Andy Murray was two points away from exacting revenge for his Australian Open final thumping by Novak Djokovic. He was two points from ending the Serbians 2011 unbeaten streak. He was two points away from playing his first final since the AO but instead Djokovic clawed his way back to force a tie break in his third set against Murray before securing a spot in his seventh consecutive final in 2011. The final will be Djokovic’s fourth against Rafael Nadal in almost as many weeks, having beaten the Spaniard last weekend in Madrid to claim his sixth title for the year. Read more
In beating Richard Gasquet 7-5, 6-1 in their semi final in Rome, Rafael Nadal has secured a place in his sixth consecutive final. He was runner up to Novak Djokovic in Indian Wells, Miami and Madrid but won Monte Carlo and Barcelona. He now awaits the winner of Murray V Djokovic in tomorrows final. If Nadal wins in Rome he will have successfully defended his title and claimed his 20th Masters 1000 title.
Nadal, knowing his opponents brilliant backhand can be lethal tried to keep the ball going to the Frenchman’s forehand but Gasquet was reading Nadal’s play well early and held strongly in his two opening games. Read more
Regardless of how Victoria Azarenka tries to explain her meltdown in Rome it doesn’t look good. In the last six tournaments she has played she has either made it to the final 50% of the time or retired the other 50% of the time. Since 2010 she has had ten retirements. Clearly she has some physical issues she needs to get on top of and then fix before returning and retiring again. Read more
Rafael Nadal has secured his position at the top of the rankings for another week by making it into the semis in Rome after beating Marin Cilic 6-1, 6-3 today.
With long time girlfriend Xisca Perello in the stands supporting her man, Rafa broke Cilic early for a 2-0 lead in a match that he should not have been playing. Apparently Uncle Toni told L’Equipe that he had recommended his nephew withdraw from Rome due to his fever prior to playing his third round match against Feliciano Lopez. His stubborn charge seems intent on defending his number one ranking and beating Djokovic for some confidence ahead of Roland Garros, hopefully not at the cost of hit longer term fitness for the next two months. Read more
Posted in Feliciano Lopez, Illness, Marin Cilic, Match Report, Novak Djokovic, Paolo Lorenzi, Rafael Nadal, Richard Gasquet, Roland Garros, Rome, Tomas Berdych, Toni Nadal, Xisca Perello
There’s something about Andy Murray that makes it hard for me to watch his matches. Sometimes he’s a brilliant shot maker and other times he’s a horribly moody, inconsistent player. Maybe it’s because of his Jekyll and Hyde style personality that I find I just can’t get behind him. It’s easier to watch Andy Murray than Angry Murray but I can’t trust that he wont morph into Angry before my eyes.
Today was one of those days. He came out against Florian Mayer as Angry Murray and was just wiped on the court in the first set, his mother, Judy, repeatedly being seen with crossed fingers before another opportunity went wasted. Read more
Rafael Nadal is unwell for the second time this year. He hasn’t seemed right since his first fever at the beginning of the season and has repeatedly complained of being tired when a normal healthy Nadal would be fine.
For weeks now I’ve been wondering if he never kicked the virus, if he had mono, even at a stretch possibly over training syndrome but he said nothing. As soon as he stepped onto the clay courts he didn’t seem to be moving properly or hitting regular deep aggressive balls – the same as in 2009 when he had some knee problems. Read more
It was only last night (Australian time) I was saying to my family that Richard Gasquet was going to beat Roger Federer, they thought I was insane but this morning I woke up to discover I was right. The Frenchman with a colourful history and one of the most beautiful backhands I’ve ever seen beat world number three Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 in their third round match in Rome.
Federer started the match strongly taking an early 2-0 lead before being broken, Richard leveling the set at 3 all. Federer again took the chance to break despite the Frenchman’s great serving and took a 4-3 lead before comfortably serving the set out. Read more
There was talk at the beginning of Rafael Nadal’s match against compatriot Feliciano Lopez that the world number one was unwell (update: fever again). He apparently required an additional 15 minutes warm up before coming out onto the court, but Rafa certainly appeared healthier and happier (note not happy but happier) than he did yesterday.
Nadal opened strongly. The defending champ opened with a thee love service games and one break of serve to take a 4-1, pushing Lopez hard to hold his one game. As Nadal committed a series of errors serving for a 5-2 lead Lopez was able to break back as Rafa’s forehand landed in the net. Again Rafa seemed to be having difficulty holding and maintaining a lead and struggled to hit with good depth on his shots. Read more
Rafael Nadal has discussed his horror debut in Rome against the brilliant Paolo Lorenzi and his comments seem to be in agreement with some of his fans – oh well it can’t possibly get worse!
It seems the Spanish wonder kid is a but tired, perhaps the side effect of trying to squeeze an extra tournament (Barcelona) into the clay court season, but he’s looking forward to a good tournament leading up to Roland Garros next week. Read more
Paolo Lorenzi put on a brilliant show in Rome today. The home grown hero, who at 29 has struggled to put a mark on the ATP circuit, showed other players on the circuit just how far Rafael Nadal, the King of Clay, is from being in full flight. Nadal worked hard, really hard, and looked exhausted from beginning to end but eventually won 6-7, 6-4, 6-0
On his beloved red dirt, even when his knees had seen better days in 2009, Rafa has always been a superior clay court player. Lorenzi commendably went for broke against the world number one and he made him work for a third round position showing that he too has some great clay court abilities. At one point he won seven consecutive points, a number which Juan Carlos Ferrero struggled to get from a much stingier Nadal last season. Read more
Posted in Barcelona, David Ferrer, Injury, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Match Report, Novak Djokovic, Paolo Lorenzi, Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros, Rome, Toni Nadal, Xisca Perello