Nadal Steamrolls Ahead In Rio; Serena Stunned In Dubai, Leaves Venus As The Favorite
by Sean Randall | February 21st, 2014, 10:29 pm

Rafael Nadal’s back is so bad that he managed to lose just one single sloppy game tonight in a 6-1, 6-0 destruction over Joao Sousa in the Rio quarterfinals.

Last night, Nadal complained that this back injury he sustained in the Australian Open final was still a “bothering” him. Well, imagine how good he’ll be once the back is 100%? Sheesh.

Nadal now plays Pablo Andujar in the semis while second seed David Ferrer faces Alexandr Dolgopolov. The Ukrainian whose country is currently under siege took care of the red hot Fabio Fognini by a ridiculous 6-1, 6-1 margin.

“I played really well and aggressive,” Dolgopolov said. “I didn’t give him many chances to control the game. I looked for winners and landed 90% of my balls, so things became more difficult for him. It was a really good day for me, the game went my way today.”

So is it carnival in Brazil? Some strange happenings in the inaugural Rio Open this week. Not only does the government their owe the ATP $3 million which the men’s tour says they won’t get, the tournament also endured a power outage during the third set of Ferrer’s win over native son Tomaz Bellucci!

While Dubai might be on much firmer footing financially than the cash-strapped Brazilians, the results are just as interesting. Two-time tournament champion Venus Williams continued her strong performance in the desert. After wins over Flavia Pennetta and Ana Ivanovic, today the 33-year-old slapped around Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-2.

Unfortunately little sister Serena couldn’t take care of her business spoiling an all-Williams final by losing to Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-4.

How the heck does that happen?

“She played really well,” lamented Serena who still has never won in Dubai. “I didn’t play well. I tried, though. I just kept hitting errors. I don’t think I’ve made that many errors in a match in at least three, maybe four years.

“I think out of a 10, I was at, like, -283, so… wow.”

Wow is right. The loss was Serena’s first in straight sets since she lost to Angelique Kerber by the same score at the 2012 Cincinnati event.

But on the bright side, Venus has never lost a set to Cornet in three matches. (I wonder if Serena knew that record.)

Back to men’s tennis. In Marseille the semis are set with Richard Gasquet v. Ernests Gulbis and JW Tsonga against the lanky big-hitting German Jan-Lennard Struff. The 23-year-old 6-foot-5 Struff is in his first career ATP semifinal after he beat Frenchman Michael Llodra today.

And down South in Delray Beach, soon-to-be Top 10 Marin Cilic reached the semis there where he’ll play John Isner in a good one.

“Good times are rolling. It’s pretty good,” said Cilic who has won 11 of his last 13 matches since Australia. “This is my first time ever winning (reaching?) two finals in a row and a semifinal, so that’s huge for me. It’s very positive.”

Based on recent results, I give the edge to Cilic in that matchup.

In the earlier semi it’s Kevin Anderson against American qualifier Steve Johnson who upset Feliciano Lopez.

Top seed Kei Nishikori retired yesterday in his match against Gabashvili with a hip injury.

So Anderson, Isner, Cilic? Some tall fellas there!

Tennis Channel has complete “court coverage” of all four events on Saturday.

You Might Like:
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Venus Williams Won’t Be Back At Indian Wells This Year
Serena Williams On Sister Venus: She’s Always Been Very Mature And Very Regal
Sick Serena Williams Withdraws From Doha, Is This Another Grand Slam Hangover?
Serena Won’t Play Dubai Either, Her Back Is Bad

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48 Comments for Nadal Steamrolls Ahead In Rio; Serena Stunned In Dubai, Leaves Venus As The Favorite

Skeezer Says:

Oh my back! ( 6-1, 6-0 ). Nearly impossible and extremely difficult. Life is tougher nowadays anyway, my Unc says Ferrer’s body is hotter than mine, ugh.

Steve 27 Says:

Another trolling, you will never grow up.

A Tango Lad Says:

I look forward to Dubai next week as a subset of the Federer faithful so bothered by Nadal will hopefully have something else to write about (such as tennis). For their own sake.

Hopp Roger!

skeezer Says:

Funny, the vamosheads complain and whine about trolls. What is that anyways? Maybe they need to look in the mirror to find that answer. Quit whining about it. Posters aren’t inventing articles and news, your fav is.


Grow some bigger ones.

Bothered? Not. LMAO. Do you really know the Fed faithful? Apparently not, maybe your just a vamoshead, but maybe not. No prob cheering for both, but your posts become telling at times, just sayin.

Fedfans? They are not worried about anything at this point but stand proudly on his unmatched records and achievements. Any wins or titles now is just pure gravy. Get with the program.

roy Says:

‘They are not worried about anything at this point but stand proudly on his unmatched records and achievements. ‘

such as:

> masters titles
> career win/loss
> career versus top 10
> H2H versus nadal,murray,djoker(will end negative)
> singles gold
> davis cup wins with long term seeded partner stan (compare berdych/stepanek)

Steve 27 Says:

skeevy, read your own posts since 2005 and you will find you hatred and childish complaints against the executioner of your ídol. But your responses are always provocatives and meaningless and not worth wasting time on trifles.

skeezer Says:

^vamoshead pick and choose,
Not what proven tennis authoritans of the history of the game count

-Slam counts
-weeks/years @#1
-etc, etc

Hey Ms. Roy

As usual, your biased flawed argument relys on H2H. That does not equal diddly squat. The rules of tennis says so.

Read some Tennis historians, read the correct record books, then one day, you’ll see the light. Maybe then you’ll stop the koolaid drinkin. Winning 1 specialist court year end and year out does not make a complete player. Winning against 1 player but losing 7 finals in a row to the same player …….and losing 2 100 + ranked players in the world in Slams doesn’t mean diddly squat, no? LMAO.

But your the type that complains all courts must be Dirt/Mud,no?
Also, your the type that accepts abusing MTO’s to win, abusing time to win tourneys, abusing on court coachin to win. How about winning a tourney without all those? Can it happen without a bilstered finger, a supposed hurt back and or a choked banana?

Just admit your jealous of the Maestro’s achievements and were all good ;)

Kimberly Says:

Greetings from down south in delray beach! Watched all 4 matches live today. My son got autographs from 7 of the 8 players (matosevic was the only one he did not get) and from ivanesevic,, and the bryans. The Bryan’s know how to take care of their American fans. After their practice they invited all of the onlookers to the court and took photos, signed autographs and chatted. I have met them before so they were extra friendly. Ivansevic was great chatting about Croatia. He was also near us in the stands for cilic match and then he returned and watched a set of the is we match, I guess to scope out the competition! Hardest serve of the day was 138 by isner at 138. Anderson, cilic, and Lopez each belted a few in the 130s as well ! Gabshballi tried very hard and actually played a better match than the scoreline shows. Weather was beautiful. In every match the losing player has long conversations with themself, Lopez and matosevuc being probably the least composed although both isner and Williams launched balls.

Okiegal Says:


Sounds like fun. It’s on my bucket list to see a live professional match someday. I guess Cincy would be closest for me, but would love to go to Indian Wells. I don’t fly, so my options are slim to none on going to New York, think that would be a horrible driving experience…..but good for you, I’m jealous!! Teasing, of course.

Grounded in Oklahoma! Lol

Bad Knee Rules Says:

Bothered? Not. LMAO. Do you really know the Fed faithful? Apparently not, maybe your just a vamoshead, but maybe not. No prob cheering for both, but your posts become telling at times, just sayin.
I said that a while back. She’s as much a Federer fan and “new” poster as Armani underwear sniffer, Giles, is.

As for IQ 27, I wouldn’t bother talking to him.

Nat Says:

Congrats Nadal and Venus! What a shocker that was with Serena losing, hoping for Venus to pull through and take the title.

rafaeli Says:

There is a big asterisk against Roger’s records before 2005 because of the weak era. The players Roger dominated up to 2005 were also dominated by Nadal, Djokovic and Murray, who are 5-6 years their juniors. A lot of them are still on tour like Ferrer, Khols, Montanes, Youzhny, Llodra, Robredo, Feli, Melzer to name a few.

Roger was by far the best in his age group and in the country of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

Roy, thanks for the list of the gaps in Roger’s career. I’d like to add his lack of achievements on clay which is totally dominated by his nemesis.

courbon Says:

@ Kimberely: Sounds great!It’s very nice that your all family enjoys tennis together (I’m going to Roland Garros this year with friend but next year I promised my 7 year old daughter to take her )

Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon/Kimberly im really envious of you both,i unfortunatly dont live anywhere near anywhere that plays tennis on that great scale,we have the Hunstanton amatuer tennis tournament where i live which is always early August,alot of posh people frequent the town at that time,and the shop keepers have to watch their valubles as theres some light fingered people around,but for anyone who loves tennis its great for the town,im wondering if this is the year a certain Serbian completes his career GS,but hopefully a certain Spaniard wont let that happen lol?

Giles Says:

“Fed faithful ” = CULT!!

Hippy Chic Says:

Nat i agree its strange these days to see Serena flame out early,and yet Venus is still there with a chance at the title,i hope your right about her taking the title too,it will be a good boost for the rest of the season,shame to see a great champion such as she just fading away like she has,so it could lead to a comeback into the big time,you never know.

Hippy Chic Says:

A couple of questions why is it when a poster has a difference of opinion he/she is called a troll,also why is it when a poster doesnt share the same annymosity for one of their favorites rivals like some others do,then they are called out for not been a genuine fan of their favorite??pretty sad really,cant a poster have a difference of opinion,and cant a poster be curteous to other players??just an overall generalisation really as ive been on the end of this myself at times.

A Tango Lad Says:

Roger can only beat the player on the other side of the net.

He has no control over who his opponents are. You cannot blame him for this.

Again, why must we constantly attempt to discredit these great players personally and their achievements?

skeezer Says:

^address that to “vamosheads”.

queen Says:

H2H does not count only in ur reality. For everybody else (including tennis greats) it is another stat in Nadal’s favour. Fed is helpless against Nadal and that’s what people will remember despite the 17 record. A GOAT who never found solution how to beat his biggest rival??? U do not have to like Nadal but ur arguments against him are rather lame.

Hippy Chic Says:

Skeezer i think it was you cannot discredit Roger for winning a title in a final that Rafa wasnt good enough to make,and vice versa,any tounament doesnt soley revolve around any one particular player and what they do,the whole reason as to why i dont believe in astericks,or H2Hs or any of that other BS,the winner wins and the loser loses,its as simple as that really.

Hippy Chic Says:

Queen tennis isnt about what you do against one player,its about what you do against the field of players,and especially the titles you win,Rafa is a bad match up for Roger,and Novak was a bad match up for one year which was 2011,but alot has happened since then anyway,Roger has a crap record against Rafa so what he still has 17 GS,Rafa has more of an even match up against Novak now,even though most give him the edge on HCs,but he has 13 GS,H2Hs who cares?its titles that matter more surely?

Hippy Chic Says:

^Shouldve said i think he was,meaning ATL was reffering to the Rafa fans^.

skeezer Says:

“Fed is helpless against Nadal “. C’mon,really? Like he has lost to him in 7 finals in a row? He’s beaten the man 10 times, not 0. H2H is just Rafa talk, cause he ain’t got 17.

queen Says:

HC, bad matchup good matchup who cares. What counts is what u do about the bad match up. Djokovic came in 2011 and took it to the next level, which was very impressive. Nadal figured well I better do something about it. And he did. U know what I mean? That’s what great is about and 17 or 13. Fed is not able to do that. Djokovic and Nadal are far better tennis players than Fed.

queen Says:

Skeezer, I know u care about 17 a lot. I have seen ur posts before:) I do not care about 17 or 13. For me great is ability to adapt to changes and finding new ways. Both Nadal and Djokovic proved they can do it. Sorry but Fed failed this one.

Slice Tennis Says:

Federer couldnt quite manage 7 in a row, but he managed 5 finals in a row twice….against 20 yr old Rafa when he was just 25 and again 2 years later
In total the sheep lost 14 finals and 6 more semis against Rafa.

metan Says:

Rafa steamrolls. It sounds pretty good to me. Hope he could carry on this momentum until next tour.

Sad news, Kei got injured and Serena was out.

Okiegal Says:


And the beat goes on………LOL Love your post and I agree with everyone of them heck, thought I had written them myself!

@Queen @ 9:11

You made a good point.

jatin Says:

Sock Puppets ALERT !

As for Rafa, he sure is finding his way back in his backyard. Good for him.

Okiegal Says:

Ponytail Boy 3-Daveeed 3……LIVE IN RIO…..this could get interesting!!

Okiegal Says:

Ponytail, 1st set!! Mmmmmm

Okiegal Says:

Favored out!

Okiegal Says:

^ should have said DAVEED out……sorry!!

Nat Says:

@ Hippy Chic

VENUS WON! yay! :P

Okiegal Says:

I’m happy for Venus too!! Good girl!

Leo Says:

@skeezer – why argue with these trolls?

If Nadal is so great, his number will prove it. Right now he has a few impressive records, but still missing out on a lot of the more important records – slams, weeks at #1, even WTF.

No WTF? wtf??

Okiegal Says:

Rafa had his hands full tonight with his fellow countryman, Pablo, but it was a great match and and it had an exciting tiebreak! Rafa pulled it out by a whisker!!

Vamos and beat the Ponytail guy……cant spell his last name!! Dogol????

Okiegal Says:

Rafa did not steamroll tonight……long 3 setter…very long. He got 2 warnings, Pablo got one or two. I suppose you lose points after two???

Giles Says:

No WTF? WTF!! No Olympic gold for the Faderer !!

metan Says:

Okiegal, I did not watch the match but it is such a big relieved to find out the Rafa is in the final. Well, you said about the warning which he got. It shows that Rafa is not a player who got free pass. The umpire did good job.
Rafa next opponent A. Dolgopolov is good one to test Rafa based on Dolgopolov performanced in this tour so far. Let us see. Meantime. Vamos. RAFA AND GOOD LUCK!

Okiegal Says:


It was a very tough match. I didn’t know if he was going to pull this one out or not…..a real nail biter for sure! The commentators said that Uncle Toni said that he didn’t know of another player who could play so bad and still win. Now, Toni did not say that tonight. Don’t want anyone to think that. Pablo played excellent and his good play took Rafa out of his game tonight. Pablo went hard at him all night. I looked at the stats and Rafa’s weren’t too hot. A very exciting one to watch, however!! You didn’t know who was gonna win up until the last point. Glad our guy won and hope he can bite the trophy tomorrow. Thanks for the response!


Skeezer Says:

Back A OK?

Okiegal Says:


I watched the entire match, which I’m sure is no big shock to you, and I did catch a glimpse of some FAKE blue tape on his back when his shirt flew up during play. Back Ok???? Your guess is as good as mine. He won by the hair of his chiny chin chin and not on his chest!! LOL……..(from that other funny hairy thread)

metan Says:

Back A, back B OK or not I am not sure. But if those. A B C could hold Rafa Up, it means the game is on. Meantime, don’t be jealous your man will play in Dubai, this is our time to enjoy Rafa, who knows if he pulls out from tour suddenly. 😄

metan Says:

Okiegal, did you watch the ponytail man inaction, what do you think about his game???. Info from my friends who saw his match they said He played fantastic. I didn’t see it but just checked his scores. Damn pretty good, no!!. 😜

Okiegal Says:


I watched some of it and he was hot stuff today. I thought David would bounce back but Dolgo had other ideas. When this guy is on, he can be deadly. Rafa will have to play better than he did today…..not intending to take anything away from Pablo, cause he was great. Maybe his good play made Rafa play bad. I don’t know. But tennis is a fickle sport imo!!This Pablo guy, if he played like this all time he would be a top ranked player……however, I do understand that the Spaniards are generally clay court specialists. If Dolgo plays like he did today, Rafa will be in for a fight. I like good close matches……as long as my guy wins!
Nice chat, Metan. Thanx for the response!

Hippy Chic Says:

Nat thanks she was always the one i actually prefered out of the Williams sisters,Serena is the more sucessfull but Venus was IMO the more talented of the two.

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