Nadal Collects 60th Win, Verdasco Upset in Bangkok; Soderling, Berdych Cruise in KL

by Sean Randall | September 30th, 2010, 9:55 pm

Rafael Nadal racked up his 60th match victory of the 2010 after a 6-1, 6-4 win over qualifier Ruben Bemelmens in the second round at the Bangkok Open. ADHEREL

“It’s never easy in a first match,” said Nadal who was playing his first match since his historic US Open win. “I had a few days rest after the US Open but I think I am playing well. I’m happy with my match. Bemelmans played well during some moments and the second set for sure was not easy. It’s important to start with a win.”

Tomorrow, the World No. 1 who has reached the quarterfinals or beyond in all 14 events this year meets Mikhail Kukushkin. “Kuku” beat Del Potro-conqueror Olivier Rochus in three sets.

Nadal’s countryman Fernado Verdasco had a tough go in his opener losing to 2007 Bangkok runner-up Ben Becker 6-4, 6-4.

Jarkko Nieminen was also a winner on the day.

Tomorrow quarterfinal pairings have Nadal v. Kukushkin, Gulbis v. Garcia-Lopez, Nieminen v. Melzer and Brands v. Becker.

The top players – Robin Soderling, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych – all won handily today in Kuala Lumpur, so it could shape up to be a good weekend of tennis there. A strong quarterfinal lineup Friday features Raonic v. Andreev, Baghdatis v. Youhzny, Berdych v. Ferrer and Soderling v. Golubev.

Two-time French Open finalist Soderling hammered Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-0, 6-1.

“The first round in any tournament is always difficult,” said the top-seeded Soderling. “I am very happy with the performance. My next match is with Golubev. He is a tough opponent and has had a very good year. I watched his match earlier and he was very aggressive.”

In WTA news, Elena Dementieva beat her countryman and No. 2 seed Vera Zvonareva in Tokyo. Top seed Caroline Wozniacki along with Victoria Azarenka and Francesca Schiavone were also winners. Tomorrow in the semifinals Wozniacki plays Azarenka, Dementieva faces Schiavone in a French Open rematch.


CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
[Q] M Raonic (CAN) vs [Q] I Andreev (RUS)

Not Before 2:30 PM
[6] M Baghdatis (CYP) vs [4] M Youzhny (RUS)

Not Before 6:15 PM
[3] T Berdych (CZE) vs [5] D Ferrer (ESP)
[1] R Soderling (SWE) vs [8] A Golubev (KAZ)


CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
J Nieminen (FIN) vs [3] J Melzer (AUT)
D Brands (GER) vs B Becker (GER)
C Kas (GER) / V Troicki (SRB) vs C Fleming (GBR) / K Skupski (GBR)

Not Before 7:00 PM
[1] R Nadal (ESP) vs M Kukushkin (KAZ)
[4] E Gulbis (LAT) vs G Garcia-Lopez (ESP)

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40 Comments for Nadal Collects 60th Win, Verdasco Upset in Bangkok; Soderling, Berdych Cruise in KL

Andrew Miller Says:

Thailand sounds like too much fun for ATP players. I bet it’s like the Key Biscayne of the Asia tournaments.

zola Says:

Andrew Miller,
So true. The players are certainly treated really well. I think they find it a bit hard to get serious and play tennis!

I just saw this on

Serbia picks hard-court surface for Davis Cup final

Reported on September 30, 2010

Serbia will lay a hard-court surface for its Davis Cup final against France at the beginning of December.

Serbian captain Bogdan Obradovic had earlier indicated that the planned speed and bounce was similar to that used at the ATP World Tour Finals at the end of November. “Novak Djokovic and Nenad Zimonjic will be playing there,” he said. “We could use the same surface.”

I hope Serbia can win this Davis Cup. I think Djoko deserves this.

Vulcan Says:

Wow I blinked an eye and the Kukushkin match is over…anybody see it? Any further intelligence on whether Rafa is still bombing serves?

Kimberly Says:

Andrew Miller—Key Biscayne is where I live and I always go to that tourney, in all the restaurants and night clubs in SOBE you see the players at night. As I am in my 30’s and have two kids I stick to the restaurants. But reliable souces says that after players lose they spend two days partying in SOBE.

Congrats to Nieman, Nadal and Becker.
Congrats to Ferrer, when I left the house this morning he was losing.

Kimberly Says:

Vulcan, don’t know if he is serving bombs because serve speed not recorded in match stats but the indication from the stats would be yes:

Rafa stats:
7 aces
91% points won on 1st serves
faced zero break points
58% points won on second serves

zola Says:

I watched the match and Rafa was serving pretty well. I think his last two points of the match were aces.
Kukushkin served pretty well too and he was able to get some nice backhands by Rafa. But Rafa started to read his serve and move him around.

Kimberly Says:

Soderlings 1st serve % is at like 40%, that is why he is losing this set. Golubev apparently 65% on second serve. EIther he has a great second serve or great game to back it up with.

Fell asleep with Serena/Venus on Rivalry Week on Tennis Channel and woke up in the middle on the night to see Wozniaki wearing my dress playing Azarenka. More of a counter puncher I have never seen. Fell back asleep after Woz won 1st set. Never woke up for the second semi.

Vulcan Says:

Kimberly, Zola: thanks for the summaries…7 aces is huge for Rafa, that’s more than he serves in an entire tournament.

zola Says:


***woke up in the middle on the night to see Wozniaki wearing my dress playing Azarenka.****

How dare she!??:)

Was she wearing the black/yellow one? That is a cute one.

Kimberly Says:

Zola–yes the black addidas stella mccarthey dress with yellow shorts underneath. I wore it last evening when I played. I do not wear the yellow sports top underneath, not necessary and not really sure why she does. looks better without it. Also went a size larger than my normal size so not quite as short on me (also i am several inches shorter, that helps too).

Soderling is getting beat up by Golubev at the moment. Gulbis is serving bombs. Nine aces in 1st set. Soderling was so dominant yesterday but poor serving today.

Kimberly Says:

Golubev beats soderling 6-3 6-2

or did Soderling beat himself? His serve stats were horrid. Or maybe Golubev returns really well?
Still low low 1st serve %.

Great win for Golubev. This guy is definitely on the rise.

looks like we will have a nadal gulbis semi unless ernie chokes this away.

Vulcan Says:

Hmmm Gulbis, I remember that USO match he played against Roddick were he came out on fire in the first set and gave the crowd a major scare. Certainly spectacular stuff until he cooled off.

contador Says:

gulbis has been framing the ball-terrible forehand, having trouble with his leg(s) i think – he’s out of position, not running for balls. his serving has been good enough – he’s fine on a short point – but that’s it. this sort of looks like the gulbis of 2009 struggling. too many doable returns into net.

( i missed the second set ) watched most of 1st set and now the bad ending. bye bye ernie

gulbis too on himself. when he won del ray, he was full of confidence, striking the ball well and returning karlovic’s serves brilliantly. ernie just isn’t up to the job today. hope he works out whatever has gone wrong.

happy i don’t have to watch him play rafa with this form. good for GGL.

contador Says:

woke up to stream berdych ferrer. that was a great match. berdych was blasting from both wings. his ace weapon was not as sharp as it could be but ferrer was all over the court. ferrer was too fast for tomas in the end. and ferrer is such a fighter. he got his teeth into that match and wasn’t letting go.

missed the soderling match. golubev too good for soderling? or was soderling dead on arrival?

missed all the other matches. gulbis : (

zola Says:


I like Gulbis a lot but I saw him in person in 2008 and I thought he is too confident. I like his humor and his interviews, but he needs some discipline. Him and Monfils are two played on tour that I see throwing their career away by not taking it seriously.

contador Says:

lucky u zola!

gulbis got serious enough last fall to hire a coach. and his results last spring improved. he got his first atp win and had a great clay season until he injured a hamstring in a match with benneteau at FO. but yeah, his motivation or his willingness to put in the practice and fitness time is always in question. : ( so talented though.

gulbis looked to need some of that confidence today. he was serving well but that was it.

the way he was stretching his hips out (open crossed legs and pushing down on the knee that was up ) is one way you try to stretch out a hip / gluteal muscle or maybe something with his hamstring again. that, combined with his slow movement and being out of position suggests he has something going on. he has a physio traveling with him now but if he hasn’t put in the time… who knows. what was clear – the level has slipped. ( except the serve )

monfils loves playing to a crowd – too much so.

i’d say ferrer is the favorite to win in kuala lumpur now.

kimberly Says:

Contador-apparently fetching feli lopez is proclaiming contadors innocence in the media.

I didn’t see the match but watched the scoreline for gulbis.

Also very interested to hear what happened soda golubev. From the stats it looked like soda showed up without a serve.

kimberly Says:

The thing that makes gulbis a bracket breaker-he is capable of beating number one and losing to number 200. How do you pick someone like that, for or against him. Sheer luck.

Ela Says:

What a display by Nadal today. How this guy can play is unbifreakinbelivable. good stuff

contador Says:

i am home today Kimberly. : ) on call this weekend.

i taped the world cycling time trials- they are in australia this year as is the race for world road champ. the commentators did an interview with a doctor who specializes in WADA cases.

he was pretty neutral but matter of fact on the contador subject. the level found in conatdor’s UA taken on the TDF 2nd rest day ( contador was leading the race by then) showed a small enough amount to make a case for meat contamination. but, that can’t be proven. the other way to have clenbuterol in that amount would be through supplements/ energy drinks as an additive or through autologous blood transfusion. many athletes store up a pint or two of their blood and it’s transfused back to them when they are fatigued and depleted. if the clenbuterol was in the transfused blood that would mean contador did not necessarily take clenbuterol during the tour de france but could have inadvertently got some through a timely transfusion. there is no way of proving this nor was the quantity found in the UA enough to implicate contador for taking clenbuterol tablets ( very potent anabolic agent, though not an anabolic steroid). it’s a drug given to livestock to make them grow faster, apparently. he mentioned an outbreak of clenbuterol food poisoning in portugal – i forget when-it was in lamb.

it’s complicated. i have been reading the tweets from other cyclists and they are mostly supporting contador – even the beer guzzling luxembourg rider and heir to yellow jersey should contador lose it, andy shcleck. a.schleck is a funny personality. and he does fall off his bike, a lot… ( though came in 2nd to contador in TDF the last 2 years ) you could say he and contador are “frenemies.”

alcohol is not a banned substance. they leave it up to the teams to set behavior rules. italians in general have none, is the gossip.

no wonder there are so many spectacular crashes. one hungover rider goes down in the pelaton and its dominos at 40 mph.

team directors are having mixed reactions to contador. it’s a big, big deal because if the current biggest name in cycling, contador, is suspended the happy team he had just signed to join is going lose out big $$$, danish team saxo bank or “sexy bank” as nicknamed.

the problem is made worse because 2 other spanish cyclists, one of whom just came in 2nd in the tour of spain tested positive for a plasma expander, sheesh – on same day the news broke about contador.

there is a youtube video i watched maybe a year ago of a team helper ( pharmacist?) in the kitchen of saxo bank bus. he was mixing up designer drinks and explaining his duty to keep the riders all well hydrated with replacement minerals and other ingredients. he had all the bottles lined up and was dumping packets of powder into them – different things in each bottle to be given during the ride and after. i suppose a pinch of clenbuterol powder along with who knows what could get thrown in and a rider would honestly not know – or maybe somebody got a wrong bottle.

none of this is new to cycling. i still love the sport. give me epo and 2 extra pints of blood and i still won’t be able to climb mt ventoux without walking my bike and begging to get in a minibus.

okay, back to tennis.

contador Says:

about gulbis? the way he played his first match and considering how he this morning, i would pick to win one match against someone of similar rank but no win a second match no matter who it is. sadly….

c’mon gulbis!

Kimberly Says:

will watch tokyo and bejing closely for tips on shaing hai. Only one week and change til draw comes out.

dari Says:

Hmmm, big bombers Gulbis berdych and sod didn’t make it! Between the time zone difference and just being busy, I haven’t caught any matches,except Delpo’s.
Ok its October, gonna try the draw challenge. Who can tell me where to start? THANKS!

jane Says:

Berdy, Soda, and Ernie – boom boom boom, out out out.

Kimberly Says:

Dari–you can register on the above site. The atp draw challenge is for masters so Shang Hai is the next one. But if you pre-register you will get an email when the draw is out. Once the draw is out you have like two days to change it (usually a mistake for me) and it closes a few hours before the first match. Once you register join the group tennis-x fans.

contador Says:

uh. the plot thickens. i guess it’s cologne germans in lab coats versus spain. according to a VeloNation news report, the cologne lab has instruments sensitive enough to detect “plasticizers” in the contador blood sample from that fateful rest day 2 tests – traces of plastic, as in a from a transfusion bag. :/

i think i am gonna be sick.

contador is of course denying a transfusion…ever.

“a tree hiding in a forest,” is what french cyclist sylvain chavanel had to say about contador testing positive.

isn’t tennis lucky to be such a clean sport?

this would be like nadal or federer being banned or having a wimbledon title under threat of being stripped.

anyway. i think nadal will win bangkok easily, very easily.

and ferrer looked unstoppable in kuala lumpur. berydych didn’t play terrible, ferrer was just better. it’s too bad ferrer and nadal are not in the same tournament. i’d give ferrer a better chance against nadal than anyone left in these two tournys.

poor soderling. wonder what was wrong with him. and though i left out some words in my post about picking ernie, what i meant was – i wouldn’t pick him for more than one round. schuettler did make him run and work to win but this morning against garcia-lopez he was not moving very well or striking a clean forehand.

i want some happy news. Kimberly, as much as i like woz’s outfit, i really hope dementieva can hold serve and win tomorrow or tonight – time zone confusion.

will be great to have murray and nole back in action in beijing.

is federer going to be playing? i guess i could check his website.

contador : (

Kimberly Says:

contador-woz is not one of my favs, i just liked that outfit and had to wear it. I go for Sharapova first and foremost, the Williams (sorta because without them american tennis is an embarassment), and Vera (because anyone that nuts deserves a fan).

Wow! What a mess with the cycling drug drama. Sad.

Kimmi Says:

OK, soda pop lost. Let me give credit to the Kazakhstan guy..golubev. he is been nocking the door for a while now. I saw him first when he won his first ATP title in humberg, ATP 500 btw. was a very big title for him. After that win he jumped ranking from 85 to 40 I think.

After that maginificent win, he has not impressed again till this tournament in malaysia. I thought he was a clay guy, looks like he can play on hardcourt too.

Sometimes he can be too aggressive, especially on return of serve. its good to be aggressive on return but you have to wait for the right ball to attack.

beating soda 3 and 2.. whatever soda has been doing, he must have played well. Hope he improve even more, i like his game.

OK, in bangkok delpo, verdasco, melzer, troicki and gulbis are out. hmmm, who to challenge nadal now? well, let see. nieminen is a lefty. he could give nadal a run for his money. don’t you guys think? I say it will be between nadal and nieminen to win bangkok…

Kimmi Says:

contador – interesting story on the cycling world. i am lucky to have you filling me up on cycling news once in a while.

So, sounds like there is a possibility contador could lose his yellow jersey for TDF..oh boy! what position was lance? it would be soooo funny is he gets it from contador.

can’t wait to hear how it ends. i follow TDF every year, love to watch the guys fight it out.

back to tennis: I am rooting for dementieva too. love her but she always dissapoint. her serve has actually improved a lot. not serena level ofcourse but good enough to pass a lot of women players. she does very few double faults nowadays, hits few aces too.

but if wozniacki wins, then good for her. she is probably gunning to replace serena for # 1. she is very close to do it.

contador Says:

well, ( sounding like eeyore here ) i should have posted all that on a cycling blog but Kimberly was the one who pointed out the breaking news to me here yesterday about alberto contador.

cycling is not a big sport in the u.s. but it’s actually bigger where i live than tennis.

after looking into it, contador really does not have much of a case, since he can’t produce the fillet mignon for evidence. the more i read about clenbuterol ( banned in the usa ) it doesn’t sound good. turns out, the drug is dangerous enough that any trace of it is too much for WADA. some drugs are allowed below a certain level. clenbuterol cases get the 2 year ban with one exception: a swimmer from the usa who had evidence – a box of supplements with a bit of ‘clen’ in them. still, she got a 1 year ban. everyone is responsible for what goes into their body, intentional or not. it’s the WADA rule.

all other ‘clen’ athletes gave the reason of having eaten contaminated food and received the 2 yr ban. one of them i noticed was tennis player – karol beck at a davis cup ( 2005).

at any rate Kimmi, if contador does have to give up his yellow jersey, ( the thought makes me sick for contador and cycling ) 1st place then it goes to the very charming andy schleck. LOL! he and a team mate, australian stuie o’grady, were booted out of the tour of spain a month ago by their team director for all night “beers.” it’s a lot funnier story if you know andy schleck… 6’1″ 140 pounds of twig. as talented a climber as he is, he appears to have a hard time staying on his bike sober. he can’t ride a time trial without the wind blowing him all over the road or descend fast without making it look like he’s going off a cliff any minute. but he’s a star worthy of the yellow jersey imo for how aggressively he fought and attacked contador on the climbs. and being a race leader, i am sure he was drug tested as much as contador too.

andy schleck came in only 39 seconds behind contador. armstrong crashed at least 3 times and came in…i forget. i think he was in the top 30, which is damn good for a 38 yr old! he got 3rd in TDF 2009. he says he’s not riding another TDF. but lance is in cycling news under investigation – like forever. i don’t think there is really anything on him. it’s just sour grapes from an american cyclist, floyd landis, who was stripped of a TDF 2006 tour win for doping.

feeling crushed about contador.

guess i will be changing nickname to “schleck” : /

meanwhile, i miss federer Kimmi. and have to wait until shanghai.

kimberly Says:

Contador—so sad, the general word I hear is that people believe he is innocent.

My picks



Kimmi Says:

ah, did not know lance is almost old news in cycling. well. its tough to forget him..did he win 7 consecutives..amazing! hmm, does not sound good for contador, he could be lucky ala gasquet…who know! If the traces are very little as you said then…who know indeed! I dont know contador much but I like tennis-x contador. please dont change the name!!

i miss federer too. but he makes me very nervous. that USO match with djoko was very strange..he plays well one set and then he goes to sleep the next set! is this what we will be seen from fed from now on…makes me cringe!

Muzza is playing beijing, I read his tweeter..he is enjoying the olympic stadium he says. Is djoko in beijing too or is he playing tokyo? Got to wait for the draw.

I read somewhere, roddick and nadal will play tokyo.

If its true, nadal will play back to back to back tourny, as shanghai is right after tokyo/beijing. he could win all three you know, imagine that. He is very hot right now!

zola Says:


I think Federer will next play in Shanghai. He is wise to rest his body and I wish Rafa did the same.But I think he felt obliged to keep his promise this year. So far it has been like a training session for him. I was hoping to see Gulbis play him tonight. But…

I watched the second set and was convinced that Gulbis will win and he did not! He is becoming the second Safin, but without a GS title! ( or any titles!)

Is Rafa playing Tokyo? after Bangkok and before Shanghai? He hasn’t learned a lesson from 2009? Oh man!

kimberly Says:

Tennis showing agassi sampras 2002 uso as part of ri alry week then showing the wta tokyo match live around midnight.

I guess I will root for dementieva. But I think caroline will prob win. I wonder if she will wear my outfit.

Contador, I never follow cycling but because of you it caught my eye when I saw it on

kimberly Says:

Zola–unfortunately rafa is playing tokyo and shaing hai, all back to back on brutal hardcourts. However after shaing hai he is only playing paris and wtf while some others r playing basel valencia etc. If he even plays all of that. I defintely see withdrawl possibilites.

Fed is playing shaing hai, basel, paris and wtf.

kimberly Says:

Btw just saw on tennis channel that nalby will skip asian swing and focus on lighting up european indoor hc season. Expected to play in stockholm (the tourney where my boy gulbis got thrown in jail)

Kimmi Says:

Zola – if rafa is playing all these tournaments then it will be good if he is not too pushed in far so good. The draw has opened up big time. though I dont think those guys who lost early (melzer, verdasco, gulbis, delpo etc)would have given him any problem but they would have probably pushed him a little bit.

I agree with you about gulbis. Since that injury at RG he has not been the same. where is the gulbis of Rome, madrid..where is he? I agree with you comparing him to safin..i read one of his (gulbis) interview that he likes safin a lot. he will invite him or maybe already invited him to his home..i bet they get on very well. lol

I am sure rafa and his team know what he needs to do. He is very smart right now. they dont want a repeat of last year. can’t blame them.

i remember federer was playing a lot too during his peak years. I remember him playing bangkok too..he won that tourny that year.

I am now rooting for golubev. since all my faves have lost or not playing. Go golubev in kuala lumpur.

Kimmi Says:

kimberly – good for nalby. he is always done well on european HC..i remember those years when he demolish the whole field…those tournaments used to be indoors but not anymore i believe. wishing him all the best.

dari Says:

Thanks for the specifics, Kimberly!
Roger Federer is also playing the Stockholm tournament, probably just to piss off sod. Just kidding!
The ladies in Tokyo should be good. I’ve been staying up till laaaattte this week studying, and even though I told myself I was gonna not go out and go to bed early, I can’t go to sleep. Tokyo it is! Go sampras!

dari Says:

And Sampras wins the us open win a cold sore! Yay! I love tennis channel!

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