Djokovic v Isner, Murray v Berdych: Miami SF Picks And Pans; Serena Too Strong For Simona
by Sean Randall | April 3rd, 2015, 12:55 am
  • 100 Comments

We are down to just four at the last stop on this mini hardcourt Masters swing. And what we have is three guys we thought would be there and a very tall interloper named John Isner who is playing some sick tennis at the moment.

Today, the American played one of the best matches of his career smashing the foot-shorter World No. 5 Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-3 in a match that wasn’t even that close. If you were watching like me, you’ll recall Isner won 10 straight points AGAINST Nishikori’s serve. That’s called being in the zone.

“It was a very good match,” said Isner. “A lot of times, just to get to a situation to play like that, you have to win a match that maybe I couldn’t, shouldn’t have won, which was my last match… I played extremely well. I have nothing to complain about, that’s for sure.”

Nishikori, who made the semifinals in Miami last year and the US Open final, had no answer for Isner’s big serve which hasn’t been broken since Indian Wells.

“I think he play really well today,” Nishikori said. “On the serve, I didn’t have any chance. “Also, his forehand and backhand — he hit some winners from the back of the baseline. I couldn’t really stop him today. I don’t think I really played bad. Maybe I could do a little better with everything, but I think he played well today.

He won’t complain, but his opponents might. Next for John is familiar face Novak Djokovic who won his eighth straight match over David Ferrer. On his 33rd birthday, Ferrer was gifted an early break, but Djokovic took control from there in a tough 7-5, 7-5 victory.

“I had to fight for everything that I got tonight on the court because he wasn’t going to give it to me,” Djokovic said. “I knew that coming into the court. I know that he’s a great competitor, that he grinds a lot, runs and makes you play an extra shot.”

So to my picks…

Andy Murray v Tomas Berdych
They met in Australia and now they meet again Friday in Miami where Murray calls his second home. And Murray’s won there not once but twice. So right away a bid edge to Andy.

But Berdych has actually beaten Andy six of their 11 meetings. When Andy doesn’t play offense, his balls just sit there waiting to be crushed and a guy like Berdych can do exactly that. That’s what he’s built for. The problem with Tomas is between the ears, especially against the top guys.

He played so well to beat Rafael Nadal at the Australian, then played pretty good in a loss to Murray in semis. But then last month at Indian Wells laid an egg against Roger Federer. He won’t be that bad this time, but it’s just too hard to put much faith into the guy. Heck he should have lost to Bernard Tomic of all people who had four matchpoints on him earlier in the week.

Murray, on the other hand, has to feel motivated after also being humbled in Indian Wells by Djokovic. That said, he’s not playing particularly well, either after a few scratchy three set wins en route.

“Tomas obviously started this year well. Been pretty consistent in most of the events that he’s played,” Murray said. “Tomas is obviously a big hitter and plays lower percentage tennis.”

Added Berdych on their Australian Open match, “What’s positive for me is that I think [Murray] played a very good tournament, very good tennis, and I managed to find a way to win a set,” he said. “It’s definitely going to be my goal to stick to the game plan and execute it.”

But the gameplan didn’t work in Australia and with Murray’s former coaches in the Czech’s box, I don’t think Andy wants to lose on his home court. Too bad, though, the match is probably on the Berdych’s racquet. Still..
The pick: Murray in three

Novak Djokovic v John Isner
I said earlier I wasn’t impressed with Andy Murray’s play. And I’m not crazy about Berdych’s either. Djokovic’s? Meh. But Isner is the one guy really peaking right now. The question with streaky players like him is, when does the clock hit midnight? Because it always does.

After a dismal opening to 2015, Isner’s finally playing some ball. And this week he overwhelmed Grigor Dimitrov, then escaped Milos Raonic before that jaw-dropping win today over Kei Nishikori. So his confidence has to be soaring.

“Playing him is always a challenge,” Isner said of Djokovic. “He’s the greatest player in the world right now, hands down. I played well against him last week in Indian Wells and he beat me in a tight two set match.

“I’m going to have to bring that level and some if I do play against him, and I believe I can do that.”

While Isner clearly has that belief, Djokovic is just getting by. Alexandr Dolgopolov had him against the ropes the other day but the Ukranian’s luck ran out and Djokovic cleaned him up. And I think something similar could happen Friday.

Novak really doesn’t like playing Isner much even though he leads 6-2. They always have tough matches – every match has had at least one tiebreak (John leads 6-3 in breakers). Novak’s got the return of serve and the game to neutralize Isner, but it just seems the nerves really get to Novak when he plays John because the margins are that small.

Novak’s weakness is his serve. And I think playing someone like Isner puts that much more pressure on Novak to hold serve. And it spirals from there, hence the deficit to John in breakers. Remember one of the two losses Novak’s had this year was to another big guy Ivo Karlovic. And Novak even talked about the mental advantage John has.

“Coming into tomorrow’s match, I think he’s more confident because he’s won against Top 10 players back-to-back,” said Djokovic who’s lost to the American at Indian Wells and Cincinnati. “I’m sure that’s going to give him more of an advantage mentally. He’s going to try to be aggressive. He’s going to try to take his chances… That’s what makes him very dangerous.”

And Novak’s right. John’s just going to rip anything he can reach, as he should, and sometimes those shots will find the court, other times they won’t. But that’s the plan. A plan that might keep Novak up at night.

Still, playing at night should help Novak as the slower, heavier Miami conditions will also benefit the Serb. In theory, Novak shouldn’t be troubled on his serve and he’ll get a break chance or two and that should be enough in a tight one. A very tight, very nervous one.
The pick: Djokovic in three

And if you missed the Thursday night women’s semifinal, you missed an instant classic as Serena Williams hung on for a tough 3-set win over No. 3 Simona Halep 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. The 7-time champion will face the surprising Carla Suarez Navarro in the Saturday final. Serena is 4-0 against the Spaniard including a 6-0, 6-0 thrashing in the 2013 US Open quarterfinals.

“I actually had a fun match,” Serena said. “I just feel it was on my racquet. I had chances in the second set but didn’t take them. That’s something I can’t do going into the Grand Slams coming up.”

And Serena-Simona could be the rivalry women’s tennis needs.

“Her game was great,” Serena said of Simona. “She plays so well, and it’s so good to see her play so well. She’s so young, and I actually love watching her play. I’m actually a fan of hers.

“I really like her attitude on the court. I like how she gets pumped up. I like how she fights. I like how she plays. I just think it’s fun to watch and it’s different – it’s definitely a refreshing type of game.”

ESPN2 have live coverage of Murray-Berdych at 1pm and then Djokovic-Isner at 7pm.

MIAMI FRIDAY SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 1:00 pm
ATP – [3] A. Murray (GBR) vs [8] T. Berdych (CZE)
WTA – [9] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs [2] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)
7:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [22] J. Isner (USA)
WTA – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs [7] T. Babos (HUN) / K. Mladenovic (FRA)


You Might Like:
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Roger Federer v Tomas Berdych, Novak Djokovic v Kei Nishikori, Serena-Sharapova; Australian Open QF Picks And Pans
Djokovic v. Tsonga, Federer v. Isner; London Olympics QF Picks And Pans
Djokovic v Murray, Federer v Nishikori; Wednesday Miami QF Picks And Pans

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100 Comments for Djokovic v Isner, Murray v Berdych: Miami SF Picks And Pans; Serena Too Strong For Simona

Margot Says:

Oh lol, so it’s a Berd v Isner final then!
P.S. Not really laughing :(


Michael Says:

Novak Vs Isner

Isner is a far improved player today than he was in yester years when only his serve was a potent weapon. I am really impressed with this guy’s game who is the only American player of significance today in a Country that has traditionally hosted great Tennis players. After Roddick, he has prevented the obscurity of American Tennis with his exploits on Court. At Miami, he is looking in great form and the way he just outclassed a very good player like Nishikori should give him a sense of confidence that he can do it against Novak too. If he serves well and executes his flat ridded shots, he becomes unbeatable even if Novak plays exceptionally. He has troubled Novak greatly in the past and this time it is going to be no different. I expect an upset here. Isner in three sets is pick.

As regards Berdych Vs Murray, I expect Andy to scrape through in a tough three setter. Miami is his favourite Court and although Berdych has been a thorn in his side going by their past encounters, I feel that this time around Andy holds the edge.


KatH Says:

Plus we all know Andy will be determined to blast Berdych off the Court given their past spat – however, Berdych will be equally determined. So it all boils down to can Andy bring his “A” game?

I think it’s double whiskies for me tonight….


Hippy Chick Says:

Michael i just feel everyones cannon fodder for Novak ATM….


the DA Says:

It’s always weird yet fascinating to me how Andy is able to handle Isner (no losses yet) but finds Berdy such a tough match-up. Isner has the superior serve and hits just as hard as Tomas. Whereas Nole struggles against Isner but makes Berdy his bunny. Match-ups. Tennis.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

How many times did Isner beat Novak so far? Maybe once. Yes, Novak does not like to play Isner. But is there any top player who likes to play Isner? Nope. It’s the same for all.

But Novak knows the formula to beat him. It’s about moving around Isner. Most of the matches, he had executed them fine, maybe one match was an exception. I don’t think Novak would falter today.

It’s a close call between Murray and Berdych. That’s the match I would be interested today. It’s 50-50. Let’s see.


skeezer Says:

Guys like Isner and Roanic can take down a top flight player at any given match. So yes, these types are very dangerous. If they have a great serving day, its going to a TB at least guaranteed. And from there anything goes.


pitchaboy Says:

Novak is not playing his best. Isner is. Usually Novak’s B plus game is enough to beat Isner. However, with Isner serving this way and the court being slow, which lets him amble up to the ball on time, he will be hard to beat. Isner in 3.


Daniel Says:

the DA,

I think Murray has the best instinct return and he is the one who discloser to the baseline. Maybe this to return big serves who can get those insane angles due to height is the best approach.
Because murray is the one who returns better the big servers of today so he must be doing something right. Also he usually uses a flat return so the ball return fast to serve and this big guys don’t like that after a bomb.


Daniel Says:

Now onto the duel of the strong legs😜


Okiegal Says:

@Daniel…..I think it was Brad Gilbert who said Berdy had legs the size of tree trunks…..These two ate sturdy built guys, but can move good!


Okiegal Says:

C’mon Andy……good shot to go Ad


Okiegal Says:

Break for Andy!! Good job…..keep it up!!


Daniel Says:

Murray unleashed an Awesome BH winner to set BP and got the break with a mistake by Berdych. Great start for him.


Daniel Says:

I saw practice in US Open ince Okie and his legs are massive. Almost disproportional with the rest of his body. Murray is also strong but Berdy uses shorten shorts so it shows more.


Daniel Says:

Berdych returns the break with an awesome BH DTL winner.


Daniel Says:

Wow, what a touch for this drop shot.


Daniel Says:

3 games and 3 breaks, let’s see who holds serve first.


Okiegal Says:

Reminiscent of the WTA???


Okiegal Says:

@Daniel…..I believe his legs are bigger than ever….they look unusually thick and stocky today, they’re bigger than Andy’s, me thinks!


Ben Pronin Says:

Murray has a discussion with the ump in just about every big match he plays.


Daniel Says:

And it was an unnecessary altercation ref balls?!?!


Okiegal Says:

How am I gonna work in my Thunder vs the Grizzlies tonight with all the tennis that’s going on?….Oh my, I’m in a dilemma. No question if Rafa was playing…..what to do?? :)


Okiegal Says:

I haven’t noticed any mumbling from Berdy on the changeover…..does anyone know what he was supposed to have said the last time they played?? I never did get the skinny on the incident……


Ben Pronin Says:

Haha now Berdych talking to the ump. Very interesting call. But Berdych does make himself look like an ass when he argues like that.

Murray is controlling this match big time and Berdych is doing everything he can just to hold serve.


Okiegal Says:

Arguing with them is really wasted energy. The call is rarely changed, if ever?? Percentage would be low in my estimation.


Daniel Says:

First set Andy.

Good ser for him but I still think he should came to the net more. Several balls he waited instead of coming forward for a floating ball and missed a few.


Margot Says:

Phew. Andy’s serving really well. Hope it lasts!


Daniel Says:

Yew Berdy, DF to lose the game for love…
Murray has this in the bag now. He is serving smarter with less power on first serves but more percentage in.


Ben Pronin Says:

Berdych is a poor man’s Murray. Outside of weird upsets, when Murray goes deep into an event he’ll only lose to the big 3. When Berdych goes deep into an event he’ll lose to basically anyone.


RZ Says:

Checking in to see how Andy is doing. Glad to hear he is up and hope he closes it out in two. No worries Margot, I’m not watching the match. :-)


Daniel Says:

A lot of variety from Andy in this match. Second amazing lobby, some drop shots, low balls. He is avoiding tomgive Berdy any rhytm.


Ben Pronin Says:

What in the what was that game from Murray? He was coasting then just fell apart.


Daniel Says:

Same thing as first set. Murray gor broken.
He look a bot tired this game, he run too much this firat 2 games.


Daniel Says:

He made 2 DF, one when he was adv on and than on BP.


Markus Says:

Oh Murray fans curse me. I turned on the TV and saw Murray up 1 set and 1 break up onthe 2nd set… then double faulted to be broken. Must I not watch?


Daniel Says:

At least he got the break back again. Hope he holds and play more freely.


RZ Says:

@Markus – join the club! Murray seems to do better when I don’t watch. :-)

@Ben – keep in mind that almost no Murray win is straightforward.


Ben Pronin Says:

Aside from a few hiccups and a horrible win rate on second serve points, this has been as solid of a match from Murray as it can get. Not extraordinary but he’s thoroughly outplayed Berdych (who hasn’t really helped himself)>


Daniel Says:

Yeah,
Nice win Andy. Thir big tournament and he made finals AO, semis IW and now finals minimum. #2 this year and hope to see ajother Djoko x Andy. Only way for him to exorcise his demons is to beat Djoko again in a big match. Even if he loses again at least he is putting himself in contention.


jane Says:

congrats to andy on reaching the finals. looks like a great serving day for him.


the DA Says:

Thank heavens he found his 1st serve in time. Other than that he was rock solid in all the rallies and didn’t allow Tomas to out hit him – in fact, he outfoxed Berdy several times. Have to say it again: the more aggressive returning is paying off dividends. Perhaps that contributed to Berdy disastrous serving? Also, it helps that this court feels like a 2nd home.

Anyway, s good to see the boy back in contention for Masters titles. It has been too long.


Margot Says:

Andy Murray, you little beaut! 502 and counting.
His serve was on, Berd’s not.
Well done RZ, keep not watching!
Not too much whisky needed KatH!
Ben @2.07: that’s so rude. Exactly how many slams has Berd got?
@Sean
Now I can ask why did you say the match was “on Berd’s racquet?” That seems a bit rude too, when people say that. It disses the other player.


Hippy Chick Says:

Congrats Andy on another final,i only hope its a better match than IW all assuming Novak also makes the final….


RZ Says:

Yay for Andy – onward and upward!


Ben Pronin Says:

What do slams have to do with it? Murray has eked out 2. That’s why Berdych is a poor man’s Murray. Similarly consistent but Murray can actually win titles. Berdych has 10 titles in 16 finals in his entire career. He’s made at least 1 final for 12 straight years. But he just can’t win no matter who he’s facing. Murray, for the most part, can win titles but struggles against the big 3.


KatH Says:

@ Margot

The second is for celebration- enjoying it greatly. Absolutely fab. result – now pistols at dawn are not needed and the two parties can get back to normal.

Agree – why did Sean say match was on Berdych’s racquet? That really depressed me. Andy (for all his antics) has greater skill than TB – when he buckles down and uses it.


the DA Says:

^ coincidentally, someone posted stats about finals. With this win Andy overtakes Hewitt to make No. 5 on the active list. This will be his 47th final. To compare, Berdy is No. 8 with 26 finals.


Margot Says:

@Ben
“eked out.” Crikey, you’ve got it in for Andy!


Margot Says:

@the DA
And 2 years older than Andy!
@ KatH
Enjoy! Might even join you, in spirit so to speak.


Ben Pronin Says:

Ok maybe a better comparison would be to say Berdych is a poor man’s Ferrer. Ferrer can at least win small events here an there but he’ll always lose to the big 3 and Murray. But, again, Berdych will lose to anyone in the latter stages of a tournament. So I guess Ferrer is a poor man’s Murray.


Hippy Chick Says:

The USO final with Novak was tight and couldve gone either way i suppose,but when Andy won Wimbledon was won in straight sets,so he hardly eeked out his GS wins….


Markus Says:

Murray fans would love my wife. She asked me for an errand so I left. I just got back and next thing I know, Murray is in the finals. That’s probably why nothing good came out of Gasquet’s career. I always watched him play.


Margot Says:

@Markus
The magic only works if you are a Murray fan, like RZ. I left the room to get a pear and came back to find 0-30 on his serve! Eek! But my presence soon righted the ship…;)


Colin Says:

@ Margot
At least he spelled it correctly. Most people online mispell it as “eeked”, which makes it sound like a screaming contest, or an invasion of a nunnery by mice!

I was so relieved to see Andy at last get the first serve going. The second set was nervy for both men, but more so for the Boid, as they would call him in Brooklyn.


Okiegal Says:

Congratulations to all the Murray fans. He played good today, I thought. Finally got untrained after being broken right off the bat…..it won’t be long until we know who his opponent will be…..but I’m staying with Joker against Isner…..I would like to my American guy win, however!


Okiegal Says:

@Colin…..Eeking contestants extraordinaire….Vika and Maria!! They get on my last nerve….The tighter the match, the louder they get. ANNOYING!!


Margot Says:

Andy is 5th player in Open Era to reach 4, or more, Miami finals. Others being Nole, Rafa, Sampras and Agassi.


Markus Says:

Djokovic has to stay sharp with his return game and steady with his serve if Isner’s serve game is on. Last time they played, Isner had almost 80% first serves in and still lost. Anything less than that will not work against Novak. I hope Novak wins because I find Isner extremely boring to watch. It’s like listening to a song that has no melody, just a single tone from beginning to end. Isner is a monotone.


chris ford1 Says:

HC – “when Andy won Wimbledon was won in straight sets,so he hardly eeked out his GS wins.”

Novak is a superb athlete who can out-grind and out-heart Rafa on occasions – but even he does not have Rafa’s miraculous recovery powers. Prior to Andy, he and Juan Martin played the semi each said was among the best matches they have ever played. Delpo a day later said it was the best he had ever played, even the USO where he blew Rafa off the court and then took down Federer.
2013 was a year Djokovic was in the 3 best matches. Stan in Australia, Rafa at the French Open, and then that edge of your seat Wimbledon thriller.
When Djoker faced Andy, there was no gas left in the tank.

On another matter, Simona Halep and Serena had a classic match. Simona is a very likable player and person.


KatH Says:

Comment from Tomas – “Andy changed the game plan – but next time I’ll be ready for him”.

For me that is equally sad and funny.


Hippy Chick Says:

Chris Ford1 Novak lost to Andy at Wimbledon because Andy was the better player pure and simple,no excuses….


the DA Says:

“When Djoker faced Andy, there was no gas left in the tank.”

And yet….there was the AO 2012 where he played the longest SF in it’s history (at that time); had one day’s rest and then played the longest men’s final in AO history. Had plenty of gas then ;)


Markus Says:

When these players lose, they accept them without offering excuses and move on. They know nothing can be gained from crying over spilt milk. It is only some fans who get stuck on a past they cannot recover and concoct all kinds of fictional scenarios to delude themselves into believing a false reality that no one can prove with finality to have ever existed. It is sad sometimes that their idols have already moved on while these fans stay hopelessly behind.


chris ford1 Says:

Apologies to Muzz, who played great in that semi. which was only overshadowed by Nole-Rafa Final – but the match the next year with Delpo was just ans long and the difference was Nole and his defense was tested like never before by Delpo. He had the stuffing pounded out of him. It was a high energy match that had both guys exhausted after.

The other thing was it was the hottest Wimbledon in a long time. The head groundskeeper measured the temperature in direct sunlight on the court as equivalent to 122 DEG F when the two walked out to play. Andy is no great hot weather player, but high temps affect Nole more.

No one is taking away credit from Murray, no asterisk or anything – its just one of those things – sometimes your foe is hurt, tired, sick. Them’s the breaks.


jane Says:

margot at 4:33 – great stat! :)


mat4 Says:

So far, so bad… I won’t watch the TB. Too much for my old heard…


Daniel Says:

Djoko got the inevitavle and won first set. He was getting to deuce in several of Isner games.


Daniel Says:

This year regardless of this tourney resulta Djoko became the slow HC GOAT. 5 AO, 4 IW and already 4 Miami. If he wins here he will be only one title short of Agassi’s 6 Miami. He is record holder in AO, record shared in IW with Fed and second in Miami.


Daniel Says:

Don’t know why Djoko is trying to lob Isner so much, unsucesfully. He has the passing shots, why not go with those?!


mat4 Says:

He doesn’t have the time, Daniel. The ball is usually very low and very fast.


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic is the Reverse Murray. No first serve but monster second serve.


mat4 Says:

Anyway, he returns so many first serves that it has an impact on Isner. He had to blink once.


Daniel Says:

Again he trying to lob. Stuborn fella Djoko


mat4 Says:

We just got the stat: Novak returned 69% of Isner’s serves.


Daniel Says:

mat4, this last lobby he has all the time. He clearly wanted to lob seema is a qestion of honor for him: lob a 6’6″ guy;-)


mat4 Says:

And now, I hope it’s over. 2 breaks in a row.


Daniel Says:

Wow. Djoko in the zone now


mat4 Says:

Is he starting to play with our nerves again?


Ben Pronin Says:

Solid match from Djokovic. Some wild misses here and there, though. But didn’t face a break point (although Isner isn’t the best returner).

The final should be really good, I think. Better than Indian Wells. Murray is playing better and these conditions suit him really well.


Daniel Says:

Congrats Djoko. Another final in a big tourney.

He is on a tier this season. Hope is a quality match although sense Murray needs the win more to boost hos confidence and for him to have a better clay season. But Djoko knows this is a one in a life time to replicate Fed’s IW/Miami double back to back season and also add a third IW/Miami, another unique feat only he will have. If he wins and keep this pace of winning Masters final he can pass Fed in clay season on total Masters won.


mat4 Says:

I think that Murray is the slight favourite in the final. He played very aggressively against Tomas, his first serve is better, and Novak didn’t look that good in the previous matches, although he had a great “tune-up” match against Ferrer.

Novak simply isn’t consistent enough. He is a bit tired, so a win, tomorrow, would be a great feat from him at this point. While he is undeniably the superior player (by a big margin), I think that this time Murray is in a much better form, on conditions he likes well.


brando Says:

Andy has 2 hopes for the final based on this showing: no hope and Bob hope.


mat4 Says:

@brando:

Don’t forget they play in the heat, tomorrow, something Novak doesn’t like at all.

Anyway, great word game. Lol


mat4 Says:

Here is the current ranking at the race:

1 Novak Djokovic 3985
2 Andy Murray 2420
3 Tomas Berdych 1890
4 David Ferrer 1655
5 Stan Wawrinka 1645
6 Roger Federer 1515
7 Kei Nishikori 1350
8 Milos Raonic 1180
9 Rafael Nadal 1015


Daniel Says:

Don’t agree mat4. Murray was brokem several times in almost all his matches and lost sets. Djoko got better once the ranking of his opponents increase. And he beat the in form player of the tourney, Isner.


mat4 Says:

@Daniel:

Ask jane or WB why I always predict a Novak loss.

;-)


Markus Says:

Djokovic remains a big favorite over Murray. Win or lose, Andy has been admirably good recently, maybe second only to Novak. Good luck to both. Hopefully they’d give us an exciting match.


mat4 Says:

Nonetheless, Murray played a great semi, and Novak faced a player who doesn’t give rhythm, who doesn’t let you play at all. I guess that Andy is peaking for the final, while it is not sure for Novak.

His only real good performance was against Ferrer, although he started slowly. But he finished with a lot of winners, against a great defender, so… who knows.

I’ll stick with my prediction, although I’d be happy to be wrong.


mat4 Says:

Let’s just notice that Berdych is third at the race, behind Novak and Andy. He played finals at Doha and Rotterdam, semis at the AO, Dubai and Miami, and a QF at Indian Wells. Very honourable results.


Markus Says:

@mat4:

So you’d right if he loses and happy if you’re wrong? That’s a win-win for you, smart man.


chris ford1 Says:

Matt4 – Miami won’t be that! hot. 83DEG F, 55% humidity, cloudy at times.

Nole is having a fine season. It could be another monster year for him. Andy and Fed are also doing great.

Djokovic? After the USO, beginning in Beijing, he has made the Final of every event he has entered except Doha. Winning most. Plus winning the two Davis Cup matches he had. Pretty darn good.

Rafa awaits. Nadal’s clay bastion still stands up to now, but once again charged by Djokovic and company.


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic did lose to Federer in Shanghai semifinals but yeah he has been quite a monster in the big events.


Daniel Says:

Djoko also won titles in clay 3 of the last 4 years. Only 2012 he didn’t win any clay title but lost two finals to Nadal. He made at least 1 final in all last 4 years on clay.


chris ford1 Says:

I stand corrected, Ben. It was in the semis. I thought Fed in the other half of the draw, was ranked #2 and I remember him beating Nole…but at the time Rafa was still ranked #2 and he showed up.


skeezer Says:

“I stand corrected,”
Which is often. Clean up your posts.


Noonen Says:

I’m so glad Novak is having a great Miami Open! He doesn’t get the respect he deserves. With Andy now in the final, it appears Novak is a little in Andy’s head. He will cream players and then face Novak and not be as sharp. I am pulling for Novak, as usual. What a win against John Isner!


jane Says:

“The final should be really good, I think. Better than Indian Wells. Murray is playing better and these conditions suit him really well.”

i agree ben.

and mat4, i do think you make valid points too. i haven’t been able to watch nole’s recent matches so haven’t seen any of the improvement since those matches where he was struggling.

in any case, i think it will be closer than their last match and murray has a good shot at the win. he knows these courts and likes these conditions.

i am not too worried either way. novak has a slam and a masters already with 2 other finals. can’t complain. :) i think he’ll be guaranteed the number 1 spot until may sometimes for sure now.


funches Says:

Djokovic is just better than Murray, particularly on the second serve. That difference alone means Murray needs Djoker to be off to have any chance to win. If Djoker is solid, he will not lose that match.


Margot Says:

Berd said Andy beat him because he was “much more aggressive!” Only way to go Andy! Keep this transition on it’s upward trajectory.
@CDP
Gr8 stats!
@KatH
3 should do it nicely :)

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