Djokovic v Murray, Federer v Nishikori; Wednesday Miami QF Picks And Pans
by Sean Randall | March 26th, 2014, 10:05 am
  • 191 Comments

We are down to just eight at the season’s second Tennis Masters Series tournament. The men’s quarters from Miami get underway later today, and after a week of play in the tropical paradise the draw has gone mostly to form.

If there are any real surprises this first part of the tournament I’d look to wins yesterday by Roger Federer over Richard Gasquet and Andy Murray’s blowout win over JW Tsonga as two eye openers. And I like the Alex Dolgopolov has continued his fine form from Indian Wells.

Rafael Nadal been playing great also. And Novak Djokovic looks sharp thus far. So it’s shaping up to be a good conclusion to March Madness.

Today we have Djokovic-Murray and at night Federer-Kei Nishikori. Tomorrow it’s Tomas Berdych-Alex Dolgopolov and then Nadal-Milos Raonic.

As for my picks today…

Novak Djokovic v. Andy Murray
It’s nice to see both guys playing confident tennis again. Djokovic looked a little shaky earlier this year but after winning Indian Wells – and getting that title monkey off his back – he’s seems to be back in form – his win streak without Becker is 32 straight now!

Murray has been slowed by that bad back and more recently and more importantly with Ivan Lendl’s departure. And since the news of Lendl broke last week, free of the Lendl cloud he’s been playing some of his best tennis of the season, though yesterday he looked to come up lame with that hip.

Assuming Murray’s hip/back are indeed ok, this should be fun to watch.

Djokovic has the lead in this their 20th meeting. He’s won 11 and two of their three in Miami including the 2012 final against his friend from juniors.

“Andy is a defending champion, and, you know, more successful player out of those two guys,” Djokovic said. “He won a couple of Grand Slams, Olympic gold medal, and obviously he’s the player who can, you know, play big‑time tennis on a big stage.”

While Murray’s got two titles in his backyard of Miami, Djokovic has done even better winning three. And to Murray, who spends much of his time in Miami, conditions could play a role.

“The conditions can change a lot here,” Murray said. “Obviously can be extremely windy or very hot and humid. Sometimes it’s, you know, cloudy and colder and, you know, there are all sorts of things that can influence matches. But ultimately whoever deals with those things better on the day and whoever plays better will win. Whether I beat him the last time or he beat me the last three or four times, I don’t think it matters too much.”

For me, though, their rivalry does matter. Novak leads in their head-to-head for good reason, he’s just the better player. And today I still don’t think Murray’s is at full strength. That said neither is Djokovic but I still tip Novak here.
The pick: Djokovic in two

Roger Federer v. Kei Nishikori
We know Nishikori is prone to injury. At just 24 the Japanese star is among the most frail players on the tour. And after playing a tough, three hour match against David Ferrer just yesterday I wonder how well he’ll feel today.

So for me that’s a dealbreaker. And when you add in how well Federer’s been playing – he had two easy rounds before his absolute destruction of Richard Gasquet yesterday – this pick is pretty easy.

Nishikori did beat Federer last year at Madrid and the guy has additional wins over Ferrer and also Novak Djokovic, so he’s got the talent and the game to pull out these kinds of wins. I just don’t think he’ll be healthy enough to do it, and even Federer wonders that as well.

“He had obviously a very difficult match with Ferrer, but a great one which everybody watched in the locker room and the player restaurant,” said Federer. “Kei did a good job getting it done at the end.

“Clearly I think it’s an advantage at this point now that I had a quick match today and he had a really brutal match against Ferrer. Can I take advantage of it? Can he recover quickly? We will see tomorrow. But I’m sure we will see him out on the court, and he will give it everything he has. He always has.”

Even if Kei has recovered I still don’t think he can threaten Federer who is just playing too well right now to lose here.
The pick: Federer in two

The women will also play their final two quarters with Li Na against Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska taking on Dominika Cibulkova. Both are even matchups but I’ll lean toward Li Na and Radwanska here.

ESPN2 has coverage of the day session while at night they’ll tag team with Tennis Channel.

WEDNESDAY MIAMI SCHEDULE

STADIUM start 10:50 am
WTA – A Medina Garrigues (ESP) / Y Shvedova (KAZ) vs [WC] M Hingis (SUI) / S Lisicki (GER)

Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [10] D Cibulkova (SVK) vs [3] A Radwanska (POL)

Not Before 3:00 pm
ATP – [6] A Murray (GBR) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)

7:00 pm
WTA – [11] C Wozniacki (DEN) vs [2] N Li (CHN)

Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – [5] R Federer (SUI) vs [20] K Nishikori (JPN)


Also Check Out:
Murray, Ferrer The Favorites, But Will The March Madness Continue? Miami SF Picks And Pans
Will It Be Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal In The Sunday Final? Miami SFs Pick And Pans
Djokovic v. Tsonga, Federer v. Isner; London Olympics QF Picks And Pans
Top Names Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Defending Champ Roddick Lead Miami Field, But Who’ll Win?
Nadal, Murray Try To Complete Fab Four’s Return To The French Open SFs; QF Picks And Pans

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191 Comments for Djokovic v Murray, Federer v Nishikori; Wednesday Miami QF Picks And Pans

Dan Martin Says:

I have my ATP and WTA predictions up for today as well as a piece on coaching junior players at http://tennisabides.com – Thanks


Gordon Says:

When it comes to who of the 4 quarter finalists you would bet on, I think Federer over Nishikori would be slightly behind Rafa over Raonic, with the other two QFs being riskier bets.

We’re still seeing the emergence of Dolgopolov, so he very well could knock off Berdych, and Andy has yet to show us that he is back to his killer form – the form he needs to knock off a Djokovic with his ‘A’ game.

Raonic is playing Miami the same way he played Indian Wells; 2 lights out performances followed by a flat showing. Where in IW the Dog Man made him look ordinary, Raonic was able to play enough big points (15 aces and 8 for 8 on Becker’s break chances) to pull out the win. However, if Milos shows up tomorrow like that he will make Fognini’s performance look good and Nadal will destroy him. Even if he brings his best I still see Nadal winning in straights.

I think the only person who can trouble Nadal in the top half of the draw is Dolgolopov, but first he has to get by Berdych.

Fun matches ahead, no?


Hippy Chic Says:

I wonder if there is ever such a thing as a match or tourney where Novak is not Seans or Michaels favorite to win?i wonder if theres ever any point in any other player actually bothering playing tennis anymore TBH?,if i were Andy id just pull out now and give the guy the W/O,such is the invincibility of this guy lol.


Gordon Says:

Hippy Chic,

You have a point. The win-streak-without-Becker is the goofiest stat I have seen in sport in some time. That being written, how can you not back Nole with his overall record?

I’ll answer that. If Nadal wins his next two matches as convincingly as he has his first three I would be shocked if he were not everyone’s pick (not hope) to win his first Miami Masters.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

What a fantastic quarterfinal lineup!

The Big 4
One of the 2nd Tier
3 of the 4 top young guns

I haven’t seen Roger this week, but Andy looked very good yesterday. On the other hand, Tsonga looked awful, so who knows.

Raonic would be a shock win over Rafa, but then, so was Dog’s last week.

And who wins between a Dog and a Byrd?


Sean Randall Says:

Hippy Chic, in last tournament I picked Nadal to win Indian Wells. Then I picked Federer to beat Djokovic in that final.

Shall I continue?


calmdownplease Says:

well hippychic Novak will win.
Apparently because he is `just the better player`
So that’s that then I suppose!


Hippy Chic Says:

Gordon my post was tounge in cheek sarcasm,favorite for the AO,Wimbledon,USO,im going for Novak to win the FO this year,which was all said last year,IW,Miami,the USO swing,the fall etc etc,and on and on it goes,every tourney everywhere,i get that people have favorites,but there is such a thing as overkill,and BTW i dont give Rafa a hope in hell of winning this title if he faces the invicible sure to be in the final Novak,as Novak is such a HC genius and Rafa is absolutely crap and overated on this surface anyway,meh all those wins he had on HCs last year were merely a fluke.


Hippy Chic Says:

Calm Down Please yeah thats that then i suppose?whats the point anyway?


Hippy Chic Says:

Sean a firm no,and point taken.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

I think it’s justified to pick Novak for most of the HC tournaments, just like we pick RAfa for Clay. I don’t see a guy who can consistently beak Novak on HC. Unless Rafa is in peak form and well rested, I would also go with Novak for most of the tournaments.


Hippy Chic Says:

Just as well then IMO,that life can surprise you.


James Says:

My picks for the QFs would be:

Djokovic vs Murray – Murray in 3.
Federer vs Nishikori – Federer in 2.

Dolgopolov vs Berdych – Berdych in 3.
Nadal vs Raonic – Nadal in 2.


Hippy Chic Says:

Im just saying Novaks not unbeatable or invincible as much as the next player,he was beaten last year and hes been beaten this year,tennis doesnt revolve around one player,and no i dont hate the guy,and no im not anti Novak either,but there is such a thing as overkill.


Maestro Fed Says:

I would pick Roger to beat Andy or Novak and get to the finals.
If the opponent is not named Nadal then he is the strong favorite to lift the title.


Okiegal Says:

A bomb scare at the tennis complex last night……before Rafa/Fabio match……scary!!


Okiegal Says:

Grrr……hate predictions!!!


Ben Pronin Says:

Last year in Indian Wells, Djokovic dismantled Tsonga in the quarters before losing a tight one to Del Potro. I’m not saying Murray didn’t play well, but Tsonga is a terrible borameter sometimes. And he’s been particularly awful this year, so far. So I don’t see why people are outraged that Djokovic, the guy who’s won the past 3 Masters events plus the Masters cup, is the favorite to win this match. No one’s saying he’s invincible, but picking him to win isn’t exactly farfetch’d.


James Says:

A week ago, I’d have picked Novak in 2 over Murray. But after seeing Andy playing well again, I think he’ll beat Novak in Miami. Novak is playing very good but despite the IW win, he still gets very nervous under pressure. And I feel like Andy wants to prove himself again. So, it’s Andy in 3.

As for Federer-Nishikori match, despite going with Fed in 2, I think Kei will try his best to beat RF. It’s a great opportunity for him. If he can beat a on fire Roger Federer, he’ll have an amazing season.


Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal just as well when push comes to shove,that they mean doodle squat in the end anyway,other than to give people bragging rights,oh a predicted Chelsea to win the Champions Leaugue a couple of years ago and they did,big deal..


Gordon Says:

Raonic is slowly starting to deliver. Making the QF in both IW and Miami is pretty good for a guy with consistency problems. It’s the only time he has made the QF at a Masters 1000 except for his run to the finals last summer in Canada.

One day the big boy is going to shock us. He is improving and has to, along with Dolgolopov, Gulbis and Dimitrov be considered an upset possibility in the making against the elite boys if they don’t bring their best to the court on match day.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Gordon, don’t forget Nishikori.

Who do you think will first? Raonic and Dog have now gotten really big wins at Masters. Who will get one at a Slam?


nadalista Says:

@Nirmal Kumar,

I think you will find that, since 2011, there has been a trend to pick Novak even for clay tournaments. More in hope than expectation, is my feeling.

The “pickers” will tell you that Novak has beaten Rafa on clay blah, blah, blah. So much for the “consistently beat” argument.

And oh, did I mention that Rafa has beaten Novak on HC, and in 2 HC Slams for that matter, something Novak has yet to do to Rafa in a clay court Slam?


Okiegal Says:

@Chic

Guess I should not get bent out of shape about it……predictions=jinx city……don’t like that extra variable added to the match when our guy is playing….if you know what I mean! Lol


Gordon Says:

Hippy Chic – did you know that by clicking on your name a warning comes up that your email address is a possible phishing site? Lol


Hippy Chic Says:

Gordon no whats a phishing site anyway?


Nirmal Kumar Says:

nadalista,

For me it would always be Rafa on clay, maybe for next 2 years atleast. On a 3-set HC, I would still go with Novak than Rafa, but in the end it would not matter, as it’s a very close matchup if Rafa is healthy and well rested as he is now. It could be just a matter of couple of points. I feel Novak is slightly better tuned by playing his 3rd HC tournament, while Rafa is not yet there in number of HC matches.

Let’s see if they can get that far first. We never know what could happen in next couple of matches.


the DA Says:

Yes!

#seanpick #jinx


the DA Says:

All joking aside, of course Nole is the overwhelming favorite in this match. Having said that, Nole has had a few lulls (by his lofty standards) and it’s looking windy out there so who knows? I just hope they both guys can give their best and make a contest of it.


Gordon Says:

Hippy Chic,

Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.[1][2] Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, banks, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure unsuspecting public. Phishing emails may contain links to websites that are infected with malware.


Hippy Chic Says:

Gordon i actually looked it up on Wikipedia,and lets just say that i still am flumoxed,and still havent a clue what the hell its all about anyway?#scratchesheadlol.


Hippy Chic Says:

^Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm confused.com.^


Ben Pronin Says:

It’s windy? Forget it, Murray’s got this.


Slice Tennis Says:

We need to wait longer for the Murray-Nole match as the pocket rocket saved match points, stole the second set and prolongs her match against Aga.


CALMDOWNPLEASE Says:

Andy has beaten Novak without wind including in Miami
Although Novak is always the heavy favourite on a HC
Except that he loses to his rivals on HC slams quite a lot including the last 2 USO.
Where he will be the heavy favourite to win again.
etc etc blah blah


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Andy was hurt, or at least grumpy yesterday. Don’t know if he can get away with that against Novak.


Slice Tennis Says:

Nirmal Kumar Says:
“I think it’s justified to pick Novak for most of the HC tournaments, just like we pick RAfa for Clay. ”

By no means you can justify that.

Nole on HC is not equal to Rafa on Clay.

Nole gets beaten on HC quite often by his rivals even while playing well. No need to mention about Clay or Grass (has a grand total of 1 title after 2011). He gets the favourite tag mainly based on his exploits in 2011. This is not 2011 anymore.
Three weeks back he was beaten by 32yr old Federer. Then he won IW just by marginally beating Federer and without having to overcome any other top 10 player.

In the present scenario Nole is way overrated.


Slice Tennis Says:

Nole is almost 27 now. Don’t get fooled thinking that he is still in the middle of his prime.
Rafa and Federer are exceptions as they are goat candidates.


Colin Says:

The problem here is one of terminology.
When someone says “So-and-so is the favourite”,most of the time all they really mean is “I think he’ll win”.

“He’s the favourite” should be used only when referring to the betting odds, and gambling should never intrude its ugly head on a sports forum.


Hippy Chic Says:

History suggests that Rafa coming to the age of 28, could be facing the law of averages, and his career will start to decline steadily after this year,or steep i dont know time will tell?but it has happened to almost every player,Roger been the exception to the rule winning Wimbledon in 2012,even though his results are now tapering off,Novak and Andy are only a year younger and next year will both be 28,so they too will be at the point where results will start to decrease for them too,and especially with new players making noise now they will want to make hay while the goings good,and before they are past their primes,if they dont do it this year or next,i think the chances after that will get less and less IMO.


courbon Says:

Ok, all you lovely Rafa fans ( including you darling Hippy ) let me say this:
Novak should not be ever a favourite,
he is way past his prime,
he is very overrated
and we should never mention him when we discuss tennis.
When I think about it, he is basically third rate player…
Happy now??


Hippy Chic Says:

Ouch Darling Courbon you hurt my feelings, i was just messing anyway,please dont take me too seriously lol.


Slice Tennis Says:

“When I think about it, he is basically third rate player…”

Not really Courbon.
He is the distant third ranked player of this era (way behind fedal) who had one of the greatest ever years in ATP history and decent results outside of that.


andrea Says:

wow. cibulkova has aga’s number again. great match.

i like dominika. she’s very peppy off court. and for someone so small, she does some serious damage.


salleh ahmed Says:

Wta tennis players have no serve at all
19 breaks exchanged wtf


courbon Says:

@ Hippy Chic:I,m just sarcastic-no offense.Watching match, speak to you later darling… ( I sound like a Eastender, right?)


Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon lol so was i,no ofence taken or meant,enjoy the match :))..


Hippy Chic Says:

^Easender nah,i love the French accent anyway^.


courbon Says:

I speak English like a caracter’s from “Alo, alo”


Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon apet from OFAH thats one of my favorite comedies.


Slice Tennis Says:

Murray’s FH is not lady forehand anymore.
He is drilling 90 mph winners.


Salleh Ahmed Says:

wooooooo

god like 1 service % from both

AM 83 %
ND 88 %


Daniel Says:

2 DF from Djokovic on the net. Bizarre!!


Salleh Ahmed Says:

nole that was not sportmanship

racket clearly over the net

nole is a cheater


van orten Says:

first set nole now ???


Daniel Says:

Wow, Djokovic very smart hit the same vall to Murray’s backhand until he missed again. 3 set points Djoko


Salleh Ahmed Says:

nole is a cheater, umpire is a fool

murray is cracking up now


Daniel Says:

Another high ball to Murray’s BH and he missed again the same shot. He missed 3 straight BH. Djoko was indeed very smart when Murray was a little pisad after the first point


skeezer Says:

I don’t kniw if anyone saw that, but clearly it will be on youtube. Nole clearly went across the net to hit a ball. Clearly illegal. Point should have went to Murray. Too bad, Murray lost the set there.


Salleh Ahmed Says:

nole wont never the edberg sportmanship award

and he doesnt deserve it


skeezer Says:

Nole knew it, should have owned up to it.


Mr, Larvey Says:

The first point of first set’s last game was quite important one. Nole took it clearly from the wrong side of the net and the referee didn’t see that. Andy lost his nerves and his serve. The first set for Nole 7-5. Interesting to see how Murry recovers.


Daniel Says:

Didn’t the rule changed, and now you can pass the net with racquet?! I think somedoy told me this recently. Have to check


Mr. Larvey Says:

The first point of first set’s last game was quite important one. Nole took it clearly from the wrong side of the net and the referee didn’t see that. Andy lost his nerves and his serve. The first set for Nole 7-5. Interesting to see how Murry recovers.


Salleh Ahmed Says:

hopefully federer kicks the ass of nole in semis

cant stand him anymore


Mr. Larvey Says:

Daniel, yes you can pass the net with racquet, but you have to make the contact with the ball on your own side of the court.


skeezer Says:

No, there was no rule change. You absolutely cannot cross the net to hit a ball. The only applicabe time is when a ball bounces on the other side, and spins back over to the player that hit it, then you can croos the net to hit it. Player can cross the net after he hits it on his side then follow through. Nole clearly struck the ball on Murrays side of net.


Slice Tennis Says:

A mistake in the heat of the moment. Hope he doesn’t have to go through too many questions on that in the presser.


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic told Murray his racket went over the net.


Slice Tennis Says:

“Nole clearly struck the ball on Murrays side of net.”

Very true. The ball wold not have crossed the net.


Daniel Says:

Oddily Djoko seems un confortable on court, complaining a lot with himself after mistakes.
Murray way more resolute with his forehand. Good hold and seems he forgot about the incident.


Slice Tennis Says:

Murray’s level has gone up in the second set.


Daniel Says:

Thanks skeeze. I think iw as discussing this with a club friend and he said now you could and I thought I was outdated. Can’twait to meet him again;-)


nadalista Says:

RT @SI_BTBaseline: “Poor call. Djokovic clearly reaches over the net to contact the ball but ump says contact occurred on his side. Murray now 0-30.”

So why didn’t Djokovic concede the call? Doesn’t he know the rules?


Giles Says:

Joker is a cheat. There it was for all to see!!


nadalista Says:

^^^concede the point I meant.


Margot Says:

@Ben
Actually no, Andy saw the point in the replay.
Why didn’t Nole, at that moment, concede the point?


Salleh Ahmed Says:

holy crap

what a bh from murray


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic conceded a point against Robredo the other night, how many is he supposed to concede in one tournament??


Slice Tennis Says:

Match on.


Slice Tennis Says:

Ben Pronin Says:
“Djokovic conceded a point against Robredo the other night, how many is he supposed to concede in one tournament??”

Is there any limit for cheating or being fair ?
I mean be fair once and then cheat ?


Margot Says:

@Ben
That simply is no argument. His racket crossed the net to make the point.End of.


Margot Says:

@Ben
That simply is no argument. His racket crossed the net to make the point.End of.


van orten Says:

so if murray wins this he is back and nole again in crisis????? waiting for all the drama if this happens.


Margot Says:

Sorry, didn’t mean a double post, but am upset. Like Nole very much.


nadalista Says:

Oh I get it…..good sportsmanship is a buffet, you pick and choose when to be sporting!

Concede points when you are winning, cheat when the game is in the balance………….

Clear that……….


metan Says:

The point is honesty, not how many.

Lousy umpire, do nothing.


courbon Says:

to ad to my post earlier this evening I just want to ad that Novak is also a cheat, barbarian, bad boyfriend, stupid, thief….


Daniel Says:

Djokos serve speed seems low. Murray is attacking even first serve


Hippy Chic Says:

I dont know what the Robredo match has to do with this match?,shame as this has been a good match,but its tainted now.


skeezer Says:

“Djokovic told Murray his racket went over the net.”
Uh.. Yes he did., on his follow through. But claimed he hit the ball first on his side of the net. Wrong.
The only time you can reach over the net is hitting the ball first on your side then your follow through can carry you over, which in this case would be fine. The only other instance was described earlier.
Anyways, movin on. I am sure Nole will learn. Nowadays the Cameras can catch anything. It’s not like Nole is always looking to cheat.


metan Says:

Come on courbon, Rafa also cheating and got fine. To excercise honesty is a daunting task sometimes. You put yourself in dilemma. Each of us do that once in a while. 😄


Daniel Says:

Murray playong more agressive but having mental lapses as pre Slam winner phase.


Salleh Ahmed Says:

hope federer shows nole who the boss is


courbon Says:

Yessssss!!!!!!!!!!!!


van orten Says:

total breakdown murray wow


Ben Pronin Says:

I’m just kidding…

Murray went from destroying every ball the first 5 games to just not doing much of anything that last 4… Strange drop.

Beside the controversy, it was a pretty enjoyable match. Some great points.


Daniel Says:

Djokovic didn’t even play that good but still won in straight sets. Murray was too distracted in patches incluidng the point he was robbed.
Djoko better improve if he wants to beat Fed (most likely as Kei must be spent) and Nadal.
In the old days he was peaking just in time for te final. Will see!!
Fed may have something to say as he is playing great this tourney.


Salleh Ahmed Says:

that one point changed the match imo


Ben Pronin Says:

Well there you have it, Djokovic thinks you can go over the net as long as you don’t touch it. He admitted to going over but wasn’t sure if it was legal or not. That was up to the umpire to decide and he made the wrong call.


Giles Says:

Well, the cheater that is joker, will not get a good write-up in tomorrow’s articles. C’mon Neil Harman, the stage is yours! Go get him! Lol


James Says:

Congrats Courbon and other Nole fans.

He’ll make the final. I don’t see Federer beating him on this court.

It must have been aweful to watch for Muzza fans. Not because of that net incident but also Murray playing well enough to break Novak’s serve, then play a poor game to get broken back.
When Nadal faces BPs on his serve, I feel confident that he can save ‘em. Never had that feeling with Murray this match. He didn’t serve too well.


James Says:

@Ben, I thought everyone who played tennis knew this wasn’t a legal shot. I’m very surprised if Nole didn’t know this.


courbon Says:

@ Hippy Chic: In Robredos match, judge gave a point to Novak but Novak said it was wrong. Very sportsmanship from cheat, right?
Also, lets not be very subjective here ( I like you too much to call you hypocrite )
Was Rafas win at Roland Garos tainted also, because Novak touched the net and all went downhill from there? No-Novak should not loose head because of one point.
Big players should not get distracted by one point and throw the match away which Andy done tonight and Novak on other occasions.
Anyway, I’m happy with Novak’s play-great serving, great returning, patient and no chocking at the important moments.


Maestro Fed Says:

Irrespective of that point Novak played better than Andy and the deserved winner today.


Hippy Chic Says:

Yeah sorry but i dont buy that a player who has been playing this long doesnt know the rules.


courbon Says:

Giles,we don’t need articles to reminds us what a terrible person is Novak-you are telling us that all the time.By the way, aren’t you pass your bedtime Giles?


Hippy Chic Says:

Congrats to Courbon,Patson and the house Nole fans,definetly the better player today,sorry for Margot,Colin,The DA etc,but hes certainly on the right track.


Salleh Ahmed Says:

federer can beat nole. he proved it in the last matches that he can play with him at the highest level

won one, lost one in the TB


Skeezer Says:

Congrats to Nole. Well earned overall.


courbon Says:

@ James: Thank you.Agree-sucha shame Andy melted down in the second set, because first one was a first class tennis, specially returning.
I,m happy with Novaks performance-very patient, no chocking, calm…Your man is playing very well.Pretty much favourite at the moment.


metan Says:

Courbon. You have a point, Andy shouldn’t get distracted, the moment you get annoyed, you start loosing. He needs to learn.


courbon Says:

Comissaration to all Andy fans specialy Margot, colin, DA…


the DA Says:

It’s a pity about the net controversy but it turns out Nole didn’t know the rule. Nevertheless Andy shouldn’t have let it eat away at him and mentally crumble – even after getting a break in the 2nd.

I will say though there was much to be encouraged by. That was undoubtedly the best he played since returning from the operation. He was consistently aggressive throughout and was hitting the ball really well. It’s just a pity we go straight onto the clay now.


courbon Says:

@metan: They should both ( novak and andy ) learn from Nadal how to stay focus.


the DA Says:

Thanks courbon, and congrats.


Margot Says:

First set was terrific and lots of positives for Andy fans to take home. Think he faded in the second because, up till then the match had been played with such a high level of intensity, and he’s just not fit. Jez Green said it will take another two months and he should know.
Am very cross with Andy because a) he let his mind dwell on the incident and 2) conceded his serve so easily after breaking Nole. This happened against Raonic too. V. bad
Oh and congrats to Nole, the better player won.


metan Says:

Congrats nole and all his fans. But for courbon I am still holding my bet. Hehehe.


Ben Pronin Says:

DA, he was very aggressive until going up a break in the second. I watched everything and, unless I missed something, I don’t see why he dipped so much in the next few games. Djokovic did well to hang with him and basically waited for the implosions. Strange ending, imo.


courbon Says:

@ DA: Andy was very good tonight in the first set;Definetely almost back to his top level.just those silly DE…
Somehow I think Andy may surprise everyone and have a great clay season. Just a hunch


Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon yeah fair enough,but i did actually say at the time that Rafas win at the FO was tainted,many said but for touching the net Nole wouldve won the match etc,but one incident doesnt make Nole a bad person,he was still the better player and deserved the win whichever way you cut it,but i can understand why Margot feels a bit p*ssed about it,but to use some perspective its not as though Nole makes a habit of this.


Margot Says:

PS At the end of the day it was the umpire’s fault. Sack him!
Also, linespeople need new glasses!


metan Says:

Commis to all Andy fans, The DA, Margot. And Colin, Alison too, get over lady that incident.


courbon Says:

@ Sporty Spice:Keep holding, keep holding…


courbon Says:

@ Baby Spice:Agree. Anyway, luck works both ways…

@ Posh Spice: Let’s sack judge, tournament director and everybody involved in Miami masters… ( by the way, line judges are terrible this year , agree on that )


Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon some people like to play,judge,jury and executioner,and make a federal case about every single little thing..


nadalista Says:

@courbon, I agree with everything you have said in your post of 5:53 pm except the following, “Was Rafas win at Roland Garos tainted also, because Novak touched the net and all went downhill from there?”

This is a bad analogy. You seem to be under the impression Rafa did something wrong in that instance when Novak illegally touched the net.

At RG 2013, Novak touched the net before the ball bounced twice. He broke the rule, not Rafa. Novak deservedly lost the point. It’s in the rule book. Cannot understand why you think Rafa should have paid for Novak’s infraction.

At Miami 2014, Novak followed through and his racquet went over the net when the ball never went over to his side. He broke the rule, not Murray. The irony of it is he did not need to, the ball was going to fall on Andy’s side of the net anyway.

No big deal, it’s over. Novak won. But please, let’s not try to re-arrange the facts in the hope this will change what happened.


courbon Says:

Hippy: Yeap, there are some on this blog also;By the way, I forgot that apart from Nadal you support Andy also, so you must be slightly disappointed.Still, your man is tomorrow-good luck. I’m off too bed, waking up 5:00am so better hurry up. Ciao.


Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon yeah a little,especially been a Brit and part Scottish,but LVC beat Sunderland tonight and are looking good,so im still quite happy,i hope Chelsea eff up now and LVC win the League,and then ill be extatic lol.


the DA Says:

@ Ben – He was still kvetching about the net incident in the 2nd set. He’s like a dog with a bone over these things and can’t let it go. I think he’s very anal about rules. I remember that double bounce at the AO vs Federer which the umpire missed. On that occasion he got angry and channeled his energy positively and won the 3rd set.


nadalista Says:

Thank goodness Rafa was awake during that RG semi and he pointed out Novak’s net infraction to the Umpire, otherwise Novak would have won RG last year, aided by a bad call!


courbon Says:

@ Hippy: I think it’s time for Liverpool to win…


RZ Says:

I’m always amazed when the pros who have been doing this since they were kids don’t know the rules. Djokovic should have known that players are not allowed to reach over the net to hit the ball (though you can follow through over the net). Sheesh.

Regardless, Andy shouldn’t have let it get to him and stayed focus. But maybe this is a blessing in disguise for his early clay season prep and the Davis Cup. (Glass half full…)


RZ Says:

But I don’t really blame Djokovic (though I still contend that he should know the rules), I blame the ump for the bad call.


Hippy Chic Says:

Corbon i hope so,and i would be delighted if you were right :))..


Okiegal Says:

I thought Rafa’s win at RG last year was a tad tainted. Seems as though all anyone wanted to talk about was the net touch……like Novak would have won. Well, nobody can say that positively. One thing for sure, Rafa knows the rules! Don’t play tennis and I’m not hip on the rules, but apparently, neither was the umpire……A tainted win by Novak, maybe?? Felt sorry for Andy. I think he got ripped by the official…..not Novak……imo….

. Don’t play tennis and not real hip on the rules, but I thought when Novak hit that shot, it entered my mind
about whether or not it was legal, sure enough Andy questioned it. Well, it’s obvious the ump doesn’t know the rules


Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal Rafa shouldve won the game in the 4th set anyway,the match had no buisness going to a 5th set,whichever way you cut it.


Ben Pronin Says:

I agree with RZ. The umpire’s justification was even more absurd than djokovic’s excuse.


Okiegal Says:

@Courbon

What about Baby Spice……I’m crushed you left me out! Lol. Congrats to your guy, definitely the better player today.

@Margot

Sorry, I thought Andy put up a good fight in that first set. Then the break in the second set, I was hoping for a come back, not to be. I thought he looked real good today. More like his old self. I’ve said for his entire career he’s his own worst enemy.
I feel this is where Ivan was vital for Andy’s game
I think he could keep him on track…..imo


Okiegal Says:

Chic

I read my post over….all screwed up!! I thought I had deleted that paragraph. Courbon will have to change my name to Senile Spice!! Lol

Yes, he should have. I’m so mad at myself for accidentally deleting that match. It was a go to recorded match when bored, now all I have left is USO 2013…….it’s my favorite of the two! That’s how I want to see Rafa play!!


skeezer Says:

Sooo funny to see some complaining Nole cheats, breaks rules, etc when the biggest abuser of the rules is NOT him. LOL.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Fed looking incredibly sharp up 4-1, especially his backhand and net play.


metan Says:

Come on Kei, don’t let your self come home with the bread stick!


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Fed’s backhand in 2014 is a huge improvement. He might be hitting it as well as he ever has.


Rishi Says:

Anyone wondering why Federer’s 1st serve % is so low today?


Joe W Says:

Can someone tell me where the Fed/Nishikori match is being televised? Tennis channel is broadcasting other stuff.wtf?


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Kei making it much more competitive than what I thought he could do, due to his physical match y’day. Nice play.


metan Says:

Yooohooo, Kei breaks it. Come on Kei, show that you can fight!


Purcell Says:

Fed serve disappeared…now game disappearing. Kei playing well.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Crappy tennis by Roger at the end of the set, after playing spectacular to break Kei. Pity.


Kimmi Says:

Really!!! how did that happen ??


Kimmi Says:

Hopefully his game comes back in the third


van orten Says:

do not know how fed managed to lose that set..


Seth Says:

Fed’s serve in the toilet. Taking the rest of his game with it.


van orten Says:

feels almost like tanking it.what a bad display..wowww


metan Says:

Don’t underestimate my small boy Kei. He can fight!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Did Roger suddenly remember at 4-3 after breaking Kei, that his next opponent is Novak and he does not want to meet him again. This is crazy. Roger playing like a club level player.


van orten Says:

I d appre appreciate some comments..my stream broke down


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Terrific tennis by Kei too. Not letting Roger get the grip of rallies.


Kimmi Says:

federer is missing on routine shots a lot right now.


Purcell Says:

Fed not tanking after that yell.
Basically Kei determined and disciplined shotmaking.
Fed nearly gone…….
Oh well Davis Cup to come…….


Kimmi Says:

woooo! three match points for Kei. Fed will kick himself. he was winning this match and let Kei back in.

Good for Kei. Great win. He played well when he needed to


Purcell Says:

Nishi better go on and win it now!!!,
Just as an extra, what happened to Fed’s serve? Lack of power, lack of placement…..


Patson Says:

Awesome Nishi ! So many talented players out there. Congrats to Nishi.


skeezer Says:

Congrats to Kei. Well done. Didn’t expect Fed to win this event anyway. Couldn’t see the match so…..
In line with some comments about Feds serve, hope his back didn’t come back again. That said, Kei has been a rising!


van orten Says:

clearly in he lost it because he was thinking already about nole and the tough conditions for him.. this is a very bad loss ..because wee all needd to be serious here he lost vs kei neishikkori who will make max 4-5 games vs nole. so this is very disappointing,.. i woke up at 6:3 4:3 break up and this happened..cannot be.. we all were hoping for a nole vs fed. at least that would have been competitive but this loss hurts only a bit because we all could see fed clearly lost it .credit to kei for playing solid .but fed played awful in the end ..


Patson Says:

Nole will certainly be happy to play Nishi though :)


van orten Says:

nole will destroy ppoor kei. he won vs fed. always something like that happens the player goes on to lose the next match. he believes he is already a winner now. that is why i hate when something like that happens ..


Patson Says:

Nole is definitely the favorite now even if Rafa makes it to the final. I have a feeling Nole will be super-confident against Rafa and play like the way he did in the world tour finals.


James Says:

First baby Fed and now classic Fed. Well done Kei!

Novak’s the favorite but Kei’s gonna give him a good fight. Kei bageled him last time they played in 2011. Nishikori isn’t afraid of Novak.


the DA Says:

That was the best match I’ve seen Nishikori play since thrashing Raonic in Tokyo. Great match. Fed’s level dropped off towards the end of the 2nd set but either of them could’ve won it.

Bizarrely, he know joins an elite group of 3 with winning H2Hs against Roger (Rafa, Andy, Kei).


metan Says:

Congratulations to Kei. What a win. 👍👍👍👍👍👍


van orten Says:

hahahahahhaaha laugh laugh ..fed was off..he practically survived with no first serve till the last service game. those losses hurt a lot more than the ones vs nole or rafa. how many more matches like that he has to lose..he is masochistic at times…twice break up in the second and twice allnof the sudden his serve was off. nothing against kei again .he deserves it. but we all know fed playing just playing normal would have won 6:3 6:4 . man I am pisssssseddddddddddddd and I know fed is tooooooo…it was as he uses to say on his raquet…


van orten Says:

nole will win this now I hope . I fancy even nadal chances here..why not. kei will not win miami 2014.pretty sure about that


James Says:

Kei was serving very bad in 1st set. Thought that made Fed look even better than he really was. Then his level dropped in 2nd set and Kei upped his game. He began serving like an ATP player and not WTA lol.

Kei had beaten him before, so it isn’t a fluke.

Kei used to lose this kind of close matches. And he’d talked about getting fitter and grinding out close matches. I thought he was gonna lose against Ferrer when the deciding set went to a TB. But when he won it, I knew he would give Fed some fight. But still I didn’t expect this. I mean Fed was playing so good against Gasquet.

Very pleased for Kei. I want him to perform better than the much more hyped player Dimitrov.


James Says:

@van orten, Kei matches well with Federer, Dimitrov, Berdych, Tsonga but doesn’t do well against Nadal, Murray and Delpo. I don’t know why though.


James Says:

Sorry, I forget my manners. Commies to all Fed fans.


skeezer Says:

Regardless this has to be a black mark for Fed. He comes out and says how well he is playing but then loses against a non top 4 guy. Sometim es me thinks when he says he is playing well, he needs to back it up , no? As a result the expectations are high. Better to just stfu and play and let the results tell the story, no?
*sigh*


skeezer Says:

To me it just shows Feds confidence is not there yet. Sure, he is still a great confident player when he is ahead in a match. But when things get tight, my imo he has cracks still mentally. When he shores that up, which obviously he is fully still capable of, he’ll be the force to be reckoned with.
That said, Kei must have played great, but thought after he beat Ferrer in an very long match, he wouldn’t have much in the tank. Apparently he did.


metan Says:

Skeezer, calm down, calm down. Kei played fantastic. Remember he gave Rafa tough time in AO, so my small boy can be caunted to down all the big boys. Since Chang is in charged. He is getting better.


skeezer Says:

@metan,
I get all that. I am sure Kei played awesome, but Fed has been mouthing all about how things are different now. He should have proven his worth in the matter imo and at least lost in the semi or final at best. As far as Kei goes, well deserved, great win and good luck going forward!


Rafa better than roger Says:

Back to No. 8 again soon?


skeezer Says:

^and the trolls come back. Predicted.


courbon Says:

@ Oklahoma Spice: I told you before-you are Ginger Spice or you can be a Scary Spice.Get your self together and chose the name!
P.S.-By the way, oily fish , like a Mackarel, are good for brain and memory.


Patson Says:

I just think we’re living in a tougher era. I mean Fed has been playing very very good, but unlike yester-years, you can’t really have an off-day these days. The competition is pretty damn good. Just my opinion.


Rafa better than roger Says:

I was not going to make fun of the so-called predictions but I’d rather not.

Fed in two?

Objectivity or plain idol worship regardless of objective factors?

Fed in two? You guys decide if that is funny,

Or, probably there will be more success with tea leaves?


Sienna Says:

this era is not strenger.
the players are getting better.

That happens to be the nature of the game.
players in “80 weer better then “70, “90 better then “80, “00 better then “90 andere “10 better then “00.


nadalista Says:

“Better to just stfu and play and let the results tell the story, no?”

And this is what I said when he came up with the gem, “I trained harder than everybody else!”

I thought you were happy with his results so far, from #8 to #4?

Sheesh, didn’t know you pegged your expectations regarding your fav this low……….


Nirmal Kumar Says:

but Fed has been mouthing all about how things are different now. He should have proven his worth in the matter imo

Skeezer, Roger won Dubai and was few points away from IW. It’s all due to good play right?

Let’s give him some rest. He has Davis cup coming up now. He should be focussing on that. It’s much better to lose to Kei than Novak. He will have the confidence when he faces Novak during the clay season.


fredphoesh Says:

The question should really be,
Is Andy Murray a bad sport for disrespecting the UMPIRE’s decision? Umpires are NOT ALLOWED to over-rule decisions based on video playback. This is not rugby, it is tennis. The umpire decides and that is final. Novak won the point, it seems by making a mistake and being too eager to win the point. This does not make him a “cheat” AT ALL. As a British person, I am a bit disappointed in the knee jerk reaction to this incident, it is as though the Queen has been insulted or something. Really. Andy should have got over it much earlier. Novak won a match he deserved to win. End Of.


Giles Says:

Berdy through.

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