Roger Federer ‘Expected to Lose’ but Wins in ATP Rome Debut; Thurs Blockbuster Big 4 Line-up
by Jeremy Davis | May 11th, 2016, 4:45 pm
  • 198 Comments

Wednesday at Rome was all about the seeds — and a young upstart named Nick Kyrgios.
ADHEREL
All six Top 10 seeds advanced in second-round play, save one. No. 10 seed Milos Raonic was ousted 7-6(5), 6-3 by the unseeded Aussie Kyrgios, who took time off from his battles with the Australian tennis federation over the Olympics, and his brash predictions that he’ll soon be among the Top 3, to post a big win.

Kyrgios weathered a rain delay and some sporadic, uninspired play from Raonic, who at times seemed to be suffering abdominal or stomach issues. The Canuck went through his first six service games without an ace.

Top 10 seeds into the third round were No. 1 Novak Djokovic grinding past French qualifier Stephane Robert 7-5, 7-5, No. 2 Andy Murray beating Kazakh qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-3, No. 3 Roger Federer returning from injury to top rising German Alexander Zverev 6-3, 7-5, No. 5 Rafael Nadal stopping Phillip Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-3, and No. 9 David Ferrer defeating Spanish countryman Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez 6-4, 6-3.

It was Kyrgios’ fifth Top 10 win of the year, second only to Djokovic. Nadal and Kyrgios will next square off in a blockbuster on Thursday.

The lightly-treading Federer was simply happy to be playing in Rome.

“Cautious, but extremely happy,” said Federer, who will next meet No. 13 Dominik Thiem, who was a 6-3, 6-2 winner over Joao Sousa. “I was expecting to lose in straight sets today. That was the mind-set going in, so to win in straights is actually a really big surprise to me. I played cautious, and I only decided after the warm-up that I was actually going to play. So for me it was a big match on many levels.”

The Swiss had not competed since mid-April since suffering back issues.

“This was something [that] I feel like I needed to do to get a sense of where I’m at,” Federer said. “It would have been easy not to play and then just be unsure how I was going to feel in Paris. So at some point you have to go out there and see how it feels, and I’m happy I was able to play a full match without any setbacks.”

The world No. 1 Djokovic was forced to work against the 35-year-old French qualifier Robert, and will next meet another experienced clay courter in Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil, who beat Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 6-3.

“Today was an extremely difficult match for several reasons,” Djokovic said. “The conditions were very tough. The player that I played against was very unpredictable with his shots…He was going for some shots that were amazing, and with these windy conditions you don’t get too much rhythm. When it mattered the most, I managed to make him play an extra shot and pull this one through.”

The Madrid runner-up Murray navigated the conditions to set up a third-round meeting with unseeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who upset No. 15 Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(6), 6-4.

“I did find it today difficult,” Murray said, reverting to Olde English. “It’s a big change in the conditions, but I did some things well today…I served very well today. It was just more a few mistakes from the back of the court, which it didn’t feel like I was making a few days ago. “It was a good win against a [qualifier] who has probably been here a week, played three matches in these conditions and beaten some good players, as well.”

No. 11 Richard Gasquet was a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Italian homeboy Andreas Seppi, lining up a meeting with No. 6 seed Kei Nishikori.

Buckle your safety belts for matches Thursday in Rome including (3) Federer vs. (13) Thiem, (5) Nadal vs. Kyrgios, (1) Djokovic vs. Bellucci, (6) Nishikori vs. (11) Gasquet, (9) Ferrer vs. Pouille, (8) Berdych vs. (12) Goffin, and (2) Murray vs. Chardy.

THURSDAY ROME SCHEDULE
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
ATP – [3] R. Federer (SUI) vs [13] D. Thiem (AUT)
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs [Q] C. Mchale (USA)

Not Before 3:30 pm
ATP – N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs [5] R. Nadal (ESP)

Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs T. Bellucci (BRA)

Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – B. Strycova (CZE) vs E. Bouchard (CAN)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
WTA – [8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs [11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI)

Not Before 12:00 noon
ATP – [11] R. Gasquet (FRA) vs [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)

Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [LL] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [9] D. Ferrer (ESP)

Not Before 4:00 pm
WTA – [5] P. Kvitova (CZE) or M. Keys (USA) vs T. Babos (HUN) or [12] V. Williams (USA)
ATP – [8] T. Berdych (CZE) vs [12] D. Goffin (BEL)


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198 Comments for Roger Federer ‘Expected to Lose’ but Wins in ATP Rome Debut; Thurs Blockbuster Big 4 Line-up

BBB Says:

Huh. I thought he didn’t play Madrid because of a stomach thing? Was it his back?


RZ Says:

@BBB – Fed pulled out of Monte Carloe due to illness and out of Madrid with back issues.


Wog Boy Says:

RZ,

Federer lost to Tsonga in MC.


RZ Says:

WB – you are correct. It was Miami that Fed pulled out of with illness. (Too many masters tournaments in cities beginning with M!)


Dave Says:

I watched highlights from the Federer match today. His back might be hurting, but it didn’t affect his tennis today. He was moving great and hitting great shots all match. If he plays, he will be Thiem the way he is playing. I hope Thiem wins, but I don’t think he will if Federer plays the way he did today. I’m not buying it, not thinking he would win a set. He is just trying to not put any pressure on himself. Like Djokovic said: He is still in the tournament. Every player will take Federer seriously. He isn’t going to pull a fast one on anyone and fly under the radar.


Dave Says:

IF he plays his matches, He is healthy enough to win. And he will try to win.


Daniel Says:

Agree Dave,

Probably he is feeling some discomfort but not like that Murray WTF London match where you can clearly see he was in pain, not able to serve properly and even got treatment on court.

That’s why he said it was a calculated risk. But the thing is Thiem is known for slow start so that match could very well go to three. I think if Fed wins first set he will try to lose, if he lose first set he will not put too much effort on it.


Wog Boy Says:

Dave@8:41,

Spot on, I watched the match (You have to get to know your enemies in order to defeat them) he was moving as good as ever, absolutely not sign of any back discomfort, defense he played and reaching some balls..just wow. He is just doing what he is best at…mind games.


Wog Boy Says:

^^^ just to add, watch his matche from 2013 and you will see how he plays with back problems, real back problems.


skeezer Says:

Being ignorant about back problems seems to be your specialty. Is it a disc? Muscular? Back spams can be caused by multiple things, and some issues can put u down for months or years and others just a day or a week. Ask a Dr before you mouth off.


Wog Boy Says:

And your point is..?


Wog Boy Says:

Or let me quote Master himself:

“He is a joke, I don’t trust him.”


Wog Boy Says:

“Ask a Dr before you mouth off.”

I thought you are only the tennis expert who plays competitive tennis and doesn’t allow anyone else who doesn’t play tennis to have his opinion, but I was wrong. You are also medical expert who has inside knowledge of (St) Roger problems, wow, what’s next, rocket science expert, maybe ?..good on ya mate…


Dave Says:

I have seen matches as well where Federer was definitely suffering from back issues. His movement was definitely limited and obvious to everyone watching. Today was not one of those times. If his back was bothering him, he would not have been able to beat Zverev, who has been full of confidence. Federer actually looked like he was moving better in Rome than in Madrid. I’m not saying his back wasn’t hurting. I’m saying it didn’t affect the way that he played tennis in the slightest.


Wog Boy Says:

The best example of Roger having back problems is his match against Nadal at 2013 IW. I actually felt bad for him (I know…nobady is perfect;) and respected him for coming out to play, but than he did that WO against Nole at WTF, chickened out and I was back to square, no much respect and that’s when my problems with his fans on TX started, my opinion wasn’t really accepted within his fanbase…and I couldn’t care less to be honest.


Dave Says:

Skeezer,

You have very insightful comments. I think you can see the game of tennis very clearly and understand it. What I find very confusing, is that for such an intelligent guy, which you honestly seem to be, how can you not see through Federer? He used to be my favorite players for years. How can you not step back and objectively see through Federer’s head games? I really find that puzzling. I have sincere respect for you Skeezer. I am actually genuinely asking you this question because it baffles me.


Daniel Says:

Dave,

In this case we can’t know for sure the extension of his back issue. Federer was always very transparent with his injury issues. of course everytime you said beforehand about an injury it becomes an excuse.Zevrev was not doing anything out of the world today and another experienced player will expose his weakness. You didn’t need to be top of your physical abilities to see that.

Fedrerer is 34, I am 35 the same height as him and Nadal 6’1″ (178 lbs) and although I don’t play competitive sports I work out 6 days a week. There are bad days and good days, some days you start not believing you are going to be able to train, but suddenly after 30 min you can last for 2 hours, but once you stop, everything start hurting again.

I am dealing lately with a tending in my elbow (mix of tennis elbow in the past), it comes and goes.

you see what you wanna see towards players. ass once retired due to a blister in his hands, Djoko due to eye infection, contact lens. Any way you spin it you can see sides saying it was valid and some sides saying it ain’t.

With the amount of tourneys Federer skipped this season (which he never did in the past) due to injuries, what is that actually think about it? That he is skipping tourneys and saying he is injured just to play mind games?! For a player who never retired during an ongoing match in more than 1300 matches played on ATP, he has earn the benefit of doubt. And all his injury withdraws have basis, illness, mono, back issues, his foot in 2005, way more than many other active players at the top.


Daniel Says:

kkkk ass, should be Haas…


Dave Says:

No Daniel. I think When Federer retires, it’s legit. No question about it, because he hasn’t retired very much in his career. As far as his tennis being affected today, that didn’t show at all. Him saying he didn’t think he would win a set and that he wasn’t going to win the tournament this year, takes pressure off of him and if people don’t take him seriously, can catch them off guard. Federer has said a lot of things over the years, and quite frankly I don’t buy some of the things he says. Some of it is true sure. But some of it isn’t.


Dave Says:

I’m not imputing bad motives on Federer either. We are all imperfect and it is pretty easy to even deceive ourselves at times and believe what comes out of our own mouths. I have done it. I am sure we all have at times. Some people learn over time to be more honest with themselves than others. My wife has told me many times that I have a gift at being very perceptive about people. I can literally go into a room and meet a person and can tell whether I can trust them or not within seconds. I have always been interested in psychology and understanding people and what makes people tick. From that standpoint, it’s something that is easier for me to detect in people, whether they are being totally genuine or not. I’m not saying I have some kind of super powers. I know many people that are like me in this way.


Wog Boy Says:

I know it sounds..well, whatever..but I really wouldn’t mind if Rafa makes SF (meaning Nole losing to Rafa or somebody else) and Roger makes it too, would like to see them playing, if not Rome than Paris will do..


Wog Boy Says:

Dave, off topic, unfortunately I am not reading the book, not yet. Don’t blame me, but my wife, she saw it on my night table and took it to check if it is not one of those books from “the brown paper bag”, she liked first two pages and now I can’t get it back until she finishes it…


Wog Boy Says:

Dave@11:06pm

That’s gift, you are born with it, you can’t learn it and nobody can teach you that, just the gift from mother nature…if you are not believer.


Dave Says:

I have actually been reading certain sections of it the past few days just to get refreshed. I actually plan to stop watching all sports including tennis because of that book.

Here are a few lines from page 152.

Every addiction arises from an unconscious refusal to face and move through your own pain. Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain. Whatever the substance you are addicted to-alcohol, food, legal or illigal drugs or a person, you are using something or somebody to cover up your pain.

I always try to attach myself to things. So knowing how my brain worked, I stopped drinking caffeine, taking any type of meds or drinking alcohol. I stopped consistently watching all sports accept tennis. I use tennis to get out of reality. I think many people do. I’m not saying I will never watch tennis again. I just don’t want to have an egoic attachment to tennis or anything for that matter. It isn’t healthy. If you are open minded when you read this book, it helps you to be brutally honest with yourself. We will be able to discuss it in depth once you pry it away from your wife’s hands.

Here is a great book for her to read that I know she will like. It’s called Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. She will really appreciate this book a lot.


Daniel Says:

Dave,

I am like you as well, natural reader;-) I hardly ever dislike a person, but when I do, something bad always is beneath it. I usually tend to observe and listen to people a lot to get a grip on them.

They all play mind games and it sure takes pressure off, but I doubt Fed would be making a circus with press con, doubt about withdrawing etc.. if there wasn’t something about it. I always listen to commentaries in my tv here in Brazil as they cover all Masters and Slams, Maria Ester Bueno, Meligeni, which were former players and they usually know inside stuff before we do. They always have the scoops and they said Fed was hurting a few days back. I do value their opinion a lot as they have contact with staff people and stuff.


Dave Says:

I am a believer in God. I teach people the bible as a volunteer in Mexico. I just finished reading the bible 10 minutes ago. I try to read it daily.


Okiegal Says:

Well, folks why can’t we just believe Roger…..after all it has been said many many times on this forum that he is no spring chicken and because of his age he is susceptible to niggles here and there. I think he is being straight up…..because that has never been his style……He has had very few withdraws, retirements or WOers……just saying….and I do hope he is fit to play!


Dave Says:

Daniel,

I agree. He wouldn’t make a drama and pull out of the tournament for no reason. His back might be more of an issue tomorrow and he might get beaten easily by Thiem tomorrow. I was just saying that he looked pretty good today against Zverev.


Wog Boy Says:

Dave,

Thanks for that, I’ll tell her, that might put me back in good books;)

BTW, have you ever have chance to interact with Rudolf Steiner alternative schools? I worked with them in Sydney, I was impressed by the kids and teachers, and parents too, they are sort of 68’s parents, lay back people, casual hippie clothes, they are private schools, not chesp too.
I have to learn more about Rudolf Steiner.


Okiegal Says:

Dave….just got in from church a little while ago….we are studying 1 Corinthians 12….the chapter of love…one of my favorites….love it…very uplifting!!


Dave Says:

I don’t know about these schools. I have never heard of them.

Definitely get that book. She will love it for sure. The other book she will love is called REAL LOVE. The auther is Greg Baer. If you get these 3 books, you will have my 3 favorite psychology books.


Dave Says:

You have the first one The Power of Now. You just need Daring Greatly by Brene Brown and Real Love by Greg Baer. Read them and apply them in your life. Very good principles. My favorite books in the bible to read are Ecclesiastes and James. These are 2 shorter books in the bible. But so amazing and full of wisdom.


Dave Says:

That is a great chapter. I always like to look at what love isn’t in that chapter. Does not behave indecently, does not look for it’s own interests, does not become provoked, it does not keep account of the injury, does not rejoice over unrighteousness.

There is so much in those few verses.


Dave Says:

Sorry. You were talking about chapter 12. I was quoting chapter 13.


Okiegal Says:

Yes, we covered that one too!


Margot Says:

Dearie me….and the thread about Fed turns to God talk, no surprise there then…..;)


George Says:

I believe that Federer is honest and that he says what he thinks. When he says that he is injured and has mono I unreservedly trust him. When he says that he never played better I do not question him; I just trust him. Who knows more about Federer than Federer himself? Who am I to question him?


anki Says:

Fed was good yesterday, played a solid match. Expecting a tough battle against Domi. What a strange match from Novak though. Almost like he didn’t even want to be there. And that celebration at the end, haha. Weird match. Looking forward to Nick vs Rafa, think it will be a comfortable win for Rafa at the end.


danica Says:

There was a celebration? :)


Okiegal Says:

C’mon Roger……but I believe he had resigned himself to the fact that he was going to lose this match….not Roger like at all……I hope he can break back!


Michael Says:

If he is really not feeling well and is not in the best shape, why should Roger insist on playing at all and risk further strain on his body ?

Even against Theim, he is not sure as to whether he would take part in the match ?

As I said, it would be better for Roger to reserve his best for Wimbledon which is the only Grand slam tournament which he can hope of winning provided Novak or Rafa are not at the opposite side of the net.


Daniel Says:

Watch the end and he was coming to the net a lot, Thiemngot some return is and passing shots.

Now Murray officialy #2 seed for RG.
As for #4 since Wawa won Nadal still has a chance if he wins the title and Wawa loses before finals.


Okiegal Says:

Well, Rog is out…. Theim in….. a young gun who is looking very good…….a great player!


Wog Boy Says:

Roger tried his best in the second by changing tactics, returning from closer to to the base line, few SABRs (one successfully), S&V , but was passed quite a few times, Thiem was just too good.
Roger wasn’t even in the mood to sign autographs on the way out, just walked passed the fans into the tunnel.


Van Persie Says:

So happy that Thiem won today :)


J-Kath Says:

Michael

Would have thought Andy has a better chance at Wimbledon than Rafa…..Rafa better chances on Clay.


Wog Boy Says:

Nishikori/Gasquet next, I don’t think Gasquet stand any chance, to much firepower from Nishikori. I am already looking forward to Nishikori/Thiem match, Thiem’s consistency is really improving. He is on the right put for the great things in tennis.


Wog Boy Says:

Scary performance by Nishikori, 6:1 first set.


Daniel Says:

Thiem vs Kei should be interesting, 2 players who are playing well on clay. Think Kei will win that one.


jalep Says:

Only have the score. What’s wrong with Gasquet?


Dave Says:

Nothing. It’s just what Wog Boy said: To much fire power from Nishikori. Not enough weapons for Gasquet on clay especially.


Wog Boy Says:

Nothing wrong with Gasquet, Nishikori is playing lights out.


jalep Says:

Are you sure? Do you trust Gasquet? Is he tanking just a little to get some R and R before FO?

I don’t mind Kei winning 😉


Wog Boy Says:

Nishikori is playing all court game, S&V, coming ti net very successfully, but his BH is deadly, particulary down the line. The more angle you give him the deadliest his BH is.


jalep Says:

Second serve, tho. Kei’s needs his 1st serve and his 2nd serve has been especially weak on clay. But, of course, I think he’s amazing. Thiem v Kei — I’ll go with Thiem in Rome on clay.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Sad that Roger had to lose, but I’m glad that it gives an opportunity for a younger player to keep moving up. I would desperately love to see some new blood challenge for championships as I think the old guard are done: Novak has outlasted them and stands alone.


Daniel Says:

Gasquet plays to far behind, lots of spin, a slow game. Kei takes everything on the raise and with his powerand angle Gasquet doesn’t stand a chance, only if he is serving above 75% and even so to male ot competitive


Wog Boy Says:

Maybe we have a match here, suddenly Kei dropped his level.


jalep Says:

I forget what their h2h is (Richard v Kei), but it favors Richard. Ricky Dimon picked Gasquet in 3. I picked Kei in 3. Didn’t think either one would win in easy straight sets. Odds were/are close, too.


lakie Says:

Roger has a bad back. I wonder why he chose to play.


Wog Boy Says:

Did I just hear Kei swearing in English..dropped the “f” word?


jalep Says:

Wow. Kei. makes the QF and defends last years’ result!


Okiegal Says:

Wog, didn’t see this one today but in a match not too long ago the camera zoomed in on him and I READ HIS LIPS!! He dropped it. But I could not believe Stan’s tirade the other day when he yelled it to the top of his lungs after he had been accused a few seconds earlier. But the official did not back down and said he would review the tape later and if he owed him an apology he would give him one. Wonder how that turned out?? LOL I think that word is horrible and just what I would not want little ears to hear. If they took that word out of a movie script…u would be watching a silent movie. lol……just saying….


FedExpress Says:

kyrgios breaks


FedExpress Says:

to love


Okiegal Says:

Roger chose to play because his fans love him so much and want to see him….he doesn’t want to let them down…..he wasn’t up to par…knee…back…old age…having trouble recovering…whatever….

EEK….Rafa got broke the first rattle out of the box!


Daniel Says:

Not able to watch, just checking scores, Nada with 92% first serves in, impressive for 3 games so far.


Anto Says:

Anyone watching the match? How is nadal playing?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Okie, in fact, Roger is a spy for Control tasked with infiltrating the Vatican Illuminatti. The whole Rome tournament was just a pretext. In fact, his entire career is just a cover for such adventures.

You didn’t hear it from me.


Daniel Says:

Wawa got the brwak back and eventually close first set in tiebreak, Rome last year was when the tide started turning his side after he beat Nadal.

Let’s see if he can go far for a change in a tourney where all top players played.


Daniel Says:

What’s up with Nadal’s serve, he is just putting on court, because 91% out 22 serves in is amazing?!


skeezer Says:

TV,
That was a good one ;). WB needs to read that lol


Daniel Says:

And both second serves Nadal hot he misses Doubel Fault, so he actually didn’t put a second serve in still in the match😜


Daniel Says:

Kyrgios takes first set tiebreaker, looks like he is going to give Nadal triuble anywhere they meet from now on.

Ferrer a break down in second set. Margot, seems we were right about him, I beleive we saw the best of him and now is a way down.

Wawa also having trouble with Monaco in set 2.


Pauly Says:

Nadal very poor tie break
He should’ve known better
Can’t Win tie breaks against kygrios
On the positive side for Nadal
He won’t have to face Djokovic in quarters
Go prepare for Paris Rafa


Daniel Says:

Ferrer out, his ranking will drop, he was defending semis from last year. He could be out of top 10 pretty soon.

Wawa lost second set, another one that if out to Monaco, to me won’t be a factor for RG. He can’t play 2-3 sets of great tennis anymore.


Pauly Says:

Murray will win Roland garros


Van Persie Says:

TV, or Federer is having the 1 Komunion in Rome. He missed it when he was 10.


Daniel Says:

Kyrguos always have a dip beggining second set, already a break down and could go one more, 15-30


Margot Says:

@Daniel
Looks like it re Ferrer. I like Pouille tho. Yet another so talented Frenchman. Must be something in the water…..or the wine! I think Berd on slippery slope too. Let’s see how Goffin does. Tho Berd’s game is much less physical than Ferrer’s, so perhaps he’ll last a wee bit longer. Much younger too of course.
Nick seemed to have no nerves in the tie break, whereas Rafa had plenty.
Stan looks really poor at times, but has never lost to Monaco. Always a first time I suppose.


Daniel Says:

Wawa down a break of he inddeed gets pit Murray will have only Berdych on his way to hos first Rome final.


Daniel Says:

Agree Margot, Berdych will last just a bit longer.

Nadal getirng aecond break, this set is gone for Kyrguos he has to at least hold next game and force Nadal serve the second so he start serving first third set and regroup.

Monaco 2 games from knockong down Stan


Okiegal Says:

@TV 10:27…….That was too funny…..you made me laugh!


Okiegal Says:

Wa Wa out….thoughts????


Okiegal Says:

My thought?? Wow, just wow!


Daniel Says:

Wawa out as well.

Nadal and Kyrguos in third, Kyrguos has to hold, he was broken first time he served in both sets, even first when he broke Nadal to love.

Start ahead is best for him


RZ Says:

Do any of Wawa’s results surprise anyone anymore? He is capable of winning or losing in any round.


Margot Says:

Out goes Stan. Played rubbish TBH
@OKiegal
I saw that incident re Stan too. And when Stan shouted, really, really loudly at the ref., “Did you hear me say F***?” I just laughed and laughed. Straight out of Homer Simpson, and so ironic. Norman looked as if he wanted to crawl under his seat. Perhaps he’d like to take Andy on?


Daniel Says:

Nadal taking control of the match, first set was just a scare. He should win confortably now.

And if Djoko wins a potential blockbuster match.


Okiegal Says:

@Margot…..I will agree that it was funny in that respect…because it was definitely heard the second time by more wee ears than the first…..I did laugh!!


Daniel Says:

Djoko is he is to win Rome he will have to face Nadal x Kei / Thiem and Murray, which are all the in form players this clay season. If he beata them all his preparation for Garros will be complete and he’ll be the clear favorite.


Daniel Says:

Murray 4-0 and serve. Win fast and conserve energy for final. Can’t see him losing before finals.


Anto Says:

Nadal won .. yahoooo


Pauly Says:

Djokovic is playing A GRADE tennis
Murray is not far behind
The rest Wawrinka is pathetic
Nishikori is ok
Nadal getting back to some form

Murray is the only serious threat for Paris to Djokovic
Nadal needs to up his game Coz he hasn’t won a set off Djokovic in 2 years
I still think Murray can win Roland Garros


RZ Says:

Breaking news! Just saw on Twitter that DelPo is skipping the French and going to start grass court preparations.


Margot Says:

Fabulous first set from Andy. Did enough to win in the second!
Come on!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Thanks RZ. That’s a much more hopeful tweet from JMDP than I expected. Sounds like, despite his pulling from Rome, his team is confident enough in his wrist to start planning a regular schedule, and they’re skipping RG for tactical reasons. So, tentatively good news.

Meanwhile, no one really giving any reason to believe they can beat Novak at RG.


Margot Says:

Lol RZ. I take it you didn’t watch Andy’s first set, but watched the second! Now what have I told you?………;)


Daniel Says:

Not a good day for Veterans today: Fed, Wawa, Ferrer, Chardy all out. Berdych with slow start as well.


Daniel Says:

Novak getting broken first game as well.


Daniel Says:

Slow start from Novak, 1 point out of 10.

Goffin 4-0 on Berdych


RZ Says:

@Margot – I can assure you that I did no such thing! Wasn’t watching, was reading tweets instead. And don’t get greedy. 6-0 6-4 is about as straightforward a win as Andy will ever have.


Okiegal Says:

YAY, VAMOS, YIPPY SKIPPY and all that jazz! I can only hope Novak has a rough day at the office….but because of his loyal fans who I consider internet acquaintances and sort of kind of TX friends, I won’t go there. I will seriously wish them the best. I am sure we will see where Rafa’s game is at when he faces Novak tomorrow…..just so glad Rafa got past Nick……I was worried about that one.

Smooth sailing for Andy….happy about that!


Daniel Says:

What is up with Novak?!😱


courbon Says:

Oki-Rafa will not face Novak but Belluci…


Okiegal Says:

@Daniel….I am for the veterans…..always…I love old!


J-Kath Says:

Okie, GL and loads of others…amazing. Rafa came through. Held on – got the grit and determination back.

Margot and J-K…whoops meant RZ………pretty darned good from wee Andy.


Daniel Says:

Goffin bageling Berdych, second today.


Daniel Says:

Djoko only won 3 points in 4 games, bizarre. Second straight match that he starts off.


Okiegal Says:

@bourbon…..It ain’t over until the fat lady sings….but I will have to say “What’s up with Novak”? He’ll come around…just wait and see…..


RZ Says:

@JK – Hahaha :-)


J-Kath Says:

Me too Okiegal. Surely he’ll turn it around….


courbon Says:

Courbon drinks Bourbon…


RZ Says:

Berdych only won 6 points in that first set. Yikes! I don’t expect him to turn it around. However, I expect Novak to turn his match around.


Okiegal Says:

@courbon…I am so sorry….my spell check put in Bourbon…..please forgive…not intentional!!


Daniel Says:

Bellucci about ti bagel Djokovic on clay, wtf is happening?!?!


RF Says:

5-0 Bellucci ? What the !


Van Persie Says:

Will be the 1 victory for Bellucci, over Nole


Daniel Says:

Is Bellucci playing out of this world or Djoko totally on an off day?


BBB Says:

Djokovic is really discombobulated.


Okiegal Says:

Hubby liked bourbon……if I were a drinker, Crown would be my second choice…it is smooth….but Margaritas are my first because I like salt….


courbon Says:

Bagels very popular in Rome today…


Daniel Says:

That was quite a feat by Bellucci, bagel a World #1.

Don’t recall how many times Djoko was bageled in hos career, remember one from Fed in Cincy and if there were others was way back from 2011.


courbon Says:

Oki-Makers Mark-my favorite Bourbon…
in the mean time Novak is sleeping….maybe he will wake up?


nits Says:

1st set gone in 25 minutes Novak 0-6
That’s the tennis story of day


Daniel Says:

Goffin up 3-0 ans serve in second set, will he dished a double bagel or how we call here in Brazil, a bicycle.


Daniel Says:

Surprisingly Bellucci only have 40% first serves in.


J-Kath Says:

RZ : A bit droll…but what the heck!

PS: Anyone: What is wrong with Nole?


Okiegal Says:

J-Kath…yes Rafa is showing more of his old self. Can we have an Andy/Rafa final please?


Okiegal Says:

Wow…for the Bell!


Okiegal Says:

On Novak…I am wondering if the hype and expectations of being number one is finally causing him pressure….as it will definitely play on your nerves…….


Okiegal Says:

Boom Boom has been in the swimming pool too much. The chlorine is making his hair green…..well, it looks green on my Samsung HD TV….


Okiegal Says:

My gosh, what has happened with Berdych??


RZ Says:

Wow, Goffin with a double-bagel over Berdych.


RZ Says:

@J-K: I’m confused. Are you talking to me or to yourself? :-) 😁


Okiegal Says:

How old is Goffin?


jalep Says:

Okie, Goffin? he’s twelve. forever.


courbon Says:

Jalep-Send Goffin some Clerasil


BBB Says:

Okie, I don’t think it’s the pressure of being #1. I think it’s the grind. This guy wins so many tournaments. He has said himself it’s a lot of work to continue to be motivated day in/day out.

Also, his parents are there, and they rarely come to tournaments anymore. Maybe it’s throwing him off.


jalep Says:

Bourbon? you talking to me?
Clerasil sent to Thiem.


jalep Says:

Nole will be okay. Only following scores today. Scary.


Daniel Says:

Saw that Djoko take second set and already had a BP to start third. In the end Bellucci will crumble, as always.


courbon Says:

Talking to you, jalep.i was thinking about you last week, when Trump won republican race…you must be over the moon…


Daniel Says:

Djoko a break up, seems order is restored.


BBB Says:

Crazy stat on Tennis Channel – of the Masters 1000 events since 2011, Novak has won 24. Rest of the field: 25.


jalep Says:

I thought bourbon was a very cute name for you, courbon.

Score looks okay, sorta, now. I’ll be over the moon after Nole gets the win here.


RF Says:

Novak probably wanted to prepare himself mentally by losing the first set so badly against Bellucci and see if he can respond. It seems it was deliberate just so that he tests his nerves before playing Nadal tomorrow.


Margot Says:

Courbon, a vote for Brexit here and a Trumpinton triumph in US means both jalep and I will be living in that yurt. Get that dry white in the fridge now!


J-Kath Says:

I can’t tell you anything for certain at the moment RZ – I need help –


courbon Says:

Jalep, very cute…HMMM;;;
Belluci upend the level in third set-it will be tight.


Daniel Says:

And playing a lefty will get himself used to it.
But of there is a time for Nadal tomat least get a set of Novak is now.
Although Djoko transform himself when he sees Nadal on the other side.


Daniel Says:

Importanto hold by Djoko, 4-2


Daniel Says:

Triple BP for Novak, taste of MP.


Margot Says:

Seems unfair Dom and Kei are playing last tomorrow. Their match finished hours ago, this one not quite, but nearly.


Okiegal Says:

Goffin does look twelve…that was what I was thinking…..

BBB…..It could be the grind…but I still think being number one adds pressure too……Not sure about the parent thing, they just don’t attend many matches anymore….


J-Kath Says:

I’m all for it Okiegal – an Rafa and Andy final….Whyever not! Followed by an FO final…YES.


Van Persie Says:

Bravo, Nole. Good boy


sisay Says:

nadull here we come…get yourself ready…


jalep Says:

lol, Margot, true. @ 3:09 pm.

Hey nice win for Andy. Wonder what was up with Berdych?

Phew…. earlier this week I was thinking I didn’t care about Rome much. I guess NOT!


J-Kath Says:

Three Threads for Federer!!!!…..surely a new thread could have introduced that reflected the rest of the men’s tournament. OTP.


Margot Says:

Now don’t be a silly billy our Kath. This is tennisfedx
remember.


courbon Says:

J-Kath:Off course is going to be Andy in the final! Did you check how balanced is the draw at the moment?
One side-Novak, Rafa, Thiem? Nikishori
Other side:Andy, Monaco,Goffin and Puoille…
that Ginger boy is very lucky…


Margot Says:

“Ginger boy” ! Cheeky! You can go off people you know, yurt or no yurt.


chrisford1 Says:

J-Kath:
“I’m all for it Okiegal – an Rafa and Andy final….Whyever not! Followed by an FO final…YES.”

To which any Djokovic fan responds, NOPE!!
Naturally, I’d like to see Novak win almost everything. Certainly the French, get Olympic Gold to be with Rafa and Andy as winners, have his golden career slam, win Cincinnati, too for the Masters Sweep. 7 Masters wouldn’t be too greedy to hope for, would it??
Be happy after that for Andy to get Shanghai or Paris-Bercy, and Rafa to finally get a YEC. Uncle Toni needs to use mind tricks. Beg the organizers to mount one big bright yellow light overhead, put a fan behind Rafa to blow air on him…”Just like outdoors, nephew? No??” “O2 is playing slow just like dirt, too!” “Si Toni, me gusto!”
Before his career ends, in my perfect word, Rafa gets a Barclay’s final in his bag of trophies. Deserves it, just like Noak deserves a French. Doesn’t mean either will get it, but they deserve it.
Andy getting a YEC wouldn’t be so bad either, if Djokovic beats him everywhere else in 2016.


Daniel Says:

Either another streak of 7 in a row for Novak tomorrow or Nadal finally stops the bleeding. At least wins a set.
verg important match, if Nadal wins and end up winning Rome, getting revenage on Andy, he will be co-favorite for RG getting there with momentun.


Okiegal Says:

I think Andy will be in the final with someone, probably Novak. Rafa is playing better….but how much better, a test with Novak will tell the tale! However, chrisford1 I guess we can dream about a Rafa/Andy final…..I am anxious about Novak and Rafa tomorrow, just to see how it shakes down…curious about Rafa’s level……


anki Says:

Novak should be fined for that abysmal showing in the first set and he has the audacity to describe it as Belluci storm in the post match presser, Rofl. Rafa is looking the more in form player. Expect him to win in a close battle. Also Nishikori Thiem should be good too.


jane Says:

daniel, not sure about you but i quite agree with this assessment about the importance of the match:

Juan José Vallejo
@jjvallejoa
Other than giving a bloody knife yet another twist, little to gain for Djokovic tomorrow. Opposite for Nadal. I love this rivalry so much.
12:54 PM – 12 May 2016


Wog Boy Says:

“Three Threads for Federer!!!!…..surely a new thread could have introduced that reflected the rest of the men’s tournament. OTP.”

Please don’t complain..they’ll open fourth one.


Wog Boy Says:

It looks like we hade “Bagel day” in Rome, Bouchard is the last receiver.


Daniel Says:

Jane,

I think Djoko should kee the mental edge. Is more like preventing Nadal to rediscover himsef. If Nadal wins here he could enter Garros with 2 Masters, a final and Barcelona. Very similar to his glory days. It is more like for Djoko doesn’t matter much but long run it does and what it can unleash.

Nadal losing tomorrow and all the talk about him being bakc would by just hype. He would have back to back losses to top 2 players in the most important clay Masters.


Wog Boy Says:

Importance of Rome for results in Paris is grossly exaggerated, Nole tried everything but skipping the Rome end ended up losing in Paris, he won the Rome, he lost the Rome, he avoided Rafa in Rome (remember Betdych match and beeing 5:2 and losing) and yet he hasn’t won Paris.
He plays Wimbledon without warm up tournament and wins it;)
I really don’t care about tomorrow’s result,
I am more worried about Roger’s back injury that can cut his career short..after only sixteen years of uninterrupted professional career, that’ll be tragedy of biblical proportions. Let’s all pray, all denominations in the world please unite for one day and pray for that not to happen, amen..


Wog Boy Says:

Correction:

“..after only eighteen years of uninterrupted professional career..” should say.


Humble Rafa Says:

Murray will win Roland garros

If that’s the case, I will retire from tennis pronto.


Daniel Says:

It’s not to do with Djoko per se, but more to do with Nadal’s confidance and as he still os one of the man to beat in Paris. Last year he didn’t won a single European clay tourney including losing to Djokovic in one of the Masters and lost badly in Garros.


BBB Says:

Just as MMT has issues with “belief,” so I have issues with whether a player is “in form” or not. I find it irrelevant as a predictor of who will win a match.


J-Kath Says:

Wog Boy

Lordie Man, you are truly God-like in your love and concern for ALL mankind. Truly you are a great man and I feel humble and privileged to know you.


Humble Rafa Says:

Let’s all pray, all denominations in the world please unite for one day and pray for that not to happen, amen..

Welcome to the world. Prayer for him started when the Arrogant One attained enlightment at age 18. Now, we just need to add this wish to the prayer list.


Wog Boy Says:

JK,

You made me blushing.


J-Kath Says:

Humble Rafa:

So sorry to see you leave. Please enjoy your retirement.


Wog Boy Says:

Danel, I could say it this way, Nole beat Rafa in Rome (few times), Nole lost to Rafa in Rome, Nole avoided Rafa in Rome, Nole even beat Rafa in Paris and yet he hasn’t won Paris.
I seriously think he should try to skip the Rome next year if he doesn’t win Paris this year..there is nothing else left to try..


J-Kath Says:

Wog Boy

It’s your Scottish inheritance…which emerges when you reach your finest moments.


J-Kath Says:

Seriously, my view of Nole v Rafa has been seriously influenced by Nole early performance today (I hasten to add Andy has done similar but I’m not talking Andy here). Also, Rafa came back from a serious challenge today (as did Nole)…it strikes me this may be Rafa’s moment).


Wog Boy Says:

JK,

You could be very well right.


Wog Boy Says:

^^This was for my Scotish inheritance post, though you could be very well right for the match outcome too.


J-Kath Says:

Courbon

Agree, Andy has a good draw – not his fault that a few Toppies get beat. But yes, for the last 2 tournaments Andy’s drawa have been OK.. About time, though, he was facing some tough draws more often than not in the past.

However, what will change? He’s often got to the final with a bad draw and lost. Same, same here….Nole, Rafa to name the two most prominent.


Daniel Says:

WB, indeed, Rome didn’t help Djoko’s cause at all.

But even if Djoko doesn’t win it, beating Rafa tomorrow may hamper his moral and make it easy for somebody else this year. 😜


Wog Boy Says:

Daniel,

You might be right about somebody else (as long as it is not “somebody” else😇) and to be honest I don’t have high hopes for Nole winning FO, this year or any other year, but that doesn’t make him sny lesser of the player and he already cemented his spot on the top shelf of tennis greats, this fan is happy with that, even if he decides to retire tomorrow..but he won’t, not before he plays Rafa;)


chrisford1 Says:

Hard to tie cause and effect to winning a tennis tournament based on exactly how one did at the tournament before.
By that logic, Rafa never won Miami or Paris-Bercy because he won Indian Wells or SHanghai, or he skipped IW and SHanghai, or lost in those lead up events. Add here didn’t show up for Paris or Miami, so his prospects of winning the next year were unaffected by his attendance or non-attendance.

In short, it had nothing to do with anything.


skeezer Says:

“If that’s the case, I will retire from tennis pronto.”
Yay! Can we count on that?
I heard the fishing is good in summer at Mallorca….


Daniel Says:

WB,

Still think Djoko will be favorite for Garros, unless Nadal trashes him tomorrow, which I find imoissible with Nadal serve snd recent matches between them.

CF1,

My point is Nadal lives on momentun. This year when he won MC, gave him
Confidence for Barca. And in Madrid as well where he got a hot Murray who for second year handle him.

If Nadal wins Rome and beat Djoko in the process with already hos voctory over Murray in MC (similr conditions to RG than Madrid) he will be more confodent with his game. And that is danger for everybody else on clay.

I am not generalizating, just pointing that vicotye for Nadal tomorrow is very inportant for him long term and Short term in RG. We are talking CLAY.


Wog Boy Says:

Daniel,

That’s fine, he’ll probably be favorite, but I just think FO is his kryptonite like USO was for Borg and Wimbledon for Lendl.


Daniel Says:

WB,

Last year Wawa performance was out of this world and as long as he could sustain it. Think that won’t catch Djoko of guard again. Very few players can priduce such a performance in RG again. And in 2014 Nadal also played oit of this world last 2 sets.

That’s why I think tomorrow is important. In 2012 Djoko had that streak, entered MC with hos grandpa about to pass, lost and after that, the tide shift. Nadal grew, won Rome and was able beat Djoko again in RG.


skeezer Says:

“That’s fine, he’ll probably be favorite, but I just think FO is his kryptonite like USO was for Borg and Wimbledon for Lendl.”
Funny, Fed had no kryptonite when it came to Slams, didn’t matter , he won them all.

Nole IS the favorite, and I hope he gets his FO!!!!


Michael Says:

J-Kath @ 8.04 am,

True, Andy has greater chances at Wimbledon more than other Grand Slams as Grass has been his forte. But, Roger isn’t intimidated by Andy like he is against Novak or Rafa and so he always has opportunities to win if he is not pitted against both these players who have given him enough trouble right through his career especially Rafa.


Margot Says:

Daniel: I haven’t seen anything in Stan’s play this year that makes me think he’s got another “streak” in him.
Never say never, of course.


J-Kath Says:

Michael

Also true, Michael. But not totally pertinent….I rather like the idea that if Fed. plays Andy there could be too much confidence on Fed’s side….that’s when he’s vulnerable because Andy can beat him if he plays his A+ game, which includes mentally alert and wholly determined.

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