Djokovic Continues Roll, Murray On Deck Monday In Miami Against Dimitrov
by Staff | March 28th, 2016, 12:31 am
  • 150 Comments

Novak Djokovic continued his Masters dominance Sunday evening easing past Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-1 in the third round at the Miami Open.

Djokovic, who has lost just once all season, is bidding for a sixth Miami title and third straight.

“[Sousa] made me play” Djokovic said. “He made me push myself harder in the second set because he was staying close to the baseline and picking up the balls very efficiently, which I wasn’t expecting. I thought he was going to be playing from back of the court a little bit more.

“He was taking time away from me, especially from the side he was playing with the wind. He’s a good player, he’s very talented, he’s very quick around the court; he served well. I started to read his serve better in the second and just didn’t give him enough rhythm to maneuver.”

Earlier in the day, a pair of Frenchmen advanced. Gilles Simon knocked out Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 and Richard Gasquet blew out fellow-Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-0.

Dominic Thiem and David Goffin also stayed in form cruising into the fourth round.

Thiem will now face Djokovic on Tuesday.

Tomas Berdych had a walkover in the last round, but today had his hands full in a tough 3-setter today with Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-7, 6-3.

In the match of the day, lucky loser Horacio Zeballos continued his magical run saving a matchpoint and fighting cramps to beat Fernando Verdasco 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(4).

“During the third set, all of a sudden I started thinking, ‘I hope she’s not nervous,” Zeballos told the AP in Spanish. “It was crazy for me to be having those thoughts during the match. I am having a great time here, but I also want the baby to be born already and experience that moment of becoming a father. Hoping she can hang on a few more days.”

In the late match, Lucas Pouille earned his first career Top 10 win saving a matchpoint in an upset victory over former finalist David Ferrer 6-7(1), 7-6(4), 7-5.

Monday will see the return of 2-time champion Andy Murray who takes on Grigor Dimitrov.

“It’ll be a tough one,” Murray said about facing the Bulgarian who he leads 6-2. “We played here once before; I managed to win that one. I played a bunch of tough matches against him. I think the last one was in Cincinnati where he had a match point. Had a bunch of chances to win that one and I managed to turn it around.

“I know I’ll need to play good tennis to beat him.”

Milos Raonic also challenges Jack Sock and Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Kei Nishikori are also in action.

MONDAY MIAMI SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 11:00 am
WTA – [3] A. Radwanska (POL) vs [19] T. Bacsinszky (SUI)

Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs [15] S. Kuznetsova (RUS)
ATP – [26] G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)
ATP – [16] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [23] P. Cuevas (URU)

Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP – [22] J. Sock (USA) vs [12] M. Raonic (CAN)

Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – T. Babos (HUN) vs [2] A. Kerber (GER)

GRANDSTAND start 10:50 am
ATP – [6] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs [27] A. Dolgopolov (UKR)
ATP – [17] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs [9] J. Tsonga (FRA)

Not Before 3:00 pm
WTA – [13] V. Azarenka (BLR) vs [4] G. Muguruza (ESP)
ATP – [Q] T. Smyczek (USA) vs [24] N. Kyrgios (AUS)

Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – [4] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs R. Bautista Agut (ESP) / V. Troicki (SRB)
ATP – D. Dzumhur (BIH) vs [Q] M. Kukushkin (KAZ)


You Might Like:
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Djokovic Continues To Dominate In Miami, Then Watches The Heat Do The Same; Sharapova, Ferrer Advance; Murray, Serena Monday
Let’s Watch Andy Murray Try To Style Grigor Dimitrov’s Hair [Video]
Teen Grigor Dimitrov Wins Bangkok Challenger, Tennis Stardom Awaits? [Video]
Watch Grigor Dimitrov Absolutely Destroy His Racquet [Video]

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150 Comments for Djokovic Continues Roll, Murray On Deck Monday In Miami Against Dimitrov

Vami Says:

Verdasco didn’t come to the net to congratulate Zeballos who had to go to Verdasco’s chair to receive a cold handshake. The crowed was booing Verdasco as he was leaving the court.


Giles Says:

There is an expression, just in case some ignoramuses are unaware thereof, two wrongs don’t make a right.


George Says:

@Giles: As you seem to be an expert in regions, would you assess that what Verdasco has done is anyway to be expected from a Spaniard.


Giles Says:

George. Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit is all I have to say to you.


Van Persie Says:

There is a nice racist guy on this site who might need a good German shower. Just saying


RZ Says:

I noticed that Zeballos shook the chair ump’s hand first, and then went over to Verdasco. I guess it is because he was already up at the net, but perhaps he broke some sort of unspoken etiquette rule, so Verdasco went to his chair instead? (I’m not arguing that Verdasco should have walked up to the net and properly shook Zeballos’s hand; just wondering if there was an etiquette breach – minor as it would be)


George Says:

@Giles: The full quote us “Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but the highest form of intelligence” (Oscar Wilde). I am sure that you are a decent man who already regretted using stereotypes. I am confident that you acknowledge that unsporting behaviour is not confined to specific regions.


Giles Says:

George. You sound like a cranky old man. Maybe you should take the dog out for walkies and get some fresh air.


Vami Says:

@RZ
I watched the match. Zeballos shook chair ump’s hand first because Verdasco went straight to his chair to see the hawk eye.


MMT Says:

Verdasco has a history of dodgy behavior: against Richard Gasquet in Niece in 2010, after losing to Raonic in San Jose and Memphis in 2011, and last year his comments about Rublev just smacked of sour grapes.

I find his disposition to be rather poor generally, and he also appears to be less than enthusiastic when shaking hands after he loses, which is not the end of the world, but not nice to see.


Daniel Says:

Lookig at the deaw another great opening for Raonic to make at least semis. Him and Kyrgios could play Quarters and semis to face Murray and a place in the final agaisnt Djoko.

Djoko’s draw has only Berdy now in Quarters. Pretty safe to finals. Can’t see him losing to Thiem, nor Berdy nor Goffin/Simon in semis. Berdy is the only one who serve fore power but even so doesn’t beat Novak in quite a while. The other are stable from the back courr but can’t reaalt hurt Novak, unless he has a very bad day. And Djoko can make finala yet again not needing to play his best and save it to face Murray, Raonic or Kyrgios in finals.


Vami Says:

Jo played a horrible TB. Sometimes his mind is just not there. BA deserved to win.


FedExpress Says:

Serena going the rafa way now.

since her loss to vinci she looks done


FedExpress Says:

sveta doing a heather watson now…choking


BBB Says:

I’d be interested in what people think about Serena’s coach. He was good about getting her motivated when she was in a slump, but I wonder if he’s outlived his usefulness.


Wog Boy Says:

Her downfall started when Sascha Bajin left her for Vika and Vika’s rise started when Sascha joined her team…Sascha has something that motivates ladies…ahh those Serbs…hitting partners..


RZ Says:

@BBB – I think he’s still useful to Serena. She’s still had a successful first quarter of 2016 – finalist in Australia and Indian Wells, out in Miami to a former #1 player who can get hot on occasion. It’s just that her 2015 standard was so ridiculously high that it makes it seem that 2016 has been a failure so far.


MMT Says:

I believe Mouratoglou is well respected, but aside from Serena, I don’t believe he’s had a lot of success as a coach. That’s not to say he hasn’t done a great job with Serena, but I’m wondering how much of this is a personal relationship, and how much is this x’s and o’s, as we say in the US. The Rolling Stone article (where she slagged Dimitrov and Sharapova) did have some interesting tidbits about balance, footwork and fitness, but not much else.


J-Kath Says:

Looks like J. Konta will win in 2 straight sets. Hope I haven’t jinxed her.


George Says:

@Wog Boy: There is indeed something in Serbs. They are very successful.


Ben Pronin Says:

Sascha Bajin left Serena just about a year ago. She went on to win Miami, the French, Wimbledon, and Cincy. I wouldn’t call that a decline by Serena’s standards at all.


Wog Boy Says:

It takes time for reality to hit in, but when it hits in ..well it hits in, meanwhile you are running on leftovers from the past, so you still can go for a certain period.

They were inseparable for years, they lived together in the same house, I don’t suggest it was any hanky panky things, but after seeing this who knows:

http://youtu.be/lUvQGIPa4y8


Wog Boy Says:

George,

It must be those Balkan mountains and the air.


Wog Boy Says:

Patrick Mouratoglou is good for carrying her bags.


Okiegal Says:

I want to carry Rafa’s bags and take his blood pressure…….


courbon Says:

Dear Oki, the way Rafa is doing lately, your wish may come true-He will end up playing regional tournaments in Oklahoma…


Wog Boy Says:

^^ “e jesi kvaran Francuz, jos se smejem:)”


Wog Boy Says:

Okie, I prefer whem man takes my blood pressure, it is always lower..


BBB Says:

LOL Wog Boy. I was married to a Serb.

I share your view that something’s missing since Sasha left, and also that his absence probably didn’t make a material difference to her until she started a new slump.

MMT – that’s kind of my impression. He’s been good for the gestalt, but not necessarily xs and os. I just wonder if it’s time for her to think about someone else.

Ben – What troubles me isn’t how far she’s getting in tournaments now, but how she seems psychologically and physically in those tournaments – in which case it’s hard to see how she’s going to get herself back on an upward trajectory.

I want her to catch Graf, not because I don’t like Graf (I do), but because I think her numbers are inflated by Seles getting stabbed.


Wog Boy Says:

“LOL Wog Boy. I was married to a Serb.”

BBB, I hope you don’t hate us because of that..:)


BBB Says:

Wog Boy, quite the opposite!


Daniel Says:

Damn, Murray lost 3rd round after 2nd round loss in IW. Looks like fatherhood was not goof for his tennis.

Big opening in bottom half now after Tsonga out as well, chance for Kei, Raonic or Kyrgios.

A bunch of top 10 put in 2 rounds, only Djoko, Kei, Berdych and Gasquet left.

Tennos has a bog void separating Djoko from everybody else. At least the 2 to 10 rabking will be more competitve and shifting positions a lot this year becaise nobody is touching Novak anytime soon. Safe for 200 plus weeks at number 1 mid year.


RZ Says:

Sad to see Murray go out, especially to Dmitrov.

Does that make Nishikori the favorite to get to the final from the bottom half?


J-Kath Says:

Oh Andy…and you were ahead. You need to book a meeting with yourself in front of a mirror.


Okiegal Says:

@courbon 4:34…….That would be great for me…I would not have to fly!!! But not good for Rafa……..he is certainly having his problems atm….I am hoping something good happens soon, but it is looking very dismal for my guy…….Oh well, Rafa fans have weathered many storms….I am getting used to it!! There are a lot of players that would love the career he’s had. So when it comes to a halt, he will still go down in the history of tennis as being one of the all time greats……..


Okiegal Says:

@Wog Boy 4:43…..I prefer men to take mine too!! LOL


Wog Boy Says:

This could be one of those Andy’s walkabouts after big (GS) losses that he use to have, not necessarily connected with fatherhood.

On another note, I haven’t seen any of Serena’s matches, but was following stats and her serving stas were bad for her standards and if her return game wasn’t up to scratch than she can’t win the matches.


Wog Boy Says:

Oki,

Me too, for the oposite reason..


Wog Boy Says:

Daniel, Nole is safe at #1 until USO, even if he doesn’t play one single match until then, but that is not the point, the point is to win that missing link if he can:)


AndyMira Says:

To RZ,J-Kath,Margot,CDP..sorry for andy’s loss..


Lodhi Says:

Open letter to Federer:

I’m super angry at you, Fed ! Skeezer was not watching tennis precisely because tennis was boring without him. But, after a hiatus, Fed decides to play in Miami, and finally skeez is excited about tennis, and then, just when everybody was full of anticipation, he pulls out. And since then skeez hasn’t commented on tennis-x.

Come on Fed. This is not nice.


Kimberly Says:

My Daily Report:

We arrived on time for the Radwanka game, the kids watched while I stayed in the patron lounge dealing with some work issues. Suddenly it seemed in the beginning so set 2 Bacsinsky came alive. When in set 1 it clearly seemed like she was going to be lucky to get games because Radwanska just too good. And she was really really good. With that said, the Radwanksa second serve is consistently in the 60s.

Next was Serena. And after a good start it was sloppy. She looked to me like again the heat and mugginess were getting to her. It is hard to explain how thick the conditions are. But then I left to go watch the Bautista-Agut/Tsonga and Muguerza/Azarenka.

Muguereza/Azarenka was a super match. Mugueruza was pushing Vika deep in the court with her powerful groundstrokes,so azarenka could not play inside the baseline like she likes to and bully people around. Using deep powerful crosscourt shots to open up the line for flat out winners. But Azarenka no slouch and turned her defensive skills on right until she found the opening and then she took it. But this was a super high quality affair. Could hear that Serena Williams lost from fair away, announced on the stadium. But then I left after set 1 to go watch Murray.

Murray was not at his best at all. it seemed like he was not making the tacticial decisions he usually dues. He did not exploit dimtorov backhand and did not use the court particularly well. And surprisingly it did seem that Murray was suffering in the conditions.

Then I left.

I can tell you as a tennis player that plays two hours a day at least every day even if you got here early the conditions changed so dramatically over the last week. From crisp air the humidity is so heavy that it can cause the legs to feel heavy. I played at 8 am this morning and had to change my top twice. And two weeks ago I played a three hour league singles match and drove home without changing. I never get tired and after an hour I am breathing. So I imagine in translates to the top level of the game. And the only way to be fit for the heat is to train in the heat. If the heat has not been here for 5 months it takes your body time to re-acclimate, just like it will take you a few days to adjust to altitude when you go skiing etc.

my ten cents.


Markus Says:

I enjoy this Kimberly reports. They give good insights about the players and the conditions in a very relatable manner. Thanks and hopefully the conditions will get better so you can enjoy the tournament better.


skeezer Says:

“And the only way to be fit for the heat is to train in the heat.”
Thank you Kimberly! True dat.


mat4 Says:

Thanks, Kimberly. Great insights. I enjoy your reports.


Wog Boy Says:

Kimberly,

How fo you explain that women are doing better in the heat then man? Two days ago four man retired and no woman.

Another thing, Nole, Grigor, Thiem, Frenchies and lot of others are coming from cold mountain countries and don’t practice in heat and humidity yet they are doing better then people who live and practice in those conditions, Rafa, Andy, even Roger does his training blocks in Dubai. I am not ready to blame heat and humidity solely, but entire preparing and practicing strategy. Miami has been played for the years and the conditions are nothing new for the players. Melbourne conditions are worst occasionally, while Miami was under 30 degrees every day, Melbourne easily goes close and even over 40 degrees with fair bit of humidity too.


chrisford1 Says:

Should Djokovic be fortunate enough to win, with Andy dropping 400+ points, I believe Novak “laps the field”. I’m not sure even Federer has done that , back in 2004-06. Quite possibly.

Kimberly – Thanks for the on-the-scene reporting. Maybe next year T-X will give you some ‘stringer reporter’ credentials. Sure won’t open doors like a pres pass from ESPN or SI would, but it might get Fed to deign to sign your son’s Rafa hat, at least. Maybe ask Sean Randall if he is interested in a guest article or two. If you have the plans, time and can afford to attend other N America or overseas tournaments – write him about if he has any interest in this, this year!

Assuming you do yourself….

But your posts and your writing style – nice to read.


Wog Boy Says:

Jesus, I just can’t get to the point. The point was, conditions are same for all, blaming conditions takes the credit from the winning players.


Daniel Says:

WB, itgibk is just amatter of time for Djokoin RG. If Murrayand Wawa jeep playlng they way they are and Djoko beat Nadal again on clay than French will be his. He never got antthing easy in his career so his first RG will be after last years disapointments to make it even sweater. #12 and Djoko Slam is coming soon.

Hope to win the lotery by then and be able to watch history live.


Wog Boy Says:

Daniel, maybe Courbon can organize some cheap accommodation for you in Paris, but I would be careful with him, you might have to share the room with some of his dodgy (girl)friends;)
mat4 is the safer bet..


Kimberly Says:

Wog Boy, I disagree “blaming the conditions” takes credit away from the winning playing. I am usually the player who wins because of the conditions, I get tons of people retire against me. To me, being able to maintain high energy in extreme conditions is an asset just like a forehand or a backhand of a serve. SO credit to the winning playing for being fit enough to manage the conditions.

Also I think women are generally fitter in a lot of ways then men, BUT the mens game is so much faster that it takes more energy. Perhaps that is why there is a discrepancy.


Wog Boy Says:

Kimberly I understan what are you talking about, I am the person who can’t handle hot and humid, I simply don’t function in those conditions and yet I ended up in Australia, I should’ve picked Canada instead.
What I am saying is if Rafa, who was born, lives and practice in similar conditions and played and won hundreds of matches in those conditions suddenly can’t handle them, what about young dude on the other side of the net, particularly Dzumhur who was born, lives and practice in Sarajevo where when the snow falls in November doesn’t go away until March and might even come back in May. By accepting excuse that Rafa lost due the weather conditions we are taking the credit from the player that won fairly and squarely even Rafa retired.


mat4 Says:

@WB:

I just asked the same question to Yolita: how did Novak win Miami five times, when he wilts usually in the heat in many other places.

I grew up in the Alps, where humidity is intense but where summers are very mild. I found it easier to suffer the harsh, hot but dry continental sun than the Mediterranean climate of the French South.

Finally, enough with those rural legends about hitting Serbs…


Wog Boy Says:

I am the same mat4, I can handle hot and dry, but not hot and humid.

I don’t know what you meant under “hitting Serbs”, but you are wrong, they are urban legends and not rural..


Kimberly Says:

His endless retrieving game in the conditions forced Rafa to retire. He won. I was at the match.

I played a match against a big hitting guy over the summer. 4pm. 95 degrees. Humid as can be He was up 6-0 1-0 when I forced a brutal 30 ball rally. I then proceeded to win the second set 6-1. He quit playing and the staff got him an ice pack and Gatorade etc but he was done. He stayed home from work the next day! If it was cooler he might have continued to bully me with big shots but it wasn’t. Did I win by default. Not in my book. Cant handle the heat get out of the kitchen. Being able to play in the heat, especially if you live and play tennis in Florida, is a huge huge asset.


mat4 Says:

@WB:

It’s everybody’s case. When it’s humid, there’s not enough evaporation, a the body just can’t cool off.

And no, I don’t believe Serena is declining especially. Last year, too, she didn’t won a lot outside of slams.


Kimberly Says:

^^^^^^^
and this was on clay

the hard courts at Crandon are brighter and hotter and with the sun reflecting well over 100.


Skeezer Says:

@9:19 post. Boom! Exactiy, tell em.
Too many posters here think they know tennis by watching TV and reading stats and quotes on the internet. Yeah, right.
Get up, get out, grab a raqcuet and experience the joy of tennis.
(Kimberly I am only taking you on in 65F degree – 45% humidity 😁🎾)


jane Says:

thanks for the live reports kimberly: really enjoying those.


Kimberly Says:

Enjoy giving the live reports.


anki Says:

Didn’t expect Murray to go out soon. This means he is back to #3 in the rankings? Also, hope Novak doesn’t burn himself out like last year. He should focus mainly on RG this time around.


Wog Boy Says:

@anki,

Andy is staying #2, with around 200 points ahead of Roger.


Skeezer Says:

Thanks Kimberly!


chrisford1 Says:

Anki said – ” Also, hope Novak doesn’t burn himself out like last year”.

Maybe you meant 2011.
Novak scheduled 2015 brilliantly with no dropoff from his abbreviated Doha warmup tournament to getting the year end Championship.
This year, he seems to be taking on more. Not skipping Madrid. Added Davis Cup play and Olympics singles and doubles.
More than he did in 2011
The difference, or what I hope will be the difference is that he is playing to win, not spending extra energy to dazzle, except when he feels like it or has to turn on the afterburners against a top foe.


Okiegal Says:

Sorry to Andy fans…..I couldn’t get it to come though on my PC……Who will be in the finals with Novak since we have a weird turn of events with the other four under Novak out??


J-Kath Says:

Okie + AndyM….Thank U for your commiserations but today I’m not an Andy Murray fan, I’ll have a meeting with myself tomorrow and debate the matter.


AndyMira Says:

Aww..come on JK..give him a break..everyone has an ups and down..and i mean everyone..roger,rafa,wawa,serena..all of them is no small name Jk..sometimes things like this happened..that doesn’t mean it will go on forever..the season is still long..give him time..besides did you forget how he bedazzled us in DV a while ago..he’s amazing,right?And that andy will come back to us..soon..


Markus Says:

Murray has more downs than ups that it has become very frustrating to keep on rooting for him. For me, that frustration has turned into exasperation so I have given up on him. At least he had Wimbledon, US Open and an Olympic gold. Those are his highlights and realistically, I don’t think anymore will come. It is not because there’s Djokovic but for somebody with so much physical talent, his losses are mostly his own fault.


AndyMira Says:

I know and i understand how you feel markus but we’ve seen him at his best when he won Wimby,USO and olympic..can you imagine how enormous pressure he had to shouldered at that time?and yet he thrived..and who’s to say that he won’t do it one more time..as long as he’s healthy and still can chase the ball..that’s a good enough reason for us to still believe in him..


Margot Says:

@Markus and AndyMira
I’ll always root for Andy but gotta say my expectations are getting
lower and

lower and

lower……and


J-Kath Says:

AndyM – Appreciate you mean well but ….. You are reading too much into what I said.


AndyMira Says:

Jk..i’m sorry i’m a little bit slow..but are you saying you still love andy?and not willing to divorce him yet?and what about meeting with yourself tomorrow?I’m confused here..


AndyMira Says:

@Margot..that’s okay..we give him some time..somehow i feel that he can still give us much more..he’s only 28 and healthy and who knows he can turn around things like stan did at the age of 29..in tennis things can turn 360 degrees in just one night..let’s hope together..and if i’m right you have to buy me dinner margot dear..


J-Kath Says:

AndyMira…my early statement was tongue in cheek.


AndyMira Says:

@JK..oh..okay..


Giles Says:

Looks like joker will be in the winner’s enclosure on Sunday.
Toooo borrrrring.
Lucky me I shan’t be watching.


Margot Says:

If you are right AndyMira honey, you will get a huge bunch of flowers and a big box of choccies and dinner!
Re what Kath said, it’s like giving yourself a good talking to, especially if you’re being a silly billy….;)


Okiegal Says:

@J-Kath…..I know what you mean about Andy. It can really be frustrating having a favorite player to support. As a fan we know what they are capable of doing on the tennis court and then for them to have days where they play so poorly and lose to a low ranked player. You, Margot, GL and myself are in a very bad place atm regarding our favs……I was so sorry he lost. GL is right, Novak is so above everyone else. Is there even anyone out there that can rise to the occasion and at least give him a little competition? I seriously doubt it. His loyal fans are relishing in his successes and rightfully so. This is a great time for them. Am I a wee bit jealous?? Heck yeah! Rafael has had a better career than most so I need to be happy about that and move on!!


AndyMira Says:

@margot..i will hold your promise..when the time comes don’t you dare hide behind your sofa..you hear!yee haa..


RZ Says:

I could easily write off Andy’s loss in Indian Wells, as he never plays well there. But this loss in Miami is disappointing, especially as he never won another game after being up 3-1 in the 3rd. Maybe he is sleeping in the same bedroom as baby Sophia and has disturbed sleep?

Let’s hope Andy does well on the clay. He needs to do fairly well the first couple of tournaments to keep his #2 seed at the FO.


Okiegal Says:

@Margot….love the silly Billy remark! I am just that when it comes to tennis and Rafael. It oily s silly to get all wrapped up in tennis turmoil…..and not good for the old ticker! Seriously, I am sorry about Andy…..since he too is out, so am I….All my hopes dashed!! On to clay and my expectations there are no better……sigh……..lol


Okiegal Says:

^^^^^my spell check put oily where it should say it is…..my fat fingers are the culprit really, but like to blame my Kindle Fire……lol


J-Kath Says:

Okiegal

I was so impressed by Nole recently that I predicted his inclusion on the periodic table (“Nolesteinium” — a bit of Einstein)….just a joke with a wee bit of WOW in it).

After all it’s his rubbery, bendy ability that is so amazing – don’t know that “rubber” has an atomic number – but who cares….

As for Andy…you won’t believe what I believe he will be able to do…keeping it quiet for a while.

Excuse all this blethering


jane Says:

hmm, is novak so high above everyone else, or are some of the others just temporarily floundering? maybe it’s 6 and one half dozen…

but the truth is that fed withdrew, rafa retired, stan hardly tried, and andy – by his own account – imploded. so it’s not necessarily that novak is so “far apart” from others, it’s that these other players aren’t playing as well as expected. andy, for example, was a finalist last year in miami and had spoken highly of his own chances here. so that’s why people are disappointed, quite rightfully .

as tennis vagabond notes on the other thread, kei, theim, la monf, dimitrov, and milos are all still in it, so it’ll still be interesting to see what happens. thiem is a particularly intriguing prospect to watch. if he takes out novak (hard to say what the likelihood of this is… 40-60? less? haven’t watched enough to know), it opens up the field for new opportunities: guys that have never won a masters could finally break through.


RZ Says:

@AndyMira and Margot – I will arrange to send a bottle of champagne to your dinner table! :-)


RZ Says:

@Jane – the problem for these contenders is that most of them get hot for a short while, but against Novak they would have to be hot for the entire match. I could see Monfils getting to a final and come out firing, and then receding after a set of that, or Nishikori or Raonic starting strong, but then getting injured halfway through.


AndyMira Says:

@RZ..he!he!he!..fuuunnnyyy!


AndyMira Says:

@RZ..if andy win something in the future..i wonder whether you’re still this funny..


Okiegal Says:

@Jane 11:19……Who are you trying kid? No disrespect intended to you concerning your comment, but Novak is too far ahead of the pack….16,000 points plus says so……wow, just wow!!! I just don’t see anyone out there who is coming close to his level of play….Milos couldn’t cut the mustard, but of course Novak’s win had an asterisk beside it since his opponent had an injury…….just kidding! But really, Novak’s career is OTT ATM and has been for along time now. He is getting older too but keeps pouring it on…..how is he doing this at his age? Amazing! I used to wonder how Fed was able to play w/o being injury plagued and now I am wondering about Novak…..lucky ducky!!


RZ Says:

@AndyMira – that hurts! I’m always funny. :-) And if Andy wins something big I’ll be laughing a lot.


Margot Says:

Booking it RZ.
Gee whizz, you gotta laugh, cos if you don’t….


AndyMira Says:

@RZ..you’re not only funny but also warm,nice and one of the most friendly posters here..and i like you a lot..there..and i hope very much andy will win something in the not too distant future..masters 1000 is okay for a start and then wimby..because i want to see you,margot dear,JK,CDP and markus bawling with tears for ever doubting andy..


RZ Says:

Aww shucks AndyMira (blushing…)
You are also one of the most friendly posters here.


AndyMira Says:

Aww RZ..you!!..but be careful..margot might beat you with her umbrella..he!he!


J-Kath Says:

Go fly a kite AndyM.


chrisford1 Says:

Jane – “hmm, is novak so high above everyone else, or are some of the others just temporarily floundering? maybe it’s 6 and one half dozen.”

———-
I think it is a combination. Djokovic is getting better on several counts on and off court late 2013 onwards and he was already better than the pack before that.
Plus, his foes are:

(1) in natural decline with age – Fed, Rafa, Jo Tsonga, with Novak regularly beating the 3 in their late prime years, anyways.
(2) Injury plagued – Delpo obviously,Kei, Milos,and add Rafa’s back and knees to Rafa’s other issues.
(3) Just pure regression – Andy. (though he got better on clay and won Davis Cup post Lendl, and has had some big semis and finals against Djokovic – he keeps losing them). Andy is mentally weaker. Add Cilic and Dimitrov as co-regressees
(4)Can beat Nole with a power game, but never consistent enough to threaten. Stan. Servebots Anderson, Isner, and Dr Ivo.
(5) All the young guns. Who’s to say? But I think most will go the way of Jerzy Janowicz. Some are too early in development to know yet. Milos alone is ready I think to win a Masters or Slam. But the Canadian moose will never be a #1, I think. Injuries….

[Novak has really taken to yoga in the last 5 years. He was stretching and meditating before then, but now is combining both in a yoga skills progression program. Focusing on new stretching areas (lower back, shoulders) since he is serving harder now. Enthusiastic about it as another layer of protection against injuries, and it helping center his energy, give harmony and other New Agey stuff]


AndyMira Says:

But JK,it’s in the middle of the night here..2 am precisely..


Green Lady Says:

CF1 Sounds like you eat, sleep, breath, Novak Djokovic, to the very core of his being, you know so much about him lol….

And no offence BTW ….


Green Lady Says:

Okie completely agree, with your post at 12.43 pm, and no disrespect to Jane either ….


Green Lady Says:

AndyMira i dont always reply to your posts, but agree with J-Kath, they are always thoughtful and very fair minded ….


Green Lady Says:

Sorry shouldve been RZ ….


AndyMira Says:

That’s alright GL..


RZ Says:

Thanks GL


Markus Says:

CF1: Agree with everything you said @2:05 except for Tsonga. I would not put him in # 1 with Federer and Nadal because he never really reached any great level so he did not really decline, just an even so-so level. I would put him in # 3 on the mentally weak aspect, not regression for the same reason I said above. Of the young guns, Borna Coric has stagnated and is really simply fizzling away. He has not done anything worth a look since he beat Nadal a long time ago.


chrisford1 Says:

Gypsy/Green – I follow Novak on Facebook which links his Twitter traffic and recent articles. He is an interesting guy, and his self improvement thing is worth a look, IMO – even if you are not a fan or past he age where it will do any good in any sports competition.
So you see the Yoga tweets from him, plus the Indian media is very affectionate to Djokovic with his success and respect towards India, it’s culture and people – so they have run articles on his interactions with Bollywood stars, visits, cuisine ideas, and of course what he is seeking from yoga every day.

And towards the end of last year, there was a long UK article on what he does to stay healthy and avoid injury, what routines he thinks will also help prolong is career. Things discussed – Yoga, diet, staying strong but light, low impact cardiovascular inc. biking, his skiing background helping shift the energy & shock of stops and starts to friction heat and clay instead of his joints.

Lots of people here know quite a bit about Djokovic…much more than me in many areas…though I have been a fan since 2007. Mat4, Daniel, Wog Boy, Jane, Yolita among others..


Markus Says:

Djokovic’s realistic rivals at around this time should have been Nadal and Del Potro. They have the physical and mental abilities to give him good competition but unfortunately physical injuries did those two guys in.


Green Lady Says:

Markus and Murray too till after the surgery, Nadal was for a while, Delpo never was, Stan when hes on has the game to trouble Novak, but he aint consistent enough ….


Green Lady Says:

Chris Ford1 fair enough, but it all seems a bit extreme sometimes ….


chrisford1 Says:

Markus – Yep when I put Tsonga in with Nadal and Fed – clearly, one of the 3 does not belong with the other two. I added Jo because when he was zoning, he was dangerous to all. Not anymore. I think Rogers Cup 2014 was his last hurrah. And you’re right – he is mentally weak. So obvious I overlooked adding him.
Coric hasn’t done squat recently, but he is young. But that “he’s young, she’s young, plenty of time” grace we give developing players is actually a pretty small window. You say Dogopolov just needs time to work on a few weaknesses and get his health better and he’s only 22…..And next thing you know he’s 27, hasn’t done much, and you realize he’s not going to ever win anything big. No dig on the Dog. Just the common fate of most young guns.


Markus Says:

Green Gypsy, Murray with Lendl was a contender. He was Andy’s mental crutch. That’s gone now and I think the mental aspect of the game is hard to recover especially as the body stars to decline. Federer has remained relevant because he never lost his mental fortitude (except against Nadal before) Nadal’s physical decline is simply too much for his mind to overcome. With Djokovic’s assault on his game, Nadal knows he needs to be 100% physically to keep up. Knowing that he is at a physical disadvantage can affect your psyche.


Markus Says:

Oops! Sorry Green Lady for my slip of the mind. I guess I miss you former moniker with its air of mystery and haughtiness.


Green Lady Says:

Markus lol, you call me the Green Gypsy, and CF1 calls me Gypsy Green, im the Green Lady, but anyway i dont mind, but anyway the rest of your post i agree with the rest of your post,and its extremely frustrating for me as both a Nadal and Murray fan ….


jane Says:

cf1, “I think it is a combination” – yes and this is what i meant when i said “maybe it’s 6 and one half dozen…”

novak is obviously playing well – and being consistent, but the others, esp his main competition, are very inconsistent so far this season.


Green Lady Says:

Markus thankyou err i think ? ….


Green Lady Says:

Meant to put a smilie on the end ;)) ….


Green Lady Says:

^What was it Markus, some model on a catwalk, with big thighs and Six kids in tow,that you once pictured about me ? lol ….^


mat4 Says:

I missed the match but for the last game.

But if it was an indicator, we have found a new Wawrinka — but better, I guess. Thiem has the power to win RG, or on any slower surface.

I guess we will see Raonic and Thiem top 5 at the end of the year.


Markus Says:

What an outstanding and astounding match that was! Djokovic was unfllappable saving breakpoint after breakpoint. Thiem just distinguised himself from the rest of the players in his generation.


George Says:

Thiem was incredible and yet it was not enough. It was not even close to be enough. I have no words to describe how good Djokovic is.


Markus Says:

Green Lady, that was before. Now, I picture you as that friendly lady with callous hands, sunburnt skin and a nice smile in the farmers’ market. :-)


Markus Says:

Green Lady, about Nadal and Murray, at least Nadal have made a very big mark in the tennis world. His place cannot be denied and it’s at the top, not alone, but with the greatests. Murray is a lot more frustrating. But then again, he will be remembered as the best from Scotland, or United Kingdom.


Vami Says:

Dominic was great but Novak was off; this match may not be the best indicator of what is coming. Against Milos in IW Novak was on and Milos didn’t look any good at all although realistically he has more tools than Dominic to hurt the top dogs.

The only break out of 15 chances that Dominic got was on Novak’s double fault.


BBB Says:

Novak is stronger in big points than the others. We saw it again today. He can afford to keep his game in a lower gear because of it; he can then (usually) ramp it up depending on who he’s playing and how important the point is. So to me it looks as though he’s not quite as great as he really is.

Nadal is perhaps the polar opposite, playing at a very high physical level so consistently that his body is now betraying him.


mat4 Says:

Just seen the stats. Novak needs an evening match, and fast, otherwise it will be Cincy all over again, when he was just without energy for the final (he played Stan and 11 am there…).

Although he plays better in high humidity than he did, he can’t afford lack of energy against Berdych, or any one left.

I watched a set of Kyrgios today. Under the conditions, don’t know what to think about his game, except that he has worked his second serve return.


mat4 Says:

The body is always a problem, but in Rafa’s case, it’s the mostly mind. He still has the shots, and he can adapt.


jane Says:

i’m so disappointed i couldn’t watch novak vs. thiem… i really wanted to. : /


Vami Says:

@Jane
The match was very competitive and entertaining; especially the first set was at a very high level.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

I missed it too. But, from I have seen, it wasn’t good for the nerves. So… HL will be OK?


BBB Says:

mat4, I hope you’re right, but the commentators keep saying he’s smaller than he used to be, and there seems to be less weight behind his shots.


Dave Says:

Thiem a more athletic, mentally stronger more consistent, never give up like Rafa version of Wawrinka. This guy is going to be scary good. Seeing all of his matches in Acapulco close up was great. He is still young for sure. But this guy is going to be scary good. Nole showed a lot of emotion today for a reason. He doesn’t take Thiem lightly. He knows that he is going to be one of his challengers. Especially on the slower hard courts and clay courts. Nole wasn’t that off today in my opinion. Thiem made Nole hit with more pace than he normally likes to, because if he didn’t Thiem was making him pay with his power of the ground. So forcing Nole to hit with more pace was what was taking him out of his comfort zone, which in turn forced the errors. This was a hard fought win and I have to give Thiem credit that he pushed Nole today.


Dave Says:

I watched the whole match today and it was a lot closer than the score showed. I don’t know if I have ever seen Nole win a match 6-3 6-4 and still only win 7 more points for the match. Thiem was like 1 for 15 on break chances. He was in way more of Nole’s service games than Nole was in his. Also, 65 to 75 percent of the match was Nole fighting for his life to hold serve.


Vami Says:

@Dave
Have you seen Novak’s stats? He had more double faults (9) than winners.


chrisford1 Says:

George Says:
Thiem was incredible and yet it was not enough. It was not even close to be enough. I have no words to describe how good Djokovic is.

============
Overall yes no doubt. Saving 14 of 15 break points in only two sets is astounding. But what got him in that jam was Novak was Mr. Stinky Le Puu-Poo on his serve.
He’s gonna be working on that serve before he plays Berdych. He’d better.
And my first view of Thiem playing a great player in his prime. Welcome, Dominic – the Top 10 awaits your arrival shortly.


Dave Says:

Watching the match, Nole had a lot of forced errors that won him most of his points that don’t count as winners. There were a lot of good rallies in the match. Hard hitting, intense rallies. It was a much better match than the stats showed. Like I said before, the stats don’t tell you very much about the match.


mat4 Says:

@BBB:

Even the commentators started alluding… (do I sound like the gendarme in “Allo, allo?”)

He still has enough game to adapt and start winning again. His DR is still among the best, and that’s the key stat overall.


Dave Says:

One of the turning points of the match was at 4 to 3 or 5 to 4 in the first set. Nole was serving and it was break point Thiem. He had an open court and hit a backhand down the line. It was called in. Nole challenged, but wasn’t confident in the challenge, as he was sitting in his chair already. When it was called out, it went back to deuce instead of being on serve again. All the momentum was with Thiem up to that point.


Wog Boy Says:

If you make nine DF in two sets that’s not good serving day, is Nole back to 2010 serving motion when he was DFs champion.


Wog Boy Says:

To be honest I thought Nole was gone, last result I saw on flashscore was when Nole was serving for the match, had match point and then the result on the screen went to 5:5, I though Thiem broke back. After Two hours I checked result, it was 6:4 second set, so flashscore made mistake I presume.


BBB Says:

mat4 – I heard both Navratilova and McEnroe say it, which surprised me.

Brain cramp – what does DR stand for?


Wog Boy Says:

Double Rainbow, but I don’t know what double rainbow means??


skeezer Says:

“To be honest I thought Nole was gone..”
Can it get anymore dramatic from Nole fanatics this tournament? The comments are laughable.
Look, get real, no one is left to challenge Nole, he is a huge shoo in. All he is doing is toying with the field, making more drama than needed. Book it and enjoy. Yawn.


Dave Says:

Wog Boy,

Nole didn’t play that bad. I watched the whole match. Thiem just matched Nole’s level and even outplayed him at times. Nole was just better in the important points, as always. Thiem is not intimidated by Djokovic. He will challenge him soon. This match will only give him confidence that he can beat him. Like I said before, Novak doesn’t like it when someone can over power him on the baseline, like Wawrinka on fire does to him. It gets him out of his comfort zone and forces him to hit with more pace so that he doesn’t get overpowered so much. This forces errors from Novak. Thiem definitely watched some tape of the Wawrinka vs Novak Grand slam matches.


Dave Says:

Wog Boy,

Double rainbow is hilarious. I laughed so hard the first time I saw this video 6 years ago. Here is the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQSNhk5ICTI


Margot Says:

BBB @7.37
Very astute point about Nole, and Rafa too come to that.


Wog Boy Says:

@12:42,

Somebody is desperate for attention, who else but fedfanatic, keeper of the legacy of St Roger.
I wasn’t even watching the match, just following result until I had to go, chill out, your idol will be back soon..


Wog Boy Says:

Dave,

Thanks for the report, by reading all your posta I had a feeling that it was FO final all over again, just this time around with a better result. I have it recorded and will watch it tomorrow when I get back home.
I’ll check the video now, never heard before about DR, just googled it, thanks.


Dave Says:

Wog Boy,

It was French Open all over again. Nole had to play over 100 points on his serve to something like 59 points on Thiem’s serve. Thiem is dangerous and I am a bit worried that he could be the one taking the French Open away from Nole this year. It always seems like everything is lining up perfectly for Nole to win his first French Open and something always happens. I won’t believe that he will ever win it until I see it. If he wins the French Open this year, all the pressure will be off and it really wouldn’t surprise me at all if he ended up winning the French Open a few more times. It’s the first one that seems like the impossible mountain.


Wog Boy Says:

Dave,

The video is hilarious:)


Wog Boy Says:

Thiem has plenty of power, but I am not sure of stamina, next time they are to meet, Nole and his team should watch Goffin vs Thiem AO2016 match, patience is not Thiem’s quolity either.


Dave Says:

Good points. Ya that video made me cry I laughed so hard. My friend Scott recommended it to me, but told me nothing about it. It totally caught me off guard. I’m like, is this guy for real? He is actually crying? Some people find this kind of humor really awkward and they cringe inside. I love this kind of humor. Others hate it. Depends on the person. I agree about Thiem actually. I don’t think he is ready to take Nole down this year, especially in 5 sets. I just hope it’s not another guy that Nole has to meet in the 4th round so that it tires him out and he is exhausted by the time he gets to the final, like last year.

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