Nadal Survives Gulbis Gaunlet, Ferrer Next; Federer, Djokovic, Sharapova, Serena Roll On In Rome
by Staff | May 16th, 2013, 7:37 pm
  • 208 Comments

Ernests Gulbis put up yet another tough fight against Rafael Nadal but once again came up just short. The explosive Latvian dominated Nadal for the first 40 minutes of the match before the King of Clay woke up just in time to prevail 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the third round at the Rome Masters today.

“If you hit as hard as you can and hit every ball at 216 or 220 [kph] and that means being the best player, then perhaps he was the best player,” said the 5-time Rome champ Nadal. “For me, the best player [tries to] find solutions against the other player. When I served for the second set and I lost and also in the third, I still was fighting and I found solutions, so the best player won.”

After a lopsided first set, Gulbis never led Nadal in the second, but came close with break opportunities early on. Nadal hung on, though it got even more harrowing when the Spaniard couldn’t serve out the set at 5-4. But Rafa promptly broke again and finally did serve out the set to force a decider.

Nadal broke again, but Gulbis fought back to level. A final break 4-4 sealed Gulbis’s fate. Ernests finished with 59 winners to Rafa’s just 13.

“I thought I was the better player in the match and also in the the second and third sets but he is the champion and well, I lost against him in Indian Wells when I also thought I played better than him,” said Gulbis who gave himself an A- grade. “He is solid and he didn’t do anything special and I made mistakes and so he won.”

Nadal will face familiar friend and foe David Ferrer in the quarterfinals tomorrow. Ferrer, who earned a walkover when Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew with vertigo, will clinch the No. 4 seed at the French Open if he beats Nadal. But he’s just 4-18 against Rafa and hasn’t beaten Nadal on clay since their first meeting in 2004. Ferrer did get a set and nearly two a week ago in Madrid.

While Rafa struggled, his chief rivals on the day didn’t. Novak Djokovic opened play with a rousing 6-1, 6-4 win over Alexandr Dolgopolov. Afterward, Djokovic put to rest any lingering ankle issues.

“I don’t think it will bother me any more and I have forgotten about it,” he said. “And don’t think about it when I am on the court.”

The two-time Rome champ meets longtime rival Tomas Berdych on Friday. Djokovic has won 13 of 14 meetings against the big-hitting Czech though in their only clay meeting at Monte Carlo last year Berdych did manage a set.

In the late match, Roger Federer continued to look sharp with his second 6-1, 6-2 win of the event, this one coming over Frenchman Gilles Simon. Through two matches thus far Federer has been flawless as the Swiss seeks a first Rome crown.

The win sets up a first-time meeting with blossoming star Jerzy Janowicz. The fiery 22-year-old Pole outlasted Richard Gasquet 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 for his second big Top 10 win in as many days (he beat Tsonga yesterday).

Jeremy Chardy also fell, losing to Marcel Granoller. But it wasn’t all bad for France, Benoit Paire scored the upset of the day knocking out Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4, 7-6.

In the women’s field, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova continued on their collision course, overwhelming Dominika Cilbukova and Sloane Stephens, respectively. Sam Stosur, Victoria Azarenka and Jelena Jankovic who beat Li Na were also winners on the day.

The victory by Serena raises her current win streak of 21, equaling her career best. But the world No. 1 remains cautious.

“Nothing is ever perfect – I learned that last year when I felt perfect,” Serena said. “I am still in the danger zone.”

And so are her opponents.

Meanwhile Sharapova will face Sara Errani Friday in a rematch of their French Open final.

“She’s probably going to be tougher to play at home, with the Italian crowd helping her,” Sharapova said. “We have had some tough matches and I’ve won them, but she is an extremely good player.”

CENTRALE start 12:00 noon
[1] S Williams (USA) vs C Suarez Navarro (ESP) – WTA
Not Before 2:00 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [6] T Berdych (CZE) – ATP
Not Before 4:00 PM
[4] D Ferrer (ESP) vs [5] R Nadal (ESP) – ATP
Not Before 7:30 PM
[7] S Errani (ITA) vs [2] M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA
Not Before 9:00 PM
J Janowicz (POL) vs [2] R Federer (SUI) – ATP


Also Check Out:
Nadal Survives the Gulbis Gauntlet, Will Face Ferrer in Rome Final
Verdasco, Gulbis Showdown Friday in Barcelona
Venus Survives 3-set Scare in Opener at WTA Rome
Sharapova Beats French Open Finalist Stosur to Win Rome
Maria Sharapova Celebrates Her Rome Title With A Swig Of Champagne [Video]

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208 Comments for Nadal Survives Gulbis Gaunlet, Ferrer Next; Federer, Djokovic, Sharapova, Serena Roll On In Rome

Kimberly Says:

I wouldn’t be shocked if ferrer gets this one as a mulligan. Nadal has been playing a lot. Wouldn’t be surprised if he is a little mentally and physically spent with the back to back weeks of Madrid and Rome. He won last year but had lost early in Madrid. He has played every match possible this clay season. Wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if he lost IMO. But knowing rafa he will win and then play a brutal 4 hour semi v djokovic.


Ben Pronin Says:

Kimberly, I think it’ll only be 3 hours ;)


Sirius Says:

“He is solid and he didn’t do anything special and I made mistakes and so he won”

^ haven’t watched the match but i know it’s true


skeezer Says:

TotAlly agree here with Rafa’s descritption of his win. He found a way through his experience. Most of thetime, he was outhit withwinners, etc.
But I noticed he hit some timely moonball tactic on returns (just get in in deep), and at rally times just kept the ball back and deep, whilst at other times ripped it when he had Gulbis at a disadvantage.

Gulbis CAN get there, and HAS the ability, and with more experience about how to play these big matches(like its not all about power, but court position and playing nuetral in a rally until its time to pull the trigger), he should take down any of the top 4.

But…will he? After all, he’s “Wild Thing”.


Michael Says:

So near and yet so far ?! Gulbis came pretty close but he couldn’t finish the job. That is the difference between a good player and a Champion. Champions always find ways to win even from irretrievable situations. I think Nadal is lucky to scrape through. But luck mostly sides with talent and Nadal has the goods to see him through in tough situations. As regards Novak, I am very happy that he is in fine fettle and is raring to go. I am not seeing any problem right here in his match against Berdych whom he has always dominated. If he wins through that, he runs to Nadal and there lies the match of the tournament which I am eagerly anticipating. I am also surprised as to how easy Roger has managed to dismantle Simon whom he has always struggled. Since I didn’t have the chance to view that match, I am not in a position to tell as to the level of Roger. But seeing the scoreline, it is evident that his worst days are behind and his form is slowly returning back. He has not won Rome before and what an achievement it will be if he manages to win it. I hope he does, but it will not be easy since he has to despatch either Novak or Nadal in the finals. Not an easy job and that too for a veteran.


Nadalista Says:

WTF? @skeezer not just agreeing with Rafa but TOTALLY agreeing? Am still rubbing me eyes, they must be cheating me. Not to mention actually LISTENING to what Rafa had to say, instead of just hearing….

Well, knock me down with a feather, pigs do fly after all…..


Nadalista Says:

…..Hmmm, I actually think Rafa is whom Gulbis needs as a coach…


skeezer Says:

@nadalista

Shhhhhhh!
;)


skeezer Says:

^ and PS
Thanks for the compliment. But don’t call me a pig please(I don’t fly and am not fat) and I won’t call you a brother from another mother. Deal?


Margot Says:

@nadalista
Hmm, think Gulbis is entitled to say he was “better player” when he actually beats Rafa, not before.


gonzalowski Says:

Hello!
Actually, Nadal has won 6 Rome titles, not 5.


gonzalowski Says:

And it is Marcel Granollers, with an ‘s’ at end.

:-)


nadalista Says:

Hey skeezy, no one, not even me, could mistake you for porky, that would be insulting to all pork-pies, no? But don’t worry, your application to be an “out” Rafan has been received and will be reviewed by The Committee after Rafa’s ehh, scheduled contretemps with Ferru today, ok?

@margot, I have given up on Ernie, hence my last desperate hope that Rafa takes him under his wing. God has a lot to answer for, such wasted talent….


gonzalowski Says:

Gulbis says that Nadal “didn’t do anything special”…well, in fact Rafa is right when he says that he found the solutions for the problem. And IMO, Rafa was the best player yesterday, cause he won.
As some profesional tennis players say, tennis is a very fair sport, in wich normally wins the better player of that concrete day.
Last year Chelsea FC won over Guardiola’s Barcelona, and so won the European Campions league. And in the 70′s, Germany won over Cruyff’s Holland. And these losers were historic teams, but IMO that they the others made what they had to.
And Gulbis is not even still that great player. Yes great chatterbox.


Colin Davis Says:

I heartily agree with all those saying the winner is the one who solves the problems. So how about all those who imply that somehow Murray didn’t really beat Djokovic in New York? Andy “solved the problems” – in that case the windy conditions.

Talking of Andy, remember how he stayed on in Miami and Lendl had him hitting hundreds of balls on clay to get used to the surface? With hindsight, perhaps those hitting sessions weren’t such a great idea!


the DA Says:

What have we here? Berdy growing a pair and taking it to Nole? The match was all but over 3 games ago.


Nole Rules Says:

Berdy Baby takes the match into a 3rd set.C’mon Nole finish him off!


skeezer Says:

Wow Paire backs up his win against Delpo with a smackdown of Grannollers. Impressive run so far. Into the semis….


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic is beyond stupid. Utter collapse for no reason.


skeezer Says:

Birds have balls?


Daniel Says:

It’s strange of late that all top players are having problems closing out matches. We hardly ever see a smooth 40-0 or 40-15 anymore. Ususally are tense games with BP or deuce. I know itmis always tense momenst but as of late it is happening a lot, to Djoko evem more than Fed and Nadal.


Daniel Says:

And what businees does Berdych has in this match? He will just spoil us of Djokal.


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic deserves to lose this for being such a clown.


Nole Rules Says:

Berdy Baby breaks!But the match aint over yet


the DA Says:

Berdy breaks. Don’t worry yet Nole fans. He’ll probably blow it just like last week vs Wawa.


Nole Rules Says:

Oh man Berdy Baby holds!Is Berdy finally going to pull off a victory?Hopefully not!


queen Says:

Pull it off Thomas!!!!


queen Says:

c’mon Berdych!!!!


Wog boy Says:

Berdych is full of confindence, thanks to Nole, I don’t see Nole winning this one.


van orten Says:

choke choke choke


van orten Says:

as always when playing fed..berdych appears to be worse than toothache this time for nole (fans)..such a shame he will lose easily again vs nadal


Nole Rules Says:

Nole has only one more chance to get the break back or its over :(


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic is so far behind the baseline it’s ridiculous. Playing awful, loopy nonsense and Berdych is just whacking everything.


van orten Says:

come on djoker…win this..berdych is such a spoiler..


Wog boy Says:

^^Agree.


queen Says:

Serve it out Thomas!!!!


van orten Says:

so funny to see berdych crushing first serves now …tomorrow you will not see anything of that..what a player


Ben Pronin Says:

Complete and utter collapse.


budum Says:

Looks like Djokovic won Monte Carlo and thought he was the King. Its tougher than that. Hail King Rafa!


Nole Rules Says:

Nole could have should have won the match.Nole has been very inconsistent this season.When he won the Australian Open everyone though he would dominate the two HC masters but instead got schooled by Haas and choked to Del Po.When he won MC for the first time and breached Rafa’s fortress,everyone thought he had a great chance to dominate in Madrid in Rome but has instead lost before the semis in both of them.Very disappointing as a fan but if he manages to win RG that will more than make up for these losses!Go Nole!


Thomas Says:

This was a disgraceful performance by djokovic. Ugh.


the DA Says:

Wow, Nole totally went away at 5-2 in the 2nd set. I agree that he was way too far behind the baseline. Credit to Berdy for holding his nerve. Rafa must be smiling.


van orten Says:

this was a federesque way to lose by nole…incredible perfomance..a shame..seeing all the aces and first serve berdych smashed in…nothing of what you will see tomorrow..it is berdych in the end


Sirius Says:

Ferrer will win today! :D


skeezer Says:

Rafanatics are soo happy. Ugh.

Now I have to cheer Rafa over Birdsh!t? Its a cloudy gray day, I tell ya.


van orten Says:

that is what is going to happen sooner or later to nadal too…simple as that…only keeping the ball in play will not always be enough


Daniel Says:

The only pistivie is that Djoko a oid playing Nadal before RG after MC win.

But this was one of his worst defeats after he became #1. He was 6-2 5-3 30-30 in control and an this. He didn’t have a second gear to go to and zberdych was basically bully him around the court.

Everything is going right for Nadal, Ferrer, Berdych and hope zfed in the final. Who knows maybe bu them he will be tired. Nah, he will gomfuol trotle. One week rest before RG


queen Says:

Yay don’t have to watch the Serb again


nadalista Says:

RT @Ringham7: “Nadal, despite time off, has been more consistent even though he lost to Novak in Monte Carlo. “


van orten Says:

but anyways anything other than an easy two set win for rafa tomorrow will be more surprising than noles breakdown today


alison Says:

Skeezer for what its worth this Rafa fan was rooting for Nole :(.


Steve 27 Says:

Watch the face of El Bufon is priceless! Well done Berdych. Pity that tomorrow you are going to lose. 20 is coming for The Arrogant on Sunday. Be prepare, guys.


van orten Says:

isn’t it what nadal is all about ..consistency???!!! he won yesterday 13 to 60 winners…just keeping ball in play basically ..so nothing new there nadalista


nadalista Says:

RT @scambers73: “Big win for Tomas Berdych over @DjokerNole – Djokovic lost his way from 6-2, 5-2 up – maybe he wants @RafaelNadal to regain No 4 spot ”

Why not, they are friends, no?


harry Says:

Ah! Nole is out :(


van orten Says:

i expect rafa to break right away !!! same procedure as every match…


nadalista Says:

“……just keeping ball in play ….”

…………………

Eh, @van orten, the object of the exercise is to keep the ball in play, you cannot win if you shunt the ball out of play….”

Got it? Good.

#WTF


Thomas Says:

Berdych is my least favourite player on the tour. Even though I am not a djokovic fan, watching him lose to birdshite was painful, especially as he basically thew the match away.


van orten Says:

wtf yourself nadalista…now go and watch your pusher baby play


van orten Says:

toothache …worse tooth ache…nadal ache


steve-o Says:

Already at 2-2. They’re playing really quickly today. Usually it takes them 20 minutes to finish one game.


van orten Says:

oh my god..ferrer..this is really really depressing …how can you train something like that…how does nadal do it ??? howw


queen Says:

Steve 27, El Bufon love it! That’s the best description of the Serb!


van orten Says:

ferrer 5 breakpoints …nadal 1 breakpoints—– nadal breaks ferrer not


steve-o Says:

@skeezer: their rabid glee at Berdych’s victory is an admission that they have no confidence in their man to best Djokovic after he tuned their favorite up in MC.

Anyhow, we all know Nadal was “rusty” in MC after having made four finals and won three titles (and winning his first hard-court title in two and a half years), so that there is always an excuse for the loss.

If Djokovic crosses paths with Nadal at RG, the world #1 is going to go to town.


van orten Says:

hahahaha rusty after reaching 4 finals…?


alison Says:

Steve O personally i was relishing Rafa having another crack at Novak,so please dont impunge all Rafa fans as been the same.


Giles Says:

Hey van orten. You no like toothache? Try banging your head against a brick wall and you will have a headache!! Geez.


van orten Says:

hahahhhahahahha


alison Says:

Van Orton just wondering what is Nadal supposed to do?just lay down and let players beat him,hes only doing his job by trying to win tennis matches thats all.


rogerafa Says:

“20 is coming for The Arrogant on Sunday. Be prepare, guys.”

Not so fast. “The Arrogant” may not even reach the final to meet “The Humble”. Jerzy and Benoit are playing very well. Given Roger’s increasing inconsistency, nothing can be taken for granted.


alison Says:

Rogerafa Nadal even making the final aint necassarily a gimee either,Ferrer is actually playing very well too ATM,not to mention Berdych either.


Thangs Says:

Good to see someone beating Nole , rallying back from the brink of defeat…Nole used to have so many lucky comebacks…its time to eat one of his own.


the DA Says:

Hmm….Rafa isn’t looking as invincible as he did in Madrid. He seems a step slower.


steve-o Says:

I smell baked goods in Ferrer’s future. He can’t have enough left to put up much resistance in the third.


alison Says:

Ferrer is playing very well i think Rafas his for the taking,hes much the better player,no disgace in that.


alison Says:

^Meant no disgrace in admitting to that^.


skeezer Says:

Ferrer too a set? What? Is Rafa wifffing the ball?

—–

“Nole used to have so many lucky comebacks”

lol

Of course you would say that. Damn thoses lucky wins 7 finals in a row.


van orten Says:

hahahhah ^


Jimmy Says:

Rafa’s forehand is all upper body, not exploding off left leg.


van orten Says:

that last winner by ferrer said it all


steve-o Says:

Nadal breaks for 2-1. The rout has begun. Like I said, baked goods.


van orten Says:

last 3 points.. 3 unforced errrors ferrer..oh boy


the DA Says:

Rafa regains control and breaks in the 3rd. Should be enough but this has been a freaky Friday.


van orten Says:

as far as i am concerned no shame in admitting that only djoker can finish nadal off in style on clay!!! he doesnt even have to play his best..look ferrer those last 2 matches were his to lose …


steve-o Says:

@alison: I certainly didn’t mean to tar every Nadal fan with the same brush, just those who were suddenly Berdych fans for one day.


alison Says:

Steve O fair enough,i only ever root for my favorites too win not for their rivals to loose,for the sake of competition.


volley Says:

^ no different to all the fed fans who suddenly become ferrer/gulbis/rosol fans. some even become djokovic fans for a day.


Jimmy Says:

Ferrer is no longer the energizer bunny, no?


van orten Says:

oh come on guys …do not take everything seriously..nadal polarizes a lot deal with it..thats all…i root for fed. but djoker vs nadal i root for nadal not because of fed but rather because a lot of people like djokers playing much better than nadals!!!!!


van orten Says:

of course i root for djoker hahahhaha not nadal–..damn freud


steve-o Says:

Ferrer almost scotched my prediction of baked goods, but Nadal holds for 5-1. The end is nigh.


the DA Says:

@ volley – LOL, I know what you mean. I follow a lot of Federer fans on twitter and almost all of them cheered for Ferrer (whose style of play they often proclaim to detest in others) during the Miami final. They were also cheering for Granollers the other day. hehe The only player they will NEVER support seems to be Berdy, even against Rafa. They truly despise him.


andrea Says:

i can’t even watch a ferrer/nadal match. what’s the point?

amazing that berdych could close out novak. but he’ll be up against nadal next so let’s do the math. yawn.

rog and jerry should be an entertaining match.

serena on fire.


nadalista Says:

GSM Rafa.

With Novak losing, with this win, Rafa is guaranteed to go to RG as #1 in the Race to London.


the DA Says:

It was much closer than the scoreline suggests. Rafa looked a little drained and relieved to get through that. Ice bath stat.

I’m really looking forward to Jerzy vs Fed. It has all the potential to be a popcorn match. I predict drop shots galore – from both players – as well as a lot of net approaches.


van orten Says:

but his knees still hurt nadalista ouchhh


skeezer Says:

watching? its hard enough to just be talking about it. ;)


skeezer Says:

@the DA,

now there is a matchup of fun to watch!


steve-o Says:

i can’t even watch a ferrer/nadal match. what’s the point?

Well, some people enjoy watching a brick wall rally endlessly against another brick wall of slightly inferior construction, and cheer rabidly as the more poorly-constructed wall finally breaks down, as it inevitably must.

That’s the only explanation I can think of.


nadalista Says:

True, van orten, in fact I thought he was limping in that match. But for now, I am celebrating my beautiful, beautiful Rafito’s win!!!

Tomorrow, he has a Bird to de-feather……

Vamos!!


courbon Says:

At 5:2 I was sure that Nole will win…

I gues only three things in life are sure:
DEATH, TAXES and RAFA WINNING ON CLAY…


van orten Says:

hahahahah and sure he will not only defeather but broast him right away too ;-)


volley Says:

@ theDA

i know. it’s a strange but amusing phenomenon.

i “Rafa is guaranteed to go to RG as #1 in the Race to London”

there is still a long season ahead. it’s not promising if he’s limping at this stage. whither the HC stretch?


courbon Says:

@ Wog Boy: Jebem ga u dupe glupog!!!!


alison Says:

Courbon sorry about Nole,i was relishing another contest between him and Rafa.


gonzalowski Says:

Congrats to David and Rafa. Nadal has finished the match “really tired today” (he has recognised en tv).
He has showed bad face in the last games… let’s see tomorrow. It doesn’t seem to me that it’s a knee issue this time.


nadalista Says:

As things stand now, ladies and gentleman, we have 3 players vying for the honour of being the first to be beaten 20 times by Rafael Nadal:

The H2H against Rafa are now:

Roger Federer 10-19
Novak Djokovic 15-19
Devid Ferrer 4-19

Who will be the lucky fella? Well, Novak saved himself the ignominy by losing today. Let’s hope Fed shows up in the final, hey? He has ANOTHER record waiting to break to add to his GOATness!

Vamos!


courbon Says:

@ Alison: Me too!Thanks, but hey-it happens.It’s just the way he lose pissed me off…Not great preparation for RG, is it?I’ll go now and lick my wounds…good luck to Rafa tomorrow.


Jimmy Says:

Djokovic is like a character out of Dostoyevsky sometimes, he can be his own worst enemy.


Brando Says:

@Courbon:

LOL.

I was hoping for Novak to win that one. As a Rafa fan I thought it was more important for Rafa- win or lose- to have another crack at Nole.

I wouldn’t worry too much about Nole going into RG- but i must say that post MC his result’s read: 2-2.

And aside from the MC win, which let’s be honest: took everyone by surprise.

His results read: R16, 2nd, QF in Miami, Madrid, Rome.

Very uncharacteristic result’s from him.

And losing tight matches to the big men- Delpo and Berdych is surprising.

Especially against a mentally suspect player like Berdych who had a 1/14 record prior to this match.

As a Rafa fan i think Nole is still Rafa’s biggest rival/ threat at RG.

But as a general tennis observer, IMHO Novak seem’s alot more shaky this year than the last 2 season’s for some strange reason.

Regardless, still a massive threat at RG for my money!


alison Says:

Courbon thankyou,Nole can rest a bit and get some practice for RG now,as for Rafa im worried he will suffer from burnout,IMO he badly needs a rest hes played alot of tennis lately.


Brando Says:

Re Rafa:

VAMOS!

It’s clear that Rafa is still not at his supreme best in terms of his play yet.

He seems to make some strange error’s at times during the match and additionally appear’s nervous at moment’s when you expect him to be calm considering who he is.

Yet, the positives are good for him:

1- He’s still winning: This is huge for me. To win against top player’s, opponent’s who put up as good a fight as they can, and you play your B game and still win is a huge plus.

2- Battle hardened: The Gulbis, Ferrer match tested Rafa, pushed him hard, asked some tough questions of him: and he came through with the win.

This is great preparation for RG: you rather be battle hardened than under cooked by winning easy matches without any tough questions being asked.

3- More court time: This provide’s the opportunity for Rafa to improve- you can ONLY do that on court rather than the practise court!

Going forward:

Berdych is a tough match. A opponent who can serve big, hit big like Gulbis and is a word class clay courter (SF at RG, MC, Rome, RU at Madrid) and just beat the world no.1 Djokovic.

He’ll be a tough match for Rafa for sure.

Yet, this is a excellent challenge for Rafa and a ideal one pre RG.

I hope physically- above all else- that he is fine and put’s in a fight in this one.

VAMOS RAFA!


Steve 27 Says:

van basten, watch this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GkVhgIeGJQ
Is it a beautiful song, is not it?


Brando Says:

@Alison:

Re burnout:

I don’t see the risk of that at all.

Think about it:

- He’s been out for almost 8 month’s: the man has had a long rest recently from competition on that alone.

- He had 4 weeks off prior to MC.

- He played 2 weeks back to back and then took a week off.

- Now he is at the end stretch of a back to back tourny event and has another week off.

- He’ll have a week off and at RG has a day rest in between matches.

Add in the fact that Rafa has alway’s been a player who need’s matches under his belt to find his game, and now practises only an hour per day then IMO the risk of burnout is being far over stated.

This is his basic, normal European clay swing schedule anyhow: and he always used to go deep in the past also!

IMHO, the risk of that is minimal, he may be tired naturally after playing 2 long matches, but hopefully it’s just that: normal tiredness.


jamie Says:

Smart tank by Nole.

He will be fresh for RG and will beat Nadull at RG.

Nadaull is overplaying and will pay the price at RG.

Nole will win RG………


Steve 27 Says:

i can’t even watch a ferrer/nadal match. what’s the point?

i can’t even watch wawrinka/federer match. what’s the point?

see stan gifting the match from the start is a waste of time, Swiss chocolate upsets me!


Steve 27 Says:

nadalista, LOl, the losers never learn the lesson!


the DA Says:

Nadal vs Ferrer

Federer vs Wawrinka

Murray vs Simon

Djokovic vs Troicki

All duds, usually.


courbon Says:

@ Brando:I know that RG is different-best of three , which Novak is good at…but still worrying the manner he lost today. Well, good luck to your guy and we will see what happens at RG.I have to go but speak to you soon.


Steve 27 Says:

the bipolar jamie is talking!
What does your crystal ball? Is it still broken?
Gypsies never learn.


Brando Says:

@Courbon:

Thanks. Speak to you soon I guess.


van orten Says:

thinskinned thinskinned thinskinned thinskinned


green900 Says:

anyone knows when federer match will start?


Skeezer Says:

no, not the knees today. that may be tomorrows excuse. today excuse for winning is that i was tired. lol

Sorry David. Rafa is saying he can beat u even when he is tired. your compatriat loves u.

#koolaiddrinkersgotdrunkandtalkinlikeit
#excuseking


van orten Says:

at least he isnt playing the mto card


alison Says:

Skeezer it was me who said he looked tired sorry,win or loose i dont make excuses(sigh).


Brando Says:

Hold on: just what do we have here?

Rafa’s match is over, discussion of it too, and yet the conversation remain’s about him.

Ah, it must be the Rafa cheerleader squad.

Have fun girls.

Gossip nicely!


alison Says:

Why is it everything i say lately i end up having to make an apology for?god i wasnt making an excuse,i was merely making an obsevation,pardon me for actually having an opinion FFS,i think ill keep my virtual mouth shut in future,god whats the bloody point in been here if your not aloud an opinion(sigh)?


jamie Says:

@Steve 27

Nole will win RG.


Bada Bing Says:

What happened with Fed today?


andrea Says:

@ steve 27

i can’t even watch wawrinka/federer match. what’s the point?

________________________________

This is true. Stan plays great against many players but has the mental wobble against fed.

as much as i like roger, i hope he doesn’t end up in the final against nadal. like ferrer/nadal….what’s the point? his mental fraility against nadal is depressing. indian wells match was all the evidence i needed.


alison Says:

Bada Bing Fed hasnt played yet,im waiting for the match to start,but i dont know when it will.


Steve 27 Says:

Hulk against Green Lantern. Who cares?
Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid is much more fun!


Skeezer Says:

alison,

i made my comment based on gonzalowski report.

we’re good. keep postin ;)


Steve 27 Says:

Promise us something jamie: if djokovic not win the French Open, would you do us the favor of disappearing from the map, ok?


alison Says:

Sorry Skeezer thankyou ;),kinda lost my cool there for a minute,please take no notice of me lol.


Daniel Says:

Actually alsion think Nadal looked tired in patches. Some of his shots were not deep. Also he sliced a lot versus Ferrer, but I think is tactics. He knows Ferrer can hirt him much and he keep the ball in play. Is a complete different andal when he plays Djoko for example.


Sirius Says:

Why can’t the tournament organizers have another center court made for the WTA matches?? Now Roger’s match can’t start because of some victorenka and stosar match!!


Jimmy Says:

Roger is going to get on the court at 11pm and play a semi tomorrow? I’d be pissed!


alison Says:

Sirius i agree,i dont actually get the ladies matches where i am,so im actually watching a repeat of the Nole/Berdych match which ironically i didnt get to see earlier which is good news or rather not so good news going by the end result,mind you the Stosur/Azarenka match could be quite a good one as Stosur is a very good CC player when shes on.


Jimmy Says:

And we have to listen to Azerenka’s stupid shrieking to add insult to injury


Bada Bing Says:

Birdy took out Novak but can he do it again?
I think he got his big scalp and will crumble tomorrow like Baby Fed did after beating Novak.
What say ye?


Jimmy Says:

At least Red Foo isn’t at this match!


van orten Says:

hahhhah indeed insult to injury


John Says:

Just git back from work and I see Djokovic lost.

Im so pissed!

I was so looking forward to a Djkovic-Nadal Classic!

I hate Berdych and don’t want him winning anything..:)


Brando Says:

@Bada Bing:

Wimby 2010:

Berdy beat Fed and then follows it up with Novak in the SF.

The guy is nothing but hated here, but put simply: IF he ever gets a handle on his mentality then he is a easy slam winner.

Serve, FH, BH, natural/ consistent raw power, and now this year on clay his movement seems better than ever.

Long story short: he has the tools for the job of winning the big titles.

He has an all court game: HC,Indoor, Clay and Grass- excellent results on all of those surfaces.

He has beat Novak, Fed on the big stages- pushed Andy in the USO SF.

So IMHO, he is maturing and getting better mentally.

He isn’t Mr Popular, but he definitely is a dangerous player and a real threat.

He’ll be very tough for Rafa: the guy even beat Fed this year MP down, so I don’t know why folks think he’s still the same and not recognizing his obvious improvement’s.


Jimmy Says:

There is just something about Birdy that is unlikeable.


andrea Says:

@ jimmy

i agree with your comment about berdych. what is it that makes him so unlikeable? i’ve tried to put my finger on it. i just can’t root for the guy.


alison Says:

When Thomas beat Roger at Wimby in 2010,and then Nole back to back the look on his face was lovely he looked so happy,i actually liked him back then, he had made the final of a GS for the 1st time which was priceless,then i heard he had been slagging off Roger in his press conference so i went off him rapidly,and even more so after the Almagro incident,shame really as hes a very talented player with alot to offer,he makes it look so effortless with the way he can strike the ball so cleanly and deep.


Jimmy Says:

Not sure but I can relate on a human level with most of the guys, birdy gives me a creepy feeling like he has green insect blood inside him.


alison Says:

Roger and JJ start match 21.40pm BST.


alison Says:

Jimmy LMAO,has a beautiful girlfriend though.


van orten Says:

it has something to do with the towel he always asks for without even sweating and because usually it is hard to watch him play good vs fed and then the next day normally implodes completly..but there is always a chance to make me eat my words …


van orten Says:

the towel the bloody towel


the DA Says:

Federer and Lurch finally on court.


skeezer Says:

You guys never saw the Birdsh!t Almagro match? Don’t get me started.
Hope Rafa crushes him. Playing right handed. With his left arm tied behind his back. And both knees hurting. With the sun in his eyes, wind in his face. Alternating between a cane and a wheel chair. And to top it off, with a permanent wedgy, no headband, and no water bottles.


alison Says:

Skeezer LMAO,thats the funniest post i have read all day.


Bada Bing Says:

Brando,
You could be correct. Who knows what that Bird will do tomorrow.


van orten Says:

hahaahhhahahahha skeeezer and not to forget no bathroom break before matchpoint !!!


Daniel Says:

This desn’t look like a clay match. They are hammering the ball. This game alone Jano hit 2 returns in Fed’s foot where he was able to control,it and send DTL. No point goes more tnan 8 shots and the pace also is not clay like. Very dangerous match for Fed.


Daniel Says:

Until moment of truth came, 4-5 and Jano went nuts. Drop shot set piint down is never a clever shot, only when you hit it perfectly;-)
Fed also slicing more to Jano BH.


van orten Says:

after all those years i love watching fed vs big servers…


van orten Says:

typical fed moment there hahhaha love it


skeezer Says:

Never saw Clay play so quick. Wow. Fed takes the first with the break.
Jerzy does look good. But like Gulbis, stiil green with youth. Will be exciting to see him play Wimby with that monster serve.


van orten Says:

this is how tennis should be..straight forward..using pace and variety


volley Says:

^ i thought you said federer would “blow him off the court”?


van orten Says:

hahahhah volley what a memory u have


Green900 Says:

Somehow I see federer losing this.


John Says:

Somehow I see Federer winning this.


van orten Says:

vintage fed hahahha love jj attitude smashing second serves though


the DA Says:

haha..this is where his inexperience shows. Brainfart drop shot and DFs. He’s completely untamed.


Brando Says:

what a volley!

Awesome.


Brando Says:

Ballsy play by JJ!


Green900 Says:

John

Glad u were right :)


van orten Says:

nice tennis day see ya all tomorrow


Brando Says:

Well done Fed- very clinical i thought from him.

Also to Jerzy: so much raw talent and potential there. Once he matures and learns how to apply it in the key moment’s then watch out!


Kimberly Says:

very nice match. Agree with whoever said it will be interesting to see Janowicz on grass.


John Says:

@Green900
So am I! my stream died during the tiebreaker..it was all over before I could get it working :(.


skeezer Says:

See ya van orten ;)

Leave it to the Maestro to be involved the point of the Tournament. Great stuff and well done Fed.

Jerzy improvement points:

As a tall guy, gotta work twice as hard on movement(same ol song with the big guys)

Direction of serve. Ihis serve is so big it shouldn’t matter. But it does against these top guys. Mix it up.

A word about drop shots.;

Funny, drop shots can make you look super hero or look like one of the 3 stooges in a nano sec.


contador Says:

Jerzy says he likes clay the most, Skeezer. It is a bit surprsing because it seems like his game would be well-suited to hc, especially indoors, like Soda pop’s.

Jerzy came out a bit too excited – he was missing some easy shots that he didn’t miss playing Tsonga. Still its a good start v Federer. Next up Paire. :D


Humble Rafa Says:

The ball girls and boys need to bring my towel quickly. I am getting time warnings.


Humble Rafa Says:

In other unrelated matter, I am leading the “race”.


contador Says:

Wog boy –

I did not watch the match but very sorry to see Berdych won. But to me it is just as well. There is bigger fish to fry ;)

And I think I figured out why you noticed Berdies thighs…i am guessing – it is the shorts. The shorts keep getting shorter and he wears some lycra thing underneath = we see more leg; not that I care, but the change is noticeable.


contador Says:

Jerzy is quite good at the net! He is more than a big serve and forehand. Just watched the match and I quite like his game actually. yeah, I like the lad!

Benoit’s movement is better than Jerzy’s, but both are light on their feet for tall guys.


Kimberly Says:

I just watched the highlights of Rafa match and I hate to say it for once wish Nadal would have gone the way of Djoko. The match would have been a mulligan and Ferrer would have no real chance of beating him fresh at RG. He looks like he is running on fumes. I know he was out for 8 months but I think he is overplaying. His strong RG performances, 2008 and 2010, 2012

2008 lost early in Rome
2010 withdrew from Barcelona
2012 he lost early in Madrid.

Now he is playing every match possible. And I have to root for him to keep winning especially tomorrow because if he doesn’t I give Birdsh*t at least a 40% shot of getting his first masters title against Federer. And of course once he is in the final he might as well win. He is playing the match.

I know the RG seeding is on the line but I feel a fresh Rafa the seeding doesn’t matter all that much. But a tired Rafa? I wish he had lost to Ferrer but now I need to go on and root for him to win otherwise Berdych has a very strong chance of winning this tournament and I can’t stand the guy.

I hope I am being paranoid but 2009 he played every match possible (lost to Fed in Mad final but still played the match), 2011 (lost to Djoker in Rome and Madrid finals) and 2007 he played every match possible (lost to Fed in Hamburg) and he won RG but his performance not as dominant. And with Djoker wanting to pounce, rested, he needs energy!

Maybe I am being a paranoid fan but I have concern. Maybe the youtube highlights I saw just made him seem low energy.


Wog boy Says:

contador,

It is not the loss, it is the way he lost that worries me, and it is happening too often. He played exelent match until serving for the match and then became too passive. The moment he got broken I looked at his face and knew he was a goner. I watched until the end but I knew the result. Berdych could see the same thing and he took his chance, good on him. Nole missed exelent chance to play Rafa who is obviously tired and to go into FO with confidence, this way he is going to Paris with doubts. Something is not right and I am sceptical about his chances at FO, but hey, he is my man, gave me so many nice moments until now, and I will be cheering as loud as I can “Ajde Nole” no matter what:)


Wog boy Says:

courbon,

I just saw your post:)


skeezer Says:

yeah all kidding aside Rafa looked not happy pjaying even in the Gilbus match. i was wondering the same thing. His he playing too much before FO. we’ll all find out.


Humble Rafa Says:

Humble Nation,

Calm down. Everything is going to be fine.


John Says:

^^
lol I watched the highlights and its basically just Ferrer hitting winners. Nadal’s definitely playing less aggressive and seems not 100 percent.. He has won pretty much everything hes entered this year so I wouldn’t worry to much.


Wog boy Says:

skeezer,

Have you seen Nole’s match, if yes, what is your take?


Kimberly Says:

I thought Nadal looked fired up in the Gulbis match. Especially when he won the second set. The Ferrer match he looked like he didn’t want to be there.


skeezer Says:

I saw some signs of tiredness in the Gulbis match, but he was for sure not showing it when he won. He just seemed not in a good mood between points. not that Gulbis might have had something to do with it.
i took that match that he had to be there and when your tired its not fun. Seen him want / desire to move better. Could be wrong. Thought he used his head, not his brawn to get through that one. oh well, we all see different things sometimes.

wogboy,
sorry, didn’t actually see the Nole match. this JJ Fed match was the only one i have seen except some Gulbis Rafa highlights.


Brando Says:

@kimberly: no offence but I think you are being overly anxious about this tiredness issue ( understandbly so I admit). Rafa admitted to tiredness post the Ferrer match, but he said it was normal after playing 2 2:30 plus matches in consecutive days. He said the plus side is that it toughens him up for the long term and I agree with him on this point. He needs the matches to get tested, find his best and get his game solid. Going forward, he only has 2 matches here possibly and then a week off. At RG he has a day off in between matches. IMO these matches are welcome for him: you rather be battle hardened, tested with confidence boosting wins under your belt as opposed to being fresh but with real doubts and question marks about your game IMO. I hope he physically is fine – I think he is- as beyond that winning breeds confidence, and right now I rather Rafa continue winning as it shall get him closer to playing his best tennis. Each year is a different year, and this year Rafa needs matches moreso than in the past due to his long absence. Relax, have faith and hopefully are man will be fine.


Kimberly Says:

Brando-I hope so. Maybe he is just tired of playing ferrer and couldn’t get himself motivated. He just seemed low energy throughout the match in the highlights I saw. If tennis channel shows the replay I will watch. They r showing azarenka now.

I know wins breed confidence but I also want him fresh and ready to go for roland garros. At least he won’t be having a four hour slugfest with djoker.


El Flaco Says:

Jerzy is a guy you do not want to play in the 3rd round of Wimbledon.


El Flaco Says:

Nadal should make quick work of Berdsh!t.


El Flaco Says:

If my memory serves me Jerzy beat a red hot Gulbis at Wimbledon. Gulbis had thumped Berdych in the previous round.


Humble Rafa Says:

^^
Author does not know what classy means


Mila Says:

It would be dumb of Novak to play Rafa before RG. He played him first set in Monte Carlo and saw where their matchup is at. Why reveal more and give a chance to Uncle Tony to analyze and adjust.

Today, Novak tested his game for about an hour, and after that decided it is enough and it is time to move on to Paris with some rest and fine refinement of few details and further ankle recovery. During set and a half today Novak was rifling his shots and Tomas was helpless, at the end of the second set Novak started to push balls and continued like that till the end of the match. I’ve re-watched the match and the difference in his shots between first hour and rest of the match is obvious.
What would have Novak gained had he beat Tomas today 6-2, 6-3? A couple of hundred points, an exhausting match with Rafa, more fatigue and tough match against Roger in the final, also further strain on his body and his tender ankle. The smart decision (albeit not fair to the Rome audience) was to let Berdich win and start his preparation for RG while watching Rafa and Roger slugging it out for a couple of hundred points in Rome (actually Rafa won’t gain anything since he defends the last year title).

Rafa is overplaying and it will catch up with him by RG time – he played two 2.5 hr matches last two days, and is in for two more tough and likely long matches.

Conclusion – Novak is in great position before RG, whoever thinks he is out of form, wait 10 days and see him in Paris. He’ll be even more dominant than in Monte Carlo final. Mark my words…


Wog boy Says:

Mila,

Nice way to look at it, I hope you are right.


Nadalista Says:

Geez, this much is obvious, when you find yourself repeating the same shtick over and over and over, you are trying to convince yourself, not others!


Michael Says:

Mila,

Do you mean to say Novak intentionally gave up this match against Berdych ? Well, looking at the way Novak was disappointed after the loss, I do not think it is so. He was infact going for a win. Novak is a player who is not afraid of battles. The last thing you can attribute to Novak is giving up without a fight. There can be nothing more degrading to this fighter than such slanders.


skeezer Says:

“Geez, this much is obvious, when you find yourself repeating the same shtick over and over and over, you are trying to convince yourself, not others!”

YES! Look in the MIRROR! LMAO.


Margot Says:

Joining in with the chorus:
Nole how COULD you????????????????????


nadalista Says:

Yesterday @skeezer agreed with RAFA, totally….

Today @skeezer is agreeing with me, in caps no less…

Okay, this is way beyond suspicious. This is an imposter, a fraud who has hi-jacked @skeezer’s account. To agree with Rafa is one thing, to then go and agree with me! Ah, ah, highly suspicious…

Top story: Federer, Nadal Breeze In Basel; Murray, Ferrer Advance In Valencia
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ATP - Oct 20 WTA - Oct 20
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Na Li
6 Tomas Berdych6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Kei Nishikori7 Eugenie Bouchard
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