• Monfils meets Troicki, Raonic battles Karlovic

    9/27/12 4:26 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Monfils meets Troicki, Raonic battles Karlovic Viktor Troicki and Gael Monfils are set for a tough second-round matchup on Thursday in Bangkok. Milos Raonic and Ivo Karlovic will also be looking for a spot in the quarterfinals.

    Gael Monfils vs. (6) Viktor Troicki

    Troicki and Monfils will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers when they do battle in round two of the Bangkok Open on Thursday. Monfils has won both of their previous encounters; in a third-set tiebreaker last summer in Montreal and 6-2, 6-3 earlier this season on the hard courts of Doha. For Troicki, 2012 has mostly been a struggle. The 31st-ranked Serb is just over .500 at 24-23 after overcoming Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-3 on Monday.

    Monfils, on the other hand, will have had zero days off when he takes the court for this one. The unseeded Frenchman outlasted Kevin Anderson 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 on Thursday as he continued his comeback to tennis. Monfils, who had not played since May before reaching the semifinals last week in Metz, is now 18-8 for the year. As long as his knees are feeling good after a difficult match, the world No. 45 should prevail in three sets.

    Ivo Karlovic vs. (3) Milos Raonic

    It will be a huge-serving affair when Karlovic and Raonic square off for the first time in their careers on Thursday in Bangkok. Karlovic was injured for much of 2011, but he is a decent 13-14 at the ATP level this season and comfortably back in the Top 100 at No. 80 in the world. The 6'10'' Croat, who is coming off a quarterfinal showing in Metz, dismissed Marinko Matosevic 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday.

    Raonic earned an opening-round bye as the No. 3 seed. The 21-year-old Canadian has recorded more than half of his career match wins (38 of 73) in 2012 and he is up to a career-high ranking of 15th. Raonic made it to the quarterfinals in Toronto and Cincinnati, advanced to the U.S. Open fourth round, and recently scored a pair of Davis Cup singles victories over South Africa. Karlovic will have a chance if he serves extremely well, but look for Raonic to get the job done in straights.

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i don't see how karlovic in particular needs to serve extremely well to win the match. both guys are the worst returners on the circuit, when it comes to winning return games. only isner can match them.


croc , 9/27/12 10:12 AM

This is the battle of the giants. I think they are both on the same side of the coin, all serve and no game.

nadline , 9/27/12 10:29 AM

karlovic is fun with his chip and charge tennis. he plays very smart and to the best of his potential.

croc , 9/27/12 1:51 PM

I'm thinking...wait for it...


Conspirator , 9/27/12 2:25 PM

Go Milos! C'MON!

sky , 9/27/12 3:55 PM

Raonic is 1,000 times better than Karlovic from the baseline

RickyDimon , 9/27/12 4:16 PM

Ricky speak the true, no?

Raonic won 7-6, 6-4!!!!


Conspirator , 9/27/12 4:44 PM

i agree raonic is 1000 better than karlovic from the baseline, at least. that still doesn't make him win many more return games though. one more this match.

croc , 9/27/12 6:11 PM

Milos won 7-6, 6-4 against Ivo who is basically at the end of his career. I don't know, but this isn't too encouraging for Milos. Such a score is very tight.

Croc, who did you send your "ajde" to? :)) I know, both can understand it (and be supported by it) ;)

danica , 9/27/12 7:52 PM

danica, with that serve, Ivo still manages to keep it close so I wouldn't be too hard on Milos. Ivo played Muzz close at Wimbledon losing 5-7, 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-7(4). He played Delpo close in Miami losing 5-7, 4-6 and played Fed in three tight sets losing 6-7(6), 5-7, 3-6. In those three matches, he only broke his opponents serve once! Today Milos didn't face any break points. That's always been Ivo's undoing. But, he is himself always difficult to break with many tiebreaks.

He is never fun to play even today!


Conspirator , 9/27/12 8:27 PM

^^^Ivo played Fed at AO 2012.

Conspirator , 9/27/12 8:30 PM

danica, you are right :) in fact, i learnt some of your language from... a bosniac :) my ajde!! was meant as a cheer to both players for a good match. i like watching both players. they both seem like nice humble people that have a sense of humour on court.

croc , 9/27/12 8:49 PM

I am quite fond of Ivo and feel sorry for him at times. He can be dangerous and is never easy to break from the matches I have seen him play.

Well done Milos - good luck in the next round.

schatz , 9/27/12 8:58 PM

Croc, I share your sentiments regarding Milos and Ivo. Ivo was on tour longer, so I am more familiar with him. He seems like extremely nice guy. However, I don't want to see the two of them in a match (or Anderson, Isner and the likes :) ) as we would certainly be served a serving contest :).
Btw, "ajde" is a good start. Don't go into bad words though ;).

Conspirator, yes, service is still a big and important part of the game. I guess, not much can be done when you're getting those bombs thrown at you. It doesn't matter that you are tall and strong and a better overall player.

danica , 9/27/12 9:30 PM

danica - ivo je sladka maca, nisam prav?

croc , 9/27/12 9:54 PM

Yeah double digit foot faults called on Dr. Ivo at Wimbledon against Murray for a guy that doesn't get called for foot faults. Where is the conspiracy theory for that one?

chr18 , 9/27/12 10:05 PM

Tsk, tsk, tsk. Bitter, bitter, bitter...still eating you up!

jean , 9/27/12 10:53 PM

Dr. Ivo is one of the nicest of the giants. I can't believe how much some people despise the tall servers game. He's also past 30, and can still put some fear into some people.

I think Ivo was robbed at wimbledon, but we'll never hear of that situation, coz darling, shy, sweet Andy was the beneficiary of those bad calls. Now if it was Fed whol got favored, there would be a bok written. double standards

scoretracker , 9/28/12 12:47 AM

if you meant to say, "Ivo is a cute kitty, am I right?" then you are pretty, pretty close ;). Good job!

if your comment was aimed at me, I must say that I do not despise the tall servers' game. I don't particularly like to see the two of them at the same time on court in a singles match because more often than not, I feel like I am robbed of tennis. But that's just me. I have nothing against any of them playing somebody who is not such a bomber but has a good return of serve.

As for Ivo being dealt 11 foot faults (10 of which came from the same lines person) on the important points, I believe him. I didn't see the match but I did read on many a blog that it was totally undeserved. I don't know if there was a match where more foot faults were called.

danica , 9/28/12 1:24 AM

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Conspirator , 9/28/12 1:27 AM

NO, Danica, not you, but I've seen comments where people go far as to say that anyone above Murray's height should be put into another league. Big serving is a skill many a player would like to possess, IMO. It's the all-important serve that can win or lose a match..

I saw that match with the foot-faults, and I can tell you that it was awful. I've never seen Ivo so livid and it was warranted. however, he's so gentle, that even his complaint was gentle; he was absolutely frustraated. Poor guy.

scoretracker , 9/28/12 2:07 AM

Murray has a 4:0 H2H against Karlovic so with or without those foot-faults it is reasonable to assume he would have won.

ed251137 , 9/28/12 2:57 AM

Perhaps the linesman was hypnotised by Ivo's size 16 feet.

ed251137 , 9/28/12 3:04 AM

@danica, I forgot to mention with respect to being robbed of a match. I don't know whether you saw the Tsonga match last week? That was a match to feel robbed, for those who purchased tickets. It was over before I could get settled into watching.

scoretracker , 9/28/12 3:28 AM


deuce , 9/28/12 7:51 AM

Wow, I love me this new, hashtagging, take-no-prisoners deuce!

Pow wow!!!

rafaisthebest , 9/28/12 8:26 AM e-notice-david-ferrer-little-guys

Choice quote:

"In the U.S. Open quarterfinals, Janko Tipsarevic and David Ferrer gave New York a tennis classic. They whipped forehands side to side and chased down backhands, combining for 109 winners over 332 total points played in five sets over four-and-a-half grinding, grueling hours.

Until the final, when Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic in another classic, tantalizing five-setter, Tipsarevic-Ferrer had been the best match of the tournament. This spurred a couple of thoughts as the calendar moves forward:

1) Anyone who preferred watching John Isner to this doesn't really like tennis.

2) Perhaps, for all the hype, the game of "big-man tennis" has reached its ceiling. "

Couldn't agree more.............

rafaisthebest , 9/28/12 8:38 AM


That is a wonderful excerpt! I love it! That match was truly amazing. It was the best match up until the final. Those two guys really left it all on the court. I remember that terrible fall Tipsy had when he lost his balance. Then it looked like he was cramping up and couldn't keep going. Great quality tennis from both guys!

I really agree with #2! I want to see players who can construct points and think out here. I want to see good rallies with each guy stretched to the limit to hit yet another great shot.

Finally to deuce -

Way to go, girl! Good for you! :)

Nativenewyorker , 9/28/12 9:15 AM


deuce , 9/28/12 9:20 AM

It's fascinating watching Dudi Sela playing against the giants (he only comes up to their armpit!) but he can still produce great tennis. Against Tomic yesterday was a really good match.

ed251137 , 9/28/12 9:32 AM

ed, I remember thinking the same thing when Hewitt beat Karlovic at Wimbledon, I think. They looked extraordinary shaking hands at the net afterwards.
Mind you, also saw Delpotro beat Fed at the O2. JMDP made Fed look tiny. Probably because, in the flesh, Fed is quite slender and JMDP well, he's MASSIVE all over!

deuce , 9/28/12 9:48 AM

basketball players are really agile and flexible, will that generation of tennis come with tall and superfit giants? delpotro would be like the prototype wouldn't he...
who will be the jonah lomu of tennis? or is that rafa already? i think so...

croc , 9/28/12 10:05 AM

That's interesting, croc. Do you think basketball to tennis are transferable skills? Hand, racquet, ball may be different from hand to ball. I don't know, just fun to speculate.Tennis players seem to take to golf too, again hand, stick ball.
I know Rafa and Andy were really good footballers, not sure about Nole and Fed.

deuce , 9/28/12 11:46 AM

Nole does play football occasionally - remember the raised eyebrows when he played in a charity match a few days after his dramatic injury retirement at the DC in Belgrade. Not sure if he plays seriously though. Federer kicks a ball around sometimes and I believe he played a bit when he was younger.

ed251137 , 9/28/12 12:06 PM

deuce, i was just referring to the physionomy of players. (maybe we should get into a serena w discussion again...) eye-racket-hand-ball coordination is another thing that tennis players MUST have. body physionomy can be different, as davydenko-rafa or karlovic-rochus shows...

shinty skills should be transferable to tennis though, wouldn't you reckon :)

croc , 9/28/12 1:26 PM

Ah Ok croc, but don't u think height compromises movement? Even enormous wing span, although undoubtedly an advantage, doesn't necessarily mean victory.
Now off to google "shinty," could guess but won't....;)
ed, really meant good enough to be a pro footballer. I know clubs were interested in signing Andy at a very young age, and he had to make a choice.

deuce , 9/28/12 1:56 PM

I believe Delpo will win another slam or three. When he's at his best, with that wingspan, he is very difficult to beat. Even though Nole beat him in three at the USO, that was a fantastic match to watch IMO and it took Nole 2.0 to take him out.


Conspirator , 9/28/12 2:10 PM

yes i agree. but more tall players now are also strong and have pretty good movement. like del potro in particular, but also berdych, cilic... none of them really at the top though, and i wonder . mens tennis seem to be more gruelling and demand more stamina than most other sports, like basketball, and heavy players are obviously handicapped.

i reckon andy played shinty when he was wee, that it taught him the eye-ball movement :P

croc , 9/28/12 2:12 PM

I think that the taller players are at a disadvantage not only for movement, but bending. Fed likes to play against such guys coz he returns right down to their shoe laces, which is extremely difficult for them to scoop up and get the ball back into play. More times than not, they fumble the ball, and lose the point.

We had better get accustomed to seeing the tall guys playing, coz with each generation people are becoming stronger and taller. I think looking back to Laver days, (pictures) it's obvious that there has been an increase in height and size of the tennis players. They are easy opponents for the top guys coz I've yet to hear one of them complaining about the booming serves, hence no need for the fans to complain. Most of the fans are just imposing their fearfulness on the players, who have learnt to deal with the adjustments, viz, playing Rochus, then later DelPo.

scoretracker , 9/28/12 3:21 PM

1) Anyone who preferred watching John Isner to this doesn't really like tennis.

I disagree with that. I think it's possible to like watching both equally well. Players have their own natural strenghts (it's not his fault Isner is so tall) and watching them exploit them to the best of their ability which makes them capable of competing with the top guys is just as astonishing imo.

ts38 , 9/29/12 1:29 AM

Conspirator, 9/28/12 2:10 PM,

I agree with this comment. I do think that Delpo is capable of winning more slams. The only concern for him is his level of fitness. He can tire out in some of those best three out of five slam matches. He also seems to be very injury prone. Fortunately, none of the recent ones has been anywhere near as serious as that wrist injury that cost him a year.

I do think he has shown flashes of his great form at the 2009 USO, but it hasn't been consistent enough to get him through to the finals of a slam. I expect that he will be able to show that form on a more regular basis and this could bode well for him in 2013.

Nativenewyorker , 9/29/12 2:09 AM

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