No Joke! Djokovic Ends Nadal’s Monte Carlo Mastery With Stunning Win
by Sean Randall | April 21st, 2013, 11:53 am
  • 91 Comments

The streak is over and the clay season just got that much more interesting. Rafael Nadal’s reign in Monaco came to end today when rival Novak Djokovic outdueled the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, 6-2, 7-6 to win his first Monte Carlo title.

Nadal had dominated the event winning the last eight years and 46 straight matches, but on this Sunday Djokovic was simply and unquestionably the better player. And early on it was a shocker of a mismatch in favor of the Serb.

Rain delayed the start about hour. The added moisture to the court didn’t do Nadal any favors either as it neutralizes some of that wicked spin. Djokovic pounced early racing out to an almost unthinkable 5-0 lead behind a bevy of winners. But you could see Nadal working his way into the match, and he did winning two straight games but it was too little, too late for the opening set.

Rafa maintained the momentum in the second as the court continued to dry out, breaking Djokovic en route to a 4-2 lead before Djokovic managed to level. Nadal broke again at 5-5, but then serving for the second at 6-5, like yesterday, Nadal fell apart and was broken at love. At LOVE!

It was all Djokovic from there as the World No. 1 won, by my count, 11 of the last 12 points to ends Nadal’s run in Monte Carlo.

A week ago, sorry five days ago, Djokovic was a huge question mark to even play the event after turning that ankle two Sundays ago. Now back on top of the world having just slain the clay king.

I’ve always felt Novak’s had the game to beat Nadal – and he’s proven it, beating Rafa 15 of 34 times – but with the ankle, some form issues of late (poor results at IW and Miami) and Nadal’s complete dominance at this event, it seemed a stretch he could win today. But all credit to Novak for putting together one of his best wins ever on the dirt.

He played some great tennis, served well, played aggressively and capitalized on Nadal’s weak second serves. The ankle injury obviously is/was overblown, so that’s a non-issue forward, let’s put that to rest. The only bad news for Novak is the French doesn’t start for another month. And that’s what Rafa will focus on.

Nadal didn’t play his best. Be it a rumored back injury(?) or just Novak or whatever, he wasn’t hitting his backhand with much force. But again, a hot Djokovic will do that. When Novak’s on there’s really few comfortable places for Rafa to hit to.

And like I had said yesterday when he blew a 5-1 lead to Tsonga, he again lost break leads twice in the second today. That’s an issue.

Rafa still has more than enough time to get back on track. He’s scheduled for two events in Spain – Barcelona this week, then Madrid – before Rome. And my guess is he’ll have another shot at Novak before Roland Garros where he’s still the favorite

Djokovic has now won 14 Masters titles, collecting all but Cincinnati, to go along with 37 overall. Novak said afterward that is was a perfect start to the clay season, and it was. Now he just needs a perfect finish.


Also Check Out:
Federer Reverses Monte Carlo Decision, Will Take On Nadal
Inside Rafael Nadal’s Incredible Statistics On Clay
Streaking Federer Eyes Three Card Monte
Rafael Nadal: I Have Amazing Feelings When I Play Monte Carlo [Video]
Djokovic Withdraws From Monte Carlo

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91 Comments for No Joke! Djokovic Ends Nadal’s Monte Carlo Mastery With Stunning Win

jane Says:

Congratulations to No1eeeeeee! Very special win. :)


alison Says:

Loved Noles interview at the presentation,thankyou to Rafa for letting me win 1 lol priceless :))..


alison Says:

Jane congrats to your favorite on the title,and to think at the begining of the week you gave him no chance,just goes to show how wrong one can be,go enjoy:))..


jane Says:

Yes, you told me so alison. Never been so happy to be wrong. ;)

Sorry about Rafa but he’s won 3 out of 5 finals since his return – not too shabby.


Mila Says:

Quote #1: “The ankle injury obviously is/was overblown, so that’s a non-issue forward, let’s put that to rest.”

Quote #2: “Be it a rumored back injury(?) or just Novak or whatever..”

Sean, you have surprised me with this biased view. It may be subconscious, but how could you dismiss Novak’s ankle injury (after you’ve seen the injury clip from Idaho) and then proceed to speculate on Nadal’s back injury. Double standards, and I did not expect it from you.

It could be that constant media feed from Nadal camp about various injuries affect even objective writers such as yourself.

I will say one thing here – Novak is better and way more talented player than Nadal. Novak’s best will beat Nadal’s best in straight sets on ANY surface.


alison Says:

Jane thankyou im not too down hearted,after all the streak had to end sooner or later,Rafas had more than his lions share on CCs,and im still looking forward to the rest of the CC season,his CC credentials speak for themselves,im looking forward to seeing how he bounces back:))..


tennis coach Says:

Awesome win! Way to go Novak! Congratulations!


Rick Says:

Sean! You are a jinx, you jinxed whoever you picked.


Kimberly Says:

^^^^^^^^^^^

Total jinx as always. At least maybe he will start picking against rafa after this!


jane Says:

Amazing how much pace and depth Nole generated on his shots and how many winners he hit. It was not about defence today. He played excellently. I hope he can play this way more regularly.


alison Says:

Mila just wondering what happened last year,when Rafa beat Novak in 3 finals then?


Skeezer Says:

jane,

Good analogy there. Remember Sod at 09 FO? Was hitting winners and took it to him. Hope Nole remains patient and aggressive. We’re going to see some interesting tactics between these two in the future. I noticed Rafa was trying to impart unusual underpin at times, trying to upset miles rhythm. Nole read this well however, and didn’t overhit. Noles SW ( secret weapon) is the BH DTL. So far tactily, Rafa has no answer.


Giles Says:

Sean. Please DONT pick Rafa for any tourney from now on. Thank you for nothing. Lol


Skeezer Says:

“to upset Noles rhythm…”
Darn auto correct :(


Humble Rafa Says:

I wanted to cry and take over the entire award ceremony. But because of my Humbleness, I chose not to do so.

Congratulations to the Egg Lover. He played good, no?


jane Says:

skeezer, I’ve missed Nole’s BHDTL shots. It seems they were on a hiatus for a while? But yeah Nole played a tactically smart game today I thought. He got pushed back a bit at times in the second set, but he didn’t let it through him off; he kept righting his positioning, and coming forward to the baseline, or even the net.

Tweet:

Carole Bouchard ‏@carole_bouchard 52m
“I wanted this trophy badly, for lots of years. It’ll be a huge boost of confidence for me for the important coming weeks to come”, Djokovic


jane Says:

^ throw not through!


Gordo Says:

Rafa is 1 loss away from winding up the 5th seed at Roland Garros.

There has been speculation that he should be seeded 1 or 2 because of his success over the years there and that it would be unfair for a top 3 seed to face him in the quarters.

If he loses in 1 of the next two tourneys, before the RG seeds come out, you would have to think he will stay seeded where he is ranked. Only Wimbledon occasionally jigs with the seedlings/rankings, and I can’t see The French Open starting.


BadaBing Says:

Very nice win for Novak in MC. I bet he says this one was the sweetest as far as Masters events go. One more to go for Novak in Cincy.

I didn’t see the match so will have to wait until it’s on youtube.


Nina Says:

Awesome display by Novak, though Nadal has his chances. It was a thrilling match and it reminded me why this rivalry is the best there is. Simply both bring out the best in each other. That is specially true with Nole. He needed Nadal on the other side again to bring back his 2011 level and boy he did. By the way he so ruthlessly dominated Nadal in the first set it looked like it would ended up in a bagel, but Nole became nervous when he missed 8 SP chances and Rafa started playing with more confidence. In the second set they both had ups and downs, but Nole’s better level and consistency prevailed in the end. The last two games were amazing. Congrats to rafa for his awesome stats, winning 8 times here in MC, and to Nole for being the first to dethrone the king of clay. It couldn’t have been sweeter. Exciting clay season ahead!


jane Says:

BadaBing, can you imagine if Nole win Cincy? He’ll have every Masters title. Fingers crossed! I am so happy for him today. :)

Also – hello Nina; nice to see you dropping by these last couple of days.


BadaBing Says:

Who won doubles?


jane Says:

Badabing it’s rain delayed right now, but the Bryans won set one.


Me Says:

Nadal is still not sharp coming back from injury and a long lay off. He’ll get better as the season progresses. Wait for Rome to see where he is.


Ben Pronin Says:

It was clear in yesterday’s comments from Djokovic that he was very fired up for this match. I thought Nadal would be licking his chops but looks like Djokovic was, too. Pretty outstanding to have that kind of confidence over Nadal, especially on clay.

Definitely some question marks hanging over Nadal. Fails to serve out a set, double faults on a set point. Some unfortunate trends he seems to be developing since his comeback. Of course it barely matters, he’s 3/5 in finals so far. But getting further into the meat of the season, that’s not something you wanna be doing against Djokovic, assuming they continue to meet each other on their usual consistent basis.

I do want to brag ever so slightly and point out that in 2010 I said Djokovic would be Nadal’s biggest threat on clay moving forward. I was off by a year, but as of now they’re actually 3-3 on clay since 2011. Who would’ve thunk it! Of course Nadal still has all the French Open titles, which is the most important thing ;)


Nina Says:

Hi Jane! glad to comeback for Nole’s win. :)


Julia Says:

Didn’t get to watch the match, but congrats to all Nole fans and true tennis fans out there! Knew it would be a great match between two great players. Came online when I got home and saw that Nole won, and after a little ‘geez Rafa lost’ and a grimace to myself, I had to smile that Nole did it! I wasn’t too surprised that he won. That shows what I think, and have always thought, of his capabilities.

Fantastic to read on here the different blogs and the niceness expressed back and forth! Only a few blips here and there.

Again, congrats all Nole fans! The better player won today no doubt!


andrea Says:

WOW! that was a fierce win by novak. thought he might be cooked by how heaving he was breathing only into the 2nd game of the match, but what a win! he is so ripped it’s unbelievable.

nadal, despite getting to the final, did not play like his usual dominant clay self, so not surprising that he lost to a guy that’s in his head, but congrats to novak for a very emphatic win.


jane Says:

Here’s a VERY cool analysis of today’s match, and some great stats on Nole vs. Rafa: for example “Today’s final will mark the 11th consecutive time that Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal battle it out for a trophy. In fact, 12 out of their last 13 matches have been finals, which is remarkable (Djokovic has won 7 out of the past 10 finals between them). Overall, Djokovic and Nadal have played 14 finals since their rivalry started in 2006. Of those, 7 have been played on clay, and Nadal has won 5 of them.”

More here:
http://www.changeovertennis.com/liveanalysis-novak-djokovic-vs-rafael-nadal-in-the-2013-monte-carlo-final/


jane Says:

Another interesting stat from that article: “…there isn’t a single bagel in the 34 matches these two gentlemen have played against each other. Which is fascinating. Plenty of breadsticks, though.”


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Still haven’t made to watch the match, and from the highlights I still don’t have a good perspective on what happened.

But I am happy for Novak, especially because that match didn’t degenerate in a war, the way their matches usually did.

The worst thing that could happen now is to have two heavy fights in the next to finals, which could leave both players emptied before RG.


Humble Rafa Says:

The Egg Lover is so deeeeeeeep in my head, even on clay, I don’t know what to do.


alison Says:

Humble Rafa you beat him 3 times last year,its only one game lets see how the rest of the CC season pans out.


mat4 Says:

I finally managed to find a link on youtube. Two things I never thought of: the way Nadal manages to use the opponent’s pace with his FH. Novak’s angled CC BH looked quite good too.


Giles Says:

HR. Nothing to do with your head which is 100%. Problem was physical conditioning. #WillImproveInTheNextWeeks
#NoProblem


the DA Says:

Interesting Reuters article on Guy Forget (who is on the RG Committee) and his belief that Rafa should be seeded higher so as to preven a monumental clash in the QFs.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/04/21/tennis-french-nadal-idUKL3N0D807W20130421


mat4 Says:

OK. Just a few moments. First it seems that the conditions influenced a bit the game: the clay was a bit wet, at the beginning of the match, and Rafa hit with less spin, with less height on the rebound.

Then, on the other side, it seems that Novak’s stroke have more power than the previous years: a backhand went 143 km/h, and generally it seemed that his BH was very heavy. Rafa had problems too to change direction with his BH, and there it seems that Novak’s CC FH has more spin, the rebound is higher, and Rafa needed time to adjust, playing more CC at the end of the set.

I don’t think that Novak played outstanding: but finally we came to see where he improved: more control and power on the BH, a more efficient FH. A bit here, a bit there.

Let’s watch now the second set.


mat4 Says:

So, the feeling is that Novak played unbelievably well, and Rafa didn’t play at his level. I don’t quite agree. Rafa was just not allowed to play well.

The patterns of play Djokovic used were efficient, and didn’t leave Rafa many opportunities to play on his terms: serving wide/hitting DTL (both with FH and BH), keeping Rafa in his BH corner with an improved CC FH, which he plays with more and more spin and rebound, changing the direction of his shots at will, all of this didn’t allow Rafa to play his usual game.

Rafa found (or borrowed from Fed) a good pattern: low sliced BH DTL followed by a powerful FH. But he seemed unable to it play consistently, and I don’t understand quite why.

Then, a bit of stats: Rafa serve 17 serves more, won 18 points less; then, Novak won 51% points in return games. Novak dominated the long rallies, and was also more efficient in rallies under 5 strokes.

It looked like a close match, but, when you rewatch it, it becomes clear that — although Rafa is always dangerous, and remains the ultimate competitor — the outcome was never in question: Novak broke almost whenever he wanted, and was broken serving second after long games, or missing shots he made the whole match. The match was on his racquet from the beginning to the end.

All of this reminds of 2011. It could be that this match was a massive psychological blow. We shall see out in Madrid.


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

I was wandering what happened to you ..

Spot on, that is how I saw the match, and I watched it twice, though second time I was under the influence ..


mat4 Says:

Hi, WB.

I missed the match today, although I managed to watch most of the tournament. I was impressed by Wawrinka and Fognini, although they faltered in their last matches.

Then, I also watched the end of Rafa vs Dimitrov and I sensed that Rafa was a bit off: when challenged tactically (with the drop shot in that match) he was tense. But, I know that top players have a lot of pressure when they face lower ranked players, so I still believed it was dans l’ordre des choses, normal.

Especially when I saw that he was aggressive with his FH, playing it deep, with a lot of power. But he hit so few of them. He had to hit FHs on the run most of the time, then Novak started to return the InsIn FH with a CC BH, and Rafa started overplaying.

Still, Novak doesn’t take advantage of all those floating chopped BH Rafa throws at him to slow down the pace. But it didn’t matter.

Novak remains in his comfort zone against Rafa, and that’s the key of their matches.


mat4 Says:

In general, it was an interesting tournament: the best players in the final, a lot of surprises, finally some odd behavior by Gulbis and Berdych…


RZ Says:

Well done Nole, especially considering the bum ankle!


Wog boy Says:

Agree, it was very interesting tournament and that has nothing to with Nole winning, I would say that and if Rafa won as I expected to be.

Sorry, I have to take some panadols, I have got Wembley stadium in my head ..


skeezer Says:

Wheres all the Rafa posters?


jane Says:

I am just really getting into the wine now, Wog boy, so no stadiums in my head yet; I am just re-watching the match! This morning was too early to have it all sink in, and then my mom called right as the match was ending, so I missed the end of match excitement.


jamie Says:

The Sean Randall jinx continues. Hopefully Sean predicts Nadal to win RG this year. LOL.


Wog boy Says:

jane,

Enjoy the wine, enjoy the match. Nole was fired up from the word go, his eyes were more than focused, he had a plan and he executed it and I think took Rafa by surprise. He was agrressive and was stepping in, didn’t let Rafa push him back. There is one stat when they showed during the match, how early he was returning the ball compare with his previous matches, that says that he knew what he wants it was whether he can do it. You probably saw that stats, it was something about 1.28m from the ground in previous matches and something like 1.02m on average against Nadal. That is what I remember but the numbers are probably slightly different, in all euforia after watching the match for the second time I pressed wrong button on the remote control and deleted match:(
Anyway enjoy it, I was hoping Nole can steal one CC tournament from Rafa, and if it is not FO secon best would be MC.


Humble Rafa Says:

It was a truly Humbling feeling today.


skeezer Says:

Jane,

Big toast with my glass of Syrah, enjoy. Nole looked like 2012 today, and looked like he could have played even better. Hope he can maintain his fitness and confidence. Also hope Rafa lands in his half of the draw at FO ( ok, selfish reasons for ol man Fed ).

@wogboy,

“Zivio Ziveli!”


Humble Rafa Says:

Wheres all the Rafa posters?

In the same black hole as you and your clan! Entire world knows the Arrogant One is useless these days. Now, I am falling into the same trap.


jamie Says:

The Humble one and the Arrogant one are done winning slams.

It’s the Nole and Andy era to win the slams from now on.


jane Says:

Thanks skeezer – I hope he can maintain his attitude and play too!

jamie – your psychics were wrong this time – hope Nole continues to prove them wrong throughout the clay season! ;)

Wog boy – THANKS! I watched this morning but it was very early and so I was tired, and then my mom called and I couldn’t not chat with her. So I missed the ceremony, the last few points and all the post-match celebration! But I am celebrating NOW – Cheers! Salute! Whoo hoo :))))


jamie Says:

@Jane

I won’t trust them anymore. The Argies that is. They have lost their mojo.

Now I’m reading some British astrologers tennis predictions.

Very interesting.

Apparently Federer and Nadal are done winning slams and Nadal will retire at the end of 2013.


Wog boy Says:

skeezer,

Thanks :))

“Slainte”

P.S. I am on the break from grog … until tonight, local time.


Humble Rafa Says:

Nadal will retire at the end of 2013.

Joke of the year. I have more lives than a cat.


BadaBing Says:

Where’s the nut? Seething?


jane Says:

Changing forms? ;)


Wog boy Says:

^^ Somebody check up on her, she might harm hersef!


Michael Says:

It was not a tremor. It was an earthquake. To beat Rafa at Monte Carlo is one hell of of an effort and congrats to Novak for doing the incredible. Even I didn’t give him much chance going forward considering his poor form of late and also his physical issues. But he showed as to why he is a Champion of special quality. I think this will take his confidence sky high going into the clay season and he will have an advantage even at Rolland Garros. Remember the last time around Rafa beat him quite easy at Monte Carlo and Rome and then we had a tough match at Rolland Garros. This time, may be it will just be the reverse and Novak may realize his most favoured win – The Rolland Garros trophy which is the only one missing in his cabinet. He has already won 8 of the 10 Masters tournament which is also a record.


courbon Says:

@ Humble Rafa: You have been so humble and nice at the closing ceremony ( no irony )-true champion.Better luck next tournament.


funches Says:

I was struck again by how Djokovic did not have to go out of his comfort zone at all to thoroughly win today, just like he did in his two wins in 2011. That’s pivotal. Tsonga got the two breaks back in the semis by redlining with monster shots. Djokovic just played his regular game and intimidated Rafa into making mistakes he doesn’t normally make.

What Djokovic can do on clay that no other human alive can do is take Rafa’s offensive shots and get them back with interested, deep. Federer and everyone else can’t recover once they fall behind Rafa in a point. Djokovic calmly gets the ball back deep, then takes advantage of his first opportunity to dictate the rest of the point.

If he plays to his potential, I don’t believe Rafa can beat him on clay. And since he’s in better cardiovascular shape than Rafa, the best-of-five format at Roland Garros won’t help Nadal.


BadaBing Says:

I still have not seen the match. Is it online someplace?


Borg Says:

Give a standing ovation to this man called Novak, the Djoker. He has proved by his valour that he is a much better player than the self-assuming GOAT. He has done the unthinkable for Goat who failed in his three attempts against Nadal in the same venue.


mat4 Says:

@BadaBing:

You can easily find it on youtube, in Spanish or English. Here are some links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbpgPuEJgEE
and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efgarLxnTnI


Expat68 Says:

This should be a major psychological blow for Nadal. I really feel like Djoko has a chance to win the French this year.


mat4 Says:

Then.

I read now that Rafa was at 80%, he had back problems, his knee still bothers him, he didn’t train in Mallorca for three weeks, he didn’t move well…

I simply have to disagree. We had the same pattern as in 2011, when Novak played well in the clay season. The game plan for both, same outcome, same kind of result, same impression when watching the match.

Before MC, Rafa won all but one match he played, winning three tournaments of four he entered. He looked great in IW, beating an in-form DelPo. Now, we have to believe that he was at… 70% then?

Since 2009, Novak was a tough nut to crack on clay. So to think that 6-3, 6-1, the result in MC last year, is normal, and a win for Novak an exception is a bit delusional.

Rafa answered in an interview that Novak was a bit lucky a the beginning of the match, and that himself didn’t play bad. But Novak won 24 of the first 36 points! It was, in fact, an overwhelming performance! The end of the match, also, was quite illustrative: Novak simply dominated, making winner after winner.

Then, just to mention it: I never saw Rafa make a DF on a set point for his opponent. I also don’t remember when Rafa lost a TB against Novak.

It is time to look the truth in the eyes: Novak is a really bad match-up for Rafa, the way Rafa is for Fed. There seems nothing Rafa can do about it. And just like Fed, he started to give delusional interviews about his chances. But, at least, Fed didn’t make excuses when he lost.


Giles Says:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=559455727432263&set=a.557829594261543.1073741825.384917464886091&type=1&relevant_count=1
mat4. Rafa has indeed been suffering with back problems.
“Back problem related to an intercostal muscle between rib cage which was very painful and affecting his serve”
I posted the link above on 19 April. You obviously havn’t been around.


mat4 Says:

@Giles:

I had a lot of work to do and I manage to see just of few matches last week. I missed tennis news in general.

And I was a little harsh in my previous posts, but it was mainly the reaction to a few comments I saw in French, on a forum where I don’t post any more.

But I stick to my opinion: the match-up is as bad for Rafa against Novak as for Fed against Rafa. As a Novak fan, I admit I am happy about it, although I didn’t change my opinion that Rafa is the most accomplished clay court player ever. I also have to add that I wish Rafa the best, but, quite honestly, I wish he loses every match he plays against Novak, the way Rafa’s fans wish the contrary. To quote jane, fandom is a strange country.

But I don’t see what Rafa could have done better. He served at 127 mph in stretches, his FH, when hit from a good position, was efficient, deep and heavy, and the only thing I remarked didn’t work well was the redirection of Novak’s CC FH down the line. But I also noticed that Novak’s FH was more penetrating than ever, and had more spin than before. It remain to be seen if Rafa can do more with his DTL BH.

Finally, I really start to think that Rafa’s off court mind games are a bit over the top.


mat4 Says:

About the seeding:

It is BS, and I tend to believe that Forget spoke on his own. But Frenches are not Brits, so it could materialize.

I would understand if they decide to change the way the rankings are done for next year, but ad hoc, to protect Nadal? Why not to protect Federer? Or Murray? Or Tsonga and Monfils?

Finally, the draw at the FO was fixed the previous years, so why not do it again? Nadal in Ferrer’s quarter, in Murray’s half? Just a few bits in the computer software…


mat4 Says:

Laurent Vergne take on a new way of seeding:

http://www.eurosport.fr/ace_blog18/ace_post181565/blogpostfull.shtml

(Hopefully, there is googletranslate.)


Giles Says:

mat4. Seeing as you missed so much tennis and news in the last few days, let me keep you up to speed. Apparently, according to Vajda Nole dislocated a bone in his ankle. Alison has posted a couple of times on this issue as have other posters. I myself saw an interview with Vajda and Annabel Croft of Sky Sports where he confirmed this.
How is it possible to recover from a dislocated bone in the ankle in just a few days? I am not having a go. I really would like to know.


Giles Says:

mat4. I have read the link you posted and to my mind this is just conjecture.
The last line of the article stands out :
“Anyway if you ever had the idea to have a suite in the coming days. I would not be surprised if Rafael Nadal himself come to end the debate by opposing it. A champion of his caliber does not market it’s table an attitude that she really serve this great event that is Roland Garros”
If David Ferrer withdraws from the FO all problems solved. Just joking! Lol


Wog boy Says:

What Nole’s ankle has to do with Rafa’s defeat?
After all those posts on TX after IW about Superman Rafa, “real #1 in tennis,” “who is going to fry bigger fishes in QF” etc etc, it was just matter of time (24 hours) when the very same Rafa posters are going to come out with injury card. They just cannot take it on the chin, this was Rafa’s fifth tournament and fourth on clay against player who didn’t have any clay preparation and he blew away their man, healthy man on his own turf and that is fact. Nole never ever said anything about dislocating bone, there is official statment by Nole’s team on TX about injury. You are giving us so many links, then give us link for what Vajda said and how did he say, what language, who translated etc.
Rafa is still favorite to take Barcelona, Rome and FO, for Madrid he is one of favorites. Strangely enough he keeps going from tournament to tournament evrn he is not 100% procent and has bad back, knees … what else, you name it.


mat4 Says:

@Giles:

Guy Forget is a FO official, but, like I said, it seems he probably spoke on his own. Laurent Vergne’s article just show why it would be a very bad idea.

Anyway, of course it is conjecture.


mat4 Says:

About that dislocated ankle…

I just checked — Vajda said that in an interview with Anabel Croft in English. Have you ever heard Vajda speak in English? Since it would have been impossible for Novak to play in those conditions, Vajda probably made a mistake in a foreign language. (Not to mention that he could have been confused by Croft’s long legs and short skirt.)


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

We (posters) spoke about that on the other thread few days ago and I said that we (slavic people) often translate our word directly into English sentence but that doesn’t have same meaning once it is taken out of your language (Slovakian, Serbian) and put into English one. It happens to me,even today, because I think in one language and speak in another. What matters is official statment and that one doesn’t say anything about dislocating bone, it is very clear for everybody to understand. You are more than qualified to explain those language problems.


mat4 Says:

@WB:

All of this is quite irrelevant eventually. What counts, for me, was Novak’s devastating FH DTL, and this acute CC BH.

Also, Novak manages to put his running FH in the court.

I believe playing on clay will help him to improve his form for the rest of the season.


Ben Pronin Says:

The whole thing about the seeding is so pointless.

Wimbledon comparison: People love to bring this up because, technically, all the slams have the right to alter the seeds. However, only Wimbledon does. Has any other slam actually implemented seeds that were different from the rankings? I don’t remember any. But Wimbledon does this because there are so few grass court tournaments. There are only two possible tournaments a player can participate in prior to Wimbledon a YEAR! That’s why the formula exists that incorporates the points of the previous 2 year’s results on grass. There are a ton of clay court tournaments. Nadal is probably going to be playing in 4 just in Europe. Plus, he doesn’t normally play them, but he also has the 3 clay tournaments from South America this year. That’s 7 clay tournaments in one year before the French Open. And that’s not even the maximum. So the French Open has no reason to implement any special formula the way Wimbledon does.

The main argument is that Nadal is so great on clay, especially at the French, that he should be seeded higher. But he’s been like this from basically the first time he won the French. And he kept winning it and was seeded 2 most of the time. If this year he’s ranked too low, then he’s pretty much always been ranked too low. No one has ever gone by “you’re the favorite so you’re going to be the top seed.” So there’s no reason to start now. And people are acting like he’s ranked 25 or something. He’s 5th. Not exactly a lowly ranked guy.


Wog boy Says:

I have to be honest, I wasn’t giving much chances to Nole beating Rafa on clay this year after I saw Rafa in South America and IW. This win comes as a bonus and being MC is even much sweeter than Madrid or Rome, so I am more than happy if he makes same more finals win or no win, since Rafa is Rafa on clay, one defeat doesn’t change order on clay, it would be pity if they have to meet in QF of a y tournament,but if it happens, they cannot do much about that, it is same for all top 4.


jamie Says:

@Humble Rafa

It’s not a joke.

Nadal will retire at the end of 2013.


Giles Says:

Hey Wig Boy. Don’t get your knickers in a twist. I do believe Alison ( you remember alison the “nice poster”?) first posted on this dislocated bone issue. Track back on posts to confirm this or ask her yourself.
I subsequently saw Croft speaking to Vajda, on national television who asked him the question whether the bone was dislocated and he smiled and said “yes he is in a lot of pain” .


Giles Says:

Jamie. Get outta here, your predictions are bogus as will be confirmed y your MC prediction.


scineram Says:

Murray never overtook Federer.


skeezer Says:

Giles forever talking smack, even after a loss. You oost. Take it like a girl….err…man.

So, what are you saying? That Nole beat Rafa with a disclocated ankle? And, he could be up 5-0 in the first set with it? ROFL.

With your logic Nole should beat Rafa with one leg and one arm tied behind his back.


Ben Pronin Says:

Giles, that picture is priceless hahaha.


Kimberly Says:

Well guys it’s basketball playoff time. And all of u who r fans of other teAms might as well just pack it in early because there is only one team #witnessmiami


Giles Says:

skeezer/geezer. What, you can’t read either? Not dislocated ankle, dislocated BONE in his ankle. Anyway it is all history now. Joker received the sympathy and hype he did not deserve, cos this was obviously BS spread around by his “reliable” coach, Vajda. Well done Vajda. There were even fears that he would pull out because of this “non injury”.#DubiousTeam


Novak Djokovic Admits He Wasn’t Prepared For Dimitrov After Not Picking Up A Racquet For 12 Days Says:

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Rankings
ATP - Aug 25 WTA - Aug 25
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Simona Halep
3 Roger Federer3 Na Li
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 Milos Raonic6 Maria Sharapova
7 Tomas Berdych7 Angelique Kerber
8 Grigor Dimitrov8 Eugenie Bouchard
9 Andy Murray9 Ana Ivanovic
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