In recent weeks Juan Monaco has morphed into an in form and incredibly focused and consistent version of himself. Today in Rome against Novak Djokovic he was only able to maintain that intensity for just over a set, Nole walking away with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win.
The new and improved Monaco took the match to Novak in the opening set and took the first break of serve comfortably for a 3-2 lead. It was an extremely focused Monaco who seemed to bully the Serbian around the court, dictating with his forehand. Read more
Rafael Nadal has put on an impressive performance against a sharp Gilles Simon to book a place in the Monte Carlo finals for a chance to win his eighth consecutive title in the principality. Nadal beat his French opponent 6-3, 6-4.
Rafa came into this tournament under an injury cloud but with an impressive 234 wins and 18 losses in his clay court career. Simon came in under the radar.
Both players started playing entertaining tennis from the beginning of the match with Simon producing blinding winners that even beat Nadal’s forehand for power, placement and pace. Read more
Novak Djokovic has battled against his heartache and wayward concentration to beat Tomas Berdych 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in Monte Carlo to secure his place in yet another final.
Berdych came into the match playing some solid and powerful tennis while Djokovic came in struggling with his concentration after the death of his grandfather on Thursday. Read more
Rafael Nadal has fought for his sanity and valiantly lost as Djokovic claimed his third Australian Open title and his third consecutive Grand Slam in a record five hours and 53 minutes, eventually winning 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5. Nadal has now lost seven consecutive matches to the Serbian world number one – all of the matches were finals, three at Grand Slams.
The first set was an epic one hour and 20 minute battle in which Nadal capitalized on a slow start from the Serbian and took a 4-2 lead. At this stage Rafa looked hungry and determined to snap his losing streak but soon some tightness snuck into his game and allowed Novak to break back. Read more
The rivalry between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer was renewed at the Australian Open the minute Rafa opened his mouth to the media about player issues and Federer’s lack of interest in them.Tonight Federer and Nadal fought for a finals position and a chance to claim another Grand Slam and it is Rafael Nadal who will play either Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray in his bid for his 11th Grand Slam.
Rafa was forced to fight for his fourth consecutive Grand Slam final but after three hours and minutes Nadal won 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-4
Roger came out firing looking like he planned to slaughter Nadal with his aggressive accuracy from the first point. He quickly found himself at 1-4 before Rafa finally found his range and got back on serve at 3-4, his forehand finding its mark. Read more
In a strange, yet high quality, match that saw Rafael Nadal robbed of vital points by poor line calls repeatedly, Rafa has battled the huge serves and powerful, flat ground strokes of Tomas Berdych to book a place in the Australian Open semi finals. It took Nadal four hours and 16 minutes but he eventually walked away with the 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 6-3 win that finished right at midnight.
Both players had early break point opportunities but were unable to convert, Nadal fighting against the booming serve of Berdych and incredibly flat ground strokes.
The 12th game of the first set went for over 8 minutes with Berdych having triple set point. His incredible defensive skills saved the second break point as he somehow stayed alive in a point he should have lost multiple times. Despite a fourth point for Berdych, Rafa dug deep and forced a tiebreak. Read more
There was never any doubt that one of tennis’ most psychologically strong men, Lleyton Hewitt, would give everything he had against Novak Djokovic and he did. After a rough first set Hewitt changed his tactics and gave Novak more of a fight.
Hewitt was handily battered by Djokovic in the first two sets and then put his body on the line to get the third. After feeling a chance to go up 4-3 Hewitt was left frustrated as the opportunity went wanting.
Lleyton struggled to scramble everything back as it became obvious he was even compensating as he walked to keep the pressure off his degenerated big toe. Then he started shaking out his hands as he struggled to block out his screaming body. Read more
Andy Roddick was forced to retire from his match against Lleyton Hewitt as he trailed 6-3, 3-6, 4-6 after injuring what appeared to be his hip or his groin early in the match. It was another tough blow for Roddick who has battled his health and various unlucky injuries over the past two seasons.
During the early stages of the match Jim Courier revealed he has implored Roddick to return to his younger days when he ripped his forehand violently around the court, ending points quickly and aggressively. Strangely it was Lleyton who seemed to have more bite on his ground strokes. Read more
Posted in Andy Roddick, Australian Open, Injury, Jim Courier, Larry Stefanki, Lleyton Hewitt, Match Report, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Wimbledon
Defending champion Rafael Nadal has been forced to work by Andrey Golubev to make it through to the second round of the US Open. Nadal won 6-4, 7-6, 7-5 and set up a second round meeting with Nicolas Mahut.
After falling behind 2-3 in the first set Nadal lifted and broke back immediately before producing an incredible thread the needle style backhand on the run winner to break for a 5-3 lead and a chance to serve for the first set. His improved faster, harder serve from last years Open reappeared but wasn’t enough when his ground strokes lacked consistent depth. Read more
Novak Djokovic has ended the nearly decade long run of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon by beating the Spaniard 6-4, 5-1, 1-6, 6-3 and taking his top ranking in the process. The Djokovic fairy tail now means that Djokovic has beaten Nadal in five consecutive finals this year, claimed two Grand Slams and lost at only one tournament he has played in all year. This is, without doubt, the year of Novak Djokovic with the Serb claiming his 8th title of the season on the sacred grounds of Wimbledon. Read more