• Djokovic takes on Tsonga in Indian Wells quarters

    3/15/13 2:53 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Djokovic takes on Tsonga in Indian Wells quarters Novak Djokovic is part of a blockbuster quarterfinal lineup in Indian Wells along with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The winner of their Friday showdown will advance to face either Andy Murray or Juan Martin Del Potro.

    Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be meeting for the 15th time in their careers when they do battle in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday.

    Djokovic leads the head-to-head series 9-5 after sweeping Tsonga 5-0 in 2012. The world No. 1 prevailed in Rome, at the French Open (a five-set thriller), the Olympics, the China Open, and the World Tour Finals. Only the Roland Garros encounter ended in anything other than straight sets. Tsonga last beat Djokovic in five sets at the 2010 Australian Open.

    If the Frenchman can somehow get the best of his favored opponent once again, it would end the longest winning streak on tour. Djokovic has won a whopping 21 consecutive matches dating back to the start of last year's World Tour Finals. The top-seeded Serb triumphed in Melbourne and Dubai before scoring Indian Wells victories over Fabio Fognini, Grigor Dimitrov, and Sam Querrey.

    Tsonga has arguably played better than Djokovic this fortnight, but the Frenchman has certainly had to work much harder. He beat American veterans James Blake and Mardy Fish both in two entertaining sets prior to a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 scalp of Milos Raonic on Wednesday. Tsonga, who took home the Marseille title last month, boasts a 12-3 record for the season.

    As recent history suggests, this is not a favorable matchup for the world No. 6. Djokovic is the best baseline player in the world and therefore can break serve more effectively than anyone else right now. Tsonga's return, meanwhile, is the weakest part of his game so his back will be firmly against the wall if he ever drops his own serve. On a surface too slow for Tsonga's liking, Djokovic in straight sets is the pick.

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Djokovic in 2. Tsonga is playing erratic tennis atm.

nadline , 3/15/13 9:03 PM

Come on Nole, in straight sets I think.

deuce , 3/15/13 9:21 PM

I think Tsonga can take a set if he does not go for too much like he often does!

Monalysa , 3/15/13 9:42 PM

What do you mean atm Nads? He is always erractic! It's a question of degree.
To use a favourite word of the French commies - he lacks lucidity when the going gets tough.

ed251137 , 3/15/13 9:57 PM

I'll just be cautious and say that I hope for the Nole win. I won't be surprised if that doesn't happen.

The schedule should have been different.

danica , 3/15/13 9:59 PM

Djokovic has just broken Tsonga for doing absolutely nothing. Djokovic seems glued to the back of the court.

nadline , 3/15/13 10:03 PM

I fear this is another of those occasions when Tsonga has left his brains in the locker room. And if, as it seems, his serve has gone AWOL then he will get roasted by Nole.
So far he has been embarrasingly bad.

ed251137 , 3/15/13 10:08 PM

ed saw Tsonga ar WTF playing Andy. In the first set he was "embarrasingly bad" but woke up and played much better in the second.
Andy still won though....;)

deuce , 3/15/13 10:13 PM

Tsonga brought the match gift wrapped for Nole. Nole is not playing that well either.

nadline , 3/15/13 10:16 PM

I don't know about you, but I haven't seen any tennis yet.
Nole 6:3.

danica , 3/15/13 10:16 PM

Poor Roger Rasheed from Monfils to Tsonga - literally out of the frying pan into the fire.

nadline , 3/15/13 10:27 PM

Or perhaps not....I think this is the very worst I've ever seen Tsonga play....:(

deuce , 3/15/13 10:28 PM

Nole just has to keep the ball in play.

Nativenewyorker , 3/15/13 10:29 PM

Tsonga is also injured (Raonic match).

danica , 3/15/13 10:29 PM

Peter Fleming has just said that Djokovic is playing at the top of his game.....!

nadline , 3/15/13 10:34 PM

It is easy to look formidable if your opponent is obviously injured.

danica , 3/15/13 10:35 PM

What injury has Tsonga got?

nadline , 3/15/13 10:37 PM

I heard Tsonga injured his knee during the Raonic match.

danica , 3/15/13 10:39 PM

That was beyond bad - I'd go so far as to say it was positively disgraceful,

ed251137 , 3/15/13 10:42 PM

mark petchey also thinks nole was good today, but what mark and peter know about tennis?

rfzr , 3/15/13 10:46 PM

yes mark and peter do know a lot about tennis but seemingly youhardlynothing about tennis least you have posted something else rather than a nadal hatred post ..well done...

Well djokovic was good, the backhand down the lines are lethal and his serve continues to be a huge weapon in 2013 . Tsonga was indeed horrendous. So guys djokovic vs murray or delpo?

p.s, this was not carpet , just to clear the confusion for rfzr before he says in the future that nole owns tsonga on carpet lol

vamosrafa , 3/15/13 10:53 PM

*seemingly you know hardly anything

vamosrafa , 3/15/13 10:55 PM


samprallica , 3/15/13 11:14 PM

"It is easy to look formidable if your opponent is obviously injured."

Lol, so true :)

samprallica , 3/15/13 11:27 PM

samprallica, it was a joke. Rfzr said on another thread that nole has beaten rafa more times on 'carpet' so he is better on 'carpet' , whereas they have NEVER played on carpet so I have no clue how he/she introduced carpet into the equation !

vamosrafa , 3/15/13 11:51 PM

i was just citing if they are wrong i am too. no need to be obnoxious about it.

as carpet is fast i think it fits nole's play style.

rfzr , 3/16/13 12:06 AM

Mark who?
There was this Mark guy commenting yesterday (Rafa/Fed match) on Tennis Channel. He obviously didn't know the world #1 player's name. Kept calling him DjokoviCK. Ewwww.

danica , 3/16/13 12:06 AM

you are better with those 'vamos-es' rfza, stick to them.good for you

vamosrafa , 3/16/13 12:20 AM

Tsonga is a massive waste of time.

willmw101 , 3/16/13 12:25 AM

Mark Petchey was a British pro in the 1990s. Pretty good commentator, at least in my view.

Carpet was the surface they used indoors in the 1990s, no big deal.

samprallica , 3/16/13 12:25 AM

true, carpet is gone..i think carpet was also used in shanghai WTF once or twice...or may be in paris, not sure .... and yes mark petchey is a very good commentator

vamosrafa , 3/16/13 12:33 AM

"Carpet was the surface they used indoors in the 1990s, no big deal."

probably not the best surface for clay court specialists.

rfzr , 3/16/13 12:52 AM

so bad for you that the hard court specialists cannot benefit from carpet nowadays..tch tch

vamosrafa , 3/16/13 1:03 AM

^^ Lol definitely not. Although Corretja won the World Championships in 1998 on that surface beating Sampras along the way.

Carpet was dominated by the likes of Pete and Becker back in the day.

samprallica , 3/16/13 1:04 AM

I don't you can really say carpet or hard are the same; especially given today's context. Hard courts are definitely more reactive to spin for one, and moving is different.

Becker used to be really good on carpet but in terms of percentages not as great on hard. There is a difference.

samprallica , 3/16/13 1:16 AM

thanks sampra, good info.

rfzr , 3/16/13 1:32 AM

"mark petchey also thinks nole was good today, but what mark and peter know about tennis?"

You do have a point, Nole didn't make an unforced error in the second set apparently. Huge positive.

samprallica , 3/16/13 1:33 AM

true, carpet was more of an abrasive surface..and yes djokovic was very tidy in set 2

vamosrafa , 3/16/13 1:36 AM

height of absurdity : holder of GOLDEN CAREER GRAND SLAM is being called as a clay court specialist ..LOL

p.s no need to justify the absurdity by saying there is nothing wrong by saying rafa is a clay specialist because bla bla bla and that it was not meant to be was surely intended to be, what else can one expect from rfzr the great !! 90% of his/her comments are for rafa here, VAMOS!

vamosrafa , 3/16/13 1:43 AM


I am so glad that you are here fighting the good fight! We need some intelligent posting around here!

Nativenewyorker , 3/16/13 1:43 AM

i was talking generally about clay court specialists. you see rafa everywhere. did you check your fridge?

rfzr , 3/16/13 2:03 AM

hi NNY ! hope you are doing well ! excited for tomorrow? :) I think rafa is going to handle the Big Bird in 2 tight sets ..what do you think? Reaching the final would be a super result for rafa ...oh my poor andy,delpo just broke for the 2nd time in the deciding set

vamosrafa , 3/16/13 2:05 AM

hahahahahah ! dont make a clown out of yourself now have your silly vamos-es all over T.T and you say you were talking about clay court specialists LOL..what hypocrisy ...we know what you meant ! talking about rafa's wins over nole on clay and then obviously trying to demean his wins by using clay court specialist..go away please, dont make more fun of yourself now.

vamosrafa , 3/16/13 2:10 AM

vamosrafa, I don't really see where Nadal was mentioned in the line clay court specialists. I think it goes without saying that Nadal is an accomplished champion on all surfaces.

samprallica , 3/16/13 2:10 AM

Anone who calls Rafa clay court specialist after him having won the Golden career slam (2 Wimbys, 1 AO, 1 USO, 1 OlymPIC Gold HC) and some 16-17 odd overall titles outside clay is a certified Rafa hater

sanju , 3/16/13 2:14 AM

samprallica, none of my above posts have been directed at you. Your posts on this thread have been informative and good. It was rfzr who used it :)

@sanju, that is just further confirmation. No doubts rfzr is a pure hater.

vamosrafa , 3/16/13 2:18 AM

Apparently, Nole is a carpet specialist. I hear he is unbeatable on spinach and porridge as well according to rfartz.

Conspirator , 3/16/13 2:19 AM

Constipator: nice try ;)

rfzr , 3/16/13 2:27 AM

"Anone who calls Rafa clay court specialist after him having won the Golden career slam (2 Wimbys, 1 AO, 1 USO, 1 OlymPIC Gold HC) and some 16-17 odd overall titles outside clay is a certified Rafa hater"

Perhaps the person who claimed this (although I don't see a post as such) is more interested in drawing this exact response from you and not really hating on Rafa? I have to admit liking Rafa was easy before I started reading comments on this site. No offense intended.

samprallica , 3/16/13 2:27 AM

OMG. That's seriously funny.

ed251137 , 3/16/13 2:30 AM

vamosrafa, 3/16/13 2:05 AM,

I have a lot of faith in your predictions. It's good to know that you think Rafa will beat Berdy in straight sets. I think the match with Gulbis was good preparation for Berdy. Rafa has to be feeling so good about getting into the semis here.

I will just be happy with Rafa winning. I know that Berdy is playing well now and has the kind of game to challenge Rafa. However, Rafa knows what to expect. He has been there before with Berdy. He will have to hold his serve! Good serving, then more of that backhand and of course, the forehand should do the trick. Rafa has the advantage with mental strength and consistency.

You have been talking about how important it is that Rafa's backhand is working so well. That is his confidence shot, so for me it's a good sign when that shot is clicking. I thought his ROS against Fed was the best it's been so far in the tournament. He will need that to be working as well.

I just feel really good about Rafa right now. He has defended his points and getting to the final will be icing on the cake.

samprallica, 3/16/13 2:27 AM,

Your last sentence said it all. That's the point, but it doesn't mean that the person instigating isn't still a Rafa hater. If some here are going to trash Rafa or try to distort or demean his record, then they need to expect his fans to stand up for him. Sanju merely referenced the facts regarding Rafa's considerable achievements.

Nativenewyorker , 3/16/13 2:37 AM

"We need some intelligent posting around here!"

" I have to admit liking Rafa was easy before I started reading comments on this site. No offense intended."

rfzr , 3/16/13 2:39 AM

" If some here are going to trash Rafa or try to distort or demean his record, then they need to expect his fans to stand up for him." - Oh I'm sure they expect that all right. Although I don't really know if its called standing up; a few other postures come to my mind.

samprallica , 3/16/13 3:04 AM

rfzr, 3/16/13 2:39 AM,

It's kind of a copout to use samprallica's comment in response to what I said. Can't you speak for yourself? I guess not!

Oh and yes, that comment was said with you in mind! Glad to see that you got the message! :)

Nativenewyorker , 3/16/13 3:25 AM

Stating real hard facts is perfectly legitimate compared to the conjectures and ridiculous twisting of statements that goes on here . King of clay is perfectly okay as its undoubtedly his strongest surface but referring him as a clay court specialist (whenever its done) is downright absurd. Lets ask the Feds, Djokos, Murrays, Berdys etc who play him day in and day out if they think of Rafa as a clay court specialist, guess they know better than us over here.

And if someone finds it dfficult to like Rafa because of that, who cares? He has more than his multitude of fans who will support and wish well for him (in their own style and ways :-))

sanju , 3/16/13 6:25 AM

Novak has won like how many 6 titles (5 on clay, 1 on grass) outside H/C out of his 36 titles , Murray has won like 3 of his 25 outside H/C ,do we see any Rafan terming them as a H/C specialist? No right, then when Rafa has won like 15 titles maybe outside clay is he being termed as a clay court specialist.

sanju , 3/16/13 6:34 AM

Rafa has more hardcourt slams and more grasscourt slams than everybody else on the current tour except Federer and Djokovic. He has more Wimbledon titles and finals than any current player except Federer.
If rfzr describes him as a clay court specialist, he is only revealing how moronic or delusional he is.
Frankly I don't give a damn. As sanju said, Rafa is the King of clay. Nobody in the open era has dominated any surface as he has dominated clay.
It is grass and clay which are traditional tennis surfaces, not hard court or ice or cheese or whatever they might come up with in future. The ones who excel on grass and clay, they are the true tennis champions.
If rfart and his cohorts think otherwise, it makes no difference to history. And Rafael Nadal is already recognized as one of the greatest players on all surfaces. And the greatest on clay.
Personally I am of the opinion he is the true GOAT.

holdserve , 3/16/13 12:05 PM


Conspirator , 3/16/13 1:16 PM

Well said Holdserve
Just 100% fit rafa is required

venkianz , 3/16/13 3:02 PM

You tell 'em holdserve. I wouldn't call anyone the GOAT, but I'll go as far as saying that Rafa is the best player in this era.

I doubt if any of the top 4 ranked players at the moment would volunteer to be drawn against Rafa on any surface to play him in the Qtrs.

nadline , 3/16/13 3:31 PM

This "era" is still ongoing, so let's wait and see the end results when they all stop playing. Hats off to Rafa who has incredible results in very competitive field, much stronger than Roger had when he came on to scene. Surely, Rafa achieved what Roger never will - OG gold in singles and multiple Davis Cup championships. However, there is still plenty of time for great results but so there is for Nole (and Muzza).

I am not sure why there is so many aggressive posts after someone said that Rafa is a clay court specialist. That doesn't exclude him from being the top two or three on all other surfaces. Maybe there is a language barrier and maybe something is lost in translation? Maybe the intent was not to diminish his achievements? I am sure that was the case. Sometimes I think that some of the posters read too much into the writing of others and see something that was not meant. It is happening on all forums, no matter what the context is.

danica , 3/16/13 10:31 PM

When said someone ends many of his insulting posts towards Rafa with a sarcastic Vamos, then he has set a reputation for himself, no?


Conspirator , 3/17/13 1:26 AM

I must confess I didn't read all of Rfzr posts, I just commented on what caught my eye on this thread. I think that saying Rafa is a clay specialist is not derogatory. Rafa's results speak for themselves, he is basically an all surface specialist, simply a great player. I don't know how anyone could dispute that.

danica , 3/17/13 2:12 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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