• Nadal destroys Dolgopolov to reach Miami quarterfinals

    3/30/11 6:03 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Nadal destroys Dolgopolov to reach Miami quarterfinals Rafael Nadal makes quick work of Alexandr Dolgopolov in the Miami fourth round on Monday. Next up for Nadal is a rematch of the 2010 Wimbledon final against Tomas Berdych.

    Alexandr Dolgopolov needed fewer than 20 minutes to finish off Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a rain-delayed match on Tuesday afternoon at the Sony Ericsson Open. He hardly lasted much longer against Rafael Nadal.

    Forced to play twice on the same day due to inclement weather on Monday, Dolgopolov crashed out to Nadal in a mere 59 minutes during fourth-round action. Nadal delivered three aces without double-faulting to set up a quarterfinal showdown with Tomas Berdych.

    The top-ranked Spaniard came out firing and broke for 3-1 with a scorching backhand pass. That was all Nadal required in the opening set because he dropped only four points in his first four service games. For good measure, though, he added another break for 5-1 before serving it out.

    Dolgopolov did well to fight off two break points in the first game of set two, but a double-fault on his opponent's third chance put the underdog in a serious hole. From there it was all over for the 22-year-old Ukrainian, who held his next two service games but never threatened to get back into the match. Nadal's fourth break of the day came at 4-2 and a routine hold at 5-2 ended the day when a Dolgopolov backhand went well long.

    "It's important for me," Nadal explained. "I am feeling better than last week (in Indian Wells). The feeling is better and I am arriving with good conditions in the quarterfinals."

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well done rafa and simon. please see you both through... vamos!

homos , 3/30/11 7:18 AM

Dologo only needed 20 mins to finish his match against Tsonga, it was shorter than a practice session so would not have been a factor in any shape or form. Dolgo is not in Rafa's class after all is said and done.

Ricky, you've got a couple of typos in your 2nd to last para, first and 2nd lines I'm sure you'd want to correct.

nadline , 3/30/11 7:40 AM

mara002 , 3/30/11 9:14 AM

The way Dolgo plays reminds me very much of Gulbis. They both play free flowing tennis and a bit of showman kind of tennis. Actually Tsonga in his earlier days, ie in 2008, also played something like that, flambuoyant and brilliant, but once Tsonga settle down into his top ten/top twenty position, he began to concentrate on improving his groundstrokes and he now plays more a baseline game rather than his original net rushing game.

I do not know whether Dolgo, with his style of play, can reach the top of the rankings or win a slam in his career. It's difficult to associate his style of play with consistency, just like Gulbis. In fact their game is attractive because of it's unpredictability; if they become predictable, then they become nothing special. I think Dolgo does have a better attitude than Gulbis, ie I think he wants to succeed in his tennis career. He is one exciting player to watch out for and I'm interested to see how far his style can bring him in his tennis career.

Other up and comers like Raonic, Harrison, Berankis, Tomic, Dimitrov are interesting prospects but to me they are not as special as Dolgo, as I think they play 'normal' tennis.

luckystar , 3/30/11 9:46 AM

lucky: I love Dolgo's serve, he's like a spring uncoiling! Also love his speed round the court. I see him as much more of a contender than Mr Spoilt Gulbis. It'll be interesting to see how he If he gets consistency will this dampen his flair?
Meanwhile looks as if Rafa has sorted his serve and means business.

deuce , 3/30/11 10:13 AM

Dimitrov and the ATomic Bomb are, pardon me, brats. They have no manners.
Harrison at this point I find little better. I've seen him abuse umpires at matches (also, there are YouTubes).

"I think Dolgo does have a better attitude than Gulbis, ie I think he wants to succeed in his tennis career."

That's why I like him so much better.

mara002 , 3/30/11 10:37 AM

I see it totally differently. Gulbis has talent in a conventional way but lacking focus, Harrison is also a very complete talented player who could go on to do great things as long as he doesn't believe the hype and continues working on winning matches. Raonic is basically one of many with a great serve and nothing else, Tomic has talent but probably not enough experience yet but could be very good in time to come, maybe not the top of the tops but still a constant top tenner. Dimitrov and Berankis so far nothing to report as far as I am concerned.

As for Dolgo, I see nothing special at all. Just a free wheeler who serves like he is playing table tennis and swings more freely than anyone I know. When I watched him play Tsonga, I couldn't decide which one of them I wanted to go through to play Rafa because they were both not really up to much. What Roddick said about Dolgo is exactly my take on him - "I knew that he was aggressive to the point of psychosis." He is just like an over excited Yorkshire terrier, IMO.

nadline , 3/30/11 11:12 AM

Didn't you have some not-so-savory things to say about A-Rod as well, Nadline? Why would you take his opinion on something else now?

"He is just like an over excited Yorkshire terrier, IMO."

Well, everybody is entitled to his/her own opinion, I guess.

mara002 , 3/30/11 11:40 AM

mara, what have I ever said about Roddick, do tell me. I'm waiting.

nadline , 3/30/11 11:51 AM

Frankly speaking, I don't expect this batch of up and comers to be able to measure up to Nole and Murray, and I'm not even talking about Fed and Rafa here. The next Fed and Rafa may not come for a long long time, so let's just concentrate on this batch of youngsters.

Among them, other than the unorthodox Dolgo, I like both Harrison and Tomic. I'm not talking about their attitude but just their game. Harrison has an aggressive all round game and he's fearless and comes with self belief. I think he can go far in his career if he continues to work on his game and match that with good attitude. Tomic plays an intelligent game, like Murray but he's more aggressive than Murray, I also think he can go far if he doesn't behave like a brat.

Dimitrov and Berankis look average to me, even though there's lots of hype over Dimitrov. Its just because Dimitrov has a SHBH and he imitates Fed shot for shot, that he's being given much attention. I know he won a few challengers events but since competing in the main tours, he doesn't have any good results to show, so far. Raonic seems the most successful so far but frankly it's hard for me to like his game. I do believe Raonic will also have success in his career, he, together with Harrision and Tomic, will be the ones leading the tours in time to come. Dolgo, too bad, I think it's difficult for him to reach the top and stay there, his unpredictable game may result in unpredictable results for him, Im afraid.

luckystar , 3/30/11 11:53 AM

Well, everybody is entitled to his/her own opinion, I guess.

mara002 , 3/30/11 11:40 AM

Well, it wasn't me who nicknamed him The Dog, whoever did so must think there is a good analogy there.

nadline , 3/30/11 11:57 AM

Didn't you have some not-so-savory things to say about A-Rod as well, Nadline? Why would you take his opinion on something else now?

"He is just like an over excited Yorkshire terrier, IMO."

Well, everybody is entitled to his/her own opinion, I guess.

mara002 , 3/30/11 11:40 AM

Unless you come up with hard proof of any unsavoury remarks I have EVER made about Roddick, I would please ask you to witdrow your comments.


nadline , 3/30/11 12:07 PM


nadline , 3/30/11 12:09 PM

Dolgopolov the double backhand Federer

nirv02 , 3/30/11 12:14 PM

Yes, this Dolgopolov's serve is quite something, isn't ? not since McEnroe have I seen (not counting WTA) such an unconventional serve :)
He did look pretty tired during the match, I guess it was more mental though, it's hard to have to play 2 matches in so little time - and against Rafa, no less.
Let's wait for a clay match between these two.
I can see how you see similarities between Gulbis and Dolgo, but Dolgo's attitude seems promising.

Shireling , 3/30/11 12:52 PM

Rafa had already played against Dolgo last year on clay at Madrid. Rafa said afterwards that Dolgo is hard to play against, his game is difficult to read. Llodra, who beat Dolgo at Eastbourne last year, also said the same thing about Dolgo, that his game is diffiult to read. Dolgo does play a bit like Gulbis. Remember last year at Rome, how Gulbis drop shot practically everyone he met and gave Rafa all sorts of problems in the semi? The way Gulbis play was also unpredictable, he can just throw in a drop shot as and when he pleases. His match against Volandri was also one of his better matches.

Rafa being Rafa, is too experienced for players like Gulbis or Dolgo, even on the hard courts, what more when it comes to clay!

luckystar , 3/30/11 2:04 PM

Rafa has the toughest quarter final match against Berdych..

Federer the second toughest as Simon can trouble him but since this is 3 setter I doubt he will

sanju , 3/30/11 3:22 PM

Well Done Rafa! Three results in regulation, improving all the time.

sanju, I think that Tomas may present a tougher test for Rafa than Gilles would have. But Tomas has been blowing hot and cold lately so anything other than a win for My Guy would have to count as a shock result. I suspect it'll be two straight sets, one of them tough. Gilles, on the other hand, has undoubtedly got what it takes in his Fed match-up, on this surface. What's more, sanju, whenever Gilles beats Roger it is over best of three. I don't think he has done it in a slam. He can safely be counted on to take advantage of any of Roger's famous lapses in concentration and it is not beyond the underdog to snap his semis-or-better streak which goes back to last August now.

gorafago , 3/30/11 3:45 PM

Hoping to see a Rafa Djoko matchup in final again with revenge for Rafa..Should be a good good match..Hope Rafa gets by Berdych/Fed

Djokovik is almost in the final..dont see in the form he is today Alexander or Fish/Ferrer troubling him/denying him..

sanju , 3/30/11 4:12 PM

Shireling, well remembered! Dolgo's serve is a bit like Johnny Mac's. Difference is Mac's is like a corkscrew, whereas Sasha's is more boingy! They both are quite slight, in tennis terms of course, that must influence your service action. They can't get power and speed with brute strength, must get it somehow else.
I much prefer Sasha to Soderling, Delpotro, Isner etc. The way he moves brings so much excitement to his game.

deuce , 3/30/11 5:02 PM

Anyway mara, no one complains when Rafa is identified with the bull, he is even proud of it, what are you getting so touchy about me comparing Dolgo to a Yorkshire Terrier, he's already fondly nicknamed The Dog.

But I am still waiting for you to withdraw your accusation about me being unsavoury about Roddick. I hardly ever mention anything about Roddick, so show me the proof or withdraw it.

nadline , 3/30/11 5:12 PM

By the way mara002, this is from Dolgopolov's Official Website, if he doesn't take offence, why do you?

The Dog Unleashed

...Robert Davis:

All said, he is fast-paced and fun to watch. Plus, the players have given him a great nickname, the 'Dog'. Whether he is called that because his family name is hard to pronounce, or because he plays like a dog, nobody knows for sure. One thing that is certain, this kid has star power. ID=71d08dfcbe306feda06cddb338afbc50

nadline , 3/30/11 5:28 PM


People have also likened Ferrer to a pitbull..........i didnt hear anyone taking offence!!

By the way, why would anyone refer to Alexandr as a dog?!..................none of us here even know him!!!!!

Monalysa , 3/30/11 7:18 PM

Exactly Monalysa. Tim Henman was known as Tiger Tim by his adoring British public. I just thought that Dolgo is slight in build and he rushes around snapping at the heels of his opponents just like a Yorkshire Terrier, no offence meant whatsoever.

nadline , 3/30/11 8:08 PM

I think Dolgo's service motion is quite strange. I heard the commentators saying last night that the players have trouble reading it. He is a bit of an enigma to me. The talent is definitely there, but so far I don't see the consistent mental focus and intensity required to win on a regular basis. I don't see him like Gulbis, because he has not thrown away his talent. Dolgo has had health problems that have held him back. The only one who has held Gulbis back is himself. I don't ever see Gulbis achieving his potential, because he doesn't have the commitment and work ethic.

I love Dolgo's unpredictability, the fact that he can construct a point and not just be a ball-basher and his calm demeanor on court. I don't know how far he will go, but he has already risen up the ranks very quickly and certainly has the game to trouble the better players. His biggest problem is that he tends to go away mentally at times in a match.

Raonic has the big serving game that I don't love. There is no question about his talent, but it's not the kind of tennis I love to see. I am not convinced that Tomic is the real thing, same for Berankis. Time will tell.

Nativenewyorker , 3/30/11 8:10 PM

Current ATP-rankings

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