Nadal Barely Survives Karlovic; Murray v Isner Thursday at ATP Shanghai
by Staff | October 14th, 2015, 11:25 am
  • 73 Comments

Former world No. 1 and Shanghai No. 8 seed Rafael Nadal narrowly avoided an early exit on Wednesday at the Shanghai Masters, edging unseeded Ivo Karlovic 7-5, 6-7(4), 7-6(6) to move into the round of 16.

In the deciding tiebreak Nadal came up with a huge passing shot at 3-3, and finished the match with some timely put-away volleys and on match point a passing shot that Karlovic could only get a racquet frame on.

“I think I played a good match,” said Nadal. “The only negative thing was the first game of the match. The real thing is he played so well the first set, the first game, too. He played well.

“In terms of level of concentration and attitude and control of my emotions, it was a fantastic match. To win 7-6 in the third is a very important victory for me, especially because I believe in the last tie-break I did not lose a single point on my serve. That’s because I was in control again of my emotions. That’s the most important thing for me today.”

With Karlovic serving for the first set, Nadal put together this saving return game:

“”That game was so important. Probably one of the best games return in my career,” Nadal said. “Almost a miracle. Three winners from his first serve. That was really amazing.”

There was only one seeded upset on Wednesday, but many near-misses as four of the Top 10-seeded players in action in addition to Nadal needed three sets to advance.

In straight-set wins world No. 1 Novak Djokovic led the charge with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Martin Klizan, joined by No. 3 Andy Murray topping American Steve Johnson 6-2, 6-4, and No. 4 Stan Wawrinka beating Viktor Troicki 7-6(3), 6-3.

“Klizan is a very flashy player,” said Djokovic, attempting to win the Beijing-Shanghai double for the third time in his career. “I knew that coming into the court. I knew that he’s talented…I’m aware of the mental edge that I might have over a certain amount of players, and I try to use that. I try to win and do anything that is possible and necessary for me to achieve that.”

Djokovic will next face another flashy player in lefty Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

Top 10 seeds surviving in three sets were No. 5 Tomas Berdych over American Jack Sock 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-4; No. 6 Kei Nishikori from a set down over Aussie Nick Kyrgios 1-6, 6-4, 6-4; No. 9 Milos Raonic outlasting Spaniard Roberto Bautista 6-4, 6-7(3), 7-6(5); and No. 10 Gilles Simon coming from a set down to beat Argentine Leonardo Mayer 6-7(0), 6-4, 6-2.

Raonic saved a match point against Bautista, and will next meet Nadal.

Seeds outside the Top 10 also navigated some tight matches with No. 11 Richard Gasquet outlasting Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 3-6, 6-4; No. 12 Kevin Anderson avoiding a third set with Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-3, 7-6(1); No. 13 John Isner out-serving Belgian David Goffin 6-3, 7-6(5); and the No. 15-seeded Lopez from a set down beating Dominic Thiem 6-7(4), 7-6(6), 6-3.

No. 7 seed David Ferrer was the lone seeded casualty of the day, beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Aussie Bernard Tomic.

Highlights of Thursday’s schedule include (3) Murray vs. (13) Isner, (1) Djokovic vs. (15) Lopez, (8) Nadal vs. (9) Raonic, and (4) Wawrinka vs. (14) Marin Cilic.

“The court plays a little bit quicker during the day,” Murray said of facing Isner. “When the sun goes down and you play in the evening, it can slow the conditions down. Playing earlier makes it a little bit quicker. So breaking serve will be tougher.”

THURSDAY SHANGHAI SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 1:30 pm
[3] A. Murray (GBR) vs [13] J. Isner (USA)

Not Before 3:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [15] F. Lopez (ESP)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[8] R. Nadal (ESP) vs [9] M. Raonic (CAN)

Not Before 8:00 pm
[10] G. Simon (FRA) vs [5] T. Berdych (CZE)

GRANDSTAND start 1:30 pm
[16] J. Tsonga (FRA) vs [Q] A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP)

Not Before 3:00 pm
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs [12] K. Anderson (RSA)
[14] M. Cilic (CRO) vs [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[11] R. Gasquet (FRA) vs B. Tomic (AUS)


You Might Like:
Murray, Ferrer Meet In Crucial Clash; Federer, Djokovic Also On Tap In Shanghai
Murray Hyped for Federer v Isner US Open Match-Up
Djokovic, Defending Champ Federer Lead All-Star Shanghai Masters Field
Murray Dominates Isner In Vienna; Ferrer, Karlovic Save Match Points
Murray Wins 12th Straight, Will Take On Isner Friday In Vienna QFs

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73 Comments for Nadal Barely Survives Karlovic; Murray v Isner Thursday at ATP Shanghai

nits Says:

I won’t say nadal avoided an early exit. It was meant to be a tough match with an ace machine. He hit 24 aces in the match that’s almost a set. What can you do? Hang on patiently for your chance that’s what nadal did. I am pleased with his performance.


J-Kath Says:

Agree with U Nits. Could be a significant turning point for Rafa………..


skeezer Says:

This was a really good win for Rafa. I agree this may be a turning point.


jalep Says:

Kath – just caught the replay of Andy v Johnson. Thought Andy played like a man on a mission – a strong win 62 64. Served well, ROS great, moving and out-playing Johnson easy as a hot knife through butter. Like him in black.

A bit tougher next match v Isner but I like Andy in that match-up too.


J-Kath Says:

Thanks Jalep – Enjoy hearing from you.
Andy can at least gain some ranking points which might be precious given his priorities for end of year and baby-business/(possible exit thereafter). I will be surprised if he does’nt beat Isner.


chris ford1 Says:

Hard to assess top player performance against the guys commonly know as the “servebots” (which is a little unfair as some of the servebots are more complete players than just a big server)

The only time Djokovic did not make a final this year was against Dr Ivo in the 250 point Doha event. And the player all the rest hate to play most is Isner, because they cannot play their normal game. I hope Rafa is beginning to get his mojo back, but let’s see how he fares against Top 10 players the rest of the way in 2015.


J-Kath Says:

CF1 – I’m hoping I’m right but Andy doesn’t usually have problems against Isner. God (and Margot) please forgive me if I’ve jinxed him………..


Emily Says:

I have to say, there’s nothing like a huge Rafa celebration after a win. He was looking very positive and the forehand, which has been the problem shot, was looking vintage.


Humble Rafa Says:

skeezer Says:
This was a really good win for Rafa. I agree this may be a turning point.

I still love your cats. They are very adorable.


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal played really well, especially throughout the third set. And the tiebreaker was phenomenal stuff. But as CF1 mentions, it’s hard to really take anything away from a win over Karlovic. He’s not a normal opponent.

On the bright side, it’s good preparation heading into the match against Raonic, who I don’t think will pose quite the same challenge.


Wog Boy Says:

I have a feeling that for some reason Raonic serve lost a pop, not as deadly as it use to be.

BTW, Nole’s match was so so, not up to his standards.


chris ford1 Says:

Wog – I really think Nole and his coaches are on board with an approach to conserve energy, stay healthy, play well enough to win and win fast if at all possible – and no more. When a match is safely in hand, use new things, shots to see how they pan out in competition vs. practice. No more 2011 red-lining and dazzling and then running out of gas.

Risk management.
Nole has embraced it. No more wild and Crazy Jokester – strive to get the necessary uncontroversial blandness so cherished by endorsers. And worth an extra 10-20 million a year in new endorsements and boost the fee for existing ones when the contract is up for renewal.
On court, play percentage shots, wait for the Andersons and Dogopolovs to no longer be able to sustain crazy high risk tennis and fall back to Earth. Accept, ruefully, that the only time this year this calculation has failed was in the one match he wanted most. Stan never fell back to Earth.


Wog Boy Says:

CF1,
You are probably right, but he looked disinterested during the match, and in the first set he won only 44% of his first serve, which is way below his average, at the end of the match he had something like 25 UE and only 12 winners, it could be that he was adjusting to a different court.
As for Paris match, I am still of the opinion that as much as Stan was playing great, Nole was too tentative and that costed him a match and title, even with that tentative play he won first set but it was obvious that Stan was making inroad in almost every Nole’s serve and taking control of the match.


nits Says:

Nole is @ another level no one is near him you just simply see the points difference between No.1 & 2. He is making his own legacy. I as a die hard nadal fan I can only say Djokovic 2015 is better then anyone who has played professional tennis.


nits Says:

I think there should be a conference meeting between Toni, edberg,bjorkman, Norman, chang who to beat djokovic. Then only they might be able to beat him otherwise this year there s no chance of beating him.


Okiegal Says:

Wanted to tell my TX fellow posters that my hubby passed away this afternoon at 2:00. October 14,
2015…..also our anniversary. I had a gut feeling that was gonna happen. I will miss him so much….He was a wonderful man.

Regarding tennis, so happy Rafa scratched out that win against the good Doctor! I thought it was a great match!!

Vamos Rafa!


Emily Says:

My condolences and our thoughts are with you


mat4 Says:

My condolences, Okie.

Everything I know tells me that he is in a better world now, but I also know that nothing helps: no words, not even the knowledge that his immortal soul still lives, but time.

Be brave.


Giles Says:

Okie. My heartfelt condolences. Stay strong.


jane Says:

my sympathies, okie. your memories can console you a little, hopefully. and other friends and family, of course. hang in there.


Wog Boy Says:

My condolences Oki, stay strong.


J-Kath Says:

Oh Okie – what terrible, heart-breaking news – I am so sorry and so very sad for you.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Yeah Okie or Janis,to highlight everybody elses words im so sorry for your sad loss,at least you can take comfort in the idea that your lovely hubby is suffering no longer,you can look to family and friends to help you through at this trying time,peace and best wishes to you my dear ethereal friend XX….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Rather puts all this silly bickering into perspective,with after all something thats only a game,lets all get on lifes way too short….


Daniel Says:

My condolecenses Okiegal!! Strenght to carry on!


Daniel Says:

Wog Boy,
Indeed some is a bit off with Raonic serve latelly, Isner and Ivo is way better than his more unrerurnable.

Nadal play great aonfar this set. Had to go to work now.
Anderson serving for the match versus Kei and Novak again wasn’t force to a 6-4 set in 7 consecutive matches and I think neither Gasquet nor Tomic will, maybe Murray in semis


Daniel Says:

Nadal went through, winning tiebreaks versus both Ivo and Raonic is a good indicator.
In the meantime Stan is struggling against Cilic, was broken but broke back. Still 3-3


jatin Says:

I was just checking out the posts and saw okiegal’s post.
It was heartbreaking to read :(
So sorry for your loss okiegal. I didn’t knew it was this serious. I have been following this board for some years now and I used to see your posts now and then and how you used to mention your okieguy and now this terrible news :(
I cannot imagine how you must be feeling right now but please hang in there. Your okieguy would want you to be strong. I don’t know what else to say as I am very sad to read this news.
My best wishes are with you okiegal. :(


Gypsy Gal Says:

Hi Jatin nice your here,just reading your post and is making me cry….


Okiegal Says:

@Emily
@mat4
@Jane
@J-Kath
@Wog Boy
@Daniel
@Gypsy Gal

Thank you all so much. There will be tougher days ahead. I’ve got a great support system. Lots of family and friends by my side. Pancreatic cancer is a nasty disease and he did have some trying days. It was very aggressive. He was diagnosed on Sept 11…
911….ironic…passed away 10/14….No test for this cancer. Thanks again….I appreciate all of the encouraging words.


elina Says:

So sorry to hear your sad news okie. My heartfelt condolences.

Take good care of yourself.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Andy and Rafa came through tricky matches,i thought Andy would against Isner,although i feared the worst for Rafa but hes played quite well so far this tourney,so hopefully hes heading in the right direction,and im delighted he came through and in straight sets too,Nole was at his phenomenole best nothing else to add on that one,sorry that Roger went out so early but Ramos thingy whatshisname returned very well,thought that Roger would come through pretty straight forwardly after winning that second set so easily,but wasnt to be never mind moving on….


Okiegal Says:

@Nits….Thank you….I’m devastated to say the least. Life without Okieguy will be a true test of how strong of a woman I am. I’m dreading my new life
without him by my side, but I have a wonderful son and daughter in law that will get me through it.

@jatin…
What a sweet comment @ 8:19. Byron was the strong stellar type. He was a welder by trade and could make anything with metal. He was very talented. Liked to hunt and fish…..a true outdoorsman! Loved being on the farm on his tractor. He was a man of few words….the quiet gentle type. I will remain strong, because I know he would want me to press on.
I miss him so much already. My son and his wife stayed with me last night, which I appreciated. Funeral arrangements to be made….next thing on my agenda. That will be tough….
Thanks again for your kind words, means a lot!

Now for tennis…so proud Rafa got his 2nd win…he’s looking better, me thinks!

VAMOS RAFA!!


Okiegal Says:

@elina…..Thank you so much….My life as I’ve known it for the past few years has now changed. I know I will be OK because I have a lot of faith in
in God……


elina Says:

Keep faith Okie.

I lost a sister to ovarian cancer a few months ago. Similarly, it was very fast and it is hard to detect.

My brother-in-law is slowly doing better over time.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Elina so sorry to hear that about your sister too….


Margot Says:

OK. So very, very sorry.
Take care my darling.


elina Says:

Thank you GG.


skeezer Says:

@Okiegal,
Heartfelt condolances to you an yours. So sorry :(.


Okiegal Says:

@elina…
So very sorry about your sister….I hate this horrible disease……I know you miss her everyday.
Thank you….I will keep the faith!

@Margot…Thank you, dear! My son and I are sitting here reflecting on our loved one and what to do with “stuff”…..funny what you think of at times like these. I just realized this morning that I don’t know the combination to the huge safe we have…oh, well!!

I did wake up and watch Rafa beat Milos this morning…My hubby would have expected me to do just that…I really think he might have been jealous of Rafa….Lol! :)


skeezer Says:

OK,
So sorry to hear. Heartfelt condolances to you and yours.


jalep Says:

Okiegal/Janis

Your husband passing…so sorry dear. All my heartfelt sympathy. The year my dear mom died, she was diagnosed over Labor Day and passed Nov. 6. We caught it too late. The mets to her liver were masked by chronic back pain. She was 62. Fortunately, it went fast.

Though it was a life-changing loss, she died comfortably at home, with her family around her and a big faith in God.

Please take car of yourself. My papa didn’t even know how to turn on the washing machine, he wasn’t changing his clothes. Had to go be with him. Lotsa love to you…prayers remain with you. Elizabeth


RZ Says:

@Okiegal and @Elina – sorry for your losses. It’s always hard to lose someone so close to you from cancer.

When I lost my dad to lung cancer (about 10 years ago), watching and playing tennis was a nice diversion.


Okiegal Says:

@Skeezer

Thanks so much. It’s been overwhelming….it happened so fast. Appreciate your concern. Okie


Tom Gainey Says:

@okiegal, So sorry to hear. My deepest condolences.


Okiegal Says:

@jalep

Seems like cancer is in every family. You have been through it too. Prayers welcomed!

@RZ…Lung cancer, oh my…..you’ve gone through it too…sorry for that. Maybe some day a grandiose breakthrough. Of course, don’t want to take away the fact that research has helped to prolong the lives of cancer patients….it’s come a long way. Thanks for your concern.


Okiegal Says:

Thanks Tom, appreciate your concern. Means so much at this difficult time in my life.


Margot Says:

@Kat
“Only God and Margot forgive” is a superb film….can heartily recommens…;) Didn’t see match but looks as if our boy done good.
@elina
Sending you my condolences too. Lost a good friend to ovarian cancer, the silent killer. Horrible.
@Ok
So quick, such a shock for you. Hugs.


nits Says:

@okeigal God will help you with this tough time be brave…


J-Kath Says:

Margo – had to get the crystals out –

but still want to see the film “Only God and Margot forgive” – thank you for asking me when I nearly jinxed Andy…

My atonement is to say: Berdych’s gonna beat the “Living Daylights” out of him tomorrow

PS: Pine cone comment on other thread…..


Margot Says:

@kath
Always get nervous over Berd matches, especially best of 3 when anything can happen. Better start polishing those crystals.


brando Says:

Good job I decided to check in today: @okiegal: my condolences for your loss okie. Very unfortunate news to hear and I hope dearly you can forge on from this understandably tough moment. May your husband rest in peace.


Okiegal Says:

@nits….I couldn’t agree with you more. I try hard to live a life with GOD included. Thanks for your concern.

@Margot…..hugs back across the pond!


Okiegal Says:

@Brando…Thank you so much. This has been an ordeal. I’m just so glad he didn’t have another night like he had October 13th…it was terrible. He died on our anniversary……that I couldn’t wrap my head around….Appreciate your concern.


elina Says:

Thank you RZ and “deuce” for your kind words.


brando Says:

@okiegal: no worries. Glad to hear you have a excellent network of love and support around yourself. And faith also helps immensely. Stay strong and know strangers around the world wish you strength and positivity.


brando Says:

@Elina: would like to register my condolences also regarding the passing of your sister. May she rest in peace and strength to your and yours. We all know here how tough it is to lose a loved one. Tis the cycle of life.


Gypsy Gal Says:

I dont know if Rafa will beat Stan, or how he will fair for the rest of the season,but its great to see him playing aggressive tennis again,and not been passive,and going for that forehand down the line,he did well these past two days attacking two big serving players in Karlovic and Raonic,win or lose its a pleasure to see Rafa playing that way again,by thinking f*ck it ill just go for it….


jalep Says:

I’m supposed to be sleeping GG. On my night shift stretch.

But woke up and had to look at my dvr. Cilic made it very close – took Stan the distance. More impressed with the way Marin played. Stan appears tired- but he has those bedroom eyes…I dunno. lol…

Anyways, thinking with Rafa’s level of confidence at this point — he’s got a pretty good chance of winning v Stan. Unless the inner Stanimal is more unleashed than it was today.

Berdych? Andy beat him twice in 2015. h2h 6-6. Most of Berdych’s 6 wins are ancient or on clay before Andy became a clay goat contender.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Jalep then get back to sleep lol,i can talk as im supposed to be studying for this damn Diploma,but i suppose we all need a break….

And yeah i like a man with nice eyes,and they say they are the windows to the soul(AHEM)….

Anyway pesonally i can live with him losing,would just like him to go for it,not play passive tennis,and it pleases me to watch him attacking a players serve,and i love that forehand down the line when he goes for it,ill probably be laughed at for saying this but its a sight to behold,and when hes moving well i love to watch his feet,ready to be laughed at by some here,but dont care….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Cant stand Cilic,so i cant help feeling happy when he loses….


J-Kath Says:

I would like to congrat Stan on his success – like him a lot……………..


elina Says:

Stan has won 14 of his last 15 matches with his one loss against Roger at the US Open however none of those wins has been against a Top 10 player.

Nadal is 0-5 vs Top 4 players this year but Stan is looking a bit worse for wear and Nadal is on the mend.

A victory will be a boost to his confidence and the first real measure of where his game stands.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Baby steps first Elina,hes started with a top 10 player….


Wog Boy Says:

I don’t think Rafa will have any problrms with Stan, Rafa is looking good and playing aggressive tennis on this fast court. Milos was no match to and those curly deadly FHs down the line are back.


Emily Says:

Stan didn’t actually play very well and he had a MTO in the 1st set on his shoulder and looked like he was in pain. He’ll have to rebound fast since the match ended at 10:30 PM, but considering how Rafa looked against Raonic, I think Stan needs to play a lot better if he wants to win.

However, this was his 50th match win of the year, which is a great achievement and @jalep, you’re right about his bedroom eyes ;)


Gypsy Gal Says:

Emily i wish i knew how to do links as i would put up the song Sexy Eyes by Dr Hook lol,its the first thing i notice in a man is his eyes ;)….


J-Kath Says:

It’s Stan’s persona – even when looking scruffy or wearing those “endearing?” “bermudas” he’s not short on sex appeal – and he’s a darned good tennis player to boot….


Wog Boy Says:

Margot,

Physicality is only one aspect of the game, being better or the same as you have been before doesn’t mean that you have to be better or the same physically. Other wise how do you explain than in the less than twelve months he has beaten two fittest and the best players on tour 6 (six) times , three times each. Nobady else manage to do that.


Wog Boy Says:

Not just that he has beaten Andy and Nole six times in the last twelwe months but very convincingly too, if my memory is right only Nole managed to steal one set in those six sets.


Wog Boy Says:

^^ should say “six matches”


Wog Boy Says:

My apology, I just realise this was wrong thread for my previous three posts, and I didn’t even have anything to drink, they were suppose to be on “Defending Champion Roger Federer Suffers Shock Loss In Shanghai”, deeply sorry and embarrassed I am:(

Top story: Halep, Wozniacki Lead Loaded Wuhan Field; Kerber v Keys, Svitolina v Sabalenka Tues.