Rafael Nadal Escapes, Stan Wawrinka Doesn’t at Indian Wells; Monfils-Raonic Thursday
by Staff | March 16th, 2016, 11:15 pm
  • 119 Comments

Rafael Nadal escaped a match point against a young up-and-comer, Stan Wawrinka couldn’t escape a familiar yet far lower-ranked opponent, and two other upsets went into the books on Wednesday at Indian Wells.


The No. 4-seeded Nadal needed to come from a set down and save a match point against Alexander Zverev, beating the German 6-7(8), 6-0, 7-5.

“I missed probably the easiest shot I had the whole match,” said the 18-year-old German, who stoned a volley then went on to lose the last three games after leading 5-4.

The three-time Indian Wells champ Nadal was happy with the result.

“A great victory…I’m very happy about it,” Nadal said. “I am especially happy about the mentality on court, the spirit of fight during the whole match, believing that I can win a match during the whole time even in the tougher situations.”

On Friday, Nadal will next face No. 5 seed Kei Nishikori who beat No. 9 John Isner in a comeback victory 1-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(5).

The No. 3-seeded Wawrinka blew a sitter overhead at 5-5 in the third-set tiebreak of his match, falling to No. 15 David Goffin 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(5).

“Two times I came back. I had the chance in the third set to finish it also at 5-5 to break him again. I didn’t,” Wawrinka said. “I think he got a bit tired and nervous also. He (started) to miss easy shots. Gave me the chance to come back. Can lose quickly, eh?

“But in general, he deserved to win.”

Goffin will next face Croat Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. The No. 10-seeded Cilic beat French No. 8 seed Richard Gasquet 7-5, 5-7, 6-2. Cilic failed to serve out the match in the second set, winning in three.

No. 12 seed Milos Raonic and No. 13 Gael Monfils also lined up a meeting. The Canadian Raonic upset No. 6 Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-6(7), while the Frenchman Monfils beat Andy Murray-killer Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-3, 6-4.

“I just tried to compete and get better with each match. I have been fortunate to do so,” said Raonic, playing in his first tournament since the Australian Open. “I give myself now a chance tomorrow with three matches behind me to play even better, and I know I’m going to need to.”

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic showed there is no wobble at the top spot, defeating No. 18 Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-3.

“I’m glad to have a match like this, without many complications,” Djokovic said. “I managed to step in and return very well…even though Feliciano is a very difficult player to play against. He’s left handed and he has a big first serve and he can hit angles, comes to the net. He’s very strong and moves well. But I was very solid. I didn’t allow him to come to the net too many times. It was a good performance.”

He will next face the winner of Wednesday’s late night match which was Dominik Thiem vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Thursday in Indian Wells will feature Cilic vs. Goffin and Raonic vs. Monfils.


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119 Comments for Rafael Nadal Escapes, Stan Wawrinka Doesn’t at Indian Wells; Monfils-Raonic Thursday

nits Says:

When you are struggling you need lots of luck. Today Nadal had it. It was an easy volley i thought it’s over but it went to net then it was Nadal all throughout.


nits Says:

Nishikori is a very tough customer for Nadal. Nadal is the underdog in this match.


anki Says:

Poor Zverev gutted for him. Deserved the win, but the choke after that lousy shot on MP was incomprehensible. Rafa is regaining his form and I think he will win over Nishikori. Nole, Rofl did he even had to get out of fifth gear? Lopez was shit. Nole was not even bothered to win points on Lopez’s serve once he was a break up in both the sets. Tsonga was impressive against Thiem. Feel he can upset Novak, since he is still playing sub par.


Pauly Says:

The puppet is gonna thrash Nadal unless the serve & forehand R on fire ?
The puppet is no match for Nadal in beast mode but he’s only in second gear currently
The puppet aka nishikori in straight sets sadly


Ronn Says:

Easy win for Djoko over Tsonga and Kei chews Rafa to little pieces. Djoko vs Kei should be a really great match considering Djoko isn’t playing his A game at the moment.


Pauly Says:

Zverev

Future number one !
Oh yes he’s already a star should’ve beaten Nadal but choked
He is gonna be a champion
Good kid 198cm tall WOW 👍
Impressive player with massive future


Pauly Says:

Djokovic will thrash the puppet


sisay Says:

I just wish rafa wins against kai, and get trashed by nole…the h2h will be 25 to 23…


Pauly Says:

Sisay

Nadal is no where near his best
If he was Djokovic couldn’t tie his shoelaces


sisay Says:

Pouly
You may be wright…but the h2h tells a different story…


Pauly Says:

Sisay

Djokovic is late bloomer
Nadal owned him in the past until 2011
It’s not good rivalry now
Nadal is not the same player he once was


sisay Says:

But Pouly…rafa is just a year older than nole. What happened to him after 2011?…


Green Lady Says:

Rafa isnt the player he was,and its that simple,hes an all time great,and nothing will ever change that,its time to just sit back and enjoy watching him,without any high or unrealistic expectations now….

As long as he plays and enjoys the game,then im happy to watch him….


Green Lady Says:

Swings and roundabouts,some will take delight in saying how Nadal was so lucky against Zverev,and that the youngster had match points blah blah choke blah blah,but how about Rafa been unlucky against Thiem the other week when he had match points,and missed an easy shot,match points against Raonic last year,Nadal mightve been lucky at times,but hes also been unlucky in some matches too….


Pauly Says:

Sisay

Nadal won his first French open at 19
What was Djokovic doing at 19 ?
Nadal isn’t playing his best tennis … He was so lucky today after the big kid choked


Green Lady Says:

All players have an element of luck,its hardly exclusive to Nadal….


nits Says:

@ Green lady totally agree
This is the beauty of tennis


Green Lady Says:

Thanks Nits….

And im sorry to say this,although i like Zverez,i dont feel sorry for the guy,he had MPs and still lost the match,it happens he will get over it,nobody else feels sorry for Nadal when he loses after having MPs,and no other fans of other players feel sorry when their favorite still wins after being MP/MPs down….

This is sport and its a ruthless game,and you have to be ruthless as a fan and as a player sometimes,and fans dont have to apologize for being happy when their favorite wins,its tough sometimes been a fan,but thems the breaks….


nits Says:

We should respect all players but still we want our favorite player to win. No sorry only Joy & Celebration!!!!


Pauly Says:

Zverev

Wow this kid is impressive
Massive server
He can beat anyone with weapons like that
Number 1 in the future
Screw coric he’s a pretender
So is the puppet

Raonic another number one candidate also
But zverev is gonna be future star


Pauly Says:

Nadal must beat the puppet
If he can’t beat him
No chance against Djokovic
I still feel this IW tournament might be the thing that fires up Nadal for the clay season
If he can play his best on clay I can’t see anyone beating him but that’s IF ?
I fear the best of Nadal in beast mode is gone
Well we can only hope he can play his best on his favourite surface
Good luck vs the puppet at IW
I’m not fan of the puppet aka nishikori
Just think he’s missed his chance at grand slam after the thumping he took vs cilic us open
Very disappointing


Green Lady Says:

Nits lol yeah exactly,thankfully a poster whos on the same page me….


Green Lady Says:

Okie/J-Kath i really hope if your both reading,that you will both accept my humble apologies from the other thread,you are both what i consider dear virtual online internet friends,and both have suffered sad losses lately,and there i was talking about my up coming nuptuals,im sorry to you both now,as this was probably in poor taste,im deeply sorry :-((….


Dave Says:

Pauly,

I have to disagree with you about Nishikori vs Cilic. Nishikori played how many 5 set matches in a row? and than a very long and physical 4 set match against Djokovic in the semi-finals. Not to mention, Cilic destroyed Federer in straight sets before Nishikori. Nishikori was very tired. He wasn’t moving as well. The grind of the tournament got to him. Not to mention that he almost withdrew from the tournament completely because of injury. So he was carrying injuries into the tournament. To me, that is quite an amazing accomplishment.


Dave Says:

And the choke artists of the day go to the Bryan brothers, not Zverev. Up 9 to 2 in the tie break. 7 match points in a row and the Bryan brothers(the best doubles team of all-time) lose the match. That is the choke of the year by far.


Pauly Says:

Dave

If you want to win grand slams
Look at 2009 Nadal
He played 2 five setters in a row
The puppet doesn’t have the stamina nor the guts to do that
So you can defend him all you want
But to win grand slams you need balls of steel
No excuses


Dave Says:

Again, I have to disagree. You don’t have to have what Rafa has to win grand slams. He is a 1 in a million player. Many players who have won slams don’t and will never have even close to the stamina Rafa has had in 2009 or any other year. Also, Cilic was so on fire, he would have beaten anyone that day. He made Federer look like a qualifier the in the semi-finals. I’m really not sure why your so hard on Nishikori.


Pauly Says:

Nadal’s serve isn’t good enough
Nor his forehand at the moment
But this IW tournament is boosting his confidence
He knows that he must play better agonist the puppet plus even better against Djokovic not easy but with clay season fast approaching its good for Nadal to get some much needed confidence
As for French open its his favourite Tournament & the only grand slam he is capable of winning sadly he will be 30 in June so winning grand slams is gonna get harder
His legs have done so much work over his career hopefully there is one more slam in him ?
Hope so


Dave Says:

Also, Take 3 inches of height away from Rafa and see how he would do. His slam count would go way down. Add 3 inches of height to Kei and see how he would do, his slam count would go way up. You can’t do anything about genetics. For his height, Kei is doing pretty well. He will be the last of the short tennis players. It’s all big guys taking over tennis.


Dave Says:

Also, Take 3 inches of height away from Rafa and see how he would do. His slam count would go way down. Add 3 inches of height to Kei and see how he would do, his slam count would go way up. You can’t do anything about genetics. For his height, Kei is doing pretty well. He will be the last of the short tennis players. It’s all big guys taking over tennis.


Dave Says:

The only thing from Nadal that looks better in this tournament is his backhand and the forehand down the line. The rest is the same. Serve is sub-par. He is still choking when it matters(final set against Zverev) Against an experienced player, the match was over yesterday. His style still doesn’t match up against Nole’s, doesn’t matter what surface it is. He would need someone to beat Nole first to win the French Open in this form. Pauly, we haven’t seen him at or near peak form in 2 years. How is he all of a sudden going to get to peak form again? Why doesn’t he hit the ball hard anymore? His serve is so slow. When you give Nole a first serve that is most guys 2nd serves, he is going to eat it up all day long. I want to see more from Rafa, way more from Rafa before I start even entertaining another French Open title. Forget that. He isn’t even close to that at this point. I need to see it with actions before I start even getting into that.


Pauly Says:

Dave

I don’t like the puppet Coz he could never beat Nadal in his prime so now that he beaten him it’s not relevant in my eyes
The Australian open vs Djokovic this year was further testament to my opinion
He’s a puppet nothing more
Unless he wins slam or grows 3 inches taller or fixes his teeth I’m not a fan …


Pauly Says:

My workmate is his twin
I call him puppet always he asks me why ?
I say you look like nishikori the puppet
He asks me is he good ?
I say no slams yet
Oh he’s shit then … My workmate good humour


Dave Says:

Honestly Pauly,I would love to see Nadal and Djokovic both pass Federer’s grandslam total. That would be amazing. I just don’t see it happening at this point unless Nadal gets to peak form again and him and Nole have more epic battles in finals of grandslams again. That would be the ultimate if they somehow both did it. If Nadal gets back to peak form, Federer is done for sure. He can’t beat Nadal at majors or Djokovic at majors. If both Nadal and Djokovic are in peak form, at some point in every major Federer would have to meet one of them. So if Nadal can get back to peak form, anything is possible. Not only that, he would push Djokovic further, and the gap would get bigger between the rest of the players.


Green Lady Says:

Dave i like that summary ;-))….


Pauly Says:

Dave

Good post I agree with you
Yes I’m just hopeful Nadal can play his best as for peaking I’m praying ?
Djokovic isn’t the only problem at the French open others can beat this current Nadal
As for changing his style against Djokovic ?
Wishful thinking
He only knows one way to play but he needs better serve & DTF most of all to beat Djokovic
Clay is the only surface he can beat Djokovic on if he can peak again ?
Again wishful thinking but must be positive


Pauly Says:

Dave

I pray Nadal can peak again but as I stated before
Only clay can he beat Djokovic other than that no chance
Reasons obvious poor serve … Djokovic thrives on Nadal’s serve plus hitting short balls plus mentally Nadal loses confidence when losing to Djokovic
Nadal in beast mode can beat Djokovic anywhere but that’s past him I feel … As for Federer it’s time he assessed his future ?
Time isn’t on his side


Dave Says:

It would be amazing if he could peak again. His shots have been deeper. I feel like he holds back a lot still on the forehand especially. He doesn’t pull the trigger as much as he used to. He is slowly hitting more and more aggressive forehands. He will need to feel like he can pull the trigger on the forehand at any point he needs to, like in the past. I think this is his last chance to peak again. I think Nadal can still win on surfaces other than clay as well. But he will need to improve his serve for that to happen.


Dave Says:

I could be wrong, but to me, Federer is a great player, but also an opportunist. Everytime Nadal got injured and left tennis, Federer won the slams again. Federer will be around for a long time still in my opinion to try and win another slam. If Nole or Nadal are not playing or get beat by someone else, you can bet Federer will be there to win the slam. Even if he is 35, 36 or even possibly 37. Federer wants another slam, simple as that. He will do whatever he can to win it.


nits Says:

@ Dave add three inches cut three inches only wishes
what you have??
that’s it.
Just Get best out of it.


Pauly Says:

Dave

2013 is perfect example
Pulling the trigger on the forehand especially US open
Plus his serve was better
He was younger
Can he peak again ?
I feel he Can only if he gets confident on the forehand side & thumps the ball like he did in 2013 where he made Djokovic run run run until he couldn’t run anymore
That’s how to beat Djokovic make him run its his Achilles heel
Dictate the points … Hope Nadal can win another French open
That’s all I want to see


Dave Says:

Nits,

I was making a point that it’s not so easy to win slams when you are 5 foot 10. It’s much easier when you are 6 foot 1. Nishikori is doing pretty good for his height. The last guy under 6 feet to win a slam was a guy by the name of Andre Agassi, 5 foot 11 and that was a long time ago. Michael Chang only won 1 slam. David ferrer has never won a slam. It isn’t so easy when you are shorter. So I gotta give these smaller guys credit for not giving up and really doing whatever they can to win a slam.


Pauly Says:

Dave

Federer wants something else
His record of 17 majors is in danger he doesn’t want
No one to pass it
That’s why he is hanging around
He wants one more to make it harder for Djokovic to pass him


Pauly Says:

Nits

Don’t compare Agassi to Chang
Agassi was a class above the midget


J-Kath Says:

Green Lady

Oh my dear, enjoy your nuptial confirmation….it didn’t hurt me, but thanks for thinking of me…

I’m practising positive thinking following something I saw on TV – a trainer that teaches people the strange skill of walking on a bed of hot coal without getting burned!!!

…evidently it is seriously mind over matter..shan’t personally walk on hot coals but try strengthening the positivity that one could gain through sheer mind power…..maybe tennis players should try it too.

Have a beautiful day at your ceremony.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Rafa looked good. For everyone singing Zverev’s praises, Rafa still beat him. Even if he was lucky in the end, he gave him a bagel set. But Rafa has looked good for the last several months. Still far from great.

He had great variety on his groundstrokes yesterday, good kill shots, mixes of spin, and the DTL forehand was working. But its the same problems that, IMO, mean he will not beat Novak at a Slam again: he is too slow, he lacks the ironclad consistency, and his serve is weak.

The years when Rafa was ascendant, he had speed like we’ve never seen. Now he’s fast, but you couldn’t really tell him apart from 20 other fast players. He’s clearly not in the first tier in speed anymore. I think Rafa can get better; his groundstrokes can get more consistent, he can come closer to the baseline. But I don’t see him getting that speed back, and that was a HELLUVA weapon.


Green Lady Says:

J-Kath thanks for getting back to me,and i hope Okie feels the same too?anyway yes carry on with the positive thinking,i meditate and do tai chi in my spare time which helps me to reduce stress,and i would think you probably have some close friends around you too,and you can always chat to us here too….

About the nuptuals,well im having whats called a pagan handfasting,so not quite a renewal of vows,but something along those lines….

CHEERS J-Kath take care,and have a lovely day,thinking of you my dear ;))….


Green Lady Says:

Tennis Vagabond great post,and as a fan i unfortunatly agree with you,as you get older its human nature that you will also lose a step,its one of those reasons why i hate birthdays in sport,its a reminder with the passing years that you will start to slow down….

I actually watched a documentary at Christmas with David Beckham,he was doing 7 football matches in 7 days for unicef,and he said i loved it im still buzzing from the adrenalin rush,but im too old for this now at the age of 40,its too tiring now….


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Anyone else notice that Monfils is starting to regularly go deep? I wonder if he’s ready to make the leap from QF to credible challenger.


Green Lady Says:

^Seriously hope so,always have liked him and his game^….


George Says:

Zverev looks like the next stage of tennis evolution (stage Isner meets Djokovic). If Zverev improves as 18 years-old normally improve it will be a scary prospect.


Markus Says:

Good assessment George but I think that tennis evolution occurred earlier but did not fully materialize. Del Potro was that guy. Zverev is the new del Potro. Hopefully, he does not get derailed by injuries.


Okiegal Says:

@Green Lady 8:08……Don’t you worry one minute about a thing…..life goes on. I’m in a very lonely place at the present time in my life, but I can at least look forward to tennis. Our guy is looking better…..but oh how I wish he could depend on his serve for a free point here in there. He seems to have his enthusiasm back and he is so elated when he wins a tough point and then goes on to win the match after the battle. We will see how he fairs with Kei…..maybe he will be worn flat smooth out….we can wish!! Good luck to Rafa….if there is such a thing. Luck seems to be a big part of tennis, at least that’s what a few TXers attest to……..


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Okie, that look on Rafa’s face when he got the win last night was sensational. I had been on the fence for much of the match, but I was really moved by Rafa’s elation after winning.


Green Lady Says:

Hi Okie thanks for getting back,i know it cant be easy,but i will only repeat what i said to J-Kath,and thats to take your timeand look to family and friends for support,and hopefully in time things will get easier,and it goes without saying we are all here for you too ;))….

About Rafa,completely agree,hes not the same player,and i have no expectations at this point,but ill just watch and see now,and great to see that passion and fight again which seemed lacking before,and yeah if hes lucky then good im certainly not complaining,and anything else he does is a bonus now anyway,im more than happy with his career achievements ;))….


Okiegal Says:

@TV….. It was priceless….he was so stinkin’ happy…..loved the lawn mower move too! I felt like you did, I kissed that match good bye, didn’t ever think for one minute he would come back….well, he had some help from the youngster….but a “W” is a “W” regardless of how you slice it! Am I a happy camper?? Yes siree!! Go Rafa!! One match at a time is how he rolls and he respects every player he faces………


George Says:

@Markus: Del Potro does not move that well, his service is not that well and his technique is not so good.
@Tennis Vagabond: That was great. It reminded me of a not-ashamed-to-celebrate experienced pensioner when beating 11 years-old prospect in a local league.


Okiegal Says:

@Green Lady…..Agree 100% with your last comment regarding Rafa. I appreciate your continued care and support for me during my recent loss…..it means the world to me. J-Kath and I can relate to each other. You go through so many emotions, it does get easier with each day but the void in my life is always there……..My diversion has been shopping……and tennis! I am doing my living room over and have bought all new furniture. I am on a mission and not through yet. Byron’s den is next……Take care and enjoy your Pagan retreat with Green Man!


Okiegal Says:

@Dave 8:51….I think Federer is chasing Connors career win/loss record for sure. Connors 1257/279 and Roger’s is 1067/240. He can still win lesser titles than slams, but I feel he could still win another slam and it all just helps his resume even more.


anki Says:

Novak is looking vulnerable in this tournament, his ROS has not been good, making many sloppy errors. Feel Rafa could take him down if they are to meet in SF. Nishikori is way too inconsistent, so it will be a pretty straight forward win for Rafa I guess


Van Persie Says:

George,

@11:27 Very smart.
I could not describe Sascha’s tennis style, but I guess it is jn ghe direction mentioned by you. It is scarry, that he’s so tall, powerfull and good serve and moves so well on court.


Annie Says:

RAFA U played great yesterday…loved watching U come from behind as so often in the past. It was nice to see U as excited as I was in my living room. Best Wishes for the rest of UR matches!
Luv U Babe : )


Van Persie Says:

is in the…sorry for the typos


Van Persie Says:

Okie,

It will be not that easy for Roger to achieve, what Jimmy did. Tennis is much different from Conners days, it is more phisical…I see all these young guys, and I think he will not be please to be top 50 in 2-3 years….perhaps I might be wrong.


Green Lady Says:

anki i certainly like your summary,but im not not holding out much hope on him beating Novak anymore,i appreciate the sentiments,but im of the impression that Novak fans are merely being polite when they say that,im just grateful at this stage that he at least puts himself into contention to at least play Novak….


Okiegal Says:

@VP…..I read right through that typo……didn’t even realize it so no worries. A good TXer reads between the lines! LOL


Van Persie Says:

Okie,

I am also concerned for Nole a bit. It might better try to win as many GS he can this year and in 2017.


Van Persie Says:

He might better try….Okie, sorry…to many mistakes, and I am not even drunk :D


Okiegal Says:

@VP 1:31……Of course I have no idea whether it’s attainable or not, I just think he has it on his mind since it’s missing on his resume. If he plays into his forties, who knows?? He is still beating the dog out of several of the players…….just saying…….


Okiegal Says:

Indian Wells started televising today….no more watching on computer…..I hope!! Cilic and Goffin later in the day….Vika too….


Van Persie Says:

Okie,

You are right, probably he has this in mind….but he will be 35 in sommer. He might have a chance to get one more GS, but I do not see him playing unyil 40. He will not be happy with 2-3 rounds in masters or GS when he will be 37-38….and I defenetly do not see him playing challengers, just to have the numbers of Jimmy.


Van Persie Says:

Okie, have a nice day ;)


Okiegal Says:

@VP…..Regarding Novak…..he may be a little vulnerable??? Probably not, just going by not winning in straights in some matches as of late….But he always comes back hard when he is a set down. He is a warrior for sure and just so much better than everyone else at this point in his career.


Van Persie Says:

Okie,

I expect him to do better in the next rounds, he did it also in Doha, AO….I am not so sure, how much time this strategy will work in the next years. This year he is still the Alfa, I hope also the next….but the young guys will developp their game, and then…


Okiegal Says:

@VP…..you have good one too! I guess we will have to wait and see what is in Roger’s plan for his tennis future. I believe he will play as long as he is physically able but I agree too that he will not settle for challengers to boost his record……


anki Says:

@ Green Lady Genuinely feel Rafa has a chance against this Novak. That aura of invincibility around him is fading. This might be the chance for Rafa.


Green Lady Says:

I dont feel sorry for Novak,and i dont mean that in a disrespectful way,he might be playing crap,but hes still winning,has just won the AO,is head and shoulders above every other player on tour,is miles ahead in the points race is hands down the favorite in every tourney and final he plays in,and its panic stations because he drops a set in a match,rather than a straight sets match with bagels and breadsticks,purlease give me a break….


Tennisfan Says:

Let’s be realistic…It’s extremely unlikely that Nadal will get back to peak form no matter how much wishful thinking we all have. Plus, although like everyone else I love watching Fedal and Nole who are extraordinary champions; I do think the sport is in need of fresh faces at the top.


Dave Says:

Last time I checked, challengers are not official ATP wins and wouldn’t count for Federer to break Connors wins record. Also, Nole has won 6 sets in a row and is only playing as hard as he has to play. He broke Lopez 3 times yesterday. Lopez was serving close to 140 the whole match and is very good at holding his serve. Nole doesn’t like playing these types of players ever. So this was a good win.


Dave Says:

James,

I’m in agreement with you. If he re-injures his knee because of coming back to soon, it’s career over. He will literally never be the same player again. Not a smart move at all.


Van Persie Says:

Dave,

Thank you for the correction with the challengers. Was not a good example.
Also agree, Nole improves his game with each round.


chrisford1 Says:

Andy could challenge, he has more talent than just about anybody – but still isn’t a champion between his ears. He can stoke it up for one big tournament, but not sustain it year round. I think he has regressed since Lendl left.
In a sense, fans hope in this latest crop of young guns, (which I think are better than previous groups of newcomers in challenging the top players and getting big wins) in a sense writes off Murray.

I picked Nole, Delpo, Cilic, and last year added Raonic as players that I thought would make a mark. Around 2009, I thought Delpo might have a better career than Djokovic, so I sure don’t know everything. But 3 of my 4 are Slam winners, with Milos in the wings.

As for Djokovic, this thing of starting crappy then building up in tournaments is deliberate in my opinion, and scary probably to some players – He got advice from both Sampras and Becker that he needs to play to win, not play to dazzle. Keep a bankful of energy, conserve it for the whole year long haul. Don’t look at your work total as tournaments played, but total matches played. Schedule tournaments to the ones you want to be at the most….And both said it was vital to improve his serve more, and come to net when opportunity arose – for cheap points. Novak listened.

The scary part is players can be outplaying him in the 1st set or so, seeing him make errors, miss stuff, show less effort. But in that, know the guy can hit new gears on whim when he’s warmed up and wants to play better. It wreaks havoc with the confidence of his challengers. The dazzle stuff now waits for QFs and above. Why play your A game in the 2nd round when a B-minus game suffices??


Okiegal Says:

Some of Novak’s own fans have said right here on this forum that he has not been playing well. He did give Lopez a thrashing, but didn’t Lopez beat him a while back?? I mean his game is not in trouble by no means, but there was talk of a shoulder problem at one point….do not know if that was true or not???


Okiegal Says:

Cilic and Goffin have tight one going 5-5….


Green Lady Says:

Okie yeah Novak retired against Lpoez a couple of weeks ago with an eye infection,he lost the first set 6/3,but he was clearly struggling though no question,no excuses,his eyes were red raw….


Green Lady Says:

YAY Goffin,another great win….


Wog Boy Says:

Goffin keeps knocking out GS winners. Small posture big heart.


Green Lady Says:

Never thought of that Wogboy two GS champs B2B WOW….


Wog Boy Says:

There are smiles and there are smiles, but when Goffin smiles every bit of his face lights up, really genuine smile.


mat4 Says:

@Okie:

He had some problem with his shoulder, his abdominal muscles and his eyes. Guess a few years ago he would have retired a few times already…

Anyway, I watched him a few times lately and he clearly wasn’t playing well. I didn’t watch neither of his matches against Lopez, so I can’t say much about these.

I managed to see the second set of Goffin — Cilic, and Goffin played some excellent tennis. I am very happy for him. He’s the David in this world of tennis Goliath(s).


Gee Says:

Only a true Superlegend can win many Slams at age 29 in addition to be a slam, Masters & year end champion at age 20-21 with rollercoaster physical & mental strength.
That’s Novak.


Green Lady Says:

Mat4 i have no problem with players retiring if they are seriously injured or really suffering like Nole was against Lopez,its not as if he did it lightly….


Green Lady Says:

And if your struggling to see,how can you play tennis,how can you play tennis??like Novak i also suffer with my eyes having graves disease i live in dark glasses in the summer,so i know how he feels….


mat4 Says:

WB, who’s _this_ green lady, new of the forum?

I don’t know why, but the nick sounds just like: red rooster, gypsy gal, hippy chick, etc.

Feel that soon we will get a Morgan la Fay debarking on T-x.


Green Lady Says:

Mat4 yeah tis me lol ;))….


mat4 Says:

@Morgan la Fay:

Hopefully I noticed it was you — you never write spaces after commas.


Green Lady Says:

Mat4 ive been working, and not blogging as much,studying for a diploma at work, and funny you should say that as my asessor has said the other day how i dont put spaces after commas, i said to her that i didnt know you had to, i always thought a comma was adjacent to a space….


Green Lady Says:

And i like that name as a future nicname ;))….


Okiegal Says:

@mat4….Thanks for the feedback on Novak. I totally forgot about the eye problem and that it was a retirement. Remembered there was something about the shoulder. His eyes and shoulder seem fine now…He is playing very well, which is no surprise. I will agree with another poster….I think he plays hard as he needs to….to win!


Pauly Says:

Djokovic isn’t injured
If he was not good
We want good tennis not injuries to help other players beat Djokovic


Pauly Says:

I hope Nadal can become puppet master tomorrow


Dave Says:

Nishikori won last time and was dominating him on clay in Barcelona before his injury. So he can cause Nadal problems. No question. I think it will be a close match. I expect it to go the distance for sure.


Wog Boy Says:

How dare Feliciano Lopez say something like this:

‘I think Djokovic is the best player. He is since last year – Feli said in press conference after the match against Roberto Bautista Agut -The difference with other players that is so much different than when Rafa and Roger were No. 1. When Rafa was No. 1, he was very far away from Djokovic’s current level. I think Federer is second after the Serb. Djokovic developed a kind of invincibility’.

http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Feliciano-Lopez-Novak-Djokovic-is-the-best-player-ever-articolo31058.html


Dave Says:

Wog Boy,

I will take that comment as being sarcastic.


Wog Boy Says:

Dave,

I’ll take it the way it makes me feel good.

BTW, I wonder if it was sarcastic impression on Feliciano’s face when he was saying that?


Dave Says:

haha. I’m not sure. I think he genuinely respects Nole. I read that article earlier today as well. What is your take on Federer returning early in Miami? Honest opinion and not sarcastic.


Wog Boy Says:

Dave,

I am always honest and that’s gets im in trouble all the time.
I din’t know what to think to be honest. One thing I noticedince his operation is that he was making sure that everybody knows he is around and to be seen, TX made sure too;) His FB, Twitter and other social media messages were pretty full on.
Ona strange thing was that he was recovering from operation, but yet extensively traveling and trying to stay in the spot light.

Money is not the reason for playing Miami, extra points needed, maybe, keeping everybody on notice that he is still here just in case they forgot it or something third..I mean he was and is master of mind games, nobody gets even close to him..maybe uncle Toni..


Dave Says:

Good points Wog Boy. We will NEVER know how much cartilage they took from his knee in that operation. Whether it was 1% or 30%. Coming back on hard courts is a risk I think. It’s his choice though. I don’t see how he is getting his number 2 ranking back and I don’t see him losing his number 3 ranking. But he has his career to lose if he hurts that knee again. One psychology book says that silence is the strongest form of control. You never know what some people are truly thinking or feeling.


Okiegal Says:

I think he hurried it a bit myself…..but I’m sure the good doctor is making the call!! Glad he’s back….makes for more interesting tennis…we might see a Rafa/Roger match……those are always fun!!!!


Dave Says:

Just when I thought maybe Monfils would live up to his potential for once, he shows why he will always be the same Monfils. Disappointing to see. He’s not coming back. Raonic has played well, but has been vulnerable at times.


chrisford1 Says:

Okiegal – “we might see a Rafa/Roger match……those are always fun!!!!”
Up to about 2008, maybe. After that they were enjoyable if you consider the contest between a baby seal and a sealer man with a club – enjoyable.


Wog Boy Says:

^^^ Uhh, that was nasty…just wait for reactions..


nits Says:

Game will always evolve with time. The next consecutive grand slam champion will be better then all three Nadal, Federer & Djokovic. This is law of nature EVOLVE EVOLVE EVOLVE.Thats why i am never in favor of comparing past champions with the current ones.


Okiegal Says:

@cf1 10:56 There is still a lot of hype when those two face each other……they’re definitely a crowd pleaser, Never have heard the baby seal thingy…….just goat and goat owner. TBH I love watching Rafa paying anybody…….ENJOYABLE! :)


anki Says:

Raonic is on fire. He is looking better than he looked at AO. Devastating serves with improved ground game, holy shit. Think it is his title to lose.


Pauly Says:

Dave

Lopez is on drugs to say something that weird


Pauly Says:

Partying too hard Lopez
Do you recall he tried to pick up Wozniaki after she split from her fiancée ?
She didn’t want nothing to do with the sleazy Lopez
He’s wrong bigtime about Nadal & Federer


Green Lady Says:

Mat4 if your reading, i will try to use spaces after commas more now (see) lol, but i will always be honest about who i am, whatever name i use, but i do actually like that one, so ill remember it for the future, Morgan Le Fay….

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