Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal Now Just One Win From Doha Final
by Staff | January 7th, 2016, 9:41 pm
  • 67 Comments

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal moved within one match win of an opening week final in Doha. Earlier today, Djokovic overcame a break down in the second to turn away Leonardo Mayer 6-3, 7-5.

“[Mayer] started better in both the first and second sets,” Djokovic said after. “He was going for his shots and he’s a very complete player. The second set was close. It could have gone either way, but I stayed tough and fought through it. It was a good test and I’m glad to get through in straight sets.”

Before the World No. 1, Nadal had to go the distance against a very formidable Andrey Kuznetsov before prevailing 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

“Kuznetsov played some amazing shots, so it was difficult to control the match,” Nadal said. “It’s true that I missed my serve more than I wanted to, but I really only played one bad game, at 4-3 in the second set. His returns were amazing and his level was very high. Fortunately I played a great third set, with a lot of intensity.”

Tomas Berdych beat Kyle Edmund and Ilya Marchenko continued his strong week dispatching Jeremy Chardy. Berdych now battles Djokovic in the semifinals Friday while Marchenko, who beat defending champion David Ferrer, meets 2014 Doha winner Nadal. Djokovic has beaten Berdych 21 of 23 times.

“I have played so many times against [him] and we know each other’s game very well,” said Djokovic of the Czech. “We practised few times actually here before the tournament. He’s always very solid. He’s going to come out firing from all corners, especially forehand and serve. His big weapon, if he puts high percentage of first serves in, he can beat anybody, honestly. It’s a bit quicker here, which he likes. He likes the lower bounce and can flatten the ball out. I’m going to have to up my game.”

FRIDAY DOHA SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 4:30 pm
[4] P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Peya (AUT) vs [3] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP)
I. Marchenko (UKR) vs [2] R. Nadal (ESP)
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [3] T. Berdych (CZE)


You Might Like:
Victoria Azarenka Has Withdrawn From Doha
Sick Serena Williams Withdraws From Doha, Is This Another Grand Slam Hangover?
Despite The Loss To Karlovic, Novak Djokovic Says He Still Had A “Good Week” In Doha
Red-Hot Murray Railroads Roddick for Second Doha Crown
2015 January Schedules: Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Murray

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

67 Comments for Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal Now Just One Win From Doha Final

jane Says:

sorry, am just going to commandeer this thread for a second to say “happy christmas” to my friends here who celebrate(d) on the 7th. not sure if you saw novak’s message but it was quite sweet, so here it is:

“Orthodox Christians are celebrating Christmas today. When celebrating the joys of life we all share our humanity through gratitude, humility and love. Happy to be with family today. In our tradition we are having “česnica” for Christmas so here we are with that special bread.”

ack! is there gluten? ;)


Sarah Says:

my heart wants Nole in the final, but my mind tells me, Berdych can be a difficult oponent today. Good luck, Nole!

Rafa will also win today for sure


Wog Boy Says:

jane,

Thanks, we are still celebrating, it is second day of Christmas, just relaxing and enjoing it. I wonder who found the coin in česnica bread, Nole, Jelena or Stefan?


danica Says:

Thank you Jane!
I have seen Nole’s message on my FB feed. I am quite sure that chesnica can be made of non-gluten flour as my sis-in-law sent me a picture of her bread. She used corn and buckwheat flour.

WB,
He also posted a shorter commentary in Serbian where he said that neither one of them found the coin. In my household, the younger son found it! :)


Michael Says:

Jane – Thanks for sharing Christmas message from Novak. He has not only improved his Tennis by leaps and bounds but language proficiency too where he is having the words at his call !!

Coming to the Doha semi final, I do not think Berdych can pose a formidable challenge to Novak as the later has the full measure of him and the former has just no confidence and conviction that he would win. The badly one sided H2H says it all. So, in all probility it will be once again a Novak Vs Rafa final and what a tantalizing one that would be. Rafa has a feeble chance in this encounter considering that Novak is playing after a big gap !!


Gypsy Gal Says:

Michael im glad your tuning in,i left you a post just yesterday apologising for some of the things i said on the Novak thread,where i went of on a rant,to be honest ive not been feeling too well lately and my virtual mouth runs away with me at times,just wondered if you had read it,just wanted to say sorry again….


Gypsy Gal Says:

HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL THOSE WHO CELEBRATED IT YESTERDAY….


Wog Boy Says:

danica,
Thanks for info.

Roger won in three, but I am not sure he is quite right, it is not just cold, something else was giving him trouble (leg or back), he just stopped moving and chasing the balls in the third set, intensity of the match completely dropped and then Dimitrov made fatal mistake. He was playing great, had upper hands but got sucked in to low intensity match, was broken and Roger served his way out though maybe it would be better if he lost, he doesn’t look good physically, something was tampering him and he has less than 16 hours before his SF with Thiem.


Sarah Says:

Stan plays now in Chennai against GG Lopez, I would love to see it…


Wog Boy Says:

Thanks GG.


Wog Boy Says:

@6:34am,

Sorry, wrong thread.


Daniel Says:

Last 3 matches Nadal broke opponents first time they served. Curious to see if thei pattern will repeat tomorrow against Djoko. His problem latelly is holidng serve because hos retunr game is still solid.


jane Says:

hope it’s nothing

Reem Abulleil
‏@ReemAbulleil
Apparently Djokovic just stopped his warm-up w Jaziri after 40 mins & said he’s feeling pain in his leg (unclear where). Could b nothing but


Daniel Says:

And he lost oppening service game. Seems we’ll not have a Djokcal final and Nadal could very well win his first HC title in exactly 2 years.


Sarah Says:

I am stil hoping…


Gypsy Gal Says:

Thanks Sarah your very sweet ;)….


FedExpress Says:

berdych in adidas and he is a new player. hahahaha

hello every1


FedExpress Says:

one point away to lead 4-1 now 3-4 down. birdshit ladies and gentlemen


FedExpress Says:

berdych is done. hahahhahahahahahah


Daniel Says:

Well, he broke back and is leading 4-3. Talk to soon.


Daniel Says:

Serving for set now. Order restored.


Ben Pronin Says:

Fedex, Daniel, are you guys watching the match or just following the scores? If you’re watching, where/how?


FedExpress Says:

stream.


FedExpress Says:

starts with from and ends with sport


Sarah Says:

don’t have to thank me GG. May I tell Geegee? It’s nicer :)


Daniel Says:

Ben, just following scores. Arriving home in 30 min and id the match doesn’t end by now try some streams from fromhot


Ben Pronin Says:

Ah, yeah I can’t stream at work. I was hoping watch espn would have it but they don’t.


Sarah Says:

stream for the match. or in my country it is on Eurosport on TV


Gypsy Gal Says:

Sarah GiGi i like as GeeGee makes me sound like a horse lol….


Sarah Says:

ok. Sorry. lol.lol


Sarah Says:

Nole idemooooo!


Ben Pronin Says:

Man oh man, Djokovic-Nadal final in the first tournament of the year? What a way to kick things off!

No question Djokovic is a pretty heavy favorite and a loss would be a big blow for him. But this is an important match for Nadal.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Congrats to Novak and fans,the favorite in the final,have to say agree with most posters begrudgingly that this looks to be a foregone conclusion unfortunatly….


Gypsy Gal Says:

I dont think theres anything wrong with Novak,he looked fine to me….


Sarah Says:

thank you Gigi:)…well, he was not quite ok, but we’ll see tomorrow.
Wish U a lovely evening ;)


Daniel Says:

Watch tiebreak and Djoko made some nice shots, plus his BH seems to have even more weight than usual.
Straight sets win for him tomorrow.

Congrats for another final, 16th straight dating back to AO 2015, remarkable. He played all finals in all last 16 tournaments he entered. How many more will he reaches?!

Tomorrow going for title #60 and Nadal after #68. By the pace Djoko is right now he could end this year either tied or higher than Nadal with number of titles.


Ben Pronin Says:

I didn’t realize they were so close in total title count. Djokovic would need another great year and Nadal to have another subpar year to pass him, imo.

I wouldn’t call tomorrow a foregone conclusion. Including last week’s exhibition matches, Nadal’s on a decent winning streak. He’s also been pushed so he’s battle tested.


Wog Boy Says:

Agree, I wouldn’t call it a foregone conclusion either.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Its quite possible Novak will surpass Rafa in career achievements,whether thats GS too remains to be seen,however it would be rather unfair if all of a sudden people then starting regarding Rafa as some sort of failure….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Wogboy will all due respect i think your just being polite,Rafa hasnt beaten Novak since the USO final in 2013,its now going the way of the Williams/Sharapova rivalry….


Wog Boy Says:

GG,
It’s not about being polite, I really mean it, Rafa and particularly uncle Toni knows that a win can turn 2016 season around in Rafa’s favoure, I think that importance of this match is underestimated, it is only 250 tournament but it has possibility to shape up either’s season, same as I think that last year SF lose in MC put a major and initial dent on Rafa’s confidence for the rest of the year. Watch out, they’ll come out all guns blazing.


jane Says:

“16th straight dating back to AO 2015″

wow, amazing stat daniel. model of consistency for sure!

i haven’t had a chance to watch any matches at doha or elsewhere yet. so i can’t speak of their forms of either rafa or nole. regardless, i would never call a 23-23 h2h match up a foregone conclusion. in following scores here and there, though, i do know novks’s been broken the last couple matches anyhow, so not sure how well he’s serving? sadly, i am not sure i’ll be able to watch the final either. : /


Gypsy Gal Says:

If you go by recent matches it is a foregone conclusion,whos playing better,whos won all their matches since the 2013 USO final it all points to Novak,only a fool would bet against him….


jane Says:

wog boy, just read this. :( hope it’s just something that will pass.

Reem Abulleil
‏@ReemAbulleil
Asked Djokovic about any injury concern. Confirmed he is feeling pain in his arm (not leg) & bothers him when he serves. Felt it all week.

this could explain why he’s been broken a little more often? but like i said, i haven’t been able to watch, just follow scores.


Gypsy Gal Says:

I dont think the injury is that bad,he hasnt even lost a set all week….


Wog Boy Says:

jane,

I couldn’t watch Doha, but watched quite a few good matches from Perth and Brisbane, loved Hewitt win against Sock on his farewell tour in Australia, Andy/Nick the Kid was really good match, Dimitrov/Troicki, Tomic/Nishikori, Thiem/Cilic and Federer/Dimitrov, all good matches. I also think that Ljubicic leaving Raonic and Carlos Moya stepping in is blessing in disguise for Raonic, I like Moya and his atitude.


Wog Boy Says:

jane,

Thanks for info, just woke up half an hour ago, didn’t know about injury concerns and don’t like it. It is only week before AO.


Wog Boy Says:

“..only a fool would bet against him….”
GG
I am not saying I am not a fool (getting married few times and repeating same mistakes only fool can do) but I would never write Rafa off nor bet against him as long as his leg or arm isn’t broken.


Ben Pronin Says:

Not losing a set != not injured.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Wogboy OK if you say so….


jane Says:

wog boy, you’re not a fool. lol.

good to hear you’ve been able to see some tennis. are you going to AO this year?

did you think kyrgios looked improved? interesting thoughts on raonic; he really needs something to help him turn a corner, imo.


Wog Boy Says:

Talking about Jack Sock, very likable young man but first thing I noticed is that he has to lose some weight (like Mardy Fish and Roddick did) and find knew coach, somebody like Larry Stefanki, maybe?


Gypsy Gal Says:

Well maybe its got worse as the weeks gone on,and im not doubting the injury,but he beat Verdasco 2 and 2,and has looked invincible all week,but hell whatever….


jane Says:

didn’t realize andy’s old coach miles maclagan is now coaching coric. borna’s made chennai semis. good for him.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Jane i never said Wogboy was a fool….


Wog Boy Says:

jane,

Yes, I am going first week, wiil be in Melbourne Mon/Thur.

I do think Kyrgios improved but Tomic improved even more though I still can’t cheer for him. Kyrgios problem is still his head, in the match against Andy in important moments he was hitting funny (stupid) shots to entertain spectators, it is just not on. I don’t know if he’ll ever change.


jane Says:

gypsy, i am confused? i never said you did. i was responding to wog boy, no worries. :)

lucky you wog boy! after novak’s match they asked him if he could coach someone, he’d love to coach dustin brown or gael monfils.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Hi Jane sorry im getting my wires crossed,damn flu bug is knocking me all out of sorts….


jane Says:

oh no gypsy. :( hope you feel well soon.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Thanks Jane ive had it for weeks now :((….


Giles Says:

The man is so good he can beat anyone even if he has to play with one arm and on one leg!


Patson Says:

Nole wins in 2.

6-4 6-4


Patson Says:

We all know Nole has Rafa’s number. It’s just a fact, but this also doesn’t change the fact that Rafa is an all-time great.


Daniel Says:

Nadal needs the first set, he hasn’t won any against Nole last 4 matches. If he loses first set, he’ll be shaken hence I think Nole wins in 2.

But Nadal broke first serve last 3 rounds and Djoko lost his first service game last 2 rounds, so…

Djoko better start strong because Nadal
always try to throw the sink on him at the start.


Chrisford1 Says:

It’s ‘only’ a ATP 250, but it is an important final for both players. Novak wins, he has a winning career record vs Rafa for the 1st time in his whole career. And he’d like to kick off the encore to the 2015 season with a win and not give Rafa a confidence boost.
As discussed before, a sick streak of a full 365 days making the final everytime he played. Think it is 16 finals in a row, with Fed holding the Open Era record of 17 straight finals.

For Rafa Nadal, a win would be monster. And if he doesn’t win, but plays Novak tough, that will help Rafa believe he is rebounding strongly.

Agree with Wog Boy about the Monte Carlo semi last year. Rafa came out fighting hard, had some brilliant rallies and shots, but lost 6-3, 6-3 and it was very discouraging for him. And impacted him in the months thereafter when he was still chasing his old mojo and confidence…


Ben Pronin Says:

Lendl holds the open era record of 18 straight finals.*

Top story: Djokovic-Berdych, Raonic-Monfils Friday In Canadian Open Toronto QFs; Americans Go 0-4
Most Recent story: Venus Williams, Eugenie Bouchard KO'd Out Of Montreal; Russians Rise Up As A New Champion Will Be Crowned