Djokovic Scary Good In Beijing, Nadal Faces Fognini; Nishikori Seeks Revenge On Paire In Tokyo
by Sean Randall | October 9th, 2015, 3:27 pm
  • 91 Comments

Does Rafael Nadal really want to play Novak Djokovic? Does anyone? Djokovic is a 5-time Beijing champion. He’s won all 28 matches he’s played in the city and right now he’s playing scary good.

Today, he destroyed John Isner 6-2, 6-2. That’s Isner who twice beat him on hardcourts and who in nine career meeting had played a tiebreak against the Serb at least in one set in every match. But this Friday, he won a total of just FOUR games in one of his worst losses of his career.

“Today was a great match,” said Djokovic who’s lost just nine games in three matches. “Obviously the fact that he served that high of a first percentage of serves in and I managed to break him twice says enough about the quality of the return that I had today. That was the key to winning the match.

“Conditions didn’t help him, didn’t help his serve, even though he was serving around 200 average. But I was managing to pick up balls from each corner on the return. I was feeling like I can get a lot of balls back in play and make him move, which was one of the intentions tactically in order to be successful today.”

But before Rafa has any chance at Novak, another Spaniard will have a go and that’s 33-year-old David Ferrer. Ferrer beat Lu 6-3, 6-1 to reach the semifinals and improve his London hopes.

Novak, though, leads 15-5 winning the last nine losing just two sets along the way. So it’s awfully hard to give David much hope there. Not with the way Novak’s hitting the ball.

And honestly, I don’t give Nadal much of a chance either. That is if Rafa can even get to the final to face Novak.

First, Nadal has to beat his new nemesis Fabio Fognini of all people.

After winning his first four against the Italian, Fognini has inexplicably turned the tables winning three of four this year including a 5-set thriller at the US Open where Nadal blew a 2-set lead.

It’s a match I still can’t believe Rafa lost, and I’m sure he and his legion of fans feels the same way. So after beating Jack Sock in three sets, he’s got a shot at some redemption against Fabio.

“He’s a great player,” said Nadal of Fab. “When you play against a great player, especially if you don’t play to your best, your chances are lower. If I am able to play my best tomorrow, I am going to have my chances. If not, it is going to be tough. It’s simple. Sport is simple. The winner is the player who plays better. Fognini played better in the three matches that he beat me.

“I was not unhappy at all after the US Open loss. I didn’t play a very bad match. I played okay. He played great. He beat me. Congratulate him and keep going for me.”

If Rafa plays his very best and he can’t beat Fabio, then Rafa should just quit the sport immediately. But seriously, if I had to pick I think he makes good and gets back in the win column. Then again, who knows. Fabio is deep, deep in Rafa’s head. So it should be a fun to watch if you are up past midnight tonight on the East Coast.

The women are also in Beijing and after a spate of withdrawals, injuries, lack of interest for this, one of the biggest WTA events on the calendar, the semifinals offer Ana Ivanovic v Timea Bacsinszky and former Wimbledon finalists Garbine Muguruza against Agnieszka Radwanska.

Kei Nishikori and Stan Wawrinka are a match away from a nice Tokyo final. In his semifinal, Wawrinka shouldn’t have much trouble with lefty Gilles Simon Gilles Muller who is having his best season.

Nishikori beat Marin Cilic in three today, and now has the dangerous Benoit Paire who he lost to in the US Open first round.

So both Rafa and Kei can atone for shock losses to flaky foes at the US Open! And I expect them to do just that.

SATURDAY BEIJING SCHEDULE
NATIONAL TENNIS STADIUM start 12:30 pm
ATP – [3] R. Nadal (ESP) vs F. Fognini (ITA)

Not Before 2:30 pm
WTA – [6] A. Ivanovic (SRB) vs [12] T. Bacsinszky (SUI)
WTA – [5] G. Muguruza (ESP) vs [4] A. Radwanska (POL)

Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [4] D. Ferrer (ESP)
WTA – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs [3] C. Dellacqua (AUS) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) or [6] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE)

SATURDAY TOKYO SCHEDULE
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
[1] S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs G. Muller (LUX)
B. Paire (FRA) vs [2] K. Nishikori (JPN)
[3] R. Klaasen (RSA) / M. Melo (BRA) vs A. Qureshi (PAK) / G. Simon (FRA)


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Djokovic v Isner, Nadal v Sock Friday In Beijing; Nishikori Faces Cilic In Tokyo
Cilic, Nishikori Win Tokyo Openers; Murray, Nadal In Action Tuesday In Beijing
Nishikori, 3 of Top 10, Cilic, Kyrgios at ATP Tokyo; Preview
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91 Comments for Djokovic Scary Good In Beijing, Nadal Faces Fognini; Nishikori Seeks Revenge On Paire In Tokyo

elina Says:

Fabio is not deep, deep in Rafa’s head.

As has been the case for two years however, self doubt is.

Nadal says if he plays his best, he will have his chances? When did that last happen.

Look for Fabio to get his fourth win in five tries this year.

Fognini in three is the pick.


J-Kath Says:

Seems 50%-50% to me…Fabio rarely does what is expected and Nadal will be prepared to fox it out – (now showing signs of definite improvement/building confidence).


jane Says:

nadal was cruising in the first couple sets at the us open and then fabio turned into FAB-io-ULOUS. he started hitting outrageous shots all over the court.

if he comes out flat, the way he did at the open, then fabio will have no chance because in best of 3 it’s less easy to turn things around. he’ll have to play a heck of a lot better from the very start. otherwise nadal wins. which i think he will.


elina Says:

I don’t think so. Nadal became tentative, hit short and camped off the baseline taking the foot off the pedal and let Fabio boss him around in the process.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Time will tell….


jalep Says:

Sean, it’s Gilles Muller, not Simon. But both Muller and Simon are having a banner year. Simon nearly into single digit rank where he hasn’t been since 2008-09 and Muller was once upon a time in the 30′s, I think but his year is tops.

Thirty-something is the new twenty-something.

Let’s have a little more enthusiasm for the WTA race to Singapore — it’s great. Ivanovic has a shot at winning this 1000 point title, which will keep her in contention. Radwanska…same situation but making the final and 650 points — I think that keeps her relevant. Aga is closer to 3,000 points. Both will need good results the next 2 weeks – Safarova will be back next week and hopefully a healthy Kvitova.

Don’t know about Simona Halep – she has a fracture in her hand I heard. Vika has an arm injury.

Bacszinsky and Muguruza could spoil the party, though. (nothing against them but Muguruza already qualified for Singapore). Bacszinsky will make top 10.


Ben Pronin Says:

Ferrer will give Novak more trouble than Fognini will give Nadal, although not by much.


chris ford1 Says:

I think more than the other top players, Djokovic has the strength of seriously studying his opponents pre-match and during the match, and making adjustments based on what he and his team thinks he needs to do. He is a fan of sports science and folds that into the study.

This is also a guy who has been a natural mimic since childhood and gifted with an ability to discern key traits, a persons visible “essence” – to make a caricature. It likely a skill that helps him discern traits of play in an upcoming opponent, what their body language signifies.

As if Djokovic didn’t already have enough strengths.
He just keeps building more.


jalep Says:

Agree with jane — there is no escape for Fabio in a 3 setter vs Rafa. Fabulous is flaky, as Sean points out. Rafa in 2.

Paire equally unpredictable. But he’s loving Tokyo or something; something has him on a roll. Worried about Kei.


Ben Pronin Says:

I was looking at Djokovic’s Beijing results. Interestingly enough, of the 3 sets he’s lost, 2 were to Verdasco.

Otherwise, he’s actually beaten a ton of quality opponents at this “just a 500″ event and it’s almost never close. Just a handful of tiebreakers. In those 3 matches that went 3, the third set was blow-out city. His closest match was probably against Tsonga in 2012 final that went 6 and 4.

Something about this tournament.


elina Says:

Nadal winning in straight sets without much resistance based on current form and year to date?

Just. No.


elina Says:

Like Australia, Beijing is relatively slow for a hard court which is Djokovic favourite type of hard court on what is already his best surface.


jane Says:

agree cf1. nole and his team are great at preparing strategy for opponents. i really think he likes being a student of the game.

———-

the us open match was not at all just about nadal. foggy played meekly the first 2 sets and rafa was dictating. but once fabio started nailing his shots, naturally he put rafa on the backfoot. they were going toe-to-toe the last couple sets. fabio had to play his best, and he did. he hit like 70 winners!

this is the ATP’s summary…

“Fognini turned in one of the most breathtaking shot-making displays of the year. He clubbed forehand and backhand winners from all parts of the court with exquisite timing that belied the amount of effort behind them. He also attacked the net regularly, winning 39 of 52 approaches.”

——–


jane Says:

ben i think i read he’s now won 23 sets straight or something. yeah novak clearly likes this court.


Ben Pronin Says:

It’s not just that he’s not losing sets, they’re not even that close. In 5 titles and in his 6th appearance here, he’s played 4 tiebreakers (losing 1) and 2 7-5 sets. And again, only 3 sets lost overall. That’s just crazy. Last year everyone was yelling at Berdych for getting hammered but seriously it’s not his fault. Something about this tournament.


jalep Says:

Is there a difference between Beijing and Shanghai? Which one is faster hc?

Tokyo looks fast. Muller is loving it. Paire, too.


Wog Boy Says:

jalep,
Shanghai is faster with lower bounce, Beijing is medium fast with higher bounce that suits Nole perfectly.
I watched last night and Nole was on top of his game but his return was stunning. Isner was playing well, he served almost 80% first serve in the match and yet he won only 50% of his first serve. He looked few times to his coach and his eyes were saying ” what else I have to do to win the point” even his coach laughed in disbelief. In the very first game Isner was 40:0 up just to be broken.


jane Says:

think shanghai is faster jalep.
but not sure which is faster btwn shanghai and paris
novak has 2 shanghais and 3 paris titles i think?
in 2011 he didnt win another title after the us open, so i am hoping he can better that result this year and win at least one more title before the season is over. ideally a masters or wtf. :)


Wog Boy Says:

^^ ideally both;)


Gypsy Gal Says:

Wogboy i left you a reply on the Serena thread,just wondering if you had read it,it was in reply to your post to me CHEERS?….


Wog Boy Says:

jane have a look at this highlights, Is er tried everything but Nole was reading his serve perfectly, whether it was down the T or out wide or body serve:

http://youtu.be/vCwtTlH1PxQ


elina Says:

Paris is faster than Shanghai which is faster than Beijing.


Wog Boy Says:

GG,
I saw it, all is good.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Wogboy many thanks….


skeezer Says:

“It’s simple. Sport is simple.”

Is it simple or pimple? Not sure….


jane Says:

thanks for sharing wog boy; yeah it looked like big john was playing well, too, which makes the score more impressive.

elina, that’s about what i thought w.r.t. to court speeds, thanks.


Okiegal Says:

Nope, Novak will romp and stomp on Daveed and Fabio will probably take Rafa to the wood shed….again…..how many times now????


jane Says:

nole and andy on same side in shanghai. fed on other side…with rafa and stan


jane Says:

foggy not doing so well.


jane Says:

rafa’s serve is better than his return so far


jane Says:

errors for foggy: long, long, and then long again.


jane Says:

as expected, rafa winning. foggy with his usual error prone game. no zoning on winners this time.


jane Says:

quotes from vajda on novak; he says novak is a “much more solid” player now that in 2011.

http://theyellowballcorner.blogspot.ca


Ronny Says:

Rafa’s got this. But no way he gets past Djoko in the final. It’ll be 22-23 and comes this time next year he’ll lead in the head-to-heads against both Roger and Rafa…


jane Says:

really straightforward win for rafa.


nits Says:

Obviously djokovic will beat nadal easily. For nadal it’s a better week will give him confidence & motivation for future. Nadal doesn’t care about head to head he has more pressing issues rather


Wog Boy Says:

First, Nole has to beat Ferrer, Ferrer makes every match very physical.
Second, if Nole makes final I don’t take for granted that he is going to beat Rafa just like that. I watched Rafa’s second set and he was serving well and playing very deep, he will be ready for the final. This was very good performance by Rafa.


Giles Says:

@elina. October 9th . 3.35 pm.
You were saying …………..


Sivaji Says:

Nadal has just won against his new nemesis 7-5 6-3. Hope he is gaining confidence. Vamos Rafa


Gypsy Gal Says:

Im pleased Rafas in another final,i didnt see the match as it was the middle of the night where i am,i think it was what the Doctor ordered after a few defeats against Fabio,and straight sets too which is good news,i have no expectations for the final against most likely Novak,whos lost so very few games this week and looks very good,but its pleasing to see that hes actually in contention again….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Wogboy its nice that you always give Rafa credit,when some of your fellow fans do it there always seems to be a sideways dig,anyway i cant see Ferrer beating Nole so it will be Rafa/Nole in the final,and i cant see this Rafa beating this Novak,but as i said above im just pleased Rafas in contention again….


Michael Says:

I think Rafa will get the better of Fognini this time. He certainly needs this win to boost his sapping confidence but then he might be pitted against the invincible Novak as I don’t think Ferrer will be upto the task although he might put up a valiant fight. And against Novak in this kind of a form, I do not fancy Rafa to emerge triumphant in a contest against him. But still, he will get an opportunity to test his present level of game against the best !!


Gypsy Gal Says:

Michael too late lol,Rafa already did beat Fognini,agree about the rest of your post though….


J-Kath Says:

Yes, it’s good news for Rafa – he will be in the final against Nole – no shame if he loses at that level…..he can build from there….

Shanghai – is going to be even more interesting – wouldn’t dare to bet on who wins there…..


Gypsy Gal Says:

J-Kath exactly….


Wog Boy Says:

Not quite up to Nole standards, but win is win.


Daniel Says:

Djoko had 2 MP to close Ferrer 6-2 6-2 but double faulted.

The question now is not even if Nadal has a chance tomorrow but how many games will he take from Novak, Ferrer took the most, 5. Let’s see if Nadal can at least make a set go to 6-4.

Shangai draw is out. Murray in Djoko’s side
- Djoko x Ferrer
- Murray x Berdy
- Nadal x Wawa
- Federer x Kei

Nadal could have a brutal draw: Chardy or Karlovic R32, Raonic R16, Stan Quarter, Fed or Kei semis and Djoko or Murray final.


Wog Boy Says:

It was a scrappy game by Nole, he can’t afford to play like this against Rafa, broken when serving for the match, twice double faulted when serving for the match, 25 UE and 14 winners.
Rafa will have advantage of pretty cold weather as it was tonight, only 14 degrees.


Wog Boy Says:

^^ “scrappy game” should be “scrappy match”.


Giles Says:

Since when does Rafa like cold weather? The BS some posters like to spread is just unbelievable!!!👿👿👿👿👿


mat4 Says:

WB:

WB, Novak was exceptional. And he seems more to be practising than playing actual matches.


Wog Boy Says:

mat4,
He was exceptional last night, but not tonight, even his body language (few times) told us that he wasn’t happy with certain parts of his game, but I am happy with a win.


Wog Boy Says:

If jane is around question for her, is Nole now sole record holder with twelve finals in a row?


Gypsy Gal Says:

HI Mat4 IMO Novak looked very good,and very solid,aside from a slight blip when serving for the match,hes never been a good match up for Daveed,the match was never in doubt from the start,its mission impossible for anyone against Novak ATM,the guys almost unbeatable….


chris ford1 Says:

Djokovic seems stoked to go through these last 4 tournaments playing in top form.
He has #1 locked up, and many say the whole fall season is meaningless since it does not involve a sacred Slam, “The USO is over, the next real tennis event is in Australia..” But all the pros see success at 500s, Masters 1000s, end of year championships and Davis Cup as very important.
For Nole, he hit a wall in 2011. Normally does very well in the fall, but had no gas left in the tank in 2011.
So he wants to better that in 2015. Excel in the long haul.
4 left, and odds are still against him winning any event against the rest of the field, let alone all 4, but betters have lost a lot of money playing those odds and betting against Djoker.

And for Djokovic, he has much to gain.

1. He wants to tie or beat the 5 Masters in a year mark he shares with Rafa.
2. Stay undefeated in Beijing.
3. Finish with the most points in one year in the Open Era.
4. Win his 5th, and his 4th successive O2 Arena title. Pete and Ivan Lendl have 5, Federer has 6 And Nole has many years left, but this seems a god year to do everything he can to add to his 4.
5. Start 2016 with a ridiculous lead in points, get over 200 weeks as #1 in 2016. Behind only Pete, Connors, Lendl in the mid-200s in weeks as #1. And Fed out there at 302.


mat4 Says:

Come on, WB, he’s just practising his FH. And if he continues to play it like he did this week — it’s the best FH in the game right now. There is still a lot work to do — he has to be able to hit the way he did most of the time in the previous rounds under big pressure, but if he uses his off-season well, we could see a new Novak (no 4?) in 2016.

At least, I hope so. I would like to see him hammering FHs like this the whole season.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Seems Elina got it wrong….


Gypsy Gal Says:

The other final has great potential,Stan against Paire surprisingly,shame Kie didnt win,as he and Stan have played some great matches lately,i think Stan will win the title….


mat4 Says:

GG:

Paire will win it. Wanna bet? Benoit is a spectacular player too, and I hope he has finally matured — although I doubt it, but at least he remains consistent enough.


jalep Says:

“Nadal winning in straight sets without much resistance based on current form and year to date?

Just. No.”

Stated. Like. A. Boss, elina. ;)

Don’t ya just love it when that happenz.


jalep Says:

But you did qualify the statement “without much resistance” …So, wasn’t really stated like a boss. Bosses don’t qualify nothin’

Didn’t see the match yet so I dunno how much resistance was put up by Fabio.

But thanks for the court speed information. cheers!


Giles Says:

elina thinks she is the oracle. ROFL


jalep Says:

Was nervous about Kei v Paire. Paire is such a force when on a roll!

Congrats Benoit Paire…

mat4, nice to see you. Did not have a chance to see any matches. Do you really think Benoit can beat Stan? Aren’t Stan and Benoit good mates?

Allez Benoit!!


Giles Says:

Heard that Wawa got engaged to Vekic.


jalep Says:

link Giles?

(not sure how to feel about that, if true)

Not happy that Ana and Aga lost :(


chris ford1 Says:

Mat4 – I don’t know if Djokovic’s forehand is the best in the game, even in Top 10, but he has improved his forehand considerably. Very pleasing to see him now putting away forehand winners more and more.
But a lot to do with that is setting it up by getting dominant position on a point by his improved serve, getting chased balls left short for him to attack, or redirecting the ball to open up the court enough based on who his opponent is. For example, he has been killing Rafa by getting him to shade over too far protecting his backhand that Rafa cannot get back in time to cover his own forehand side corner from a well struck Djokovic forehand or backhand.

And I agree with you overall, that we are seeing Nole 4.0 being formed from all those little and big improvements. Serve. Improved net play. Noticeably improved forehand. Thorough study and analysis of his next opponent. “Solving” his problem players like Isner. Use of drop shots even if he loses the point to make his foe uncertain. Less “walkabouts” in the match where focus and performance dip.
Off court, and this is somewhat disappointing, Nole 4.0 (almost) is listening to his agents that what the suits want is a champion with gravitas to be their endorser. Not an emotional goofy fun-loving guy doing spot on imitations, dancing up a storm, wearing jackets with day-glo pink and lime pastel palm trees on it (that still make the fashionistas shudder). Be more like Federer. And his agents have proven it works as the endorsements and extra piles of tens of millions that dwarf prize money come rolling his way. Pity. But that is what the market is.
Fans in the stands and at home see a less “fun loving Nole” – but the opinions of the suits in the skyboxes matters more.

The other day he was out explaining why his no look shot will not be in matches….
It disrespects his opponent.
AND
“It is bad risk management”.

Risk management. Weighing his shots against that. Why doesn’t Nole “paint the lines” like he did in 2011? Why is the BHDTL rarely used? Because while he likely can do it most times, he does not need to take the risk on most points. Sometimes, it seems, he just smokes a player on a backhand down the line to remind them he still has that shot and use it’s threat to discombobulate his foes defense and court positioning – guarding against the deadly BHDTL that never comes again with any frequency.

Some day soon, I hope he will “feel it” when he walks out to start the match and once again try to push every shot he has to the limit. Like Stan did at the French Open. Because we are seeing Djokovic playing to win, win consistently and not risk all to dazzle. But deep down, he wants to sometimes dazzle, be the Serbinator again. His fans want it too.


J-Kath Says:

Giles – my goodness gracious – haven’t seen that — ah well, Stan deserves some joy – wish him all the best.


chris ford1 Says:

I’d like to see Rafa coming back, much as Fed did, after Rogers horrible year in 2013 had people writing him off.
Too great a player to wish an early retirement on. All his passion and oddball quirks and incredible shots.
3 more or so of years of Nole and Rafa going at each other hammer and tongs with some more true all-time classic matches means more to me than either guy’s “Slam Count” or other “Amazing Statistics!!”
3 more years, I hope, of two of the best players ever in pitched battle when you don’t know who will emerge the winner.
*More Nole-Fed high quality matches too, and one fine last hurrah for Fed sometime.
*And Andy somewhere in it not becoming irrelevant but still a winner now and then and dangerous.
*Del Potro back, somehow, testing the Top guys to their limits and taking them from time to time.
*Some new Tsonga or Cilic to have a dream run at a big event.


Gypsy Gal Says:

It stands to reason that when ones favorite player leads a rivalry in such a dominant fashion,fans are bound to love that particular rivalry,i mean why wouldnt they, but lets call a spade a spade here though,as i bet they wouldnt love that particular rivalry so much if it were they other way around?its so easy to be nice about a player when they are not actually seen as a threat,or a threat anymore?hmm go figure….


Gypsy Gal Says:

As the saying goes be carefull what you wish for?….


jalep Says:

Don’t really feel warmly about “suits in skyboxes… mattering more”… What a joy-kill!

Any fan can can appreciate more tactical nous but while prioritizing “risk management” in the context of tennis may be a practical route, it lacks soul. Hope that is not what’s happening to Novak.

Use the no-look shot once in a while. Flatly disagree with it disrespecting the opponent part. It’s sport not a tea ceremony. Using some flash now and then isn’t disrespect. Nole has not been a risk-all to dazzle type. None of the top guys are.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Chris Ford1 just who exactly was actually wishing an early retirement on Rafa,where exactly are these people,you shouldnt put words into peoples mouths??….


mat4 Says:

CF1, good post at 11:51 am. Enjoyed it.


jalep Says:

GG, just think how boring it would be if we all agreed, all the time. I’m glad CF1 is around – there are times I agree with him, no doubt. Today, not so much. Was going to counterpoint an opinion with the 12:03 post but his opinion is what it is. It’s not good or bad.

Thinking there have been a few calling for Rafa’s or Federer’s or Serena’s retirement …not me lately but it’s possible I have. Can’t remember posting it but have thought, “Dang, will ____ ever retire!” Don’t have a zest for seeing these champions taken to the woodshed in their old-age. But my opinion isn’t the gold standard for fans by a long-shot.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Jalep true,i just get sick of it been rammed down Rafa fans throats of how he should retire,hes not the player he was,he wont be at the same level Federer is when hes 35,he wont be playing when hes 35 blahdy blah,i just find it all a bit too self serving,they all seem to enjoy it,Rafa says he loves tennis and the challenge,although people dont seem to believe him,i just think they should all be left to decide that for themselves,but thats just my sappy opinion….


jane Says:

wog boy i am not sure if 12 straight finals is a record. but it’s amazing no matter what.

jalep, foggy was very error prone last night, overhit way too much. a few flashes of fabulous fabio. but mostly flaky foggy.

hey ya mat4, did you read those comments from vajda that i posted in the link above?


jalep Says:

GG, One side is taking the approach that a legend still playing or playing into their mid-thirties is wonderful — for them — that’s their choice, appreciate it while they last.

The other side is just retire already. I have both feelings. It annoys me when Federer and Serena win big. On the other hand, kudos.

Rafa’s not in the Serena and Fed age bracket yet – but it seems like it to me during clay season. He started owning it so early on.

Rafa had a bad year – at 29, another comeback and assault on #1 is possible. None of us know how long a player will go on. The window for peaks in performance is lengthening. Look at all the thirty-somethings having good seasons. But you don’t see that with a few like Haas and Hewitt much – so, it’s not straightforward at all.

Gilles Muller’s legs look like a supermodel’s, only more muscular. He would turn up for GS’s in the past looking pudgy — not now though. Lean and mean – quicker on his feet than I’ve ever seen him.


jalep Says:

jane, thanks, I will believe you and not watch the match.

Only someone who isn’t familiar with Fabio would pick him to win. It’s been a less than great year for Rafa – but it isn’t a good enough reason to pick Fognini. That US Open win was abnormal.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Jalep i find it funny the way peoples minds actually work sometimes,Rafa was world number 1 not so long ago winning two GS in a year,yet even then people said he would retire soon,Delpo was ranked 300 or something and all these amazing things were predicted hmm,and i do actually like Delpo so no harm or foul on that one,just drawing a comparison….


elina Says:

“Nadal winning in straight sets without much resistance based on current form and year to date?

Just. No.”

I was right. Nadal was taken to 7-5 in the first and was broken in two out of his first three service games.

Anyone who thought Nadal would win without must resistance was just wrong.

Never in doubt.


elina Says:

“Ferrer will give Novak more trouble than Fognini will give Nadal, although not by much.”

Whereas nobody bothered to do a post mortem on this prediction.


jalep Says:

“Ferrer will give Novak more trouble than Fognini will give Nadal, although not by much.”

Ben qualified it by, “…although not by much.”

That sounded reasonable (at the time). Had to agree with it.

My prediction of Rafa in 2 was, 1) based on years of watching Fabio and knowing it’s crazy to pick him to win versus almost anyone on any given day. 2) Rafa would have won their last match at US Open if it was decided in 2 sets.

I’m viewing their contests more from a fan of Fognini’s than Rafa’s. Rafa’s reputation as a tennis player is quite different than Fabio’s. I’m not persuaded that the end is near for the great champion – he can turn things around at any time, as we’ve seen.


mat4 Says:

@jane

Didn’t see the link right away. I like to read (or watch) Vajda’s interviews. Thanks!

@CF1:

BTW, although I enjoyed the post, it doesn’t mean I agree. If Novak can make this kind of FH his usual stuff (and it won’t be easy) — it will be the most lethal FH in the game. His game has changed, but he is more spectacular — when he is this aggressive — than he ever was.


jane Says:

jalep pretty much the same for me re: fognini. i watched that entire us open match and a lot of that was about fabio hitting some other-worldly zone. otherwise rafa would’ve won that match in straight sets. this match had a rafa win written all over it. there were a few flashes of what fabio is capable of, but he wasn’t able to maintain any consistency, which, of course, pretty much sums up his career. ;)


jane Says:

watched a bit of paire vs kei. benoit was so on top of the return. he was just pulverizing some of kei’s serves.


Wog Boy Says:

Vajda is very wise man and very good man too.


jalep Says:

Indeed jane, watched some of their match today also. It’s not in me to be happy that Kei got punished. But I do like Paire a lot — have since first watching him and he wasn’t winning.

Light on his feet for 6’5″, is terrifically athletic, fun watching win or lose…would be fantastic if he could win Tokyo!


Wog Boy Says:

Thanks mat4, very nice article and very honest assessment by Boris, very emotional too.


jane Says:

thanks mat4; that’s sweet. must be from his book right?


mat4 Says:

I don’t know jane. Most probably, the typesetting indicates so.

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