Djokovic Sets Thiem Showdown Thursday In Monte Carlo; Nadal Rolls In Clay Opener
by Staff | April 19th, 2018, 12:52 am
  • 62 Comments

The first marquee match of the clay season takes place Thursday in Monte Carlo as 2-time champion Novak Djokovic takes on his French Open conqueror from a year ago, Dominic Thiem.

In one his best matches of a poor year, Djokovic gutted out a 7-6(5), 7-5 victory over the hot-handed Borna Coria on Wednesday. The Serb actually served for the match in the second but couldn’t close it out, but finally did on his 10th match point!

The win pits him against Thiem who had the day off after saving a match point against Andrey Rublev yesterday. He leads the Austrian 5-1 but the Roland Garros loss is the one that matters most.

“The matches are only going to get tougher. I’m going to just think about Dominic,” Djokovic said. “Last year at Roland Garros he beat me in straight sets. He’s definitely Top 3 player in the world on clay. He’s one of the best players in general.

“He’s coming off an injury himself… But he came back yesterday, I think match point down, and had a tough one himself. As I said, he’s a clay-court specialist. He’s someone that has a very powerful game and can play from inside of the court, back of the court, spin the ball, flatten it, hit a 220km/h serve, have an equally effective kick serve. He’s got it all, the entire game for clay. I’ve got to think only about that. It’s not the first time I have to face in earlier rounds some top players. I look forward to it.”

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal opened his bid for an 11th Monte Carlo title by dominating Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene 6-1, 6-3.

“It was a positive start,” said Nadal. “That’s all. It’s important for me to win matches, of course. I need days on court. Since Shanghai last year, I have spent not enough time on court competing. Every match that I have the chance to win is a great news, because it [helps my] confidence and is a chance to play another day. That’s what I need.”

Nadal will face the dangerous Russian phenom Karen Khachanov who blew out Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-2.

“Tough opponent, of course,” said Nadal of Khachanov who he has beaten in both prior meetings. “No doubt about that. He’s a player that serves big and has big shots from the baseline. I need to play aggressive. I can’t let him play in comfortable positions because then it will be impossible… I know it’s going to be an important test for me.”

Nadal must win the title to stay No. 1.

Also, Marin Cilic edged Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-6(4), Kei Nishikori overcame a slow start to deny Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2 and Roberto Bautista Agut and Richard Gasquet were also winners.

Thursday also seeds Grigor Dimitrov against Philipp Kohlschreiber in third round play. Plus, Milos Raonic-Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev-Jan Lennard Struff.

THURSDAY MONTE CARLO SCHEDULE
COURT RAINIER III Starts At 11:00 Am
3rd Rd Jan Lennard Struff VS 3 Alexander Zverev
Followed By
3rd Rd 9 Novak Djokovic VS 5 Dominic Thiem
Followed By
3rd Rd 1 Rafael Nadal VS Karen Khachanov
Followed By
3rd Rd 14 Milos Raonic VS 2 Marin Cilic

COURT DES PRINCES Starts At 11:00 Am
3rd Rd 11 Roberto Bautista Agut VS 6 David Goffin
Followed By
3rd Rd 4 Grigor Dimitrov VS Philipp Kohlschreiber
Followed By
3rd Rd Mischa Zverev VS Richard Gasquet
Followed By
3rd Rd (Q) Andreas Seppi VS Kei Nishikori


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Rafael Nadal Will Drop Out Of The Top 4; He Could Now Meet Novak Djokovic In the French QFs!
Thiem Tames Djokovic, Nadal Next In Monte Carlo; Raonic Injured Again
Murray Wins, Nadal Struggles at Monte Carlo; Nadal v Zverev Thursday
Nadal Stays Perfect During Claycourt Season, Beating Thiem in ATP Madrid Final

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62 Comments for Djokovic Sets Thiem Showdown Thursday In Monte Carlo; Nadal Rolls In Clay Opener

Van Persie Says:

Djoko might be tired today, but he has his chances. Domi had a day off, but he was also injured at the beginning of this season.


BBB Says:

Thiem looking sharp. Also classy guy – called a Djoker serve in when the linesman had called it out.


Van Persie Says:

this set is so similar to yesterday’s first set Djoko- Coric, when it comes to score


Van Persie Says:

and Djoko won the 1st…have to learn to trust him again.


BBB Says:

Wow. He stole that set.


BBB Says:

VP, the minute you trust him he’ll cough up set points lol.


Telperion Says:

It’s a tough battle for Nole. The first game of the second set is filled with great points by both sides and still undecided.


Daniel Says:

I left when it was 4-1, but in last 2 Thiem serve Djoko wnet 30-30, thought would be a matter of time he broke back. Check after subway and he won 1st breaker. Good as it is a test coming from behind and he overocme, like in the past. One more set to go!

Dimi also came back and won second set.


Daniel Says:

Damm, got broken, will have to claw back again! Wish him to win in 2 to be more rested for Rafa tomorrow. No 2h + match today


Van Persie Says:

Not sure he would survive a 3 setter today


Daniel Says:

At least this set was fast. Still hoping.

Don’t eant him to lose his last 2 matches on clay to thiem


Van Persie Says:

Come on, Nole, win this one! The big prize: Rafa tomorrow lol


Telperion Says:

VP, losing to Rafa tomorrow. But perhaps it helps to reignite his lost fire. For the moment, his battle with Thiem is way too tough to venture the ending. 3-3 in the third.


Van Persie Says:

Whoever wins, will be pooped


Van Persie Says:

Telperion, who knows? maybe Karen wins today :) kidding


Markus Says:

Even if Djokovic loses (which I think he won’t), this is a good sign. Not everything in his game is in tip-top shape yet but I think he can improve progressively and be close to the good Djokovic of old. I’m not sure about the serve but I think if he does not feel any pain, he will get less guarded when serving and go full steam ahead.


BBB Says:

Agree Markus. He’s not match tough, but this is how you become match tough.


Daniel Says:

I am 3 for 3 picks so far with Goffin, Dimi and Zverev. Seems Djoko will spil the party:-(
Serving 30-30 down 3-5.


Daniel Says:

Another 3 set match lost, not liking this at all. But overall a step forward, he won 2 straight matches. He will only get better each tourney.


Willow Says:

Im not seeing Rafa beating Karen as a shoo in either, hes another up and coming fearless competitor ….


Margot Says:

Well played Dom! Got better as the match went on. Well played Nole, just out of gas at the end and started making unusual errors. Showdown with Rafa next for Dom…..ooer…


Margot Says:

Lol jumping gun…should’ve said probable show down with Rafa.


Markus Says:

If you jump the gun on Nadal on clay, you have >90% of hiiting the bullseye.


Daniel Says:

^92% to be precise Markus


Willow Says:

Margot / Markus / Daniel lol ;-)


Van Persie Says:

A part of me wanted Djoko to lose, tbh…would be better for Djoko to face him in Madrid or Rome, when he will better prepared.
After Coric, Domi today (had he won), Rafa would have been too much

was in a meeting at work and missed the end of the match on Tx :)


Van Persie Says:

Only hope Djoko will not have another vacation now and he will use these weeks for training, before Madrid


Telperion Says:

VP, hopefully, he will also try to regain some muscle and stop with the no meat thing. He’s flesh and bones right now. May Madrid be a better tournament for him. =)


Humble Rafa Says:

Now, the Egg Lover can return to Pepe and be at peace with himself.


Humble Rafa Says:

If the Egg Lover puts in a series of a few wins each time and progressively improves, he will be 35 when he gets back to his old form. He is almost 31, there isn’t much time left.

Imagine him having a bad 2018 (that is outside the top 30), what does 2019 offer him. My thoughts and prayers are with his tennis.


Daniel Says:

Gasquet through and Cilil also as Raonic withdraw.

Nadal got broken at 4-2, but broke right back and serve the set out.


Humble Rafa Says:

I love the game. PERIOD.

“There (are) tournaments that I can’t imagine missing on purpose, because (they are) tournaments that I love to play,” Nadal said on Wednesday. “I don’t see myself missing Monte Carlo on purpose. I don’t see myself missing Wimbledon on purpose, or the U.S. Open, or Australian, or Rome. These kind of events, I don’t see missing (them).”


Daniel Says:

Kei with a strong start. Nadla about to close with no problems.

6 out of 8 top 8 seeds in QF. Seems order will be restored on clay.


Giles Says:

Telperion. Surely you mean “ skin and bones”.


senorita Says:

Rafa cruised to a 63 62 victory. He made a dropshot error in the first set otherwise it would have been 61 62 victory without breaking sweat.


Margot Says:

Wow! Rafa looking stunningly good. Made Kachanov, whom I like very much, look like a club player. Good to see Rafa coming to the net more often too, because he’s very good. Meanwhile Milos out with an injury, again, again, again.


Markus Says:

“Without breaking a sweat” is a description that never applies to Nadal, literally.


Telperion Says:

Giles, you’re correct. I should probably sleep more, haha.

Markus, certainly… It doesn’t matter how easy or short his matches are, he sweats like a dam about to explode.


senorita Says:

Rafa didn’t have to change his shirt today.


skeezer Says:

Re; 11:44am post

Interpretation: Clay only.


Humble Rafa Says:

Re; 11:44am post

Interpretation: Clay only.

Unless you think Wimbledon, US and Australian Open are played on clay.


Humble Rafa Says:

senorita Says:
Rafa didn’t have to change his shirt today.

Some people come to watch matches. Others like you…

You should join the other ladies here who are into that stuff.


senorita Says:

All I’m saying is, he won without breaking sweat because he didn’t have to change his shirt.


Daniel Says:

I like Nadal’s outfit, the yellowish – red tones with white shorts gives a cool look on clay. Djoko’s outfit also nice. But no pink!


skeezer Says:

Novak is now doing the right stuff. More matches, more food, more cardio, more weights = more wins.
——-
For Fed fans, Fed on the cover of Time.

http://baseline.tennis.com/article/73404/roger-federer-cover-time-magazine-bill-gates


Markus Says:

It is the issue on the 100 most influential people in the world where
Federer is, of course, included. Of those 100, 6 were chosen to be featured in a series of 6 covers.


j-kath Says:

Dear Humble Rafa @11.18am:

You will be 32 in June….so maybe Nole has almost a year’s grace to re-capture his previous level and won’t have to wait as long as you suggest to recapture his high level…..So let’s celebrate exciting competition ….hallelujah..”and the fans go marching on”.


Daniel Says:

Think semis will be Nadal vs Dimi and Zverev vs Kei. Nadal and Zverev seems a lock in. Other two more close, either Gasuqte or Cilic can easily win.


Giles Says:

Skeezer He sure looks like old Father Time in that picture.


Humble Rafa Says:

You will be 32 in June

I will not be intimidated by reality. I am still 18, according to Xisca.


Willow Says:

I Think its a great picture, however i dont know about the term influential, i mean the man plays tennis he doesnt save lives, hes not god or anything, im not a hater either, and please remember people play nice, as we are all entitled to our own opinions ….


Willow Says:

Okay sorry he has his own foundation thats helps under priveledged kids etc, but theres many everyday folk on the street doing alot of charities, however they arent seen as influential purely because they are not rich or famous, so not seen as been as important ….


skeezer Says:

Giles,
You mean this old guy that lately Rafa cannot beat? Yeah, that’s the guy ;)


j-kath Says:

Humble Rafa: You have metamorphosized into the most amusing poster on Tx…..I hope you can still play first class tennis?


Markus Says:

A lot of young players look up to Federer. I would venture to say that a lot them also would like to be as successful in tennis as Federer has been and still is. Anybody who is at the top of his chosen field has influence on the upcoming ones. You don’t have to be rich to be influential. Gandhi was not rich. But you have to be famous (self-explanatory because you cannot pick somebody nobody even knows). Federer happens to be rich and famous. There’s nothing wrong with that because he worked hard to get there.


Willow Says:

Markus fair enough, i just thinks theres alot of people that walk the streets everyday doing all manor of great things for mankind, but as i say what they do doctors, nurses, care workers , red cross, dont seem to matter, and arent seen as important because they are nobodies, lots of everyday people work just as hard even harder sometimes, apparantly statistics show poorer people give more to charities, probably because they know how it feels to go without ….


skeezer Says:

“Federer happens to be rich and famous. There’s nothing wrong with that because he worked hard to get there.”

Let’s not forget Novak and Rafa are rich and famous also. The few Fed haters are this site like to target him, jealousy mostly, but they usually miss ;)

They all have EARNED it. You don’t get prize money and endorsements in Pro sports by losing. You have to be a winner.


Madmax Says:

Skeezer,

Thanks –

“I’ve learned how sincerely Roger and his team are working to improve the life prospects for poor children,” Gates writes. “Roger knows that effective philanthropy, like great tennis, requires discipline and time.”

Awesome achievements.


Madmax Says:

No need to justify about Fed’s achievements. Gives food to the haters. These professional athletes dedicate their whole lives to their careers – they are working for a living, as are we – yet the more they get, the more they are criticised. Can only be jealousy. Understandable for those like Giles whose best job is to complain. About their life, about everyone’s lives.


Madmax Says:

Willow,

Nobody is a nobody. Everyone is a someone. It’s all about self-esteem. This is the way it is in sports. The Footballers salary against the nurses’ salary. It is all back to front. All back to front. It should be the other way around, but nurses get their rewards. It’s a calling, a vocation, same for doctors, teachers, charity workers – we are all gifted in our own way.


Madmax Says:

Federer looks fabulous on the front cover. Just fabulous.


Willow Says:

Madmax he looks great no argument there, its not about Federer, as id say the exact same thing regarding any player or famous person, i dont hate him as you well know, just dont like this sort of thing is all, and im not going to change my opinion, we are all gifted in our own way exactly, but the average guy / gal that walks the street is considered less important because they arent famous or rich thats the difference, nobody is a nobody which is also true, its just they dont matter as much and dont make magazine lists, and arent considered important in the same way, ill repeat what i said above statistics show that the poorer people give more to charities because they know exactly how it feels to go without ….

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