Nadal Fights Off Wawrinka in Toronto; Djokovic, Federer Lead Top 7 Today
by Sean Randall | August 12th, 2010, 10:32 am

Rafael Nadal opened his summer hardcourt campaign with a grinding 7-6(12), 6-3 win over Stan Wawrinka last night in the second round of the Canadian Open Rogers Masters. ADHEREL

Nadal held a break lead in the first at 3-2 before Stan immediately leveled. The 14-12 tiebreaker was the longest Nadal’s ever played and he had to save five sets points from the Swiss.

“It’s never fun to play tie-breaks like this because lots of pressure in every point,” said Nadal. “But if you win, it gives you a lot of confidence, so always important win tie-breaks.

“I have a little bit of everything today being the first match after a while without competing. I had difficult moments. I had moments that I played well. I played more aggressive in the second set on the return. So I did a little bit of everything, and that’s very positive.”

If Nadal hopes to be fully 100% he’ll need to avoid matches like that one which include 90+ minute first sets and 14-12 tiebreakers!

Rusty Rafa is right back on the court tonight against the big-serving South African qualifier Kevin Anderson who knocked out Sam Querrey.

Roger Federer returns against aggressive lefty Michael Llodra. Federer looked patchy in his opener against Chela the other night, he’ll need to tighten his act up against Llodra who plays attacking tennis and quick points, a style Fed’s new coach Paul Annacone would like. Llodra and Fed have never played.

Llodra ousted Nicolas Alamgro 7-6, 6-2 on Wednesday.

Also yesterday, Jeremy Chardy took care of Fernando Verdasco in three sets. Fernando plays a lot of tennis and a lot of tournaments, might fatigue be catching up with the Spaniard? Since his Nice final in May Verdasco hasn’t reached the SFs in his last five event. Chardy now play Nikolay Davydenko.

David Nalbandian won his 10th straight match demolishing former Top 10 Tommy Robredo 6-3, 6-0.

In the match of the day, Nalbandian meets Robin Soderling. The Argentine is 5-1 against Robin but they haven’t played since 2008. Soderling is a much better player now and should provide a telling test of Nalbandian’s form.

We have a Gael Monfils sighting. Unfortunately my man Monfils will have his hands full against defending champion Andy Murray this afternoon. Murray looked pretty good in a win over Xavier Malisse and he’s beaten the hyper Frenchman in two of three meetings.

“The first match for anyone in any tournament is always difficult, and you don’t normally feel that comfortable,” said Murray. “Once I got that break [at 5-4], I settled down a bit.”

And on grandstand former champion Novak Djokovic battles Victor Hanescu. Djokovic won a tough straight setter yesterday over Julien Benneteau, let’s see what he has left in the reserves against the Romanian who he has never lost to in four meetings.

“It was a big struggle,” Djokovic said. “It was obvious that on the court I wasn’t feeling the best, but I overcame it. It was nothing unusual, just little heat issues that I have, but life goes on. I won another match, and usually when you win the tough [opening match], now I get more confidence and hopefully I can be ready for the next challenge.”

ESPN2 begins TV coverage today in the US starting at 1pm.

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
D Nalbandian (ARG) vs [5] R Soderling (SWE)
Not Before 1:00 PM
M Llodra (FRA) vs [3] R Federer (SUI)
[4] A Murray (GBR) vs [15] G Monfils (FRA)
Not Before 7:30 PM
[1] R Nadal (ESP) vs [Q] K Anderson (RSA)
R Lindstedt (SWE) / H Tecau (ROU) vs [4] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Mirnyi (BLR)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
[7] T Berdych (CZE) vs O Dolgopolov (UKR)
[6] N Davydenko (RUS) vs J Chardy (FRA)
Not Before 2:30 PM
P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [Q] Y Lu (TPE)
Not Before 5:00 PM
V Hanescu (ROU) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)
Not Before 6:30 PM
[1] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs M Knowles (BAH) / R Stepanek (CZE)

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113 Comments for Nadal Fights Off Wawrinka in Toronto; Djokovic, Federer Lead Top 7 Today

montecarlo Says:

Brest (Italy), Indoor
Quarter final
Federer bt Llodra 6-3,6-3

grendel Says:

“The 14-12 tiebreaker was the longest Nadal’s ever played and he had to save five sets points from the Swiss.

“It’s never fun to play tie-breaks like this because lots of pressure in every point,” said Nadal. “But if you win, it gives you a lot of confidence, so always important win tie-breaks.”

Nadal had to save 5 set points from the Swiss? But that doesn’t tell the important story. Twice, Warwinka was a break up, and in a position to serve for the set – each time Nadal broke back. I didn’t see it, was following the scoreboard. It was fascinating, and you kind of knew after that that however long Warwinka held on (in the tiebreak), he was just postponing the inevitable. He’d had his chance – twice – and didn’t capitalise. The gods do not forgive such dereliction.

Nadal’s comments are interesting. I don’t quite believe him when he says he doesn’t enjoy the pressure of the tiebreak. True, it’s not fun, like having an ice-cream, seeing a movie, whatever – but it’s where he brings the very best out of himself. and that must afford a certain hard earned,what,”pleasure” sounds too weak – high, perhaps. Nalbandian recently commented on how he has missed the adrenalin competition releases in him.

But the remark on confidence is clearly true – I think everyone must have known that after that first set, the match was essentially over.

funches Says:

Wawrinka was never a break up. He was a break down in the first set, then broke back immediately.

He had a set point at 4-5, then four more in the tiebreaker.

funches Says:

Never mind. I guess you were referring to the tiebreak alone. I remember one time when Wawrinka served for it in the tiebreak, but you’re probably right that it was two.

madmax Says:

montecarlo, that was some checking dude!

I went as far back as 1999 to Roger’s early career – and yes, there it was that he played Llodra, 11 years ago! I wonder if both fed and llodra will remember!

jane Says:

In 2008, in Canada, Rafa and Gasquet also had a marathon first set (I think it ended 12-10 for Nadal) but that was in the QFs. Anyhow, Rafa went on to win the event. So not sure that last night was a harbinger of anything except that Rafa is rusty.

“Llodra and Fed have never played.” Wow, that’s kind of weird considering how long they have both been on the tour.

I see Nalby is coming back in the second set versus Soda, and Dolgo is handing with Berdy in the second set as well.

jane Says:

Oops – I see montecarlo found evidence that Fed and Llodra *have* played before, with Fed, unsurprisingly, prevailing.

jane Says:

Is anyone watching? Looks like Nalby’ll get the better of Soda, but Dolgo and Berdy are locked in a dogfight in the third set.

kimberly Says:

Not watching but checking scores.

Go nalby!

margot Says:

Hi jane, and the gang: I’m watching now. Nalbandian is a genius isn’t he? Makes me kinda sad for all those years when he’d “gone fishing.”
and jane, according to my Guardian, buns are now the fashion choice of anybody whose anybody, Kate Moss etc, thanks to Mad Men. Unfortunately for Malisse and co, that’s for girlies, it’s a no, no for boys.

jane Says:

Hi margot and kimberly, lol on the buns margot. Nalby – wow!! He is killing Soda in this third set.

grendel “But the remark on confidence is clearly true – I think everyone must have known that after that first set, the match was essentially over.”

Yes, and I felt this after Murray and Fed’s first sets too; once they won those I felt they’d win the match. I was a little less certain about Djoko coming though, but the first set was clearly crucial in that match as well.

Meanwhile, Nalby, and Dolgo in particular, seem to like to come back from a set down.

madmax Says:

Hi everyone,

Cannot believe my what I am looking at! Where has soderling gone?

I am flicking margot between the two channels. soderling and nalby – berdych and dolgopolov – dolgopolov is really going to be a star of the future, whatever happens today. He is an absolutely gutsy player – immature of course, talks to himself a lot, but some really fine shots against a very powerful berdych.

As for nalbandian, he is just reborn.

madmax Says:

It’s unbelievable.

Well done nalbandian.

madmax Says:

It’s so nice to hear david nalbandian speak. He sounds so nice, seems so happy, so wonderful that he is back. He said he feels healthy and well, and feels very confident!

It’s a real fairytale that he is feeling this way, and has been through so much with his rehabilitation. If Del potro is watching this, this should also give him a lot of hope and confidence plus motivation, for a full recovery from his wrist injury, (in terms of mental stamina). It’s great.

margot Says:

madmax: hi! Cheers for your comments on Andy yesterday. Yes I was pleased with his play but for all his fans, it’s one match at a time. And…if he beats Monfils he’s gotta probably play this extraordinary talent we’ve just seen…yikes.
Gr8 Dolgopolov is playing so well, he’s lovely and, you know me, I’ll always back a touch player against a massive, big hitter. Looking 4ward to seeing Fed next too, haven’t seen him play for yoinks.
AAh, shame Dolg. just lost. Still, he has a bright future, I’m sure.
jane: thought it would be better for Djko today as there is a breeze, but Goodall’s just said it’s getter warmer. Horrid.
FOT: 99 degrees where u live? Blimey, I’ll never moan about British weather ever again!

Leo Says:

The King David is without a doubt a great, mature player that is sadly prone to injuries and not fully dedicated to the sport. To be able to defeat the ATP #5 with this category after a week and a half without rest is a feat that not everyone can pull. My only worry is what he will do in Cincinnati if he keeps moving. Who would want him to get too strained and injured again?

madmax Says:

Hi Margot! Good to hear from you. Fed’s match just on, so may just sit and watch and comment afterwards. Of course, wish both players the best but hoping for a great match and a fed win!

Llodra is a great player. Played very well in davis cup this year and won two tournaments I believe already, was it against Amalgro and later on Roddick, a 250 tournament?

Llodra will not be intimidated that is for sure, so Fed has better have done enough preparation!

madmax Says:

It was Marseilles and Eastbourne this year that Llodra won his two tournaments.

jane Says:

madmax, agree with you; it’s lovely to hear Nalby speak so positively about tennis and his own form; he’s practically beaming!
margot, well, Djoko’s a little later today, maybe if the matches go long he’ll get some respite from the heat? Ah well, it is what it is. Wish him the best. And Murray versus Monfils. Now that Nalby’s knocked Soda out that should help Murray keep #4, I hope.

grendel Says:

I reckon way Nalbandian played today, nobody could have taken him – and that includes Federer and Nadal each at their best. Soderling didn’t play badly by any means, and he kept trying right to the end, you felt he was always still a threat, and I think he should be proud of himself. Once, he’d have hauled up the white flag.

Nalbandian just took Sod’s serve apart, quite amazing. He stood up to the heavy hitting and generally outmanouvred a formidable opponent, and towards the end we saw some magic outrageous shots of Federer calibre.

So up to press, those of us who were worried Nalbandian would run out of gas have been proved quite wrong. Even so, although the appetite for Nalby/Murray, Nalby/Nadal and Nalby/Fed is keen, to say the least – priorities remain priorities: Nalbandian must remain fit for the Open!

jane Says:

Agree with you ladies on Dolgo’s talent; he is gutsy and has a lot of flair. He will continue to rise.

Also madmax very good insight on how Nalby’s comeback may help to inspire Delpo; i hadn’t thought of that but it makes perfect sense.

Llodra off to a strong start. But Fed’ll come around.

margot Says:

Gosh, Llodra’s come out sharp hasn’t he? Mind you I’ve seen this happen and then he fades. However, Fed betta get better quick.

madmax Says:

Yikes! Jane! Llodra makes a strong start. Done all my cleaning this morning Jane, so HAVE to watch!

C’mon Fed!

Whatever happens, the Fed needs to get a rhythm and quick.

madmax Says:

Oh Margot. Llodra is on fire.

Fed is a little bit relaxed to me. May be he is just out there to enjoy the day!

Want Fed to win. It’s 4:1. Tough to break Llodra’s serve.

madmax Says:

Looking at my stats. Fed went out first round to Benneteau 2 years ago? I think? second round to Tsonga last year – (mad match that was). Third round, now fed. You have to win it! break the serve.

madmax Says:

Champion’s mindset roger. We need a champion’s mindset!.

jane Says:

It is only one break; Fed can get it back.

jane Says:

Llodra has a weird backhand stance; it’s like he’s standing half backwards looking over his shoulder when he hits the ball. That can’t be good for getting into position.

Maybe here is where Fed breaks back. A double fault and now an error from Llodra.

margot Says:

And Fed gets better and betterer very quickly!
Don’t worry Madmax. there’s an inevitability about this one, just sit back and enjoy! Worry when Fed has to face Nalby!

Leo Says:

I trust Roger on this one. He has proven several times already that he has the mindset to defeat tricky players like Llorda. I am more expectant of Monfils vs Murray, myself.

jane Says:

Fed in total control now; amazing how easily Chardy beat Davy, at least judging by the scoreline…

jane Says:

Murray vs. Monfils up next; fingers crossed margot!

margot Says:

There you go madmax, easy in the end!
jane: not sure of the rankings. I don’t think Soderling has many points to lose, certainly with the next two tournaments, while Andy has a whole heap. Also, do you realise, if Andy beats Gael he has the dubious pleasure of playing Mr ON FIRE Nalbandian, who beat him in the last two encounters. Deep sigh…

jane Says:

margot, yeah Murray has an uber tough draw, no doubt. Well, even if Soda does pass Andy, Andy doesn’t have that much to defend at the USO or on the Asian indoor hard court swing so he can boost himself up again there. He has the title to defend here and semis in Cincy. He usually does well at both, so lets see what happens.

stu Says:

Hello tennis fans

Just wanted to know whether any of you know how the US Open flex plan works? The website says you can choose 5 matches from ~20 and pay a fixed amount for them?

Thanks for any info you can give me!

madmax Says:

Jane/Margot – thanks both.

You know what it is like when you are supporting nole and andy, and you have to ‘leave the screen’ and go somewhere quiet to get ‘into your zone’, because nerves set in and you want to keep them out! – you understand.

That was me today. Normally, full on watching the fed – loving seeing him back on court Jane/Margot. Honestly, it makes me so happy to watch him play.

Then Llodra came out real strong. He gave an interview beforehand (which I have NEVER before read, said ‘Not going to let Federer get into my head, not going to allow him to play his game, am going to play my game’. Well, I wish I hadn’t read that because that was going around my head like a goldfish in a bowl.

So had to digress from the match for a while and reassess my own thinking. There. Done.

Thank you ladies for your support. I love you both.

Right. Margot, Andy next? Am not sure, will check. so, right back atcha!

see you in a bit.

margot Says:

Just look at all that variety in that first game! Andy this is why we love you!

grendel Says:

Hadn’t realised Davydenko injured his wrist in Spring – which accounts for all these surprising defeats since, as Fleming pointed out, he’s the type of player who needs to play, play and play again to get into top form. But considering how long it takes to get back, especially following wrist injury, I suspect all this talk of delPo defending his title is daft. Ease your way in, surely.

Look forward to Monfils/Murray. Similar players, in some respects, but utterly different characters. Head with Murray, heart with Monfils.

Fot Says:

Phew! Glad Roger came through. When I got back home and cut the television on – Roger was already down 0-3! I freaked out! But Roger finally got it together (he knew I was watching then and wanted to win for me) *wink* lol! Anyway, I’m glad he won. Now I hope he doesn’t lose to Berdych 3 times in a row! I couldn’t take that!!!!!! Please Roger….don’t lose to him again!

Hey Margot – the high tomorrow is suppose to be 105 (today – only 103)lol!

margot Says:

FOT: feel ill just reading your comment!

Fot Says:

Margot – you get use to it. (or just learn to stay inside).

What in the world has happened to Monfils? He had so much potential at one point. Now he’s just – well – doing nothing!

jane Says:

Murray killing it so far; Monfils, not so much.

andrea Says:

FOT – sometimes its best not to look at scores in progress and get a heart attack! the extra stress often isn’t worth it.

that first set and tiebreaker with stan and nadal was awesome. some super ralleys and shot making. what a bummer for stan, never having even gotten a set off of nadal. he had his chances last night!

Fot Says:

andrea….I know! lol! I didn’t think Stan would win last night but I really did want him to at least get a set. If he had won that first set – who knows what might have happened! Sorry for Stan, who is one of my favorites.

Blah Says:

Article: I think gasquet and nadal went 14 12 in tie break in rogers cup as well, with gasquet winning it. As for nalby hes back as far as 3 set hard court masters, but I doubt he could contend or even upset anyone in slams… If only argentina had a slam…

margot Says:

grendel: Goodall just said Monfils is a good player but not a good competitor, expect you’d agree? He also said this is the best set of tennis he’s seen Andy play for a long time and I agree with this one.
Goodall and Koenig, I think, are quite fun together, they’re a bit like an old married couple. Yesterday they had a wee spat about “over-used cliches”!

jane Says:

Monfils is having the day from hell. So many errors.

jane Says:

You’re right blah, Nadal did lose that first set tiebreak 12-14 to Gasquet in 2008. I misread. So last night’s tiebreak was a tie only with the win going Rafa’s way this time.

margot Says:

Here we go, normal Andy Murray service resumed. Don’t think I can be bothered to watch any more. Once again snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

jane Says:

Oh god, I have jinxed Murray… Come on Andy. Wake up! Monfils is suddenly dictating with Andy only and slowly reacting.

Fot Says:

Jane, Murray jinxed himself! lol! Maybe both will play good in the 3rd set.

jane Says:

Maybe Fot; anyhow, I say with some trepidation that he seems to have woken up to begin this 3rd set. Phew!

madmax Says:

Margot, dont worry. Andy will come through. He HAS to! He has a score to settle with rafa. That’s on his agenda. Have faith. As always.

kimberly Says:

Just ckecked scores. Did murray go on vacation for a set?

madmax Says:

yeah, the second set from Murray, Kimberley was weird. No other word for it. A mental lapse.

margot Says:

jane: stopped watching, just checked scores 4-1 Andy. Will he win now, who knows?
Hope Djko gives you a smoother ride! I guess I’ll tune in tomorrow for more torture!:(

jane Says:

margot, Monfils has taken one break back, but Murray had insurance. I think he’ll win now. He’d better!

jane Says:

Monfils ends it with a double fault; not pretty. Oh well, Murray lives to fight another day. I think you hit the nail on the head margot – Monfils is just not a great competitor. One wonders where Murray went in the second set hey? Just so topsy-turvy.

grendel Says:

no, I disagree with Goodall,margot,and also jane apparently. Monfils is very competitive, but he is also a compulsive showman – and the two aspects of his play are in conflict to a degree. I thought it was an intriguing match, both players are tricksters, with Monfils being by far the more unorthodox (not surprising – takes a lot to trick Murray), but Murray having more control, on balance.

Pity Monfils got broken in first game of 3rd – you cld say he was tricked then, Murray just biding his time, Monfils still on a high from his bagel. And then Monfils broken again when 40-love up – silly billy. Meant his subsequent breaking of Murray just too late.

Ending on a double fault is always disappointing, but not for one second do I think Monfils tightened – that wasn’t nerves imo. The guy was in clear discomfort, only had himself to blame of course, all that diving, but he was obviously husbanding his serve, and just didn’t get it right.

What I would say about Monfils is that he can play like a god sometimes, and one day he’ll get it altogether and win a slam, probably the French. Guess he’ll only do it once, though. He’s a great spirit, it’s not competitive spirit he lacks but the ability to get down and grind. Shame, that.

jane Says:

Maybe the showman and the sportsman conflict in Monfils, grendel, all the more evidence how a sort of single-mindedness is really needed to scale the heights in sport. On the other hand, the showman in Monfils sometimes works to *help*, not hinder, his competitive desire; I am thinking in particular of when he plays in front of a home crowd, like at the Paris Masters or the FO, where he competes the best, and unleashes his inner showman. (Tsonga is a similar case as well). But, in my view, Monfils sometimes just gives up. Kind of goes “meh” to himself and calls it a day. It seemed like that near the end in this match, whether is was due to a pain in the shoulder or what, (sometimes he does tighten and become passive – I am thinking of the third set tiebreak between Djoko and him at the Paris Masters last year) and the handshake, how he reacted at the net with a sort of “shrug”, seemed to me to confirm this view.

Jake Willens Says:

There was one forehand waw got tight on in the second to last point in the breaker which lost him the match. Non one will remember it, but that is the difference. I think Nalbo is a threat to win the OPEN and will have a MASSIVE summer and fall. Man, he is talented and scary!

jane Says:

And isn’t this – “lacks but the ability to get down and grind” – kind of lacking this – “competitive spirit”? I guess one sometimes has to grind if one *really* desires to win, which seems to be what competitive spirit is all about.

I remember Safin, after practicing on clay with Monfils a couple of years back, saying to him “why aren’t you in the top ten?” And then, “you have the ability, all the shots, etc”. I guess one reason might be that he’s got concentration issues, or injury issues, but maybe, too, he just lacks the hunger? I certainly wonder sometimes.

madmax Says:


Not pretty viewing with Andy – I agree – but a win is a win. So I think he’ll take it. He’s going to have to step it up a notch though, playing nalbandian tomorrow. Murray is coaching himself right now, and I think he needs to have a stern talk with himself! Sometimes, I think with Murray, he needs this torture, because he needs to be tested. And he does have the most difficult draw this year. None of the players so far have given him an easy ride, which, if you look at it one way, if it was too easy up until today, then facing nalbandian tomorrow would have been his FIRST test of the tournament.

As it stands, he has had to regroup at critical moments, and he has come through. I think this will stand him in a good position tomorrow. But it’s going to be tough. Nalbandian won’t be as generous the way that Mon fils was today.

As for Roger playing Berdych tomorrow. Well.

I watched his interview at the very end of his match with Llodra. Firstly, at that point, he didn’t know (you probably saw it too Margot, you watch skysports as well), who he was playing, and had a laugh as he couldn’t pronounce dolgopolov, then said OR berdych, then when he was told that he would be playing berdych, he said a resounding ‘good!’.

So fed is ready for battle. I hope he pulls through. I don’t think any matches from here on are going to be easy for any of the players, perhaps for rafa, I think he plays Anderson? Anderson I think will be just too nervous.

And what a lovely, really lovely gesture at the end of the match between fed and llodra, both players exchanging their shirts, then llodra, touching federer’s cheek, like a father to a son, it was so nice. Both men laughing and smiling and enjoying the moment.

This is true sportsmanship. It was brilliant.

See you all tomorrow.

Thanks everyone.

Kimmi Says:

what happened to muzza in the 2nd set? if he goes walk about like that tomorrow..nalbandian will finish him.

Glad all my faves won today. Muzza, nalbandian and master fed.

wow! chady demolished davydenko. congrats to chardy. i had a feeling davy will lose early to anyone here. I thought baggy will do better instead..but not to be.

contador – Next round is where we will separate big time on points. i think you will do better coz of nalby. he is looking good i hear.

Kimmi Says:

the commentator just saying djoko is asthmatic..its now official. for those who are still doubting.

much better from djoko today

jane Says:

Kimmi, to which commentators are you listening? I didn’t hear that. Yes, he looks better today so far. Hope he can get through tonight, and ideally in straights.

Kimmi Says:

I am listening on TENNISTV. I don’t know this commentator name. he is not the usual goodall or koenig.

Duro Says:

Maxi, prepare for the semis. Moratorium on our friendship that night.

Kimmi Says:

Duro – federer has the mountain of berdych to climb first. he lost twice to him this year.

we hope..we hope.

jane Says:

Oh, well thanks for confirming it. Did the commentator say if Djoko or his team had announced it? I am just curious how “official” it is. I think it’s pretty clear he has something.

But tonight, in the cooler conditions, heading into evening, and with a less feisty opponent, Nole is looking much sharper.

I’ll be a happy tennis fan too if Nole, Murray and Nalby all win today. Also Rafa and Fed, as I do like to see the top seeds competing into the latter stages of events. It makes for some mouth-watering match ups. ; )

jane Says:

Nole seems relaxed and happy tonight; makes this match so much more pleasurable to watch. He’s smiling at the crowd’s noise, even. Very nice to see this Nole. Hope he can continue in this vein, win, and carry on.

jane Says:

: / Have now jinxed Nole. When will i learn? Must not ever be too confident about the win or that things will run smoothly. Sigh.

Come on Novak; finish this match in straight sets. Come ON!

Ben Pronin Says:

Jane, the break was a minor hiccup. Djokovic is playing mighty relaxed tonight. Good to see him play this well. Still looks tired, but at least no double faults!

Ben Pronin Says:

Sorry he did hit one double fault. Better than in the previous match though.

Duro Says:

Kimmi, hi. Do you really think that anyone but Rafa can beat fed 3 times in a row? Berdych certainly can’t. So, as I said: See you in the semis!

What’s with Novak’s left arm or shoulder? Don’t make me worry, Nole!

Ben Pronin Says:

Duro, a number of players have beaten Fed 3+ times in a row besides Nadal. Murray (4), Nalbandian (5), Henman (4), Agassi (3), Hewitt (3, twice).

jane Says:

Yes, Ben, am happy to see that the break turned out to be a minor hiccup in an otherwise well played match; his shots from the baseline were so clean and powerful. A few shanks/bad misses or ill-timed shots, but he was really going for it, trying to dictate, which he did admirably.

Now Rafa. He should have no probs with Anderson, I assume.

Kimmi Says:

jane – the commentator was talking about the reason for his problems yesterday. he did not say who said it..he just said djoko is asthmatic.

so i don’t know who told him. commentators do a lot of reseach about players. he must have learnt it from someone for sure.

Duro – lets hope so..lets hope so.
these are his own words “(the rematch) It will bring back memories, some not so nice,” “Hopefully I can get him back.”

Duro Says:

Hi, Ben. I thought more of a present moment and situation. I don’t think Berdy can do it. Thanks for the info, anyway. I certainly didn’t know that Nalby did it 5 times in a row! I know of his 8 victories in total but never knew of these 5 in a row! About Murray I knew as well, but certainly not about Henman! Very surprised… Well, lets see if Novak can do it if Berdy fails.

Duro Says:

Since I have to go to sleep immediately, if anyone gets some info on Novak’s ailing left shoulder, please tell. I’ll read it in the morning. Good night all, and greetings from the Noleland.

jane Says:

Thanks again for filling me in Kimmi; you’re right. I am sure he learned it somewhere. Good to hear that Fed’s bent on some Berdy revenge, lol. That might be a good one to watch.

dari Says:

Just got a free moment ,first all day! didn’t catch a lick of fed’s match, now to check on Rafael. Score looks decent enough…

grendel Says:

the thing about Henman, Agassi and Hewitt beating Fed 3+ times in a row is that it was early Fed, and so doesn’t really count. Nalbandian’s a special case who could beat God 5 times in a row if he was in the mood. Murray sort of counts, but he was perilously close to late Fed, which also doesn’t count – which is why Berdych is in with an excellent chance of beating Fed tomorrow, I trust that thigh injury he sustained against Dogthing was nothing much.

jane, I think the “shrug” was of the so it goes variety. Could have gone-a-this-a-way, could have gone-a-that-a-way, and that’s how the cookie crumbles. I didn’t see it as giving up. Sometimes he does, though, without any doubt. And sometimes he’s just plain perverse – that match against Fish, for example, (at Miami or Indian Wells can’t remember which) when he started off playing into Fish’s hands, he continued playing into Fish’s hands, and ended up playing into Fish’s hands – he just was not going to change anything for anybody that day, but was going to go on digging that hole he was drowning in deeper and deeper because that’s what he felt like.

So clearly he is not competitive in the Nadal, Roddick, Federer, Hewitt mould – no. He’s a funny chap. But nor is he a gifted, fragile case a la Gasquet, Malisse etc, far from it. When he is of a mind, he is as spirited as they come and fears no one. I think he’s a chap who’s aware of life’s transience, and is not over impressed by the baubles which human beings set up as carrying significance. Which is not to say they don’t have their attractions. A quirky fellow.

Kimberly Says:

so djoko has asthma?

I played tennis @ 5:30 on hardcourt here in Miami for two hours and after 30 mins I looked like he did. But no asthma.

jane Says:

grendel, yes, I guess when Gael sets his mind to it (like when he’s playing at home, usually), he’ll go all out. But not to the degree of others. i hope you’re right, though, and that he pulls a slam out of his hat one day, when the magic is cooking. He can be fantastic to watch. And also, yes, rather quirky.

Rafa having a little hiccup here, just when I thought he’d put it away – Anderson says “not so quick”. We’ll go a little longer.

Ben Pronin Says:

Grendel, I hope you’re joking about the wins being early/late in Fed’s career excuse.

grendel Says:

in ATP site, photos pretty ordinary tonight except of Nalbandian again – this time he looks like a witch from the Wizard of Oz. Clearly, there is something about his face – perhaps, when he retires, he can go to Hollywood and garner a reputation as a character actor – or perhaps the Joker in Batman, he wouldn’t need make up or anything like that, just imagine himself in an intense tennis match. He’ll be a wow.

grendel Says:

Ben, certainly not joking. I am a man of intense seriousness, rarely known to smile and never to laugh. Not excuse either, by any means. Think about it. Federer was once relatively easy to beat. Then he became very hard to beat. And now he has become relatively easy to beat again. So it sort of matters when your victories against him come. Unless, of course, your name is David Nalbandian, who doesn’t count because he has access to magic, which is why he looks so funny (funny peculiar – I don’t do funny ha-ha)in those photos and gives God a hard time.

joe Says:

people dont like to talk about womens tennis around here but does Wozniacki look heavier or is it my widescreen tv? i was surpised to see her get beat so badly by Bartoli

jane Says:

Anderson has a whopping forehand. Phew. Serve’s not so bad either. Guess if he could be a little more accurate / consistent, he could be more of a threat.

One thing I have noticed about Rafa – way more double faults, both in the lone doubles match here, last night, and now this one.

But then he slowly, methodically got ready to serve, waiting until the crowd was completely quiet, which probably unnerved Anderson, who smacks the return straight into the net. Then redeems himself with an ace.

6 All.

Kimmi Says:

anderson is hanging there

Joe – I never understand how wozniacki is world # 2

grendel Says:

I’m getting deja vue. It’s 6 all in the Nadal tiebreak. What odds d’you reckon a bookie would give on Anderson pulling this one off?

jane Says:

And there’s the match – again, not quite so easy, but again, not really much doubt who’d win. Rafa will face Kohls, PK, Special K, or similar. And win. At least that’s my prediction. But will he collide with Murray or Nalby in the semis …. hmmmm.

grendel Says:

isn’t reality boring. The unexpected never happens. Oh, well, off to bed.

Kimmi Says:

jane – It was only 1 (one) DF for rafa today..which is not bad. Its average in a long match like this.

I agree though about DF these few days. especially that doubles match. I think its just rusty for him.

federer hit 2 DF today I think.

jane Says:

Kimmi, yeah, I overblew it on the “way more” didn’t I? LOL, Rafa doesn’t hit too many, not 5 in 4 games like Djoko. But he has hit a few this event, and at key moments, which just seems uncharacteristic of him. Nole hit only one tonight. Hurrah!

sar Says:

the commentator was talking about the reason for his problems yesterday. he did not say who said it..he just said djoko is asthmatic.

Kimmi, who was the talking head that said that?
A few months ago Boris Becker also said he was an asthmatic and it must be hard to fight for breath.

Kimmi Says:

sar – I did not start to watch the match from the beginning and i also missed the i didnt hear the name of the commentator. as I said above it was not the usual jason Goodall or Robbie koenig.

kimberly Says:

So what’s everyones guess for murray nalby and fed/berdych tomorrow. In the draw challenge I have fed and murray. But I’m thinking fed and nalby now. I kind of hedged my bet with nalby by putting him in quarters, knowing he can be dangerous but I had a big fear he would lose to ferrer in the first round.

contador Says:

yep kimmi-

davy let me down again. was hoping to get a couple points head start on you (just in case things go very wrong ) but good job chardy!

waving ‘bracket adios’ to you until our winner pick. : ) but , for a minute tonite as i streamed, i wondered about him. not that he would lose to anderson but there might be a chink in his armor.


shout out to kimberly….1 little point off the leaderboard!! wow

and i am watching a recording of federer’s match with llordra. hahaha….llordra and the “underhand serve.” he even had federer laughing. what an entertainer, llordra!

about berych. i was not surprised to see that dolgo took a set. federer v dolgo would have been a fun match. was wishing he could have pulled off the upset over berdych.

the good news is: great matches tomorrow and we get to start fresh in cincinnati tomorrow night!

cincinnati, the stifling sauna box! really makes me glad i live where i do.

contador Says:

kimberly i am shaking in my flip flops!

nalby has to be tired. i think i got overly excited about his win at legg mason and my pick goes down to muzza.

( which might be a blessing. nalby could rest up for US Open )

federer/berdych? not sure what to think. i picked federer.

Kimmi Says:

contador – every nalby match in toronto, i was thinking..he is gotta run out of gas but he keeps winning..should i be surprised? i am not anymore.

after that tough ferrer match..he is cruising and seem to enjoy himself. i wish I could have seen his match with soda today. apparently he was real good in the third set.

If murray goes walk about like the way he did against monfils in that 2nd set..thats it for him. I had nalby beating murray and then the next day I changed to murray beating nalby. thinking nalby will get tired but he is proving us all wrong.

let the best man win.

federer vs berdych is something i don’t want to think about. hopeful federer will bring his A game. C’mon fed. you can do it.

Fot Says:

I dread seeing Berdych again! *yuk*! Looks like they are always meeting now. I hope Roger brings his A game and beats Berdych tomorrow night. It’s just something about Berdych that I don’t like. (even when Roger was beating him regularly)! lol! So… Let’s go Roger!

Congrats to all the winners today, including the WTA.

By the way – according to my television schedule, ESPN nor Tennis Channel will be broadcasting tomorrow night’s ATP match with Roger! What’s up with that????? I have an engagement to attend and I wanted to tape it. Now I don’t see where any of the major networks are broadcasting it. Only the WTA! Bummer!

kimberly Says:

Kimmi and Contador-murrays second set walk about has me very nervous. I picked murray. My husband kaiser something or other picked nalby and will possibly pass me.

Also Murray will likely slide out of top 4 if he loses yes?

Fed won’t lose to berdy. No way. I did believe he would lose to novak soley based on novaks davis cup where he seemed to have found his game. Now with novak unable to breathe I’m not so sure.

Also for cincy picks nadal will make me nervous if he wins or gets to the final here.he very well might withdraw then ill be stuck with a forced pick like matheui or another lucky loser going deep.

contador Says:

i was just looking over the scores for muzza match hahaha i mean it’s not unusual for muzza to do that napping in a set thing.

the 1st and 3rd sets looked good though. i was thinking nalbandian hits the wall and andy will have the fresher legs??

fot-i don;t know “whats up with that” where you live, but where i live, i cant get tennis channel and my local cable airs poker, nascar, little league baseball, 4 wheeling-whatever-and you name it- over tennis!

Ben Pronin Says:

The broadcasting for Toronto has been pathetic.

I picked Federer and Murray in my bracket but it was more wishful thinking than anything else. I have always loved Berdych and his game and I’m quite pleased to see him becoming a legitimate contender. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win again although I would like to see Federer play well and actually convert his opportunities. I’ll be rooting for Fed but slight edge to the Berd-man.

As for Murray and Nalby: Nalbandian is the in-form player. He is playing absolutely fantastic tennis. Murray, on the other hand, is still trying to find his A game, and he’s closer now than he was just a few months ago. Murray is the defending champ and he’s also never beaten Nalbandian, so this would be a great win for him on a number of levels. Rooting for Murray but I can’t imagine fitness really coming to play in a 3 set match, so big edge to Nalbandian. If it somehow becomes a fitness battle, then slight edge to Murray.

kimberly Says:

The broadcasting has been pitiful. I got to watch clijsters play mchale this evening.

But I think the all time worst has to be when I got a delayed broadcast of the murray/nadal wimbledon semi.

I think fitness could be in issue in this heat. Murrays used to it. He trains in miami and does sweaty yoga. But he’s got to be mentally there. X factor goes to nalby.

contador Says:

kimberly says:

“Also for cincy picks nadal will make me nervous if he wins or gets to the final here.he very well might withdraw then ill be stuck with a forced pick like matheui or another lucky loser going deep.”

at first that made me laugh : ) but, nadal is going to win here ( i think) and it might be the plan for him to withdraw in or before cincy and make sure his knees are 100% for US Open.

haha we all got stuck with mathieu.

well, i hope roddick is alright.

Ben thanks-

good points about the murray / nalbanian match. nalbandian seems to be having fun. i love what i hear in his interviews. my wish would be for him to beat murray and have a good match with rafa!

muzza gets to rest up and go into the cincinnati with the edge ( he practices in miami and isn’t troubled by heat and humidity ) and wins or makes the final there.

the end

contador Says:

he “does sweaty yoga?” haha i’ve tried that, and lasted 2 minutes. give me snow!

contador Says:

kimberly, i had to find “kaiser something or other” to see a bracket with nalbandian going to the final. there were more than a few “kaisers” but one playing toronto. bingo

he has one more point than i do and you and you have 59.

and he picked the wrong winner. i think you are safe : )

good luck to our picks and good nite

blah Says:

Nalbandian will toy with someone like Murray (horrible match up for Murray) if he is truly in form. He could very well not be in form though, as I’ve learned the only place where Nalbandian can be counted on to be in form in every match is the Davis Cup.

Would like to see Djokovic at least make it to the finals… rarely see him finish tournament runs well anymore, and with his physical condition constantly popping up, you have to wonder whether his problems are only going to get worse, along with his slam chances.

And just saw Federer’s shirt. lol.

madmax Says:

Hi Duro. Not even thinking about any potential semi-final yet. one match at a time. For now, Fed has to deal with Berdych.

I’m not worried. I think we have to look at the previous meetings between the two. Starting with Berdych, he has beaten Federer 3 times, starting way back in Athens in 2004, and then twice this year in Miami and Wimbledon.

Firstly, remember in Miami that Fed had match point, and blew it and berdych won in a tie breaker. As tight as it could be. Berdych got the win – just.

Okay, so the masters are different to the slams. Fed was too relaxed in the QF’s at wimbledon. Remember he took the first set and seemed to be on cruise control, and then blew it. I don’t think he took Berdych seriously enough at Wimbledon and he paid for it.

Berdych did well to beat Federer on his stomping ground. Do you honestly think that Federer is going to make the same mistake twice? No. Things have changed now.

Federer has made changes to his team. For a reason. Annacone is on trial and is there in his team for a reason. To bring fed back to winning ways. I don’t think that there is a lot wrong with Federer’s game. He is playing really well and you can see already tactically he is displaying more confidence and more aggression with his shots. It’s evident for all to see. Fed comes a lot more to the net than berdych does and I think that this move is going to be pivotal to fed’s success today. Berdych is not as good a mover as federer on court, Federer is light on his feet, berdych isn’t.

Against Berdych, Federer will be relishing the challenge to get the beat back.

He’s beaten him 7 times, there is no reason why he shouldn’t make it 8.

I really hope he does it and plays with the confidence and aggression that is needed to dispatch berdych, and also the freedom. One of the things that was being discussed yesterday is that Federer needs to get that freedom back in his mind, that he has been over analysing shots which has hindered his game.

I don’t know how true this is, but apparently this is something which Annacone has been discussing with federer.

I am really looking forward to the match, it should be tantalising good fun!

C’moon Federer!

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