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  • Nadal, Berdych collide in Indian Wells semifinals

    3/16/13 4:32 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Nadal, Berdych collide in Indian Wells semifinals A spot in the title match is on the line as Rafael Nadal goes up against Tomas Berdych in Indian Wells. The winner of Saturday's showdown will meet either Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray.

    Rafael Nadal's comeback from seventh months off has been picking up steam by the day and he is in full flight at the BNP Paribas Open. Nadal, coming off clay-court titles in Sao Paulo and Acapulco, opened in Indian Wells with a win over Ryan Harrison before earning especially impressive victories at the expense of Ernests Gulbis and Roger Federer.

    Up next for the world No. 5 is a 16th career meeting with Tomas Berdych, who is playing stellar tennis this season. The Czech finished runner-up in both Marseille and Dubai, and he improved his 2013 record to 18-4 with straight-set defeats this fortnight of Mischa Zverev, Florian Mayer, Richard Gasquet, and Kevin Anderson

    "I think everyone knows who i would prefer to play," Berdych said prior to the Federer-Nadal match.

    It's no secret of course, because Berdych has won five of his last eight meetings with Federer–including the last two at the U.S. Open and in Dubai. On the other hand, the world No. 6 is a horrendous 3-12 lifetime against Nadal and he has lost 11 consecutive matches in the series since once leading it 3-1. Nadal has won six of their nine previous hard-court encounters, including via a 6-7(5), 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-3 decision at last year’s Australian Open. They most recently faced each other last spring on the clay courts of Rome, where the Spaniard cruised 6-4, 7-5.

    Berdych's current form and the hard-court surface would normally point to a win for the No. 6 seed in this one. His past history against Nadal, however, is glaring and it may be too much for him to overcome. Furthermore, the relatively slow conditions in the desert will benefit the former world No. 1.

    Nadal in three entertaining sets is the pick.

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Comments

Not a bad result making the SF of a hard court masters, his first hard court event, after a long injury layoff, still not 100%, and being a one-dimensional clay specialist only.

NOT COOL for his rival ranked 3 places above him, still going strong, a hard court specialist and the greatest ever to have faded away yesterday.

jean , 3/16/13 6:17 AM



Vamos Rafa!

nadline , 3/16/13 9:04 AM


i say berdych is the favourite. nadal has to step up his game one level more to win this match. i think he can do it. vamos nadal!

croc , 3/16/13 9:38 AM


Going into this match I chose to remember the Wimby 2010 finals when Rafa turned up playing simply amazing tennis while nobody expected him to do so...I wish Rafa in his mind just goes back to that match and to 2010 WTF and 2011 Miami and so on...Rafa's confidence is key to this match...he just needs to feel comfortable on the court and go for his shots...it may be a little frustrating since I expect Berdy to serve well as he has been the whole tourney, but Rafa should find the way to deal with it...I remember Rafa's ROS in that AO 2012 match...I just wish he can produce more of those here...

Enjoy the match, Rafa!

Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 3/16/13 12:00 PM


Cheering for Rafa and Nole and a super duper final!

deuce , 3/16/13 12:01 PM


No the winner will play either djok or DelPo.

Looking forward to the match here in Ireland, hopefully it finishes before I work. Have to say Berdych had some early success against Rafa but its been a demolition job ever since with a 12-3 H2H. But i cant but feel this is probably berdych's best chance of victory in years against rafa. Hes playing well but so has rafa. Im getting goosebumps thinkin about the match tonight...i expect 3 tight sets. Berdych and DelPo make tennis stronger...its not just a top 4 sport, these guys plus ferrer make the field hugely competitive. i think the other semi is inbalanced also

rafakid , 3/16/13 12:13 PM


^ Um...meant Rafa and Nole IN the final of course.

deuce , 3/16/13 12:21 PM


Both Delpo and Berdych have made great strides in improving their games. They're no longer only one dimensional big serving, big hitting guys. Berdych is hitting and serving well here and are able to save many break points to hold serve. He's certainly not an easy opponent here. Still, I believe in Rafa; he'll find a way to win.

luckystar , 3/16/13 12:32 PM


croc, 3/16/13 11:24 AM (in thread 'Murray, Del Potro battle...')

During a seven-month injury layoff, Rafa worked in the gym this way:
http://tinyurl.com/c9n9lxt
http://tinyurl.com/af4orwn
http://t inyurl.com/c3eb3ws

Augustina08 , 3/16/13 1:02 PM


thanks august, but that won't make him run like this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3waTc52zqg

match after match. tournament after tournament.

croc , 3/16/13 1:12 PM


Vamos our Rafa & good luck against Berdy.

schatz , 3/16/13 1:25 PM


croc, by eating plenty of gambas and pasta, night club crawling, golf, poker, a bit of acting as a receptionist in a golf club, lying around sun bathing, swimming, attending football matches as a VIP guest, filming for your sponsors and just being Rafael Nadal - a born athlete.

nadline , 3/16/13 1:25 PM


Watch Rafa keeping fit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jOiHYwN8Tk

nadline , 3/16/13 1:30 PM


I did not think anybody in this day and age was unaware of fitness routines but croc has proved that such ignoramuses exist. He is so ignorant that he doesn't know he is ignorant and appears here with all his feet stuck firmly in his gaping mouth.

holdserve , 3/16/13 1:41 PM


I've seen Berdych collapsing too many times after close first sets with Rafa, I hope this one will be a different one. Staying tough with RF in Dubai and defending 3 match points was a bit new. Maybe B. can build on it and give Rafa some tough time. Still - expecting to see Rafa vs. Nole final.

HogarTheHorrible , 3/16/13 1:43 PM


Good preview, Kelli. I concur. I think most times, you'd have to give the nod to Berdych...but I feel like Nadal is going to nab him again.

cherylmurray , 3/16/13 1:57 PM


I thought Ricki wrote it, Kelli Cheryl?

natashao - Pred?

sanju , 3/16/13 2:12 PM


This ones gonna be far far more competitive than the Nole DElpo semi, that one I feel Nole will close out in 2 esp as Delpo will be spent after yesterdays toughie with Murray in the hot sun.

sanju , 3/16/13 2:14 PM


i don't think she read the article. probably just read the last line and assumed it was kelli.

RickyDimon , 3/16/13 2:14 PM


Ricky - You have made quiet a reputation for yourself even amongst your fellow article writers of always picking against Rafa :-)

sanju , 3/16/13 2:17 PM


Berdych hasn't beaten Rafa in the last 7 years and they've met 11 times including 3 GS, on all surfaces and Berdych has only managed to take 2 sets off Rafa, yet Cheryl would always give the nod to Berdych. You have to laugh.

I admit that nothing is set in stone, either player could win today. Of course everyone is entitled to have a feel for the winner but not based on seeing the facts upside down.

nadline , 3/16/13 2:44 PM


The only saving grace for Rafa is that the winner is not decided by a panel of TT writers, journalists or bloggers...............not sure what capacity they are in.

nadline , 3/16/13 2:58 PM


My post @3/16/13 2:44 PM

I was going to say what kind of logic is that, but words failed me!

nadline , 3/16/13 3:02 PM


Djokovic on Rafa yesterday..esp to those who insist on terming Rafa as a clay court specialist

"Well, it's sort of expected, considering the success throughout his career that he had on all the surfaces," Serbian world number one Djokovic told reporters on Friday about the Spaniard's form in his first hardcourt event in a year.

"It wasn't a big surprise, but, you know, there was always a wonder if he's going to feel physically fit or not to play four tournaments in five weeks. That's very demanding for somebody that's been off for seven months."

Obviously he's building the confidence," said Djokovic, after cruising through his quarter-final on Friday in commanding fashion, winning 6-3 6-1 against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

"He feels good, and he's very motivated, I'm sure, to perform his best. He's been playing great tennis."

sanju , 3/16/13 4:03 PM


Good preview, Kelli. I concur. I think most times, you'd have to give the nod to Berdych...but I feel like Nadal is going to nab him again.

cherylmurray , 3/16/13 1:57 PM Delete Edit

Thank you Cheryl, thank you very much. Seems Ricky agreed with me. :D

Kelli , 3/16/13 5:58 PM


cherylmurray, 3/16/13 1:57 PM,

Cheryl said that she thinks Rafa will beat Berdy. So why would anyone say that she will always give the nod to Berdy?

I expect this to be a good match. Berdy has been playing quite well of late. His weaknesses have been a lack of mental strength and inconsistency. His strengths are his big serve, powerful flat groundstrokes, and taking the ball early. He has the game to make a match out of this. I think this could well go three sets.

Rafa must serve well. One break could well mean losing the set. I think Rafa has had excellent preparation with Gulbis and Fed. I believe he will get the win.

Nativenewyorker , 3/16/13 6:54 PM


this court is too slow for tbird's game.

rfzr , 3/16/13 7:06 PM


2 or 3 doesnt matter as long as Rafa gets the win and I believe he must get the win come hook or crook to keep the mental advantage over Berdy.

Berdy could be a potential QF opponent in most key tournies going forth

sanju , 3/16/13 7:09 PM


saw sum quote on twitter from Toni saying Rafa wants to go to Miami and keep competing but Toni is against him going to Miami..any news?

sanju , 3/16/13 7:13 PM


^^^^

I just read a quote on vb from Uncle Toni that seems to indicate he will not play Miami. I haven't read anything to the effect that Rafa wants to keep competing.

Nativenewyorker , 3/16/13 7:19 PM


Uncle Toni spoke on a radio program. Here are the two key comments about playing in Miami.

Toni Nadal on SER: "He feels like going to Miami, because Rafael has been playing well and it's been a while, so he still can't wait to compete..."
Toni Nadal on SER: "But he hasn't decided yet, because a very hard clay swing is coming and he knows that the sensible thing is not to go to Miami."

Nativenewyorker , 3/16/13 7:26 PM


Yes NNY that was exact quote. Rafa wants to kinda play but Toni doesnt want him to.

I think if Rafa wins today he should skip Miami but if he loses he should go, every point couns to get to No 4 for RG

sanju , 3/16/13 7:33 PM


NNY, this why


I think most times, you'd have to give the nod to Berdych...but I feel like Nadal is going to nab him again.
cherylmurray, 3/16/13 1:57 PM

nadline , 3/16/13 8:04 PM


Guys any good non registration streaming link please?

sanju , 3/16/13 8:05 PM


Can someone give me a link where I can watch this match

damianthorn , 3/16/13 8:23 PM


^^^streamhunter, sportlemon

nadline , 3/16/13 8:36 PM


http://lsh.streamhunter.eu/static/popups/140390965338760.html

gr8nadal , 3/16/13 8:37 PM


ha. That's funny. Apparently I have a sub-conscious aversion to complimenting Ricky. :D

cherylmurray , 3/16/13 8:43 PM


nadline - I meant under the circumstances that Berdych would usually be considered the favorite because Rafa's been out for so long. I certainly did NOT mean that Berdych would normally beat Nadal.

cherylmurray , 3/16/13 8:46 PM


Nadal feasting on Berdych's errors in the last game...please hold now Rafa

atul1985 , 3/16/13 8:47 PM


A tentative game from Birdman costs him a break of his serve.

abhirf , 3/16/13 8:48 PM


^^^^

That is what I thought you meant! :)

Nativenewyorker , 3/16/13 8:48 PM


In my previous post @8:48PM, the comment was directed to Cheryl.

Nativenewyorker , 3/16/13 8:50 PM


^ I know :)

abhirf , 3/16/13 8:52 PM


Berdych's retrieving skills are very poor....I thought Gulbis was really impressive when it came to his defensive skills...Berdych no where near. Bottom line: Maybe Gilbis was a thougher opponent

atul1985 , 3/16/13 8:53 PM


thanks gr8nadal for the link.

Rafa is doing good so far. 6-4 first set to Rafa.

Raindrops , 3/16/13 9:02 PM


Thanks, NNY. :)

cherylmurray , 3/16/13 9:03 PM


Rafa playing fine tennis. Forehand has been impressive but the backhand has not been near the level it was against federer but not bad at all. Rafa is getting better as the match is progressing. just keep improving rafa!

I HOPE rafa does NOT play Miami!!!

vamosrafa , 3/16/13 9:03 PM


Maybe I misunderstood you, Cheryl, but I took 'most times' to mean more than one occasion.

nadline , 3/16/13 9:06 PM


By "most times" i mean "anytime an in-form player takes on a newly returned from injury player".

Obviously, given their head-to-head, it would be beyond foolish to claim that Berdych usually beats Nadal.

cherylmurray , 3/16/13 9:09 PM


Thanks Naddy and gr8nadal

damianthorn , 3/16/13 9:09 PM


Cheryl, I see.

nadline , 3/16/13 9:13 PM


vamosrafa - I am guessing that Rafa wouldn't be so foolhardy. Time in Europe to get ready for the all-important clay season is much more important than Miami, where he rarely does well anyway.

cherylmurray , 3/16/13 9:15 PM


If Rafa wins this match and gets to the final, I don't see any way he plays Miami. Uncle Toni has already made his feelings known even though Rafa wants to keep playing.

Brad Gilbert said that Rafa's shots are bouncing about two to three feet higher due to the fast conditions. Berdy is showing that he's not the best mover on the court. He is also having trouble handling Rafa's high spinning shots.

Nativenewyorker , 3/16/13 9:18 PM


there are arguments for and against

what is the point of playing ONE hard-court tournament right in the middle of a 16-month stretch devoid of hard-court tournaments???

RickyDimon , 3/16/13 9:22 PM


perfect sixth game from Rafa...

Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 3/16/13 9:27 PM


^^^ Confidence only. I'd hazard a guess that he would probably have skipped IW if he hadn't won Acapulco. But since he did and massacred Ferrer along the way, he was feeling confident. And doing as well as he did this week isn't going to hurt anything in that dept. either.

cherylmurray , 3/16/13 9:29 PM


why would he go from clay to 1 hard-court event and then back to clay when he just slaughtered ferrer 0 and 2 on clay? confidence on clay already sky-high. confidence on hards irrelevant until August.

RickyDimon , 3/16/13 9:32 PM


Uncle Toni did say that Rafa wants to keep playing. I can understand why. He's playing better with each match, his form is getting better and that gives him more confidence.

We'll have to see what they decide to do.

Nativenewyorker , 3/16/13 9:35 PM


they'll do what Toni wants, not what Rafa wants, if they continue to want different things. that's for sure.

RickyDimon , 3/16/13 9:37 PM


Bravo Rafa...break back...that's the spirit...

Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 3/16/13 9:39 PM


Break and rebreak. Just when I thought this could get interesting :)

danica , 3/16/13 9:40 PM


6:5 Rafa.
Berdy... what can I say? :)

danica , 3/16/13 9:51 PM


ditto what Ricky said. If Toni says Rafa's not playing, chances are good that Rafa's not playing.

cherylmurray , 3/16/13 9:57 PM


Phew what a nervy last 4 games and the last game God that was so tight..3 BPs against him, 2 game points

Vamos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sanju , 3/16/13 10:01 PM


Rafa wins 64 75.

Who would have thought Rafa would make the first h/c final in his comeback.


Vamos Rafa!

nadline , 3/16/13 10:01 PM


^^^ particularly the last frame sanju. Rafa is obviously nervous.

Raindrops , 3/16/13 10:02 PM


Rafa wins! Great job. Congratulations! This is huge. Well done!

danica , 3/16/13 10:02 PM


And the winner is: our Rafa!

Vamos, Rafa! Vamooooooooosssssss!!!!!

Augustina08 , 3/16/13 10:02 PM


Yes, that was a bad miss from big bird. Rafa is making him hit one extra ball and he is missing. I think Rafa is back at 90% of his old. Beating Fed and Berdych in straight sets is no easy thing . I think out of four hard court Masters 1000 in USA , Rafa likes IW the most. I think this is his fourth final at least .

Rafa versus Nole .....Wow what a match would be . Right where Rafa left and now he is all set to renew the rivalry.

fedexal , 3/16/13 10:03 PM


Vamosssss Rafa. I am so happy for you. Keep up the good work

gr8nadal , 3/16/13 10:03 PM


Neeeeeeeeeeeever in doubt!

Bravo Rafa! Another IW Final! Great, simply amazing!

Vamos Rafa!


natashao , 3/16/13 10:06 PM


Great for Rfa to get the win in straight sets but boy that serve drop at 4 3 was ridiculous and that amazing break back and next 6 games in a row was spellbinding just to get to last game which was a roller coaster n itself..phew

But somehow I didnt get the feel of a real match being played..no real rallies..too many UE by both , tempo of match was slow too, anyone else felt the same?

sanju , 3/16/13 10:13 PM


Good win

I predicted after looking at the draw that Rafa would reach the final where he would be beaten by Nole or Murray. Looks like that's exactly what will happen

atul1985 , 3/16/13 10:14 PM


sorry 3 games in a row in my post above

sanju , 3/16/13 10:14 PM


I see some beautiful forehand dtl but no appearance of lethal cc backhand. hmmm maybe because Birdy's ball are quite so fast or Rafa has yet to reached his maximum speed and agility to get to the ball.

Vamos !!!

Raindrops , 3/16/13 10:15 PM


NNY, rafa wins in 2 tight sets :D :D just as we thought...i would say rafa was not at his best but he played the big points superbly well ! he showed flashes of brilliance...the backhand was not as lethal as it was against federer though. Rafa will likely face the best player in the world on a hard court so i think he shud try to play freely ! Go for his shot, especially his backhand and see how things turn out....i would not discount rafa's chances at all..may be already superb comeback will peak to perfection tomorrow?

vamosrafa , 3/16/13 10:16 PM


#VamosGOAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Conspirator , 3/16/13 10:19 PM


Sanju, I agree with ur assessment....The match somehow lacked the intensity or normal Rafa matches....really I was never scared even when rafa dropped serve late in the 2nd set that he was going to lose. No first pumps either, just going thru the motions it seemed

atul1985 , 3/16/13 10:19 PM


vamosrafa,

You get all the credit for predicting two tight sets. I set great store in your opinion, but I said that today that it could go three sets. It almost looked like that might happen when Rafa was broken, but then he broke right back! It was a bit nerve-wracking watching him serve it out.

Rafa wasn't at his best, but what he does so well is play the big points better! That's our Rafa! I didn't think Berdy played as well as he has been playing either. Rafa's backhand wasn't clicking as it did in previous matches.

I agree that Rafa should just relax and go for his shots against Nole. There's no reason to feel pressure because he didn't expect to be in the final. He's picked up points and reached the final of his first hard court tournament since he came back!

You could see how much it means to Rafa. He is so happy! No one can doubt this result. No more of that nonsense about not playing against tough competition. He just beat two of the hottest players right now - Gulbis and Berdy. Well done!

There is one guy who is hotter and undefeated. If Rafa is to meet with Nole in the final, then I am not going to write him off. I expect the experts to go with Nole since he hasn't lost this year. But I won't count out Rafa!

Nativenewyorker , 3/16/13 10:30 PM


Yeah beating Novak will be a very very tall order, maybe too much to expect too soon. . But hes already 1500 points for the season, lets celebrate that, hes beaten 3 quality players in Gulbis(who was on fire and had him on he ropes), Federer (demolished), Berdy (handled well) on a H/C

Yes today backhand was no way close to yesterday but F/H was better than yesterday, not sure when both will fire away together, hopefully for RG and Wimby :-)

sanju , 3/16/13 10:30 PM


sanju, 3/16/13 8:05 PM

I think, LiveScoreHunter is the best free streaming site. It also provides a lot of information about tournament(s).

http://www.livescorehunter.com/Livescores/Livescore- Tennis.html

Augustina08 , 3/16/13 10:32 PM


So it seems if Rafa and his opponent don't kill each other on the court you guys consider the match uninteresting, slow, no intensity, no real rallies?! Are you kidding me? Birdy did his best but he couldn't cope with Rafa's top spins and those smart kick serves...OTOH Rafa was troubled with Birdy's fast flat shots and he was aware of Birdy's excellent ROSs thuse making more UEs...the match was not as electrifying as you all would have wanted but it was a really good match...and if it didn't go to three sets it's because of Rafa being brilliant when mattered...and the reason why Rafa had problems finishing the match was Berdy playing great deep precise shots...so please give some credit to the players here....
Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 3/16/13 10:35 PM


Thanks Augustina

Tomas on Rafa: confidence seems fully back, no reason why he can't sweep clay and go deep on grass again.

sanju , 3/16/13 10:41 PM


natashao..no ones robbing credit, ofcourse he deserved to win and he won, talking from pure entertainment value :-)..somehow didnt get feeling of a good blockbuster match being played. It was flaccid :-)

sanju , 3/16/13 10:44 PM


So as expected, Rafa wins in straights to reach the final. Played nicely throughout the match. His serve has improved which saw him through those few tight situations.
As for Birdman, the story remains the same: so near yet so far. He had it on his racquet to push things further but again lost the plot mentally. Just losing it in his mind all over again.

abhirf , 3/16/13 10:46 PM


quite an honest and unbiased take on the match NNY! I really like how you always point out that rafa's opponent wasnt able to play at his best *when it actually is the case of course)...lets hope for the best NNY and other rafans! I will have rafa as the slight favourite if delpo is the opponent

vamosrafa , 3/16/13 10:47 PM


Rafa's poker training is coming in very handy, he won't show his hands until he needs to. I bet Fed was buoyed up by the match against Gulbis but Rafa was ready for him.

nadline , 3/16/13 10:48 PM


Rafael Nadal: "For me, it's completely unexpected. To be in the final ... it's a big surprise but I'm here and I'm very, very happy.",

sanju , 3/16/13 10:49 PM


rafa looked sooooo happy after getting the win ! I felt great too :)

vamosrafa , 3/16/13 10:51 PM


Sanju,I know but that's Berdy's style of play...he is not the kind of player who does long rallies...I think I mentioned it before...Rafa knows Berdy very well and did not want to destroy himself on the court and rather waited for Berdy to make errors...and the tactics worked well...obviously for you and Danica would have been much more interesting if there were more break points for Berdy and more uncertainty or chances for Berdy but Rafa did not want to donate Berdy any free points...and thank God for that!

I love the way the match was played. Rafa did not exhaust himself and will be just fine for tomorrow's final. For me the match was simply perfect!

BTW, the other semi is more boring and with much less excitement and intensity than the Rafa vs. Berdy one...

natashao , 3/16/13 11:00 PM


The Djoko DElpo match is soo boring too :-).just waiting for 1st set to get over n then go to bed

sanju , 3/16/13 11:01 PM


natashao we made the same comment on the other semi at same time, its hell boring, its a yawnfest till now

sanju , 3/16/13 11:02 PM


sanju, 3/16/13 11:02 PM

ahaha, funny..:)
I am afraid we will get all the excitement tomorrow...:)

natashao , 3/16/13 11:05 PM


Nadal: difficult to understand again how to manage big points after not playing for a long time. Nervous at end today, but serve helped.

Nadal likes IW because of relaxing atmosphere. He feels that he will need to serve well vs. Djokovic. Not new and new at same time

sanju , 3/16/13 11:12 PM


Djokovic hardly leaves the back of the court, his style is so pedestrian.

nadline , 3/16/13 11:13 PM


25UE in 1st set between Delpo n Novak..geez

sanju , 3/16/13 11:24 PM


Hey guys, there is a Delpo and Novak thread, you know.......hehehe!!!

Monalysa , 3/16/13 11:31 PM


Nole's defense is just impeneterable!

abhirf , 3/16/13 11:33 PM


Nole's defense is just impeneterable!


Agree, the best on HC atleast

sanju , 3/16/13 11:34 PM


These Pope jokes on Delpo are getting so tiring

Delpo after breaking Djoko surrenders it back promptly. Delpo enacting Berdy :-)

sanju , 3/16/13 11:38 PM


What a point...funny 2nd set till now

atul1985 , 3/16/13 11:44 PM


And then breaks Nole again with 3 consecutive great points.

abhirf , 3/16/13 11:47 PM


Delpope is playing infallibly.

#VamosRAFA

Conspirator , 3/17/13 1:31 AM


vamosrafa,

Where are you? I just saw the end of the Nole/Delpo match! I could barely believe my eyes! Nole was up 3-0 in the third set and then Delpo broke back! Delpo really took it to Nole and beat him!

So now it's going to be Rafa vs Delpo, who has just taken out Murray and Nole! Who would have thought it would happen. I don't know what to think now.

I thought Rafa's match with Berdy was great to watch, but I understand where sanju is coming from. We are all entitled to our opinions. I think that Rafa managed to take Berdy out of his comfort zone. The espn commentators were saying that Rafa kept changing his position for the ROS and that confused Berdy. Rafa also mixed up his serves well to keep Berdy off balance. Also, Rafa exploited Berdy's lack of movement on the court. So it was Rafa's tactics that made Berdy not play as well. That is why Rafa is so difficult to play. He used his tennis brain and tactics well in this match.

Delpo will be feeling great coming into the final after beating the #1 who was undefeated and the #3!

Nativenewyorker , 3/17/13 1:37 AM


rafa is on a 13 match winning streak ;) he is HOT ! yes delpo's effort was exceptional !
However, i am going with rafa ! Rafa has not won a hard court title in 2.5 years and winning one masters 1000 event on his comeback would be beyond words !

vamosrafa , 3/17/13 2:01 AM


NNy , very true..rafa for me is the most intelligent tennis player out there...a great tactician

vamosrafa , 3/17/13 2:03 AM


Come on..............u think winning 11-GSlam finals is from someone who is dumb!! Stop letting those Federer opologists play with your mind!!! Rafa is obviously one of the smartest tennis players to ever live!!!......................and by the way, he WILL win tomorow!!! i am not expecting anything less!!! And if he doesnt, making the finals many thought was asking too much..........so its a great achievement.

I know many are disappointed Nole did not make the finals but in tennis you just NEVER know!! All these pronouncements people make about Rafa and his chances at EVERY tournement year after year is just excrutiatingly annoying!!!

VAMOS!!!

Monalysa , 3/17/13 2:34 AM


^^^^

I am not sure to whom this post is directed. As far as I am concerned, Rafa is the best when it comes to tennis smarts. I really could care less what the Fed apologists think or say at this point in time. I am just thrilled that Rafa is in the finals at I/W! This is a win-win situation. He has already exceeded expectations by getting to the final. Winning would be the icing on the cake! I would love to see Rafa win a hard court Masters event so soon after his comeback. He just has a way of proving the naysayers wrong!

vamosrafa,

So you do think that Rafa will beat Delpo? I am not expecting Delpo to be tired from his back-to-back victories over Murray and Nole. Rafa will not take anything for granted. He said in his on-court interview with Brad Gilbert that he would watch the Nole/Delpo match. He has respect for Delpo and will take nothing for granted.

I would so love to see Rafa lift the trophy tomorrow! I will be sending good vibes to him tonight!

Nativenewyorker , 3/17/13 3:47 AM


I'm one who felt that Delpo could take out Nole, based on the way they played this tournament. Nole was not playing well this tournament; against Tsonga, it was Tsonga who played awfully that made Nole looked good. I was disappointed with Delpo when he went 3-0 down in the third set but credit to him, he fought back and Nole did serve poorly and couldn't save himself out of trouble. Maybe there's the wind?

I would expect Rafa to beat Delpo tomorrow, because unlike Nole, Rafa is getting better and better match after match. The Gulbis match did help Rafa in getting his competitive nature all awakened. If he could survive Gulbis (who IMO was the toughest opponent whom Rafa had faced this tournament), he'll survive a not so fresh Delpo.

luckystar , 3/17/13 4:19 AM


^^^^

I thought that Delpo would give Nole a real match based on how he has been playing. However, I thought that Nole would raise his level of play in this match. That did not happen. It is true that Nole wasn't playing that great in the tournament, but he has done this before and then cranked it up in the business end of tournaments. I think at one point in the match, the commentators said that he was only getting in about 53% of first serves. They said that his serving stats were not comparable to what he has done so far this year.

Delpo has shown some mental toughness and fight in his matches against both Murray and Nole. I thought he did well to come back after being down 3-0 in that third set. You just don't see Nole giving up leads like that. Delpo played better in the latter half of that final set.

I expect Rafa to come out and play even better in the final. Delpo will feel confident about beating Murray and Nole back-to-back, but Rafa also has confidence after beating Gulbis, Fed and Berdy. I am not so sure that we can count on Delpo not being fresh. I know that Rafa won't take anything for granted.

Nativenewyorker , 3/17/13 4:32 AM


Vamos Rafa!

holdserve , 3/17/13 4:38 AM


I so agree with Nadline's poker analogy. Over the years I have noticed how he has often disguised his true form and confounded his apponents and the sceptics when it comes to crunch time.

ed251137 , 3/17/13 10:59 AM



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