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  • Djokovic to suit up for first match against Youzhny

    4/16/13 4:49 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Djokovic to suit up for first match against Youzhny Novak Djokovic is reportedly good to go for this week's Monte-Carlo Masters. He will contest his opening match on Wednesday against Mikhail Youzhny.


    Ten days after sustaining an ankle injury during Davis Cup action, Novak Djokovic will be back on the court for the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. After several days of practice in the principality, Djokovic has deemed himself fit to face Mikhail Youzhny during second-round action on Wednesday.

    The head-to-head series between Djokovic and Youzhny stands at a competitive 4-3 in the world No. 1's favor. They have never squared off on clay and they have not battled each other since February of 2010 at the Dubai event. Djokovic has won three of their last four meetings after losing two of their first three.

    "The condition of the ankle is getting better," assured Djokovic, who is 21-2 this season with titles at the Australian Open and in Dubai. "It is more positive than negative and better than I actually expected it to be at the beginning of the week when I had a first MRI scan. There hasn't been any big damage which is encouraging for this week and hopefully I can be part of the tournament because it's one of my favorites."

    This week's top seed will be a part of the tournament, and that is obviously bad news for Youzhny. The 27th-ranked Russian has not been outstanding in 2013 (he has an even 7-7 record), but he scored an impressive 6-4, 6-0 blowout of Daniel Gimeno-Traver in his opener on Monday.

    Wednesday's clash, of course, all boils down to Djokovic's health. The two-time runner-up is playing too well right now and is too good on this surface for Youzhny to have any chance under normal circumstances. Look for Djokovic, who would not risk further injury at this time of year if he was not close to 100 percent, to advance in straight sets.

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Comments

Djokovic doesn't seem to be at 100%. Hope he's not still hurt.

cherylmurray , 4/17/13 2:21 PM


Nole hampered when he has to lunge. and now he can't get a first serve in either. I think he could have done with an easier opponent than youzhny to start things off.

cherylmurray , 4/17/13 2:28 PM


Once Youzhny gets on a roll he starts playing better. Djoko now 2 breaks down.

nadline , 4/17/13 2:31 PM


Just dont understand.... If djokovic is fit to play, as he has declared, then why is he in this state? Is he feigning his usual drama for this first set just so that he can blow youzny away in the 2nd set?? As Peter Fleming just stated, its very unlikely that djokovic could make his ankle worse, so why all the histrionics??

willmw101 , 4/17/13 2:33 PM


Djokovic will suddenly find his form and destroy youzhny, and all of a sudden that ankle pain will "magically" go away.

willmw101 , 4/17/13 2:37 PM


He got broken again BAH !!!

@danica...your point of view why Joker has to forced his self to play even he knew he's not fit to?

Raindrops , 4/17/13 2:37 PM


Our American commentators are annoying me. They're flat-out accusing Djokovic of faking an injury. Bah.

cherylmurray , 4/17/13 2:39 PM


I'm going with will's scenario ;-)

ed251137 , 4/17/13 2:40 PM


that was nicely done by Misha.

cherylmurray , 4/17/13 2:41 PM


He dont for a moment believe he is faking the injury. But my golly he's milking it for all it's worth.

ed251137 , 4/17/13 2:42 PM


Here we go. Meltdown by Youzhny when serving for the set... LOL

willmw101 , 4/17/13 2:47 PM


Djoko may or may not be injured but he hasn't been on his game lately and he didn't give himself much time to prepare whilst he was making his mind up about whether he would play or not.

Long way to go yet. This is tennis, it's not over until the fat lady sings.

nadline , 4/17/13 2:47 PM


agree with ed.

willmw101 , 4/17/13 2:48 PM


Well what do you know.... Djokovic ankle has made a very speedy recovery......

willmw101 , 4/17/13 2:49 PM


These two have always had close matches and their h2h is just 4-3 to Nole.

nadline , 4/17/13 2:49 PM


another chance for Youzhny to serve for the set.

cherylmurray , 4/17/13 2:51 PM


Youzhny will be broken

willmw101 , 4/17/13 2:54 PM


Practising on the ankle and playing on the ankle are quite two different things. If Nole wins this first set he might get his act together as he might feel that he has tested true his ankle.

Monalysa , 4/17/13 2:55 PM


Set Youzh.

cherylmurray , 4/17/13 2:56 PM


Nothing wrong with Novak's movement in the 1st set from my vantage point. He was tentative to begin with and Misha duly took advantage.

Expect Novak to win this.

rafaisthebest , 4/17/13 2:59 PM


Youzhny just too good for djokovic in the first set. Reinforces the notion that djokovic finds it hard to play against players with an agressive backhand slice as djokovic struggles to generate his own pace and prefers to use opponents pace. Still certain that djokovic will win this comfortably in 3.

willmw101 , 4/17/13 3:02 PM


why didn't djokovic apologize for that lucky net cord??

willmw101 , 4/17/13 3:03 PM


Youzhny crumbling as expected. 2 DF's in one game.

willmw101 , 4/17/13 3:05 PM


@ RIBT..........feel the same!

But im not quite sure how long I can take on all this drama!!

Hey maybe we should start a new game!!

Knee, ankle, back, thigh..............rock, paper, scissors!!!!

Monalysa , 4/17/13 3:06 PM


djokovic really needs to develop a backhand slice that doesn't make him look retarded when he plays it. Awful technique. Just a matter of time before djokovic destroys youzhny though.

willmw101 , 4/17/13 3:10 PM


when djokovic wins this expect him to scream very loudly. I get the impression he's very angry right now.

willmw101 , 4/17/13 3:17 PM


Djokovic doesn't have a killer shot, his strength is his accuracy, without that he is vulnerable.

nadline , 4/17/13 3:18 PM


and..... Youzhny capitulates. Took a bit longer than expected thats all.

willmw101 , 4/17/13 3:19 PM


match over. Djokovic has won. Ankle is absolutley fine.

willmw101 , 4/17/13 3:20 PM


Seems like Almagro is about to lose 1st set agiant Melzer! The upsets keep coming!

Monalysa , 4/17/13 3:25 PM


Youhzney has disappeared in 2nd set!

Monalysa , 4/17/13 3:31 PM


All downhill for Misha from now on.

ed251137 , 4/17/13 3:34 PM


WOW youzhny is playing badly now. Amazing.

willmw101 , 4/17/13 3:40 PM


Nah, just normal rust due to first match on clay vs Youzhny who's already got a match under his belt.

Top for can play their way into tournaments. 1st set problems not a surprise.

#PractisePartner

Conspirator , 4/17/13 3:40 PM


Youhney breaks!!!!

Monalysa , 4/17/13 4:04 PM


Almagro has gone out to Melzer, 64 62

nadline , 4/17/13 4:06 PM


Very interesting MC indeed!!

Monalysa , 4/17/13 4:09 PM


Youzhny hasn't hit a first serve in since the stone age.

willmw101 , 4/17/13 4:11 PM


He probably has an injury somewhere!!

Monalysa , 4/17/13 4:13 PM


Why does djokovic look so tired??

willmw101 , 4/17/13 4:13 PM


Oh look, djokovic's form drops a bit and all of a sudden his ankle is painful again...

willmw101 , 4/17/13 4:16 PM


He's been looking jaded for some weeks now.

ed251137 , 4/17/13 4:17 PM


Djoko is limping again.

nadline , 4/17/13 4:17 PM


Final set 6-4 to djokovic.

willmw101 , 4/17/13 4:19 PM


that 3-3 game was unreal

RickyDimon , 4/17/13 4:20 PM


Youzhny is gift wrapping the match now.

nadline , 4/17/13 4:21 PM


Nole's lst serve % has dropped to low 30s in this set.

ed251137 , 4/17/13 4:21 PM


youzyny's first serve % must be close to 10%. And he's still pushing djokovic close....

willmw101 , 4/17/13 4:21 PM


AWFUL from Youzhny. So predictable. Any other player in top 30 would have beaten djokovic today.

willmw101 , 4/17/13 4:24 PM


Youzny 45% in third set

ed251137 , 4/17/13 4:25 PM


Hahaha, look who's watching the Djoker-Misha match through a window: Rafa!

https://twitter.com/scambers73/status/324528329761906688/phot o/1

#Reconnaissance

rafaisthebest , 4/17/13 4:25 PM


Matosevic would have beaten Djoko today.

nadline , 4/17/13 4:28 PM


Djokovic survives.

rafaisthebest , 4/17/13 4:28 PM


38 UEs from Djoko and 49 from Misha.

nadline , 4/17/13 4:30 PM


Youzhny just couldn't sustain the level

RickyDimon , 4/17/13 4:34 PM


monaco djokovic could be interesting.

willmw101 , 4/17/13 4:35 PM


Whats the matter with Gulbis? Not even on the board!!!

Monalysa , 4/17/13 5:01 PM


Ernie has woken up and taken the 2nd set.

ed251137 , 4/17/13 5:28 PM


Nice to see that Nole's greatest fan is still active...LOL! 22 posts! Keep it coming wilma...
Some Rafans are realy terrified with posibility of Nole Rafa finale...

zare , 4/17/13 6:10 PM


I am one Rafa fan who wants to take it one match at a time; Rafa has to win 3 more matches to be able to play Djokovic, but I would relish the opportunity for Rafa to get his 20th win over him. Roger cupped out of MC because he is in the race with Nole to be the first to go down to Rafa 20 times.


#GOTE
#Vamos Rafa

nadline , 4/17/13 6:16 PM


zare, I see you've already got Nole in the final.

nadline , 4/17/13 6:25 PM


In fact, zare, you've already got Nole lifting the trophy.

nadline , 4/17/13 7:13 PM


"...possibility of Nole Rafa finale..."... POSSIBILITY ????
Ring a bell, nadline?
You can continue now with your friend willma...

zare , 4/17/13 8:00 PM


I was asleep so didn't see the match even though got awaken at 5 am, just as the match was about to start :). I saw only the very last game, when Nole was serving for the match, and it (or, rather - he) looked very slow and void of any energy to me.
Monaco will be a tough opponent.

danica , 4/17/13 9:26 PM


Danica: As I mentioned above, to me Nole has been looking weary for some while. The pressure of being No.1 brings all kinds of extra stress with it from having to devote more time to publicity obligations to managing the expectations of the public that he will win and thus needing to perform at the hightest level. Doing your best is not enough when you're No.l. And human nature being what it is, there will always be people waiting to see the mighty fall.

I am guessing that given a completely free choice he would have skipped MC in favour of resting up for the big push at RG. i make no bones about being antipathetic to the circus that was created around his DC injury but I dont think the ankle is the reason he was below par today. I think it is more likely he is struggling, and has been for some while, with the non-stop pressure of always being the hunted.

#StopTheWorldIWantToGetOff

ed251137 , 4/17/13 10:27 PM


Djoko says if it wasn't Monaco he was playing against in the next match he would consider pulling out???

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2013-04-17/12142.php

nadline , 4/17/13 10:37 PM


^^^I got it. He doesn't mean Pico, he means Monte Carlo.

nadline , 4/17/13 10:44 PM


Rafa's been in that situation in the post, most notably with Madrid. There is no way he should have played there in 2009, but he felt the pressure of playing in his home country. I also think he would have liked to skip that dreadful blue clay last year. There is a great deal of pressure to play in certain tournaments.

I can believe that if it wasn't Monaco, Nole would not be playing. I don't think his ankle is completely healed. Even a sprain or a strain can take longer than a week and a half to fully heal. However, I do think that ed may be on to something when it comes to the weight of expectations on Nole. Only Rafa and Fed have had to deal with that and the fact that they were able to handle it is a testament to how exceptional they both are. Now Nole is dealing with the pressure of being #1 and all of the attention and expectations and pressure that goes with it. The consistency of Rafa and Fed being #1 and #2 for so many years is another measure of their greatness.

People wonder why Rafa says that he's not the favorite, why he says that the ranking isn't his priority. It should be obvious that it's not meant to be phony or dishonest, because I don't think Rafa could ever be that way. It's the way he handles the pressure that comes with being at the top of this sport. Now the spotlight will be on Rafa as he tries to defend his points and continue his superiority during the clay season. But he is smart enough to understand how to relieve the pressure so that he doesn't succumb to it.

Nole hasn't been in good form of late. He didn't play well at either I/W or Miami. I really didn't have any idea what was going on. It's not like I spend my time thinking about Nole and what's going on with him. I am focused on Rafa and supporting him as he heads into his best time of the tennis year. But it is interesting to see that Nole seems to be struggling a bit these days.

Nativenewyorker , 4/18/13 3:07 AM



Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
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