Nadal, Sharapova Stunned Monday at Indian Wells; Djokovic, Dimitrov v Gulbis Tuesday
by Staff | March 11th, 2014, 1:23 am

The BNP Paribas Open is without the world No. 1 player as of Monday night after No. 28-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine stunned Rafael Nadal 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5) in Indian Wells.
Nadal in his post-match conference refused to blame the loss on back issues he dealt with entering the tournament.

“As soon as I started the competition here I didn’t have the right feelings,” the Spaniard said. “Life continues, you try to keep working hard to go from here. It is not the day to find excuses…It’s impossible to win every single week in the last round of the tournament.”

Dolgopolov will next meet No. 13 Fabio Fognini, who outlasted No. 23 Gael Monfils 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 on Monday.

Top 10-seeded winners on the day into the fourth round were No. 3 Stan Wawrinka routing No. 29 Andreas Seppi 6-0, 6-2; No. 5 Andy Murray surviving Jiri Vesely 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-4; No. 7 Roger Federer edging No. 27 Dmitry Tursunov 7-6(7), 7-6(2); and No. 10 Milos Raonic topping Alejandro Falla 6-4, 6-3.

“Now I feel like I’m in a good place. Zen on the court,” said Federer, despite failing to serve out the first set prior to the tiebreak. “I know what my solid level is. Even if I won 6 and 6 today, I just feel like I was calm and served for the set. Okay, got broken. Still managed to stay calm. Down a set in the second; stayed calm and came back. So those are the moments where you feel there is confidence around somewhere.”

Federer will next meet the No. 11 Tommy Haas vs. No. 19 Kei Nishikori winner, a match that started after 1 a.m. EST Tuesday morning.

Murray on the other hand escaped in very un-zen-like fashion, benefiting when his opponent experienced debilitating foot blisters at the end of the third set.

“It was that sort of match where at no stage did either of us play well at the same time,” Murray said. “There wasn’t one period where I thought the level of tennis from both of us was high at the same time. That can create a lot of breaks and a lot of sort of back and forth swings in the match.”

Murray will next face off against the big-serving Raonic.

No. 17 Kevin Anderson was another player into the fourth round, defeating Evgeny Donskoy 4-6, 6-0, 6-3. The South African will next meet Wawrinka.

On the women’s side, defending champion Maria Sharapova was the biggest seeded scalp on Monday at the BNP Paribas Open, bounced from the event by 22-year-old qualifier Camila Giorgi of Italy in the third round 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.

“She’s quite aggressive, but some shots she hits incredible for a long period of time,” said Sharapova who got her first look at Giorgi in their first career meeting, but didn’t downplay her game being off. “But if I’m speaking about my level, it was nowhere near where it should have been.”

Sharapova, who missed the last few months of the 2013 season with a shoulder injury, has now played four tournaments this year without reaching a final. Against Giorgi she committed 58 unforced errors to 16 winners.

“I think the physical part of it is something that is hurting me a little bit when we’re going into these three-set matches,” she said. “That’s not a secret for anyone. And when you skip those months, there’s nothing that gets back that match play than just going out and doing it.”

Giorgi will next meet No. 20 seed Flavia Pennetta, who upset No. 16 Sam Stosur 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

Top-seeded Li Na was a 6-3, 6-4 winner against Czech Karolina Pliskova, but needed to fight in each set. She was down a break early in the first set, and in the second lost three game in a row before recovering, experiencing some serving issues.

“At least I could win the last point and stay in the tournament,” Li said. “If you’re a tennis player, you’ll make double faults. At least I can improve my serve even more from here. I’ll talk to Carlos after this, because I didn’t get a chance to talk to him yet, we didn’t have time to see each other. We will definitely talk about the serve and what I’m doing, and what we can improve moving forward.”

Li will next meet Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak, who defeated No. 21 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a back and forth encounter 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-0.

Other third-round winners were Russian Alisa Kleybanova easily over Spaniard Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 6-1, 6-3, and No. 8 Petra Kvitova who outlasted No. 27 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 2-6, 6-0.

Kvitova will next meet No. 12 Dominika Cibulkova, who on Monday defeated No. 23 Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 7-5. Kleybanova will face No. 17 Sloane Stephens who upset No. 11 Ana Ivanovic 7-6(3), 6-4 in the late match.

“She’s beaten me twice on a pretty big stage,” Stephens said. “Staying positive has worked for me.”


STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – [16] T Robredo (ESP) vs [24] M Cilic (CRO)
WTA – [7] J Jankovic (SRB) vs [10] C Wozniacki (DEN)
ATP – A Gonzalez (COL) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)
WTA – [22] A Cornet (FRA) vs [2] A Radwanska (POL)

Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – Y Lu (TPE) vs [12] J Isner (USA)

Not Before 8:30 pm
WTA – [1] N Li (CHN) vs A Wozniak (CAN)

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – [6] S Halep (ROU) vs [18] E Bouchard (CAN)
ATP – [8] R Gasquet (FRA) vs [30] F Verdasco (ESP)
ATP – [15] G Dimitrov (BUL) vs [20] E Gulbis (LAT)
ATP – [Q] D Thiem (AUT) vs J Benneteau (FRA)

Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA – [17] S Stephens (USA) vs A Kleybanova (RUS)
ATP – [1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs J Benneteau (FRA) / E Roger-Vasselin (FRA)

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57 Comments for Nadal, Sharapova Stunned Monday at Indian Wells; Djokovic, Dimitrov v Gulbis Tuesday

skeezer Says:

“It is not the day to find excuses…It’s impossible to win every single week in the last round of the tournament.”


““As soon as I started the competition here I didn’t have the right feelings,”


uups Says:

Guys does Nadal ever loses without problems??????

Purcell Says:

Congrats Dolgo. Your unorthodox, unpredictable, balletic, frustrating approach combined with endearing personality make you a winner on all counts. Hope you don’t blow it in the coming rounds.
Watch out everyone. Stan playing awesome tennis.

Hippy Chic Says:

Congrats to Alex he is such a talented player this was a great result for him,and i hope he can back this up,i would think now Novak is the favorite on the other side of the draw to make the final,although going by the way this tourney has gone nothing would surprise me,i hope Andy plays better going forward as he has looked awfull so far,but Stan is indeed playing fantastic tennis,i think he would be my pick to make the final and beat Novak,as for Rafa im sure he will bounce back it would be foolish to predict a decline when the year is so young with so much tennis yet to play,lets see how the rest of the year unfolds.

Pitchaboy Says:

My first prediction of Nadal exit before last 8 happened. Waiting for Baby Fed v Fed final to materialize.

MMT Says:

“Purcell Says:…Hope you don’t blow it in the coming rounds.”

…he said, dripping with ironic enthusiasm.

Michael Says:

Well, you cannot be 100 percent in every tournament. Nadal is human and he has constraints. He is not super natural. There are bound to be stumbles and it was not his day. Infact, he was lucky to survive against Stepanek who I thought played well than even Dolgopolov by keeping Nadal on tenterhooks. However, against Dolgopolov, Rafa was looking like a pretty ordinary player on court. The aggression was clearly lacking in his game. May be he is looking forward to Miami a tournament that he has never won surprisingly in his career.

lylenubbins Says:

Love me some Dog when he’s on but Nadal was far from 100% due to the back. Bummer.

Bad Knee Rules Says:

Nadal hasn’t played particularly well since USO. He played eight tournaments and won two Mickey Mouse ones, Doha and Rio, where he didn’t have to beat a single top 40 player in order to win. He’s running out of juice. But he is improving in his toilet breaks.

Hippy Chic Says:

Sharapova hasnt won a GS since the FO in 2012,and she has only made 1 GS final since,that was last year losing to Serena as she always does in the final of the same GS,she is definetly not the same player she was,and i believe she is going into some decline,unless that is she can do something amazing this year.

eusdart Says:

WOW – Sharapova loses AGAIN to a QUALIFIER, well at least this time its not to a player who’s inside (barely) the top 100 – how “legendary”. :)

eusdart Says:

sorry ment IS inside top 100

metan Says:

@Bad Knee Rules,
Every one knows that the ranking is not a guarantee that a player couldn’t play great tennis. They could play very well in any given say that’s why they can beat the other player with higher ranking. Didn’t you watch Dolgopolov and Stepanek matches, did you?

Can you explain what do you mean with Rafa is running out of juice??? And he is improving in toilet breaks?? Do you have a back up for your statement???

MMT Says:

eusdart: I have a feeling you’ll be eating those words one day…with a few adjustments, Giorgi could be a top 10 player.

Purcell Says:

MMT: who’s ‘he’ and what does ‘dripping with ironic enthusiasm’ mean exactly? Says:

“uups Says: Guys does Nadal ever lose without problems??????”

@uups, you got it… that’s the way it always goes since ‘we’ are superhuman – when ‘we’ lose, we have a problem!

Again, who on the tennis circuit is a hundred per cent?

Hippy Chic Says:

Alot of players mention injuries after winning or losing,agree though that Rafa seems to do it alot more than most,sycosamatic maybe.

Giles Says:

^^^ Or maybe Rafa does it more than most because he has more injuries than most!!!

Hippy Chic Says:

Ahfi just out of curiosity,me been a Rafa fan for my sins,even though i dont believe like some others that hes perfect,just wondering are Rafa fans free to blog on your forum,or would you rather they didnt,you know just asking out of interest?if i dont get a reply to this post ill take that as a firm no then?

Mr. Larvey Says:

I wouldn’t jump too big conclusions from this loss. Everyone (even Rafa) has off days every once in a while. Rafa has been playing very good tennis this year. Already two titles in the bag and RU in AusOpen. I strongly believe that Rafa will once again be the guy to beat on European clay. The only question is, will he be as dominant as earlier. That remains to be seen.

Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal definitely does not have more injuries than most. He has more than the other big 4, which is why it seems like a lot. But if you follow the rest of the tour, you’ll see dozens of players getting injured on a regular basis. I’m talking every few tournaments. It’s actually quite ridiculous.

Hippy Chic Says:

Mr Larvey great post,some people dont believe in the word perspective,winning and losing is all part of the game.

Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal lost in a third set tiebreaker which he was leading twice. He didn’t have an off day. It just wasn’t his best day. And he cracked at the end. He’s been playing decent tennis all year. Not spectacular, not horrendous. Enough to get 2 titles and a slam runner up. He’s already had some close calls this year so this was somewhat due.

Mr. Larvey Says:

I’m really looking forward to QF between Wawrinka and Federer (if they actually make it). It would be very interesting to see if Stan can maintain his high level also against Federer.

In the finals a rematch from AusOpen QF between Stan and Novak would be a nail biter… Says:

Ben, he had an off day for Rafa. Most days, as the record is pretty clear on, he blows Dog off the court. As well, consider the unforced errors Dog handed Rafa at the end of the 3rd set. Its very unusual for Rafa to lose a match when gifted critical points like that. But he gifted a number right back.
I agree that Rafa’s year looks pretty good so far, but I don’t buy the story that Rafa had a great day yesterday and just got topped by an unstoppable force.

pigoonse Says:

Halep off to a fast start and Genie unable to keep up. Simona gets the first set 6-2.

Mr. Larvey Says:

Ben, Rafa has always had lots of close calls, but he typically wins anyhow. Like he said in the presser, he is a great competitor. Yesterady he just wasn’t at his best.

Rafa has also second most points from this year. So in my opinion it does not look too alarming from his perspective.

But let’s see. At the moment things look very interesting in the Wolrd of Tennis. Picking winners before the tournament is becomming more difficult and I like it!

Ben Pronin Says:

He definitely didn’t have a great day. But neither did Dolgopolov. They both went through strong stretches. To me, Nadal is off when he’s hitting short and getting bullied without any resistance. That wasn’t the case yesterday. Was everything clicking? No. But Dolgopolov had a game plan, too, even though everyone wants to pretend he just hits crazy shots all the time. There were lots of forehand to forehand rallies where both guys were hitting with lots of topspin and then Dolgopolov would hit a super flat backhand, usually cross court. And then Nadal would do his best to curl the ball back and then they’d both scramble.

To me, the biggest take aways were that Nadal cracked and Dolgopolov held firm. Some kind of role reversal there, but Dolgy was due for this kind of win. Nadal’s game wasn’t off, his head was. To an extent.

pigoonse Says:

It would be interesting to see if Stan can win over Federer. But it is another one of those match-ups that I have to see it to believe. Stan looks stronger but mentally, we’ll see. Maybe Haas takes out Federer.

My man Cilic won 1st set 6-4 and is up 3-0 in the second set.
Bautista-Agut took the 1st set from Jarkko Niemenen 6-2.

4-0 in the 2nd set Bouchard. Genie and Simona have swapped roles.

Mr. Larvey Says:

I’m here biting my nails and watching Nieminen play against Bautista-Augt. My compatriot Jarkko Nieminen is serving for the second set 5-4. Go Jakke. It would be great to see him in 4th round in Masters once more!

pigoonse Says:

Stadium Two action.
Gasquet and Verdasco comes after this match this WTA match. But will skip them and get back to Stadium Two to watch the Dimitrov/Gulbis show.

Stadium One
Marin Cilic is through in straight sets.

Stadium Two
The ladies were settled into an even battle with some good tennis from both in the final set. Then, Simona was the first to blink, giving Bouchard the break. 4-3 Bouchard to see if she can make it 5-3. Then…maybe a Quarter-final at Iw?!! No I spoke too soon …Halep gets the break back. Oh no.

pigoonse Says:

Simona Halep makes it. Halep goes to the Quarter-final.

Bouchard will have to wait, for now.

Giles Says:

I think Beautista Agut will win this one. He has been playing great tennis since last year. Quite a gritty player

Hippy Chic Says:

Giles hes had a couple of good results taking out Berdych here,and Delpo at the AO.

Giles Says:

Beautista Agut wins. Well done.

Okiegal Says:

Rafa and Dog both had a bad first set…..I thought I was watching Sharapova and G girl all over again
Dog showed lots of poise in the tiebreaker and got the win, but could have easily gone the other way….it wasn’t a blow out tiebreak, for sure. But agree with Tennis Vagabond, there was something off with Rafa……the stat sheet says so….Dog’s stats didn’t look that great either…..but just enough to win I suppose.

pigoonse Says:

Sorry about Jakke, your compatriot, @ Mr. Larvey.

Batitsta-Agut wins the final set tie-break. That was a frustrating tie-break and result for Jarkko. So close, but not enough.

pigoonse Says:

Djokovic just lost the 2nd set to the new “Gonzo”

steve-o Says:

Dimitrov wins the first set against Gulbis, 6-2.

pigoonse Says:

Meanwhile I am watch the spectacle that the Grigor Dimitrov show. Bulgarian is serving the 1st set. I hope Gulbis hangs in there and waits until Dimi calms down.

I see Djokovic decided to come back to earth. Looking normal now in the final set.

pigoonse Says:

Cilic is playing better than I ever remember, so Cilic/Djokovic next round should be a good match.

Gulbis is a break ahead in the 2nd. Showing a great deal of patience in this contest.

If you are not watching Gulbis and Dimitrov, you should be!

steve-o Says:

Good thing about Dimitrov v. Gulbis, it goes fast. A set gone in about half an hour. Says:

Gulbis is just SO GOOD when he’s on and his brain is working. Would be amazing to see him hold it together for a Slam run, but I do think its too late for him. Unlike Wawrinka, Soderling, Ferrer and other late bloomers, he just hasn’t put in the long yards to put himself in a position for major success.
But I hope he proves me wrong! For now, his pride says, no way this punk Dmitrov is passing me on his way up the ladder.

Andrea Says:

Again. Tennis x. Nadal loses and you have a photo of him on the front page and not the winner. Give the dog some credit for an amazing match and put his photo and interview on the front. Pretty sad.

Nice work alexandr. You’re streaky but I love how you play.

pigoonse Says:

Kudos to Ernests Gulbis! I do feel a bit confused because in a match like that it is hard to choose which one. The match met it’s billing. That makes
two great ATP matches this IW – Dolgo/Nadal and Gulbis/Dimitrov. I want more of both!

pigoonse Says:

Gulbis is SO GOOD. We all knew it but the question remains: will he keep improving? He showed maturity today.

Thiem is so good too. Benneteau might win – I thought this would be a good test for the kid. But no, the kid might win!

He is has a weapon of a one-handed backhand. OMG

1st set tie-break in progress.

skeezer Says:

Preach it!

pigoonse Says:

The future of tennis, if it was ever in doubt about surviving after the Fedal years – the future can rest easy. The last two matches, Gulbis/Dimitrov and watching Thiem is exciting. Still think wily old Frenchman will win, he’s not going let this Austrian kid get this match. Fight, Benny, Fight!

skeezer Says:


Okiegal Says:

There is a pic of Dolgo on another thread….”Indian Wells Stunner: Nadal Bitten By Dog” etc……a nice shot of him in celebration!

Mr. Larvey Says:

@pigoonse. Yes, the end of Nieminen’s match was very tough. So close, but yet so far away.

Fortunately, we have lots of great tennis ahead of us on this week even if the lone Finn didn’t get through the 3rd round. Fed against Haas should be fun. Have to respect Tommy for always coming back even if the has had too much bad luck with the injuries.

Actually all tonight’s matches should be great. Andy must wake up, if he want’s to win Milos. Cilic and Andersson have also been playing great lately and they can cause upsets, even if I’m counting on Stan…

Margot Says:

Dear Mr Larvey, your English is impeccable and my Finnish is non-existent, so please forgive me, but “win” is a noun, not a verb, so Andy must “beat” Milos in order to get a “win.”
Which admittedly, does seems highly unlikely at the moment. :(

Mr. Larvey Says:

@Margot, thanks for clearing that up. I admit that I have a bad habbit of making verbs out of nouns. In Finnish you can do that quite often, but in English that just won’t work.

Margot Says:

@Mr Larvey, You are a scholar and a gent sir :)
That’s interesting about Finnish. English grammar is complex and difficult, so many tenses for a start, and obviously language is organic too, and should be.
But it’s the spelling that is downright absurd, comes from being a conquered nation, I think.

Mr. Larvey Says:

Margot, Thanks for your kind words.

Actually “win” is one of those words in Finnish that can be used as a noun and as a verb… I think that Finnish is actually concidered as one of the most complex languages that is still in use. Our grammar is so full of weird things. We don’t have prepositions but we change the ending of the verb and the noun. All nouns have 17 different forms so you need to be careful. However the spelling is easy in Finnish and I think that it’s one of the reasons why I make quite a few spelling mistakes when I write in English….

But back to the topic. Let’s hope that Andy finds his form!

skeezer Says:

Fans of Rafa are dismayed he was beaten up on the slowest HC tourney of the year by a #28.
Its obvious, the trash talkin posts have gone completely away, as well as the armada. Why?

However, this was maybe the reason Rafa went out early @IW this year as reported by TMZ sports.

What do ya thunk Giles?

Okiegal Says:


I know you asked Giles what he thunk?? I will tell you what I thunk……that byline was classless…… the media is all over her a$$…..I think the media is a$$ obsessed!! LOL

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