Djokovic Avoids Dog Bite, Venus Falls In Miami; Murray, Serena Wednesday
by Staff | April 1st, 2015, 12:46 am
  • 64 Comments

For the second time in the event defending champion Novak Djokovic needed the distance to prevail, this round overcoming a set down and 4-2 to deny Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-0.

“I fought my way through,” said Djokovic who won 11 of the last 12 games. “I was frustrated. I was losing my composure in the first set, because I didn’t feel good. So I was just trying to find a way to come back in the match.

“I don’t feel that I’m very fresh on the court, even though I’m trying. Again, I’m in the quarter-finals of this tournament. This day off tomorrow will definitely serve me and help me to recover mentally, because physically I’m fine. I feel okay. Hopefully I can perform better in the next one.”

The 4-time champ Djokovic will now face David Ferrer Thursday in the quarterfinals. Ferrer beat up on Gilles Simon in straight sets.

Two-time Miami winner Andy Murray collected his 500th career win with a tough 3-set win over Kevin Anderson 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Murray becomes the 46th player to reach the 500 mark on the ATP.

“There has not been loads of players that have done it, so it’s nice for me. The fact that it happened here as well,” said Murray, the Miami Open’s 2009 and 2013 men’s champ and a resident of Miami. “It’s just fitting because I have spent so much time training here and working to get better.

“But I hope for me this isn’t the end and I can keep trying to progress,” Murray added of his achievement. “You know, with each win, you get closer and closer to going past a great player. The people that are ahead of me have all done pretty amazing things in the sport, so that’s what’s nice about it. And it feels like it gives me motivation as well.”

“I don’t know why, but getting to 500 gives me motivation to go on and try and win more. When you look at the list of players and the wins that certain guys have got, it gives you something to aim at.”

Murray will face Dominic Thiem Wednesday afternoon in the quarters. The 21-year-old advanced to his first Masters QF with a 3-set win over Adrian Mannarino.

Tomas Berdych beat Gael Monfils at the start of the day. The former finalist will meet a former semifinalist in Juan Monaco Wednesday night. Monaco knocked out Nadal-killer Fernando Verdasco.

In the other Thursday quarter, Kei Nishikori, a winner over David Goffin, will look to reach his second straight Miami SF against John Isner who outlasted Milos Raonic in a final set breaker 6-7(3), 7-6(6), 7-6(5).

In the women’s quarterfinals, former champion and tournament favorite Venus Williams was stunned Tuesday night by Carla Suarez-Navarro 0-6, 6-1, 7-5.

“I feel like I have the ability to win a match like this, but unfortunately it was a loss,” Venus said. “Just a little too many errors. I was going for it the whole match, but towards the end I never found the happy medium between being aggressive and putting the ball in the court.

“But I learn a lot from my losses – they always make me better.”

The Spaniard will face Andrea Petkovic in the Thursday semifinals. Petkovic cruised past the hot-handed Karolina Pliskova.

On Wednesday, 7-time winner Serena Williams returns against Sabine Lisicki and in the evening red-hot Simoma Halep tries to up her win streak to 14 against American Sloane Stephens.


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64 Comments for Djokovic Avoids Dog Bite, Venus Falls In Miami; Murray, Serena Wednesday

Hippy Chick Says:

Congrats to Sir Andrew Murray on your 500th career win,come on tennis-x staff how about a thread on the topic,or is this forum made only with the top 3 players in mind?


Okiegal Says:

Yes, kudos to my 2nd favorite….I hope Andy keeps winning in Miami. I would be thrilled if he could win it! C’mon Andy!!


Giles Says:

Pity the dog bite didn’t have enough venom! Lol


Emily Says:

That Isner/Raonic match was tough to watch. Not taking away from John, but both them got almost no returns in play and you couldn’t buy a rally. Even though he’s bounced back well from the Davis Cup, I worry that he still hasn’t added to his game.

Congrats to Andy, but it was a shame that Monfils had to retire b/c he was playing well.


Michael Says:

Hearty congrats to Andy for his 500th career win !! I think he can fancy his chances in this tournament as Novak is not looking good at this moment and struggled against Dolgopolov to finally emerge victorious taking advantage of a physical let down from his opponent. Things will get a bit trickier for him against Ferrer.


Margot Says:

Well done Andy! Onwards and upwards. They gave him a cake on court. Sweet gesture…and i’m sure the cake was too!


jane Says:

yes, that is a shame about la monf emily. i thought after he’d beaten tsonga he might have a shot against berdych this time.

congrats to andy for a nice milestone indeed.

good job by nole; fighting through when not playing the best is admirable. i didn’t see the match but i get the impression that if nole goes out next round it could actually be a good thing, as he could get rest and practice on clay.


Okiegal Says:

@Jane……it’s never good to go out in the next round, because you have to answer all those stupid media questions…..Lol Don’t you know how the players dread the presser after losing? Probably dread it when they win. It’s the same old questions time and again…..The thing I hate the worst during an interview is when they try to get controversial issues started between the players….rant over!


jane Says:

eh, okie, some of the media are vulturous. pay no mind. :) the players know what’s good for themselves, and they’re old hands at handling the media – veterans even. ;P


Okiegal Says:

Yeah, Jane, I should ignore too. My little rant had nothing whatsoever to do with the thread…….sorry….. it’s just a pet peeve of
mine. :(


RZ Says:

The list of active players with more than 500 wins is interesting to look at. http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2015/03/13/Miami-Murray-500-Match-Wins-Tribute.aspx

I’m sure Murray will pass Robredo very soon, and will probably pass Berdych by the end of the year. Not surprised that Ferrer is past 600 but I feel that he didn’t get much fanfare for that point. And nice to see Tommy Haas on this list considering how much time he has missed during his career.


chris ford1 Says:

RZ – I looked at the list to see where Andy was at 500 (46th for now) and was also surprised and happy to see Tommy Haas on the list. And Ferrer, who is a consistent winner until he faces the Big 3.

Andy should end up in the ‘teens on that list in his career. Rafa and Nole in the Top 10 when they are done. And Djokovic overtake Nadal, but not Fed in wins, IF Nole plays a couple years longer. (Nadal went pro in 2002, Djokovic in 2004, Murray in 2005.)


Hippy Chick Says:

Djokovic could overtake Nadal with wins,assuming that Nadal stops winning matches altogether i suppose,jeez alot of posters are so quick to write the guy off,Novak will win more Masters 1000s,Novak will win more GS etc etc….


RZ Says:

@HC and Chris Ford1, it’s a question of trajectory, momentum, and number of tournaments/matches played. Djokovic has been winning a higher number of matches over the past few years than Nadal and based on a lack of injuries, is likely to play for a few more years. So based on that pattern, I would agree with Chris Ford that Djokovic is likely to pass Nadal at some point. It doesn’t mean that Nadal won’t have a lot more wins to add to his total; it’s just that based on all the factors, my educated guess is that Djokovic passes him in the total match wins category. It’s the same with my prediction that Murray will pass Berdych at some point. Berdych is still adding wins but Murray is younger and assuming he stays healthy he should get enough wins to pass him up.


RZ Says:

Having said that, I also wouldn’t be shocked if Nadal goes on a tear starting with the clay season, since he’s been known to do that.


Margot Says:

Serena gets her 700! Incredible.
Hope she gets some cake!


Hippy Chick Says:

RZ probably but having said that winning another 94 matches to tie Rafa is still alot of wins he has to acomplish yet before anything else,and i never find talk of this player surpassing that player of vice versa actually pertinent till it happens,i get Chris Ford1 is a Novak fan and granted hes riding high on the crest of a winning wave,but why is he spending so much time pulling apart the achievements of the other players first Roger and now Rafa?….


Hippy Chick Says:

Also saying Rafa will have alot more wins but Novak will still likely pass him sounds quite contradictory….


RZ Says:

Again, it’s about trajectory, and of course this is all speculative, but if Rafa wins about 40 matches per year for the next 3 years, and Djokovic wins about 65 matches per year for the next 4 years, there’s 100 more match wins right there.


Giles Says:

https://twitter.com/miamiopentennis/status/583347611987505152
And here is Serena’s cake.
Well done girl.


Margot Says:

Heart failure for Andy fans when he tweaked his shoulder! But his ROS was AWESOME and serving much improved. Looked good.
@RZ Very glad to hear it! She really is astonishing, Surely she should be up for GOAT discussions, I’m including men in that!


chris ford1 Says:

Not tearing Rafa down or keeping Federer on a pedestal to look as RZ said, on the trajectory. The article invites that because it says Andy is 46th on the list of wins at 500. That does not mean Murray is the 46th best player, because it is fair to say if he stays in good health, he will get enough wins to be in the ‘teens when done. Rafa, Nole, and Fed in the Top 10. Which is another good mark of where Andy stands. Murray will be regarded as a Great, a Hal of Famer…not quite at the level of the other three..but a huge gulf between him and the rest of the players,

That Andy Murray has reached 500 wins at 27 in an era of Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic is a fabulous sports career already. He has Slams, gold, a lovely fiancee, huge endorsements, a slew of Masters, owns a frikkin’ castle and will have a statue of himself put up at Wimbledon when his playing days are done.


Markus Says:

Anticipating the Djokovic/Ferrer match. If Novak is indeed tired, this match should really show it.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Novak has a day’s rest. He cannot blame any tiredness physically. Mentally, yes possible. This is his 3rd consecutive tournament.


jane Says:

nole said he was feeling mental tiredness more than anything. in fact i believe he said that physically he feels fine. that said, i read somewhere that it’ll be more humid tomorrow, which won’t help given that he’s playing david, who can be such a gruelling opponent to face sometimes, with lots of grinding, long rallies.


Hippy Chick Says:

Let it be said that if Nole loses to Ferrer (a big if as he hasnt lost to Ferrer since Elvis was alive),that it was because Ferrer was better on the day,and not because Nole was tired,or needed a rest,or saving himself for clay etc,its something thats not fair to the opponent,like Nirmal says he will have a days rest anyway….


Felipe Says:

Djokovic, unlike Nadal, is very honest with respect to breaking records, been number 1, etc…so he knows that this is a great chance to be the only player in the history of the sport to win the Indian Wells / Miami double for a third time (currently tied with Federer), and he will give his all to achieve it.
I guarantee you guys that he badly wants to win Cincy (complete the master series), complete the calendar year as world number 1, finish for a fourth time as number 1, win the carrer slam and stay at least for 250 weeks at the top of the ranking and finally, been considerer a most acomplished / well rounded player than Nadal. He knows that this year is the best chance he has to achieve almost all these milestones (Old Federer / less intimidating Nadal / he owns Murray). Next year, Nishikori, Raonic, the YOUNG Aussies, Thiem, maybe Dimitrov, Murray will not allow him to dominate like this year.


Ben Pronin Says:

What if Djokovic is physically tired? I don’t get how you guys can just claim that a day of rest means he’s not allowed to be exhausted. Remind me how you felt when you were going for the IW-Miami double?


Hippy Chick Says:

IMO Novak is a great player,but i wouldnt say hes more rounded than Nadal just because he has more HC title than Nadal,in actuall fact the bulk of Novaks titles happen to be on HCs like the bulk of Rafas are on clay,they both have their best surfaces,but take out HCs and Novak has two GS,take out clay and Rafa has five GS,but then again we dont belittle HCs,so why do we belittle clay,why the double standard?also Rafa has multiple GS on all surfaces and a career GS and Novak hasnt,granted Novak is the best player on tour but we should hold off before we write everyone else off and p*ss on the achievements of other players,the years still young yet….


Ben Pronin Says:

Because for the most part clay was always dominated by a couple of players who never did anything outside of the surface while the greatest champions were busy racking up hard court titles.


Hippy Chick Says:

Ben true,and fair enough,players are allowed to be tired even with a days rest,but that shouldnt be used as an excuse if they do lose is all im saying as its unfair to their opponents,and i say this about all players not just Novak,but as a generalisation….


Hippy Chick Says:

Ben,Nadal has done alright outside of clay with 5 GS,im not biased but this is still better than Novaks resume off HCs who has 2,i just think its an unfair comparison,so i will say this again multiple GS on all surfaces,Novak on two ….


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Djokovic, unlike Nadal, is very honest with respect to breaking records

Can you help with few quotes from both the players to prove this?


Nirmal Kumar Says:

When you play, there are no excuses. If Novak is tired, he should quit. It’s not fair to opponent to say you are tired and you still beat him.

Also in both IW and Miami, there are enough rest between games and the schedule is not as brutal as in some of the other masters.


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal is a more accomplished player than Djokovic. There’s no argument there. Doesn’t matter if people want to nitpick the surfaces.

I can see the argument with regards to Djokovic being a more well rounded player, though. Djokovic is probably the most well rounded player besides Federer when you look at his results across the board. He’s in the semis/finals or winning tournaments on every surface.

I’m sure Ferrer cares about Djokovic being too tired to beat him.


jane Says:

“Remind me how you felt when you were going for the IW-Miami double?”

lol, Ben. I guess it’s not been done many times. I don’t know for sure but I think only fed and nole have done it twice.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

When Roger did a IW-Miami double, was the Finals played as 5-setter?


Daniel Says:

HC,

The case for HC and clay is not just the surface. Clay is basically only play by the regular tour for two months: beggining of April until first week of June when French Open ends. Apart from that stretch of 5 tournamens only clay specialist play South America in February and a few other after RG.

To win on HC like Fed on Djoko dis tou have to do it all year long something Nadal never was able to do. His best stretch was IW 2013 to US Open 2013.

HC represents more than 65% of tourney played in a year by a top player – usally 4 clay (3 Masters and Garros), 2 grass (Halle or Queena + Wimbledon) and the rest is HC which different conditions and different courts speed. AO and USO are both HC but very unike courts from one another.

So your aproach, although valide that Nadal has multiple Slam in 3 different surfaces, doesn’t tell the whole history. I prefer more the, outaide their best Slams who has more and still Nadla wins in this regard, with 5 outside RG compared to Djoko’s 3 outside AO.

Felipe point is that this year if Djoko indeed is to win more Slams he will get closer and closer to Nadal’s achievements and surpassing a few of them already.

He may never reach 14 Slams but with the distribution of his titles winning all year, times spent as #1, if he gold number one for all weeks in 2015 and etc will reinforce his case for a more rounded player.
Nadal may end the better champion with more majors (mostly bulked by his 9, 10 or 11 RG;-) but Djoko may end the


Daniel Says:

Yea Nirmal i think it changed in 2007. But 2006 for sure Masters were best of 5. Rome, MC


Markus Says:

I don’t think it is far-fetched idea to assume that athletes do get tired. They are not machines. None of them use fatigue as an excuse for losing and neither do they gloat about beating another in spite of being tired. It is only the fans who do that.

As regards: “If Novak is tired, he should quit.”
I say this: Tennis is a job to these athletes. The same way that I, or most people for that matter, continue to report for work everyday no matter how tired or how badly I feel. I owe it to the people and the clients I work for the same way that the athletes owe it to the organizers and the fans who pay to see them play.


Ben Pronin Says:

IW-Miami were best of 5 set finals when Federer won except for 2004 when he beat Henman in two sets in the IW final. I have no idea why that final was randomly only best of 3. As was the TMC final that year. Strange.

Anyways, Federer has said that throughout his career he’s played through injuries just to see what would happen. Sometimes he lost and other times he was still able to play well enough to win. Athletes are always dealing with injury and fatigue. I don’t get why we’re not allowed to say “well today, so and so was clearly a lot more tired than usual and it resulted in poor play”. At the same time, even if Djokovic or whoever is tired, maybe Ferrer will come out and play even worse and Djokovic could still win. Assuming he’s tired. Maybe he comes out fresh as a daisy today.

If we really want to nitpick then every win by everyone ever should be asterisked.

At the beginning of each day, we have no idea what’s going to happen. A player shouldn’t just quit if they feel not up to it. That’s what Djokovic was criticized for in the past. But now if he plays through it’s wrong? Good grief, there’s just no winning for this guy.


Emily Says:

I’m sorry, but the idea that Novak should quit b/c he’s tired is ridiculous. When an athlete retires, my assumption is that it’s an injury that playing would make worse. When Monfils fell in the 4 th round, he clearly hurt himself and he needed to retire. There’s concern there, not a sense of just quit b/c you would be wasting everyone’s time otherwise.

When a player says they’re tired, it could be mentally as well as physically. The pressure of the matches and long practices could get to you, just as much as it could get to your body.

Every player knows what they’re getting into when they play, and a motivated Ferrer is a dangerous prospect. Nole may roll today or Ferrer could beat him b/c he plays a better match. I think the media sometimes baits players into saying they’re injured or tired, and it’s not always them trying to excuse a loss. I think it’s sometimes the fans that want to find excuses and reassure ourselves that our favs didn’t lose b/c they played poorly.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

If Novak is tired, when what is the assurance that Ferrer is not tired. He is older player than Novak is. Also did Novak say he is tired? No, it is just the fans trying to find an excuse before he loses.

If he loses, he lost not because of condition or being tired, it would be because the opponent played better.


Hippy Chick Says:

Daniel all plausible,but its that same old word that keeps popping up IF,in some areas Novak will pass Nadal and in some he wont,but it doesnt have relevance either unless it actually happens,Nadal is ahead with GS and Masters as of now,whether that changes remains to be seen and is something for the future,Nadals resume is still better so posters p*ssing on his achievements is unfair….


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Let’s not forget after all these hypes about Novak on HC and making Rafa look inferior, I believe Rafa has more USO than Novak. Sounds crazy.


Hippy Chick Says:

Nirmal exactly,its not like Rafa cant play on HCs i just not his best surface,hes been in three finals at the USO winning two,so Novak is beatable on HCs,losing to Rafa twice,Andy in finals and Nishikori in the semis last year,people are certainly jumping the gun somewhat….


Hippy Chick Says:

Not taking a pop at Novak as he has consistently made GS and Masters finals,and semis and QRTS etc,but if people are going to say Rafa only dominates on clay one could argue that the only GS Novak dominates is the AO,he is more dominant away from the GS than at the GS….


Nirmal Kumar Says:

HC, don’t forget the HC double of Cincy – Montreal, also French – Wimby twice along with Olympics in HC beating Novak. These records itself are mind spinning, and we need to include his Clay records on top of this.


Hippy Chick Says:

Thanks Nirmal and exactly,im not setting out to belittle Novak as hes an amazing player,i just get quite annoyed when posters do it about Rafa,and you never do that you recognize greatness in all the players without the need to belittle the others….


Markus Says:

At this very instance, we can say that Djokovic is better than Federer and Nadal in terms of their performances over the past few months. However, in terms of what they have achieved so far in their careers, Novak remains significantly behind those two. In terms of ability, we can argue for any of them until we’re blue in the gills but it will never be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.


brando Says:

@Markus: spot on! All that matters is winning the rest is just armchair talk. Period.


Hippy Chick Says:

Markus thanks brilliant post,and for what its worth i have no qualms with admitting Novak is the best player on tour either etc etc,the only thing i do get highly irritated and annoyed with is when my favorites achievements are belittled,and make no mistake i will defend him,and dont see that as been unreasonable or unfair to do so either,thank goodness for posters like yourself and Nirmal who recognize greatness in all the players….


chris ford1 Says:

Markus – it’s been more than a few months that Djokovic has been the better player. It’s shaping up he has been the best of the 3 over the last 5 years.


Hippy Chick Says:

Markus BTW who is that headcase you were talking to me about the other day just curious?….


Hippy Chick Says:

Chris Ford1 i think your missing the point….


Markus Says:

Hippy Chick, that player I was referring to has the distinction of having a brilliant game matched equally by a most lackluster mental ability: Richard Gasquet. I always rooted for him until I finally realized the futility of it all.


brando Says:

@CF1: LOL you can change that goalpost however you want to suit your argument. For example: it’s shaping up that Nadals been the best since 2008 (11 grand slams > whatever else). Or it’s shaping up Federer has been the best since 2003 (17>whatever else). I mean you can say Djokovic since 2011. But equally easy you can say Nadal since 2010. ANYONE can switch up the dates and case for whomever. ALL that matters is the TOTALITY of their career, and right now only a clown will see it any way other than what it is right now: Federer > Nadal > Djokovic. Period. And that’s what Markus was getting at: overall in their career everyone knows how it is, today it’s Novak in this current moment.


Hippy Chick Says:

Brando EX-ACT-LY….


brando Says:

Alison TH-ANK- YOU


Daniel Says:

guys, this is all discussion for we to have something to talk about. otherwise we wold just come to this blog and say: congrats player X won now. Speculation is part of the fun and mention aspects or achievements that the players didn’t do doesn’t diminish their career just point out some areas in which some are better than others or what is their to achieve still.

Sorry HC, but mentioning anything that Nadal doesn’t have is not diminishing his achievements. You are constantly saying that you will defend Nadal when somebody else mentions something, but isn’t it what all people who have favorites here do?! Sometimes we are just evaluating and assessing their careers, all of them Fed and Novak and Murray.

And Brando, you say what matters is winning but every big tourney Novak won (Wimbledon and AO) you had your theories about week mentality, weak era gap (because Fed is old and Nadal bla bla to post in here. Sorry to vent, I love reading other theoires as I have mine myself, but what bother’s me is a bit hypocrisy sometimes in here.


Hippy Chick Says:

Markus ah Gasquet sorry to say but i think your right,beautiful to watch,but 1 expression comes to mind style over substance,no offence….

Brando lol…


Markus Says:

Not offended, Hippy Chick. I have given up on Gasquet a long time ago. I don’t even watch him play anymore because I always know what’s going to happen, a couple of beautiful, graceful shots and a whole lot of mess. I hate to curse, so I just won’t watch.


Hippy Chick Says:

Daniel fair enough,your defending Novak whos one of your favorites,and im defending Rafa whos mine,i always try to be fair to his rivals,but i cant keep on apologizing for having a difference of opinion or defending my favorite nobody else does….

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