Nadal Into Semis, Djoker v Del Potro Thursday in London
by Staff | November 6th, 2013, 11:45 pm

Rafael Nadal, who missed the Australian Open and didn’t appear on tour until February due to an extended injury layoff, nonetheless secured the year-end No. 1 ranking on Wednesday after a 7-6(5), 7-6(6) win over Stan Wawrinka in round robin play at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
The win elevated him to 2-0 in round robin play and secured him a spot in the semifinals.

“Today, it was more important secure the No. 1 at the end of the season,” Nadal said. “One of the best things that I have done in my career — coming back to the No. 1 after three seasons. That’s very difficult in our sport.”

Nadal also finished year-end No. 1 in 2008 and 2010. He started the season late after an extended layoff to heal his chronic knee problems, which have miraculously been cured in 2013, seeing the Spaniard mow down the competition on every surface.

“At the end of the first set there were two amazing points,” said Nadal, who improved to 12-0 career against the Swiss. “One lob that I don’t know how I put it there. I saw it on the TV after the match, and I felt that I was very far away from the ball. He was unlucky the next point. He made a bad movement at the net.”

Wawrinka tried to come to terms with playing some of his best tennis, but falling to 0-12 career against the Spaniard.

“It’s a strange feeling right now,” Wawrinka said. “For sure, I’m really disappointed. I was playing the right tennis, but maybe made a few mistakes on the important points. But at the end of the day it’s Rafa in front. He’s the No. 1 player. It’s so tough to play him. That’s why he’s so good, because even when you play good tennis, your best tennis, he’s still there, still trying to find a way to win it.”

Tomas Berdych was also a winner on the day, keeping his hopes alive of advancing into the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-4 round robin win over David Ferrer. Berdych and Wawrinka both sit at 1-1 in their round robin group, while Ferrer fell to 0-2 and is mathematically eliminated from the semifinals.

“The serve was working really well today and I think that was the key, especially for my game,” Berdych said. “When I make a lot of points from the serve I feel much better from the back of the court.”

Ferrer looked like he was out of gas after completing his 83rd match of the year, the most of any player on the ATP circuit.

Berdych in his final match Friday will have to defeat Nadal, who he has lost his last 15 matches against.

“Matches against him are always like a final because you’re playing the No. 1 player in the world,” Berdych said of the Spaniard. “Every time you go on court with him it’s amazing. It’s already many, many matches that he’s won and I need to do something about that.”

On Thursday Roger Federer will meet Richard Gasquet, and Novak Djokovic will meet Juan Martin Del Potro. Del Potro trails 10-3 in his head-to-head with Djokovic, but was victorious in three sets this year at Indian Wells.


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45 Comments for Nadal Into Semis, Djoker v Del Potro Thursday in London

Michael Says:

Can anybody would have imagined that Rafa would be in this position today as the confirmed Year end World No.1 after the trials and tribulations that he had when he lost in the first round at Wimbledon to a little known Darcis. All credit to Rafa, he has opened a new chapter with his spectacular recovery which must be ranked as one of the most amazing comebacks in Tennis history for which he was deservingly awarded. Now his semifinal position is guaranteed at the World Tour Finals and he has good chances of a breakthrough victory in this year end event which he is surprisingly yet to win. Other than Novak in the finals, Rafa should coast to a win against anyone. If there is a threat to him here, it comes from only Novak.

Steve 27 Says:

Michael, do you think Rafa can produce 2-super performances in the semifinal and the final to earn as last major title of his majestic career?
We know that the topspin is insufficient to win in this kind of surfaces, although they say as always, the surfaces have slowed down, is still very difficult the indoor conditions for players who are in the effect their weapon of choice

Perfect fan Says:

I think novak will be too diff for rafa to overcome, if he reaches the final. But he definitely is looking good to reach finals….although i wud luv to see a fedal SF if fed manages to win his nex 2 matches.

If rafa faces fed in semi, i gotta give it a 50-50 chance to both considering rafa is playing in his least preferred surface and fed is slowly improving with every match….but must say that the 1st set is very crucial for fed….he has to win that if he wants to def rafa….moreover he has to counter well rafa’s topspin serve which rafa been doing consistently well this year….i wud say a very small window for roger is to pounce on rafa’s weak second serve, but if rafa serves out of his mind with 70-80% first serve, its gonna be hell of a job for fed to overcome.

But all said, fed has to reach semis by winning both his matches now as it is highly unlikely that novak will lose a match in the RR. Delpo will be highly motivated after that bercy loss to roger.

Allez….TMF !! :)

roy Says:

rafa is a very good tactical player, maybe the best.
people think because federer is classier in real life and speaks better english etc., comes across more ”sophisticated”, that he’s the smarter man and therefore smarter player.
i think nadal is deceptively intelligent. he acts like a bit of a childish bogan off court, but he’s definitely a smarter player and you can see it come through in his analysis of his game and others, describing his adjustments etc. to find a way to win.

federer got away with basically blasting people off court and never really seemed to play very tactically, just did his own thing and relied on that being enough. he basically admits this when he just says he concentrates on his own game and that’s it.
problem is, when you meet your match technically/physically, suddenly you are lost for a solution if you can’t get a tactical edge on your opponent.

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Perfect Fan i think the player that Delpo is the only player in that group that Novak could lose to,depending on whether hes not too knackered though,and Richie did come close to beating him the other night too,i cant see Richie beating Novak or Roger to be honest,i think its most likely that Novak will top the group,but its just a question of whether it will be Delpo or Roger that joins him in the semis now,Rafas the 1st player to actually make the semis,just wondering who will join Rafa in the semis on the other side now Stan or Berdych?

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Michael even when Rafa won Wimbledon in 2010 for the second time,the irony was he still struggled in the earlier rounds to players like Soderling,Hasse,Petzchner,so IMO the losses to Darcis and Rosol were not so unexpected in the end,and the double irony is that although the HCs are not considered his best surface he hasnt struggled at the USO the same way he has on grass,he didnt have much trouble reaching any of the 3 finals,straight sets to the final in 2010,same in 2011,one set this year.

Giles Says:

Rafa doesn’t ever play well in the first week in Wimbledon. The surface is too slippery. The second week is much better as the surface is drier and if there has been a hot spell the surface becomes perfect for him.

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Exactly im always less nervous about Rafas matches when it gets to the second week at Wimbledon,im hoping for a better showing next year especially after what happened this year and last,although all was not lost in the end as Murray been my second favorite player winning the title was a fantastic achievement.

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Having said that he didnt actually struggle when he won Wimbledon in 2008,only losing one set to Gulbis on root to the final.

Daniel Says:


I think your bias towards Fed is showing. Saying that a player who dominated everybody else in his good days apart from Nadal, which he is the second player with most wins against (Davydenko has a positive HxH but was lucky enough to not meet rafa in clay too much) is too narrow of a view of the game.
Fed used to find ways to beat his opponents, he change tactics all the time on court, exploiting players weakinees, changing tactics with all his versatile play. Will we ever see Nadal go to the net 2 or 3 times out of sudden in a return game to try surprise the opponent?! Never ever. We can count in one hand how many times did he served and volley in his life. Would he serve and volley on a second serve? Nowadays with dro shots, bringing opponent to the net for a DTL passing shot. Nadal has his tricks as well but mainly, open court with a big FH crosscourt (adv left) and hit a DTW FH, this is his MO for several year and relentless defense. It works 90% of the time, but occasionally he got Rosoled.
Nadal is a smart player on court, so is Murray, Djoko etc.. that is why they are the top. But saying Fed just “did his thing” or Nadal who applied basically the same tactic again and again (waiting opponent to self implode keeping the ball in play) is the smartest player is too much. He is the player who most play with the margins, although this year he change completely and his game is way more appealing, at least to me.

Giles Says:

^^^ Hahaha. Stale news. Guess what, I actually saw Magnus Norman coaching Stan. Is Stan sure Toni was coaching Rafa? Could it be, as has been suggested, there was just too much encouraging from Toni mistaken for coaching? Does Stan speak Spanish?

Giles Says:

^^^ Post for Pronin

Giles Says:

Alison. I am hoping for a heat wave during Wimbledon Hahaha

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

I actually saw Magnus Norman coaching Soderling when he was his coach,although if he was coaching Stan then hes just as bad as Uncle T,i hate the hypocrisy and the double standards ,as two wrongs dont make a right,these players need to figure these things out by themselves.

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Giles it would be great to have a heatwave at Wimbledon,not only for selfish reasons,but it would be lovely to have a rainless summer aswell as a dry Wimbledon,oh but that is selfish reasons lol.

Ben Pronin Says:

“We all know, players and umpire, that Toni is always trying to help Rafa. That’s normal. That’s part of the game.”

Pretty telling statement, no?

Skeezer Says:

“Before every point, he was trying to coach him.”

And roy thinks Rafa is tactical. Lmao. He takes illegal orders from unc toni, otherwise he may not win. Good tactic. Nothin like breakin another rule, eh rafa?

Giles Says:

Wawawawa is indeed a very silly man for crying to the Press after he himself received coaching from Norman. I wonder if he would have made those statements had he won? He has been trounced 12 yes 12 times by Rafa and has never won a set. He must be really hurting. Poor Swiss, just like his compatriot – CRY BABIES!! Hehehe

Giles Says:

And he says “before every point he was trying to coach him”.
Looks like Rafa doesn’t know how to play tennis. Fail wawawawa, that is not the truth and you know it. Sore sore loser. Liar!!!

Nirmal Kumar Says:

I’m not sure why people talk foul of Wawrinka if Tony actually coached him. It’s against the rule, pretty simple. What’s wrong in pointing it out.

But does Nadal need Tony’s coaching. Is he going to win matches with the help of his uncle Tony’s coaching. It anyone thinks yes, it would be rubbish. Rafa is probably the smartest tennis player ever. He just does not need any inputs from Rafa. Tony is just being stupid here, probably carrying forward his habbit of coaching Nadal from sidelines when he was a teenager. As per the rule, he or Rafa should be punished.

He is just spoiling Rafa’s reputation unnecessarily.

andrea Says:

i don’t agree with stan blabbing about this to the press…it comes across as sour grapes after losing the match. however, it seems that toni’s on court coaching is not a one time occurrence and it has been mentioned several times by different players. considering it’s against the rules, it’s surprising no officials have monitored the situation.

good win for roger over qasquet. saves the blowout.

Perfect fan Says:

Good job done roger for the win….but do keep up the intensity and stay hungry for the delpo test….won’t be easy though. u gotta earn it.

Pls don’t deprive me of the pleasure of witnessing the last fedal match this season….


hawkeye Says:

The Swiss Dynamic duo: Wah-Wah and Blubberer…

… and the federazzi all in unison cry me a river.

Boo hoo, it’s KILLING me!!!!!

NO one cares except federazzi extremists.

10-21. Accept it as the career butt-kicking it is and chillax federazz – you will feel better. Breathe, don’t forget to breathe! Also, with all of your collective whining and blubbering, remember to hydrate!!!

madmax Says:

Stan is one of the nicest tennis players on tour. He didn’t “blab” to the newspapers.

Rafa gets away with a hell of a lot on tour and you know it. He constantly breaks the rules with the time in between points. Hardly EVER gets penalised for that, and no one does anything about it. I think twice may be. And it was Novak who complained about the ball bouncing. Rightly so in my view.

When rafa fans can finally admit that a) he spends way too much time bouncing ball in between play, (and doesn’t get penalised for it – why?) b) gets on court coaching from Toni, time and time again, then we are talking.

If you are going to complain about wanting tournaments on different surfaces and not being happy about that, then at least admit when you break the rules. He broke them.

Stan was very professional, said nothing personal, but rules are rules, so why is it that he isn’t fined for this? Not whinging, not complaining, just stating the obvious was Stan. Are the umpires frightened of some kind of Spanish Mafia?

Ridiculous. Just do the job. And do it properly!

hawkeye Says:

Sure, when Federazzi admit Fedfan has had fixed draws and preferred scheduling throughout his career.


Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Ive always said Rafas far from perfect i dont agree with on court coaching either,or the time he takes between points etc,Stan did the right thing by calling him out,but it seems like a double standard as he himself was seen getting coaching,as was Gasquet today,and Novaks no angel either when it comes to on court coaching and the time he takes between points,it was only the other day at Paris he recieved a time violation,although dont get me wrong two wrongs dont make a right.

andrea Says:

@madmax…..i often wonder why rafa and novak don’t get called out more for the time between points issue. it’s kind of ironic since the rule came into place when their matches were starting to get longer and longer. despite time violations going on multiple times in any of their matches, umps rarely say anything.

Kathy Says:

Ben Pronin Says:

“We all know, players and umpire, that Toni is always trying to help Rafa. That’s normal. That’s part of the game.”

While your at it. Why not discuss the conversations that Wawrinka had with his box. The commentators on the BBC noted it and virtually said pot calling kettle black. At one point they said “the Nadal camp should be making a noise now, because that ball was clearly out” It gave a break to Wawrinka in the tie break, but the Nadal camp was silent.
People always point the finger at Nadal and his team, whilst ignoring the many other who are doing just the same. Federer’s team were spotted on TV giving advice to him at the US open. Djokovic’s team frequently give advice verbally and by clear hand signals. Del Potro frequently talks to his team. I could go on and on. I am not saying two wrongs make a right, but, may be this quote from Matthew 7:3 should be heeded “”Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

At the time Stan was complaining he was at the Nadal teams end of the court. Are we to assume that Toni was yelling instructions down the length of the court. I doubt it.

When players make such complaints I would like them to be asked what exactly was being said. I feel sure that Nadal and Toni communicate in Mallorquin, which I doubt very much that Stan and other players understand.

Maybe the Nadal team was doing nothing more than giving encouragement.

hawkeye Says:

andrea, simple, because nobody except the federazzi gives a monkeys.

The rule was always in place. Only started to be enforced when Blubberer started whining about it.

skeezer Says:

“When players make such complaints I would like them to be asked what exactly was being said.”

Well in the past the officials fined him for this. Any other top player you would like to bring up that has been fined?

Giles Says:
Roger Federer’s comments at ATP Finals in London don’t match reality.
Good read. Lol

Okiegal Says:

That umpire speaks Spanish……I have seen him call down the Rafa camp before. I think if he had heard any instruction at all…..He would have said something. I think he understood the talk to be encouragement…..but maybe not. He is in charge and can do whatever he wants. I have seen him another umpire call Rafa out on the coaching issue. One time Rafa turned toward his camp and told them to be quiet. Rafa is on court playing his guts out and Tony gets him in trouble. Rafa needs to take care of it for sure. I also think Tony gets so excited and worked up he just does it without thinking……during the tense moments. I have said this before, if Rafa doesn’t know the tactics of tennis by now, he might as well quit.


hawkeye Says:

skeezer Says:
Any other top player you would like to bring up that has been fined?

Well maybe not a top player anymore so I still think this counts.

Fedfan f-bombs.

Fedfan was also fined for tanking at the same age that Rafa was winning majors…

Kettle meet pot! Hilarious!!!

Hope this helps!!!

Giles Says:

^^^ No no no, mine is better!

Kathy Says:

skeezer Says:
“Well in the past the officials fined him for this. Any other top player you would like to bring up that has been fined?”

To my knowledge Nadal was fined once, at Wimbledon 2010. Maybe the French umpire, Cédric Mourier had the same problem understanding Mallorquin, as Wawrinka did. This incidentally is the umpire that warned Davydenko for not making his best effort when he continually served double faults. He even suggested that Davydenko should serve like him and just get it in the box. Nadal’s opponent that day didn’t think he was being coached.

QUOTE:-PHILIPP PETZSCHNER: No, I just heard words, but it could have been “vamos” or whatever. It’s anyway tough to hear if you’re down on the court, because the whole arena is pretty loud.
So I don’t know why he gave the warning for or if it was coaching or not. I have absolutely no idea. I can just tell if you are down there, you almost understand nothing from up there, even if they are screaming at you.
I think there was no coaching involved. That’s what I think.

I can’t immediately recall the name of a player who was fined for coaching, but if we are using the same criteria for everyone, there should be quite a list. However I do recall the name of a famous player who had his prize money withheld because he didn’t make his best effort. I don’t think even the most avid of Nadal detractors could level that one at him.

Ben Pronin Says:

[Insult Federer]


[Defend Nadal ad nauseam]


[Bland punchline]

skeezer Says:


For on court coaching, you provided really nothing in your post. Sorry, but you said it yourself
“To my knowledge Nadal was fined once”

skeezer Says:

Now that is a sensible post for your fav. Couldn’t agree with you more.

coke man G Says:

It looks like stan will end up facing djoker in the semis. Interesting to see how that will turn out, whether wawrinka can keep his level of play up and whether djokovic can continue his indoor run ( he’s played a lot of matches in the past two months)

coke man G Says:

In regards to this incident, I’m in full agreement with Nirmal Kumar’s take. Toni’s “coaching” is embarrassing than helping Rafa at this point. Mr. Nadal is a 27 year old man with 13 slams and in my humble opinion, one of the top three men’s players of all time already. It’s time to start letting go, Toni.

Steve 27 Says:

The Swiss will never have the balls of Spanish for the simple reason that they have everything from very small, do not like to suffer, do not have the character, simply. And a Swiss writer Max Frisch, point out in his novel well I’m not Stiller. Beneath the apparent perfection of Swiss hides someone who wants to escape the apparent stillness and passivity ignoring their own identity.
Frisch is an icon of Swiss culture and worth reading, his works are critical to society that he lived, his female characters are the best built in contemporary literature and his thought is between philosophical and ironic, always from pragmatic point of view.
Definitely a great writer.
Auf geht’s!

Skeezer Says:

“The Swiss will never have the balls of Spanish ”

Oh so now it is a swiss vs spanish thing, eh? After all, apparently steve27 thinks so.

Who would have figured that?
The rafanatic attack apparently is still in effect.

hawkeye Says:

Did you check fedfan’s history of fines I provided you skeezer.

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