Nadal Overcomes Gulbis In Doha; Federer, Serena v Sharapova Tonight In Brisbane
by Staff | January 2nd, 2014, 4:54 pm
  • 46 Comments

Rafael Nadal overcame a break deficit in the second set to turn away Ernests Gulbis for the seventh straight time, 7-5, 6-4 in the quarterfinals in Doha earlier today.

The win moves Nadal into the semifinals tomorrow against little-known qualifier Peter Gojowczyk. The 24-year-old German edged Dustin Brown 7-5 in the final set breaker to advance to his first career ATP semifinal.

Maybe the bigger highlight came after the match when Nadal offered congratulations to Gojowczyk.

“I met him now in the locker room, and he said, ‘Congrats, Peter.’ It’s nice. Now I think he know me now,” Gojowczyk said. “I think I asked him for his signature in New York [at the] US Open last year. I met him also in the locker room, and I said, ‘Can I get a signature?’”

Nadal will likely not be as nice tomorrow on the court.

In the other semi, Gael Monfils, a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Daniel Brands, meets Andy Murray’s conqueror Florian Mayer.

In Brisbane, Lleyton Hewitt and Jeremy Chardy were both second round winners yesterday. Today in the quarterfinals Roger Federer will meet Australian Marinko Matosevic.

“I would assume he gets some support,” Federer said of playing an Matosevic. “I don’t know if he’s from Brisbane or not. He’s not? That’s good. No, you know, I go the match and try to play a good match. I’m already very thankful that I always get a chance to play in front of a sell‑out crowd usually, and all the support I do get is so appreciated. Again this week it’s very special experience me.”

Marin Cilic also faces Kei Nishikori, but the headline match will be the resumption of the Serena Williams-Maria Sharapova rivalry in the Brisbane semifinals. The two most popular female athletes on the planet will meet for a 17th time with Serena well ahead 14-2 having won their last 13. It’s also their first battle since their Wimbledon war of words.

“I haven’t had a lot of success against her in the past,” Sharapova admitted. “But it’s the first tournament of the year. I came here wanting to play as many matches as I could and wanting to play the best. There’s no substitute for getting ready for a Grand Slam than competing against the best. She’s been on a roll the last couple of years with her level. I competed against her a few times last year; didn’t work.

“You always hope that you can go out and give yourself a chance to do better next time.”

Serena, the World No. 1, has won her last 20 matches overall and 14 of her last 16 matches against Top 5 players.

“When you’re playing anyone in the top five or top 10, for me, I approach that match different because they know what that takes to win,” Serena said. “Some of them have won Grand Slams so they know what it takes to go even further. You definitely can’t underestimate those players.”

In the earlier semifinal, Victoria Azarenka squares off against Jelena Jankovic. All top four seeds made the semifinals in the women’s draw.

In Auckland. Serena’s elder sister Venus reached the semifinals against fellow American Jamie Hampton. Second seed Ana Ivanovic is in the other vs. Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens.

And in the Shenzhen semifinals, local favorite Li Na takes on Annika Beck while in the second semi it’s Vania King clashing with Peng Shuai.

BRISBANE SCHEDULE
PAT RAFTER ARENA start 11:30 am
ATP – M Cilic (CRO) vs [2] K Nishikori (JPN)
Not Before 2:30 pm ATP -
L Hewitt (AUS) vs [Q] M Copil (ROU)
Not Before 3:30 pm
WTA – [4] J Jankovic (SRB) vs [2] V Azarenka (BLR)

Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – [1] R Federer (SUI) vs M Matosevic (AUS)
Not Before 8:30 pm
WTA – [1] S Williams (USA) vs [3] M Sharapova (RUS)


Also Check Out:
For The Second Straight Year Victoria Azarenka Withdraws From Dubai
Nadal Eats A Bagel in Doha; Roddick v. Baghdatis Tonight in Brisbane
Davydenko Dumps Ailing Rafa, Meets Federer for Doha Title; Roddick, Soderling Nearing Brisbane Collision
Serena, Nadal, Ivanovic, Li Win WTA/ATP Titles
Nadal, Federer Cruise in 2011 Openers; Verdasco Vanquished in Brisbane

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46 Comments for Nadal Overcomes Gulbis In Doha; Federer, Serena v Sharapova Tonight In Brisbane

Queen Says:

Watch out Fed, Matosevic likes to kick water bottles…;)


Steve 27 Says:

Great match of Rafa, the best so far in Doha. Here the highligths: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42xhCRD0z7U
Vamos!


mat4 Says:

@Steve 27:

Thanks for the highlights.

—————————————–

Gulbis is going to make a big surprise at the AO. Just hope that he will land in… Rafa’s half of the draw.


Brando Says:

@Steve 27:

Thanks for that.


jmkennedy Says:

The Nadal/Gulbis match was very entertaining, but it was shocking to see the place half empty. Is this usual in Doha, or was the iffy weather responsible?


nits Says:

its almost sure now that nadal will win doha this time


Margot Says:

Thought Gulbis played exceptionally well at times, but what a wild man he is! He seems to have learned a bit of patience along the way too. New coach?
Rafa’s certainly playing his way into form though.
What’s Nole up to? Is he getting any match prep in?


Josh Says:

Excellent match from Rafa overall – some unbelievable shots in the 2nd set against an opponent who was playing pretty well. Doha is his to lose now


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Im hoping Rafa and Roger win titles this week,Rafa has started slow but seems to be playing himself into form,Roger winning the title would act as a confidence and momentum boost ahead of the AO.


Josh Says:

I hope they do too, Hippy Chic. Rog has just won 6-1, 6-1, so he’ll be in the Brisbane semis.
Nice to see Lleyton Hewitt making the semis as well, and it would be great if he could beat Nishikori to make a run to the final.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Josh i love Nishikori,and of the new and up and coming players he IMO seems very mature for his years and has the most self dicipline,and one of the ones i have tipped(hopefully)for big things,but yes i agree its great to see a veteran like Hewitt rolling back the years and playing great tennis again,so on this occasion i will pull for the veteran too.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Steve 27 thanks for the highlights,and it was an excellent match from Rafa,hoping this bodes well for the AO.


Kathy Says:

jmkennedy Says:

“The Nadal/Gulbis match was very entertaining, but it was shocking to see the place half empty. Is this usual in Doha, or was the iffy weather responsible?”

I think it was very likely weather related. The organizers altered the schedule because of it. It seemed pretty full on previous occasions. When Rafa and his coach played doubles on court 1, the organizers had to close entry to the court because it was so well attended. Unfortunately however spectators for the singles match, going on at the same time on centre court were very sparse. court was


Kathy Says:

^^^ Delete last two words


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Sharapova v Williams meet for the gazilionth time,and for the gazilionth time Sharapova will most likely get her ass kicked,and sorry not been mean here either but i love it too,Serena has never forgiven Maria for beating her at Wimbledon all those years ago,and she never will either,go Serena.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Well Serena beats Maria,although not the beatdown i thought it would be,the 1st set was one sided,the 2nd Serena won on a tiebreak.


Slice Tennis Says:

Rafa is getting pummelled by my countryman at Doha. Lets see if he can win atleast a couple of games and avoid bagels/breadsticks.


Josh Says:

He’s not getting pummelled.


Slice Tennis Says:

You are right Josh. He is getting back into it gradually.

Gajowczyk reminds me of Soderling. Very impressive so far.


Josh Says:

Yep, he’s playing well, but his problem was at 3-1, when he finally realised who was at the other end. Rafa’s vicious topspin forehands are starting to affect him now.


Slice Tennis Says:

Gojowczyk is two points away from taking the first set.


Josh Says:

Rocket backhand – very, very impressive.


Josh Says:

WOW. It’s not often you see someone take a set off their idol in their very first meeting – especially against the World No. 1!


Slice Tennis Says:

Gojowczyk takes the first set.


Slice Tennis Says:

Gojowczyk does have an impressive game. Rafa is not playing badly either.
Lets see if he can maintain his level and take out Rafa in straight sets.


Okiegal Says:

Rafa is gonna have to kick it up a notch or two….I would hate to see him get beat by an upstart….we would never hear the end of it.

VAMOS RAFA!!!


Slice Tennis Says:

Rafa is back.
Rafa’s FH yesterday and today is looking even more ferocious compared to his north American HC tournaments.


skeezer Says:

“Rafa is back.”
Lol. He drops a set against the well known Gogowhatsmyname. What a great assesment to go by. What have you been smoking? LMAO.
His FH has never gone away.


Josh Says:

3 straight breaks in the 3rd set. But the quality is higher than on the WTA tour.


Slice Tennis Says:

Skeezer,
Did you see the match or just your usual garbage ?


Giles Says:

Does skeezer have anything to offer other than garbage?
Keep it up skeezer!!
Vamos Rafa!


Perfect fan Says:

Oh what a match….Monfils was brutal against mayer.

Gotta b a great final tomorrow :)


skeezer Says:

Fantastic 3 set match of mastery by Rafa over the worlds #162,
Whew!


Slice Tennis Says:

Wow. What a great comment from our self proclaimed tennis expert.


Giles Says:

Hey skeezer just remember
22-10
Vamos Rafa!


van orten Says:

have to admit I enjoy both sides of sarcasm by the rafas and the rogers


Josh Says:

I think it’s quite funny actually – I feel like I could sit back and watch it unfold


skeezer Says:

I have never had so much enjoyable popularity. My name is mentioned 4 times already on this thread. Look out Rafa! Vamos!


Brando Says:

Yep: it will be really, really sad when Rafa and Rog leave the scene and the endless back and forth between their fans cease possibly forever.

Sometimes it gets out of order but most of the time it’s LOL stuff. One side trying to one up the other with cheap shots:

Priceless, get your pop corn ready stuff!


Josh Says:

@Brando Nah man, even when they’re gone it probably won’t stop! I’ve seen people still fight about Pete and Andre – the only time fans will truly be silenced is in 60+ years time, when they’re all too old to walk over to their computers


Maestro Fed Says:

Roger was solid with his serve and forehands. Matosevic played poorly and gave up way too early. So we can’t really judge Rogers level at Brisbane.


Giles Says:

Neil Harman tweets :
“Oh dear. A lot of people with Roger’s face in their twitter profile pix are having a go at Rafa for being honest”.
I bet skeezer is one of them!!


skeezer Says:

^Don’t waste my time with Twit-twat.


skeezer Says:

^^and thanks for #6 :-)


Giles Says:

^^^^^ Sooooo popular. You should be really chuffed.

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Rankings
ATP - Sep 15 WTA - Sep 15
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
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6 Milos Raonic6 Na Li
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