Nadal To Face Raonic In Friday Brisbane QF Moya Bowl; Thiem v Dimitrov Undercard
by Staff | January 5th, 2017, 6:22 pm
  • 69 Comments

In the first blockbuster showdown of 2017, Rafael Nadal will meet Milos Raonic Friday in the Brisbane quarterfinals.

Nadal advanced to the quarterfinals crushing Mischa Zverev 6-1, 6-1 in under an hour.

“I played a great match, I think,” Nadal said. “Difficult say something negative, because in general I saw after, on the video screen, like, 30 winners and just a few unforced errors. Returning very well, I think. A lot of great passing shots. Not, you know, mistakes. Only thing, I am not sure about my percentage of serves. I think was not that good tonight, was the only thing. But for the rest, I think I played great.”

Raonic didn’t have much trouble either in defeating Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-2.

Nadal, who’s now working with Raonic former coach Carlos Moya, has won six of seven meetings with the Canadian. The two last played with Rafa winning at 2015 Shanghai. Raonic earned his lone win at 2015 Indian Wells.

“He’s one of the toughest opponents on tour today, without a doubt. He’s the third in the world,” Nadal said. “His serve is huge, and he improved a lot from the baseline, too. It’s a match that you cannot do mistakes if you want to really have any chance.

“You need to be really focused with your serve and then try to play aggressive on the return. I gonna try to make it happen, knowing that it’s going to be extremely difficult match.”

Added Raonic of the matchup, “It’s exciting. I look forward to facing him, and obviously it’s a great task, one of great opportunities. I feel like I’m doing a lot of things well, and hopefully I can match up and play some good tennis.”

The match is scheduled for 4am ET in Brisbane.

Also on Friday, Dominic Thiem will meet Grigor Dimitrov in a tantalizing matchup. Kei Nishikori faces Australian Jordan Thompson and second seed Stan Wawrinka collides with Kyle Edmund.

In the women’s field the semifinals are set. Elina Svitolina, who upset Angelique Kerber today, takes on US Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova.

French Open champion Garbine Muguruza challenges Alize Cornet.

Top 5 shots from Thursday:

FRIDAY BRISBANE SCHEDULE
PAT RAFTER ARENA start 11:00 am
ATP – K. Edmund (GBR) vs [2] S. Wawrinka (SUI)
ATP – [WC] J. Thompson (AUS) vs [3] K. Nishikori (JPN)

Not Before 3:00 pm
WTA – [4] G. Muguruza (ESP) vs A. Cornet (FRA)

Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – [1] M. Raonic (CAN) vs [5] R. Nadal (ESP)

Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – [6] E. Svitolina (UKR) vs [3] K. Pliskova (CZE)

SHOW COURT 1 start 11:00 am
WTA – [1] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / S. Mirza (IND) vs S. Hsieh (TPE) / L. Siegemund (GER)
WTA – [3] A. Spears (USA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) vs [2] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)

Not Before 4:30 pm
ATP – [4] D. Thiem (AUT) vs [7] G. Dimitrov (BUL)


You Might Like:
Here Are The Highlights From Roger Federer’s Win Last Night Over Grigor Dimitrov In Brisbane [Video]
After Best Season Milos Raonic Parts Ways With Coach Carlos Moya
Federer Can’t Beat Raonic and Illness in ATP Brisbane Final
Feverish Roger Federer Wins 2016 Opener In Brisbane, Faces Grigor Dimitrov Friday
Milos Raonic Hires Carlos Moya To His Coaching Staff

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69 Comments for Nadal To Face Raonic In Friday Brisbane QF Moya Bowl; Thiem v Dimitrov Undercard

Margot Says:

In HUGE BREAKING NEWS, Milos has let his hair grow a bit and it looks really nice, curly even. Listen chaps the “Brylcreem” look went out in the forties. Happy to help any time….;)
In other news, Rafa is looking mighty fine. If he can stay healthy, gonna have a good year.


Willow Says:

Margot please dont, no predictions about Rafa having a good year ….


el_matador Says:

very enjoyable contest..now a 3rd set tiebreak plz!


Van Persie Says:

Am curious if Rafa will face “Raonic’s curse”. Federer took his coach last year, then he was beaten by Milos.


el_matador Says:

milos’ baseline game has improved hugely..should improve the net game.
Rafa should just stay healthy!
and we’ll have a cracker of a season!


Van Persie Says:

Advise for my favorite: Nole, never steal Milos’ coach!!! You may better keep Pepe.:D

P.S. Have the feeling that, it is Nando’s day today. Hope I am wrong…


Dan the Man Says:

Great win Raonic! It’s still early in the season but Nadal has clearly started off playing well this season but Raonic was still able to beat him for only the second time. This bodes well for his year.


Willow Says:

I Would pick Stan to win Brisbane, and hopefully Murray will win Doha, dont care whom he faces to win the title either ….


Giles Says:

VP. FYI Rafa beat Raonic last week so all this ” curse” talk is superfluous!!


Willow Says:

There is no such thing as a jinx or a curse, load of nonsense ….


the_mind_reels Says:

If Nadal wants to beat big hitters like Raonic, it seems he is going to have to make adjustments to his game that he still hasn’t made. These kinds of players have been employing the same tactics against him for multiple seasons (as some examples, Rosol, 2012; Kyrgios, 2014; Dustin Brown; Raonic in 2015 and 2016) with success: big serves that yield weak returns because Nadal is still standing 15 feet behind the baseline, and those weak returns are punished. The big guys are moving and hitting better, and he needs to account for that.

It’d be nice to see Nadal be very competitive this season, but given the struggles he’s already having against his peers in Murray and Djokovic, it feels like solving these other tactical challenges may help his confidence if/when he gets to later rounds.


Daniel Says:

Nadla beat Raonic last week in an Exo, to be clear.

Did Djoko saved any MP versus Verdasco? Not able to see the match and when I checked scores Nando lost tiebreak 7-9, so wonder if djoko made another escape act so far.

This week a lot of well contested matches. Seems the level is “levelling” between top players.

Also Dimitrov getting three wins may be a small sign, that he can finally live to his potential but, we’ve seen this movie before.


Van Persie Says:

Nadal beat Milos last year in an Exo, more clearer ;)

Yep, Djoko saved 5 or 6 MP’s. Wow. Have seen only the end of 2 set and 3 set. Felt like, old Djoko is back :)…hopefully


the_mind_reels Says:

@Daniel: I don’t put much stock in exos since the players are often just using them for court time and/or to work out tactics. If anything, the exo helped Raonic tweak his game to play against Nadal, and the result doesn’t matter in the end.


Willow Says:

Epic choke from Dasco, Novak has rode his luck this week ….


J.S. Says:

You’re kidding, right?? Is it fun watching someone ACE to win a match….if this is what the new generation is bringing to the game, I will change obsessions.
Did you see the stats of the match? Someone needs to take a ball machine and hit at Rafa until he can return those missiles? No volleying, Raonic missed simple shots at the net, hard to get in a rhythm.
SO SICK OF TENNIS FANS BASHING RAFA when he loses a match, get over yourself!!!! No one says that about Murray, Djokovic or Federer. Give the guy credit for a great 2017 start…..I am keeping my poster above my bed for now!!!


Daniel Says:

Djoko righten the ship and close third set 6-3
Murray 1 game to set blockbuster final to open season.

Glad I’ll be able to watch final tomorrow.


Truth Says:

Nole played lazy as usual. He forgot that this years isn’t about hamming for the camera in exhibitions.

Murray rode on luck with injured opponents everywhere, but claimed his daughter made him a huge tennis winner.
He lost to Goffin, struggled with “the wind” and thinks he’s playing excellently.
So Murray fans have to talk about Nole riding on luck.
So much for being “fair”.


Willow Says:

I Hope Andy wins, but i dont share everyone elses enthusiasm for yet another final between these two, and i hope this isnt where the years going ….


J.S. Says:

I am Rooting for Andy too…..I think it’s a no brainier he will win!
Buckle up baby this is 2017 I am afraid!


J-Kath Says:

There’s so few Andy fans that I think I would have remembered if any of them “talked about Nole riding on luck”. “So much for being fair.”


the_mind_reels Says:

@J.S.: I’m assuming you were replying to my comment about Nadal. First off, my comment isn’t Nadal-bashing — it’s trying to assess why he continues to struggle. As I noted, I’d like to see him have a good and competitive season! (And sure, plenty of people here assess why those other guys lose matches too — it’s one of the purposes of this blog.)

Second, I don’t care whether it’s fun or not to watch someone like Raonic with a big serve hit aces. It’s an advantage he has as a tall guy, so…what else do you expect him to do? Again, my question is about Nadal’s tactics against guys like that, since they seem to hurt him. As he gets older, it seems like he’s only going to slow down more, which will make chasing balls struck from a weak serve reply even harder.

There’s a big difference between bashing a player and trying to assess how they can still be successful as they age and/or cope with an upcoming generation.


AlexB Says:

This could be Raonic’s year. Improved movement and backhand, older guys aging out (Federer is nearing the age where eyes start losing flexibility), younger guys not used to seeing 140+mph again and again..


Willow Says:

J-Kath that was me, just meant it from an objective point of view, not actually bashing Novak, its just when you have faced 5 or 6 MPs, or come back from 5 /1 down in the same tournament i would say youve ridden your luck some what, and yeah, yeah, yeah, before the usual suspects bounce im well aware that other players have done the same from time to time ….


J.S. Says:

the_mind_reels
Thank you for clarifying but I disagree with you on Rafa’s movement. But, if this is what the ‘new” generation is coming to, they will need to pay a lot more for appearance fees….cuz I am not watching!


jane Says:

oh snap!

anyhow… good luck nole!!! nolandy rivalry heating up, it seems.

surprised milos beat rafa, but it’s early goings. not putting too much stock in these first events of the year.


jane Says:

_the_mind_reels, your comment was perfectly reasonable


the_mind_reels Says:

@J.S.: fortunately, not all of the new generation are serve-bots, as some like to call them :)


AndyMira Says:

@the_mind_reels…Agree with you on 9:57am and 2:44pm..To me,both of your comments were very reasonable…I love to read a comments about Rafa,whether positive and negative…That way we can know what’s going on with him..his physical or mental or his game or why he lose when he supposed not to or why he played like an alien from space when he faced Mischa and why suddenly he played like the Rafa of the last two years with nervousness and anxiety,lack of confidence and self belief against Milos…We can’t know that from rafa or Uncle T’s mouth..To be a good fan we have to accept the bad or the good things that were said about our fav…They’re public figure,anyone can say anything about them…and it’s not about Rafa either…We discussed every players that were put on the thread since forever…


J.S. Says:

Dimitrov beat Raonic – Nishikori beat Wawrinka
Dimitrov vs Nishikori – BRISBANE FINAL

Wish Raonic had played that way against Nadal, tough luck for Rafa!


Margot Says:

Goodness, Stan is so unpredictable. Wonder which Stan will turn up for RG. That could impact on Rafa. Potentially he might have to play Stan and then Andy or Nole to get to the final.
JS: Didn’t see match. What was up with Milos? Is he defending champ?


J.S. Says:

Yes Milos is defending champ for Brisbane. I only watched highlights of Dimitrov/Milos, he did not play like he played against Rafa….Maybe the Rafa curse? It happens a lot, play their best against Rafa and tank the next match, I feel bad for Nadal!
Yes! Wawrinka is unpredictable, right?

Looks like Eurosport2 will have the Djokovic/Murray match on today…I will watch!


jalep Says:

Margot –

Here were my thoughts on picking/not picking Stan in Brisbane:

He was going to sincerely try and want the win – he’s in the routine of having a smaller tournament win pre-AO. But he didn’t go to Chennai, like he should have. Donna Vekic was going to Brisbane and so was he – ha! but she lost in the qualification round there and left for Sydney early! He’s absolutely smitten.

So Stan was left alone in Brisbane, which may or may not be a factor in in any way. But Kei is very keen to take Brisbane as well and Stan ran into an en fuego Kei.

Milos definitely is victim of the beating Rafa curse ;) Also Grigor is as on-fire as Kei.

Kei vs Grigor has every chance of being great. But I’d rather not see great from Kei and see him lose than leave it all out there to win Brisbane. Save it for AO, Kei!

All too often I allow my bias for Rafa to beat Milos, or the hope for an exciting tournament, get in the way of making the right pick. That’s something I do quite often. For example – see how I picked Krazy Klizan wherever he was LOL last week…

About picking for Sydney, Donna Vekic is again in qualifying with a better draw and chance than in Brisbane. And is Stan playing in Sydney? Thank goodness he’s not rendered that stupid by love! :D

Crazy Dominic Thiem is playing Sydney, though. Why does he do that?


J.S. Says:

Is that the girl that Nick Kyrgios made a rude comment about and was fined $10K?


jalep Says:

Oh yes, indeed, J.S. The very same girl.

But I completely put that episode out of my mind in favor of my desire for naughty Nick to somehow excel in tennis. I love Kyrgios’ tennis.


Margot Says:

Cheers JS re info Milos and indeedy Eurosport is showing Andy/Nole match and AO too. Whoopee. Have taken a 12 month sub which was a special offer, take that TennisTV!
Yep, that’s the woman Naughty Nick was naughty about.
Jalep: Beefy is an idiot, but there you go! Am hoping Dimi can play some fine tennis in 2017. I think Dani could be really good for him and, as I like Dani too, I hope so. Deserves a break after bathing in Berds**t.
Re Thiem I remember Kimberly saying he’s got an incredibly pugnacious dad and I’m wondering if he’s being pushed by him. Thiem doesn’t look like a rebel does he?….;)
Kiki just lost first set. Not playing like yesterday. Shame.j
Checked tenngrand and the nonsense continues. Rick’s doing nothing about it, so I wont be back.


Margot Says:

Ah jalep, our thoughts pass each other mid Atlantic! TBH and sorry for regurgitating but I think Beefy came off badly too with that incident. Behaved like an innocent virgin. Of course Donna had every right to be annoyed but honestly the whole thing played out like some Jane Austen novel.


jalep Says:

And Yay! Karolina wins Brisbane – she came through and beat Alize Cornet. Whopping 60 63, too.

Gosh I hope Karolina isn’t somewhere on the Sydney or Hobart draw.


jalep Says:

See, we should be working this bracket stuff out somewhere in person, in a perfect world, not have our thoughts get swirled up in Snowstorm Helena or drifting willie nillie somewhere, Margot!

Beefy will be beefy – he’ll regroup in time for AO. Nah…but he’s won that one before, it may not be as shiny an object as Donna Vekic.


jalep Says:

Perhaps, about dim dim. I try to keep an open mind about his tennis, a little. But after Sharapova and the pussycat doll…meh, hopes are not up too high.


Margot Says:

Lol re Beefy! Playing way above his pay grade with Donna.
That’s true in a perfect world we could, but there again we never would’ve “met” at all without the net.


jalep Says:

Dani is not a girl, thank goodness. Yes, I think Dani is having a positive influence. Rasheed was NOT.


jalep Says:

True, Margot. At least we have the internet ;) Until…well, I always have this fear that the innertubes will be censored or become too expensive in a dictatorship. But that’s off-topic. I grumble…


jalep Says:

Wow, I have no way of watching it live, but I see Kiki fell to Coco, dang it. With that I best go…

So nice chatting a little with you Margot. And I understand about the stalking thing. But it’s a shame because — bracket games and tennis chat…is good and rare conversation these days.


Margot Says:

And Coco wins so it’s Team Tubs v Team Bleus in a final shoot out. Alez Les Bleus!
Jalep: apparently some companies are going back to faxing (Eek!) because the net is so vulnerable to hacking and what not. So, in the advent of innertube meltdown/censorship we’ll just have to fax! And there’s always darling Clarissa my carrier pigeon…..tho she does go off piste sometimes as AM will tell you….bless.


jalep Says:

hahaha….Clarissa. I like that idea a lot.


jalep Says:

Allez, Richie and Kiki! les Bleus!

One more thing — you notice they pared down the effort required to win Hopman Cup by eliminating games and making it more commercially flexible. That means the Tubby Tub Tubs can win with only minimal effort. No need to curb the Chipotle Burritos.

I do like the no let call rule, tho.


Margot Says:

jalep :) Unfair advantage Team Tubby Tubs I’d say. No need for punishing physical routines any more, off to McDonalds instead….
Don’t like this doubles format myself, too pared down. May the tennis gods protect us from such commercial rubbish in the slams.


Margot Says:

PS I like no let too. Wish that went mainstream. Andy would get a lot more aces for starters.


Wog Boy Says:

“Donna Vekic was going to Brisbane and so was he – ha! but she lost in the qualification round there and left for Sydney early! He’s absolutely smitten.”

Actually Dona Vekic played Brisbane and lost first round (not qualification), the only reason she played Brisbane is that Stan blackmailed them so they had to give her WC.
Some people do get carried away…btw, congratulations to France for winning Hopman Cup, thoroughly deserved it,


Margot Says:

Yay! Les Bleus! Outstanding doubles from Kiki all week and I believe this is the first time Gasquet has beaten Sock, so well done him too.


Wog Boy Says:

And the GOAT, Margaret Court is there, what a lady!

You are born like that, you can’t teach that!


jalep Says:

Omg, WB, I am so sorry for forgetting that Donna got a Wild Card. You are right and I am wrong – good catch, man. It’s too bad she keeps getting WC’s tho, don’t you think? Her career would be better off to work for her places in the main draw – as she’s doing this week in Sydney. Hope she can get smarter and maneuver her way from underneath Stan’s beefy thumb.

And where to you get your information about Beefy blackmailing for a WC? Since you are such a work of perfection, how about a link? I wouldn’t believe any detail like that coming from you because – some people….you know. Some people have the have such a gift — for holding a grudge. And most times it’s so bad you can’t even address me by name — it’s collateral damage or some people? Wow what a big a man you are. Now wait for it…Travis Bickle in 3,2,1…bully tag team.


jalep Says:

Smart people what? By your definition….
That’s a gossip rag…some people do get carried away.


jalep Says:

Oh yes, thank you Wog Boy. That explains what you call blackmail. From Tennis Worls and the New York Post. I supposing you use the Mirror, Daily Mail and other internet blogging rumors from Tennis Warehouse? Solid work.


jalep Says:

Wow. Impressive evidence.


jalep Says:

Better to get Jane and Jkath on the job.


Wog Boy Says:

Smart people read between the lines and cross check the news, first lesson learned living and growing up in communist country, unfortunately (for them) western people don’t have that habit.


jalep Says:

But your problem here is cross checking garbage with garbage gets you what?
Solid evidence?


Wog Boy Says:

Let’s agree, Dona Vekic earned her WC in Brisbane by her own merits 😹


Wog Boy Says:

#101 in the world!


jalep Says:

No. It doesn’t help her at this point. Like Andrey Rublev last year getting all those WC’s and hype. Does he ever recover and learn a free ride is not a ticket to success or do these teenagers even care or have someone to help them get a different perspective if it’s a tennis career they want.


Wog Boy Says:

She can always jump a bed, 4K, Stan…next please..


Giles Says:

^^^^ Crude and filthy. What else can one expect from down under!


Truth Says:

Kyrgios’s proud that he was punished a lil bit for having a mental breakdown.
Probably should date Donna.
Dude is out of control.
He got all condescending about the top guys, especially Nole, whom he bitterly compared himself to.
He’s like Federer/Roddick part 2, except Nick is punished with fines sometimes, Roddick was still an abusive, jealous vindictive nobody at age 30 and Fed was a sportsmanship awarded diva with Slams. LMAO😴
He isn’t winning a bunch of tennis or basketball championships. Too busy talking about himself.

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