Nadal Rolls, Gulbis Falls in Bangkok; Soderling, Berdych Upset in Kuala Lumpur
by Staff | October 1st, 2010, 7:35 pm

Rafael Nadal upped his current win streak to nine matches today after a brisk 6-2, 6-3 win over Mikhail Kukushkin to advance to the semifinals at the PTT Thailand Open in Bangkok. ADHEREL

“I’m happy with how my serve was, especially today. I came here with best motivation to try to be in the final,” said Nadal who lost just two points on first serve.

In the semifinals on Saturday, Nadal will meet Spanish countryman Guillermo Garcia-Lopez who shocked fourth-seeded Ernests Gulbis 7-6, 4-6, 6-3.

In the earlier semifinal, Finn Jarkko Nieminen meets Benjamin Becker. Nieminen eased past Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 7-6 while Becker took out Daniel Brands 6-4, 6-2.

“I’m 29 years old and have been doing the same things for a long time, so it takes a while to implement changes into my game but I think I am serving better than ever now,” said Nieminen. “I’m feeling very good and it’s very satisfying to get through to the semi-finals here.”

Upsets ruled in Kuala Lumpur where the tournament lost two seeds. Top seeded Robin Soderling was stunned by Andrei Golubev 6-3, 6-2 and third-seeded Tomas Berdych was ousted by fifth-seeded David Ferrer 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.

“He played really well,” said Soderling. “Maybe I was not at my best. He played much better than me, but I wish I could have played a little bit better. There are some big tournaments coming up and my form is good; I’ve played pretty well for a while now. So I just have to try and forget about this match, re-focus and try to play well in Beijing and Shanghai.”

Mikhail Youhzny also advanced over Marcos Baghdatis 6-7, 7-5, 6-1 and in a battle of two qualifiers, Igor Andreev got the better of Canadian 19-year-old Milos Raonic 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

In the semifinals on Saturday, Youhzny plays Andreev, Golubev faces Ferrer.

The final is set at the WTA Toray Pan Pacific in Tokyo where World No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki will meet Elena Dementieva for the title. Earlier Friday Wozniacki outlasted Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-4. Dementieva earned her berth by avenging a French Open semifinal loss to Francesca Schiavone, beating the Italian 6-4, 7-5.

“I’ve had a great run the last couple of months,” Wozniacki said after nearly blowing a 5-0 third set lead. “I’m feeling confident, but I know there’s a very tough opponent I’ll have to face tomorrow.”

Wozniacki and Dementieva are tied 3-3 head-to-head. The Dane won their only 2010 meeting in a third-set tiebreaker in New Haven.

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19 Comments for Nadal Rolls, Gulbis Falls in Bangkok; Soderling, Berdych Upset in Kuala Lumpur

Kimmi Says:

what! i am shocked. just looked at bangkok results and garcia lopez beat nadal…who saw the match?

Kimmi Says:

ah, go golubev! he has beaten two top guys now. I am excited.

Next youzhny. go golubev

Kimberly Says:

kimmi-didn’t see the match but when you don’t convert 24 of 26 break points and your opponent converts 1 of 1 you deserve to lose.

Daniel Says:

Nadal reonins without winning an ATP event in hardcourts since Indian Wells 2009. Grand Slam are not ATP. It’s kind of ironic: he won the most important one!

Daniel Says:

remains, sorry!

Zola Says:


I saw the match. RAfa played a very well first set, but in the second GL served really well. Rafa had lots of break points and every time GL saved it and I think that frustrated Rafa. GL won the second set in a tie-breaker. He did’t have even one break point against Rafa until the 7th game ( I think) of the third set and he converted that!

You nake it sound like Rafa has lost a GS final! take it easy! and no need to worry for Rafa’s hard court titles. As you said, he has won the most important one and He is the YE number 1. Thailand is a 250 tournament. It is not the end of the world for Rafa!
In fact he will play one less match on the hard courts and that is fine with me. I wish he would have rested for the rest of the season and came back in London and Australian Open.
Great tournament for Rafa and a better one for GL.He played a very good match.

grendel Says:


That’s an interesting link. I’ve often wondered how off putting the shrieks of such and such a player might be to the opponent. I hadn’t realised some actually complained – obviously the umpire just shruggs his shoulders in this event. If play is affected, you can’t help wondering what happens when Sharapova and Azarenka meet. Perhaps each is so immersed in their own primeval howls that they don’t really notice the other. Sharapova, b.t.w., is completely unrepentant. She’s a tough cookie, of course, and absolutely nothing will sway her except, for example, the deduction of a point. Only trouble is, how would you police that? Perhaps we need some kind of decibel machine…

@Daniel 9.41: your comment is entirely reasonable, despite the bizarre (and uncomprehending) reaction you have evoked. There is a certain irony. However, Nadal’s defeat, especially the manner of it, only highlights what a great player he is. It is just not possible for any human being to be playing constantly at a constantly high intensity level. I doubt if Nadal consciously drops it. But there is something deep inside him which understands when he needs to turn it on, and when he can afford to let it go a bit. The alternative to this is premature burn out – and you may be quite sure this will not happen to Nadal.

Kimberly Says:

If you look at the stats Rafa outplayed GL and should have won in straights but didn’t convert on big points, something he ussually does. Not overly concerned about it. This reminds me of his loss to Simon in Madrid I think it was and his loss to Lbjucic to a lesser degree where he was in control of the match. Hopefully it will serve to remind him mental lapses when you think you are winning are unacceptable.

Kimberly Says:

and 24 of 26 fail to convert break points atrocious. NEVER want to see a stat like that again Rafa! Hopefully greater things in Tokyo. He sounded pretty disappointed in himself in his comments.

grendel Says:

What is there to be concerned about, Kimberley? When Nadal was beaten by the other Lopez at Queens, anyone not entirely ignorant knew this meant precisely nothing so far as prospects for Wimbledon were concerned – or rather the loss, if anything, was fortuitous. More time for rest etc.

Obviously, any competitor wants to win everything (or thinks he does, but I won’t go into that little alley of thought except to suggest that losses can be more devestating for the fan than the actual player). But that is not possible. A wise person understands this, and I get the sense Nadal is quite a wise sort of geezer.

grendel Says:

Nadal says:”It was one of those matches — I probably have one like that every two years.” That’s the arrogance of a true champion – the sort of thing Federer was always being blamed for when he was only, in fact, speaking the truth as he saw it. We now see that Nadal, in a similar position, says the same sort of stuff. I think it’s fine, just as I thought it was fine when the morally queasy got upset about some of Fed’s frank comments.

Interesting comments by Murray. He’ll come round in time.

zola Says:


Rafa played great in the first and second sets and even the third. But GL played really well. Serving well and his forehand was really working.

Rafa said himself that he played very defensively. Hopefully it will be a lesson for him. Rafa had more errors than usual and his DTL forehand was not very effective. As he said himself, these losses are bound to happen. Better to have them in a 250 tournament than in a GS.

grendel Says:

Lesson for him, rubbish! You don’t play at your best every tourney, can’t be done. That’s how it goes.

zola Says:


**8and 24 of 26 fail to convert break points atrocious. NEVER want to see a stat like that again Rafa! Hopefully greater things in Tokyo. He sounded pretty disappointed in himself in his comments.***

yes he did indeed. he played behind the baseline and was very defensive. GLo had one break point and converted it. I think this is good for Rafa. A reminder when he wants to get back to his defensive style on the hard courts.

I think GArcia Lopez can win this. Let’s see.

tennis Says:

Last year I waited to see Rafa biting the champion trophy for 11 months.I can wait because I know he must come back.I feel nothing when he lost but not same in Bangkok.I was there and very close to the court both semi-finals and finals in Thailand. I see the referee and chair umpire called many wrong points.The ball was in but they called out and Garcia-Lopez knew that why he did not say anything to referee and chair umpire. Dirty points for Lopez.In final match there was a missing position of line referee.It must be 4 line referee on that side but why there were 3 referee on that side,there was a blank chair.Did you see? If you were not there you could not see it because if you watched on TV they did not pan the camera from the top side.I think they designed the result because they wanted to promote that world no.1 lost in Thailand.They want everybody to concern to be interested in Thailand.Rafa is the victim of this story but you know he is the polite man noway for him to tell what happened on the court.

tennis Says:

There is no hawked-eye at PTT Thailand Open then everything can happen. D

tennis Says:

There is no hawked-eye at PTT Thailand Open then everything can happen.

tennis Says:

Why Jarkko did not see the missing line referee I think he trust in the organiser must be same around the world then nothing to doubt then he did not notice did not see it. Poor Jarkko.

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