• Nadal makes 2013 hard court debut against Harrison

    3/9/13 4:19 AM | Cheryl Murray
    Nadal makes 2013 hard court debut against Harrison Rafael Nadal will take to hard courts for the first time since time in nearly a year against American Ryan Harrison., while Ernests Gulbis takes on Janko Tipsarevic.

    Rafael Nadal (5) vs. Ryan Harrison

    Spaniard Rafael Nadal has played three tournaments so far in 2013 and came away with one final and two titles. He has quickly worked his way into good form on the dirt, but whether that transfers to hard courts has yet to be determined.

    Nadal shouldn't have too much trouble with Ryan Harrison. The American has been in dreadful form since the Australian Open, without a single match win since his first round ouster in Melbourne of Santiago Giraldo.

    Even if the Spaniard has some hard-court rust, which would be expected after so long away from the cement, his abilities so far outstrip Harrison's, that he should get through in straight sets.

    Ernests Gulbis (Q) vs. Janko Tipsarevic (9)

    Seldom is a tournament No. 9 seed not the favorite against a qualifier, but that is just the case with Janko Tipsarevic and Ernests Gulbis. Tipsarevic is in terrible form. The Serb hasn't won a single match since the Australian Open; his losses include a second round ouster at the hands of world No. 119 Dmitry Tursunov.

    By contrast, Gulbis has been on a complete tear. He came up through qualifying in Delray Beach to take the title over Edouard Roger-Vasselin. He upset Feliciano Lopez in the first round and will have a real shot at taking out the No. 9 seed.

    Gulbis, who has historically struggled with consistency, has been solid since Rotterdam. The Latvian has now amassed a record of 8-2 on the season.

    Prediction - Gulbis for the upset in 3.

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Nadal's hair is looking mighty curly these days!

RickyDimon , 3/9/13 7:45 AM

that's tipsarevic.

rfzr , 3/9/13 7:57 AM

It is Gulbis

velliat53 , 3/9/13 8:10 AM

looks like Sampras to me

RickyDimon , 3/9/13 8:31 AM

Guys you need to ogle the picture more closely, it's Lukas Rosol, isn't he?

Raindrops , 3/9/13 8:39 AM

It's Gulbis, surely, but why.....? Is he lurking in Rafa's bit of the draw and put in to cause heeby-jeebies?

deuce , 3/9/13 8:43 AM


RickyDimon , 3/9/13 9:09 AM

this is an old photo of Ernest...he has different and more decent haircut now :)...Cheryl is obviously a fan of a curly hair...:)

natashao , 3/9/13 12:59 PM

its dani koellerer!

willmw101 , 3/9/13 12:59 PM

Thats obviously Andy Murrays secret tennis playing cousin Steve...

rbennett , 3/9/13 4:15 PM

Larry Ellison is such a Rafa fanboy. Rafa is actually staying with him.

nadline , 3/9/13 8:58 PM

Inappropriate. First he has the courts custom made for Nadal : medium speed with a high bounce, now this. At least Larry's daughter is surely safe.

chr18 , 3/10/13 12:17 AM

chr10-18 the homophobe


Conspirator , 3/10/13 2:59 AM

Wimbledon custom made Centre Court for Federer: indoors.

Conspirator , 3/10/13 3:05 AM

looks like Paolo Lorenzi to me (taken AFTER his collapse vs. Simon)


RickyDimon , 3/10/13 3:31 AM

what is happening here. only natashao, found it correctly. it is Earny only

velliat53 , 3/10/13 3:57 AM

chr18 is desperate.

nadline , 3/10/13 5:13 AM

chr10-18 the desperate racist homophobe.


Conspirator , 3/10/13 5:36 AM

"what is happening here. only natashao, found it correctly. it is Earny only"

I think Ricky is right, this may be Agassi.

rfzr , 3/10/13 5:48 AM

Rafa wins - 76 62

Rafa definitely still a bit rusty on h/c.

nadline , 3/10/13 5:58 AM

as expected, Rafa needed time to adjust to the hard court in IW thus making UEs more than some point in the first set, when Rafa lost his service, he seemed to have lost his confidence and trust in his backhand and ended up forcing forehand which naturally led to more the second set Rafa was calm and played better, both wings were working's far from perfect, but he is getting there...he just needs to serve better and avoid those double faults...transition from the clay courts is always difficult...
overall, good match given that his last hard court match was long time ago, last year in Miami...
Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 3/10/13 6:04 AM

oh, and I see that the fellow from the photo demolished Janko...huh...I regret not being able to see the match but Gulbis is obviously determined to stick to that famous first quote from the well-known Ricky?s blog...:)

natashao , 3/10/13 6:12 AM

LOL Natashao :)))

danica , 3/10/13 7:17 AM

For anyone who missed, watch these highlights. Very entertaining. Some exciting points.

Rafas passing shots and DTL winners are awesome. Ofcourse stats show he hit 25 winners and 25 UE. 25 winners is welcum but 25 UE, when did Rafa start making so many in a 2 set match . Clean it up Rafa :-)

sanju , 3/10/13 8:32 AM

nats, your take on the match is spot on.

It's good that it wasn't a straightforward demolition because Rafa may have had a false sense of security. Now he knows what to work on.

I was impressed with Harrison.

nadline , 3/10/13 9:09 AM

and what is it that he has to work on/ which areas of game were working well and which werent?

sanju , 3/10/13 9:28 AM

Timing and serve. He had five DFs during the match! He still needs some match play on the hard courts before he can adjust for the windy conditions.

luckystar , 3/10/13 10:15 AM

Ha! I had Ernie in the title, but had to take it out because it was too long and the system wouldn't post. :D

cherylmurray , 3/10/13 12:29 PM

No good Cheryl, we all know u have a HUGE crush on Ernie....;)

deuce , 3/10/13 1:53 PM

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