Djokovic, Federer Survive Nadal’s Birthday; Bottom Half Sweet 16 Picks And Previews
by Sean Randall | June 3rd, 2012
  • 210 Comments

After seven days of uneventful play on the men’s side, the drama and intrigued increased exponentially on the second Sunday of the French Open. While Rafael Nadal was off celebrating his 26th birthday with his friends and family, heavy favorites – at least on paper – Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer were fighting for French Open their lives.

In stunning fashion, Djokovic found himself down two sets to veteran Andreas Seppi on Chatrier. And shortly thereafter, Federer was just two points from a similar fate late in the second set to 21-year-old upstart David Goffin on Lenglen.

And with an early swath of upsets in the women’s draw – World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka was shocked by Dominika Cibulkova and former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova was sent packing by Sara Errani – maybe there was something in the air.

But in the slow, heavy conditions Djokovic and Federer managed to turn things around just in a nick of time, and avoid handing rival Rafa the bests of birthday presents – their elimination from the event.

Novak, who had basically been out-Djokovic’d by Seppi, finally got the upper hand on Andreas, closing out the Italian 4-6, 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5, 6-3.

“I think he was a better player for the first two sets, definitely,” said Djokovic. “I was very fortunate to come through this match. I was fighting. When I was two sets down, I believed I could win the match, and that’s the only positive I can really pick up from today’s match. It was one of those days where you don’t feel [like anything] is working really. My serve was well. But aside that, I could not get into the rhythm. I was fighting, and I think because of the fight I won the match.”

It was the third time in Djokovic’s career he had come from two sets down.

“I didn’t have such a good start [to the third set],” said Seppi who falls to 0-8 lifetime against the Serb. “Maybe if I could stay in front or so in the third set, it could change a little bit. And that’s the only thing I could do better, I think, to just start a little bit better there, the third set.”

Federer very nearly needed to match Novak’s recovery but down a set, 4-5, 15-30 on his serve the Swiss seized control, and Fed Nation breathed a welcome sigh of relief.

Credit to the “lucky loser” Goffin for making a match out of it. The Belgian used his speed and stylish play to catch his idol off guard early on. But Federer prevailed 5-7, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 to reach a 32nd straight Grand Slam quarterfinal. That’s right, 32!

“I thought he played really well. Great impression,” Federer said of Goffin who was making his Grand Slam debut this week. “He took the ball early every time. Don’t hit a very good shot, he can take advantage of that. He’s got great potential in terms of his touch and the way he reads the game. I thought it was an interesting match.

“Obviously in some ways I guess it’s tough for me coming out not knowing exactly what his favourite patterns are in the game, the way he serves, when he does what. But, no, he impressed me, and I enjoyed the match today.”

Goffin, who seems to have a nice future ahead of him, was pleased with his effort.

“It was a very nice day, very nice match,” said Goffin. “I started very well early in the match. I was playing aggressive, and with my backhand, it was great. But I give all my best during all the match. I was a little bit tired at the end, because I play a lot of match in this tournament, but it’s okay. No regrets. I gave all I had.”

With Djokovic and Federer running long, the two matches I thought would need the most light didn’t get finished. JW Tsonga’s match with Stan Wawrinka was suspended due to darkness with the Frenchman up 4-2 in the fifth. Tsonga is trying to avoid a reprise of his 2-sets up choke from a year ago at the French Open to Wawrinka, and I think tomorrow he’ll get those last two games and finish off the Swiss.

In the other fourth rounder yet to go final, Juan Martin Del Potro had just gone up 2-1 in sets against Tomas Berdych when they were halted. And I’ll stay with my pick of Del Potro to beat the Czech in this battle of former French semifinalists. The stoppage I think gives the edge to the Argentine who should be able to handle the mental challenge of the sleepover better than Berdych.

As for the Djokovic and Federer, it’s a good thing they won’t have to play Nadal for another week, because there is no chance either will beat the Spaniard next Sunday playing like they did today. And heck, they may not even make it to the Friday semifinals unless they improve.

While they are winning, eventually losing sets to guys like Seppi, Unger, Mahut and Goffin, is going to catch up with you. But for now they are still in the tournament so maybe the can finally turn things on because the easy draws are over.

As for tomorrow, here are my final men’s sweet 16 capsules.

Rafael Nadal v. Juan Monaco
Nadal simply does everything better than his good friend Monaco does. Everything. And to make it worse for the Argentine, Monaco is just coming off a tough 5-set win over Milos Raonic during which he appeared to be struggling physically in the legs. No legs against Nadal? Good luck! So we are looking at a similar result Nadal gave Monaco at Davis Cup last winter when Rafa won 6-1, 6-1, 6-2. Monaco’s playing better and with more confidence this time around so I expect a closer match, but still…
The pick: Nadal in three

David Ferrer v. Marcel Granollers
At the very least we’ll have one Spaniard in the French Open quarterfinals. And in this all-countrymen clash the big edge goes to Ferrer. The 30-year-old Ferrer has won all six sets against Granollers and I think Monday’s another straight setter. Ferrer hasn’t dropped a set all week while Granollers just went five sets Saturday after consecutive four setters. With the chance to finally get to his first French Open semifinal, I don’t think Ferrer slips here to Marcel who’s never been this far at a Slam.
The pick: Ferrer in three

Janko Tipsarevic v. Nicolas Almagro
What an opportunity for both guys in this first time meeting. With a spot in the French Open final eight, there’s really not much to chose between these two. Janko is the better on hardcourts; Almagro is one of the premier claycourters but the Spaniard can letdown at any moment, or thrill with his talent. And so far both guys have cruised in the 16s, thanks in large part to very cushy draws. But Almagro is the better clay court player and he’s twice reached the French Open quarterfinals before.
The pick: Almagro in four

Richard Gasquet v. Andy Murray
In the match of the day 25-year-olds Richard Gasquet and Andy Murray renew their rollercoaster rivalry. Murray memorably beat Gasquet in that 2008 Wimbledon thriller when Richard was up 2 sets. Murray overcame another 2 set hole to Gasquet putting the pain to the Frenchman on his home soil at the French in 2010. Then Murray beat him again at Wimbledon last year. But Gasquet got him on the clay last month in Rome in three sets, and this week Richard’s been playing some of his best, tightest tennis we’ve seen from him in quite a long time; he’s on a 14-game win streak! And with Murray fighting a back injury, maybe it’s Gasquet’s time. Or maybe not. Since nearly retiring with that (fake?) back spasm against Nieminen, Murray’s looked great winning six straight sets. And he’s 3-0 – winning six straight sets – against Gasquet in Slams. I think Gasquet plays tough but the pressure of playing at home is too much.
The pick: Murray in four

As for the women, I’ll take all the favorites to come through – Sharapova, Kanepi, Kvitova and Li Na.

ESPN2 is back on live at 5am ET with Tennis Channel taking over 10am ET.

MONDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE

Court Philippe Chatrier 11:00 AM Start Time
David Ferrer (ESP)[6] v. Marcel Granollers (ESP)[20]
Not Before:12:30 PM
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)[5] v. Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI)[18] To Finish 6-4 7-6(6) 3-6 3-6 4-2
Klara Zakopalova (CZE) v. Maria Sharapova (RUS)[2]
Richard Gasquet (FRA)[17] v. Andy Murray (GBR)[4]
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) v. Petra Kvitova (CZE)[4]

Court Suzanne Lenglen 11:00 AM Start Time
Janko Tipsarevic (SRB)[8] v. Nicolas Almagro (ESP)[12]
Not Before:12:30 PM
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG)[9] v. Tomas Berdych (CZE)[7] To Finish 7-6(6) 1-6 6-3
Na Li (CHN)[7] v. Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ)
Juan Monaco (ARG)[13] v. Rafael Nadal (ESP)[2]
Arantxa Rus (NED) v. Kaia Kanepi (EST)[23]


Also Check Out:
Father Federer in Murray Half in Montreal; Djokovic, Roddick in Nadal’s
2009 Davis Cup Draw Released; Federer v. U.S., Spain v. Serbia
Nadal, Murray, Ferrer Dominate At French Open; Men’s Sweet 16 Picks And Previews
Rafael Nadal Celebrated His 27th Birthday By Actually Playing Good Tennis!
Roger Federer: What’s Important is to Get Thru the Early Rounds in Montreal [Video]

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210 Comments for Djokovic, Federer Survive Nadal’s Birthday; Bottom Half Sweet 16 Picks And Previews

mat4 Says:

My take:

Nadal in 4,

Ferrer in 3,

Gasquet in 5,

Almagro in 4.

I presume that the courts will be similar to those today (or yesterday). Seems risky.


conty Says:

Nadal to dominate 1st 2 sets and then finish pico off in the 3rd; Rafa, relaxed and refining his shots, his serve, 3rd set will get tight, but Rafa does what he needs to do and gets the job done amicably, but not donating a set to his amigo, Pico. Nadal in 3

Ferrer in 3 – easy peasy.

Janko and Nico
hard to say. I picked Tipsa – only because I’d rather see a Tipsa v Nadal than Almagro v Nadal. Almagro will fold. Tipsa will really try.
Tipsarevic in 5

Gasquet v Murray
Gas-k seems like he’s on a mission. But it depends on Andy’s back. Muzz should go home, take it easy and prepare for the grass.
Gasquet in 4

Tsonga to finish off Stanley.

Agree with Sean about Delpo, sort of. But that knee and facing Federer, uh…
Berdych comes out strong, wins in a tie-break.

My picks are all based on bias. Murray could win, so could Delpo, and of course Almagro. I don’t know. Just hope all matches finish.

WTA- I’ll go with Sean’s picks.


conty Says:

Oh, I forgot. Didn’t get to see much of the Berdych v Delpo match. They were starting the 4th. Berdych wins a tie break in the 4th and the match goes on a marathon in the fifth…so long that there’s hardly a chance for either to win their next match.

Delpo in 5.


skeezer Says:

My take,

Rafa in 3,

Next rd;

Then Rafa in 3

Next rd;

Then Rafa in 3. Bites the trophy, chips tooth. Girls now think he is ugly. Gets it fixed.they fall in love with his Rafa fragrance allover again.

Wimby is where the reaal Tennis is.

Sean, wt…..?

Poor JM, you have him playing against Rafa AND Tipsy in the same round? If thats true, he doesn’t have a chance, lol.


Gregoire Gentil Says:

Juan Monaco has twice the opportunity to qualify for next round according to Sean. Too bad that you don’t pick him twice!


Brando Says:

Did not know it was also colin06 birthday? Happy bday colin 06, same to rafa- and also myself :-)


conty Says:

Yourself? Happy Birthday Brando!


skeezer Says:

“But Federer prevailed 5-7, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 to reach a 32nd straight Grand Slam quarterfinal. That’s right, 32!”

Thats right, a all time record that will most likely last past when we are all dead and gone!

Friggin undeniably amazing. GOAT.


steve-o Says:

I don’t understand how anyone could reasonably pick Gasquet. He has lost to Murray twice from two-sets-to-none up–once on this very court.

Murray could hand him a two-set, 5-0 lead and Gasquet would still hand him the last three sets right back.

Nadal is marching to the final in straight sets. Who’s he get after Monaco, Almagro/Tipsarevic? That will be a cakewalk for him.


trufan Says:

QF records really don’t matter that much. Its quite impressive (32 consecutive), I agree – but much more impressive is 18 of 19 finals. That one is going to be nearly impossible to beat. Even top players trip up in the QF or semi ever so often. Heck, only Sampras (18) and Lendl (19) have reached that many slam finals, TOTAL.

With the rainy and windy conditions, seems like Nadal’s title is sealed.


skeezer Says:

trufan,

“QF records really don’t matter that much.”

But we are talkin “in Slams”. The grand daddys. It does, and it will, when the records are compared.


Lisa Says:

Murray can win 2012 FO, I believe….


Kimmi Says:

Muzza! forget about the back. no one think you will do well here. surprise everyone please. goodluck.


Kimberly Says:

Happy birthday Brando, I have had 30 children for a pool party all day.


bg Says:

The bigger challenge in predicting the outcome of Nadal’s matches is to forecast how many games he will lose ;)


Lisa Says:

Murray vs Nadal, Im tipping it to be the match of the tournament….i.e.(if they both made it to semis, Im diffinately sure rafa will be there though)


Blah Says:

pls dont choke or run out of gas gasquet :( another blown two set lead and I swear ill switch to rooting for some boring one trick player instead.


Blah Says:

Dont even care if you eat three bagels from ferrer in the next round.


Blah Says:

Upset alert if it ends up being tsonga djokovic. Tsonga feeds off of home crowd and has played djokovic tough in the past, with their h2h being close. Djokovic needs to find form soon.


Jane Says:

Happy B.day Brando and Colin …7?! :)

I have no idea who will win tmrw but Rafa. And probably Tsonga (agree blah: upset alert… :( ). And likely Delpo but conty’s scenario sounds feasible.


Blah Says:

Jane, slower condition should help take away some of tsongas power, personally im hoping for a djoker fed semi cause those two often produce great tennis when matched up with each other, if djokovic manages to beat tsonga-fed-nadal on clay then he ll stay number one for a long time.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Ultimately, the match was in Goffin’s hand. He got tired and let Fed into the match. If Roger think he is not fit or mentally disturbed, better he packup and get ready for Grass. Not sure why he should be wasting time sticking around till he is embarrassed by the big guys. He should start focusing on Wimbledon and try do defend his points there.


Roger Federer Fan Says:

conty Says:
“I picked Tipsa – only because I’d rather see a Tipsa v Nadal than Almagro v Nadal. Almagro will fold. Tipsa will really try.”

I love my fellow fed fans. For us tennis is all about who will beat Nadal and how he is eliminated. We will root for anyone who has a semblance of chance against him.
For example, we will be rooting for Nole against our own idol on friday’s SF if they get that far.


Michael Says:

First of all, congratulations to Roger for his 32nd quarter final streak and this mean he has dominated the majors for over eight years continuum. Nothing but this achievement testify the greatness of Roger. No player can match it and that is for sure. As regards the Novak match, I was pretty disappointed with his performance and as Sean rightly pointed out, unless Novak improves he doesn’t even will have chance to reach the semis. Right now, nobody has the game to beat Nadal here including Novak and Roger and unless something incredible happens like in 2009 I think Nadal is well on his way to lift his record shattering seventh trophy. His only obstacle here may come in the form of Ferrer in the semis who I think is in superb form. But he always wilts against Nadal and may be this time things can be better because Nadal is not playing so well. In a nut shell, Rolland Garros is becoming pretty monotonous and such domination is not good for the game.


Roger Federer Fan Says:

skeezer Says:

“Wimby is where the reaal Tennis is.”

My friend skeezer,

Please dont make such sweeping statements. If Rafa ends up winning wimby, you will end up with egg on your face.
So better wait till he gets eliminated at wimby. If he wins wimby we may have to diss wimby as “green clay” or “slowed down to accommodate Rafa” and say “USO is where the reaal Tennis is”.

As of now I can confidently say that the real tennis is played only at indoors. Rafa has a decent shot everywhere else.


Michael Says:

Regarding Sean pick’s, Almagro Vs Tipsaveric is a toss up and the former will have the edge. But as regards Murray Vs Gasquet, I think the edge will be with Gasquet rather than Murray since he is playing in front of the French crowd and he also troubled Murray in the past. Gasquet in 4 or 5 is my pick.


Roger Federer Fan Says:

Michael Says:
“In a nut shell, Rolland Garros is becoming pretty monotonous and such domination is not good for the game.”

I perfectly agree with you. No one else apart from our GOAT should be allowed to dominate. Its not good for the “game”.


harry Says:

nice interview (in french) by fed and goffin.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPViRXzqr9s


Roger Federer Fan Says:

skeezer Says:

“Friggin undeniably amazing. GOAT.”

Yes great fighting performance by our master against a qualie who did not really qualify.

Can you please educate us all on Federer’s record against qualifiers in grandslams ?


Thangs Says:

Requesting Tennis-x not to post players pics..Horrible collections …Noles pic looks like his performance today..


Michael Says:

Roger Federer Fan,

Do not put words into my mouth. I didn’t say that. Nadal’s domination in Roland Garros is very special and cannot just be compared with any other domination in this sport. It is just that as soon as Nadal steps into Rolland Garros, he becomes invincible. This kind of invincibility was never seen on this sport and although it is good for Nadal, it kills the interest in the game. Nadal has won this tournament right from when was a junior and when he just entered professional tennis. He has not been beaten except for that lapse against Soderling who played the game of his life to outlast him. Apart from that, there has been no shrink in his armour except for that five sets against Isner. I honestly think somekind of competition is necessary to lift the game and Nadal should meet his match this time hopefully in the form of Novak or Ferrer. let us see.


Humble Rafa Says:

I perfectly agree with you. No one else apart from our GOAT should be allowed to dominate. Its not good for the “game”.

I OWN your GOAT on. I am deep INSIDE his head.


metan Says:

@ Michael, agree.
Give last chance to Nadal break the record this year , next year he will retire, then the trophy will be shared to others, wk wk , imo, it’s fair,
But fo without him is sooooboring.
my pick is Murray ,

Any idea which young player I can pick for replacing Roger and nadal, if they won’t okay any more??


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer:

You worry to much. Rafa will have a very hard time until the final, especially if he plays against Ferrer. It won’t be in three, oh no this time. We have seen last year that he is not immune to pressure, and soon we will see cracks in his armour. He is lucky not to play any power baseliner, but anyway, he won’t finish the job easily against Pico.

And IF Nole makes the final – and you can see how much pressure there is on Roger and him, it is not a question of form, but in their inner-self, they believe they can win – IF he makes the final, and the court are not sodden like yesterday, he won’t lose.


Dave Says:

Roger Federer Fan: “Can you please educate us all on Federer’s record against qualifiers in grandslams?”

Why don’t you put your big mouth to work and educate us with some real facts for once? We’re waiting to see what you really have, since anyone can press the ‘submit comment’ button.

Nadal is on Court Suzanne Lenglen for the second time, while Sharapova has played on Court Philippe Chatrier for all but one match.

H2H ATP stats (this link is versatile because it allows you to customize date you want for a player or for H2H match ups for players).
- David Ferrer vs. Marcel Granollers
http://www.tennisabstract.com/cgi-bin/player.cgi?p=DavidFerrer&f=A0&q=MarcelGranollers

- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Stanislas Wawrinka
http://www.tennisabstract.com/cgi-bin/player.cgi?p=JoWilfriedTsonga&f=A0&q=StanislasWawrinka

- Richard Gasquet vs. Andy Murray
http://www.tennisabstract.com/cgi-bin/player.cgi?p=RichardGasquet&f=A0&q=AndyMurray

- Janko Tipsarevic vs. Nicolas Almagro
http://www.tennisabstract.com/cgi-bin/player.cgi?p=JankoTipsarevic&f=A0&q=NicolasAlmagro

- Juan Martin Del Potro vs. Tomas Berdych
http://www.tennisabstract.com/cgi-bin/player.cgi?p=JuanMartinDelPotro&f=A0&q=TomasBerdych

- Juan Monaco vs. Rafael Nadal
http://www.tennisabstract.com/cgi-bin/player.cgi?p=JuanMonaco&f=A0&q=RafaelNadal


trufan Says:

Humble Rafa,

Deep inside GOAT’s head? only on clay, where he is 12-2. Outside of clay, your beloved Rafa is still 6-8 against the GOAT. In spite of the 5 year age advantage.

Don’t you remember the thrashing he got at the YEC last year?


sub023 Says:

Holy cow Granollers has a disgustingly annoying grunt.


Mark Says:

I still remember the thrashings dished out to the Fedthugs’ idol. FO 2008 – your man won just FOUR games. In a grand slam ? That is ridiculous!!!


Dave Says:

“While they are winning, eventually losing sets to guys like Seppi, Unger, Mahut and Goffin, is going to catch up with you.”

During the TC broadcast, John McEnroe was asked whether losing a set in his last three matches would harm the aging Federer going forward. McEnroe thoughtfully answered no, given Federer’s endurance.

In any case, many grand slam champions in the open era dropped at least two sets before the finals. Here’s Rod Laver completing his Calendar Year Grand Slam dropping the equivalent of three to four sets before the final as there was no tiebreaker in those days.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1969_US_Open_%E2%80%93_Men%27s_Singles


Dave Says:

Mark: “FO 2008 – your man won just FOUR games. In a grand slam ? That is ridiculous!!!”

What’s really ridiculous is that Federer reached a grand slam final so soon after suffering mononucleosis. Which other tennis player or other athlete with mono has been able to do something similar?


Mark Says:

@ Dave. EXCUSES! EXCUSES! EXCUSES!!


Blah Says:

props to ferrer still being able to play such a physical style at 30, reminds me of agassi (of lesser talent and accomplishments, obviously).


Michael Says:

Nadal is still only 26 and well he has many more years to break that Borg’s record.


Blah Says:

please dont show the damn wta matches instead of tsonga wawrinka and gask murray, no one cares if one of them is the last american left in the tourney.


skeezer Says:

Rager Fake Fan,

Please, take a deep breath, now slowly exhale. Repeat. Now, repeat after me, Rafa is going to win the 2012 FO. Feel better? Glad I could help. Me thinks your Love is safe, for now. Now please get a napkin and wipe that drool off your face.


Mark Says:

Good luck Tsonga in your next match!


Blah Says:

Woo jo-willy, that top half of qfs looks pretty fun now.


Blah Says:

Lets do a recap of womens singles so far instead of showing del potro-berdych; why?

Cause f you, that’s why.


mat4 Says:

Skeezer says:

“I love my fellow fed fans. For us tennis is all about who will beat Nadal and how he is eliminated. We will root for anyone who has a semblance of chance against him. For example, we will be rooting for Nole against our own idol on friday’s SF if they get that far.”

LOL

@Brando, Colin:

Happy birthday!


skeezer Says:

Mat4

Make sure you give credit to the right poster for quotes.


Blah Says:

Del potro is hitting big but not moving that well. Berdych isnt making him pay for that but federer will chew him up.


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer:

Sorry Skeez! I sincerely apologise. I was reading yours posts and somehow mixed this one with yours.

The worst thing is that isn’t even funny from a Rafa fan.


Blah Says:

damn it masha, pls finish this quick so I can catch some of gask/murray


dari Says:

Awww, so happy for delpo! This is a tough match against very in form player over two days. Big effort for him to .keep going with that knee.


skeezer Says:

Mat4 no worries ;)

Well, what a great half ofthe draw for macthups. Big hitters Tsonga and Delpo against Fed and Djoker.

The other half? Uh…..at least there is the Celtics – Heat to watch.


mat4 Says:

I rooted thirty years ago for the Celtics. Still remember their duel against Philadelphia, Moses Malone and Dr J. But it was another era in basket-ball.


skeezer Says:

^Was a good one


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Not sure if you can put Tsonga and Delpo in the same category on clay. Tsonga just scrapped through Stan, since he was tired. But in the last 3 sets, most of the time he was looking clueless on the baseline rallies.

DelPo on clay is a different animal. Infact it could be his best surface even compared to HC. He doesn’t have to hurry up his shots and have a huge swing. He is more consistent on baseline in the clay and slides pretty well.


trufan Says:

Of the top 4 players, who has the weakest QF opponent?

Lets see. Delpo, Tsonga, Ferrer, Almagro – who is the weakest?

Almagro.

Who plays him?

Nadal.

That’s what’s called luck.


mat4 Says:

There is no luck in the slams draw.


Jatt Says:

I don’t understand … How many folks I have heard saying nadal is going to be finished after he has turned 26 or more…
The fact is he is still super strong and who knows if he is able to take care good care of his knees and body in the next 2-3 years he is going to own many record…these days you can easily see so many tennis players are already playing well past their 30s..


dari Says:

I agree with you, Jatt. I think a few years ago, with rafa’s recurring knee problems it didnt look like he would make it to 30+, but with the miracle knee treatments he has now, I don’t see a stop for him anytime soon. However, i will recall he said himself, “take me off rhe court if i am still playing at 30″ he may be happily eating his words!


dari Says:

Ps i have wached barely a few minutes of his matches and hear no news from rafa. He is going through so easily and quietly, seems like it will take a twilight zone day with someone playing tremwndous and rafa off by a bit for him to NOT win this tournament. Hope i am wrong though, would make quite a snooze of a tournament, which save yesterday’s excitement (which I mostly missed due to.flying!) has been not very thrilling. Onto the second week!


Blah Says:

Of the top 4 players, whose qf opponent has a knee injury?

Hint: the qf opponent is not named almagro =]


the mind reels Says:

skeezer:

“The other half? Uh…..at least there is the Celtics – Heat to watch.”
______

Haha, so true. I don’t see anybody in the bottom half of the draw giving Nadal a hard time. Unless he has a seriously off day, he should stroll to the finals. I think Djokovic could struggle against Tsonga if he doesn’t clean up his game from yesterday, but Tsonga may choke under the pressure of being in Paris.

Meanwhile, I never thought I’d be cheering for the Celtics (I’m from L.A.), but how does Wade miss a wide-open three to close the game out last night? I’m glad he missed it, but geez…


Jatt Says:

“come on give me my trophy..me go with uncle Tony for fishing..no?”


jane Says:

Ferrer has cruised through the draw so far, interestingly.

I think Nole’s QF will be very tough for him: he has the highest ranked opponent, who is healthy, and against whom he has an 5 all 50-50 H2H record, and the French crowd will be as loud as possible. Not to mention Nole’s poor form. Pluses: Nole did beat him in the last few, and perhaps clay isn’t Jo’s best surface, but neither is it Nole’s. I expect 5 hard fought sets. Can say who will win.

Fed’s QF should be easier but it’s tough to know.
Pluses: he is 11-2 over Delpo!! The last time Delpo beat Fed was in 2009. Since then they have met 5 times and Delpo hasn’t won ONE SET! Delpo is injured; I don’t know the extent of the injury but he’s said since round 2 he’s playing with pain.
The unknown factors that may make it less predictable are that Fed and Delpo have not played on clay lately, and it may change the dynamic; that we don’t know the extent of JMDP’s injury; and that Fed’s had to struggle a bit so far. I predict Fed in 4 tight sets.

Rafa’s OF: Almagro. 7-0 for Rafa. 2 sets for Nico. 1 set for Nico on clay. Enough said. :)

Ferrer’s QF: if it’s Murray, the H2H is 5-4 for Murray but Andy’s never beaten him on clay. 3-0 on clay. But I think if Murray gets through they could have a long match and it’s possible Murray could win and reach the semis again. Tough one to call. Number 4 versus number 6. If it’s Gasquet, Ferrer will come through more easily. He is 7-1 over Richard. If Gasquet wins today, then Ferrer will be more rested for Rafa anyhow, and may get a set even.

Right now, I am guessing another Fedal final because I can’t safely say Nole will beat Tsonga, and if he does I think it’ll be a tough match, so I am going to say Fed will win the semi either way.

But honestly it might be kind of fun to see someone like JMDP or Tsonga in the final, not that they would or could beat Rafa, but it just because it would be a new and different dynamic.

Rafa should surpass Borg and reach 11 slams here.

Someone said Murray will win the FO. I would be happy for him indeed! But I just can’t see it. I think he can get a set off Rafa here if he reaches the semi, why not? He’s gotten sets off him on clay before. But three sets? Only Soderling has done it.

Maybe we’ll be surprised? But the odds are against it.


skeezer Says:

TMF,

Yeah and the Celcs couldn’t find the basket at all there late in the game. Good thing they have Rondo, he rescued them there with some points they needed in the end.

Re; Heat. Wade and James are no Jordon or Kobe. How many times have you seen them make a clutch shot in the end to win? Not many. Btw, kimberly was saying the locals around Miami don’t like the coach, and I am starting to believe them….


skeezer Says:

jane,

“Fed’s QF should be easier but it’s tough to know.”
True, but Delpo has won a slam. He has credentials.

Put another way, pull out Rafa on the other side of the draw and put Fed there. As a fan would love Fed to be in that Half…hehe


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Looks like going forward Roger continue to set new benchmarks for reaching the Quarters and Rafa for winning the slams. Once he gets to No 1 shortly, he may go on a streak something similar to Roger for next 2 years.


jane Says:

Yes I should have mentioned that as a factor, skeeze. I think both Tsonga and Delpo love the big matches. Delpo has won a slam, and Tsonga has reached a slam final, and taken Fed and Rafa out at slams, so this is important at the QF stage because these opponents have the belief and confidence against the top guys.


skeezer Says:

jane,

Will think you’ll know what form Nole is in after his match with Tsonga. You’re right, Tsonga being French, that at this tourney for him it helps, although me thinks Nole has a edge on this surface more than Ali. Balls are heavy and slow, as well as the surface. I haven’t seen a Tsonga match this tourney. How is he playing?


Humble Rafa Says:

I am surprised how many feel that the men’s draw is “open”.


jane Says:

I have seen a couple of Tsonga’s matches, and he is playing well, his usual highs and lows. Great serving, protecting his second, winning lots of firsts. I think Stan was gassed, though so not sure what would’ve happened if he wasn’t. Tsonga has been hitting a lot of errors, which could be a key next round. If Nole can play a clean game, unlike vs Seppi, that might make the difference. And he a better returner. But Nole’s serve is more vulnerable than Tsonga’s too. I don’t know what to expect partly because of Erratovic last round and also because Tsonga can be mercurial. Both of them are combustible. :)


racquet Says:

jane, nice analysis. Btw, Borg has 11 slams so Nadal would equal his total. Hurry up Shazza. Just tuned in and saw that there has been 17 breaks of serve!! wtf?


Andrea Says:

I know nadal has thrashed Monaco in the past, but Juan has been playing well this year. Not sure if it’s enough to beat nadal but should mean a more dynamic match. Interesting that nadal will have to play 3 tough clay courters in a row…Monaco, almagro and then ferrer (assuming nadal ad ferrer make it through).


jane Says:

^ Yeah the draw shaped up that way, with mostly clay courters on Rafa’s side and more aggressive hitters on the other.

racquet, yes, I just wish Sharapova could get her serve in gear and finish this match! She should’ve won it in two but the other “ova” giving her a run.


jane Says:

racquet “Btw, Borg has 11 slams so Nadal would equal his total” – I meant surpass Borg’s 6 FOs because Rafa would have 7 FOs, but I didn’t word it well. So he’s surpass Borg’s FO total but equal his overall slam total. Rafa is reaching the upper-upper echelons in tennis history.


skeezer Says:

Btw, looks like a “Mud” day for Rafa. Perfection.


Brando Says:

@Conty, Kimberly, Jane and mat4:

thank you. It was a fun day, as im sure it would have been for the children and the pool party k hosted :-)


jatt Says:

oops another casualty at this FO. Li Na is also out..wonder what happened after the first set ?


Mark Says:

To the Fedthugs who say ” I love my fellow Fed fans. For us tennis is all about who will beat Nadal ………. “. You guys are truly desperate to make such a statement.


racquet Says:

LOL…the camera just zoomed into a couple leaning on each other sound asleep. Has this match been that dull? Nadal will probably get done quickly but Muzzah/Gasquet could carry over until tomorrow.


Brando Says:

interesting take on things by everyone here, re 2nd week, here’s how i see things:

Novak v Jo: i have a hard time in believing in jo’s clay court ability, and as to whether he even believes in his own game on clay. BOTH struggled in round 16- so arguably they are on a level playing field. The home crowd shouldn’t affect novak ( he beat rafa in madrid after all).

Is jo the WEAKEST top 8 player on clay? i think he is so….

VERDICT: novak in 3, with a TB.

Fed v Delpo: people forget that delpo NEARLY beat fed in 2009 at the FO- so he can definately take it to fed on clay. He also won estoril this year, made SF in madrid- so he has form. Fed has been streaky in the tourny so far- not as assured as one expects him to be. this one’s tough, so i’ll go….

VERDICT: FED in 5. Fed’s streaky, delpo playing well but injured, so it’ll go long and fed should come out the winner.


dc Says:

@HUmble Rafa
I OWN your GOAT on. I am deep INSIDE his head.
—————————————————
Additionally, that’s the only achievement I have

I do not even come close to any of the other top record in the sport. (max time at number 1, max major tournament wins, continuous weeks at number 1).


jane Says:

Not sure what happened with Li Na, but a bagel in the 3rd?

Definitely Sharapova’s worst match today.

racquet, for me, Vika’s “hoos” can actually lull me to sleep because they are so rhythmic but I don’t think I could sleep through Sharpie’s most guttural screams. I am surprised that couple are snoozing, lol.


mat4 Says:

@Brando:

I forget a gift. So there’s one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sPUxUjho-g&feature=related

I hope you’ll enjoy!


the mind reels Says:

@jane: yea, was just going to ask if anyone has been following Shvedova’s progress. She came through the qualies and is now in the fourth round of the women’s doubles draw and the quarters of the singles draw. Very impressive!


jane Says:

TMR, have not seen any of Shvedova’s matches, but that is impressive. She could meet Kvitova next.


Brando Says:

@mat4:

LMAO, your a character! LOL, she certainly wears an interesting outfit there, doesn’t she?

This one’s for you- and i KNOW you’ll enjoy it! :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O8SgaDOock&feature=related


skeezer Says:

racquet,

Lol did they have ear plugs? How could u sleep through the Maria screech?

Mark,

So RFF is a Fedthug? Lol ;)


mat4 Says:

Pico is playing well. I don’t think he will make the distance, but he looks great right now.


racquet Says:

Gotta love the French crowd. They booed Maria after she won and booed Andy as he just walked on. He smiled.


jane Says:

Almagro reached the QFs here twice before: in 2008 he lost to Rafa in a one-sided rout; and in 2010, he lost to Rafa in 3 tight sets.


mat4 Says:

I just jinxed Monaco.


jane Says:

racquet the FO crowd? Don’t love them. Here’s my take, all broad generalizations of course.
Wimbledon crowd: they seem to just love tennis; they are usually polite and cheer on winners and underdogs.
AO crowd: generally “happy” (though some partisan DC-like rows in the past); they also seem to love tennis.
USO crowd: can be really lively, which is fun, but also sometimes too noisy during points, moving around etc.
FO crowd: to me, generally speaking, the rudest, and sometimes seems sparse. I look at those empty seats and pine. :) [aside: the crowd at Cannes is also one of the harshest crowds at film festivals, frequently booing films etc.]


jane Says:

A little defence from Murray there. :)


racquet Says:

That was something wasn’t it?


mat4 Says:

jane:

I like a bit better AO crowd than WB crowd; in general terms, I think that the AO is the best slam now.

I agree that the French crowd is the worst. The USO and the FO are the worst slams exaequo.


jane Says:

Murray’s not playing his best imo. Admittedly Gasquet is playing further in the court today than he was against Dimitrov, which is helping. But I wish Andy would step it up. Gasquet served very well that set too but Andy not too bad either (67% firsts).

Meanwhile, it’s looking like another Rafa rout.


racquet Says:

Bad start. He gave that set away. There must be something in the water – that Nadal hasn’t been drinking.


jane Says:

mat4, AO crowd is different than Wimbledon one but seem to be filled with true tennis lovers. AO is a bit more colourful and wacky, though you get some eccentrics at Wimbledon too. I like both.


steve-o Says:

Only non-Federer fans take Del Potro so lightly here. I assure you, I do not.

The outcome depends on Federer. If he comes out less than stellar, it will be a long, drawn-out affair. If his game is on, he will dismantle Del Potro with crisp tactical play. Then people will wonder why Del Potro didn’t put up a fight and dismiss him as mentally weak.

Tsonga, OTOH, is a spent force after his five-setter with Wawrinka. I doubt he poses any real threat at this point. His endurance isn’t the best at the best of times, and in slow conditions his serve and first-strike game isn’t as effective. If he can get the first set over Djokovic, he has a tiny chance. Otherwise, forget it.

And fear not, Murray fans. Even if Gasquet wins the second set, it’s only a prelude to his complete and total unraveling in the last three sets.


racquet Says:

Murray breaks! Playing more solidly now. Conditions look sucky though.


mat4 Says:

Finally, it seems I didn’t jinx Pico. He doesn’t need me. He needs some brain and a new coach.


jane Says:

Murray with the break.

Poor Pico is getting a Rafa beatdown.

steve-o, part of me wonders if it’s even worth it to analyze much because Rafa is going to win this thing. I honestly can’t see anyone beating him. Not Nole, not Fed, not Ferrer, not Murray, not Tsonga, not Delpo… well you get the idea. ;)

Gasquet’s forehand: is it a liability? Sometimes it looks good; other times it looks like it won’t clear the net and it lands mid court. Very punishable. Also, any notice he’s sent up a couple moonballs!?


the mind reels Says:

Most guys are too afraid to come in against Nadal. I don’t blame them — it’s generally a very risky proposition — but with the right kind of patience and approach shot, it’s a tactic that we’ve seen pay off at times against him. Hard, I know, to sustain and kind of successful tactics against him on clay, but I think when executed thoughtfully, it can prove useful.

Ironically, most clay-court “specialists” get clobbered by Nadal since they play the same style of game but just at a lower level than him. It takes a non-clay court specialist with big shots to hit him off the court.


mat4 Says:

jane,

tststststs… Nole will win this thing IF he makes the final. And Ferrer will play an excellent semi against Rafa, a five setter.


andrea Says:

ok. scratch my earlier comment about juan monaco making a match out of this. how does raonic never break monaco’s serve and nadal eats him for breakfast?


dari Says:

Wow pico got a bagel? Ouch

I always thought rafa woukd win this one, but he is really having it easy, even more than I thought. The only way ANYONE has a chance is to catch him off guard/ not battle tested from these easy matches. Good luck with that. ;)


dari Says:

the forehand?! Yay/what the heck!
Go Murray!


jane Says:

steve-o I agree the Delpo/Fed encounter is a tough one to predict, but what about Delpo’s knee? This is one thing that could be a key factor and we don’t know much about it. That’s why it’s a bit of a mystery. Weather could be a factor too. Sunnier, methinks, could favour Fed; heavier conditions Delpo.

————————————————

I have to say, live them or hate them, I agree with Berdych and Tipsy on this one:

“PARIS: Czech Tomas Berdych believes the French Open should get with the times and install floodlights after gloom descended on Sunday and interrupted his fourth-round clash against Juan Martin del Potro.

The number seven seed was trailing by two sets to one when play was suspended at Roland Garros and he swiftly exited the competition on Monday when the match was resumed.

Floodlights are now common on the tour circuit while the French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament without lights on at least one court.

“It’s definitely not about the scheduling, but it’s definitely about (time) to do something with this place,” he told reporters.

“As you see every place you have at least lights. We don’t have to play a night session, but at least have decent lights so you can finish the match.”

Berdych was backed up by Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic who lost his fourth-round clash against Nicolas Almagro in straight sets on Monday.

“I think the only change which I could possibly see in this event is having lights on the show court,” he said.”


racquet Says:

The crowd is detestable.


Brando Says:

guys, we have considered all notions re rafa this tourny….

EASY draw, easy this/that/ the other etc

HOW ABOUT this ridicolous idea:

MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, rafa is playing at his best and on clay that means he’s pretty much superior to everyone else- REGARDLESS of his draw.

the guy has an ALMOST 98% win record on clay, he HAS NOT DROPPED A SINGLE SET ON RED CLAY THIS YEAR, and YET people are saying he’s winninh since he has an easy draw?

Give this draw to fed or novak (monaco, almagro, ferrer etc) and people will cry that its tough!

LOL, the draw isn’t easy its just rafa makes it seem as such due to his SUPERIORITY over virtually everyone on clay!

let’s face it he is called CLAY GOAT for a reason!


jatt Says:

hmm..looks like a double bagel for monaco
wonder what is coming in rafa’s next match ?


jane Says:

^ should be love them or hate them @12:56 :)

“Wow pico got a bagel? ” – dari he’s about to get a second. Poor Pico. Rafa smackdown.

mat4, love your optimism. Right now, based on what I have seen thus far, I just can’t see it. Rafa will win the title probably without dropping a set. Ferrer? 15-4 for Rafa. Last 4 matches on clay, not one set for Ferrer and last match ate a bagel. Nole? Well, he scraped by Seppi! :D


jane Says:

Muzza with the second set. It’s dark already!


racquet Says:

Andy takes the 2nd set.


racquet Says:

Wow. Rafa wins with 2 bagels? I think GS #7 is on the cards.


Brando Says:

@Jane:

Novak has more than a chance to win, BUT i completely agree with you.

Novak has to focus on improving his own game- he needs top form in order to win this- and RIGHT NOW he is far from top form.

IF i’m being really honest, the best player in the top half so far has been del potro for me. He seems more assured on court than either novak or federer atm. Of course that can change though.


racquet Says:

All of a sudden a perfect service game.


Brando Says:

rafa played well- pico is a CLOSE FRIEND of rafa’s and seeing that rafa DOUBLE BAGELLED him is telling as to the state of rafa’s mind!

the man seems to have a RUTHLESS look about him atm!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Hard to overstate how well Rafa is playing. He beat Monaco like he was a child. I thought with the way Ferrer was playing that he could actually press Rafa, but after seeing this, its hard to imagine.
Ferrer and Fed look miles ahead of the top half duo of Fed and Nole, but I still imagine Fed and Nole could at least, I don’t know, probe Rafa a tad. Unless Rafa’s level drops a bit, this is his Slam. Better luck in 2013 everyone.


jamie Says:

Just give the trophy to Nadal already.


jane Says:

Muzza with some momentum now.

Brando, definitely Rafa’s the best, by far, on clay and one of the greatest ever on the surface. I do think, however, that the only players who have troubled him on the surface have been big hitters: Isner, five sets last year; Soda win in 2009; Fed getting sets when he’s playing aggressive. But overall, you’re probably right that the draw doesn’t matter to much, although he is able to conserve energy with this draw, and from a spectator’s viewpoint, Rafa’s being at least a little tested – i.e., tight sets – would make the matches more interesting imo.


racquet Says:

Murray playing beautifully now. Gasquet giving more gallic shrugs.


jane Says:

This looks good for Murray right now! Seems like crashquet has made an appearance. Crashing… slowly. Crowd taken out of it.

“too” not “to” @1:12.

Brando, I said “one of” as I am not a goat believer generally speaking. I don’t go in for goat talk (too many variables imo), although I do like goat cheese, and I am quite happy to pet the little natterers at the petting zoo. ;)


mat4 Says:

Brando,

tstststs… Why not a draw like DelPo, Berdych, Fed, with lively balls?

Ferrer never made the semi at RG, and he won’t make that semi if he faces Murray this year neither. Almagro? Monaco? You cannot be serious.

The draw is fixed to offer Rafa the easiest quarter, the easiest semi, the easiest final. Let’s see: Tsonga has a positive result against ONE top four: he’s in his quarter. Simon has won matches against Nole and Fed: he’s in their semi. Berdych could be a hindrance for Rafa, so, guess where he is: in Fed’s quarter. Idem for DelPo. All the top players with a good serve and powerful strokes are in the other half. And what about the balls? Guess who is the manufacturer? Babolat! So this year, they are not only softer, but heavier, therefore slower. The Frenchies take NO RISK, no?

Rafa was in HIS BEST FORM EVER LAST YEAR. When did he make so many finals? From the USO 2010 to Wimbledon, he played the finals of all the tournaments he played, the AO excepted. He wasn’t at that level in 2008.

It is the same thing since 2011. Then, at the AO, everything was done for Rafa to win the GS. Guess Nike wants another record breaker to replace Fed, who’s getting old. Unfortunately, Rafa broke under the pressure then. (I believe there was another thing, but I’ll let Sen-no-Rikyu write about it.)


racquet Says:

Goat believer…lol! Another break for the bank.


Brando Says:

@Jane:

the big hitters being a the most troublesome to rafa seems a myth to me.

Yes isner won 2 sets BUT BOTH were TBs- that could happen to ANY of big 3 on ANY surface versus big john IMO.

Yes, he also lost to soderling, BUT he has SS on both occassions at FO since then. He beat soda 6-1, 6-0 at rome 2009 proir to the loss. Then he skipped wimby post that loss to knee injury.

IMHO, i think it wasn’t just soda’s big game that beat rafa BUT ALSO his condition played a part in his loss.

Either way, me thinks he can handle big hitter just fine also. His record suggests it.


Dave Says:

Lindsey Vonn wants to teach Fed’s kids to ski, and in return Roger has to teach her future kids to play tennis.
http://www.blick.ch/sport/tennis/vonn-trifft-federer-auf-der-parkbank-id1909967.html


Brando Says:

@Mat4:

i LIKE YOU as a poster- and i wouldn’t want to offend you at all, BUT all i’ll say regarding your theory of a fix is that i RESPECTFULLY DISAGREE.

Correction ill add one more thing to it: do you HONESTLY, GENUINELY believe that if there was A RIGGED DRAW AT THE FO they- FFT- would favour it to rafa of all people?

a player who they mocked last year with that silly advert?

REALLY?


mat4 Says:

And I have to admit I was utterly wrong. I thought the draw were fixed to protect Federer, or the most valuable final. No! When you think about it, since 2009, the draws are fixed to protect Rafa! The two best players of the world on hard were always in the other half!


racquet Says:

Murray wins the 3rd with a baguette.


jatt Says:

hmm..I think the FO should make it mandatory for Rafa to play against 2 players together at one time to make it more competitive..


andrea Says:

nadal is a freak of nature on clay…we can’t deny that and it’s true that the draw really makes no difference if he’s playing well. once in a while, he won’t play his best on clay and someone else will step up to the plate, but it happens so rarely.

novak and fed have both shown they can beat him but not consistently on clay. don’t have high hopes for almagro. but i agree with jane: nadal’s matches aren’t very exciting when they are such blow outs.


jane Says:

BTW, “crashquet” is margot’s moniker for reeshard, but I love it so I had to use it. hee hee.

I don’t know Brando. I think he’d be more tested against an aggressive player (or two). He’s had none so far, and maybe he won’t until before the finals if it’s Almagro and then Ferrer, so it’s tough to know. But look at the Berdych match at Rome. It was closer than the Ferrer one imo. The point being that in every case, when Rafa’s been pushed on clay, it’s generally when the opponent takes it to him, and doesn’t grind overly much.


jane Says:

Baguette racquet. :)


mat4 Says:

Brando,

I don’t mind if we have a little polemic. And no, sometimes I don’t believe everything I write, but if it is plausible… why not. Just hope you won’t get annoyed.


jane Says:

But Brando re: 1:29, that’s not to say he still wouldn’t win the matches , just that they might be tighter, and Rafa might even lose a set! ;)


Brando Says:

@Jane:

i AGREE with you re your last post.

Either way though, when you have a 98% win record on a surface, it SURELY means that you have faced and mastered all styles IMO.

ULTIMATELY, time will tell- in sports who knows what can happen.


Dave Says:

If interested, you can analyze Federer’s recent H2H stats against Del Potro by clicking on “head to head” (left-most column) in this link and entering Juan Martin Del Potro’s name. You can find your favorite player by using the player search box… then check his recent H2H against his favorite opponent.
http://www.tennisabstract.com/cgi-bin/player.cgi?p=RogerFederer

Brando, Federer has won at least three slams after playing four or five setters in three to four matches: 2009 French Open, 2008 Australian Open and 2005 US Open. Federer’s first four matches could be be deceiving because this has been the easiest draw he has had to reach the quarterfinals in any slam (see link) — much of the time Roger played as if he was in exhibition matches. Roger has not played his best, but he simply did not need to be at his best. We will know that answer by the end of the quarterfinals. McEnroe does not expect the three four setters to hurt Federer, given his endurance. And the extra match practice may end up helping Federer — the winner of the Tuesday quarterfinal has an extra day to rest before the semifinal on Friday. Federer has probably been more mentally relaxed between matches compared to Djokovic and Nadal, given how casually he has begun his matches. The final 2.5 sets against Goffin gave us some idea where Federer’s form is. In any case, Federer got the workout he needed from Goffin — the crafty Belgian’s early ball striking to all parts of the court should make the balls of Del Potro or Djokovic appear slightly slower to Federer.
http://tinyurl.com/7deto7g


Brando Says:

@Mat4:

it’s COOL- i definately won’t be annoyed. it’s a tennis blog, and part of the charm is that you get see/read ALL AND VARIOUS point of views and theories. ALL INTERESTING.

i diasgree with your take, but i do find it interesting.


Blah Says:

Couldnt even get a two set lead this time before collapsing eh. Oh well =\, Mr. lady forehand’s still never winning a slam.


racquet Says:

heh…when Gasquet hits his racquet the crowd encourage him, when Murray does it they boo. fickle.


mat4 Says:

jane,

I see you enjoy. Poor Reeshard. But it is not over yet.


racquet Says:

Love how it goes as dead as a crypt in there whenever Andy hits a winner.


jane Says:

racquet it will be the same tomorrow between Nole and Tsonga. That’s why I hope there is no 5th set. It could be intense. Eeek. Andy has done well to mostly take the crowd out of it.


racquet Says:

jane, the crowd don’t realize that he thrives on that stuff.


racquet Says:

wow…all of his game is clicking now. Double break.


TennisFan Says:

Monaco’s game an embarrasment today … he should have bowed out to Raonic yesterday if that was all he was going to offer.


jane Says:

Murray hitting some big forehands there. mat4, yes, am enjoying. :) I actually like Richard very much and have been rooting for him in his matches so far, but I honestly think a Murray versus Ferrer match will be more exciting. Ferrer basically has Gasquet’s number, but it’s not as certain versus Muzz. And Andy can maybe give Rafa a good match too!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Watching Rafa at his best on clay is to watch the greatest marriage of a skillset to a surface we’ve ever seen. Rafa is an all time great on all surfaces, but on clay he is transcendent. He is perfect. Watching Novak or to a lesser extent Fed or Murray even give Rafa a hint of challenge on clay is an enormous statement of their own strength, as the heroism of a mortal who could challenge a god.


jatt Says:

@tennisfan

its not about Monaco..I bet he tried is best but could not do anything..no player in a tourny wants to get bageled forget a double bagel..

Its just Rafa on clay the other side which is making life very difficult for other players. Ask Roger in the FO 2008 when he got bageled in the finals


racquet Says:

That was no (decent) lady’s forehand just now.


jane Says:

TV “Watching Novak or to a lesser extent Fed or Murray even give Rafa a hint of challenge on clay is an enormous statement of their own strength, as the heroism of a mortal who could challenge a god.”

:)


Maso Says:

Taking a set from Rafa on clay when he’s in this kind of shape ‘s almost an inhuman feat. Taking three… that almost seems like a fairy tale! But who knows, tennis is full of surprises.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Murray looks very good right now. If he plays this well I think he’ll pose more problems for Rafa than Ferrer is capable of.


jane Says:

^ I agree: the tough part will be for Murray to get past Ferrer, but if he can’t it could make for a more interesting semi, imho. Murray just has so much more variety! Like that lob. Come on Muzza.


Dave Says:

A Swiss Man-Hug made the Belgian’s day, the crowd cheered and everybody went home happy.
http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/galleries/players/atpf324_fs.html?start=2


jane Says:

Great play by Andy! Exciting win.


racquet Says:

He’s through! Have to say, those last 2 sets were very impressive. He’ll need to do that for 3 sets or more against Ferrerrrr.


the mind reels Says:

Murray really picked things up, and it seems like Gasquet made some poor shot choices towards the end of that match. Against a guy like Murray, it really hurts to have those kinds of mental lapses.

Good win for Murray today.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Great Swiss Man Hug. Cold and quick handshakes today from Gasquet/Murray and Berdych/DelPotro.
Gasquet went for the tricky no-look shake. Get it wrong and its quite awkward.


jane Says:

Petra’s outfit is horrid.


Humble Rafa Says:

Just sending a little statement with my play..that’s all.

Your HH


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Can’t wait for tomorrow’s matches. Nole had real problems with his movement against Seppi. Tsonga shouldn’t be too dangerous on clay, but if Nole has an injury, such as a groin pull, keeping him from moving and turning quickly, he’ll be f’d.
Del Potro looked great today, but Fed has had his number lately. Have to give Fed the overdog status.


the mind reels Says:

@TV: agreed, though I’d give Tsonga a little bit of x-factor advantage since he’s in France and has been known to get hot in the past, swing for the fences, and not miss.

Assuming both Djokovic and Federer make it through tomorrow, their SF match will be a pivotal one for the rankings, I think.

* If Federer wins the SF, then rankings likely won’t change after the tournament, since Nadal is likely to beat Federer, which will mirror last year’s outcome.

* If Djokovic wins the SF, he’ll pick up points whether he wins the final or not. If he somehow beats Nadal in the finals, then Nadal will drop back to #3, which would be interesting going into Wimbledon. If he were to lose in the finals, the only one who’d really suffer would be Federer, as this would put more space between Djokovic and Federer in the rankings.

As always, all very hypothetical.


jatt Says:

I agree with you HR..
Rafa gave a double bagel and in turn sent a very strong message to Djokovic and others to get ready
He has mentally won the battle already


skeezer Says:

Well.. Gotta defend some Rafa fans here. JM is not a great player, but he is not a bad player either. Rafa is on fire, and the final is not going to be pretty.


NachoF Says:

@the mind reels,

I think if Federer doesnt win either Wimbledon or Roland Garros then he shouldnt be aspiring to be no.1… regardless of what Nadal or Djokovic do.


Colin Says:

I was disappointed to see that “fake?” query of Mr Randall’s regarding Murray’s back. As Andy himself asked afterwards, what on earth would have been the point? Did he deliberately lose the first set and go behind in the second? You might say he knew he was in bad form and was playing for time, but wouldn’t the timeouts, and the strenuous manipulation by the physio, be just as likely to break his concentration even more?
Then there is the basic fact it’s calling him a liar. He has always struck me as being one of the most honest and straightforward guys in the sport.


jane Says:

Wow, stands are EMPTY for this ladies’ match – shockingly empty for R16 at a slam.


NachoF Says:

If Federer reached the finals I have the bad feeling it’ll look a lot like 2008.
I think it was 61 63 60.


the mind reels Says:

@NachoF: well, some may argue that if he doesn’t win either tournament then he doesn’t *deserve* to be #1, which is fine, but that’s a losing argument against a computer-based ranking system. People said the same thing about Wozniacki when she was #1 without a GS title. The point is that the rankings work in such a way as to make it mathematically possible for Federer to re-take #1 (or get very close) without winning both RG and Wimbledon. He may not even have to win either event, depending on how the other two do.

Example, if nothing changes at RG this year and Nadal wins again, points stay the same. Going into Wimbledon (let’s discard the warm-up tournament for kicks):

1. Djokovic: 11,800
2. Nadal: 10,060
3. Federer: 9,790

Again, as a hypothetical, let’s pretend Djokovic loses in the semis and Federer beats, oh I don’t know, Nadal in the finals. after Wimbledon:

1. Federer: 11,430
2. Djokovic: 10,520
3. Nadal: 10,060

Or: maybe Fed takes out Djokovic in the SF and loses to Nadal in the finals (which would presume that Fed is both #3 and on Novak’s side of the draw):

1. Nadal: 10,860
2. Federer: 10,630
3. Djokovic: 10,520

Even in this scenario, he’s only 230 points out of #1 (and a few extra points picked up in Halle could make the difference). Djokovic and Nadal have the most pressure on them to defend over the next couple of weeks and months.

Exciting stuff to come.


jane Says:

Tignor on the “state of the big 3″ (including fashion ;))

http://blogs.tennis.com/thewrap/2012/06/grounds-pass-day-9-june-4.html


TennisFan Says:

Bagels are for eating … not tennis!


jane Says:

Delpo says he’s “almost” physically 100%; he’s “not thinking about his knee”, and “looking forward for the next match.” He says if he has “a little chance to win” then he wants to be ready to “take it”. Delpo says he will try to “play aggressive” too.

Tsonga says playing a few games today took more energy than all the sets yesterday. He says the balls are “slower this year” and that it “levels” the players (but he had a hard time figuring out how to say what he wanted to say in English so not sure if that’s the correct interpretation). “It’s going to be a very difficult match,” [against Nole] Tsonga said. “But obviously I’ll fight like a lion and we’ll see the result. I’ll do everything I can to make it a difficult match for him.”

Both of them weren’t too happy about the darkness/schedule and this ongoing problem at the FO. Delpo mentioned it happened to him last year versus Nole too. Berdych and Tipsy complained about the “no lights” situation as well.


NachoF Says:

@the mind reels,
still think its too far fetched.
If Federer reaches the finals at Roland Garros (and loses to Nadal) he will probably skip Halle (just like he did last year)


the mind reels Says:

@NachoF: perhaps, though it depends on how badly Nadal beats him :)

His no-Halle/no-grass prep going into Wimbledon last year obviously didn’t help him, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he changes things up this year, plays Halle, picks up a few extra points, and gets a couple extra matches under the belt going into Wimbledon.

As you say, of course, it all depends on this week.


jane Says:

I think he will play Halle; didn’t he take flack last year for pulling out? Seems to me the tournament director wasn’t pleased?


Kimberly Says:

mat4—-with all due respect, we have always gotten along but I am going to say my piece in response to your posts above:

what you are saying is total nonsense.

Answer me this, last French Open 2011, if the draw was done to protect Rafa WHY WAS ROBIN SODERLING THE ONLY PLAYER TO EVER BEAT HIM AT RG IN HIS QUARTER?????????????? Think about that, the only player to ever beat him to meet him as soon as the rankings permit.

This year he has Nicolas Almagro, a much better clay courter than Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. In fact, most of Nadal’s matches v. Almagro have been tight on clay where I believe he blew Tsonga out 6-0 6-2 6-3 recently at Davis Cup. I would trade quarter final places for sure and maybe even semi-finals considering the courts are playing slow. And Juan Monaco is certainly an even 4th round opponent to Seppi (and don’t forget the dangerous Raonic could have been there) and certainly tougher than a lucky loser.

In 2008, 2007, 2010 Rafa was slated or did play Novak, the number 3, the tougher semi. However, considering Federer is losing sets to Mahut and Goffin and Ferrer/Murray look strong I wouldn’t even necessarily say that Novaks semi is tougher.

I couldn’t disagree with what you have said more adamantly. I’m not saying his draw is tough but some players have easy draws some tournaments and ultimately it all evens out.


mat4 Says:

@Kimberly,

I agree you have some good points here.

But, let’s see some other facts. In the last 16 slams, he had to play the number 3 player – Federer or Djokovic, three times. Ok, it could be pure chance. But it looks strange, doesn’t it? Then, if you watch it under another angle, Novak had to play the tougher semi 15 times of 16. Looks strange too. Then, Roger played Andy in slams only twice in the last seven years, both times in finals. Ok, those are the odds of the draw, but… quand même…

Then, the change of balls, Babolat… coincidence?


conty Says:

Kimberly,

Not trying to answer for mat4. But, sometimes I don’t know how serious he is being about the idea – more just throwing it out there, I’m thinking.

There’s no doubt all tournaments hope to attract the most fans for the final and thus, you have the draws the way they are. For a long time it was Fedals bringing in the biggest crowds and I had a radio Australian commentator admit it to me in 2009 – they hoped for a Fedal final and were thrilled they got it.

But there was a good chance they’d get what they want, because Rafa and Roger have been the best, particularly Rafa at FO on clay. Rafa’s draws always look easy to me for FO because he is just simply the best. Even someone as great as Almagro has become lately and Ferrer is, to me, at FO, they are beaten when the draw comes out and are on Rafa’s half. The year Rafa lost, his draw looked easy but he was injured and not emotionally squared away because of his parents divorce. Even though it took 5 sets, Soderling beat him. Soderling isn’t the kind of mate of Nadal’s that wouldn’t recognize and take advantage of a dip in Nadal’s form. His compatriots, some of the other best clay-courters, would have lost even in 2009 vs Nadal because they are just lunchmeat vs him like Pico his buddy was today, imo. Ferrer puts up a fight, but does he really want to stop Nadal from winning his 7th FO or 8th Monte Carlo? I doubt it. It’s like Stan vs Roger in a GS. Someone lower ranked and less of a buddy puts up a better fight – in my mind, at least. Well, the h2h’s are evidence too.

In the end the best one wins, whether one believes the draws are tinkered with by tournament organizers or not. And some posters argue, like last year that Fognini was to blame for Djokovic’s loss to Federer, hence not enough match time going into the match with Federer. Maybe some truth in it? Maybe not.

In the end, the best ones will play the final, no matter the “tinkering” or the easy or hard appearance of a draw. Was it a weak era when Federer dominated? Is this a weak era in clay, thus Nadal dominates? ( I’m not serious about those questions, but some are. )

It looks like Nadal will win. He won’t get a proper fight from Almagro; again, that’s my opinion. But I was wrong today. In my bracket I have Murray losing to Ferrer. But I believe Andy is not being a drama queen and really did/does have back issues, that’s why at the top of this thread I picked Gasquet. Now very happy Murray won and I’m hoping he can remain in good form and get a win on clay over Ferrer. It will make the semi more interesting for me, personally, but either way, Nadal is the best. I have to pick him to the final and hope he doesn’t have Federer because we all know how that turns out ;)

I also hope Djokovic plays better and gets by Tsonga but the way he’s been playing, I don’t know. Maybe Tsonga is as good as it gets this year, and the most competitive match for Nadal. I’d watch that one. Or, I’d watch Delpo, if he doesn’t ‘choke’ and I use that word with all due respect to Delpo; I’d like to see him get a win over Federer – his confidence would soar. JMDP vs Nadal would be more interesting than a Fedal. But may the best one on that side make the final. I’ll pass on the Fedal if it’s that. But I doubt it will be a Fedal, the way Roger is playing.

However, maybe no one really wants to be humiliated by Nadal? He’s in scary good form right now. My vote actually would be the winner of Nole and Jo. I doubt Delpo would be at his best with that strapping on his knee by the time he got there. Federer may be the one again on the alter – so be it. There just is not anyone as good as Nadal at 26, with the treatments for his knees working, he has new life in them, and appears good to go do the FO-Wimbledon double like in 2008 and 2010.

I call it advances in Sports Medicine and it’s legit, imo. Years ago, I imagine he’d be sidelined by the tendonitis, or at least have years when he’d miss more GS’s and be injured. Three years after missing Wimbledon, I now believe his treatments remain effective. He’s getting remarkable recovery time too, considering the time between his knee concerns and Monte Carlo. It’s impressive.


conty Says:

Oh sorry, I didn’t see mat4′s post, was typing slowly.


jane Says:

Great post conty: very fair.

I think the ball change was partly due to Rafa, but other players mentioned how last year one ball was used during the Masters events on clay, and then another ball for the FO. I believe Murray and others mentioned injury concern. At Madrid, Rafa said, “If we think about changing the balls to play every tournament with the same balls for the clay court season and then this is possible” – which means, they discussed it and decided they can use the “same balls for the [entire] clay court season”. So there must have been some player involvement on this issue. And at Madrid he was suggesting the same should apply to the blue clay: players should be involved in the decision.


conty Says:

Thanks, jane. I try. :)

Yes, no doubt the balls, the surface, the weather, altititude…so many variables to wonder about for a pro player. But again, imo the best, the most willing and able will adapt. Djokovic and Federer haven’t looked so great: their footwork and balance, or maybe it is the court or the balls? Whatever, Nadal is cruising. And Murray looked good today – I got to stream that match. He was clutching at his back some in the 2nd set. But it made me laugh how the booing crowd brought a smirk to his face. He seemed to love it!


jane Says:

racquet, look what Andy M said about FO crowd! “One of most hostile atmospheres I’ve ever played in”. Luckily he used it to his advantage. Hope Nole can take the same attitude tomorrow.

http://www.sportsmole.co.uk/tennis/french-open/news/murray-revels-in-hostile-atmosphere_29742.html


jane Says:

conty, I agree, Andy had the right attitude towards crowd!


mat4 Says:

jane,

I will try to find you a link with an article about the new balls. It seems that there wasn’t any players’ involvement in the decision the alter the balls. The same manufacturer produce them, Babolat. By their own admission, the balls are softer this year.

conty:

Thanks for the post.

But sometimes I am really in a period of doubts. Look, it all seems very strange. Rafa periodical bulking (remember him at the end of 2009), Murray’s bulking in 2008, Novak’s diet in 2011, Rafa’s knees and other faked or real injuries, the draws for the semi… Rafa losing in RG and not playing WB in 2009, after he was controlled by the French antidoping agency…

Maybe I don’t believe everything I write, but I want to hear good arguments against it. I want to be sure that I am wrong: that there is no draw fixing, match fixing, doping…


Dave Says:

Federer has played Halle almost every year since 2000 — except 2007 (groin injury at French Open), 2009 (exhaustion after winning FO) and 2011 (groin injury at French Open). Roger won five of six Halle finals he played between 2003 to 2010. When Federer skipped Halle in 2007 and 2011 due to groin injury picked up during the French Open, he did not appear to practice, train or take a holiday during the entire Halle week, indicating his injury was probably genuine.

When Federer pulled out of 2011 Halle (on the evening after the French Open final), tournament director Ralf Weber made a big stink of Federer not appearing partly because Federer and Halle had a lifelong exclusive contract that Federer would play Halle. Given Halle’s timing after the French Open, the injured Federer was right to pull out of Halle. But was Ralf’s “I clearly expressed my disappointment to his management” press release staged to appease ticketholders who had paid big bucks and traveled to Halle to see Federer play? It made no sense that Ralf Weber did not contact Roger directly, since they’ve known each pther a long time. Little Ralf isn’t the big honcho in the Gerry Weber empire, it’s Gerhard (Gerry) Weber whom Federer knows. And so in February little Ralf Weber traveled to 2012 Rotterdam for a photo op with Roger to kiss, make up and announce big plans for 2012 Halle’s celebrations. And in April Halle announced that the street leading up to the Gerry Weber Stadium to the Gerry Weber Sportpark Hotel was renamed to Roger-Federer-Allee. Halle knows it needs Federer more than Federer needs it.
http://www.gerryweber-open.de/gwo_en/News/2012/February/Roger-Federer-meets-tournament-director-Ralf-Weber-in-Rotterdam-to-exchange-views

If Federer is not injured/exhausted and/or loses before the final, he will likely show up and play to win the Halle title. If he’s injured, he’ll likely show up, do some promotional activities for a day or so. I highly doubt Nadal will play beyond the quarterfinal.

Halle owes Roger Federer’s grass court prestige for its current status in the tennis world. Unlike some top players, Federer didn’t just show up for a few rounds to collect his appearance fee.

Halle openly acknowledges that it was Federer’s first Halle title (followed up shortly with his first Wimbledon titles) that was key to creating top player and grass court player acceptance of Halle as a warm up grass tourney to Wimbledon.

The Halle tournament began in 1993, sponsored by the Gerry Weber fashion group headquartered in Halle. In its first decade few of the top grass court stars bothered to play Halle, preferring London’s Queens tourney. Strangely Halle attracted many the top claycourters. Yevgeny Kafelnikov was Halle’s winningest player (winning the title three times) — yet he reached Wimbledon fourth round only once in his career. Before Federer won his first of five Halle titles in 2003, only once was Halle won by a grass court star — Michael Stich in 1994. The other grass court players who occasionally played Halle (Boris Becker, Pat Rafter, Richard Krajicek, Tommy Haas, Pete Sampras, Jimmy Connors, Wayne Ferreira, Stich) somehow all managed to lose early, sometimes to claycourters in the 1990s, lol. Even Germany’s own Boris Becker played Halle only once, Michael Stich only three times. Federer played Halle nine times.


Dave Says:

mat4, if I have time later tonight I’ll write more on the possibility of the Slam draws being fixed.


jane Says:

mat4, I understand they are babolat, and I believe they were last year too weren’t they? I know other players mentioned how fast the balls played last year.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-22/new-french-open-balls-by-babolat-bring-complaints-from-novak-djokovic.html


jane Says:

Here’s the article about how the players’ complaints had something to do with the heavier balls this year:

http://www.tennisnow.com/Blogs/NET-NOTES-(1)/May-2012/Babolat-Premiers-New–Play—Connect–Racquet—Ro.aspx


mat4 Says:

jane,

I can’t find the article I read on the subject, where they assert that the balls are not heavier, but only softer. I don’t even know in what language it was. I’m sorry. I’ll try to find it later again.


Kimmi Says:

great win by muzza. didnt see the match but love the score line. Hopefully he is starting to feel it…it took a while but things are clicking. Gasquet beat him in rome..nice revenge happening on the biggest stage.

Now, if only he can beat ferrer? c’mon muzza.


Kimberly Says:

Skeezer and Mat4—just saw your above comments about Heat/Celtics. My thoughts:
1. Wade and James bricking free throws—they deserve to lose.
2. Too much ISO crap, RUN A F-ING PLAY, thats bad coaching
3. stagnant offense, bad coaching
4. bad call with the double foul on lebron but equally bad call with the travel on garnett

Conclusion: missed free throws and bad coaching=lose. Lets see what game 5 brings. I will be there live. the local sentiment is spoelstra should be fired. Going to check ESPN on the status of Bosch.

Very bitter about this. But I will go to the AAA to see this thing through tomorrow.

Sorry to all of those not interseted in BBall. Needed to vent.


Kimberly Says:

its a not a good day when you prefer to see Norris Cole at the free throw line than wade and james.


Sean Randall Says:

Kimberly, I still think the Heat get through. The old and tired Celts are barely hanging on and I think the Heat’s talent wins out.

The Heat beat the Celts last year, I can’t imagine they’d lose to an older team this year. Even without Bosh, assuming he doesn’t play tomorrow.

That said, I’m note sure the Heat will beat the Spurs, but I think they overmatch the Thunder.


conty Says:

Oh mat4, I can’t get started on the subjects. I question all that you are questioning, but I want to believe it still comes down to the best that wins. I was posting a lot in the “clinic” on Cycling News; thoroughly disgusted by the way some are singled out, others protected. A sport being completely clean is well, naive. I choose to be blind, I guess, though have many suspicions and not reserved for Spanish athletes alone, by far. That whole Lance Armstrong thing really bugs me. And I used to have such an innocent mind. Those were the days :D


mat4 Says:

Sorry, Kimberly, I don’t watch bb since my favs retired. I mean, of course, Nikos Galis and Drazen Petrovic (who, unfortunately, didn’t retire).

The last NBA final I watched was Jordan and some anonymous against the Suns with Barkley, Ainge, Kevin Johnson, Dan Majerle, Tom Chambers… Of course, Jordan won.


conty Says:

Maybe soon we’ll all be part robot and travel at the speed of light with our new body parts unharmed. That’s the next step in evolution. I dunno, truth being stranger than fiction.


Kimberly Says:

Sean, I agree mostly with your assessment but Lebron and Wade bricking free throws in playoff games is maddening. The heat and thunder are very similar teams in a lot of ways but I think our talent level is a little higher.

With the spurs we match up well position to position excepting the point guard position but Spoelstra v popovich coach is no comparison and their bench is much deeper. Their bench scored 50 pts in game 1. Right now the spurs are sloppy and Westbrook and Durant taking advantage


Steve 27 Says:

Who cares if Nadal faced a big hitter or a counterpucher, it doesn’t matter. Fixed draws? Or we have all become paranoid, or have to investigate the ATP to continue fooling everyone and promote the “business” does not fall. The conspiracy theory by some forumers is frankly suspicious.


mat4 Says:

“The conspiracy theory by some forumers is frankly suspicious.”

Why Steve 27? It seems, on the contrary, quite reasonable.


Kimberly Says:

Skeezer, I noticed your comment defending us Rafa fans above about Juan Monaco, you better watch out or you will ruin Roger Federer Fan’s day by being too nice to Rafa and then he will have nothing to post!


Dave Says:

mat4, could the draws at the Slams be fixed? It’s impossible for us to know for sure, but gambling experts will tell you that any hand drawn and/or computer generated draw process can be manipulated to yield a certain result unless strong safeguards are built in. Enough questions exist, including those asked by statistical experts, that the integrity of the draw process at the Slams needs to be investigated.

Here are two examples:

- Somehow Federer and Djokovic have been drawn into the same half 15 out of 18 times since 2008 Australian Open. Only in 2008 FO, 2010 FO and 2012 AO did Djokovic/Federer land in Nadal’s half. Nadal has had the mentally-weaker Andy Murray in his half during most of those 15 majors.

- John Isner and Nicolas Mahut have played only three matches against each other in their entire careers. What is the likelihood that they would play that epic first round match in 2010 Wimbledon… then one year later be drawn to play another first round match in 2011 Wimbledon?

Die Zeit is the most widely read German national weekly newspaper — and it is regarded for its journalistic quality. Google translation of German paper Die Zeit: “The organizers have apparently cheated on the draw… The calculations of the sport and legal scholar Catherine Pijetlovic from the Technical University of Tallinn in Estonia show: The chance that the semi-finals were obtained legally, amounts to 131,072 to 1. She says: “The question is not whether they were manipulated, but how and who is behind it.”… German experts consider statistic calculations for serious professionals. Rainer Dyckerhoff, research associate at the Department of Statistics and Econometrics at the University of Cologne, said: “The results of the draws are very untypical. A coincidence is very unlikely.”…. At the US Open, Federer and Nadal also had far too easy opponents for the tournament opener. Experts from the American TV channel ESPN have already proven that in New York the top players for years got drawn against lower ranked opponents,than it is statistically probable.”
http://www.zeit.de/sport/2011-11/tennis-nadal-federer-auslosung-betrug-pijetlovic

Katarina Pijetlovic’s analysis:
http://tinyurl.com/cpentey
http://tinyurl.com/bn7rsqu
http://tinyurl.com/d4fv64d

What happened when Katarina Pijetlovic publicized her analysis in October 2011 (about Federer-Djokovic being in the same half of every Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open since 2008 — 12 out of 12)? Right on cue, the 2012 Australian Open had Federer and Djokovic drawn in different halves for the first time in a hard court or grass court major since 2007 US Open.

ESPN analysis questions US Open draw: ESPN’s analysis that found the top 2 seeds over the past 10 years on average received an easier draw than is statistically probable if the draw were truly random.
http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=6861149&categoryid=2378529

Dr. Andrew Swift is past chairman of the American Statistical Association’s Section on Statistics in Sports and an assistant mathematics professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. After being presented with the ESPN analysis, Swift conducted his own study of the opponents of the top two seeds and found that only four times in 1 million simulations did he come up with an average ranking equal to or easier than what was actually observed in the men’s and women’s draws over the last 10 years. “By itself, the U.S. [Open] numbers are weird,” he said. “And then they’re also weird in comparison to the other three Grand Slams. So you’ve got a double argument of weirdness here. Something weird is going on.”
http://tinyurl.com/3e6ra4d

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