Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were not only fighting for the Rome title today but also over ranking positions and the Roland Garros draw. The Roman final had a distinct feel to it that the two players were already starting the battle over the French Open trophy. Today it was Nadal that came out on top 7-5, 6-3 in two hours and twenty minutes.
Nadal was desperate to win, not only to prove he can still beat Nole when the Serb is not emotionally traumatized by his grandfathers death, but also to try and return to number two in the rankings. The ranking change could mean the difference between facing Novak in the semis or the final of Roland Garros. Read more
Rafael Nadal, the King of Clay, has booked himself a place in yet another final in Rome. The five time champion and last years runner up battled in his first set against fellow Spaniard David Ferrer before dominating to win 7-6, 6-0.
Ferrer went hard early on finding seven break points in Nadal’s opening service game. The first two games were longer than Federer’s first set against Seppi a day earlier. Read more
Italian number one Andreas Seppi sent his home crowd into a frenzy as he battled Stanislas Wawrinka. Seppi fought off six match points to win 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 in a match that stretched to 3 hours and 21 minutes.
Both dropped service games in the opening set before Stan thumped his way to a 7-1 lead to take the tiebreak and the first set. Read more
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
There is something about the Indian Wells-Miami hard court swing that seems to consistently destroy Rafa Nadal’s troubled knees. Today Rafa announced that he would not continue with the tournament by withdrawing from his semifinal match against Andy Murray.
There are two ways you can look at this latest set back:
1) It’s about self preservation.
Nadal’s been having trouble with his knees since the Australian Open (and years before that). His right knee locked up and he could barely move it when he stood up from a chair.
He stood up from a chair.
He wasn’t sprinting, twisting or changing directions he was just standing up after sitting down. To say this is unusual is an understatement. Since then, despite six weeks of training and rehab, Rafa hasn’t been right. Read more
Posted in Andy Murray, Australian Open, Barcelona, Cincinnati Masters, Davis Cup, Indian Wells, Injury, Lleyton Hewitt, Madrid, Media, Miami, Monte Carlo, Physio Perspective, Rafael Maymo, Rafael Nadal, Rogers Cup, Roland Garros, Rome, Wimbledon
Maria Sharapova will freely admit that her movement on clay leaves a bit to be desired, Sam Stosur, on the other hand, has consistently produced good results on the red dirt in the previous two seasons and yet it was Sharapova who took the Rome title, thumping the Australian 6-2, 6-4. This year Stosur has struggled with her confidence and belief that she deserves a top ten ranking. Her confidence has been handed another blow with her defeat overnight. Read more
A few days ago a quick glimpse of Ken Rosewall, who was catching some matches in Rome, showed the image of a man who looked to still be fit and well. Just a few short days later Rosewall has reportedly suffered a stroke. According to the Tennis Australia website the Aussie hero has suffered a blockage of an artery in his neck.
Rosewall had been in Rome to receive the ‘Golden Racket’ award for his achievements in his career, including 132 singles titles. Read more
As soon as I woke up for the early morning viewing of the mend finals in Rome only to discover that there was a rain delay I got a feeling that Rafael Nadal fans worldwide would not be rejoicing. Novak Djokovic may have looked a little weary at times in his semi final and may have taken a nasty tumble but the more time there was for him to recover between the two matches the worse it was for Nadal.
In theory the heavier conditions should have favoured Nadal but the Spaniard’s clay court game has been plagued by short balls this season, while Djokovic has consistently demonstrated devastating depth, angle and touch over the last few weeks on the dirt. So, with the Gods seemingly smiling on him, Novak Djokovic beat Rafa Nadal 6-4, 6-4 for the fourth time in a row, the second on clay in as many weeks.
The King of Clay has been dethroned. Read more