Category Archives: Denis Istomin

Federer Overcomes Back Problems And Malisse

Roger Federer has overcome a rocky start and a sore back to beat Xavier Malisse 7-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 for a place in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. Federer continues to fight for a chance to claim a seventh title at the most prestigious tournament tennis has to offer.

Federer didn’t look happy from the outset. His movement wasn’t up to it’s usual standard and it wasn’t long until the doctor and trainer were out on court assessing a player who rarely calls for help. Federer has had increasing problems with his back over the last two years and underwent a treatment block earlier in the year for his back. Read more »

Players Continue To Help Japan

While Novak Djokovic and Denis Istomin took to the court for their warm up in Japanese flag shirts before Djokovic won 6-0, 6-1, continuing his epic dominance of the season so far, other players helped raise money and awareness too. Read more »

>What’s Happening With Rafael Nadal?


Rafael Nadal is currently at home in Mallorca, resting his legs, namely his hamstring, ahead of Wimbledon which begins on the 21st.

Rafa required treatment court-side by a trainer during his second round match over Denis Istomin. He had said he was still feeling the effects of the strain after the four hour match, but continued anyway, before running into good friend Feliciano Lopez who eventually sent him home in straight sets.

Nadal broke Feliciano in the opening game of their Queens encounter before Lopez broke right back. Nadal never really looked comfortable on serve or like he intended to fight for the win, as Feli asserted himself at the net. The lack of enthusiasm displayed by Rafa is somewhat understandable when you consider that he has won the last four tournaments he has played, including Roland Garros.

The wins at both Monte Carlo and Roland Garros were very emotional for the Spaniard after a injury ravaged 2009 season which was also marred by person issues that saw him go without a trophy for almost a year. The extent of the emotional release felt after the victories could clearly be seen with Rafa sobbing court-side after clinching each title, particularly heavily after winning in Paris.

The injury, which is just a strain, shouldn’t hamper Nadal’s ability to play Wimbledon and could possibly be a blessing in disguise, letting the star return home for a rest and recharge ahead of what will no doubt be an emotional return Wimbledon after being unable to defend his title last year. “I feel ready to go back at home and to enjoy a little bit of my home and family and friends. Since before Indian Wells, I didn’t spend one week at home, so it is going to be a positive thing for me to be there and to enjoy a little bit of the Mallorca weather and the island too. Sure, it is disappointing to lose but at the same time, to be at home for a few days, is going to be a very positive thing.”

While it is common for niggles to occur as players transfer between court surfaces, a hamstring strain, if properly managed, should allow Nadal to be at his powerful best, even if it means we all watch his movement a little more closely.

Nadal’s skills at recovery are second to none and he should be fine for Wimbledon. Encouragingly we know after the Australian Open that if it was serious Rafa would not have continued against Denis Istomin if he believed it would harm his chances at Wimbledon. We all know how difficult it was for the Spaniard to walk away from Wimbledon last year, and we saw the side effects of that, and his other issues, over the last year, and it’s fair to say there are few who’s desire to win the crown if greater than Rafa’s.

If it’s reassuring to Nadal fans, I recently treated a man with a significant hamstring tear intensively for a week, allowing him to complete in a 50km mountain bike race and he was fine. 

As for his plans in Mallorca besides treatment with his personal physiotherapist, Rafael Maymo, Nadal plans to enjoy some well deserved rest. “I will have some dinner with friends and maybe play some golf. That’s it… It seems like it’s nothing very important, so that’s the very positive thing. It is still there, but it is not a big problem, I think.”

>Nadal Survives Istomin At Queens, Knee Worries Continue


It may not have been the simple victory he was looking for but Rafael Nadal has come out on top in his match against Denis Istomin, winning 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 after almost four hours of play. In winning Rafa has notched up his 40th win of the season and booked a quarterfinal berth against good friend Feliciano Lopez.

Impressively, after losing the tie break, Istomin refused to go away, breaking Nadal int he opening game of the second set and stubbornly holding onto the lead.

During the match, at the end of the second set, Nadal called for the trainer, a worrying sign after his clay court success and with Wimbledon still to come. “I called the trainer because I felt something behind my leg and wanted to make sure it was nothing bad. I’m feeling good now.”  Considering how much Nadal has played recently, and his long history with tendinitis, it is probably nothing serious, but definitely something to watch if Rafa’s calling for the trainer.

It is common for players to get niggles when they switch court surfaces, but it’s fair to say the incident will have Nadal-watchers on high alert over the next few weeks.

“It wasn’t easy for me. The day was difficult, too, a lot of wind. The positive thing is I was there mentally in the third. I finished the match playing better and winning the match. He’s a good player, I think his game adapts very well to this surface. He plays flat and has a good serve. I think he can have good result in Wimbledon if he keep playing like this. My serve today was worse than the last few days, and I lost the serve three times, so that’s too much, I think, to play well on this surface in three sets.”

In other Queens news, high seeds Marin Cilic and Andy Roddick failed to produce the required level of tennis and were sent packing ahead of the quarterfinals.

Dolgopolov Defeats Gonzalez And Hewitt’s Hip Survives Five Sets

Alexandr Dolgopolov, whom we met in Madrid when he played Rafael Nadal, has defeated Fernando Gonzalez in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. Dolgopolov, who has a swift, unusual service motion, surprised the Chilean who hasn’t played much since an earthquake hit his homeland. Gonzalez has also been struggling with a knee injury.

In other news Lleyton Hewitt has just beaten Denis Istomin in five sets and 3 hours and 8 minutes of play. In front of a packed crowd Hewitt’s hip and knee survived the challenge to set up a third round meeting with Rafael Nadal. Hewitt won 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.

>Rafa Nadal Hurries Into Third Round


After waiting a day for his match against Horacio Zeballos, Rafael Nadal was making no mistakes, taking a double break to easily take the first set 6-2. Nadal worked on being accurate more that powerful in the match, serving 75% of 1st serves in and allowing Zeballos a measly two points when he got his first serve in.

Zeballos showed good touch, playing numerous drop shots that not even the speedy Nadal could not chase down. In the third game some errors, including a poor attempt at a drop shot and a double fault, gave Zeballos his first break point chances, the first he missed to his audible irritation. Precision serving from Nadal against a fellow lefty got him out of trouble until a blistering forehand return winner found him under pressure again. Zeballos tried to pull an Ernests Gulbis again – throwing another drop shot into the conversation to try and convert the break. The drop shot sailed so high it was almost a lob, which Nadal dutifully punished.

The drop shot of Zeballos became increasingly obvious and Nadal was always there in time, breaking the Argentine for a 3-2 lead. An incredible cross court backhand return brought up triple set point for the Spaniard, two of which Zeballos managed to fight off but a wild backhand gave Nadal the second set 6-2, in 35 minutes, just a minute longer than the first set.

In the third set, Rafa raced to a 3-0 lead wearing his $525,000 watch that weighs a mere 20 grams. In the seventh game the Spaniard fended of more break points but eventually was broken for the first time but a persistent Zeballos to get things back on serve at 4-3. As has been the norm since the success of Ernests Gulbis in Rome, more drop shots were played by Zeballos, looking to get on the board again. So many drop shots have been played this year at Roland Garros that it is almost becoming predictable as a spectator, and, even Federer’s doing it. Even with the drop shot Zeballos couldn’t hold, allowing Nadal to break straight back and serve for the match.

Nadal still didn’t look as sharp as he did at the beginning of the clay court season, but he still appears to be in ominous form. After 1 hour and 45 minutes the world number two had booked a place in the third round with his 6–2, 6-2, 6-3 victory.

Nadal awaits the winner of Lleyton Hewitt and Denis Istomin.