Emotional Murray Escapes Stepanek At French Open, Djokovic, Nadal Roll; Wawrinka Wednesday
by Jeremy Davis | May 24th, 2016, 11:22 pm
  • 142 Comments

No. 2 Andy Murray was the story on the men’s side Tuesday at Roland Garros, finishing off a darkness-delayed match from the day before (barely), defeating veteran Radek “The Worm” Stepanek 3-6, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5.


“I fought extremely hard from a very, very difficult position,” said Murray in an emotional (for him) press conference. “Yes, I was getting frustrated, but I gave everything and got myself out of a situation that not all players would have been able to get themselves out of. So I fight through to the end in all of the matches. Yes, for sure I can make improvements on the court. No question about that. But I also do some good things, as well. I need to sometimes balance that up a little bit.”

Murray was the lone member of the Top 10 having trouble in the opening round as No. 1 Novak Djokovic rolled Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun 6-4, 6-1, 6-1; No. 4 Rafael Nadal destroyed Aussie Sam Groth 6-1, 6-1, 6-1; No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga handled German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-4, 6-4; and No. 7 Tomas Berdych had an easy win over Canuck Vasek “Popsicle” Pospisil 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.

“Second and third sets were really good,” said Djokovic, who will next face Steve Darcis. “I thought I found my rhythm. First set was up and down. But I’ll take the positives out of it, and I’m hoping I can progress as the tournament goes on.”

Nadal started strong in his quest to prove he hasn’t lost confidence in his abilities, dropping only three games to Groth.

“It’s obvious that it was a good start for me,” Nadal explained to the media, or maybe himself. “The most important thing that I had to do today, I did well, which was return. I played without making many mistakes…It’s great to play here in France and in Roland Garros. I feel always the support of the crowd here.”

Nadal will next face Argentine Facundo Bagnis.

Other seeded winners were No. 11 David Ferrer, No. 12 David Goffin, No. 13 Dominic Thiem who came from a set down to beat Spain’s Inigo Cervantes, No. 14 Roberto Bautista, No. 15 John Isner who came from a set down to beat Aussie John Millman, No. 20 Bernard Tomic, No. 21 Feliciano Lopez who beat Thomas Fabbiano of Italy in four, No. 25 Pablo Cuevas who beat Tobias Kamke from a set down, No. 26 Joao Sousa who beat Damir Dzumhur from a set down, and No. 29 Lucas Pouille who beat Julien Benneteau in four.

“I’m very happy about this win,” said Ferrer, entering the French Open without a clay run-up title for the first time in seven years. He will next meet Argentine Juan Monaco. “This year was not as smooth as other years, but these are things that happen. As long as I enjoy playing tennis, as long as I keep being motivated, things are okay.”

Isner, who has not scared anyone of late with his play, will next meet Brit Kyle Edmund.

“It’s a big confidence booster for me,” the American said. “I’ve had a lot of extremely close matches this year and also came into this tournament without much match play at all. There were some moments in that match that I just went AWOL a bit on my serve. Three times I lost my serve. I played some pretty poor games. I’m up 30-Love, and next thing you know, minute later I lose the game. That stuff comes with match toughness, I think. But getting through this one was crucial for me. I’m very happy to be moving on.”

Four players orchestrated upsets on the day with France’s Stephane Robert beating No. 18 Kevin Anderson in four, Spain’s Nicolas Almagro toppling No. 24 Philipp Kohlschreiber from a set down, Spain’s Pablo Carreno edging No. 31 Federico Delbonis in four, and Spain’s Marcel Granollers upsetting No. 32 Fabio Fognini in straights.

Winners of note in all-unseeded contests were France’s Paul-Henri Mathieu, Nicolas Mahut, and Quentin Halys beating Sout Korea’s Chung Hyeon in a battle of risers; Ernests Gulbis, Marcos Baghdatis beating Gilles Muller in a battle of oldies, and Croatia’s Borna Coric giving American Taylor Fritz a welcome-to-Paris 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 beating.

Halys was happy to record a win, and happy to be part of the ATP’s #NextGen campaign.

“Of course it’s great to be a part of the ‘next generation’ on the ATP,” said Halys, apparently unaware of #NewBallsPlease and Nicolas Lapentti and Mariano Zabaleta. “It’s a good motivation. I’m working hard every day and it pays off. I didn’t expect to play that well on clay so quickly, but I’m working hard. I intend to continue.”

Matches to raise the hair up on the back of your neck on Wednesday include (8) Milos Raonic vs. France’s Adrian Mannarino, (9) Richard Gasquet vs. former French juniors winner Bjorn Fratangelo, the combustible (17) Nick Kyrgios vs. Igor Sijsling, and (23) Jack Sock vs. Dustin Brown.

WEDNESDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE
Philippe-Chatrier Court 11:00 AM Start
Simona Halep (ROU)[6] vs. Zarina Diyas (KAZ)
Myrtille Georges (FRA) vs. Garbine Muguruza (ESP)[4]
Mathias Bourgue (FRA) vs. Andy Murray (GBR)[2]
Milos Raonic (CAN)[8] vs. Adrian Mannarino (FRA)

Suzanne-Lenglen Court 11:00 AM Start
Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE) vs. Petra Kvitova (CZE)[10]
Taro Daniel (JPN) vs. Stan Wawrinka (SUI)[3]
Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) vs. Richard Gasquet (FRA)[9]
Caroline Garcia (FRA) vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)[2]


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142 Comments for Emotional Murray Escapes Stepanek At French Open, Djokovic, Nadal Roll; Wawrinka Wednesday

Michael Says:

I would say Andy scraped through the skin of his teeth against a Veteran at 4-5 Deuce, anything could have happened. But,crucial unforced errors from Stepanek costed him this match and it was definitely not due to Andy’s brilliance who feasted on Stepanek’s misery on those moments.

But, what must be comforting for Andy is that whenever he had such tough matches in the beginning of the Grand Slam, he has went on to win the trophy. I vividly remember 2012 Wimbledon in this regard.


Michael Says:

Rafa was just ruthless against Sam Groth unleashing his fire power precision Tennis in all its glory. That dreaded forehand of his was definitely clicking and he found incredible angles. Especially the winner between his legs was a sheer delight to watch.

Novak too had it quite easy against a listless opponent even playing below his best.

In all, there were no mighty surprises and everything went according to expectations. The coming rounds are expected to be more entertaining and interesting in the days ahead.


J-Kath Says:

I think this writer “Jeremy Davis” seems to have forgotten that Stan is also in the top ten and had an equally tough match similar to Andy Murray’s. The difference was Andy’s had to be carried into next day because of lack of light.


J-Kath Says:

Not good news with Andy Murray.


Anto Says:

Murray in trouble again.


calmdownplease Says:

Andy can go DO ONE as far as I’m concerned!

I’m SO BORED of this!
Where is the indomitable spirit?
Did you ever really have it?
You’re the world number 2 FFS!
Yeah, I get Muzz; you’re tired, emotionally drained etc but this Muppet you are playing is not worth another 5 set rollercoaster!
Which will make you even more tired etc
Silly and self defeating and who the f**k is ‘Borgue’?!
And now he has belief!!
Purleeze!!!!!!!!!!!!!


calmdownplease Says:

Andy is being schooled by a world number… what, 200?!

why why why?

okay rant’s ended
;0)


jalep Says:

Only have the score today but wth Andy?

Mathias Bourgue is a wild card, #164. 22 yrs old. He was mentioned on the ATP site for something, I can’t remember. Nice looking kid, I thought.

Didn’t guess he’d be a problem for Andy!


jalep Says:

Only have the score today but wth Andy?

Mathias Bourgue is a wild card, #164. 22 yrs old. He was mentioned on the ATP site for something, I can’t remember. Nice looking kid, I thought.

Didn’t guess he’d be a problem for Andy!


Daniel Says:

Is he feeing the weight of the draw and being favorite to reach final or something?

Kind of now that he is a contender on clay it finally get to him. I don’t get it, playing possibly two five setters back to back in forat two rounds where he should win easy to save himself for later.

Simon also down 2 sets.

Very disapoimted in Murray. I was starting to give him a real shot this tourney, maybe even getting another Slam this year (he will be top 3 faborte for both Wimby and USO), but now after this performance…
Don’t know what to think. Just expect him to win, tomorrow he will have a days rest.

Rain is still forecasted next days and as soon as he wins the better because he may end up playkng consecuritve days ig he keeps getting himself in this matches.


calmdownplease Says:

Your Grandmother would have been a problem for him Today Jalep, it seems

(If she was pretty nifty around the tennis court, that is..)


jalep Says:

Gillou being down 2 sets to Guido Pella isn’t a big surprise.

Phew… relieved to see Simona, Petra, and Garbine made it through.

Go Nikola and Green Lady! They are leading the WTA bracket – last I checked.


RZ Says:

What is going on with Andy? I wasn’t concerned so much with him going 5 sets against Stepanek, but he shouldn’t be having trouble with Bourgue. Or is Bourge a young phenom I hadn’t heard about?

I’m not watching so can someone weigh in on whether they think Andy is playing badly or Bourgue is having his best day ever?


calmdownplease Says:

‘Rain is still forecasted next days and as soon as he wins the better because he may end up playkng consecuritve days ig he keeps getting himself in this matches…’

Well, he is not out of this yet and could still lose although you have to think Borgue will blink.
No signs yet, however
Andy can’t raise his level the poor thing is emotionally exhausted etc
boo hoo!
If it rains and play goes over I just don’t think he’ll make it out of this week tbh.
I could do with an Industrial strength Caipirinha about now Daniel!


calmdownplease Says:

@RZ
Everything is wrong with Andy, but to summarize, he is flatter than the proverbial pancake!


jalep Says:

lol, cdp! My grandma would have kicked mind wandering butt… hehehe


calmdownplease Says:

He’s still moving pretty fast out there, it’s mental fatigue not physical…


Daniel Says:

BP for Murray, c’mon.

Easy sets, not 7-5 in fifth


jalep Says:

meant…his mind-wandering, daydreaming, video gaming butt!


calmdownplease Says:

Voila!
a break
is the beast awakening….?


Daniel Says:

Maybe he will play poorly agaisnt lower rabked and rise agasint seeded players.

As if he wants to fast forward to Quarters onwards;-)

Isner next which shouldn’t be a problem for him.


calmdownplease Says:

If I remember correctly, Isner once took Nadal to 5 early on here….


Daniel Says:

Not Isner, Karlovic and than Isner Round 16. 2 matches that doesn’t add nothing to his prepararion, just get returns in (which he is flawless in doing so) and move the giants.

Than Kei quarters. So, next two matches he won’t spend much energy even if he lose a tiebreak. Fast points matches, perfect “rest” after this two rounds


Daniel Says:

Yeah, first round 2011. But Andy return are more inside court, taking time away from server, the kind of return great servers hated vecause ball comes back fast. Nadal uses the clag retunr, deep heavy mid court, aimed at the server


Daniel Says:

Actually, Kyrguos who also won today could beat Kei. Imagine Mureya having to play 3 big servees back to back to back: Karlovic – Isner – Kyrgios. Isner will have to beat Gabashiviki tough


calmdownplease Says:

Well, this ‘gringo’ hopes you are correct D!
(including your assumption that Andy actually wins this one)


Daniel Says:

4-2! now serve, break and start serving first fifth set.


Daniel Says:

He will win. He needed to be 1-2 ro realize he could lose and fire his inner avatar, the Andy within.


calmdownplease Says:

he still has to hold first!
15-30
oopps good retrieve
30-30


RZ Says:

Thanks for the update CDP. At least if he had lost sets 1 and 2 rather than sets 3 and 4, I could chalk it up as wanting that comeback from 0-2 in sets record all to himself.


calmdownplease Says:

‘inner avatar’

like that one
clearly it was on the crap shingle beach on Nice for while there :)


calmdownplease Says:

you’re welcome dear!


Daniel Says:

5-2. Once he closes this set he will play freely fifth, easy set.


calmdownplease Says:

or it could go horribly wrong in a one set shoot out
(usually won’t however)


calmdownplease Says:

serving first :0)
why o why does he behave like this
he’s on telly in front of thousands of french for gawds sakes
why is he so sleepy?


Daniel Says:

See CDP, today I am in psychice mode, he indeed broke to close the set and will have another easy set, losing not more than 3 games.


RZ Says:

@Jalep – I called the wrong first round upsets in the WTA bracket. Was sure that Dodin would ride the home crowd wave to upset Ivanovic.


J-Kath Says:

RZ

He did well set 1 and started set 2 ahead, then he couldn’t get anything flowing…they were watching him hold his stomach but he was doing it surrepitiously …anyway the Frenchman got stimulated and played like Nole+Nole ….I stopped watching. Now, Andy is playing half decent again…looking better. Now they are in set 5.


Daniel Says:

Next rounds he will behave. He knows that with big serves is a different ball game and you have to be more cautions, speciallywith his service games.

This matches he knows he is the better baseliner


Daniel Says:

Ealry break preferably, specially as he broke last time Borgue served, to kill any belief left in him.


Daniel Says:

BP for Murray


RZ Says:

Uh oh J-Kath, looks like Margot may ban you from watching Andy as well.


mat4 Says:

I would like Murray to win, to play 5-setters in the QF and SF (whatever the results), but I can’t help myself when I see Bourgue play so bravely: come on, espèce de bourgue!! Vamos! Ajde! Vas-y! Trique cet nouille brittanique!


Dave Says:

This guy is not going away yet. He wants to win this just as much as Murray does.


calmdownplease Says:

got to hand it to him
that was a good hold there from borgue
he still has some belief!


mat4 Says:

… cette… britannique… y a des jours…


calmdownplease Says:

your calls will have no effect I’m afraid Mat4!
Borgue’s coming unstuck and Andy will want to make an example now


calmdownplease Says:

Well this ‘borgue’ won’t be doing any assimilating Today it seems (sorry, I couldn’t resist)


Daniel Says:

Break, finally!

No need to do cardio in gym anymore.


Dave Says:

I’m not quite sure what example Murray is going to make to his rivals winning 2- 5 setters in a row in the first 2 rounds. Murray is vulnerable and every player knows it. Bourgue knew it and played like he had nothing to lose.


Daniel Says:

Simon was down a break in third set but close it out 7-5, maybe he will run a comeback.

Gasquet serving for match.

Murray easy hold for 4-1


calmdownplease Says:

I don’t know if will be ‘vulnerable’ after a days rest, however.

I’ve seen most of them go to one or two early 5 setters and win one

The next match will be telling…

Also I don’t think the Stepanek one took much more than about 3.5 hours either..

We’ll see!


Daniel Says:

Not yet, 40-0 to 40-30


Dave Says:

It’s not about the time on court for Murray so much as he is vulnerable. He isn’t playing his best. Whether it’s because of the conditions not being as hot, I’m not sure. The point is, top players won’t let Murray off the hook so easily. I would actually be shocked if Murray makes the final. I never picked him to make the final. If he does, that would be pretty epic, considering how he started the tournament.


calmdownplease Says:

une baguette pour le monsieur?


RZ Says:

How long has this match been going? The FO site doesn’t provide time as a match stat.


calmdownplease Says:

@Dave

I just don’t agree (all things considered)
yet!
I could next round however…


Dave Says:

3 hours and 20 minutes


Daniel Says:

5-1 serving for match. Think now he isntested and have a couple of rounds that can go the distance but not demand too much physically wise.


calmdownplease Says:

still some frailties here
oh well


mat4 Says:

Bourgue is still fighting. And he breaks! playing against he new king of clay, Andy Murray.


RZ Says:

Thanks Dave. Murray has a couple more chances but of course has to put his fans through the wringer. Hoping he’ll pull this out soon.


calmdownplease Says:

emotionally i still think he needs a coach
Yes, Like Lendl
someone stoic, a rock if you like


Dave Says:

I don’t agree Daniel. 2 matches of 3 and a half plus hours on clay can’t have zero effect on a player mentally as well as physically. It all adds up. All of the top players talk about wanting to get through the early rounds quickly to avoid the accumulative effect. Murray is in top shape, but it can’t have no effect on him whatsoever. Maybe if he went on to win the next 4 matches in straight sets comfortably, which is extremely unlikely, he might be okay.


calmdownplease Says:

still in it to win it our Borgue
Andy better do it now


mat4 Says:

This match is not over yet.


mat4 Says:

Vas-y, Mathias!!


calmdownplease Says:

Oh BUT it is MAT4
phew!
Not very encouraging at ALL
LOL


calmdownplease Says:

excellent and fearless from the Frenchie
It’s looking a bit like the clockwork orange for Andy at the mo
Even the tramp is able to duff him up good n proper


mat4 Says:

The French public show his deep sense of fair play, booing Murray. What should he have done? Lose on purpose?


calmdownplease Says:

That’s the Parisians for ya!


Daniel Says:

Agree Dave, long matches take its tool.

But he will play possibly 2 big serves now which doesn’t add antthing for clay. Even of he loses 1 set in each match most likelly it will be fast matches with a handfull of really tense moments. Also Andy is playing a day ealryer than top half. If he is to reach finals he ill play semis on Thursday and finals Sunday. 2 days rest which will be perfect for him due to this ealry energy spent matches.

For examole of Djoko plays Qf 4 sets and have a clash for the ages with Nadal on Friday he may arrive at finals in worst conditions than Murray

Remain to be seen but playing Karlobiv and Isner back to back on clay is kind of a relief for him now.


RZ Says:

@Margot – you can come out from behind your sofa now.


mat4 Says:

CDP, the Paris I knew is long dead. Everybody knows it.


mat4 Says:

@Daniel:

Be serious. If Murray continues to play like this, how do you see him beating Nishikori and Wawrinka back to back?


calmdownplease Says:

@MAt4

Well he won’t win obviously
I’m not sure about why he is so crap right now but really he needs someone to hold his hand it seems
he is rudderless right now and needs to get over it.
or it’s bye bye!


J-Kath Says:

Has anybody thought that Andy might be weary? Murray changed tactics as well. He was his own coach. Also he gets his first day off tomorrow.


calmdownplease Says:

@Mat4

It’s still a nice town to visit however (for a weekend)
Never cared for the locals, I’m afraid.


calmdownplease Says:

‘Has anybody thought that Andy might be weary? Also he gets his first day off tomorrow.’

We discussed this too
Emotionally he was clearly spent
Like the rest of us
but still, not encouraging at all
Let’s see what turns up on Friday, shall we?


mat4 Says:

About Paris: the locals are not locals, that’s the problem.

Murray has the worst draw for this FO: while I don’t think that Karlovic could be a problem, Gabashvili or Isner could stretch him before the QF, and, if everything goes as expected, he would two difficult opponents in a row before the final, where he would probably face Djokovic or Nadal. Sorry, but I can’t see anybody beating Kei, Stan (who has to be in form to make it to the SF) and Novak/Rafa back to back to back.


mat4 Says:

Even Novak, in arguably the best year any player had in the last 40 years, couldn’t overcome Rafa, Andy and Stan in a row, although he was 5-1 against Stan and 2-0 against Andy, the über favourite.


ABerg Says:

There are outliers in either direction, but 10 sets of tennis were enough for some ATP Masters titles (see Andy in Rome this year).


Margot Says:

No words.
Lol there’s a pub called “The Silent Woman” in the lovely county of Dorset.
Am beginning to turn into her.
The end.


Daniel Says:

QF and semis is a long way now. I just said that Karlovic and Isner, both matches Andy van win in straights, is just what the doctor order after his 2 fiascos. Completly dofferent matches.

QF with Kei will gove us real deal.

Bur also Wawa was 2 poonts away frok losing tiebreak so I am still not convinced with him. Kei and akyrgios are play better this bottom half.


Margot Says:

@RZ
Andy looked flat and distracted for 2 sets, then he decided he didn’t want to home yet and pow, turned on the power . I think this constant brouhaha about Amelie is really getting to him, which makes the decision to part company just before RG all the more extraordinary.
Having said that, Borque played out of his skin nothing to lose power tennis, with lovely delicate touches, well above his pay scale.
Making up for that “easy” draw in Rome for sure.


anki Says:

Karlovic and Isner will be a walk in the park for Andy. Doubt Kei will make the quarters, Kyrgios is playing really well too. Can see Andy going on a great run from here and end up winning the title.


J-Kath Says:

I want to say “Oh ye of little faith” but it might include myself.


chrisford1 Says:

I am waiting to see who shakes out in the QFs and semis. Kei, who is in form, can give Andy more than his usual number of on court fits. I might cheer Andy if he faces Rafa, but not Novak.

The reasoning being that it would be great for tennis if Djokovc won against Andy in a Final, after beating an in form Rafa. A big day in tennis history. (And I believe that “La Decima” would be harmful to Nadal’s post tennis reputation – after a moment’s thrill by stats fans – Nadal would be tainted as an incomplete player who was only great when he played on clay. He would benefit far more from getting the YEC or another major grass or hardcourt title.)
And if it came down to Andy-Rafa, a win would mean far, far more to Andy. Nadal has nothing to prove on clay. Nadal would be just as tainted in memory as a brilliant clay player who struggled elsewhere. Whereas a win for Andy would show him to be a complete player.


calmdownplease Says:

‘couldn’t overcome Rafa, Andy and Stan in a row’

Pointing out the obvious but it will be Kei, Stan, and Novak not the aforementioned.
Don’t rate Kei on this surface really.
Does anything usually go to seeding plans?
It’s not that common, is it?
Although right now it looks like it will be Andy that doesn’t make his seeding!
Again Murray will need to pull himself up by the bootstraps
All this Amelie stuff i think must be forgotten
And no i am not impressed by ;
a. her decision to have a baby clearly without telling Andy
b. leaving before the FO
But clearly it had become untenable for her.
Martina Navratilova thinks Andy can’t beat Novak here as it is very difficult to stay with him over 5 sets
But he doesn’t need to win 5 he needs to win 3 i.e in 3 or tank one or 2 a la the USO.
But i do I think if he has another long 5 setter you’d have to think it would be a problem for him, even by the semis.
I’d put money on a Waw/Novak final now, if I betted that is..


Margot Says:

@anki
Not if he plays like that, he won’t.


mat4 Says:

Of course, it’s not the QF yet, and Isner hasn’t won against Gabashivili yet, as far as I know.

My bet is that Stan, Rafa and Andy won’t make it to the semi.


Giles Says:

Wishful thinking mut4??


calmdownplease Says:

At least one of them will.
You’re talking about great players here and Nadal in particular has looked very good (albeit with poor opposition).
No, this won’t be an easy slam for Novak to win I’m afraid…..


Vami Says:

Andy won the match in the first game of the forth set when he saved a few break points. Up to that point he was heading downhill. It’s often about one or two shots that change the outcome.


mat4 Says:

He will win it nonetheless. If one can imagine that Murray, that has never made the final here, can win, one can also imagine that Novak, who has played three finals here and won the last three slams, can win.


Daniel Says:

Satn can lose to Chardy, or Simon R16 (who made a 0-2 comeback) and Raonic in Quarters. So yeah can see him losing before semis.

Murray won’t lose to Karlovic neither Isner/Gabashivili, not on best of 5 on clay. So the only really dangerous match for him is quarterfinals agaisnt either Kei or Kyrgios.

Nadal can only lose Thiem R16 or Tsonga quarterfinal. Not gonna happen.

So, Nadal has the hogheat chance of reaching semis, Murray always had the kore dangerous path die to Kei in his quarters (who os the pther in form clay players) and Wawa can lose anytime.

If the theree indeed reach semis together with Novak would make the top 4 seeds innSlam semis. Don’t even know lst time that happened?!


calmdownplease Says:

I’ve no problem with Novak winning!
Sure he will if not this year sometime other, health permitting.
But if he loses this time it could be like the Lendl scenario when it just became a huge albatross for him to win Wimbledon
Lendl apparently even dropped the FO one year (when he could have actually got another slam) and it still didn’t happen
The mental aspect can play tricks but there are few tougher than Novak, are there?


Dave Says:

There is almost no way Andy Murray is winning the French Open this year. He isn’t beating Nishikori, Wawrinka and Nadal or Djokovic back to back. He is not in the best form. These 2 matches will have an accumulative affect on him Emotionally, mentally and physically. Going against servers can also be mentally draining as you don’t get into any kind of rhythem. I may eat my words, but I highly doubt it. I never bought into the hype of Andy Murray winning the French from the beginning, and I am not about to give into it now.


anki Says:

How many times have Novak struggled in early rounds? Then goes on a rampage. I see a similar scenario with Andy.


anki Says:

Nishikori will most probably struggle against Andy, fitness wise, he won’t be able to hang in with Murray for five sets. Even Stan is not playing that well.


Dave Says:

Djokovic has never played back to back 5 set matches to start a grandslam and then went on to win. I wonder if it has actually ever been done in the open era. That would be interesting to know actually. When is the last time Djokovic has played 2 matches of 5 sets in the same grandslam? I can’t even remember.


Dave Says:

2014 Wimbledon is the last one I can remember. 5 sets against Cilic in the QF and 5 sets against Federer in the final.


Daniel Says:

AO 2012, 5 agaisnt Murray and 5 agaisnt Nadal


Dave Says:

I was talking about the first 2 rounds. Who has ever won the first 2 rounds in 5 sets and gone on to win a grandslam? Has it ever happened?


Daniel Says:

Big serves are a painbecause you have to be extra focused. And Tiebreaks are always dangerous agsint them. But it also give calm knowing that you are far the better baseliner than they are. Clay nullifies serves and as soon as ball are back in play is 2-1 in favor of Andy/Novak/Nadal.

Looking at the path Andy may have tomdace in the end seema unlikelly but playing Kei and Stan back to back is not guarantee at this point.

He may end playing Karlovic / Isner / Kyrgios / Raonic before finals. And I fancy him other any of those. Maybe Kyrgios, but he hasn’t last this long in a Slam before: going beyind quartera.

To me, form wise soberall through clay season is between Andy and Kei for the finals.


Daniel Says:

Dave, you pointed out Djoko Wimby 2014 than I pointed AO 2012.

First two rounds probably never happened because top 4 players never play 2 five setter in round 1 and 2. As far as I am concerned Andy must be the first top 4 to do so.


Dave Says:

I’m still thinking Wawrinka will make it. Simon has no chance against him. Go look at their last 2 matches, which were both played on clay. Simon could barely get more than a few games. Chardy has a better chance because of his fire power. Raonic on clay? I just don’t see it.


RZ Says:

I knew I should have used the pic of Andy in the ice bath for the racket bracket! Now he is in constant needs of real ice baths.


assia Says:

Dave

Rafa played back to back five setters at Wimby 2010 didn’t he? I think they were in the early rounds. Certainly not after the fourth round.


calmdownplease Says:

Dave (like Mat4) is investing a lot in whether Andy will lose here.
He shouldn’t bother
We are all on a seen to believed situation with Andy now.
And not just for the FO, any slam.
He has been often poor for two years now (since his surgery time out really), and has to actually proved it himself more than anyone else.


ulysses02 Says:

Stan wasn’t playing well last year at this stage. In fact, he hadn’t won back-to-back matches in 2 months coming in. The key with him is he gets dangerous as he goes deeper and plays longer in a tournament. He’s kind of counter-cyclical to regular tennis players in that sense. I really only see Nadal beating him if he makes out of first week. It’s also instructive how guys like Nishikori are saying (paraphrasing) “I’ve been beating everyone, I really only have to worry about Novak, Andy, Rafa..”

That kind of stuff gets Wawrinka going. And we all know he reads the paper.


mat4 Says:

Nobody is tough enough when you have everything on the line, playing against somebody who has nothing to lose. But adrenaline can help.

Murray winning Rome was a good thing for Novak, I guess: there is a lot of pressure on him now. The same will happen to Rafa, who has Thiem and Tsonga (or Goffin, who could well emerge from his section of the draw) on his path, and both could be dangerous (not Goffin, I guess), especially on a humid clay.

Stan, having won last year here, will be also under pressure.

Novak has really an easy draw until the semi, with players that can help him reach his best level. He probably will be the fresher, both physically and emotionally. And he’s the best player out there. He has a decent shot at the title.


ABerg Says:

Prior to 2014 Wimbledon, Djokovic played back-to-back 5-setters vs Seppi and Tsonga on 2012 RG, eventually losing to Nadal in F. 2012 AO, back-to-back SF and F, 2010 USO (1st round vs Troicki, SF vs Federer – lost F to Nadal).

So, 5 slams with two 5-setters played. Two eventually won.

Nadal has 2010 Wimbledon with back-to-back 5 set matches in 2nd and 3rd round, 2009 AO (SF and F, like Novak’s 2012) and 2007 Wimbledon (lost F).
It looks like few players can win 5 sets twice and live to tell.


sisay Says:

dave

australia open 2012 5 set against andy in the sf almost 5 hrs…and u kniw the rest, he beat rafa in 5 set that took 5 hrs and 53 mins…


Daniel Says:

Agree mat4,

To me Djoko still is the favorite. Only part than concerns me is if he gest grunpy / tense / feel the roessure in the final again.

Two times he was 2 sets aways, maybe this year once he is 1 set away things cna get even harder, he will be in untrodden territory for him: 1 set away from RG titel, career Slam, Djoko Slams and soon to be Co-GOAT or undisputed GOAT. It’s another milestone for him and new ground. He may feel it or not.

My money is still on him and somehow I think he will dazzle in last 2 rounds for a big convincing victory, similar to what he did this year AO.


mat4 Says:

CDP:

No, I am not investing in a Murray loss. I would like Rafa to lose before the semi, and Andy to battle Stan in a 5 hours match played in two days. Like last year…

Murray is very dangerous on slow clay, and I wouldn’t like to see him at his best in the final against Novak. While I like watching Andy play offensive tennis (something he’s quite able to do), as a Novak fan, I prefer when he does it against somebody else.

And it’s the last thing I really care for Novak. If he wins the FO, everything else is bonus. His place among the greats of the game would be sealed. After that, I guess I would feel like in the 90s, enjoying tennis who ever wins.


Dave Says:

Actually, Wimbledon 2014 and Australia 2012 don’t count. I meant 2 matches of 5 sets leading up to the final of a grandslam. Not including the final. So Rafa 2010 Wimbledon is maybe the only one?


mat4 Says:

@Daniel:

A slow clay favours power over precision, and the margins are even thinner. I wouldn’t bet a penny on Stan, e.g., if the final was played on the Lenglen. But on the Chatrier, Novak has to play his best, both in the semi and the final, and still there’s no guarantee he will win. A few points can decide the match.


jalep Says:

Oddmakers have Rafa and Andy tied at 2nd fave to Nole.
Last I checked (yesterday) Andy was 2nd, Rafa 3rd.

RZ, lol @ 2:35! Please go in there and swap out the photo?! The yoga ball isn’t working — give him an ice bath!!


mat4 Says:

@sisay:

The 5h53mn are misleading: in average, they spent 20 seconds between points more than other players. I calculated once (I quote by memory, so don’t trust me) that the match could have last 1h50 less.

And I believe that physically, it’s hard, but emotionally, it’s even harder. Novak, last year, played a tense QF (although he won in three sets), a nerve wrecking semi, and was a shadow of himself after the first set of the final. What tipped the balance was the fact that he played the end of fourth and the fifth set one day before. I can only imagine his nights from the QF to the F.


mat4 Says:

In the Racquet Bracket, I am in a clear lead already, almost assured to finish first if Novak wins the title, with jalep as my only rival.

Let the best man win! :-)


RZ Says:

@Jalep – Andy deserves that ice bath! I’m switching the pic.


jalep Says:

Did you look at Nikola’s bracket, mat4? Speaking of best man?


jalep Says:

That’ll help, yep. RZ. He’s wobbling on the yoga ball.

Margot’s friend is now in the lead – closely followed by Nikola and me.


mat4 Says:

@jalep:

Yes, I did. He chose FLo, Mathieu, and Goffin over Jo; in the other half of the draw, he opted for a semi Raonic-Nishi. I guess it’s a bit too risky.


mat4 Says:

Anyway, I thought everybody playing could see it was a joke: I am 7 points from the leader.


jalep Says:

Yes but on second look, yours looks the best of the Nole brackets, mat! We’ll see. Nikola picked a similar bracket to my own for both WTA and ATP.


Margot Says:

Good idea to change pic RZ but where did the rolling eyes go? That’s my favourite and I can tell you I’ve been doing a lot of eye rolling myself too ……


jalep Says:

These early rounds don’t matter as much for ATP.
I often do well in the early rounds – but I NEVER win. Every year I pick Nole for FO 😕


J-Kath Says:

If Andy gets to beat Kishikori he will beat him.


J-Kath Says:

Sorri — I meant if Andy gets to MEET Kishokiri he will beat him.


J-Kath Says:

Margot: The pic with him relaxing on the bed??? After all poor
wee fellow, he needs a rest.


J-Kath Says:

Mat 4

You are out…I’ve looked into my crystal bowl…and oh boy, did
you make some bloomers¬!


Margot Says:

No, Kath, Andy rolling his eyes at Judy. Tho there are nice ones of him relaxing with Maggy and Rusty and some very cute ones of them with the various trophies.


RZ Says:

@Margot – Andy is more in need of the ice bath right now. Once he recovers and has one or two easier matches, I’ll consider switching to the eye roll pic.


J-Kath Says:

You guys ought to listen to Sisay (she/he) is usually right.
Good night …better go before I’m chased off.


Margot Says:

Lol RZ you are completely in charge. Perhaps you could zip over to Paris and sort Andy out!
Pleeeaaaaasssse….


django Says:

Mat I feel the same way. If he wins FO he doesn’t owe fans another damn thing. 😃


Daniel Says:

Yeah mat4,

I remeber last year. Inwas certain Djoko would win and tiu started pointing out Wawa was great since mid first set. than we all know what happened.


Rick Says:

Don’t you know that, Djokovic is the New Robin Soderling? Last year, at the French, this year Rome. And could be in the French again. If someone knock him out early. This could means another French for Rafa. Just like that year, when Soderling beat Rafa, then Fed finally won the French.


Baa Says:

Even Gaudio played entertaining 5 setters in 2004 french 1st & 2nd round & final.
Certainly better than the Federer luck slams and meltdowns.

It’s not like any great player forced Fed to injure himself for a month.
He twisted his knee while prancing around in the park.
Somehow, he played tennis well during the “mononucleosis era” without attending Real Davis Cup matches.

Qualifiers are stretching Murray to the max, and Fed loons still spout that these all surface players are in the worst era of all time.

Stan, Stepanek & Ferrer still held on to play strong tennis.
Even Benneteau & Horna got Fed to beg for mercy.
Other usa stars humiliated Roddick. Isner embarrassed “hero” Fed on Swiss clay.

Nalbandian couldn’t even play at the french open, Safin pulled his shorts down, and lol at Roddick the #1 cheater and fluke.👇💤
Hewitt’s son was old enough to ask him why he wasn’t playing tennis for half his career.


kjb Says:

@Baa/Gee

Your crush on Fed is so cute. He is not even playing and has nothing to do with this post and you still swing by to talk about him.

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