Djokovic Powers Into Miami QFs, Faces Berdych Wednesday; Monfils Outlasts Dimitrov, Raonic Rolls
by Staff | March 29th, 2016, 11:46 pm
  • 142 Comments

Despite 34 unforced errors to just 6 winners, Novak Djokovic continued his domination of the men’s tour Tuesday in Miami dispatching the improving Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-4.

“I stayed tough when it was most needed. In the important moments I just tried to make him play, make him run. He has very powerful strokes from the back of the court, so he either makes some really amazing shots, down the line mostly, and some great inside out forehands, or he makes a mistake,” Djokovic said. “It was a straight-set win, but far from easy.

“Dominic is one of the leaders of this generation, no question doubt about it,” Djokovic added. “He’s already established himself as a Top 20 player the last couple years. He’s getting stronger and more confident.”

Thiem converted just one of 15 break chances, and the Austrian knew that wasn’t nearly enough.

“With one of 15 break points, you cannot beat anyone, probably,” Thiem said. “For sure, not Djokovic.”

Djokovic, who is 25-1 on the year and 27-1 in his last 28 in Miami, moves on to face Tomas Berdych tomorrow after the Czech edged Richard Gasquet 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in almost 2.5 hours.

Djokovic has won 22 of 24 against Berdych including the last nine.

“I’m just going to try and focus on my game, try to play some good tennis, stick with the things that are working well so far for me and just try to go for it no matter who’s going to be the opponent,” Berdych said.

Also tomorrow, David Goffin continues his strong form against Gilles Simon. Goffin ended the run of lucky loser Horacio Zeballos 7-5, 6-3. Simon destroyed countryman Lucas Pouille 6-0, 6-1.

Goffin lost his only meeting with Simon after blowing two matchpoints last summer in June at Queen’s.

The Thursday quarterfinals feature Milos Raonic against young gun Nick Kyrgios and Kei Nishikori against Gael Monfils.

Raonic remained in form sending Damir Dhuzhmer to the exits today 6-0, 6-3. Kyrgios overcame an early deficit to beat Andrey Kuznetsov 7-6(3), 6-3.

In the match of the day, Monfils came from a break down in the third to deny Grigor Dimitrov 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3.

The last match went to Nishikori who eliminated the last Spaniard Roberto Bautista 6-2, 6-4.


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142 Comments for Djokovic Powers Into Miami QFs, Faces Berdych Wednesday; Monfils Outlasts Dimitrov, Raonic Rolls

chrisford1 Says:

In the interview before this match, Djokovic was asked:

Are there any
players on tour that you like to watch when you
have a chance?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Monfils, No. 1, by far, because you never know what’s coming up next. He is very
unpredictable player, but very entertaining, and I think he’s great for the sport.
Dominic Thiem is also very nice to watch. Young
player who has lots of talent and potential and really nice variety in his game.
There are couple of guys, but Monfils I would pay my ticket to watch.”

————————-

Haven’t heard of him being at a Monfils match, but last summer on his holiday he popped up in UMAG Croatia – got to watch Joao Sousa who he just played in Miami, and Thiem, in that Final. And found out the Croatian President was there as tournament sponsor, for the final. So he had to meet her and say wonderful things of all things Croatian to the media.
Saw a great match, scouted Sousa and Thiem, made nice with the Croats as his visit made national news and media ran his high praise of the 2 players, the UMAG tournament, his desire to one day play Umag again. Besides Thiem, Djokovic likes Sousa’s game.


Nikola Says:

Croats are Serbians. Just catholics.


J-Kath Says:

To one of the most entertaining players in the field: Very Well done Monfils….now go forth and multiply ie complete the task


Michael Says:

What should be discomfiting for Novak’s opponents is that he manages a win even if he is playing badly. This goes to show that he is a class apart and his level is awesome.

Now Berdych will be easy meat for Novak considering their lop sided H2H. I hope Berdych makes it interesting by giving a tough fight to Novak. But that is easier said than done. Novak will finish the job in straight sets.


Michael Says:

All the rivals of Novak have withered away by giving him a smooth ride. Even Andy is finding it difficult now-a-days to get to the later stages of tournament to challenge Novak’s hegemony !!


mat4 Says:

@Nikola:

Dear Nikola, Croats are not Catholic Serbs. The inhabitants of Dubrovnik were, but their nobles decided not to have children when Austria occupied Dubrovnik in 1814, and till 1912, there were none left.

The inhabitants that spoke the shtokavian variety of the language were Serbs, and a lot converted to Catholicism at the beginning of the XIX century, under the Austrian pressure. Later, Croats adopted Serbian as their language, so assimilation was much easier on religious grounds, but the same happened in Serbia, where the remaining French declare themselves to be Croats, today.

It’s very difficult to assume who the Croats were on linguistic grounds, and their ethno-genesis seems to be quite recent for most of them — especially along the coast (they called themselves “Slovin”) and in the eastern parts, while the population speaking a variety which is Slovene in the neighbouring country seems to have a sense of being Croats for a longer period.

Anyway, the ethno-genesis of different nations in the former Yugoslavia is a very complicated and sensitive matter, made worse by the anti-Serbian stance of the Communist party. Just like the USSR, which was a country directed against the Russians, that disappeared when the Russian took power in it, Yugoslavia was built against the Serbs after WWI, and especially after WWII, when the allies betrayed their most trusted ally on the Balkans, the Serbs. Let’s not forget that Zagreb was “liberated” by the Nazis, while Belgrade was bombed, and that 80% of the Yugoslavian casualties were Serbs (about 15% of their population).

Nowadays, a new wave of “historians” tend to reduce the number of casualties, from the initial 3 millions to much less, but it’s another problem, especially since there was an agenda against Serbs since 1980, when the partition of Yugoslavia was decided.


Wog Boy Says:

mat4,

You know more than most of my people do, and you are right about what you just posted.


chico Says:

Ok this is a tennis discussion site and furthermore what you are touching here mat, is really ultraflammable stuff. That said, I for one would love to see discussion in a constructive way about topics like this, even at the expense of a tennis thread. Looking at it in the way how maybe sports should not be mixed with politics, but how it at best can form a bridge between different views.

Just remember the ctfd principle people (people with kids or planning to have – check it out if not yet mastered).


Colin Says:

Matt4, I don’t understand this: “The USSR was a country directed against the Russians, that disappeared when the Russians took power in it.”

What “country”? An area if yiu like, but not a country. The USSR didn’t exist until the Russian revolution, and even then it wasn’t called USSR at first.

As for the policies of what we like to call the Free World, they have usually been based on the foolish and dangerous old catchphrase “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”


anki Says:

First set was really good, some great rallies. Thiem has got immense potential. He can be the one challenging Novak on clay. Novak, on the other hand stil depending way too much on defense. He still hasn’t learnt anything from RG final last year. Plus he payed a tribute to his 2010 season with his atrocious serving and Double faults. I see Nick and Kyrgios to rival Novak sooner than later.


Wog Boy Says:

I keep telling here that change of guard is coming rather sooner than later and they keep repeating that Nole has at least another two/three years of unchallenged run. I wish they are right but they are not, Nole must do his best to try to win FO this year because next year might be too late.


mat4 Says:

@Colin:

I am not an expert for English, so perhaps a better word was “state” instead of country. Of course I know that the USSR didn’t exist before the revolution, and not only that, but private property was mainly abolished only circa 1929, and flourished before that. The industrialization of the USSR was mainly helped by the USA, just to be noted, en passant, even in the thirties. Cf. Jacques Sapir on the subject of industrial development, while histories of Russia are many.

I maintain my assertion about the anti-Russian nature of USSR. As a clue, just list the general secretaries of the SKPb, and you will discover that there were no Russian among them.

@Chico, WB:

First, I wrote about history and ethnogenesis just to answer Nikola’s post. I usually avoid these topics.

The nature of my job means that I have to be well informed about the country I work in, and I was extremely cautious in that post. I wrote only things that are already accepted by most Slavic scholars, in the fields both of linguistics and history, and on my own experience, when I worked in former Yugoslavia.

For these assertions I made based on linguistic data, I can quote Belic, Matasovic, Ivan Popovic, Katicic, Holzer. The historical sources are even more numerous, and I can’t quote them here.

The fate of the French in Voïvodina was investigated by both Yves Bataille and Dusan Beric, and they gave my those facts in conversations we had. Bataille also investigated the fate of railroad French in Canada, an interesting topic too.


mat4 Says:

@WB:

Thiem will be top 5 at least, perhaps no 1. Kyrgios? Don’t make me laugh.


Wog Boy Says:

mat4,

All I am saying is that Nole doesn’t, or more precisely, will not have free run next two/three years.


Wog Boy Says:

On the other note, it is well know that October Revolution was mastered from outside Russia and that USSR was antirussian. that is no secret,


mat4 Says:

@WB:

I agree with you about the changing of the guard.


Vami Says:

Interesting topic mat4 as always. I bet people get smarter by just being close to you :-), but back to tennis.

I was under impression that Novak didn’t play Thiem tactically well, or he didn’t want to show him all his tools. I’m sure that he did study his game a lot but winning in 2 sets in a match with 9 double faults and 6 winners speaks for itself.
I’m still not convinced that Dominic is there yet and perhaps he will never be, it remains to be seen. Right now he’s a less experienced version of Stan, he can bother Novak with his style (just as Stan can) but some other players may find his style to work in their favour. At the end of the day even Stan has a terrible H2H against Novak. Thiem was on fire yesterday, all those heavy balls landed in and he still couldn’t take a set on Novak’s off day.


J-Kath Says:

I wonder whether Kyrios will be playing tennis in 2-3 years? He is vocal re. the negativity of a number of issues pertaining to tennis.

If he doesn’t find it easier to rise in the ranks and/or has a run of poorish play, he could possibly cross to team sport.

Yes, he could just be all mouth, but I think his impatience is such that he’ll rarely be satisfied and will he be bothered to undertake the constant need to improve thru a commitment to practice?

I personally hope he will stay – he adds excitement…but I think he will be out of tennis within the next 2 years. So as far as Nole goes, one less to covet his No.1 status.


Giles Says:

I was feeling fine until I read the first line of 8.10 am post . Now I want to vomit. Geez!


George Says:

Thiem is at the moment, objectively, top 5 player, maybe even No.2. He played out of his mind and I believe that Djokovic also played very well. In my opinion, Djokovic served well and the number of DF was a consequence of deliberate decision to go for risky second serve. Official statistic about this match is grossly misleading as it is inappropriate to call an unforced error a “mistake” when it comes after 20-30 challenging shots varied in spin, speed and/or angle. Also, both of them moved so well that no ball passed them. While for Djokovic that was not much of a surprise, it was revelation to see such play from Thiem.


Markus Says:

Mat4: Thank you for the occasional diversion from tennis. I learn a lot from you. I supplement your posts like your recent ones with additional readings. It’s always enlightening to have a learned man like you share his knowledge with others.


nits Says:

Nobody in this world get free run. You sweat it out you get it done. So if Novak will keep on the hard work he will keep on having a good run but no free run.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

nits, thats an excellent point. Any free run is predicated not just on no new Slam-worthy heroes emerging, but on Novak sustaining this historic high-level of tennis. Who has ever played at that kind of level for more than a few years?


Colin Says:

I was impressed by Monfils, who managed to concentrate on his teenis and forego the showboating that has been his trademark. His game wasn’t flawless; the commentator noted that he wasn’t completely comfortable with the inside-out forehand, being better cross-court. If he can reach the final, it will almost certainly be against Nole, and when you’re playing him, you’d better not have ANY weaknesses! It might go to three sets, though.


mat4 Says:

@George:

Thanks you, but I am more impressed by your own posts, as I was in the time by Grendel’s, then Tennisfan’s (it was another one), jane’s (when she wants really to write), CF1 (when he avoids certain topics) and by many others. I am just educated in linguistics, and I am a clark, nothing more.

About tennis, it would be very nice if Skeezer started to write again. His reports from IW were excellent at the time. Kimberly writes about Miami, although I feel she could do more. And they were many others I forgot to mention.

@Vami:

Thanks. James Mallory, btw, avoids completely the topic of ethnogenesis, and it’s the safe way to do.

There were a lot of French in Y


mat4 Says:

There were a lot of French in Yugoslavia: most arrived at the beginning of the XVIII century from Lorraine, others came later. They lived in Voivodina, Bosnia, and some settled in Macedonia after WWI.

@Colin:

LaMonf promised this season would be different, but he does it every year. I plays usually very well under heavy conditions, and he’s able to play great tennis. Hope he will continue this run. He can beat anybody, but also lose from anybody.


chrisford1 Says:

MAT4 – “Anyway, the ethno-genesis of different nations in the former Yugoslavia is a very complicated and sensitive matter.”
——-
Ethno-maps based on linguistics & blood types & physical features are being supplemented, in some cases supplanted, by DNA studies. Supplanted because many theories esp. those based on linguistic study are not on mark.
The DNA research is like the other studies in that there is political and sometimes worse – academic hostility to new stuff that upsets the applecart. Sensitive. And further complicated by some of the most interesting locations of study are where lots of mixing of genes of different groups happened with lots of warfare happening, and the stuff future wars might be fought over.
Still, DNA testing is too important to put back in its box and padlock it.
Medical diagnosis is improved. (At the price of discrediting various PC dogma on how race and ethnicity are only trivial skin-deep differences). Understanding how man evolved once outside Africa and populated the world. Mixture of extinct species in our genes, when homo sapiens almost split or did split into two or more different species.
And special genome study interest in certain peoples and regions. The Middle East, India migrations, Ashkenazis, The San People, Silk Road, Japanese admixtures. And of course, the Balkans.

Anyone from the Balkans have any new Balkan haplotype information links? I’m venturing to guess it will be very interesting. Like the number of Croats with Venetian ancestry. Serbs and Muslim Bosnians with Turkish/Arab blood.

At the same time DNA studies are showing ethnic differences and surprising commonalities and ancestry linkage, political and economic forces are pressing hard for the Balkan peoples to work together to compete, use their Diaspora people for bridges to other nations.

Little to do with tennis at present…saver it is well known players from the Balkan nations work and practice together. If anything, tennis serves as an example of how the concept of Pan-Slavism has merit, still.


BBB Says:

George – that wasn’t the impression I had of Djokovic’s serve at all. I thought he just had a bad service day.


chrisford1 Says:

Hey Mat4, no dig on linguists! Phenomenal contribution to all sorts of fields. From mapping ancient trade routes to better understanding childhood development..
And I love learning from time to time about word origin and what words in common use in English came from a land far away – or at least word cognates that were adapted from one language into English.


James Says:

Thiem and Kyrgios. Ya, that’s pretty much it amongst the next generation who really have the game to win slams. Temperament is yet to be seen. Hewitt will hopefully bring Kyrgios’s head into shape. Thiem has a one-handed backhand that will trouble him going forward – but its better than Federer’s, he takes the ball early, so maybe it won’t be that much of a handicap.

Wow, never have we seen a drought of younger top players like there is now. At least in the last 40 years, I can’t recall ANY time period when there wasn’t a young gun who had already won a slam when the “legends” had started to grow old. And “old” used to be 26. Now it seems 30 is the new 26.

When Borg just about started to fade, McEnroe had already stormed the stage. Before McEnroe could fade, Lendl and Wilander had established themselves. Before Lendl could even start fading away, Becker and Edberg had won multiple slams. Before they started to fade, Agassi and Sampras had set up shop. By the time Sampras faded (and Agassi had a second renewal), Fed had set up shop. Before Fed even started to fade, Nadal stormed into the stage. Then before Nadal even started to fade (and Federer did start to fade), Djokovic the hurricane came in.

What now??????????? Federer has faded. Nadal is pretty much done. Djokovic is going really strong, but is close to 29. Nobody young on the horizon!!! The youngest “other” slam winner in recent years is Cilic. Not exactly young.

Now THAT is the UNIQUE lucky break Djokovic is getting right now, that no other top player got before.


Okiegal Says:

What constitutes being a good blogger on TX??


mat4 Says:

@CF1:

Sorry not to agree with you, but DNA studies are just like linguistics and archaeology — based on educated guesses. Then, since I have read a lot of original articles and made an effort to understand what they meant, most of the time the deductive process is circular, based on historical theories and, very often, on wishful thinking.

Rosser, 2000, is a perfect example of it, I guess the research was founded by the EU. The geneticists are very fast about making conclusions.

About the South-Slavic origins, the following works are of certain importance:

Peričić, 2005 ; Marjanovic, 2005, doi:10.1111/j.1529-8817.2005.00190.x ; Rębała, 2007, doi:10.1007/s10038-007-0125-6 ; Mielnik-Sikorska, 2013 ;

There are probably newer works, but I am not impressed nor by the methodology, nor by the results. The sample size is always a problem: about 250 in the case of Pericic, 80 in the work of Marjanovic. It’s simply not serious. The other problem is dating, which heavily relies on historians, and the third is that historians rely on less than nothing… mostly linguistics.


Margot Says:

@James
I’ve always admired Nole for taking it to Fedal and always sad Andy couldn’t.
Don’t believe in “luck” either, as in “lucky break.” Nole, at the mo., is simply stamping on everyone, old and new.But who knows what’s round the corner?
BTW love him or hate him, tennis needs Kyrgios…and the “kids” love him. Hope he sticks around, he has massive amounts of charisma. Unlike Milos who has none, apologies to his fans.


mat4 Says:

@Okie:

A good heart? A bit of respect for others? Some humour? Being interesting? Who knows…

And, lately, being a Nole fan… ;-)


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

I agree that Milos hasn’t much “charisma”, what ever it means. He’s a bit just like Fed. (this was for Skeezer)

Maria Sharapova has lot, on the other side. And I knew for certain that she had to have a weak heart — otherwise, she wouldn’t have taken all those medications for years.


mat4 Says:

I meant: … tender heart…


skeezer Says:

mat4,
Ok you brought me out of the woodwork, that was funny ;)


James Says:

I agree, Raonic lacks charisma. I think he also lacks game and movement to be No. 1 or win slams, though he HAS improved on both counts.

Kyrgios has a much superior game, he has all the shots, movement, speed, height, attitude. What he lacks is discipline. Hewitt should help with that. In terms of pure game, he is ahead of any other young player right now, including Thiem.

Call it luck, call it randomness – whether you believe in it or not, it exists. You seriously can’t tell me that there is no randomness in how things work out for different people. A lot depends on our effort and abilities, but that is not what determines 100% of the outcome. And everyone doesn’t get an equal share of luck – come on, if that was true, every regular lottery ticket winner would win a jackpot some time in their life.

Luck may not be everything, or even the main thing, but it matters, it affects.


BBB Says:

Funny, mat4, I think Sharapova has no charisma at all. She’s tall and blonde with inoffensive features, which is enough to make her highly marketable.


James Says:

Looks and Charisma are two different things. I think Sharapova has made her millions on looks (and game too – she’s no kournikova).

Djokovic has charisma. Fed doesn’t have that much of it. Roddick had charisma.


Green Lady Says:

Mat4 @12.09pm thats me out then completely ….


Gee Says:

Lol @ the wilting opponents pity parade.

You know what happened to novak’s opponents when they mocked his real allergy, breathing problem & injuries?
Poor Roddick and Fed!
They now say they “forgot about Nole’s disrespect” & had “no clue” how sick nole was. Hilarious! Huge Hypocrites.

Even when nole battled with lack of energy then fought through 2 match points against Fed, Nadal whined that it was crazy to see Fed lose to nole.
I highly doubt that Fedal deserved too much sympathy from nole.


MMT Says:

I don’t think either Sharapova nor Kournikova are beautiful like professional models, for example. They are exceptionally beautiful for athletes in the richest sport for female athletes, but not necessarily so beautiful even for tennis players. There are a lot of players ranked 300+ that we’ve never heard of that could cause traffic accidents, they’re so beautiful…but they’re ranked 300+.

Sharapova (and Kournikova for that matter) wouldn’t be where she is if she weren’t a great (way above average in the case of Kournikova) player.


Green Lady Says:

Theres plenty of beautiful women walking the street ….


Gee Says:

Lol at the Roddick charisma comment.
An abusive mug that was a phony sycophant & lapdog to Federer, was far from charismatic.
The jealous & hateful jokes he spouted existed because he was an underwhelming “athlete” in a weak era. An era where bad volleyers who couldn’t do simple 4-10 shot rallies could remain in the top 8 for 6 years.
He was bitter because he was fake, unattractive to tennis fans, shallow, and disgusted with hard work.

He couldn’t believe Murray lost to him and let him face his god Fed. Roddick was just playing for money & stupid tv commercials,


MMT Says:

Speaking of charisma…I think we’re going to find out soon that the Djokovic alone, cannot carry the game of tennis. Not because of anything he has done, but because he (like all the other greats) is going to need a legitimate rival or the (men’s and women’s) games is headed south.

If the WTA have been riding the coattails of Nadal and Federer, the ATP are hiding in the inside pockets. When Agassi went on his sabbatical circa 1997-1998 the the game experience dip in popularity from it didn’t recover until he returned and legitimately challenged Sampras’ domination.

Once Sampras retired, the game experienced another dip when Hewitt became #1 (no surprise) until the perception that a rivalry between Agassi, Safin, Federer and possibly Roddick was on the way…it turned out the only true rival was Nadal, and the game only really took off again of as his career began to measure up to Federer’s.

It’s been 2, 3 and 5 years since Nadal, Murray and Federer’s last majors.


MMT Says:

Sorry 4 years since Federer’s last major.


Dave Says:

Wog Boy,

I don’t agree with the changing of the guard comment that you made as far as Nole staying at number 1 goes. Thiem is good on slower surfaces, but has yet to prove himself on faster surfaces. Kyrgios is good on faster surfaces and is yet to prove himself on Clay. They would have to earn more points than Nole in a calander year. Nole is good on ALL surfaces. Even if Nole only wins 1 major some years, he is so good at the masters 1000′s throughout the whole year and WTF’s. He owns China. I just don’t see him being overtaken in the number 1 ranking spot for a while.


George Says:

@James: I see it slightly differently. Tennis is now a multibillionaire business yielding a level of play never seen before. Due to complexity of elements one needs to be on the top today (required technical, physical and mental levels), time is required to develop all that. I think that Djokovic raised his game substantially and that he is now better than ever. I also believe that, in absolute terms, Federer is now better player than he ever was.


mat4 Says:

@GL:

Not walking the street again… ;-)


Okiegal Says:

@mat4. Regarding me on the good blogger thing

A good heart>check
A bit of respect for others>check
Some humor>check
Interesting???? (Jury is out on that one) 😕
Being a Nole fan……out of respect I will decline to answer that one……😇

Have a great day, mat4!

P.S. Good on you for getting Skeezer to come out of the woodwork. I have tried to have some sort of rapport with him since we are fellow Americans, but to no avail. Guess I am not interesting enough!
😢😢😢😢. LOL


skeezer Says:

MMT,
?? Uh ?? Kournikova is / was as beautiful like a professional model. Sharapova is not.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZAhLDWxtyA

Agree Nole needs a legitimate rival the next few years or else…..👎


Van Persie Says:

Okie, You are very interesting for me ;)

When I will be at your age, I hope I will have your humor :)


chrisford1 Says:

Mat4 – Appreciate the links. Saved them. One thing with DNA studies is apparently accurate and useful for dating population of group or trait becoming established, migration atterns. That is genetic drift. But it becomes less and less accurate the shorter the time window, as you likely know from your readings.

\\\\\\\
James said- (A drought of good players, esp younger ones) ” THAT is the UNIQUE lucky break Djokovic is getting right now, that no other top player got before.”

I would disagree. There have been weak eras before. Most recently 2002-2006, where Leyton Hewitt had no one close to him challenging his #1 status for 75 straight weeks, then Fed beat him into submission and ruled 234 straight weeks with little challenge aside from Rafa on clay. Those years and 2007 was when Fed won 12 of his 17 Slams and Rusty his 2. Easier times to get trophies than what Nadal, then Djokovic faced.

And this era 2015 on so far is too early to say is weak. Andy is presently beaten into submission and not as good as he was with Lendl, but that could change fast. Fed is still dangerous and I for one refuse to write Rafa off.
Time will tell, circumstances could easily change from the favorable conditions Novak presently enjoys, in short order. I do think the present Top 10 and Top 10 of the next few years after will be seen as ore talented and competitive than the foes Hewitt then Federer fought.


FedExpress Says:

hope nishi wins a masters now. its about time. save tennis ffs.


skeezer Says:

OK,
Awww c’mon you are interesting, I have just been busy doing other things ( work, ugh ) so I have to the troll drop thingy nowadays. Hopefully will change soon ;)


Margot Says:

Naughty naughty mat, because Fed has plenty of charisma and an “aura” that wont fade, I think.
And … only an American could think Roddick had any.
And agree with MMT tennis needs a decent rivalry. Perhaps, as TV, or TB get you guys muddled up, hopes perhaps Monfils who has charisma in buckets will rise to the challenge, but unlikely now I feel at this time in his career.
Sorry, James but bringing a one in a trillion lucky lottery winner into the discussion on “luck” in tennis is a non sequitor.


Okiegal Says:

This is a red letter day…..Skeezer acknowledged my post! Yes, we do get busy with other things…just kidding you…..well, sort of….the fellow American thing I meant…….


Green Lady Says:

Kournikova was so full of herself, she once said im beautiful, but like a menu in an expensive restaurant, in that you can look but you cant afford me, and Pam Shriver said she once spent that much time looking at herself in the mirror, she nearly wore it away ….

Anyway she might be beautiful, if a little on the irritating side, also how much of these shoots are actually photo shopped ? ….


BBB Says:

For reasons that remain mysterious to me, Kournikova went through a phase after she retired where she looked anorexic. Incredibly sad to see that happen to someone who was as fit as she was. I hope that’s fixed now.


chrisford1 Says:

Charisma – Eye of the beholder, in most cases. And usually the media takes “most popular, best looking, and liked best” into being “most charismatic” when it is not the same thing.

You have widely disliked charismatic people. People with the personality of a dishrag that get popular from their genteel blandness given almost regal deference – but really don’t present as charismatic – winning being confused for charisma.
Agassi had charisma, Pete did not. Sharapova off court is witty, catty, presents well. Marian Bartoli wasn’t great looking, but has charisma and looks better now than when she was playing.

Novak Djokovic is not the first bright and highly analytical person that likes to have goofy fun. Good looking enough…but a complex package that makes him tough to ‘get’ right away. And he sets up a dissonance..a superb athlete that is a natural scholar but dons wigs and dances. Rafa is more charismatic because he presents a simpler “package” – great smile, fierce on court, nice off it, no dummy, but typically gives a simple easy to understand ‘message’ to others.

Few things will find more disagreement with people than who is, and who is not charismatic.


James Says:

Chrisford1 – on the one hand, you say the current era is not weak because Djoke is beating everyone to a pulp. You even call Fed as “still dangerous” – at 34 I might add. Then on the other hand when Fed was beating everyone to a pulp during 2004-07, you call it a weak era. Pick one argument.

Going back to 2004-07 – Hewitt and Safin were both double slam winners, both had reached No. 1 (something Murray can’t and probably will never boast of). then Roddick was also there, also a slam winner and former No. 1. that’s really not a weak era. Especially counting the fact that Nadal, even in 2005, had already established himself as the king of clay, thus giving Fed really a run for his money on clay (and even on grass from 07 onwards). Hewitt, Safin and Roddick were all their peak in the 04-07 period. Safin had more game than most players ever, was just not as disciplined.

Contrast this to Djoke’s competition the last two years. A “way past his prime” 33/34 year old Federer, a “past his prime” 28/29 year old Nadal, and – Murray? Did he ever have to face a 23/24 year old fast and young multiple slam winner?? Or a 23/24/25 year old former No. 1? Nah, the competition is weak today.

Read my earlier post about young guns always being there – EXCEPT now. Every other great player, including Federer and Nadal, started to face competition from a younger great player by the time they reached 25/26. Nadal even earlier. But not Djokovic. Where is the competition, someone tell me please?


mat4 Says:

So, the big question emerges:

what is charisma in tennis? Who has any charisma?

For myself, I don’t have a clue.

Although I believe that different people are attracted by different things. E.g., Sharapova. Imho, she has a lot of charisma: I like the way she’s nasty, the way she lies, and the way she walks. But it’s just me, Po.


mat4 Says:

I had a debate about Fed now vs Fed 2004-6. The main problem is that his physical peak doesn’t match his technical peak. Then, there’s also the question of racquet. It’s very difficult to assess.

But I believe that this Fed, back in time and aged 25, would easily beat the Fed of 2006.


mat4 Says:

@Okie:

How do you insert those smilies in your posts?


J-Kath Says:

There’s some great humour here this evening…spoiled for choice:

@ Green Lady….I’m guessing you said what you said as a double entendre.

@Mat 4 ….I echo Skeezer @ 12.24pm.

@ James: U sure you got the right American? Roddick is the dullest, the most boring, the most annoying, the pits….charisma? He’s never met it – has yet to check the dictionary…

and I echo Margot — oh yes.

And to Tennis….Konta is currently holding her own…hopefully it will last.


MMT Says:

Margot – don’t hold your breath on Monfils. He’s not the real deal (not even close). I don’t even think he’s such a good tennis player, just more of a jock who can get a lot of balls back…a poor man’s Nadal, if you will.

Here is a clip of (of all people) Henri Leconte telling a french audience that certain French players lack the proper respect/committment to win the Davis cup (that’s 4 weekends over the next 12 months) and he calls out Gael Monfils.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3cvGKlSbuQ

If, as Leconte says, he can’t do it for 4 weekends in one year, I doubt he’s capable of being a sustained threat to Djokovic or whoever usurps him as he best player.


Margot Says:

mat, just checked dictionary and its from the Greek:”gift of grace.” Interesting now has 2 meanings as well as the one we all “get”- charm, attractiveness and what not, can also mean an “abundance of talent.” I think it’s got an extra something BTW not just physical attractiveness.
If…..we all agree Nick has it, Milos doesn’t, perhaps we should start there.
MMT:
I agree with you about Monfils’ chances, tho., I disagree with you in so far as I find him immensely appealing and entertaining to watch. BTW Andy once said it was very distracting to play him. Yep!


Green Lady Says:

Mat4 it pays more than care work ;-) ….


Okiegal Says:

@mat4…..I have a new Kindle Fire and they are on my keyboard. Funny you mentioned them, I just today discovered they were installed on this updated version of the Kindle. I love having access to them…..neato! If you don’t want to bore the world with your endless posts just post a pick of how you are feeling atm!!


BBB Says:

mat4, this is really one of my favorite posts here: ” I like the way she’s nasty, the way she lies, and the way she walks.”

While attractiveness is subjective though, I don’t think charisma is to the same degree. I agree with what margot posted – I don’t particularly like Kyrgios for example (or find him attactive) but agree he has charisma. It’s a way of engaging the public that Sharapova doesn’t really have – she mostly eschews the public unless she’s selling something.

In other news, I forgot how bizarre Konta’s serve routine is.


Green Lady Says:

J-Kath yeah ;-) ….


Okiegal Says:

@mat4….did some more exploring on my Kindle and here ya’ go……🐂…….the Spanish bull, no less. It has everything. Look at this one…..🎾….cute, no?? Here’s a goat for Fed 🐐 an egg for Nole 🐣 and a turtle for Rafael, since he slower now days 🐢!


Okiegal Says:

@VP

It takes more muscles in your face to frown than to smile!! If you could only see me, the reason I stay looking so young, my sense of humor! 🐂


Green Lady Says:

Okie ive just got an Android PC, but im still finding my way around it ATM, so ill stick with this laptop ….


Okiegal Says:

^^^^ Kidding VP…..my face looks like it’s worn out two bodies….😬…..grrrr


RZ Says:

@Mat4 – if you don’t have those icons/emoticons, you can copy and paste them in. The racquets here (hopefully they show up) are copied from Okiegal’s post above. 🎾🎾🎾


Okiegal Says:

@GL…..You will discover some new things I’m sure in time. I have no idea what else I will run into….computer devises are OTT !!!!!


Okiegal Says:

Goffan and Gilles on court now….hope we see a good match!!


Okiegal Says:

@RZ…..Maybe mat4 would like to have the Spanish bull too!! Choke choke sputter sputter….lol
You are very computer savvy. Hats off to you….I don’t know how to copy and paste…..

🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆>>>>>9 Frenchies by the 🐂!!

Raining a little bit atm…..


Van Persie Says:

Lol Okie,

You reminded me now on somebody ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HqJIfHpags


Okiegal Says:

I forgot about Gilles, maybe he can knock Nole off his perch should they meet??? Nah, I said that in jest…….


Okiegal Says:

@VP…..yep she’s a nut…….and has gotten so very skinny…..jealous much??? Yes I am…my new year’s resolution to lose weight is down the 🚽 atm….lol


Van Persie Says:

Okie,

Did not know, that she’s skinny now. Pity :(
I liked her the way she was. It suited her


Green Lady Says:

Roseanne Barr once said if i was thin i wouldnt be funny or successful ….


J-Kath Says:

Sorri Konta lost…still think she’s going to be a real contender.


Green Lady Says:

J-Kath me too, shes a smart tactical player, in that she hesitates for a second to see which way her opponent is running,then hits the ball the opposite way ….


Green Lady Says:

Okie mine too, i dont think i was made to be thin, and i ejoy food and chocolate too much ….


Green Lady Says:

Sorry enjoy ….


Gee Says:

Nole wasn’t afraid of laughing at Fed’s smug salutes to the fawning audience. Nadal wanted to look fair to Fed and reject Novak’s comedy routine, despite the coldness that Fed showed.
Fed hates that there are self-aware clever people who don’t tell him he’s amazing and beautiful every freaking time he talks and plays tennis.

You can tell the clowns & declining players gave Fed the sportsmanship awards every year.
People such as Roddick claim that it didn’t bother them that Fed fanatics screamed to distract them in fed matches.
Of course, these Fed promoters mocked the opponents or umpires, linesjudges, tournament organizers, etc., because they were bitter & distracted.


Wog Boy Says:

mat4,

They don’t walk the streets anymore, you are outdated (or old fashioned) they work from home, internet changed the world…and it is legal here, as long as there is no pimp…


Okiegal Says:

@Wog…..does this new breed of homemakers have doctors who make house calls?? Lol


BBB Says:

So Keys and Wilander have parted ways mid-tournament? She’s starting to look like a head case to me, I hope it’s not so, but my goodneess her carousel turns quickly.


mat4 Says:

@BBB:

I believe that Matt isn’t a good coach.


Okiegal Says:

Yes GL I am addicted to sugar. I think the tendency to being overweight is the gene pool….I came from heavy stock….my excuse anyway…….That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!


Okiegal Says:

Not so sure about charisma in sports…..I like the word swagger better….


Wog Boy Says:

Okie,

They are very sophisticated..they have everything..


Wog Boy Says:

I had a chance last night (very late) to watch Nole/Thiem match. Few things I noticed, Thiem is using lot of energy for his shots and wasting a lot of energy in unnecessary body movements (hard to explain in English), last few game he kept spraying those deadly FHs and accurate BHs due to tiredness, Nole was moving him around rightfully guessing that soon or later he’ll start making mistakes.
Nole himself wasn’t quite playing his best, those DFs were result or him going for too much helped with a wind.
Thiem has to learn to rationalize his energy, but that will be on expense of some of his shots.
My two dinars;)


J-Kath Says:

Three dinars worth

THIEM
over-extending
re-acting
desperate
arrogance of youth
or
trying to be charismatic?


mat4 Says:

@WB:

Dinars are deniers in French and English. You know, like in “the deniers of Judah”…


Wog Boy Says:

JK,
You deserve extra dinar..


Wog Boy Says:

mat4,

I didn’t know that..I thought everyone speaks Serbian..


mat4 Says:

You’re right: everybody says “dinar” at this moment, but it is basically the same word.


BBB Says:

mat4 – I think you’re right, but that does make you wonder why she hired him in the first place?


J-Kath Says:

WogBoy

I shan’t forget your generosity.

Mat 4

I thought deniers were stockings women wore in WW2?

Or were they false teeth…lots of very, very young Scots wear those.


J-Kath Says:

Margot

Having tried to slide in a couple of weak jokes…a serious question (in the hope no-one will notice it’s not about tennis)

the Scottish Govt. saved (to some extent steel-making in Scotland)…what the h-ll is going on in Wales with thousands (and all the home/business/fiscal links an additional problem)…have you a view?


RZ Says:

@Wog Boy – as much as I am an early Thiem fan (partly because of the upside I see to his game and partly because I like saying “Team Thiem!”), I’m concerned about how much energy he expends too. He’s one of those players who sweats a lot in extreme conditions, and while that hasn’t affected his play in best of 3 matches so far, it could come to haunt him in best of 5. Makes me think of Pat Rafter who was sometimes affected by this as well (and his strokes were more efficient).


RZ Says:

@BBB and Mat4 – Re: Wilander and Keys, I wonder if it’s a timing issue. It doesn’t sound like they had a trial run during an off-week. Starting together at a tournament is tough when the player and coach don’t know each other that well. My theory: Wilander isn’t one to mince words and that could have rubbed Keys the wrong way.


Dave Says:

Is Goffin going to be in the top 10 this year? I’m going with a big yes at this point. I don’t know many people that picked him to make the top 10 in their predictions. 2 straight semi-finals at masters 1000′s is no fluke. This guy is conistent.
RZ- Your right about Ferrer. He is done at this point. Age is really catching up with him now. I was off on that one. Seeing it more clearly now. I think Goffin is the new Ferrer and will be in the top 10 to stay.


Okiegal Says:

I say diner…..it’s supper time 🍔🍟🍺🍦!!!


MMT Says:

Dave: the thing I like about Goffin is his resourcefulness and point construction. He can hit with power, but he’s not the type to try to blow a point open with power for no reason. He’s not the biggest player, which wouldn’t a problem if he hit with more power, but since he likes to move the ball around the court he has to more judicious with his attacks, and he doesn’t actually defend as well as players with his level of power.

I would like to see him stay on top of the baseline more and use his court positioning to take his opponents time away, rather than trying to accurately all the time the way he does. His margins aren’t very big and if he’s not feeling it, he has a hard time winning points. When you take your opponents time away from them, you put the owness on them.

I don’t think he’ll make top 10, but if he does, it will be the highlight of his career.


Dave Says:

Good points MMT. I still think he will be in the top 10 because he is an intelligent player and he is still learning. Last year he pushed Djokovic to 3 sets and was up a break in the 3rd set. So he was very close to beating him. He has already beaten Wawrinka this year. So he has beaten some top players already and challenged the number 1 player. That shows consistency as well.


Dave Says:

Also, even if he loses in the semi-finals, he will be in the top 8 in the race to London. Not bad for the first quarter of the season. He is really good on clay as well, so this should help him stay in the top 8 of this race for a while.


Markus Says:

Hey, Okiegal, you’re on a roll…and I’m not referring to a dinar or diner or dinner roll (well, if you want any of those, that’s fine too). I’m having a nice chuckle with your posts.


mat4 Says:

The way Goffin improves, I believe he will end top 10 this year already.


Okiegal Says:

@Markus…..Oh, how happy that makes me! I have said a time or two…..trying to get an Oscar for best comedic performance on a tennis forum!! When I can make Humble, Skeezer,Travis, Mat4, cpd and Wog laugh…mission accomplished!! 👏 Applause please for being on a roll…..


Okiegal Says:

Commentators think that some coaching signals being sent to Novak via text messages to someone in
Novak’s camp. They do not miss a thing. They said Marin wasn’t there nor Boris…..Who is in his box? Question to his fans……does anyone know?


BBB Says:

Okie, I thought they said Novak called in a hitting partner from California?


Wog Boy Says:

It is Nole’s former hitting partner, Dusan Vemic, I am not watching, but he should be there in Nole’s box.


Wog Boy Says:

How is Nole playing, his serving percentage looks low?


Wog Boy Says:

Nobody wants to talk to me, that’s ok, but it is not nice:(


mat4 Says:

Serve percentage 57%. It seems his back hurts. Very few unforced errors. No stress.


Okiegal Says:

^^^^I know how you feel Wog…..I have the same feeling from time to time….I chuckled at this comment. 👵


mat4 Says:

A bit of Beckeresque net game from Novak. 3-1


chrisford1 Says:

WB – I’ll talk to you. Dusan Vemic served as “assistant coach” under Marian, meaning he is a former pro and then hitting partner while he learns coaching because that’s how they do it.


mat4 Says:

Nole called for the trainer, WB.


Wog Boy Says:

Okie,

Thanks for sympathizing with me..


Wog Boy Says:

Thanks CF1&mat4 for updates.


Okiegal Says:

@BBB
@Wog Boy

Thanks for the info…..he’s a nice looking guy. The commentators were making a big deal out of him standing up and making a gesture with his elbow….I couldn’t help but chuckle on that one too! Maybe so. I figured he was just doing the 7th inning
stretch.


mat4 Says:

Since Novak hurt his back, he’s hitting the ball much harder to shorten points. It works…


Okiegal Says:

@cf1…..Talk to me….I’m the one that asked the question.😠

@WB….I’m a sympathetic person, so you’re welcome!!


AndyMira Says:

Very disappointed in Berdych,always never really rise to the occasion when it most mattered..congrats to novak though..


mat4 Says:

@WB:

If Novak’s back is OK, and not the reason he changed his game in the second set, then Novak is rising his form.

Key stats: second serve points won — Novak 64%, Tomas 24%.

Novak was also excellent at the net — 10 of 14. He has improved his volleying a lot. He also wisely used the slice in the second set.

Tomas was too aggressive, going for the lines all the time. Result: Novak 10 winners, 9 UE, Tomas 15 winners, 45 UE.


Wog Boy Says:

mat4,

Maybe Thiem match took it’s toll on Nole. I am not sure if I sow it well, but Thiem won something like 80% of his first serve against Nole which is unusually high for any Nole’s oponent?


chrisford1 Says:

Okiegal – I saw Wog boy had correctly identified the guy but wasn’t sure what is title is. So I said in response to his question that Vemic is hitting guy with part-time coaching duties like being an on-court evaluator, scouting, travel tasks, subbing in the stands if a regular coach isn’t there.

Nice resume stuff “I was an assistant coach to Novak Djokovic. I have 3 references from that time….”


Okiegal Says:

What happened to Novak’s back? I switched channels to watch Nashville……..when I switched back, it was over.


Okiegal Says:

Thanks Chrisf1….was curious. I thought the commentators had the wrong player’s box. I didn’t recognize him and then didn’t see Marin….I was confused…..as usual….but Chris Fowler and Brad Gilbert weren’t. Not sure if they were right about the coaching signal however…..


Dave Says:

His back seems fine. It really didn’t affect his play. In fact he played better after the injury time out if anything. And he also was very happy after the match. He showed some emotion. If it was a serious injury that he was worried about, he would have shown a more subdued celebration and walked off the court.


Okiegal Says:

Thanks Dave…..sounds like nothing serious….lots of service motions probably.


RZ Says:

@Dave – I would agree with you about Goffin except that I have probably jinxed him by putting him in my Tennis-X year-end top 10. My predictions are more often wrong than right!


J-Kath Says:

Goffin is dogged – doesn’t give up easily – has much the same grit as Ferrer. He usually makes top ten players produce their best – (Came back from 2 sets down to force the DC match against Andy to 5 sets – which was on clay).

However, for him to take up residence in the top ten he’ll need good draws. He won’t beat Nole but am curious to see how he stands up to him.


funches Says:

Federer not only hasn’t faded, he played better for much of last year than he did in his prime.

We’ll see how he recovers from his knee injury, but he was a clear No. 2 with no challenger for long stretches last year, and the only reason he wasn’t No. 1 was due to Djokovic’s GOAT level.

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