Federer, Favorites, Doughy Players Advance Friday at French Open
by Staff | May 31st, 2013
  • 150 Comments

Friday on the men’s side at Roland Garros was like you enjoy your frites — with lots of catch-up. Catching-up the schedule after rainy days this week, 17 men’s second- and third-round matches were completed, with the seedings holding firm for the most part.


Eight of the Top 10 seeds were in action, with only one casualty when relentless Serb Viktor Troicki upended No. 10 Marin Cilic 7-6(12), 6-4, 7-5.

Other Top 10 winners were No. 2 Roger Federer over No. 30 Julien Benneteau in straights, No. 3 Rafael Nadal rebounding from a first set loss to defeat Slovak Martin Klizan, No. 4 David Ferrer easing past Spanish countryman Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez in straights, No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga roughing up No. 25 seed and countryman Jeremy Chardy in straights, No. 7 Richard Gasquet working Polish qualifier Michal Przysiezny 6-0 in the third, No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic outlasting unseeded Spaniard Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco 8-6 in the third, and No. 9 Stan Wawrinka downing Argentine Horacio Zeballos in straights.

“I started the match probably with not the right intensity, with more doubts than usual,” said Nadal of dropping the first set against Klizan. “The positive thing was that I had a good reaction at the beginning of the second, even if I didn’t play fantastic. I played the way that I had to play, with intensity, with passion, playing more inside.”

Gasquet was happy with an efficient and energy-saving win.

“Nobody expects me to win the tournament, but for sure I want to perform here,” Gasquet said. “I’m very motivated, so I will try to do my best. It was important to win in straight sets, because it’s difficult to do such a thing in a Grand Slam. You need to save your energy.”

Federer, who next meets the No. 15 seed Simon who has been tested in long matches, was also on the energy-conserving tip.

“I’m happy because I have not used much of my energy so far,” said the philosophical and zen-state-seeking Swiss who has yet to lose a set. “I’m still there in the tournament, and therefore, I think I can perhaps go deep in the tournament. I feel totally relaxed. Mentally I’m okay. I’m quite confident. I can feel it, which is what you need to be if you want to go deep and have good results here at Roland Garros.”

In other notable matches, No. 23 Kevin Anderson out-served No. 14 Milos Raonic in straights, Simon subdued No. 18 Sam Querrey 6-2 in the fifth, No. 32 Tommy Robredo ended the run of French wildcard Gael “Force” Monfils 6-2 in the fifth after saving four match points, No. 12 Tommy Haas ended the run of American qualifier Jack Sock in straights, and No. 19 John “The Marathon Man” Isner outlasted fellow American Ryan Harrison 8-6 in the fifth.

“I have to give him credit because I think I wasn’t shy,” Monfils said of Robredo, who will next meet his countryman Nicolas Almagro. “I went for my shots. I missed maybe some, but some he played good points. It was very close. And when you lose a match, you’re not happy. But you can always find something positive in the match. Maybe today he was physically fitter than me. It is frustrating, because I don’t like to lose matches for physical or fitness reasons. But today I have to admit he was stronger.”

Five of the Top 10 were in action on the women’s side Friday in a mixture of second- and third-round meetings, headlined by No. 1 Serena Williams pounding No. 26 Sorana Cirstea 6-0, 6-2, and No. 2 Maria Sharapova finishing off a rain-delayed match from the previous day, defeating statuesque Canadian riser Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 6-4.

“I think everyone, when they step out to play me, I feel like they’re really bringing their A-game,” said Williams upon winning her 27th match in a row. “I just have to get really pumped up for everything to a point where I want to win as much as I can out there, whether it’s every point or just do the best that I can do.”

Sharapova was happy to finally get her result in the books against the Canadian teen.

“We had a lot of warm-ups — obviously it’s very important to keep yourself going and to start really well when you get back on the court, because the momentum can sometimes change in different directions, which hopefully it doesn’t of course,” she said. “At 8:45 last night, when it was still raining, it was pretty tough to continue. But I was happy to play part of the match and get myself in a good position to come out again today and finish it off.”

Four other rain-delayed matches were completed from the previous day with Swiss Stefanie Voegele stunning Kaia Kanepi 8-6 in the third, No. 12 Maria Kirilenko easing past Aussie wildcard Ashleigh Barty 6-3, 6-1, Marion Bartoli struggling past unheralded qualifier Mariana Duque Marino 7-6 (5), 7-5, and former champion Francesca Schiavone dialing-up some old claycourt magic to upend No. 21 seed Kirsten Flipkens 6-3 in the third.

“I think I played better today than I did in the first match,” said a particularly-doughy-looking Bartoli, who will next meet Schiavone. “She’s won four matches already, so I had to produce more. I had to play a better game when my back was on the wall.”

Other Top 10-seeded winners were No. 4 Aggie Radwanska putting down Dinah Pfizenmaier 6-3, 6-4, No. 5 Sara Errani subduing No. 32 Sabine Lisicki 6-0, 6-4, and No. 8 Angie Kerber outlasting No. 29 Varvara Lepchenko 6-4 in the third.

No. 14 seed and former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, No. 20 Carla Suarez Navarro who ended Puerto Rican Monica Puig’s run, and former world No. 2 and unseeded Svetlana Kuznetsova were other winners of note on the day.

“I was really happy with my performance today because I knew Virginie [Razzano] is a tough opponent, and she can be very streaky,” said the former champ Ivanovic, who next faces Radwanska. “So I’m very happy with how I handled it and happy with the end result of course.”

Third-round highlights on Saturday include another embarrassment of riches in confident Frenchwoman (31) Alize Cornet vs. (3) Victoria Azarenka, China’s Jie Zheng vs. (2) Maria Sharapova, (3) Rafael Nadal vs. (27) Fabio “The Fabulous One” Fognini, (1) Novak Djokovic vs. (26) Grigor “That’s Mr. Sharapova to You” Dimitrov, (13) Marion Bartoli vs. former champ Francesca Schiavone, veteran grinder Nikolay Davydenko vs. veteran fader (7) Richard Gasquet, (18) Jelena Jankovic vs. (9) Samantha Stosur, (12) Tommy Haas vs. (19) John Isner, (9) Stan Wawrinka vs. (21) Jerzy Janowicz, (29) Mikhail Youzhny vs. a tired (8) Janko Tipsarevic, and (7) Petra Kvitova vs. American upstart Jamie Hampton.

 


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150 Comments for Federer, Favorites, Doughy Players Advance Friday at French Open

Humble Rafa Says:

Rain is not good for my game. Cold weather is not good for my knee. Bad times..


RZ Says:

I wouldn’t be calling Bartoli or any other players “doughy.” They play much better tennis and make a lot more money than anyone associated with this blog!


Michael Says:

I was quite surprised by the ease with which Roger was able to dismantle Bennateau. It was near perfect Tennis from Roger and some of his shots were exemplified by flamboyance. He was totally at ease both from behind and at the net and his service was okay. Roger is one step away from continuing his streak at the quarters and I think from what I have seen so far he will be able to easily beat Simon. If he does not, then I will be quite surprised.


Michael Says:

Novak has a tough ask in front of him today in the form of Dmitrov and I think this time he will surely come up triumphs and prevail. Novak is eager and raring to go afterall he is chasing history and the arduous task of completing the career Grand slam which has been done by Roger and Nadal of the present generation. I expect a four setter with two easy ones for Novak. Let us see. The match will be quite interesting with the variety of Dmitrov and the resolve of Novak.


Nadalista Says:

Benneteau was injured, Fed himself said so in his presser. Not difficult being near perfect against a crocked opponent.


Michael Says:

As regards Rafa, well you can put him directly in the semis. He is just completing the formalities of initial rounds.


Michael Says:

Well Bennateau was injured. You mean that can be given as an excuse for his loss. Well, if that is so, then you can shot back by replying that if he is indeed injured, he should have withdrawn from the match and given a walk over to Roger. But since he played keeping aside his injury problems, it means he is fit and well.


Steve 27 Says:

Michael, like Federer in Indian wells, right?
Two faces


Nadalista Says:

Fed said Benneteau was injured, not Benneteau. My point was not to doubt the validity of Fed’s win, it is valid. My point was to put context into the manner of the win, that it was near perfect tennis from Fed. Not difficult to play near perfect tennis when playing an injured opponent.


Nadalista Says:

Novak will roll over Baby Fed in 3. Madrid is history.


Steve 27 Says:

nadalista, this is the first time that dimitrov reaches the third round in a major tournament an he is 22 years old without no titles. If he wants to be multiple slam winner, serves no excuses the lack of experience in a tournament of this magnitude.


Nadalista Says:

@Steve 27, just to put your comment on Dimitrov into context: juxtapose his feat with Jerzy’s. This is the third time Jerzy has made it to the 3rd round of a Slam, THREE DIFFERENT SURFACES. Jerzy is also 22 years old, is 6-3 in Slam tournaments compared to 7-10 for Dimitrov. Jerzy is ranked 23, Dimitrov 28. But listen to this: Jerzy has achieved the above on 61ATP matches played, Dimitrov on 132. On today’s match-ups, I have Jerzy going one better than Dimitrov. So, you tell me, who deserves the hype? Forget about sugarpova and all that, just the tennis……


Steve 27 Says:

Fair enouh, Nadalista, but in a moment the great talent has to explode against a great rival, in a situation of this magnitude, the pressure is for everyone, but channel it takes time. Let’s see now what material it is made Dimitrov.
To see if the lovemaking sessions with Sharapova have strengthened and given extra energy.


roy Says:

don’t call davydenko a grinder.
unless you want to call all the aggressive guys he has out-winnered in matches grinders.
so haas,tsonga,delpo,safin … the list goes on.


Margot Says:

A French “expert” has made a list of top 10 in 5 years time: 1) Dimitrov 2) Paire and coming in at No3) is….our very own Andy Murray!
Lol trust the French to be more optimistic about Andy’s long term future than us British fans!
They certainly know a thing or two :)


contador Says:

Good post Nadalista @ 2:39 am.

Jerzy is underrated in English speaking media and Dimitrov is somewhat overrated. Exactly.


contador Says:

I think I overestimated Paire being able to beat Nishikori, though. It was a mistake maybe to think Benoit would be inspired enough to beat Kei. Why did I think the crowd would make a difference to Benoit, as if I know,lol.


contador Says:

I believe the French experts, Margot!


Giles Says:

“They certainly know a thing or two” , but nothing about scheduling!


contador Says:

Nishikori playing well considering the situation -
Don’t think of him as a CC player. I think he just that much more mature than Benoit, although Kei is physically outmatched in this one. Benoit sort of beats himself.


contador Says:

^^ meant to compliment Nadalista’s post at 2:10 am , not Steve 27′s!! lols…


contador Says:

Nishikori going to serve for the match! Why didn’t I pick him over Paire – arrgh


contador Says:

Great stuff from Nishikori! 80 years since a Japanese man has made the round of 16 at Roland Garros, RRG informs me. Roland Garros Radio, has some stellar commentating every year, thankfully. Turn off the TV commentators and listen to them – much better commentary.


nadalista Says:

@contador, it’s not just the English speaking media which underrates Jerzy. L’Equipe, are the experts @Margot referred to, and they have Jerzy at #9 in 2018, Dimitrov at #1 and Paire at #2.

#NotSerious


contador Says:

Oh, it’s L’Equipe where that top ten list for the future (5 years from now) comes from. Radio Roland Garros has been talking up that list today.

I don’t know about Paire’s placement on that list at #2 and 5 years from now Andy Murray at #3? uh, maybe – he will be over 30 years old…


nadalista Says:

Cannot see Muzza being overtaken by Paire and Dimitrov anytime soon, Jerzy on the other hand could be real competition in a couple of years……….


contador Says:

Yeah but will Andy Murray be #3 in 5 years? I would think Murray guess have been to #1 and possibly about done with tennis by then or coming back from taking an injury break from tennis…something like that.

Jerzy has to get his temper under control – if he can do that, he could boss the ATP.


contador Says:

^^ guessing about Murray – edit ^^


nadalista Says:

^^agree with you about Jerzy.


contador Says:

Now this is something impressive! = Ryan Harrison on Radio Roland Garros, calling the Sharapova match with ease and perfection. Wow, had to double check who was commentating – Ryan Harrison is a real natural at it and I rarely like American commentators.


contador Says:

^^ Ryan Harrison on the RG Radio ^^ very good job.


James Says:

Contador,
Kei Nishikori is very underrated. I’ve seen him play, has got the skills and temperament to make it to top 10 very soon. A player that’s beaten Roger and Djokovic and stretched Rafa Nadal shouldn’t be ignored. I knew he would beat Benoit Paire. Nishikori may not be big tall but he moves a lot quicker on court than most players. He prefers the hard courts but his quick legs do help him lots on clay too.


contador Says:

Yep, Nishikori is underrated, James. He has all the composure of someone much more experienced! It is a pity he isn’t taller / bigger, though.

ye, I made very bad picks in general this round.

Kei is very composed – really like him.


contador Says:

Fognini and Nadal are on. :D Fabio, will he get a set? I doubt it; but he makes for entertaining tennis.


James Says:

Kei is 5’10, that’s not too bad imo. That’s just 3 inches shorter than Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer. Also he’s got the speed that taller players don’t. He’s gotta use that to his advantage, me thinks.
Btw, Rafa playing Fognini, hopefully the first of more straight sets win to come for him at RG.


contador Says:

I am thinking about the giant tennis of the future, James. Seems to be every other player coming up the ranks is a giant = 6’3″ or over.

Fognini is a favorite of mine but I don’t need to cheer for him – not in the mood to be abused by an angry Rafa fan today. Plus, I doubt me cheering for Fabio will help Fabio. Forza Fogna…


Okiegal Says:

@James

Rafa just got broken……I am sorry to say.


Margot Says:

@contador
Agree with you about Andy, I can’t see him still playing in 5 years time. Lol he’s already making “when I retire” noises. He’s got chronic lower back issues for a start.
Also, agree re Jerzy, very under- rated, already done better overall than Grigor. And yes, Kei is terrific but seems very injury prone.


gonzalowski Says:

And Fognini gets a break, 2-3.
Fognini is playing with a proud attitude, I think it’s what he has to do.
But is annoying to me, he’s like Tony Manero in the beach.


James Says:

Contador, why would Rafa fans abuse you just for supporting his opponent Fabio? I’m glad you like Fabio Fognini. He’s a good clay court player. I appreciate seeining people support lesser known players. They need it more than the big and famous ones.
I’m a Rafa fan btw. Fabio’s playing better right now. Rafa doesn’t look sharp enough even today. He’s gotta go a level higher if he seriously wants another FO.


skeezer Says:

“why would Rafa fans abuse you just for supporting his opponent ”

Where have you been? This is the Rafanatic SOP. There’s Rafa, then nobody else. And nobody else’s body.

——-

Meanwhile, in a more interesting match, Haas has take the first set over big John. Fun stuff going on there.


skeezer Says:

@James
Btw, you are no Rafanatic type. ;)


gonzalowski Says:

Nadal recovers the break, 4-4, there are doubts in Fognini now


skeezer Says:

Youz is makin quite the run here at FO, up 2-0 over Tipsy and lookin good in the 3rd rd.


James Says:

skeezer, I’m a big Rafa fan but appreciate good tennis from anyone, everyone. I know the kind of Rafanatics you’re talking about. I wouldn’t take them or any fanboy of Roger or Novak too seriously. These players are great but tennis will go on even without them.
Happy for Haas. Hope he pulls off a win over Isner.


James Says:

skeezer, my girlfriend is a Rafanatic! I don’t like discussing tennis with her because she always goes “Rafa is the best…” and I’m like you’re too biased, can’t have a discussion lol


Ben Pronin Says:

In case anyone is wondering, free live streaming on tennischannel.com

I am VERY impressed. Coverage isn’t all dead :)


contador Says:

Thank you, James – you get it.

Fognini is a proud Italian – love his strut. But he will get bored with being beaten again. And when he is done with a match, his tennis goes from brilliant to ugly real fast.

Yeah, Margot I laughed at their Andy Murray prediction – slim chance Andy will be #3 in 5 years. Simply cannot see it.


Ben Pronin Says:

Sometimes Fognini is very impressive, but he’s way too inconsistent. No chance in this match. But Nadal is still kind of off. Still making errors when he tries to attack on his forehand. Odd.


James Says:

back on Rafa-Fabio match, Rafa’s playing much better now and looking sharp. Fabio playing equally good, 1st set could go either way.


gonzalowski Says:

Aaagh! another 1st set!
Nadal has played too short in much of his advantadges.
Fognini has been more nervous since 4-4, but he has showed very talented shots, specially the defensive backhand (one and two-handed). And always attacking.


James Says:

Oops! Rafa committing way more errors. Could still take it to TB and take the set, but not impressive.


James Says:

Rafa breaks back to take it TB. Should take it from here.


contador Says:

Fognini strikes the ball so cleanly and I marvel at his posture. He talks to himself almost non-stop when things go wrong. But he is an Italian artist. Too bad Seppi doesn’t have such talent.


Ben Pronin Says:

What a point!!!!


contador Says:

Great tennis! Fognini is the new Santoro! hehe…


contador Says:

Oh Fogna. Should be all downhill from here for Rafa.

What is the great Tommy Haas doing?


Ben Pronin Says:

Some spectacular points in that tiebreaker. Credit both guys, really going at it.


van orten Says:

same procedure as every match..hope soneone will finally take himmel out and not cchoke..as fognini did…


Okiegal Says:

Foggi hangs tough in some tight spots. Rafa is gonna have throw every thing at him to win this match. Vamos, Rafa, you da man….get r done!!


van orten Says:

happy to leave now the live coverage…coverage…


contador Says:

Fognini has some masterful footwork on clay, too. Of course, credit to Nadal but it is too bad you can’t make one Italian player out of the best of Fogna and Seppi – well, Seppi has the height.


Ben Pronin Says:

This match, so far, is a great example of Nadal winning with just defense against a much more aggressive opponent. But it’s not really his fault Fognini can’t capitalize on his opportunities. Nadal is failing to be aggressive but he’s being very crafty and it’s working.


James Says:

So far Fabio’s been playing better but Rafa’s still winning the important points. Good clay court tennis from both players.


contador Says:

lols Fogna!


van orten Says:

@ben

when this is not the case???always the same…it is a shame that there seems to be no one out there to have some luck on that important points for once…!!!


James Says:

Rafa’s playing very defensively, will find the going tough when Fognini starts making less UEs. Need to up his game.


contador Says:

I’m sure Rafa fans want this over but it is good tennis – Fogna needs some support here. Forza Fogna, tranquillo…

Time for a medical break. Fabulous Fogna, :D


jane Says:

This Rafa match is taking a while – 3 games in 24 minutes in the second set. Sigh… He beat Foggy easily in Roma; thought this would be the same.


van orten Says:

he has my full unconditional support believe me contador..his attitude is great..!


contador Says:

Oh No…Nole’s childhood coach, Jelena just died, the RRG commentators announcing… very sad.


gonzalowski Says:

Rafa playing better and more confident than in the 1st set


James Says:

jane, Rafa just is not as sharp as he did in Rome. He was making a lot of players look ordinary in Rome. In Paris he’s making every player look dangerous.


contador Says:

ye, Van Orten. Fogna is a treat. I’d be cheering him vs Federer, as well. :)


jane Says:

contador, SO SAD. Horrible news in general and for Nole.

http://stream.goodwin.drexel.edu/womenincoaching/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/novak-djokovic-and-his-tennis-coach.jpg

Thanks to Jelena for all she did for tennis and for Nole. :’(


contador Says:

Jane, did you hear that about Nole’s coach?


jane Says:

^ Yes – see above. Sad & bad news… :(


contador Says:

It is Horrible timing, too. :( but no time would be good to lose someone so dear.

I do not expect Nole to do well… really awful for him. Sorry for the loss.


James Says:

but credit to Fognini. Rafa’s trying to play aggressively but Fabio’s just outplaying him atm. Rafa’s broken him though, but mainly cause of Fabio’s UEs. Fabio needs to play more “controlled aggression” as Roger would say, and not “silly aggression”.

Sad news about Nole’s childhood coach Jelena! Very sorry for Nole.


contador Says:

Wonder if Nole can compose himself to take the court?


James Says:

Nole will be playing next, wish he didn’t have to.


Margot Says:

Oh, such sad news for Nole. As u say Conty horrible timing, but might even give him some extra motivation, I’ve seen that happen too.
Depends I suppose on whether her death was expected, or a horrible shock.


contador Says:

Don’t see how Nole will focus – I don’t know. It would be better if he didn’t know the news, maybe but surely he does. heart-breaking.


van orten Says:

ah fogna..at least you can see that nadal is beatable..enough for me. he was on the ropes vs gulbis , dimitrov, ferrer, at the masters events so for me only matter of time till he loses this year at Roland garros..mark my words


steve-o Says:

Sorry to hear about Djokovic’s coach.


van orten Says:

and another bp


van orten Says:

what a pain


van orten Says:

how he walks to the ball knowin it s floating wide out ..what a character


James Says:

van orten, you sound like you’re hell bent on seeing Nadal going down at RG. Fognini’s playing better but that’s still not enough to beat Nadal here. Fabio’s making many UEs and gifting Rafa easy points. As long as players don’t cut down on those UEs, they’ll always have difficulty beating Nadal esp on clay.
Nadal so hasn’t played very good in Paris and still winning. You can imagine how dangerous he’ll be when starts playing very good like he’s done several times at RG.


gonzalowski Says:

and the 2nd for Rafa. He saved his service with aces/good serves. Good clay match now, between Rafa an Fabio…
if Rafa wins the match, which is almost sure, it will have been very useful fo the next matches.


contador Says:

You can’t watch Fognini with the expectation for him to win van orten. If you do, it is a disappointing experience. His tennis is art but he is not at Rafa’s level, sadly.

Rafa has appeared beatable in these opening rounds but Brands, Klizan, and Fognini were not ever going to be able to do it. There was only really one guy for the job and that was Nole.

Tipsa lost too.


van orten Says:

my eyes have hurt for the last 8 years watching nadal play and win so many matches being so defensive..i sound more positive than i am about the chances of him losing at paris vs one different player as the djoker


contador Says:

Fognini is deceptively fast. I like how he gives off an air that he could care less at times.. lol

Truly charming to watch him, imo.

His style makes it a good contrast to Nadal = fun watching. But in no way do I dare hope Fogna will win. It has to be enough just to watch the Italian artist at work.


gonzalowski Says:

Tv commentators saying that:
1- After injury-stopping, Rafa’s volleys are worst executed, they go longer, maybe because of the racquet change too.
2- And maybe he executes now less strength with his left leg, supporting on the floor in order to impact the ball.


contador Says:

Can’t believe I fell for Stanley’s injury excuse so hard and picked Jerzy. Wawa on a roll.

At least Gasquet wins! And Nadal. All other picks getting smoked.


contador Says:

hahaha Fogna giving us his best with Rafa’s win eminent.


contador Says:

Yes Gonzalowski, Fognini match is a good tune-up for Rafa – especially with Nishikori waiting. But Nishikori, in general has less confidence on clay than Fogna, I daresay.


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal failed to serve for the match again? Yeesh.


marrisv Says:

Fognini played well and should have won the first set. Rafa is ripe for an early upset at the French open. Unfortunately for his opponents they have not been consistent enough to take advantage. From what I have seen he is playing worse than in 2011 FO which was one of his worst.


James Says:

Rafa wins the match in straight sets but won’t be happy with his game. Difference between Fabio and Rafa was that one was enjoying his game, the other wasn’t. Rafa needs to start enjoying his game again, find his rhythm. A one day rest should help. Kei Nishikori is playing very well at the moment. Should make for a good match.
Looking forward to Nole-Dimitrov match. Nole very likely to win, but Dimitrov’s beaten him recently in Madrid. That should boost his confidence.


contador Says:

Nole likely to win? Well, maybe. But not at all sure now, James :/

Meanwhile the great Tommy Haas – will he win? aargh come on Tommy!


steve-o Says:

C’mon Tommy, put this one away!

Even if Isner manages to sneak out the fourth set, I have a nagging suspicion that he will end up losing 17-15 in the fifth anyway.


Giles Says:

Hey van orten. Sorry to hear about your eyes hurting watching Nadal play. Here’s a tip for you – don’t watch him play. After all we wouldn’t want you to lose your eyesight completely, would we? Geez!


Kimberly Says:

Rafa looked uninspired in Rome too, until the semifinal. That’s what I’m telling myself. Not thrilled with his form but at least he is not peaking too early, that’s for sure!


steve-o Says:

Haas double-faults from MP up. How many does he need?


Ben Pronin Says:

Wow, Isner. He might not fist pump like a Nadal, but this guy is an absolute warrior.


jane Says:

Ajde Nole! Keep going.


James Says:

Meanwhile Novak Djokovic is leading Grigor 5-1 in the 1st set in just 2s minutes.


James Says:

*24 min


James Says:

Isner saved 12 MPs to win the 4th set. Was rooting for Tommy Haas but now I think Isner deserves the match.
Meanwhile, Grigor’s not playing too well. Hard to see him troubling Nole playing like that. Needs to up his game.


Kimberly Says:

Pulling for Isner. He does fist pump just not as aggressive as nadal


contador Says:

ajde Nole!

Have to find a stream for Nole – Grigor match and see how Nole is looking.


steve-o Says:

I knew Isner would give back the break. This is his MO–interminable five-setters where he ends up cracking around the 30-game mark.


Alex Says:

A bit disappointing with Demitrov. Was looking forward to this match, looks like Dimitrov is gonna roll over for this one.

Dimitrov double faults and gives Nole another break, Crowd starts whistling.


Brando Says:

How horrendous is Grigor playing?

Yikes man: 3 winners to 28 UE!

WTF!

Is he chocking on the occasion?

Damn even Goffin had more fight than that!

Poor match: Novak just being efficient and even then hitting more UE’s than winners.

Disappointing considering on paper this was match of the day!


Brando Says:

Cannot blame crowd for whistling: heck I have tuned out of this bore!

Grigor need’s to get his head right- pronto if he ever wants to make a name for himself outside being Mr Maria Sharapova!

Empty seat’s by the plenty also which is disappointing.


jane Says:

I am perfectly happy with how Dimitrov is playing. ;)

Ajde Nole!


courbon Says:

Damn right jane!I’m happy too.


Brando Says:

‘I am perfectly happy with how Dimitrov is playing. ;)’

Well if you settle for rubbish from a player then I guess…. you should lap this one since the trash is as good as get’s right now!


Margot Says:

Lol Nole v Grigor so much of a damp squib, ITV switches to Isner v Haas.
Surely no another 2 day epic…..please nooooo


Brando Says:

Grigor yikes man: BP 2nd serve and you lump it into the net!

Now wonder there are so many empty seats for this one!

Shame, gear shame!


jane Says:

courbon! :D

Dimitrov took a medical timeout. Perhaps it explains the high error count, although he is still serving quite well – actually has a higher first serve percentage than Nole.


Brando Says:

@Margot:

No surprise whatsoever!

It’s a rubbish match- a damp squib as you say!

So many empty seats in a saturday match, and look at the trash on show?

Do not blame ITV 1 for switching over from this rubbish.

Greatly disappointed considering I thought it will be a 3/4 set cracker!


James Says:

Stopped watching the match seeing how awful Grigor is playing. Novak doesn’t even need to do much. He’s so taking this match very easily. Dimitrov must be the most overrated young tennis player right now. Don’t get me wrong, the boy’s got the skills but really lack big match temperament. I’d rate Nishikori higher than him.
If Dimitrov really wants to make it big, he needs to give tennis his #1 priority. Even then it will be very hard for him to make it to top 5. Too much competition there right now. And the likes of Rafa, Novak, Murray don’t make it easy for the young ones.


Brando Says:

Tommy wins!

Standing O for the 35 YO road runner- truly a great sportman!

Credit to Big John also: fought his hardest, as always!

Fully packed out too- that’s what great matches do: they make the crowd stick around for more!


jane Says:

James – yes, he is overrated. As nadalista pointed out earlier, JJ has more accomplishments at the same age and in less amount of time than Dimitrov. He’s very inconsistent, and temperamental too. Obvious talent, but.


Brando Says:

@James:

Completely agree: it’s a colossal disappointment all round.

When a network changes the match on a supposed showpiece one then it say’s all that need’s to be about the match.

I fear for Grigor:

He recently said the next time papz take a picture of him and Shazza, he’ll smile and wave as it’s all good.

A small thing but a telling one: is he settling in to the role being a circuit celebrity rather than a top level competitor?

IMO, from afar I admit, I think he needs to get his prioritise right.

Work hard on his game since right now I just do not see him in the top 5 in say 2015 at all.


Brando Says:

Future top draw player’s in the top ranking spots:

- Janowicz
- Nishikori
- Paire
- Poille (showed great passion, enthusiasm for the game- as well as talent)

These 4 I think can do something in the future that could be a game changer especially.


Alex Says:

Whats going on now?

First Demitrov hurts his shoulder and now Nole…


Alex Says:

Hope his ok.


jane Says:

Idemo Nole!


James Says:

“A small thing but a telling one: is he settling in to the role being a circuit celebrity rather than a top level competitor?”
Sounds like it. If not, he’ll have to prove us wrong with his tennis. Nothing comes easy in men’s tennis. If he wants to be a top 5 player, he’ll have to threaten the dominance of the big 4.


Margot Says:

@Brando
Courier was almost saying that Dimitrov is too nice/social etc. He said he’s really friendly in the locker room before matches…long pause…then said of course the other player who is really friendly before matches….. is Fed!
Launched into a critique of Grigor, saying he was too much of a carbon copy of Fed, even the clothes he wears etc, and he’d never known a player to be a successful top player by copying another. Basically saying Grigor needs to be his own man.
Santoro has said Pouille (?spelling) is heading for greatness. Interesting player,apart from anything else quite a different build from most- quite chunky/stocky and not so tall. Very young too.
Kei is not as young as the others mentioned, but has had so much time off with injury.


Lou_tennisfan Says:

The more I see Tommy Haas playing, the more inspired I get. What an amazing player he is and the way he played today showed what he is made of. Simply put, what an amazing positive attitude was at display. Any player would have given up after failing to convert 10 match points in fourth set…but he fought back in the fifth set down a break to win 10-8. Simply brilliant.

The Brilliance of the 35 year old Tommy Haas- The Comeback Marvel http://tinyurl.com/mrdyugj


James Says:

@Jane, they may call him Baby Federer for his backhand, but he’s nothing like the Swiss Maestro. There are quite a few young players currently more promising than him. Skills alone don’t win you matches. Ask a Novak, Andy or Rafa, they’ve all had to give more than other players to be where they are today.


James Says:

Lou_tennisfan, I think he’s an inspiration even to Federer at this point :)
Tommy-Isner was by far best match of the day. Great fight from John too, saving 12 MPs! Tommy at 35 is playing so well, can give the big 3 a run for their money.


Brando Says:

@Margot, and also James:

Spot on with both of your posts!

Grigor seem’s too much of a imitator and far less of a serious future contender for the top spot, or prizes.

I do not see at all the fire burning in his eye’s look: that of a hungry player wanting to be the best of the sport one day.

As I said earlier, it’s only from afar and TBH it’s none of my business either, plus I am talking of something I do not know off, but here goes it anyhow:

IMHO his linking up with Maria could be real bad move for him career wise.

It shall make him a tabloid target, he’ll become a celebrity, part of the IT couple- all of which is a distraction from his game.

People will be more interested in his relationship than his game, and to me he doesn’t seem like a mentally strong player who could handle such distraction’s at all.

Look at Fed, Rafa: did they have such off court distractions in their career, especially early on?

No.

They kept things in check and focused on their game: wholly and solely.

I do not sense that or envisage it all from Grigor.

I think it was Shakespeare who said (Julius Caesar maybe? I just do not know) that:

Real ambition must be made of stern stuff.

Now I just do not get that vibe at all from Grigor, I do not get that feeling he is a hungry,a ambitious player at all.

Ultimately time will tell but I can see him being a Monfils type of player: great to watch at times, highly talented even, but not a top 5 player at all.

My 2 cents after this latest debacle of a performance from him.


jane Says:

James “Skills alone don’t win you matches.” Agreed.


mat4 Says:

About that match:

Grigor didn’t play that bad, and I think that you are a bit unfair to him. The clay was very slow, and it seemed obvious that players couldn’t change the direction of the balls the way they wanted. Heavy balls allowed Novak to put almost every serve back in play, and to pressurize his opponent from the beginning. Then, he played his clear, usual anti-Fed strategy, sending the balls deep on the forehand, high on the backhand (or very low, when Grigor had to run for them) defending well, and Grigor soon wondered what to do.

The stats are misleading here: my impression is that less than a half of Grigor’s UE were real UE. He was outmanoeuvred, outplayed, and on such a heavy court there was nothing he could do in reality.


Eric Says:

Dimitrov is a nobody. Who even cares about him? I guess everyone here, so — why do we care about him? He’s done nothing to demonstrate that he could ever contend for the top spot. Isn’t he about the ten thousandth ‘Baby Fed’? I guess he’s more promising than Dolgopolov. What a sad crowd of young tennis players we have, when 35 year olds are playing the best and most interesting tennis outside the top 10.


Eric Says:

I mean, I guess Nishikori is the youngest player left in the draw? Besides him the average age is like 28 or 29, probably.


Mila Says:

As expected… quick removal of baby fed from the RG draw…

I said on this site a couple weeks ago that Novak’s clay loses against Dimitrov and Berdich are nothing and that he had used those matches to refine his game and that RG would be COMPLETELLY different story. Many disagreed (although not all) and praised Dimitrov as a great talent as well as Berdich for his ‘comeback’ against Novak.

I bet some of those who doubted me and my sources about Novak practising in Madrid and Rome and not really caring for the results, are changing their tune.


Eric Says:

Or maybe that is not fair. Perhaps this is a structural change in the way tennis is going to work; fully modern training (etc) removes the (say) 25-28+ age disadvantage, leaving only greater experience and time to develop and hone skills and maturity? Are the days of teenage phenoms gone, on the men’s tour at least?


James Says:

Just got the news from a tennis reporter on twitter that Nole wasn’t told about his childhood coach Jelena’s death untill post Grigor match. He seems to be too affected by it to meet the press. Must be hard for him. Hope it doesn’t affect his tennis too much when he plays his next match.


Giles Says:

The fact that Grigor was playing doubles as well today might explain his under par performance against joker.


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

So glad Rafa managed to get the job done in 3 sets which is a positive thing,although he is still far from been his best,FF played great a great match especially that 1st set,but still got short changed,hopefully Rafa will improve more as the tourney moves on,Kie is another great player so i would expect another tight match for Rafa,and i think Kie is a future top 10 player for sure,as for Noles match well it was pretty straight forward and he looks to be in great form,although i expected it to a least be a contest for Nole,a game that promised so much but delivered so little


Wog boy Says:

Nice interview with let Jelena Gencic and some nice pictures of her with young Monika Seles, Goran Ivanisevic and Nole, players that she discovered and coached:

http://www.svetotennis.com/articles/interview-with-jelena-gencic.aspx

Rest in Peace Jelena


Wog boy Says:

^^^”let” should say “late”


mat4 Says:

Hi, WB. Glad to read you.


Wog boy Says:

Hi mat4,

Likewise:)

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