Tearful Goffin, Federer Retreat Mark Monday Madrid; Tuesday Big Day With Nadal, Murray
by Staff | May 3rd, 2016, 12:25 am
  • 54 Comments

The men’s seeds held firm in first-round play on Monday at the Mutua Madrid Masters, where Top 10 seeds David Ferrer and Richard Gasquet navigated tricky opponents to move into the second round.


The No. 9-seeded Ferrer needed to come from a set down to defeat countryman Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia Lopez 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, while the No. 10-seeded Gasquet narrowly avoided a three-setter against Spanish qualifier Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 7-6(5).

Other seeds into the second round were No. 11 Milos Raonic topping Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci 7-6(4), 6-1, and No. 16 Gilles Simon outlasting Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

The lone seeded upset on the day was No. 12 Belgian David Goffin, who fell to hard-hitting French qualifier Lucas Pouille 7-6(4), 2-6, 7-6(7).

Goffin looked on the verge of tears walking to the net for the post-match handshake after losing out on four match point opportunities.

Unseeded results of note were Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez downing Leo Mayer in three, Sam Querrey coming from a set down to defeat French qualifier Pierre-Hughes Herbert, and qualifier Radek “The Worm” Stepanek outlasting Canuck Vasek “Popsicle” Pospisil in three sets.

“It was a complicated match,” F-Lo said of beating Mayer. “He is an overall complete player. He hits the ball very well and serves pretty good. It’s not easy to return his balls because they’re very heavy. In the end, I think it was a pretty tight match.”

Roger Federer withdrew from the tournament citing a back injury.

“Sorry to the tournament for coming and leaving without playing,” Federer said. “I arrived and I was okay, and then I practiced on Saturday and hurt my back a little bit in practice and then stopped early.”

Tuesdays bounty of rich matches in Madrid include (5) Nadal vs. Kuznetsov, (2) Murray vs. (Q) The Worm, (14) Thiem vs. Del Potro, (11) Raonic vs. Dolgopolov, (10) Gasquet vs. Verdasco, Coric vs. (WC) Almagro, Dimitrov vs. (WC) Carreno Busta, Tomic vs. Fognini, and Sock vs. Paire.

TUESDAY MADRID SCHEDULE
MANOLO SANTANA start 12:00 noon
WTA – [6] S. Halep (ROU) vs K. Knapp (ITA)
WTA – [8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs S. Lisicki (GER)
Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [5] R. Nadal (ESP) vs A. Kuznetsov (RUS)
Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [Q] R. Stepanek (CZE) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)
Not Before 9:30 pm
WTA – [WC] S. Cirstea (ROU) vs D. Kovinic (MNE)

ARANTXA SANCHEZ start 12:00 noon
ATP – [Q] S. Giraldo (COL) vs [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
ATP – [14] D. Thiem (AUT) vs [PR] J. del Potro (ARG)
Not Before 4:00 pm
WTA – D. Cibulkova (SVK) vs C. Garcia (FRA)
ATP – [11] M. Raonic (CAN) vs A. Dolgopolov (UKR)
ATP – [10] R. Gasquet (FRA) vs [WC] F. Verdasco (ESP)


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54 Comments for Tearful Goffin, Federer Retreat Mark Monday Madrid; Tuesday Big Day With Nadal, Murray

Daniel Says:

Thiem just lost to DelPo, felt that he didn’t have much in the tank after Munich.

DelPo could make semis to face Nadal. That should be a great test for him to play Nadal on clay and see where his game really is, also if he reaches that far he will be on a 3 match win. This win against Thiem is already a good result for him.


jane Says:

interesting stat – what’s this about?

Thiem break pt conversion in last 10 matches:
3/39 (8%) vs. del Potro, Nadal, Djokovic
28/51 (55%) vs. everyone else


RZ Says:

Thiem and Kohlschreiber both lost within minutes of each other. Guess the tough match in Munich and change of venue and altitude worked against them in Madrid.


Daniel Says:

Looks like Dimi is on the way out again. Him and Thiem losing finals and backing it up with first round losses😜


jalep Says:

Nerves is my guess, jane. And Dominic is yet to get a win over Fed (only one attempt, tho, but it was this year, Brisbane, a match I thought Thiem could win); or a win over Andy in two attempts, both on hc.

If he keeps going as he has, those wins vs Rafa, Nole, ect will come. A win in Brisbane over Fed would have helped move him along, confidence-wise prior to AO. He’s also adjusting to a new racquet since Monte Carlo and perhaps a bit over-played. Really not doing too bad, Dominic Thiem, considering!

Nice win for Delpo!


Daniel Says:

Nadal with a flawless 6-4 set lonsing only 2 points on serve.


J-Kath Says:

Looks like Nadal is indeed “vamoosing”.


Daniel Says:

^6-3


Dave Says:

Daniel,

I’m pretty sure that Del Potro would meet Nadal in the QF’s and not SF’s.


Dave Says:

Let’s be honest, as high as Nadal’s first serve percentage was, Kusnetsov made the Nadal serve look a lot more amazing than it was. I’m curious to know how many returns of serve he actually got in play in that first set. He gifted Nadal a lot of points on routine returns that were not out of his reach.


Dave Says:

Kuznetsov’s returning is absolutely horrendous in this match so far.


Daniel Says:

Yeah Dave, DelPo x Nadal Quarters, 3 match win for DelPo as he did not got a bye like top seeds. Semis Nadal should play Murray or Ferrer.


Roger Nadal Says:

I think DelPo does not get that far – maybe wins a round or 2.


Dave Says:

I agree. Delpo still doesn’t have a backhand. Until that shot is in order, a win over a tired and flat Thiem isn’t impressing me all that much.


Daniel Says:

Next for DelPo is Sock and than Sousa / Granollers. Too very winnable matches. Hope he gets them, the more he wins the better. Saw him play a bit and he was hitting his BH way more with top spin than in previous HC tourneys. Work in progresse for him at this point. Only after Wimby I think he will be hitting it hard again.


Dave Says:

I agree Daniel. It is still a work in progress. There was definitely improvement today. This is a long term thing for sure. He needs to win more matches. Sock will really test him though. I’m definitely not looking past that match.


jalep Says:

Any win is a good win for Delpo these days. Hope he can beat Sock then Sousa/Granollers. I didn’t see any tennis today. But will try to watch tomorrow.

Happy Simona Halep won another match! I like her chances vs Timea Bacsinszky next. It wont be easy. Timea has a better record than Simona in 2016. I’m hoping Timea is a bit worn out after winning Rabat last week-end.


Giles Says:

When Nadal wins he is supposedly being gifted a lot of points. Lol^^^ Dave


Margot Says:

JMDP’s serve and forehand looked as massive as ever, but backhand looked very vulnerable and, if it had gone to 3, doubt if he would’ve won. Thiem seemed energy less and hadn’t figured out how to target that back hand.
So “slick operator” lost. Am wondering if all that silly “baby Fed” stuff just went to his head and he’s never recovered. It’s a very pretty head of course….He just gives out an aura of entitlement.


Daniel Says:

Almagro lost first set, seems all players who played finals last weekend are going down today.


Margot Says:

Just watching Coric. My goodness I’m impressed.
jalep, can I be on two bandwagons at once, please? ;)


Margot Says:

And, just noticed Miles Maclachlan is coaching Coric. Hmmm interesting.


SG1 Says:

Margot…I was thinking the same thing. What is going on with Dimitrov? Just goes to prove there’s so much more to being a great player than being a classy ball striker with a pretty backhand. Like Safin and Monfils, I think Dimitrov is great at living the life of a great tennis player. Problem is, he’s not actually a great player these days. Sad.


jalep Says:

I’ve lost count how many bandwagons I’m on right now, Margot! As far as I’m concerned, be on as many as you fancy/can 😜

Coric and Thiem strike me as level-headed. Neither are as in love with themselves as a Dimitrov. Not that it’s bad to be somewhat in love with yourself — it only becomes a negative if it distracts you from what you want in life. That’s perhaps too philosophical for me. But something like that. Sascha might have a touch too much of it but hopefully his family keeps it in check.

Kyrgios is smarter than he lets on — that’s my guess. Which reminds me — Kokkinakis should be coming back soon!

Speaking of Greeks, my eye is sorta on Stefanos Tsitsipas. Felix Auger Aliassime, Dennis Shapovalov, Taylor Fritz, Kyle Edmund, Francis Tiafoe (great personality), Djurabeck Karimov are some other bandwagons I’m ready to jump on. And WTA has a lot of available bandwagon seats. Then there’s the bandwagons I’ve abandoned ….

Have to keep up on who is IN and who is OUT. Like the stock market.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I think y’all are being a little hard on DelPo. Look at it another way: he just beat a top 20 player who is one of the hottest on tour this year. If nothing else works well, DelPo will be very glad for this win, that for all that work he put in, he came back and beat a player at this level, at a big tournament.

His serve and forehand are great. His movements not bad. His backhand is not a threat, but come on, it wasn’t bad. He hit it pretty consistently, and with variety.

I think that BH is good enough to take him into the top ten. I don’t think he can compete for slams with that weapon taken away though.

He’ll move way up with just this win- if he can beat Sock and Granollers, he’ll move up over 100 spots.


Daniel Says:

Also we have to keep in mind this is altutudeand on a great serving day DelPo could be a threat, ball flies faster on air even of the clay delays it a bit. It’s very different conditions hence so many llayers having trouble to adjust.

Want to see how Murray fare in a few hours and rest of top dogs tomorrow. So far a few “upsets” but expected as all played deep last week.


anki Says:

Rafa played well and Coric too, how good was that young lad. Novak is not going to have it easy tomorrow, Borna was so clinical today.


MMT Says:

“jane Says: interesting stat – what’s this about? Thiem break pt conversion in last 10 matches: 3/39 (8%) vs. del Potro, Nadal, Djokovic 28/51 (55%) vs. everyone else”

Djokovic’s serve is outstanding (better than del Potro and Nadal). However, all three have outstanding returns – Djokovic and Nadal moreso than del Potro, but all three are well above average.

I would be interested to see the their reverse statistics, because I have a feeling they put a lot of pressure on him to break given the likelihood that they will or already have, broken him.

Thiem’s serve is solid, but from what I recall, not a particular weapon.


Dave Says:

Giles,

I’m pretty objective. I like Nadal actually. When has Nadal ever been known to have a big serve? Never. And especially not in 2015 and 2016. Go rewatch the match and see how many returns Kuznetsov didn’t even get back into play. They either went into the net or went out. I have seen Kuznetsov return better, that’s for sure. Nadal played a really good match today in fact. I don’t think anyone has a chance except maybe Murray of beating Nadal on his side of the draw. He is making it look routine again. I don’t even see Nadal being challenged until maybe the final, if Djokovic even makes it that far. Also Giles, I have no issues with you whatsoever, but please don’t try and make me seem biased. That is one thing I am not. Thanks.


Dave Says:

If Stepanek can play this good at 37 years old, like he is today, Federer being a much better player shouldn’t have problems playing at a high level 3 years from now. He is playing amazing tennis against Murray. He will still probably lose, but what a show he is putting on so far.


RZ Says:

@Jalep – thanks for the news on Kokkinakis. Looking forward to him returning. He’s my other young favorite (along with Thiem).


Daniel Says:

Murray shouldn’t be bothered by Stapanek, risking going another break down.


Dave Says:

Stepanek is a really good all around player Daniel. And when he is firing on all cylinders like today can even bother Djokovic.


Daniel Says:

Just madr some quick math and if Murray loses today with Rome points dropping from both him and Federer, Fed would be 6925 and Murray 6845. Federer will need only to go same roujd as Murray in Madrid.

But curious detail of Fed enters Rome and lose second round and Murray loses tgird round they will be tied at 6935 pts. In this case who gets the number #2 seed for RG? Murray as the current #2?!

Don’t remember the rule.


Giles Says:

Dave. No problem. 👍


Daniel Says:

Not able to eatch matches today Dave, so Stepanek os in one of those days than?

What I meant is on paper and with hsi age, Steps shouldn’t be vothering Murray, defending champion on clay, even with Madrid favorjg big servers.


Daniel Says:

Well, see that Murray got his act together and already broke Stephe should close fast because he has 3 potentially close matches going forward: Simon, Ferrer/Berdych and Nadal. That all to reach finals and have a shot at defending his title.

He should save energy for the later matches and not risk going out of fumes as he dis in MC a fee weeks back.


Dave Says:

I hope Murray gets the Number 2 seed for Roland Garros. Each win is huge for Murray.


RZ Says:

@Daniel – why would Rome points be dropping this week?


Dave Says:

I don’t think that’s what Daniel meant RZ. He was calculating when Rome points do drop where Murray and Federer would be.


RZ Says:

Thanks for clarifying Dave. That makes a lot more sense!


Daniel Says:

Murray serving for the match in a quick set, just what the doctor ordered. One day rest until he retunr Thursday.


Daniel Says:

Year RZ, removing what both defend next week. Murray advancing today already puts him 80 pts above that clacilation I made. But if he loses next round and he and Fed lose at the same round in Rome, they will be tied. One more victory for Murray place him above Fed regardless of he defenda hos title here or not, he could know what he’ll need to do better in Rome to secure #2 seed for Garros. The more he wins in Madrid the better for him now that Fed is not playing and where he defends the most points.


RZ Says:

Thanks Daniel. So far so good today for Murray! I’m not expecting him to defend his title here but I hope he’ll at least make the semis.


Daniel Says:

Found out about the tie, they count first Grand Slams resulta + All mandatory Masters + WTF points. So in this case Murray still holds #2 as he has more Masters points than Fed even Fed with more Slams and WTF points.


Margot Says:

Jeez Andy having his characteristically slow start!


Daniel Says:

Agree RZ, hos draw may opne up, Simon isn’t plying unbelievable lately nor Berdych or Ferrer. They all got wins over Murray in the past but I still fancy Murray to reach semis. I just hope he wins next two matches without dropping sets. The more energy he has left in his tabk the better for a almost assure Nadal semis and potential Novak final. These are tge matches he has to be at the peak of his fitness to have a chance against both.

One win for him over either of them at this point would do wonders for his RG chances.


Dave Says:

Nadal is getting better and better. I still think he will get revenge on Murray in the semi-finals this year. Nadal just looks to strong on clay lately. Murray does really need a big win though. He is looking for a big win I am sure of that.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Rafa v Murray will (if) be an amazing match. My money’s on Rafa.


Wog Boy Says:

Since USO last year Rafa was improving and playing well, his problem was he couldn’t connect two good wins, two good tournaments, he lacked consistency in tournaments in order to get his confidence back, but it was only the matter of time. He got that now and he is high on confidence and it will be hard to beat him regardless of who you are, this is his turf and rightfully so.
People were mocking him for losing to Nole in Beijing, Doha, but that was Nole’s turf, and that was Nole playing at level not seen before in tennis, even Rafa said so (not just me). Just look at Roger’s first two set’s on surface that perfectly suits him, AO one. If it was best of three he would end up same as Rafa in Doha, differences is that Doha is not the surface where Rafa feel comfortabale.
The only thing Rafa doesn’t need befor FO is losing to somebody not of his caliber, that would seriously dent his confidence, otherwise he is favorite to lift his tenth FO.


Daniel Says:

Yeah, Nadal was losing some matches he could have won. For example, he won against Thiem in a set he could have lost in MC this year, played poorly against Kolsh but won even so. It kinds of was a combination of him not being top notch (specially mentally) and players able to play great against him). Now he is able to stay in the match more, but, on clay. He has no HC title since Doha 2014. I know is clay now, HC is long way still, but the hype is mainly on clay where he was not playing great last 2 years, now he seems on track with his clay game in his favorite part of the season.


Dave Says:

After today’s match, I got that feeling that Nadal is back. It was the first time in a long time that I felt that way. I didn’t feel that way even after he won Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Today he just made his win look so routine and easy. You never felt like he was going to lose for even a second. I still can’t say for sure if Nadal being back will translate into him beating Djokovic. That is a whole other can of worms that need to be opened to find out. Nole has improved since Nadal was playing the way Nadal can play. He has a specific game plan that seems to work against Nadal, even on clay. If Nadal takes a set off of Nole in their next match, than Nadal is officially back, even if he lose the match. Until he takes a set of Nole, he can’t be truly back. The old Nadal could fight his way into any match and at the very least make it competitive, not being beaten in straight sets.


Dave Says:

Also, Nadal being competitive with Djokovic can push tennis to new levels again. If Nadal can find a way to even things up a bit more, it will be good for tennis and it will be good for both Djokovic and Nadal. Djokovic seems to need that motivation to be pushed to the limit by someone to really bring the best out of him. I think after last years dominance, he needs that push again. It will be exciting to see if him and Nadal can break more records in the future and take tennis to new heights. These guys work so hard and push tennis to it’s limits. I’m excited to see what the next chapter will bring this next few months.

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