Djokovic Faces Wawrinka Rematch Today; Australian Open QF Picks And Pans
by Sean Randall | January 20th, 2014, 5:53 pm
  • 136 Comments

After eight days of heat and hard work, it’s really the same guys we see at all the events who are still standing. Arriving in our men’s quarterfinals are 7 of the Top 8 players in the world with only Grigor Dimitrov competently replacing Juan Martin Del Potro.

It’s status quo.

Three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic is still the man to beat, though tonight he’ll be in for his toughest test thus far against the sturdy Stan Wawrinka.

Rafael Nadal finally got his test, and he passed outslugging a very keen Kei Nishikori in three very tight sets.

Former finalist Andy Murray showed signs he’s still not 100% following back surgery. The Scot struggled yesterday dropping a set to the unheralded Stephane Robert.

But to me the fourth round story was Roger Federer who played arguably the best match of this entire decade in thrashing JW Tsonga 6-3-, 7-5, 6-4 last night.

The bigger racquet, the addition of Stefan Edberg, the healed back. I don’t know. Whatever it was Federer sure looked good and if not for all those horrible losses last year, the lack of titles and the fact he’s 32, you’d have to make him a favorite not just to beat Murray in the next round on Wednesday but to win the whole title! Why not!

That said, we are a long way from crowning a champion. So turning to today’s two matches…

David Ferrer v Tomas Berdych
Surprisingly it’s Ferrer who leads this head-to-head 7-4 and 4-2 on hardcourts, all under a roof! So on paper Ferrer gets the edge here. But really, Berdych should win this match. In fact he has to win this match.

Thus far the Czech hasn’t dropped serve at the Australian Open through four matches. The court is playing fast to his liking and the weather has cleared. As long as he’s on his game he should overpower Ferrer.

But irrespective of conditions and court surface, few fight like David (in stark contrast to Tomas) and he’ll make Berdych work for everything – maybe that’s the problem here. David’s just wants it more than Tomas?

And David’s also been playing pretty good.

“Every day I am playing better,” said Ferrer Sunday after beating Florian Mayer. “Today was my best match this week. Now I am in quarterfinal. Well, I hope the next match I have the chance for play similar like today.”

But I think Ferrer’s run ends here.

I really hate picking Tomas for anything these days – just when you think he’s going to win, he loses; and when you pick him to lose, that’s when he wins! But I’ll just take his talents over Ferrer’s willpower and reluctantly advance him to his first Australian Open semifinal.
The pick: Berdych in four

Novak Djokovic v Stan Wawrinka
Two of the biggest baseline bashers in the game meet for the third straight hardcourt major. Djokovic leads 15-2 but Stan pushed him to five in two losses last year in Australia and at the US Open. But this time I think Novak is playing much better than he did a year ago or in New York while Stan’s forehand looked little shaky in his last win over Tommy Robredo. (OK, I’m nitpicking.)

So I have to lean Djokovic here. He’s simply the better player.

“He’s an amazing player, especially in Grand Slam, especially here,” Wawrinka said on Sunday. “He’s playing so good.

“He’s really, really tough to beat. Had five sets against him last year here. Five sets in the US Open. But I didn’t win. I didn’t find the solution to beat him. So it’s going to be really difficult. But I’m trying every time to improve. I’m practicing to play that kind of match, a quarterfinal here against one of the best player in the world. I will have a chance to try to beat him. That’s the most important.”

I think Stan can and will keep it close. He’s got that wicked backhand and improving serve, and Djokovic is still prone to a lapse here and there. But the Serb just looks so comfortable and focused right now. I don’t see anyone winning three sets off him here, but maybe the Swiss has the best chance other than Nadal in the final.
The pick: Djokovic in four

In the women’s field, now that Serena’s out obviously the role of favorite falls on Victoria Azarenka. She’s been too tough and I see her playing Li Na in a rematch of the 2013 final.


Also Check Out:
Djokovic, Murray Eye Rematch While Hot Federer Faces Stan; Wimbledon QF Picks And Pans
Federer Masters Murray, Steps Closer To Sixth Cincinnati Title; SF Picks And Pans
Federer v Nadal, Berdych v Wawrinka; Australian Open SF Picks And Pans
Can Djokovic Recover To Beat Berdych? Australian Open Quarterfinal Picks And Pans
Federer v Tsonga, Nadal v Ferrer; Monte Carlo QF Picks And Pans

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136 Comments for Djokovic Faces Wawrinka Rematch Today; Australian Open QF Picks And Pans

Tennis Vagabond Says:

The Bouchard match is top notch, super exciting tennis.


Kimmi Says:

ivanovic is not even half of what she was playing against serena.

But she is hanging on. which is good. she is the favorite today, so the FH is not free swinging as it was against serena.


Djokerfan Says:

The best match of this entire decade? Surely, you’re kidding, Sean? Djoker will thrash Wawriknka. Just wait and watch.


gannu Says:

Mighty impressed with this Canadian girl…She plays damn well…cant believeshe is only 19…very confident, very composed, mature… she has all the signs of being a future world No 1…and she is amazingly strong for her age ;-)

Well done Eugenie…


Kimmi Says:

wow!! eugenie might take this. very composed. spot on gannu.


Kimmi Says:

WOOOOO! O CANADA Genie!


Michael Says:

Berdych Vs Ferrer, well I have a feeling that Ferrer will scrape through in this match in five.

As regards Novak Vs Wawrinka, unless Novak has a very bad day, I do not see Wawrinka beating him. However, Novak can be tested a little. I need to agree with Sean’s forecast, but it is very much possible that Novak may win in straight sets.


Humble Rafa Says:

All of Canadia must be proud today.

Oh Canadia! Oh Canadia!


Okiegal Says:

Joker in straights…..can’t see Stan beating him. Ferrer better step it up. Berdy has the first set for sure. C’mon David!!


Thangs Says:

wow..EUGENIE BOUCHARD..i got someone to root for..against arrogant number 1


Gordo Says:

As a Canadian I couldn’t be prouder.

In the semis she faces Li Na, who beat her 6-4, 6-4 the only time they met – in 2012, when Genie was closer to 16 than to 18. She will jump from 31 to 22 already, and should she win her SF match will possibly jump to 16.


andrea Says:

yee ha! we have a real canadian gal in the semis. so amazing!!!! she’s beat raonic to the top! go genie!!!


courbon Says:

Go Canadians!Ok, I’m not Canadian and she just beated my girl Ana…but, she is really good.And I think she will be in top 10 very soon.And she is very charming…


I Love Tennis Says:

Love watching Bouchard … she’s really good and so composed with all her shots. Admire the backhand and how she moves her opponent from side to side. Eugenie played intelligently, definitely a future star, wish her the best against Li.


Thangs Says:

Congrats Berdych! atleast he can take a set off nole


Margot Says:

Bouchard is terrific. What’s more Andy admires her! The end…;)


Giles Says:

C’mon Stan step it up man!!


Vinod Says:

Stan definitely stepped it up !!!


Hippy Chic Says:

Just a thought but wouldnt it be funny if Stan were to win this match and beat Berdych to make the final,then Roger makes the final on the other side of the draw and Stan beats him in the final,just how amazing would that be??


James Says:

Wow! Stan takes the 3rd set to go 2-1 on Djokovic after losing the 1st set. Djokovic can still come back to win in 5…
But I’m not sure he can do it today.

@Hippy Chic, I think Fed loses to Murray tomorrow. Roger was playing very good yesterday but Tsonga was playing bad.


gonzalowski Says:

Yes, or Dimitrov beating Roger at SF, it would be weird too… Maybe I’d bet Roger against these two, it reminds me the Soderling at RG


Gordo Says:

Not much activity going on here. Have Nole’s fans gone to bed, assuming a foregone conclusion?


gonzalowski Says:

6-2 in the third for Wawa, is him closing the door?


Giles Says:

Alison. You were so absorbed in your “amazing” theory that you forgot to mention Rafa???


Margot Says:

OMG Nole’s looking really “off.” Or has Stan got THAT good??????????


Hippy Chic Says:

Giles it was just a bit of fun in a what if senario thats all,no need to read too much into these things.


coke man G Says:

Told ya’ll. Wawrinka is capable of winning a slam as long as he doesnt face nadal. But thats a big if


van orten Says:

it is time that somebody else than the big 4 start winning slams. i know all rafa fans do not want to hear that since they believe he should win everything always and loses only when not fully fit but hope for a different winner this time. unfortunatly djoker is the only one capable of really bringing it to nadal although he lost by very small margins last years gs matches vs him but i still believe he should do it again this year. go nole and boris


jatin Says:

Can you find a more difficult opponent for nole than stan in aussie open ?

I don’t think so. Where are those people who were saying nole got a free ride till finals ?


gonzalowski Says:

Becker coaching Nole


gonzalowski Says:

… but the warning is for Wawrinka


oromis Says:

This obscene roaring is why it’s a bit difficult to like this guy.


Margot Says:

Ah, Nole has woken up and levels. But still not playing that gr8, surely Stan’s best ever chance of beating him?
Come on Nole! Focus! And sort your forehand out.


Giles Says:

C’mon Stan. You can do this!!


youyong Says:

My heart is with Stan but I think it was over when it went to the 5th. Nole knows how to dig deep when he is down.


Hippy Chic Says:

Novak breaks i think Stans head will go down now.


van orten Says:

hahaha boris cannot sit still anymore…go noleeee


van orten Says:

i really like stan too by the way..but we need to look at the bigger picture here ;-)


Hippy Chic Says:

Van Orton you should say some of Rafas fans,some been the operative word not all,it gets annoying when we are all inpunged together,many Rafa fans like myself,Okiegal,Kimberly,Brando and James all said that Novak was still the favorite to win the AO,and thats certainly not saying that we expect Rafa to win everything is it?


van orten Says:

understood hippy chic


gonzalowski Says:

4 -3 in the 5th for Wawrinka, the match could go either way at this time. But Nole could increase his level at any moment


Polo Says:

I don’t like Stan’s tattoo. It looks set up tor failure.


gonzalowski Says:

Wow- Wawa leading 5-4, serving Nole, and what a great serves he has made.
His best serving game in the entire match.

Great match.


gonzalowski Says:

StaRTING TO RAIN !!!


Polo Says:

This kind of serving by Stan in the fifth is not going to help.


jatin Says:

7-7. Amazing. Seems like a 2013 repeat.


Polo Says:

All Stan needs now are a few second serves from Djokovic.


Kimmi Says:

maybe it is wawrinka year this year.he is really good in this set.


jatin Says:

He did it. Just incredible


Polo Says:

Great job, Wawrinka and Magnus Norman. Sorry Djokovic. Fire Becker, please.


Vinod Says:

BIG STAN !!!!


Giles Says:

Well done Stan. You beat the joker!!!


Margot Says:

OMG who’d a thunk it?
Well done Stan…nobody beats Stan x times…etc
But the best news is, no more endless camera shots of Boris!


Brando Says:

ALLEZ WAWA!

The curse of 9-7 in the 5th strikes again!

- 2012: Djokovic wins
- 2013: Nadal wins
- 2014: Wawrinka wins


Colin Says:

Any more brilliant predictions, Djokerfan?


youyong Says:

OMG! Well done Stan!


Gordo Says:

When the experts all said that the one Federer record that could stand the test of time was his 23 consecutive semi-final appearances at Grand Slams I doubted it. It looks secure again, thanks to Stan.

Congratulations Wawrinka. Well done!


Giles Says:

Won’t be long before BB gets the boot.
Bookies have made an absolute fortune!


Polo Says:

Yes, Margot. That’s the best thing with this Stan win. We don’t have to see Becker anymore!


jatin Says:

Hope fed would beat Andy tomorrow. I like his chances now :)


Brando Says:

@Courbon, Patson and any nice Novak fan who does not think Rafa is the ‘dark side’ of Tennis:

Commiserations about the loss.

I know how it feels (Rafa in Wimby 07, AO 12). I can understand the hurt but do remember:

1- Congratulations on your guy winning 3 AO in a row. An Open Era record.

2- He had to lose at some point here. Whenever it was going to be was always a natural bummer, but still:

A- He lost fighting
B- He lost to a brilliant player in a thriller
C- He went down in the QF unlike my man Rafa in 09 (4th round)

3- Wawrinka was eventually going to beat him in a match, law of averages dictates it. So Nole lost to a deserving player who he probably could have lost to in the past.

4- ONLY Novak’s first tourny of the year: let’s keep perspective

BOTTOM LINE:

Keep your head up as i’m sure Novak will be fine!


solomon Says:

wawrinka played well, this is rafa’s chance to win the AO but he’s injured, the blisters look bad.


Thomas Says:

Winner:Tomas Berdych


Purcell Says:

Oh Stan……..can’t think if any words other than WOW.


rafaeli Says:

A winning streak always comes to an end.


Brando Says:

Wawrinka:

You absolute legend!

Beating the beast in his own backyard- bravo Wawa!

He deserved to beat Novak since- even Nole admits to this- he really could have won either AO or USO and he would have been a deserving winner v Nole.

Thankfully for him he won this time!

I am super glad I predicted him to finish top 5 by the YE and I’m glad Wawa is showing my judgement not to be foolish since a few people here sneered:

Wawa 5th? Yeah right!

Well look at him now!

Wawa is the real deal:

He’s got a brilliant first serve, consistent FH, great slice, variety and the best BH in the business that is a single hander.

He’s fitter than ever, mentally solid and now his game is also at a peak.

The results show it!

Make no mistake:

This no fluke occurance. No. But rather the latest peak in the most improved player on the circuit in the last 13 months.

Wawa is the real deal and I hope he makes the final!

ALLEZ WAWA!


rafaeli Says:

The best thin is no picking Djokovic for every freaking tournament.


Queen Says:

OMG!! Best day ever. Get the trophy Wawa…you deserve it.


gonzalowski Says:

In Nadal supposed way could be 3 single backhanded, Dim, Fed and Waw
Please that blister dissappear!


Brando Says:

Now back to worrying about my man Rafa.

Dimitrov is a dangerous prospect, hope Rafa brings his A- Game.

Fed- Muzza:

50/50 to the fullest. Had Andy faced him without the lay off then I completely would fancy his chances to take this, more than likely in 4.

But….. Andy’s only just returning and Fed has improved immensely recently.

RU, SF, SF, RU and now this. Fed may not be the Fed of 04-07 but with results such as those in his last 4 tournies:

Write him off at your peril.

I think the winner will be the one who is the most consistent and mentally solid.


the DA Says:

Wow Wawa! Commiserations Nole fans. Every record breaking run comes to an end sooner or later. I’m wrapping my head around the idea that Berdy or Wawa will be in the final. I think Rafa just became extra motivated.

It’s so typical that the first year Nole goes out in QF, Andy is in the draw of death. hehe C’est la vie.


Hippy Chic Says:

WOW Well done Stan,i didnt see this one coming i thought when Nole fought from two sets down to level and then go a break up in the 5th set Stans head would drop,all credit to him that that did not happen,its a fantastic oppotunity for Stan and Berdych to make the final for the 1st time,i hope Stan backs this up and takes Berdych to the cleaners,but i think Berdych will be more relaxed not having to face Nole in the semis this time,i just hope for a cracker of a match.


Thomas Says:

Murray has a chance at winning the tournament if he he can avoid those brain cramps he has been having in his matches(I am sure you all know what I mean.) Nadal is now the heavy favourite though.


Thomas Says:

I will be rooting for Berdych. Ever since he joined twitter, I have started to like him.


Polo Says:

Nadal’s biggest hurdle has just been put away. Looks like easy sailing for him now.


solomon Says:

thomas, i don’t think nadal is the favorite, his hands where bleeding, we have to see if it affects him him or not, but i want to know if he had the blisters before or was it in the match with nishikori he had it.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

What a day for tennis! First the brilliant Bouchard match, now this. Incredible stuff from Stan. He’s always had the firepower, but only now does he have the physical and mental stamina to hang with the superstars. I think he will be a force in the game this year, he could easily jump into the Tsonga/ Del Potro/ Berdych spoiler realm, possibly leap over them (poor Ferrer, I never give him credit in these lists, but I just don’t believe he’s a danger to the Big Four in Slams).


Teeg Says:

Can’t say I’m not happy that Novak is out. He is a great champion no doubt, but he just comes across all too often as arrogant and pompous. A loss like this would do him well to remember to try being more humble and modest. Nevertheless, a well-deserved win by Stan. He’s been knocking on the door and now it finally opened. Good luck now to Rafa for the rest of the tourney. Dmitrov is a dangerous prospect. He needs to play a lot better than what he did against Nishikori.


Hippy Chic Says:

Sorry to all the nice Nole fans on this forum Courbon,Patson,Mat4 and abscent friends Jane,Wogboy,Harry,Bada Bing hes had an amazing run but all good things as they say come to an end eventually,to add it might sound silly but i think Nole might be more relaxed now the pressure of the winning streak is over.


Giles Says:

solomon. Rafa had the blister before the match with the match with Nishikori.


Gordo Says:

What also has to be considered is the world number one ranking. Should Nadal win this tournament he will have nearly 5,000 points on Djokovic. Catchiness Rafa will be near impossible.


nitesh Says:

Djoker did his clown work for becker now both are free to do as much dance as they wish


Giles Says:

^*before the match with Nishikori*


solomon Says:

thanks giles, i wanted to confirm because it seemed really bad and painful, i thought he had discovered it in the match with nishikori.


Brando Says:

@Giles: how bad are Rafa’s blisters and hand issue? I hope not too bad at all. Has he said he feels he’s fine? I hope so.


Teeg Says:

@Gordo

Rafa also has zero points from Miami, and Wimbledon. If Rafa does well in those tournaments, you’re right, he could be very hard to catch.


Michael Says:

It is a shocker really. Novak was the heavy favourite to win this match, but he crumbled in the end. All credit to Wawarinka who ran him close at last year’s Australian as well as US Open which definitely had its effect in this match. Novak was looking rather tentative on court and was not hitting shots with the confidence he normally executes. Even at 30-40 in the final game, he blasted a very good first serve but could not execute an high easy cross court volley. Perhaps nervousness caught up with him serving behind. Now with his exit, the field is wide open for Rafa to exploit. If there is any player who would be mighty pleased with Novak’s exit, it would be Rafa for he was the player who gave him all troubles in the past especially in major finals. For Wawarinka he has the brighest chance to be in his first major final which would be a significant achievement in itself.


Queen Says:

And suddenly AO became more exciting…;)


Giles Says:

@Brando. He says he feels fine. It’s just that the blister is in an awkward spot where a plaster will not stay in place. He therefore has to have it bandaged across his hand and he is having difficulty feeling the ball. Will post a pic


Hippy Chic Says:

Michael in the match between Wawa and Berdych,who would you pick to make the final,Berych has been in a GS final before at Wimbledon,so hes had the experience,just wondering whats your take??


Tennis X guy Says:

How many of you are looking forward to the Serbia Vs Switzerland Davis Cup tie?I think it will be exciting,especially if Federer plays.Serbia is probably the only place in the world where he will face a hostile crowd and Nole will be pumped to perform in front of his home crowd.Not to mention Stan will also play the Djoker in a 5 set match which is bound to be exciting!


Michael Says:

Alison, It is fine that you want me to make a prediction. But I got both my predictions woefully wrong when I fancied Ferrer and Novak to get through. It didn’t happen. Nevertheless, regarding Wawarinka Vs Berdych, I would have to definitely pick Wawarinka with the way he played today against a Champion. He never took his foot off the pedal and executed his game plan to finesse and perfection. He played risky Tennis and was even outlasting Novak in some of the back court rallies which would have irritated the later. All said and done, nothing can be said for certain and it all boils down to the form of the player on that particular day. But my pick would be Wawarinka


Brando Says:

@Giles: Thank you very much for that. I reckon he should be fine. Probably is awkward feeling but not a detrimental one to his strokes. Lets hope he’s fine, as Grigor will be a tricky one.


Michael Says:

Brando/Giles,

Rafa has clearly said in his post match interview that the blisters were never a bother and so you can stay cool. However, I appreciate your concern for this Champion.


Ben Pronin Says:

Tough loss for Djokovic but Wawrinka really earned it. The semifinal should be interesting. Stan’s gotten the last 3 wins over Berdych but they’re both playing really well. Unfortunately, the final is gonna suck regardless.


Tennis X guy Says:

@Ben A Murray-Wawrinka final would be a great matchup!Stan(if he makes it to the final),would have a very good chance of winning his 1st major!Also if Murray and Wawrinka make it to the final,we will have a 1st time AO winner.Stan will want that 1st major and Murray will want his first AO.Should be very exciting!


Michael Says:

This Australian Open defeat would be a terrific blow to Novak. Apart from the points that he loses, what I am more bothered about is his loss of confidence especially in a major where he always does so well and start the year with a bang. Hope Novak recovers. But the change of guard has not been a good augury for Novak. If Novak is sentimental and superstitious, that would be bad news for Becker.


Tennis X guy Says:

Nole now does not hold any of the 4 slams.If he dosent win RG,he is in big trouble.I would say that the threat(for him)of ending the year majorless is very real considering that he has lost at the AO,the only slam which he has won once each for the last 2 years.


tennisfan Says:

Rafa took almost a year to recover from his French Open loss. Just saying…


Polo Says:

The Djokovic of 2011 has disappeared. The 2011 Djokovic was very focused. He did not clown around. He did not respond when the crowd cheered for his opponent. He put everything into his game. He is not like that anymore. He is back to the real Djokovic, the one who always trailed Nadal.


hawkeye Says:

Commies to Courbon and Patson.

Wow. I really thought Nole would win in three.

Stan deserves a lot of credit. Even though he’d lost 14 straight, he’d battled him close the last few. The difference between these matches has been mostly belief.

Not just Rafa who is happy here but every other guy left in the draw. Certainly Muzza and Fed for sure.

More than anyone else, this is a huge opportunity for Federer.


Tennis X guy Says:

If he does not win a major this year,his hopes of becoming one of the all time(top 4)legends will be finished.


Thomas Says:

hawkeye, how is this an opportunity for federer, when he is obviously going to lose to nadal in the semis?(presuming he beats murray)


Polo Says:

Everyone left on the men’s draw is chicken feed for Nadal, but his favorite meal is Roger because it(he) goes down easily. Wawrinka may be the toughest for him in this group but Wawrinka in his first major final would probably shake in his sneakers.


hawkeye Says:

Disagree Thomas. It’s an opportunity for all of them but Nadal’s path meant he could only face two of Fed, Muzza and Nole.

Fed’s path was potentially all THREE of Muzza, Rafa and Nole.

Federer is not likely going to beat Murray, Nadal and Djokovic in succession to win another major (I would say the same for the other “top four” for that matter).

He needs some help along the way and he just got it. Big time.

Yes assuming they would meet in the semis, Rafa is the favourite but certainly not obvious given the quicker courts. Even though he lost, Fed was very strong against Rafa in Cincy and the last time they met at the AO 2012.

So huge opportunity for all.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Don’t make too much of Novak’s loss. He is so strong mentally now, he has developed an equanimity about the game like Rafa and Fed, he can put a loss behind him.

As often as not, one of the big four falls before the semis. There’s often one surprise and three known quantities. This year, because of Ferrer’s bumping Fed to the Death Half, we have two non-Big Four semifinalists, but so far, still, only one Big Four has fallen to a non-Big-Four. So in that respect, the Open is still ‘on serve’.


Hippy Chic Says:

I think Nole is already an all time legend to win 6 GS in your career is still a fantastic achievement,and hes still playing so theres plenty of chances to still add many mor to that already great tally.


Hippy Chic Says:

^More not mor duh.^


solomon Says:

@polo, youre overconfident, don’t be suprised to see him lose the tournament.


Tennis X guy Says:

I hope Nadal and his entire team,having watched the Nole vs Stan match,eat a lot and get wasted(as a celebration) and oversleep tomorrow,thereby missing the match against Dimitrov and getting knocked out of the tournement.That is the only way Federer can win the AO sadly.


Hippy Chic Says:

Just wondering if the FO is now more important to Novak than winning the AO,hard to say but im just wondering if he will now pour all his focus into winning that now??


Polo Says:

@solomon: To pick Nadal over the remaining possible opponents is not overconfidence, it is scientific judgment because it is based on statistics. The probability of me being correct is much higher than being incorrect. I would be happy to eat my words.


Teeg Says:

@Hippy chic

The FO has been Novak’s top priority for the past 2 years now. He even stated as much. He badly wants to win that title and complete the career Grand Slam.


Brando Says:

Re Nadal and remainder of the event:

Fans/ observers can say whatever they want, thankfully- as Fed put it- the players play the game.

The good thing and certain thing about Rafa is:

He NEVER, EVER under estimates, takes lightly ANY OPPONENT.

IF Rafa saw the Novak match he likely would think:

Surprised he lost, oh well, congrats to Wawa.

Uncle Toni- we better make sure i’m ready for Dimitrov since our motto of ANY PLAYER can be dangerous has just been reinforced.

Bottom line:

Rafa could not care less about Muzza, Fed, Wawa or the Birdman. He’s not disrepecting them by that. No.

All he’s doing is showing complete respect and focus to the challenge of the highly talented Dimitrov.

And that is precisely what he should do.


gannu Says:

congrats to nadal on his 14th aussie open…cant help it…got to live with that ghastly sight of him biting the trophy!!! All one handed backhands grigor, fed and then wawrinka….murray is not upto the mark…so relentless defense and pounding of one handed back hand and grind them down and win…Djokr is the only one who had the mental resolve and ability to beat and he is out!


Brando Says:

Re Novak going forward:

He’ll get over it. He has to. He has no other choice. And he will.

His threat level for the rest of the slams remains the same regardless of this result: which ultimately was a close, 5th set loss to a player who could have feasibly beaten him here in the past.

Let’s not blow it up beyond what it merits.

Is he on a equal level to Fedal though as some claim?

My answer to that is a question to all based on a FACT:

In Tennis the main thing when judging the top players first, foremost and it matter way more than anything else is:

GRAND SLAMS. This is what they play for and matter more than anything else.

FACT.

And here consider the 3 big names based on Novak’s form and decide whether Novak is an equal to FEDAL or not:

- Roger Federer:

- Slam performance prior to AO 11′: Played: 46 Slams, won: 16, win %: 35&

- Slam performance in 13 month period till end of AO 12′: Played: 5, won: 0.

* Note: Fed entered this period age 29 and ended it age 30. Hence: he was at an age when players start to decline normally.

- Post AO 12 till present: Played: 7, won: 1 win %: 14%

- Rafael Nadal:
- Slam performance prior to AO 11′: Played: 26, won: 9, win %: 35%. The exact same as Fed.

- Slam performance in 13 month period till end of AO 12′: Played: 5, won: 1, win %: 20%.

- Post AO 12 till present: Played: 5, won: 3, win %: 60%.

These are the FACTS regarding Fedal at the highest level.

What about Novak?

- Slam performance prior to AO 11′: Played: 24, won: 1, win %: 4%. That’s way below Fedal’s win % of 35%.

- Slam performance in 13 month period till end of AO 12′: Played: 5, won: 3, win %: 60%.

- Post AO 12 till present: Played: 8, won: 1, win %: 13%.

These are the FACTS of all 3 at the highest level, the level that they judge their career on.

I now ask you the question:

Based on the above mentioned FACTS- do you honestly equate Novak with FEDAL?

Barring a 13 month period which is now over for 3 LONG YEARS, do you honestly belief that a slam win % of 4% and 13% on either side of that period is really FEDAL level?

What level is ANDY MURRAY on then considering that outside a 13 moth period he is ONLY 1 MERE slam away from Novak and has actually won MORE SLAMS post AO 12′?

Is he FEDAL level to?

It’s a interesting thing when you break through all the hyperbole, fan talk and look at the FACTS:

The cold, honest, truthful record books and see the reality they paint.


Brando Says:

@Gannu:

Thank you for showing your true sporting colours.

Whoever would have thought that you were such a generous, warm, malice free poster?

Thanks for proving the doubters wrong by showing your immense faith in Fed and respect to others such as Nadal.

Really- your just brilliant at that!


Daniel Says:

Agreed with Ben, the final will be boring if Nadal is in it (most likely) as he will not lose a final to Berdy or Wawa even playin eeith his right hand.

So, for the sake of a maybe better final and more engaging tounrey and I will hope (add my bias to it) that Dimitorv beats Nadal. Cheering for Fed, Murray and him. It would be great if Murray finally wins AO and maybe pull a Sharapova winning all foir majors 1. He and Djoko would also enter RG going for a career Slam.

Other than Nadal fans and goat debate a Nadal any other player winning other than Nadal would be more exciting. Murray, Dimitrov (finally a youn player winnin a major again), Berdy, Wawa and even Fed as an old fella.
But as polo mentioned statistics is in favour of Nadal and he has supreme recorda of all left players with the k ly ones who beat him in Slams being Fed and Murray.
Maybe murray has a better shot but to ask hom o beat Fed and Nadal back to back after comin back from surgery is a tall order.
What we learn here is that that is no easy draws. Djoko had in theory only Wawa and he turn ou to be his nightmare.
If nadal gets Fed again in semis this can be his easiest Slam win in years, maybe not even doping a set.


Teeg Says:

@Daniel,

Imagine that happening, Rafa winning a Major on h/c without dropping a set. Especially given they’ve supposedly sped up the courts. What will his haters say then. Oh I know, he didn’t have to face Novak. Lol.


hawkeye Says:

Wonder if some Fed fans might be pulling for Murray to beat Fed to have a better shot of stopping Rafa from making the final?


Okiegal Says:

I’m totally shocked. I had to give it st the beginning of the 4th set and get to bed…..5am!
Very surprised but Stan was playing awesome, which is what it took to be a great champion. Sorry for Novak fans, I know you all are devastated. Been there and done that. The bad thing with streaks is that they eventually come to an end. Stan was deserving of the win, Novak said so.

I hope Rafa wins his tonight but it will be tough. I would like to see his groundstrokes working as good as his serve has been. One never knows…..
we may see a brand new champion, but I hope not!

VAMOS RAFA!!!


courbon Says:

@ Brando: Thanx.well, you said it all ( as usual ).It sucks but I have to keep positive.The only positive thing is that I would be able to watch remaining of the tournament without fear of heart attack ( when I watch Novak, you should see me…).So, best luck to your guy which is definitely favourite now.I even may support him! ( it’s a toss between him and Murray-I like them both )
@ Hippy Chic: Thanks for kind words as you always do and hope Rafa makes you happy on sunday ( I know, you never know but his chances are big now…)


courbon Says:

@ Hawkeye: Thanx.


Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon your welcome but one thing today taught me was never take anything for granted,Nole was the favorite,so was Serena on the womens side,then Maria lost too,i never saw any of those losses coming TBH, Jimmy Greaves used to say to Ian St John funny old game St when talking about football,but indeed tennis too is a funny old game,who knew who knew.


Brando Says:

@Courbon:

Thanks and no worries at all. Keep your chin up, you know Novak is too good not to come back, and strongly to.

And thanks re Rafa. After today’s results it’s another timely reminder that NO MATCH is a done deal until the umpire declare’s after the players have done their bit.

We all- me especially- think x,y,z is a done deal after a draw but quite obviously reality (Rafa @ Wimby 12,13, Fed Wimby and USO 13) show otherwise.

Don’t feel too bad about today. As a fan I can understand you feeling bummed about the result but truly:

Wawrinka is a class player. As Novak said himself: Wawa could have won AO or USO match between the 2 and you would call it a fair result. The law of average meant that he would eventually win a 5 setter v Novak and that day was today. It’s a bummer when it happens but at least you know he lost to a absolutely world class player, who we all knew had the game to genuinely trouble Novak.

And at the end of day: he lost 9-7 in the 5th- hardly like he was blitzed of the court.

Nole will be back and Wawrinka is making a strong case that he can be a genuine GS contender. You could argue that Novak lost to possibly the 4th best player in the world he could have faced today. That makes it a much easier loss to handle– this ain’t no ROSOL or DARCIS shocker. Trust me: that was way worse to handle! :-(


courbon Says:

@ Brando: Well at least MU are doing well…Ok, that’s a cruel joke.

Well, wining last two years AO did not bring him amazing wins rest of the year. So hopefully he can revers it this year…well, there is no point thinking ahead. Lets enjoy rest of the tournament.

I have to note that I’m again pleasantly surprised with Nadal fans on this blog not gloating over Novak’s loss ( same as after US Open ) Even Giles!Nice thing to see, nice indeed.


Slice Tennis Says:

Commiserations to the greatest Nole fans Courbon and Patson.
Hope your guy regroups and challenges Rafa at FO again.
This is not the end.

Nole is the BEST when it comes to losing gracefully.

Better luck next time.


Slice Tennis Says:

I am really getting tempted to post some funny stuff against those who represent the dark side of the Nole fan club, but just for the sake of Courbon I am refraining myself here.

But I am really delighted that mat4 will take a long break again.


Slice Tennis Says:

“I have to note that I’m again pleasantly surprised with Nadal fans on this blog not gloating over Novak’s loss ( same as after US Open )”

Courbon,
I guess most Rafa fans have nothing against Nole and his true fans. Nole and his fans are in general very respectful about Rafa and his records. The trouble makers are really the pseudo nole fans who bank on Nole to protect Federer’s record. They were the ones who were gloating more about Nole’s win at the year end London exo. Most Nole fans (except mat4, nina, etc) are quite fair.


Polo Says:

I just watched a replay of the last game of the Novak-Wawrinka match. Djokovic will probably wince in agony if he sees that game. All the points Stan won were gifts. The first was a net cord where the ball fell back on Novak’s side. The second was an error to the net. The third was a horrible error after a mishit return. The last and most painful was the fatal error from what was supposed to be an easy volley. And prior to that game in the fifth set, Novak was serving exquisitely. Oh, the horrors!


courbon Says:

@ Slice Tennis:You are funny.Thanks for kind words and really it’s same with Rafas fans-there are 2-3 annoying ones but the rest are great.On some other blogs its really bad ( on both sides )…Well, all the best to your man tomorrow.


hawkeye Says:

And Slice Tennis don’t forget dark “fans” Ben Pronin and Sean. Oh yes, that’s right, Sean is a Monfils fan.

hahahahahahahaha

(Won’t be published but that’s ok for sure, no?)

Reached the intended audience.


hawkeye Says:

I was a Sampras fan long after he retired.

Dark fans abandon ship while it’s still at sea.

Top story: Djokovic, Murray Advance At US Open, Azarenka Survives; Federer, Monfils v Dimitrov Tuesday
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Rankings
ATP - Aug 25 WTA - Aug 25
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Simona Halep
3 Roger Federer3 Na Li
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 Milos Raonic6 Maria Sharapova
7 Tomas Berdych7 Angelique Kerber
8 Grigor Dimitrov8 Eugenie Bouchard
9 Andy Murray9 Ana Ivanovic
10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga10 Jelena Jankovic
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