Nadal Knocked Out By A Qualifier In Beijing, Serena Withdraws; Djokovic v Murray Saturday
by Sean Randall | October 3rd, 2014, 5:07 pm

Rafael Nadal’s comeback circa fall 2014 in Beijing was cut short earlier today thanks to the resolve of Martin Klizan. Klizan, who was down a set and 5-1 in the first round of qualification last weekend, fell by a break in the third set to the former No. 1 before roaring back winning 16 of the last 18 points and four straight games to stun Nadal 6-7, 6-4, 6-3.

I said yesterday Klizan could be a tricky opponent for Nadal who was playing in his first event in three months. And it turned out he was more than that.

“I think my tennis is now great,” said Klizan who has not taken at least a set in all three meetings with Rafa. “I think I can beat anyone on tour. For me this victory, that was the best night in my life. I’m just very happy that I beat Rafa. He’s a legend. I’m just very happy that I beat a legend.

“Rafa is a big star, he’s a big player. He was still up (in the third set). He was a set up and break. I had nothing to do, but I was just fighting. I’m just so proud of myself that I could win today. I’m looking forward to tomorrow to play the semi-finals. It’s my first semi-final in an ATP [World Tour] 500 tournament.”

Klizan will next face Tomas Berdych in the semis after the Czech rolled American John Isner lost just five games.

But the focus will be of course on Rafa who was so sharp in his first two matches.

“I knew for me it’s probably going to be hard, this last part of the season,” said Nadal after just his second career loss to a qualifier (Benneteau at 2004 Lyon). “It will not be easy after what happened. Always when you are outside for a few months, as I said the other day, it is not the same as if you are coming back the next season and everybody starts from zero. You are coming back now, and the other players are on the road, are in rhythm. Physically you feel more tired.

“But on the other side I did well in the past after an injury…I am positive that I can be ready soon and be ready to compete well against everybody soon.”

Nadal’s biggest problem this year has been his second serve and it again got exposed today. In the match against Klizan he won just 31% of the deliveries (Klizan won 56% of his), and that’s just not going to get it done, especially not indoors.

I know Rafa made some bad errors and his groundstrokes and game are rusty, but to me he has to get that second serve fixed. Maybe that will come with more practice and matches, I don’t know. We’ll see.

“I have to think about it day-by-day, trying to do the best as possible to do it again quickly. But I need time. I’m going to fight for it. I’m going to work hard with the right attitude to play better than what I did today. I’m going to try. I will be happy if I finish the season, take one week and a half holidays, and to practise one month with perfect conditions to try to start the next season with positive feelings.

“I am not 20 years old. I am 28 and a half already, and I need to take care about the things that I am doing because the most important thing for me is be competitive as long as possible.”

Rafa now heads to Shanghai where he’ll join just about everyone including Roger Federer in a loaded field.

In the other semifinal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray renew their rivalry. Djokovic blew out Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-4 while Murray played one of his best matches of the season crushing US Open champion Marin Cilic 6-1, 6-4.

“It’s just starting to become a little bit more consistent again,” said Murray. “I feel like I’m harder to beat just now than I was. At the beginning part of the year, I was quite up and down and inconsistent. But I’m starting to build some momentum, get that consistency back. That equals good wins against better opposition.”

In this rivalry of good friends, Djokovic leads Murray 13-8 having won both this year and five of the last six.

“It’s always difficult against Novak,” said Murray. “His form here, he’s never lost, which is very impressive. I’m aware it’s going to be an extremely difficult match tomorrow. But it will be very good for me to get that match and see if I can make some improvements from the US Open. If I play like I did at the US Open, I’ll definitely give myself an opportunity in the match. It’s going to be a good test and I look forward to it.”

“Andy just won last week the [Shenzhen] tournament, [he’s on a] seven-match winning match streak,” said Djokovic. “I’ve seen a little bit of his matches this week. He’s hitting the ball very well. Every time I play him, it’s a huge challenge. It’s a very physical match. A lot of long rallies, exchanges. I do not expect anything less than that tomorrow.”

And it should be a good one that I think Djokovic wins.

In the women’s semifinals, Serena Williams followed Venus’s withdrawal by pulling out with a knee injury. That leaves Sam Stosur to play Petra Kvitova and Maria Sharapova to face Ana Ivanovic.

“I started to feel pain this week,” Serena said of her left knee. “It didn’t feel really well last night at all. I almost didn’t go on the court – I did at the last minute. I think it made it a little worse, to be honest.

“It throbs just sitting, standing. I felt it mostly serving because I’m landing on my left knee. That was really killer for me. Moving was okay – I didn’t do a tremendous amount of moving last night. I just tried to move as little as possible. So yeah, I felt it mostly when I was serving during the match.

“I haven’t had time to get an MRI scan yet, but I’ll do that and see what the problem is.”

“I’m probably going to go to Europe and see my doctors there,” she said. “They have a really good system there.”

And in Tokyo, Kei Nishikori will be the favorite against Benjamin Becker in one SF. The other sees Milos Raonic against Gilles Simon.

ATP – [1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [6] [WC] A Murray (GBR)

Not Before 2:30 pm
WTA – S Stosur (AUS) vs [3] P Kvitova (CZE)
WTA – [4] M Sharapova (RUS) vs [9] A Ivanovic (SRB)

Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP – [3] T Berdych (CZE) vs [Q] M Klizan (SVK)
WTA – [5] A Hlavackova (CZE) / S Peng (CHN) vs K Mladenovic (FRA) / A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) or [2] C Black (ZIM) / S Mirza (IND)

You Might Like:
Zverev Wins Beijing Opener Over Zverev, Murray v Berrettini Tuesday
Defending Champion Maria Sharapova Withdraws From Beijing
Rafael Nadal Withdraws From China Events, Novak Djokovic In Prime Position For No. 1
Serena Williams Withdraws From WTA Asian Swing, Will She Play Again In 2016?
Serena Williams Pulls Out Of Tokyo, Beijing Remains On Her Schedule

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78 Comments for Nadal Knocked Out By A Qualifier In Beijing, Serena Withdraws; Djokovic v Murray Saturday

RZ Says:

Come on Andy, you’re getting closer to that London spot!

Humble Rafa Says:

Yea, Mr. Lady Forehand. Please qualify for London where everybody loathes you. But you are hero in Dundee. LOL

skeezer Says:

“Nadal Knocked Out By A Qualifier”

HR…oh no…not again? Maybe you need more practice and lest hangin out on blog sites and trash talkin Murray……. as an example.

RZ Says:

@HR – not everyone in London loathes him. I believe Kim Sears is quite fond of him. Also, you need a new nickname for him. His forehand has been much improved these last couple of years (plus that nickname is sexist).

Colin Says:

What is the medical term for someone who identifies with another person so strongly that they think they ARE that person? Anybody know?

Whatever the mental problem afflicting such people, I think it’s best not to pander to their fantasies, Skeezer. Just ignore them.

jane Says:

andy’s well loved across the uk (which is still united ;))

skeezer Says:

“What is the medical term for someone who identifies with another person so strongly that they think they ARE that person? Anybody know?”
I believe they call that the “Humble Rafa” syndrome?

TheOneGOAT Says:

hahahaha.. thats all i can say after loosing to to KLIZAN with a big (Q)…

jane Says:

that red-glasses picture of nadal is pretty unique. :P never saw that one before, nor do i think i’ve ever seen him in glasses!

Daniel Says:

I Shangai the number 2 ranking will be on the line. If Federet goes one round further than Nadal he will get back to Number 2 in ATP ranking. But lookimg at the draw he is in Djoko and Murray half which seems pretry ooaded compared to bottom half.
Djoko potentially can play Murray again in Quarterfinal if Murray beats Ferrer. Thistwo are draw a lot to confront each other this season.

roy Says:

‘qualifier’ …

klizan is ranked 56.
and he was in the top 30 last year.

a qualifier for a 500 series isn’t quite the same as a qualifier for a slam or a 250.

but keep believing it’s some insane loss, lol.

jane Says:

daniel, did you say that federer, andy and nole are all in the same side of the draw at shanghai!? wow. that’s one-side heavy.

jane Says:

^ forget it – just saw the headline. kei on that side too.

Polo Says:

Skeezer @7:42 pm: The term is, as you almost mentioned, identification. If it is so severe that the person actually believes he is that person, then it becomes schizophrenia.

Patson Says:

First tournament after 3 months, you’re always rusty. Not a whole lot to worry about for the Nadal camp, unless the same happens in Shanghai as well.

skeezer Says:

I believe he needed to qualify, regardless of his ranking, so that does tell his current tour status. Nonetheless, as much as you tried to prop up Rafa in this scenario, its a bad or “insane” loss (as you called it) for a player who is suppose to be one of the all time greats on all surfaces, and is in his prime. His losses to qualifiers, and low ranked players, has been unmatched in comparisan to the top 3 in the supposed “strong era”.
But hey, no worries, looking forward Rafa got the dream draw in Shanghai, surely he will do better, no?

Michael Says:

With the way Klizan was playing it was hard to say that he was a qualifier. He pretty much looked that he belonged to the top 20. What fell Rafa is that his game lacked consistency and crumbled in important moments. Moreover, his first serves were just not clicking and he recorded just 63% which is low by his tall standard. Rafa’s second serve were just easy pickings for Klizan and he just became aggressive whenever Rafa missed that first one. So, to sum it up, Rafa’s game is not as sharp as it used to be and I think he needs some tournaments to get his rhythm back. If it is a Clay court, Rafa can make some adjustments and hide his deficiencies but in a hard court, he can hardly do that as it is relatively weaker surface. What we can all do is only to give encouragement to Rafa to come alive and kicking.

jane Says:

nole took a few more risks tonight which paid off, so he goes through to the finals. cute how both andy and nole had their own cheering sections, replete with flags and screaming girls. ;)

Colin Says:

Hasn’t anyone been watching Andy and Nole, or is it on another thread and I’ve missed it?

I was wrong, and Nole did do it in straight sets. He had more ideas and in the end it was a pretty comfortable win. All things considered, this tournament has marked a further step up for Andy, but he won’t be satisfied.

Margot Says:

Well played Nole. Well deserved win. Much the better player today.
Hope he bops Berd or kicks Klizan tomorrow. ;)
Would like to give Andy a good shaking! Only came half awake in the second set. 2 little 2 late. Grrrrrr

jane Says:

commies margot. wonder why andy played china this time instead of tokyo where he’s won before?

the DA Says:

@ Jane – I wondered too. He has done better there than in Beijing. Maybe he wanted to test himself against higher quality opponents to see where his game was at? At least he goes away having thrashed the US Open champion. That will be a booster.

In any case, Nole was a wall today. Incredible defense. Andy less consistent and patient than yesterday. Strange that he tried to outhit Nole instead of the tried & tested formula of mixing up pace and using angles.

As for the Shanghai draw: no comment. I just had to laugh. I hope Andy thinks of taking a WC into Valencia and NOT Basel. Too loaded there.

jane Says:

yes re: good win over cilic and still reached semis. hasn’t andy won at valencia too the da? definitely in dubs? makes sense to go there then. cool stadium if i recall…

the DA Says:

Jane – he won the single and doubles titles in Valencia. Very cool stadium. Although the courts are so slow – almost like clay.

Hippy Chick Says:

Rafas losing to every Tom,Dick and Harry just lately,hes never won Shanghai,and the way hes playing i dont see that changing anytime soon,still life as they say is full of surprises,so ill watch,hope for the best,and let the chips fall wherever they may,assuming im allowed to have an opinion….

Hippy Chick Says:

Im dissapointd with Andy,he used to match up quite well against Nole,but ever since the surgery,hes become his whipping boy again,didnt see the match because of work,but it doesnt seem as though i missed much….

Hippy Chick Says:

Jane the picture of Rafa in glasses was for the online poker a couple of years ago,about bluffing with the headline Toni in glasses,or something along those lines….

Daniel Says:

Murray better get a win o er Djoko this year. Last time was Wimby 2013 and if Djoko keeps winning their contest their HxH will be similar to Nadal x Federer pretty soon (whoch the in the same generation and basically equal talent wise) shouldn’t be. It is 14-8 now.

Djoko seems to reallylike Beijing, damm, is it 22 or 23 straight match wins by now.

Didn’t like Berdych to the finals, wnated he out of top 8. Murray nners to get back there fast. We may have 3 of the big 4 in the same side in London and if Fed gets back to #2 next week. Djoko and Nadal couldbe on the same groups as well.

At least this end of the eyar is having a lot of rankings twists.

Honfleuraise Says:

Margot – I take it that was a fleeting visit :-)

I have just watched the match on Catch Up. Thought after the way Andy played against Cilic, and with Rafa out of it, he was in a good position to make it two titles in a row. Silly boy.

Brando Says:


Excellent post.

Re Murray v Djokovic rivalry:

Completely agree. Novak is actually a very good matchup for Andy out of the other top players, let’s say Nadal. To a degree even Federer (sure he’s had his success with Fed but Fed’s game is a very attacking game that has caused consistent issues in the big ones: Grand Slams).

Andy matches up well with him for reasons we all know but all these consistent losses to Novak are not helping him at all. Sure he’s returning from injury but that’s not a reason worth mentioning now:

It’s October and it’s month number 10 post his return of 4 months off (one of which everyone had off from tour).

3 losses on the bounce and winning 1 out of 7 sets (that to in a tie break, a set Novak could have won himself) is just starting to add up and make things even more difficult for him.

He needs to address that ASAP since if he cannot win against him in a best of 3 soon it’s a tall, tall order for him to change that statistic at a Slam. He need’s to win a big title with consecutive wins against top tier players ASAP since otherwise- I say this as a fan- i’m not too sure what lies ahead in terms of him winning big ones.

Put Simply:

1 250 point title and 1 win v top 10 player is what he’s looking at as a return for the season right now. He need’s to add to that ASAP since otherwise that’s a poor year for a major player- and Andy is a big time player- during his peak.

For me he needs to qualify to WTF as a minimum otherwise I cannot really see him making a major dent in 2015 pre Grass season as things change quikcly on tour. Sure he was injured but now he’s been for nearly 10 months, the injury is history and all he’s got in the last 15 months is one paltry 250 point title.

That’s just not good enough for him.

So he really needs to end 2014 on a high of some kind in order to go into 2015 season with some real confidence.

Okiegal Says:

Has any tennis player on this forum had back surgery and when they started playing again…..what was the result?? I think those people are the only ones who could even have an opinion on the subject…..just saying.

Novak is playing lights out tennis atm. I feel sorry for anyone in his half!

Klizan the qualifier…….Will agree he looked way way better than his ranking. He was going for it, probably thinks nothing to lose here, and he stayed toe to toe with Rafa. A falter from Rafa and we know the rest. Good for him. Hope to see him continue this great play and keeps stirring things up…..along with Cilic, Kyrgios, Grigor Kei……

Regarding injuries, surgeries etc……Roger Federer is amazing in that department. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again……wow! He still moves like a gazelle…….HIS ATHLETIC GENES ROCK!! You just don’t see many athletes as resilient as he his. A bout of mono and the back probably bcoz of age, but his legs still there. I realize the age factor is rearing its ugly head a bit, which is common, but all in all he’s still got it! To go deep into tournaments at his age leaves me speechless, even though he’s not won the tourney……incredible……

Gordon Says:

Hippy Chick wrote –

“…i dont see that changing anytime soon,still life as they say is full of surprises,so ill watch,…”

I’m afraid I disagree. I don’t believe still life is full of surprises. I believe still life is full of apples, pears and occasionally flowers in a colourful bowl. 😝

Hippy Chick Says:

i think Andy should distance himself from Nole as he seems too nice, friendly,too matter of fact and too ready to accept beatdown after beatdown,i dont know if it was just me?but i thought after the Wimbledon final when he won the embrace between the two men seemed forced to a degree which i thought was great to see some fire from him for a change,its become all fluffy again and quite irritating,IMO Andy needs to get back that steel and forget about been Novaks friend,your there to win matches and tournaments Andy not make friends for goodness sake,lets see some annymosity and hatred towards your biggest rival….

jane Says:

hippy, i think andy needs to do the same with rafa. his h2h there is even more lopsided. maybe they’ll meet one of these days in a draw on hard courts and we can see how they match up.

Hippy Chick Says:

Jane i meant to add that too but it was too late once id posted,i think Novak sprung to mind as they have met more recently,but Andy is a bit toooo respectfull to those too,BTW left you a post on the other thread dont know if you read it?….

jane Says:

5-15 for rafa, compared to 8-14 for nole.

i know the gap has spread in nole-andy’s last 3 meetings)but with nadal, they’ve met only twice this year, on clay, and they’d not played since 2011 before then! meanwhile nole-andy run into each other a lot. it’d be nice to see an andy-rafa match on hard or grass, to see how they measure up.

it’s kind of weird that since andy became a grand slam champion, rafa has not played him off clay and only 2 times on clay.

jane Says:

hippy, actually nole-andy is not fluffy. the hugging seems to have abated tour-wide, i’ve noticed, which i am fine with. and last night it was just a very professional handshake, as at the us open.

Okiegal Says:

I love Andy…..which I didn’t used to. What I can’t figure out about him is this……He can get so mad on court and rather hostile, but on court interviews he is so docile and sweet acting……a kind sort to my way of thinking……just such a difference. His interviews have brought me around! He seems like a great guy. Oh, and when he took a stand defending his Mum the time he and DelPo had their little sideline tiff…..he moved up the ladder a few more rungs!! I sure wanted him to beat Novak……sigh….I don’t think anyone is gonna beat the Joker this week! Playing awesome tennis….as the usual script goes for him.

Hippy Chick Says:

I have noticed that the other three fan groups of Nole,Rafa,Andy dont actually share the same annymosity for Andy that they do for each other,im wondering if the reason for that is because they dont actually see him as such a threat?….

Hippy Chick Says:

Rafa was quite friendly with Novak till all those defeats in 2011,then he went cold on Novak,which was good to see as it showed he was p*ssed and his pride was hurt,so he wanted to desperatly turn things around….

Daniel Says:

Hope in Paris or London Andy is in Nadal’s side so we can see they play before finals on HC. Indeed it is a long time

Hippy Chick Says:

Actually i would like Andy and Rafa to be on opposite sides of the draw,just for a chance of seeing my two favorites in a final,also i want Andy to try and reverse that H2H with Novak,and possibly Rafa too….

jane Says:

totally agree daniel – it’s about time we get to see them play on hard or grass again.

hippy, speaking personally, and based on the nole fans i’ve talked to, most consider andy a huge threat yet many of them like andy.

Okiegal Says:

@Chick 2:09……..Last sentence of your comment….I think you hit the nail on the head, had never about that! Stands to reason.

Hippy Chick Says:

Jane some probably,and granted not you,but some others i noticed were less friendly about him when all of a sudden he actually beat Nole in a couple of GS,they did actually become less friendly towards Andy, diffrent when the shoes on the other foot,people do indeed show their true colours,all fan groups are the same,especially when the pigeons no longer a pigeon,and yes indeed Rafa fans have still not gotten over those seven defeats to Novak in 2011….

Giles Says:

Now what was it joker said in one of his interviews in 2011 just before he went on his “tear”? He said a d I am quoting verbatim “I can’t be friends with them (meaning Rafa and Andy) because we are all chasing history”.

Giles Says:

Come on Berdych!!

jane Says:

something to that effect giles, which interestingly is exactly what hippy chick is arguing for.

hippy, yes it was the same reaction with rafa fans after nole started winning. in 2009 when nole just came close to winning most rafa fans and nole fans got along fine. it was only after 2011 that things changed. that’s the way the cookie crumbles i guess. ;)

Giles Says:

Yes indeed things did change. I am sure Joker’s statement had a lot to do with it.
HO HUM. Too big and important to be friends with Rafa and Andy. Success went to his head a bit too much me thinks. Oh well!

Daniel Says:


Precisely. Just wait IF Andy beats Nadal in a GS or final of a big tourney and the change will be the same.

Giles Says:

Daniel. No it won’t!!! Rafa and Andy are two classy guys. They actually respect and like each other and would never make such classless statements in public. That’s what I think anyway.

Daniel Says:


I was referring to fans😜

jane Says:

giles, firstly, nole said what he did about the difficulty of being friends / hanging out with top rivals in 2012, so it was after his momentous year in 2011. some rafa fans didn’t like nole long before he said what he did about friendships. i actually think he was just being honest. call it “classless” if you will, but perhaps it’s also honest and smart.

secondly, earlier today, hippy chick was in fact arguing that andy should show more “hate” in his rivalries with nole and rafa. are you saying you disagree? just curious.

i think it can work to a player’s advantage in some ways to “defer” to his or her rivals and call them “the best” and so forth; that friendship label, or bromance, can work positively for one player and negatively for another.

personally, nole played better versus rafa when he stopped looking up to him or playing soccer with him and started to compete on the court and keep things professional.

it’ll be interesting to see how the andy-rafa rivalry evolves. i am hoping, for andy’s sake, that he gets more wins.

Wheels Says:

This debate about Novak saying he couldnt be as close buddies with Rafa and Andy until they retired was in response to a question posed to him during an interview. Wasnt it Toni Nadal who told Rafa that he had to cool his relationship with Novak, when Novak was winning . 9Toni said he would tell Rafa ,Djokovic is better than you and that he had to view Novak as the rival and Murrays coach, Ivan L, frowned on being too chummy with opponents. Giles, as usual, tries to throw the blame on Novak. Therefore, it must be Rafa and Andy who have the big heads since they did the distancing on their coaches orders.Then again, Giles has different playbook rules for different players.

jane Says:

that’s true about Lendl, wheels; i do remember him saying something like that.

Michael Says:

I didn’t have the opportunity to see the match of Andy Vs Novak, but it is obvious that Novak dominated this encounter. Looking at the earlier rounds, it did look that Andy was slowly recovering his touch and he might pose a stiff challenge to Novak considering that the later has faltered in form. But that was not to be and Novak relishing the Chinese venues which are his forte suddenly manage to discover his vintage Tennis and showed Andy the door.

Okiegal Says:

The Rafa/Novak tiff was started by Novak’s Dad when he said something in a Serbian interview about Rafa didn’t want to be friends anymore because Novak was beating him. I googled it just now and there is an archived article on TX. I believed Rafa stated that his relationship with Novak was fine. Rafa seemed to be surprised by it all. There again, media might have misconstrued the whole comment made by Joker’ s Dad. It’s happened before because of language barriers. I think Rafa told the press to ask Novak about their relationship and not his father. This is what I remember about it all. When you see all of the players in charity events together, they seem to all have a good time. I think it’s the fans that like a big fight between the players, like it is with some of the fan bases……we need to all grow up and act our age and not our IQ!!!!! Lol

jane Says:

nole’s had to live with rather outspoken parents to be sure. just like toni nadal, each parent has occasionally said something nole has had to live down. : / not sure if it started a tiff, but i recall like you do about rafa saying to talk to nole not his dad. in any case, i think you’re right okiegal that nole and rafa are relatively cordial now. :)

Okiegal Says:

@Jane…..I really do to. Coach Nadal and Mr. Joker needed to keep their noses out of it. Their boys are grown men and can run their own lives….let them do it.

Hippy Chick Says:

Jane im not really arguing i just examining a plausible theory,and i agree with yourself and Daniel it would be intersting to see how Rafa would react to Andy,should Andy beat him in a GS,im also hoping for that particular match up ;))….

Margot Says:

@OK 12.27
Gr8 post! Go girl!
Am amazed Andy has come back at all this year.

Margot Says:

I have a theory about Andy and “steel.” I think 2012-13 his back was so bad he actually thought he was in the “last chance” saloon and he might be forced to stop playing.
This gave him the extra kick he needed.
Never be proved of course, unless he says as much at the end of his career.
On court usually the only person Andy gets mad with is himself.

Giles Says:

HC. Let me save you the suspense of Rafa’s reaction should Andy beat Rafa in a GS. It would be something along the lines of “Well done Andy, you played better than me”. What else would you expect Rafa to say, eh? At the end of the day this is sport and results fluctuate.
Vamos Rafa!

Okiegal Says:


Thanks! You are right, Andy only gets mad at himself. I wanted him to beat Novak, but wasn’t in the stars! Jane will be glad to know that I will be cheering for Novak in the final. Don’t see Berdy beating him, but haven’t watched a match that he’s played. I’ve watched Novak this week……looks amazing as usual.

On to Shanghai!!

Okiegal Says:


Regarding my post at 12:27…..not one person has come forward! Lol

Brando Says:

Re Rafa- Andy relationship should Andy win: no chance. Same with the fans. I think of the top 4, Rafa and Andy is the most genuine friendship. Rafa’s family is actually very familia with Andy’s family- parents, grandparents- and they have a fondness for them. Rafa and Muzza: Rafa has always backed Andy, practises with him Pre events in most MS/GS and even congratulated privately on his wins in Slams. Muzza said it meant the most from Rafa due to the respect he has. Upon Rafa’s win in FO (2013 I think) someone said to him why no shout out to Rafa on twitter and Andy posted he congratulates his friends privately not publicly. In addition: Muzza has been calling Rafa GOAT long before it could even be fashionable to do so. It’s clear: both have a huge respect and admiration for one another professionally. But it extends beyond that: they seem genuinely fond of one another. Apparently Andy is the player Rafa and most of the Spanish players seem to socialise in down time on tour with playing video games etc with. I think it’s more to do with personality: Rafa’s and Andy’s personality seems to be more in sync than most realise: publicly rather shy elite athletes. Privately leading a relatively humble lifestyle for the modern athlete, very close with their family and nice guys who are said to be humourous amongst close ones. Rafa famously played a private prank on Muzza: now personally I doubt he would do that to someone he aint close with. I can see these staying friends beyond the tour as they have done since childhood. As for the fans: I think most Rafa fans get over any loss to Andy in quick time since they fond of greatly, regard him highly and know he’s a class act that Rafa regards highly. Best put: if Rafa were to lose a big one must of his fans would wish it would be to Andy since they know he’s ALOT better than 2 slams. Muzza fans? They have ALWAYS shown nothing but respect for Rafa. Which has been appreciated by his fans.

Giles Says:

@Brando. Great post. I agree with every single word.

skeezer Says:

Nole just gave Birdy a bagel! Wow, what a start!

contador Says:

PhenomeNole! very spectacular tennis. Not much one can do when Djokovic is playing like this :D

skeezer Says:

6-0, 5-0, will he get doble bageled?

Hippy Chick Says:

Giles yeah i dont know that,but i was actually talking about the fans that have a habit of turning against a player,as i said to Jane especially when a player no longer is a pigeon,and this isnt exclusive to one particular fan group,as they all have fans that have a habit of doing that,plenty of Rafa fans like yourself i might add were pretty friendly towards Wawa till he beat Rafa at the AO….

Hippy Chick Says:

Margot JMO but Andy needs to stop been so damn friendly with his fellow rivals,as Jane was saying though there was no fluffy hugging after the match,just a polite and buisness like handshake,and he seems to be getting back to his best,and the backs not bothering him so much thank goodness….

madmax Says:

Murray is playing better than he has for a while so I think that people should still give him a break. It cannot have been easy to lose a successful streak with Lendl and then choose another coach. There is always a transitional period.

Having said that, realistically? Who could beat Nole the way that he is playing? Seems he is so driven right now, plus I suspect that is to do with the impending birth. Has to fight for his kid somehow.

As for Rafa, very early days, but I do wish he would stop moaning. Hippychick. I know you have defende his corner time over, but honestly. I am just sick of hearing about it.

I don’t particularly like this writer, but this time, I think he does have a point. :(

Giles Says:

HC. Your words were ” It would be interesting to see how Rafa would react to Andy, should Andy beat him in a GS …..” You were talking about Rafa’s reaction not the fans’ reaction to which I responded!
You should know by now fans are fickle. For me I have never ever supported Wawa so please don’t accuse me of being friendly towards him!!!

Margot Says:

And of course, Andy got to know the Spanish players very well during his time in Barcelona. In fact it was meeting Rafa, and talking to him as a junior, that encouraged him to go there. As well as Rafa, he’s very friendly with Monaco.

Margot Says:

I know Monaco is Argentinian but am pretty sure they met in Barcelona. Of course could be wrong, but that’s where he met Dani too.

Hippy Chick Says:

Madamx what are talking about sick of hereing about what?if your talking about his moaning then me too,but i dont believe i was moaning?ive chatted alot here about Andy and how i think he should grow a pair of balls and not be so friendly against the other top players on this thread….

Hippy Chick Says:

Hearing not hereing duh….

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