It’s been a tough couple of days for defending champion Rafael Nadal. The King of Clay has felt far from his best on the clay in his last two matches with two hugely different opponents in John Isner and Pablo Andujar. Andujar, a fellow good looking Spaniard, put the world number one to work for three hours just two days after Isner pushed Rafa in four hours to five sets.
Nadal eventually came out on top, winning 7-5, 6-3, 7-6. It was a very difficult match for the man desperately clinging to his number one ranking, being force to fight back from 1-5 in the third set to try and prevent dropping another set on his most beloved of courts. Read more
Juan Martin del Potro has defeated Robin Soderling for the fourth consecutive time in Estoril yesterday. The struggling Swede had been leading 4-1 in the second set before the match was interrupted by rain. Having lost his momentum he promptly lost the match, continuing to struggle to really perform.
The first set was competitive and lasted almost an hour as JMDP successfully defended all break points he faced as Soderling struggled to control the power of the lanky Argentine. Read more
>Roger Federer has spoken about his expectations for the Esotril Open in Portugal. He said what we all knew – that as the only player inside the top ten to be attending the tournament, that anything less that a trophy will be a disapointment. Ivan Ljubicic, the second seed, had to pull out with an abdominal injury that forced him to withdrawl from Rome last week. The third seed is Gael Monfil, who at number 18 in the world, is unlikely to pose any serious threat to Federer. The top 8 seeds are rounded out by world number 56 Pablo Cuevas.
After his 6-3, 6-4 win over Bjorn Phau, his first win on clay this season, Federer said he was relieved to get the match under his belt. “Today was a matter of coming through tough situations. I played well when I was down 0-40 and serving for the first set. This win was not always beautiful but it doesn’t matter. I’m sure my best tennis is not far away. I have a bit of a breather now and I’m looking forward to Friday.”
Federer also talked about life traveling his twin daughters and the likelihood of a successful defense of Roland Garros. Watch the video to see what he says.
UPDATE: Gael Monfils has withdrawn with an upset stomach.