Gulbis Lines Up Nadal, Women Struggle at Indian Wells
by Staff | March 12th, 2013, 7:56 am
  • 149 Comments

The seeds met the seeds in Monday women’s action at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, and the three top seeds, including world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, moved rather unsteadily into the fourth round.

Azarenka found herself a set down against No. 28-seeded Belgian Kirsten Flipkens before a third set blowout that saw the Belarussian advance 3-6, 6-3, 6-0.

“She came out firing, playing so freely and going for every possible shot there was,” said Azarenka, who down 3-6, 3-3 did not lose another game. “I didn’t really adjust well — I didn’t take my chances, and I was too blurry in what I had to do. But whatever happened in the first set is not going to happen tomorrow.”

Improving to 16-0 on the year, Azarenka will next meet unseeded Urszula “Not Aggie” Radwanska.

No. 4 Angie Kerber narrowly avoided a third set, defeating No. 30 Yanina Wickmayer 6-1, 7-6(4), while No. 7 Sam Stosur needed three sets to subdue No. 32 Peng Shuai 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.

“I’d had success against her in the past, so I knew if I could stay focused on the task at hand I’d have a shot,” said Stosur, down a break in the third but improving to 5-0 career against Shuai.

Stosur also experienced the morning earthquake near Indian Wells on the practice courts. “I was warming up for my match and didn’t feel the ground or anything, but all of a sudden I felt the stands were moving and the flagpoles were going a little bit crazy. I thought it was just a big gust of wind, not an earthquake — but then we found out later it was an earthquake. A little bit of excitement to spice the morning up, I guess!”

Kerber entered Indian Wells on a three-match losing streak, dealing with a back injury.

“Before coming here I wasn’t sure about how my back would feel after my matches, but now it’s much better and my confidence is of course back and I feel good, and I’m looking forward to playing tomorrow again,” she said.

The remaining two Top 10 seeds rolled as No. 8 Caroline Wozniacki beat No. 29 Elena Vesnina 6-2, 6-1, and No. 10 Nadia Petrova, continuing her late-career resurgence, put a 6-1, 6-2 beatdown on No. 21 Julia “Gorgeous” Goerges.

Other winners on the day were No. 24 Mona Barthel with a mild upset over the erratic No. 11 Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 3-6, 6-0; the unseeded Pole Urszula Radwanska getting by American Jamie Hampton 6-0, 7-6(4); and Spanish qualifier Garbine Muguruza topping Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova 6-4, 6-0.

The men’s seeds went about their business on Monday in Indian Wells, with the only upset the hot-handed qualifier Ernests Gulbis ousting No. 20 seed Andreas Seppi 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.

“I should have won easier,” said the outspoken Latvian, who was also a qualifier in his previous event at Delray Beach where he ran all the way to the title. “I played better than him the first set. I played better than him the whole match, I think. It’s just that the first match just mentally I destroyed myself, and that’s what happened.”

Gulbis will next face Rafael Nadal.

“I believe that I can win,” Gulbis said. “I want to play as many matches as possible against these top guys. Sooner or later I’m going to win something and it’s going to give me extra confidence. I need to beat the guys who are ranked No. 20 to 100 easier than I did let’s say today.”

The four Top 10-seeded players in action advanced without dropping a set in (2) Roger Federer who topped Croat Ivan Dodig 6-3, 6-1, (5) Nadal who received an injured walkover from Argentine Leo Mayer (back injury), (6) Tomas Berdych who defeated (27) Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-1, and (10) Richard Gasquet who likewise eased past (24) Jerzy Janowicz 6-1, 6-4.

“It was a tough day,” said Federer, who won in 61 minutes but needed to rally from 0-40 down in the first game against Dodig. “Ivan played really well and I struggled early on in the first few games. Then I got a bit of a break at the end of the first set, started to play better. In the last couple of games Ivan didn’t play so well and I was able to take advantage of it. It was a really good win for me.”

Also into the fourth round Monday were (13) Gilles Simon outlasting French countryman Benoit Paire 6-4 in the third, (18) Stan Wawrinka beating former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt 6-4, 7-5, and Kevin Anderson winning a battle of un-seeds with Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 6-1.

In second round doubles action Monday the top-seeded Bryan brothers dispatched of fellow Americans John Isner/Sam Querrey 6-3, 6-3, and American wildcards James Blake/Mardy Fish defeated Feliciano Lopez/Milos Raonic 6-3, 6-3.

Matches to watch for Tuesday are (3) Andy Murray vs. Yen-Hsun Lu (Murray trails head-to-head 0-1), (8) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. (32) Mardy Fish, (1) Novak Djokovic vs. (31) Grigor Dimitrov, (8) Caroline Wozniacki vs. (10) Nadia Petrova, (6) Sara Errani vs. (9) Marion Bartoli, (12) Marin Cilic vs. (17) Milos Raonic, (11) Nicolas Almagro vs. (19) Tommy Haas, (3) Aggie Radwanska vs. (13) Maria Kirilenko, and (7) Sam Stosur vs. (24) Mona Barthel.

 


Also Check Out:
Ernests Gulbis Thinks He Can Beat Nadal Today At Indian Wells
Backhands Hammered in Losses for Roddick, Federer at Indian Wells
Djokovic, Isner Set Indian Wells Semifinal Meeting
Nadal, Djokovic Leads Seeds Today at Indian Wells
Two Months Into The Season, David Ferrer Is No. 2 In the 2013 Race Rankings!

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149 Comments for Gulbis Lines Up Nadal, Women Struggle at Indian Wells

nadalista Says:

I have a feeling Gulbis the Serial Qualifier will turn up for this match. He is absolutely chomping at the bit to “get” Rafa…….


Steve 27 Says:

Some quotes from Gulbis:

“I was really getting pissed to see who’s in the top 100,” Gulbis said. “There are some guys who I don’t know who they are. Some guys, I’m sorry, with respect — they can’t play tennis.”

“When I meet a girl, I don’t ask her what her profession is. I don’t ask if she’s a hairdresser or something else. I just meet her. And she meets me. She maybe doesn’t ask what I’m doing. Anyway, if she does ask, I usually lie; I say that I do nothing or I’m a musician or something. Suddenly, the police come and take me to jail, so I spend the night in jail for nothing, really nothing. So I’m upset with the Swedish government.

“Because I come from a wealthy family, it’s more normal for me to have this money as a tennis player. It’s OK if it’s there, it’s OK if it’s not there. It’s not a big issue for me. If you come from a poor family, you want to pull yourself up, you have a goal to earn money. I don’t have that goal.

“The fire in me is that I want to prove to myself that I can do it, that I can be at the top. I don’t care about money, I don’t care about fame. I don’t like money and fame. I don’t need them and I’m not living for them.”

More http://tennis.si.com/2013/02/28/ernests-gulbis-quotes/


MMT Says:

I really like this Gulbis – I mean he usually plays like an imbecile, and he has developed (BY A LONG WAY) the ugliest forehand on tour, but he’s so honest and careless in his interviews.

As for the matches today, it will come as no surprise that the ones I’m looking forward to the most are:

1) Djokovic vs Dimitrov
2) Tsonga vs Fish
3) Almagro vs Haas

I think now that Fish has worked out the kinks against Bobby Reynolds (who I picked to win in my pool) he looks a good bet to challenge Tsonga. Tsonga didn’t look 100% comfortable against Blake (although that has a lot to do with Blake – who was playing great this week) and has been making a lot of complaints this week about voices from the crowed, etc. This is not unusual for Tsonga to moan, but the combination of his disposition and the potential animosity between him and Fish could make this one tasty. I mean Fish can be a real hole when gives himself permission to be.

Despite appearing to have similar games, I actually think Haas is a MUCH more complete tennis player than Almagro, which should help him if Almagro can’t just blow him off the court. Their last match in Shanghai last year was testy (as Almagro’s matches often are) but Haas won in 3 after losing the first. They did play once before almost years ago on clay and Haas also won that one, but Almagro was just 20 at the time, fatter and thus played even stupider than he does today. Come to think of it, watching Almagro is like watching an interview with a boring and unsophisticated, but exceptionally beautiful woman – I’ll complain to no end throughout, but of course I’ll watch the entire interview.

Dimitrov vs Djokovic will be interesting for about 15 minutes – has the boy finally developed the tennis IQ to make adjustments to his natural game? Last year, also in Shanghai, if I’m not mistaken, it was about as brutal a beat down as you could get – Djokovic never let that him out of first gear. But are his results Brisbane and Rotterdam just a peak, or is he really becoming a player?

Should be interesting.


alison Says:

Thanks for that link Steve 27,although i have to say,i think Gulbis atitude to money,woman,and the game of tennis is absolutely disgusting after reading this,although hes a talented player,he seems to lack the class of the up and coming players like Raonic,Dimitrov,Nishikori who let their tennis do the talking,its almost as if he believes that hes doing the world and the fans a favour because he chose to play tennis in the 1st place,although dont get me wrong i do appreciate honesty,but i think Gulbis is treading a fine line here,he has alot to learn,and alot of growing up to do yet.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

MMT, with respect, though I agree with your assessment of Fish as a total douche on court, I can’t see him beating the 6 or 7 best player in the world after one match after half a year off. Tsonga should roll him.
Haas Almagro should be fun for the ATP mental health therapists.
Gulbis Nadal should have some real entertainment value, but you can never count on Gulbis to show up, so we’ll see.


jamie Says:

This Gulbis guy is hot. He looked hotter with the curls though.


Thomas Says:

Gulbis’s quotes are simply hilarious. I love his personality. If he could be more consistent(there have been some positive signs this season) he has potential to bring many fans to the sport. Here are some more gems.

When James LaRosa asked if he could call Gulbis “Ernie”:

“Call me Mr. Gulbis. I’ll call you Mr. LaRosa.”

On what he does with his hair:

“I think all the products are for girls. The body lotions, the creams, the makeup, whatever, is just for girls. Guys should be natural. Of course you have to take care of yourself, you have to go to shower, you know, so you don’t smell bad. The rest is just natural. Mr. Gulbis showers and never combs his hair and that’s it.”

On what a night out with him would be like:

“What do people do when they go out? They get drunk. To go out and not drink, I don’t understand it. If you go to a nightclub, what is to enjoy there? Nothing. The music is too loud, everybody’s sweating, everybody’s dancing, it’s dark, everybody’s pushing, everybody’s drunk. And if you’re the only guy sober in the nightclub, you don’t enjoy it at all. If you’re into the groove, you know, you have a couple drinks, you’re on the same level as the club, you can sometimes get something positive out of it. But it’s not what I like. I prefer to stay in my friends’ company, invite girls over.”

On drinking:

“If I start drinking I’m going to drink until the morning. I can’t go to a nightclub and drink four beers and I’m good. If I go out, I go full night out.”


El Flaco Says:

Nadal’s strategy will be very simple. Beat me with your forehand Ernie.


skeezer Says:

@Ben

Thanks for that great dig. What did you get out of that? So much for the Passport?

Me?

“the anti-doping budget was just $2m in 2012, including $400,000 to administer the programme”

says it all.


skeezer Says:

“I have a feeling Gulbis the Serial Qualifier will turn up for this match. He is absolutely chomping at the bit to “get” Rafa…….”

So was Tomic before he played Fed @ AO.


MMT Says:

I don’t know, Nadal and Nalbandian seemed to find their games pretty quickly, but I get your point. I guess I’m just not too impressed with Tsonga so far.

I still think he’ll win, I just thought it could get testy if he starts out as poorly as he did against Blake – I don’t want to take away from how well Blake played, but Tsonga was really all over the place, and all the best points were won by Blake.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Thomas, great quotes.

Sounds a bit like underground tennis legend Bacon O’Rourke. His story, the greatest tale of tennis and adventure ever told, at http://www.TennisVagabond.com


Fleischer Says:

“the anti-doping budget was just $2m in 2012, including $400,000 to administer the programme”

Why is Federer not doing anything about it when he has time to whine about court speed, time between serves, hawkeye, etc.


Ben Pronin Says:

You guys are just haters, Gulbis’ forehand is cool. It’s just a little weird the way his left arm sticks out. The motion itself is textbook.


skeezer Says:

“Why is Federer not doing anything about it..”

C’mon man, its not just up to Fed. Where you been?


Giles Says:

Apparently someone from the crowd shouted out to Gulbis “Serve it out you nut case”.


Fleischer Says:

skeezer Says:
“Why is Federer not doing anything about it..”

C’mon man, its not just up to Fed. Where you been?

March 12th, 2013 at 11:13 am

Then why did he whine so much about the usage of hawkeye when its not just uo to him ??
LOL….he thought he can always bully the umpires to favor him on close calls…hawkeye put a fullstop to that arrogant brat….ROTFL


juljo724 Says:

“Teymuraz Gabashvili, in his 1st round match against Roger Federer, made the first ever Hawk-Eye challenge on Centre Court. Additionally, during the finals of Federer against Rafael Nadal, Nadal challenged a shot which was called out. Hawk-Eye showed the ball as in, just clipping the line. The reversal agitated Federer enough for him to request (unsuccessfully) that the umpire turn off the Hawk-Eye technology for the remainder of the match.[11]“


juljo724 Says:

http://thepublicapology.net/2012/01/im-swiss-what-did-you-expect-says-federer/

Very interesting read as to fed’s ‘neutral stance’ as president of players council


Giles Says:

^^^ Yep stupid cry baby indeed. Wanting to challenge hawk eye, using flowery language. A gentleman indeed! NOT


MMT Says:

For Fleischer and Giles – I guess you feel the same way about Nadal, right?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wHeIMbs-pk


juljo724 Says:

Yes, Rafa was angry, after all it was set point.(It wasn’t set or match point in fed’s case) But he didn’t argue that they turn the system off,(as fed did) or bust a racquet or damage a bench. (as others have done)


RZ Says:

For all the talk of Gulbis’s forehand, he used it VERY effectively against Tipsy on Saturday night. When he’s on, his forehand is a weapon.


Fleischer Says:

MMT,

No.
What abt you ?


Giles Says:

^^^ Apparently the talk is that Tipsy was playing injured.


MMT Says:

juljo724 – I really don’t want to respond because your explanation seems to be a bit of a stretch that even Giles and Fleischer did not make, but I can’t resist.

How do you know what Nadal argued – you can’t hear anything over the crowd noise and the commentator. What is clear is that he disagrees with hawk-eye and he is pleading with the umpire to do something about it – what specifically we don’t know, but it’s pretty obvious he’s not asking him about the weather.

And in Federer’s case, he asked if it COULD be turned off after the FOURTH in a series of questionable calls it made that match, the first of which WAS set point (in the 1st set), and the last of which was break point with him serving down love-2 in the 4th, which although not your arbitrarily delineated set point – as if that is the only point that merits that same reaction – but a significant point nonetheless.

And don’t forget that the umpire advised Nadal not challenge on that point because HE TOO saw the ball clearly out, which would lead one to call into question whether a new technology in use for the first time was working properly.

This may sound impossible because we’ve now had hawk-eye for 5 years on tour and (almost) everyone loves it, but in 2008 the Australian Open decided to turn off hawk-eye at certain times of the day on one show court because it was confirmed as malfunctioning due to shadows.

And try to that what you see on the “replay” is not a replay at all – it is actually a reconstruction of what the program has calculated is the highest probability of where the ball actually landed, and like all probabilities leaves room for actual error. There is no chip embedded in the ball, so even when functioning properly hawk-eye can make mistakes.

My point is only that if you already think Federer is arrogant, you can use just about anything to justify it, but that becomes complicated, and by the way you discredit your own “evidence”, when the same evidence could be used against other prominent players, for whom you have made no similar criticism under similar circumstances.

I’m not saying Federer’s perfect, but you may want to use something more convincing than that to show otherwise.


MMT Says:

Fleischer – I don’t know either of them well enough to know if they’re “arrogant”, but I know that if your “evidence” that he is arrogant is this little hawk-eye clip, it’s not very good evidence.


skeezer Says:

^Shammooon!


MMT Says:

RZ – that is a fair point. I’d like to think that form and function are one in the same, but clearly, in the case of Gulbis, it is NOT!


skeezer Says:

MMT,

Careful, now giles and Flieshter will go scouring for “arrogant” clips…lol.


skeezer Says:

@juljo724 re 12:04 post

Yes indeed. That was very funny, maybe, although not a ounce of truth is implied. Did you mention that?

“The Public Apology is a ironic, satirical website and all articles should therefore be taken with a grain of salt – or perhaps a glass of Pinot Noir and a valium. This shit is not real news, in other words.”


Wog boy Says:

Niki Pilic said that after Novak, Gulbis is the most talented player that went through his academy and he trained more than 40 top100 players. Difference is mind, Gulbis is a child from the rich Eastern European family, Novak wasn’t. Novak new what his parents had to do to send him to Pilic academy, Gulbis had everything served on the plate without having to think where the money comes from.
Rafa in two, easy.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

MMT- good call on Fish’s resistance.


RZ Says:

Giles, Tipsarevic was certainly not 100%, but he still played decently. Gulbis was all over him, though, dictating play and making winners.


Giles Says:

Barca doing well!


Giles Says:

Some may be surprised to hear this but Rafa was one of the first to recognise Gulbis’ potential some years back . Shame the man’s head and mind wanders to the seedy side of life and the fact that he is a super brat!!


Gordo Says:

Oh yeah, in 2 days’ time we get Raonic vs Tsonga.

Remember the 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 Olympic match they had?

Now we can see if Milos’ game has improved.


courbon Says:

Shiiiiiitt…(like in ‘Wire’ congresman Davis )
Novak is doing bad…


Gordo Says:

Dimitrov is such a flake. He has so much God-given talent and he is half assed about his training, diet, etc. if he ever applied himself the career he could carve for himself. Still, he is young and maybe can avoid being the next Marat Safin.

Nole is so disciplined I can’t count him out until he actually loses. Plenty of time for Dimitrov to implode, but at least he showed up today.


courbon Says:

@Gordo:You are right.Nole just broke his serve…


Gordo Says:

3 double faults as he tries to serve out the first set.

I rest my case -

F L A K E


Daniel Says:

4 DF Gordo, one more to close (give) the game:) he seemed to be bother by the sun a lot


Gordo Says:

He’s bothered by pressure as well. Watch what happens in the tiebreaker.


Daniel Says:

Gordo, prothetic!!


Daniel Says:

Wow, anoter choke job by Almagro against Haas.


Daniel Says:

Class act Djoko givin the point to Dimitrov!


the DA Says:

What an epic choke by Dimitrov! He could’ve been up 6-3 and well into the 2nd set by now if it weren’t for those 4 DFs. Nole shows his champion mindset by not panicking.


mat4 Says:

If Novak wins this tournament, I will eat my hat (although I have no hat).


Gordo Says:

I find all the top guys have class and are honest good sports. It’s nice to see.

Let’s see if Baby Fed can get more than 2 games in the second set.


Ben Pronin Says:

Mat4, who have you seen play well so far? If everyone is playing crappy, Djokovic is still the best.


courbon Says:

@ Mat 4:I’ll be carefull if I was you…I will send you hat next week.


Ben Pronin Says:

Why does everyone insist on insulting Safin? Dimitrov wishes he was the next Safin. Reached number 1, won 2 slams, 2 other finals, I believe 5 Masters titles. Only the Big 3 boast better resumes (Murray has more MS but less slam wins so that’s debatable). Oh and he lead Russia to 2 Davis Cup titles. And finished in the top 5 in the world a few times, top 10 a few times. Seriously, Dimitrov wishes. Let’s not get carried away just because Safin could be a badass off the court and still accomplish all of that on it unlike these other clowns.


mat4 Says:

@Ben:

You could be right..

@courbon:

Hopefully, WB is still not here. He would downgrade me to mat2 1/2.


alison Says:

Novak can play average or even really crappy tennis,and its still enough to beat most players,he always has that extra gear to go up,it must be really intimidating for the player across the other side of the net knowing there is nothing you can do against him.


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

Just watching, just watching two of you !

BTW, I will be happy to give you my hat, even it is Akubra hat. What sos would you like with it?


Ben Pronin Says:

I prefer slow start and strong finish to the previous night’s fast start, near match squandering nonsense.

Good thing is that this match wasn’t very physical. Djokovic looks fresh.


Wog boy Says:

Dimitrov is the same story as Gulbis, same backround same upbringing.


courbon Says:

@Wog Boy:Well, has to be french sauce…moutard or something like that.
I think Matt needs downgrade.

@Alison:You are one happy girl these days…Rafa playing well, Liverpool winning…if just those lotto numbers work this weekend

@Matt 4:Don’t listen to WB, I’ll send you one nice and small berett from Gers…


jane Says:

I had to go when Nole was down 1-3 in set one, so I am happy to see he won fairly straightforwardly after set one.

Dimitrov came to play set one.

Is it true Nico choked again versus Haas? Poor Nico. : /


mat4 Says:

Two things.

First, watched Novak’s interview for Skysport after the match, and he said that the rebound was very high (then, they showed how he used this rebound to neutralize Dimitrov’s BH) and that the court was slowed, a bit slower than the previous years.

A minute later, I had Berlocq winning the first set against KN, both player 10 feet behind their baselines. Then, I remember the way Haas and Almagro played — looked like true CC tennis.

Then, another thing: Dimitrov is often compared to Federer. In fact, watching him now, I think he has improved since his last match against Novak, in November. He probably serves a bit better, his FH looks a bit better too. He could have a similar breakthrough like Federer had at 22. But one thing looked obvious to me: he doesn’t move well. He is often late for his FH, his BH, his defence is virtually non-existent.


Wog boy Says:

courbon,

Akubra is made from rabbit fur, pepper sos will do, but has to marinated first, otherwise is a bit chewy.

alison,

Be careful, courbon is up to something!


mat4 Says:

Anyway, does anybody remember 4 DF serving for the set?


Wog boy Says:

“to be marinated …”


jane Says:

Can anyone tell me how Nole played? Thanks. :)


Wog boy Says:

jane,

I cannot, they didn’t show it on my sport chanells:(


courbon Says:

@Matt4: Your analisys is spot on, but you still gonna it that hat…

@ Wog Boy: Too tired to answer your provocations.Akabura then-let him suffer.Laku noc a tebi dobar dan


jane Says:

Wow Berloq is cleaning up.


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

How many Roger had against Andy in Shanghai in one game?


Daniel Says:

mat4,

Agree it looks like clay court mtches. Hass was way behind the base line even hitting that classic clay return when you o further back and aim high on midle court, even in second serves. Very weird matches so far.


mat4 Says:

@WB:

I don’t remember. Checked the stats, Roger made 5 DB in the whole match. Don’t think he made them all in one game.

@jane:

Novak came with a cap so Dimitrov thought he played Berlocq, especially when he saw how his opponent was playing after a few games. But at 5-2, Novak had to take his cap off to wipe his sweat, Dimitrov saw he had Novak on the other side of the net, and decided to lose straight away..

In truth, Novak played worse than Berlocq (who will probably make the next round, beating Dolgopolov and Nishikori in the process – forgotten are the times when he was almost triple bageled by Djokovic). For a complete overview, with a lot of stats, go here: http://www.changeovertennis.com/liveanalysis-novak-djokovic-vs-grigor-dimitrov-in-the-indian-wells-fourth-round/

Lots of missed FH, BH virtually non-existent, a few flashes just to remind us that it’s still Djokovic, not Berlocq..

I’ll buy a hat all by myself.


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

I am pretty sure it was atleast three, one after another, in one single game.

Question for you: if it is true that court is even slower than it was and bounce even higher than it was, one wonders why;)?


jane Says:

Thanks mat4, I think. :/ But didn’t Nole finish well after the first set?


mat4 Says:

Novak didn’t quite say that the rebound was higher. But Marcus Buckland and Mark Petchey had an interesting discussion in the studio after the match, and Petchey said that the players were not very happy with the speed of the court, that they had a lot of problems to win points. It seems that Petchey has news from the locker-room, although it could be all just a misunderstanding from my part, but Buckland seemed to insist asking Novak those questions, and it could have asked other players the same questions.

They, nevertheless, noticed that Dimitrov got a lot of free points with his serve (but Dimitrov served very often faster than 130 mph).


mat4 Says:

@jane:

He really didn’t have time to show anything special, since Dimitrov just fall apart in the second set: some good returns, a few BH DTL, a few good FH. He served well toward the end of the match.


mat4 Says:

In one moment, I almost had the impression that Novak was somewhere else — he looked composed, but you just didn’t see the usual focus, grit… Just business, meat and potatoes (I heard this expression on ESPN, very proud to use it..).

Then, the way he missed a FH… He obviously still has problems to control it. He had a few FH to FH rally and won most, but this one came to my mind: he slapped the ball a few times and Dimitrov lost the control of the ball, hit it short and high, and Novak hit a flat FH out of the court. A shot he usually almost never misses. He just pummelled the ball without any control.

I don’t know. I watched sequences from a few matches from 2011 and 2012 last night, and it seems that Novak has more depth and more speed on his FH, that his IO FH is much better, but it is obvious that after the first phase when all went well, he has to work on his handling of the racquet and court positioning.


jane Says:

Thanks mat4. Sounds like Nole’s match would’ve gone 3 sets again were it not for a serving implosion by Dimitrov.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Or he could have lost in two..

To add to my previous post: usually, when you change your racquet, in the first period you try to adapt the racquet to your game. It worked well for Novak both in 2011 and in 2013: his innegra racquet was very similar to the old one, but he gave him more control of the ball and he felt well about this one too.

But then, you try to use all the possibilities of the new racquet — and it can take some time.

Watching Novak in Dubai and now, in IW, it seems that he has to rethink his court positioning and the way he uses spin: he can hit much harder, but he has to stand a few feet behind the baseline, otherwise the ball will sail long. Since the racquet is lighter, he has to develop more spin to keep the ball in the court too.

We had glimpses of the new things Nole can do: a better, fast FH; a better slice; a better kick serve. But it just doesn’t still function well enough.


mat4 Says:

jane, Dimitrov just choked badly: 4 DF serving for the set, another one at the beginning of the TB. And he was virtually off the court in the second set. Babe Federer? Never. Babe Gasquet… perhaps.


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

Maybe it has something to do with IW court, it is slowest court he played on so far this year? So he has to adapt his game to the court.


jane Says:

Is IW slower than Miami?


mat4 Says:

@WB:

It matters too, of course. But it is already his second match, and Novak shows unusual signs of insecurity.


jane Says:

mat4, that’s kind of sad for Dimitrov, to implode like that. I am happy obviously that Nole lives to fight another day, but it’s always sad to see a choke.


Wog boy Says:

jane,

Official court pace rating for IW is 2 (medium to slow), Miami is 1 (slow) but what they don’t say is that orginizers can lay the surface to be bit faster or bit slower. ITF ratings are only for surfaces itself as they are CPR tested under certain conditions.


jane Says:

Thanks Wog boy. I see what you mean, re: the difference between general guidelines and specific circumstances.


Wog boy Says:

^^You said it better.


mat4 Says:

I really don’t know about the speed of IW and Miami. Miami used to be faster, but I read somewhere that he was slower the last few years. I checked on Heavy Topspin, and excellent blog with lots of stats, but I am now sure the methodology used there is OK.


Humble Rafa Says:

“A 2011 Reputation Institute study listed Federer, 31, as the second-most-respected man in the world – behind only Nelson Mandela.”

Behind Mandela. But why? Isn’t the Arrogant One better than Mandela?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Big wins for Haas and Another Game For. These top 20 challenges are a great undercard in the first days of the big tourneys. Huge for both of them, where they’re at in their career now.


Fleischer Says:

Daniel Says:
4 DF Gordo, one more to close (give) the game:) he seemed to be bother by the sun a lot

March 12th, 2013 at 6:52 pm

He should have taken a looong bathroom break and come back after the sun is gone….just like his idol(Federer).


Humble Rafa Says:

He should have taken a looong bathroom break and come back after the sun is gone….just like his idol(Federer).

Medical time outs are much better. Trust me.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

HR, if I may: your gimmick and the way you do it are pretty funny. Your character is funny. But when you get into pissing matches with other commenters it breaks the character.
Create another persona for arguing. Leave your HR pure.


skeezer Says:

^LMAO!


skeezer Says:

TV!

Agree big win for Haas. Give one up for the old guys!


the DA Says:

Andy through 6-3 6-2. The score doesn’t reflect how tough it was. Better performance than last match but still much room for improvement. Can’t believe Kei went down so tamely to Berlocq.


nadalista Says:

RT @juanjo_sports: “If you have Grigor Dimitrov stock and haven’t set it on fire yet…I commend you for your optimism.”

’nuff said.


Michael Says:

Gulbis Vs Rafa should be an engrossing contest. Gulbis is a player with a huge potential which could not be realized due to some reason or other. He has all the shots in play and a razor sharp serve which could give his opponent nightmares. But he has hardly lived up to his reputation. His career has been pretty inconsistent right throughout and passively he is a journeyman who rarely goes deep into any tournament. Nonetheless in this tournament he is showing some promise and if he plays really well, he can stretch Rafa and give him some goose bumbs. However, Rafa should get through this in three sets with two tough ones.


Michael Says:

Novak showed today what a true Champion and sportsman he is when he awarded a point to Dmitrov. He is a class act.


nadalista Says:

I think this is a match too early for Rafa, especially coming after that walk-over. Am not feeling it. I would be very, very surprised if Gulbis does not take advantage of Rafa’s rustiness, on this surface, tonight. Of course Rafa will fight but I do not think it would be wise to leave it all out there tonight.

A win against Gulbis should not be THE prize in Rafa’s 2013 season, much bigger fish to fry down the road.

Vamos!!


Margot Says:

@the DA
Didn’t see the match -2a.m here but score looked good. From your comment and his after the match, guess he’s just settling in after 5 weeks off.
Don’t share the Gulbis loving here, come on Rafa!


Giles Says:

Gulbis gonna play a lot of drop shots!


Andrea Says:

I don’t know know if I could watch gulbis get any redder during a match and not wince so lucky for me he has a later match against nadal.


alison Says:

Courbon @7.39pm yeah im a happy girl,love my job,love my hubby,love my life,Nadal doing ok,LVC doing well now,damn shame about those lottery numbers though,but if they come up we will all have a tennis x party selective invitations only lol,you,Wogboy,Mat4 will be top of the list,have to say i will eat my hat if Novak does not win the title in IW,enen though i havent got one,will a berry do? as i have one of those.


alison Says:

About the match,Novak was there for the taking in that 1st set,and its dissapointing how Dimitrov just choked and fell away when serving for it,then the 2nd set went exactly the way i expected with the predictable beatdown,i didnt even bother to see it and went to bed straight after Novak got the break in that 2nd set,sorry Novak fans this was dissapointing for me as a neutral observer.


Sirius Says:

Just 2 safe victories and guess what? Another mouth watering FEDAL!!!


alison Says:

Michael yeah indeed hes learning,hes matured and now acting the part of the worlds no1 player,call me cynical though but its alot easier to be like that when everythings going so well for you and the gardens all rosy etc.


alison Says:

Sirius im not even banking on even getting a Fedal QTR,Gulbis is playing well and Rafas clearly rusty.


Sirius Says:

^agreed


Sirius Says:

Alison, My post was in response to your 6:51 post**


alison Says:

Sirius ????


Sirius Says:

Btw, I agree rafa is not playing at his best, he is looking rusty. But a player of this caliber doesn’t need to be at his best to sneak a victory. I don’t think he’s going to lose against gulbis. He’s won 2 titles recently, he’s never beaten by gulbis, so he should be confident. And I think thats enough for him to take out gulbis. Could be a tight match, but I think rafa will get through


alison Says:

Sirius i need some clarification sorry,but what has your post at 6.57 got to do with my post at 6.51 im confused.


Michael Says:

Alison, Yeah Gulbis has 13 straight wins and he has the confidence going in him. He has just won a tournament and from his interview it seems he believes he can beat Rafa despite the fact that he has never beaten him before. It is too tall a order according to me and an upset can happen only if Rafa turns too rusty with his play, which is possible considering that he is short of match play on hard courts. But Rafa’s iron will might prove the difference in the end and he will sail through in my opinion.


alison Says:

^As long as people dont all of a sudden start writing out the obituarys if he does loose,like they did against Zeballos even though it was only his 1st tourney back,and this is his 1st tourney back on a HC,just saying ^.


Giles Says:

Let’s hope Gulbis will have had a nite on the town and is too groggy to play his best! lol


Sirius Says:

alison, i’m sorry. i messed up. i wanted to say that my post at 6:55 am (( ^agreed )) was for your post at 6:51, not the one posted at 6:57. i hope that i’ve made it clear now :)


alison Says:

Sirius yeah sorry got it now lol.


jane Says:

alison, “i will eat my hat if Novak does not win the title in IW,” – not sure if you’ve seen his matches, but it sounds like it based on your second comment below. Anyhow, he’s been pushed by Fognini and Dimitrov – losing a set to the former and should’ve lost a set to the latter. Personally, I don’t know if he’s the “sure thing” you make him out to be! He certainly didn’t look sharp in the first match and judging by what I’ve read he wasn’t to sharp in the second either. Not sure what to think of Sam. He beat Nole last year in Paris and I don’t think he’d double fault 4 times were he serving for a set! “i didnt even bother to see it and went to bed straight after Novak got the break in that 2nd set,sorry Novak fans this was dissapointing for me as a neutral observer.” – you said something similar about Nole’s matches before but not so much about the other 3 top guys handing out beatdowns. Obviously you’d enjoy seeing Rafa win sets 6-1. :)


alison Says:

Jane i dont know if you read my post at 7.18pm,what i mean is even a average or bellow par Novak is good enough to beat almost all players almost all of the time,hes that good and its that intimidating for players against him,when push comes to shove he finds a way through 99 times out of 100,and i still stand by that,not for nothing is he the world no 1,or the worlds best HC that there is ATM,and many fans also like to point out how its all too easy for Rafa at times on clay and i do see their point,i like Novak although hes not my favorite,so i suppose its easier that way as that neutral im talking about, as i have nothing invested emotionally,i apologize as that post of mine has an air of double standards about it.


jane Says:

alison, I hear you but just at IW, he’s looked less than stellar imo. What’s lacking? Accuracy? mat4 thinks it’s the new racquet. Could be. But Nole doesn’t seem to be all there for some reason. Maybe it’s just me overanalyzing. No need for apologies at all. Just pointing out that I am not sure about how much of a shoe-in he is here. Before the event began I liked his chances, but now he seems a little off. And as for preferring to see our favourites deliver beatdowns, it goes without saying. I know Murray’s your second fave but are you neutral about Fed? Just curious.


jane Says:

p.s. alison, nope didn’t see the 7:18 post. But I wish I could see that other gear a little more often. ;)

Do you think that’s why Gregor hit all those doubles? I missed last night’s match.


alison Says:

Jane do i think thats why Gregor hit all those doubles?yeah could be? maybe the intimidation factor got inside Gregors head,regardless of that though you still have to go out and win the games,matches are played on a court and not on a blog.


alison Says:

Jane same for me for Roger and Novak,i like both,and both play great great tennis but i have no emotional investment in either,so i can enjoy from a neutral point of view,a lot of none Rafa fans love nothing more than seeing Rafa pushed to the very limit on his best surface,and HCs are Novaks best surface so i suppose the same applies really for me.


alison Says:

^Im not too cofident about Rafas chances against Gulbis either^.


jane Says:

Yes, Gulbis is a scary prospect when he’s on form, but how often is that? Alas, not very. He has been playing well lately, though clearly, although I’ve not seen his matches. Still I am picking Rafa to come through. As someone said on the other thread, maybe roy (?), with Gulbis, so much depends upon (not a red wheelbarrow but rather) the ball going in!


courbon Says:

@ Alison: Glad to here that.( I hope Wog Boy also seen your post-specially part that you love your hubby…)I firmly belive that one of us will win lotto-because sounds unbeliveable, I think will happen


alison Says:

Courbon lol naughty,anyway i know he loves his wife too,i cant quite believe ill be celebrating 25 years soon,how time flies,i have been doing the lottery for about 20 years now,and hardly won a bean,but if i dont do it i definetly wont win,and you never know someone on this forum may one day strike it lucky,maybe someone already has and is keeping it quiet?


courbon Says:

@ Alison:
25 Years?Well, that is to congratulate. (me only 17 years )
Probably Dave won lotto.He use to post all the time and now? probably siting in first row at Indian Wells drinking champagne…


alison Says:

Courbon 17 years is still fantastic going,and come to think of it,Dave and his kindred spirit Sienna have both gone missing,so maybe they are both drinking chamagne together watching IW ooh eer?


alison Says:

^Anyway if both happen to be reading this im only kidding^.


courbon Says:

@ Alison: Well good luck to them.
I just finish watching Arsenal game-so close…Wegner is pissing me of for some time.Always lots of filosophy but no thropies.
At least Millwal got to semis in FA cup…not a big fan, but a South London boy so I have to support a little


alison Says:

Courbon agree about Arsenal,all style no substance,as for Milwal their fans have to be the biggest headcases in the football league,there was always carnage when the away supporters visited CCFC :-(..


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Yes, I think that it is the new racquet. But not only this, and I don’t think you’re overanalyzing. Something is… a bit wrong. He just lacks focus.

He went to a exhibition instead of working, then I saw his b… here again. (I clearly don’t like her, I think she is a fake, certainly not like Mirka Wawrinec, always by her husband. You never see her in Australia — it’s clear why he won there four times.)


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

There is nothing wrong with Jelena, she is running Nole’s foundation and doesn’t travel always with him. She was in Australia last year and I think year before. BTW, why do you think that players girlfrends has to be with them on tour all the time. Why do you think that means that if they are sitting in their boxes all the time they love them more than the others they are not there all the time. Very wrong IMHO, some of them just want to be seen and that has nothing to do with love only to do with being in the spotlight. You should know that better. Tipsy’s wife is beautiful but she like spotlights, she is TV personality, google her pictures you will ser how much she likes camera, you think she loves more Tipsy than Jelena Nole just because she travels with Tipsy … I don’t think so.

Jelena is fine girl, she has been with Nole since young ages, when Nole wasn’t No1e, real man has to respect and to appreciate that and Nole does. Good on Nole.


mat4 Says:

@WB:

I was hopping for a reaction by Bojana, I didn’t expect you were going to take the defence of the fair Jelena.

WB, I work with people more than 30 years. To quote Sledge Hammer: “Trust me, I know what I’m doing.” Jelena is a fake, and Tipsy’s wife is a snake.


mat4 Says:

BTW, WB, I have a great site for you:

http://www.menarebetterthanwomen.com/

Although absolutely truthful, worth a good laugh..


mat4 Says:

Anyway, when I read you’re comments, I can’t believe you’re married..


mat4 Says:

@jane, alison:

Just skip those posts, please..


Wog boy Says:

^^You are lucky dari is not around, her response would be much harsher than mine.

My point was, I don’t believe that partners who are following their partners around everywhere love them more than than ones who don’t. That is why I said you should know better. I work with people too, though tourism industry, but I am still as naive as I was 25 years ago, that includes my present marriage, I didn’t learn anything from previous one … I’ll let you know about next one, I mean marriage..


Thomas Says:

@mat4
LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!, that video on that site is nothing short of hilarious!!!


mat4 Says:

WB:

I understood quite well what you meant to say, but in a short post, on a foreign language and in a public forum you can’t always explain succinctly your point, and you find a example.

But, just compare the photos: on one side, take Roger and Mirka, Novak and Ana Ivanovic, and on the other Novak and Jelena, or Novak with Maria, or Tipsy with his wife. Who is on the left, who is on the right; who is mostly in front; where they look. Just see by yourself.


mat4 Says:

@Thomas:

Yes, I go sometimes there when I want a good laugh. But I see that many of the posters, in the comments section, think the author is serious..


mat4 Says:

Murray Berlocq seems to be a good match.


Wog boy Says:

^I am watching Federer, I will check your link later.


mat4 Says:

I started watching Berlocq when he was up 3-1. Then, break Murray, so I got back to my work. I look at the result — Berlocq serving for the set. Start watching again, a rebreak Murray.

I better stop watching tennis.


mat4 Says:

Berlocq leads in the TB. Hope I just didn’t jinx him.


volley Says:

jinx.


mat4 Says:

Just did.

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