Del Potro Joins Nadal as ‘Back’ in Madrid; Wed. Preview With Djokovic, Wawrinka-Kyrgios
by Staff | May 3rd, 2016, 11:56 pm
  • 99 Comments

Rafael Nadal is back? Well so is Juan Martin del Potro!


The No. 5-seeded Nadal beat Russian Alex Kuznetsov 6-3, 6-3 on Tuesday to move into the third round in Madrid, but perhaps the bigger story was the unseeded Del Potro, continuing his return from multiple wrist surgeries, beating one of the hottest claycourters of the year.

Del Potro ground down No. 14 seed and somewhat-gassed-from-last-week’s-Munich-run Dominic Thiem 7-6(5), 6-4.

“I have just played my best match since I came back to tennis after my surgeries,” Del Potro said. “I’ve had a great test against a very high-level player.”

The former US Open champ will next meet American Jack Sock, who eked out a win over Frenchman Benoit Paire 2-6, 6-2, 7-6(5). Nadal will next face either Sam Querrey or Lucas Pouille.

In other second-round Top 10 action, No. 2 seed Andy Murray was forced to work to beat Czech qualifier Radek “The Worm” Stepanek 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-1, and No. 10 Richard Gasquet put on the hard hat to beat Spanish wildcard Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

“He played very well. It was not easy,” Murray said after fighting off Stepanek’s aggressive attack in the first two sets before the Czech ran out of gas in the third. “Third set I started to play with a little bit more height. I was playing a little bit more spin, which made it harder for him. When I was getting the ball up high he started making a few more mistakes.”

Other seeded winners were No. 11 Milos Raonic over Alex Dolgopolov in three, No. 13 Gael Monfils topping Kevin Anderson, and No. 15 Rob Bautista Agut over Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo.

In notable unseeded matches Borna Coric showed wildcard Nicolas Almagro the door, Pablo Cuevas beat last week’s Munich winner Philipp Kohlschreiber, and Fabio Fognini beat Bernard “The Tank Engine” Tomic 6-2, 6-4, with Tomic attempting to return the last point of the match with his racquet handle.

Matches to look for Wednesday in Madrid are (1) Novak Djokovic vs. Coric, (15) Bautista Agut vs. Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez in an all-Spanish, (6) Kei Nishikori vs. Fognini, Del Potro vs. Sock, and (4) Stan Wawrinka vs. Nick Kyrgios.

MADRID WEDNESDAY SCHEDULE
MANOLO SANTANA start 12:00 noon
ATP – F. Lopez (ESP) vs [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – [6] S. Halep (ROU) vs [10] T. Bacsinszky (SUI)
Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs B. Coric (CRO)
Not Before 8:00 pm
WTA – [8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs S. Stosur (AUS)
Not Before 9:30 pm
ATP – A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs [7] J. Tsonga (FRA)

ARANTXA SANCHEZ start 12:00 noon
WTA – D. Gavrilova (AUS) vs [5] P. Kvitova (CZE)
Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – F. Fognini (ITA) vs [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)
ATP – [Q] D. Kudla (USA) vs [9] D. Ferrer (ESP)
ATP – P. Cuevas (URU) vs [13] G. Monfils (FRA)
Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [PR] J. del Potro (ARG) vs J. Sock (USA)
Not Before 9:30 pm
WTA – [Q] P. Tig (ROU) vs M. Keys (USA)


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99 Comments for Del Potro Joins Nadal as ‘Back’ in Madrid; Wed. Preview With Djokovic, Wawrinka-Kyrgios

Wog Boy Says:

Nole always struggles with players he hasn’t played before, Coric is more than capable of giving Nole a run for the money. Nole has to come out 100% or else..


Wog Boy Says:

^^^ 100% focused


nits Says:

Novak had guided Coric during his early years on tour so he must be knowing about his game


Wog Boy Says:

Actually, you might be right nits, but still, this is first official match between two, it’s different attitude.


Van Persie Says:

Hope Nole will win today. I agree with the a.m. comments, it might be a difficult match for the Nr. 1.


Margot Says:

I think Coric, who is really impressive, will indeed give Nole a run for his money, but can’t see Nole losing.
Altho…..wouldn’t it be exciting for “new” tennis if he did?
Just teasin’ you, Nole fans.;)
And of course the same thing applies to Nick v Stan match. Now that’s an interesting one. Again I can’t see Stan losing but….


jane Says:

margot, wish i had more time to watch. may try to catch some tmrw!


Wog Boy Says:

Somebody was mentioning Kokkinakis on the other thread, unfortunately his recovery doesn’t go as smoothly as they believe it will, nobody knows when exactly he will be back. Interesting about his injury is that it hadn’t been caused by playing tennis:

“Kokkinakis dislocated his right shoulder playing basketball a few years ago.

Soreness in the AC joint last season plagued Kokkinakis and, after using weights “screwed it up even more”, it was eventually decided to opt for surgery.”


gonzalowski Says:

A Delpo – Nadal QF would be very nice.
Nadal wasn’t impressive yesterday against Kuznetsov, but it’s normal with him at early ronuds.


Pauly Says:

Nadal plays better each round
Come finals he will better should he reach finals


Green Lady Says:

Ha ha Drama and Kyrgios seem to go together, Stan as cool as a cucumber, great tennis, lots of winners, Kyrgios is an great player, i think will achieve amazing things, shame he shoots his mouth off too much ….


Wog Boy Says:

Stan has man boobs..


Wog Boy Says:

Or it could be his road worker’s colored top..?


Green Lady Says:

LOL Stans attire leaves alot to be desired at times, that is for sure ….


Van Persie Says:

Stan looks like a man in middle life crisis


Van Persie Says:

Congrats Nick!


Daniel Says:

Stan losing a match he faced no Break Point in 2 tiebreaks.

Plot for #4 seed in Roland Garros gets more interesting. Now Nadal if he does well has a shot of it in Rome.


Wog Boy Says:

Good job Nick, you kept your emotions under control and shut the biased fans out of the match.


Wog Boy Says:

Daniel,
Even Roger can drop out of top4, can he?


Daniel Says:

Foggy 1 point away from closing second set and forcing a third agaisnt Kei.

Simon also won second set and pushed the match to third.

Ine hurdle out for Novak, although I got the sense we’ve seen the best of Wawa, thibk he is going down in rankings now together woth Berdych and Ferrer. Apart from Dubai this year he is basically a no show.


Wog Boy Says:

Let’s go Fognini.


Daniel Says:

No, actually Roger can get back to #2 if Murray doesn’t defend his title, even of is just for 1 week.

Last year Roger also lost early in Madrid. Fed can only drop out of top 4 after Wimbledon I think.

Wawa’s pont will collpase after RG if he doesn’t reach at least semis. Roger doesn’t defend much and even if Nadal wins Madrid and Rome (something he have never done on his prime, sweep all caly eventa plus Barcelona prior to Garros). Fed will still be top 4 for RG agead pf Wawrinka.


Dave Says:

When a player styles his game after another player, it doesn’t always work out so well. Just ask Dimitrov how many times he has beaten Federer. I expect the same from Coric. Everything Coric does, Djokovic does better. For Nole to lose 2 matches in a row, I would be totally shocked. Especially with this much prep time. I don’t care how well Coric played yesterday.


Wog Boy Says:

I am talking after Rome, check it again if Roger doesnt play Rome and Rafa wins Madrid and Rome, Stan makes Rome final, Federer is out of top4?


Dave Says:

Stan losing didn’t surprise me in the least. He doesn’t seem to like playing Kyrgios. Kyrgios isn’t fazed by Stan. Nadal getting to number 2 is a big possibility now. Nadal will be moving up the rankings very quickly if he gets to the finals or better at the French. He could go to number 2 if things go well in the clay season. That’s amazing.


Daniel Says:

It can’t WB, bacaise Wawa lost 80 pts this week and if he reaches Rome final he only gets 240 pts on total pf his 6460 now, he can get 6720. If if Fed doesn’t play Rome and loses hos 600 pts he will still be on top of Stan with above 6900.

Nadal can obly gain 400 this week and 820 next so total 1220 pts on top of his 5915. So any scenario with Nadal or Stan amking finals in Rome one winning Fed still safe in top 4 for Garros.


Wog Boy Says:

What a miss by Fognini on break point, Nole style overhead, he could choose any part of of the court and he chose to hit the ball outside of the court.


Daniel Says:

The most important match regarisng RG rabking this year will be the semis between Nadal and Murray. Both plaers defend a lot this season and that match can basically set the rabkings for all top 5 bar Novak. It can inpact Fed, Wawa, and both Nadal and Murray.

If Murray loses he and Fed will do the match of what each needs to do to be #2 after Rome, this of coirse assuming Fed will be fit for Rome.

If Nadal loses, #4 in RG is gone for him and Wawa can breath relieved. And if Murray reaches finals Fed’s chance will still depend if Murray defenda his title or not.

So one of Murray or Nadal will have his probabel seedings deeply affected by this match, if we got to see it, re edition of last years final.


Wog Boy Says:

Daniel check live atp rankings:

If Roger doesn’t play Rome he will have 6.925 points.

If Stan makes final in the Rome he will have 6.980 points

If Rafa wins Madrid and Rome he will have 7.315 points.

Andy is safe with few wins here and in Rome.

Meaning that there is possibility Roger can drop out of top4 prior FO, remote one though.


Van Persie Says:

WB,

for you link below. You have yo scroll a bit the artivle and it is an interview with Nole

Nole knows a few words in Romanian. His first ATP match was won in Bucharest

http://m.digisport.ro/Sport/TENIS/INTERVIU+EXCLUSIV
+Novak+Djokovic+amintiri+Romania+Bucuresti


Daniel Says:

Simon close it out.

Damm should have missed work today, a lot of competitve matches as it seems.


Dave Says:

Daniel, That’s why I love working from home. I don’t have to miss many matches.


Daniel Says:

Wog Boy,

As of today the rankings are:

Federer: 7535
Stan: 6460
Nadal: 5915

Remove all Madrid and Rome points

Federer: 7535 – 10 – 600 = 6925
Stan: 6460 – 90 – 360 = 6010
Nadal: 5935 – 600 – 180 = 5155

Stan only got 10 pts for this Madrid so he will go to 6020 if heRome final he ends with 6620
Nadal if adds 2000 ends with 7155. Fed still Top 4

If Stan wins Rome he ends with 7020 and Nadal finals he ends with 6755.

Both ways Fed still top 4. This of course if Stan and Nadal ends up in opposite sides of the draw, if they are at the same side This wouldn’t matter.

I think you forgot to remove points from Rome stan is defending, semis from last year.


Daniel Says:

Foggy serving for the match.


Wog Boy Says:

Daniel, in this is proper link for you, all you have to do is to take 600 points from Roger (Rome SF) add Madrid and Rome to Nadal and 600 points to Stan for possible Rome SF and you’ll come up with Roger out of top4:

http://live-tennis.eu


Daniel Says:

Damn Kei broke back, 5-5


Daniel Says:

Wog Boy,

The link is correct, but again, you are forgetting to drop Stan’s 360 pts from Rome last year. That’s why Roger will shown as out of top 4. Stan defenda Semis last year. He has 360 pts dropping after Rome regardless.


Wog Boy Says:

Ok, I got it.


Daniel Says:

Now Foggy 2 points away from losing. Kei resilient


Wog Boy Says:

VP
Thanks for the link, Nole actually spoke quite a few words in Romanian:)


lakie Says:

Kei is kind of poor man’s Djokovic


Wog Boy Says:

Fognini has to blame himself and not chair umpire for losing the match he had on his racquet.


Van Persie Says:

yep WB, and he did it well ;)…he knew the vers from a song. I was really impressed


Daniel Says:

Which I could watch Djoko now, curious to see if he will play enough to win or try to give a statement win to erase any doubts post MC.


Daniel Says:

What happened, Foggy was arguing with umpire? He kind of is a mental case so not surprised if that happened.


Wog Boy Says:

He didn’t want to shake umpires hand at the end.


Margot Says:

Goooooo Nick! Excellent close match and Nick had enough nous to keep the ball off Stan’s backhand a lot of the time.
Daniel, previous game Foggy got a warning, then last game of match got another, so had a point docked. Hence strop. TBH Kei didn’t have to do much, Fabby Fog gave it away. Kei looked sub-par.Is it very hot there, I wonder..


Daniel Says:

Kei likes conditions in Madrid so I think he os the safe bet for semis against Novak, or Kyrgios if pumped up.

Umpires tend to always give warnings at deuce and usually end of sets. This irritates players a bit. Maybe they should do it early kind to warn them that if they continue it will happen again in a more inoportune moment of the match.


Daniel Says:

Checked draw and Djoko may face Raonic and Kyrgios in quarters ans semis. Not good preparation for a possible Nadal / Murray final. Best for him would be to play Kei in semis to get hos baseline game on for finals. Raonic and Kyrgios would be a much different game.

He is already a break up and so is Ferrer.
Querrey won to face Nadal, even with his serve can’t see him
Doing much, his best days are long gone.


Daniel Says:

6-2 first set for Djoko breaking to close. So far, statement win.


Margot Says:

Goodness me, Sousa’s looking incredibly good. Has got a heck of a forehand and played hard court tennis.


Dave Says:

mini Djokovic can’t seem to keep up with real Djokovic.


Green Lady Says:

Not sure what it is people have got against Stan ?, but anyway nice win from Kyrgios, and superb hitting, an amazing player bound for big things i feel , but needs to knuckle down and not let his temper get the better of him, as for Stan a lot of talent, but i agree in that i think we have seen the best of him, not really done much since winning RG last year, SORRY EMILY if your reading, and i wish you would start posting again, i used to enjoy reading your posts ….


Wog Boy Says:

This was tight second set and Nole wasn’t quite happy with his game in second set. Lucky it wasn’t Vesely;)


Margot Says:

@GL
My commie described Nick as a “petulant child!” Drooled about his tennis, however.
@Wog Boy
What has happened to Nole’s serve? At one point 23% FSP


anki Says:

First set was pretty good from Novak, second set he managed to edge it out. What happened to his serving, it is going from bad to worse.


Wog Boy Says:

Margot,

I would like to know that too, and probably Nole, he looks frustrated because of that and has to work harder to win the points, also double faults are back too.


Wog Boy Says:

Just checked stats, Nole had 39% first serve in the second set, but luckily he protected his second serve really well, won 76% of his second.


Daniel Says:

This is starting to be a pattern with Djoko, having problem with hos serve in a few sets. There was another recent case, don’t remember where, when his serve went awol. What matters is he got a straight set win without being too pushed. Next Bautist Agut who won’t bother hum much either. Real fun begin Quarters onwards where he’ll start gearing up and entering A+ Djoko level where no one can reach him.


Dave Says:

I thought Djokovic played well. His serving was better in the first set for sure. But his game was good overall. He has a good second serve, which helps him a lot.


J-Kath Says:

Fed.’s longer term problem is his year end ranking e.g. No. 11 at moment with 1050 points. Appreciate this can change but would need a very strong “rest of year” to repair. I doubt he “can bring it on” suffieciently.


anki Says:

Hope there is no trouble b/w Novak and Boris. He helped Novak improve his serve and has been a good influence. It would be great to see him back for Rome and Paris.


Van Persie Says:

I am not quite sure, if Boris and Tiriac are in best termes lately…perhaps I am wrong. I am sure he will be with Nole in Rome.


Daniel Says:

Apart from Wawa, favorites winning today, but even so, Kyrgios may be a more dangerous player in Madrid altitude. Hope no more upsets and all top dogs in Quarters winning tomorrow. Since AO final we don’t have a blockbuster final with top players, the closest was Barcelona Nadal x Kei.


Daniel Says:

J-Kath,

Fed season latelly really start with grass. Last year he won Halle + Wimby finals + Cincy + USO finals + Basel + WTF finals. This alone is 5400 pts, safe to place him in top 5.

Of course we don’t know if he will be this sucessfull this year, but there is also Olympics on a pretty fast HC here in Rio and he added another grass tourney. No point in him spending too much energy now specially with this physicla issues he is dealing with. Better prepare, recover properly and peak from June to September. That is what I will do if I were him and I believe exactly what he is doing. ideadlly a few more tournes at this point wouldn’t hurt and he can always risk having another injury problem in this spam I mentioned. That would ruin his season and plans. So, hope for the best and him to be competitive in those events. Maximize his potential. I always consider myself a realist, and one quality I find very atrarctive is self knowledge. Not that you can’t dream, but you have to know yourself and your abilities. My two cents.


J-Kath Says:

Yes, hear what you say Daniel. Last year was a good year for Federer, but there is no sign he will be able to replicate that this year. He faces enuf problems from his traditional competition (with Nadal’s resurge for example) + there is certainly sufficient success from a small group of younger confident players that sooner (rather than later) will impact on Fed’s successes.


Daniel Says:

Agree, but as long as the gap between 2 to 10 is not that big in the race he will have his chances. Right now only Djoko is miles away and Nadal could open a gap as well if he keeps winning on clay.


jane Says:

boris was at the madrid players party. he also tweeted #teamdjokovic a couple days ago. there is nothing to worry about.


Van Persie Says:

ok Jane, thank you for the info. I did not know this…I am not the biggest fan of Tiriac. Tiriac was not very confident about Boris as a couch at the beginning of 2014, and he told that to the press…it is not the only reason, why I dk not like him, but I will keep the other reasons for myself.


Van Persie Says:

I mean, Tiriac was once the manager of Boris…it was not very nice, yhat he had to make public his doubts. Tells a lot about him…


jane Says:

cheers van persie; the main thing is that boris is still there for novak.

looks like both novak and rafa are taking in some soccer in madrid.


Van Persie Says:

Exactly Jane, Boris would not let Nole down ;) Cheers back


Dave Says:

If Nadal gets back to Number 2 after the French Open and is truly back on all surfaces, that means Federer will have Djokovic or Nadal in a Semi in every tournament he enters. Nadal would likely hold onto that ranking with nothing to defend in Wimbledon and almost nothing to defend at the U.S. Open. I can’t see Federer having the same success as last year. I expect Federer to get to the final of Wimbledon if not drawn on the same side as Nole. I also expect Federer to win in Cincy even against Djokovic. At the U.S. Open, I don’t expect Federer to get by either Nadal or Djokovic if they were to meet in the Semi-finals this year. Nadal just throws a huge obstacle in the way of Federer that Federer really didn’t have to deal with last year.


Dave Says:

Where Federer will most definitely improve is in Shanghai. He can pick up some much needed points there. I think he will skip Toronto again because of the Olympics. So no extra point there. If the hard courts in Rio are fast, it will all depend if Federer meets Nole in the final or the Semi-final. If it’s a best of 3 match in the semi-finals, this chances of winning go up drastically. If it’s in the final, which is a best of 5 set format, Federer will be in trouble at that point. I don’t see him winning the Gold in that case.


Dave Says:

And of Course if Federer has to play Nadal, I don’t see him winning either. Not even in a best of 3 set match. Nadal is in better form now than when he played in Basel. He is much more confident and not second guessing himself so much. Because Nadal is really good on slower courts as well, I could see him winning another Australian Open title. Definitely having an opportunity to do that. He could be the first man in history to have won all 4 grand slams at least twice and 2 singles gold medals. A double career golden slam. That would be quite something.


Green Lady Says:

Dave i like that summary ;-)) ….


Dave Says:

Nadal and Djokovic have opportunities to break many records in the next few years. It will be interesting to see what happens.


Green Lady Says:

They already have Dave, but i know you mean more ;-)) ….


Dave Says:

Yes. Many more records. Many new records.


Daniel Says:

Dave, let’s wait what will happen in RG ot this week, if Nadal can beat Novak again. Actually win a set. than see how he will fare on grass.

This is just Europen Clay where he only played bad last year, 2014 he was so so but still good enought to make a push in Garros.

His serve is still vert weak and once conditions change he will still be in trouble. So far he has 2 decent tourneys, a lot to improve still


Green Lady Says:

However for some its not simply enough that their own particular favorites are doing well, and breaking all number of records etc, they seem to take great delight in pulling apart the achievements and records of others, like some people cant be completely happy unless they are making everyone else in the world completely miserable, at least thats how it seems sometimes, although it all falls on deaf ears, as per usual ….


Dave Says:

Daniel,

Whenever Nadal is playing with confidence and isn’t injured that Always translates well to hard courts. Not grass anymore unfortunately. But hard courts, yes. He can win the U.S. Open when he has confidence. He has a better chance at winning the Australian Open because the courts are slower. But he can still win the U.S. Open. If he doesn’t get injured, I would be very surprised if Nadal didn’t do well on hard courts. Especially considering how will he did in the indoor hardcourt season to end the year last year.


Dave Says:

2013 was a great example of that. 2014 he was playing very well. He got to the final in Australia and yes he did get injured. I’m not saying he would have won, but he was balling his eyes out into a towel lying on the ground in frustration. He looked helpless and didn’t know what to do. And he did get injured in the 2014 summer swing and couldn’t really compete. 2015 was a write off.


Green Lady Says:

Daniel im curious to know, what you actually thought about Chris Ford 1s posts on the Federer withdraws thread, without stirring up a hornets nest ? ….


Daniel Says:

Dave,

Nadal hasn’t won a HC title since Doha 2104, 2 and a half year ago and you are talking about USO already just because he played 2 good tournaments in Europena Clay?!?! Hos confiant because it’s clay. Let’s see how it will teanslat to the rest pf the season. Maybe he just loses here and RG again and suddenly he will ve second guessing again.

Not buying it still. Can win a Slam anybody can once they are in, seceral things can happen for it. As long as you are in the draw you have a chance.


Daniel Says:

GL,

Didn’t saw CF1 post, so don’t know what specifics you are saying. Or if it was the same thread I was exchanging with him.

I think as somebody elae mentioned when you stay a way you kind of cool of. I do believe he may have fet something in hos back but maybe he just saw Nadal in his quarters didn’t lke his draw and felt, well, let’s have a go in Rome.

As I said before, to me he doesn’t care about this part pf the season anymore: after AO to RG. Of coirse he will be there for RG, he know he is in top 5 with a shot at it, even slim one. Only Dubai he cares.

He is targetting Grass to WTF, my take. At his age, after surgery (which was new to him), he is focusing on play where he has best chances.

He just got bad luck with stomach and now back. And as he didn’t have clay Masters scheduled pre RG, wouldn’t surprised me if he skiped at will.
Miami I am postove he got sick, commnetors were saying he was strange and didn’t practice well.

Here I feel is more hard to knwo for sure. But with the amount of matches he played he can skip any tournament he wants and they are not going to say to press or tourney: hei, don’t feel
Like playjng sorry. They will always use the injury excuse. All players do it, have done it before and will eventually do it again in the future. To me, no fuss at all.


Daniel Says:

Arrive home and my TV is show Tsonga, wnated to watch DelPo. Hope he can turn it around.


Daniel Says:

Dave, you were right, DelPo didn’t even beat Sock.

Now Sock is favorite to play Nadal quarters.


chrisford1 Says:

“lakie Says:
Kei is kind of poor man’s Djokovic.”

Kei is a superbly talented, world class athlete with crazy good hand eye coordination and Top 5% of ATP players speed. He’s a Top 10 force in his own right and the 6th highest paid in pro tennis (winnings, appearances, exos, and biggest of all – endorsement dollars.) He has certain attributes like his backhand that are nearly as good as Djokovic’s.
Nishikori is a national celeb and has to wear disguise or have a police escort team when he goes about his business in Japan – so he lives in the USA to avoid the celeb madness. At least here he has an understanding with the mobs of Japanese media not to bird dog him. Japanese media, BTW does not care about his height-weaker serve issue, injury history, or not getting a Slam.

He is a poor man’s nobody.


Dave Says:

He is also the least approachable person I have ever met in my entire life. And yes I met him in Acapulco. He sat beside him everyday at breakfast at the hotel. He doesn’t even sit with his team. He doesn’t want to be approached by anyone ever. He doesn’t seem to take being in the spotlight very well on the opposite side of the world in a venue like Mexico where tennis isn’t even that popular. And money doesn’t make a person anything. Money means nothing in the grand scheme of things.


Dave Says:

Daniel,

Yes I figured that would be the case with Del potro. I didn’t see him winning that match against Sock. Sock is a very underrated clay court player.


Dave Says:

Chrisford1,

He is just a human being at the end of the day. Celebrity status doesn’t make you any more than anyone else. None of that stuff does. The person who you are inside is what really matters. I have nothing against Kei by the way. I’m sure he can be a really nice guy when he wants to be. He is just a very introverted person, as I found out when I met him and other friends of mine met him. I can respect that. He is just very far one way and maybe that is because of what happened to him in Japan. He hasn’t recovered from that and maybe has that same mentality everywhere he goes.


chrisford1 Says:

Dave – Your last was a very decent analysis of what likely drives Kei to want distance from fans of any stripe on many days, at many times. From his interviews, I don’t get a sense he is churlish. UniQlo just gave him a new 35 million multiyear contract to be the ambassador not just for Japan, but new or expanding Asian markets are moving into. The head of UniQlo, explaining why he sought Djokovic, said it was his quality of character, intense work ethic, seeking perfection while balancing it all with a happy life made him just the guy to represent UniQlo globally. I think if he put the same selection criteria there for Nishikori to be put on billboards all over China, Japan, Malaysia, S Korea – he would not have laid out 35 million until 2020 if Nishikori was a D-head.


Dave Says:

I don’t think he is a bad guy. I’m sure he is nice. And comes across as very humble in interviews. That’s why I and a friend of mine were shocked when he was the way he was in person. He really hated taking pictures with people from what I saw. I didn’t even try to get my picture taken with him. I just said: Hi Kei, my name is Dave it’s nice to meet you. He looked up, said hello and looked straight back down seeming borderline offended. I left feeling pretty bad about it and felt rejected. I got over it pretty quick though and met some other players during the trip. At first I felt like if every player is like that, I am not even going to attempt to talk to anyone else during the trip. Marin Cilic was very nice in person and very down to earth. Bedene was also very nice as well. Dudi Sela was super nice and down to earth as well. I even gave him advice and he actually listened to me.


Wog Boy Says:

I am not really big fan of Nishikori, particularly since Chang took over him.


lakie Says:

chrisford1 at 7:25 pm ( May 4th)

You just proved what I said. He is an inferior version of Djokovic. Kei has immense talent but his height and his proneness to injuries are his biggest handicaps. He does a lot of things Djokovic does but slightly less proficiently.


Okiegal Says:

@Dave…..Regarding Kei’s persona……I think he is very shy by nature….you know, from a different culture. He is showing a little anger on court now days…..coming out of his shell a little bit. He seems like a nice guy, but shy and timid. I especially notice it during interviews.


J-Kath Says:

@ Dave

“Money means nothing in the grand scheme of things.” Tell that to Tomic who says

….Who cares about the match. I’m 23 years old and worth 10 million….


elina Says:

Seems Rod Laver knows it isn’t all about slam count and there’s a co-G09T in town.

“Surprised” that this story has been buried on TX.

http://espn.go.com/tennis/story/_/id/15452386/tennis-rod-laver-comes-goat-novak-djokovic-roger-federer-equal

Top story: Federer, Djokovic Lead Heavily Favored European Team Laver Cup This Weekend