Nadal v Ferrer, Monfils v Murray; French Open Wed Picks And Pans, Djokovic-Gulbis SF
by Sean Randall | June 3rd, 2014, 5:38 pm
  • 179 Comments

Well, Tomas Berdych laid an egg. Though I guess the credit has to go with Ernests Gulbis. Today in the Latvian’s swift 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win in the French Open quarterfinals, it was stark how little fight the big Berdych had in him.

“It was not my best day,” said Berdych. “It was not the day that I would stay with him and push him into the tough situations. He handled it quite well.”

Gulbis jumped ahead early and never was troubled much thereafter, totally outclassing Berdych. A performance especially impressive given he had just beat Roger Federer in a tough 5-setter.

“It’s very special. Today was the best match of the tournament, I was doing everything right. Tomas got a bit upset that I was hitting all of the lines. I’m sorry, but that’s part of the game,” Gulbis said.

“I felt physically so good,” Gulbis added. “I felt that I can run forever. I felt that he cannot make winners. That’s how I felt on court. I felt that I covered it really well. If I feel so confident from the baseline, then everything just comes together.”

The other quarter was tighter but also devoid of any real drama as Novak Djokovic did just enough at the right moment to beat Milos Raonic 7-5, 7-6, 6-4 to reach his fourth straight French Open semifinal.

Djokovic only lost serve once – at the end of the match – but otherwise was just too good and too focused for Raonic on this day.

“Even though it was a straight set win, few points here and there kind of decided the winner,” said Djokovic. “That’s what I was expecting. I knew that he’s going to serve and I’m not going to have many opportunities, but when I do have them, I should use them. I have done well.”

Novak advanced to the semifinals as the rightful favorite to win the title after having dropped just one set – that in a breaker – all event. And he’ll be the overwhelming pick against Ernests.

“He’s been playing really well,” Djokovic said of Gulbis. “He’s confident. But again, I like my chances because I have had now couple of great weeks on the clay courts from Rome to now last ten days here in Roland Garros.”

So who will join Djokovic and Gulbis in the semis on Friday?

Gael Monfils v Andy Murray
This is a great matchup because both guys are so quick, so inventive and oddly, so defensive. It could turn into a true cat-and-mouse type of match with dinks, dunks, lobs and plenty of long rallies and theatrics.

There’s some history here, too. Albeit not very recent.

Monfils beat Murray eight years ago in a five set opening round win at the French. He beat him again in the Paris Indoor event in three back in 2010. Murray took three other meetings but the two have played in 3.5 years.

Thus far, between the two it’s been a draw as to their level of play. They both endured a tough 5-setters in the third round followed by relatively easy wins on Sunday.

But Murray is flat-out the better player. He’s got two Slam wins, he’s higher ranked, he’s got the game, the experience and the desire (unlike say a Berdych!). That said, Monfils will have the crowd, the emotion and the energy. But will it be enough? Can he either overpower or outsteady Murray?

I don’t think so. If Murray really wants this and he’s not saving himself for the grass, he should win here. Monfils should make enough mistakes (or more than Murray) to allow Andy to return to the semifinals. But it’s going to be a rollercoaster so strap in…
The pick: Murray in five

Rafael Nadal v David Ferrer
This 2013 French Open final rematch is all about Rafa’s back. That simple. If it’s OK he’ll win in straights, maybe four. If it’s an issue then look out. Ferrer’s already beaten him once this clay season and as one of the better returners on the tour, if Nadal can’t get the pop on the serve then it’s advantage David.

Nadal of course has dominated Ferrer 21-6 overall and 17-2 on clay. They played three times before at the French and Nadal hasn’t lost single set including that whitewash in the final last year.

Ferrer’s only hope is Nadal has an off day or if the back spasms out. And if there is some weather, or cool temperatures that won’t help Rafa much either.

However I just can’t pick against a possible injury and there’s always the fact that beating Rafa in best-of-5 on clay has been next to impossible. So…
The pick: Nadal in four

In the women’s draw, not surprisingly Maria Sharapova and Genie Bouchard will meet in one semi. Both blondes outlasted spirited efforts from their Spanish opposition today. Garbine Muguruza, a future star in my book, came within four points of upsetting the 2012 champ while Carla Suarez-Navarro let go of a 4-1 lead in the third to Canadian.

Tomorrow I think Simona Halep continues her run over former French champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and Sara Errani proves too tough for Andrea Petkovic.

Tennis Channel and ESPN2 will against tag team the coverage starting at 8am ET.

WEDNESDAY FRENCH OPEN QUARTERFINAL SCHEDULE
Court Philippe Chatrier 2:00 PM Start
Sara Errani (ITA)[10] vs. Andrea Petkovic (GER)[28]
Gael Monfils (FRA)[23] vs. Andy Murray (GBR)[7]

Court Suzanne Lenglen 2:00 PM Start
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)[27] vs. Simona Halep (ROU)[4]
Rafael Nadal (ESP)[1] vs. David Ferrer (ESP)[5]


Also Check Out:
Nadal v Murray, Djokovic v Gulbis; French Open SF Picks And Pans
US Open Thursday Picks And Pans: Berdych v Cilic, Federer v Monfils
Nadal, Murray Try To Complete Fab Four’s Return To The French Open SFs; QF Picks And Pans
Djokovic Lands in Federer Half; Nadal Could Get Roddick at Wimbledon
French Open Begins, Will Rafael Nadal be Champion Again in Two Weeks?

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179 Comments for Nadal v Ferrer, Monfils v Murray; French Open Wed Picks And Pans, Djokovic-Gulbis SF

TennisVagabond.com Says:

I picked Ferrer in the X draw challenge, and I’ll stick with him!
However, I will not watch as I have already scheduled a paint drying viewing, which I think will be riveting.

Have to pick Murray over Monfils, this is as far as Monfils likes to go at Slams. No further.


mat4 Says:

If Muzza doesn’t beat himself, he should win in three, four at most. The same for Rafa against Ferrer, although the clay seems heavy, with less rebound, and Ferru could make him earn every point. But I remember what happen two years ago, then last year… so no much hope there for an upset.

I also don’t see how Novak can beat a Gulbis playing in such form, who plays the same kind of game but has a better serve.


Hippy Chic Says:

Mat4 i cant believe that you dont think Novak will beat Gulbis,surely your not serious,or did you miss the T off that last sentence?


contador Says:

LOL, TennisVagabond….

Rafa finally sees a seeded player, even if it is Ferrer. Rafa in emphatic straight sets. Rafa not losing a quarterfinal in his court.

Murray in ? over Monfils. I have no idea how their match will go; just that Andy wins.

Simona Halep is my title pick in my tennis channel broken bracket. Simona over Sveta in 3.

Errani over Petko in 3.


mat4 Says:

I was very impressed by Gulbis game against Berdych who just couldn’t hit through him. Then, I checked the stats: it looks quite impressive too.

His serve is monstrous, and it could make the difference. Then, when I see that Ferrer beats him quite handily, just returning well and playing consistently, that Nishikori played the same patient game against him, who knows? Novak could do the same.


contador Says:

Trigg cannot be serious @ Hippy Chic :D


contador Says:

Gulbis’ excellent run will come to an end. Yeah, it will make me nervous if Novak drops a set but…

In No1e we trust


mat4 Says:

BTW, when you watch the highlights, you get a very skewed impression what kind of matches were played today.

E.g. the Milos-Novak highlights… a lot of net play, drop shots, lobs… when most of the time we watched a serve after another.


mat4 Says:

Conty:

No jinx this time…


mat4 Says:

I miss jane and Wogboy.


contador Says:

Raonic’s serve is more powerful than EG’s, imo. Both Gulbis and Raonic are on the right track to be in the top ten. The ones I miss are Kei Nishikori and Juan Martin del Potro.

Andy vs Rafa semi-final would be nice.


mat4 Says:

For blues lovers, a link here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipsMdo0cpwI

It is just a cover version, but anyway, I like cover versions. Sometimes depression is a privilege.


contador Says:

Jane and Wogboy….hello, wherever you are.


mat4 Says:

I think they read these pages from time to time. jane was posting on Dan’s blog, but now, not even there.

I don’t like the nicks with “tennis” (tennislover, tennisfan, etc.) because I tend to be quite confused not being able to remember a single name anyway, but there was a TL who wrote beautiful posts about tennis and live, Grendel was great to read too, and with jane, you could always chat about poetry (she is a teacher of English).

There is a site about tennis — tennis-prose, but sometimes, yes, although it is great, I’d like a bit of tennis poetry, or just poetry.


mat4 Says:

And another song for all my ethereal friends from tennis-x

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbNWTsJmLk8


Humble Rafa Says:

I understand that the enemy of your enemy is your friend. Can you not make an exception for a Humble person like me?


contador Says:

There was a time when the Djokovic haters on this site were very obnoxious and we lost Jane and Wogboy. I almost never came back. But a change of moniker is often a way to test the waters, in my case anyway. I can’t keep the tennisfans and tennislovers ect straight anymore. When I was reading and posting more I could, I think.

Grendel is missed, indeed.


contador Says:

Aw, thanks for the music links, Trigg.

If those soulful notes don’t bring back the ethereal friends, I don’t know what will.


mat4 Says:

@Conty:

Indeed. I was out for some time, too, and I came back thanks to Alison, Skeezer, you and mostly because I didn’t want to be ousted by a few trolls.

I won’t probably post this summer, since I’ll go home after so many years.


contador Says:

mat4

Don’t leave if you don’t have to, sil vous plais

For you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuRyhS932ng


mat4 Says:

With such beautiful music, I feel we are dancing, but on the opposite ends of the axis of the world…


mat4 Says:

It’s just temporary. Won’t even take my cell phone. I have a book to finish, a health to rebuild in the mountains, a mother tongue to speak again, some old friends to see, some wine to drink with them. Be back in the middle of September, just after the USO.


contador Says:

oh….well, au revoir then.

keep listening to music. no jinx’s from me, mat4, I promise.


mat4 Says:

Not yet! I’m here about two weeks intermittently. But I’ll post until the end of RG without any doubt. I certainly won’t miss the next few days, especially if Novak makes the final.

The match against Gulbis will be his first true test: he needs to be aggressive and very consistent. If he can make it in the semi, I expect him to play that way in the final. And then, I should have no regrets if he gives his best, whatever the result.


RZ Says:

What I’ll be watching for in the Rafa-Ferru match is how hard Ferrer will make Rafa work. If it ends up being a long, tough match, it could have a big effect on Rafa’s back, which in turn could affect how he plays in the semis and the finals (assuming he keeps winning).


Colin Says:

Strange times in the world of online tennis discussion. The guy who runs the Tennis4You forum is talking seriously about winding it up because of lack of interest. I used to contribute, but left a long time ago, partly because there were too many really silly and venomous partisan postings.

I have still had a look at Tennis4You, and the last few days really wound me up, with two violently anti-Andy guys talking prime nonsense.

I used to post on the BBC website until it was discontinued, seemingly as part of the BBC’s financial cutbacks, so now Xtreme Tennis is the only outlet for my pearls of wisdom, as I never have – and never shall – dabble in Twitter or Facebook etc


Colin Says:

Others have suggested the weather could play a part in today’s matches. Rafa – and his back – would like a nice warm day, and Andy too, if there is any stiffness after having to play on his day off. On the other hand, if he’s physically OK, Murray has shown in the past that he is good in bad weather. No doubt the umpire will have a tough time trying to quieten the crowd when Monfils is playing.

Of the ladies, I hope to see Halep progress further.


Bad Knee Rules Says:

Murray’s only problem will be the hostile crowd. If they don’t get under his skin, he’s winning in three sets.

Even though I like Svetlana, I’d like to see Halep win the whole thing.


Margot Says:

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2014/jun/03/andy-murray-smiles-french-open-tennis-quarter-finals
For Andy fans and for those who claim he “never smiles.” Andy also says his glorious BHDL disappeared for 2 years because of the pain he was in. Almost pain free it’s back! And wonderful to see.
@BKN
Nah, Andy will thrive. Conty and I both remember the smile he gave at the boos he was receiving as he walked on to play Crashquet. Of course, by the end they were booing poor Richie!
Am far more worried by the heavy, wet conditions predicted.


Michael Says:

Gulbis demolition of Berdych is a pleasant surprise. Although one would have expected him to be the favourite in that match, not many would have predicted such a mauling. I think Roger can take some consolation out of this that an in form player like Berdych has been handed out such a thrashing by the man who got the better off him.


Michael Says:

Nadal Vs Ferrer – In a three setter, we could give Ferrer some chance to get the best of Rafa, but not in a five setter. True, Ferrer has got the better of Rafa in majors too, but they were primarily done at hard courts. Rafa is a different animal on clay court and especially Rolland Garros is his fiefdom. As Sean rightly says, unless Rafa plays sub-par or he develops a back spasm, he should cruise through effortlessly. However, Ferrer is not a push over and we might see a closely contested match which might extend to four or may be even five wherein Rafa might ultimately prevail.

As regards Murray Vs Monfils, I am surprised at the way Andy has adapted to Clay courts. He is playing really well and the fact that he beat Verdasco in three sets is testimony to his clay court prowess. Against Monfils, however Andy needs to be in top gear as he has to battle out not only the player, but also the crowd which will go berserk with Monfils chant throughout the match. Yet, Andy is a top class player who is not over awed by such atmosphere and he has tackled them effectively in the past. I expect him to come through out of this match in four sets with two tight sets.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

For Andy fans and for those who claim he “never smiles.” Andy also says his glorious BHDL disappeared for 2 years because of the pain he was in. Almost pain free it’s back! And wonderful to see.

I hope he can get more on his first serve too and make it more consistent which his pain free back. He has the best 1st serve of the Top 4. He just needs to get them in when he needs.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

If the conditions are going to be heavy, then Nadal would be a BIG favourite against Ferrer. It could turn out to be ridiculously simple match for him. For Ferrer to have any chance against Nadal, even to take a set, he needs faster clay conditions.

Biggest drawback for Ferrer is the power. He cannot generate easy power like Top 4. That’s the reason why he has always stayed outside the Top 4 but always better than the bottom Top 5.

I was hoping for a decent match between these two, but looks like the weather has spoilt it.


Goatexpert Says:

Ferrer has won 2 out of the last 3 matches with Nadal, I wouldn’t count him out. If the conditions are slow, that also lowers the bounce so Nadal is also affected (remember, Ferrer is a short guy, so even with a two hander, high bouncing balls to his backhand trouble him).

Lets see. I hope ferrer and Monfils win their matches and meet in the semi. A djoke monfils final is what I am rooting for. would be real fun, game wise and personality wise. Lets get some interest back in tennis. Enough of moonballing!

It would actually be nice to see Monfils win the French (after Stan won AO)!


Lesego Says:

If the Rafa’s FHDTL is missing, then Ferrer in 4 with Rafa winning a tie break set.


Hippy Chic Says:

Mat4 @7.47pm June 4th thankyou and thanks for the links from you and Conty such lovely music….


Hippy Chic Says:

Colin @10.27pm June 3rd two violently anti Andy guys talking nonsense,three guesses as to who they are?


tennis fan Says:

gulbis is playing tournament of his life lets see how far he goes the good thing is he doesn’t give a damm about his opponent


Thomas Says:

I am going with nadal and murray obviously. Although if Gael plays to his full potential, he has a shot at the upset, especially since chatrier is playing slower than Lenglen.


Dan Martin Says:

I’ve got some good RG content as well as tennis coaching content up today – http://tennisabides.com I think if the weather holds we’ll get some fun men’s matches today – Halep and Petkovic looking solid at the moment.


RZ Says:

@Margot – that is good news. Just think – he won Wimbledon last year with only 2 sets dropped along the way without his BHDTL and thinks he is hitting it 10 times better now.


Salleh Ahmed Says:

@RZ

murray dropped three sets at Wimbledon

agansit nanod two and against the pole 1


RZ Says:

@ Salleh Ahmed – you’re right. I forgot his dropped a set to Janowicz.


jatin Says:

1 set to ferrer.
He is playing out of this world tennis . I was expecting something like this from him. You can never underestimate this guy. Lets see how rafa respond to this pumped up ferrer.


andrea Says:

nice work ferrer….there are still 4 more sets, but i have liked his playing all tournament. is this his time? we’ll see…..


TGIT Says:

Bye-bye RAFA!

Just my Humble Opinion.


Hippy Chic Says:

Im not counting Rafa out,but its plain to see that Rafas getting less and less dominate on clay these days,win or lose this nothing changes,as hes still the KOC,Daveeds playing awesome tennis ATM though,still best of five so not over yet….


Polo Says:

TGIT, you just jinxed Ferrer.


Hippy Chic Says:

TGIT Rafa might lose this match,but one thing is for sure he wont give up,there is a good reason why he has won 8 FOs,writing him off now is just plain silly….


Polo Says:

Every set will be even harder now for Ferrer to win. If Nadal gets a set before Ferrer gets 3, Nadal will still win.


Okiegal Says:

David is a beast today……Rafa just broke him!
Yes ma’am! VAMOS!!


Polo Says:

Rafa just broke Ferrer. Thanks to TGIT.


TGIT Says:

Yes, if I had that kind of power Federer would have won 4 more French Open titles.


andrea Says:

hoping this one goes the distance….5 sets would be awesome.


Polo Says:

As itt is turning out, you didn’t have that kind of power, just plain silly.


Josh Says:

Looks like Rafa is taking over this match.


Humble Rafa Says:

Tennis players with bigger bossoms are now calling surgeons, as we speak.


mat4 Says:

Poor Ferrer. I does everything right, opens the court, and when he has just to make the point, misses by three feet.


Hippy Chic Says:

Mat4 did you read my post,thanks for the music links this morning really beautiful :))….


Hippy Chic Says:

Im not saying players cannot,im just saying i think its difficult to sustain that level over 5 sets that Ferrer was at in the first set against Rafa….


courbon Says:

Murray is really good today.Murray-Nadal SF will be something…Yes, matches are not finished yet but is obvious who is going to win.


Hippy Chic Says:

Set point for Gael against Andy for the 3rd set on PC….


Humble Rafa Says:

What does it feel like, when you are really hungry, and you are about to get a bagel?


Humble Rafa Says:

Murray is really good today.Murray-Nadal SF will be something…

You really think the Lady Forehand can beat me at Roland Garros?


Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon should be a great match between Nole and EG tomorrow,hope Nole wins cannot stand Gulbis although his tennis is still great to watch….


courbon Says:

@ Humble Rafa: But he is not a Lady Forehand anymore.Thou, I have to say you do look quite impressive against your compatriot.And so humble…

@ Hippy: Obviously I want Novak to win but Gulbis is playing so well that anything can happen. I like his character_-spoiled brat like McEnroe, which always made my laugh.Is just different, all others ( including Novak) are so PC so its nice bit of change.Murray has dry humor which I like..


Polo Says:

It must be tough to be a Murray fan. He could be playing brilliantly and then something like this.


Josh Says:

Rafa has woken up – looks like he’s going to pass this first test. The first set he played well, but played like he had in the first 4 rounds which was not good enough against Ferrer who was great, but of course as expected he has risen to the occasion.
Not sure Ferrer really believes he can take 3 sets off Rafa at RG – his error count has gone up a lot.

Murray, meanwhile, in a pickle now. He HAS to win the 4th set somehow to prevent the match being delayed till tomorrow.


Josh Says:

@Polo – It can be tough at times, watching Andy play. But that seems to be the case with every player. Perhaps the most frustrating player to watch is Fognini.


courbon Says:

What is with the Murray?????


Josh Says:

And this is one of those times…


Josh Says:

Expect a huge chorus of boos if the match is postponed after this 4th set!


jatin Says:

Monfiles is destroying muray in the 4th set.. Looks set for semifinal spot to me.
Rafa showed again why he is the king of clay. Simply awesome to watch….


Josh2 Says:

wow, what a crazy match going on. They can’t postpone it now! I believe a postponement would favor Murray more than Monfils.


courbon Says:

If match is postponed, whoever plays tomorrow will have big disadvantage against Nadal.And Nadal is in another RG final…


Josh Says:

Sh*t they’re playing on – why?


courbon Says:

@ jatin/ True. Nadal is on a different level


solomon Says:

is nadal injured, he doesn’t seem to be moving well, even his serve was awful, he only got a few first serves in. someone tell me, does he have a back injury.


Josh Says:

solomon, yes he does man. To some extent


jatin Says:

Courbon
Worry not. Your fav is playing awesome too. Seems like we are heading towards rafole final.


Humble Rafa Says:

is nadal injured, he doesn’t seem to be moving well, even his serve was awful, he only got a few first serves in. someone tell me, does he have a back injury.

Yea, that was a sub par performance by Humble standards. You can only do what your body allows.


Polo Says:

Can we just fast forward to the finals?


Giles Says:

TIT. Were you waving goodbye to the Champ? Not so fast! Lol.
A d the Champ hands out a bagel and a breadstick for good measure.
Vamos Rafa!


Ben Pronin Says:

In my opinion, Nadal’s level was even throughout the 4 sets. Maybe a little low early in the first but still pretty even in sets 2-4. Ferrer, on the other hand, was really good in set one, still really good in set 2. But sets 3 and 4 he jut completely went off the rails. I mean, wow, what a joke.


Josh Says:

5-0 Murray in the fifth, that’s some great fighting spirit he has there.


RZ Says:

Oh yeah!!! Great 5th set by Murray. Good call by Sean for that match.


Josh Says:

6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 1-6, 6-0 a very see-saw match. Murray vs Nadal it is on Friday!
Murray will probably be even more of a challenge than Ferrer if he continues playing aggressively and confidently


courbon Says:

@ jatin/ I always worry but you are right.So far Novak is good…


Polo Says:

Is this for real? I turned off the TV because I was getting frustrated with Murray…then all of a sudden it’s over? I should learn to have faith and patience.


Josh Says:

Courbon my man, Nole has displayed ruthlessness in dispatching his opponents thus far. I hope that he makes the final – in fact, if he plays really well and does win the tournament, Nole becomes No1e again :)


Margot Says:

Unbelievable match. Thought Andy was done and dusted when the ref decided they should play on in the 5th.
Bet they’re sorry now…;)
Gael is like a spectacular firework that sparkles brilliantly, then fizzles out.


courbon Says:

@ Josh; Hi there South London! In Serbia we have a saying: From your mouth ( what you just said ) to God’s ears! (-:


Margot Says:

@HR 2.47
Lame.
#Yawn


Josh Says:

@courbon absolutely :D
I’m so pumped, cannot wait for the semis – let’s get it on already!


courbon Says:

@ Josh:Me too. I told at work that I have a dentist tomorrow!


Hippy Chic Says:

Margot i agree lame and sexist….


Hippy Chic Says:

Cannot wait for the semis,especially Andy v Rafa facing off,and hope Novak beats Gulbis,but i hope for some cracking matches….


courbon Says:

@ Josh: Friday, not tomorrow…


Hippy Chic Says:

I would give Andy a very legitemate chance against Rafa,they havent faced off in a GS for a long time,the last time they did Murray was not a GS champion but he is now,so the dynamics are ver different,Murray is mentally alot tougher now,lady forehand days are long gone….


the DA Says:

@Polo – ” I should learn to have faith and patience.”

Welcome to the Murray fan universe ;) I’ve watched tennis for 30 years and it still has the ability to amaze and surprise me.

I really thought Andy was done and dusted. His serve slowed down, he could only scoop/slice his FH when running to the right. I think the Kohls match finally caught up with him. TBH I was expecting him to lose both breaks he gained in Set 1 & 2 , but it just came in the 3rd a bit later than usual.

The way he composed himself and fired himself up in the 5th – in spite of losing momentum and with the entire crowd against him – is a testament to how far he has come mentally. It’s a pity he’s not in the half of the draw which gets 2 days rest. I think he might have had a fighting chance & could’ve challenged Rafa. Not now, not if he’s running out of gas in the 4th against Monfils. Pity.

Still, glass half full (right Margot?). A SF on his worst surface. Those 720 points are sorely needed and the confidence derived from surviving 2 tests is invaluable. Funny that for all the talk of the Big 4′s demise, Rafa, Andy & Nole are in the last 4. Also, next week will see Fed retain #3 & Andy #5. The more things change…


Josh Says:

@courbon : LOL, brilliant.


Margot Says:

@The DA
Oh definitely glass half full. Loads of lovely points on his worst surface. Don’t think he has a chance against Rafa either, TBH, and want him to come home now and GET ON THE GLORIOUS GRASS!
:)


Margot Says:

PS DA
Re 4th set. Not sure it was “running out of gas.” Think he thought they’d come off after the 4th and thought WTH, tomorrow is another day.
Got a rude awakening. In fact Santoro thought he won because he was much fitter than Gael, who did indeed “run out of gas” in the 5th.


Hippy Chic Says:

If Robin Soderling can beat Rafa at RG why not Andy,as i already said hes a GS champion now that Rafa is facing,and as the saying goestheres a first time for everything,im not saying he will or even that i want him to but i give my second favorite player a good chance against Rafa….


Josh Says:

I think Andy can give Rafa more trouble than others give him credit for. He’s more aggressive on the red dirt this year, he’s a great returner, and his mentality is that of a Slam Champion, i.e. it’s superior to what Ferrer has to offer (no offense intended to David of course). 4 tight sets? Hoping for two fantastic battles!


calmdownplease Says:

Andy has done enough, kinda looked like he had enough too. And really, it seems like he is almost ready, which was not the case prior to this tournament. So he’s got more out of Paris this year than he usually does.
It was an odd match, and Gael is an odd opponent. Perhaps thrown by the elements & fatigue to be fair.
14 losses against Rafa, 15,..not much of a difference really. Both are a lot, so frankly I will be happy whatever the outcome now as long as he doesn’t kill himself out there losing in a tournament he won’t win.
There are bigger fish to fry round the corner & a channel slam at this stage is a rather far fetched possibility.
I still want a powerful show against Rafa to make a statement for the grass.
And I believe we will get one.
But it’s Rafa and Novak that need this tournament not Andy, & they can have it too.


Josh Says:

@CDP You’re right, perhaps I’m getting a bit greedy with the possibilities that Andy faces at this tournament. I’ve checked the Wimbledon formula and Andy is basically guaranteed the No. 3 seeding for Wimbledon (while Djokovic, Nadal and Federer occupy the remaining slots in the Top 4) – very helpful since he basically needs to reach the semis to avoid dropping way down the rankings to No.8 or 9. Wimbledon is key to ensuring kinder draws for the future and a proper return to the top of the game


Polo Says:

calmdownplease, that sounds like a white flag. But I would be extremely disappointed if Murray simply rolls over and let Nadal step all over him in the semifinals. Can he beat Nadal at the French? Maybe not, but how would he know unless he tries? Can Wawrinka beat Nadal at the Australian Open? Maybe not, but he tried and look what happened.


Hippy Chic Says:

Josh i agree,but i also agree with CDP in that i want him to get ready for Queens and especially the defence of Wimbledon,and he will be fit and ready for that,i also see this as positivity heading to grass as hes had some tough matches so he will be battle hardened….


Hippy Chic Says:

I think if Andy were to beat Rafa here at RG BIG IF I KNOW?people think it will be detrimental to his chances of defending Wimbledon,and see losing here now would be a blessing,thinking hell hes come this far and thats great,so now get the hell out and get ready for Wimbledon?


Hippy Chic Says:

To add hes come this far now maybe hes thinking hell i can actually win this,another GS on another surface,hmm tricky one,Madmax was right in that he would do well here lol who knew?


Polo Says:

Andy has come this far, wouldn’t he want to add a different majors to his collection? And why would his chances in Wimbledon diminish if he tried his best to win the French? Injury? If you worry about every little injury each time you play, you have no business being an athlete.


Polo Says:

Hippy Chic, I did not know you would be writing the same thing as I typed mine. :-)


Hippy Chic Says:

Polo lol as the saying goes,great minds think alike :-))….


calmdownplease Says:

`Can he beat Nadal at the French? Maybe not, but how would he know unless he tries? Can Wawrinka beat Nadal at the Australian Open? Maybe not, but he tried and look what happened..`

Don’t you worry about it Polo.
Murray never rolls over playing another member of the big 4, he is almost a different creature in these occasions.
The brain really switches itself on in a way it does not for any of the other players.
I think Wawrinka was a deserving winner and Nadal’s back problems have been therabouts, but I don’t speculate on Andy’s chances based on such things.
Wawa deserved the AO because he beat Novak but he was clearly lucky against Nadal.
Andy I believe will turn the corner against Nadal soon the way Novak clearly has. He has absorbed new Novak tactics (as have others). He is a far more offensive player now & the BHDTL/CC that carved up Verdasco and Monfils in those first 2 sets have made a very welcome & ominous return.
He has (huzzah!)started to take the ball early and instead of going for more topspin has decided to further flatten out his shots for more penetration.
He has, in short & in the last 5 minutes it seems finally learned to impose himself on clay. Despite not closing out Monfils or Kohlshreiber particularly well. So I think he has a shot.
But If he does beat Nadal, then what?
5.5 hrs against Novak and he kiss Wimbledon goodbye that’s what.
At best I’m neutral about about the rest of the week.
But it’s always best to choose your battles carefully.


Polo Says:

One step at a time, CDP (took me awhile to figure that out). Why worry about step two and three when you have not even taken step one yet? Besides skipping steps one and two does not guarantee you’ll reach step three.


Polo Says:

…may I add, Murray’s former coach, wasn’t there a time when he skipped several steps on his way to Wimbledon? You know what happened then, don’t you?


calmdownplease Says:

Very true
But remember, I’m not Murrays coach(fortunately for him hehe). My opinions are irrrelevant.
He will go for it & win what he can, where he can. Like he should.
I was just looking at the bigger picture that’s all.
Also let’s face it, Nadal is still untested in this tournament.
Ferrer was a disaster.


RZ Says:

@Hippy Chic – I think if Andy loses on Friday, it’s a blessing in disguise because he would have a few more days to get ready for Queens and Wimbledon. BUT if somehow he can get past Rafa, he’d have a real shot at the title. Sure, Djokovic is a better clay court player than Andy, but Andy’s no slouch and has won 2 of the last 3 GS finals he played against Djoker. And if somehow Gulbis gets the better of Djokovic, I’m assuming Ernie would have GS final stage fright.


the DA Says:

“Murray never rolls over playing another member of the big 4″

You got that right. He always comes out with an intensity for the other Big 3 that’s often lacking in matches against the rest. He’s not even thinking grass, just what needs to be done to pull off what is considered impossible (or almost, thanks to Soderling). I’m sure he once said that he considers Rafa the greatest challenge of all – add clay and it’s magnified. I think calls will be made to Lendl tomorrow. Apparently Ivan had a game plan for Rafa from the outset but the & Andy were never able to use it.

And of course Andy love to add RG as a slam – he’s a huge competitor. It’s the most elusive. You could say it’d be an even greater feat than winning Wimbledon.


calmdownplease Says:

`And of course Andy love to add RG as a slam – he’s a huge competitor. It’s the most elusive. You could say it’d be an even greater feat than winning Wimbledon…`

And would go a long way to acheiving an even more elusive feat.
The Golden Slam.
mmmmmmm, shiny!


Humble Rafa Says:

I felt physically so good,” Gulbis added. “I felt that I can run forever. I felt that he cannot make winners. That’s how I felt on court. I felt that I covered it really well. If I feel so confident from the baseline, then everything just comes together.”

This forum loves this type of Arrogance. They are used to seeing it from God.


Humble Rafa Says:

I want Arrogant Jr. in the final. I love putting people in their right place. Always have.


Polo Says:

Humble Rafa, what happened to you? You don’t seem to be humble anymore. You sound more like you have become Arrogant III.


mat4 Says:

Yes, better Arrogant Jr than Humble Jr… Humble Jr makes Humble feel really… humble, lately.


Margot Says:

@CDP 6.03.
My thoughts exactly.
But of course Andy will relish the fight and hopefully will take a lot away from the match.
Didn’t see Rafa match, but didn’t Ferrer say he gave up or something similar?
Hmm,if true should keep such thoughts to himself.


Hippy Chic Says:

Margot win or lose against Rafa,Andy will take alot away from the match agreed,in fact he will take alot away from this tournament,im loving this Andy the one that won Wimbledon is back to his best….


calmdownplease Says:

I just checked the length of Andy’s 2 5 setters against Kohl and Verdasco & they were just over 4 & 3hrs resectively. With the former over 2 days.
Some 3 setters can be just as long.
He’s only played 29 tour matches this year too.
I think he can lay it all down on the line for RG, and as long as he recovers well Today should be fresh enough for a big throw down with Rafa tommorrow.
After all, the defence of the Queens tournament is of rather less importance, isn’t it?


Polo Says:

Agree, CDP. Murray is young still but won’t be before long. So he better take advantage of all opportunities that come his way. He cannot do it unless he does it.


calmdownplease Says:

Yeah Polo, you are correct. And at this stage of his career one would have to say that burning out is the least of his worries.
His mileage on the tour is well behind even Novak’s at this stage, as is his achievements sadly.
It’s time to go for broke & glory.


Salleh Ahmed Says:

If younger players like genie can play without grunting why the sharapovas cant????????


Hippy Chic Says:

SA she does it because she can,the more people say they are annoyed with it,the more she will do it,like a kid when its parents say dont do this,then they do it all the more,its a kind of reverse physcology….


Daniel Says:

It would be the ultimate irony if Murray is to beat Nadal.

I would like to see of all the Murray love Nadal fans give to him will continue. (Not inlcuding you HC:-)

But I sense that some Nadal fans like Murray because they don’t consider him a treat to Nadal. Imagina if he beas him in RG? All hell will break loose…

To me if gulbis is to beat Djoko he has to win the tourney otherwise will be just one off reaching finals.
But any combination of Nadal x Djoko or Mrray x Djoko would be interesting because the macthes would be almodt 50-50 and massive showdowns. This 3 won’t fold and Gulbis although playing grear can wake up from the dream any time and play like old Gulbis. In order for us to have a great final I prefer him being out.

Btw, if Murray wins Rg Beating Nole. He will hold 2 Slams, Nadal 1 but Djoko will be #1 without Slams. Nadal losong and Djoko is back to number 1, either semis or final.


Salleh Ahmed Says:

Boah where is the time violation

maria took ages to make the serve


Hippy Chic Says:

Daniel although the majority were pretty fair, i seem to remember 1 or 2 Novak fans turning bitter against Andy after he beat Novak at Wimbledon last year,they liked him tell that defeat then all that changed,people show their true colours when the shoe is on the other foot,and thats not exclusive to any particular fan group,BTW Murray has always been my second favorite,so i can live with tomorrows result either way….


calmdownplease Says:

`But I sense that some Nadal fans like Murray because they don’t consider him a treat to Nadal. Imagina if he beas him in RG? All hell will break loose…`

Spot on, in fact I suspect the only reason a lot of them like Andy is because, so far, he has been flattering to them in his losses and his words about Rafa. Incidentally, It was Nadal that gave Verdasco advice on how to beat Murray at Wimbledon taking it to 5 sets (or so Verdasco said). I don’t buy the Murray Nadal `friendship` at all, or his fans support, unless were are actual fans of Andy to begin with.
Regardless of the clay, I’m sure Murray will soon find he has less supporters from this camp from now on and I look forward to it.
Let’s cut the crap, its WAR.
lol


Hippy Chic Says:

CDP read my post above yours?


Okiegal Says:

Why can’t Rafa fans like Andy just because?? Andy is my 2nd fav. It has nothing to do with Rafa’s prowess against Andy. If Andy wins tomorrow, so be it. I’ll root for Andy any day, anytime……as long as he isn’t playing Rafa!

Vamos, Rafa 1st
C’mon, Andy 2nd

#luveugenie
#beatsugarpants


Daniel Says:

CDP I think that too

Also results of next 3 matched can be crucial for Wimby:

Nadal may not recover in time
Djoko may not recover if he loses another close final
Murray has only to gain, if he wins can even have a RG-Wimby double. Any of the 3 can go on and win 2 or 3 Slams this year. It can determine the rest of the year.

Also, Gulbis can win it all and turn tennis world updide down one more time.


calmdownplease Says:

er I did and i wasn’t referring to you of course :)


Hippy Chic Says:

Daniel you say not including me,but i believe i have been the only Rafa fan actually sending posts on this thread about the Murray/Nadal match up tomorrow,especially because both players are my favorites so theres no ulterior motive on my part,i was just giving an honest opinion on how i believe the match could go,as my favorite i still want Rafa to win,but i would be equally delighted for Andy,people are a bit cynical sometimes….


Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal i agree Rafa is Rafa,and Andy is Andy and love both players,thats why i was discussing the match,as i am genuinly so excited about it as its the 1st time they have met since Andy became a GS champion,so this is new territory for both men,if Andy wins thats fantastic and no hard feelings on my part,just hope he wins the bloody final too lol….


Giles Says:

” I don’t like Djokovic. We know each other since 12. He was a normal guy, but since his big success he changed, his eyes changed” — Gulbis
Come on Ernie you don’t like the guy do something about it tomorrow.
Good luck Gulbis.


Hippy Chic Says:

Did EG really say that about ND Giles?


Polo Says:

Gulbis looks like the guy who could and would say that. He never sugarcoats what he feels. I actually like that.


Giles Says:

Alison. I can assure you I did not make it up!


Hippy Chic Says:

I dont care for Sharapova,but when interviewed on the Chelsea lately show,she was asked you seem like you have a reputation for been a b*tch and dont get along with the other girls, she replied i guess i am,as im not exactly giving them high fives in the shower i try to get out of there as soon as possible as its not my bag,im not doing this to make friends im doing this to win tournaments,whatever my feelings about the girl i appreciate her honesty,i suppose you could say the same for Gulbis….


calmdownplease Says:

@Hippy Chic.

I think she’s like a tea bag!


Hippy Chic Says:

CDP LOL you mean full of holes….


calmdownplease Says:

No, I mean if you put her in hot water…

She ssshhhhhhrrrriiiiieeeeekkkkksss!!!!


Hippy Chic Says:

CDP LMAO but oh so true….


calmdownplease Says:

Halep wins!
Must admit I had never heard of her before.
If she wins Saturday she will be the `next big thing`
But then didnt we say the same about Kvitova after that Wimbledon final a few years back!.


contador Says:

@ Gilles

I read that bit about Gulbis commenting on Novak’s eyes changing. But the media right now, especially in some British and Australian media are twisting Ernie’s words, taking what they want and making something out of anything. It’s is really bad journalism out there right now about EG. I should have saved the links. It is disgusting. But that is what the media do – make sh!t up!

Media are really digging for some dirt and resurrecting old, old stories, quotes and embellishing them. Gotta have a villain.


contador Says:

YaY Halep!


Giles Says:

Cdp trying to steal Judy Murray’s line. Lol
Judy Murray – ” Sharapova is like a tea bag. Put her into hot water and ul find out how strong she is”.


Giles Says:

contador. That’s what the media do best. After all they have to try and make a living somehow regardless of whose toes they step on. Cruel bunch!


contador Says:

http://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/tennis/ernests-gulbis-tennis-superbrat-has-some-thoughts/story-fnhq6fym-1226941196486

The above peice of garbage is where that misquote taken out of context came from …..or a similar article.

Some questions about how close Gulbis and Djokovic are and were came up in an interview and inferred that they were close friends. Gulbis said ,” we are not that close.” Now they have him saying he doesn’t like Djokovic…..lol, so desperate to play something up!!


Hippy Chic Says:

They do like to paint EG as the been the bad guy,as the saying goes never let the truth get in the way of a good story,not knowing them personally i wouldnt know how they feel about each other,it doesnt matter really IMO they are out to win tournaments,not out to win popularity contests….


contador Says:

Hippy Chic – Novak and Ernie met at a tennis academy in Munich when Ernie was 12 years old. The media are blowing that whole time out of proportion. Some sensational news have them rooming together there and being close friends. Ernests says they knew each other, he observed Novak to be more serious than he was about tennis and that is it. He doesn’t say he doesn’t like Djokovic. He says Djokovic has changed since those days….duh. The writers add in all the doesn’t like his eyes and doesn’t like Djokovic stuff….omg, idiots are paid to make something of nothing.


calmdownplease Says:

I think EG is pretty good at manipulating the press as well.
His smarmy interview with Inverdale put a grin on even my face.
He’s such a rebel!
oooh He’s really out there isn’t he? Too cool for school, Gate crashing parties and throwing up in the kitchen sink.
And he’s been arrested too, he’s James Dean isn’t he?
Lock up your daughters,& your mothers too, here he comes!
And he reads russian literature..in RUSSIAN
Er, but most Latvians can pull that one off)
So he’s sensitive and intellectual to boot..
I still like him, honestly, he has variety to his game, but this whole rebel without a cause thing is bollox.
He should just get his head down and let the tennis do the talking.
Dude’s a spoilt little rich kid when all is said and done, don’t fall for it!


contador Says:

All the more reason to cheer Novak Djokovic, then…..


Hippy Chic Says:

I will root for Nole….


Daniel Says:

HC, there are other which preached Andy loved for months more like, 1 year to now. You were just the latest who posted due to their upcoming match. But they were already respectful to Andy and not to Fed, Djoko and others. Anyone an chose whatever they want I was just thinking forward what would happen in this blog if Andy beating Nadal indeed happen, just the Cassandra in me:-)


Hippy Chic Says:

Daniel/CDP about what you both said earlier about Rafa fans been nice about Murray as they dont see him as a threat?you were not talking to me but i will say this,why would we not see Andy as a threat to Rafa when hes beaten Rafa before in GS,and is also now a two time GS champion,i just dont see that logic personally?


Hippy Chic Says:

Daniel fair enough you can apply that logic to anyone of the fan groups though,just saying :-))….


contador Says:

I am staying with Nole for this semi-final, HC.

But Gulbis is not as bad as cdp and others would have you think.

Typical “frat boy” or “animal house” material who likes attention but pretends not to care. I got to see him on the practice courts and play his 2 matches at Indian Wells in 2011. He did act spoiled, his dad and entourage were also courtside for the practices, ect. I got the feeling that Gumy was pretty useless as a coach. I also got to see the last time Gulbis played Djokovic while there. What a blow-out! Absolutely no contest. Gulbis admits that 2011 was a year that he had no work ethic, ect…clearly true.


contador Says:

What I need to see is if Gulbis can grasp how useless breaking tennis rackets is and grow up some more/ be consistent. I am not quite sold on this new Gulbis. I hope this change is real, but we will see.


calmdownplease Says:

`why would we not see Andy as a threat to Rafa when hes beaten Rafa before in GS,and is also now a two time GS champion,i just dont see that logic personally?..

14-5
Nadal fans say he was injured, tired when he lost to Murray in the slams.
I mean `tards` rather than fans however.
Nadal might still be in Andy’s head as he was always (strangely) drawn with him so many times and lost to him most of the time.
Although it was never as bad as the spanish armadas mental block.
Their `friendship` that seems to benefit Nadal the most by cementing that block.
But things are different now as you say.
Both players have changed.
Still think Nadal wins tommorrow.
The best thing that Andy can do in my view is take Rafa to 5.
Lets see if he’s strong enough to do that on clay.
Also in the back of their minds many Nadal fans think `well if Rafa can beat Andy surely he’s going to beat Novak`also.
Well good luck with that one, lol.
I’m not expecting a miraculous first time clay win at RG of all places.


calmdownplease Says:

`Typical “frat boy” or “animal house” material who likes attention but pretends not to care..`

The reason he wanted to make it seem that he didn’t care was simply because it meant that if he got beat, then it didn’t really matter. He was still better, more talented etc, he just had other things to do, crazy rebel things because he is so cool.
A breath of fresh air.
Anyway I sense he has now changed and reality has set in. I think he has always cared so might now be interested in working his way up and standing to be counted, if not for a living then at least for his own achievements.


Hippy Chic Says:

Im not saying he will beat Rafa and most likely Novak in the final,but i certainly recognize that he could,Stan did it so why not Andy?


contador Says:

Novak and Rafa will most likely be playing in the final on Sunday.

But I sure am looking forward to seeing how Andy and Ernie do tomorrow!


calmdownplease Says:

`Stan did it so why not Andy?`

How many times can we go through that one?
I’m also looking to see what happens tommorrow however.
It should be fun.


Hippy Chic Says:

Calmdownplease Calmdownplease i was just saying,and lets just leave it at that,and lets just enjoy the game right?….


calmdownplease Says:

What?
I’m perfectly calm :)
And I will enjoy it.
I just don’t want to invest too much hope in the outcome.
I’m the Andy fan, remember?


Hippy Chic Says:

Sorry just as well im a fan of both,and thats purely legitamate,with no ulterior motives :-))….


Giles Says:

Alison. Who are you rooting for tomorrow, your fave or your second fave???


Bad Knee Rules Says:

Gulbis about Nole:
———-
‘He was really professional already at that time,’ Gulbis recalled of their time together in Germany.

‘I remember we had a friend, a Croatian guy, who was all about the girls at that age already. He was dressing up. He was looking good, putting on perfume, sunglasses, going to talk to the girls.

‘I see Novak, he’s going to stretch. And Novak told me that, ‘Yeah, you can have anybody, you can have all the girls in the world. But to be really successful in tennis, you need to (be professional)’.

‘I remember it still. That’s a kid who is 15 years old. I didn’t forget. But I didn’t listen.’
———-
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-2647896/Ernests-Gulbis-prepares-French-Open-semi-final-against-old-friend-Novak-Djokovic.html


Hippy Chic Says:

Giles@ June 5th 3.51pm always Rafa first and foremost,but if Andy were to win i could live with it,and will root for him in the final,Rafa first,Andy second :-))….

Top story: Andy Murray Reportedly Engaged To Girlfriend Kim Sears, Makes Coaching Changes
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ATP - Nov 24 WTA - Nov 24
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
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6 Andy Murray6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Tomas Berdych7 Eugenie Bouchard
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