Nadal Opens Clay Season Wed. In Monte Carlo; Djokovic v Coric
by Staff | April 17th, 2018, 10:10 pm
  • 83 Comments

The King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, begins yet another clay season Wednesday in Monte Carlo where the Spaniard seeks an unprecedented 11th title. In his first tour match on clay since winning a 10th French Open last year, Nadal will meet German Aljaz Bedene.

“It’s been a love story between me and this event, the people who run the tournament,” said Nadal who is 64-3 lifetime at the event, which includes a 46-match win streak.

“I feel good and I am practicing well. I think I am playing with the right intensity and I have a couple of days left until my first match. I haven’t competed enough to know 100% that I will be at my best, but the feelings are good… I’ve played some good sets and that helps me.

“I love this event and the weather has been good. Being in Monte-Carlo always gives me the best feelings possible and good memories. When the time comes to play, I need to be at my best. This is my first event of the year, that I hope I can finish and I am excited about that… I always try to be very focused at the beginning of the tournament on what I’m doing. Every match I win is very important.”

Nadal also updated the press on what he did while nursing that hip injury.

“If you’re injured and you’re able to do different things, play golf and different sports, it distracts you. But with this injury I couldn’t do anything – no physical work and every movement I did, it affected the injury. I don’t like not doing anything, so I spent time in the offices of the Rafael Nadal Academy checking different areas. I couldn’t be on the court though as I couldn’t move. I am not a fan of watching a lot of TV, so I also spent time with friends and went out on the boat for a couple of days.”

Also in action is a tasty showdown between Novak Djokovic and Borna Coric. Coric has really come on in the last month with Indian Wells semi and a Miami quarter, while Djokovic floundered. But the Serb, a 2-time Monte Carlo champion, won their only prior meeting.

Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic are also on court.

On Tuesday, the second round began with five matches, four of them decided in three sets. Miami finalist Alexander Zverev edged Gilles Muller 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, Grigor Dimitrov took out Pierre-Hugues Herber 6-4 in the third, Lucas Pouille fell to Mischa Zverev 7-6 in the final set and in the match of the day, Dominic Thiem saved a match point to deny Andrey Rublev 5-7, 7-5, 7-5.

The Austrian Thiem led 4-1 in the third before Rublev won four straight games and held the match on his racquet serving 5-4, 40-30.

In the first round play, Fabio Fognini, Gilles Simon, Fernando Verdasco, Richard Gasquet and Feliciano Lopez were all winners. Diego Schwartzman overcame a first set bagel to earn his first career win over countryman Guido Pella.


WEDNESDAY MONTE CARLO SCHEDULE

COURT RAINIER III Starts At 11:00 Am
2nd Rd Daniil Medvedev VS Kei Nishikori
2nd Rd 9 Novak Djokovic VS Borna Coric
2nd Rd 1 Rafael Nadal VS Aljaz Bedene
2nd Rd Fernando Verdasco VS 2 Marin Cilic

COURT DES PRINCES Starts At 11:00 Am
2nd Rd Karen Khachanov VS (WC) Gilles Simon
2nd Rd 13 Fabio Fognini VS Jan-Lennard Struff
2nd Rd Richard Gasquet VS -10 Diego Schwartzman
2nd Rd 14 Milos Raonic VS (Q) Marco Cecchinato


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83 Comments for Nadal Opens Clay Season Wed. In Monte Carlo; Djokovic v Coric

Humble Rafa Says:

It’s been a love story between me and this event, the people who run the tournament,” said Nadal who is 64-3 lifetime at the event, which includes a 46-match win streak.

This love story is only second to the love between me and Xisca. That streak is waaaaaaaay more than 46.


j-kath Says:

HR: Marin Cilic is beating you and Xisca – he is getting married on 28th April.


Willow Says:

Poor woman ….


Willow Says:

J-Kath shes beautiful, i just cant get over that neo nazi white supremasist pop star crap, that happened after he won the USO in 2014 urgh, still wish them all the best though ….


BBB Says:

willow, what happened in 2014?


Margot Says:

OMG they look so similar- same long face, same long nose, same colouring and so on. No need for a mirror….;)


Daniel Says:

Watch until 4-1 Djoko and he looked like his old self. Glad he was able to win the set tiebreak and is already a break up


Daniel Says:

Damm Djoko, again squandering a lead. Serving for the match, got broken.


j-kath Says:

I don’t believe Nole ……he was strolling thru set 2 and then he gave Coric, gift after gift -


Daniel Says:

Broke again. C’mon Djoko, close the match!


AndyMira Says:

Whooo!!…I knew it Nole is not done yet!…Even tho squandered 9 match points[maybe a touch of nerve there]..his win still Very impressive to me!..I’ll say Nole definitely on his way back ‘home’ now!…Well done Nole!


BBB Says:

Good win, especially having given up his lead multiple times. Vajda should ask for a raise!


Markus Says:

Wedding announcements are always happy news. I’m happy for Cilic and his fiancee. Lucky girl. Lucky guy. I wish them both well.


Markus Says:

Vojda should always be with Novak. He has a very good influence on him.


Van Persie Says:

I watched the match today…and loved the BH duels :)
a bit of struggle from Djoko at the MP’s but a good win.
Thiem tomorrow, a much tougher test.

Would love to see a Nole-Rafa match at MC. Am starting to think, that this is possible.


skeezer Says:

Very good win for Nole!


skeezer Says:

VP,
He has to get through Thiem first. Not an easy task.
___
Anyone else this feeling Hot Sauce may upset Cilic?


Margot Says:

Apart from the wobble when serving for the match, I thought Nole looked confident and his ground strokes were as accurate as old. An excellent result given the long lay off.
Have a bone to pick however, those of us who admire “Borna The Bod” were hoping for 3 sets…;)
And the Sean jinx continues. Schwartzman was horribly below par and went out incredibly easily to Crashquet. Had blisters all over his fingers, so can’t have helped.


Margot Says:

Skeeze @10.01 Dunno, both can be as flaky as pastry at times, bit of a toss up there.


AndyMira Says:

I think Nole can beat Thiem if he can produce the same form like he display this last 2 matches…Thiem still not at his best level yet…need 3 tough sets to beat Rublev yesterday…besides,Nole start showing his trademark defense & mental toughness..this 2 factor usually make his opponents crumble..


skeezer Says:

Lol Margot so true, depends on the level of flakiness they bring. Verdasco hasn’t been playing too badly this year, but his double faults are still there.
Now time for an Expresso and a Croissant, ahhhh..


Markus Says:

Beating Thiem usually depends a lot on Thiem himself. One still has to play decently, though. Novak has been in his last two mtaches. This will be good to watch like that time they played after Thiem beat Nadal in a previous round. Oops, sorry, that was beyond anticlimactic.


Daniel Says:

The games I watched I got a senses Coric was hitting a bit harder than Novak. Actaully a bunch of this young ones seems to hit harder than big 4: Coric, Thiem, Shapovalov, Rublev, Kachanov. But they can sustain it and eventually miss. With more maturity they will get better.

But Djoko looked like he was feeling the ball nice and more relaxed on court. Hipe he keeps improving.

1 more match for him and Nadal before a QF clash.


rognadfan Says:

Good signs everywhere! Good for Nole, I can feel the elation in his fans piercing right through my monitor.

Nothing new on Rafa though.

But poor Schwatrzman got jinxed big time by Mr. Randall.
Looks like Sean was very busy but had to write a review withing carefully looking at the draw. I can’t believe he picked Diego over Gasquet. Gasquet is a damn good player and have better weapons than Schwartzman.


Willow Says:

Any thoughts on Rafa AndiMira ?


AndyMira Says:

Hehehehe….OF COZ WILLOW DARLING!!!….WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!!RAFA WON!!!!YEEEHAAAA!!!!…let’s dance & hug a tree together Will!!


Willow Says:

Markus are you going into competition with Daniel regarding spelling errors lol, Vodja with Novak, and Daniel hipe he keeps improving , sorry guys only teasing ;-)


Willow Says:

Absolutely AndiMira lol, KOC and all that, i hug plenty of trees ;-)


AndyMira Says:

Hahaha…Yeah Willow!….Hug trees & dancing naked around the fire right?I wish u upload one of those dancing on FB Will!…My eyes need a refreshing!Hehehe…


j-kath Says:

I think your eyes will need dark glasses, AM…..all that shiny flesh…..for a modest lady, you might enjoy it too much….ahem. ahem


Markus Says:

Hahaha! Willow, I have keyboards in different languages. I think it autocorrects what I type into a diifferent language, hence the typos. But TX posters speak different languages, I would hope their brains autocorrect the typographic errors. But typos have a way of coming out funny (or like a puzzle) so we’ll let it be.


AndyMira Says:

Hehehehehehehehehe…..i just want to tease willow JK…..


Daniel Says:

No one makes spelling errors like me AM, It’s my trademark!;-)


Daniel Says:

We can have loaded QF depending on tomrorow’s result:

Nadal x Djoko
Grigor x Goffin
Zverev x Gasquet
Cilic x Kei

Hope at least half, if not all theese players get through. Start clay season with a bang.


RZ Says:

Daneil, is taht a chlalegne? If I tyr I can mispel wosre tahn yuo. :-)


Daniel Says:

Don’t tease me RZ, I’ll start typing Esperanto here.


Willow Says:

Daniel/ RZ/ Markus you guys are killing me lol ….

AndiMira / J-Kath ive never actually gone to one of my camps and danced sky clad, well not yet lol ….


Markus Says:

After seeing Djokovic slowly but Shirley coming back to form and Nadal still lording it over on clay and showing anothet impressive recovery from injury, the younger group of players must be despairing again over their sad fate of playing when these guys are still around and may be so for a while. I wish Murray can soon rejoin the fray.


Humble Rafa Says:

I am happy to begin the Bagel and Bread sticks season. I am very generous and keeping handing them out.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Welcome back, Novak! Annnnnd the clay season just got a whole lot more interesting (no offence to Willow and other Rafa fans!)

Markus, the kids had their little window the last 6 or 8 months, with only 1 or 2 legends to get through, and they missed it. Novak keeps this up, and the legends will gobble up 2018, too. And stop calling me Shirley.


Willow Says:

Tennis Vagabond lol none taken ;-)


j-kath Says:

Markus: I have arranged for your wish to be granted – you can see Andy Murray playing at the French Open – I ain’t joking… maybe go no further than his first match – still – it’s a start.


Daniel Says:

I just hope we see a semis round up with all Big 4 playing at least for 1 last time. One can only dream.


Willow Says:

Sorry for going none tennis related, AndiMira this is for you, i was there https://youtu.be/pjKm80w1Ul4 , this is what we do, no naked dancing though lol ….


j-kath Says:

Daniel: It’s not too much of a “dream” that all “Big 4″ will be at Wimbledon….even if Andy does badly at the French as mentioned previously.


Willow Says:

AndiMira blink and you will miss it, but Clive and i , are in the background of this video https://youtu.be/zyChtGbTBzM ….


Markus Says:

TV, some were able to snag a Masters 1000 though, but they failed to get any of the major prizes. Shirley the window for that may be closing again. Djokovic and Nadal look like they are on guard again. Roger will Shirley be there for Wimbledon… and Murray, too! J-Kath just said he’ll be there for the French which may be his stepping stone for the remaining half of the season.


AndyMira Says:

Woohohoho Al!…Is that u playing drum?AWESOME!!


Daniel Says:

Markus, love Shirley! LOL

Yeah J-K, Hope at Wimbledon Andy will be fully back. If not for Federer taking it for his possibly/most likely swan song, want either Andy or Djoko to take it. Send a message to the field, that they are not done yet.


Van Persie Says:

J-K,

just did read an article, that Andy is on entry list for the FO. Am glad.
Would be awesome to see him in good shape for the 2nd season of this year


Willow Says:

Markus anothet lol ….


Willow Says:

AndiMira i was there for both, watching the Wicker man burn to the ground, with the witch man we are sat on the grass, but its all very blink and you would miss us though ….


j-kath Says:

Yep VP; Daniel; Markus: Guess Andy’s choosing FO to assess his fitness before his favourite surface arrives.
Meanwhile let’s hope Nole’s return remains positive – without too many hiccups.


Willow Says:

Might be just my opinion, but i dont think Novak went anywhere, sure he was injured like Federer, Nadal, Murray at various times, but sometimes other players are just better at various times it happens ….


Willow Says:

So looking forward to seeing Murray back on tour, and it might be just my opinion again, but why cant he be seen as a contender to win the FO as well as W, been as he made the final before, personally ive never understood the wait till this or wait till that kind of mentality, how about the here and the now ????


Markus Says:

It’s good news that Murray is coming back to play again. It means that he may be physically recovered. It is reasonable to presume that he will a contender but after a long lay-off, on clay, at the French, with a guy named Nadal, the chance of winning it? Nada. If he miraculously wins it, I will be happy to eat my words…with a dash of red clay.


Willow Says:

Markus i enjoy your posts you make me laugh, i just get iritated (well with quite alot of things actually lol) , but i digress with the whole wait till this, or wait till that, when nobodies getting any younger, the world keeps on turning, and things continue to move on, but thats maybe just me, and ive never won any popularity contests here anyway ….


Margot Says:

Kath, where’s your link for Andy at RG?


j-kath Says:

Willow: Think of it in reverse – i.e. “you’ve never lost a popularity contest here anyway…..”


Margot Says:

PS I see he’s on the entry list for RG but that doesn’t mean anything. I thought he was due on grass in Holland in June.


j-kath Says:

Margot: I put my link on yesterday – and I noticed VP put a similar link on today. But, the London Evening Standard states that despite Andy being listed – he has no intention of playing as the surface is too demanding for him to risk it at this stage in his discovery.


Van Persie Says:

Hi Margot,

I assumed this has been discussed with Andy and Serena, according to this article…

“According to Sky Sports, tournament organizers confirmed the duo’s presence on the list “


j-kath Says:

….recovery (not discovery)


Van Persie Says:

P.S Margot,

Yes it is not sure Andy will be there, but it means he is taking it into consideration


AndyMira Says:

Yeah!…I’m really glad to know that Andy will make a comeback at FO…BUT,at the same time a little worried coz he choose the grand slam to make his 1st appearance after a long lay off…Honestly,i wish him to make his 1st appearance in a smaller tournament…250,500..Bo3 format…We all know to jump straight into grand slam after long lay off is very dangerous to the body…

For example,this year Rafa pulled out of Dubai and then Brisbane..but choose to play AO Bo5 without playing any tournament after 2 months rest…and we know what happened…I really really hope Andy will consider his decision more carefully,and choose the smaller tournament 1st…there’s plenty of ATP 250 before RG..Lyon,Geneva,Istanbul,Estoril..choose one!Please Andy!


Willow Says:

Thanks J-Kath ;-)


Markus Says:

Willow, I have a feeling you never wanted to win any popularity contest anyway. But how about if I gave you a title anyway, Missed Congeniality?


Margot Says:

Me too AM. Exactly what I feel. BTW checked Jaleps’s challenge…suddenly I see I’ve taken GGL to the final! What? What? Did I have a brain fart? But no, all due to Busta-gut not playing :(


Margot Says:

Meanwhile Nole looking awfully flat. Wouldn’t say Dom was winning, would say Nole is losing. C’mon!


Van Persie Says:

Thank you for this observation , Margot, did not know how things were going out there….am not watching today. Looks like there will be no Nole-Rafa QF. :)
But still , Nole had a better tournament, than I had expected.


Willow Says:

LOL Thanks Markus err i think ;-)


Markus Says:

Thiem is a terrible closer. His poor game serving for the match may have resuscitated Novak.


Markus Says:

Set, not match.


AndyMira Says:

M!….U feel the same way???Really??Then do something Boss!…Send Clarrissa ASAP to knock Andy’s head a little!

Hey!…U sit 3rd in the Bracket atm Boss!…Not bad!!…Guess who’s at the bottom M??Hehehe…Yeah!…U’re right!…They’ve shaken up the Bracket after Filip Krajinovic & PCB pulled out!Urgh!!Both i picked deep!….We’re also picked Pouille & Speedy Schwartzy deep too!…And both already gone!..The worst Bracket picking ever me thinks!


AndyMira Says:

Haaaa!!….That is Nole of old!I think u spoke too soon VP about no Rafa/Nole QF…I still think Nole will win today…This is not Nole at IW/Miami mind u!


Margot Says:

VP: breathe. Nole took my advice and took the first in a tie break! And showing some old magic. Lol AM what a dirty trick Busta-gut pulled. As for Shortman, I’m never speaking to him again!


Willow Says:

Seems like Novaks on the up, however as Markus said Thiem was terrible at closing that set out ….


AndyMira Says:

M!…Oh no no no!…Don’t count Speedyman out yet!…His 1st appearance on clay at Acapulco,he was dumped out in 2nd rd…But,brilliantly he won Rio Open just week later…my take,he lost early here coz he still adjusting to European clay,condition etc,etc..but watch out in his next tourney M!…Not sure where he’s going to play next..Barca,Budapest Or Estoril…

But,i think he will go deep..unless he’s injured…


Margot Says:

I thought it was extremely unlikely Andy would play RG. Just self destructive.


RZ Says:

No surprise that Andy is missing the FO. Never thought he would play on clay this year after surgery.

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