Favorites Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Murray Steamroll Into Sweet 16; What’s In Store Week 2?
by Sean Randall | January 18th, 2014, 5:02 pm
  • 114 Comments

We are down to just 16 in the men’s draw at the Australian Open. Finally, the tournament begins.

After some toasty temps, a sprinkle memorable matches and even a couple of surprises, the fourth round beckons Sunday and we get down to some business.

Leading the way are the familiar names – Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray, all off whom have yet to drop a set or really be pressed in any meaningful way.

Based on draw, based on form and based on tournament history Djokovic was my pick at the start of the week and that hasn’t changed. The Serb has been sharp and dominant. Just what you expect from a 3-time defending champion.

And who is he going to lose to before the final? Can Stan Wawrinka really do it? Tomas Berdych? David Ferrer? I just don’t see it. He could and very may lose a set, but three?

Nadal said he played some of his best tennis last night in a win over a wild Gael Monfil. Rafa’s been fortunate with his bracket, earning a retirement from Bernard Tomic, then drawing the youngster Thansi Kokkinakis before that demolition of the Frenchman last night.

Rafa now plays Kei Nishikori in what figures to be another one-sided affair and then maybe Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian had the match of his life beating the uninspiring Milos Raonic, and while I’d love to see Grigor push Nadal, I just think Nadal’s too physical for the young 22-year-old. That is if Grigor even beats Roberto Bautista Agut. A big if!

The Spaniard Agut pulled the upset of the event stunning Juan Martin Del Potro in the second round then backed up yesterday over the uneven Benoit Paire. I said at the start of the week Del Potro needed some help, specifically with the heat. He didn’t get it. With the scorching temps even at night, my guess is he wore down in the end to the lesser opponent. It’s a shame but that’s tennis. The strong survive.

In that second quarter is where we find the real fireworks. Both Andy Murray and Roger Federer have looked terrific through three matches, but let’s be honest their competition has been awfully awful.

And that continues tomorrow for Murray who has the easiest fourth round opponent in a lucky loser Stephane Robert.

For Federer, now it begins (or ends). After three relative cupcakes to get “FedBerg” rolling, he’ll now face the hot-handed JW Tsonga. And right now I like Tsonga here. The Frenchman also hasn’t dropped a set and he’s got to be out for revenge from last year 5-set loss to the Swiss in the quarters.

So that’ll leave Tsonga-Murray and as I picked last weekend, I’ll stay with Tsonga. I’m just not convinced Murray’s 100% back to his top level so I’ll side still with the Frenchman.

Overall it was a meh first week. It’s too bad Tomic drew Nadal to start as having the tempestuous Aussie around is a good thing (unfortunately he now needs hip surgery). LLeyton Hewitt did play well but just couldn’t pull it out in the end.

John Isner was another disappointment once again showing promise and hope in the smaller events only burn out (or retire in this case) in the Slams.

The women’s draw looks like a Serena-Azarenka final. Sharapova seems to be still finding her way after shoulder injury. Li Na is there and Sloane Stephens does play Azarenka tomorrow, but all signs – unless there’s a Serena injury – are point to Serena holding up No. 18 a week from now.

Of course the first week will be most remembered for the thermometer. the heat was such a major story that it took away from some of the play. But with that now long gone we’ll shift now to the actual tennis. Perfect timing.

Some picks today: Djokovic, Wawrinka, Mayer and Berdych. I think Robredo could surprise Stan and Mayer did beat Ferrer last fall. Berdych has owned Anderson (9-0) and Kevin had to author two 0-2 comebacks last week.

SUNDAY AUSTRALIAN OPEN SCHEDULE

Rod Laver Arena 11:00 am Start Time
Angelique Kerber (GER)[9] vs. Flavia Pennetta (ITA)[28]
Not Before: 12.30pm
Serena Williams (USA)[1] vs. Ana Ivanovic (SRB)[14]
Not Before: 2.00pm
Fabio Fognini (ITA)[15] vs. Novak Djokovic (SRB)[2]

Rod Laver Arena 7:00 pm Start Time
Casey Dellacqua (AUS) vs. Eugenie Bouchard (CAN)[30]
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI)[8] vs. Tommy Robredo (ESP)[17]

Hisense Arena 11:00 am Start Time
Mansour Bahrami (IRI) vs. Pat Cash (AUS)
Cedric Pioline (FRA) Mats Wilander (SWE)
Not Before: 12.30pm
Na Li (CHN)[4] vs. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)[22]
Florian Mayer (GER) vs. David Ferrer (ESP)[3]
Sara Errani (ITA)[1] vs. Monique Adamczak (AUS)
Roberta Vinci (ITA)[1] Olivia Rogowska (AUS)


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What’s Andy Murray Been Eating This Week At The US Open? Steak And Sushi!
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114 Comments for Favorites Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Murray Steamroll Into Sweet 16; What’s In Store Week 2?

Maestro Fed Says:

Wawrinka need not be worried about the Djoker. Fognini is going to do the job for him.


mat4 Says:

Fognini is likely to lose in three short sets. He lacks the big serve needed to pose problems to Novak.

Wawrinka has an opponent he doesn’t like, although I believe he will prevail anyway, but I wouldn’t bet against Robredo, who is playing almost his best tennis.


Bad Knee Rules Says:

Robredo beat Wawrinka 6 out of 7 times, twice last year (HC and clay) when Wawrinka was playing his best tennis.


mat4 Says:

@BKR:

The surface is pretty fast, so a good server like Wawrinka should have better chances. But Robredo is a steady, crafty player, and he could easily find a way to harness Stan’s power.


Bad Knee Rules Says:

Agree mat4, like in Cincinnati last year.


Kimberly Says:

Kerber pennetta has been a very entertaining match


Kimberly Says:

Penetta wins she has been the better player.aube I’m delusional but I’m thinking ivanovoc in with a shot next!


mat4 Says:

Ana plays well for now. Let’s just hope that she will continue. She looks a bit tense, though.


mat4 Says:

Let’s just hope Ivanovic won’t beat herself, the way she used to do the last few years. She is a break up, plays very well, while Serena seems a bit off. We could have a very interesting match.


mat4 Says:

A good match so far.


mat4 Says:

Unfortunately, Ana just did it: far too many UE in the critical game.

She couldn’t serve a first serve in the critical 6th game, too.


Kimberly Says:

Looks like we have a tennis match to watch!


Kimmi Says:

Ana plays fantastic. So many winners. The forehand on fire. She definitely a better player so far.


Kimberly Says:

Let’s hope ivanovoc continues to play, and is not just happy to win a set


Kimmi Says:

crazy return winners. unbelievable!!


Kimberly Says:

My husband is convinced she will
Choke this match away


Kimberly Says:

A la safarova


Kimmi Says:

ana needs to break here


Kimmi Says:

very tentative serena, i don’t think she trust herself at the moment


Kimmi Says:

match point! mmm


Kimmi Says:

lol! too much drama in this match


Kimmi Says:

wow! match points on her serve now. and she takes it the first time. WOW!

Serana outplayed today. welldone ana.


Patson Says:

awesome ana….super awesome..go girl, you rock !


mat4 Says:

I was also convinced Ana would choke, despite her spirited play in most of the first set, so I went working.

And miss the biggest surprise of the tournament so far.

Did Serena have some injury of some kind, since she seemed a bit slow in the first set?


coke man G Says:

finally some excitement in this year’s ao. good for ana


Polo Says:

WOW! And that’s just for Ana’s very beautiful face!


coke man G Says:

Refreshing to see that kind of aggressive play, now the women’s side is up for grabs


Kimberly Says:

It will be na li!


Kimberly Says:

This will be a routine win for djoker. I will be surprised if fognini even forces a tiebreak


Steve27 Says:

Is funny all the analysts chose Serena as the undisputed favorite in Australia when Vika is the current two-time champion, also that for a player over 32 years this seems to be the more physical because of the weather conditions. And in the last two years she could never reach even the semifinal. People who bet on Ana Ivanovic made ​​their big business especially when unjustly she lost the first set and the odds paid even more for her. What analysts will say now, especially Mouratoglou, who believed invincible to the youngest of the Williams sisters?


the DA Says:

Yes, go Ana! Nice to see her find her game again. Serena wasn’t 100% – her coach said she hurt her back in practice – but all credit to Ana. She was aggressive and timed the ball exquisitely. Did anyone notice how she dropped all the fist pumps and ajdes to keep focused? She played a mature match.


Polo Says:

Astute observation by the DA. Ana was so focused that all the unnecessary mannerisms in her game were discarded. I hope she always plays like that from now on.


mat4 Says:

Meanwhile, Djokovic bagels Fognini.


Steve27 Says:

Fognini is the biggest clown of the ATP


jatin Says:

David ferer at his very best. With this game he could even best djoker. And I am not joking
He is a monster today


Michael Says:

Novak should be the favourite, but Rafa and Andy are not far behind. I think Novak’s cause would be helped by his relatively easy draw through to the finals and he may have to meet either Rafa or Andy. He should have no problems with the likes of Ferrer or Berdych unless he suffers from severe physical problems. Let us see what the rest is in store. Rafa was looking great against Monfils and one wonders playing so well, how can he have complaints against the fastness of the court ? Andy too is looking in fine fettle and sure a hum dinger semi finals is in store.


the DA Says:

I disagree Andy isn’t a contender. He’s not 100% yet. He may have appeared to be in fine fettle against Lopez but it will be a different matter against a top 10 player. It would take some special alignment of the planets or a day of brain farts by Tsonga/Fed. And never mind Rafa right now. I would rather he play Rafa when he’s completely back in peak form.


Keith Says:

Said to say, this is as far as federer would go in this tournament….

As much as I’d like Federer to progess….

You’d have to favour Tsonga to go through this time….


Perfect fan Says:

jus watchin Bouchard’s match……gotta say, not only she’s a hottie off the court….but she is equally hotter in her game too.

Incredibly Talented !!


Perfect fan Says:

BTW, is SERENA cursed at Melbourne ????

How many of us mus hav thought of such a thing, not too many I guess.

That’s the beauty of TENNIS…. :))


mat4 Says:

Great match so far by Wawrinka.


mat4 Says:

A match between two completely different players: Wawrinka able to make winners with any shot from any part of the court, against a Robredo playing a strategically better and better match, making the most from his abilities.

The difference, though, seems to be too big.


Hippy Chic Says:

Perfect Fan what did you make of Wozniakis oponent Gabin?another little young hottie with great talent and a great game,i would personally love to see that match up,two of the womens up and coming players of the future Gabin and Geenie.


Hippy Chic Says:

Much more of a contest now between Stan and Tommy in the second set.


Hippy Chic Says:

Yet Tommy is still two sets down.


mat4 Says:

Wawrinka seems too good to lose, although, you never know with Robredo: he usually finds his range in the third set.


Giles Says:

C’mon Stan wrap it up. Want you fresh to take down joker!!


rafaeli Says:

The joker beat the clown.

Fabio was driving the biggest tank through Fog in that match. What a let down. Tanking a match against your friend is against the rules.


rafaeli Says:

Sean:

“Based on draw, based on form and based on tournament history Djokovic was my pick at the start of the week and that hasn’t changed. The Serb has been sharp and dominant. Just what you expect from a 3-time defending champion.”

If you did some research you would realize that the history over the last 4 years at AO have no bearing to this year. Rafa retired injured against Murray in 2010, he played injured in 2011 against Ferrer, in 2012, he lost a 6 hrs five setter to Djokovic in 2012 (that could have gone either way) and Nadal did not play in 2013.

Had Nadal been fully fit in 2010, 2011 and 2013, who knows what would have happened.


Perfect fan Says:

hippy….haven’t seen yet Garbine’s game….but as u say, she mus be good enuff to hav beaten woz’ as woz was playing good in d 1st rnd.

Well….who do u think will take the most advantage after Serena’s exit this time. IMO, LINA has the best chance to grab his 2nd major title. But still I feel, no 1 is clear fav this year after serena. wat say??


mat4 Says:

First, Fognini didn’t tank.

Second, Rafa is always injured.


Hippy Chic Says:

Perfect Fan that half of the draw has certainly opened up,i have to say thank goodness Vika and Maria are on the same side of the draw so we dont have a chance of a shriek fest final between the two,i hope Anna can back up what she did today shes been playing the way she did when she won the FO in 2008,but i agree in that Li Na now looks the favorite in that half now.


Giles Says:

First, Fognini did tank
Second, Rafa is not always injured


Giles Says:

Stan has the game to beat the unloved #2 but am not sure about the mental part. Perhaps Magnus Norman can work on that aspect!
Go Stan The Man!!


mat4 Says:

In 2010 Rafa was injured.
In 2011 Rafa was injured.
In 2012 he got injured, and was injured in IW and he retired Miami. He then retired after the cruel lost against Rosol, because he was indeed injured.
In 2013 Rafa was injured.

So, is he always injured or not? Or only when he loses?


Polo Says:

Becker looks ready for the media and grab a chunk of the spotlight from Djokovic when he wins. I hope Wawrinka can do something to prevent that from happening.


courbon Says:

Obsesion of some Nadals fans with Novak is unbelievable…
So let me understand this:
Novak destroys Fognin in 3 sets-Fognini is a clown, he tanked the match…
Rafa destroys Gael in 3 sets-Rafa played great match!
Sometimes I think I live in different universe…


Slice Tennis Says:

Mat4,
What has happened has already happened. I agree, there is no point in talking about ifs and buts.

Now both Rafa and Nole are playing at their peak just like USO2013. Let us see who comes out on top next sunday.

Who is your honest pick ?


Giles Says:

Polo. I sure hope so. This partnership is a popularity contest at best. Each vying for attention. Pffft.


Giles Says:

Monfils played a great match, funnynee NOT. He just turned up.


mat4 Says:

Slice tennis:

I don’t know. They both played very well, and Murray plays well too. I was impressed by Wawrinka in his match against Robredo, although he has shown some weakness. I wouldn’t write off Federer, nor Tsonga, although I believe that Tsonga is a mild favourite in their match. Watched a bit of Dimitrov-Raonic, and I was impressed by Dimitrov.

There still is a long way to the final. I think that Novak is a mild favourite against Rafa in a final, but a mild underdog against Murray. I give more chances to Rafa in the semi against Murray, although Andy won their last match. Murray is the obvious favourite against Tsonga, while I think that Roger has good chances in a potential QF against Andy.

Let’s wait and see.

I just hope that Novak will play well, and if he loses, there won’t be nothing to be ashamed of, nor shall I be disappointed. The only thing I wouldn’t like to see is Djokovic losing tamely the way he did in the Wimbledon final.


Hippy Chic Says:

I didnt actually see the Nole/Fabio match,but i dont believe for a minute that any player would deliberatly tank a match i mean why?i remember the same silly nonscence been spouted when Novak lost to Berdych last year at Rome,apparantly as quoted by one lady poster hes saving himself for the FO,and when that failed she hasnt been seen since,how about just saying Novak won because he was just too good,and Fabio not good enough?the tanking theory is such a silly notion IMO.


mat4 Says:

Then again, matches between Novak and Rafa were won or lost by ONE point, or in ONE game: the missed passing shot in the AO final in 2012, the “net” point the in RG semi, a lob on the run in the WTF, the game at 4/4 in the third set of the USO semi last year… etc. that you can’t really predict anything when they play both at a very high level.


Giles Says:

Tanking is not really a silly notion. It’s called “can’t be bothered to put in the effort when the end result is a foregone conclusion”.
#LazyMentally&Physically


mat4 Says:

@alison:

Sometimes players loose a bit of focus toward the end of the match, and give a good chance to the opponent. It happened Novak a few times already, and I noticed that he avoided to smile (even watch) at Fabio’s funny antics on the court.

A few years ago, after some jokes on court, Monfils came back from 5-0 in the second set, because Novak lost his focus.


mat4 Says:

Fognini battled the whole match, making outrageous FH winners, finding precise first serves at BPs (he saved 16 BPs). Novak is a very bad match-up for him.

About tanking: you should have seen Ivanisevic tanking…


gonzalowski Says:

I do believe that Novak 1-wasn’t very interested in /2-quitted / 3- tried to avoid new classes against Rafa at the clay tournaments after MC and before RG;
It didn’t go well, and IMO at this year he’ll try to simply beat Rafa when he can.
Rafa made the same IMO at the end of 2013 hc season, avoiding the meeting with Novak until London… it didn’t work too!


mat4 Says:

I believe that such a theory has holes. While Novak is a bit better than Berdych, his main advantage is psychological — lose twice in a row against the Czech, and he will be much tougher to beat. Rafa also doesn’t need to lose to Ferrer on hard courts.


Hippy Chic Says:

I didnt actually see the match but i believe Novak most probably won simply because he was that bloody good against Fabio,just like Rafa won because he was also that bloody good against Gael,i mean Novaks won the AO 3 times and has an amazing run ever since the fall last year on this surface,and Rafas the world no 1 with 13 GS for a good reason,SIMPLY BECAUSE BOTH HAPPEN TO BE THAT BLOODY GOOD..


Slice Tennis Says:

Mat4,
I agree with you regarding the Nole-Rafa match up. The margins are very thin and since Nole started streaking (14 consec SFs) Rafa is 4-3 against Nole in grandslams.

But I think Rafa has increased his depth of shots and this is troubling Nole. Did you Rafa’s last few matches. He is finding incredible length and angle easily on his ground strokes.

My prediction is another win for win just like USO 2013.


Slice Tennis Says:

Mat4,

I don’t really agree with you regarding Federer and Murray. IMO they don’t really have any chance here. Federer is too old and Murray is too raw after an injury break. If Tsonga doesn’t waste much energy against Federer and Murray, then he may pose a threat to Rafa in the SFs.

But in general this AO is a direct contest between Nole and Rafa.

Murray will get his chance at Wimbledon where Rafa and Nole will be non-factors. Rafa is vulnerable in the first week and Nole cannot do anything without his special Wimbledon shoes which was banned.


Hippy Chic Says:

I think the winner of the Vika/Maria match will win the title now,i would hope although i dont see it that a winner would come from the other side,to open up the womens game a bit..
BTW Serenas coach Patrick is a very hot man,must be a French thing right Courbon?lol..


mat4 Says:

Slice Tennis:

You forget that the court is faster than the previous years, faster than the USO, and Rafa will have less time to react in defence, both on the FH and the BH. I also think that the rebound is a bit lower.

The good thing for Rafa is that the balls take spin well, which could be a plus in his favour.

Then, there is the psychological factor: Rafa seemed troubled in his last two matches against Novak, doublefaulting in key moments. On the other side, Novak will have the pressure to defend his title and win for the fourth time in a row.

So, difficult to say anything right now.

Especially since they haven’t made the final yet. Dimitrov IS a potential danger, and Murray is the physically strongest player in the field, one that can overpower Rafa, the way he did in Tokyo a few years ago. He has all the weapons to beat Rafa, and to write him off is a little bit premature.

To write off Tsonga is also premture, although I think that he hasn’t much chances against Murray. But I remember well his run in 2008, and two good serving days could bring him in the final.

I don’t think that Roger can make it to the final, but he can see him make the semi. He is a very intelligent player not to be able to adapt on a court that suits him well.


mat4 Says:

@alison:

JJ could beat anyone in a good day. And she must be furious now that Ana is in the quarter. Let’s wait and see. Then, there is Ana, and Bouchard, who is a big surprise, and especially Na Li, who was impressive against Makarova.


mat4 Says:

What’s curious is that DelPo could be ranked 3rd after the AO, although he was eliminated early…


Hippy Chic Says:

I think to completely write off Stan too is rather premature,sure Novak has to be the favorite,but Stan did push Novak pretty close last season twice,ive never been one for basing what happened in the past as to what will happen in the future either,likewise Kei has never beaten Rafa but is playing very well so these things cannot be taken for granted.


courbon Says:

@ Hippy Chic: I watched both matches and Gael and Fognini have been very similar in their perfomance.They put up the fight in the begining but in the middle of second set you can see they gave up…Rafa and Novak played great but Rafa was more impressive.Which just confirms in my mind what I said 2 weeks ago-Rafa and Novak are co-favorites for this title…Unless, somebody makes surprise and beat them- which coming in to QF is quite possible.Even in Novaks side-Wawrinka, Ferrer and Bedrych have been quite good so far so anything is possible.


Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon true and im worried about Kei whos playing lights out tennis too,makes no difference really im worried about all of Rafas oponents no matter what.


Hippy Chic Says:

Mat4 did you read my post on the other thread,when you said Rafa brings out the dark side in tennis??


Margot Says:

@eeyore
Dear Eeyore, u’ve gotta be in it to win it and when, and if, Andy gets to the quarters whoever he plays, it’ll be a tough match and we’ll see then if, at the mo., he’s up for further challenges.
Was interested to hear him say, in interview, he’s really up for this one, is usually much more reticent. Winning 2 slams seems to have given him a little extra boost in the confidence stakes.
This it was u as well, who said his BHDL is now back, am thinking, like u, the op. is allowing him to play more freely once again.
Anyway, am THRILLED he got to the second week without any apparent relapse, fingers crossed.
Heaps of love, Poll.


mat4 Says:

@alison:

I probably have, although I don’t remember now what you wrote.


Okiegal Says:

@Perfect Fan

How could you say Serena is cursed by the Aussie Open?? She has just won it 5 times! She got beat today by a player that was at the top of her game. Ana looked so good and if she keeps that level up she is definitely a contender for the title.

I was amused by the reporters at her presser…..She did not even mention her back but the reporters were relentless in hammering her about it. She said she didn’t like excuses to take sway from Ana’ s win. She gave a very gracious presser in regard to Ana. Personally, I thought she acted relieved because she knew she wasn’t going far anyway because of her back…..She stated she nearly withdrew. I knew she wasn’t moving very well.


Hippy Chic Says:

Mat4 i said you wanted a debate about the whole on court coaching,the MTOs,injuries,time between point,doping etc, and you got one,you said it was pretty telling that nobody had replied to that post,i said i didnt reply as real life with work and what heve ya had gotten in the way,i just thought it was uncalled for to say Rafa brings out the dark side in tennis,but i made my point and ill say no more about it,i just wondered if you had read it?


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

I too gave Mat4 an answer about his “dark side of tennis” remark. Thought it was way out of line. I have s favorite player and it is Rafa, as we all know, but to take pot shots at other amazing players, there is no need. In watching this tourney this week I have seen other players do exactly the same things that Rafa has been accused of…..but no mention of it anywhere…..just saying.


mat4 Says:

Neither would I write off Stan. He has the raw power to hit through Novak’s defence, an excellent first serve, and he believes he can make it.

As I wrote above, the final is still far, far away.


mat4 Says:

@alison:

No, not that one. I was travelling then.


mat4 Says:

Anyway, we already discussed it, you and I, a few years ago, and not only about Rafa — it could well be that doping, match fixing, etc. are rampant in tennis now (just google the topics, or make a detour by the thasp site).

Finally, that post was certainly not addressed to you. I’m sorry you read it.


Giles Says:

^^^ Hahaha. How very convenient, memory lapse and jet setting!!


the DA Says:

@pollyana – hehe…I’ve decided to take the reverse psychology route, a.k.a the anti-jinx!

Yes I did mention the BHDTL. He’s used it more in the last 3 matches than in 3 months during last summer. It’s a positive for sure. I’d like to see a few more FHDTLs also. The areas of concern are the serve (didn’t get rhythm or hit an ace until the 2nd set) and missing his bread & butter passing shots. Small gripes maybe but against Jo, Rog & Rafa he’ll need both of those firing


mat4 Says:

@Giles:

There are no memory lapses.

BTW, it was meant for you to read it…


mat4 Says:

From what I have seen, Andy plays well, is in good shape, and he already has the game to beat anybody on this surface.

Further more, he has no pressure whatsoever, can play fully relaxed, and is my favourite to win this tournament. He already played three finals here, this year could be the one.


the DA Says:

Hmm..really? Andy is your favorite? I keep looking for the sarcasm emoticon but can’t see it ;)


mat4 Says:

There’s no sarcasm whatsoever.


mat4 Says:

Of course, that doesn’t mean that I root for him.


gonzalowski Says:

Andy against Fed/Tsonga > Nadal > Djokovic , with one day less to rest than Nole .
Possible, but the favourite…


the DA Says:

@gonzalowski – I know. Even his ardent fans would balk at favorite with those 3 lying in wait. Not impossible but…. However, I must say mat4′s positivity is encouraging.


Hippy Chic Says:

Mat4 ok fair enough.


mat4 Says:

Yes, the draw is the biggest problem. But a difficult draw can help the player to rise his game. Then, the draw could be easier than expected: a quarter against Tsonga, a semi against Dimitrov, a final against Ferrer or Wawrinka. You never know.

We are so accustomed to the regularity of a few players that we think it is given. It isn’t.

I really see Dimitrov bother Rafa on a fast surface. He did it in Monte Carlo, why not here? He is a great shotmaker, and his level against Milosh was ominous.

Why couldn’t Andy repeat his game from Tokyo? Wawrinka has a good chance against Novak, too. What about Berdych, who has the power, the return, the serve to fare well here?


gonzalowski Says:

Or maybe Roberto Bautista is gonna be the new Boris Becker! 25 years old, that’s true


Okiegal Says:

I think everyone is counting their chickens before they’re hatched……one match at a time is the best logic, please!!

VAMOS RAFA…..play lights out tonight and win!!!


mat4 Says:

@G:

I think that the sarcasm is a bit displaced here.

I believe that the differences among the top 7, 8 players are tiny, mostly a question of match-up and mental fortitude. A good day, a convenient court, and anything can happen. Ferrer beat Rafa in Paris, Wawrinka won against Murray at the USO, Isner beat Novak in Cincy…

So, you never know.

I notice that JJ from the Changeover also thinks that the fabulous Fab didn’t compete at an adequate level. I disagree, of course, but it is fair to notice.


gonzalowski Says:

No,no sarcasm… :) I know Roberto’s thing is nearly impossible, the other scenarios more plausible.


mat4 Says:

^Ok. Sorry.


WTF Says:

“Murray will get his chance at Wimbledon where Rafa and Nole will be non-factors.”

I like how a five time finalist (2 time champion) and a two time finalist (1 time champion) can be considered non-factors. Murray on the other hand has had a lot of meltdowns at Wimbledon, including several brutal losses to Nadal (he has never beaten Nadal at Wimbledon).


Steve27 Says:

Allez Tsonga, I want a rematch between you and Rafa, the semifinals of the 2008 AO have not been forgotten. You and the Joker have to pay the piper this time. Vamos!


Lou_tennisfan Says:

What a match today between Kei Nishikori and Rafael Nadal….Already michael Chang effect has started to show in Nishikori’s game but Rafael nadal in the end showed us why he is the toughest champion of all?

Incredible effort by Nadal in the end inspite of blisters on his hand.

Rafael Nadal – A true warrior at heart tinyurl.com/mhp6z2z


Lou_tennisfan Says:

What a match today between Kei Nishikori and Rafael Nadal….Already michael Chang effect has started to show in Nishikori’s game but Rafael nadal in the end showed us why he is the toughest champion of all?

Incredible effort by Nadal in the end inspite of blisters on his hand. Just incredible.

Rafael Nadal – A true warrior at heart

tinyurl.com/mhp6z2z


Giles Says:

Vamos Champ!
Get those blisters seen to ASAP!


Giles Says:

https://twitter.com/udupa_tuttu/status/425160621210869762
Hope this nasty bleeding blister heals quickly!
Vamos Champ!


Giles Says:

Fed cruising with his new bat!


Giles Says:

http://alturl.com/2gzqk
Great article on Rafa’s match .
Vamos Champ!


tfouto Says:

“For Federer, now it begins (or ends). After three relative cupcakes to get “FedBerg” rolling, he’ll now face the hot-handed JW Tsonga. And right now I like Tsonga here. The Frenchman also hasn’t dropped a set and he’s got to be out for revenge from last year 5-set loss to the Swiss in the quarters.”

Next year Tsonga will have to revenge the 3-set loss to Federer, no?


skeezer Says:

“If Tsonga doesn’t waste much energy against Federer..”
ROFL!!!
Uh? Guess that great guess knowledge didn’t work so well for ya?
Shows how much this idiot poser knows Tennis. Just a poser, just a google miester and a Rafa poster in the bedroom / bathroom.
Funny how “google” search and links can mask as a false knowledgable wannabee, but the true tennis fan and player always comes through n the end. Never eat a banana during match. LMAO!!

“Hope this nasty bleeding blister heals quickly!”
Poor baby. He is just letting you know, win or lose, he has an excuse. Caboose baby, caboose!

Top story: Coric Ends Nadal's Season In Basel, Federer Overwhelms Dimitrov; Ferrer v Murray In Valencia
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Rankings
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
8 Marin Cilic8 Ana Ivanovic
9 Milos Raonic9 Caroline Wozniacki
10 Andy Murray10 Angelique Kerber
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