Isner Leads Upset Train at Miami Open; Djokovic on Tues.
by Staff | March 30th, 2015, 11:48 pm
  • 120 Comments

Top-seeded Serena Williams would not take her foot off the pedal against an opponent that had beaten her twice and reached No. 2 in the world on Monday at the Miami Open, steamrolling past No. 24 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-3.

“Playing Svetlana, I know she’s super tough — we always have super tough matches,” Williams said. “The last time we played I was just fighting my hardest and I was barely able to win, so today I knew I had to come out super, super focused, and I really just tried to do the best I could out there.”

Elder Williams sister Venus was also up against a tough customer on Monday, keeping her career undefeated streak alive against former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, handling the Dane 6-3, 7-6(1). She will next face No. 12 Carla Suarez Navarro, an upset winner over No. 7 Agnieszka Radwanska 5-7, 6-0, 6-4.

No. 3 seed Simona Halep and unseeded American Sloane Stephens set up a quarterfinal meeting on Monday as the Romanian tamed No. 15 Flavia Pennetta 6-3, 7-5, and the American downed Swiss riser Belinda Bencic 6-4, 7-6(5).

Two upset winners advancing on the day were No. 9 Andrea Petkovic over No. 8 Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 7-5, and No. 27 Sabine Lisicki rolled over No. 11 Sara Errani 6-1, 6-2. Lisicki now meets Serena.

“I played one of the best sets I’ve ever played in the first set today,” Petkovic said. “She’s such a great player, though, and it was clear she was going to come back in the second set. I’m lucky I was able to play well at the end and get away with it, and win the match in straight sets.”

American John Isner was the only upset-maker on the men’s side Monday in round of 32 action as the big server brushed aside No. 9 seed Grigor “Baby Not Fed” Dimitrov 7-6(2), 6-2.

Top 10-seeded winners were No. 1 Novak Djokovic ripping Steve Darcis 6-0, 7-5; No. 4 Kei Nishikori rolling Viktor Troicki 6-2, 6-2; No. 5 Milos Raonic almost falling off the table against No. 31 Jeremy Chardy 6-1, 5-7, 7-6(3); and No. 6 David Ferrer topping No. 26 Lukas Rosol 6-4, 7-5.

Isner will next meet Raonic.

“I don’t believe [Dimitrov] played his best tonight, but I feel like I had a lot to do with that,” said Isner, who is in the midst of his best run in Miami. “I was a little nervous at the beginning. I hadn’t played at night here; hadn’t played on center court yet. Everything is different; the conditions are different. I wasn’t really going for my shots too much.”

Other players through to the round of 16 were No. 12 Gilles Simon, No. 18 David Goffin, and Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Dolgopolov will next have his hands full against the world No. 1.

“I know his game pretty well,” Djokovic said. “I know what to expect. Hopefully I’ll be able to start as well as I did in the first two matches, but then end it in a bit different way, keep the concentration going all the way through.”

Tuesday’s Miami Schedule:

Stadium Start 11:00 am
[8] Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs. [17] Gael Monfils (FRA)

Not Before 1:00 pm
[9] Andrea Petkovic (GER) vs. [14] Karolina Pliskova (CZE)
[15] Kevin Anderson (RSA) vs. [3] Andy Murray (GBR)
[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR)

Not Before 7:30 pm
[12] Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) vs. [16] Venus Williams (USA)

Not Before 9:00 pm
[22] John Isner (USA) vs. [5] Milos Raonic (CAN)

Grandstand Start 10:50 am

[28] Adrian Mannarino (FRA) vs. Dominic Thiem (AUT)
Juan Monaco (ARG) vs. [29] Fernando Verdasco (ESP)

Not Before 3:00 pm
[12] Gilles Simon (FRA) vs. [6] David Ferrer (ESP)

Not Before 5:00 pm
[4] Kei Nishikori (JPN) vs. [18] David Goffin (BEL)


You Might Like:
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Serena Williams Pulls Out Of Indian Wells And Miami
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120 Comments for Isner Leads Upset Train at Miami Open; Djokovic on Tues.

skeezer Says:

Props to Venus, still given it a go with all the things she has went through. Go girl.


Okiegal Says:

Amazing how she has come back from all of her problems. I’m so happy for her. She does not want to stop playing!! Good for her…..would love to see her back in Indian Wells.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Agreed Okie and Skeez. Props to Venus, great competitor.

Glad to see Kei and Milos continue to show their consistent goodness, going deep in the draw again. Nice to see Goffin and Thiem joining them, I’d love to see them hanging around here more often.

Also good to see Monfils go deep. We all keep hoping for his career to take off and STAY THERE. I still don’t believe it will happen but its nice to pretend.


Okiegal Says:

@TV……I love to watch Gael play, he’s so talented but can go off the rails in a heartbeat. He can make an astounding play one minute and do something really stupid the next. I’ll bet he’s a coach’s nightmare!! It’s a shame…….


Markus Says:

While Nishkori and Raonic continue to move steadily forward, Dimitrov is being left behind. What’s the matter with him? Janowicz seems to have completely gone off the rails. Tomic’s recent match was alarming in that he seems to have reverted back to his tanking mode.

Among the teen-agers, Kyrgios seems to be the most promising but his propensity for injuries is becoming worrisome. Coric’s cockiness seems to be several steps ahead of the supposed greatness.

Venus is another plus to the over 30 age group. Hope she goes all the way!


jane Says:

dimitrov confuses me too; he never seems to be able to be consistent with his results. maybe he will be like monfils? he’s number 11 at the moment, but in order for him to stay in the top 10, he’ll have to try to go that extra distance. he turns 24 soon.


jane Says:

having said that about dimitrov, isner played really well at indian wells.

it’s tough to say who’ll come through as champion here. from what i’ve seen, novak has not been playing his best: he has great sets and then falters.

murray seems to be playing well; his matches have been at times i haven’t been able to watch though, but commentary has been positive. his half of the draw looks pretty good too.

monfils probably won’t get past berdych.

kei is quietly making his way.

nole/doglo, isner/raonic, goffin/nishi, ferrer/simon left on top.

mannario/theim, anderson/andy, berd/monf, and monaco/nando left on bottom.

some interesting matches coming up: a mix of older and newer guard.

aside: of course that rafa/andy match didn’t happen…AGAIN! we still have to go back to tokyo 2011 to see a match between them off clay. they’ve played only twice since 2011!


Giles Says:

So, who is going to hold the trophy on Sunday? Hmmm.
I do hope Isner is the winner. In fact, anyone but joker.


skeezer Says:

@jane
Agree there is some intriguing matchup today.
When is the last time Isner / Milos faced off? Talking about looking yourself in the the mirror with playing styles.
Should be a good test for Kei about his current form, the Belgian is no slouch. And Ferrer and Giles, cat and mouse?
Dolgo vs Nole….should be fun if Dolgo can be consistent with his “stuff”.


Giles Says:

Giles is not playing today but Gilles is!


Markus Says:

Giles, will you be OK with Murray as the trophy holder?


Markus Says:

I think the pairings today are very evenly matched. Well, except maybe the Djokovic/Dolgopolov duo.


django Says:

Dimitriv is like bouchard…all hype. Before genie there was Laura Robson and oudin
I like dog but not today.


Giles Says:

Markus. Yes, I certainly would. As I said, anyone but joker.


SG1 Says:

Raonic-Isner. There’ll definitely some ball compression in that match.


SG1 Says:

Genie’s definitely off the rails right now but I don’t think she’s all hype. Two slam semis and a final in the same year is better than anything Grigor has done so far. I don’t think she’s the next Anna Kournikova. There’s much more to her than setting up a modeling career for herself after tennis.

There are some issues in her game and her confidence is shaken. I think she’ll be back. At least I hope she will.


Markus Says:

I find Bouchard somewhat lacking in charm but that has nothing to do with winning matches, just my personal whim. But I prefer her over the screaming shrieking grunting Sharapova and Azarenka. That’s how I pick my favorites when the ladies play. I go for the more quiet player.


sienna Says:

so it is claimed that pre edberg rafa was better volley player then fed?

lets see. those People probably think rafas service was better then feds. also overhead smash was better then Feds. backhand smash was better. dropshot was better. slice backhand. forehand. did I mention first and second serve.


skeezer Says:

sienna,
Chill.
I don’t even think its fair to compare these 2. There styles are completely different and in the end they get it done with their own techniques. This is one of the main reasons I enjoyed a Fedal match, their so different in the approach of thr gane and style.


skeezer Says:

Monfils retired? What from?


Hippy Chick Says:

Why dont you tell us all what you really think?….


Hippy Chick Says:

Skeezer well said….


Giles Says:

Very impressed with young Thiem. Watch him get better and better.


RZ Says:

@Django – Robson has been out for over a year with a wrist injury, which is a shame as she was really improving. Not by the leaps and bounds that Bouchard has shown, but good steady progress with the occasional upset at a GS. I hope when she comes back her wrist will fully healed.


Hippy Chick Says:

RZ she beat V,Williams,Kvitova and also Li Na and Clijsters at the USO,all in the same year i believe?Grendel predicted she would make the top 10 sooner or later,damn shame about the injury….


RZ Says:

@HC – yes, all that between the 2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon (where she beat Kirilenko). She also beat Safarova at the Olympics. I agree, a damn shame about the wrist injury – especially as those seem to linger and come back (as in DelPo’s case)


chris ford1 Says:

Sort of an insult to compare Dimitrov and Bouchard to Laura Robson and Oudin (who??). No one disputes Dimitrov and Genie have top tier talent. Robson is no female Andy Murray. With hard work and a bit of luck, she may be in the fringes of Top 20. Oudin was a classic overachiever – but once her glaring weaknesses were exposed and determined not improvable no matter how much she trained, trained and over-trained – she was toast.


Hippy Chick Says:

RZ i did think of Kirilenko and Safarova,but the others seemed more impressive as they are all GS champions,damn injuries Murray and that bloody back surgery,still he did what he wanted to do and that was winning Wimbledon,i hope he can do it again at some point?….


Giles Says:

https://twitter.com/nycsandygirl/status/582994385161175040
All the players who beat Nadal since 2012 and lost in the next round.


skeezer Says:

^That tells you the obvious, no?


RZ Says:

@HC – I hope so! But for the more immediate future, I hope he can win match #500!


Hippy Chick Says:

RZ yeah hope we get a thread about it,if or when it happens?….


Ben Pronin Says:

That list has some mistakes. 2012 Indian Wells, Federer beat Nadal in the semis and then won the event beating Isner in the final.

And it lists Murray for 2012 Miami. But that doesn’t count because Nadal withdrew before the match so it doesn’t count as a Murray win therefore doesn’t count as a Nadal loss. But Murray did lose in the final.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Be ready for a surprise. Novak doesn’t play well, and Dolgo could pose a lot of problems.


RZ Says:

Adding to the problems that Ben points out in that list, it also lists Steve Darcis as losing after he beat Nadal at Wimbledon, but Darcis actually withdrew from that match.


Giles Says:

C’mon Mr Dolgopolov!!


RZ Says:

500 wins and counting for Andy Murray. Woohoo!


Wog Boy Says:

“I don’t think she’s the next Anna Kournikova.”

That is an insult to Anna, when it comes to beauty and sex appeal, to compare her with Eugenie.


the DA Says:

Welcome to the 500 club Andy. You had to take the scenic route once again but you’re forgiven. I liked the aggressive returning and variety in this match. It was played at a high level – more winners than UFEs – but the serve is clearly an ongoing project.


KatH Says:

Well Andy did win his 500 match – but more important is that he came back from a set down and won his match. For the moment at least he’s moved to No. 3. in the rankings – following a surgical back operation this is something to be celebrated i.e. bad backs are one thing but to recover from a back surgery is another.


mat4 Says:

Novak is playing a awful match. Though, Dolgo is playing quite well. And now a point penalty…


the DA Says:

Nole is so grumpy today. The crowd did not like the racquet smash either. No doubt he’ll pull through but maybe it’s the day match thing? Dolgo is playing very well, just can’t consolidate any breaks.


mat4 Says:

Dolgopolov plays very well those days, while Novak doesn’t look well from the beginning of the tournament. A surprise here wouldn’t be a surprise.

And times… they are changing…


mat4 Says:

Anyway, the way Nishikori plays, I see him as the favourite in this tournament. He just looks great against a good Goffin.


RZ Says:

Here’s a nice infographic about Andy’s 500 wins. Guess which 3 players he’s played the most matches against?
http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/tennis/32141114


mat4 Says:

Dolgopolov is the dominant player so far. If Novak doesn’t find an inner second wind, he’s done.


mat4 Says:

Novak is fighting not to be bageled…


Tennis Fan Says:

Dog is quite a bit more talented than Djokovic. If he worked on his consistency more he’d be a lethal machine oon the circuit.


mat4 Says:

Everybody is more talented than Djokovic. And everybody knows this. He’s no 1 by pure chance, something completely undeserved…


Ben Pronin Says:

Dolgopolov’s talent is unique, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t say he’s “more” talented than Djokovic. But I really love watching this guy play.


Ben Pronin Says:

Dolgopolov’s talent is unique, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t say he’s “more” talented than Djokovic. But I really love watching this guy play.


mat4 Says:

Ok, Ben, I got it, didn’t have to write it twice ;-)


Leon Says:

Expect 60 or 61 Djokovic in the third?…


mat4 Says:

Expected 6-0 for Dolgo in the second…


Markus Says:

How about that? Incredible, isn’t it? Djokovic won the second set over Dolgopolov who is a bit more talented.


mat4 Says:

Oh, it was pure luck…


Tennis Fan Says:

Yeah, he actually is. Djokovic handles the ball like a lead balloon when he comes to net and always has. Just a consistent baseline rally guy and good in defending and waiting for opponents to miss. Thiis match would have been over already except for a horrendously missed linecall. Dog never challenges calls.. never has. Strange guy.


Leon Says:

“Expected 6-0 for Dolgo in the second…”
It did seem so. But…Dolgopolov is out of top 50 for a reason.
Novak started the third with a break to love.


Markus Says:

You don’t need to challenge when you’re quite a bit more talented than your opponent, do you?


Leon Says:

5-0 Novak. Why am not I a betting man?!
Dolgopolov should be fined for unwilling to play professionally.


Daniel Says:

Jee, how many 6-0 set will Djoko win this tournament?! He will serve for third 6-0 in 3 matches.

Was on the gym and thought he would lose by score. Now this set is a washout and Dolgo seems injured. Too bad…

Kei won easy and is back in top 4. Nadal drop to #5 for clay season and can drop more depending on how far Raonic goes (is semis Nadal drops to #6) and Ferrer – if Ferrer wins the title, with Raonic in semis, Nadal drops to #7.


Tennis Fan Says:

I just ponted out that Dog is the more talented player… the reason he is not top 10 relates to his other issues. His last coach used to laugh when he was losing on court… go figure. Still when Dog decides to play he is an extraordinary talent to watch.


mat4 Says:

@Leon:

So, you were right.

Novak was very lucky in that second set. Something I don’t understand is that he gave his third bagel in this tournament, while playing subpar.


Kimberly Says:

Of course normally I majorly root against Djoker but not today, as he signed my son colins ball and posed for a photo with him twice, once I accidentally hit video and when I called him back he returned to complete the photo! Its bad karma to root against someone who does something nice for you.

Colin also got a photo with Dimitrov who was still there practicing. We watched Halep practice with Darren Cahill as well.

We watched the monfils berdych match and obviously saw the whole fall/retirement. We then watched Verdasco/Monaco on the grandstand which of course had the ambiance, some of Murray Anderson, and then some doubles Hingis Mirza, and Pennetta, HSeigh v. the unorthodox Nicelescu.


mat4 Says:

@Kimberly:

OK, I admit, he has no talent — but at least he is nice…


Leon Says:

Dolgopolov lost his next 90 pts. Provided that now he is #65 with pathetic 760 pts, which number will he be on Monday with 670 pts, out of top 70?
Instead of a win vs #1 which Novak proposed to him so generously. Poor his fans.


mat4 Says:

@Leon:

He will be ranked 71st. Unbelievable for such a good player. His inability to play day in, day out costs him very much.


chris ford1 Says:

It’s not easy being a Djokovic fan. He does this stuff a lot. He torments his fans with his mysterious lapses and superhuman moments, his choking when serving for a set or match, at one time his lame net play and smashes. A roller coaster ride. He does entertain and thrill (and disgust at times).

As for “Tennis Fan”, thanks! As Nole looked like he was getting flushed down the toilet and I was irritated and not happy, your post cheered me up. It was a great laugh.

As the word goes, Dolgopolov is pretty unique. He has a few shots that few are as good at, some completely unique things he does, he is superb at improvisation. But he has weak skills in a few critical areas and stamina issues. He averages the 2nd round in how far he will go in a typical tournament.
Djokovic will end up 5th in the Open Era in weeks at #1 and prbably catch and pass Rafa as the one with the most Masters. It is for a reason. Djokovic started gifted and hard working and very coachable. Like Nadal, he is a world class athlete. He had all that but in 2010 he turned into a self-improvement machine.


mat4 Says:

CF1:

Did I understand well that you are a nolefan?

Novak is not playing this tournament well. He seems tired and slow (already in his match against Darcis, when his footwork wasn’t good), and his game in in full mutation, so he sometimes looks completely lost on the court. Today, his volleying was awful, nothing worked, and he couldn’t be aggressive.

I don’t see him beat Ferrer, and, in a sense, it could be good for him. He needs rest and training.


jane Says:

mat4, i agree; he’s been “off” all tournament. maybe it’d be a weird “blessing in disguise” if he was able to rest and go practice on clay, slowly acclimatizing himself to that surface, rather than rushing like last year and hurting his wrist. we’ll see next round i guess! (i missed this match but i saw the score when he was down a set and break and just assumed it was over, but i guess nole fought back!)…


Okiegal Says:

@mat4^^^^^ What in the world are talking about????


mat4 Says:

@jane:

You never know with Novak. But he doesn’t look good. He changed a bit his strategy in the second set, but Dolgo gave him a hand, especially in key moments.

He looked very tense, since the beginning. My guess is that he is working on a game change, and it hurts sometimes. Just remember Fed in 2011, who was in search of a new game.

Dolgo had an injury in the third set, and he was treated by the physio. He won only 3 points. Novak played better, but Olyeksandr barely moved.


mat4 Says:

@Okie:

If you didn’t watch the match, Dolgo almost eliminated Novak. He was the dominant player for two sets (until 5-5 in the second), having the initiative, playing spectacular and wily tennis.

But, from 4-1 in the second set, a BP for 4-0, Dolgo started to play a bit worse, and since 5-4 he lost about 35 points of 40.

Novak plays far under his level. He looks just like the Novak of Cincy last year.


chris ford1 Says:

mat4 – Today was an eyeroll day for a Nole rooter. If he purely stank, that would be one thing. But he plays like caca then shifts to a top player who bagels the guy that was mopping the court with him 15 minutes earlier. Or starts out like superman, then does choking stuff that will drive Boris to the sauce again, then heroically regroups and wins ugly in the end.
Problem is in more than a few big matches, if he gives Nadal and Fed an opening in a match he is winning, those two have the killer instinct to make him pay. He can heroically regroup and all that, but it is hard to get particularly Rafa to cough up a break once Rafa is ahead.
Dunno about the theory that after a huge break and vacation before IW, that Djokovic is tired and needs rest. But it would be prudent to try and win Miami again for the points and luster of it, rest and do light training back in Monaco. If he won that and won Miami, he could either skip Madrid or Rome and rest before the FO to end of Wimbledon’s run. (But he loves Rome and Italians…)There’s just too much stuff crammed in between Miami and Wimbledon.


mat4 Says:

CF 1:

I don’t think that Novak can win WB, this year, although he is the best player on grass since 2011.

He doesn’t play well, but still, his results in the deciders are outstanding — he is at 16-1, losing only to Karlovic; although he makes us all nervous, he has won 9 of his last 11 finals, losing only to Rafa and Fed on their turfs.

So, my feelings are mitigated. I hope he won’t live a new 2013, a year where he played probably his best tennis, only to lose that semi in RG, a match that has affected him deeply, for months.

So, I guess that his current approach — if he really can do that — to take one match at the time, not to make plan, play his usual schedule (he will skip Madrid, I am certain of that, and I think that he has the right to skip one MS), and try his best. This match, and a possible victory against Ferrer could help him improve his game. I don’t know.

What amazes me is that pressure that he puts on opponents, something we don’t see clearly until the third set.


Daniel Says:

Playing Ferrer, and than most likely Nishikori and Murray in the final is better practice than any training in clay courts. That would be 3 of the best baselines in a row, all top 10 players.

Maybe he is just a bit relaxed in this early rounds but from now on he knows he gets his foot on the tournament and can improve his play against the top dogs. Still think he is favorite to win. Simon was leading Ferrer for Most of first set, Djoko can do better. Murray is in a bad mental state against Djoko so the only real class could be the semis versus Kei. But Raonic or Isner could be there which can make a different match due to their serves.

Think Djoko will go all out in Miami. This guys like winning and knows that the more they win, the better. Depending on his MC result and if he is tired or not, he can skip Madrid. He will definitely play Rome which is the proper tune up for RG.


Okiegal Says:

@mat4…….I didn’t see the match but checked on the score line. Sounds like the “Dog” gave him a good fight…..but the last set a bagel! Novak is a beast when push comes to shove, do or die?? I’ll take Joker anytime. He’s #1 and that’s why. He’ll probably get upset at some point but that’s the sport, no?


django Says:

Chris
I think novak should def. skip Madrid for another year or two. :-)


mat4 Says:

@Daniel:

I agree, if he wins, of course. But let’s see what will happen.

@Okie:

Novak played better in the third set, but it was Dolgopolov that played real bad.


Tennis Fan Says:

Geez, at least Raonic challenges … he managed to overturn 4 calls in the first 1 1/2 sets. The linesman are doing a great job calling the lines tonight (in favour of Isner) … at least the radar isn’t affected … at least we hope :)


Okiegal Says:

Milos has got the hair gel going on tonite…..not one freakin’ hair out of place!! Lol


Okiegal Says:

@mat4…….Maybe when that third set rolled around the Dog didn’t have the belief he could close it out. Did Novak make him play poorly?? 6-0…..tennis is so fickle……


Okiegal Says:

How many aces in this match between them? I’m just now tuning in……just in time for the TB…..come on Isner!!!!


mat4 Says:

Will there be three TBs? Should ask Leon…


Okiegal Says:

One more ace John, and a third set!!


Okiegal Says:

Yippy Skippy…….John did it!!


mat4 Says:

@Okie:

Novak started playing better at the end of the second set. He stopped missing, and he played low. He avoided to open angles when it didn’t suit him. Dolgo was tense, started missing first serves, and suddenly the pressure was here — he had to won every point.

But Dolgo had a big blister on one of his feet, and I got the impression he was injured. So, the focus went down, and suddenly his level fell. He was broken right away, Novak upped his level and started to hit freely, closer to the lines, Dolgo went for broke because he couldn’t run, and he got bagelled. He won just 3 points in the third set. Even I, a complete amateur, would have won not more that three less than the Ukrainian.


mat4 Says:

So, that match, Novak didn’t win it, it was Dolgo that lost it. He was utterly dominant for a set and a half, and only his lack of nerves allowed Novak to make it to the TB, a TB he played horribly. Dolgo served for the set at 5-4.

In the second, Dolgopolov had a BP for 0-4, and Novak made a DF the umpires didn’t see. Dolgo didn’t challenge (I think it was at that moment, but I am not sure). At 4-2 in that set, Dolgopolov still looked better, and Novak’s game was horrible. Had the Ukrainian played like he did against Robredo, he would have closed the match there. But he started to play erratically, to make UEs (he made almost 50 UE in the match), and suddenly, the situation changed.

I am a Novak fan, but the truth is he got very, very lucky. And with this level, I don’t believe he can beat Ferrer, not to mention Nishi or Raonic.


Okiegal Says:

@mat4……The blister could totally interfere with being able to focus. I do love to watch Dolgo play. He’s been unlucky with injury problems too. Dang those injuries!!


jane Says:

just looked at scores: 22 aces isner / 11 milos.

mat4, would you say novak “snatched victory from the jaws of defeat” today?


Okiegal Says:

Izzy in Milos out! Good job John!!


Daniel Says:

Nice win Isner. He was bold in last 2 tiebreakers and it payed of.


jane Says:

gimelstob doing his job?


Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 just wondering why you would be upset with an article that has Novak down as the favorite for RG?if its the jinx or curse thing theres no such thing IMO its all a fallacy anyway?….


mat4 Says:

@Alison:

It is probably a misunderstanding. I never wrote that I would be upset by such an article. I am sometimes upset by other things, but if Novak plays well an wins, e.g., Rome, and Rafa doesn’t play well in the clay season, an article of that kind would be understandable.


mat4 Says:

I guees that it was the link I gave. I don’t like Perry for other reasons, but I found the article OK. For both Novak and Rafa, two slams more would be a success. I would be very happy if Novak finishes this year ranked no 1, and wins 2 more slams overall. It would be reasonable, and it would ranked him among the greatest of the open era.


mat4 Says:

But Novak’s case, among many others, shows that there are too many mandatory tournaments, and that a ranking based on won/lost ratio and avg level of opponents (such ranking exists) could be more appropriate.

In a sense, Fed’s and Novak regularity in big tournaments, the stunning numbers of semi that they have played, going deep each and every time, is a feat of his kind, something that won’t be remembered, but that is an important accomplishment of those great champions. Novak has made 18 out of 19 semis in slams since 2010. Fed… I don’t know… 23 in a row, ten finals in a row.

It will be ignored in their legacy, although it sets them apart from any other player in the Open Era.


Daniel Says:

mat4,

Yeah, you will benignored in some way. But as soonas new star start getting close to those records the numbers will come as the benchmark if somebody eles reaches 3-4 Slam final in a row this records will be brought to the table.

Unfortenely of nobody challenge those they will just in our minds;-)


Giles Says:

Genuine question. Are the players penalised for racquet smashing?


RZ Says:

@Giles – I think the rule is that they are penalized if they break their racquets as a result of the smashing. So a lot of times you’ll see the pros smash their racquets, play a point or two, and then go to get a new one.


Giles Says:

RZ. That seems to be a very lenient rule. So how many times is one player allowed to smash his racquet in one match? And also what exactly is the penalty?


Emily Says:

I know umpires give warnings for racquet abuse, but like RZ said, I think they need to break the racquet. I believe it counts as unsportsmanlike conduct, like swearing, so if they do it twice, they get a point penalty. I once saw Baghdatis ask an umpire if he’d get a point penalty if he smashed more than one racquet and when the umpire said no, he took 2 more out of his bag and smashed those.

I believe these are the general rules, but it’s mostly from observing what happens during matches.


Ben Pronin Says:

Baghdatis smashed 4 racquest that time. It was so epic.

But I’ve also seen players wait for the umpire to turn to smash it. I remember at the US Open a few years on one of the side courts, I forget who was playing, but someone was pissed and was they were walking to their chair they looked at the ump, the ump eventually turned away, and then they broke their racquet.

I think the rule should be lenient. Not to say everyone should be throwing their racquets in fits but it’s always been a part of tennis and every now and then it is hilarious.

Exhibit A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7kS68T6ptA


Hippy Chick Says:

Its a way of letting out the frustration,Baggy maybe thought to hell with it ill smash these raquets and it will make me feel better,did it work possibly or probably not,but best to get it out of your system i suppose?i remember once been so annoyed that i slammed my back door with the sole intention of breaking the glass pain,when it didnt break i became more annoyed,so i repeatedly opened and slammed the door to break the glass,when the glass eventually smashed then i knew i had got the anger out of my system,maybe its the same with these players when they break their raquets?….


Giles Says:

It may be a way of “letting out frustration” but how about some consideration for your opponent who is bound to get distracted by the racquet abuse. I do believe that this act of racquet abuse is a ploy to do exactly that – distract your opponent. There should be a stiffer penalty IMO.


Hippy Chick Says:

Giles true,and i dont know where these raquets are made,but if it were by people in sweat shops in poor countries then the players might feel differently?….


Okiegal Says:

How long does it take to smash four racquets? I would suppose seconds would be ticking while this is going on?? They let it slide. I’ve seen them do nothing when this happens. One player kicked a sign and broke it…..nothing done. Another player pushed a line judge, ignored. Someone threw a racquet and hit a line judge maybe a year ago, got away with it. This needs to stop. I’m not saying the umpires always ignore this behavior, but for the most part, they do. Yes, it can be funny, but they need to be penalized, funny or not!


Markus Says:

Tennis umpires/referies are sissies. Is there a book of rules for tennis? Golf has and the rules are strictly enforced. In golf, there is no penalty for breaking a golf club in anger. You just can’t replace it if you started with the regulation 14 clubs in your bag. Tennis should do the same. Set a number of raquets allowable and let them break as many as they want until they run out of raquets and forfeit the match.


skeezer Says:

@Ben
Agree.
There are more important rules to enforce, like taking too much time in between points, making your opponet wait before the start of the match, spitting on the court, on court coaching, etc. (are you listening giles?)
Players need to have an avenue to express there emotions, its a fight out there, as long as they don’t hurt anyone/anything on court other than themselves or cause a major distraction in the process (Nalby gate anyone?).


Giles Says:

Oh shut up skeezer. The time rule is being enforced as much as possible, just ask Rafa. Almost all the umpires give him at least one warning per match, hence the altercation with Bernardes who seems to have an axe to grind with Rafa.
BTW who spits on court? Is it fed? Is it joker? As far as I have observed nobody spits on court. Is that something you do?
“Players need an avenue to express their emotions”. Some players feel every time they lose a point they can lash out with their racquets, aka joker. Not good. He in particular does it primarily to distract his opponent. And guess what, it works!
I am really surprised also at the racquet companies who sponsor the players. Are they happy that not only do they pay the players to use their racquets but that these same players are constantly abusing the equipment that they earn a living with. To me it smacks of disrespect and hooliganism.
@Okie. Did you forget the time joker broke a bench?
I would just remind old skeezer that Rafa has NEVER EVER smashed a racquet! So how does he express his emotions out there? He just plays on without the need “to express his emotions” in this barbaric manner!! That’s right!
So once again skeezer, in the words of your favourite SHUT UPPPPP!!!


Ben Pronin Says:

Giles, you’re wrong in this regard. Nadal’s a really huge exception to the behavior of racquet smashing. It’s quite extraordinary. I’ve seen him bang his strings or his shoes a few times, but never throw the racquet. Kudos to him, it’s seriously amazing.

But that doesn’t mean everyone is capable of containing themselves like that. You really don’t know what you’re talking about if you think Djokovic or any player is doing it to distract his/her opponent. 1) You have no way of confirming this because you’re not a mind reader. 2) I can tell you from experience, when a player reaches the point of throwing their racquet, they do not give AF about their opponent. No one’s thinking “I should throw my racquet to distract him because surely that will help”. They do it because they’re upset with themselves and they’re only thinking about what they’re doing. And they take it out on the racquet because we all know it’s really the racquet’s fault.

Btw, everyone spits on clay. I don’t know why, it’s gross, but everyone does it.


Daniel Says:

Sorry Gilea but this is laughable, a Nadal fan complaining about something done on court to distract an oponent on porpouse?!?!?! LOL

Believe me and Ben above, when players ans regular Sunday players like me broke our racquets it is on frustration, and actually is something that you regreat seconds later. It’s kind of embarrasing to reach a point where you lose control on court. In fact this helps the oponent because they think: hum that guy is losing it. And in the battle on court one loves to see the other go down, in every way, that’s why they use drop shots, lobbys, all shots that kind of humiliate the oponent. Every poayer hates a lobby or drop shot.


Ben Pronin Says:

“In fact this helps the oponent because they think: hum that guy is losing it”

This. I forgout about this. But this is so true. In the pros, the racquet smasher can still turn things around. It often is just an outlet for them before they get back on track (like Djokovic did). But when you see this in the juniors or recreation play, it’s game over. The guy throwing his racquet is going to look a lot more like Dologopolov in the third set than Djokovic.


Emily Says:

I heard that uncle Toni told Rafa that he would stop coaching him if he ever broke a racquet, which is why I think he bangs his shoes instead. I’ve often noticed Delpo bend over and almost break his racquet, but refrain from doing so and thus getting out that frustration just by nearly doing it.

I personally think that’s a good way to go since smashing racquets does let the opponent know you’re getting to them. That video of Baghdatis is amazing both in how fast he breaks his racquets, but the fact that they cut to Stan who’s just sitting there, staring into space. It also can get the crowd against you, which could deflate a player even more.

It seems that when a player breaks a racquet, the cameras love it as they zoom in on just how broken it is. A player shouldn’t be praised for how hard they can throw a tantrum, but how they handle adversity by changing their game play.


jane Says:

“He in particular does it primarily to distract his opponent. ”

i love how this poster can see inside nole’s head. states apparent intentions as fact. yes; i can just imagine nole thinking to himself: “all i need to do is smash this racquet, distract my opponent, and then i can win.” weeeeeeee!

lol. :)


Giles Says:

I’ve said my piece and I stand by it. I wonder how these guys behave at home during a tiff with the wife or GF? If they can behave so shamelessly on court one wonders what they do behind closed doors!!


brando Says:

Damn is this a crazy thread! Few quick points: 1- players first and foremost are human. People sometimes get posses off and smash things. It is what it is: letting some steam off. Personally: I’m all for it. I don’t want the fellas to be robotic, all PC. 2- time between points is a age old for Rafa. It’s just one of his many OCD like behavior. If you pay attention what he actually is just repeat a pattern: dry himself with the towel even on a ace lol! He’s just a deeply OCD ridden individual. The players get it. They know he ain’t doing anything different from day 1 or malicious against them. He’s just carrying out a crazy ritual of his. For me, the onus is on the umpires here. If he goes overboard And it’s a problem: let him now. Have a stop clock. Rafa ain’t going to know how long he is. All he’s bothered about is his ritual. Personally: I don’t really see it as big deal. The limit is 25 seconds per point: so is another 3 seconds REALLY going to be a major time issue? 3 more paltry seconds? I don’t think so at all. And again: rafa’s played well over 800 matches on tour and last I heard he’s apparently popular with the players and also a star attraction in the game. It’s all good.


Giles Says:

And needless to say joker is the main protagonist in the racquet smashing contest ; he certainly deserves a prize. Maybe a racquet inscribed with the words “Hooligan of the ATP tour”.


Ben Pronin Says:

I thought you turned a corner, Giles, but I guess not.

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