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Category Archives: Jarkko Nieminen
Rafael Nadal has battled for three hours to beat Andy Murray 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 for a chance to fight David Ferrer for his seventh consecutive Monte Carlo crown. It was a dramatic, strange and entertaining match as the two players went through patches of brilliance and difficulty.
Their match was scheduled to start at 3pm to determine the final finalist for the Monte Carlo event. The crowd sat and waited for Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal before it was announced that Murray had a painful elbow and had been advised to warm up for more time before deciding if he was going to play. An anxious packed house waited and eventually the men came out on court – Murray sans any tape or real indicator that something was astray. Read more
Andy Roddick has has a great start in the final Masters 1000 in Paris, thumping Jarrko Nieminen 6-1, 6-4 in just over an hour.
Roddick got off to an incredible start, with Nieminen only able to return five of Roddick serves in the first set. In fact, Roddick served so well that he didn’t face a break point, didn’t serve any double faults and produced 9 aces. Andy also broke his opponent in his opening game, quickly finding his way to a 3-0 lead.
Roddick continued to dominate throughout the second set. Nieminen was slightly more competitive in the second set, being aided by his improved first serve percentage.
Roddick was happy with his dominating performance. “Every match I win is significant at this point. It puts more pressure on the guys behind me. I have a pretty good shot no matter how I do here this week. But I think the last thing you want to do is be in that position where you’re at home cheering against somebody hoping that something bad happens to them. You’d like to win it, do it on your own terms, and that’s something that I’d certainly like to do.”
Roddick will now play Ernest Gulbis in a third round match that has the potential to be great.
Roger Federer will face Florian Mayer in the finals of Stockholm after he beat Ivan Ljubicic in the semi finals 7-6, 6-2. Federer again struggled a bit in the first set, however appearing more steady than he did against Wawrinka, working his way back into the set as Ljubicic tried to serve it out.
After Federer forced, and won, the first set tie break before he fell behind again 1-2 in the second set. The former world number 1 managed to do what he has been so successful at over the year, change the momentum and dictate play. From 1-2 down he won five consecutive games, winning the match in just 77 minutes.
Surely Federer will be counting his lucky stars that world number 47 Florian Mayer will be his opponent in the finals. While Mayer has been having a great tournament, saving one match point to beat Jarkko Nieminen in three sets in his semi final, he will certainly have a difficult task ahead of him if he wants to take the title from Federer. Realistically it’s Federer’s title to lose.
It is not an impossible task though. Federer has been proven many times this year to be merely a man and not the unbeatable tennis God of years gone by. This season Federer has claimed a modest two titles; the Australian Open and the Cincinnati Masters.
If Federer wins it will be his 64th career title which will tie him with Pete Sampras for fourth position on the all time title record.
“I’d love to win, I’ve never won a title in Sweden, that would be something special. But it’s good to win one in any case. It’s a good feeling to walk off court as a winner. It would be nice a to win a third title, another would be great. I’ve had an amazing run in the past winning 24 straight finals. Maybe this can be the start of another streak… The confidence is obviously in my favour. But he has nothing to lose. He will come out aggressive. I’ve played him a few times and managed to beat him.”
On a day of mixed results in Hamburg, Nikolay Davydenko has continued to work his way back into form after being off the tour for some weeks with a fractured wrist. Nikolay, the defending champion, needed just 58 minutes to defeat Florent Serra in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.
Juan Carlos Ferrero also secured a straight sets win in his match over Jan Hajek after recovering from a early service break in the first set. Ferrero will have to play Jarkko Nieminen in the next round. Read more
Sure they were white. Sure they were probably expensive. Sure they were nice, BUT they were still tracksuits pants and Novak you were meeting the Queen of England. Even Andy Murray and Jarkko Nieminen managed to change shirts and look less like they were heading down to the gym, and they had just played three sets of tennis.
Roger Federer, Jelena Jankovic, Martina Navratilova, Andy Roddick, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki dressed appropriately to meet the Queen but Novak seemed to forget that his appearance showed a lack of respect to a Queen who religiously wears white gloves.
Maybe Novak got a bit confused in terms of proper protocol after seeing a dirt covered Rafael Nadal reach up and kiss Queen Sofia of Spain, but there is some familiarity and friendship between Nadal and the Spanish royalty, whereas Novak was meeting the Queen for the first time.
Queen Elizabeth has not attended Wimbledon since 1977 and after hearing that Andy Murray was worried about what the appropriate bowing protocol was, and that Serena Williams had been practicing her curtsy, only to be moved to a court the Queen was not watch (although she did get to meet her), Novak should have known how important the event was.
Maybe in another few decades he’ll be get it right with Charles or Wills.
To meet a Queen who wears white gloves and prides herself on tradition, etiquette and everything, even butter at the table being immaculately presented, tracksuits simply ain’t gonna cut it Novak.
>After being written off before the start of the tournament Andy Roddick has almost equalled his best ever showing at Roland Garros. Almost. He may have got to the third round but it wasn’t pretty. It his first round he needed 5 sets to dispose of Jarrko Nieminen. His second round required 4 sets, and what felt like 100 service breaks to defeat Kavcic who is ranked at 112, considerably lower than the American world number 8.
Roddick. who is widely known to dislike both the Suzanne Lenglen Court and clay courts in general, was knocked out in the third set by world number 114 Teimuraz Gabashvili, in straight sets. The 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 victory took less than two hours and Roddick was livid afterwards.
The issue stemed from the wet tarps, normally used to cover the court, being stored at the back of the court causing balls to get heavy and wet when they went up the back of the court. “They dry the whole court, but then they leave the tarps soaking wet. If a ball rolls through a puddle enough times, can you tell me what happens to it? Then, when clay attaches to it, it doesn’t get lighter. It’s something that I’ve been pretty adamant complaining about behind closed doors for a long time. The umpire said to me, ‘Well, it happens every year’. I’m going, ‘Is that supposed to make me feel better?’ I didn’t understand that logic.”
Roddick is looking forward to Wimbledon where he feels grass lends itself to his game more than clay.
A lot of people had written Andy Roddick off, after seeing the American drawn to play Jarko Nieminen in the first round, and at one point it looked like some of us were right to have hope. Having lost in the first round of Roland Garros four times previously, history didn’t favour Roddick, particularly given he hasn’t officially played a match on clay this year. Roddick sat out Monte Carlo and Barcelona to celebrate his first wedding anniversary, he then missed Rome with fatigue and Madrid with a virus. “Obviously, this is far from perfect in terms of preparation heading into Paris but you play the hand you are dealt.”
Interesting both almost-veteran players had never played each other prior to today’s match. Neither player, particularly Roddick, is considered a clay court player, with Roddick openly acknowledging that his chances of doing well at Roland Garros are limited.
Keeping his unforced errors low (a conservative two for the first set), and serving just one double fault, Roddick broke in the Nieminen’s opening service game and quickly found his way to a 5-2 lead, despite losing his first serve slightly. The percentage of first serves won showed a huge discrepancy between the players, with Roddick winning 79% of points on his first serve, compared to just 50% from Finland’s top player.
A third, nervous double fault brought up double set point for Roddick, which he duly converted using his great court speed, taking the first set 6-2 in just 28 minutes.
At 3-3 Nieminen managed to get his first break point chance after Roddick threw in a few errors. Roddick saved it with a huge serve before the Fin came screaming back with a beautifully angled cross court forehand. Consistently yelling at himself, tyring to pump himself up, Nieminen was again denied by the Roddick serve. Another error off Roddick’s forehand giving up a third and final break point, ultimately allowing the Fin to take a 4-3 lead. A frustrated Roddick threw his racket into the dirt when a string broke. As the crowd whistled Roddick could be heard saying “Yeah, yeah, yeah”.
In response to Nieminen’s 5-3 lead Roddick pounded some serves and ground strokes while his opponent appeared to try an manipulate his own lower back with a fast rotational thrust while standing on one leg. Roddick started talking to himself as Nieminen threw in a few errors trying to close out the set, dumping a forehand into the net on his first set point. His second set point allowed him to level the match.
Nieminen successfully defended early break point chances with four big serves getting him out of trouble, to level at 2-2. The Fin then seemed to have a good read on Roddick’s serve, breaking him after smacking a forehand return winner for a 3-2 lead in the third set. The Americans body language started to deteriorate rapidly, with his racket barely surviving his irritation. Every time one of Nieminen’s balls clipped the net it dribbled over the net, untouchable luck, only serving to irritate Roddick more.
After an hour and 45 minutes an ace gave Nieminen a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 lead. Roddick was still serving well, and winning a good percentage of point on his first serve, but his errors were accumulating quickly and his mindset heading further and further south. At one point Andy could be heard saying “I don’t know what else I’m gonna do, but I bet I know how it ends.”
Roddick continued to work hard on serve, trying to stop the relentless Nieminen who was holding serve more easily that the American. Roddick had a set point to make it 2 sets all but sent a forehand wide and Nieminen managed to force a tiebreak. As the main show court slowly filled, (although it didn’t get any louder) Roddick opened proceedings in the tie break. Roddick quickly found himself with a handy 4-1 lead as conditions started to turn and become more windy.
After almost 2 hours and 40 minutes a 5th set started with Roddick looking slightly more positive, and Jarkko looking a little bit annoyed that the match was still going.
A beautiful stretching passing shot gave Roddick the crucial break for a 3-2 lead, fending off a break-back chance in the next game. An aggressive return game at 5-3 saw Roddick have 2 match point chances, something that 2 hours earlier was looking unlikely. A double fault gave Roddick the match after an epic 3 hours and 19 minutes.
Roddick is through to the second round after the 6-2, 4-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-3 victory.