Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal Friday at Rome; Federer Falls, Berdych Double Bageled
by Jeremy Davis | May 13th, 2016, 12:44 am
  • 240 Comments

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and French Open owner Rafael Nadal will meet in the quarterfinals at Rome on Friday after both winning through tough matches on Thursday.


Djokovic came back from a bagel to beat Thomaz Bellucci 0-6, 6-3, 6-2, and Nadal likewise came from a set down to outlast Nick Kyrgios 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-4.

“I’m playing well, I feel like I am playing at the right level,” said Nadal, who may have benefited from a Kyrgios hip injury. “Today was an important victory for me, of course, against a very difficult opponent. And coming back after a tough first set that I had a lot of opportunities. I believe, after the first six games I think I had more chances than him, but I had couple of mistakes on those chances. And then on the tiebreak I hit one double fault and then he played great.”

Djokovic found a way to turn it around against Bellucci.

“After the first set I had to change,” Djokovic said. “First set was a complete Bellucci storm, and I was blown away from the court. Fortunately the matches are played in best of three, so I had another opportunity to come back and to restart, which I did.”

Other Top 10 winners were No. 2 Andy Murray rolling Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 6-4, and No. 6 Kei Nishikori handling No. 11 Richard Gasquet 6-1, 6-4.

“It could have been more comfortable in the second set,” said Murray, who will next face No. 12 seed David Goffin, who upset No. 8 Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-0. “But apart from a few minutes of the match, I played very well. I was making it difficult for him and played a lot of different shots. I used a lot of variety so that was good.”

On the upset tip No. 13 Dominic Thiem beat a back-addled No. 3 Roger Federer 7-6(2), 6-4, Juan Monaco topped No. 4 Stan Wawrinka 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4, and France’s Lukas Pouille rolled No. 9 David Ferrer 6-4, 6-1.

“I’m confident and hopeful at the same time,” Federer said after the loss. “I have only played five matches in the last four months now, so clearly I don’t want to get too overly excited about what’s ahead, but at the same time I’m a positive thinker and I believe that I’m going to recover. Hopefully, the next 10 days are going to be easier and I can practice really well, sort of starting next week. That’s the hope I have and then we’ll see the rest, how it’s going to come.”

Friday’s quarterfinals will be (1) Djokovic vs. (5) Nadal, (2) Murray vs. (12) Goffin, (13) Thiem vs. (6) Nishikori, and Pouille vs. Monaco.

FRIDAY ROME SCHEDULE
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
WTA – [11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) vs [3] G. Muguruza (ESP)

Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [12] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [5] R. Nadal (ESP)

Not Before 7:30 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs [9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS)

Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – [13] D. Thiem (AUT) vs [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)

GRANDSTAND start 12:00 noon
ATP – [LL] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [PR] J. Monaco (ARG)

Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – I. Begu (ROU) vs M. Doi (JPN)

Not Before 3:30 pm
WTA – M. Keys (USA) vs B. Strycova (CZE)


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Poll: Novak Djokovic Or Rafael Nadal, Who Wins Their 49th Meeting Friday In Rome?
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240 Comments for Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal Friday at Rome; Federer Falls, Berdych Double Bageled

Pauly Says:

Djokovic is in Nadal’s head
Nadal must play aggressive tennis otherwise easy Djokovic win
The real issue is just getting one set ?
I can’t see Nadal winning


Giles Says:

http://www.tennistv.com/video/videoId/
1hs4utjfbaw0b1d0wjxgh2agef
Nadal hot shot.
Vamos Champ!


nits Says:

Yesterday Pauly after 1st set you thought kyrgios will win. Wait & watch


J-Kath Says:

Pouille has got walk-over.


Pauly Says:

Nits

Kygrios isn’t Djokovic
Nadal was lucky kygrios is young inexperienced
Nadal hasn’t beaten Djokovic in 2 years


nits Says:

I agree Kyrgios is not Djokovic & will never be.
But one should always believe in surprise element in game.
Did you thought Djokovic will get a Bagel or Berdych will get baked double????
Let the uncertainty remain……


Daniel Says:

Windy day in Rome.

Murray and Goffin excahnging breaks in first two games.


Daniel Says:

Pouille should go to a Cassino, luckiestmam ever. First he loses qualy but got Tsonga plave, than get a soft draw with players declining and today got a walk over placing him in a Masters semis.


Pauly Says:

Nits

If Nadal can be competitive today & Maybe win one set I’ll be happy Coz then he will big threat in Paris where the Phillip chartrier court suits his game
If Nadal should win today he will be on cloud nine & nothing will stop him in Paris


Pauly Says:

Daniel

Monaco was too tired after beating one very bad playing Wawrinka


Dave Says:

Murray is playing amazing right now.


lakie Says:

Looks like he may win RG this year!


lakie Says:

Of course the acid test is Djokovic. Can Murray beat Djokovic? If yes, I do believe Murray will win RG this year. Nadal can never be ruled out but since 2015 he hasn’t looked like the king of clay. I hope Nadal proves me wrong but I suspect his best days are behind him.


Pauly Says:

Federer Nadal their best days are behind them
It’s now Murray vs Djokovic era
If Nadal can serve well today he will have good chance if not Djokovic easy as usual
Nadal’s fragile serve is biggest worry plus of course his legendary stamina
Djokovic is fitter these days
People seem to forget this is 2016 not 2010 or 2013
Hope it’s a good match


Pauly Says:

If Nadal should perform miracle today & win
He will win Rome title
Murray doesn’t worry him as much as Djokovic


jalep Says:

Pouille moves up 20 ranking points! ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘ƒ๐ŸŒน๐Ÿฆ„


Margot Says:

Andy made a bit of a meal of the second set, but it’s blowing a sand storm in Rome. Players beware.


Sean Randall Says:

Maybe the wind helps Rafa a little, otherwise I don’t think he can beat Djokovic, even though Novak hasn’t looked especially great thus far this week.

Let’s see if Novak jumps on Rafa’s second serve which is even more exposed on the clay.


Margot Says:

Sean: Andy said post match, it’s playing like a hard court at times, because the wind is blowing the sand off the court.
Was going to ask whose got the higher ball toss, because that would be a disadvantage.


Sean Randall Says:

Margot, maybe the wind bothers Novak mentally a little more. I think Novak’s toss is higher and he hits his serve/shots with less margin than Rafa. So you could make the case that should help Rafa.

Then again it could also shorten Nadal’s already short shots when he plays against the wind.


Daniel Says:

Murray safe for finals nw, great clay season so far.

Court pretty dry, wind took all powder, will play more like a HC


Margot Says:

Cheers Sean. A bit both then!


Van Persie Says:

Come on, Nole!


Daniel Says:

Djoko getting his first smash in to close the game, good start;-)


Sean Randall Says:

Nadal should also make Novak hit as many overheads as possible, especially in the wind. Ha ha.


Dave Says:

Even though it’s 2 to 2, Djokovic looks like he is starting slow again. Not very sharp at the moment so far. Kind of working his way into the match again.


Van Persie Says:

and Nadal breaks


Daniel Says:

Nadal with a great counter drop than Djoko making 2 errors and breaks come. Nadal to serve 3-2


Sean Randall Says:

Another day another sloppy start for Novak. Great start for Rafa, can he keep his nerves?


Dave Says:

Yep. There is the break. Djokovic looks off balance during the rallies and he looks half asleep. Terrible start again. I guess he likes doing things the hard way.


Daniel Says:

Rocket BH winner by Nadal


Daniel Says:

Drop is not working for him today.


Daniel Says:

This will be another awful set by Djoko. Let’s see if he will regroup in time.


Daniel Says:

Damm hawkeye showed ball was out, Djoko was right.


Van Persie Says:

yep, was out


jalep Says:

If there’s dust blowing, as Margot mentions, it does bother Nole’s eyes: see Dubai. Rafa bothers my eyes, lol. Not able to watch. Only have the score again today and it doesn’t look good.


Van Persie Says:

Djoko not very good at net today


Dave Says:

Djokovic not very good period today. So far. Honestly, the old Nadal would have gotten the double break. He let djokovic off the hook, especially at the beginning of that game. He had Djokovic in 2 rallies and made errors.


Margot Says:

Nole got such a bad line call. Game should’ve been over ages ago.


Van Persie Says:

Wow. Nice passing shot :)


Daniel Says:

Triple BP for Djoko


Van Persie Says:

Deuce :D


Daniel Says:

Djoko hold back BH, he had open court and did went for the shot and Nadal was able to return deep, 3 BP’s saved


Daniel Says:

What was that return, nice!


Daniel Says:

Amazing seeing n slow-motion and his arm acceleration


Okiegal Says:

Oops…..


jalep Says:

Yessssss he got the break back!

Match comments appreciated!


Daniel Says:

Break back.


Sean Randall Says:

Ouch. Nadal comes back from 0-40 but can’t hold. Novak not playing well at all, yet score locked at 4-4.


Daniel Says:

Now he will swing more freely, this last BH DTL show it, at first he was just redirecting the shot, now he unleashed it.


Van Persie Says:

Wow. wow. wow. love the last point.


Daniel Says:

This point will win him the match!! Amazing

Won’t surprise me if he breaks Nadal now, after that BH winner to end one of the longest rallies Nadal’s will must be shaken.


Van Persie Says:

amazing winner for Nole


Van Persie Says:

No more DP, Nole!


Daniel Says:

Drops not working Djoko, give up on them today.


Daniel Says:

This is another close set they are playing, similar to IW first set.


Van Persie Says:

F windy there


Van Persie Says:

Bad drop shot, good lobing


Daniel Says:

Well, seems the DTL drop is not working, this one was well executed, but even so Nadal reached it.

Djoko 6-5, tiebreak guarantee. One more shot to break. Let’s see if Nadal will feel nerves, he is holding easy apart form the one game he was down 0-40 and eventually got broken.


Daniel Says:

30-30, Djoko 2 points away from first set. Important point now.


Daniel Says:

Great point by Nadal, DJoko was on the baseline and he was able to counter attack and finish with a hidden drop shot


Daniel Says:

BP, Set point Djoko.


Daniel Says:

Nadal is crazy and brave to hit a risky drop shot down set point. Got him the point


Daniel Says:

Finally Djoko hitting a strong inside out FH. He should hit it powerful more often instead of exchange too many shots


Daniel Says:

This is a great set of tennis, high intense set for clay, too demanding.


ABerg Says:

Both will be spent tomorrow if they continue like this for two, let alone three sets.


kriket Says:

7:5 Djoko lol


Van Persie Says:

What a point…Nole was also lucky Nole idemoooooo!


Pauly Says:

Nadal should’ve won that first set
Still can’t win one set off Djokovic


jatin Says:

What was that point novak… wow just wow… such defense…
What a set, amazing. 1:10 hour…. Loving the match.. Two gladiators.


Daniel Says:

WOW, Djoko made everything on court, he defined tow almost impossible shots. Nadal had the smash and did’t close it. He got 3 one hand defenses and a volley almost on reflex to close.

Now he will serve first second set and I expect him to win easily.

Nadal once again gave it his all and wasn’t able to win the set. After 4-2, is 5-1 to Djoko, and I believe that rate will continue.

Excellent match by both, high quality


Dave Says:

Straight up Pauly. Djokovic had no business winning that set. None at all. But he pulled it out in the end.


courbon Says:

Amazing match!


jalep Says:

That battle at deuce lasted forever. Nole got it. Come on!


gonzalowski Says:

What intensity my god! but Nole appears to be on a certain control of the match


Margot Says:

Terrific match and absolutely fab point by Nole to win set.
Rafa’s forehand leaching errors tho.


Okiegal Says:

Gorgeous first set…WOW! Beautiful tennis….I guess a little more beautiful from Novak?? Not really…..some not so good droppers, but other that….what matters is he got the first set.

C’mon Rafa fight harder!!


Pauly Says:

Dave

Fragile serve Nadal very nervous still
Had Nadal converted 4-3 When he had advantage it would’ve been different
Nadal needed that first set now I can’t see him coming back if you can’t win one set off Djokovic in 2 years how can you expect to win match
Nadal is passed his best but still battling on gallantly


kriket Says:

It’s silly to say tat Novak had no business winning the first set when he was on the offence ever since he broke back. Yeah, it seemed like Rafa had the upper hand during most of the set but it wasn’t like he routed Nole. Novak broke him when it was most important and won, and that’s what counts.


Daniel Says:

Talked too soon, Nadal wants a match and starts breaking Djoko’s serve and racquet due to Djoko losing his temrper;-)


Pauly Says:

Must take your chances against Djokovic or you’re gone
That’s how it is high pressure tennis when chances come take them or else bye bye
Nadal knows he should’ve won that first set but it’s gone now so just move on & try to play better


Daniel Says:

Quick game by Nadal for 2-0. Expected that somebody will drop level a bit after that grueling set.For Djoko he still have time to come back as he did in set 1, as long as he doesn’t allow a double break. With his return and Nadal’s serve he will always have chances. If Nadla gives to many second serves in a game, he will be in danger.

But looks like both won’t a quicker set, 2-1 very fast


Dave Says:

Kricket,

Nole is by far my favorite player. I have watched him and Nadal play for many years against each other. The in form Nadal doesn’t make all of those forehand errors and makes Nole pay during some of those rallies that Nadal was ahead. I have seen Nadal playing at peak level. His forehand is not at peak level. Not with that many errors. You can put it down to nerves or whatever you want. Nole was good at times, but not the best I have seen him play either.


kriket Says:

Nadal taking MTO when it looked like the momentum is switching back to Novak’s side. Convenient.


Pauly Says:

Djokovic will break back soon it’s not like Nadal gets many free points on serve he must fight for each point
Hope Nadal can win one set that’s something positive for him & his fans to take into Roland Garros soon


Daniel Says:

Nadal with blisters in his left foot.


gonzalowski Says:

Rafa has said to his group that some at the foot is slept, he doesn’t feel it.

It seems Rafa is ready for Paris, he is being competitive against Nole.
Santana and Petrangeli together between the viewers.


kriket Says:

Dave, I’ve been watching them play each other for years, too. I’ve been following tennis closely for the past ten years, ever since Fed, Rafa and then ฤoko made the Big 3 (or 4 with Andy, however you like it)

Yeah, both players aren’t at their best, but it’s still an amazing match.


Pauly Says:

Nadal has a history of blisters
Why doesn’t he wear Armaskin socks ?
They prevent blisters ๐Ÿ˜‚


Daniel Says:

Djoko had his chances this game. 3-1 Nadal


Pauly Says:

Daniel

Nadal must win one set to finally believe he is close enough to Djokovic so he can get more confidence for the big prize Paris
Must win at least one set is critical for his belief


Daniel Says:

Nadal more aggressive this set. 4-2 again.

Will he keep the hold this time and finally get a set?


Daniel Says:

Wow, wicked angled BH


Okiegal Says:

Daniel……did you see blisters?? Curious…..I didn’t see them….hope it is blisters and not bones in the foot. Maybe tape was too tight causing him to feel the numb sensation….


Dave Says:

I don’t think it was blisters. It seems like it was the tape that cut the ciculation and made his foot numb.


gonzalowski Says:

Rafa seems to be at 2013 level.
Nole is angry sometimes, like upset. And in a possibly 3rd set, I don’t know if he’ll endure
Rafa’s girlfriend and sister, each year more beautiful :)


Daniel Says:

5-3, think Nadal gets this set. Novak is missing every now and than.He will have to play 2 great games, this and next to have a chance, and hope for a few second serves from Nadal and attack


Daniel Says:

2 second serves returns misses by Nadal,Djoko thanks


Daniel Says:

I didn’t see it either but commentors were saying was blisters, maybe that was what they thought.


Okiegal Says:

Boom Boom and Uncle T side by side….ain’t love grand??๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐ŸŽพ๐ŸŽพ๐ŸŽพ


Daniel Says:

Now or never for Nadal, serving for a set over Novak since forever.


gonzalowski Says:

Rafa, face with nerves


gee Says:

Nole with lazy & unintelligent tennis.
He’s not Better because he plays Nadal.
He played far worse & bizarre tennis so Nadal took advantage.
Stop bowing down to Nadal. Racket throwing is pitiful.
The slowness & passiveness behind the baseline costed him the set.


Daniel Says:

15-30, now is the time for Djoko to not make mistakes


Daniel Says:

40-30, set point Nadal. Moment of the truth


Daniel Says:

And he misses FH second shot, nerves. deuce


Daniel Says:

Hand mistake, it was the right timer a drop


gonzalowski Says:

what a f…. dropshot by Rafa, and misses another set point


Daniel Says:

Cringe after 2 Djoko’s smash. Deuce again, 3 set points gone


ABerg Says:

2 sets, 2 hours.


gonzalowski Says:

there failures by Djoko I don’t understand…. he seems to make on purpose


Daniel Says:

Djoko missing a ew shots this game, he went for the right shots well


Daniel Says:

5 set points gone, Djoko will break if he has a first BP


Daniel Says:

And there it is, BP Djoko. Amazing return by Djoko.


kriket Says:

Breaks back ฤoko


Daniel Says:

And he breaks, told ya. It’s mental at this stage. Bt Djoko made excellent deep returns of almost all serves, 5-5.


Pauly Says:

Can’t even buy a set from Djokovic


gonzalowski Says:

buff … this may harm Rafa


Sean Randall Says:

Novak tried to give him that set, Nadal still couldn’t take it blowing 4-5 set points. Amazing.


gonzalowski Says:

Rafa is playing long now, anyway


Pauly Says:

Will Nadal ever win one set of Djokovic again ?
At the moment I would say NO


Pauly Says:

Djokovic didn’t try to give him nothing if he did then it would be one set each


Daniel Says:

Amazing Djoko, second time he finishes a long rally with an incredible BH winner from the back of the court, on unimportant point. 40-30


gonzalowski Says:

Great point for Nole, great tennis from the two of them


Daniel Says:

6-5 Djoko, think this will be a rematch of first set. Nadal was 0-30 and couldn’t break. Now Djoko is fired up.


Dave Says:

Oh yes Nadal will still win sets off of Djokovic. After seeing this match so far, even if Nadal doesn’t win this match, he will gain a lot of confidence from this match. He is right with Djokovic again. Nadal can win against Djokovic for sure.


courbon Says:

I’m sweating more then Nadal at the moment….


Pauly Says:

7-5 7-5 most likely
This loss will hurt Nadal’s confidence
He should’ve won this match not lost it
I can’t see him beating Djokovic anytime soon even on clay unbelievable he didn’t take his chances
Mental that’s all it is !!!


Pauly Says:

Dave

I don’t see Nadal beating Djokovic


Daniel Says:

tiebreak it is.

In RG on a hot day Nadal can definitely be more dangerous. He is playing great on clay again.


Daniel Says:

Wow, what a FH


gonzalowski Says:

The crowd enjoying…
what a shot by Nole 1-0


gonzalowski Says:

very well Rafa moving him, great shots


kriket Says:

mini reak ฤoko 2:1


kriket Says:

mini break ฤoko 2:1


Pauly Says:

Nadal will be gutted after this match
He didn’t take his chances that’s all it is
Must take your chances or its bye bye
Good luck for Paris he will need it


kriket Says:

Rafa minibreaks back 3:2 for ฤoko


Daniel Says:

Mini break back, 3-2 Djoko and Nadal 2 serves.


jalep Says:

Stats are tight!
http://www.flashscore.com/match/Sbp9KpQI/#match-summary
Suggests a brutal contest


jalep Says:

Stats are tight!
http://www.flashscore.com/match/Sbp9KpQI/#match-summary
Suggests a brutal contest


gonzalowski Says:

very solid Nole, Rafa very well too 4-2 :(


kriket Says:

4:2 for ฤoko on changeover. looks more and more like ฤoko will win the set and the match.


Daniel Says:

Great point, Djoko hold on the BH side and Nadal missed his killer inside out FH, 4-2 Djoko. Nadal needs this point, otherwise Djoko will have to serves to close.


Daniel Says:

4-3, Djoko with 2 serves to virtually close it out, if he makes 6-3 it’s over.


Daniel Says:

Great lobby by Djoko,Nadal getting desperate because he missed


Okiegal Says:

Wow…great tennis….


Daniel Says:

Djoko defense amazing but in the end Nadal as able to close the point. 5-4 Djoko, 2 serves Nadal.

Djoko needs one of the next 2 points and he serve for the match. Tense time


kriket Says:

match points ฤoko


Daniel Says:

Milimetric FH DTL by Djoko, 2 MP”s Djoko


kriket Says:

and he does it! Congrats ฤoko and all hos fans. Rafa played good but not good enough at key moments


gonzalowski Says:

Congrats to Nole, what a champion
match of the year?
but the thing is, Nole is very good…


Daniel Says:

Another BH winner to finish.

Djoko’s preparation for Garros is now complete regardless if helices tomorrow or to Murray in finals.

Nadal competitive again withD Djoko as of last two matches, but even so, unable to win a set. Maybe he will just get his win in RG where it matter the most.

Another 7 match win streak by Djoko.

Wawa as #4 seed for Garros.

Favorites for Garros: Djoko, Nadal and Murray. Can’t see none other than this 3 winning it.


Okiegal Says:

They were both well spent…..Novak prevailed, as I felt he would, but I am so proud of Rafa…..his game is looking better……if Novak doesn’t win the Frenchie this year, he never will…….I dearly loved this match…great shot making……


Tom Says:

And there it is! What a match! No1e does it again against Rafa. 16 straight sets but he had to work hard today. Question is can Rafa do it in a best of 5? Hoping this is the year for No1e in Paris!


Margot Says:

And Nole wins a fantastic, intense match. Don’t know how he did it, so many times looked down and out!
Congrats to him and all his fans,.
Commies To Rafa’s fans, OK and Green Lady especially. What a fight he put up!


Dave Says:

Nadal showed me today that he can beat Djokovic. No question. Djokovic was better in the crucial moments. Maybe that’s where he has improved and can actually beat an in form Nadal at the French Open. They both seemed to want this win so badly today. Has anyone ever beat Nadal 3 times in a row on clay?


Van Persie Says:

Super match. Rafa played awesome. Sorry for him and his fans. Congrats to Nole xxx. Do not care if he loses tomorrow. This match was a final. Time for celebration now ;)


Vami Says:

JJ Vellejo was right, Novak didn’t need this tournament at all. 3 tough mentally existing matches in a row. He gained nothing with this win. The best thing for Novak would be to not play the match tomorrow (“I’m injured”) and go straight to Paris.


jalep Says:

http://www.flashscore.com/match/Sbp9KpQI/#match-statistics;0

Total points won- Nole 87 to Rafa 84

By the stats, Rafa appeared to serve well.

Sorry to Rafa Fans.

I just want Nole to win everything from now until the end of FO! ๐Ÿ˜˜


gonzalowski Says:

great analysis Daniel.
The match reminded me of AO final between these two, competitive but with the impression of Dokovic’s dominance
Rafa’s record at Rome (7) in danger!


Pauly Says:

Nadal should’ve won this match
But not good enough in the big moments again
Can’t see anyone beating Djokovic in Rome
Murray might take a set at least
Nadal will go into Paris hoping he doesn’t have to play Djokovic early Coz he won’t win there either no matter if the conditions favour him just not good enough
I said it before & say it again
Nadal isn’t good enough anymore either is Federer
They can’t win majors anymore not mentally strong enough
Roland Garros is finally within his grasp what a wait but he will finally win it no doubt unless he breaks his leg ๐Ÿ˜‚
Djokovic’s ERA his time … Nadal Federer time to reflect on their wonderful careers it’s nearing end for both
Djokovic will win Paris !


Tom Says:

Dave, the problem for Rafa may be it’s a mental thing he may never get over on No1e. That’s 11-1 for Djokovic in the last 12 against Nadal. Turning out to be a one-sided rivalry as of late. But the tennis today was superb!


jalep Says:

Yeah. actually I misspoke. He can lose tomorrow. Just needed his to stamp some authority this match. Thanks Novak! Ole Nole!


Dave Says:

Tom,

That one drop shot Rafa had on set point was very close to going over the net. Nole had already given up on the point. That’s how close it was to going the distance and Rafa possibly winning in the 3rd with all of the momentum. This match was very close and I am sure Novak is very relieved that he won.


J-Kath Says:

Congrats to both champions….think Rafa can be proud of his efforts. And of course Novak….he’s like a leech…no way to escape him….he’s fantastic.


Giles Says:

After this match I hope Rafa lands in joker’s part of the draw in RG. My money is on Rafa!


chrisford1 Says:

Vami – “3 tough mentally existing matches in a row. He gained nothing with this win.”

————
Whether he goes on to win Rome again or not, both he and Rafa cherish their rivalry as much as hate the damage such intense tennis costs and surely wish they had easier rounds.
Vami, you cannot see the forest for the trees – they have a special rivalry, they are gladiators who don’t back down. Novak had everything to gain from this, Rafa did as well, and the fans won regardless.
Djokovic of course has the upper hand now, but some of the recent fights with Rafa have been very close.
The next one is #50, and may that historic match be in the RG Finals, with Novak prevailing in a close one. Hard to imagine it getting better than that!


Giles Says:

The clowns were out in full force in joker’s camp. Serbian mafia!


Travis Bickle Says:

Djoker has just shown us all why he is the best player the world has ever seen.

By giving Rafa a break lead in each set and then coming back to win them both, he practically toys with the undisputed historical King of Clayโ€ฆ on clay no less!!!

Besides clay, he won the last two Wimbledons against one of the best grass players ever, and what Djoker does on hard courts, โ€ฆ well look at this year AO, Indian Wells and Miami.

And here I go again:
Commiserations to passionate Nole-haters on this site, Green Lady, Lakie and Giles. You lose AGAIN :-(
I cannot relate to your pain since I only cheer FOR people and not AGAINST, but somehow feel it is a great pain nonetheless.


skeezer Says:

We have a new Clay GOAT owner.


Vami Says:

JJ is correcting himself :-)
“I might have been wrong about Djokovic going to Rome. Winning that match in that precise way arguably more valuable than the title itself.”
It was important for Novak to face Nadal on clay before RG.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

What an amazing match.

I am definitely eating crow: I did not think Rafa could hang with Novak on clay, even at RG. After this, knowing what a boost Rafa will get at RG, I have to rate him a real threat.

Novak will be the overwhelming favourite, but it now feels at least possible Rafa and Andy can challenge him, and I think Stan will surprise us as a threat.

I’m really happy for Rafa, I did not expect to see him at this level again.

For Novak the domination of the tour, and the H2H for the last two years against Rafa and Andy continues- but they have to feel they’re closer now than a month ago.


Vami Says:

@CH1
Man stop with insults, “Vami, you can’t see forest from the trees…”
What do you know about me? Do you even know if I’m male or female? Stop that judgmental nonsense. I can troll back at you every time when you write your illogical right wing BS but I choose not to.

Novak and Rafa don’t give a f… about the gladiator thing, that exist only in your confused head. All they want is to win and the biggest one at the moment is RG. This one was only a foreplay. Novak and Rafa can play every day, physically they are super fit, but matches are won in their heads. And Novak had 3 rough matches in a row. If he wins Rome it might be 5 in a row. That’s way too much for anyone just before RG where he’s likely going to have only one easy match or no easy matches at all. Rafa was able to pull that up in the past but he used to be vastly superior against anyone on clay. Things are different now.


Okiegal Says:

Rafa had his chances by breaking Novak first in both sets…..but the mental toughness Novak has this in his favor, because Rafa does not possess that like he once did…….mental toughness on pressure points is a big deal in a tight game……..but when all is said done with this match, as a Rafa fan, I can see where his level is, and it’s much better I am happy to say!! I ๐Ÿ’œ to watch the Spanish ๐Ÿ‚ and the Serb play ๐ŸŽพ….you will always see some great stuff!! Cheers ๐Ÿป to all Novak fans….I believe he will be hoisting another ๐Ÿ†! (but hoping Murray does, should he make it to the finals)

VAMOS! ๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ’ช>>>>>vamos fist pump…..lol!


Green Lady Says:

@ 1.25pm, If you had any sense you would be enjoying Novaks win, but for the record, and For the last time im not a Novak hater, but please yourself and beat that drum if you wish, thankfully long time posters on this forum know me much better than that, enjoy the win sensible Novak fans, he was the better player in the key points, and the deserved winner, and will probably win Rome and RG, and if he does no complaints from me ….


Dave Says:

I agree about Stan. He is going to surprise people. He will get it together for the French Open. I am not saying he will win it. But he could win it. It’s possible.


Travis Bickle Says:

Watch for RG when puppet-masters will stack the draw against Novak. Something like Thiem/Kyrgios in the last 16, then Rafa/Nishikori in QF, Wawrinka in SF, and fresh Muray in final…

Basically similar to last year, when he had to beat Rafa in QF, Murray in SF and faced fresh Wawa in the final. Statistically, chances for such a brutal draw to repeat itself this year are small, if draws were random. Big IF though…


Wog Boy Says:

Vamos No1e,

Back to bed, just woke up to see the result (3:50am) will see the match tomorrow.

Congrats to my No1e fans, commiserations to Rafa fans..almost all of them..
๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ด


gee Says:

Djoker 2.5 should Always be energized & never do sloppy weak tennis only to battle at 2-4 & 6-5 and then pressure Nadal when 5 set pts. down.
He threw away 2007 U.S. open & almost lost 2 us opens to fed.
He saw how it went at the ’13 french.
If nole had cared more about tennis in 2008-2012, Fred wouldn’t be so overrated & lucky against the Soderlings, Haases, benneteaus & Roddicks on tour.


henry Says:

Guys…! Not so fast…

In 2014 he lost in the quarters in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, barely won Madrid and lost the Rome final against Djokovic in 3 (3-6, 7-5, 7-5) to go on and win Roland Garros in 4 (3-6,7-5,6-2,6-4). The Rafa we saw today was way better than Rome 2014 and he won both Monte Carlo and Barcelona this year.
He came short on the big points in Madrid against Andy and today he had the match on his racket and failed. Neither Djokovic nor Rafa were at their best today… and, of course, like someone said one here, the ‘old Rafa’ would have converted on the breakpoints.
Let’s hope in Paris the draw will allow them not to meet until the final as that would be the most correct final.

Remember the incredible 5 set RG semi final between these two in 2013 which should have been the final too but because of the (lower ranked Rafa) draw was not to be, which may be the case again this year too(too bad RG doesn’t do their own seeding independent of ranking, like Wimbledon)


henry Says:

ooops made an error regarding the 2014 Rome final. The correct score was 6-4, 3-6, 3-6 for Novak…


chrisford1 Says:

Vani, I could care less about your own personal politics, or your gender. But you did lay out a remarkably ignorant line that neither Rafa or Nole had anything to gain from playing one another before RG, in chapter 49 of their storied rivalry. ” He gained nothing with this win.”
I called you on missing the larger import of the contest, and you got all huffy.
Poor you!!
And as some Rafa backers have said, Rafa cares a lot for matters outside just winning….like getting his form back. Though he lost, Nadal has to be very happy with the high level of tennis e played against Novak.


Okiegal Says:

@Daniel 8:56

Should Pouille go on and win this tourney all you could say is that the tennis gods were with him…. Yes he lucked out…..


J-Kath Says:

@ Vami:

You certainly have a point.
” And Novak had 3 rough matches in a row. If he wins Rome it might be 5 in a row. Thatโ€™s way too much for anyone just before RG where heโ€™s likely going to have only one easy match or no easy matches at all.”

If you’ll forgive the caveat…2 of the tough matches…need not have been so tough.


montecarlo Says:

Djokovic is riding his luck at the moment. Even he admitted that he got lucky on very crucial points in this match else Nadal could have won this in straight sets. Djokovic will surely be doomed at French Open.


chrisford1 Says:

Skeezer – “We have a new Clay GOAT owner.”

By saying new, you imply that either Djokovic is at the moment the GOAT on clay (completely illogical) or that Novak is the new owner of Rafa – implying there was someone else and Djokovic is just the latest to master Rafa.
Novak would be the 1st to say he will never be the equal of Nadal on clay. He has in fact said that multiple times, stating the obvious in response to reporters dumb enough to ask the question. Djokovic has also said that winning the FO from Rafa in a final would change nothing. That discussion should wait until he has 7-8 RG trophies and a level h2h on clay with Rafa. “That will be a very long wait”, Novak joked.


J-Kath Says:

Okiegal: Oh my goodness…how awful if you are right (sorri Pouille).

Travis: Andy has had good draws recently, but not in the past. I’m too lazy (and I guess you are too) to list draws — and then who could we trust for calculating who is stronger opposition than someone else in particular match-ups. Look at Goffin v Berdych…who would have thought 6-0 x 2? If we hooked onto that, it might have been reasonable to believe Goffin could bring that level of result to his match against Andy? Yes? No?


Okiegal Says:

Many thanks to Margot, VP, jalep, JKath, WB and anymore I could have missed for the commies! I do think Rafa’s level is better….but still not where it needs to be to beat Novak….but some great tennis! I loved that match, regardless of how it turned out……On to Gay Paree!


Okiegal Says:

@J-Kath…..feeling feisty again! LOL


J-Kath Says:

Okiegal: Good for you. Certainly now you must not give up on Rafa.

Once I’ve got rid of a never-ending pile of papers (and my body rash), I hope to feel like you. I’m off from here 30th May and won’t be back for 10 days..going to my “Bestest” Sister and believe it will be sad and wonderful and set me up for the future.


Humble Rafa Says:

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and French Open owner Rafael Nadal

Thanks for finally embracing the “owner” concept. I own tournaments and people. Next step to recognize the latter.


chrisford1 Says:

montecarlo Says:
Djokovic is riding his luck at the moment. Even he admitted that he got lucky on very crucial points in this match else Nadal could have won this in straight sets. Djokovic will surely be doomed at French Open.

—————–
He plays like crap, wins or makes the Finals most every time. Been going on for years!! Crap in the early rounds, somehow gets “lucky” and plays amazing matches against tougher opponents in later rounds. He’s been “lucky” like that for 4 years now. Its a miracle , I tell you! A miracle!!!
It clearly goes past luck if it happens so much..


jane Says:

Wog boy @ 1:53 – ditto to all you said :)


anki Says:

What a match, Rafa threw the kitchen sink at Novak and yet couldn’t take a set. Felt sad for Rafa when he blew his chances in both the sets, especially the second set, Five SP’s?? But Nole was GOATing during important points. This match should have been the final. So unfair to both the players. I hope Novak pulls out of Rome now. Unnecessary to wear himself out before the French Open. Fingers crossed hoping for a fair draw for Novak in Paris. Really hope he wins it as this is realistically his best chance to get it done. Plus, I want the Rafole rivalry to continue forever. Will be a sad day for tennis when these two retire. Absolute legends and the passion they display on court is something else.


RZ Says:

@anki – I like how you turned GOAT into a verb. Good usage of “GOATing” ๐Ÿ


Dave Says:

I honestly think they should use hawk eye even on clay. Thiem missed that shot by a good 3 inches and the umpire said it was on the line and that’s why Kei couldn’t see the mark. Hawk eye showed it was nowhere near the line. The Nadal vs Djokovic match also missed a call that was out on game point for Djokovic. He still won the game, but it took him a lot of effort to get out of it.


Okiegal Says:

@J-Kath….I am truly sorry about the never ending papers and the stress that goes with I’m sure is causing your rash…hope it isn’t shingles…… Being with your sister can work wonders. Have a great time!

Rafa is looking better against Novak and no, I will never give up on him. Hope Andy can do the job, if he gets the chance. Cheers!!


J-Kath Says:

Looks like Nishokori v Djokovich tomorrow. No prizes for guessing who will win.


Okiegal Says:

Novak fans worrying about the draw….hoping it is easy? Novak would make the hardest draw possible look incredibly easy imo. Have faith in the #1 player in the world with a gazillion ranking points….He might have a dip in play on occasion, but not often. Oh to be a fan of Novak…….


Okiegal Says:

Having said all that nice stuff about Novak, I left something out……that doesn’t make him owner of the clay goat…..not yet anyway….


jalep Says:

lol, I like “goating”, the verb.

Thanks dear Okiegal.

anki, great post at 3:25, especially coming from a Rafa fan. Kudos to you.

Right now cheering for Thiem to get a set. Still only following score.

Can’t wait to get caught up! What a day.


Pauly Says:

Roland Garros is Nadal’s last stand if he can’t beat Djokovic there he never will again
Very unlucky Nadal should’ve won no doubt but the nerves still affect him
Good luck Nadal in Paris


BBB Says:

I’m not necessariy disagreeing that three tough matches are not ideal, but it seems to me that with more than a week before the FO, and matches every other day on it starts, it’s ample time for an extremely fit player to be in fine shape?


Dave Says:

I agree. Djokovic will be fine in the first 3 or 4 rounds. It’s the QF’s and SF’s. How long will those matches take for him to get through? And can he get through them if he has to play Nadal? I haven’t checked the weather report, because it’s kind of early for that. Is the weather supposed to be hot and dry in Roland Garros? If so, Nadal will love his chances against Nole. The first week of Roland Garros will be cold and rainy. High of 19 some of the days. The first week really won’t matter though. It’s the second week that will count.


Dave Says:

I checked a 25 day forecast. The high for the QF’s, Semi-finals and Finals is 19 degrees. And rain on QF day. IF that actually held up, good news for Nole, bad news for Nadal. That is a long way a way and predicting the weather isn’t that easy. I just wanted a rough idea of what the weather would be like.


jalep Says:

Pauly, I disagree about never beating Novak again if he doesn’t at Roland Garros. Honestly, I’d wish for Nole to avoid Rafa somehow altogether because they’ll wear each other out. I fear Rafa…a lot – even if it’s the best rivalry in tennis at the moment.

But he’s not the only fear – there’s Andy, Kei, Thiem, Stan (you can never tell!), and the odd man playing lights’ out/ nothing to lose.

Rafa can win RG again – he should be seeded #2 at FO, imo – as someone else mentioned up-thread somewhere.

And win or lose FO, Rafa is far from done in 2016, the way he’s playing! He’s dangerous anytime, anywhere – possibly headed back to #2 or #1 at some point. Physically Rafa is looking healthy and he’s not going backward in terms of mental fight. I think that was on display today, wasn’t it? And vs Kyrgios and others.


ABerg Says:

Neither of the guys is getting younger. They are both approaching the age where giving kids a bath can end careers. Peaks and valleys, but the trend has to be downward.


Dave Says:

I also take back what I said about Rafa losing a step. He looks as fast as ever. He is RAFA again. No doubt. I should have known never to count out Rafa. He is making another one of his epic comebacks. I don’t know how many more epic come backs he can do at this point. The next time he dips again, I don’t know at that point with age, if he will have time to recover for another epic run. But it seems like you can never say never with Rafa.


BBB Says:

I haven’t seen the match yet, but I have wondered about Rafa’s ability to hold up in five sets.


jalep Says:

hahahaha ABerg giving kids a bath…good one.

Rafa and Nole are getting older – it can’t be helped. We don’t know how many years either of them will play – though all of us love speculating!


J-Kath Says:

Andy Murray will be 29 on Sunday…Rome Finals Day for him if he beats the lucky Frenchman. Nole 29 one week later.

Jalep @ 4.53: Your view that Nadal should be No. 2 at FO. Assume you are thinking of the quirk Wimbledon applies. To be honest cannot quite remember how that works (too lazy to look up) but think it only applies to (a) previous year’s winner (which would be Stan for FO) with a much smaller benefit to the previous year winner. Anyway it doesn’t apply to FO so looking it up as of immediate interest as it applies to Wimbledon can wait for tomorrow…at least in my case.

Okie: The rash is related to Walter. I got the same extraordinary rash a few years ago…when a close other person died…not shingles or rotten paperwork).


jalep Says:

No slight meant to Andy, JKath.
Was thinking of how many times Rafa has won it and his ridiculous record there. I’m too lazy to comb through the posts but yes, whoever it was up-thread did bring up Wimbledon’s unique seeding. Thanks.

I’d put Andy ahead of Stan. Oddsmaker’s for outright FO winner have Rafa 2nd, Andy 3rd, Stan 4th, Kei 5th and so on. I keep checking because I’m forever tempted, tho I’ve learned my lesson enough times to abstain!

Odds outright winner – Rome with Andy 2nd which could change depending on how the SF’s go. I expect both Andy and Nole to win – but think Andy will win with less games lost to Pouille.


Daniel Says:

Another epic comeback losing to Murray and Djoko back to back on clay…. nah not buying it.

His last bastion is RG, if he loses there second year in a row his “decline” will be complete. Third phase of his career. Of course, still good enough to be top 10, top 5, but not contesting for major titles as before,second straight year that he had only 1 final in one of the three Masters. He has just 1 more tournament as his last hope. Than his worst part of the season starts wit grass and fast HC where he will be vulnerable to almost every top 20 player bar Batista Agut and Gasquet;-)


Daniel Says:

Regarding #2 seed for RG,

In 3 Masters, tourneys that both Murray and Nadal played:

- Nadal has title, semis and quarters: 1540 ts

- Murray has semis, final and semis guarantee: 1320 pts.
If Murray reaches final(only injury prevent that) add 240, so he will be with 1560 pts. Better than Nadal in 3 Masters. And if he wins the title add 400 pts more. So, results on clay show Murray deserves the #2 for Garros and if applied the same math of Wimbledon counting last years results plus raining points Murray would still be ahead.

He is the #2, deserving one. And as of next Monday Murray will also be #2 in race for London, both Djoko and him, backing up their rankings. And if Kei beats Djoko tomorrow and wins the title he will also surpass Nadal on the race.


jalep Says:

Okay, good sir, Daniel. Consider me busted for BS. I didn’t do my homework!๐Ÿ˜‰

My excuse: spreading myself too thin. I admit not keeping up with ATP numbers.


jalep Says:

Just finished watching the first set Nole/Rafa. Outstanding stuff. Love the Rome fans.


Daniel Says:

Just a different perspective jalep;-)

Enjoy the match, it was outstanding to watch it live, glad I could home work today.


anki Says:

Anyone else think Rafa could have beat Andy with the way he played today?


henry Says:

Daniel & Jalep: hi guys, it was me bringing up (further up-thread) that it is too bad Roland Garros doesn’t have their own seeding – not based on the ATP Ranking but based on tournament results.

Daniel: I never brought up a no.2 seeding for Rafa but your calculation suggestion is not correct.

If we are to follow Wimbledon’s seeding formula:

** Take ESP (Entry System Position) ranking points in June 2016
** Add 100% points earned for ALL clay tournaments in past 12 months (not just the masters as you suggest)
** Add 75% points earned for best clay court tournament in 12 months before that

then Rafa would actually stand a good chance of the no.2 seeding position in Paris as they would add all clay tournament results of the past 12 months to his ESP points plus 75% of the 2000 points of his 2014 win (1500) in Paris.

Anyway, as it will not happen it doesn’t really matter and the last persons to worry about this would be Rafa and Novak They know very well they have to win against all on their way to the final and winning the tournament

Let’s just enjoy the rivalry and look forward to what will happen in Paris soon


Okiegal Says:

@J-Kath…..so glad it is not shingles. Your vacation will help I’m sure…….take care!


Green Lady Says:

Thanks for all the commies from the nice Nole fans, and the others that did too, Rafa played great, but Novak just has another level altogether, hes certainly not number 1 for nothing ….

And all the best J-Kath and hope you have a lovely time with your sister, stay safe and come back soon, im posting less myself now, as i have such alot going on with course work and deadlines to meet, CHEERS ;-) ….


J-Kath Says:

Thank you for your kind, good wishes Okie and GL.


Okiegal Says:

@J-Kath…..You are welcome……


jatin Says:

Hey Green Lady (aka Gypsy gal :) and Okiegal, how’s going on ?
Hope you guys are doing fine these days.
Its been a busy week as far as tennis is concerned. Sorry about Rafa, but he played great.


Green Lady Says:

Hi Jatin im good thanks, but busy in the real world, nice to see you here again, as i love to converse with the nice sensible fans, and i miss Perfect Fan, Rishi and Squirrel too, ive lost my cool having some back and forth with posters i wont name, but thankfully its all eased off now, and id just like to talk tennis, anyway ive no expectations anymore regarding Nadal, im only pleased to see him putting himself into contention to play Novak these days, dont expect him to win as Novaks just a level above everybody else, no complaints as he deserves what hes doing and continuing to do, CHEERS JATIN ;-))….


Green Lady Says:

It was an amazing match, and i hope they are on the same side of the draw for RG, would like the possibility even if thats all it is of a Murray /Nadal final for a change, as weve never had that permatation in a GS, sorry but i dont share the enthusiasm of another Nadal/ Djokovic final on clay, and IMO that 2013 FO semi was highly overated anyway ….


courbon Says:

Green Lady, if you are bored of same people in the final, then maybe Hovak-Murray would be better?We never had that either?For a change…
9 finals for Rafa, it’s surely enough? It’s boring, no?


courbon Says:

Novak not Hovak…


Green Lady Says:

Courbon i didnt mean that, indeed Rafa doesnt have to make another RG final, its everybody else that wants a Nadal / Djokovic final at RG not me, thats the reason why i want them on the same side, rather than opposite ones, id just like a Murray /Nadal final in a GS, and it doesnt have to be RG either could be anywhere, its just weve never had that permatation before, and those two are my favorites….

How ya doing by the way, nice to see you here ? ;-))….


Green Lady Says:

Courbon to add weve had a Murray /Djokovic final in GS everywhere except for RG, but weve never had a Nadal /Murray final anywhere ….


Green Lady Says:

But i dont mind finals on HCs even if they do favour Novak, more often than not ….


Green Lady Says:

And i still feel bitter about 2013, which is why i dont want a repeat, excuse all the repeat posts ….


courbon Says:

GL: Sorry, I just have seen reply’s-sorry;I understand your reasoning better now-I was bit teasing and also slightly grumpy last night…
I’m having a crap week ( just like Novak ) but it will be all forgotten tomorrow morning when I go to San Sebastian ( Basque country ) for a couple of days to chill out and eat best tapas in the world…( I’m taking my 85 years old dad with me-he will not stop talking during the trip in the car, about the war-it’s like a uncle Albert in Fools and Horses-seriously..he exaust me last time when we went to Toulouse.Still, my dad, blood thicker then water and all that….)


Green Lady Says:

Ah Courbon thats so sweet, i hope you have a lovely time with you dad, i certainly miss the chats i used to have with my dad, i know how hard you work, it gets tiring, and you need to take time out to rest, especially with a family and two little girls too, not quite the same but 27 old people can be like looking after 27 whining babies at times, i think i need a break too, anyway enjoy yourself CHEERS ;-)) ….


courbon Says:

Gl-Thank you-I will enjoy-I love San Sebastian ( Donostia ), two and half hours from me, not tiring trip…Good food and girls are pretty there.What man needs more than that? Fill stomach and please the eyes…
27 is OK-28 would be way too many to handel…(-:


Green Lady Says:

Courbon lol, the girls are pretty, make sure the wife doesnt catch you ;-)) ….


courbon Says:

Gl-I’m a good boy-just “window shopping”…


Green Lady Says:

Thats good the C, i do that myself, hunky men in wet suits on surf boards, one of the perks of living by the sea ;-)) ….


courbon Says:

Gl, continue “surfing” with your eyes, it’s good for a spirit…Speak to you next week, ciao


Green Lady Says:

Courbon ciao ;-)) ….

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