Nadal Gets Walkover In Rio, Thiem Tames Ferrer; Del Potro Wins In Delray; Berdych v Kyrgios In Marseille
by Staff | February 20th, 2016, 12:32 am

Rafael Nadal enjoyed his easiest win of the season today in Rio, and that’s because he didn’t have to lift a racquet. Nadal’s quarterfinal 2014 final opponent Alexandr Dolgopolov had to withdraw from the event due to a shoulder injury.

Rains, though, once again hit the tournament hard. But when the weather cleared Dominic Thiem took it to David Ferrer 6-3, 6-2.

“It was one of the best matches I’ve ever played, for sure,” Thiem said. “I’m unbelievably happy to be able to maintain my form from Buenos Aires here in Rio.”

Thiem has won 18 of his last 19 on clay including eight straight with wins over Nadal and Ferrer. He’ll be heavily favored in his Saturday semifinal against Guido Pella. Nadal will meet Pablo Cuevas in a rematch of their late-night quarterfinal a year ago.

In Marseille, Nick Kyrgios blew out local favorite Richard Gasquet 6-0, 6-4 in under an hour. He’ll face Tomas Berdych in a rematch of the Czech’s 4-set win in Melbourne.

“He played like a top-10 player for sure,” Gasquet said of Kyrgios who didn’t lost a point on first serve. “He’ll get there one day, there’s no doubt about that.”

The other semifinal pits Marin Cilic against Benoit Paire who upset good friend Stan Wawrinka in three sets.

In Delray Beach, Juan Martin del Potro made easy work of Jeremy Chardy beating the Frenchman 6-2, 6-3. The Argentine was again ferocious off the forehand and tonight began connecting on a few backhands.

“I’m surprising myself with the good tennis I’ve been playing,” del Potro admitted. “I’m still working to get back to my top level, if I can. But I’m really enjoying playing tennis again. I’m so glad to be able to play another match. It’s so nice to be in this stadium and have fans come and watch me play.

“Against Top 30 players, you can’t keep hitting slice backhands, so I tried to hit more two-handed backhands than yesterday. I’m still working on improving my backhand and staying with it in competition. It’s part of the recovery for my wrist.”

Del Potro will face Sam Querrey who was a 3-set winner over Tim Smyczek. The other semi features Grigor Dimitrov against Rajeev Ram.

In the Dubai women’s final, Sara Errani will meet the last player to make the field, Barbora Strycova.

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26 Comments for Nadal Gets Walkover In Rio, Thiem Tames Ferrer; Del Potro Wins In Delray; Berdych v Kyrgios In Marseille

Michael Says:

It is nice to see Del Potro back with a bang right away.

I thought he would take some time to settle given the long lay off he had to undergo via an injury, but he has surprised his critics with his marvelous come back and looks to be in fine fettle. Hope he can continue this form into the future and acquire that class once feared.

Daniel Says:

What is happening with Thiem, losing first set 6-1? Is he injured or something…

Wog Boy Says:

I guess he doesn’t want to play Rafa again:)

Wog Boy Says:

Anybody watching Rafa, it appears, having a look at the stats, that he is more successful with second than with first serve!

Daniel Says:

DelPo about to go down, was broken in both sets serving at 5-5. Query serving for the match. And Ram beat Dmitrov so DelPo had a real shot of winning this title had he won tonight.

Nadal saving 2 set points to force another tiebreak. Cuevas served for the set but was broken at 5-3. When he served at 5-5 he served to love, pressure of closing the set.

Let’s see if he can win this breaker and force a third. Well contested match.

Daniel Says:

Cuevas making 2 UE in tiebreak, could be 5-0, but 3-2.

Daniel Says:

Cuevas with all first serves in in tiebreak, 6-3. Think now he could force a third set. Long match so far, 2 h and 37 min.

Daniel Says:

And he closes and force a third. Nadal will start serving first third set which will be a huge advantage with his experience at the end of the match. If Cuevas doesn’t break soon, I bet e will drop serve at 4-5 down. But he are looks like he wants to win and can go for more.

Daniel Says:

Cuevas breaks first in set 3, leading 4-3 and serve. Nadal is awful on BP tonight, I think 2 out of 15.

Daniel Says:

Nadal saved 2 MP at 3-5 down, the first with a brave drop short which lucky touched the net and felt on Cuevas side. Kind of torture sht for him. Now he will serve for the match, let’s see if nerves is gonna kick in or if he will get his biggest win!

Wog Boy Says:

It is not time to panic, that time is gone, it is just time for numbness, occasionally pins-and-needles feeling, for Rafa and his fans.

Pauly, what is your take, I like your style?

Dave Says:

Wog Boy,

I have a cool story to tell you.

Wog Boy Says:

Are you in Acapulco? What kind of story?

Pauly Says:

Wog Boy

If you don’t take your chances your opponent will punish you
That’s what happened to Nadal
It’s nothing new for Nadal … Losing I mean
I think people should start getting used to it
Nadal needs new coach

Pauly Says:


Maybe this loss might wake Nadal up

jane Says:

nadal needs a stronger second serve; it’s a big issue for him these days. disappointed in grigor too.

was thinking grigor vs delpo and rafa vs thiem rematch would make for great finals tomorrow.

oh well, c’est la vie.

Pauly Says:

Maybe in my opinion
Nadal shouldn’t play
250 & 500 point tournaments no more
Look at the Djokovic why isn’t he playing these crap tournaments ?
Nadal’s career is nearing its conclusion but I still positive that he can improve before that happens
His forehand serve big problems
Biggest problem in my opinion

Leg speed

Pauly Says:

The match VS the dog would’ve been interesting
Had the dog not been injured
I think Nadal might’ve lost that one also

Pauly Says:

What I have learned about Nadal lately is that he is playing worse than he did early 2015 … No joke
This year might be his worst year ever in tennis
Going on this form he might not win one tournament
How is he ever gonna beat Djokovic if he can’t win 250&500 tournaments against journey men like cuevas ?
These players long ago Nadal would eat for breakfast
In my opinion … Nadal’s is worse than last year
Hopefully he can look in the mirror soon & ask what’s happened to my tennis career ?
The mirror might reply
Saying its been flushed down the toilet
How can anyone argue with the mirror ?
Mirrors don’t lie … Look at Snow White 😂

skeezer Says:

Nadal needed another walkover.

chrisford1 Says:

Pauly, nothing crap about 250 and 500 events. Fed and Nole have their favorites – Beijing, Dubai, and for Fed – Basel.
Truth is that Nole and Fed have each had such a long history of going deep that even with 17-18 events – they play more matches than the field – even the ones playing 24-26 events. (Which isn’t that hard if you are out in the 1st or second round and have lots of time to rest before playing 1-3 rounds in the next event).

Not ready to give up on Rafa. Fed had a horrible 2013 and was pestered with retirement talk at each defeat..and he came back and almost took #1 in 2014. Rafa has had comebacks before and IMO, what is ailing him is 90% mental and 10% physical..Don’t want to see the amazing to watch Nadal go “Poof!” And disappear.
Like to see him start winning after the French Open, Wimbledon, and OLympics is done and Djokovic finally gets one of the two big wins he lacks – the FO – and maybe Wimbledon again and maybe a gold at the Olympics.
Fine with Andy or a new force getting Wimbledon if Nole gets the French Open. Two years ago, I came out and said I bet Milos Raonic has a great chance for a Slam win at Wimbledon. Like to see Fed somehow get carried by Hingis like he was 15 years ago at Hopman Cup, and win the OLympic mixed doubles as maybe his last significant trophy. (Because I think the days Fed could win a 5 setter against Djokovic are now gone.)

Again….Oh, Rafa, Rafa! Come on! Get your head together, boy!!

Pauly Says:


It’s never too late to seek help
Uncle Toni was saying some stupid idiotic things in the press that his nephew could still win grand slams
How laughable is that now
He can’t even make the final of 250 & 500 tournaments
It’s now time to reflect & seek help
Nothing will get better without new ideas
Pat cash what’s wrong with him?
People laughed when I mentioned it long ago
Pat is offering his coaching services to Nadal but no reply
People waiting for Agassi to come … He will if someone asked him
No one is asking
Stupid uncle Toni the idiot who ruined Nadal’s flat forehand has no idea

Pauly Says:

It’s time to unleash the beast of 2004
Flat forehand
Plus bring back serve if 2010 US OPEN
desperate times for Nadal

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