Are We Headed For Federer v Nadal Saturday At Indian Wells? Friday QF Picks And Pans
by Sean Randall | March 20th, 2015, 12:42 am
  • 217 Comments

There honestly hasn’t been much Madness so far this March. It began in promising fashion with Davis Cup weekend, but the men’s event at Indian Wells thus far has been a letdown.

Nick Kyrgios-Grigor Dimitrov was exciting. John Isner-Novak Djokovic had some good moments as did several other matches, but there were no real “time capsule” type contests. However, we still have a lot of tennis still to play.

And tomorrow offers wondrous possibilities thanks to our last two men’s quarterfinals with all eyes on a potential Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal Saturday showdown. But do we get it? Let’s go to my picks.

Roger Federer v Tomas Berdych
After Berdych (the “unknown Czech”!) beat him at the Olympics nearly 11 years ago, it was all Federer dominating the series. However, as Federer has aged and Berdych maintained his unfulfilled potential, the scales may be tipping in favor of Berdych of late. Or at least they are leveling.

Tomas is down 12-6 to Federer but since the start of 2012 the two have split four meetings with Roger winning on the clay at 2012 Madrid then Tomas taking two straight at the 2012 US Open and 2013 Dubai before Federer got back on top at Dubai last year.

“Because he’s been around for so long, he knows his potential,” Federer said. “He knows as well it’s important to know your limitations as a player so you don’t pull off shots that are totally stupid. I think he does very well, and probably also with a new team now he feels eager to try out new things and maybe gives him extra energy. So I think it’s going to be an interesting matchup for him having a new team in the back, really.”

I think Federer is now playing better than a year ago but so too is Berdych who blew out Rafa at the Australian Open. So I have to think Tomas is riding a good wave right now. The problem is those waves with him usually crash sooner rather than later, and I think that’s what happens here.

History says Berdych never does well at Indian Wells. Maybe it’s the climate or its place on the calendar, but more likely it’s the slow court speed and the light air. Berdych doesn’t play with a lot of margin and that style isn’t rewarded on a slow court like Indian Wells.

Meanwhile, Federer has been among the best ever at the event. He just won his 50th career match and he’s now three wins from a fifth title there. So he’s my guy here.

But he’ll have to serve well and move well, and start quickly. Berdych brings a lot to the table, but often he lets you down just when you think he’s someone to be feared. Well, I do fear him, I just don’t trust him to keep beating the Big Four.
The pick: Federer in 3

Milos Raonic v Rafael Nadal
Like Federer, Rafael Nadal also loves playing at Indian Wells. Rafa has won the title three times and other than last year when he was stunned by Alex Dolgopolov, he always seems to be playing on the final weekend. And I expect no different this year.

After a tough January, Nadal is getting back into groove. Rafa had a fruitful trip to South America winning Buenos Aires without losing a set. And guess what? Rafa hasn’t lost a set this week either.

Raonic has been slowly improving, crafting his game. Working out the numbers, the angles. Compiling the data. He’s a very heady player. Maybe too heady.

After bursting on the scene 3-4 years ago, Raonic’s finally making some strides, albeit small ones. He’s played well in the Masters events beating Federer en route to the Paris finals last October. And he has such an imposing offensive game.

“I’m here because I want to break through and win at these big events,” Raonic said. “Everybody is aware that those are the kind of guys you have to get through. I have consistently been able to put myself in this position where I’m facing top guys in big events. I want to make a difference more than I have before. So it’s really like a big challenge for me, a big test. I’m ready to step up.”

My problem is and always has been, how is Milos going to break serve, especially against a guy like Nadal. So it’s no surprise Rafa has won all five previous meetings relatively comfortably over the Canadian. Milos’s best hope is to serve well and hope he can force tiebreakers, and get lucky. Otherwise, on a slow outdoor hardcourt it’s just going to be an uphill battle for him to break serve unless his opponent gaffs, and Rafa really doesn’t do that.

“It’s like playing on a clay court that’s a little bit easier to move on in that sense there is no sliding around,” Roanic said. “The ground’s more stable underneath you. It does bounce. When you get ahead, I don’t think you finish off the points as quickly, but it lets you sort of construct the points. Lets you find your game. Lets you have the time to organize what you’re trying to do and then try to make the most of it.”

A “clay court”? That’s all I need to hear, Milos.
The pick: Nadal in two

So there we have it. With Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray already punched, the Big Four are back in a tournament semifinal for the first time since the 2012 Australian Open. At least in my bracket.

Or did I just jinx it?


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217 Comments for Are We Headed For Federer v Nadal Saturday At Indian Wells? Friday QF Picks And Pans

jane Says:

sean, what i really really wanna know is, if it is fedal in the semis, then who’s your pick? too far ahead maybe. but that’s call i am curious about. i happen to agree with your picks here, though i think an upset from berdy or more likely.


jane Says:

*a call…
* is more…
_typos_


Kimberly Says:

Total jinx


Nirmal Kumar Says:

It’s a day match for both Roger and Rafa. Not sure if both had played a day match yet. I remember Roger played a day match, but not sure if it was this early.

I feel Berdych is a much tougher opponent for Roger compared to Milos for Rafa. Roger finds Berdych’s inside out FH to his BH a difficult shot to defend. His best chance is to play very aggressive, like he did in Dubai. If he wants to stick around baseline, and with the day conditions being fast, it’s a big plus for Berdych. Also Roger needs to have a great serving day. Let’s see.


metan Says:

Give me fedal or I go with Kimberly total jinx.


chris ford1 Says:

It would be nice to have another Fedal match. There can’t be too many of them left, and right now, Roger is in great form and Rafa is not yet at 100%.
Which means Rafa is only the moderate favorite, of course, because he has had Roger’s number since 2008.


chris ford1 Says:

I should have added IF the two advance over Birdy and Raonic.
Don’t want to jinx another Fedal opportunity for the nostalgic.
Saw some footage of Isner-Djokovic. It can never be put in the classic matches because it involves Isner the Servebot (and Isner-Mahut was a travesty of two guys unable to return serve)..But credit John Isner for playing as good as anyone has seen him play – he just ran into Djokovic also playing his best tennis. It was a very high quality match. Fans got their money’s worth.


JINX!!! Says:

Federer in 2 SETS & Raonic in 3 SETS!!!


Sean Jinx!! Says:

Federer in 2 & Raonic in 3 !!!


KatH Says:

As I indicated on a previous thread, Federer has played evening matches – and is not “seasoned” for the heat – he only played one day match but even that was late afternoon. This could well be a factor in today’s match – as Berdych – who appears to feel the heat quite a bit (sweats heavily) has at least become accustomed to it over the duration of this tournament.

Could it be a factor or not?


sienna Says:

Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and … murray by latest you see how difficult it is to maintain the level of toptier tennis. Grueling relentless etc to keep producing that standard.

The only player to have shown a higher level of standard has failed yet in consistency.

His name of course is…. CILIC


Hippy Chick Says:

Agree with Seans picks,Berdych is one of a few players who is playing great,but also has the game and is not intimidated by Roger,however i would give Roger the edge this time,about Rafa nobody knows where his games at still?and breaking that serve of Milos will prove tricky although i dont think hes moves as well as some of the other guys,will it be a factor i dont know?,its been a while since Andy beat Novak and hes got back to that level that won him W,so im trying to be optomistic about his chances,i dont believe you get what your due,otherwise Sharapova would have a win over Serena after all these years,nor do i believe in jinxs or curses either,all an imaginary concept,some players just dont match up well is all….


sienna Says:

Federer is heat seasoned. He just finished tourney Dubai and training stage Dubai.

He always prepares for heat.


Michael Says:

Regarding Rafa Vs Raonic, the former should prevail easily and so I have to go with Sean in his pick. The problem for Raonic is that he has a difficult match up with Rafa and is totally at sea with his style of play which doesn’t suit him. I have seen him crumble so meekly in the past and this time it is not going to be any better as Rafa is slowly but steadily rediscovering his form and the way he played against Simon should have given goose bumbs to Raonic that here is a player once again on fire.

However, Roger Vs Berdych is a toss up. Of late, Berdych has shown that he is not intimidated by Roger as in the past and is prepared to take right up to him. So, Roger will have his hands full and it will be real battle which should be interesting, entertaining and possess all the ingredients of a high quality suspense thriller. Roger nodoubt enjoys a slight edge, but not by much that Berdych need to catch up. I think the first serve percentage would be crucial for both the players. Everyone is eager to watch Roger vs Rafa once again resuming their rivalry and it has been some time since they played each other. But, Berdych might prove a hurdle to these dreams and remain a thorn in Roger’s flesh. Let us see how Roger copes with this and gets through !?


Hippy Chick Says:

Michael my thoughts exactly,about Andy well hes playing great again,so if this Andy shows up we might at long last get a decent contest between him and Novak,i doubt Tomic wouldve beaten Novak,but i just wonder if that W/O wouldve disrupted his rythum at all,how do you see the Andy/Novak match going,or is that silly question?….


TennisVagabond.com Says:

So 3 months into the season, fresh off a tournament win, Rafa is still not 100%?
Is that just the mantra until he has the RG crown again?


Hippy Chick Says:

Michael also thanks for the feedback a couple of days ago on the other thread,agree about Nishikori whos a gutsy player with a big game and alot of talent,but seems susceptible to injuries unfortunatly,and hes also one of my favorites of the next generation of players,i hope to see him winning a GS at some point,Raonic is a nice guy but his style of play leaves me feeling quite cold,on the other hand Dimitrov has all the talent,all the shots,all the variety etc etc,but lacks the consistency,TBH he was lucky against Kyrigios,an expession comes to mind to descrbe Dimtitrov style over substance IMO….


madmax Says:

Rafa says he is fit enough to play.

I get really fed up with the “Rafa isn’t 100% fit” crap. Either play or don’t play. End of.


madmax Says:

Sean,

You know you jinx everything. Next match for Fed to get his teeth into is Berdych.

At this point in time, nothing else matters.


Hippy Chick Says:

TV i havent seen him play much this week,so i cant really decipher?some like Michael are saying he looks good again,some are saying hes still not quite there yet,so who knows,and RG is still two months away??


madmax Says:

I have seen Roger play Tomas and it is always a nerve wracking experience.

Primarily because Tomas is (seriously) like a tank. Tomas the tank engine. He is heavily built and much more swift than you would think.

Roger will have his work cut out for him, but I do expect him to win.


Hippy Chick Says:

Madmax i never actually said he wasnt 100%,what i actually said was that i dont know where is game is at,as i havent actually watched him play much lately i dont really know how well he is playing,some like Michael say hes playing well again others say otherwise?….


Hippy Chick Says:

@6.10am You contradicted yourself,Cilic has played very little tennis and flamed out early in IW so i dont see how hes set the standard of the other three top players yet as you say failed in consistency as it doesnt make sense?,granted its early days since Cilic won the USO, but Murray has made the final of the 1st GS this year,the one that Cilic didnt even play,hes also in the semis at IW should he lose to Novak its no disgrace as hes the number 1 player,and so far the best player on tour this year,i know your bitter about it,but at least Murrays been in contention,which is something Murray has not….


Hippy Chick Says:

^sorry something Cilic has not in the last sentence of my post^….


jane Says:

kath, yes, i think that could be a possible factor. it’s not so much about the heat, though, as the different playing conditions.


madmax Says:

Hippy Chick Says:
Madmax i never actually said he wasnt 100%,what i actually said was that i dont know where is game is at,as i havent actually watched him play much lately i dont really know how well he is playing,some like Michael say hes playing well again others say otherwise?….

March 20th, 2015 at 7:57 am

HC! It isn’t directed at you, not at all. You must say what you want and what you feel. It is a general remark I made and not specific to anyone. :)

I get fed up reading about his ailments if I am honest. He is a great champion, I have always said that, but to keep harping on about his injuries – enough! Either play OR don’t play, but stop keep going on and on about it.

Tiresome. Tiring. Boring.

As fans, we just want to see the tennis being played, by our favourite, not hearing about match fitness.

He has had 7 months off to recoup, won a tournament in between and is favourite for RG, even now, I think he has a good chance of winning – so I don’t know why he, more than anyone, always writes himself off.

This being humble I think is a smokescreen Hippy. He looks fit and well enough to me, he walks onto the court and he hasn’t lost a set all tournament.


madmax Says:

Novak should come out the winner though Hippy, having said all of that. Watching him play right now, he is just so fluid and so aggressive and so focused.

He is very impressive right now. With the extra rest, after not playing Tomic, he has time to heal, which the other players don’t. Sometimes though, these time advantages can work against the player. Am certain Novak is aware of that; perhaps Murray will monopolise on that fact and really come out gunning for a win from the get go, so that Novak has no chance to recover.

I wouldn’t bet on it though.


KatH Says:

Jane that is true – but playing in different conditions (evening to day)changes the temperature and what Roger has been accustomed to, especially as the ball evidently plays friskier in response to conditions.

Sienna – I think Dubai has a roof – even so, Roger has been used to night conditions for the past 10 days. I remember a lot of Roger’s fans rued the fact that Roger had to change from evening to daytime in one tournament last year which he ended up losing – can’t recall the occasion – maybe you can.

This is why I always think that there is an element of unfairness in the scheduling, i.e. playing the business-end matches under different conditions et. etc.


Humble Rafa Says:

I get really fed up with the “Rafa isn’t 100% fit” crap. Either play or don’t play. End of.

Calm down. Don’t kick the children. Also write complete sentences.


jane Says:

exactly kath. that’s what i meant, not that the heat would affect fed himself, but more that it changes playing conditions. at least he’s played one day match though. nole’s had late evening matches the whole event, and i am taking a wild guess that they’ll put his/andy’s match in the day tomorrow, so he’ll be in the semis and playing his first match in day conditions. that’s silly scheduling. the organizers should be mixing it up at least a bit.


Giles Says:

11.53 am. Oh dear, my heart bleeds! NOT!


SG1 Says:

If the courts play fast (which they should during the day), I’d say Milos has a puncher’s chance against a Rafa that’s still building up his confidence. I’m picking Rafa in 2 close sets (7-6, 7-5) or something like that.

As for Rafa and the whole 100% thing, Rafa will never be 100% again. He has a chronic knee issue that won’t ever fully go away. But, he doesn’t need to 100% to win a match or a slam. I’m sure he’s won majors with pain in his knee or his back.


jane Says:

re: that tweet – it was “very close” the first 3 sets all could’ve gone either way.


Hippy Chick Says:

Yes Madmax i agree this tourney seems to have Novaks name written all over it,although im hoping for a surprise and Andy will get a long awaited double over him….


Hippy Chick Says:

^Sorry excuse the typos meant hope that Andy will get a long awaited win over him^….


madmax Says:

KatH Says:

Sienna – I think Dubai has a roof – even so, Roger has been used to night conditions for the past 10 days. I remember a lot of Roger’s fans rued the fact that Roger had to change from evening to daytime in one tournament last year which he ended up losing – can’t recall the occasion – maybe you can.

March 20th, 2015 at 10:57 am

KatH, dubai does NOT have a roof. It’s an outdoor event. I have been twice.

I agree with the scheduling, but it does affect ALL players at some stage.

This type of discussion always happens around USOpen time, the scheduling there is really bad in my view. It didn’t seem to be fair, across the board with the players playing an equal amount of day/night matches – but what can you do when it comes down to scheduling?

SG1, you miss the point.

“As for Rafa and the whole 100% thing, Rafa will never be 100% again. He has a chronic knee issue that won’t ever fully go away. But, he doesn’t need to 100% to win a match or a slam. I’m sure he’s won majors with pain in his knee or his back”.

March 20th, 2015 at 12:49 pm

It’s the complaining of the injuries – many times over – ALL playersr will be playing with some kind of pain. Look at Delpotro, and even Andy said the soreness from his back after Davis cup, you don’t hear him go on and on about it.

Rafa does this all the time.


Hippy Chick Says:

The tweet was from Ricky Dimon of Tennis Talk fame,which was heavily Rafa biased from what fellow posters on this site have said?but regarding the AO i thought the first two sets were quite competitive,but the rest of the match rather fizzled out and became quite dull IMO,eek sorry Novak fans….


chris ford1 Says:

SG1 is right. Nadal seems destined to be battling knee problems and pain as long as he plays, and maybe past that.
As long as he still loves the sport and has his incredibly good speed and mobility unaffected, he’ll keep at it.
I would hate to see him push it too far and have to watch him hobbling around with a cane at 40.
But his choice.
That said, the tournament by tournament “injury press” and the “will he or won’t he be back soon” or “what a hero Rafa is to be playing like a champ after ANOTHER fall hardcourt season off” is getting past tedious.

Like Rafa, but I am sick of the media foisted “injury drama” that seems to be the only thing they think is worth talking about with him..


Hippy Chick Says:

if you look at the thread title there was no mention of Rafa talking about injuries,also not one Rafa fan actually mentioned his injuries either,i said in my post@6.13am i didnt know where his game was at as i havent actually seen him play,ie is playing well again or hitting too many short balls,shanking alot etc etc,people say they are sick of hearing about the injuries and fair enough quite right me too,but sometimes those are the ones that are the first to bring up the subject….


chris ford1 Says:

Yeeee-Owww! Hingis and Mirza just destroyed the great doubles team of Lisa Raymond and “Sam” Stosur 6-0, 6-4.
Hingis has lost many years when she could have been doing this once the Amazon scream and bash power game came to dominate over the Hingis/Radwanska types (sadly)- but she is a dream doubles player.
Her mixed doubles team – her and Leander Paes – is a pleasure to watch.


FedExpress Says:

Come on Fed.


FedExpress Says:

2 titles for fed but has won less money than birdshit

early AO loss the reason


FedExpress Says:

fed hasnt beaten birdshit on american soil

wtf


jane Says:

is berdych 30 yet?


jane Says:

berd’s having a tough time making first serves and he’s hit 3 double faults already. even more shocking, he’s won zero points on fed’s serve.


Hippy Chick Says:

Jane hes 29….


FedExpress Says:

fed on fire


FedExpress Says:

break fed


FedExpress Says:

wtf fed

right into berds fh


jane Says:

thanks hippy.
fed’s serving exceptionally well. he continues to defy his age in many ways. i know a lot of people say he isn’t what he used to be, etc, but he sure looks sharp today. this might be his best shot versus nadal in a while, should they meet.


FedExpress Says:

fed wants to save BPs


Hippy Chick Says:

Jane thats all assuming Federer gets past Berdych first,and the same thing applies to Rafa with Raonic,the first senario is a distinct possibilty been as Federer won the first set,the second one i dont know what to expect with Rafa these days….


jane Says:

this is looking like a routine win for fed now that he’s up a break in the second set too.

hippy, in 15 sets, milos has won 1 set versus rafa. as i said on the other thread, anything is possible, but rafa is definitely the fav to come through versus milos. but… we’ll see.


FedExpress Says:

genius


sienna Says:

Kath
I worry for lots of things with Roger, but heath is not 1 off them. The hotter the better for the maestro. He probably is best suited for hot hot hottest.

Chick
You missed my point.
Level of Us open was far higher then au open.

Cilic level US open has not been matched since Us open.
not even obviously by Cilic himself.


FedExpress Says:

3-0


jane Says:

bad serving day for berd. just hit his 4th and 5th double faults to get broken again … and hasn’t made more than 47% firsts all day. eeeek.


skeezer Says:

Fed is looking very good. Serve, foot speed, racket control. Just wow.


FedExpress Says:

gwen stefanie sitting like a retard

think fed wants something to prove after the seppi loss


skeezer Says:

Re; Bird…How many other players on tour have wins over the top 4?
Fed is not letting the bird out of the cage today.


Hippy Chick Says:

Jane well if this match goes pear shaped for Rafa against Raonic then this is one fan that cannot be accused of just expecting him to win just because hes previously had a players number,matches like Klizan,Berrer,Lopez,Wawa,Fognini,Almagro,Ferrer etc,im sure i dont need to go on?….


jane Says:

skeezer, i know tsonga is one of the others, and delpo, of course. not sure who else.


FedExpress Says:

5-0


Hippy Chick Says:

Berdych has some good results against the top 4 players,however he seldom backs up one top 4 win with another top 4 win,its so difficult to do against these players that make the latter part of tournies almost every week on tour….


jane Says:

hippy, we’re sometimes damned if we do and damned if we don’t so no worries then. some will call it overly pessimistic, others will say not realistic, some will say pollyanna positivity or even arrogance. so just feel about a match as you wish. of course past history is a factor, because sometimes match up and level is what it is. that’s why i felt andy would beat f-lo for example. but this is sports, so we never know what’s going to happen. present form has a lot to do with outcomes too.

hopefully that match is a little more competitive than this one. only the first 6 games were close in this one.


Daniel Says:

Damm, Fed in sublime form.

Berdych with too many DF’s. Fed apart from last service game wasn’t test at all at serve.


Margot Says:

Felt a teeny weeny bit sorry for Berd there. Fed was in imperious form and certainly exposed his lack of movement and lack of Plan B.
Well played Fed.


KatH Says:

Federer played awesome – but my goodness where was Berdych?


jane Says:

i really do hope we get to see a fed vs. nadal now.
good win for fed.


Hippy Chick Says:

Jane i know we dont always see eye to eye,but theres alot of truth in that post,however i wont actually see the match as it not televised where i am so i will have to go by live scores,and the comments on this forum urgh for my sins unfortunatly….


Margot Says:

@Hippy
Drakulastream is much better these days. Also I think you can buy tennistv for a day? You certainly can for a month, costs £15


jane Says:

margot’s right hippy – try to find a stream maybe? there are quite a number of them out there. google is your friend. :)


Hippy Chick Says:

Great performance from Federer,would he beat Rafa if Rafa gets past Raonic,i would hope not but he seems on fire and would certain stand a good chance as ever,as for Rafa well IMO it would be no disgrace to lose to Raonic whos a top 10 player,or Federer whos the greatest ever,although i doubt the naysayers would see it that way?….


jane Says:

i agree hippy; there’d be no shame in losing to either. although when nole lost to federer some were putting him down for losing to an “old man” and so forth. that’s when you just gotta scroll. clearly fed has been playing awesomely ever since he hired edberg. he had a difficult 2013 but he bounced back well. he’s not #2 for nothing.


FedExpress Says:

btw where is edbger nowadays?


andrea Says:

bagel second set? nice work roger. yet more proof if you’re a betting person never to lay a dollar on the line for pro-berdych outcome.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Jane and Hippy, I agree that Rafa could play well and its still possible Fed could win. I don’t think Fed is the player he was, but I think he’s become a Del Potro/ Wawrinka/ Berdych type of any-given-day player.
That is, you’d be surprised if Berdych won a Slam, but not if he beat Fed or even Novak on any-given-day.
Fed is like that now, but much much better. Maybe the best any-given-day player ever. I don’t know why some people have believed over the last year that Fed has NO SHOT in matches against Novak or Andy (I don’t think he’s had chances recently against Rafa).
Fed’s like grandpa: he has good days and bad days.


sienna Says:

Both berdych and wawrinka played Rotterdam.
I was not really impressed with them in the round I saw them.

Fatso wawa and Berdych was moving so so he looked like something blocked his parts.


jane Says:

“Maybe the best any-given-day player ever” – or he certainly wouldn’t be #2.

he’s definitely more consistent, by far!, than any of those other players you’ve named TV.


Hippy Chick Says:

TV makes perfect sense….


madmax Says:

Jane and Hippy, I agree that Rafa could play well and its still possible Fed could win. I don’t think Fed is the player he was, but I think he’s become a Del Potro/ Wawrinka/ Berdych type of any-given-day player.

TV! Absolutely not! Goodness, Federer is playing better than everer! It’s astonishing! Like he really is defying the Gods, did you see the match against Berdych? I don’t think anyone could have foreseen how well he played tonight – not even Sean!


Daniel Says:

Raonic keeps the trend of being to tasty against top players.

Awful start for him being broken to love. He can’t keep the ball in play. Seems we are set for Fedal tomorrow, as it is most fitting with top 4 advancing to semis, not happening since AO 2012.


jane Says:

hi madmax, i guess i am somewhere between you and tv.

i agree with you that fed is playing tremendously well, and has been since the start of last year. i also think he’s way more consistent (and better) than those other players tv named. however, i think tv is right that fed has more fluctuation between good and bad days.

today is a bit puzzling. fed played really well but berd wasn’t at his best either, serve-wise especially.

i see rafa has already broken milos at love?


Daniel Says:

This will be ugly, and fast.


Daniel Says:

10 errors in 5 games


jane Says:

feels a little bit like slo-mo after watching fed/berd. rafa looks perfectly fine. why are people saying he’s “not 100%” ?


Daniel Says:

Raonic return game is really bad, he can’t put 3-4 returns in play, always making sill mistakes. Is like he wants to e utter aggressive all the time, he needs more brains.

Nadal very secure in his game, high first serve percentage and apart form a 15-30 service game no drama or pressure at all.


autoFilter Says:

Based on what I’m seeing right now, I’d say that if the FO were to start today, Rafa will be contesting the final.

There are, of course, a lot of miles between now and then, and it remains to be seen if he maintains consistent form (or improves) and if his body holds up, but if I’m to judge based on his current quality of hard court play… well, I’ve already said it.


Hippy Chick Says:

Jane read my post@1.56pm going over all the posts,no Rafa fan actually said he wasnt 100%,no Rafa fan even mentioned injuries,and in the thread topic there was no mention of injuries or him not been 100%,something i get really annoyed with is been accused of something that was never said to begin with….


jane Says:

hippy, sg-1 said that he’ll never be 100% ever again and i think chrisford1 mentioned he’s not 100% right now. just look above.


Hippy Chick Says:

Sorry tell a lie ChrisFord1 was the only poster claiming Rafa was not100%,he was the one and only poster saying that though….


jane Says:

daniel “he needs more brains” – lol, nearly spat out my coffee at this one. sadly he’s not likely to get anymore brains at this point.

autofilter, totally agree.


Hippy Chick Says:

Jane right yeah sorry,but thats merely two posters in a thread with 94/95 with this one posts on it,hardly a thread thats been dominated by the subject,the point been lets not make things bigger than what they are….


jane Says:

hippy and sg-1 said it too.


jane Says:

rafa’s serving well, flatter than before? the serve seems different. the bounce definitely bounces into his wheelhouse. he’s killing those forehands.


jane Says:

raonic is hitting some wild misses too though.


Daniel Says:

Wow, Nadal defense landed in at 30-30 and Raonic made a mistake afterwards. Could be the end for Raonic. BP


jane Says:

well he really swung on that forehand = deuce.


Humble Rafa Says:

The shine coming from Mr. Canadiavic’s hair is blinding me.


skeezer Says:

knew this surface was made for rafa’s game. High bounce gives him so much more advantage. He is also staying way behind the baseline when Milos serves. The ball grabs when it bounces, and takes away his serving speed, while giving Rafa a chance to wack-a-mole with it.


jane Says:

raonic still gets a little nervous on big points. he had everything lined up on bp – also set point – and blew it.


Humble Rafa Says:

Real Canadians choke on breakpoints.


skeezer Says:

MIlos had a easy setup winner for the set…..then dumped it. Game rafa,


Daniel Says:

Raonic had a set point at 15-40 after an amazing return and fitted a FH in the middle of the net, just a bit more patience and he would have the set.

Credit to Nadal who made an effort to put the second ball back in play. Now with excellent serves and he hold and a lot of Vamos.

I can see Raonic getting broken now, what a chance he missed to force a decider and start serving third set. Now his best shot is to still a tiebreak


skeezer Says:

We’re going to a TB. Milos better have his nerves in gear.


Okiegal Says:

I wonder who got their party shorts first…
Rafa or Roger? :)


skeezer Says:

Milos return today is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle


jane Says:

first tiebreak these 2 have played in all six matches, surprisingly.


Okiegal Says:

Milos is a tough cookie to break with his powerful serve. Rafa his serving well himself today!


Okiegal Says:

Here we go!


jane Says:

commentator: “put up or shut up time for raonic”… lol.


jane Says:

good forehand from rafa for mini break.


Daniel Says:

Wow Nadal, where did he out that ball, amazing.


Humble Rafa Says:

Canadiavic has good hair and a good serve. In that regard, it’s one aspect better than the american goat who thinks he is better than me.


Ben Pronin Says:

If Nadal isn’t at 100% then he’s at 125%… Moving like a gazelle out there.


metan Says:

That’s vintage Rafa.


Daniel Says:

Why doesn’t Raonic just go for a FH into Nadal’s BH for a change?! He is missing all inside out, try something different.


Humble Rafa Says:

I move well when I win. When I don’t win, I am hurt. I don’t lose when I am fit.


van orten Says:

Raonic brainfarting in Every set point what is his problem ????


Ben Pronin Says:

I guess they’re making up for the lack of tiebreakers in their previous matches.


Daniel Says:

Think this is it. Too many missed chances by Raonic.


skeezer Says:

Does Milos know how to hit a FH DTL? The guy can only hit a inside out FH and Rafa is sitting there waiting for it everytime.


Daniel Says:

Nadal missing 2 second serves out, unusual for him. Another Set Point Raonc.


Ben Pronin Says:

Raonic doesn’t have good enough timing to hit the inside in forehand with the spin of Nadal’s balls.


Daniel Says:

second serve.


jane Says:

and milos wins his second set ever off rafa! good tiebreak but as the commentator said, rafa’s blip was “near unbelievable”.


Daniel Says:

Wow, Milos forced a third saving 3 MP.

Couldn’t believe he could sell this match expensive to Nadal after first few games. Now he have a shot, small one because he will serve second so form 4-3 on he will be under he pressure.
Either he wins another tiebreak or somehow Nadal DF and misses first serves for Milos to even so maybe have a chance in Nadal’s service games.

At least there is more drama this match.


Ben Pronin Says:

Wow. Raonic grinds out the second set. People just love harping on this kid but he works damn hard to maximize his strengths and minimize his weaknesses. At the least you gotta respect that.


andrea Says:

go milos!!!!!!


skeezer Says:

All this talk about how bad Roanic is and how great Rafa is and ……….Milos takes the 2nd set LOL


metan Says:

Come on Rafa, Roger is waiting.


jane Says:

agree ben. milos is diligent. i think some credit needs to go to the bald bomber too.


El_Flaco Says:

Meeloshe finally started putting a few backhands in play and that made the match competitive.


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal’s retrieving is ridiculous. Just like in the 2013 final. Doesn’t matter what’s thrown at him, he’s getting everything back.


metan Says:

Must be all Roger fans is nervous now. Hoping milos to win. Hehehe


the DA Says:

This is the best I’ve seen Rafa play in a long time. Almost back to his best. As some Swiss journo said: “always in time for a Fedal match” hehe He flubbed an easy return on MP in that TB and let Milos back in. But credit to Milos for showing some heart.

I also noticed a lot of Fed fans on twitter suddenly tweet full hearted support for Milos. LOL Wonder why?


sienna Says:

Don’t lie!
We are all gunning for fedal. just pull through prime Rafa.


skeezer Says:

I am cheering for RAFA. C’MON RAFA! VAMOOOSE!


jane Says:

lol, look at ljub, taking notes. very cool to see a coach so dedicated. i thought milos was smart to hire him.


andrea Says:

i hope milos wins this. just so he can score an epic win over rafa. i think rog will have his hands full with either, although i’d love him to beat rafa again.


autoFilter Says:

Raonic has been looking tired to me since 2 all…


Humble Rafa Says:

I also noticed a lot of Fed fans on twitter suddenly tweet full hearted support for Milos. LOL Wonder why?

I wonder why too.

They act all grown up and then the bully shows up, they ask for their mother. You know the drill.


Humble Rafa Says:

skeezer Says:
I am cheering for RAFA. C’MON RAFA! VAMOOOSE!

Skeeze, you ok?


Okiegal Says:

The balls are flying!


jane Says:

i think skeezer was pulling a fast one. after all he said vamoose, not vamos, so he is cheering for the moose not the bull. read the vowels people. ;)


andrea Says:

@ jane -

“i think skeezer was pulling a fast one. after all he said vamoose, not vamos, so he is cheering for the moose not the bull. read the vowels people. ;)”

only a canadian would pick that up!


Daniel Says:

4-5 Milos serving, tense times form now on.


Daniel Says:

DF on game point, nerves


Ben Pronin Says:

One thing I gotta say, though, is that Nadal’s wrong about Raonic not giving him any rhythm. Raonic rallies plenty. He’s not Karlovic. Or Even Isner. He actually runs after balls and tries to construct points. He just happens to have a cannon serve, too.


Daniel Says:

He just doesn’t get the inside out FH in on BP:-)


jane Says:

well, rafa just staved off a bp. but he wasn’t going for it. as commentator said, he was in “safe mode.”

rafa’s playing surprisingly passive right now. i mean why is he so far back?


Daniel Says:

Wow!!! Raonic with a magic defense shot to break. Kind of doing what Nadal does to other.

Can’t see Nadal breaking him now, but he has to serve big.


andrea Says:

heart failure.

finish it milos!


Daniel Says:

When was the last time Nadal lost a match he had Match Poitns?!


autoFilter Says:

Impressive.


Daniel Says:

Double MP Raonic


jane Says:

well, there you go. raonic breaks with some help from rafa. looks like he’ll get his first “w”.

good for him, hanging in there.

hippy, this might be a little bittersweet for you hey?
you were right to be wary, but rafa lost.
commiserations to you, okie and other rafa fans.

i believe this means milos can be added to the “wins over all ‘the big 4′ club”? good for him!


andrea Says:

woooooo!


jane Says:

^ oops nope: milos hasn’t beat nole, and kei hasn’t beat rafa.
not sure about grigor.


Daniel Says:

And he does it! Great win for Milos, beating Federer end of last year, now Nadal.

Nadal having a similar trajectory to Federer after 2010. Star losing to guys he never did, start losing matches after having MP…

And he is still to beat a top 10 player in a long time. For him onto Miami which is an even slower court than this.


Daniel Says:

grigor never Beat Nadal nor Federer.


the DA Says:

Well well. He did it. He believed in the sleeve. It’s rarer than a unicorn to see Rafa lose a match after having 3 MPs. Still, much for him to be encouraged by. Oh, and I can hear the collective sigh of relief from here. ;)


El_Flaco Says:

Raonic is now off the schneid in H2H with Rafa. Karlovic, Isner, and Anderson are a combined 0-13.


Okiegal Says:

Congrats to all the REAL Milos fans here……the Rafa haters, not!! Impressed with the Canadian’s play today. I was pleased with Rafa too. I think he’s being working on his serve. Rafa had his chances…..too many, but couldn’t get it done. On to Miami…..

VAMOS!!


the DA Says:

“When was the last time Nadal lost a match he had Match Poitns”

I want to say Doha against Davydenko but I can’t remember the year.


jane Says:

i have to admit. i am very surprised; i didn’t think milos could do it. the beginning of the match, even through most of the second set, confirmed that feeling. rafa was handling his serve and running all over, hitting great forehands etc.

but then… rafa started to retreat more, and milos just hung in there, and took advantage of short balls and uncharacteristic mistakes.

he also was not shy about going for it on the forehand side, coming in, etc. so he also stayed aggressive.

nice to have had an exciting match after the fed/berd one fell flat.


metan Says:

Congratulations to Milos. But happy for Rafa game. Could see some nice shot from him.


sienna Says:

Ff ing loser. And yet again he scares out.
Taking clay…..


jane Says:

raonic won 24% of return points and broke once in 17 games but he won. go figure.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Missed the end! What a result. Maybe the most important win of Milos’ career?
At the same time, Rafa showing he is READY and it will be game-on for clay season.
Milos just beat Fed a few months ago; that’s no gimme for Fed.

As someone above said, I think many Fed fans were actually hoping for the Fedal. I’m a fan of Milos (and Fed of course), but I was still hoping for the Fedal. We’re just gluttons for punishment I guess.

Congrats Milos! The youth movement is still alive.


chris ford1 Says:

I said earlier it will be a huge step for the Canadian Moose if he beats Rafa. Too bad no Fedal for the nostalgic, but Va-MOOSE!

Ben Pronin: “Raonic rallies plenty. He’s not Karlovic. Or Even Isner. He actually runs after balls and tries to construct points. He just happens to have a cannon serve, too.”

Raonic comes from a family of very bright people, he’s no slacker himself. Excellent attitude on learning, working on his weak points. Hire the excellent Ivan Lubjic as coach. Take all the practice he can get with his pal Djokovic.

I maintain he will be the 1st “young gun” to win a Slam. Wimbledon, next year or the next after that or the USO 2 years out.


Ben Pronin Says:

Raonic will be the most successful of his generation.

Also kind of ironic that Raonic beat Nadal on almost the same way Ljubicic beat Nadal here just a few years ago. Ljubicic went on to take the title. Will Raonic? The says no, but who knows?


the DA Says:

^ whole different ball game with best of 5 sets imho. If today’s match had been best of 5 I would’ve put everything in my piggy bank on Rafa.


Daniel Says:

I was anticipating the FEDAL as well. To see if Fed could sustain the ageessiveness or if the old demons would come t hunt him once again. And he definitelly had a shot agiasnt this Nada who was still to defensive, even if this courts allowed him to.

He sure be ready to dominate clay once again. But his confidence would be a bit shatteres dor Miami. Can’t see him winning there, a tourney that some who eluded him.

Rainic will increase his points as well and if he were to win here can even surpass Murray or Nadal I think. But a long way to beat Fed and possible Djoko or Murray in the final.


Markus Says:

“If”


jane Says:

now maybe the wonder boys, popsicle & sock, will follow up with another good win. they’ve already taken out the bryans, now they’re working on a win over zimonlic/matkowski.


jane Says:

they did it. sock and popsicle in the final. they’ll play foggy and bolelli. :)

i wonder if andy and nole will be day? i assume so, given that they didn’t play today and given that milos played such a long match too.


Tennis Fan Says:

All the Milos haters can suck it up now .,, not even Canadian “Jane” is a beleber … or shud I say believer.

Milos is going to go to #1 because he will work harder than anyone else on tour and he wants it more … and because he has the talent to go there .

There a new kid on the block and his name is Milos … get used to it!


Bob Lewis Says:

Both SF should be exciting. Raonic has improved vs. the top players and has played Federer close recently. The title match earlier in the year was a good one. If Raonic is focused and plays near the top of his game, he can take it. Any slip in form, though, and it can also potentially be a laugher. Like how Federer took out the Birdman.

Djokovic and Murray always fun too. Most interesting because they are such good friends. I think that dynamic is one of the reasons he hasn’t always played his best in this matchup. I also like to count the number of times Murray yells at his camp, abuses his racket, or uses profanity. Annnnnnnnnday looking for some revenge too.


Bob Lewis Says:

^^^^
Meant to say the friendship is why Djokovic hasn’t always played his best in the matchup vs. Murray. Just wanted to clarify.


Markus Says:

The improvement in Raonic’s game is quite obvious and very remarkable. It was impressive how he went toe-to-toe in all those rallies with Nadal. And Milos was fearless. That was one of the most exciting matches I have seen in a while. I hope he keeps improving and get justly rewarded for it.


skeezer Says:

“Real Canadians choke on breakpoints.”
Who choked?
ROTFL!!
Heard fishing is good this time of year in Mallorca.
Ya know, ya have to get deep in the draw to play Fed, if ya can’t get there, well, ya know?
—-
Sorry rafans, but HR deserves it.
Congrats Milos the reslient one!!
Rafa looks like he’ll be ok for the Clay season, bunny rabbit running around and all.


jane Says:

i am definitely not a beleber tennis fan.

looks like andy and nole play at 11:00 am, and fed vs milos will follow immediately thereafter.


jane Says:

tennis fan, who will you cheer for? aren’t you a fed fan first?

i was very impressed with how ljubicic was taking notes during the match. i’ve always liked him.


Okiegal Says:

If and when Milos wins a grand slam……then I’ll get used to it….not until then. The long five setters separates the men from the boys, imo!

He did play great today, ummm, maybe he can kick Fed’s butt tomorrow, and then Joker or Andy. If he does, we might talk about his future then.


Okiegal Says:

C’mon Andy, take it to da Joker!! I’ll be in your corner, old chap!!


mat4 Says:

What is a belever tennis fan?

Anyway, watched most of the second set and I am surprised by the result. This is a kind of surface that suits Raonic very well (the rebound is high, the ball slow, so he has a chance in the rallies, where his movement isn’t such an issue, but his power is obvious), but Rafa loked so dominant, and I was certain he will easily win the tb, so I switched off my stream, especially since I am not a fan of those players.

The flaws in Milos’ game were obvious: he can’t move fast enough to take the position for an inside in after an inside out FH, he doesn’t trust his BH, his shot selection, in such case, isn’t good especially when he is out of his patterns.

But he works hard, and he has two good coaches: Piatti and Ljubicic, and he improves slowly.

On the other side, watching the beginning of the TB, I had the impression that Rafa lacked part of his inner belief — he made easy UE every time he had a minibreak. It was strange.

Anyway. interesting semis in sight.


Okiegal Says:

I hope the little bunny has his eggs all in one basket in Miami and for cc season coming up! Will be keeping fingers crossed to go with my eyes…..watching tennis on a computer live stream makes you see double…….Oh, excuse me, that was the Crown Royal and not the PC that caused that!! Lol

VAMOS!! :)


Tennis Fan Says:

There is no one on this planet more driven to be the best at tennis than Milos Raonic. Do a little reading about him and you will know what I mean. He has improved his game massively in a short time. Most of the commentators and even most of the “knowledgeable?” tennis people on this site don’t know yet that the guy has a rapidly improving all court game and soft hands. Its just a matter of time now …


jane Says:

hi mat4, i had the exact impression. i was quite surprised when rafa made those mistakes in the tiebreak. perhaps he lost concentration? not sure. but he definitely lapsed into an old habit of playing further back as the match wore on. by moving back he was leaving balls short on the court, which allowed raonic to be the aggressor, and he wasn’t missing quite as much as the match wore on. earlier in set one, milos was hitting some wild forehands, trying for the lines but over-hitting.


Jeez Says:

Serena Williams has withdrawn from her IW Semi giving Halep a WO to the Final!!!


Tennis Fan Says:

And if you don’t know what a Beleiber is …. well, lets not go there .,, we just know that you aren’t a Canuck.


jane Says:

^ well you spelled it wrong the first time! :)

jeez, did she say what’s wrong?


Okiegal Says:

Her knee…


jane Says:

okie, thanks. that’s too bad.


Okiegal Says:

Yes, feel for her. Halep or Jelena? I’m going with Halep……


skeezer Says:

“Are We Headed For Federer v Nadal Saturday At Indian Wells? ”
Uh…..no. Rafa failed to show, he got beat by fine Canadian hair. He ultimately was caught up posting here too much during his match…. thus the result.

@jane
Way to catch my vamoose. Clever ;)


Okiegal Says:

^^^ I caught it too…….Two clever gals on TX! I started a clever retort to your comment, but backed out……..


skeezer Says:

@OK
👍


Michael Says:

Alison @ 7.35 am,

Regarding Andy Vs Nole, I am not sure how the walk over Novak got over Tomic is going to impact this match ? On the positive side, Novak got the much needed rest while on the negative side, lack of play might have an adverse effect and in a three setter where things end too soon, it might give the opponent some room to exploit.

I would stick my neck out and call this a 55:45 match with the edge favouring Novak. We all know that Andy has the goods to give Novak enough trouble and even by the law of averages, he can be favoured since such a good player like him cannot be endlessly on a losing spree. So, there is every possibility of an upset in this match, even though it is still advantage Novak.

I agree with most of what you said about Nishikori. A fantastic player to watch and relish.


sienna Says:

Chris ford first
Wake up dude!
Cilic took that honour.


madmax Says:

http://www.marca.com/en/2015/03/18/en/more_sports/1426719256.html

Hippy,

Rafa puts things into perspective – prior to last night’s match.

Tennis Fan,

I, for one, would like to understand what you mean by Beleiber.

Is it something to do with Justin Beiber?


Margot Says:

@ Michael
I’ve seen Nishikori described as a “hustler. I love watching Kei and I thought that was rather rude, but can see what was meant. What do you think?


Bob Lewis Says:

@Skeezer: lol, Milos hair is perfectly combed and parted. More than it needs to be, for sure.

@Jane: Ljubicic is a hard worker and classy individual. I recall seeing his staying and signing autographs for as many people as possible, on numerous occasions. A real asset to the sport and tour.


sienna Says:

yet again Fed got robbed by te Bull for not showing up. time and time again Rafael somehow protects h2h.

maybe hè wont chicken out come Monte Carlo time.


sienna Says:

Nishikori is overrated.

the one match that mattered he got serious whoopass with 1 servicebreak to spare in 3 sets of tennis.


Markus Says:

So far, Murray has been performing up to par against players he is supposed to beat. Well and good but players below the top 3 do that to each other all the time. I hope that in his match against Djokovic, he can distance himself again from the other players who cannot touch the top 3. Failing again will only set him more firmly in the in the 2nd tier group. Or at least keep the 2nd tier all to himself and relegate the rest to the 3rd level.


Markus Says:

I’m impressed with how Nadal handled his loss to Raonic. He was very objective and offered no excuses. This loss reminds me of his Australian Open loss to Djokovic in 2012. It was epic and heartbreaking but he was upbeat about his performance. He has not loss to Djokovic since then in any slam event. I get the same feeling again. Nadal is a tennis genius, he does not take loss as something to grieve over but more as a means to be better for the next time he plays again. He has the resolve to win the French again. I have no doubt that he’ll do it. For sure Nadal will give his best effort. To beat him, the other guy has to play the best tennis of his life, better than anyone including Nadal on clay. If that sounds like a formidable task for anyone, it is.


Markus Says:

I agree, Nishikori is overrated. Very good but still overrated by the way everybody here seems to hail him as the leader of the pack that couldn’t quiet catch up.


Hippy Chick Says:

Markus @9.16am fantastic post,i really love your summary,nothing more to say other than i hope your right….


Hippy Chick Says:

Madmax yeah great perspective….


Tennis Fan Says:

Nishikori’s game is fantastic ,,, if hes stays healthy (which is the biggest issue he will be top 3 by next year) … not over rated one iota. Milos however is in that top 3 mix too. I expect a change at the top by next year … I said this before and I go on record and saying it again here.

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