Nadal v Murray, Djokovic v Gulbis; French Open SF Picks And Pans
by Sean Randall | June 5th, 2014, 3:20 pm
  • 251 Comments

This close to another epic Rafael Nadal-Novak Djokovic French Open final, can either Andy Murray or Ernests Gulbis or both spoil what we have looked forward to all season?

Before I get to what might happen, allow me to reflect on what did happen. Specifically that almost-entertaining afternoon of bizarro tennis Wednesday when we sawAndy Murray somehow beat the sunset and beat Gael Monfils and also David Ferrer all but gave up for good against Rafael Nadal.

Ferrer played well enough in the first and had his teeth more than in it in the second, and that’s when the proverbial wheel’s came off the cart.

Rafa revved up his game, Ferrer couldn’t find the court anymore and a match that few thought would finish on the same day it began was over. The most surprising results came afterward when Ferrer admitted to giving up.

“Rafael started playing a lot better, making fewer mistakes, and then it’s like I threw in the towel,” Ferrer said. “I don’t usually do this, but I thought, I’m not going to be able to come back into the match. I thought, No, no, not against Rafa. He’s such good a player.”

And that from a guy who just beat Rafa six weeks ago and who’s one of the best fighters on the planet. And Rafa made him quit.

Speaking of giving up, Gael Monfils basically did just that as well. After waking up to come back from two sets to force a fifth against Murray, Monfils caved in in the fifth, barely making an effort in front of his fans.

What a disgrace that Monfils is sometimes. Is it a surprise he has no coach?

So from the top half things went according to form. The bottom half… almost. Now to my picks…

Rafael Nadal v Andy Murray
Andy Murray has his work cut out for him. Rafael Nadal has won 33 straight matches at his favorite event on the calendar. He’s won 88 of 89 matches in best-of-5 on clay and he’s never lost to the Scot on the dirt dropping just two lonely sets in five matches.

Is there any hope? Of course there is. Murray just played him tough at Rome and let’s be real, someday Rafa will lose again in Paris, but will Murray be the guy to administer such a blow?

Hmmm…

Sure, this season Rafa hasn’t looked like the invincible Rafa we’re accustomed to. The cracks are there, the errors come in bunches and now the back is unfortunately achy. But so far at the French he has looked a little better, a little sharper and maybe he’s rounding into form at just the right time.

Still I do wonder about that damn back. If it’s an issue in any way, a competent returner like Murray can take advantage. And Even if his back is OK, Murray can still do damage as we saw in Rome where he scorched a 6-1 first set.

That means Murray has to pounce on Nadal’s second serve. Go on the offensive early. Hammer his serve. Play with belief. And as former coach Ivan Lendl once said, he’s got to be ready for the pain.

For Nadal, he’s got to play his game, don’t get too defensive and get that pop back in his serve. On clay that should be enough.

Nadal has won 14 of 19 and leads Murray 6-2 in Slam play, and I have to think their 20th meeting will follow form. Murray’s playing well but this is Rafa’s playground. He’s not going to relinquish it that easily. Not here, not now, and not to a guy who has never been to a clay final before.
The pick: Nadal in four

Ernests Gulbis v Novak Djokovic
I give Ernests Gulbis a lot of credit. The guy has a ton of talent, a high powered game but between the ears he seemed to be completely lost at times. But for whatever reason he’s turned it around and gotten right in the head the last 12 months. And not only is he in his first career Slam semifinal he did so by beating both Roger Federer AND Tomas Berdych back-to-back. Just wow!

But his fairy tale run ends on Friday because Djokovic is going to take Ernests to school.

While Ernests has almost unmatched power, Djokovic is the king of defense, master of movement and new sultan of swat. And he’s got the motivation here. If Ernests is going to win he’s going to have to grind out points, something he didn’t necessarily have to do against either Federer or Berdych, two clean ballstrikers who don’t particularly enjoy the thought of long points.

Djokovic is more than happy to be out there all day playing offense, defense, Parcheesi, scrabble, gluten-free chutes and ladders, whatever it takes. And so far he’s lost just one single set at the tournament. Gulbis will have to somehow grind out three to get the win.

So while I expect a close set or two and some tense moments – sure Ernests can get hot and likely will at some point – I can’t see Novak letting down here just six sets from the ultimate goal.
The pick: Djokovic in three

Tennis Channel will have the complete coverage of the first semi, NBC the Nadal-Murray match.

FRIDAY MEN’S SEMIFINAL SCHEDULE
Court Philippe Chatrier 1:00 PM Start
Ernests Gulbis (LAT)[18] vs. Novak Djokovic (SRB)[2]
Rafael Nadal (ESP)[1] vs. Andy Murray (GBR)[7]


Also Check Out:
Nadal, Murray Try To Complete Fab Four’s Return To The French Open SFs; QF Picks And Pans
Nadal v Ferrer, Monfils v Murray; French Open Wed Picks And Pans, Djokovic-Gulbis SF
Can The New Blood Spoil A Federer-Djokovic Final? Wimbledon SF Picks And Pans
Federer, Murray On Track For An Australian Open Semifinal Showdown, Will It Happen? Picks And Pans
Murray, Djokovic Close In On Wimbledon Final; Wimbledon SF Picks And Pans

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251 Comments for Nadal v Murray, Djokovic v Gulbis; French Open SF Picks And Pans

andrea Says:

i’m interested in the nadal/murray match. it’s been a while since they played and i don’t know if they’ve played at RG before? (someone else can probably chime in if they have).

gulbis and novak should also be a dogfight. let’s see if gulbis can hold it together to get to his first slam final.


Adam Says:

I’m British. And as such a huge Murray fan.
Alas on this occasion I think Sean has it about right. Rafa in 4.
Now that Murray has got his BHDTL back after the surgery I think he has the game to beat Rafa on clay – but he’s had concentration lapses in each of his matches.
And he’s got away with it.
But he won’t against Rafa.
He had a small lapse in Rome after winning the 1st set 6-1.
If he’s going to win 3 straight sets either 3-1 or 3-0.
And that’s going to be tough.
I had Gulbis as my outsider before RG.
Think he does better against Novak than losing 3-0


Adam Says:

Andrea – Rafa beat Andy 3-0 in the 2011 semi’s at RG


Ben Pronin Says:

Agree with Sean on pretty much every point.

Except the Monfils thing. I don’t know if he gave up at the end or just ran out of gas. He said it himself that he tried to be aggressive, missed some shots, then everything just went by in a hurry. Gotta credit Murray for that because he was in a small hole early in the fifth and once he broke Monfils I knew it was over. I was hoping Monfils could avoid the bagel but I can’t say I didn’t see it coming.


contador Says:

Have to pretty much agree with Sean, again.

My difference only would be in number of sets.

Both Nadal and Djokovic will be keen to win and save themselves, if possible for the final.

Andy will get 2 sets off Rafa, which means that Rafa will have to win in 5 sets. A long, protracted match is what I predict.

Djokovic is going to take Gulbis to school – most of the match. But I can see Gulbis getting one fast set – so my guess is Djokovic in 4 sets with much less time spent on court than the Murray – Nadal match.

I also have to predict that the Gulbinator breaks one racket, during the course of the match.


contador Says:

Oh have to add a caveat:

In the event that Ernests Gulbis does somehow win his semi-final, I predict that Andy Murray rise to the occasion, pull out all the stops, and beat Rafa in straight sets. Andy of course will go on to win RG – if Gulbis wins his semi.


Humble Rafa Says:

Andy will get 2 sets off Rafa, which means that Rafa will have to win in 5 sets. A long, protracted match is what I predict.

Against a clay court midget? Seriously?


Adam Says:

Contador – I hope and pray that your prediction comes true.
Fingers and toes crossed.
British tennis has been s pile of steaming turds since World War II


Humble Rafa Says:

British tennis has been s pile of steaming turds since World War II

When the Brits hope a Scotsman wins, it’s a special feeling.


contador Says:

Yes, HR. That is my prediction. Murray is capable of getting 2 sets off a distracted, possibly injured, Rafa.

Why would Rafa be distracted? He might be if Djokovic blasts his way past Gulbis with some near flawless numbers. Rafa might have 2nd thoughts.

There is an advantage to playing second match- you get to see who your opponent will actually be.

Like what if Ernie wins? Don’t you think Murray may attempt to pull a wabbit outta his hat to win? Could happen.


contador Says:

@Adam

Lol…. at least Andy Murray is changing that.

I follow cycling – at least the British have won the past two Tour de Frances. Sky has a very good team.


calmdownplease Says:

whats all this talk of `steaming turds`
It’s dinner time for me thank you
yeesh!


Adam Says:

Sorry.
Must remember to calm down my language.
Yeah – I follow cycling a bit.
Only a bit –

Only a bit. Think Chris Froome is top notch. It was only beca0use of him that Wiggins won the tour in 2012.
And then we go and give Wiggins a knighthood.
Stupid Manc’s – and that’s coming from someone who went to University in Manchester.


contador Says:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/20140604/french-open-robin-soderling/

Don’t know where to post the above link – it is about tennis…

Robin Soderling comeback?


Adam Says:

Fantastic Contador!
Early candidate for sporting quote of the 21st Century:

“Rbin Soderling still the only known carbon based life form to have beaten Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros”

Hope that changes tomorrow!


Voicemale1 Says:

The Gulbis of 2014 has a few new dimensions that didn’t exist when he last played Djokovic in 2011 – the Djokovic Stratosphere year. Ironically, Gulbis is the only man who is undefeated on clay in 2014! He’s already beaten two Top 10 players in his RG Draw. And moreover, he actually comes into this with the right mindset of not giving a rip about his opponent’s ranking or reputation. He closed out Federer in the 5th by holding his nerve very well, and just crushed Berdych. Remarkable about the Berdych match was the way Gulbis Returned as big a Serve as Berdych has. Gulbis has that craziness in him to actually believe he can beat anyone on the tour now. And that’s the way he has to walk into the match tomorrow. To think that his results this year – and especially already in this tournament – don’t merit a set is to denigrate a guy who has earned it. His Serve is bigger and his groundstrokes are harder and flatter than Djokovic, and will come out blasting from off the ground practically every ball. Djokovic will need every ounce of his reliable Defense to withstand it. Gulbis will get a set tomorrow, at least. Maybe two. It’s not outside insanity that he could get three. Longshot. But not impossible.

Murray so comprehensively dusted Nadal in the opening set of their Rome match that you have to think that alone gives him a chance in here. Nadal did raise it to another level against Ferrer yesterday – I mean, Nadal played a whole set and didn’t make 1 single error. Not one (explaining the 6-0 score line). That’s just unplayable no matter who you are. If Nadal takes that level to Murray, well, good luck to Andy then. If not, Murray has enough heart from Rome to give Nadal a serious match. Very serious.


calmdownplease Says:

`Nadal did raise it to another level against Ferrer yesterday – I mean, Nadal played a whole set and didn’t make 1 single error. Not one (explaining the 6-0 score line). That’s just unplayable no matter who you are. If Nadal takes that level to Murray, well, good luck to Andy then..`

And Andy bageled Nadal (on a fast HC it has to be said)in Tokyo where he only lost 4 points in the entire set! All of which came from 4 unforced errors nothing from Andy.
My point if any player plays like that the other
will not win the set/match. But so what? It’s a rare occurence indeed and usually the pressure applied by an opponent of the caliber of Andy/Nadal won’t let it happen.


calmdownplease Says:

*I mean nothing from Nadal, sorry.


calmdownplease Says:

Oh and Nadal did not fold like a cheap suit the way Ferrer pathetically did.


James Says:

Gulbis was beaten in straights on clay by Nishikori in Barcelona. But that was Kei at his best.

Unless Rafa’s serve is weak, I don’t think Murray can do more than take a set from him. Andy is a fantastic player but he has never been a big threat on clay. I don’t think he can turn into a superman on clay overnight. Someday I hope he wins RG. But when he losses to guys like Fognini, Giraldo, I’m not confident he can.

Gulbis isn’t sacred of Novak and will try to end the Serb’s dream of career slam tomorrow. I don’t think he can do it. But I wouldn’t be shocked either if he did. He will need to serve well and not make a lot of errors. If he can do that tomorrow, he has a good chance.

I think it will be Rafa in 3 or 4. And Novak in 3 or 5.


James Says:

I must say Andy is back at the top of his game. Clay is his worst surface and he’s in the semi final of French Open. He will be the man to beat at Wimbledon.


calmdownplease Says:

`Andy is a fantastic player but he has never been a big threat on clay`

Agreed, but stranger things have happened.

`Someday I hope he wins RG. But when he losses to guys like Fognini, Giraldo, I’m not confident he can`

Again yes, but to be fair he lost to Fognini in davis cup when he had to play 3 days in a row as he was basically the entire british team.
Honestly the fact that he loses to CC specialists
in the past has less impact now after his performance in this slam I think.
And I also think he has a better chance tommorrow than any other cc specialist would.
Ferrer anyone?
For he is a true top 4 player.
Still Nadal in 5:)


Eric Says:

SODERLING!!!

“He’s been playing tennis again, mostly hitting at an indoor club, slowly easing back. If he pushes too hard, he spends the next day recovering.”

Doesn’t sound too encouraging though. Depends on what is meant by “recovering,” I suppose. (“Not in fantastic shape,” or “still unable to reach fantastic shape?”)


Colin Says:

Adam, you mean British MEN’s tennis has been a steaming pile. Virginia Wade won the US Open, beating none other than Billie Jean King, but that was in the days when the British thought tennis consisted entirely of Wimbledon. Dear old Sue Barker won the French Open. That’s just two slam winners – there are others.

The person with an identity problem uses the silly phrase “when the British want a Scotsman to win”. “British” does not mean “English”.

I’m British so I want a Briton to win, and Murray is a Briton. Even if the referendum goes in favour of independence, Andy will still qualify as British because he was born as such, and don’t forget he even has English blood. One of his grandmothers is English.


Michael Says:

Sean might get this right although the match between Gulbis Vs Novak will be a lot closer that most people imagine. Gulbis has the momentum with him having beaten Roger and then the mauling of Berdych would have taken his confidence to new high and believe in himself. Still, I think that Novak will be too good for him and he would fall short. I expect a tough four setter with two tie break sets with Novak prevailing.

As regards Andy Vs Rafa, well this match has raised so much excitement especially since it has been some time Andy and Rafa are meeting each other on court. But, the uncomfortable truth for Andy is that it is happening on a clay court – Nadal’s source of strength and Andy’s weakest link. Still, Andy is maturing on this surface and he is trying to turn a new leaf with his clay court exploits. Will Andy make the first final thereby becoming the first Brit to make it there after 77 long years ? Looks pretty difficult, since he has a mountain to climb and Rafa’s prowess on Clay courts are folklore. Still, one would expect Andy to hang in tough out there and give Rafa a run for his money to make the match engrossing and entertaining. Andy is certainly capable of that, but yet one cannot dismiss the feeling that he might fall short at the final hurdle, a kind of inevitability that is staring us on the face.


Michael Says:

Eric,

Thanks for that news. Everybody is hoping that Soderling comes out with a bang. Afterall, he has two records which has made him history. One is ofcourse he is the only man to have beaten Rafa at Rolland Garros and that too in four sets (one set, he beat him 6-2) and secondly he is the man who broke Roger’s insane semi final streak and that too happened at the French.


Skeezer Says:

Two Spaniard buddies play. One gives up.
Hmmmmmmm………
#volumes


Margot Says:

Agreeing with James and Voicemale 1 here.
Think it will be Rafa in 4. Anything else is unrealistic. Rafa’s best, Andy’s worst etc. Just hope Andy fights a good fight. From interviews I’ve read, seems to be looking forward to it. And, as I thought he’d be done and dusted by the quarters, it’s all good.
And yes, Gulbis has enormous confidence and can take a set or two off Nole, before Nole outwits, rather than outhits, him.
@conty
Brits do rather well at sailing also, think another of my heroes Ben Ainslie. Not surprising as we are an island race.


Margot Says:

PS
Another 77 years? OMG…is it?…is it?..


madmax Says:

“sultan of swat”

Should be sultan of swing!

Yes, a very good analysis throughout.

I think that Murray will crush rafa with his new found confidence. He is an excellent player. He will have spoken to Lendl last night who will have coached him on all the tactics he needs in order to defeat the king of clay!

What news that would be!

Novak and Gulbis. I definitely give Gulbis a chance here. I really do. Nervous he will be, but he has nothing to lose. So will come out swinging!

Novak, I think will take a while before he finds his rhythm, and he may even lose a set as Gulbis will be high on adrenalin.

Should be fun!


Klaas Says:

Kei showed how to play Gulbis: integrating defense and offense seamlessly, by taking the ball early whenever possible, and moving up and down the court very smoothly. Djoker is very capable to do the same as long as he keeps his mindset offensive.

Murray-Nadal is an open affair, if Murray comes out to play. The longer the match, the more the momentum will change to Nadal.


Giles Says:

madmax. Your use of the word “crush” is wishful thinking on your part. The fact is your man was “CRUSHED” by Gulbis and now he’s grazing on the green green grass of Wimby. Lol


Daniel Says:

Sunny day!


Daniel Says:

Gulbis already started great, 40-0 game with an ace in between and an unreturned serve.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Nothing would be better than seeing Novak play against Rafa in the finals. I wish today’s result stays that way.


Josh Says:

So, this is Gulbis’s coach’s (Gunther Bresnik) opinion on the match: “Ernests hasn’t got a hope against Novak. Djokovic is the favourite here and this time he’ll be the one to lift the trophy at Roland Garros, I’m sure of it. I guarantee you.” Nothing like encouragement for your player then!


Hippy Chic Says:

Sunny day and great tennis to look forward to,unfortunatly i have to start work at 3.00pm BST,i will have to record Murray/Nadal and watch it later unless the old dears are watching the tennis,just letting the hard nosed cynics know that its not always possible to blog,as real life gets in the way sometimes….


Hippy Chic Says:

Josh exactly put it this way is there any point in playing the match,when your coach feels like that?


Hippy Chic Says:

Great match already very competitive,you have to feel Gulbis needs this 1st set though,Novak wins this 1st set he will steamroll through IMO….


Hippy Chic Says:

Break to Novak ominous signs already….


mat4 Says:

Novak is very nervous.


mat4 Says:

Anyway, we are assisting to a systematic deconstruction of Gulbis FH.


Hippy Chic Says:

Mat4 lol thats not the impression im getting,he looks the picture of composure to me,im so p*ssed that i have to go to work damn….


mat4 Says:

Trust me: Novak was very tight at the beginning of the set. He started recovering his composure toward the end. Gulbis is a very serious challenge to anybody.

But Gulbis is very tight, and he isn’t channelling his adrenaline well. He moves very poorly.

Beautiful point to finish the set.


contador Says:

Ernie is having trouble breathing, he is so nervous. Really, I think it is a lot about playing Novak.

Gulbis needs to calm down and swing freely to get anywhere. Djokovic is at his magnificent best. And this will be over soon if EG can’t pull himself together.

I at least want G-bis to put in a respectable performance.

Love these two guys!


Margot Says:

Looks as if Sean might’ve been right after all. Long way to go though.
Go Nole :)


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

I’ll be rooting for Murray, today. ;-)


Hippy Chic Says:

Mat4 lol:((….


contador Says:

Hi Margot – sort of in a tennis heaven about now :D

Playing Djokovic, for Ernie, is a whole different type of match-up than playing Berdych or Federer. ‘Course Feddy woulda won, if not for that blooper in the 2nd set tie break ; )


Hippy Chic Says:

You have to feel that EG had to win that 1st set to stand any chance,very calm and composed from Novak,go Novak….


contador Says:

Very proud that EG made it this far.


Margot Says:

Waves at Conty, Mat and Hippy.
Yes Conty, it’s wonderful to see Andy in the mix and enjoying his tennis again.
Go Nole! Go Andy!
Hoping the sun being out and drier conditions will help Andy’s flatter shots.


contador Says:

I did, Hippy Chic. Was hoping Ernie could get out to a flyer and Nole would start slow like he sometimes does but clearly Nole knows exactly what to do.

3 straight sets in record time. ERnie gonna get schooled.

Hoping the next match will be more dramatic.


Hippy Chic Says:

Hi Margot so excited about the next match….


Hippy Chic Says:

Conty it started quite promisingly,but has turned out to be a damp squib,still all new territory for EG and fantastic he made it this far….


contador Says:

Come on, Nole, get this over quickly…

Idemo Nole!


mat4 Says:

It was 5-3, 40-15 and Novak started missing. I thought – God, don’t make him play a smash! History will repeat itself…


Margot Says:

Gulbis’ backhand is a beast of beauty and power. Alas the forehand is as wild and wayward as its owner.


Margot Says:

@Hippy
Enjoy and Murray match in same sentence……nah!
The replays perhaps…;)


mat4 Says:

@Conty:

Novak is playing the same way he did in 2008 – not forcing, just letting Ernie make the UE.


Ben Pronin Says:

Interesting how players with the best backhands often struggle on their forehand side. Safin, Nalbandian, Gulbis, Murray, and even Djokovic. Probably others I can’t remember. Davydenko? But when their forehands are clicking they’re practically unbeatable.


Hippy Chic Says:

Margot as you know i love them both,so i will be happy whatever the outcome ;-))….


Giles Says:

C’mon Ernie time for an MTO! Lol


Polo Says:

This is turning out to be like a repeat of the Gulbis-Berdych match with Gulbis taking on the role of Berdych.


Ben Pronin Says:

Are you guys streaming?


Josh Says:

Looks like the coach was right. Gulbis has had nothing to really trouble Novak today – the serves are coming back with interest, he’s being outdone in the rallies, and he’s making too many errors.


Josh Says:

@Ben Pronin – watching it live on itv player – it’s being shown on TV as well


Hippy Chic Says:

Sky Sports Eurosport too if you live in GB,and also have a satelite dish….


Margot Says:

@Ben
And watch Rafa target Andy’s forehand, as he did in their last match.
Hope Andy’s been practising, and his blooming serve too of course. Won’t stand a snow flake in hell’s chance if that’s below 50%
But expecting Andy to really stand up the court for Rafa’s second serve. Think he’s been practising that all week…;)
Looks as if Gulbis has woken up. But Nole’s serve is good today.


Daniel Says:

Gulbid drop shots are working fine


contador Says:

Hey guys, Thanks for the updates – I am recording the rest of this and the Murray – Nadal match. But I am taking some folks out on an early morning cycle on the greenbelt here.

Keep the updates coming. Idemo, Nole! and

Go Murray!


Daniel Says:

Gulbis serving for third set.


Daniel Says:

He put his hand on his back a few ocasions Gulbis. Is his back hurting?!


Josh Says:

well well… Gulbis snaffles the 3rd set :o


Ben Pronin Says:

This really is the new Gulbis. Not going away.


mat4 Says:

Novak got asleep in this match.

He was following his usual pattern of play against Gulbis: wait for the UE. But he forgot that Gulbis doesn’t always make UEs, and playing safely, Novak just left out of rhythm when it mattered most.

He will have to get lose and be very aggressive in the fourth, if he wants to win. He is tight again.


Margot Says:

…Or perhaps Voicemale 1 is right…..


Giles Says:

C’mon Gulbis!!


Daniel Says:

Classic third set let down. Djoko better compose himself and win this set enphatic


TennisVagabond.com Says:

When Novak is forced to play aggressive tennis he is incredible to watch.


Daniel Says:

Djoko also seems to having some issues, don’t know if they are both feelimg the change from playimg in cloudy days now to a sunny nore hot day than before. But Djoko’s intensity drop a bit


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I’m really enjoying this matchup, what an interesting pairing, what a great new rivalry starting right here.


Daniel Says:

Dkoko struggled with the sun this game. He was not find the toss right. Just when he was about to close the break for a 3-0 lead. Now Gulbis broke back.

He better get his act together and finish Gulbis as he should have already instead of waiting mistakes.


Margot Says:

Goodness, what’s up with Nole? Thought only Andy had mental lapses in matches!
Gulbis still having back issues.


Daniel Says:

I think we’ll get more breaks in this sun high


Ben Pronin Says:

Has Wimbledon started? What’s with all the aces?


judee Says:

is it possible that novak loos this match?


mat4 Says:

Novak is slowly starting to regroup. The big question is: is it too late?


judee Says:

I don’t think eg can do it unless mericule happen


Daniel Says:

3 straight sets with breaks at 4-3. Djoko serving for the set in the good side not against the sun.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Oh, what terrible errors from Gulbis.


Daniel Says:

Congrats to Djoko in his second final. I think now this is it. He will get his elisive RG a s complete a career Slam.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

WOW, Novak back in the French finals, very exciting.

And would you believe… Big Six?
We gonna see these two meet like this more often?


Josh Says:

Novak wins through!


Skeezer Says:

Well Nole is in the RG final. What do all the BB haters say now?
—-
If Gulby continues this form, he’ll be a major threat in the future. But still don’t like his FH technique. Will cause him problems on the faster courts.


Margot Says:

Gulbis did a Monfils in those last 4 games. Back? But Nole almost did too. WTF?
But well done Nole. You won, that’s what counts.
Come on Andy. Just fight, fight, fight.
Is all us fans ask!


Daniel Says:

I am only worried sbput him not handling sunny and hot conditions well. It clearly bother him. He is not even celebrating properly, he just looks like he wants to get out of there asap. Maybe a cold shower and relax.


Okiegal Says:

Gulbis………went away!! Congrats Novak fans, your guy is in the finals….no surprise to me…..he’s a fighter…..just one busted racquet this tournament??? lol


Ben Pronin Says:

Remember when Janowicz made the Wimbledon semis last year? Probably not since he hasn’t done anything since.

Before we anoint Gulbis the next Big, we should wait for him to put up consistent big results. I love Gulbis as much as anyone (and think Janowicz is vastly overrated) but let’s not go crazy from one result. Also a little bit of perspective, if Federer doesn’t screw up the overhead, he’s up 2 sets to love and most likely wins.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Bem, good points, but I noticed something when they were flashing Gulbis’ stats. He’s won 3 tourneys this year- same as Djokovic. But Novak, who is 1 or 2 years older, had won 40+ in his career. Gulbis, 6.
So, even if the tourneys are minor, Gulbis has won half his careers trophies in the last 5 months. That’s a trend Janowicz never had. We know Gulbis.
As with Wawrinka winning Oz after a solid year climbing the charts, there is reason to believe Gulbis can stick around at least near the top.


Okiegal Says:

@Daniel

I too thought Novak looked spent and anxious to get off the court. Not a usual celebration, for sure. He will bounce back….he always does!

Don’t know if there are many Gulbis fans here, but if so, better luck next time. He looks like he is getting serious about his game, so that’s good news for all his followers!


tennisfansince76 Says:

@Colin I read somewhere in the last several years a genetic study was done of the British isles and in terms of genes there is no way of distinguishing an Englishman from an Irishman or a Scotsman.


mat4 Says:

To sum it up a bit:

Novak played big servers/hitters in the last three matches. After an excellent Rome, where he was prepared to play the final by his tough matches against Kolly and Ferrer, he seemed today without sensations, touch, precision, power…

He still usually manages to play well against Rafa. But… this time, it doesn’t bode well for Novak.


mat4 Says:

TF76:

I wrote two articles using data from population genetics. The truth is that very little is known.


Ben Pronin Says:

Mat4, always expecting the worst :)

TV, Gulbis > Janowicz, no question. But really I think everyone is getting carried away by saying he’s gonna join the Big 4. Wawrinka was thought to be joining them and he lost in the first round. The Big 4 are the Big 4 because they are ridiculously consistent. At just about every event with occasional outliers. Gulbis needs to make Masters semis and finals. A few more slam quarters and semis. And snag some of them here and there. Then we can consider putting him into the Big group. Until then, let’s just wait and see.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Looks like we are set for Novak vs Rafa match. Only question was would Novak be there to take on Rafa in the finals. Now that it’s clear, it should be an exciting. Hope it’s a 5-set thriller for the first time in a FO final for Rafa.


calmdownplease Says:

well this could be a quick one lol
Andy has to serve and return at his very best and thats exactly what he is not doing right now.


Daniel Says:

Murray worst start possible and Nadal’s forehand is working perfectly. I think he already made 3 or 4 FH winnners.


Margot Says:

Andy asleep. Rafa looking awesome. His forehand is immense.
Start packing Kim!


Daniel Says:

This match could go fast, real fast if zmurray doesn’t show up to play.


Daniel Says:

The comentors in my TV said there is a rumor Nadal’s back is really bother him again hence the slow serve. Let’s see stat on his serve for today.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Not sure who suggested Murray to stand way back against Nadal. It’s suicidal. He is gifting Rafa the match, eventhough the result was inevitable.


madmax Says:

Giles Says:
madmax. Your use of the word “crush” is wishful thinking on your part. The fact is your man was “CRUSHED” by Gulbis and now he’s grazing on the green green grass of Wimby. Lol

June 6th, 2014 at 7:10 am

Giles, you have zero humour. You just don’t get it and never will. Of course Murray can beat rafa. Unlikely, but you just never know!


calmdownplease Says:

well that would be good for Andy oif he could actually return something well!


calmdownplease Says:

signs of life however


calmdownplease Says:

Andy serve speed 153kph
Nadal 173kph

Maybe its Andy’s back again lol


Daniel Says:

All FH Murray try to acelerate he misses on the net. Nadal just moonballed to his FH this first point of the game and Murray give a point. He can’t miss this kind of ballas


Daniel Says:

Really thought I wuld see a different Murray on court today. Maybe he will just take longer (losing 1 set) to get going. But he seems like he thinks / know he will lose already.


calmdownplease Says:

He cant miss anything really. You have to show up and play youre best, shanking BH never mind FH is unforgiveable
Serving like a girl too
He’s clearly more nervous but he will settle.
It’s just that he had to not drop the first set.
Which sadly it seems is all but lost


Daniel Says:

Nadal worst ahot is BH DTL waliking to the net. He miss a lot of tis shot, same passing hsot he missed in AO 12


Michael Says:

Hearty congratulations to Novak for another Rolland Garros final. I hope this time he fulfils his high scale ambition of completing the career Grand Slam.


Daniel Says:

Nice game.

Let’s see if Nadal will get a light tigh servi g for the set and if Murray can find some good returns


Michael Says:

The other semi-final is going on expected lines. If Andy had to have any chance, he has to necessarily win the first set. But he is behind at the moment which might prove costly to the ultimate outcome of this match.


Daniel Says:

He should have went BH DTL. Because Nadal’s FH is pertect today


Daniel Says:

8 FH winners om 8 games is a lot for Nadal. He is really going for it. Maybe the sun pumped him up. He loves this conditions


Daniel Says:

Nadal serving a lot to Murray’s body to avoid angles. It’s working.


calmdownplease Says:

Agree about the BHDL, where the f**k is it?
particularly on return
Set dropped Andy must not make this easy with such an listless display


Daniel Says:

Nadal is so confiant he is serve and volley on set point. Match is over in straights.


calmdownplease Says:

at least he’s serving first
and its already a bit better


mat4 Says:

I believe it will be a tough match, and that Murray is playing much better. He has nothing to lose, anyway.


Michael Says:

It is not that Andy played badly in the first set, but he was over powered by Rafa’s bludegeoning shots flowering out of his racquet with incredible consistency.


Michael Says:

Only Novak has the capability to put Rafa in his discomfort zone especially at Rolland Garros.


Daniel Says:

Good game for Murray. Let’s see if he losen up and target one Nadal serve. So far no game we nt to deuce and Andy o ly had 1 bad game which he was broken.


mat4 Says:

Murray was tight, and the loss of his first serving game was enough to alter the psychological battle. But he plays well, has the weapons to win, the question is: is he ready to suffer? to quote Lendl.


Daniel Says:

He is missig too many returns. To flat. He has to but some balls in play. Too many serve poitns to Nadal


Michael Says:

Andy has nothing to lose so he has to go for his shots and be mentally very aggressive. If he has a good day, he can throw some surprises out there.


calmdownplease Says:

In addition to body serves, lots of serves to the FH
he’s also shanking for want of the better word.
oh dear DF


calmdownplease Says:

`but he was over powered by Rafa’s bludegeoning shots flowering out of his racquet with incredible consistency..`

Andy was the one who was supposed to come out flying
instead it was Nadal.


Daniel Says:

Even chosing the wrong side… Everything working to Nadal’s fabpvor today


Michael Says:

Poor Andy. Rafa is at the top of his form. I do not think Andy can make it !? He has to rue his fate.


calmdownplease Says:

match point lol


Daniel Says:

Nadalhas somuch cnfidance Murray’s FH can hurt him that he goes there everytime, inside out and serves


calmdownplease Says:

No Andy is just not playing to his best level and Rafa is near his.
No chance.


Daniel Says:

The dream final it is.


Michael Says:

Again Rafa breaks in the second set and leads 2-1. The match is almost over.


Skeezer Says:

Murray is gone.


Josh Says:

This is the true form of Nadal – have not seen this for almost a year.


Michael Says:

With the kind of form Rafa is in, it is going to be difficult for Novak too. But atleast he has the belief, intention and determination that he can get the better off Rafa. The match is practically in his racquet. He is the aggressor and should dictate play. He can evince some hope that Rafa has peaked too early in this tournament and might falter at the final hurdle.


mat4 Says:

The match isn’t over. But the truth is that Andy isn’t using short balls the way he should.

He has to completely unleashed his shots, otherwise, yes, it will be a routine win for Rafa.


calmdownplease Says:

I didnt think Andy would win but i am irritated with Andy.
This is a no show for an important match.
Like the bad old days pre Lendl.


Michael Says:

This match might get over in another half an hour. Rafa is effortlessly dominating play and is playing error free Tennis. When Nadal is in such a form, Andy can only smile and hope for the best.


Michael Says:

Mat4@ 11.02 am,

Everybody cannot be Novak !!


Josh Says:

The thing with Novak is that he can come back from any position when he finds some inspiration. It would be harder for Rafa to be constantly bullying him from the back of the court


calmdownplease Says:

you can hear the birds..breathing or whatever it is they’re doing.


Daniel Says:

Murray is making Nadal look even better. Several shots in my mind I think: Djokovic woulnd’t miss that


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Not sure if this match is positive for Rafa or not. Andy is not giving him any rhythm from the baseline. It’s all Rafa now with no show from Andy. It could affect him in one way against NAdal. But on the other hand, he is having such an easy match, it should be a big energy saver for him. We would get the answer on Sunday.


calmdownplease Says:

I dont buy it that Nadal is unbelievable here
Or even if he is Andy has no grip on his own basic game, not good at all.
Get it sorted Andy ffs


calmdownplease Says:

Energy wont be a problem for Novak
he has had a light CC season and a pretty seemless tournament on the other side of the draw.


mat4 Says:

On the other side, I just don’t see how Novak can hit through Rafa on the Chatrier.

Here, Murray misses the chance to put some pressure on Rafa when returning, something strange for probably the best returner on tour. So Rafa can play comfortably, inside himself.


mat4 Says:

It’s over.


calmdownplease Says:

It’s just going through the motions now
Andy has not woken up Today
Imagine the prospect of a Nadal/Murray semi for the spectators, but as it turns out they already had it with the Gulbis/Djokovic match.


Daniel Says:

Djokovic start troubling Rafa with his return outting pressure on every point. Murray is not doinfg this and Nadal is sai,ing now. Almost nothif. Is working in Murray’s game. C’mon, this is caly where eventually a lot of deuce games. We see none this match. Murray couldn’t even make 30-30 in any Nadal service game. This for a guy who is suppose to have a great return game.

I am with CDP, Murray is irritating olaying bad overall


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Ben, you’re absolutely right about the consistency of the Big 4. But if we imagine Berdych, Ferrer and Raonic, say, as dark horses capable of an upset, I think Wawrinka and Gulbis may supplant them as legitimate Slam contenders. Not that they’ll show it week in and week out like the Big 4, but I think for the first time in a long time we have “outsiders” who could take a Slam.


Daniel Says:

Mat4 Murray is not the best retrurn in the game. He misses too much go to flaten. He is just the one who plays more inside court.

Djoko is the best return by a mile


Daniel Says:

I think Monfils would do better. Kkk


calmdownplease Says:

Yawn
Hang your head in shame Andy


Daniel Says:

Murray can’t hurt Nadal today, his. Shotslack power


Josh Says:

Are we about to see the greatest comeback of all time? Absolutely not.


Daniel Says:

If it was ‘t for his good first serves that went in the socre would be nore loopsided. Gulbis lost 3-6 3-6 first 2 sets but was completely different than here 3-6 2-6.


calmdownplease Says:

I disagree that Novak returns better than a mile
Andy is higher on career for both first and second serve but Today Murray has not employed his BH in return enough his return completely lacks any venom.
Which is what Novak would have done.


Ben Pronin Says:

TV, we’ll have to wait and see. Berdych and Ferrer won’t win slams. Wawrinka could still do damage at the US Open and AO for at least another year or so, but do you really see him winning another slam? Raonic could have to wait a while because I don’t see him getting past the baseline grinders any time soon. But with Gulbis, we have to see more. I’m not going to call him a contender until we see multiple results. Let’s not forget he has one other QF way back in 08 and hadn’t made it past the third round until this past week. It’s easy to get excited because he has an exciting game. And he was thoroughly outclassed by Djokovic as expected. How’s he going to overcome hurdles like that? Wawrinka was taking Djokovic to deep 5 setters before breaking through.


Mary Healey Says:

Had any other player achieved what Ernests G has in the tournamnet the commentators would have praised him over and over again. Yet, just about no mention of this for Ernests. In spite of the lack of support, Ernests did great.
Hopefully the commentators at the final will just call the game and not give their opinions about not only the plaers in the game but others as well.
And let’s call BOTH players EITHER by their first name or last. NOT ONE player by First name and the other by last. It implies a bias, as well
as giving the naieve” the belief that one player is better than the other


calmdownplease Says:

well I have to go out now
Fortunately lol


Josh Says:

@CDP Djokovic has been more successful at return Nadal’s serves in particular. Andy and Nadal have not played that often, so he doesn’t have as good a read on the serve as Novak does IMO


Daniel Says:

Bizarre match


Daniel Says:

CDP. But what about Breaking serve. i bet Djoko would be on top with Nadal


Daniel Says:

Murray could at least play good in 1 Nadal serve at least 1. Nadal can win a semfinal in a Grand Slam without having to face a deuce game. I see 6-0 or 6-1 sets more competitive. Jesus even Ferrer broke Nadal when lost 6-0.
This is unacceptable for a player of Murray’s caliber.


van orten Says:

Nadal is overdue..come on nole u r the one….and if it happens do not cry Nadal fans..he has already 8!!!!!!!! Rg titles..how many more do u greedy fans want…disgusting


Daniel Says:

Nadal is practicing body serve agaisnt Djoko


Humble Rafa Says:

I am a very Humble person by nature, but midgets are midgets and are mince meat.


Humble Rafa Says:

Nadal is overdue..come on nole u r the one….and if it happens do not cry Nadal fans..he has already 8!!!!!!!! Rg titles..how many more do u greedy fans want…disgusting

12 is a good nice number.


JF Says:

Nadal has only dropped 6 points on serve !


Polo Says:

Agree with everything Mary Healey said. Unfortunately, tennis commentators, especially in the USA, are the most incompetent, biased and unprofessional commentators in all of sport.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

OK Ben, you convinced me. I’m off the Gulbis bandwagon till next Slam.


gonzalowski Says:

Clay storm!


Daniel Says:

I am embarrassed


Polo Says:

Nadal would finish his career with double digit French Open titles. He looks ready for Djokovic, anyone for that matter and at anytime.


JF Says:

Why, what happened, Polo ?


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I have to think Murray hoped for better.


Daniel Says:

15-30. A miracle


Eric Says:

I think Andy is pushing Rafa about as hard as would a good high schooler.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Going to be an amazing match Sunday. And I’ll be stuck on a train.

You know, this may excite some folks here, but I think Andy snuck in his Slams in a Rafa-downturn period, and I think with Rafa at full force, its going to be harder for him to get a sniff. He definitely has more luck against Novak.


Daniel Says:

Finally. Decue!!!


Polo Says:

I expected these results but I did not expect these matches would be so unexciting.


Polo Says:

I have a bad feeling for Sunday.


van orten Says:

Why a bad feeling??? Murray was simply bad today..Nike will be there for sure…Vajpayee noleeee get it done


Giles Says:

Vamos Champ!
Onto the Final!
Stay healthy!


Daniel Says:

Congrats Nadal playing for a ninth title. Slam final #20.

Wow, the match of the season. Nadal for a 14th and 9th RG, Djoko for 7th and career Slam.

Djoko having 4 match winning streak agaisnt Nadal with Rome 3 weeks ago

#1 on the line.

May the best man win on Sunday


gonzalowski Says:

Rafa is the favourite for sunday


Giles Says:

madmax. You were saying???


Margot Says:

Rafa was awesome.
Andy was awful. A match too far.
Well played Rafa.
@Hippy
Watch your recording and enjoy.
@conty
Don’t bother!
Come home Andy, Kim should’ve packed by now, and get on the glorious grass!


Daniel Says:

Oh and Nadal will try 5th in a row. Something not even he was about to do before. Last time he went for 5 in a row he lost to Soderling. Will history preserve at least this record of Borg’s on clay. Share 4th straight titles in RG?!


Salleh Ahmed Says:

Nole has the mental edge.

Murray forgot to bring his serve today. Nadal did the rest.


Polo Says:

Sad ending for Murray but stiil a very good French tournament for him. He met somebody who could not be stopped by anyone.


Okiegal Says:

The belief is just not there when the opponent is Rafa on clay……it happened to David and now Andy. Maybe on hard courts there would be more effort and less nervousness, but when it’s Rafa on clay, a whole different animal for most. I think Novak is the only player that it makes no never mind what type of court it is……obviously. Now pressing on to Sunday and the battle of the “Beastie Boyz”!!

Vamos Rafa!!


Giles Says:

Andy did really well reaching the semis not having played in RG for 2 years. Commiserations to Andy and his fans.
Rafa was too good today. Keep it up Champ!


TennisVagabond.com Says:

This is shaping up to be a battle for the ages, like Rafa’s breakthrough at Wimby.


Ben Pronin Says:

Apparently Djokovic is sick.


mat4 Says:

Rafa played this match well from his comfort zone. Muzza was at his absolute worst: not only did he play bad, but he played wrong — although, as he has already shown a few times, he is quite able to apply Ferrer’s gameplan against Rafa.

The Chatrier is the slowest court on Earth, in the Milky Way, in the whole universe I guess. Rafa can play in slow motion and, despite this, still get every ball. He didn’t look great, but he didn’t have to do anything special.

He is the overwhelming favourite for Sunday. Not because he plays great, but because Novak if far from the form he showed in Rome. The only hope I have is that he was also playing bad in Miami, but won easily. But Miami, although slow, is faster than the clay on the Chatrier.


mat4 Says:

@Ben:

Do you have a link?


Humble Rafa Says:

Apparently Djokovic is sick.

He better not use that an excuse.


andrea Says:

i thought murray would have more to throw at nadal. well, its the final everyone wanted. unfortunately for novak, nadal looks like he’s on fire. novak is going to need to come out of the gates and press him to put some doubt in nadal’s mind. hopefully novak can put his nerves behind him and come out blazing.


Okiegal Says:

I watched the match in my computer and now it’s being televised on NBC. They picked it up in the second set. I really didn’t get to see Rafa’s amazing footwork very clear, but, wow, on my big screen in HD, his movement is breathtaking……akin to Fed’s breathtaking backhand!!


mat4 Says:

Thanks, Ben. Not a good news.


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic isn’t allowed to say he’s sick (which he didn’t) but Nadal is allowed to plant the back excuse as early as the third round? Double standards much?


Josh Says:

Right – now we’ll see what happens. Nadal has laid down his final emphatic marker, as if to say: “not this year, buddy”. Conditions on Sunday are expected be hot, but with cloud cover and possibly some rain. If Novak is to win this, he’ll need to be at his best. He’ll probably have to win the first set too.
Otherwise, Rafa will be The Man once again


mat4 Says:

I guess it just a little fever because of the stress, it happens when you are relieved from pressure. Hope that it will pass soon. Hope that it is not food poisoning, or something like that.


Steve27 Says:

Borg 6 Roland Garros
The reverse of 6?
Rafa will win his 9 Roland Garros on sunday
Vam9s!


mat4 Says:

If Novak plays the way he played his last two matches against Rafa… IF… he has a good chance. Especially since Rafa will be under a terrible pressure, nervous, and Novak could well win in three.

A few questions are important: 1) is Novak sick?, in what shape is he? He didn’t made on BH DTL today, his shots landed short, especially from the FH side, the % of first serve was the lower he had this week; 2) how will Novak react to the body serve? Rafa has already used it against him, and it bore fruits in the semi of Olympics, a few years ago, so Novak could be ready for this; to put pressure on Rafa’s serve is crucial: against Novak, he starts usually to be nervous and misses a lot of shots he would usually make; 3) what will be the conditions on the court? and what does advantage one player or the other? I guess that a little rain before could help Novak, but I am not sure.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I think folks are overreacting to Rafa’s win and supposedly superior form. Rafa played a string of nobodies, then Ferrer who folded after the first set, and Andy who didn’t show up. Rafa might be the best bully on tour against 90-lbs weaklings.
Novak will have the right game plan. A lot will come down to Rafa’s serve.
I keep going back and forth on who I like to win. And even on who I’d LIKE to win.


Ben Pronin Says:

True story, TV. Nadal’s path was a joke until the quarters. And then his quarterfinal and semifinal opponents gave up/didn’t try.

The match is on Djokovic’s racket.


calmdownplease Says:

Andy looked like he had had enough in the Paris twilight against Gael, and now we have confirmation that he certainly did.
It was a very good show all in all, despite the embarrassing capitulation at the end.
Just a few more days on the dirt and then the dirty interlude ends the fun season begins again.
If Novak is fit & the conditions are a little heavier and less sunny he’s got a real shot on Sunday.
But it was never going to be easy to dislodge the Emperor from his throne. Oh no.


mat4 Says:

@Ben:

I had a look at the stats, and watched that Novak interview. Murray’s stats were awful: 52% of first serves in, and then, the worst thing of all: 10 points won when returning, 4 returning Nadal’s first serve, who averaged 177 km/h (110 mph). Unbelievable… Not even one BP!

When you analyse Rafa’s serve direction you’ll notice that he served, most of the time, in the middle of the service box (60% of the time, 28:17), and here, his average speed was 172 km/h!

Then, there was that BH. It worked well, except… that Rafa was in position, most of the time, to get into the ball. He had time to adjust and to hit it efficiently. But on the rare occasions where he had to run… things weren’t that well. He overhit, then started slicing. I still believe that he, indeed, has slight back problems. He also seemed a step slower than usual. Hopefully, Murray played to far away from the baseline, giving him plenty of time, but when Andy managed to move the ball and get a bit inside the court, Rafa’s legendary defence was often missing.

There isn’t much hope for Novak, but… who knows.


calmdownplease Says:

I will say also that that kind of blow out against a top player at the end of a tournament is actually a sign that, no Andy Murray can’t go it alone, he still needs some kind of Tennis Father figure, for as tired as he seemed to be it was still an unacceptable dip in performance and tactical execution.
He looked like a lost little boy missing his mummy/daddy.


skeezer Says:

Andy appeared out of gas from the get go. Laboring in the footwork Dept. Ferrer the same also but later. Guys like Fed, Rafa, Nole seem to relish being there in the semis. More often then not they have said once they can get to the second week they feel like they have a shot. Others look like they are just thankful to be there, not thinking that they are so close and need to leave it all out there to win.. Imo.


Okiegal Says:

Who says Novak isn’t allowed to say he’s sick??

How many more FO titles do the greedy Rafa fans want? You’ve got to be kidding……how many more tiles do greedy Fed fans want?? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!! Lol Lets be real…every fan wants their favorite to win every tourney they enter……whether or not it’s their fifth or their fiftieth……just saying.


calmdownplease Says:

That’s not very fair on Andy
He always makes the second week and usually relishes being there.
But this is his worst slam and he is still coming back so we have to cut him a bit of slack in the bigger picture, I suppose.
Anyway, I’ve seen enough here to know that in the 2nd week of the NEXT slam, the real Andy Murray will appear.


Okiegal Says:

@Skeezer 1:50

I agree with your last post.


courbon Says:

@ mat 4: I can be quite pessimistic when comes to Novak but you really go for it!
There is a hope for Novak-sure, Rafa is a favorite but Novak has a chance.


Ben Pronin Says:

“There isn’t much hope for Novak, but… who knows.”

Weird conclusion to come to but okay.

Murray was a no show. Do we expect a no show from Djokovic?


Giles Says:

I do hope joker is not playing the sick card again!
Vamos Rafa!
Stay Healthy!


calmdownplease Says:

Rafa’s progression has been serene in this tournament, but he has had, literally, no opposition whatsoever.
Anyone that thinks beating this Murray means anything is deluded.
With right amount of intensity ie Novak playing at his best then I’ll say it again he has a real shot at winning Sunday.
But he will have to play at his very best because Rafa is not going down without a fight, back problems or no.
Having said that Novak looked a little shaky out there wheras Rafa has got himself into whatever his peak is at this stage.


mat4 Says:

@Ben:

On the other side, you’ll perhaps come to realize that I am quite wise… and humble… and no jinx this time.


Okiegal Says:

Novak did say in his presser that there were some things going on but he wasn’t going to talk about it. Mary Carrillo made a comment that he sounded like he had a cold. He did mention the usual fatigue and conditions, but refused to share the other “things” he as dealing with……maybe morning sickness!! Lol


Ben Pronin Says:

He sounded like his nose was stuffed. Maybe a cold?


madmax Says:

Let’s try to read properly shall we Giles, and note the time – for once!:

madmax Says:
Giles Says:
madmax. Your use of the word “crush” is wishful thinking on your part. The fact is your man was “CRUSHED” by Gulbis and now he’s grazing on the green green grass of Wimby. Lol

June 6th, 2014 at 7:10 am

Giles, you have zero humour. You just don’t get it and never will. Of course Murray can beat rafa. Unlikely, but you just never know!

June 6th, 2014 at 10:33 am


Daniel Says:

Steve27

Just a reminder when Clay season started you posted that Nadal would do the triple 9 (MC, Barcelona and RG). So far he missed two, feeling he will miss one more.

One thing we know, one sided will be in heaven come Sunday and the other in hell, I am dying to see who will be victorious. This match can determine the remaining of their career as both even at their peaks, we know it won’t last that long. one is 27 and the other 28.

If Nadal wins he can end this year with 15 Slams realistic, 14 for sure and even 16 possible. GOAThood within reach. He may crush Djoko’s spirit, stop the bleeding of loses and even get more wins in HC. Can pump him up.

If Djoko wins, career Slams and he also can finish the year with 8 Slams realistic. LAst 3 years he went far in Wimby: Chamipn, Semis and runner up losing only to eventual champion. US Open he has 5 Straight finals with 1 title, he is due for another.

Nadal losing will start all the talk of his decline. Worst clay season, losing all Slams finals to his main rival and question marks for the future? Will another 7 match losing streak or higher starts? He can go Slamless for the first time in 10 years and who knows how many more Slams he will win if he had lost last 2 straight finals?! Federer’s records could be safe.

Plus Number 1 on the line, if Djoko get it back I assume he won’t lose it.

Too much at stake, as it always is with Slam finals in this era we live in.

Nadal is on a 3 straight Slam final, the most he ever had. But his is a match neither can ford to lose and seeing how the one who loses will regroup for the rest of the season would be dramatic as well. Very exciting times…


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal’s reached more than 3 straight finals before.


RZ Says:

Well that was disappointing (the Nadal-Murray match). However, the bigger disappointment is that I chose to wait to watch the match on NBC rather than track scores live. What was I thinking? It took just a few minutes to remind me why try to avoid NBC tennis coverage as much as possible. Johnny Mac doesn’t stop talking at all, and all 3 commentators mentioned about 10 times that Soderling is the only guy to beat Rafa at RG. It’s definitely a valid point that should be brought up, but did they need to keep saying it over and over?


senorita Says:

contador Says:

Andy will get 2 sets off Rafa, which means that Rafa will have to win in 5 sets. A long, protracted match is what I predict.

June 5th, 2014 at 4:12 pm

You just have to laugh. I’m ROFL.


Daniel Says:

You’re right Ben, forgot AO 2012. He reached 5 once: From RG 2011 to RG 2012, 3 in 2010 RG to US and and now 3 more.

Hope Djoko is only a small cold. Maybe the shift in temperature and today was the “bad day” The sun light was really bothering him. Hope by Sunday he is back to his healthier ways. It would be really a shame if another Slam final would be jeopardize by intangibles. But maybe this will be Nadal’s good fortune after his bad luck in AO. go figure!


the DA Says:

“And then his quarterfinal and semifinal opponents gave up/didn’t try.”

Yet they each won more games than Nadal’s opponent did in the 2008 final. You going to say he also gave up or didn’t try that day? Sometimes the opponent is white hot and/or it’s a bad day at the office and nothing works.

Personally I was convinced he’d be gone by the 3rd round so a SF on his worst surface is a major bonus. I hope Nole’s ailment disappears before Sunday. He was definitely under the weather.


Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t see how that’s relevant. And yeah, Federer admitted to giving up in the third set.


contador Says:

@senorita

If you read my entire post, I was simply making my picks, like I usually do. Notice I got one semifinal absolutely right, right down to the number of sets. For the Muzza – Nadal match I had the winner but was over-enthusiastic about Andy performing well and hopeful for a competitive match. Unfortunately the match was not even watchable, imo. I don’t care to see Nadal winning any more matches on clay. There is a developing case to be made for Nadal winning and building his legend in the weakest clay competition era known to tennis.


skeezer Says:

“There is a developing case to be made for Nadal winning and building his legend in the weakest clay competition era known to tennis.”
Shaamooon!


contador Says:

@skeezer

sad but true…weak clay era. ; )


Steve 27 Says:

like grass era. In fact, the last decade, it was the worst of all time. Lol!


Steve 27 Says:

Poor fed fans, beacause your deacadent idol is not a threat anymore, now all push to Djoker to win agaisnt Rafa Nadal. Not gonna happen, kids.
One thing is a best of three, another different animal, is a best of five.
The serbian has not problem to reach qf and sf streak, his consistecy is incredible, buy you know why, he is weak in finals, his record 6 to 6 in gs finals, is not good enough to inspire respect.
And dont forget that Rafa won 6 matches in a best of 5 sets on clay, including a davis cup match
So, Rafa will win for the 6 time on Philipe Chatrier on sunday in 4 sets.
Daniel. I hope he can surpass Sampras 14 gs, thats enough for me.
Dont worry, your idol will hold the record for a long time
Vam9s!


skeezer Says:

Poor rafanatics…only come out and act all puffy chest after Rafa wins on Clay. Otherwise……invisable. No Kohones.
—-
Hey Rafa, hows that back excuse going for ya?
#Lame os!


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