Djokovic Survives Simon Upset Bid In Monte Carlo; Nadal, Murray Tomorrow
by Staff | April 18th, 2017, 4:20 pm
  • 62 Comments

Novak Djokovic’s struggled continued Tuesday in Monte Carlo. The Serb who had won just five tournament matches since his Doha title to start the year, was nearly bounced in his clay opener today against Gilles Simon.

The Frenchman led with a break in the third and served for the match at 5-4. But with Simon spraying errors and missing volleys, Djokovic took the last three games to escape with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 victory.

“I thought I played a solid tennis for first set and a half,” Djokovic said after the 2-hour, 32-minute affair. “I was 6-3, 2-1 up, playing just enough to keep going. I felt like I had the control of the match. Then the match turned around. I started making some unforced errors. He made less unforced errors.

“Obviously, it was a very close battle that could have ended differently and would be, of course, deserved if he would have won the match. He was two, three points away from winning it. I got myself out of that tricky situation. That’s probably the most positive thing I take from today.”

Simon finished 5/6 on break chances while Djokovic was 6/16 winning just 63% on first serve. He is now 12-1 against the Frenchman who is just 7-7 on the year so far. But Simon once again played Djokovic tough.

“At 5-4, a lot of work was done to reach that stage. I was not as calm as I had to be. My shots were not as precise,” added Djokovic. “It was a tough moment. But when you play a match like that, sometimes one is up and the other one is down, and it changes. I played two bad points in a row, and the end came quickly. Of course, I would have preferred to do better at 5-4.”

Simon was alone in French misery. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was upset by countryman and qualifier Adrian Mannarino in three 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-3.

“Today was a good match,” said Tsonga. “It was good tennis. There were some parts that were not so good. But as a whole, it was a good match. I would like to congratulate my opponent. He played a really good match. He’s one of the players who are really giving it their all on the Tour. He’s improving a lot. I really want to congratulate him. He played a very good match. He was better than me today”

Lucas Pouille did beat lone American entrant Ryan Harrison 6-2, 6-4 and Jeremy Chardy knocked out recent winner Borna Coric. However, Benoit Paire was blasted by Tommy Haas 6-2, 6-3.

“There is no better, bigger satisfaction than when you go out there, competing and winning. In this case for me, it’s a big satisfaction,” the 39-year-old Haas said. “I’m very proud of the fact that I’m actually still out there, competing at this age. Due to setbacks and injuries I’ve had, I could have easily thrown in the towel a couple times. But I’m still out there trying to finish this game on my own terms. That’s what I’m doing. I’m proud of that.”

David Goffin and Pablo Cuevas also advanced.

On a big Wednesday schedule, the last 12 second round matches will be contested led by 9-time champion Rafael Nadal who meets Brit Kyle Edmund. World No. 1 Andy Murray returns to take on Gilles Muller and Stan Wawrinka battles Jiri Vesely.

“I am excited to be here. I started slow to adapt to the clay, hitting for 45 minutes, then one hour and one hour and 30 minutes for the first few days,” Nadal said over the weekend. “I did what I needed to avoid the risk for injuries. With more practise, I remind myself how to win the points, how to defend and how to move. It’s a process. Things are not that easy. It takes time. I decided to not play on clay in February this year so it’s a little different.”

Haas also faces Tomas Berdych, and Chardy collides with Marin Cilic.

WEDNESDAY MONTE CARLO SCHEDULE
COURT RAINIER III start 11:00 am
[3] S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs J. Vesely (CZE)
[1] A. Murray (GBR) vs G. Muller (LUX)
K. Edmund (GBR) vs [4] R. Nadal (ESP)
[8] G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs [Q] J. Struff (GER)

COURT DES PRINCES start 11:00 am
[9] T. Berdych (CZE) vs [PR] T. Haas (GER)
[WC] J. Chardy (FRA) vs [5] M. Cilic (CRO)
[11] L. Pouille (FRA) vs P. Lorenzi (ITA)
D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs [12] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)


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62 Comments for Djokovic Survives Simon Upset Bid In Monte Carlo; Nadal, Murray Tomorrow

chrisford1 Says:

Off Topic – but the off topic section of TennisX isn’t visited that much.
The Victoria Azarenka comeback is going better than she expected. This is a pic she put out after working out, taken in mid- March.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BR8DHF-g1mL/

Used her time off Tour constructively, it seems. Working on her degree from UCLA in economics and business law, building her side biz ventures. New coach. many months back in Belarus reconnecting, working out, doing free tennis clinics.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRX-M5ZDLQI/

Plan was when she was expecting was to work out before her son was born in Dec. Then begin post-partum work out after in a big training and general conditioning time block, and prep for return at the US Open.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRX-M5ZDLQI/

Seems super happy with her life away from her job and sport, but I believe there is a chance she will return earlier. Hope she worked on her serve, now the biggest mystery in tennis – why a 6 foot going on 6’1″ elite athlete has such a crap serve. (Replacing the resolved mystery of why Andy Murray with a skillset perfect for clay sucked so bad on that surface. Andy simply stopped sucking and choking on clay in 2015.)

Like Djokovic and Serbia, Vika is A Very Big Thing in small country.


Ross Says:

I’m interested to see how Murray comes out in his first match (real) with his elbow and all. He has an easier draw. I can actually see Stan winning this; continuing the trend of Swiss players winning all the important titles! Or he could lose in the first round…


lyle nubbins Says:

Carreno-Busta up next for Nole. This will be a good test.


Van Persie Says:

And Sascha Zverev is looking forward to play Rafa :)


Van Persie Says:

And Rafa is also making a statement at the moment…poor Kyle…

Rafa-Sascha should be awesome tomorrow


J-Kath Says:

VP

Kyle has a bad case of the British disease – a mental handicap.
Andy occasionaly has it too – but he’s too stubborn to let it dominate him for too long.

Still lingering doubts about both Andy and Nole – can either find their A game?


Van Persie Says:

According to the score Andy did not win en fanfarre either, agree, but who knows, we’ll see in the next rounds, JK. Did not see the match.


Van Persie Says:

Wow Kyle, I can now watch a set. What a surprise


RZ Says:

Wow, checked in the scores to see that Kyle snagged that 2nd set. I can’t see him pulling off the win though (sorry Kyle)


Daniel Says:

Checking scores and the second time Nadal was up a break and let it go. He was 2-1 seonc set and lost that set, now 3-2 serve and got broken. Can Kyle hold a few more games to make a push?


Daniel Says:

No, just got broken again kkkk
Nadal 4-3 serve, he should close it now.


Van Persie Says:

Lol a pigeon refused to let Rafa serve


Van Persie Says:

Ok, Sascha vs Rafa it is. Huge chances for Zverev tomorrow.


Okiegal Says:

Regarding the King of Clay…….crown a little bit tilted today! 👑👑


Okiegal Says:

@JK……I know somebody else who needs to locate their
A-game!!


Okiegal Says:

Serena preggers…….CONGRATULATIONS!!


madmax Says:

Novak is not moving with the usual elasticity. He seems tired to me, although I do feel he will improve as the tournament progresses.

It is good to see him back.


RZ Says:

BTW, it sounds as if Serena took down the post and the WTA also deleted their congratulations, so I’m wondering if this was a joke.


Okiegal Says:

@RZ 12:27…….Eeek……I hope I’m not the bearer of idol gossip????? It was announced on the Tennis Channel by Tracy Austin……surely she wouldn’t tell a falsehood??? LOL


RZ Says:

@Okie – you and I (and Tracy Austin) could very well be perpetrators of fake news!!! I guess we’ll find out soon enough.


Okiegal Says:

RZ…..they are doing a segment on it right now on the Tennis channel. It showed her taking a picture of her baby bump……I think it’s true……she will be 36 at the time of her delivery….Wowzer…….


Okiegal Says:

Well the Tennis channel hasn’t retracted their story yet!


Okiegal Says:

Oh they are now saying she took the picture off and are wondering about……the story you heard…..yes we will see……puzzling for sure????


lakie Says:

What?


J-Kath Says:

Yes, All of the “NAMES” (AM/ND/RN)need to improve in next round…also Stan, me thinks. No word from J.S.?????????????????


Daniel Says:

Dimitrov lost. Guess his season start was a fluke


J.S. Says:

Hey Tennis X fans,
Just got back and thought I would update you from Monte Carlo!!

After going Monday and today I feel a little more acclimated to bus schedule etc. I walk to the MC Country Club, it’s all down hill and take the bus back at the end of the day. You cannot re-enter if you leave, so you’re staying all day or missing out!! No other choice!

Wawrinka, Murray and Rafa…missed Dimitrov (more later)

Wawrinka wins 2nd place for cutest outfit! He had his ups/downs but so did Murray and Nadal!

Murray is fun to watch, he is SPICEY like a yummy chili pepper! :) He talks to his box non stop – wish I knew what WTH he was saying. They are terrible here at showing his box or replays on the big screen and I have a 3rd row seat. Only showing scores on all the screens….Crazy how bad the social media is here, lacking compared to other tournaments. Another example is the lack of updates if someone pulls out (Kyrgios) or if a match is canceled. Google live scores is ahead of the MC app. Oh Well…besides that and the baguettes you can’t help but be in awe of this place!

Murray was struglling but knows how to win….but he has a great draw! (Just don’t know)

I wore flip flops and literally had clay between my toes! Ran up several flghts of stairs after Wawrinka match to see Rafa practice, only to miss it!!! Spectator area on practice courts is clay too!!

Rafa made me spill a beer and I seriously wondered if my tummy ache would go away! I was scared shitless he was going to lose……Edmunds was on fire the 2nd set and wasn’t missing anything!!!!! So glad he couldnt maintain it because it was scary good stuff!!!! Lots of fans cheering for him!!

Rafa does win for cutest outfit!!! He looked so sharp!

Oh and I am sure you saw the Umire stop play for the BIRD that wouldn’t go away and it was bad timing to visit the court. Rafa was serving in 3rd set and eveyrone BUT Rafa was laughing! He did not like the distraction….POOR Pigeon!!

Weather shifted to cold and misty!!
It became extremely cold by the time Rafa was done (2hrs 20 min.) so I asked one of the ticket workers if they sold the MC rolex wind breaker she was wearing at the tournament”store?” She looked at me like I was an idiot, so I said “do they have your jumper in the shop?”She smiled and pointed towards a door and said “toilet”. HAHA!

By the time I bought my wind breaker to go watch Dimotrov is was really cold and I had a walk a good distance to the bus stop. So I left BUT guess who was getting in a MC car? Tsonga!!! Why is he shill here?? Come to find out Rafa went to a “closed” practice after his match on court 2….Security didn’t let anyone watch – I’m assuming Tsonga practiced w/ Rafa? Pure speculation! But, Rafa wants this bad or wouldnt go practice, and he has big match tomorrow vs. Zverev!
AND A. Zverev is playing very well right now – YIKES! I like the kid but want Rafa to win one more!

BTW – A lot of lower seats empty but full house for Nadal/Edmund match!

Not sure who will win this tourney – No one was dominating, so many ups/downs from everyone!

Another long day tomorrow….PEACE!!


J-Kath Says:

J.S.: Wonderful! Many thanks.


J.S. Says:

LOL I just read my post….what a hot mess!! Sorry folks :)


RZ Says:

@JS – no, it’s one of the best posts I’ve seen on Tennis-X, although you still haven’t reported on how good the baguettes are. :-)


J-Kath Says:

RZ: You are naughty!


RZ Says:

@J-Kath: Who, me? 😇😇😇😇


lakie Says:

JS why don’t you report on the baguettes? Surely baguettes must be part of the MC experience just as strawberries and cream are part of the Wimbledon experience?


J-Kath Says:

RZ: Obviously I got the wrong name …was in a hurry for my glass of vino…or was it after I had my glass of vino….hmph?

PS: You live in the US – I think? Which State? if you don’t
mind me asking.

Off to bed now after midnight in UK.


RZ Says:

No worries J-Kath.
Yes, I’m in the USA in the sunny state of California.


RZ Says:

@Okie – Serena’s rep confirmed her pregnancy, so we are not perpetrators of fake news after all!

Amazing that Serena won the AO while pregnant.


chrisford1 Says:

While Cljisters came back and Vika Azarenka is looking like she will again be a force in the WTA after her st baby – they came back when they were younger than Williams.
This might be the end of the road for Serena at 35, especially if she wants a larger family.


RZ Says:

@chrisford1 – could be, but it could also give Serena the rest she needs for her knees. On a semi-related note, it sounds like Vika will be back soon. I hope she can play at her top level again.


chrisford1 Says:

RZ, I posted earlier, but since Vika gave birth in December she has been busy on Instagram. This is her in mid-March after doing lots of training pregnant and serious general conditioning post-partum.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BR8DHF-g1mL/

The pic shows she has her bod back, and now it is stamina work and getting her tennis timing and court mindset back.
And the sidestuff – smiling a lot, her economics and business law studies at UCLA, doing clinics for kids in Belarus and Socal since she dropped off tour/ And of course doting n her son, her son’s grandmas, and her handsome BF Billy.
Poor Redfoo. He didn’t make the use of an egg grade..


Humble Rafa Says:

Her kid looks like Redfoo.


Okiegal Says:

RZ…..I’m glad we’re not gossip mongers!! Lol
Guess what? I will be in the great state of California next month….going on another road trip with my good friends. We have Alcatraz tickets for a day certain and have to be there. Going up the west coast to the Pacific NW and I’m excited!

@JS…..Thanks for the great report! I’m watching the match over right now…..wish I knew where you were sitting and what you were wearing……..would have been neat to have seen you there cheering for Rafa. He better improve from what I saw today or Sasha could end it for him. We will see…..and your reports are fantastic!!!


Danica Says:

Okie,
I work in downtown SF, please stop by ;)

RZ,
Actually, it is known that the female athletes perform better when in early pregnancy. At some point in time, it was almost a way to dope as, if I remember correctly the rumors of the time, Russian and East German athletes would get pregnant just before the major competitions.


Van Persie Says:

Congrats to Serena!

“if I remember correctly the rumors of the time, Russian and East German athletes would get pregnant just before the major competitions.”

Perhaps Fed was also pregnant during last months! Just joking ;)


Danica Says:

Hahaha VP :).

Joking aside, Federer showed everyone how to play tennis even well after 30. I am really intrigued to see where and how he will finish the season. He is #1 in race points now. Impressive.


Van Persie Says:

Agree, Danica.

He’s not my fave, but he has his qualities :)


RZ Says:

@Okie – sounds like a wonderful trip! I’m in the greater Los Angeles area, so a few hours away from where you are going, but I think the northern part of the state is better for tourism. San Francisco is a great city – amazing sights, walkable (if you can handle the occasional hills), fun people watching, and of course you can visit Danica. :-)


RZ Says:

@Danica – I remember a female player who got busted for doping in her teens and she claimed that she was pregnant at the time. I don’t know if that was true or just a fake excuse, but it aligns with what you are saying.

On the other hand, I have known women who have gotten bad morning sickness or general fatigue from the early stages of pregnancy. Clearly not Serena though!


Humble Rafa Says:

The only player who was pregnant throughout his career was a gentleman named Nalbandian. His stomach was a sight to behold.


lakie Says:

I am not an expert on this but don’t female tennis players take pills to suppress their cycles before important tournaments? And don’t the effects of the pill mimic a pregnancy? The chance of a miscarriage is highest in the first trimester. Would Serena, expecting her first baby at age 35, have taken the risk of getting pregnant just to win AO? I doubt it. The east european ladies actually got themselves aborted before the games. So it could be called abortion doping, not pregnancy doping.


Okiegal Says:

@RZ ……The friends I’m going with LOVE San Francisco…..I’m so anxious to visit the great state of California……..I’m counting the days…..dread packing clothes for a month or longer….NOT FUN!! What to take???? Lol


lakie Says:

Take some comfortable clothes and have a great time!


skeezer Says:

“I am not an expert…”
Yep, you’re not on that. Nor on PED’s. So quit posting like you know who does it. Ask the experts. They’ll help you get clarification.
—-
@Danica,
Did not know you were from NorCal. I knew we had some synergy ;)


skeezer Says:

Another great, who used to be Novak’s coach when Novak was at his greatest, praising the GOAT of tennis:

http://www.news.com.au/sport/tennis/boris-becker-praises-roger-federer-teaches-maria-sharapova-humility/news-story/26138f6bd564f9c7b3188f66c2e314ea

Preach it BB!


AndyMira Says:

Okie…I have a special request…If u go to SF or California and u meet with 2 of the most nicest,friendliest,kindest,warmest and amazing posters that have ever graced their presence on TX and their name are RZ and Danica…please,get down on your knees and beg them for 1 or 2 selfies..and share it with me on FB…Pwweeassee!


Okiegal Says:

@lakie……I don’t have to buy any new clothes…..I’ve lost 25 lbs so I’m gonna recycle some of my older ones. I have lots of Capri pants that will be like new. So California here I come and I am sure I will have a huge time!!!


Okiegal Says:

I’m being moderated…..I guess this should be on the off topic thread……sorry TX staff…….


Okiegal Says:

My post at 2:05……..


Okiegal Says:

@Danica……where do you work?? We are going to Alcatraz for sure…..can’t remember what day we schedule our tour for. My friends have already toured it once and they said the inside had a very eerie feeling…spooky! Can’t wait…..


lakie Says:

skeezer, I am not an expert but I know more about the topic than you!


skeezer Says:

^prove it.


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