Djokovic, Nadal Reach French Open QF Showdown, But First It’s The Swiss, Tsonga And Nishikori
by Sean Randall | June 1st, 2015, 5:16 pm
  • 150 Comments

Our super Wednesday quarterfinal is set, and I’m not talking about Andy Murray and David Ferrer. Of course I’m talking about Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who will meet for the 44th time on Rafa’s birthday at the French Open.

Nadal leads Djokovic 23-0 and 6-0 at the French Open. It’s the fourth straight year they will meet.

But we are still 48 hours or so away from that one…

As for today, things went fairly accordingly. Djokovic absolutely beat down Richard Gasquet 6-1, 6-2, 6-3. Djokovic is just too sharp at the moment while Gasquet has zero belief against top guys at Slams. Novak now goes into the Nadal match without losing a set and full of confidence. And he’s won 26 straight.

Nadal cruised in the first two sets but then let down in the third just a few games from the finish line. Jack Sock used his powerful forehand to break Nadal a couple times to take the third, but that was it as Nadal won his 39th straight match in Paris 6-3, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.

Sock showed himself to be a real threat. At just 22 he’ll have a nice future.

So who’s playing better between the two? I’d have to say Novak, but this is Rafa’s house and if you ignore the last 11 months, you’d say things are just fine.

Andy Murray also looks just fine. He dropped a set but advanced over Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Murray’s won 14 straight matches.

“I wasn’t overly concerned,” Murray said to the BBC. “I had a lot of chances in the second set.

“He had one break point, which he obviously won, but throughout the course of the match I was creating many more opportunities than him.

“I just had to take my chances when they came. I did that in the third and fourth sets.”

And next for Andy is David Ferrer who blew out Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-2, 6-4.

“He’s much more aggressive,” Ferrer said about Murray. When he uses the different shots he has to play, he’s one of the best players in the Top 3. If, in addition to this, you were to count his talent, I think that he’s more aware of what’s happening. Not just on quick surfaces, but also on clay. He’s much more serene and calm.”

And then we had the completion of Roger Federer and Gael Monfils. Gael once again started flat and really didn’t have the same energy as he did last night when they stopped. So in the end it was pretty routine for Roger as he won going away 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

“I wanted to get off to a good start, because you never know how he will be playing,” said Federer. “So I felt good. I was calm yesterday. I was calm this morning. So we (Stefan Edberg and I) adopted the right game plan and the right tactical approach. I’m very happy.”

Monfils said his lack of energy was because he was sick.

“It was tough because I’m sick,” Monfils said. “I have not much energy. Yesterday, I thought that maybe we might not play and it would help me a little bit, and finally we did play. I was battling to get a set and actually for me one-set all was perfect.

“I didn’t have a great night last night, so it was maybe a mistake. Roger played solid. I think not very decent, but just a solid match. I couldn’t challenge him because I was too tired… When you’re 100 per cent is it’s never easy to beat Roger, so when you’re not 100 per cent it is definitely impossible.”

It’s always something with Gael.

Looking ahead to Tuesday…

JW Tsonga v Kei Nishikori
I like the way Tsonga is playing. And I also like the way Nishikori’s been playing. So this is a tough match to call.

Tsonga’s on one of those runs he seems to get on once or twice a year. When and where it will stop no one knows. It’s just fun to watch as he virtually becomes unbeatable. But Nishikori has the skills to put a halt to it. He’s beaten Tsonga four out of five even twice before indoors in Paris in 2013 and 2014 – a surprising result. So he won’t be in fear, nor will he be overwhelmed by the occasion.

“We haven’t played a long time,” said Nishikori.. “He’s coming back very strong. He has a big serve [and] big forehand. He’s always a dangerous player… So it’s going to be fun match.”

My gut tells me Tsonga, the numbers say Nishikori. I’m going to go with the numbers here. Kei’s the better player on clay and he’s been the better player this season.
The Pick: Nishikori in 4

Stan Wawrinka v Roger Federer
If you take away the names and numbers and just look at the style of play, Wawrinka would be the favorite. Then you realize he has so many problems mentally with his countryman that he almost never wins. And the head-to-head bears that out.

Federer leads 16-2 and has never lost to Stan in a Grand Slam match. Yes, Stan’s beaten him in Monte Carlo a couple of times, but this is the big time right here. And Roger’s in clay form, not finding it like in April.

“It [will be] a special match,” said Federer. “It is not a traditional match. There aren’t too many Swiss players in the draw… It’s always special to play each other. There will be a Swiss guy in the semifinal. That’s positive. I hope I will reach the semifinal of a tournament. I will pull out all the stops to advance to the next round. If I will not make it, I will be very happy for Stan.”

Honestly, with the way Stan’s been playing he should win. Based on styles and game and surface, this is Stan’s match. But look what happened in Rome last month when Stan didn’t even show up. I don’t think that happens here. I also don’t think he can pull the upset.

Roger’s been playing well. Really attacking nicely. And I expect him to have a good day against a familiar face.
The pick: Federer in 4

Tennis Channel has live coverage of the men’s quarters and the women’s from 8am ET.

TUESDAY FRENCH OPEN SCHEDULE
Philippe-Chatrier Court 2:00 PM Start
Ana Ivanovic (SRB)[7] vs. Elina Svitolina (UKR)[19]
Kei Nishikori (JPN)[5] vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)[14]

Suzanne-Lenglen Court 2:00 PM Start
Garbine Muguruza (ESP)[21] vs. Lucie Safarova (CZE)[13]
Stan Wawrinka (SUI)[8] vs. Roger Federer (SUI)[2]


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150 Comments for Djokovic, Nadal Reach French Open QF Showdown, But First It’s The Swiss, Tsonga And Nishikori

Alontennis Says:

Wawrinka the Favorite? Since when was Wawrinka ever the favorite against Federer?


Travis Bickle Says:

I guess Gasquet mentioned last week that he thought Novak’s tennis was boring.

Today after the match when Santoro was interviewing Novak on court, the first thing Novak said on French was something like: “I hope those who watched the match today were amused.”

Poor Gasquet, sometimes is better not to say anything…


Vinod Says:

23-0 ??


SG1 Says:

Typical response you’d expect from Gasquet and his fellow countrymen. Since when is winning majors not exciting? Since when is playing Federer to 5 sets and winning an amazing Wimbledon final boring? Or watching Novak and Murray duke it out at the 2012 USO Final in the middle of a wind storm. Great matches played by great players. I wasn’t bored watching Novak.

While Novak’s game isn’t as flamboyant as Federer’s or errr…Gasquet, it works better than their games these days. Is Gasquet saying he’d rather have his career over Novak’s because he has that pretty one hander? If so, he’d probably be alone in that opinion. And I love the one handed backhand.

Sometimes players just need to zip it up.


Wog Boy Says:

Weather forecast for Wednesday ..rain.


Rich Says:

I admire Gasquet for giving his opinion that Novak’s game is a boring one to watch.

I don’t agree in large part – I enjoy how well Djokovic redirects opposing groundstrokes, especially crosscourt shots coming at him which he redirects up the lines a la Jankovic or Hingis.

However, Novak has a limited (but improved) net game, rarely serves-and-volleys, is a not a big pace changer, etc.

I understand Gasquet’s point, and appreciate his input and honesty.


django Says:

I think Nole was so boring he hypnotized gasquet into submission


SnotNosedKid Says:

I think Sock did Nadal a favor today by making him sweat and extending it to a 4th set. He needed a few fist pumps and Uncle Toni on his feet yelling to prep for Wednesday’s QF.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

SG1, you are conflating winning with entertaining. Someone will win a Grand Slam every time it is played, that is certain. Does that mean each Slam is equally exciting?
The New Jersey Devils built a hockey dynasty out of the most boring show on ice. Winning does not always equal exciting.
Gasquet may be wrong on the fact, he may be right but stupid to say it out loud. You don’t need to twist his meaning to disagree with him.


jane Says:

i just want to point out that novak hit 47 winners to gasquet’s 26, so boring or not, nole was getting things done.


chris ford1 Says:

Isner is boring.
Djokovic and Murray, not so much, IMO. Both do certain things better than just about anyone in the game, and it is not like Nadal has a scintillating baseline game, while those two do not.
And I find Ferrer’s game, that comes from heart and persistence and being a total pro, very enjoyable to watch.
And Uncle Toni’s Rafa’s game is actually more predictable than Nole’s.
There is a school of thought in some tennis fans and even a cadre of players that value style over substance.
And that will be Gasquet’s tennis obituary.

“Never won anything of note, but had a pretty and stylish backhand that some thought more than made up for his mediocre W-L career.


Jeez Says:

Its 23-20 for Nadal !!!!


Michael Says:

I am not sure why the organizers have scheduled the two quarter finals simulataneously ? It denies the TV viewers the pleasure of watching both the encounters and instead have to laboriously criss cross from one channel to another to know the score thereby not allowing them to be concentrated with either of the matches.


Dan Martin Says:

I’ve got similar feelings to these picks at http://tennisabides.com Some have posited that the heavy conditions will favor Tsonga and Wawrinka who can hit through a court more naturally, but I think Kei and the Fed are the clear favorites.


Michael Says:

Rather than Novak, I would say that it was Gasquet’s style of play which was so boring to watch. His bending serving motion was loathsome and a drag to watch. He was slowing the game too much on the court and the match lacked intensity, thrill, drama and tested the viewers patience. Gasquet’s game was so despairing that even the partisan French crowd which usually indulges in mindless screams, cat calls and roar of approval with high cheer to lift up their home grown players was found wanting in this match perhaps resigned to the fate of the spectre of defeat. So, it is quite understandable that Novak looked amused.


Noonen Says:

Right you are,Jane. Novak is my pick, not only because I like him but because he seems to be the most humble. Nadal is a bit of a mystery and Federer is all about self, in his personal life and in his professional life. I love it when the good (or better) come out on top.


Markus Says:

Re: Gasquet (to take my mind off the QF)

I don’t think it is very prudent of Gasquet to comment on the style of play of other players, especially critiquing whether it bores him or not. He should have focused on his own game instead of bothering as to how others play. That’s probably why, gifted as he is, he did not become the success that he was touted to be when he started.


Ben Pronin Says:

Honestly I don’t know how someone can watch Djokovic hit physics-bending backhands cross court that travel almost parallel to the net and say he’s boring. I get that Gasquet has a bit of flair to his shots that most players don’t, but flair isn’t the only thing that’s fun to watch about tennis. Hell when Murray flattens out his backhand and it looks like he’s just hitting it straight down and it travels like a laser, that’s exciting, entertaining, and whatever else you wanna call it, but certainly not boring.

I get fans of players calling other players boring, but it surprises me that a fellow professional can be bored. Only because when I watch Djokovic change directions like no one else can I’m so impressed by it just from a playing stand point. But whatever, Djokovic showed Gasquet just how boring his game is yesterday so it’s all good.


Margot Says:

Lol Ben I agree with you. It’s quite “boring” to see Crashquet choke time after time too.


Markus Says:

The one-handed backhand which is probably the most overrated stroke in tennis. Everybody has been brainwashed to think it’s the most beautiful stroke in tennis. Look at all the praises lavished on all players who have one-handed backhands.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Let’s all kick him when he’s down!


Markus Says:

Yeah, here’s mine. KAPPOW!!!


ckr Says:

Gasquet was saying in the same interview that he focused on improving the aspects of his game rather than improving his physical fitness. I am not so sure about that… I never saw any improvements in past decade in his game.

His serve is below average.Second serve is a dink. Forehand is loopy…club level to say the least. Movement is sub-par. Mentally he is very weak. He plays 15 feet from the baseline 90% of the time. Only his backhand is world class. Backhand took to him to where he is and I would say he is overachiever for his skill level.


Gordon Says:

Noonen – I like Djokovic as well, but to say he is humble compared to Federer and Nadal is like saying Hitler was kinder than Stalin or Attilla the Hun.


SL Says:

At the risk of jam all over my face in the next 48 hours…

Federer over Stan any day, since he moves better on clay and is the better player mentally. Exception is if Stan has a lights out day which he is capable of, but not likely.

Nishikori should be too solid for Tsonga, unless he lets the crowd get to his head. Kei seems a level headed guy, but pressure can do strange things.

Ferrer is a tough one for Murray to crack, never beaten him on clay I think, but on current form Andy should get through. It could be tricky if Andy does not serve well.

Rafa will not win more than 10 games against Novak, he is not moving well enough, makes on average twice as many unforced errors in last 18 months as he used to before 2014, and gets too nervous at key points especially when he is ahead.


Giles Says:

SL. You’re mad!!!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Tsonga dominating so far, up a double break very quickly. Great depth, patience, smart tactics, this is a very winning formula for Tsonga.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Fourth break for Tsonga!! Tsonga, with confidence, in front of a very vocal home crowd – this is a stiff headwind for Kei to battle.

Before the match, the commentators wondered who the conditions favoured, windy and slow court. Kei simply can’t hit through it, Tsonga can. Wow, this is looking like a route.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Oh man, if Kei starts with the UEs now in his frustration this will get UGLY.


SL Says:

@ Giles. Thank you. So I’ve been told by many, but to quote Sheldon Cooper, my mother had me tested, and they said I wasn’t :D

Anyway, I predicted Novak beats Rafa last year too and I was wrong. But surely not this year.. come on !


SL Says:

Conditions certainly helping Tsonga, he is mixing things up well. But Nishikori looks a little lost. Pressure ?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Fifth try and Kei holds serve – barely.


Fred Says:

Djokovic is a slight favorite ahead of Nadal. But by no means the winner is assured of the title. Wawa has started well. The charismatic Tsonga is on fire. This one turns to be one of the most interesting and challenging slams in the recent memory.


RZ Says:

I see that Pospisil-Sock are out to Rojer-Tecau (tough opponents). That’s a shame but hopefully team North America will do better at Wimbledon.


RZ Says:

Should we expect to see Tsonga in the finals? Only watching the scores (no TV or streams) but seems like he is having an easy time of it.


Ben Pronin Says:

I think we should expect Tsonga to win the title.


jane Says:

anyone watching tsonga? my t.v. is showing fed/stan. but tsonga went in with a losing h2h versus kei. what’s he doing differently, or is it just the conditions?


Fred Says:

I agree with you Ben. Tsonga looks Stronga.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

WOW! Those are ugly shorts, Stan!


Ben Pronin Says:

Why was play suspended on Tsonga-Nishikori?


jatin Says:

Worried for fed. Stan is playing superb
Can he make a comeback ? :(


Daniel Says:

Drama on Chatrier.
A metal plate 3 m long fell on top of two rolls of people beneath one of the screens (the one I am close by). Seems hurt a child and an old lady and hence they are isolating the area and trying to move people.

The worst is that that is another metal thibg close to the screen that is swing a lot but this looks to be pretty secure by steal cabos.

Bizarre incident. If it was me I will sue their a$&&ss and get free lifetime tickets;-) but no jocking aside I hope nobody was severely hurt.


RZ Says:

@Ben – read via Twitter that part of one of the signs in the stadium fell off due to the wind. It hit a few spectators in the front row. They are expecting play to resume in about 10 minutes.


RZ Says:

@Daniel – glad you didn’t get hit by the metal plate!


Daniel Says:

They first removed 3 rown but now they remove everybody below that screen kind of 10 rows, around 100 seats or more.

Back to tennis, Jo is playing amazing, deep returs and great defense by him but is totlly off, he barely can hold serve at all. It’s vert windy and maybe it’s affevtig him more. But seema just an of day.

But tou can see real close that he takes the ball in the raise and hit powerful strokes.
Saw that Wawa won first set after fighting last game. That match seema way better.


filla Says:

What happened to kei – Tsonga match ? The last time I saw Tsonga was talking with CU


Daniel Says:

Also Tsonga is using the crown smartly when he close a few games, he looks each tine tona different side of the stadium and look directly to peolpe. Crowds go crazy. Vert nice atmosphere apart from that plate because now I kind of don’t trust nothing hangig around anymore.

First they had Fed secure issue and now not even crowd are safe anymore. They must chexk everything by night and early morning to avoid something like this happening again. The kid was with his hand in his head AndnI think somebdoy was cut. Everybody went out walling but some were hurt directly.


Daniel Says:

Thanks RZ.

I see a guy hanging in the back part of the screen and now we can see that was a plate of the top of it, part of it fell. He was checking the other ones if they were secure enough because if the winds blow strong they can control were it will fall. It can go deeper in the crowd and not just “roll” as was the case with the other one. And it has some pointing things like bails on it, 10-15 cm. I wish I could post a photo.


jatin Says:

Stan is winning.. 4-3 with a break…


RZ Says:

I wonder if the long break has cooled Tsonga off any.


Humble Rafa Says:

Cry baby is not crying anymore.


jatin Says:

5-3…


jane Says:

daniel i hope nothing is swinging or swaying near you: stay safe, and thanks for the firsthand accounts too, very cool! it looks to me like the wind is settling down now?


skeezer Says:

Everyone talks about Stan’s BH, but he is dictating play with his FH today…it’s just too much for Fed to handle. Stan playing extremely well.


jane Says:

wow, stan is playing well! beautiful pass back behind fed to set up bp, which he then got on an error by fed. 2 set lead now.

meanwhile is kei coming back? this is what he likes to do. he loves the long matches.


jatin Says:

6-4,6-3
Aran is playing like stan the man. Roger is looking clueless
Is it over ??


Ben Pronin Says:

When Stan’s forehand is clicking, he’s actually damn near unbeatable. That’s how he won the Australian Open last year. Tsonga-Wawrinka semifinal? Wow. They’ve actually played some insane matches at RG in the past. Both are coming in hot now. Could be really really good. Something like 12-10 in the fifth.


jatin Says:

Stan is playing merciless tennis right now.
Please bring your vintage form roger. :(


jane Says:

they just showed that stan’s first serve percentage was 40% in set 2 whereas fed’s was 75%. you’d think fed would be taking advantage more on the second serves.


andrea Says:

wow…fed 2 sets down already? spraying balls everywhere by the looks of it…..go stan!


Ben Pronin Says:

Classic Stan, dominates with his second serve. Didn’t he serve like 20% when he won the opening set vs Djokovic at the USO in 2013? It’s quite the anomaly.


Giles Says:

No Ben, that’s not how he won the AO last year, he won because Rafa injured his back!!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Stan is truly bullying Fed. Does not look good!

Kei used the break to rethink tactics, get his emotions in check, and he’s right back in that match.

Fed could use a stadium malfunction right about now!


jatin Says:

Wow.. Stan is making winner after winner.
Roger can’t do anything other than holding serve.
Need more of those first serve.


skeezer Says:

Fed looks a little despondent atm, but happy for Stan. When he plays this kind of tennis he is fun to watch.


jatin Says:

Great quick hold
2-2


SL Says:

Who would have thought Fed and Nishikori would be so sub par in a quarter final ! Well well..

Strange matches both. Credit to Tsonga and particularly Stan for staying strong.

Stan fires not every day but when he does, he really is something.


Colin Says:

There is curiously little response on this forum to the fact that Wawrinka is dominating Fed and seems on the way to victory.

It’s an odd time for Markus to declare the one handed backhand overrated!


jane Says:

you’re right jatin. stan has about twice as many winners but fed actually has a couple more errors. that’s probably more of a factor than the serving. also fed’s had 4 bp chances but hasn’t managed to convert on any.


RZ Says:

Assuming that Tsonga holds on to win his match, I’d prefer to watch him play Wawrinka rather than Fed. I think it would be a more interesting match, and considering they last played at the Davis Cup final, could be some fireworks!


jatin Says:

Right jane.
Especially that chance he had when stan was serving for the first said.
Since then stan is looking unbeatable.
Its scary.. Really scary
4-3


jatin Says:

^^ first set


Eric Says:

When Stan is really, really on, there’s nobody better on tour. This looks grim for Roger.


jatin Says:

Please hold roger.


jatin Says:

4-4
There must be a way to break stan somehow ??


jatin Says:

Crucial moment now.
Roger must serve good to stay in the match.


jatin Says:

6-5..
Roger needs some first serves now
Comon mastero


jatin Says:

Bad luck roger.. That call was not good by the umpire..


kriket Says:

Did Fed intentionally erase that ballprint in order to force the ump to repeat the point?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Stan was magnificent. He can beat anyone with that form.


andrea Says:

wow. amazing performance from stan….he didn’t blink. just power, power, power.


Eric Says:

Well, congrats to Stan. Major disappointment for Roger once more. But there aren’t too many people I would rather see him lose to, if lose he must–and now I can root for Tsonga guiltlessly. Love that man’s tennis. Stan’s too, of course. Gonna be a great semi. (I am assuming Tsonga wins, of course. But right now Kei has the momentum…)


RZ Says:

Well done to Stan! Hopefully he will keep playing well.

Just read that this match was the first time since the 2002 US Open that Fed did not break serve in a grand slam match. That was 291 straight grand slam matches. Wow.


kriket Says:

It’s kind of good that Fed is out for he sure isn’t a title contender, so now things are even more unpredictable.


kriket Says:

It’s kind of good that Fed is out for he sure isn’t a title contender, so now things are even more unpredictable.


jatin Says:

Congratulation stan. Never seen you play this well ever. I wish to see you lifting trophy this Sunday.
Fed, Hope to see you back at wimbledon. You tried hard and that is what that matters.
Man, it hurts.

This Roland garros is over for me. Have fun with the Rafa vs Novak match guys. See ya


jane Says:

congrats to stan. he was really firing on the forehand too today. fed looked maybe a bit tired to me. commiserations to his fans.

meanwhile, is kei coming back? i knew it! let’s see how or if tsonga handles it. he can really go off the boil.

btw, does tsonga look huge or is it just me seeing that? it’s like a heavy weight vs a light weight, and the longer this goes, the more it favours the light weight.


Eric Says:

If Kei actually wins this match it will be one of the biggest momentum shifts ever. He had won only a couple of games when the match was suspended– it was like 6-1 5-2 or something. Then again, 6-0 0-6 back-to-back sets are hardly unheard of in tennis, so what can you say.


Ben Pronin Says:

Maybe not unheard of but extremely rare. Kei up a break in the 4th. Wow, if Tsonga loses this match he’s never going to forgive whoever is in charge of keeping signs from falling.

This is interesting, though. The longer this match the better for Wawrinka. Stan Wawrinka making a second slam final? Jeez what is this world coming to??


jane Says:

kei seems slow between points to me, he kind of saunters.


tennisfansince76 Says:

@giles yes Rafa was doing so well in that final before he tweaked his back. Actually as I remember it he was getting smoked off the court for a set and a break.


chris ford1 Says:

Eric -“When Stan is really, really on, there’s nobody better on tour.”

There are a few players that sometimes get in a zone and are unbeatable. Stan is one. Jo Tsonga can. Pete Sampras when he was firing perfectly in every skill on fast hardcourt or grass. Rod Laver. Rafa, when he had total confidence and his 2010 serve at times.
And if you have seen Djokovic in full Serbinator Mode – like against Ferrer at the AO a few years back – you might put him alongside Sampras as scary good. Completely dominating a Top 5 player who is not playing bad at all…
Fed may have had such matches too, Lendl, Muster, Safin as well, maybe Borg – but they don’t conjure up strong opinion in me.
And that is all it is, just my opinion.
When Tsonga or Stan get in that rare mode, watch out. Though this time it seems Fed spraying shots everywhere was a factor.


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer doesn’t conjure up a strong opinion? Is it because his zone lasted something like 2-3 years where he was virtually unbeatable?

Anyways, Giles, Stan won the AO because he played amazing for 7 matches. He had to edge out the 3 time defending champ. He beat Berdych in a close one. And then he routed Rafa, injured or not.


jane Says:

what was kei doing? tsonga was waiting on the court with his jacket on and pacing. anyhow, here we go to a fifth. it looks gusty again and cool. i think a 5th always favours kei; he has a great record in deciding sets.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

You would think the sign had fallen on Tsonga!


Giles Says:

Tfs76. Did you actually watch the match? He tweaked his back in the warm-up.


Ben Pronin Says:

Kei 11-2 in 5 sets, Tsonga 11-6. Not bad from either player. But this has to be one of the craziest turnarounds ever. Tsonga was winning this match in straight sets before the interruption. Now Kei in with as good of a chance as possible.


Eric Says:

chris ford, not sure if we disagree or you are just listing other good players. But I don’t think Sampras or Laver are on the tour anymore.

“nobody better” was a carefully chosen description, and it is completely different from “nobody as good.”


Giles Says:

Ben. INJURED. If NOT Rafa would have routed him like he did the 11(?) times prior to that match. Wawa had never taken a set off Rafa.


senthilvel Says:

As Fed Fan –

1. Nadal Should loss at any cost. No more slams.
2. Djoker Should not get Grand slam(all four in a year)

That’s it.


Eric Says:

Man Tsonga can’t catch a break.


Giles Says:

senthinvel. You are so lucky that you are protected by the anonymity of the Internet!


Eric Says:

Well, maybe he can…


jane Says:

tsonga broke for 3-1. still early though. let’s see if he can hold on.


RZ Says:

The elements don’t always favor the home town favorite. Are the wind (and resulting falling signs/plates) doing to Tsonga what the rain did to Henman against Ivanisevic at Wimbledon?


Ben Pronin Says:

Giles, Wawrinka was up a set and a break before Rafa got injured. And last I checked Wawrinka routed him again on clay just a few weeks ago. Was Nadal injured then, too?


Eric Says:

The crowd is really into it…


jane Says:

even though stan had not won a set from rafa, he was figuring things out, getting very close. go back and look at their wtf match from the previous year for example. it could’ve swung the other way. in fact stan won 3 more points in that match than rafa. stan plays very well at the AO, which is another factor; it’s been his best slam. so he deserves credit for that title.


Margot Says:

Wow! Jo ON FIRE!
Go Jo!


jane Says:

can jo close it out? he’s serving for the match now!!


Eric Says:

Tsonga’s been serving just about perfectly the last couple games. So far, in this one too.. Nice rally there from Kei, though!


jane Says:

match point…


Ben Pronin Says:

Something about aging Wawrinka and aging Tsonga, both of whom have been horrible this year until now, reaching the semifinals here feels like Henman reaching the semis here in 04. Yeah they’re good players but man are they making the most of these open opportunities.


jane Says:

he did it! congrats jo.
he’s so happy. :)

commies to kei but i think the sign kept him in it this time.


Margot Says:

OMG what a day of tennis. Jo got his mojo back!
Wowzer! The tennis gods were just in the end!


Eric Says:

Tsonga acting like he won the tournament…does he practice foot-writing in his spare time? :)


Margot Says:

Just checking those predictions now…..;)


Giles Says:

Once again Wawewo beat an injured Rafa in AO!!


SL Says:

I’m on a roll .. got two out of two wrong so far… ;-)

Roger was really disappointing, and he can’t just blame the wind. At his age, he just can’t put 7 best of 5 matches together to win another major. Stan played well, but with him there is no real telling which guy will show up the next day.

Same with Tsonga. BUT he was really impressive in that fifth set, awesome serving in particular. Nishikori did not hand him the match in the end that’s for sure.

Looks like we could have one “soft” side in the final after a long time.


Eric Says:

“I tried many things,” said Federer afterwards. “One of them was trying to put it up high. Another one was trying to chip it shorter. Another one was trying to hit through the wind. Would have loved to have won the breaker, would have loved to come back in the first set, but wasn’t so. In tennis, always one guy has to win and one guy has to lose. One has got the press conference he dreads; the other one just wants to get through it and do something different. Now it’s my turn to explain myself, and sometimes you don’t know what to say.”


jane Says:

tsonga and stan are 3 all in their h2h. stan’s won the last two, though, including a best of 5 clay match in france in the davis cup finals last year. this might be different because they are both streaky. but it could be a great semi.


jane Says:

well that sounds very honest and introspective from fed, eric. good response.


Eric Says:

Jane, I hope so! But first, we have another promising QF tomorrow… And I’ve changed my tune. Rafa is a dark sorcerer who has summoned power from the depths of infinity in order to continue destroying all in his path. Rafa in 5.


Okiegal Says:

The French have had their court problems. The scoreboard fiasco, the protester who got on court with a flare or smoke bomb, Fed getting rushed on court…..they better get a grip on things……just saying! So thankful nobody was hurt today. Was a very dangerous thing to have happened.


Eric Says:

(I guess Andy and David is exciting too.)


Ben Pronin Says:

I’m pulling for Tsonga. I really thought he should’ve made the final in 2013. But I think Stan is the favorite. He’ll be more fresh and I think a lot more confident having trounced Federer. He’s also, amazingly enough, the more mentally and emotionally stable of the two.


Humble Rafa Says:

For some, the FO is over. Humble lives to fight another day


Margot Says:

Yeah, I’ll be cheering for Jo, but agreeing with Ben on the likely outcome. Unless the crowd really can lift Jo.
As jane said the H2H is even, but I think the last time they played Jo had an arm injury.


Humble Rafa Says:

For those who are ignorant, nobody beat a fit Humble. Let me make that clear.


tennisfansince76 Says:

@giles I did indeed watch the match and have watched YouTube highlights a few times. It is clear when he tweaked his back it was after being a set and break down. It was seen clearly on slump when it happened. If there was any back tweak in warm ups it had no detectable effect. His serve, return movement were all normal. After the tweak his serve was effected and to some extent his movement. This was clear to see.


tennisfansince76 Says:

Substitute slow motion replay for slump above.


Giles Says:

tfs76. But he was injured – yes or no?


Markus Says:

I think some diehard Nadal fans cannot handle it when he loses. Maybe creating an alibi such as health issues, “unfair” umpires. etc., etc., helps them assuage the pain. I think it will be kind to leave them be with their excuses.


tennisfansince76 Says:

@markus I am not kind😉


jane Says:

giles you don’t think one player can turn things around in a rivalry, get closer and figure things out? stan did the same with novak and fed. he played novak close at the AO in 2013, the USO in 2013, and then he beat him at the AO in 2014. he also played fed in tight matches before he started getting some wins. and finally, he did the same with rafa. i don’t see how it warrants calling me names like “dunce”. are we in a playground or at a tennis blog?


Wog Boy Says:

jane,
You don’t take that person seriously, do you? He probably saw the last “Charlie Hebdo”, Spanish tennis federation already logged official protest against “Charlie Hebdo” even it was never said that front page caricature is Rafa, it can be anybody.


jane Says:

^ i didn’t know about that wog boy. will check it out.

i just read stan’s words after the match; interesting that he admitted how nervous he gets:

““I’m always really, really nervous before I play Roger,” said Wawrinka, who claimed that this was the best he had ever played on clay. “So I wasn’t really feeling good this morning before the match. But I also know that’s when I play my best in general, because I have no choice but to play well.” “That’s why Roger was struggling, because I was playing so well.””


courbon Says:

@ Wog Boy: It can not be Rafa-that caricature has La Coste sign…(-:
Maybe Mat4 works in Charlie Hebdo?


skeezer Says:

“tfs76. But he was injured – yes or no?”

If Rafa loses it always only must be he is injured, somehow taken advantaged unfairly, or seemingly not 100% fit.
On second thought, that is his winning excuse also.


Wog Boy Says:

@courbon,
Yes, I saw that and that proves how stupid is reaction of Spanish Tennis Federation to protest against caricature.
BTW, I left you a message on the other thread (forgot which one) about passing of legendary YU Rock scene drummer Furda.


Rick Says:

As for Jane’s comment. Well, Fed is just being tired today. He had to play that suspended game yesterday. So he was playing three days not resting. As for an aged player, he was too tired to run for the balls. As for Warinka, I am sure that he has improved. But he isn’t as good as you thought that he is. And once again, Sean’s curse had been working on Fed again. haha


jane Says:

i agree fed seemed a little tired today; already mentioned that far above. but those were stan’s words i just posted rick, not mine. that said, i do agree with stan that he played really well, really fast, really “heavy” and took away time from fed.


Wog Boy Says:

Stan’s average first serve speed was 200kmh !!


Wog Boy Says:

If that match wasn’t suspended two days we would, most likely, have Monfils playing Stan, it worked in Roger’s favour so it shouldn’t be taken as the reason he lost to Stan, besides, those two sets with Monfils was just good, one hour practice, absolutely no reason to be tired.


django Says:

Gael has the flu so he really wasn’t going to win.


jane Says:

yeah i read that monfils was sick with a cold or something.


tennisfansince76 Says:

@giles uhhh yes. Your point? It is generally accepted that he got injured after being a set and a break down. If you are trying to imply that he would have won the match had he not tweaked his back that is just silly. It might be more plausible if he had been up 2 sets when he injured but the fact is that while perfectly healthy for the first 9 games or so he was getting clobbered. Stan was playing great and really overpowering Rafa.


Emily Says:

Didn’t know the results until just now, and I’m so excited that Stan got the win and how he got the win. He didn’t show any nerves, when he is often nervy playing Roger, and his forehand held up.

I really believed he could win if he came w/ his best game, and he did today. It did feel a little satisfying when the camera cut to Mirka, after what happened during their match at the WTF. No way she could rattle Stan today. The last time he played Tsonga, he dominated and I hope he makes the final.


Margot Says:

Stan’s level dropped in the 3rd but Fed couldn’t QUITE capitalise on this. In the old days he would’ve.
Time ans tide


sienna Says:

well deserved victory for Stan the Man.
to cold, to windy, to strong.
maybe with roof closed he had more chance.

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