Fun Stuff! It’s Nadal v Djokovic In Monte Carlo Final Rematch, Who’s The Pick?
by Sean Randall | April 20th, 2013, 4:27 pm
  • 196 Comments

For the second straight year Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic clash for the Monte Carlo Masters title. A week ago when the draw was released, we knew Nadal would be playing on this final Sunday, but Djokovic? Novak entered as a major question mark with ankle to even play the event, but after two awfully shaky wins early on the Serb has suddenly found his footing this weekend.

Yesterday, Djokovic eased past Jarkko Nieminen and today he all but blanked a listless Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-1.

“The way I felt in the first match, if somebody told me I’d be playing the final, I’d be very happy to hear that,” Djokovic said. “I was taking it match by match. After every win, I feel very content and very fulfilled because knowing the circumstances I was in, every win is big.”

Djokovic of course lives in Monte Carlo, which is part of the reason he played. That said, let’s be honest, it’s really Nadal’s event.

Rafa has dominated Monte Carlo like no other player has at any tournament that I can remember. Nadal’s won eight straight titles there and 46 matches in a row. In fact, there is no active player in the rankings right now that has a win over him in Monaco – Guillermo Coria is the only player and he’s long gone.

If there’s hope, Rafa’s been a little leaky in the his last two matches.

On Friday, upstart Grigor Dimitrov broke twice and took the second set thanks to a litany of Rafa errors. Today, Nadal did tighten his game up considerably but then stunningly blew a 5-1 second set lead to Tsonga. Nadal hung on to win 6-3, 7-6, but choking such a lead is cause for concern, at least I think. It signals he’s not as sharp as he should be, after all, it is his first event in a month.

So both players come into the final certainly not playing at the very height of their tennis powers – I can wait seven weeks for that – still it’s an intriguing final nonetheless, between the two best players in the game right now.

On the surface (pun intended), Nadal’s got the huge edge here, and really anyone who doesn’t have a dog in this fight would be foolish to pick against him. The two will meet for a 34th time tomorrow and Rafa’s won 19 of them including the last three, all last year and all on the dirt.

In the 2012 final it was all Rafa cruising to a 6-3, 6-1 win over Novak who, understandably, wasn’t anywhere near his best after the passing of his grandfather days earlier.

This time around Novak is still nursing that bad ankle, but I actually give him a fair chance here. With very few expecting him to win (let alone even play this event!), I think the pressure is off a bit.

By playing, Novak’s shown the ankle is holding up and he’s gotten some valuable clay practice. There’s no real No. 1 pressure nor a streak nor a overwhelming need to win Monte Carlo. The goal of his clay season is to complete the career Slam next month at Roland Garros. How he performs tomorrow will chart the course.

And since they haven’t played in 10 months, I look at it as almost an exploratory match for Novak who’ll perhaps poke and prod and see where Rafa’s at, using that knowledge for later down the road when the stakes are far greater. And if he can grab a win, great. If not there’s still a bigger prize down the road.

“I need to have a very optimistic mindset in order to get a win,” said Djokovic. “I’m not going out there to play my best; I’m going out there to win. That’s how I’m going to feel tomorrow. I lost to him twice in the final here in Monte Carlo. It’s always a big challenge when you play a top player, especially Rafa, who hasn’t lost here in eight years. I think that says enough about his record and qualities.”

For Nadal, he’s got the streaks and the reputation on the line, and he’s the big favorite in this one. So the pressure goes his way. And he doesn’t want to slip to his main rival right at the start of the clay season.

Often when these two meet we get long, grinding points with both goes pushing, or usually exceeding, the time limits. Fortunately or unfortunately, because of Novak’s ankle and Rafa’s knees, I don’t foresee an epic three hour plus death match like we’ve grown accustomed to. Instead, maybe some controlled rallies with quicker points? It is the start not the finish of the clay season so I just can’t see these guys really pushing it to the max.

Then again, what if Novak really is 100% healthy. What if he then wants to grind Rafa down, wear him out and put those darn knees at risk for the remainder of the clay season and French? It’s a fascinating plan: make Nadal work extra, extra hard with hopes it pays off the second Sunday in June.

With both guys so up-and-down this week, it’s hard to single out one key. When they do play I like to look at Novak’s second serve return game. Novak can really jump on Rafa’s weak second and gain control of the points. If Rafa’s serving poorly, Novak should be able to dictate.

In the end, though, I just think this title is more important to Rafa. He is the King of Clay, after all. Last year he got the snowman. But I have a hunch he has a taste for a little more.
The pick: Nadal in two

Tennis Channel will have the match live at 8am ET.

SUNDAY MONTE CARLO SCHEDULE

COURT CENTRAL start 2:00 pm
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [3] R Nadal (ESP)
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs J Benneteau (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB)


Also Check Out:
Led By Milos Raonic, ATP Players Do The Harlem Shake [Video]
Federer Reverses Monte Carlo Decision, Will Take On Nadal
Rafael Nadal: I Have Amazing Feelings When I Play Monte Carlo [Video]
Djokovic Withdraws From Monte Carlo
It Seems Like Novak Djokovic Is Playing Monte Carlo, But So Too Is Rafael Nadal Who’s Won 42 Straight Matches There

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get Tennis-X news FREE in your inbox every day

196 Comments for Fun Stuff! It’s Nadal v Djokovic In Monte Carlo Final Rematch, Who’s The Pick?

queen Says:

I think for the first time u got your pick right.


Humble Rafa Says:

It does not take a genius to pick your Humble Highness in a clay court match. My door knob, chair, bar stool and my own picky pick me to win as well. You have more than 95% probability you are right.


jane Says:

Sean, this is a good analysis of what’s at stake, and yeah, I think Rafa will prevail – just look at his record – but I hope Nole can make a match of it. Ajde Nole!


Giles Says:

“I’m not going out there to play my best, I’m going out there to win. That’s how I’m going to feel tomorrow”. Hmmm he knows today how he is going to feel tomorrow.
Enough with the mind games already joker boy!!


Julia Says:

Giles, it isn’t mind games, it’s called MINDSET! And you making fun of Nole saying something like that, when Rafa says basically the same thing before a final, is so hypocritical.

Nole has the mindset to win tomorrow as I’m sure Rafa does too. Does that mean Rafa knows how he is going to feel tomorrow? Cuz I’m pretty sure Rafa isn’t saying to himself, ‘I’m going to lose tomorrow, blah blah blah.’


jane Says:

Yes, the first part of the quote is ““I need to have a very optimistic mindset in order to get a win.” I think it’s great he’s trying to be optimistic even though he knows the chances of beating Rafa at Monte Carlo are slim to say the least.


Steve 27 Says:

In the absence of anything strange, Nadal in 2 sets.


marko Says:

Hi,

I’m a long time reader, but rarely post. However, I can’t wait until the match tomorrow so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts in the interim.

Disclaimer: I’m a Novak fan.

I can’t say who’ll win, though Nadal certainly has the edge. But I think the key statistic for tomorrow’s match will be Novak’s approaches to the net.

At the beginning of 2012 Vajda said Novak was trying to go to the net more, in order to try and shorten points so as to avoid another injury like at the end of 2011. We didn’t see that evolution in Novak’s game at the 2012 AO or FO, but we certainly saw it in this year’s AO final (35/41 net points won). Djokovic’s game has definitely evolved since the last time he squared off with Nadal. He’s going to the net considerably more often against all his opponents these days, and feels more comfortable there. He’s still not as good at the net as Federer, but he’s much better at it than he was 2 years ago.

Now, as for Nadal..He hasn’t really displayed anything “new” since his comeback, but that doesn’t mean much as I wouldn’t really expect him to. If uncle Tony taught him any new tricks during those 7 months, I wouldn’t expect them to display it prior to a big match where he has to use new skills. Even if Nadal hasn’t developed anything new, Djokovic’s net approaches shouldn’t be too much of a problem in the long run as Nadal is really, really good at the passing shots. If Nadal has developed some new tactic for Djokovic, he may decide to employ it tomorrow and that might just as well blow up in his face in the first attempt (as experiments often do). I suspect though, that Nadal will continue to play about the same as he has before, and I will proceed with that ASSUMPTION.

The question then remains, whether Novak will employ his new, more aggressive tactic. As I’m sure Novak is aware, the key is not to simply rush the net and hope for the best, but to only approach the net when you expect your opponent won’t be in a position to return a good passing shot. I’m certain that Novak by now must be very, very good at reading how Rafa will respond to any given shot so his approaches to the net SHOULD be appropriate. Further, Nadal may have some serious trouble here if Djokovic approaches the net 40 times during the match as Rafa hasn’t faced that situation before. He’s used to the long rallies they’ve previously played. He certainly has the passing shot skills to keep Djokovic away from the net, but I’m not sure how he might respond during the first match facing this new tactic…He might just get confused, and lose, or he might adapt quickly and just trounce Novak totally with lobs and passing shots.

I’m sure Novak still has the ankle in the back of his mind. And if the weather is cold, and blustery like today that would certainly encourage him to approach the net more. I simply don’t know how Nadal will respond to that. But I’m fairly confident that Novak’s net points won will be the key statistic for tomorrow’s match.

I’m really looking forward to it.


jane Says:

marko – great post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Have you any idea of what Nole’s net stats have been like so far this event? I know they were great on hard courts, esp in some AO matches, but I don’t know how they’ve been here.


Skeezer Says:

Marko,

Thanks for the post and a good one at that. Since the threads are over run by a few rabid Rafa fans its refreshing to see other posters.


Wog boy Says:

Marko,

Good job, keep posting, please. You are talking tennis … for a change.

Ajde Nole


alison Says:

Wogboy YNWA come on LVC,lets get 3 points tomorrow against Chelsea :-))..


alison Says:

^Sorry Wogboy that post wasnt about tennis though lol.^


marko Says:

Thanks Jane,

vs. Youzhni 14/18 net points won
vs. Monaco ?????
vs. Nieminen 9/11
vs Fognini 9/14

Those are good, but not stellar numbers..However they’re quite different than what Nadal is used to seeing coming from Djokovic. Then again, Djokovic had similar numbers at the AO, and then wound up with 35/41 against Murray. I think we’ll similarly see much more approaches to the net. But if Nadal adapts to it, djokovic could be in a lot of trouble because of those passing shots.


Rsutherland Says:

Skeezer@ 6:03
‘Since the threads are over run by a few rabid Rafa fans its refreshing to see other posters’.
Your contortionistic flips from the ‘too bad we can’t all be reasonable posters’ business to ‘Nadal (and his fans) is at best the chupacabra and at worst beelzabub’ is quite the routine for you isn’t it?
For you to change the word ‘Rafa’ to ‘Federer’ in your sentence would be for you tantamount to staring into a full-length mirror.
Maybe I was wrong about you being duplicitous. Perhaps you truly have not capacity for honest self-evaluation.


Wog boy Says:

alison,

Yes, they can beat those Roman’s boys YWNA :)


jane Says:

Thanks marko – yeah and Tsonga mentioned Nadal’s passing shots in his presser I believe. Hopefully Nole makes wise choices about approaching if he tries that tactic.


Preeti Says:

Nole should get an Oscar for the ankle drama!


marko Says:

I think I’ve got a fool-proof metric to determine who’ll win. And I think Wogboy can probably join in on this.
A shot of sljivovica every time Novak wins a point at the net.
If we’re sober by the end of the match, then we’ll know he’s lost.
If we’re unconscious before the match ends then we can sleep easy knowing he’ll win.


BadaBing Says:

Preeti Says:
Nole should get an Oscar for the ankle drama!

April 20th, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Yeah Von, we already know how you feel.


alison Says:

Marko lol knowing Wogboys love of a good old tipple you might be on to something,BTW good luck to your favorite in the final,although not too much as this is coming from a Rafa fan lol.


Wog boy Says:

marko,

I do that without Novak coming at the net, but now I can justifiy it. I am in :)


jane Says:

marko, I can shoot some white wine to join into the fun! ;)


Preeti Says:

Ah dear wogboy, if you love your tipple, you are being unwise in agreeing to remain sober till the end of the match!


Andrea Says:

As neither a rafa or Novak fan, can’t pick between the two. Too bad grigor missed the boat against nadal. Rafa was doing his usual hit to the one handed back hander corner as he always does, but unlike fed, who eventually crumbles with that tactic, grigor didn’t. Looking forward to more good tennis from him in the future. Nadal has been looking iffy….blowing a 5-1 lead on clay? But he is a beast on clay so who knows. hoping for a good match!


Steve 27 Says:

Andrea, seems that over time, the consistency throughout the game is a simple wish and not a reality. Ask Sampras, Federer and Nadal now if the deconcentrations, are the product of a long and busy career and not something on purpose to make a game more exciting for the spectators.


Wog boy Says:

Preeti,

Don’t dear me, besides, you are not pretty, on the contrary. I am not fan of chameleons.


Preeti Says:

undear wogboy. Why are you not grateful for my wise words? Ah I get it. You are on the wagon.This Nole match helps you….
By claiming you are not a fan of chameleons are you saying you are not a fan of Nole?


skeezer Says:

@wogboy

” I am not fan of chameleons.”

Exactly what I thought ;). Good luck tomorrow!


Wog boy Says:

Somebody mentioned insomnia on the other thread. It looks like some creatures keep posting around the clock, 24 hours a day. What are they on?


Preeti Says:

not tippling for sure!


Wog boy Says:

skeezer,

Thanks, he will need a good chunk of luck against Rafa on clay in MC, but you never know, it is sport.


Preeti Says:

Rafa to win in three sets!
We might have to see Nole shedding glycerine tears over his ankle which turned so badly that both his feet become left feet! sob! sob!


Ben Pronin Says:

Why is alok posting as preeti? At least try to change your style somewhat, no?


Ben Pronin Says:

Why is alok posting as preeti? At least try to change your style somewhat, no?


Preeti Says:

Some are calling me von, some are calling me alok. But I am only pretty preeti! I don’t know who von and alok are but if they are anything like me they must be pretty too!
anyway onwards to 2′morro’s match and the slaughter of the ankle!
What would the battle be called?
The ankle’s last stand? or should it be un-stand?


Julia Says:

Why is Ben adding ‘no’ at the end of his question like Rafa does? OH, that’s right!! He is skeezer’s back up since skeezer “speaks the true, no?”


thebigfour Says:

Nole vs Rafa in the Monte Carlo 2013 Final:


thebigfour Says:

I have a feeling people will be surprised tomorrow! Just a hunch.


Preeti Says:

Nole has been saying ankle. But Rafa will make him say uncle.


Eric Says:

Is there any actual evidence that Novak’s ankle is troubling him or hindering his play? (I haven’t had a chance to watch any tennis for weeks.) Clearly, he started slow in his first two matches here, but that’s not unusual.


skeezer Says:

Ben is not me, if your implying. Not
like steve27/Julia ;)

This is the true, no?

—-

Eric,

Nole has been working through it, getting better every match.


Eric Says:

(Same question, with a lot more skepticism, goes for Rafa’s knees. C’mon, it’s obvious that he took so long off to ensure that his knees were at 100% and they’re clearly not troubling him — let’s not forget he won IW, his first hardcourt title since Elvis died or whatever.)


Julia Says:

Eric, you also have to remember that Nole had no practice on CC before this tourney either. But he himself is implying that his ankle seems to be fine and should not be an issue tomorrow. He says he has found his rhythm and has gotten used to the clay now.


Julia Says:

Rafa has not mentioned anything about his knees, just his game. He has said he does not want to talk about that. It’s everyone else that keeps harping on it.


Eric Says:

Yes, that’s exactly my point. I wish people would stop belaboring the injury angle…


Jimmy Says:

Djokovic in straight sets. Novak looks for the earliest shot in a rally to hit an aggressive shot and will change directions on ground strokes beautifully, putting Rafa on the defensive and in scramble mode. Novak attacks short balls and moves foward to finish off points. Rafa sits out Barcelona next week to rehab his confidence, cough cough, his “knee.”


skeezer Says:

“Rafa has not mentioned anything about his knees, just his game.”

Uh….errrr.. you mean JUST this Tournament, right?

#Histronics


Julia Says:

See, that is EXACTLY what I mean skeezer!!!! YOU ARE A BROKEN RECORD! LET IT GO!

BTW, are you playing dumb, or did you not get from what we said AND the title of the thread (MONTE CARLO FINAL) that we are talking about THIS tourny???????

You are worse than a 2 year old asking why all the time!!!!!!!!!


skeezer Says:

No, you types and Rafakoolaid drinkers are the broken record.

Do you want me to start listing the excuse laden losses, and wins Rafa has laid down with an injury excuse? Don’t get me started. Best put your tail between your legs and enjoy Rafa’s beatdown fest durin Mud season. When the real season starts,then we’ll get the true tennis fans come out, not the few Rafa obsessives.

Btw, i’ll be the first to congratulate Rafa and his fans if he doesn’t make one statement about his knees or any other excuse after THIS final. You heard it here first. No hard feelings. Lets just hope win or lose he says, I was 100% for once. Cheering for Rafa on that.


oromis Says:

when the real season starts…….LOLOL.


courbon Says:

We have to great athlets competing at the top and all people do is arguing and insulting other ones favorite…
Here is the thing-Nadal and Novak are fine young man, very well behaved and spoken.They are best in their field and considering that, they are very well balanced.We should be happy to have them.
Very simple and maybe boring but thats how it is.


thebigfour Says:

If Nole beats Rafa tomorrow, and Rafa sits out of Barcelona it is not a good sign for Nadal!! Novak will believe he has ruined him, and be even more confident next time they play.


thebigfour Says:

Rafa is to good of a champion to let a loss tomorrow (big if) affect the rest of his clay court campaign. He will go and win Barcelona if Novak beats him tomorrow.


thebigfour Says:

That will make Madrid and Rome very crucial (specially Rome) to who wins the French Open. We also can never count the great one out of any conversation (Roger Federer)!! He could blow us all away and win the French Open for 2nd time at 31 years of age!!


Julia Says:

skeezer writes: ” When the real season starts..”

Real season? What do you mean by that? AO was not real tennis or any of the other countless tourneys already played? When does the real season start? I’m sure the players would love to know!

Barcelona is also a big deal to Rafa and also to any Spanish player. It is a HUGE deal in Spain and the fact that Rafa has won it countless times also matters to him.

If Nole beats Rafa, which I don’t think will happen, I still can’t see Rafa skipping Barcelona. It will be a great match tomorrow between 2 top players who have given all of us many past great matches to see. Nole and Rafa both will give it their all!


alison Says:

Courbon DITTO fantastic post,sick to the back teeth with all this bloody bickering,and just to add not just insulting one another favorite,but insulting one another too,just wondering wheres the talk on tennis?


Julia Says:

skeezer Says:
“No, you types and Rafakoolaid drinkers are the broken record.”

Please clarify “you types”


nadalista Says:

@Julia, let me help you out there:

The “you types” @skeezer means are the fans of a certain Mallorcan who made a certain GOAT cry in Australia:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZZ6QK52aic

#RafaKoolAidDrinker


nadalista Says:

RT @mattebden: “can someone beat Rafa at Monte Carlo please….9 in a row is not really human…or fair lol….nole?”

You are not alone in that imploration Matt, the whole Fedbot community is busy beseeching the Almighty in that respect……

…..but the Mallorcan will not oblige, yet.

#RafaKoolAidDrinker


Humble Rafa Says:

Too may chameleons here, me feels, no?


Wilfried Says:

@marko 5:51pm:
Valuable comment, Marco, although I think it will be harder and more complicated to attack the net than you can imagine.
Monte Carlo is clay surface and not hard court, and strategies to employ are not the same as on hard court.
Here’s what Federer said in an interview about clay:
“On clay you don’t need to have a volley, you almost don’t need to have a serve. All you need to have is legs, an incredible forehand and backhand and to run things down. I’m not trying to take anything away from Rafa, because he’s an exception and he did everything on other surfaces as well, but I think you can get away with having problems with your game on clay more than you can on other surfaces. On a hard court you can lure a guy in and do many more things. You almost have to have more feel. On clay, I don’t want to say it’s too simple, that you just have to keep the ball in court and wait for a mistake, but sometimes it’s too easy.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/federer-on-clay-you-dont-need-a-volley-or-a-serve-its-too-easy-1979825.html
Approaching the net on a clay surface is very risky against a player like Nadal when he’s playing well. You get punished most of the time when you do that often, even after a good approach shot.
I don’t think Novak is 100 % fit either, which will hamper his ability to attack the net in an efficient way. To me it’s already an amazing feat that Novak was able to reach the final.
Novak will try to figure out where Rafa’s game is at, that’s it. His goal is winning in Paris, not yet in Monte Carlo.


courbon Says:

@ Alison: Talking about tennis?Not much to say-your man is beating my man but thats OK…What about sunnday footbal?What a games! My prediction:Libverpool wins, Totenham wins…
Fell Sorry about QPR but I can not stand greedy Redknap so it serves him well to coach Championship team.


Michael Says:

Sean may be right this time at least for once. I go with his pick. However, I think Novak will give his all to deny Nadal his ninth straight title. It would be 65:35 in favour of Nadal. That said, if there is one player who can give him sleepless nights it can only be Novak. So, I would not be surprised if he registers a win and with the Sean jinx set to help him, may be we are in for a huge shock. Let us wait and see !?


the DA Says:

Aargh, posted this on wrong thread. Lots of clouds and a few rain drops at MC just minutes ago:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BIXwWD4CQAAp9QC.jpg

These conditions will certainly favor one of the players.


racquet Says:

Interesting information I picked up on another forum:

“According to Annabel Croft at Sky Sports, Rafa’s back problem relates to an “intercostal muscle between his rib cage which was very very painful and affecting his serving”. She got this information from Rafa’s team, who she talked to in the morning before the match with Tsonga.”

So can we agree, both teams have their bases covered? ;)


Margot Says:

Lol racquet. And I’m sure Andy had a touch of “man flue” too…..I mean otherwise how could’ve he lost…..;)


racquet Says:

@ Margot

“man flue”? The mind boggles.


Giles Says:

Monday final? Cr@ppy weather forecast.


the DA Says:

Covers coming off, sunny now. Play should start in 20 mins.


Giles Says:

Sun coming thru’ should be starting in 20 mins


Giles Says:

Joker saying everybody has been more professional since he came on the tour. Meaning what exactly??


marko Says:

Thanks, Wilfried,

essentially I agree with you (and Fed). Especially when you say that approaching the net against a fit rafa on clay is very risky. And in general, you definitely don’t want to approach the net on clay as often as you do on hard courts. But there’s two types of approaches. Right off the serve, and during a point. Novak definitely won’t want to approach following the serve because, as you said, clay is too slow, and it’s too easy to get a good deep return. During a point, however is a different story. In their previous matches (especially that excruciating AO final) both Nadal and Djokovic seemed to content to rally endlessly behind the baseline and stay back even when they had opportunities to approach the net. I think this is where we’ll see the difference. I think Djokovic will take those opportunities when they arrive more often now. Still, if he does, it’s a very risky strategy and Djokovic may really regret.

Best of luck to both players and fans.

And lets hope the rain ends soon. Let’s get this thing going.


marko Says:

thanks Alison, good luck to your guy as well..Honestly, I’ve just been hoping for a top quality match more than anything else. I mean it.

The thing is all of the top four have, in my personal opinion, failed to provide the kind of nail-biting performances this year that we’re grown accustomed to. But I think, Djokovic and Nadal truly DESERVE one another.

Djokovic often seems to lose focus, frankly he looks bored much of the time. I am honestly starting to believe that sometimes he lets his opponents get an early break just so he can come back. And I don’t think he does this for the spectators benefit, but his own..Just so he won’t get bored.

Nadal looks like a big bully in a small playground playing against the pitiful opposition he’s faced so far in his come back(I really don’t mean that in a bad way, just seems like a fitting analogy ). He hasn’t really been tested by a true competitor yet, but that changes today hopefully so we’ll see Rafa at his best today I think.

As for the other two, Fed’s not getting any younger and his masterful performances (which I miss) are getting fewer and farther between. Murray, what can I say about him? He’s yet to prove he’s a true contender to the crown. He seems to fragile sometimes..I mean, you put a feather in front of him and he just collapses.

I think Djokovic and Nadal deserve one another. They’re the toughest kids in the playground. Nadal finally gets to pick on someone his own size, and Djokovic gets a true challenge to his dominance.

Good luck all.


marko Says:

And Nadal actually makes the first approach to the net..perfectly executed too!


marko Says:

Still Novak draws first blood..GO NOLE!!


the DA Says:

Nole gets the first break. Looking comfortable out there.


nikola Says:

2,4 for nole lol. Easy money.


Daniel Says:

Wow, this 2 bring the bets from each other. They are playing in a different level than the other matches so far, way more power in all shots. And amazing rallies so far.


Kimmi Says:

love rafa and nole matches. no one can bull the other too much..very competitive.


Daniel Says:

2 DF Nadal in 2 service games, weird!


marko Says:

They’re already playing at a much higher level I’ve seen from either of them all year :)

Never before seen Rafa be so sweaty early in a match though.


the DA Says:

What a start for Nole. 4-0! Some great tennis thus far.


Daniel Says:

Well, if Dimitrov can win a set 6-2 and Tsonga can win 5-1 games in a single set versus Nadal in MC, Djoko sure can do better, as he is right now.

We all know comebacks, but Djoko is composed and executing in every shot.


marko Says:

Beautiful approach to the net from Djokovic..sljivovitz worthy!


Daniel Says:

Wow, 25 points Djoko to 12 Nadal. What Djoko had for breakfast?!
2 winners in this game a lone, 0-30 and a possible bagel on Nadal in a MC final?!?!!?


the DA Says:

Apparently Nole has never bageled Rafa. Murray has twice. Fed 3 times.


Daniel Says:

Nadal with 4 excellent serves to save all 4 set points


Daniel Says:

Wow, another serve to save 5 set point, best shot by Nadal in this game.


the DA Says:

Rafa preserves his stat.


Daniel Says:

Nadal had to sweet blood to save this game.

Let’s see if Djoko will have his focus lost when serving for set as he has lately.


Daniel Says:

Another volley escape Djoko, 15-40 Nadal, first BP


the DA Says:

Nole plays a couple of loose shots and Rafa breaks.


Daniel Says:

Me and my mouth:)
Amazing how Djokovic again couldn’t serve a set. Good for him he has fat to burn and had BP is all Nadal games.


Green900 Says:

I’m telling u nadal wins 7-5 or 7-6 in first set


Daniel Says:

7 first serves in 7 set points. Amazing. This can mess with Djoko’s head


the DA Says:

Nole is playing close to his 2011 level. Rafa looking just a little rattled in that last game. I expect a comeback in the 2nd set.


Ngentot Says:

@Green900,

You are funny.


courbon Says:

What did you say Green900?


Thomas Says:

And a double fault to lose it :D That must give nole a bit of confidence.


Daniel Says:

Nadal was so not used to serve second serve on set point that he double faulted. Nadal saved Djoko’s a#$.

Djoko start serving second set and relieved. Worst thing Nadal could do was this DF, he had to keep the pressure on Djoko but eventually he was the one not holding.

Let’s see of Djoko will keep the level or if Nadal will be more aggressive.


the DA Says:

Green900 might be using Jamie’s psychic.


Green900 Says:

Haha. Never mind :P


Daniel Says:

This DF is old demons.

Today Djokovic BH crosscourt is simply out of this world os the shot is open the court for him and Nadal is never in position to hit his insane DTL forehand, you count in one hand how many of those he hit all match.


Daniel Says:

Nadal running away his BH more to hit forehands. What he hit in this point was insane, hammering the ball and he should have gone to the net sooner.
BP Nadal


Daniel Says:

Nadal clearly raised his level, see how Djoko reacts


Daniel Says:

Good hold by Djoko in a game Nadal wanted to break and played better than the game he broke in first set.


nikola Says:

Djoko is tired, and Nadal see that.


Daniel Says:

2 bizarre mistakes after good first serves, 15-40 and trouble for him again


the DA Says:

Rafa finally breaks. Nole missing a little more.


courbon Says:

Great tennis so far.Nadal is getting better.I will not have any nails left by the end….


Daniel Says:

Nadal with the break and lead in second set.

Djoko made another unusual mistake with a BH DTL just to change direction. He was completely set for the shot and should miss as he did wide. Now will ave to try break back a pumped up Nadal.


Daniel Says:

Djoko is not being able to return Nadal’s inside out forehand as he used to, seems Nadal is hitting harder and more open.

Djoko chose wrongly, approach to Nadal forehand, is his favorite passing shot?!


the DA Says:

Nole is looking just a little pooped.


the DA Says:

hehe…another twist. break back!


Daniel Says:

Djoko pressuring Nadal BH and eventually got the mistake and the break back. 2 BH mistakes in a row by Nadal.


Daniel Says:

Urg, ulgy mistake by Nadal, awful volley to level the game in deuce. Now Djoko holds, has the lead 5-4 and Nadal will have to serve to stay in the match, after Djoko having one 12 of the last 16 points.

From now on huge tension in final games of the second set.


Daniel Says:

Nadal using a lot of variety with slices and FH DTL to move Djoko around, is paying off.

15-40 Nadal, BO smelling set point


alison Says:

Courbon didnt see the 1st set,as i have just come home from work,now watching the second set and whatever Rafa does Nole still looks like the better player,i think its Noles day,still 8 is not bad,just hope Rafa can force a 3rd set.


Daniel Says:

Nadal serving for the set. Will see of Djoko is able to pressure and force a tiebreak. For him the closes we go to a third set the worst it gets. He has to trow everything in this game which will be a tense game for both.


alison Says:

This match deserves a 3rd set,fingers crossed:)


Forehand Says:

Good to see some good comments on the match.
Thanks for all the updates. I am travelling and the comments are helping a lot.

I guess the trouble makers on both sides led by the likes of skeezer, queen, etc are just waiting in the hole unsure of the result of the match.

It will be a lot of fun here after the match. For the moment it is all about tennis.


the DA Says:

Nole plays 4 perfect points to force a TB. Nail biting.


Daniel Says:

I think Djoko heard me added by Nadal who missed all first serves.

Wow, tiebreak. Drama!!


Daniel Says:

6 stright points to Djoko


Daniel Says:

Even though the ball was out Djoko was already there to make the cross court BH. 4-1 Djoko


Daniel Says:

Well, with this sitter that Nadal send out with his signature forehand I can safely say this is Djoko’s match, 5-1.


Forehand Says:

Daniel,
Why Rafa is not serving well ?
Any injury issue ?
Back issue ?


Daniel Says:

Now an amazing forehand returner to set 6 MP. 6-1,

Djoko one point away for the change of guard and break Nadal dominance in MC.


the DA Says:

Wow! Nole completely dominates the TB and ends Rafa’s incredible run at MC. This win is HUGE for Nole going into the clay season.

Commiserations Brando & Alison. He put up a valiant fight in the 2nd set. Nothing to worry about at this stage.

Congrats Jane & WB.


Green900 Says:

This is crazy.


Kimmi Says:

the reign is over. well done djokovic!!


jatin Says:

This djoker is unstoppable . Who can really stop him now ?
He defeated nadal on his best tournament and best surface .

unbelievable


Daniel Says:

Congrats Djoko, wow, his face was pure joy!

First player to beat Nadal 3 times after 2005, the other was Gaudio.
Djoko one title away from completing Master sweep, oddly enough, Cincinati which is the fastest hard court and should help Djoko’s game the most (that’s why he has 4 finals in there). EVentually he will get this record all by himself.

Djoko again proving that he saves the best for last and he becomes a different player when facing Fed and Nadal.

P.S. My gamble play in the bracket challenge payd off, I picked Djoko as everybody eles was picking Nadal to gain point, All or nothing:)


courbon Says:

Before lots of crap start being written on this blog I just want to say this:

Congratulations Novak!Better man won, but big repect to Rafa ( and his fans ).

This will make clay season much more interesting!


Ngentot Says:

Congrats Nole and all my fellow Nole fans.
Commies to all Nadal fans.

Nole showed why he is the no.1 tennis player in the world.


gannu Says:

so sean maintains his flawless jinx record…well done sean..amazing how can u get it so wrong everytime.!! well done djoker…u are the only one who can do this to nadal on a clay court!


Polo Says:

Who’s King of Clay now?
Of course, it is still Nadal.
That makes Djokovic’s win very remarkable.


Kimmi Says:

he deserves to rip his shirt today..but didn’t do it! i am disappointed :)


Michael Says:

Congrats to Novak !! He has done it. I would say it is a Himalayan performance from him beating Nadal at Monte Carlo, a feat not possible for the likes of even Roger. I was the one here who was moaning about how Novak and his Team took a bad decision to play Monte Carlo and now I am looking like a Stupid. Incredible that he managed to beat Nadal in straight sets totally dominating him from the first to the last. Even when he was behind, he came back with all guns blazing. Full marks to him and I take my hats off to this true Champion. Now having beaten Rafa at Monte Carlo, I would dare to say Novak will have the upper hand in Rolland Garros.


Daniel Says:

IN last 20 tears, 60% of player who win Monte Carlo wins RG.

First clay season to get interesting in a long time. Will this loss affect Rafa in Barcelona this week? Next tourney everybody will play, Madrid, but the conditions are so different from RG that it doesn’t affect much.

Now I can’t wait to see the action in this site, Most Rafa fans were dismissing Djoko’s chance yesterday, will see if they will show up:)


gonzalowski Says:

Congrats to Nole!
I,m Nadal fan but he deservrd the win.
Nole was dominating most of the match finding lines


Michael Says:

As regards Rafa, he has already won it eight times and it has to come to an end some day and today was it. But I do not think he need to be disheartened with this performance. He has made nine straight finals at Monte Carlo, an incredible feat looking from all angles and losing to Novak is no shame although Rafa is still the King of Clay. You can never write him off. He will bounce back majestically. But with Novak having beaten him here, I anticipate a very stiff challenge at Rolland Garros for Rafa and that makes it very interesting. I am keeping my fingers crossed.


Michael Says:

I think Madrid would be quite different and there Novak will have the upperhand because the court speed suits him more than Rafa.


Michael Says:

I all along had maintained that if there was one player who can beat Nadal even on Clay, it can only be Novak. He has justified my confidence and I am happy for that.


Daniel Says:

Reminding the “how many matches will Nadal lose this clay season” I told you that Nadal doesn’t like odd years:) Already starts 2013 clay season with a loss.

But he already is on a 5 final match stark, with 3 titles and losing to #1 player in the world, after a 7 month lay off, no shame in that.


courbon Says:

Lets not jump the guns, Rafa is still favorite for RG.Now, its a time for celebrationa and I will take advice from Dr.Wog and open bottle of Loza…


Jimmy Says:

Not that much of a surprise. A big jump in level of opposition for Nadal, and Djokovic has been wanting revenge for that French Open final for the last year.


Ben Pronin Says:

Missed it, can’t wait to watch the replay.


Brando Says:

@All Novak fans: My Heartiest congratulations to Novak and you for the win- it was well deserved. Rafa lost to a worthy opponent, and the better player on the day. Congrats and enjoy the win.


alison Says:

Courbon if the crap starts i will take a break from posting,im not a sore loser ,but im fearing it might turn into yet another warzone,Novak was indeed the better player no complaints there,Rafas won 8 so no disgrace,all runs come to an end sooner or later,congrats to your man hes had a fabulous week,but im hoping Rafa can steal the title back next year lol :)))…


Kimberly Says:

Congrats to Novak. Sad for Rafa but can’t complain with five finals since his comeback. He needs to play Novak and Murray as much as possible to raise his game to that gear. Very impressive addition to the djokovic resume.

Hopefully rafa will rebound and win a few clay titles and Roland garros!


Daniel Says:

The thing in tennis is that just one match changes everything. But the time IW ended it was Nadal world and Djoko being a no show in IW and Miami was being questioned. Now with this victory he ubber reestablish himself and sends a message to everybody else. I think ony Nadal, Djoko and Fed can beat each other in clay finals, Nadal and Djoko even more than Fed. RG and Rome are between this 3, Madrid is a litlle more opened but they are above everybody else and until Fed proves his form on clay this year, it will be a Nadal Djoko showdown.

And this is a huge set back for # 1 race, Djoko will have a huge gap now and with Murray returning back to #3, starting to think Djoko can be #1 all year. Will see, a lot of tennis to be played still.


Brando Says:

@Rafa fans: Stay calm and cool. Rafa after 7 months out, just had a 4 week break, was shaky for his self this week did well to compete. He was bound to lose at MC one day- that was today- no shame in losing to worthy opponent. Stay calm and remember: there is a long way to go still and Rafa is and has always been a fighter first and foremost: he’ll fight back hard fr sure!


Ben Pronin Says:

So, the ankle is good, no?


Kimberly Says:

I do not think nadal can take number one this year having boy played Australian open but if he has a strong clay season and actually plays tennis through November he could be in a good position next January. Number one is djokovic or Murray this year. Murray needs a strong clay season o have a chance as he is defending a lot after.


Alex Says:

Please no excuses.


alison Says:

Lovely speeches from both players,lovely smiles,and dare i say lovely shirtless hunks too lol,and if anyone says Rafas a sore loser well BS,that smile on his face said very differently.


Wog boy Says:

The DA and others thanks, congrats to all my Nole fans. No1e is #1 for a reason.

Commiseration too good Nadal fans.

I am just worried for Nole and his team not to go now infront of Rafa’s hotel to celebrate, you know like in Madrid 2 years ago;)

Am I going to write ten pages posts and to plaster them all over TX … NO, am I going to celebrate No1e’s win … Hell YES.
Man without any CC preparation defeated King of Clay who was preaparing last nine months.

Somebody will not be drinking G&T but lot of Plum brandy will coming down the throat of Nole fans.

“TO CARE, LJUBI TE MAJKA.”

P.S. Marko, stay on TX, you brought us luck:)


alison Says:

Alex i dont hear any Rafa fans making excuses,the better player won,pure and simple.


Jimmy Says:

It was just really nice to see these two play a match again.


alison Says:

Wogboy congrats on your favorites win,he was the better player pure and simple,now you can watch LVC YNWA beat Chelsea,what a great day for you eh,you will wake up tomorrow with one hell of a hangover if so,enjoy the game :-))..


Kimberly Says:

Wog boy, you should celebrate the win. It is a great win. He won fair and square. But we will get u soon :)


contador Says:

I did not see the match…..was streaming cycling- LBL

Yessssssss…….Ajde Nole!! Congrats


alison Says:

Was dissapointed when Rafa broke that he didnt manage to close out that second set,i thought the match deserved a third set :((..


Nadalista Says:

Congratulations Novak, well played. Totally deserved win. As per suggestion from the good Nole fan who is thoroughly enjoying my discomfiture, as well he should, I will definitely put away my G & T, (for now) and get stuck in chomping crow…….ewwww!

Still proud of my Rafito, fought hard but Novak was too good today. Back to the drawing board it is.

At least Novak is not in the Barcelona draw, yeah, good chance to salvage some much needed confidence…..and plot Novak’s downfall…..AGAIN!

Vamos!!


Wog boy Says:

courbon,

Smart move, Loza iz good stuff but eat something;)

ZIVELI BRATE


alison Says:

Kimberly yeah too right :))


Wog boy Says:

Kimberly,

Thanks a lot, I know you will that is why I have to be quick with celebrations before you get us :) Rafa is still King of Clay and beste ever on clay,this defeat doesn’t change that, but makes it sweeter:)


Wog boy Says:

alison,

Thanks a lot, sorry, just saw your post.


Jimmy Says:

It seemed to me like Djokovic was already thinking about the clay season in Indian Wells and Miami, and those losses probably threw people off into thinking he wasn’t ready to make a big push on clay.


Giles Says:

At least Rafans can be thankful for small mercies – we were spared the shirt ripping farce!


bojana Says:

TO,NOLENCE,that is why whole Serbia love,s YOU.
Congratulation to all Nole,s fans.
For those who wanted Nole to have two left legs after the match I am really sorry for you.

Nole had the best smile on his fase on the end.

AJDE NOLE VOLIMOTE,TI SI NAJBOLJI…..


Margot Says:

Nole was sensational in the first set. Nole 2011 is back, very very scary.
Congrats to all his lovely fans on here especially jane and Wog Boy.
Commiserations to Rafa’s nice fans on here, especially Kimberly, alison and Brando.
The clay season just got a lot more interesting ;)


skeezer Says:

Congrats to Nole! Wogboy said it all, so I won’t post too much. Commeserations to Kimberly, nadalista and the decent Rafa gang(yes queen,even you, lol).

Rafa didn’t look bad, played comfortably within the time limits(remember that beef? Lol ) and had a great 1rst serve % (72). Just shows how amazing Noles return game can be.
Fully expect Rafa to turn up the heat as we get into the heart of the Clay season.

Nole gave out the reason for hus claim as world #1. The real #1.

5-6, Rafa serving for the set, just breaking Nole. This is where Rafa gets his teeth in the match, will push it to a decider, and prevail in the end.

Instead, Nole rips returns, belts winners and hits lines, 4 shots in a row to force a TB. The match was won there. Magnificent.

All of the sudden the Clay season got interesting.


Ben Pronin Says:

I’m reading Djokovic hit 50% of his backhands down the line in the first 5 games. No wonder it was 5-0. That kind of effectiveness is unbeatable.


Margot Says:

Snap skeeze…;)


Wog boy Says:

bojana,
Before I get smashed, this one is for you, nice Nole fan, I knew you must be around:)
Ziveli Bojana


courbon Says:

@ Brando, Alison, Nadalista: Thanks.I just realised how much I missed watching those two (talking about 2nd set, first one was one-off, Nadal not warmed up yet ).Those two are similair-when they loose they get mpotivated to win next one…so it will be interesting clay season.


Wog boy Says:

Margot,

Thanks, I am finding it harder and harder to post as bottle of brandy is getting lower and lower;)

jane,

Are you OK, where are you?


Nadalista Says:

@courbon, @skeezer, sorry, that was a blow-out from where I was sitting. The question was whether Rafa would avoid chomping on some bakery products, not whether he would win it, at all. Thank God he was spared that ignominy. Even that 2nd set is nothing to be proud of, this is Rafael nadal c’mon!

At least Rafa now knows the gap between himself and Novak (phew, looks massive) and what he needs to do between now and RG. And to be honest, thank God he has shown he is competitive with the rest of the Tour (still to gauge his level against Muzza) and he only has one riddle (or 2) to solve.

But am totally confident Rafa will find his mojo……

Vamos!!


courbon Says:

Just friendly advice Wog Boy, go and visit your local AA….


Wog boy Says:

courbon,

Too late for me, but you, younger people should take more care.
Drink responsibly !


alison Says:

Wogboy/Courbon LMAO at your posts to each other.


Giles Says:

Our Rafa is so down to earth and realistic, says “It was bound to happen sooner or later, this is the sport”
Vamos King


suzette Says:

@ People such as Giles, karma can be a biotch, can’t it? To all other respectable fans, congratulations to Novak( on what most thought was impossible) and great showing for Rafa. Both guys are decent, polite and talented players and deserve respect. No shame in being a fan of either but being a disrespectful hater is certainly a shame!


jane Says:

What a thrilling victory! Wog boy, um, hell yeah!
I am more than okay. ;)

This thread was almost totally pleasant – cheers to Nole and Rafa fans. :) Thanks for all the good wishes.


Polo Says:

Nadal may still win this year’s French Open but I believe Novak will eventually win his and complete his career slam within the next 2 (3 at most) years.


alison Says:

Giles the smile on his face melted my heart,that was so genuine he was very gracious in defeat,and come on this was Novaks day and his speech was also pure class,thanks to Rafa for letting me win one,Rafas had his lions share,but Nole was better today,it was his day,so let him and his fans enjoy it eh,no ragging on him please.


alison Says:

Suzette spot on well said.


tennis coach Says:

I did not expect anything less from Novak! Very classy and victorious! Same goes to Rafa, very classy and humble in defeat. Commiseration to true Rafa’s fans.


alison Says:

Nice post Tennis Coach,just wondering do i fit into that category after what i said to you the other week?


Giles Says:

suzette. Yes karma can be a boitch. You should keep that advice for yourself. #DontPreach


tennis coach Says:

Alison, you are true Rafa’s fan, just like he is, very nice and respectful!


alison Says:

Thankyou Tennis Coach:))..


tennisfansince76 Says:

@Kimberly. a strong clay season would be a bonus for Muzza but not essential. lets say he were to win Wimbledon this year after coming close last year. right there he would be fairly even with Nole for the year. and then it would ride on the us open season and the european indoor season.

Top story: Djokovic v Murray Halloween Friday In Paris; Raonic, Ferrer Fighting For Final London Berth
  • Recent Comments
Rankings
ATP - Oct 27 WTA - Oct 27
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Ana Ivanovic
6 David Ferrer6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Kei Nishikori7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Andy Murray8 Caroline Wozniacki
9 Marin Cilic9 Na Li
10 Milos Raonic10 Angelique Kerber
More: Tennis T-Shirts | Tennis Shop | Live Tennis Scores | Headlines

Copyright © 2003-2014 Tennis-X.com. All rights reserved.
This website is an independently operated source of news and information and is not affiliated with any professional organizations.