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  • Djokovic beats Haas, into semifinal showdown vs. Nadal

    6/5/13 11:26 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Djokovic beats Haas, into semifinal showdown vs. Nadal Novak Djokovic ends Tommy Haas' Roland Garros run in straight sets on Wednesday. Djokovic is through to a highly-anticipated semifinal against Rafael Nadal.

    Novak Djokovic continued his near-flawless trek through the French Open draw with a 6-3, 7-6(5), 7-5 victory over Tommy Haas during quarterfinal action on Wednesday afternoon. Djokovic fired 11 aces without double-faulting as he booked his spot in the last four alongside seven-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal.

    The world No. 1, who has dropped only one set all fortnight, came out in inspired form. He broke Haas twice and dropped a mere one point in four service games throughout a dominant opening-set performance.

    Haas, who saved one match point a third-round thriller against John Isner before destroying Mikhail Youzhny, managed to make it competitive the rest of the way. The 35-year-old German survived a tough service game at 5-6 in the second to force a tiebreaker, during which he pocketed a 4-2 advantage. Djokovic, however, won five of the next six points and he clinched the set at 6-5 when Haas sent a backhand well wide.

    Faced with a seemingly insurmountable deficit, Haas refused to go away without a fight. The No. 12 seed twice recovered from break deficits, first in the fourth game and again with his opponent serving for the match in the 10th game after fighting off a match point on serve at 3-5. Nonetheless, Djokovic earned another lead at 6-5 and this time he made no mistake with victory in sight. The top-seeded Serb wrapped up the proceedings with a love hold just a few minutes after Nadal held up his end of the bargain with a straight-set rout of Stanislas Wawrinka.

    "I'm just thrilled to get through," Djokovic assured. "It was a good performance for me in general. On the important points I came up with some good shots, but I could have done better."

    "I felt like I had a few chances here and there that I didn't use today," lamented Haas, who managed only 19 winners compared to Djokovic's 46. "That's crucial in these kind of matches, especially against the best player in the world.... It was incredible for me, no question about it. I'll have some time next few days to look back and be proud of it. But now it's still in the moment of being defeated in some ways and the run is over."




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Comments

Bravo Nole!
I haven't seen the last two matches but I am pleased with the results ;). Keep it up Nole!

He's paying homage to his first coach, Jelena, by writing on the lens that he loves her. Nice and thoughtful.

(I miss Andy on this tournament. It is really strange not having him there. Hope he is recovering well).

danica , 6/6/13 2:24 AM


Novak is sending all the signals.

It has been clear since last year, or since 2011, that it is only a matter of time before Novak completes a career slam. Not 100% sure but pretty sure. And it will be fully deserved when he does. So good luck to Novak on Friday. I'm rooting for Nadal and believe his form is good enough that he will take it after a tough match. But Novak's time to lift this trophy is coming, this year or another one. Of course I am not discounting who he would meet on Sunday, but it seems pretty unlikely that Ferrer or Tsonga will lift the crown, amazing as they have been playing this time.

chlorostoma , 6/6/13 4:20 AM


Well played Nole. Now for the match we've been waiting for!
Thanx danica :) I've had a stress free slam though, so not all bad news ;)

deuce , 6/6/13 6:48 AM


It will be nice to see Andy back in action for the grass season. I expect that his back is much better now. There was a piece missing from RG this year. But Andy did well to make his health a priority and get ready for Wimbledon.

deuce,

Aaah yes, a stress free slam! During the USO and this year's AO, I was very stress free! However, I would trade that for just having Rafa back playing at RG!

Nativenewyorker , 6/6/13 8:58 AM


Yup, the signals are all there. You just have to look at Nadal and his journey through the semifinals to realize that Novak doesn't stand a chance. Really, take out the mental element (it might be too much to ask since it's a very important part of the game) and Novak doesn't take 7 games off Rafa at RG.

childishgambino , 6/6/13 9:20 AM


Rafa 6-3,6-2,6-2

atul1985 , 6/6/13 9:28 AM


now that this semifinal is going to happen I have changed my mind. I love your prediction atul, and if Rafa does that to Djokovic this is going to be a GREAT year for Rafa fans :))

childishgambino , 6/6/13 9:35 AM


Nadal scheduled his entire comeback from a seven-month injury layoff around being in peak condition for the French Open. He wants to prove that he is really back. He wants to keep his crown as the King of Clay. He wants his eighth French Open trophy.

Djokovic, playing in honor of his first coach who passed away earlier this tournament, wants to reestablish his dominance and complete his career slam.

Immovable object, meet irresistible force.

Haha, I LOVE the final quote...

childishgambino , 6/6/13 9:38 AM


if nole plays the way, he played the semis, then this should go to 5, irrespective of how nadal is playing, nadal will have to find his best to beat him. I don't see rafa winning in 3 if nole carries his level to semis.

akd2011 , 6/6/13 10:12 AM


childishgambino,
Watch out how you phrase some of your sentences, they may be misunderstood ;). You said those were quotes, but still... :). Example - "He wants to keep his crown as the King of Clay" [by winning the tournament]. But Rafa is NOT going to lose that crown if he loses on Friday. He remains the King of Clay no matter what.

Honestly, the fact that one of those two has to lose that match, makes me sick. It is so not fair.

danica , 6/6/13 10:14 AM


Nadal isnt gonna win in straights, Djokovic is playing too well for that.

rbennett , 6/6/13 10:29 AM


^^ what indications are there that djokovic is playing too well?? I have seen none.

willmw101 , 6/6/13 10:33 AM


While I agree that Djokovic's game is great and good enough even on clay against Rafa, @rbennett straight sets also means 76 76 76. It could be THAT close!

childishgambino , 6/6/13 10:34 AM


Dropping only one set, Nadal has dropped two. I still make Nadal the favourite but I don't see him winning in straights.

rbennett , 6/6/13 10:35 AM


Dont think thats a particularly definitive indication of playing form. Djokovic had an incredibly easy draw.

willmw101 , 6/6/13 10:38 AM


RT @christophclarey: "French TV wants Tsonga-Ferrrer second but if warm and sunny Friday, conditions for Tsonga's game might be more favorable early in day "

rafaisthebest , 6/6/13 10:39 AM


Well Djokovic had to play two players who had recently beat hom and he beat them both in straights. Neither Djokovic or Nadal has the hardest of draws. Umm I just think with Djokovics straight sets win at mc, coupled with Nadal not being at his best, make a straight sets win for Nadal unlikely.

rbennett , 6/6/13 10:44 AM


rbennett, do you actually watch the matches or do you just go by what you read. I'm watching the Haas/ Djoko SF now and I am not impressed at all with Djokovic. Djoko didn't lose many points on his serve but that was mainly due to Haas's errors. When I heard how well Djoko had served I too thought that it would be a problem for Rafa, having watched the match, I have a very different perspective now.

nadline , 6/6/13 10:44 AM


So the dream run for Haas came to an end. But what a year he has had.

I doubt if even he in his heart of hearts expected to topple Nole but he never gave up trying. What a champion he would have been if fate had not intervened.

ed251137 , 6/6/13 10:45 AM


rbennett, Djoker's match against Dimi was such a non-contest that the spectators left the stadium and the TVs switched them off. Dimi says he was overwhelmed by the occasion and just froze.

nadline , 6/6/13 10:48 AM


Nadline - Yeah I watch em. I don't think Djokovic is at his best either, but its well docimented how his game bothers Nadal. Stan made many errors as well so not sure where stating the error count of opponents gets us. I just think a straight sets Rafa win is unlikely, I could be wrong, just giving my opinion! :)

rbennett , 6/6/13 10:51 AM


Stan made many errors due to Rafa's play but in the other match, Haas made loads of errors when he had chances of easy winners................that's the difference.

nadline , 6/6/13 10:53 AM


nadline,
Reminding you Novak passed Haas test easily,
Next is Rafa, Nodoubt he will win in 4 sets again rafa for sure,

anji123 , 6/6/13 11:01 AM


Also, Djokovic said in his presser that SL played fast and slippery. That has to be taken into account in assessing Djokovic's excellent serve statistics against Haas.

rafaisthebest , 6/6/13 11:04 AM


I don't think Novak's draw was that easy. Goffin played the 4th round at RG last year, stretching Roger to four sets. Kohlschreiber beat Nole 3X6:4 at RG already, and Dimitrov and Haas beat him this season. Haas particularly is a bad match up for Novak. And while I should probably be more optimistic when he faces anyone outside of the big 4, I know very well that every one of those players can be a formidable opponent on a certain day.

Ed, totally agree re Tommy. Amazing guy. At 35, he is still at the top. Hats off to him.

danica , 6/6/13 11:04 AM


I do not understand why everyone wants to see a 6 hour 5 setter slugfest between Rafa and Nole? Sure it will be a spectacle like Aus Open 2012. But that type of tennis on clay is way too strenuous on both their bodies. Do we not recall Madrid 09 Semi? They were out of sorts for the rest of the season and it allowed a particular GOAT Pretender to win 2 GS that year.

dejan1989 , 6/6/13 11:09 AM


Rafa was far more impressive yesterday to any objective observer, but as I've said before, what happened yesterday doesn't count for a row of beans as far as the SF is concerned. I'm happy to just wait and see.

nadline , 6/6/13 11:12 AM


Dejane,
that scenario is what I am afraid of also. Madrid 2009. comes to mind often. The two of them beat the heck out of each other so much so that Rafa was totally spent in the final. They also made early exits at RG as a result. I hope for a great match on Friday although not too long.

danica , 6/6/13 11:18 AM


I don't think anyone wants to see a 5-6 hour slugfest between Rafa and Nole except Tsonga and/or Ferru!

rafaisthebest , 6/6/13 11:18 AM


I find it a little bit offensive and patronizing when people compare beating Haas and Dimitrov at RG to beating Rafa there................but each to his own.

nadline , 6/6/13 11:21 AM


Danica, hopefully it is 4 competitive sets only. But I am not too sure about Nole. Even though he hasnt been playing exceptional tennis yet in this tournament, I am afraid he might want to push his boundaries on this one. Since the shock death of his first coach and her wish for him to win the French Open for her, this semi is turning out to be one big fairytale and like it is his destiny for him to win this tournament for her. Where we have Nole playing the Hero and Rafa as the Villain (No Offense Rafa Fans!)

dejan1989 , 6/6/13 11:27 AM


Nole in 4 competitive sets. 6-4 7-6 6-3 7-5. Otherwise Nadal in 5.

It really depends on who brings their A game. But I think even then Nole has a slight edge. Ever since 08 nadal hasn't been the same. His backhand just isn't as good as it used to be, and that might be the difference.

DeadManWalking , 6/6/13 11:52 AM


Let us all hope for a spectacular match with a win for our favorite, whoever that may be. rafaisthebest you're right, nobody wants either of them tired for the final, but I do want an epic match. VAMOS RAFA!!!

childishgambino , 6/6/13 11:54 AM


DMW: True it is not as consistent as it was in 2008 but that is to do with the knee problems which affect his backhand. Now he is inclined to run around his backhand more often and will let the ball go rather attempt the death defying CCBH saves of old- except when it's a critical point that is.

ed251137 , 6/6/13 12:14 PM


That "dodgy" backhand was good enough to help secure the career Slam in 2010, it will be good enough to secure him an 8th RG!

Vamos!

rafaisthebest , 6/6/13 12:35 PM


People who predict a 5 setter for Nole Rafa are doing so because that seems more likely to them. Not that they hope for a 5 or 6 hour match, who would wish that on either of them? I would no not be surprised if it goes 5 although I think it is a bit more likely it will go 4. For better or for worse, their matches in recent years have often been more competitive than the last, say, 15 fedal matches that used to be more competitive in the early days. In many ways the Nole Rafa is a bigger rivalry: they are only one year apart and will likely have played 40, 45 or 50 times who knows just maybe 55 before one of them retires. But I hope they never again play an over-demanding match like Madrid 09 or AO 12. It is like running half-marathon vs marathons. No offence to those of you who run marathons. My acquaintance who is a foot specialist will tell you that running a half marathon is something your body can more or less cope with. Running much past about 30 K takes way too much out of you, ravages reserves and stresses many tissues way too much. It does prevent him himself from not being able to stop running marathons :-). Between the overbusy ATP schedule and the possibility of playing crazy long matches sometimes I feel guilty at what is done to the players' bodies for our behalf, and I say that not only because of Rafa's many injuries. I really hope it won't be this way on Friday. I think it won't. Yes there is a lot of hype on this match, many emotions etc. But I think that one of them will be mentally and otherwise stronger and therefore it won't be that closely contested.

chlorostoma , 6/6/13 1:38 PM


^It does _not_ prevent him ...

chlorostoma , 6/6/13 1:41 PM


If the French had any sense they would have let Tsonga play first. Nevermind the conditions. Nadal and the Djoker may play a long match. A potential postponement to Saturday will only hurt Tsonga's chances if he makes it through to the final. The French are clearly morons if Tsonga plays second.

chr18 , 6/6/13 1:58 PM


The French Tennis Federation bowed to the demands of French TV networks to schedule Tsonga's match second.

rafaisthebest , 6/6/13 2:04 PM


@nadline: which match of nole did you see, nole played very well, have been watching him since 2007, this was very close to the best he has ever served on clay.
As you said, past performances dont matter, what matters is tomorrow.

akd2011 , 6/6/13 8:23 PM


Nole did serve extremely well for much of the match wit 11 aces. However, in the last set only one ace and Haas broke him twice.

Aside: They should dump the Ace count stat in favour of service winners which, for me, is a better indication of serving performance and how many "free" points a player is getting on their serve. Whether or not it touched the opponents racquet is not critical. Why don't we see service winners!!!

#VamosRafa

Conspirator , 6/6/13 8:55 PM


Conspirator @8:55 PM: I cracked up the first time I heard a serve described as 'presque un ace' but the French have a point: an unreturnable serve is equal to an ace. So yes, why not give a stat for Service Winners.

BTW: I know counting Unforced Errors is subjective but the stats flashed up on TV often differ by quite a bit from those on ATP Slamtracker. I'm puzzled why they dont both use the same information source.

ed251137 , 6/7/13 12:00 AM


Aspiration ;-)

So true. The same thing about unreturnable serves occurs to me every time I watch match.

chlorostoma , 6/7/13 12:49 AM


Interesting comments - let's see what happens once the match is done.

samprallica , 6/7/13 1:34 AM


Atul, are you joking are is this a serious one? it was 6-4 6-2 6-2 some days back and its 6-3 6-2 6-2 now

vamosrafa , 6/7/13 12:27 PM



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