Novak Djokovic Stays On Top Of Rafael Nadal, Meets Milos Raonic In Indian Wells Final
by Sean Randall | March 19th, 2016, 8:23 pm
  • 109 Comments

Despite a 7-6(5), 6-2 loss today in the Indian Wells semifinals to Novak Djokovic, it was still a positive week for Rafael Nadal. Nadal might never get back to the top, but in the last 24 hours he showed flashes of his former No. 1 self, and that’s enough to hold out some hope he’s finally turned the corner.

In their 48th meeting today, Nadal took advantage of an error-prone Djokovic early, breaking the Serb. But Djokovic came right back as the two former Indian Wells champions when toe-to-toe like the did years ago. Playing with fury, Nadal brushed off multiple break points at 3-3 then held a set point with Djokovic serving 4-5 but was denied.

Djokovic jumped out to lead in the breaker 5-2 and held on to win it 7-5 to take his 12th straight set over Rafa.

And one sensed the air was out of the Nadal balloon.

In the second, Djokovic proved too strong running away with the win, his sixth straight over Nadal and 10th in their last 11 meetings to increase his record over the Spaniard to 26-24.

“I work hard to be able to come up with the best game when it’s the most needed,” said Djokovic. “Obviously today the first set was decided in one or two points; second set was very close. Midway through the second I broke his serve, and last three games I played very well.

“So I’m just glad to overcome this challenge that is one of the greatest in sport, as it always is playing against Rafa. I’m taking the positives out of today’s performance and hoping that I can finish off this tournament tomorrow with another great performance.”

For Rafa, like I said there is now hope. There were signs of vintage Nadal and had he converted that set point in the first, who knows. But this week with his win yesterday over Nishikori and to have played Djokovic close – unlike their last 3-4 meetings which have been blowouts – this effort should give him a needed confidence boost for Miami and for the upcoming clay season which begins in a month.

“I think I played well for a set and a half; then I think he played well the last part,” said Nadal. “I played bad again with my serve at 3-2, and then he finished playing well the last two games. Played at high level.

“I had my chances in the first set. I felt for a moment that I was competing at the highest level possible. At the beginning of the tie-break and at the end of the first set with some 0/15 that I had, I made a few mistakes with my forehand. That’s the only thing.

“I believe that with a little bit more confidence on my forehand at the end of that first set it would have been a better chance.”

Djokovic, who wins his 16th straight match in the desert, moves on to face Milos Raonic in search of his 27th career Masters crown, 62nd overall.

The fireballing Canadian outlasted the pesky David Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Actually, credit Goffin for breaking Raonic’s serve a couple of times and creating problems for the big man. But Raonic was too strong, too powerful and to resilient in the end.

“I feel like I did things right,” said Raonic. “I sort of lost my way a little bit in the second set, and it’s important to me sort of to be able to recognise that and get things back on the right track and play and finish off with some good tennis like I did.”

So our first Masters final of the season is set.

Novak Djokovic v Milos Raonic

As I said yesterday and as we saw today, I don’t think Djokovic is at his top level. Then again, after missing a month Raonic probably isn’t either. But if Milos, with that arm canon, can force a couple of tiebreaks anything is possible.

“I feel like even when I’m not playing my best [this year] I’m able to find the answer and the solutions. I feel like I’m competing well. I feel like I’m dealing with the situations much better,” articulated Raonic.

“Definitely have been playing higher level this year, but I think also when I have had those difficult moments or let’s say some kind of crisis throughout matches, I have found solutions better. I think I have been much more regimented about that and a lot more disciplined with myself and a lot more understanding about the way I need to go about things during the match. And also analyzing and adjusting and accepting things during matches.”

Djokovic, though, has dominated the Canadian winning all five meetings and 13 of 14 sets, most recently at the Australian last year. The match itself is pretty simple, it’s Raonic’s booming serve against Djokovic’s steady return. And based on history, form and playing surface, the edge goes to Djokovic.

“Milos is probably playing the best tennis that he has ever played,” said Djokovic. “His serve was phenomenal before the start of this season, but this season it seems like he has improved even more, especially the second serve. He’s going for it more. He’s not giving you the same look.

“I will try to prepare myself tactically, analyze his game with my team. We are playing finals, so I’ll try to also use the experience that I have had playing in many Masters 1000 finals in this tournament, as well.

“Even though he hasn’t played too many Masters finals, he’s still very strong mentally. He’s very calm on the court. He’s very composed. He’s showing virtues that are characteristic for some more experienced and older players. That’s one of the impressive things about him.”

Novak just doesn’t seem to be losing these kinds of matches in finals to the lower ranked players like a Raonic. And he’s far too comfortable on the Indian Wells court where he’s won four times already.

So while Raonic might scrape a set here or there if that serve gets hot, I think Djokovic prevails.
The pick: Djokovic in two

ESPN has live coverage of Indian Wells finals day starting a 2pm ET with the women’s title match between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka.


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109 Comments for Novak Djokovic Stays On Top Of Rafael Nadal, Meets Milos Raonic In Indian Wells Final

MMT Says:

I’m not going to lie: I hope Raonic loses tomorrw.

Not because he’s a bad guy or did something unsavory – to the contrary he seems like a perfectly nice guy. With the exception of not calling a touch of the net on himself against del Potro in Toronto a couple or three years ago, I can’t point to anything in his behavior that I don’t like.

I just don’t like his game, and I don’t like the idea of someone with that big of a serve, but no other world class characteristics in his game, winning big titles. I know nobody’s handing it to him per se, but it just doesn’t feel…earned with that big of a serve.

In fact all the behemoths in the game are very nice guys, but I’m no more impressed with their games, and I root against them generally every time.

Sorry to start us out so negatively, but that’s how I feel.


Dave Says:

I tend to agree with you MMT. I do think that Raonic has very good hands at the net. He has improved a lot and this is a very strong part of his game. His return has also gotten better this year. So the only part I disagree with is that he is one of the better net players in the game today. And he is only getting better. I won’t predict tomorrows outcome, because I just have no idea what will happen. Nole seems to find a way to always win, but Raonic is playing lights out tennis this week. It’s a tough call. On the ground game Raonic doesn’t really make Nole uncomfortable. Also, Nole is getting better and better at the lob shot. He is very confident with that shot compared to before. His passing shots have always been good. He is going to need to try and break Raonic quickly to start the match. If he does, I think he will show his best game and win.


Travis Bickle Says:

It looked to me that Novak was almost disinterested to be playing (and beating) Nadal. He was returning those Rafa’s body serves well long too often – a focused Novak puts those in play.
And then, every once in a while, Novak would ‘wake up’ realize it is a Masters semi and raise his level for a few points just enough to win. Examples:
re-breaking Rafa in the first set after donating break to Rafa before that;
playing few typical Novak points to deny Nadal set point and win that game to force a tiebreak;
switching into a higher gear in the last game to get to 0-40 on Nadal’s serve, etc…

It appears Novak always wanted to beat Rafa, and now when he could do that routinely and fairly easily, he is kind of not so excited from doing it – Novak loves challenge, as demonstrated by him playing crappy in the early rounds (e.g. Fratangelo) and Rafa is not providing that challenge lately.

As of tomorrow prediction, I believe Novak will have much tougher time against his fellow Serb Raonic then what what he had against Rafa today.


chrisford1 Says:

Funny thing is that Djokovic really likes practicing with Raonic, and socializing with him off and on. Been going on 4-5 years in Monaco.
Practice gives Raonic ways to improve his court movement by going at the most mobile and efficient mover in the sport, and a serve against a great returner. Djokovic gets to go up against one of the best live arms in tennis, up against a ferocious forehand, and a young guy who is very bright, coachable, and showing mental strength.

Hope this is a new rivalry. Milos has had Djokovic confessing at the 2014 Roma Masters that one set Raonic played against him left him feeling utterly helpless for the 1st time in years, (he still won). Since then, Raonic’s backhand and service return have improved, and he is using the court better to position for a winner forehand.

The Moose is on the loose!


Wog Boy Says:

I advice everybody who doubt Raonic improvements to rewatch Brisbane final against Federer, this year one, he is not quite complete player, but he doesn’t have really to be. He improved his BH, his positioning to compesate for not being a good mover, ready to learn and listen and knows his weaknesses and working to improve them or compesate them. He doesn’t go for aces like Isner.


Wog Boy Says:

If I knew CF1 post got through I wouldn’t bother writing mine..


Pauly Says:

I don’t like big servers
I love long punishing rallies
Those are real tennis players who excite the crowds not ace ace ace more aces boring players
I’m hoping djoky can win Coz he can rally with the best
Raonic is future number 1 material no doubt but he’s not a great mover or plays long exciting rallies
Zverev will also be boring if he just aces people
Long live the shot makers of tennis who make the sport enjoyable
Djoky in straight sets I feel …


Pauly Says:

Travis Bickle

Djokovic was interested but Nadal was putting up more resistance than usual so he made errors
Had Nadal taken the first set … Match would’ve been more interesting & most likely gone to 3 sets
But if you don’t take your chances against Djokovic you’re dead
Nadal wasn’t happy after losing that first set & you could tell by his body language
I watched the highlights … Nadal played ok in patches but to beat Djokovic you also need to play better for longer
Where there’s life there’s hope as I keep on saying
Bring on the clay season if that can’t fire Nadal up nothing can
It’s not gonna be easy to beat Djokovic on clay either but that’s Nadal’s favourite surface
Time will tell


sisay Says:

Sean…another miss on rafas record..i think it is 25 to 23 in novacs favour…may be i am wrong…you know we will brag about these records one day when debating with rafa fans…like they do with roger fans on that lopsided h2h…


Pauly Says:

Sisay

I remember it was 16-7 Nadal long ago until 2011 came along & Djokovic developed his game to mainly beat who was number 1 back then
Ever since then it’s 18-7 Djokovic but Nadal did beat him 2014 French open last time he beat Djokovic


sisay Says:

Pouly that means i am right…it is 25 to 23..where did sean get those 2 matches he added on each to make it 26 to 24…may be those are exo matches…


Green Lady Says:

Good luck to Novak and Milos, may the best man win, wont see the match as i will be at work
Yours sincerley
Morgana Le Fey ( to Mat4, if your reading) ….


Pauly Says:

Sisay

You’re correct
25/23
It will get bigger but Nadal fans don’t care as long as he wins another French open


Pauly Says:

Green lady

Raonic could win if he serves his best


Green Lady Says:

Pauly sorry im not interested anymore ….


Pauly Says:

Green lady

There’s better more important things than tennis


jane Says:

MMT, did you see this piece from Toni Nadal? i wonder if he is referring to what you are?

https://www.thetennisbase.com/?enlace=blog&bg=4&post=Toni-Nadal-the-future-of-tennis


Margot Says:

jane, these discussions about having a different tour for players over say, 6’4″, have been around for ages. Now I suppose the improved technology gives them an extra advantage? Would never happen of course the tennis world moves like a titanosaur, very slowly.
And anyway, who would pay to see this league? Not me and MMT for sure.


George Says:

I thought that both players played exceptionally well. I don’t think that Djokovic’s “unforced errors” were unforced errors; it was Rafa’s spin that Djokovic had difficulties to handle. In the second set, Djokovic calibrated his hitting and played incredible well. I do not have words to describe how good Djokovic was. Each Rafa’s forehand was a spin-bomb exploding at the contact. Rafa played unbelievable, but Djokovic was able to control those balls. The last game of the match was a masterpiece from both players, Djokovic in particular.


jane Says:

margot, i believe toni thinks rules need to change, for example 1 serve instead of two etc. maybe he’s got a point.


Wog Boy Says:

I think it is about time to raise the net, today’s players are on average taller than players 40 years ago at least 10cm.


Wog Boy Says:

^^ add technology racquet revolution on that.


Margot Says:

Lol Wog Boy, what happens when a giant meets a… harrumph… slightly less tall player eg Hewitt v Karlovic? Net change of height depending on the server?
Hewitt, bless, probably wouldn’t be able to see over the net…….
jane, yes, that would be a solution. Meanwhile abolish bloody “let” nonsense.


mat4 Says:

jane, Margot:

Toni worries too much, and his view are biased.

Even with wooden racquets, rallies didn’t last long, except on clay — the same situation as today. Then, it’s normal that players are bigger. Although the formula to calculate the height of children hasn’t changed (H of father + H of mother divided by 2, + 2 inches, +- 3 inches), from 1980 to 2000 we had a change in height of the new generations of almost 3 inches, but the trend has stopped. We already had recriminations that tennis became too physical, the surfaces and balls too slow, but he still beats in his own drum. Now, players are too big…

However, those recriminations are too hasty for other reasons. We live in very dangerous times, with an impending economical crash awaiting, a few revolutions, or, the worse thing that can happen, WW3 if the neocons manage to provoke one to hide their bankruptcy. The rich were never richer, the poor poorer. There won’t be tennis as we know it in a few years, and the crisis will be far worse than in 2008, or even 1929.

The worst scenario — already in full preparation despite the official power and the the US army — is WW3. Russia averted it this time, and has a good chance to report it long enough to the financial crisis to become obvious — the plan is another little war in Europe to erase the 18 trillions of debts of the US. Our savings, our money, have already disappeared, the banks are broke, and I guess there will be a lot of medieval spectacles on main squares and places. Just like in good ol’ times.


Wog Boy Says:

Margot,

I didn’t really think that one through..


Margot Says:

Yes matt, all those things and the future looks a terrifying place, especially if you are close to younger people and care about the future of humankind and planet earth.
But….but, I don’t think an essentially light-hearted blog, given indeed that some deranged fans seem to think tennis really is life and death, is the place to bring them.


Margot Says:

Lol wog Boy, had a lovely mental picture of an increasingly airated official changing the height of the net between serves….


Giles Says:

I’m not going to lie: I hope joker loses today. :)


Michael Says:

It has been quite a while since we saw Rafa offering some kind of resistance to the rampaging Novak. In the first set, he made it competitive with his aggressive play as well as helped by a streak of UEs from Novak. But, then the tie break was very crucial and Novak held his ground to win it by the stiffest of margins and then it was almost over with Novak discovering his true self in the second set and just giving no scope for Rafa to settle. Nevertheless, as Sean rightly pointed out, Rafa must be encouraged by the fact that he did trouble Novak and this belief should stand him in good stead in their future encounters.

As regards the final, I think it will be Novak all the way considering that he has beaten Raonic five against none. May be, a good serving day by Raonic can make one set extremely tight but then as Sean said Novak will prevail.


anki Says:

Glad that Rafa found his spark back atleast.Close match with Novak.Love RafOle matches. So much of fun their rallies are to watch. Btw Can’t even imagine Raonic as future number one. A servebot..:( Hate it. He is so damn boring to watch. Really am worried about Novak’s return game. It is shit as of now. Hope Novak prevails somehow. Seems impossible given his blip in form..:(


James Says:

Djokovic is now 25-23 on Nadal. He is likely to make that even better. Djokovic is GOAT now. How can Nadal be GOAT if he is not even the best in his generation?

Ha ha. Karma. Comes around.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Raonic is far from a servebot. Have you guys not seen him in 2016? His game is really changed. He’s a very exciting net player – if you enjoy net play, as I do, you’ll find a lot of points with Milos to entertain you. His return is much, much better than last year as well. He could break top 5 this year, and it won’t be because of his serve, which he’s had as a weapon since he came on tour, it will be because he’s improved everywhere else.

I still think Novak wins, but Raonic will give him a real fight.

Also, I didn’t get to see the best of Rafa this week, but it sounds like he’s played great, at least for spots. I’m very excited for him.


Daniel Says:

People are saying Nadal may have a chance against Djoko on clay but remains to be seen if he will even go that far to play him. And he can play him soon in Quarters or Semis as his ranking is not going up now and Federer (as it seems will be playing MC and probably Madrid).

But at least was a competitive first set with some nice points by the two.

As for Raonic I agree with some that he improved a lot and is the least boring than those serveboots.

It’s a complete different match for Djoko today with fewer rallies so he will be less tired when he had to serve and I expect him to serve better.

Even yesterday, apart from the 2 DF he made first time he serve and another BP he faced 4-5 down his serve wasn’t actually threaten regularly, so it wasn’t a bad serve performance overall. And he made some nice kick serves very well placed in BH corner sending Nadal out of TV


skeezer Says:

TV,
Agree about Milos. He’s no Dr. Ivo who has no BH. Both Milos and Isner have Delpo like moments with their FH’s also, they can dictate.


Markus Says:

I am not going to lie: I like TV’s assessment of Raonic’s game.


Green Lady Says:

Pauly @3.24am, thats not what i meant, and you missed my point, yeah theres more important things than tennis, but as a Rafa fan i just dont get you ,and i dont care to elaborate as to why ….


BBB Says:

I got a bit puzzled as to why Djokovic went to the drop shot so often. It’s not usually a very good sign of his mentality when he does that. I suppose Nadal was playing pretty far back, so maybe it made sense.


MMT Says:

@jane: I hadn’t seen that blog, but I agree that the game is in danger of becoming unwatchable. The best players are still great players, so as long as one of them is playing it’s okay for purists and/or the casual fan. But when a Kevin Anderson plays a John Isner, it’s almost unwatchable. And I feel bad picking on these guys, because they all seem to be very committed and professional and it’s not their fault that they’re huge.

But the game does suffer in my opinion, and I still think they could do something in the way of limiting the impact of equipment. Maybe it’s too late to go back to wood racquets (http://tennis-column.blogspot.com/2008/12/where-tennis-went-wrong.html) but that doesn’t mean they have to leave tennis the arms race that it has become. Nothing would prevent a standardization of racquets and strings such that tactics and skill trumps brute force…except the money that manufacturers make from it. That money won’t be there if Big Babe tennis eradicates the “jeu de paumes” tennis was intended to be.

I don’t think we’ll see too many major champions at 6’4″ or above – not as long as the dimensions of the court remain the same. After del Potro in 2009, the altogether unexpected win of Cilic in 2014 was 5 years coming, and even more unexpected. The real problem is in ALL the other matches. Tennis can’t survive in its current form if nobody wants to watch anything but the big 4, but if the game is overrun by behemoths who bludgeon their way through one match after another, it won’t be long before people lose interest.

I already find matches with the biggest players unbearable.


jalep Says:

Agree with the Tennis Vagabond about Milos’ tennis. And yet, Milos does admit to being reliant on his phenomenal serve. Why not. It’s good enough to get through the draw until he comes across the very top in the game.

The agonizing match-up’s come along when one of my shorter favorites, like Goffin or Nishikori, goes up against one of them. Still — seems an unfair advantage in tennis, with the net where it is, and court dimensions as they are, when there’s such a disparity in trajectory and wingspans. Ben Pronin can talk me down from this ledge.

Goffin was sensational in getting a set off Milos. Thrilled when that happens!


Margot Says:

@jalep
Great when David defeats Goliath tho., as Hewitt at Wimbledon.
Andy has spoken about how difficult it is to return these serves. After playing Karlovic he said his wrists were hurting. Tsk tsk, thatof course is the problem with getting so many serves back…;)
Also, another problem is when there’s not enough room at the back of the court to get a decent chance at returning. Have you noticed how high Isner’s serve can bounce on some courts? It’s insane.


Tom Says:

Toni Nadal’s op-ed/letter or whatever you want to call it is ridiculous. I doubt he would be writing it if Rafa was dominating. Maybe Uncle Toni needed to help Rafa develop some new techniques instead of complaining about behemoths dominating the game. There always were power servers like Ivanesavic and Roddick before the new breed of Raonic and Isner, but they still need to have a complete game to win. Other than Ivanesivic and Roddcik winning a major each, none of the new power players can win right now as long as Djokovic is there. Uncle Toni needs to figure out what happen to the Spaniards since the new Bio passports went into affect ;-)


Green Lady Says:

I must admit, that i used to find Raonics matches quite boring, but lately his gamed has evolved, and he has alot more variety now ….


Giles Says:

Tom. Be very careful what you say. Rafa will sue you! Pleb.


Giles Says:

J-K. Cheers. 😉


Green Lady Says:

Agree with J-Kath and Giles ….


jalep Says:

You mean Isner’s ‘kick’ serve, Margot? That’s completely ridiculous. Annoying too, imo. Unfair! whaaaaaa😁

Nice to have Delboy back. Also Sascha Z has me on his bandwagon. Both of those guys are tall enough to counter the likes of Isner, Anderson – ect..,

The giants are a skill test for Andy, Nole, Rafa, Stan…I guess it’s okay.

Vika got a set!


chrisford1 Says:

The danger of a really tall guy with speed and great hand eye coordination and having all the skills is real.
Imagine a Dirk Nowitzky or Kobe Bryant with intense tennis prep skill building, not a Dr Ivo with no backhand.
Such a player could be unplayable – maybe they wouldn’t last as long as in basketball – but if you think watching Isner is bad – think of a 7’2″ guy like Nowitzky coming in, holding serve 99% of the time.

The time to discuss it is now, not wait for that fast, supertall guy that didn’t grow up in a war hit country with no sponsors, but had all the development effort needed. With the next generation in racket tech, maybe even “smart” knee braces that take the shock of pounding on court. It would be difficult to change the rule once some arrive and are established. Especially if a couple were black, because that would be racist…in the eyes of some heavily liberal tennis organizations.

The other side of the spectrum is more interesting. That is most people 5 9″ or shorter have little chance Hewitt, listed at 5 11″, but actually 5 9.5″, was a runt in Tour. Laver probably would’t have made Top 20 with the new equipment technology. Olivier Rochus a 5’6″ never had a chance. Kei Nishikori at 5’10″ is at great disadvantage. Many markets in the sport have an average male height under 5’8″.

Uncle Toni has a good point, 1 serve cancels out a lot of the height advantage, lets not even bother with the 1st 12 games and go right to tie breaker tall guys tennis. And would allow a Rod Laver sized guy the ability to compete on more “level” terms. And no more lets, and no poaching (stay behind the baseline, no ‘offsides’ until the 1st ball lands). It just might work.
The rule change to set a time limit was NOT a Nadal camp endorsed change, of course, but it has worked well.

On the woman’s side, the screamers and shriekers and whooopers should have been shut down 20 years ago with Seles, (Miss Piggy) and not waited for Sharapova, Venus Williams, and Vika. And should change tomorrow, it the WTA had any spine. And the squealers and water buffalo/goat grunters (Serena and Errani) complaining they cannot play without releasing their inner Chi or whatever nonsense Bolletieri dished out at his shriek and ball bash academy? They can just wear a strapon sound reduction device that looks like a dog muzzle. They could scream to their hearts content into and not bother anyone. And after a few matches of finding themselves looking at video of themselves muzzled, the shrieking imperative would magically stop.

And I’ll stick with my opinion that if you want to make your sport bigger, you have to find a way to have sports wagers. Gambling was there likely when the 1st cave tribes realized that (1) Sports was a more pleasant way to prepare males for warfare than a bunch of small wars to practice with. (2) Gambling and sexual attraction rewards for athletes and tribal/city state/etc. bonding made sports even better!


Margot Says:

Chris, plenty of men make a heck of a noise out there, or haven’t you noticed?
In fact Andy once complained to the ref about Granollers.


Green Lady Says:

That post sounded rather sexist, and quite derogatory, i must say ….


Margot Says:

Yep Green Lady, certainly is…..very offensive.
*puke*


Tennisfansince1976 Says:

@wogboy I thought Milos was the second best player at this years Australian open. He was laying some wood on Murray before he picked up the injury.


jane Says:

cf1, surely you must notice all the noise coming from some of the male players? i love ferru’s fight, but he’s a good example, no? let’s not have double standards. if you want do instigate muzzles for the WTA shriekers, get asking for muzzles for the ATP grunters too.

and let’s start treating the women of tennis with more respect too. when even tournament directors are talking about the attractiveness of upcoming women players – and not their games – then there are serious issues underlying the reception of these athletes.

because that’s what they are: athletes. just like the men.


Tennisfansince1976 Says:

there are some grunters among the men that is true. Nadal for one grunts loudly and often. It may have to do with women’s vocal apparatus being higher pitched than men’s. But I have to say no man comes close to sharapova. At the Australian open the commentators mentioned that they could hear her from where they sat. The stadium can be seen in the distance behind them. Now that is impressive that sharapova’ vocal cries could pierce the air of the stadium overwhelm the crowd noise and travel all the way through the air to the commentators’ speech. Who knows maybe meldonium has some sort of shriek enhancing effect as well.


Tennisfansince1976 Says:

@jane if there is to be no double standard then the whole matter must be measured objectively, scientifically. Perhaps along with hawk eye there should be a court side decibel meter. Set a certain level and if exceeded a warning, then point penalty etc.


Tennisfansince1976 Says:

@chrisford1 I don’t know if a player that tall can ever dominate tennis because it is not a matter of just speed. Just as crucial in tennis is changing direction. Plenty of tall guys have good speed, berry have comes to mind but changing directions quickly, smoothly and doing it point after point,set after set, match after match and tournament after tournament is the task. All the top guys have a good balance of power and movement.


jane Says:

lobovic shows up ;)


Margot Says:

Hey gals have a listen to this and laugh:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFSOk_THvDQ


jane Says:

tfs76, i am not opposed to some sort of scientific measuring or whatever. just merely pointing that there is noise on both sides, and there are times when i find the grunting in a men’s match just as annoying.


jane Says:

ha ha margot – precisely! ;)


Margot Says:

Or this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BH5r7tlPkiQ

Lol I swear there’s a cow giving birth somewhere on that court.


Tom Says:

And No1e off to a good start but impressed with Milos so far. This has to be tough as No1e has taken Raonic under his tutelage and trains with him in Monaco (and enjoys his company since they both speak Serbian). One day the master will pass the torch and Milos definitely has the tools. Can he put it all together to win the big tourneys?


jane Says:

novak has started rather well.


Tennisfansince1976 Says:

Milos will definitely win a masters 1000 just not today.


Tom Says:

Now I feel really bad for Milos. This No1e would pummeled Rafa yesterday even worse. He has come to play today probably knew to be ready for that 135 mph serves.


Margot Says:

Oo Nole’s come to play Milos broken twice so far.


chrisford1 Says:

tennisfansince1976 – A NBA center sized player could never outrally a 6 foot tall baseliner, but that is not the point. They won’t need to be able to d a 2 shot rally in order to compete. Really tall players are already pushing 160mph/260 kph with modern rackets and may go higher – besides speed, height also gives the enormous advantage of high angle of attack. Just as in baseball, when the mound had to be lowered, high angle of serve in tennis means the ball is even less time in any player’s ‘strike zone’.

Gals – I get our point, the men’s game is not ‘sonically’ clean. Nadal does grunt, but it’s usually linked to effort made hitting the ball hard. Venus doesnt shriek in practice session, but she will always shriek on a drop shot in a match. Even louder if she is behind. And Sharapova is the worst.
Bring on the dog muzzles for the worst offender women, it all ends in a month at the WTA. And sure, tell the men who grunt 25 decibels lower than the women they have to comply with the same noise rules. Rafa screeches 105 decibels on a net volley like Sharapova loves to do, Rafa wears a dog muzzle next 2 matches as a penalty.


J-Kath Says:

Under-statement Jane…..could even get worse…


Tom Says:

Ray Moore really stepped into it didn’t he? Chalk that up into the shouldn’t have made that public about the WTA. And he didn’t even mention No1e but made sure to mention Roger and Rafa carrying men’s tennis. Can’t keep ignoring the guy dominating tennis to bring back Roger and Rafa.


Giles Says:

Raonic is rubbish as I have said previously


jane Says:

no kidding tom. moore’s comments were idiotic all round.

not raonic’s best serving day but novak has been *all over* his 2nd serve thus far.

in his game novak’s making a few errors though.


BBB Says:

How can you be the CEO of a tournament and make those kinds of remarks? It feels like we’re in a 1950s time warp.


Giles Says:

It’s funny that the heat doesn’t affect joker anymore. I think he. needs a shot or two of gluten to slow him down. Tennis really has become very borrrrring indeed.


BBB Says:

Talking of big guys…. Raonic seems injured, and I do wonder if the big guys are more susceptible to those injuries, at least the ones like Raonic and Del Potro who try to rely on something other than serving bombs.


Van Persie Says:

Looks like the “real final” was played yesterday


Tom Says:

I think Moore being South African might have played into it. They just got Serena to finally come back after so many years and he does that? Smart man… sigh…

This match is over. No1e just dominating Milos and his 2nd serve has been atrocious. Maybe there is more to the injury.


Travis Bickle Says:

TV commenters just said this…

Take away all 6000 GS points he earned in 2015 and Novak still leads ATP ranking comfortably!
Another unreal historic achievement by Novak!


Van Persie Says:

Oh man, Nole is really mean….should not insist on baggeling Milos


Van Persie Says:

Congrats for the 27 Master, Nole, ;)


jane Says:

well, quite a day for novak. too bad milos couldnt make it more competitive but novak was too good today and milos couldnt get in enough firsts to make it tighter.

so a record is tied: 27 masters for novak and rafa. sheesh, good stuff.

commies to milos’ fans. but he’s been in a few 1000 finals now. i guess we’ll find out if he was sick or something (went off court between the 2 sets) after the match.

off to miami, where fed will be back. it’ll be interesting to see how he plays after surgery.


Vami Says:

I don’t think anything was wrong with Milos today, except nervousness due to facing the boss on the other side of the net.


Van Persie Says:

Congrats also to Milos for a great week


Margot Says:

Well played Nole indeedy. :)
Milos needs more “homework.”


Wog Boy Says:

Tennisfansince1976,

Nice to see your posts, they always make sense, agree about Milos and AO.
Haven’t seen today’s match, it looks like Nole was in the zone. Interesting thing is that when ever good servers face Nole their serve winning percentage drops dramatically, Tsonga, Milos and of course Roger…it must be something to do with Nole, they can’t all, just suddenly, have a bad in the office;)


Wog Boy Says:

Five IW titles, stands alone, no?


Wog Boy Says:

Talking about grunting, Ferrer sounds like he is chronically constipated.


RZ Says:

I thought on serve alone Raonic might have snuck out one set via tiebreak. Djokovic once again proves too good.


Dave Says:

What a victory. Nole was completely in the zone the whole match. He had a really good read on the Raonic serve all day. That was the kind of performance that gives you confidence that he will win for sure. He pulled it out in the final of a tournament as usual. This feels more like he won a bonus title, because I wasn’t expecting him to win or even make the finals after what I saw during davis cup with his shoulder bothering him and than the eye issue. So this was very unexpected for me. Maybe not for most people.


Dave Says:

Wog Boy,

5 Indian Wells titles does indeed put Novak Djokovic all alone at the top. That’s correct. Federer is 2nd with 4.


Dave Says:

Djokovic and Nadal are tied at the top for most masters 1000′s at 27. Federer is 2nd with 24.


Wog Boy Says:

Dave, isn’t IW called fifth slam? Just asking..


Dave Says:

Ya. It’s not officially a slam. But the players like to call it a 5th slam because it stands alone as the most special Masters 1000 tournament of the 9 masters 1000′s.


BBB Says:

In what’s becoming a pattern, Djokovic can play subpar tennis match after match and then suddenly deliver a stunning performance.

It’s an interesting contrast to Serena, who used to be able to do the same, but now it’s no longer so accessible. Evert did say awhile ago that it happens as you get older. You just can’t deliver on demand as you used to.


Daniel Says:

Wasn’t able to watch the match. Will check hoghlights latee. What a win for Novak. 30 Master by the end of the year, and hopefuly RG and another Slam😜

WB,

As far as I always knew, Miami was always considered the fifth Slam due to tennis tradition over there. This came as a hype buthe US during Pete and Andre’s time as they dominated it.

IW only grew in popularity last few years, specially after Laret Elison invested so much and facility wise is awesome.


mat4 Says:

Unfortunately, I couldn’t watch the match. Novak said in his interview that Milosh injured the same muscle as he did at the AO, and it was probably an important factor in his easy victory (that’s what I understood from his own words, although I don’t have to be right).

Anyway, the result is convincing, Novak won his 5th IW, his 27th MS1000, set a record and equalized another. Good day at the office.

Does anybody know if he leads now in prize money, career wise?


chrisford1 Says:

One reporter the other day had a very thought provoking bit. Noting that no one younger than Djokovic younger than he has won a Masters in any year Novak played for quite some time.. Now, not entirely fair to Nadal a year older or Andy only week older, but looking at the Masters winners – since Djokovic won in Miami in 2007, 80 Masters have been played.
No one younger than Novak has won a Masters in those events, in the last 9 years.


Wog Boy Says:

Thanks Dave, it’s good to know that he has five of those:)


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

Sorry, but I got bad news yesterday and I was in a terrible mood. Sorry. Then, while I avoid most of the time some topics on this blog — it just happens, from time to time.

Finally, with a broken heart I have to say kudos to the English team for winning the grand slam. We will certainly manage to get our revanche in 15 to 20 years, I guess, it has become hopeless lately. The only solution I can think of is to switch to synchronised swimming.


Wog Boy Says:

mat4,

Nole is still behind Roger in earnings, something around 7-8 hundred thousand dollars.


Wog Boy Says:

^^^ but if they adjust for inflation Roger is already ove 200 mill mark.


chrisford1 Says:

Mat4, good question. Djokovic got $1,028,300 for winning Indian Wells . He had ~96 million, now up to 97.2 million now. Federer is at 97.9 million. 1st to get 100 million will be in Euroclay season or the French Open. I’m betting it will be Djokovic that gets there 1st.
Of course, prize money is only a little chunk of what the top stars make. Federer will probably be the 1st tennis billionaire given you also add in ATP appearance fees, business and investment income, endorsements, exos.


Markus Says:

Djokovic continues to impress.

Just when you think your game is getting better, Novak comes around and shows you that there’s a lot more work to be done.


Wog Boy Says:

^^ over 100 mill mark


BBB Says:

Re the popularity of Indian Wells – IIRC, just before Larry Ellison stepped in they had trouble finding a sponsor and there was some danger that the tournament would move. So yes, it’s impressive how valuable the tournament is now.


skeezer Says:

People better start callng Nole “The Dominator”, cause that is what he is now. Congrats to all his “true” fans in Tennis X.


jane Says:

indeed skeezer… he’s been doing some great things! :)

thanks for the link mat4; hope you feel better soon.


Daniel Says:

Looking long term, Djoko will never be better than Nadal on clay or Roger and Sampras on grass, but he sure is on his way tone the better overall HC player. Sampras and Fed still are better fast HC players than him, but to me if he wins Cincy, 2 more USO and 1 more WTF he will be HC Goat with his other results. He has 8 HC Slams to Fed’s 9.

As for this year, if he keeps this pace he will be on top of Nadal on everything apart from Slam count (still has a possibility to tie him if he wins the next 3), he is 5 titles shy on total titles won Nadal has 67 to Djoko’s 62) and soon to be leader in masters title. Clay season will be vital for both this season.

Another detail, Djoko is yet to face a MP this season, his sole loss was due to a redeye retirement. He is 22-1 for the season with 3 titles, better than he was last year. Impressive consistence.


Wog Boy Says:

Daniel,

Nole has more major titles (GS, masters, WTFs) than Rafa, four short of Roger’s 47 major titles.

Top story: Djokovic Reaches SFs Stage At ATP Finals, Cilic Beats Isner; Federer-Anderson Rematch