Nadal, Murray Dominate On Windy, Rainy Day In Miami; Djokovic Opens Title Defense Saturday
by Staff | March 27th, 2015, 9:26 pm
  • 44 Comments

Rafael Nadal put any ankle concerns behind him by hammering countryman Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 6-2 Friday at the Miami Open. Nadal, a 4-time finalist at the event, showed no signs of the right ankle he injured earlier this week in practice.

“In general, I think I played a solid match,” said Nadal. “I played well. I had good movement. I had to put the balls in and play with no mistakes; that was the idea today with very tough conditions. Almagro was not an easy opponent for the first round. I am happy for that.”

A future opponent for Nadal, Tomas Berdych, overcame a break deficit in the second to beat 18-year-old Hyeon Chung 6-3, 6-4.

Two-time champion Andy Murray also cruised, taking out American Donald Young 6-4, 6-2.

“I played well against him the last couple of times,” said Murray who lives part-time in Miami. “Obviously today was a very different match to Davis Cup; completely different conditions. The tactics that you go into the match with completely change because of the weather and the wind.

“Sometimes it can be ridiculously hot, and that [means] managing the points and your emotions and your physical condition. Today it was just very tough weather to play good tennis in. I just tried to play smart, and it worked.”

Stan Wawrinka and Kevin Anderson also advanced winning three setters. Sam Querrey led Anderson by a set and a break before crashing out.

In the lone upset, Dominic Thiem beat No. 10 seed Feliciano Lopez.

Due to late afternoon rains, several matches were delayed including the 2015 debut of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

On Saturday, defending champion Novak Djokovic is back fresh off his Indian Wells title. The Serb meets Martin Klizan.

“Hopefully I can have another great week in Miami,” the 4-time champ Djokovic said. “Some of my best tennis I have played here in these courts.”

David Ferrer, Kei Nishikori, Grigor Dimitrov and John Isner are also in action.

MIAMI SATURDAY SCHEDULE

STADIUM start 11:00 am
WTA – K. Kanepi (EST) vs [4] C. Wozniacki (DEN)
T. Smyczek (USA) vs [11] J. Tsonga (FRA)
[1] S. Williams (USA) vs M. Niculescu (ROU)
ATP – [9] G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs V. Pospisil (CAN)
Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs M. Klizan (SVK)
Not Before 9:30 pm
WTA – [7] A. Radwanska (POL) vs [31] I. Begu (ROU)

GRANDSTAND start 10:50 am
ATP – [4] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs M. Youzhny (RUS)
Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs [9] A. Petkovic (GER)
ATP – [WC] A. Rublev (RUS) vs [22] J. Isner (USA)
Not Before 4:30 pm
WTA – [16] V. Williams (USA) vs [23] S. Stosur (AUS)
ATP – T. Gabashvili (RUS) vs [5] M. Raonic (CAN)
ATP – [19] P. Cuevas (URU) vs T. Bellucci (BRA)


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44 Comments for Nadal, Murray Dominate On Windy, Rainy Day In Miami; Djokovic Opens Title Defense Saturday

Margot Says:

Young was leaching errors all over the place and Andy was having many problems with his ball toss.
Then I watched the first set of Stan v Carlos and, oh my word, Stan just couldn’t keep the ball in the court. Carlos didn’t seem to want to win either. The tie was excruciating.
Horrible, difficult conditions I guess, and so different from IW>


Giles Says:

http://www1.skysports.com/watch/video/sports/tennis/9778892/great-nadal-rally?
I guess it pays to keep up your dubs practice. What a rally!


brando Says:

Just watching that rally (great defense by Rafa) it’s just abundantly clear how correct Uncle Toni is on his assessment of Almagro-in a nutshell- saying that had he had a brain and knew how to consistently construct a point, mentally navigate through a match he would be a absolute top tier, top 5 as he has a powerful game: good serve, FH, BH, good movement, all court player and packs easy power on all strokes. Once again showing: The mental element is what separates the players at the top since really talent wise there’s not much difference between a lot of players: if any.


chris ford1 Says:

Agree with Brando on this. Almagro was a true prodigy, the next Nadal…many thought. And it will never be because of what Uncle Toni said. Nico is a wasted talent. I remember how Radek Stepanek schooled him in that 5th rubber in the Davis Cup championship.
For someone who never played and has coached only one player, Toni is a wonder. Instrumental in Nadal’s success.
But that does bring up the same issues regarding Rafa’s near point-by-point coaching by Uncle Toni.

Could it be that if Uncle Toni been handed Almagro and used his coaching methods on him, would Almagro have been a star?


Brando Says:

‘Could it be that if Uncle Toni been handed Almagro and used his coaching methods on him, would Almagro have been a star?’:

I go yes and no on that one.

– Yes:

I think Uncle Toni’s regard for discipline, consistency, being strong in the mind, taking responsibility for ones own performance, commitment to the cause etc would surely only have helped Nico.

Essentially: Toni would toughen up a player like Nico mentally and that’s what Almagro lacks more than anything: a tough mind.

– No:

I don’t think Uncle Toni’s coaching style could work with anyone except Rafa.

The reason is simple: because he’s family and is Rafa’s uncle.

That makes a huge difference and Uncle Toni has even said that had it not been for that bond then there is no way he could be as tough, demanding on Rafa as he has been or is.

Because of that bond he can demand of Rafa, command a deep respect in a way really he cannot do so with another player.

Uncle Toni is the general, with Rafa being the dutiful warrior who follows his command respectfully. Without that respect though, there is no way a guy like Uncle Toni would succeed with his strict, tough love coaching style.

It’s like John McEnroe once said: to the rest of the world Rafa is a all time great. But to Uncle Toni he still he ain’t good enough!

I don’t think that demanding style would work with anyone else other than a family member like Rafa.


Brando Says:

MUST WATCH:

This is a brilliant, short video that explains clearly as to why serve and volley has died out essentially in the modern era, how the surfaces have changed (here it refers to Wimbledon-but as we know- you can extend it also to AO, maybe even USO).

It touches upon how great a difference racquet technology has made to the sport, in addition to the inevitable heightening of physicality and professionalism with the passage of time.

In essence: you just CANNOT compare today’s game to that of the early 1980’s and prior to that. It’s almost a different sport altogether.

Enjoy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3SmrwGg1gE


jane Says:

interesting matchs on right now! can’t decide whether to watch popsicle/dimitrov or goffin/coric, but think i’ll go with the former. but doglo/robredo would be good too. gah!


jane Says:

have to agree with the commentator, that pospisl tends to be too reactive, esp considering the power in his game. he needs to take more control, perhaps mainly on the return. grigor looks the stronger in this match up for sure. i sometimes wonder if vasek needs to decide: doubles or singles?

goffin, blergh… i don’t know what it is, but i am not enamoured with his game.


jane Says:

goffin’s apparently obliterating coric. bagel in set one. is anyone watching? what’s up with coric? meanwhile, grigor also beating popsicle easily; vasek’s leaking errors.


mat4 Says:

Really big match between Robredo and Dolgopolov.


mat4 Says:

@Brando, at 3:31:

Thank you for the link. It is, of course, all know things, but visually it is much easier to understand and remember.

I just hope that younger posters — those who haven’t really watch tennis 30 years ago, will all watch this short film.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Good start from Novak.


mat4 Says:

Novak so far is playing better than in IW.


mat4 Says:

First time I watch Klizan. He has a good FH, he takes his chances. Unfortunately, his serve isn’t very efficient. He’s unlucky today.


mat4 Says:

And a bagel. Novak won twice as much points, 26 to 13. It seems he has worked on his lob. Everything is clicking so far.

I hope he continues this way.


mat4 Says:

Klizan breaks with a beautiful BH. Novak made two DF.


skeezer Says:

Nole nowadays can play equally well on slow/fast courts. Why? His game is technically built for it unlike others who for the most part only excel on slow stuff.


mat4 Says:

Klizan is playing a very good second set. He’s going for his shots, and he is less nervous. Novak level dropped, after that first set. It is not easy to keep concentration in such cases, when you are easily winning… and suddenly things change.


mat4 Says:

Second set Klizan. Great play, a lot of risks, but it payed off. He managed to save a lot of BPs.


Daniel Says:

Seems Novak is using this tourneys to force his serve. A lot of DF in IW and Miami.

Third set it is, think he will clean his act and win in the end. His records in deciders is superb.


mat4 Says:

@Daniel:

Those commentators make me go crazy. Once again, they forecast the result… in a match that was so far pretty tense.

At least they should know that a match isn’t finish until the last point.

Anyway, Novak is serving and playing better now.


Daniel Says:

Relax mat4, Nvak is leading already 3-1 and almost break again had Klizan not painted the line in a lucky defense shot. I expect novice to get a second break and sela this set, 6-1 or 6-2.


mat4 Says:

I am relaxed about the match itself. Things like this happen. Klizan played quite valiantly in the second set, and he recently beat Rafa, so it is a quality player. But I see that the adrenaline isn’t here any more. But, some respect to the outsider is due.


jane Says:

mat4, he does have some slippages that are annoying. but hopefully he can rein that in and get a better grasp on things, staying focused from beginning until the end. i thought he kind of opened the door for klizan by playing too passively in the second part of the second set.


Hamza Says:

@skeezer

Look! A Fed fan admiring Nole (who I admire as well without being a fan), and then sneaking in a snide remark to put down Rafa — which begs the question: was he/she admiring Nole to belittle Rafa or was he/she truly admiring Nole ? That’s anybody’s guess.

Question: is Cincy slow? Is Toronto slow? Is Montreal slow? Is the frigging Arthur Ashe court slow?

But then, what can you expect from a zealot from the Church of Roger Federer who most likely himself/herself hasn’t achieved much in life.


chris ford1 Says:

Jane – With Djoker it’s a roller coaster ride some matches. His own wife got exasperated watching the AO at home and tweeted she was stressing out with his ups and downs in the Final and was going to take a break from watching to walk the dogs, and chill.


jane Says:

i saw that tweet chrisford1. she also said she was going to keep walking when things started to go well for nole, being a superstitious one, ha ha.


skeezer Says:

Hamza,
Look a Rafafanatic houndin a Tennis fan! What else is new?
Be more worried about your idol and his constant whining about conditions and balls. Always an excuse. And after all, you brought his name, not me.


George o Says:

@ skeezer
absolutely agree with hamza.. Ur Rafa hate is really worse than the problems you have in life.no need telling you to get a life cos u have one which is talking down on rafa who by the way is more successful than you can ever be..gosh!!


mat4 Says:

What does it mean, achieve something in a lifetime? I was very lucky born to by born in a rich country, in a time when blue collars could school their children and when a good education meant a good career. I could get a diploma and, in retrospect, live a beautiful, although stressing life.

What about now? Even in France, children of workers, employees and other ordinary folk can’t access any more to good schools or good governmental jobs. Born in a suburb means stay in that suburb, most of the time.

In Eastern Europe, there already is no hope for a good life, after those countries were plundered to death after 1990. The only rich country, where people is happy, is Russia.

To be born in Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine (and now there is war, there) even Greece now, means poverty. And that’s what’s awaiting Portugal, Spain, Italy, soon too, and most probably the western world when the petro dollar crashes, in a few year, and his worth falls to zero. It is just a question of time, now, and everybody knows this. I won’t mention here Africa, systematically plundered for decades, for his oil, uranium, gold, precious stones, nor South America, where the same thing happens.

So then, what does it mean: achieve something? The most important things for me are my happy children, my family, my friends. Money comes and goes. Houses… an empty house, like mine in F., what is it good for? Just to pay taxes to the gov.

So… What is there to achieve in a short lifetime, when men become mature at the age of fifty and only then understand the value of friendship, emotions, health, and time? What does “achieve” something means, when you know that you will have to go to the final ordeal for your deeds?

Stop writing nonsense. It is so easy to ignore that this world is between a hard place and a rock, and that just a happy few are lucky enough to live a life of leisure.


Margot Says:

Mat4, there’s a kind of joke, you’ve probably heard it? A tramp is by the side of the road and a passing millionaire stops his flashy car and asks, “What are you doing.” The tramp replies, “I’m snoozing in the sunshine. What are you doing?”
The millionaire answers, “I’m working every hour of every day so I can snooze in the sunshine.”
Family, friends, health, enough money to pay your bills. Not much else matters too much.


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

Great joke, LOL. And so true.

My post was a reaction to posts I read times and times over about “frustrated people who have achieved nothing in life”, one of them above. I lost a bit control of my emotions. The shock I felt years ago when I started to work in the “third world”, when I saw real poverty, went out once again.

I apologies, since it is not a forum about politics, but about tennis.


mat4 Says:

… apologize…


skeezer Says:

@mat4
Great post, and u 2 margot.


Margot Says:

mat4
I think it’s fine to go “off piste” now and again.
I love tennis, but many other things too. Am always trying to wrest conversations round to film/books/theatre/rugby/genealogy etc. Will stop now be4 I get ticked off! ;)
Back to tennis, hope Andy’s damn serve is working today, or in for yet another nerve wracking afternoon.
And go Atomic!Go Thiem! Go Jo-W shame he’s playing Gael, really like him too. What a one off! Gr8 to see Jo-W back BTW and those divine shorts. Only the French!


Margot Says:

Ta Skeezie. :)


mat4 Says:

@skeezer:

Most of the time, you ignore such things, but, in the big picture, it went over the top.

Just an example: a young poster gave a good link about the evolution of tennis, technology, courts. But we all knew this long before, (at least, he bothers to learn) and this experience, knowledge, is in our posts. Most of the time, we have “opinion” against knowledge or “educated guess”. But “opinion” posters are so vociferous.

So, when you or I write that a certain player couldn’t win WB in the 70 or 80s, it is because he never learned to have an efficient serve or a transition game even with a very forgiving racquet. How would he learn all this with a wooden racquet? He could, yes, but I could also learn to fly, neh? So sorry, Skeezer-san.

And the tennis school of Spain was always clay centred — it became relevant the day new strings allowed to defend shots you could never control before. Spanish players with an attacking mindset never made a great career, just take Verdasco as an example. He never learned to have a consistent serve, he never follows his deep shots with a rush to the net, he just remains stuck in no man’s land.

On the other side, we have complete players that can be, by their style of play, directly compared with past greats.

But it is pure speculation, so I’ll give the benefice of doubt. That’s why I write usually that we only have numbers.

I guess I am terribly ill, since I regret Dave doesn’t post any more.

Neh? So sorry, Skeezer-san.

(I am in this Japanese mood all day. Don’t know why.)


skeezer Says:

@mat4

I get where you are coming from and understand where you were going with all this Tomodachi. I don’t reply to you at times cause I cannot say it any better than you. So I just enjoy the read.
___
Murray playing well?
Guess I’ll have to wait for Margot to come out behind the couch….


jane Says:

mat4, margot – enjoyed reading your philosophies this morning. :)


Margot Says:

Lol Skeeze, no need for the couch today, Andy looked pretty damn good. Nice and aggressive, especially on ROS. He was virtually on the net :0.
Apart from that effing serve.
Lol Brando whenever Andy has a 2nd serve I now think of your comment!
@Jane
Thank you. x
@mat
Lopez only exception to the Spanish baseline rule, as far as I can see.


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

Manolo Santana too.


Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 i left you a post on the Delpo thread just wonering if you had read it?….


Hippy Chick Says:

The battle of the French male eye candy,Gael takes the first set,rather hope Joe takes this one as i think he needs some big wins to get some confidence back….

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