Nadal Weathers Federer At French Open; Djokovic-Thiem Suspended
by Sean Randall | June 7th, 2019, 6:09 pm
  • 76 Comments

In some of the worst conditions they have played in, Rafael Nadal convincingly and comfortably knocked out Roger Federer from the French Open with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win.

Unfortunately, the story of the day did turn out to be the weather and it wasn’t the rain, which didn’t play any role in the Nadal-Federer match, but it was the wind. Extreme wind. Hurricane wind. And it all but made the game of tennis as we know it unplayable.

But credit to Nadal, who in part because of his footwork, margin on the ball and quickness, was just the better player on the day.

Federer needed his serve and his power and in extremely windy conditions and with the way Federer hits – much flatter than Rafa with much less margin – Roger just couldn’t get the timing he needed and as you saw, he flailed on a lot of balls which took away from his ability to properly get to the net.

And when he did get to the net, it seemed like Rafa passed him a lot.

I thought under the circumstances, Roger did well. He started good and went toe-to-toe with Rafa early on, trading breaks. He then got ahead early in the second but couldn’t hold it. Then serving 4-all, 40-0 things fell apart as he lost five straight points and effectively at that point the match was over.

Nadal crushed him in the third and so Rafa advances to his 12th career French Open final and pulls further ahead of Federer 24-15 and 14-2 on clay.

“The conditions out there today have been so hard, so difficult to manage,” said Nadal who has won his last 22 at Roland Garros. “It was a day to just focus, accept all the adversities, and just be focused on [being] positive all the time. That’s what I tried to do.”

Federer said early on it was just a feeling out process.

“I think the first set was mostly about getting used to conditions,” said Federer. “It was incredibly windy. Especially for a big match like this for both of us, it’s just really complicated. So you’re trying to see how much can you do or can you not do? Are you playing flatter or with more spin? Are you keeping the ball in play? Are you going for stuff? I think that was basically the story of the first set, more or less.

“Second set, I think there is definitely a big regret to get broken at 2-0 with the wind on my back,” he said. “If I can avoid that one, maybe the second set turns out to be different. But I think holding serve against the wind with Rafa’s quality on the return is just really hard. He barely misses any.

“And then when he’s in the rally, he plays with great spin on the forehand, great sort of control on the backhand side. So it’s just really hard to find holes, especially in the wind, if you’re trying to hit through the ball, which is really difficult, actually. But it was windy for both. He was better, no doubt about it. But I had maybe mini chances today, but they were not big enough to win today.”

Nadal, who missed on a bunch of break chances early, finished a decent 6/16 on break points with 33 winners to 19 unforced. Federer was 25 winners to 34 unforced and just couldn’t find the mark with the serve, winning just 61% on first serve, 39% on second, and that didn’t get it done.

“You get to a point where you’re just happy to make shots and not look ridiculous. It’s that bad,” said Federer of the conditions. “There is also no way to practice in these conditions. It’s all a mindset. It’s footwork…It was difficult, but I accept that. He played in an incredible way. He has incredible abilities on clay. I knew that ahead of time.”

And Rafa, just as he said, accepted what was in front of him and rolled with the punches.

Now, contrast that attitude with Novak Djokovic’s as he had to play Dominic Thiem in the second match. Djokovic made it known to the chair umpire and the supervisor early on that he wanted no part of playing in the gale-force wind. The officials didn’t see the issue so Djokovic all but tanked the rest of the opening set losing to Thiem 6-2 (I think he lost the last 12 points of the set!).

I have to give credit to Thiem who was playing his game, ripping balls and passing shots despite the wind. It really didn’t bother him that much, while on the other side of the net, you could see Djokovic was stewing.

In the second, Djokovic settled down. At 3-2, the two left the court for a brief rain delay which seemed to recharge Djokovic. Upon return, Djokovic got on a run taking three of the last four games of the set to level things.

In the third, just when it looked like Novak was getting a grip on things, Thiem broke for a 3-1 lead before the rains returned. Djokovic happily ran off the court hoping that was it for the day. Sure enough, it was.

So tomorrow the two return with Thiem serving 3-1 in the third set. Had they finished in the wind – in that wind – I think Novak was going down.

But tomorrow the forecast calls for much better, warmer, drier and less breezier conditions. Novak should be happier (though not totally happy because Nadal is already done!) and I think he’ll get it back together and take out Thiem. And I get the feeling Dominic also knows that was his chance.

Then again, maybe Thiem raises his level even higher in the better conditions, we’ll see.

But I can see why Djokovic is upset. He’s trying to win this Nole Slam, maybe get close to a calendar Slam and he’s having to play in tough conditions and now will have to play for a third straight day and then against a fulllt rested Rafa on Sunday for all the marbles. So it’s tough. Tough being a pro sometimes.


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76 Comments for Nadal Weathers Federer At French Open; Djokovic-Thiem Suspended

Wog Boy Says:

Raptors!!


Wog Boy Says:

According to fairly reliable sources, both players, after second interruption refused to continue playing yesterday, so organisers didn’t have a choice but to stop the match and reschedule it for Saturday.
Good luck to both players, let’s the better man win.


Giles Says:

Joker left the court BEFORE a suspension of the match was announced! What a joker he is! Always up to tricks!


Van Persie Says:

Giles,

that was a false information given by Austrian Schett yesterday, which was not correct. Wonder why she was on a such hurry to do it… even if she retracted, whar she said, too late now


Giles Says:

VP. The above tweet is from this morning live from Pat Cash and company


Van Persie Says:

I am really sure Dom and Austrian Tennis federation would have been mpre noisy, if this would be true


Daniel Says:

Why Djokovic decided to serve and volley like crazy this game?! He was game point first to force the breaker and now the worts that could happened. Lose game, set and will serve 2nd in fourth set.

He’ll need to break early to play ahead.


Van Persie Says:

will this end in 4 or 5?
it is a different match today


Daniel Says:

Djoko up a break in 4th, and he had a few BPs in 4-4 third set also. So far today Djoko is 6-4 is games won and serve.


Van Persie Says:

Dom a bit more calme and confident than Nole.


Daniel Says:

The gods are not with Djoko today. In 4-4 BP for him there was a shot by thinthat hit the net and was in and now it hit the net and lobbed him BP against. But Djoko 1st serve deserted him, back on serve.


Daniel Says:

Djoko broke to love again.


Van Persie Says:

well, it is RG. FO’s gods not with Nole. Like Rafa at the AO:)


Daniel Says:

Djoko wants to lose this match.


Van Persie Says:

looks like it


Daniel Says:

Thiem 1 game away from second straight final. Djoko tonserve under huge pressure.

He has to avoid net, because his net points is awful 23-50. Thiem totally cool when he comes in and usually either hit to his feet or pass


Daniel Says:

5-5. Tense final moments of this set


Daniel Says:

Djoko can’t win a point at the net. Thiem seems like he has a clear view of what to to


Daniel Says:

Finally an excellent great return


Daniel Says:

Wow, DF by Thiem to give the break. Djoko serving for 4th ser and force a decider.


Van Persie Says:

hope Nole will hold now


Van Persie Says:

Maybe Rafa will not be in shape tomorrow by eating too much popcorn 😁


Daniel Says:

Yeah. Fifth set it is!


Daniel Says:

Thiem is impossible at the net. He doesn’t miss a single touch shot. Amazing!


Van Persie Says:

yep, as you said Djoko should avoid net, when he got there, Dom lobbed or passed him beautifully


Van Persie Says:

Nole and Dom played semifinals in 2016. Dom evolved so much since then


Daniel Says:

Djoko had BP and played bad. He had a shot to at least make Thiem hit the passing shot. 1-2.


Daniel Says:

And I think Djoko is irritated as he is losing the net points and after Thiem drop shots because he keeps trying to drop shot and misses. Now 0-40


Danie Says:

Thiem a break up. Classic have BB doesn’t break and gets broken next game.


Daniel Says:

Thiem defense insane and wind kept the ball in. BP with a taste of MP. Saved.

Rain interruption


Van Persie Says:

Rain again lol


Van Persie Says:

just to say: Thiem looks more determined, more inspired than Nole, my pov. Nole looks more tense and irritaded. It is Thiem’s to loose.


Dave Says:

Thiem has a clear game plan. Slow balling Djokovic at times. In these slow conditions, Djokovic, like Federer yesterday at times is ahead in the rally and really should win the point and just can’t put the finishing touches on the point. I realize more after this match that Djokovic actually isn’t that great for his standards when conditions are to slow. He can’t hit through the court. Reminds me of the Davis cup match against Kukushkin where Djokovic won in 5 sets. The courts were so slow. Whoever wins this match isn’t going to be able to beat Nadal tomorrow with playing 4 days in a row and today already going over 2 hours, and if DJokovic comes back, 3 hours played today. It’s to much.


Okiegal Says:

Tennis channel has cleared up a few points I had questioned about the match yesterday. It did rain but the sun was out and apparently did not rain long at all. Novak left the court on his own… nobody telling him to. Then it showed a car picking him up…. he left the venue all together. But surely they’d cancelled the match for the day or did they??? TC staff said this issue would probably be questioned at some time. But it’s a moot point now, no??? Theim is making a match out of it against the number one player in the world. Wow what a match!! But we still have to wait for a winner…..🤔🤔🤔🤔


Daniel Says:

Last interruption Djoko was able to break back, he’ll have to do it again pretty quick. First hold as its deuce and than 2 chances to break otherwise bye dream final.


j-kath Says:

There isn’t going to be a dream final for either Novak or Thiem.
Rafa will win.


skeezer Says:

No wind now. No excuse.


Van Persie Says:

Fck this. Ball was really out. why do we have a Spaniard as empire? when in the final awaits a Spaniard. Conflict of interests🙂


Van Persie Says:

correction:umpire


Daniel Says:

Djoko back on fire. If he keeps playing like this he wins.


Van Persie Says:

Nole playing more aggressive. Good. Hajde!!!


Van Persie Says:

oh boy!


Daniel Says:

Bizarre game. 30-0 after an ace and suddenly he misses 4 shots quickly.
Thiem servinf the match


Daniel Says:

Thiem missing 2 second shots slice on MP on serve


skeezer Says:

So true j-kath. They will have to play Sun, cannot delay till Mon, forecast is rain….Rafa lookin’ reaaaaallll good for #12.

VP,
They need hawkeye for sure. This is why they brought it into the game, cause line calls like this!!

Meanwhile Djoker just laid an egg on his service game? Now match on Thiems Racket.


Van Persie Says:

Thriller horror…


skeezer Says:

Wow…2 MP….and Thiem dials up an egg…….scrambled.


Daniel Says:

Wow, 4 misses after 2 MP on serve. Tense match.

If Djoko wins this match saving MP he beats Nadal tomorrow. He will be super pumped and the 3 matches in 4 days os not that much considering the Zverev match was quick and he breezed through first 4 matches.


skeezer Says:

This is where experience should matter. Djoker has been here before, the match is now close…..predicting he pulls it out.


Daniel Says:

30-15. Djoko needs to hold and test Thiem’s neeves.


Daniel Says:

Again 30-0 and no serve.


Daniel Says:

Finally. A good call for Djoko. Now Thiem will be tense as he lead the whole ser and now even


Daniel Says:

This match has to end quick, otherwise no chance for tomorrow for the winner. I prefer djoko as he has more head and experience with Nadal. Thiem already showed nerves today.

But Djoko will serve under pressure always and he is not particular that dominant on serve


skeezer Says:

Magnificent!!


Van Persie Says:

Congrats Thiem!
Well deserved

Not the greatest day for Nole, but he did put a great fight into this match.


Van Persie Says:

May the better player win tomorrow!


skeezer Says:

What a great last point. Anyone who plays tennis here understands the difficulty of shotmaking and skill of that last point from Thiem.
It’s been said that is better that Djoker wins(having a better chance against Rafa) but Thiem is much younger, should recover quicker imo.
Thiem also has beaten Rafa on Clay. That said, he needs to take the first set against Rafa or we’ll see a short one.


Daniel Says:

And Djoko dream run comes to an end.
Last year RG has this scheduling problem with roof. Seems the tennis weather Gods decided to leave with a bang.

Hope Thiem as the youngest can recover mentally for tomorrow. Repeat of last years final.
Thiem will have to be super sharp and aggressive and return closer to baseline. He is the second player with the best clay wins over Nadal, so maybe he has a chance.

Congrats Thiem, proving that right now he is the second best on clay: SF, SF, final and ??? In last 4 RG. Best of luck for tomorrow.


jatin Says:

Amazing from Thiem. Great match all around.


Giles Says:

Well done Thiem.
Rafa lies in wait!


Madmax Says:

Thiem did it. In shock. At least this match is over.He is young and hopefully will recover to give at least himself a chance.

No one expects there to be any other winner than Rafa. Same as last year. Nerves will set in.


skeezer Says:

Daniel,
Re: nerves Thiem. Thiem had some nervy stuff today and still won. Hopefully he will draw from that when he plays Rafa and get through those times ok. I really thought he would break down as the match got super tight in the 5th, but he has some steely b@lls this kid.


RZ Says:

Thiem!!! If anything’s going to help my guy tomorrow, it’s the fact that I won’t have access to a TV while the match is on. It’s worked for Andy in the past, hopefully it can work for Dom.


Giles Says:

Thank goodness we were spared the boob throwing ceremony.


Van Persie Says:

yes, Giles, no boob throwing, but a lot of b#tt picking instead. A combination would be fun 😉


Daniel Says:

Djoko losing to Thiem 2 of the last 3 years in RG is telling. Hope
next year if him and Nadal are still top 2 seeds, Thiem lands in Nadal’s side. Or Djoko vs Nadal semis if one of them is #3. Want to see another Djokal at RG.


Van Persie Says:

Bad news for Nole: no 2nd Nole slam and no double Career grand slam.
Good news: he will be maybe more motivatet for Wimby, without pressure this time, No talk about 5 in a row 😁
another good news:he gained 360 ranking points here


Van Persie Says:

Thiem showed he is a consistent top 5 player. A second final at a slam is not a great result, if we should compare him to the youngsters.


Giles Says:

VP. Lmao. Joker is so far ahead in the ranking points and here you are talking about a mere 360 points??


Van Persie Says:

Giles, we know from the past, at the end of the year every single point can count. 😉


chrisford1 Says:

VP – “Giles, no boob throwing, but a lot of b#tt picking instead.”

I like both guys as people and amazing Legends.

But I am happy Kyrgios called Novak out on his cringeworthy boob tossing (American term – Show me your t*tz) celebratory gesturing. Amazing some reporter hasn’t called him out on it and cautioned eventually some drunk women at the USO will flash and blame it on Djoko once security descends on them.

And Rafa – well, it has been going on so long, we long-time fans are used to it. But a friend new to the game was watching last year’s Wimbledon said the 2nd day “The Spanish guy picks, grins, and sniffs!!!! – that’s pretty disgusting and he keeps doing it!!!”
And for the cognoscenti like Giles, of course, it is known Rafa also has his famous Reverso!! on the bench. Which is 5-10 seconds of rearranging his “junk”, then sniffing his fingers and going into his secular stations of the cross after.
I still don’t know why Uncle Toni didn’t train to end “the sniff” when Rafa was a kid by hitting him with a rolled up newspaper and saying “Bad Rafa! Bad!” when he saw the front or back sniff executed on court.


chrisford1 Says:

Also agree with VP – Every point matters in the “race to London”.

It is good Novak has picked up points in the front half of the season because right now, Rafa is breathing down his neck and will be ahead in the race to London. He (Novak) – has 4725 points as of today. If Thiem beats Rafa, Rafa gets to 4705 points. Rafa wins, he is at 5705 points.
The race for year end #1 is already very close and if Thiem knocks off Rafa, we have a 3-way race going into Wimbledon.

Djokovic has a huge rolling 52 week point lead, but he has a ton of points to defend on 2nd half, and going through the 2020 Australian Open. Bad day for him and the wind unfortunately meant we didn’t see Novak or Fed at their best because the wind strongly advantages high topspin players (Current best 3 topspinners are Jack Sock, and Thiem and Rafa vying for 2nd and 3rd. Rafa has dialed it back in recent years, averaging 3550 RPM , about what Thiem does)

No Grand Slam for Novak possible, no double career Slam possible now. It all restarts at Wimbledon. And poor work at Doha and the 2 US Masters before clay he normally wins one of, means odds he will stay #1 into 2020 diminish after the FO.

Weeks at #1 and Novak’s ability to finish as #1 for the year are important legacy markers.
Djokovic is at 253 weeks at #1.
Connors is at 268 weeks.
Lendl is at 270
Sampras is at 286.
You Know Who is at 310.

Year end #1’s are Fed, Novak, Connors at 5
Sampras at 6 times.

29 weeks in 2019 remain.

Obviously, Novak would strongly like to stay #1 through 2019 and well into 2020.


skeezer Says:

“You Know Who is at 310.”
You Know Who is Roger Federer, the GOAT, and deserves to be called by name.
#310
#20


Van Persie Says:

CF1,

yep, am also not a fan of Nole’s way to celebrate a win, but kind of got used to it and ignore it lately. Am also sure he will not stop doing it in order to make Nick happy 😂


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