Nadal Into Rio QFs; Bolelli Beats Raonic For First Top 10 Win In Marseille, Def Champ Gulbis Winless in 2015
by Staff | February 20th, 2015, 12:03 am
  • 15 Comments

It was another tough first set, but Rafael Nadal rolled into the Rio quarterfinals with a 7-5, 6-3 win over countryman Pablo Carreno Busta Thursday. Nadal, who is a perfect 16-0 lifetime in Brazil, now faces Pablo Cuevas in a first-time meeting on Friday.

“If my rival is Nadal, it is going to be the first time I face him,” said Cuevas who just won the Sao Paulo event on Sunday. “I am in a good moment. I will try to enjoy the match and continue to play the same as I been doing and I wish I can continue with the streak.”

David Ferrer is also in qaurterfinal action against Juan Monaco.

Indoors in Marseille, defending champion Ernests Gulbis tumbled out to Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-3 in his opening match. The Latvian who reached the French Open semifinals has now lost his last six matches, all four this year. And since his memorable run at Roland Garros, Gulbis has won just nine matches overall.

Speaking of memories, Simone Bolelli had one of his best career wins today. After losing 35 straight to Top 10 players, the Italian finally got a win beating Milos Raonic Thursday in Marseille 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(3).

“There were many close games, but I couldn’t make the most of my chances,” said Raonic. “I served better as the match went on, but he made it through when it mattered the most.”

With an 0-22 record, American Ryan Harrison now has the most active losses to Top 10 players without a win.

Stan Wawrinka, Gilles Simon and Dominic Thiem were also victors.

In the Delray Beach, the quarterfinals features Young-Dolgoplov, Tomic-Nishioka, Lu-Mannarino and Johnson-Karlovic. Tournament favorites John Isner and Sam Querrey both lost earlier in the week.

“Today was very cold so it was tough for both of us,” said Tomic who beat Viktor Troicki in three. “It was good tennis; we both served pretty good. I was happy to win because it’s a tough match playing Viktor.”

On the women’s tour in Dubai, the Friday semifinals will see Caroline Wozniacki take on Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova against Garbine Muguruza.

Halep avenged a Australian Open loss to Ekaterina Makarova beating the Russian 7-5 in the third. Wozniacki, meanwhile, stormed past Flavia Pennetta 7-5, 6-0, winning the last nine games. Wozniacki and Halep have split two previous meetings.

“Simona is obviously a good player,” Wozniacki said. “She takes the ball early, she likes to play with angles – it’s going to be a little bit similar to today. But I haven’t played her for a long time, so I don’t remember exactly how she plays. I’ve seen her on TV obviously. I’ll need to ask my dad for a few tips.”


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15 Comments for Nadal Into Rio QFs; Bolelli Beats Raonic For First Top 10 Win In Marseille, Def Champ Gulbis Winless in 2015

skeezer Says:

“I am in a good moment. I will try to enjoy the match and continue to play the same as I been doing and I wish I can continue with the streak.”
If you play Rafa, and want to beat him, you need a strategy, not “continue to play the same”. this is where players lose to Rafa. You have to know how to play against his FH.
—-
Congrsts to Bolelli, a good win for him.


Vinod Says:

“Speaking of memories, Simone Bolelli had one of his best career wins today. After losing 35 straight to Top 10 players, the Italian finally got a win beating Milos Raonic Thursday in Marseille 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(3).”

Didn’t bolelli win against Federer at this year’s australian open ?


Hippy Chick Says:

Vinod that was Seppi….


Michael Says:

So far so good. Rafa seems to be slowly finding his groove and he is yet to be seriously tested in this tournament and so it is difficult to say as to whether he is playing near his best. But, the fact is that he always is a different player on Clay and tough to dislodge. You need to play with greater variety with a combination of placement and speed to unsettle him and that is quite easier said than done. The only player I can see even today who has the ability to beat Rafa in his favourite surface is ofcourse Novak. And the rest, Nadal can peacefully take care as he fears none.


Emily Says:

Mentioned on the other thread that I thought Carreno Busta definitely showed signs of a good career ahead of him


Hippy Chick Says:

Michael i recorded the match,and from what ive watched it was certainly anything but plain sailing for Rafa,as Emily said the match was very competitive,many games going to deuce and advantage….


Peter Says:

Gulbis should either switch coaches or do something else. His father is loaded so I’m sure he can land a nice job supervising miners in the Baltics or something.


Emily Says:

Bleacher report actually has an interesting article on what we were discussing yesterday about players peaking in their late 20′s. It also goes into what happened to the previous generation w/ Roddick, Safin, Ferrero, Hewitt and I actually agree w/ the author’s main points. Here’s the link if anyone’s interested: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2370849-why-are-tennis-top-stars-performing-well-late-in-their-careers


chris ford1 Says:

Emily – thanks for the link. Read it and noticed the pretty articulate Djokovic quote. He seems to prefer to being forged into a better player than he could ever be without such rival by being tested by Rafa, Roger and even Andy – than to have existed part or all of his career in a Weak Era and padded his numbers.

” “I believe that Nadal and Federer and even Andy(Murray) made me a better player and made me understand what I needed to do to improve my game to get on their level,” Djokovic said via ABC.net. “In another era I maybe would be in double figures already (the question was on winning Slams) but I am a better player as a consequence of being a rival of theirs.”

And like before, the marquee acts in tennis for 2015 will likely be what it has been for the last 5. The matches between Djoker and Rafa. And the high quality, either can win, Fed vs. Djoker matches.

Rafa Nadal is a bright young man. Don’t be lulled by his sometimes stumbling, halting English delivery. He does know the great Djokovic threat and just how Novak burns inside to beat him at Roland Garros and improve and try and beat Rafa on any other surface. Nadal is open he hates playing Djokovic, because he wants to win above all. And even when he does beat Nole, in some years at some events, like 2009 Madrid, he pays a steep physical penalty.
There are 2 other players that worry Rafa.Isner…getting lucky. And a healthy Juan Martin del Potro who can and has blown Nadal off the court.
But Djoker is his only real rival.


FedExpress Says:

Stackovsky-the Swiss killer


senthilvel Says:

Donald Young – playing superb !! top 10 soon.


Okiegal Says:

@Chick…..I’m watching Fognini and he took the first set. Maybe you’ll get a double delight if he and Rafa continue to win. :)


missice Says:

something for rafa fans like me. :)

http://au.ibtimes.com/rafael-nadal-reveals-desire-be-greatest-all-time-1423411

(well, who doesn’t want to?:) )


Karthick Says:

finally fognini finishes..


Okiegal Says:

@Karthick……..Finally, whew, that was a nail biter if you were a fan of either one those guys.

Now I’ve got to pull Rafa through. It is 1:00 there. Should be much cooler however. They said this was the hottest it’s been there in years.

Vamos!!

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