OVER 55% 2nd SERVES.

- Nadal has won 5/6 last sets against novak this year- ONLY losing that 1 set 7-5.

- He’s 2-1 against novak this year- and the 1 won loss was in the 5TH SET at AO- MASSIVE improvement on last year.

- the BIGGEST boost is confidence: he now knows he can beat novak, he can improve also, and IF he plays his best his chances are good at RG.

IMHO re novak: the BIGGEST CONCERN is that i feel he has lost his zen like on court persona he had last year. He was going too much today- and i think its because he’s REALISED that he’s facing rafa on clay. Hence, he’s going for perfection- the lines all the time, REALLY playing into rafa’s hands.

As for novak being in rafa’s head- all i’ll say is the more rafa wins against him, the sillier that notion will be. 2011 is HISTORY, 2012 is PRESENT- and nadal has SHOWN he belongs on the same court as novak, not as inferior or superior, BUT as a competitive equal!


Wog boy Says:

skeezer,

“conviction” I was looking for the word, you might be right.
Nole had more wiinners close to 20 methink but far to many UE.


Rick Says:

Jamie! You are funny! lol


jane Says:

Wog Boy, thanks for the update.


Brando Says:

@Wog Boy:

Your guy had more winners, but WAY MORE UE.

Postive is he played BETTER than in MC, and he can play ALOT better.

the ONLY concern, if their is one, i would say is novak- to me- he seems to lose his composure on court and get agitated WAY TO QUICKLY in comparison to last year.

And i say that not based on just today’s match. He loses his cool too quicky, IMHO. BUT fact is he is an emotional, expressive individual- that kind of thing can happen.

Nonetheless, he played a good tourny. Congrats to him and his nice fans like yourself for that :-)


courbon Says:

Queen, you are not vicious bitch-no, you are much more then that…You are silly,pathetic,insesitive little shit. (other guys on this blog are too nice and dignifed to argue with you-me not!I’m rough working classman that can not stand morons like you…)


courbon Says:

Cingrat to all Rafa fans.See you in Paris….


Lisa Says:

Frankly, Federer would be happy to be in either Rafa/Novak draw…..

It’s not as if Fed has no complete chance against Rafa at Roland Garros….

I think people forget how close 2011 FO final between Rafa and Fed was….

Fed was close to being 2 sets to love up with 2 break points in the 2nd set in that French Open Final last year….


jane Says:

Brando, yes, Nole was a little calmer on court last year. Hopefully he gets some of that “zen” (as someone put it) back again. But he kept it closer today at least; I will have to watch later. Congrats on Rafa’s win and getting back #2.


Lisa Says:

I meant 2 breaks up in that 2nd set…:)


Brando Says:

@Jane:

Thanks- like i said to WB, nole played better than MC and he also beat fed- a major player and a form one too. So he had a very good tourny overall, IMHO.

I look forward to seeing what you think once you have watched it.


queen Says:

Haha ha ha @ courbon…here is the thing courbon I just love to iritate idiots like you LOL
Call me every bad name you want. I do not care.


Polo Says:

I think Nadal is saving his bigger and more vicious bites for the French. How irritating! But what can we do? He is a bloody good player.


Rick Says:

And Fed talked about returning to number one last week! So arrogant, he could dreams on. LOL


Wog boy Says:

courbon,
mojne, stipuj smrada:)

P.S. Do you speak “satrovacki” :)


the mind reels Says:

Another nice win today by Nadal. Congrats to his fans, as he’s looking very tough going into RG. I’m not convinced that either Federer or Djokovic has more than a small chance against him at RG, assuming things play out as most people expect them to. Both guys have such a history against Nadal now that psychology has become a major factor in their matches. Barring some unusually bad day from Nadal, I’m starting to wonder if the only people who might really have a decent shot are big hitters who don’t have a history — who can just go out there, smash away, and not really care (an Isner or a Soderling or perhaps a Raonic).

On the flip side, though, guys like Federer and Djokovic have played him so many times now that they know what to expect and have seen glimpses of successful tactics against Nadal. The thing is that they just can’t sustain those tactics long enough, and so it still remains that neither guy has beaten Nadal in a best-of-five match on clay. From the little bit that I saw, Djokovic played better today than in MC, but he didn’t look zoned in enough on the important points. All credit to Nadal: the guy handles 0-30 situations, 15-30 situations, and break points on clay on his own serve better than probably anyone I’ve seen.

We’ll see what the draw brings for us on Friday.


queen Says:

@Rick…dreaming is a good thing. It keeps you alive. Fed will not get to #1 but the idea gives him motivation. I will take dreaming Fed (although he bores me to death)over the annoying Djokovic with that stupid smirk on his face.


Lisa Says:

@Rick, Fed is confident of his ability and has proven thus far, his a very good chance of getting number #1…..at least within this year…..Diffinately within reach…..

You can never count him off at FO, although Rafa is the big favourite….cause his that good of a player…


Polo Says:

Nadal is probably the toughest mentally among the top three. Once he gets that edge, it becomes extremely hard to beat him. He has established that indelibly on Federer and whether Roger wants to admit that or not, it is there and affects his game. Rafa also had that over Djokovic until 2011. However, Djokovic, since that 2012 final of the Australian Open has steadily yielded the mental edge over to Nadal again. They both know that. It is almost palpable when you watch them play now. Once Nadal gets his bite, he is like a bulldog, it is hard to shake that bite off.


Brando Says:

@Rick:

that’s a STUPID comment you made there. sorry, BUT it has to be said.

The guys won more tournies than ANYONE this year- why can he not aim for no.1?


the mind reels Says:

@Brando: I’m not sure why you bother reacting to Rick’s comments. Unless he posts something substantive or interesting, I’d say just let him be.


Kimberly Says:

Congrats to Brando won the tennis x fan bracket challenge on his first try!


Rick Says:

You people are so funny! All living in Fed’s dreams. LOL


Brando Says:

@the mind reels:

Fair and valid point. It’s just ANNOYING when these trolls just waltz in out of nowhere and vent their HATRED for a player- mindless when you consider that the player will MOST LIKELY continue to be successful going forward!


Brando Says:

@Kimberly:

Thanks k- especially for asking to do the bracket. It’s ALOT of fun. I share the win with you and my fellow rafa fans. Good to have a win for our fav:-)


madmax Says:

Rick Says:

And Fed talked about returning to number one last week! So arrogant, he could dreams on. LOL

May 21st, 2012 at 9:54 am

Well, sorry to spoil your party ricky baby, but you live in a dream world yourself.

Federer didn’t talk about becoming No. 1. It was the journalists. Federer said he ‘thinks he has a shot’. That’s a whole lotta different ricky. And guess what! He does! Well what do you know, a former number 1, could be number 1) again.

(Pardon me for asking, but is that what every tennis player strives for?).

Check out some numbers shall we?

Federer publicly stated—before winning Dubai and Indian Wells—that he thinks he has a shot at getting back to No. 1 after the US Open. If we break down the points the top four players have won since the US Open, Federer has a clear lead:

Roger Federer: 1,000 (Paris), 1,500 (WTF), 720 (Aus), 500 (Dubai), 500 (Basel), 500 (Rotterdam), 1,000 (IW), 90 (Doha) = 5,810 points (+25 Davis Cup). 1,000 Madrid. 280 points Rome.

Federer made it clear that he wasn’t bothered whether or not he was 2 or 3 (who cares?) prior to Rome. He is thinking long term.

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2012-03-18/9120.php

There are a lot of things that could happen, its a new season in case you hadn’t noticed.

Federer could come back at number one, but so could three other players, he said that himself, very well said.

Calculations like that mean nothing because the player who performs the best until the end of the year will be number 1.

Everyone has their goals for this season, Djokovic wants French Open and Olympic medal, Federer wants FO, Wimbledon, Olympic Medal and USO, to get back at number one. I think he only needs to win one slam and he is back on top. So why is that not a possibility?

I still think the big hitters are in with a real chance this year too. Del Potro, Isner, Raonic, Tsonga and now, Berdych.

Anyone is beatable, Nadal ,Federer Murray and even Djokovic. The top four are mentally stronger than the others. There is a huge gap. Between the three of them and the rest in my view.

It’s a completely legitimate target.

http://www.realclearsports.com/articles/2012/03/21/can_federer_reclaim_no_1_ranking_97632.html

So Rick, back up your talk with the walk, will you?


madmax Says:

And you know, we all love our favourites, but if Roger doesn’t make to no. 1 ever again, I wouldn’t care. He’s just the best in my view, a joy to watch. One more slam this year would be the icing on a glorious career already, but if it’s not to be then thanks go to Roger for the glory years and beyond.


madmax Says:

Kimberly Says:
Congrats to Brando won the tennis x fan bracket challenge on his first try!

May 21st, 2012 at 10:31 am

Well done Brando!


Brando Says:

@madmax:

Thanks max- hope your having fun still in rome.

And i AGREE with you re roger- he’s not my fav, but DEFINATELY it’s been a privilege to watch him over years. Same for novak too- he’s caused some heartache over the last 18 months- BUT definately an AMAZING athlete to watch!

Us fans are VERY LUCKY in this particular era- best enjoy it, i know i am!:-)


skeezer Says:

rick,

Yeah WTF Finals, Indian Wells, and Madrid were dreams…..you’re funnier.

Too bad they were your nightmare. Enjoy the Clayness while it lasts. The only tennis court where you can stand 1000′ behind the baseline, be a Golden Retriever, and you’ll win. Glad you Love that style of Tennis with the wonderful on court behaviors Rafa brings. To each there own.

The race for #1 is not over. Rafa will take FO….but after that is when the real race begins…should be an exciting summer!

BTW, is this the only time you come here when Rafa wins and/or Fed loses?

@Queen…..your brash, your “in your face”…but you don’t hide who you are. Congrats to your Rafaness.


Mark Says:

The Spaniards rule in Rome. Marc Lopez and Marcel Granollers won the doubles title. Vamos Armada!!!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Just curious, how come people still believe Roger has a chance to be No 1 when the obvious player today to reach No 1 is Nadal. But Roger does have a great chance of getting to No 1, if Novak falters. I don’t see Rafa faltering anymore till USO. So maybe for USO Rafa most likely be No 1 and Roger No2.

If Roger does not protect his points after USO, he could end the year being No 4 if Murray makes a push from grass season.


the mind reels Says:

@Nirmal: the reason people think that is that he has the least amount of points to protect, by quite a large margin, between RG and the US Open. Unless Novak wins the French or gets to the finals, he has virtually no points to add. Unless Nadal wins Wimbledon and/or the US Open (which, as far as I’m concerned, isn’t a given by any measure), he too can’t add a ton of points.

“If Roger does not protect his points after USO, he could end the year being No 4 if Murray makes a push from grass season.”

Well, yes, you’re right, but your scenario supposes that Roger doesn’t add any points to his tally between now and the end of the year — just that he protects. Given his recent success (he’s basically only been adding to his tally so far this season), a lot of us are expecting him to perform well at Wimbledon. If he were to win it, he’d add nearly 2,000 points (and with that, Djokovic would lose at least 800), which would be a 2,500+ point swing in Roger’s favor. Given the current rankings, that’d be more than enough.

I submit that I too am hypothesizing, but the bottom line is that Federer stands to gain a lot more than the other two guys. The onus is more on them to continue to win or be runner-up than it is on Federer.


the mind reels Says:

Murray also has to win Cincinnati and Shanghai again to keep those 2,000 points. If recent form is any indication, I’m not super concerned about him overtaking Federer at #3 any time soon.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Ok, so you think Roger can add few more points. But from where. I do not see him protecting his Final points at FO. He is most likely to protect Wim and USO. So where does he has a chance to improve?

Nadal has much higher chance to improve. There is hardly anyone who can set from him at RG. Most likely he would win Wimbledon and Olympics. He did poorly in the pre-USO tournaments. He has a chance to add points there.

Definitely Novak has much higher chance of losing points. So in all likely scenario, Roger can get to No 2 for USO for a short period. Nothing more he can do from there.


Noogie Says:

Strange how all these Rafa assholes appear out of the proverbial BLUE. (Read Madrid). No knee problems no excuses and clay make their world go round. Shall we hear from them after RG


trufan Says:

Nirmal,

your statements above make no sense.

You say Nadal has a better chance of picking up points than Federer?

Nadal has to defend 4400 points in the next 3 slams. Federer has to defend only 2280. Who can pick up more points, tell me please? Djokovic has 4720 to defend (in the next 3 slams). Also, given that Wim and USO are where Fed is most favored (of the three) and Nadal is the least favored, how do you assess that Nadal can gain more points? Wow, that’s some high level math…

Olympics is a plus for everyone. And its on grass, which favors Fed.

Fed didn’t play Halle last year, so he can gain points there. Fed didn’t do well in the two masters in the USO series either, so he has as much to gain as Nadal over there.

What a nonsensical post…


trufan Says:

As far as the FO is concerned, Fed has a very low chance of winning. So it doesn’t matter which half of the draw he falls in. Unless there is some injury, it boils down to a title bout between Djokovic and Nadal. If Djokovic can bring his A game to that match, he will beat Nadal, since his A-game is better than Nadal even on clay.

The MC final was where Nadal unveiled his new strategy against Djoke (not giving him width). IT worked very well. Rome final was where he got a tough fight, but too many errors also from Djoke. ITs all good, since now Djoke knows what to expect from Nadal, should they face off at the FO. This time around, the result will be different.

Three key differences between Fed-Nadal on clay versus Djoke Nadal on clay?

1. Djoke doesn’t have a one-handed backhand, so its not a liability for him.

2. Djoke is actually one year younger to Nadal, not 5 years older, so can hang with him forever (remember the AO final??).

3. Having beaten Nadal black and blue 7 times in a row, he doesn’t have any mental block against Nadal any more, not even on clay. Nadal has nothing that Djoke will fear.

And the X-factor? Djoke can play as dirty as Nadal. If Nadal can pick his butt over and over and over again, Djoke will bounce the ball over and over and over again. He can irritate Nadal as much as Nadal irritates all other players. Federer is too decent a person to play these antics. Nadal will not get that polite treatment from Djoke, as he always gets from Fed.

Bottomline? Djoke takes down Nadal in the French final, if both reach there. He’s just not going to give up. Rome final was not enough of a prize for Djoke to fight to the finish (he has already won the title twice before, and his No. 1 ranking is secure until Wimbledon at least, so why risk injury here?)


Steve 27 Says:

like Jamie said: Nadal will surpass Borg in Roland Garros, so, I expect he could win another Wimbledon and can match the 3 channel slam that Borg won. And add one more gold to destroy fed dreams. Us Open is for Djoko or Murray.


trufan Says:

You wish, Steve 27.

And Murray? ha ha, that’s as wishful a dream as they come.


Steve 27 Says:

Murray has the game, trufan, do not laugh.


trufan Says:

Certainly, he has the game (though he could/should be more offensive minded), but its the mental part that he lacks. He has had enough chances – I doubt he will turn around. Look at Nalbandian – such a great talent, nothing much to speak about. Murray is better than Nalbandian just because he is not lazy (Nalbandian could never work on his fitness much). Murray can really work hard. Right now, he is not in the mix of slam winners. Its down to 3 people, that’s it (Djoke, Fed and Nadal).


nadalista Says:

trufan;
May 21st,2012 at 11:51pm

Very uplifting…………..hope it all turns out right for you……..


alison hodge Says:

I dont see why people are saying Rafas season will all of a sudden grind to halt when the clay is finished,as he has won wimbledon twice,as well as been in three other finals,plus 2 finals at the AO and at the USO,ok granted probably not his best surfaces,however he did beat Nole at the uso,and Roger at the AO,so surely its not exactly out of the realms of possibility that he may do it again,after all matches are played on a court not on a blog.


Steve 27 Says:

Yes, Allison, Not surprisingly the Spanish success on other surfaces, except that others fan ever underestimate his ability, I hope he can add one more Wimbledon and other major on hardcourt, then he can finish with 4 more majors , matching the legendary Sampras with 14!. I think Nadal can compete at the highest level until he is 28, and would withdraw from the tour in 2015 or 2016. I think it will be.


trufan Says:

Nadalista,

Think about if it doesn’t turn out OK for YOU – then what? Nadal’s season is over. Djokovic’s is not – in fact, the US hardcourt portion is his favorite time of the year.

If Nadal wins the FO, not a big news. Of course, its a big record, since it would be 7 FO titles, quite an accomplishment.

But if Nadal DOES NOT win the title – boy, that’s the death knell for him. Nadal has more to lose (even in terms of ranking points) than anyone else at the French, and the least to win.


alison hodge Says:

Steve 27 @ May 22nd 1.12pm,thanks for that post,and i hope your right,i just want to see Rafa carry on playing tennis for as long as possible,i get tired of people writing him off and predicting the end of his career,what i love about him is his way of setting out to try to prove people wrong.


trufan Says:

Wow, what a sissy draw for Nadal at the French! And Fed again with Djoke. Wow, amazing how that happens every time!

And the butt picker will still come out and say “every match at grand slam very tough, no? you play your best otherwise you lose no?”

No, he dodged EVERY SINGLE bullet. The only tough guy in his quarter is Raonic, who is injured and inexperienced. Missed DelPo, Tsonga, Berdych, Ferrer – aren’t they all top 10? Then how come NONE of them are in Nadal’s quarter???

Defies the laws of probability. I call it fixed. You can call it whatever you want, nadalites.


Mark Says:

AND I CALL YOU AN IDIOT AS USUAL!!!


Mark Says:

My last comment was addressed to Truidiot!!

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