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Ricky Dimon

  • Approach Shots: Nadal goes for back-to-back Masters in Miami

    2009-03-24 09:23:41
    "Approach Shots" is Ricky's weekly look at what's ahead (or "approaching") on the ATP Tour. Every Sunday he'll preview all the tournaments scheduled for the upcoming week.

    One Masters Series event down; one to go. Just three days after Rafael Nadal captured the BNP Paribas Open title in Indian Wells, the Sony Ericsson Open is set to begin in Miami on Wednesday. Not only is it another Masters Series tournament, but it also features another field of 96 players, making it-along with Indian Wells-the biggest event outside of the four Grand Slams.

    28 of the Top 29 players in the world will be vying for the Miami crown. Only Nikolay Davydenko, the 2008 champion, is out due to injury. After Davydenko, the next player in the ATP rankings absent from the Sony Ericsson Open is No. 30 Mario Ancic.

    Will top-ranked Nadal be able to handle a formidable cast of contenders for the second straight tournament? Is Roger Federer ready to win his first title of 2009? Does Andy Murray have what it takes to become the first three-time tournament champion of the season? Can Novak Djokovic regain the form he showed earlier this month when he emerged victorious in Dubai?

    Stay tuned.


    Sony Ericsson Open (Masters Series Miami)

    Where: Miami, Florida
    Surface: Hard
    Prize Money: $4,500,000
    Points: 1000
    Top Seed: Rafael Nadal
    Defending Champion: Nikolay Davydenko (not playing)

    Draw Analysis: While it might not be quite as balanced as the Indian Wells bracket, the Miami draw appears to be fair for everyone involved. If, however, one of the "Big 4" (Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, and Murray) has a slightly more difficult path to the semifinals, it's probably Murray.

    The fourth-ranked Scot could meet David Nalbanian as early as the fourth round. Nalbandian, who held five match points against Nadal last week in Indian Wells, is 2-0 lifetime against Murray. Even before that potentially scintillating clash, Murray could face dangerous hard-court opponent Mardy Fish in round three. Fish, as always, has been wildly inconsistent in 2009, but he displayed his talent by winning a title in Delray Beach last month. Should Murray battle his way into the quarterfinals, he will most likely go head-to-head with either an in-form Radek Stepanek or Australian Open sensation Fernando Verdasco. Stepanek, who-like Murray-already has two titles this season, and Verdasco, who stunned Murray in Melbourne, are on a collision course for the fourth round. But Vina Del Mar champion Fernando Gonzalez will be looking to prevent such an encounter.

    Djokovic will probably have to endure the second toughest path to the quarters, in part because he is arguably playing the worst tennis of the "Big 4" at the moment. He showed flashes of brilliance en route to the Dubai title, but overall it's been a relatively disappointing start to the year for the No. 3 player in the world (especially compared to his 2008 start, which featured titles at the Australian Open and in Indian Wells). Djokovic is in an eighth of the draw that boasts wildly talented yet extremely erratic players such as James Blake, Tomas Berdych, Marcos Baghdatis, and Ernests Gulbis. None of those challengers is in good form at the moment, so Djokovic should be able set up a quarterfinal showdown with either Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Gilles Simon. Both Frenchmen-especially Tsonga-have troubled the Serb in recent meetings.

    While there are no easy draws in any ATP event-especially a Masters Series-Nadal and Federer seem to have more favorable quarters than Murray and Djokovic. For sure there is danger in both the first and fourth quarters of the Sony Ericsson Open draw, but the good news for Nadal and Federer is that most of the potential stumbling blocks are in the other halves of their respective quarters. None of the seeds in Nadal's eighth-Stanislas Wawrinka, Igor Andreev, and Ivo Karlovic-looks terribly imposing, but the Spaniard could meet Juan Martin Del Potro, David Ferrer, or Marin Cilic in the quarters. Talk about a brutal section of the draw: Del Potro, Ferrer, and Cilic! Federer's nearest seeds include a player recently sidelined by injury (Nicolas Kiefer) and two clay-court specialists (Tommy Robredo and Nicolas Almagro). Assuming Federer cruises through that section, the Swiss will most likely get a rematch of last year's Miami quarterfinal with Andy Roddick. The American ended an 11-match losing streak to Federer by pulling off a 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3 upset.

    If the top four seeds take care of business en route to the final weekend, the semifinals will pit Nadal against Murray and Federer against Djokovic.

    First-Round Upset Alert: All 32 seeded players get byes to start the tournament, so there are no opportunities for a real earth-shattering upset to occur in the first round. Nonetheless, count on several significant surprises-at least according to the rankings-taking place. Baghdatis is ranked 105th in the world (mainly due to injuries), 62 spots behind Gulbis. The Cypriot, however, leads the head-to-head series with Gulbis 3-0 and he just defeated the Latvian in straight sets last month in Delray Beach. Expect Baghdatis to do it again.

    Look for two opening-round upsets in Murray's quarter of the draw-Ryan Sweeting over Nicolas Massu and Stefan Koubek over Albert Montanes. Sweeting is ranked No. 164 in the world and Massu is 91st, but the 21-year-old American is better than Massu on hard courts and he won a round in Indian Wells before taking a set off Del Potro. Massu, meanwhile, owns a dismal 1-6 match record so far in 2009. Having missed considerable time due to injury, Koubek has plummeted to No. 224 in the word, almost 200 spots behind Montanes in the rankings. Montanes, however, does almost all of his damage and clay and he struggles to win matches of any kind on hard courts. The Spaniard would do well just to stay competitive with Koubek on the hard stuff.

    Second-Round Upset Alert: With all 32 seeds in second-round action, there will be plenty of upset opportunities. Four seeded players who could go down right away:

    (7) Gilles Simon vs. Lleyton Hewitt. If Hewitt can get past a wildcard in the first round, this one will be an absolute war. The Aussie is not a particularly good matchup for Simon since the two players are so similar. Simon, who is in a minor slump following a quarterfinal finish at the Australian Open, prefers facing opponents who cannot keep as many balls in play as Simon does. Hewitt, like Simon, makes his living off consistency. Something will have to give.

    (21) Tomas Berdych vs. Jeremy Chardy or Mikhail Youzhny. It will most likely be Chardy, since the Frenchman is well on his way to his best season ever while Youzhny is completely off his game. You never know what you are going to get from Berdych, who one moment can look like a Top 10 player and the next moment can look like he does not belong in the Top 200. The Czech got blown out by Viktor Troicki in his Indian Wells opener and reached the final of a Challenger event last week before getting humiliated 1 and 1 by Robin Soderling.

    (22) Marat Safin vs. Ivan Ljubicic. Safin has been playing uninspired tennis in what is supposedly his last year on the ATP Tour. Ljubicic had also been slumping until he arrived in Indian Wells, where he somehow managed to reach the quarterfinals before falling to Andy Murray in two tight sets. Safin lost to a big server in Indian Wells (John Isner), and he will probably do the same in Miami.

    (32) Feliciano Lopez vs. either Sam Querrey or Gilles Muller. Lopez will be picking (or more like "getting") his poison with either Querrey or Muller. Querrey is the expected-and less desirable-opponent, but Lopez cannot have good memories from his last encounter with Muller: a five-set epic loss in this year's Aussie Open first round. Assuming Querrey advances past Muller, he should be expected to roll over Lopez, who has been out in the first round in four of five tournaments so far in 2009.

    Momentum Builders (Players looking to continue recent good form): Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo, Radek Stepanek, Marin Cilic, Jeremy Chardy, Jose Acasuso

    Slump Busters (Players hoping to resurrect their games): James Blake, Tomas Berdych, Ivo Karlovic, Rainer Schuettler, Jurgen Melzer, Nicolas Kiefer, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Dmitry Tursunov, Ernests Gulbis, Mikhail Youzhny, Marcos Baghdatis, Albert Montanes, Feliciano Lopez, Jarkko Nieminen, Tommy Haas, Lleyton Hewitt, Guillermo Canas

    Semifinal Predictions: Rafael Nadal over Fernando Verdasco and Roger Federer over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

    Final Prediction: Nadal over Federer


    Comments and your own predictions are appreciated!

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Comments

hmmm...Good analysis as usual Ricky.i agree with nadal and verdasco and roger aswell..considering tsonga m not as convinced tho but u have to say he is the best option ..so i absolutely agree wid ur picks..i hope rafa wins back to back trophies...he has never won miami..the court is a bit quiker but the conditions a lot humid so the ball travels slower...ricky how do u see the court speed affecting nadal?? and what differences dies this court has in comparison to miami plexipave??

vamosrafa , 3/24/09 11:29 AM


I always fret when I see Karlovic in Nadal's half of the draw because of his unretrievable serve, but Nadal has a 2-0 win over him so maybe there is no need to worry. If Karlovic does not serve too many aces, and Nadal holds on to his serve, then he'll be home and dry.

Keeping my fingers crossed that Nadal and Federer meet in the final, I want to see Nadal extend his h2h lead over Federer.

livingdoll , 3/24/09 2:20 PM


Nice analysis, but you didnt make a section for players who can make a surprise run :|

orion , 3/24/09 2:33 PM


orion - I forgot initially, then when I remembered, decided it was already too long of an article. I will do it again in the comments section in an hour or two.

RickyDimon , 3/24/09 2:40 PM


Ricky,

Can you remind us when was the last time a male tennis player won Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back, if ever, and whether a woman tennis player ever did?

These 3.5 weeks in two time zones and on different enough surfaces are so tough to win all matches in, most of them on consecutive days, that the reputation of together forming a sort of (mini) slam is deserved.

chlorostoma , 3/24/09 2:44 PM


Federer won back to back IW and Miami 05 and 06

Shockwaves , 3/24/09 3:06 PM


Nice work, Shockwaves

Chloro - It is difficult, but it certainly is not too difficult for Nadal. There is no way it can be more difficult -- mentally or physically -- than what he accomplished at the Australian Open earlier this year.

RickyDimon , 3/24/09 3:16 PM


Thank you, Shockwaves

Who else has done it before Federer? I mean, how rare has it really been?

chlorostoma , 3/24/09 3:55 PM


I know Federer is the only player to have done it two consecutive years....will have to do a it of research to find out who else did it atleast once.

janhavi , 3/24/09 4:00 PM


Ricky
With Nadal getting to be much better on hardcourt than he was a couple of years ago, any thoughts on how much the surface at Miami will be a factor for his chances to do as well? While we're at it, the fast US Open surface?

chlorostoma , 3/24/09 4:08 PM


I just remembered two players who've done it...Pete Sampras-1994 ( I think)
and Jim Courier -1991.
Please correct me if Im wrong and add to the list if anyone knows of more players.

janhavi , 3/24/09 4:10 PM


janhavi,

thank you

chlorostoma , 3/24/09 4:30 PM


Your correct Janhavi. Also Agassi in 01

Shockwaves , 3/24/09 4:31 PM


vamosrafa and chloro - I still think U.S. Open is too fast for Nadal.

I am not positive what the Miami surface is like this year but I will find out when I get there tomorrow. I am SURE it's not as fast as the U.S. Open and I'm SURE that it's faster than Indian Wells, but there are a lot of speeds in between those two hard-court extremes. If I had to guess I would say it's like the Aussie Open.

Stay tuned though. I should have a better answer for that tomorrow or Thursday. And I'll definitely ask Rafa about it after his match on Saturday...if nobody else in the press asks first.

RickyDimon , 3/24/09 4:39 PM


Thanks for the article, Ricky. My Indian Wells prediction turned out to be correct, with Nadal beating Murray in straight sets.
In this tournament I'm going to agree with you. Murray has too many stumbling blocks in his way. If he had Rafa's mental toughness, he could make it through, but this tournament feels more like a Grand Slam, so a classic Nadal-Federer final seems more likely than option B: Nadal-Nole.

grafight , 3/24/09 5:40 PM


Ricky, thanks, great work here. Love this website too.

I pick Nadal to win of course. Who can stop him at this point? He is all buckled in for a long ride in the driver's seat of men's tennis. The question is: who will challenge him in Miami? It is a tough call I say

Gonna be a homeboy this year. Cranky misbehavin" A-Rod vs Nadal. Nadal whips him handily.

zoey234 , 3/24/09 7:07 PM


Faster surface? Come on Fed (and ARod)!

Hey Ricky, I heard Rafa built a grass court at his home...does he also have hard courts with different surfaces? ;-).

Rafterfan , 3/24/09 7:08 PM


oops - meant to say different surface speeds. :D

Rafterfan , 3/24/09 7:12 PM


I would imagine so Rafterfan!! LOL It's not beyond possible. However the hard courts are under space-age domes complete with temperature and humidity controls and adjustable wind simulation!!

zoey234 , 3/24/09 7:17 PM


I wish Ernie would get earnest about his game. He is a bright talent.

Glad to see the Cypriot healthy. Baggie over Gulbis.
Baggie can be a dark hark horse.

zoey234 , 3/24/09 7:46 PM


Now, if Davydenko's foot was healthy, I might give the impervious mind of the diminutive Russian road warrior a chance against the new and vastly improved hard court play of our #1. Nalby had his chance and doubtful he gets another.

zoey234 , 3/24/09 8:01 PM


If only we knew the GPS location, we could Google Earth it, and know definitively!
I love both Baghdatis and Gulbis, so for that one, my heart says Marcos - he's tenderhearted, and I love that (ooo, love 2x in one sentence - yikes).

Rafterfan , 3/24/09 10:39 PM


Potential Miami Surprises:

Marcos Baghdatis (perhaps as far as the quarters) - He should beat Gulbis and then Andreev and then he will meet Djokovic. Given Djokovic's form, that's a very possible win. After that, everyone else in the quarter is beatable.

Ivan Ljubicic (fourth round): He heated up in Indian Wells and the hard courts in Miami will be even more to his liking. He will crush Hernandez then get Safin and then probably Monfils. Neither Safin nor Monfils looks imposing at the moment.

Sam Querrey (fourth round or quarters) - He should beat Muller and then will be heavily favored to beat a slumping Lopez. The third round is where it gets tough, probably against Verdasco. On a relatively fast hard court, Querrey will have a chance.

Lleyton Hewitt (fourth round) - He has a tough opener against Sela, but should get through it. He is also not a good matchup for Simon, his second-round opponent; plus Simon is not playing as well as he was in 2008. Hewitt then should roll Schuettler. Tsonga in the fourth could be too tough on hard courts, but maybe not. At this point a fourth round at a Masters would be outstanding for Hewitt.

Taylor Dent (fourth round) - Call me crazy, but having come back from retirement, Dent is actually playing well. He already won two qualifying matches in Miami, and now he finds himself in a section littered with clay-courters. If his serve is working, he can reach the fourth round, where he would get blown out by Federer.





RickyDimon , 3/25/09 6:23 AM


Thank you ricky. Baggie plays mathieu in the second round, not andreev and I dont think he can beat djokovic. I would be shocked if dent beats robredo.

orion , 3/25/09 2:09 PM


How's the weather, Ricky? It's rain, rain, rain here in the ATL...

Rafterfan , 3/25/09 2:27 PM


Rafterfan, here is the address for the Club de Tenis Manacor. Rafa trains there when at home:
AVDA.D´ES PARC, S/N 07500 MANACOR.
At the map just go down a block or so from the marker and you will see an array of
tennis courts. However, they all seem to be clay courts.

grafight , 3/25/09 3:31 PM


Ljubicic lost in straight sets to hernandez, on hard courts. Hard to believe

orion , 3/25/09 8:25 PM


Ricky...do u think ferrer can pose problems for nadal here at miami??i think now its payback time ..rafa will beat him in 2 if the meet in the qtrs but no doubt in my mind that ferrer can trble nadal on hard courts..and kindly provide the surface details in comparison to plexipave and plexicushion

vamosrafa , 3/26/09 12:28 AM


Rafterfan - you're from Atlanta? who are you? Weather is great down here.

vamosrafa - Ferrer has a better chance of not reaching the quarters than he has of beating Nadal once in the quarters. As well as he is playing, Ferrer's section is tough. I saw him walking around today though; was in a jovial mood apparently.

RickyDimon , 3/26/09 3:49 AM


Chardy is out to Youzhny and Ljubicic to Hernandez from the Spaniards' ever deep team. Interesting developments.

mara2 , 3/26/09 5:58 AM


Ricky..i read abt a recent analysis abt rafa's forehand..it says he can generate upto 5000 rpm of spin!!! i just wanted to know abt ur view abt the comparison b/w nadal's forehand and andreev's forehand! rafa has got the heaviest bt its obvious that igor hits it with xtreme spin aswell..can u make a comparison??

vamosrafa , 3/26/09 12:38 PM


Does anybody know why on earth is nadal playing doubles in miami?

orion , 3/28/09 12:04 AM


yes i do..he believes doubles helps him get in to the tournament with a better rhythm..he thinks dbles can sharpen his transitional game,improve his return and forecourt sense

vamosrafa , 3/28/09 1:18 AM


And dont you think he should try to conserve his knees as much as possible? Im afraid he is playing way too much and it always shows by dealing with injuries at the end of the year.

orion , 3/28/09 2:13 AM


Nadal always likes playing doubles whenever a tournament lasts longer than one week (such as Indian Wells and Miami).

Well, I asked him yesterday about his knees; and judging from his answer, I got the impression that his knees feel so good that he was annoyed I even felt the need to ask the question!

RickyDimon , 3/28/09 5:07 AM


He's lost weight as well, hasn't he? That's also going to help his knee problems. Also, I think he's changing his game and coming to the net more, to shorten points.
I read an interview with Roddick who said his game was different from 5 years ago. I repeat myself here, but he is astonishing!

deuce , 3/28/09 7:57 AM


lol ricky. He is annoyed probably because thats the 349839486th time he receives the question. But he has problems with them every year so we are right to ask!

orion , 3/28/09 1:50 PM


I also noticed the Rafa has lost weight but i thought it was either my T.V or my eyes playing tricks on me.

RafaATW , 3/29/09 5:58 AM


I heard from a sports doctor with age that much amount of top spin will be difficult to generate just like how Federer seems to have lost the muscle memory and hence balls dont just cover the net like before and the drop in first serve percentages. So nadals niche of winning french with high top spins will eventually erode. He will have to rely on experience when it gets there.

nirv02 , 3/29/09 12:05 PM


nirv02: that's interesting! You say "with age" Rafa's only 22, when does it start. There's been a lot of talk about "muscle memory" in British press and usually re Andy M's new fitness, but I've only been half listening!

deuce , 3/29/09 12:51 PM


^ I guess age depends on when a player peaks...Not sure though.

janhavi , 3/29/09 5:32 PM


Rafa says there is nothing wrong with his knees, it's just his doctor has adviced him to allow time between tournaments to let his body recover. All the Fed fans who are wishfullly thinking Nadal's knees are going to pack in will be disappointed.

At the start of this year, the commentators said they got it from a reliable source that Nadal was finished, that his knees had packed up, so he answers them by winning the AO and I/W.

carrie , 3/29/09 7:00 PM


Hi deuce
If you check out the shelf life of champions they are usually about 10 years from the first slam to the last slam , so rafa is mid way I would say.

nirv02 , 3/29/09 9:48 PM


all nadal fans..no worries..its been long long long time since i have been hearing frequent idiotic statements reagarding his injuries..according oto sum nadal shud b at bed rest by now...since 05 when he aggravated his ankle..hundreds of such nonsense comes out on the surface..result=rafa rests for a few weeks and comes back to win a tournament...06 dubai victory...Aus open 09 victory...IW victory....hamburg victory...hundreds of xamples!!

vamosrafa , 3/29/09 10:32 PM


You got dent exactly right ricky. Great prediction!

orion , 3/29/09 10:44 PM


i have come to the conclusion that rafa nadal is the most feared player in tennis history, thusly. it's strange because according to most, he is not the best player overall, roger is; but then, when i constantly see instructional videos depicting analysis of rafa's game; i read articles focusing on how to beat rafa nadal, i constantly hear commentators and others giving tips on how to beat rafa nadal, it compels me to ask, if nadal is not the greatest, why all the concentration on him? shouldn't everybody be focusing on how to beat the player that the majority considers the greatest, the player who has 13 majors and 14 masters' shields, etc., and that is roger federer! very odd; i don't understand it!

memi , 3/30/09 6:13 AM


When is the last time Roger beat Rafa on hardcourt?

memi: I agree!

fan4tennis , 3/30/09 7:25 AM


memi-what you're seeing about Rafa is exactly what we've been seeing about Roger for all these years.Uncle Toni himself said that he spent a lot of time observing Roger's game.Most players for all this while have been trying to reach standards Roger has set for tennis.The same is happening to Rafa.It does not mean that either of them is the greatest.Heck,I wouldnt even call Rod Laver the greatest as he never played on hard courts and one of his calender slams came on amateurs tour or something ( please correct me if I'm wrong about this one.).Now as to why some people think Roger is better in terms if tennis-I really do not know.I guess much depends on the style.People choose the player whose style they like the best.

janhavi , 3/30/09 9:43 AM


I ll go with janhavi on this .. truly pragmatism . I mean when Federer was at his peak , there were articles about how watching him was a religious experience, such statements did take the fans for a ride and now most of them are heart broken.

Nadal has entered the same aura now and the greatest ever debate, The greatest ever debate which I believe is a farce because there can only be "greatest of his/her era" not "greatest ever". Well who is the greatest ever currently? No one can tell , well that proves it.

nirv02 , 3/30/09 10:41 AM


laver did play on hard courts..bt neve rwon a slam there..when he played on hard courts his age ws too much and slams were not on hard

vamosrafa , 3/30/09 2:35 PM


^^ I was talking about the slams :)

janhavi , 3/30/09 4:13 PM


yeah then u r spot on..he never won on hard...and 1962 feat ws not as impressive as we mite think.But the 1969 one ws abnormal! he ws like 30 yrs old ! if sum 1 wins a celander year g.slam nowdays this feat will be twice as great

vamosrafa , 3/30/09 6:38 PM


say what you want, but when roger was dominating, i never read articles or heard commentators giving tips on how to beat him. why? now, when rafa rise to top, it's important for everybody to know how to beat him, which was simply not true for federer. rafa and his uncle had to figure how to beat roger and then other players caught on. any way you look at it, it's clear that there are those who want to make sure rafa doesn't remain #1, but it was ok for federer to be there and still is! why do you think that every year there is endless discussion about his knees. if i were a betting person, i would be willing to bet that it's mostly based on wishful thinking, because if rafa were to have problems with his knees that would be one way of slowing him down from actually having a chance to make history in a big way. do you actually think most people want rafa to make history (by winning the slam) before roger can win the french. it's not that everybody is so concerned about his knees; they may concerned, but not in the way you might think!

memi , 3/30/09 7:03 PM


you did not read articles and see videos because you did not bother to do so.Its your ignorance or whatever you choose to call it.There are a host of articles,videos,analysis by past greats one can line up.And commentators not discussing how to beat Federer? makes me wonder if you've followed anyone's tennis except Nadal's.Just because you didnt see them dosent mean they dont exist.Anyway its typical Rafanatic behaviour.No surprises again.Yes,the whole tennis world is conspiring against Nadal.Forget the fact that he takes atleast one medical time out in almost every tournament he plays and has had to withdraw from Grand Slams due to injuries.No one's saying he cant make history with these injuries.If he recovers everytime , sure he can.For Chrissake,your darling boy is no tragic hero and you fail dismally at projecting him as one.

janhavi , 3/30/09 7:54 PM


janhavi, i struck a nerve, didn't i? i'm not at all surprise by your response! you act as if i'm asking you to buy what i'm selling! ask me how much i care about what you think! you may analyze any way you like, that's your prerogative! i don't know which part of my comments you don't understand, but i will repeat, yes! what i said is absolutely, without a doubt, sound reasoning, and anyone who is not a coward knows it too! what other reason for you being so bent-out-of-shape!

memi , 3/30/09 9:17 PM


When is the last time Roger beat Rafa on hardcourt? When was the last time Roger won a Master's Series title?

janhavi, no one is trying to make Rafa out to be a "tragic hero" as you put it. We accept that he has to watch his knees and worry for his health before we worry about wins. And before you go spouting about injuries, there's a long list of medical reasons Fed has used to explain his losses. Even you, in another thread, declared "I hope his back holds up". You must have inside info cuz Fed has been saying his back is fine, so is Fed lying?

fan4tennis , 3/30/09 9:49 PM


maybe he struck a nerve so you got bent-out-of-shape and started calling people cowards? Its true most past greats would prefer fed over rafa but if you havent read any articles about how to beat fed when he was dominating than you didnt read many tennis articles. Im sure there are some people who talks about rafa's knees with wishful thinking, but it could be because he had problems with them at a very young age, he still has some problems with it and his playing style had been very physical in the past. Also, knees are very troubling for all athletes, not just tennis players, any athlete that had major knee troubles struggled quite a lot; doesnt mean rafa will too but there is a chance he might. You were one of the people who can tell his point without calling other people names so I hope you will go back to your old ways

orion , 3/30/09 9:49 PM


^^ lol..no actually..you just made me wonder what depths ignorance reaches at times.Fangirls and fanboys do nothing for me.Lol and its even funnier you yourself are reacting with hundreds of exclamations on my posts and calling me bent-out-of-shape.. oh..well..if that makes you happy....

janhavi , 3/30/09 9:55 PM


When is the last time Roger beat Rafa on hardcourt? When was the last time Roger won a Master's Series title?

3rd time trying to get an answer to a tennis question

fan4tennis , 3/30/09 10:04 PM


fan4tennis-read my post again.What I'm saying is sometimes people wonder about Nadal's longivity because of the frequency of his injuries.That does not mean they do not want Rafa to break records and create history.Where does Fed come here?
And for the record-Roger said his back was fine but not as good as he would've wanted it to be and also said in a German interview that the back usually gives trouble when he's lying down than when he's playing.His first serve percentage since the start of the year and the amount of double faults speak for themselves.

janhavi , 3/30/09 10:04 PM


when did Roger defeat Rafa on HC-Shanghai Masters 2007( they met directly at the the AO final after that.)
When did Roger win his masters title-Cincy 07..
there, I answered your questions..

janhavi , 3/30/09 10:10 PM


Janhavi, you said in the other thread, that Fed's percentage was at 80% (correct me if I am wrong) this last game but yet YOU still felt compelled to add at the end, "I hope his back holds up." You say that Fed says it only bothers him when lying down and NOT when he is playing.

Nadal has problems with his knees, no secret there. The talk of him leaving tennis because of them has been going on since at least 2004. We all know what he has achieved since 2004 on those bad knees. The difference is that Nadal won't use his knees as a standby excuse. He kept playing in Rotterdam out of respect for Murray. Even AM said Rafa was playing on one leg. He even gets frustrated at the media for always asking him about them. Fed KEEPS talking about his back, leaving it hanging out there in case he (or his fans) need it.

fan4tennis , 3/30/09 10:22 PM


janhavi
Can you please inform me as to which Grand slams Nadal has had to withdraw from due to injuries.

Thanks

TopDog , 3/30/09 10:25 PM


orion, don't concern yourself too much with me! i assure you when i feel the need to address something to you, i will!

memi , 3/30/09 10:28 PM


janhavi, the truth hurts sometimes, doesn't it! maybe, the reason you are so nearsighted when it comes to what's really happening is because you have been sleeping through a tennis revolution!

memi , 3/30/09 10:35 PM


fan4tennis-Isnt it common knowledge, that when the a player is injured or is recovering from an injury the injury may not affect his game direclty but it can affect the way a player appoaches his game? Roger spoke about his back injury because he asked about it.Not because he was willing to.If thats an excuse in your eyes ( as usual),so be it.It dosent surprise me anyway.The difference between you & me is that I dont need to put on false claims about a player I do not like or belittle him, or simply put in my theories just to glorify my favourite player.
TopDog-yes,he did..once from the AO if Im not mistaken and once from the FO ( That must be before 2005,)
memi-I wonder if even you have a clue of about what you're saying.

janhavi , 3/30/09 11:01 PM


And before you start jumping up and down and before this turns into another flamewar , thanks to more of 'fed makes excuses' which can easily go to 'Fed is arrogant' again-The basic issue here is not about Roger's back but about people thinking tennis insiders dont want to see Rafa at the top .

janhavi , 3/30/09 11:12 PM


janhavi, if i'm clueness why do you go to such an extent to challenge them! why not skip my comments and respond to those that are more within your capability range! my guess is, you probably don't understand my thoughts because they are original, not a duplicate of what someone else thinks! whatever the case maybe, my thoughts seem to be very penetrating to you!

memi , 3/30/09 11:23 PM


no I'll ignore you..better that way :)

janhavi , 3/30/09 11:27 PM


whatever suits you, janhavi!

memi , 3/30/09 11:29 PM


"Rafael Nadal was 19 years and two days old when he won the 2005 French Open in his very first appearance at the event."

janhavi wrote: "TopDog-yes,he did..once from the AO if Im not mistaken and once from the FO ( That must be before 2005,)"

From the Roland Garros site history info:

"Rafael Nadal was 19 years and two days old when he won the 2005 French Open in his very first appearance at the event."

He won FO 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, so when did he withdraw from the FO slam?


fan4tennis , 3/31/09 2:09 AM


Can't find anywhere that says Rafa withdrew from the AO either due to injuries. Where did you get your info on this janhavi?

fan4tennis , 3/31/09 2:38 AM


He missed 2006 AO(after also missing 2005 TMC-which he qualified for the first time) and he missed FO and wimbledon in 2004(which he was injured for 3 months mid-year)

orion , 3/31/09 2:52 AM


Janhavi

You make it sound like Nadal withdrawing from a grandslam is a regular reoccurence. When it supposedly happened once (as i could not find the info) in 2005 about 4yrs ago. This illustrates nothing about the state of Nadals knees today or in the past few years. And how you can validate your argument based on that surprises me.

Anyway the fact of the matter is if Nadals Knees where so serious he woul have had a imajor or serious injury years ago. This just goes to show that this issue is just overhyped by the press and his injuries are not as problematic as the experts/commentators WANT to believe. They can comment and predict and prophecy until they black and blue Nadal just keeps proving them wrong and he will continue to do so.


P.S
Generally I do not know how anyone can can continue to validate thier claim on Nadals knees when he proves everyone wrong time and time again (and has done so over years) that his knees are not a fundemental concern.

TopDog , 3/31/09 2:56 AM


Thank you orion for that info. I know he has stress fractures of his foot is why he did not play 2005 TMC and understandably was still recovering at the beginning of the year when the AO happens. I now remember the pics of him on crutches and how he feels that 2nd FO trophy means more because it meant he had recovered.

Some would like us to think that Rafa withdraws from slams regularly and it seems the last time he did not play a slam (and it was due to injury and he didn't withdraw during the slam) was 3 YEARS ago. You can't even begin to compare the player Rafa was then with the player he is now!

fan4tennis , 3/31/09 4:00 AM


orion - I honestly can't believe I called Dent. What a shock! Definitely my best pick so far in the history of Approach Shots.

RickyDimon , 3/31/09 6:02 AM


I cant believe you called it either, its a brilliant pick indeed. I was hoping they would put the match to night session so dent can get mad amount of support and might challenge fed but they put stosur-azarenka(whats up with that decision?) there while much more interesting clashes are played during the day

orion , 3/31/09 2:22 PM


Dent started very well so far without extensive crowd support. 8 break points missed though

orion , 4/1/09 12:44 AM


TopDog I dont think you quite understood what I was saying-I am not saying Rafa withdarwing from slams is a frequent occurence.Read my posts again.What I'm trying to explain is-Sometimes Rafa's injuries do make tennis insiders wonder about his longivity..
(yes,Rafa has proven them wrong repeatedly).But that does not mean that the tennis insiders do not want to see Rafa create history or something.That IS the point of the argument.Its foolish to think that the tennis world dosent 'like' Rafa or dosent want Rafa to remain at the top and that everyone favours Federer.

janhavi , 4/1/09 12:23 PM


Janhavi in regards to your second paragraph in your last post i did not refer to any issues regarding tennis insiders not wanting nadal to create history.... or make any arguments regarding those issues if your read my post again.

TopDog , 4/1/09 5:48 PM


yes,but your post had nothing to do with the what I was trying to say through my posts.Anyway,leave it.This is getting pretty confusing.To make things clear-I for one am certainly not saying Nadal's injuries can affect his career or something.

janhavi , 4/1/09 7:37 PM


janhavi, to get more clarity from my previous comments, i suggest you re-read! in the meantime, i will reiterate or make clear what i said, i used the phrases: 'there are those" and "most people", which does not include everybody on earth or everybody who watches tennis. i did not refer to the entire tennis world as conspirators as you would lead others to believe. had i done so, it would have been foolish; however, it's just simply not the case! let it go! no further comments on that topic!

memi , 4/1/09 9:03 PM


in that case..I misinterpreted 'most of the people' part ( anyway I dont agree with you nevertheless)..but I'm sorry.

janhavi , 4/1/09 9:32 PM



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