The X Blog - Dysfunctional Tennis Blogging at its Finest

Rafa Rolls On To 20 Straight Clay Wins, Djokovic Loses Again; Raonic-Shapovalov Canadian Collision Thurs

Posted by Staff on May 9th, 2018 @ 8:36 pm

Rafael Nadal continued his clay dominance on Wednesday. Playing at his home Masters event in Madrid, Nadal ripped apart Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-1 to win his 20th straight match on clay, 48 consecutive sets.

โ€œThe process is very simple for me: I analyze every day the things that happened and try to fix things,” Nadal assessed. “My team and I, we need to keep improving, and keep doing the things that …

Halep, Muguruza Advance While Konta, Svitolina Fall In Madrid; Sharapova, Mladenovic To Rumble

Posted by Staff on May 8th, 2018 @ 9:14 pm

Two of the Top 4 seeds advance on Tuesday in Madrid. World No. 1 eased past Australian Open semifinalist Elise Mertens 6-0, 6-3, ending the Belgian’s 13-match wins streak; and, Garbine Muguruza outlasted Donna Vekic 2-6, 6-4, 6-1.

But No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina was bounced by Carla Suarez Navarro 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-4 much to the delight of the home Spanish fans.

โ€œI’m very happy because at the end of the day, …

Raonic Upends Dimitrov In Madrid, Del Potro Wins; Nadal v Monfils Wed.

Posted by Staff on May 8th, 2018 @ 8:53 pm

Milos Raonic picked up his first Top 10 win since 2017 Brisbane, topping World No. 4 Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 to advance to the third round at the Madrid Masters on Tuesday.

Raonic had lost his last six to Top 10s since upsetting Rafael Nadal at the start of last year in Brisbane and hadn’t beaten Dimitrov since 2011, saved a break point at 3-all then broke to gain the …

Pliskova Edges Azarenka In Madrid Thriller; Wozniacki, Stephens, Sharapova Win

Posted by Staff on May 7th, 2018 @ 9:03 pm

The match of the day lived up to the hype in the women’s draw Monday in Madrid. In the clash of former No. 1s, Karolina Pliskova edged Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 1-6, 7-5.

Pliskova lead 3-0 in the third but needed another break and got it at 6-5 to take her 7th straight match win.

The Stuttgart winner now faces Sloane Stephens who cruised past fellow US Open winner Sam Stosur 6-1, 6-3.

Sloane …

Djokovic Beats Nishikori, Scores First Top 20 Win Of Season In Madrid; Dimitrov-Raonic Tues.

Posted by Staff on May 7th, 2018 @ 8:44 pm

It took until May, but former No. 1 Novak Djokovic picked up his first Top 20 victory of the season beating Kei Nishikori 7-5, 6-4 in the opening round of the Madrid Masters.

“It was strange, I must admit, playing Kei in the first round,” said Djokovic who improved to 12-2 against the Japanese. “Our rankings dropped due to injuries and everything else that was happening the last year. I mean, …

Japan’s Daniel Breaks Out for 1st ATP Title in Istanbul

Posted by Staff on May 6th, 2018 @ 6:53 pm

Japan’s Taro Daniel beat fellow first-time ATP finalist Malek Jaziri 7-6(4), 6-4 to win the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open on Sunday.

Daniel’s five wins during the week were one more than he had in all of 2017 at the ATP level.

“Obviously really happy,” said Daniel, who upset Novak Djokovic earlier this year at Indian Wells, and had never reached an ATP semifinal. “I think today was a great match, a …

Sousa Ends 29-Year Portugal Drought at ATP Estoril Open

Posted by Staff on May 6th, 2018 @ 3:00 pm

Joao Sousa ended a 29-year dry spell in Portugal on Sunday, beating American Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 6-4 to win his home country’s Estoril Open.

He became the first Portuguese-born player to celebrate an ATP title on home soil.

Sousa broke Tiafoe four times during the match to win his third career ATP title and first in three year. His scampering proved the difference during the match, chasing down big forehands from Tiafoe …

World No. 3 Zverev Wins ATP Munich, Heads to Madrid

Posted by Staff on May 6th, 2018 @ 12:14 pm

Alexander Zverev won the all-German BMW Open by FWU title on Sunday, his second consecutive in Munich, defeating three-time Munich champion Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-3.

“I am obviously very happy with how I played,” said Zverev. “Very happy to get back-to-back titles here. It is a very special event for me so I am very happy that I could defend my title.”

It was the first all-German final since Zverev lost to …

Mertens Continues Climb, Breakout Year Claiming 3rd 2018 Title at WTA Rabat

Posted by Staff on May 6th, 2018 @ 11:53 am

When Belgian Elise Mertens reached the semifinals at this year’s Australian Open, fans of the 22-year-old wondered if it was a fluke or breakthrough performance.

Mertens has answered since, on Saturday winning her third title of the year, defeating Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2, 7-6(4) for the Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem crown in Rabat, Morocco.

“You get confidence from winning this many matches, but you have to take things match …

Kvitova Comes From a Set Down at WTA Prague, 3rd Title of 2018

Posted by Staff on May 6th, 2018 @ 11:20 am

Petra Kvitova won the J&T Banka Prague Open on Saturday, beating Mihaela Buzarnescu 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 for her third title of the year.

The No. 2 seed and two-time Wimbledon champion, who was at this time last year was on the sidelines with a wrist injury suffered in a home invasion, was making her debut at the event.

Buzarnescu celebrated her 30th birthday with her semifinal victory, and also reached the doubles …

Halep Goes for Madrid Triple; WTA Preview

Posted by Staff on May 5th, 2018 @ 3:50 pm

Simona Halep goes for three in a row this week in Madrid, but is looking for a first title since the first week in January.

Fourteen of the Top 15 on the WTA rankings join Halep, in addition to floaters such as former No. 1s Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka.

MADRID, Spain; surface: clay

Seeds: Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, Garbine Muguruza, Elina Svitolina, Jelena Ostapenko, Karolina Pliskova, Caroline Garcia, Venus …

2-Time Champ Djokovic To Meet Nishikori In Madrid Opener; Nadal Seeks 6th Title

Posted by Staff on May 4th, 2018 @ 10:16 pm

Novak Djokovic will try to end a 2-match losing streak in his opener at the Madrid Masters against former finalist Kei Nishikori, the draw revealed today.

Djokovic, a 2-time Madrid champion in 2011 and 2016, has won just two of his last five matches including three opening round losses at Indian Wells, Miami and Barcelona. He has beaten Nishikori 9 of 11 times. But the Japanese did withdraw from Barcelona due …

May Off Topic Thread

Posted by Staff on May 3rd, 2018 @ 11:15 am

Non tennis posts go here.

Roger Federer Bulks Up Grass Schedule, Adds Stuttgart

Posted by Tom Gainey on May 3rd, 2018 @ 11:13 am

After a first round loss last year to the retiring Tommy Haas, Roger Federer will give Stuttgart another shot, opening his grass season there in June.

“The atmosphere at TC Weissenhof is amazing. You immediately feel that this club is full of life,” Federer said. “The fans get really going during the matches. On grass, my expectations are naturally high, so, Iโ€™m looking forward to once again playing in Stuttgart.”

The 36-year-old …

Stan Wawrinka Out Of Madrid

Posted by Tom Gainey on May 3rd, 2018 @ 10:56 am

Stan Wawrinka officially withdrew from Madrid yesterday due to his knee, the tournament announced. But perhaps bigger news from last week, the Swiss posted a picture on social media with him and former coach Magnus Norman.

Could they be reunited?


— Stanislas Wawrinka (@stanwawrinka) April 27, 2018

Wawrinka remains scheduled for Rome and then his home event in Geneva before the French Open. …