Djokovic, Murray Try To Avoid Upsets In The Heat Today At Indian Wells; Nadal-Federer Redux
by Sean Randall | March 15th, 2013, 11:10 am
  • 150 Comments

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray should be on notice today, wary of the Indian Wells upset bug. Both players have had their struggles thus far in the tournament, and today it’s a big step up in the class this afternoon as Djokovic duels JW Tsonga and Murray meets Juan Martin Del Potro. With temperatures reaching once again into the 90s, things are truly heating up.

Now for my picks.

Novak Djokovic v. JW Tsonga
Djokovic is on first against the streaky JW Tsonga. Novak has had his problems in the heat, but luckily in the desert it’s a dry heat, as they say. Still, it could be an issue especially since Novak finished his last match at 2am the other night. So his internal clock can’t be all in sync.

Across the net will be Tsonga who under new coach Roger Rasheed has put up some good wins this week, beating former finalists James Blake and Mardy Fish. Then Wednesday in a thriller he nudged Milos Raonic in three.

But Novak is on a roll and until someone takes him down it’s hard to go against him, especially against Tsonga. Djokovic has won nine of 14 against the Frenchman including their last seven, dropping just three sets since that stomach issue Novak had in their 2010 Australian Open clash, two of those sets did come at the French last year. Djokovic is also riding a 21-match win streak. And we now how poorly Tsonga has played against the top playaers of late – he’s lost 10 straight to the Top 5! This slow hardcourt isn’t going to help Tsonga any either.

Djokovic defends so well and that can cause a guy like Tsonga to overhit when attacking which leads to errors. And we know how well Djokovic can play from the offensive side.

While it wouldn’t stun me if Djokovic were to lose here – he just hasn’t looked in form yet and I do think the late finish the other night will have an affect – I’m going with the Serb.
The pick: Djokovic in two

Andy Murray v. Juan Martin Del Potro
I really want to pick Del Potro here but in this battle of US Open champions I just can’t bring myself to do it. Murray matches up well against the big man from Argentina and I have to wonder about Del Potro in the heat.

This week, after some bad losses in previous outings, Murray snapped back in the desert this week, albeit against much lesser competition. Del Potro is looked good too. He hasn’t lost a set and on Wednesday he crushed 34-year-old Tommy Haas 6-1, 6-2 in what he called his match of the tournament.

With the new Pope hailing from Argentina, maybe the cards are lining up for Delpo?

“Looks like he’s playing well,” Murray said Wednesday. “I haven’t played particularly well so far, so I’m going to need to play a lot better than I did tonight if I want to win that match.”

But their series gives me pause. Murray has won five of six of their meetings. Delpo has gotten a set in each one, but hasn’t quite figured out how to solve the Murray riddle. This is also their first meeting of the decade and Murray’s become a much stronger player since they last played in 2009.

That said, like with Tsonga I wouldn’t be surprised to see the upset. Del Potro has been playing better of late with proven results. Murray, after a month of rest, might still be rusty, unsure.

“We are friends and we have good relationship and we share many things together,” said Del Potro. “Of course play against him is a big challenge for me. He already won the US Open last year, made finals in Australia, and he’s doing very fantastic career beating the top guys and fighting for the first position, as well. So it’s gonna be interesting match for me.”

And it should be especially if Del Potro is once again on target with his groundstrokes like he was against Haas.
The pick: Murray in three

With both Murray and Djokovic, both guys are so good defensively that on a slow hardcourt in the heat, that gives them a greater edge over power players like Delpo and Tsonga. But I think both should be close, competitive matches.

Wrapping up last night, again the key was whose body would fail. As it turns out Rafael Nadal’s knees were stronger than Roger Federer’s back. And that was that. Roger has a tough time anyway with Rafa but throw in a back injury and the fact that Nadal was just returning to hardcourts didn’t matter. It was one-way traffic from first ball. We’ll get a better idea of where Nadal is with his game tomorrow against Berdych, but regardless of how injured Federer was or wasn’t, Nadal’s confidence has to in the clouds right now.

If you are a Federer fan, take solace that yes, he was struggling with an injury and he’ll now have two months to recover. But the trend is damning. Roger hasn’t reached a final this year and hasn’t won a title since the summer. And he’s not getting any younger.

For the Nadal crowd, what a week. He’s exceeded all expectations. It was questionable he would even play and now he blasts Federer. The knees also appear to be holding up and he takes a very favorable record into his next match against Berdych. Life is good.

The women play their semifinals in evening. The all-blonde line-up features Wozniacki-Kerber then Sharapova-Kirilenko. I think the favorites and former champions Wozniacki and Sharapova get through, though I’ll be rooting for the upsets.

ESPN2 will have coverage today in the U.S. starting at 4:30pm ET with the Djokovic match. Tennis Channel will have the Murray match after.

FRIDAY INDIAN WELLS SCHEDULE

STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
T Huey (PHI) / J Janowicz (POL) vs A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) – ATP

Not Before 1:30 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [8] J Tsonga (FRA) – ATP

Not Before 3:30 PM
[3] A Murray (GBR) vs [7] J Del Potro (ARG) – ATP

Not Before 6:30 PM
[8] C Wozniacki (DEN) vs [4] A Kerber (GER) – WTA

Not Before 8:30 PM
[13] M Kirilenko (RUS) vs [2] M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA


Also Check Out:
Roddick v. Djokovic Highlight Friday Play at Indian Wells
Henin, Clijsters Favorites: Indian Wells Draw Redux
Djokovic, Isner Set Indian Wells Semifinal Meeting
Andy Murray: The Courts At Indian Wells Are Very Slow, They’re Also Very Slow Here In Miami
Roddick Thrashes Djokovic, Nadal Next at Indian Wells

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150 Comments for Djokovic, Murray Try To Avoid Upsets In The Heat Today At Indian Wells; Nadal-Federer Redux

nadalista Says:

“For the Nadal crowd, what a week. He’s exceeded all expectations. It was questionable he would even play and now he blasts Federer. The knees also appear to be holding up and he takes a very favorable record into his next match against Berdych. Life is good.”

Yep. Definitely not looking a gift horse in the mouth.


Borg Says:

It is now clear as to who will be the winner of Indian Wells, it is Rafael the BULL.


the DA Says:

Oh no, the SR pick curse! But I agree with Andy, he’ll need to pick his level up significantly if he’s going to win. Also, players have said that the balls are bouncing high so that will favor JMDP because they’ll be in his strike zone. Andy will need to mix it up and disturb Delpo’s rhythm – not least, avoid hitting the ball short.

As for Nole/Tsonga, I can’t see past Djokovic. I also saw that Jo Willy had his knee strapped in the Raonic match. However, it’s a midday match so who knows. Just hope we get two competitive matches.


Brando Says:

Finally get to post re the match at IW. Firstly yesterday:

- RAFA v FED:

I could not watch the match due to the time zone difference, so i cannot game on the play giving my own thoughts.

Yet, based on what i read here and elsewhere, CLEARLY fed’s back was an issue, unfortunately.

Sadly such areas of concerns can have a great bearing on how a match unfolds, and it must have done so- as RAFA HIMSELF indicated re Fed’s performance.

So i feel sorry for Fed and his fans on that front. Hope he recovers ASAP.

For Rafa- just pleased he gets to play another match really. More matches the better for him right now IMO.

- NOLE v TSONGA:

Novak in 2- it’s that simple.

- MUZZA v DELPO:

Really looking forward to this one. A mouthwatering prospect that IMHO could be the contest of the tourny.

I favor MUZZA SLIGHTLY in this one also and like Sean i think it has a 3 set thriller written all over it.

I hope that Andy comes out playing aggressive, focused tennis- not meandering, passive tennis.

GO MUZZA!


Djokowins Says:

Its going to be No1e all the way !!!


Sirius Says:

Novak and Andy getting through imo


SG1 Says:

Fortunately, Fed did make any excuses about his back after this loss.

Had Fed won, the headlines would have been “Is Rafa on the downslide? Loses to ailing Federer” or “Federer brilliant; beats Nadal while overcoming debilitating back injury.” Followed of course by speculation as to when Federer will be back at number 1.

I find today’s media to be more pop than substance.

Once you step on the court, there are no excuses. Based on the past, when both Fed and Nadal are healthy, Nadal wins 2 out of every 3 times. With Roger at 31, I don’t see this trend changing.


SG1 Says:

Or better yet, Federer fans saying a back injury is worse than a knee injury and Rafa fans arguing the opposite.


jane Says:

BTW, for anyone who cares, the Miami draw is out.


jane Says:

^ Oops sorry read it wrong – it’s out the 18th not the 15th.


Margot Says:

Nervous but hopeful for Andy, as per.
@the DA
Think it’s wrong time for us Brits so extra loud cheering from you please and any other Andy fans watching.
Like JW but good luck to Nole, not that he needs it of course.


Fleischer Says:

Jane,

Seeing your post I went and checked the draw immediately:
http://www.sonyopentennis.com/Scores/2012-Draws/Mens-singles.aspx
….and found that Nole has already won it.


alison Says:

Margot i will be cheering on Andy too,its one im both nervous and excited about,how its a great game:-)..


jane Says:

Sorry for the confusion Fleischer.


mat4 Says:

I finally managed to watch a bit of Novak’s match against Sam Querrey. Novak has played better than in his previous matches, but still not how he played at the AO, or even in Dubai. So, this one could be real close, especially with Tsonga trying to prove himself, now that he has changed his coach and improved a bit, that he can do it. Novak will need to stay focused, return well, make Tsonga run.


Steve 27 Says:

The Tsonga-Djokovic from Roland Garros was extraordinary, a classic. We hope another great match between these two.


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

Did you noticed how Nole looked “happy” on the court;) He had all the reasons to be “happy” with respect shown by orginizers starting his math 15 minutes after midnight and playing infront off full house … I mean first five rows plus Kevin Spacey. Commentators said that this was unique situaton forall spectators to have close look at #1, since they were all able tosit inthe first few rows. as mu for people with tickets wanting to stay and wait for the match late. I know you can understand Serbian. Try too read Nole’s lips twice in the TB and what was he saying and to whom. He signed camera and made sure to put 2am on the camera. It was pretty cold, you could see those few spectators dressed like it is winter. You are right he played better but BH is still missfiring, and sam played exelent tennis in the second set, he is good player. The condition will be faster today, I hope he prevails and I hope Rafa does too, it will be good to see him playing New Rafa, win or lose.


the DA Says:

Tsonga imploding.


Wog boy Says:

the DA,

Maybe Nole has to do something with that;)

Still long way to go.


the DA Says:

I was talking about all the DFs at the end of set 1. But yes, of course Nole has something to do with it. MP


the DA Says:

Nole was in great form but that was just disappointing for a player ranked No. 8. I wish Raonic had made it instead. Could’ve been more interesting.


skeezer Says:

Congrats to Nole, a good thumpin on Tsonga today. The Worlds # 1 will be ready for ANYONE in the final.


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic not in the final yet, but he’s playing well.


Wog boy Says:

skeezer,

He still has to play Andy and it is bad match up for Nole.

I know Andy still has to play Delpo, but it will be Andy, trust me.


andrea Says:

the match is already over? that wasn’t even an hour….


mat4 Says:

@WB:

Did you just quote Sledge Hammer? “Trust me, I know what I’m doing.”


Wog boy Says:

I just checked stats, they are almost perfect for Nole, I have to print them out and framed them. You don’t have stats like that when you play qualifier, nevertheless top10.
It is one of those days when everything goes your way, not to be carried away.


mat4 Says:

Anyway, Nole did indeed play fine. But on the other side of the net, JWT was just without solutions, he just didn’t know what to do.


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

It looks like that ..


mat4 Says:

The stats for the second set are outrageous:

Novak: 14/14 first serve, 2/2 second serve, 88% of first serve, 5 aces, 0 UFE. Just don’t know the number of winners.

At one point, we could see another interesting stat for Djokovic: 46% of his serves were unreturned.


mat4 Says:

WB:

Sorry, didn’t see your post. Guess we were writing at the same time.

Sometimes the stats do lie, but in this case, they really reflect what happened on the court. Novak’s BH was lethal, his FH started working, and his net game was excellent.

I am happy. Hope he will play at the same level tomorrow against JMDP.


rogerafa Says:

I heard some expert say that Joe has not beaten a top 10 player since late 2011. He really is not going anywhere in his career if that is true.


jane Says:

OMG! I had a 2:00 pm appointment and thought I could get home to catch the second and maybe third sets! Looks like Nole had other ideas.

Ajde!! Wow Nole. I hope someone finds the match somewhere; I would like to see it.


alison Says:

Wow pretty impressive going from Nole,well done to him,and all his fans,i dont think you have anything to worry about,that was some performance,next up will be Andy or Delpo,either way it will be a great but hard game,Andy hasnt played well,but Delpo has been pretty good,hope for a great semi anyway,im hoping whomever gets to the final faces Rafa,although Berdych is playing well also,so Rafa will again have his work cut out.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Don’t worry. It will certainly be available on youtube in a few hours. You’ll enjoy it.


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

Nole had 14 winners in second set and his net game was almost 100%, if not 100%, I have check that one.


Daniel Says:

What is Djoko winning streak now, 20?!


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

BTW, do you know that Tsonga approached Roger Rasheed and asked him to be his coach? Who talked him into that, Monfils. I always thought that Tsonga is very smart bloke.


Wog boy Says:

Daniel,

I think 21.


jane Says:

Nole’s at 22 straight as of today’s win.


Wog boy Says:

jane,

Thanks, even better but shouldn’t be thinking about that.


mat4 Says:

@WB:

Did you know that Eric Winogradsky is the new coach of LaMonf? It was a deal..


Giles Says:

Is Tsonga no. 8 in the world rankings or no. 80?? Nice easy win for joker!


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

That means that Tsonga has been shortchanged by Monfils. Poor thing:(


Daniel Says:

If Djoko wins IW we will start specaluting about another 2011. He is favored for Miami, his second best tourney behind AO. Imagine if he wins last 5 major HC tourneys: WTF, AO, Dubai, IW and Maimi. I thing not even Federer in 2004-2006 was able to win those 5 in a row. In 2006 he lost Dubai to Nadal and WTF 2005 to Nalbandian but in 2004 he won WTF 03, AO 04, IW 04 and and lost Miami 04 to Nadal.


Wog boy Says:

Where Lendl, well maybe Kevin Spacey is Lendl’s replacement for today?


Daniel Says:

What is happeniing to Murray, 3 balls that doesn’t ass the net?!


the DA Says:

They were ass shots that’s for sure.


jane Says:

DA, Daniel made some equally classic typos on the “Did you know” thread. Ha ha.

Daniel you’re on a roll.


the DA Says:

I noticed. It’s all in good fun. Anyway, thank god Andy’s serve has decided to show up…for now.


jane Says:

Andy with 83% first serves in so far. Delpo with 70%.


Brando Says:

SOUR grapes from Tsonga perhaps:

‘”I’m disappointed about my feelings today and the whole match. I made a lot of mistakes. It was tough for me to keep the ball in the court. Not because he put me under a lot of pressure. I don’t know how to explain that, but it was a day for me without sensation. Everything I tried to do, I missed it.

“The positive thing is that I won some good matches. It was the first time for me here in the quarter-finals, so it’s always good to have a better result here.” ‘

Pretty much suggests that he was his own worst enemy- a bad day at the office at an event he has always struggled, perhaps.

Hist stats are crap for this one for sure.


jane Says:

Well he beat some quality players – like Blake, Fish and Raonic. Maybe it was a combination of him being “off” and Nole being “on.” PLayers do have off days. I still want to see it though. :)


Daniel Says:

I am having miopia surgurey and had dilated pupil. I can see sh’,t up close but still insist on typing and reading. :)


jane Says:

^ Daniel hopefully it’s nothing serious. But you should have a look at your typos on the other thread; I was really laughing out loud! :)


Wog boy Says:

jane,

You will enjoy it with the glass of nice wine, and Jelena looks nice … did you here that mat4.

I am glad Miljan, his physio, is back in Nole’s box.

This is really high quality match, I hope they play three sets;)


the DA Says:

Throw that person with the vuvuzela out!


jane Says:

Who woulda thunk it? Murray’s out-serving Delpo by quite a lot. He’s at 65% firsts, now, to Delpo’s 45%, 4 aces to 0 for JMDP. The only area where Delpo is eclipsing him in serve categories thus far is that he’s winning on more of his second serves.


jane Says:

This is a good match; nice to see these two finally playing each other.


jane Says:

Wog boy, then I better send the hubby out to get some; a nice Pinot Gris perhaps.


the DA Says:

Andy is really varying the serve. Delpo seems perplexed. Too many FH errors for my liking. But I agree Jane: it is entertaining so far.


Wog boy Says:

^Good choice.


Daniel Says:

DelPo 2 horrible forehand misses


mat4 Says:

@WB:

Yes, I here you, WB..

Del Potro is playing such a… passive brand of tennis.


Daniel Says:

Jesus, 9 points played and onlyamurray won 1 point on serve!!!!!


mat4 Says:

Where is Kevin Spacey going to seat tomorrow?


Daniel Says:

DelPo hasn’t won a single point on serve this tiebreak, just bizarre


Daniel Says:

Wog boy,

Maybe is DelPo tatics tonot give Murray angle and wait for him to take initiative. Kind of out Murraying Murray. Did not work so far:)


jane Says:

Delpo is not having one of his better service days, but Andy is almost always going to win those longer rallies – he’s faster and fitter.


the DA Says:

Andy takes the first set after a really weird TB. Have a feeling Delpo might run out of gas.


Wog boy Says:

Kevin is Andy’s fan.


the DA Says:

@wog boy – yep, Spacey flew to see him at the USO and AO, and now here. that’s dedication.


jane Says:

Yes, Kevin Spacey supports Murray, but on a hunch I think Nole’s his second favourite. He posed with Nole at AO and stayed to watch him versus Sam right Wog boy? So he seems to appreciate these two “younger” ones. ;)


the DA Says:

Hmm…Delpo steps it up and gets the break.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

I know Kevin Spacey supports Murray. That’s why I asked..


Wog boy Says:

jane,

Yes, Kevin stayed with “crowd” to wach midnight delight;)


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Here is a link for Djoko-JWT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl7VYAKLWvI


jane Says:

Serves are levelling out for these two. Delpo at 58% and Andy at 61% firsts for the match.

But in set 2 so far, it’s been all Delpo on serve. Andy with a double and 37% firsts and Delpo with his first ace and 73% firsts!

Andy needs to get some firsts in.

I wish the ATP scoreboard had winners.

And my stream keeps cutting in and out.


jane Says:

The light is weird.


jane Says:

Thanks mat4 – will watch it after!!


jane Says:

Andy going after second serve aces?


the DA Says:

One thing I’ve noticed, Delpo has become much better at retrieving balls to stay in the point. Andy’s game has gone A.W.O.L.


jane Says:

Delpo’s clothes look better than usual imo.


the DA Says:

Into a 3rd we go. Delpo has all the momentum. I’m not sure I want this Andy showing up against Nole.


jane Says:

3 sets. When do they turn on the lights? They need them methinks!


courbon Says:

Dear Jane,concentrate on tennis-that is not a fashion show


jane Says:

carbon, usually Delpo’s clothes look sloppy. Today they don’t. This is first I have seen of him since Dubai and he has a nice new kit. i am watching the tennis.

Andy does so well when he comes in.


the DA Says:

Some great tennis being played. The spectators get a competitive match finally.


jane Says:

First bp for Andy in the match.


jane Says:

^ Sorry “courbon” that was for you at 8:40. My automatic spell check changed your name!


the DA Says:

Delpo 1-7 on BPs but finally gets the 8th. Curtains for Andy.


mat4 Says:

First break for DelPo in the third…


mat4 Says:

@WB:

It seems that Said Aouita is starting his renown finish..


mat4 Says:

or perhaps not..


jane Says:

Deuce – great point!

Delpo’s not making first serves again – down to 47% – Andy should be able to break back.


courbon Says:

@Jane:Just joking…I actually love Novak outfit, its very retro and I’m in to that kind of look…
Delpo?Never paid attention to it.I will now


mat4 Says:

Now, I expect another break…


jane Says:

courbon, yes, I kind of like the grey on Nole.

Quite a beautfiul forehand from Andy!


mat4 Says:

It happens quite often: after a long game where you miss many opportunities to break, you get broken.


mat4 Says:

@WB:

No wooden spoon for me, it seems..


the DA Says:

Andy playing like crap. He’s hit 33 winners to Delpo’s 18 but has something like 37 UFEs. Credit to Delpo for keeping it together.


jane Says:

On no, not good with the double break. :/

Andy hit two awesome forehands in that game, one crosscourt that was gorgeously timed, and one down the line, but then he had two errors off that side. Just not all clicking today?

I am a bit surprised Andy hasn’t dented Delpo’s second serve more to generate more bps. He’s usually such an awesome returner.


courbon Says:

Jane: I was talking about white-green outfit

Yes, Andy has moments of brilliance but not consistent…I guess this tournament just does not suits him.Well, lets see how it finishes but…


Wog boy Says:

Ok Aouita, go for it:(


jane Says:

DA your post at 9:05 basically echoes my comments about the last game – the errors are cancelling out the winners. Kudos to Andy for “going for it” but he needed to rein in the errors and take advantage of second serves more.

As the commentators mentioned, Delpo has played more tennis so could be more grooved than Andy; that’s another thing to keep in mind here.

And why doesn’t Andy come in more? It was working so wonderfully at the beginning of the 3rd set.


the DA Says:

Jane – agreed. He really should have played Delray Beach first just to get some rhythm going. Also agree about the net – hes so good up there.


mat4 Says:

I don’t agree that Andy played bad. He played his best, except for the serve in the second set. It is not easy to play such a powerful guy on such a slow surface. Remember that DelPo won his only match against Andy on clay.

Then, you have to take in account that DelPo, in tense situation, is the steadier player.


ty Says:

What a scary match for Murray, really. Murray played a pretty good match and could do NOTHING when Delpo was flowing.


mat4 Says:

Finally, Del Potro deserves credit for the game he showed in the second and third set. With such game, he could even win the tournament.


the DA Says:

The DF at the end sums it up (+ the 49 UFEs). Happy for Delpo to go through – he deserved it. Andy needs to go back to the practice court.


the DA Says:

That was nowhere near his best.


jane Says:

Delpo did play extremely well mat4; I was impressed, considering he wasn’t really able to rely on his serve today, how consistent he was overall. However, I have to disagree with you that Andy played his best throughout the whole match; he served well at first, and did play well in sets one and three the first half. But in the second set his serve dropped off considerably, and in the third set he hit too many errors. I think tactically he should’ve stuck with coming to net; he was getting the better up there.

But Delpo played super well, and perhaps he’ll beat Nole and Rafa and win his first masters? Wouldn’t that shake things up!?!


Brando Says:

Man, I am disappointed with Andy somewhat here.

Really though he was gunning for this title and would win it.

CLEARLY he has been rusty in this tourny…. so hopefully he’ll be better at MIAMI, a tourny he fares much better at than IW.

Re JMDP: Pleased for him. Alway’s liked him and to be honest he is the ONLY real contender outside of the 4 big names.

Hope he is fine for the SF and gives novak a real challenge.


jane Says:

Commiserations DA & Margot, but on the positive side, Andy did much better at IW than in recent years, so it’s a step in the right direction.


Brando Says:

@Mat4:

LOL, are we watching tennis wearing blinders on again are we?

That was NOWHERE near Andy’s best- very far from it in fact!


volley Says:

@ the DA

i have to agree. not near his best although there were brief patches. the UFE count speaks volumes. that implies that del potro didn’t force them with his game but andy carelessly gifted them away.

oh well, one of my guys made the SF at least ;) hope he can take inspiration from his olympic match with djokovic.


nadalista Says:

Good to see Delpo chipping away at the Top 4. Since Wimbledon he has beaten Djokovic once, Fed twice, now Murray. Berdych has also improved judging by his finals showing of late. Interesting times.


the DA Says:

@ Brando – they’re not blinders, they’re reverse tinted glasses ;)


jane Says:

I guess I’ll go watch the Nole-Jo match now.


mat4 Says:

Murray played very well, at least. He made a lot of UFE because he was very aggressive. Djokovic made much more UFE against Murray in the AO final, but still won. So I don’t think it was the key of this match.

I rather think that Murray’s reluctance to play more DTL was his biggest problem in this match.


mat4 Says:

I am not wearing blinders, quite the contrary. As fans, you are disappointed and not objective. I had no horses in that race, and I think that Murray played quite well, but Del Potro was simply better.

He served very well in the last two sets, finding aces on break points a few times, when it mattered most. He unleashed his FH. He moved well, and played intelligent tennis. Give credit where it is due.


the DA Says:

His fans know his game better than someone who openly detests him. Credit was given to Delpo. OTOH you never give Murray credit when wins: i.e. in Dubai Nole hadn’t found his A-game, the Olympics don’t matter, the wind helped him at the USO, he just hung in there to beat Fed at AO. The list goes on.


the DA Says:

Also, the clay comparison doesn’t hold up because Andy beat Delpo handily at Miami (6-2 in the 3rd), and it’s an even slower surface than IW.

@nadalista – I agree that it’s good for the game to see Delpo step up. A little shake-up adds an element of surprise and excitement. I hope he continues his excellent run and finally bags his 1st Masters 1000.


mat4 Says:

His fans are not the only one entitled to comment his game.

And I certainly do not “openly detest him”. Although I really think that the wind, the fact that Djokovic played the day before helped him in the USO final, I didn’t comment the Olympics, where he won simply playing better. I also don’t think that I wrote that he just hang in there against Federer, because that’s not the impression I had when I watched parts of the match.

But, since you know Andy’s game so well, you could also notice the pattern that he too often crumbles under the pressure, and usually loses tense matches. It happened today too.

Anyway, what’s your problem with me? If you don’t like my posts, just don’t read them.


skeezer Says:

Commiserations DA & Margot,

Gotta give credit where its due. Delpo is havin a good run. Kudos to him. I agree it is a good thing if he can step up and be in the mix. Andy, no worries, its not like it is a Slam. Just make sure you bring your game to the Slams! You can do it,

This will be an interesting match Delpo / Nole. Great tourney so far!

Hopin Rafa doesn’t get any Birdsh!t on him.


skeezer Says:

Keep in mind everyone, its only ONE tournament in the year. LOTS to be played still yet!


mat4 Says:

Murray beat DelPo in Miami four years ago. In the meantime, just like Murray, he improved his game.

And it is not certain that that year, Miami was slower than IW. On the other side, it is true that the surface, in Madrid, is faster than in other clay tournaments.

But a slower surface helps DelPo to get balls he usually doesn’t get, while he can still hit through any defence. Why do you think that DelPo hit so many slice BHs? He was certain that Murray couldn’t use those balls effectively on a surface with such high bounce.


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer:

I picked Berdych to make the final in the challenge.. My last ace in the sleeve..


Kimberly Says:

This women’s match is awful. Moonball city no one can or will actually try to move forward or actually hit the ball


jane Says:

Nole looks good, half way through watching the match. Tsonga did make errors, but not egregious ones (other than a couple into the net) – just overhit a bit long at times. Love that the link cut out all the chatter from the commentators, although you really have to pay attention between points because the next one begins immediately.


jane Says:

Nole was really good in set two. Volleying, serving, focused and clean play; lovely groundstrokes. Koenig called it a “flawless performance” from Nole and a “bad matchup” for Tsonga whom he said had poor “body language” throughout.

Jo wasn’t feeling the volleys today. He also hit 4 double faults over the 2 sets, but his serving was pretty good overall.

Just too many errors (22 or 23 over 2 sets) and not enough winners (6?), and the exact reverse for Nole with something like 22 winners and 7 errors.

Thanks for the link mat4. I enjoyed it.


Wog boy Says:

Jane, what about wine, did you enjoy it too.


Alok Says:

whew, just finished working a 12 hour day, and thought I’d see something of today’s matches, only to read here that the matches have already been played.

So sorry Murray lost because I wanted to see him and Djoker play SF, but so very thrilled my second fave (sorry Murray fans) Huan won. JMDP’s wrist must be feeling OK.

Tsonga/Djoker was never a doubt who would win. When JW plays Djoker he always tries to go for more or broke, and then overhits, ending up with a hit or a miss. It’s the reason at the beginning of the year I have him falling out of the top 10, when we did those predictions.

Tomorrow, there will be some very good matches, Nadal/T-Berd and Djoker/JMDP. Hopefully, I get to see some of it. I’m secretly hoping for a Nadal/JMDP final, but my head says it will be Nadal/Djoker final, (Don’t want to see another t-Berd /Djokovich final)either way, it’s all good for tennis.


jane Says:

Wog boy, indeed. Now I am all “tennised” out though. Cheers.


Alok Says:

@Kimberly just watched some fo Woz and kerber. what’s with all those mooballs from kerber. I think she put on a lot of muscle, her legs are like ttree trunks and her shoulders appear so huge.Next to Kerber Woz looks like a pencil.


Andrew Tennis Says:

I am hoping we all agree murray has the worst records of the top 4.

Or is there someone dumber than rafa fans to dispute that?


Alok Says:

Roger Rasheed does not seem to do well coachng the Frenchies. LaMonf fell off the chartsduring their time together, and now Tsonga is doing pretty much the same. Roger and Frenchies do not gel.


Michael Says:

It seems Novak is peaking yet again at the right time. He just blasted away Tsonga off the court and it was a far better performance from Novak. Now with Del Potro having tamed Andy, the road to finals for Novak looks clear considering his favourable H2H against Del Potro who he has beaten four straight times. So, Novak can look forward to the finals unless some mishap happens midway considering that Del Potro is never a push over and can cause upset. It seems the Tennis fans can eagerly look forward to a Novak Vs Rafa final whose excitement is not any way lesser than a Roger Vs Rafa line up.


Margot Says:

How come Andy “always crumbles under pressure” when he has been No4 for years *sighs*
Clear he’s, as we predicted, rusty and hasn’t found his rhythm/range at IW. Maybe he should’ve played Delray, but past history now.
However, glad at least he’s got further than last year.
And last, good for JMDP too!


nadalista Says:

“Maybe he should’ve played Delray,…..”

I am not a scheduling expect but I have wondered about that too. Anyway, can’t second guess players’ decisions, and he has added points at IW, clearly an improvement!

Rafa was pilloried on these very boards about his Golden swing schedule (singles and doubles), decision to play the NY exho and even some “experts” such as Mouratouglou questioned his decision to play IW! Well, his decisions have earned pretty hefty dividends, safe to opine.

So, in the cold light of day, one has to say, so far so good for Andy. Good prep for Miami where he has finalist points to defend.


Margot Says:

Thank you nadalista, you are a veritable ray of sunshine :) Early for G ‘n T but raises an imaginary glass.
Expect Wales will lose rugby now :(
Hope Rafa demolishes Bird, btw.
On a lighter note, weather here so atrocious I just looked out of my window and saw a man in oilskins walking down the road! U gotta laugh.


mat4 Says:

@margot:

He has been number 4 for years simply because HE IS THAT GOOD. But there really seems to be a pattern there.


Brando Says:

@Margot: Best ignore the whinging choir I say re Muzza. I saw the match- it was CLEARLY apparent that Andy was somewhat rusty, not quite at his best- certainly not. As you say, throughout the tourny he never really looked sharp at all. Credit to JMDP for playing well and taking advantage of this. Overall though it’s not bad for muzza I say: Got 4 matches under his belt, picked up ranking points, fought well v delpo, has Ivan joining him in Miami- a tourny that he has won before in the past too. He’ll be fine going forward and will play MUCH better tennis that will at least see him contending for titles IMO.


Giles Says:

Am disappointed Muzz is out as I felt he was the only one who could challenge joker. Oh well, hand the trophy to joker already!


Margot Says:

Raising G n T to you Brando….lol sun is nearly over the yard arm……not!


Kimberly Says:

Alok, that kerber match actually put me to sleep no joke. I think the moonballs where to push wozniaki back. So I missedColin and Nicky in the pool the blond Russian battle which I was looking forward to. Terrible match.


rogerafa Says:

“Hopin Rafa doesn’t get any Birdsh!t on him.”

Rafanatics would be a bit puzzled skeeze. :-) Do you really dislike Tomas that much?


Margot Says:

But Wales won! Whopped England. Get trophy. YAY!
Feeling much better now….


Fleischer Says:

Rogerafa,

Birdsh!t is generally meant for Federer. He has tasted the sh!t more often recently. Rafa is safe with 11 wins in a row against the bird.

Top story: Toronto Draw Preview: Djokovic Gets Murray In His Quarter, Federer's In The Trees
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Rankings
ATP - Jul 28 WTA - Jul 28
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Na Li
3 Roger Federer3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 David Ferrer6 Maria Sharapova
7 Milos Raonic7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Juan Martin Del Potro8 Angelique Kerber
9 Grigor Dimitrov9 Jelena Jankovic
10 Andy Murray10 Victoria Azarenka
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