Nadal v Isner, Federer v Monfils Headline Blockbuster Thursday In Monte Carlo
by Sean Randall | April 15th, 2015, 6:42 pm
  • 192 Comments

With only one of the 16 seeds failing to reach the third round, it promises to be one of the best line-ups for any Thursday this tennis season. Former champions Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka plus Roger Federer headline a day featuring 12 of the Top 14 players on court, fighting for their life in the first Masters clay event of the season in Monte Carlo.

As for today, Rafael Nadal played what he called was his best match of the year, blowing out a future star in Lucas Pouille 6-2, 6-1. Nadal apparently is also playing with a new racquet, or is he? Would Mr. OCD really switch up his racquets just before the start of the all-important clay season? I’m not sure, but regardless, after a forgettable March he needed a confidence-building win and a he got it.

“I will go back to the hotel with [a] fantastic feeling, because I played probably the best match of the year for me,” Nadal said. “I played with the right mentality [and] the right concentration.”

After three weeks off, Roger Federer showed no rust hammering Jeremy Chardy. A 4-time finalist, Roger’s never won the Monte Carlo title, could this finally be the year?

Stan Wawrinka and a host of seeds also advanced easily in straights leading to Thursday’s blockbuster schedule.

So tomorrow, we have among other matches:

Rafael Nadal v John Isner – It’s the same old story for Isner, can he break serve and scrape out a couple of tiebreaks? Against someone like Nadal on the clay I highly doubt it, but the good news for the improving American is he only needs two sets, not three. So regardless of how well Rafa played in his opener, he won’t be sleeping well tonight.

Roger Federer v Gael Monfils – On clay I just think Monfils plays too far back, too defensively, and the fact he’s coming off injury points me in the direction of Federer who destroyed Chardy today.

“The preparation is different; instead of playing just one hour before a match on clay, this time I had 10 days and I’m better prepared,” Federer said of losing to Monfils in Davis Cup last November. “I feel more confident than I was in Lille.

“Gaël is such a player. He has capacities that other players don’t have, physically, also because of his power on the forehand and the backhand. It is a real challenge to play him. Often the problem is not on your own racquet against him.”

Stan Wawrinka v Grigor Dimitrov – Both guys really like playing in Monte Carlo, but only one is the defending champion and that’s Stan. Grigor desperately needs a top win – he hasn’t beaten anyone since that Andy Murray shock at Wimbledon. I like Stan here in a tough three set battle.

“I think I play a great match,” said Wawrinka of his win today over Juan Monaco. “It’s a tough first round to play Monaco, but it’s a typical clay-court match… playing from the baseline. Over the past two months, [I have had] really difficultly with my game [and] with my confidence. I was happy to come on clay again. The conditions are great here.”

On the second court we have four really even match-ups. On clay I give the slight edge to Tommy Robredo over Milos Raonic. Obviously I’ll go Tomas Berdych to beat RBA, but that could easily go the other way.

JW Tsonga and Marin Cilic is really intriguing as both guys haven’t played much. I’ll lean with Tsonga, and I’ll take David Ferrer in a close contest over Gilles Simon.

“I’m interested to see how it’s going to go,” Simon said of Ferrer. “I feel good right now. If I have no problems before the match, I really want to see how it’s going to be… I really feel I can do something good.”

Not to be left out, top seed Djokovic faces Andreas Haider-Maurer in what should be a one-way affair.

And if the top guys keep winning, the Friday schedule could be even better! Wow!

THURSDAY MONTE CARLO SCHEDULE

COURT CENTRAL start 10:30 am
[7] S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs [9] G. Dimitrov (BUL)
Not Before 12:00 noon
[14] [WC] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)
[3] R. Nadal (ESP) vs [15] J. Isner (USA)
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs A. Haider-Maurer (AUT)

COURT DES PRINCES start 10:30 am
[16] T. Robredo (ESP) vs [4] M. Raonic (CAN)
[6] T. Berdych (CZE) vs [12] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
[11] J. Tsonga (FRA) vs [8] M. Cilic (CRO)
[10] G. Simon (FRA) vs [5] D. Ferrer (ESP)


You Might Like:
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Resurgent Rafael Nadal Takes On Rival Andy Murray In Monte Carlo SFs Saturday
Rafael Nadal v Stan Wawrinka, Roger Federer v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga In Friday Monte Carlo QF Play
Roger Federer Says He’s Not Sure If He’ll Play Rome

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192 Comments for Nadal v Isner, Federer v Monfils Headline Blockbuster Thursday In Monte Carlo

Markus Says:

Nadal’s first test on clay tomorrow: playing against a trebuchet.


skeezer Says:

Obviously the Novak/Haider-Maurer match is the match of the day on Central.


Wog Boy Says:

Is it really so hard for Roger to give players who beat him credit without putting an asterisk on their win. On the other thread he says Stan deserves his win in MC last year but..he had a really nasty cold (flue) when he played Stan, this time around it was only one hour preparation on clay (not bad back) prior to his match against Monfils in which one Monfils blew
him of the court. Should I remind Roger that Monfils was about to beat him at USO and was better player IMO, if it wasn’t for nast NY crowd when Monfils mentaly cracked.
Roger does it time and time again (Nole “slapping” the ball not the way “property” raised tennis player does).
The only time he doesn’t do it is after loses to Rafa, for obvious reason.


jalep Says:

Ha ha…

“Playing against a trebuchet” comment of the day. Good one. True too for Robredo if Milos has a good serving day.

Federer wasn’t troubled by Chardy but Monfils will be difficult to beat. Federer himself said it best.


skeezer Says:

“Should I remind Roger that Monfils was about to beat him at USO and was better player IMO, if it wasn’t for nast NY crowd when Monfils mentaly cracked.”
But he(Monfils) didn’t. What matters is who won. Thats what gets recorded.
BTW Fed has a twiiter account, remind him there.

Chard beat Fed in Rome on Clay, so yeah, this was a goid start for the Express.
Fed is not sacred in behavior, but neither is Nole.


Wog Boy Says:

I don’t use Twitter/FB .. nor i do care for his Twitter account, that is for the members of St Roger church.


skeezer Says:

So where do you go for St. Djokovic?


skeezer Says:

@wog boy,
Btw I have never defended Fed in that USO match, in fact, was critical of Feds “slapping FH” comment back then. He had other MP’s in that match, and he could have won it. He chose to use that comment, and agree that was a lousy comment, when he had other points he clearly could have won in the end.


Wog Boy Says:

“So where do you go for St. Djokovic?”

Here, on TX, what is the point going on the sites where everybody agrres with you, as I said on the other thread I enjoy suffering that Nole’s success inflict on Nole haters, and to be honest there is more of them on Rafa side than Federer side fan base, you are more sophisticated and knowledgeable bunch, you (plural) show respect even when you deep down dislike Nole.
BTW, I was here then and I know that you were just about the only Fed fan that critisized Roger presso, hats down.


Wog Boy Says:

“agrees”


skeezer Says:

“even when you deep down dislike Nole.”
Whatever wog boy, choose to believe what makes you feel good. One thing is very clear, you dislike Fed, or are jealous more likely. My post about Nole speak volumes, yours about Fed does the same.


jalep Says:

Really liked how Dimitrov dug out the win against Verdasco and improved his game against Fognini. As much as I like Stan, I’ll take Dimitrov over Stan.

Continuing to respectfully differ from Sean Randall…

Monfils over Federer
Raonic over Robredo
Cilic over Tsonga
Bautista-Agut over Berdych

The other matches I agree.


Wog Boy Says:

skeezer, “when you deep down” wasn’t for you personally but generally speaking. I was here long enough to remember how Nole and us, his fans were ridiculed and insulted on this very forum, mostly by Roger fans, those fans didn’t change overnight into ones that really respect us and Nole, did they?
I already said on the other thread and this one what I think about you and that you are not in that category, you misunderstood but that’s up to you. As for my post about Roger that “speaks volumes” about me,well they are just facts,I didn’t make them up, did I?
I said it ones on this forum that I prefer Old Testament to New Testament for a reason, in the New one it says that “you are supposed to turn other check when someone hits you” the old one says that you are entitled to revenge, my Jewish friends were smart, they kept Old one and sold us New one, even then they were good salesmen:)


Matador Says:

Nadal 63 62 against the servebot.


Okiegal Says:

“Would Mr. OCD really switch up his racquets before the all important clay season”? The TX staff just can’t help from getting a dig in at Rafa…..they live for it!! As I said on another thread, regardless of what he says or does, it’s always picked to pieces…..oh, well……What else is new??


madmax Says:

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/04/rafael-nadal-new-racket-racquet-monte-carlo-babolat-spin-control-power

Oki,this is all I could find – I just read what Carole Bouchard said. The extract itself was written by a nobody called Chris Chase who has criticised Fed, Rafa, Murray, Novak – but it’s interesting about what Rafa said about the spin and power rather than the control.

Wog boy, look at the other thread, the vid posted by Tom Gainey and LISTEN to what Federer says about Stan’s win – it goes something like this – you can actually HEAR what he says – here you go:

I’m very happy that Stan won the Monte Carlo championships. It’s great for him, it’s great for Swiss tennis, I don’t think that people understand that (I guess because Switzerland is so small). You can listen to the rest if you are interested.

Before you discuss how people on this platform degrade Novak, well you should stop generalising and look at your own comments about Federer over the last 12 months. Usually I ignore what you say now, because at one time, there was great conversation from you. Not anymore.

And for the record, Novak has been my no. 2 for many years – I have many serbian friends and I think Novak is a fantastic tennis player, I love his style. I have enjoyed the fedal years and the fedok years of rivalry, without question. Hopefully they continue for a bit longer. (whilst Roger still has some teeth in his strokes!). Love the Fed. love his passion and his style.

Pure class.

Roger has a facebook account. If you are so worried about him and his comments, get in touch wogboy – give him some of your valuable advice. May be you can give him advice in 4 or 5 different languages too, so he can understand.

Clearly, in your opinion, he could do with it. you are also one of the people here who talk about English not being your first language and how what you say can be misunderstood.

Say no more.

Hippy, are you pleased with Rafa’s performance yesterday?

Or suprised may be?


Giles Says:

Sean Randall. You really are a bloody disgrace as a writer. Are you entitled to call the players names? If the same thing was done by a poster on this forum they would be subjected to a life under moderation. I really would suggest you retract that comment if you want any respect on this forum.
Yes I do know you’re a Rafa hater but for goodness sake, do you have to make it that obvious?? Pfffffffffft!


Margot Says:

@Wog Boy
In English we say, “Revenge is a dish best eaten cold.” You have similar?


Margot Says:

@Jalep
BA over Big Bird? Interested. Reasons? Does clay give BA big advantage over big hitters?


Wog Boy Says:

@Margot

Thanks, that’ll be right. I am trying to think about something similar in Serbian, but I can’t ATM.


Wog Boy Says:

“Before you discuss how people on this platform degrade Novak, well you should stop generalising and look at your own comments about Federer over the last 12 months. Usually I ignore what you say now, because at one time, there was great conversation from you. Not anymore.”

Before you open your mouth check the facts and find any of my comments that were degrading or insulting to Federer. I was just stating the facts, whether it was his bad back miraculously cured for DC match, or his comments on record, and I was stating mine opinion that is different from worshipers like you who belive in everything Roger does or says.
As for you ignoring what I say, it is not quite correct since you just addressed me regarding my post not the other way around.
As for the FB, again, you did not read my post, I don’t have FB, Twitter or any of these things and I definitely won’t open one just to worship Roger, I leave that to likes of you.
Let us nonbelievers (in St Roger) have our opinion that differ from yours, worshipers one, and try to ignore us.


Giles Says:

Is it my imagination or have the joker fans ( one in particular) become very belligerent and feisty?


jalep Says:

@ Margot
Both good on clay. Their head to head is tied at 2-2 but going with brain over brawn. I like Berdych. Just like the underrated BA more. I’m an amateur.


jalep Says:

What a poor showing from Stan. Completely opposite from yesterday. I expecting 3 sets-a close match. But congratulations to Dimitrov.


Wog Boy Says:

Great job Гриша, you play better tennis when RR is not around, get rid of him. Is Stan out of top 10 now?
Grigor played Nole’s game against Stan, didn’t give him any angles (particulary on his BH) and played on his FH as much as he could.


Wog Boy Says:

^^ no he is not.


jalep Says:

Apparently Milos has a foot problem that started yesterday…so say the commentators.


Wog Boy Says:

Milos doesn’t look comfortable, something is bothering him.


jalep Says:

Here he comes @Wog.Boy. Your favorite (RF)
Wink wink…


jalep Says:

Come on wake up Gael.


madmax Says:

Sorry Wogboy, but you need to check the facts. Projection comes easily from you nowadays.

You are all guns blazing whenever Federer says something which can be regarded as controversial, oh my. Then, whenever wogboy says something slightly unwogboyish, apologies are littered here, ‘oh English is not my first language, I didn’t mean that. Beauty here wogboy is a) you are not a sports athlete, at the top of your game, nor are you in front of the media three quarters of your life.

Go figure.


Wog Boy Says:

@Jalep, it looks like we are both watching ESPN, I like Monfils outfit;)


madmax Says:

Wogboy, stand by what you say. Who were the federer fans you said were insulting to Novak? Who?

Back it up and then address your remarks to them directly.


madmax Says:

Wogboy, if you are able to send me your link, could you do that? Mine has just crashed.


madmax Says:

or you Jalep.:)

Thank you.


Wog Boy Says:

@madmax, I know you like me but try to ignore me, at least that what you said you are doing, but doesn’t look like that..and yes, facts please, find my post where I apologized for what I said regarding Roger The GOAT.


madmax Says:

Wog boy. We all have different opinions. I just think you are being unfair, and I will say so. You can’t accuse federer fans of being derogatory about Novak. If you know who they are, then direct your wrath towards them directly, but not to the others.


jalep Says:

@ madmax. What did I do? I like Federer. Just want Gael to win.
But Federer is looking good.

Milos lives to play another day!


madmax Says:

You don’t need to apologise for what you have said. It is what you believe. However, facts cannot be argued with.

Back to the game.

Roger gave that break back with a DF.

Silly Roger.


Wog Boy Says:

@madmax, go back to the times of SwissMaestro poster and others like Sienna (Fed fan) and you will find as many as you want insulting posts about Nole, his fans and even the country where Nole comes from. Do the research youself, don’t play stupid for stupid you are not.
Am I more importan to you than Roger, eatch him instead talking to me, he is playing right now, genius at work, no?


Ronn Says:

I wonder which Gael is going to show up today? It’s 3-3 now so Monfils is still in it.


Wog Boy Says:

@jalep,
You got yourself in trouble:)


Wog Boy Says:

Monfils needs to be more agressive, that is how he beat Roger last time, staying way behind the line won’t cut it unless you name is Nadal.


Ronn Says:

Monfils serving for the set. Can he close?


jalep Says:

Serious tennis from Monfils!


Ronn Says:

Monfils takes the first set 6-4!


Ronn Says:

That 31 shot rally was awesome. Great job, Monfils!


Margot Says:

Monfils playing really well at the mo. Love him to pieces!
But the burning question is…why has he come dressed as a boy scout?
@jalep
Thanx for your response. I like little BA too. Go brainy, bye bye brawny!


jalep Says:

@Wog Boy. I’m going to shut up, make some coffee, sit back and enjoy.


Ronn Says:

Monfils is leading 5-1 when rallies are over 9 shots. Federer’s old legs just can’t handle it.


Abuya Says:

Vote for FEDERER!


madmax Says:

Jalep and Wog boy :)

Why does Fed get into these long rallies? Hasn’t he learnt by now.

I don’t get it with Monfils. The guy plays showboat tennis, shows up on occasion, then wins matches, then gets injured, then misses tournaments, then returns, he is such a sporadic player, yet Monfils has this inane ability to worry every top tennis player in the world, on any given day.


madmax Says:

Margot,

Funny with the boy scout :) but I agree.

Seems the boy scout has come out to play today though.


madmax Says:

Well, I really hope that Federer gets into some sort of God mode, because sadly, I am feeling very disappointed right now by the magician.


madmax Says:

Ah Wog boy. Sienna.

She can be funny sometimes though. I don’t think she means anything by it? May be I am wrong.

I need to chill a bit too. :).

I will try. Though watching Roger sometimes has the ability to make a fan go nuts.


madmax Says:

“Gaël is such a player. He has capacities that other players don’t have, physically, also because of his power on the forehand and the backhand. It is a real challenge to play him. Often the problem is not on your own racquet against him.”

Yes Roger. We know that, however, if you say things like this, then you have to live up the expectations I am afraid.

“The preparation is different; instead of playing just one hour before a match on clay, this time I had 10 days and I’m better prepared,” Federer said of losing to Monfils in Davis Cup last November. “I feel more confident than I was in Lille.

Clutch tennis, Roger.

You simply cannot afford to lose another game to Monfils. He has that look in his eye I have seen too many times.

Fed – where is the confidence? Come on!

Allez!

Stop the long Rallies please.


madmax Says:

Does anyone think that Roger is having an off day? A hey day? A I don’t care I haven’t won Monte Carlo day? A I’m sure as hell not going to win Monte Carlo playing like this day?

That was tight.


madmax Says:

That was a lovely back hand pass down the line from Roger. There is hope. Slight hope. But God Monfils has power in those strokes.


FedExpress Says:

fed looks so powerless with his shots and monfils powerful


madmax Says:

Can’t watch.


FedExpress Says:

monte carlo clay made for pushers


FedExpress Says:

fed sweating


Daniel Says:

Started watching second set and there were a lot of deuce games by both sides, odd no one break so far. Fed looks a bit inpatient and Monfils is pretty solid today. Monfils is having the Berdych effect lately, seems he “likes” playing Fed.

Fed gave a drop and Monfils another right back;-)


FedExpress Says:

beauty to save virtually MP


Wog Boy Says:

Don’t worry Fed fans, Roger will win this one, Monfils is clowning again.


Daniel Says:

Wawrinka doesn’t drop out of top 10, he will drop to 9 unless Cilic goes to semis and Dimitrov finalist, than he drops to 11.


jalep Says:

Federer isn’t out of this match yet @madmax

He’s playing some clutch tennis-smart Federer tennis. Doing well to keep up with the best athlete on tour, in my opinion.

Gael lacks the mental component and focus that Nole, Federer, and Murray have.

Always have loved Monfils to pieces though. I want him to win!

But if Federer wins this set, Monfils will likely give up unless the crowd gets behind him.


Daniel Says:

Fed went for an angled BH but out by an inch, that would set set point, pfff 5-5


FedExpress Says:

every srvice of fed is close

deuces


jalep Says:

Forgot to mention Rafa in the list for smart, focused tennis. Wouldn’t want to anger any Nadal fans!


FedExpress Says:

only few service winners from fed


madmax Says:

Wogboy. Simply cannot expect more from Roger these days, he has given so much already. Get stressed when I know he can do it, but maybe doubt creeps in, especially with players like Monfils who should never be underestimated.


FedExpress Says:

fed is no 2 ffs


FedExpress Says:

feds TB record this year is shit

what was that


madmax Says:

FedExpress. I know.

Only saving grace is the amount of matches he has played compared to Monfils, in order to get to No.2 and the sheer incredible amount of wins he has had.

ffs – am with you.


madmax Says:

Wow,

I really want an analysis of Fed’s game plan for this match. All over the place today.


jalep Says:

Bah. Brawn is beating brains on des princes court. 1st set to Berdych.


madmax Says:

If someone can give a running commentary now, I just can’t watch this tie break.


madmax Says:

Fed really does not deserve to win this match today. As you said Fedexpress, No. 2?

I dont know what the score is, but some serious analysis is required from his team about his performance so far.

Obviously hope for the win, but honestly? Don’t expect it. And I don’t get WHY, that is the thing which confuses me.

Why is he playing like this? Did he underestimate Monfils? Would he do this? I just don’t see it, after everything he has said, that he feels better, more confident after resting, that he knows Monfils is a great player, can cause anyone problems.

Well, I would rather Fed go out now, early rounds than be pounded by some journeyman.

Acht!


Wog Boy Says:

I am not going to say anything, I am already in enough trouble..just one thing, those ten days didn’t help Roger much.


Daniel Says:

Oh Fed, 2 points away from winning second set, serving 5-3 with 1 mini break and suddenly doesn’t win a single point more in the breaker. Really thought he was going to get at least the breaker. Congrats to Monfils who played solid all match.
Opening in this draw for one of this guys: Dimi, Monfils, Raonic or Berdych to reach a Masters final. Maybe this is going to be a break through to Dimitrov, his game and Monfils are more suited for clay I think.


jalep Says:

Very sorry madmax, sincerely.

It’s a super win for Monfils – hope he can get to the final!


Ronn Says:

And Monfils prevails! 6-4 7-6 Looks like it’s all downhill for Federer now. He’ll lose several hundreds points from Monte Carlo and then there’s Madrid and the Italian and then the French. This is turning out to be a disaster for Federer…


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Roger loses a tennis match and everyone is on top of him. After a break, this is his first tournament. Naturally he is going to be rusty. Bad draw for him, let’s see how it goes in the next tournament.


madmax Says:

Wogboy – it’s fine. Doesn’t hurt anymore, which is a good thing. Didn’t watch the ending of the match, but have to say, I am extremely disappointed with Roger.

10 days rest, as you said, did nothing at all. How can he say he was confidence, just seemed to be hitting the ball back, getting into long rallies (Nooooooooooooo Roger! Learn! Learn! Learn!).

Now, I guess he will have more rest…oh no! And I guess he will now play Rome, for more practice.

No. Am not looking forward to the rest of the clay court season. At all.


FedExpress Says:

tie breakers are a worriying sign for federer

all the tie breaker he lost thiy year he had a mini break but lost all. the ones against seppi hurt the most.

when u lead 5-3 in a tie breaker make sure u get to SP. both finalists of last year out


Okiegal Says:

Monfils won……ugly boy scout outfit and all!

@Margot…..all that’s missing is the little gold scarf around his neck. Lol


madmax Says:

Ronn Says:
And Monfils prevails! 6-4 7-6 Looks like it’s all downhill for Federer now. He’ll lose several hundreds points from Monte Carlo and then there’s Madrid and the Italian and then the French. This is turning out to be a disaster for Federer…

April 16th, 2015 at 8:01 am

Nirmal Kumar Says:
Roger loses a tennis match and everyone is on top of him. After a break, this is his first tournament. Naturally he is going to be rusty. Bad draw for him, let’s see how it goes in the next tournament.

April 16th, 2015 at 8:01 am

Fair enough Nirmar – you have a point.

Ronn, how many points does Fed have to defend, you seem to be the bringer of bad news. I don’t think it is as bad as you make out, but may be I am wrong. Certainly, I had no expectations of Roger winning this tournament, but I did think he would go further than he has.

Let’s see if Monfils crashes and burns next round, or fulfils the potential to be crown champion of this tournament.


madmax Says:

FedExpress,

What’s the reason for Roger crappy record this year in TBs? Eye off the ball? Slow footing? Bad Serving? Do we have an analysis somewhere?


madmax Says:

Can’t wait for his interview.


the DA Says:

Ok, Roger was a bit off but that was a rare occasion of Monfils playing focused and aggressive tennis. He had a clear plan and was even constructing points! All credit to him – he didn’t take any scenic routes. As for Roger, maybe the break was a little too long. His serve wasn’t hitting marks and the UFE was higher than usual. Oh well, apart from last year, MC hasn’t been a fertile hunting ground for RF. Odd.


FedExpress Says:

@madmax

nerves, just nerves


jalep Says:

Really can’t stand the tennis channel commentators. It’s been such a relief to have the British/Aussie ones this week. But Carrillo and crew are back. They never shut up their nonsense and redundant hype.


Felipe Says:

Nadal Isner heading to a tie break…this match will test Nadals confidence.


Emily Says:

@the Da, totally disagree about Monfils rarely playing that great type of tennis. At first, I thought that he demolished Fed in Lille b/c of the back injury, Gael loves the crowd, blah, blah, blah, but he knows how to beat Roger. I was a bit surprised that he wasn’t relying on serves for cheap points, but at both the UO and Davis Cup final, this was the tennis he was playing.

Well, I join all you Fed fans in having a miserable morning, but at least your guy played close to his usual standard. Stan was a complete mess and spraying the ball all over the court. At least he has almost no points to defend until Wimbledon, which helps rankings wise, but he needs to get his act together and find that confidence he had at the start of the season.


Ben Pronin Says:

Carillo is the worst.

Monfils seems to have developed that Berdych thing where he clowns around but steps up against Federer. The last few years both guys have split their matches with Federer pretty evenly. This isn’t the worst loss for Federer. Hopefully he can back it up but Monfils is no slouch, not on clay especially. Pretty long 2 setter, too, so at least Federer had some ample match time.

If anyone should be worried it’s Wawrinka. Daphuq happened to him?


Ben Pronin Says:

That reads weird, I mean hopefully Monfils can back up the win. But crashing and burning in the next round isn’t out the realm of possibility at all.


Emily Says:

@jalep, that was my thought exactly this morning. I love Koenig, Goodall, and Lester, b/c they really know how to analyze the game, and don’t focus on one player over another. Koenig’s reactions are also classic. However, it’s 6 AM, Roger starts to play, and I suddenly hear Carillo and Gimelstob. They have nothing of interest to say and don’t even seem that invested.


Wog Boy Says:

No bad feelings but Monfils/Roger match was far more entertaining than Isner/Nadal.
BTW, I am pretty sure Stan put some weight on, he looks more like pre Magnus Norman Stan, that’s not good.


jalep Says:

She should stick to doing dog shows @ Ben Pronin.


jalep Says:

@Emily. Exactly right!


jalep Says:

Isner serving for set and he blows it!


Daniel Says:

What is nerves, Isner had 2 set points but after he made 5-3 he didn’t find a single first serve on court. Nadal took advantage and won tiebreak.
Also Isner had BP 4 game and had a FH in the middle of the court when Nadal was still playing short and couldn’t capitalize.

Expect Nadal to relax more now that he won the breaker and go more for his shots.


Emily Says:

John made some poor decisions in that tie break, do you really think rafa’s not going to make that ball at the net?


Daniel Says:

Cilic had trouble to hold but eventually got the first set. Nice seen him play good tennis again, most needed.


Ben Pronin Says:

Isner is so bad at tennis it’s kind of hilarious. Nadal looks like he hates his life whenever he plays Isner or other cannon servers. But man, I don’t know. It’s such a close match literally because of one shot.


jalep Says:

Thanks for the update on Cilic match @ Daniel

When an American is playing I get no other match news. More interested in Cilic -Tsonga.

Rafa’s got this now.


Emily Says:

Rafa just seems to weather the storm, which is what everyone else does when playing someone like Raonic or Isner. Both have lost quite a few matches in 2 tiebreaks. John needs to back up that 2nd serve if he wants to have a chance.

Not watching Cilic/Tsonga, but saw who won the 1st set. Little surprised b/c I thought Tsonga looked good yesterday, but Goffin has nowhere near the fire power of Marin.


Daniel Says:

Also, Nadal knows he doesn’t need to go for too much. only moving Isner around and a lot of spin. He is not unleashing his FH flat neither inside out nor DTL. Just put serve on court and move Isner.

Isner chance was the 2 BP’s he had early on and also tiebreak after that winner touched the net. He should not have went for ace and put serve on court. He served the set close to 80% first serves in but in tiebreak half was in. Deep in his kind he must be thinking: if I can’t even win a tiebreak, how am I going to beat him?! The longer the match gets the better for Nadal as Isner will tire and miss more and more serves.

Only positive for Isner is that he didn’t face a BP so far so if he is able to hold even under pressure of serving second he still has a shot in second set breaker. But he needs to hold because he ain’t break Nadal anymore.

For Nadal must be a pain, a match that doesn’t add to his prep, Ferrer next round should be way more interesting.


Emily Says:

I don’t know how this makes sense, but Stan/Benoit just beat the #6 seeds in straights in the doubles after he played one of his worst matches. Too bad the scheduling wasn’t the other way around.


Wog Boy Says:

Isner can not hit decent forhend, 25 UE on FH itself so far, 3:2 Nadal secon set.


Okiegal Says:

DTL finally worked!


Okiegal Says:

Droppa working too, for Izzy…..dang it!


Margot Says:

@jalep
It’s OK Sean likes Monfils and so we are allowed to too…;) Go Gael!
@The DA
Saw Monfils VOLLEY! Had to lie down for a bit.
Can’t watch Rafa match, Isner makes me want to pull my own head off, to put me out of my misery.
@madmax
Another burning question, why has Berd come dressed as a florist’s window?


Daniel Says:

DF Isner, 0-40. Match over unless he has 3 aces.


jalep Says:

Good for Stan and Benoit Paire ! Would be fun to watch them.

God I hope Rafa can finish this in 2 sets.


KatH Says:

@Daniel – I think Fed. loses 600 points as finalist last year. Also another 90 points (or as much as 180)???????????????????????


Daniel Says:

Me nd my mouth, Isner saved 3 BP’s and broke Nadal the next game. Will serve for second set now.


jalep Says:

@Margot. Was wondering if Stepanek loaned him the shirt.


Markus Says:

The worst match TV coverage was at Indian Wells when Carillo and Jim Courier were together. I could not believe that Mary couldn’t get a word in because Jim wouldn’t stop yapping.


jalep Says:

Any news on Cilic Tsonga?


Okiegal Says:

Going three, looks like.


Margot Says:

@jalep
No, no, Berd’s is uniquely horrible!
Our brainy boy got bashed :( Bummer.


Daniel Says:

Wow, who would have thought that Isner would win a set not being a tiebreak over Nadal on clay?!?!
Tight match.


Wog Boy Says:

Roger won 90 and lost 600, that comes up to 510 points less next monday.
Noo.. I really hoped Rafa will win in two sets, it is midnight and I am falling asleep, can’t watch Nole.


Daniel Says:

Cilic Tsonga on serve second set, Cilic serving 4-5


Ben Pronin Says:

I stopped watching after the first set because, as Margot says, watching Isner makes me want to pull my hair out. I’m flabberghasted at this latest turn.

But like I said, Nadal looks so miserable when he plays this guy. I mean who doesn’t? I really hope Nadal somehow wins the third set 6-0. Isner shouldn’t be able to hold serve just because he has 1 shot that works. It’s almost unfair.


Markus Says:

Agony! Heads are now getting pulled off all over the world!


Daniel Says:

A lot of serve and volley by Isner and some touch shots by both. I find this match kind of entertaining and it’s close. There is no long rallies but some variation is good once and a while,


Daniel Says:

Ben, not fair to Isner, he is smacking some FH and made some excellent winners by the back of the court that Nadal couldn’t even reach. He just plays go for broke all the time and can’t move but he is using all he got, serving, going to the net, wrong footing Nadal and some nice drop volleys as Nadal stays so far back.


jalep Says:

@Markus. That was bad at IW. But the Sock hype from Haber was non-stop redundant in Miami. Nothing against Sock. But how many times do we need to hear that story. Really just want good tennis coverage around the courts, not news only on the US players.


Emily Says:

Agree w/ all the hair pulling, since there is almost no tension when you have a break point that you already know will probably just be erased by a big serve. I will have the memory of that Raonic/Isner Miami match buried in a dark corner of my brain forever.

I also can’t get over the Bass company logo on Isner’s hat. It doesn’t seem to quite match up w/ his Lacoste shirt, though he now has both a fish and a crocodile.


Daniel Says:

Well, Nadal got the early break and now will sail through. Inner will have to do more and won’t be surprised if Nadal gets a second break.


Markus Says:

@jalep: Everytime a US player (man or woman) wins a match, he/she gets immediately revered by the commentators as the next Great White/Black/Pick A Color Hope. It’s pathetic.


Wog Boy Says:

Is there any stats about Rafa’s serve this year? Watching him in IW, Miami and now MC, I have a feeling that he is serving with more pop, he changed something.
Cilic won.


RZ Says:

Just waking up to the news of today’s MC results so far. I’m not surprised by Monfils win over Fed – they’ve had lots of close matches in the past that have gone Fed’s way, and Monfils was ripe for a win in this match-up. But what the heck happened with Wawrinka losing to Dmitrov? On clay, no less, with such a lopsided scoreline?


jalep Says:

Lol. OK @ Margot.

I am an amateur, BBA…I was sure he could out smart Berdych.


Markus Says:

@Emily: Hahaha! I’m impressed that you found a way of entertaining yourself while watching Isner play.


jalep Says:

Wog.Boy

Really? Cilic won?


Markus Says:

I’d like to see Isner do a 100-meter dash.


Margot Says:

Lol and just coming is Tennis Vagabond’s favourite ever match up: Ferrer v Simon….;)
@jalep
Was surprised at BvB H2H TBH.


Emily Says:

@Markus, I was just going along w/ all the other hair pulling going on. Isner is not worth it, and though it looks like Rafa’s going to get the win, he put up a fight.


funches Says:

Ben,

You are coming off as an ignorant fool. Sometimes Isner plays like you suggest, but today he has hit multiple beautiful volleys and shown good strategy. He has been anything but the servebot you suggested.


Ben Pronin Says:

Good strategy? Everything starts with his serve. If Nadal hits a deep floater, Isner tries to smack a forehand. If he hits a short floater, Isner will come in. It’s not strategy, it’s common sense.

Beautiful volleys? I don’t know about that. He’s also come in on a bunch of horrible approach shots because he knows he can’t stay on the baseline for long. Isner has 1 shot in his repertoire.


jalep Says:

@Margot. Yeah.they were even going into this match.

By the way, Congratulations to Andy and Kim. They looked stunningly lovely and happy. All the best to them.


funches Says:

That was a highly entertaining match.

The only one better from Monte Carlo this year was Monfils-Dolgopolov.


Emily Says:

Well, someone came to play on center court today. How long until Nole gets through and ends play for the day?


funches Says:

The mistake people about players is they assume they play the exact same way every time.

When Isner is struggling with confidence, he pushed his ground strokes, does not run out a lot of balls and relies 100 percent on his serve. And he loses.

When Isner is confident, he hits massive forehand winners, fights incredibly hard and plays well in clutch moments. That’s how he beat Federer in Switzerland in Davis Cup. Plus, I’ve never seen him volley as well as he did today. And you clearly weren’t watching if you say you don’t know about him hitting beautiful volleys. I’ve never seen him show that much touch at the net.


Giles Says:

Always a lottery playing against Izzy boy. Well done Rafa!
Vamos Champ!


Markus Says:

Isner is the undisputed most boringest player ever. This is his strategy. Hit a big serve (expected), run (or is it saunter?) to the net and stand there like a post and wait if the ball is returned within his wingspan, any inch outside of that is too much to run after. On his return game, wait for balls that come his way or a couple of strides (that’s his limit, 2 steps). No need to do more… just wait for his favorite part of the game, the tiebreaker.


jalep Says:

We have Ferrer Simon on at least. I was afraid tennis channel would reply the set Isner won.

Waiting for Nole.


madmax Says:

@madmax
Another burning question, why has Berd come dressed as a florist’s window?

April 16th, 2015 at 9:45 am

Margot, some classic retorts from you today. Firstly, the above.

I can tell you that I must be the only one here who does NOT and NEVER has found Berdych attractive. Yuk. He is the model, is he not for H&M? That makes him “Hawaaiiiinnnn shirt approved and stamped!”, like the robot he is. Sorry to offend if anyone loves Berdych. I don’t.

Ben, you missed out on what Margot actually said – she said “pull her HEAD off”, which was far funnier than pulling her hair out – I thought so anyway.

Well, I will read what Roger has to say about his poor performance today.

Having said that, I know Monfils is a loose canon at the best of times, I like him very much too. Loads of humour, loads of entertainment, but he is wasted I think, in tennis – with that talent, he should be on stage.

It seems though he has all that talent, gets so far, knocks out the big names, then crawls away either injured, or just doesn’t turn up to the next match.

Wogboy, the irony here, is our “tussle”, about Roger saying/not saying, congratulating/not congratulating, stan (his brother/best friend/opponent), well – they are both out now, so can commiserate together!

Hopefully, words printed will be truthful and correct.

Good luck to Monfils for the rest of the tournament – Can he beat Novak? Can he beat Rafa?

No.


Emily Says:

I had the volume off, was Rafa getting into trouble for time violations?

Didn’t Ferrer and Simon just play in Miami? Wasn’t very competitive match if I remember.


madmax Says:

Isner is the new Dr. Ivo, in terms of movement and height, but he does bring some great shots to his tennis game. He has been working on his strokes, that’s for certain.


Margot Says:

@Markus
“Isner runs to the net.” :0 Whatever you’re smoking I want some……;)
And Nole breaks first game. Haider-whoder?


jalep Says:

@Margot. I’m not exactly happy to see that Cilic beat Tsonga like I guessed he would.
Not sure which one is better for Nole.


Emily Says:

Gael and Jo playing doubles, which of course, you cannot see. Busy day for some of these players.


Markus Says:

@Margot: Notice my trepidation when I used “run” in reference to Isner because people may not know who I was referring to. Hence, the alternate term “saunter” in parenthesis.

Well, Isner is gone (clap, clap, clap) and I’m glad
you were able to set your head back on.


jalep Says:

Nole has to get through Haider-Maurer first. Getting ahead of myself. Take no one for granted.


Okiegal Says:

@Funches…I too think he’s getting to be a more well rounded player myself. I thought his volleys looked good today. He didn’t have as many aces as normal…..I felt he played a little nervous, which was good for Rafa. Understandably, when facing the king of clay.


KatH Says:

@Wog Boy
Thanks for ranking info. I’ve just survived a nasty flu and then I lost my Voice – obviously my brain decided to take sick-leave as well.


skeezer Says:

“Isner shouldn’t be able to hold serve just because he has 1 shot that works. It’s almost unfair.”
If that is the rationale, then Rafa shouldn’t be able to do it with his bigger than everyone FH either.


Margot Says:

@Markus
Super glue is mar…vell..ous don’t you know ..;)
@jalep
Was sad about JWT too. :( Like him v much, so charismatic. Coming back from injury is hard to do.


Giles Says:

Has joker got any real tennis players on his side of the draw??


jane Says:

funches is right about isner; he’s been playing really well of late. at both IW and Miami he was in great form too. just look at how he won and who he beat at Miami.

nice to see novak played very well in the second set. in the first he wasn’t as strong. great use of forehands down the line today especially.


Okiegal Says:

@Emily….I had the sound off too. When I saw him having a conversation with the umpire, I wondered the same thing. The exchange seemed to be cordial, Rafa was smiling. If the media saw it, you can net they will get to the bottom of it, enquiring minds want to know! Lol It might have been a question on a line call. One that Rafa was in doubt of was in on the play back, but the ump called it good.


jalep Says:

Nole is safely through.

Meanwhile Simon appears exhausted!


jane Says:

don’t know much about haider-maurer but he is at his highest ranking ever now at 52. he showed nice touch in the first set and has a good first serve and decent groundstrokes, but definitely novak had an easier go of it today. it’ll get a lot tougher next round versus cilic, who took out tsonga today.


jalep Says:

Haider-Maurer is 28 year old hard working respectable journeyman.

Simon broke Ferrer in the 2nd set. Now if he can hold. And he does! Allez.

But Ferrer is so much stronger and indefatigable. Simon will be useless if he manages a win.


jane Says:

looks like ferrer has the better of simon today: just broke back and held. he is “indefatigable” jalep. perfect word. thanks for the info on haider-maurer too.


Daniel Says:

Next rounds will be good for Cilic agaisnt Novak to know where his game is at, nothing better than player #1 and in form playee of the year on a run of Masters wins.

Alao hope Ferrer goes through for a rematch of last year Quarters with Nadal. Simon has no chance against Nadal. Ferrer at least can make it competitive, or not (he suffered some spanking from Rafa before).

Bottom half will have a first time MC finalist, hope Dimi, Monfils or Raonic. We all know Berdych can’t win a Big final, specially if it is agaisnt Nadal or Djoko.


jalep Says:

Ferrer breaks back. He’s not even sweating or breathing hard. By contrast, Simon is a mere mortal.


jalep Says:

@Daniel. I agree. Hoping Ferrer makes it.

I mean how can Simon win in a 3rd set ?

But miraculously Simon has set points!


jalep Says:

@jane. I don’t know that much. I looked him up because Nole had to play him.


jane Says:

gotta say, i am surprised simon pulled out the second set. but now ferrer’s broken early in the third.


jalep Says:

Gotta.love. Gilles.Simon’s fight in that tie break. He’s finished though.

As to who from the bottom half of the draw makes it to the final. I don’t have much hope for them. @Daniel

Has Monfils ever beat Rafa or Nole?


jane Says:

la monf is 0-11 versus novak and 2-10 versus nadal.

looking forward to his match with grigor. la monf has a 2-1 lead, and they’ve shared a coach. plus they both have a tendency to want to “show off” a little, ha ha. :)


jalep Says:

Yes. Monfils-Dimitrov will be a fun one.
Just looked up all head to head possibilities for potential winners in the bottom half vs Rafa or Nole.

Lol….


the DA Says:

One thing to celebrate with Nadal fans – Andy & Rafa have never lost to Isner (or Karlovic) *joy*. Long may those records remain intact.

@Margot – Gael played exceptionally at times today. The main thing I noticed was the focus – he never lost it. Once again, one can only wonder at the career he might have had.


jane Says:

^ especially considering gael won how many slams as a junior? all of them?


Ben Pronin Says:

He won the first 3 but lost early at the US Open. I believe he was injured.


jane Says:

thanks ben. i knew he was an extremely successful junior.

but then again, so fillip peliwo won 2 slams as a junior and reached the finals of the other two, having a monster year in the juniors in 2012, but now… he’s loitering in the 400s in the ATP rankings after turning pro in 2013. he just turned 21. he’s won a futures title or two, but that’s it.

goes to show that juniors success can mean a lot or a little…


Ben Pronin Says:

Donald Young was a dominant junior and actually owned Sam Querrey for the most part. But one has had a much more successful career than the other. Some guys translate to the pros better than others.

In Monfils’ case, it doesn’t hurt that he might be the most athletic player in tennis history.


Margot Says:

Ahem….Andy won that USOpen the year Gael won the other 3.
But have read somewhere his size gave him a big advantage at “junior” level.


Daniel Says:

I think Dimitrov needs this Masters final the most, he never made one so far. Roanoke kind of is not expected to play finals in clay masters but Dimitrov could benefit the most. He is due for a big result and this would be great. Plus, beating Monfils and than Berdy or Raonic is doable for him. Will see, who knows, Nadal and Djoko may do another Mardid 2009 in semis (not likely as most are more old and going to finish points more now), but anything can happen.


Emily Says:

Tennis Channel replaying Isner match and Gimelstob is like a used car salesman, insisting that John is a great player, but I’m not buying that lemon. Obvious passive aggressive banter, re. Davenport’s coaching of Keys and how that relationship has produced better results.


Okiegal Says:

My post at 11:52 to Emily is all screwed up. I will clarify. Rafa questioned a call that he thought was out, the umpire came down off of his perch and said it was in. The playback showed it clearly out.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Margot, how was the Ferrer-Simon match? Fireworks?


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Ben, to your point about Monfils’ athleticism, and someone else’s point about his size as a junior: Monfils has some of the worst technique on tour. He’ll hit groundstrokes with his feet glued together, knees straight. Just flat out weird. Maybe if he wasn’t so dominant as a junior someone could have taught him to play better tennis!


madmax Says:

jalep Says:
Very sorry madmax, sincerely.

It’s a super win for Monfils – hope he can get to the final!

April 16th, 2015 at 8:01 am

Jalep, it’s all good. :) Really.

I just hope it’s not a fluke; unfortunately, I feel that Monfils isn’t consistent enough to win the next match, let alone the tournament.

But, he is great entertainment value. :)

Good luck!

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