• Djokovic battles Nieminen in Monte-Carlo quarterfinals

    4/18/13 7:21 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Djokovic battles Nieminen in Monte-Carlo quarterfinals A place in the semifinals will be at stake when Novak Djokovic faces Jarkko Nieminen on Friday. Nieminen is coming off two consecutive wins in third-set tiebreakers.

    Novak Djokovic and Jarkko Nieminen will be squaring off for the fifth time in their careers when they meet in the quarterfinals of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Friday afternoon.

    Djokovic is leading the head-to-head series 3-1, including 1-0 on clay. Their only previous encounter on the slow stuff came at the 2007 Hamburg Masters, where the Serb prevailed 7-5, 4-6, 6-4. Nieminen's lone victory over the current world No. 1 came at the 2009 Sydney event. They have not faced each other since Basel in the fall of 2010, when Djokovic scored a 6-4, 7-6(6) win.

    Nieminen's run to the last eight has been a brilliant one. After destroying Viktor Troicki in his opener, the 49th-ranked Finn upset both Milos Raonic and Juan Martin Del Potro in third-set tiebreakers. Nieminen, a semifinalist in Montepellier and a quarterfinalist in Sydney and Rotterdam, is an impressive 17-8 for the season.

    Djokovic is bouncing back from an ankle injury sustained earlier this month in Davis Cup, although he is not exactly doing it in convincing fashion. Monte-Carlo's top seed came back from a set down to beat both Mikhail Youzhny on Wednesday and Juan Monaco on Thursday. Djokovic is 23-2 for his 2013 campaign, which features titles at the Australian Open and in Dubai.

    This may actually be a level playing field for the favorite, because Nieminen was struggling physically at the end of his grueling showdown with Del Potro. Unless Djokovic is hobbled even worse than in his previous rounds, he should advance in straight sets.

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nadline , 4/18/13 9:11 PM


chr18 , 4/19/13 2:18 AM

^^^Self-confessed homophobe.


Conspirator , 4/19/13 4:25 AM

for those of you who speak spanish, this is what spanish journal 'El Mundo' has to say about Djokovic's 'ankle tragic-comedy' :) tml

Shireling , 4/19/13 9:46 AM

Shireling, why don't you translate it for us? Would be very grateful.

nadline , 4/19/13 10:17 AM

fair enough,
I reiterate that the article is called 'Djokovic's tragic-comedy'.
More or less, it says that the match was only interesting in the first set when Djokovic was paying more attention to his ankle than his opponent. He lost his serve whie grimacing in several occasions...
After losing the first set he called for medical assistance and, as it has happened in other occasions, he 'resucitated' physically, dismantling Monaco for what was left of the match. A very similar scenario to what happened previously against Youzny.

Shireling , 4/19/13 10:37 AM


The commies say he is trying to send a message to the locker room that he can win even when not 100% and that he can play through pain. He did seem to be running gingerly at times.

Why sacrifice your fitness for a slam by insisting on playing when you are injured?

nadline , 4/19/13 10:54 AM

You're welcome,
Well, it seems not to be a very smart move IMHO. More so becuase we know what the subsequent message will be when he loses...

Shireling , 4/19/13 11:16 AM


Which month did Nadal injure his knees last year? And which tournaments did he sacrifice to retain fitness?

samprallica , 4/19/13 11:56 AM

Although i am not into this criticism of djokovic ,here is a reply to the above post:

Nadal's knee issues are chronic and they have plagued him for years.Even last year,h knewbit was not something new so rafa is often forced to take risks and play through injuries. Djoovic's injury is nothing as serious and temporary so I ageee he sshud better go

vamosrafa , 4/19/13 12:06 PM

*go home and rest. It is a sure thing that his ankle would be healed if he rests but for rafa,a short hiatus would not help.Hence we saw rafa taking seven months off eventually

vamosrafa , 4/19/13 12:10 PM

@vamosrafa, 4/19/13 12:06 PM


nadline , 4/19/13 12:14 PM

And play a lot of golf right handed on his 7 month hiatus. Right.

samprallica , 4/19/13 12:14 PM

What an irrelevant post ! Rafa mentioned that golf was the only sport permitted by his doctor so he played golf.What do you expect from an athlete like rafa to do in 7 months away from tennis? Watch tom and jerry?come on !

vamosrafa , 4/19/13 12:53 PM

The two things that Rafa was not permitted to do by his doctor was running and jumping and I've never seen anyone run or jump playing golf.

#witch hunting

nadline , 4/19/13 1:00 PM

Playing golf right handed stresses your left knee. Not completely irrelevant. It wouldn't have come up if not for this endless pathetic diatribe from you guys about Nole. And what irony about the witch hunting.

samprallica , 4/19/13 1:12 PM

Have just read Nole has "displaced bone" in his ankle. If true...ouch!

deuce , 4/19/13 3:33 PM

Either he has an injured ankle, in which case he shouldn't be playing. Or he has a sore ankle in which case it's time he shut up about it. End of.

ed251137 , 4/19/13 4:33 PM

how can anyone displace a bone in one's ankle and be upright, can anyone tell me this?

Shireling , 4/19/13 4:54 PM

There seem to be conflicting reports on the ankle. Some are saying it WAS displaced, but is now fine. Some say he's about ready to withdraw, others that he's feeling fine. We shall soon see, I suppose....

cherylmurray , 4/19/13 5:03 PM

During his match yesterday, Nole displaced a bone in his ankle.

Monalysa , 4/19/13 5:12 PM

So why is he carrying on doing more damage that might take him out for longer?

nadline , 4/19/13 5:18 PM

djokovic will beat nieminen in easy straight sets. This ankle talk is rubbish, probably just a mistranslation from Vajda.

willmw101 , 4/19/13 5:19 PM

ed251137, 4/19/13 4:33 PM

Try taking your post and replacing the word "ankle" with "knee," and the word "he" with "Nadal." Let's see how far that gets you here.

ts38 , 4/19/13 5:20 PM

c'mon Nole fans!
he's wincing, flinching, grimmacing - loses a set. Calls for medical assistance and wins the next two sets easily.
I like Nole's game, I think he's an awesome player and the best of them all right now but you have to admit that the situation is comical.

Shireling , 4/19/13 5:30 PM

Novak is hitting his shoes quite hard with his racquet with a sore ankle........ouch!

nadline , 4/19/13 5:41 PM

Whaddayouknow. Djokovic's ankle is completely fine. Makes his histrionics on court this week all the more ridiculous.

willmw101 , 4/19/13 6:05 PM

nieminen seems to be holding his own!

Monalysa , 4/19/13 6:07 PM

no he doesnt

willmw101 , 4/19/13 6:08 PM

djokovic definitely now the favorite for monte carlo. Playing flawlessly.

willmw101 , 4/19/13 6:19 PM

@ 4 all, thought so, but now after seeing the score ure right!

Monalysa , 4/19/13 6:20 PM

Djokovic having to play nieminen and fognini as 1/4 and 1/2 opponents is a joke

willmw101 , 4/19/13 6:38 PM

It must be admitted that an exhausted jarrko nieminen isn't a particularly difficult QF opponent. Otoh, that's the way the draw panned out. No use complaining about it.

cherylmurray , 4/19/13 7:04 PM

willimw, if Delpo can't beat Nieminen and Berdy can't beat Fognini then they shouldn't be in the Qtrs and SF.

nadline , 4/19/13 7:25 PM

Don' know where " displaced bone" came from. Nole was speaking about his matches with Misha and Monaco, on serbian media, and explained what was wrong. He never mentioned. " displaced bone". But since nadline and willma have allready gave theirs theories, who needs Nole's comment :)...
Anyway, sh1tty weather in Monaco, predictions for weekend even worse. Lets hope there will be no rain on Saturday and Sunday.
I have found some comments, that if Nole wins MC, he will be first in open era with 8 trophy on Masters... I am talking about 8 diferent tournamets, we all know that Rafa has record in masters. There was comment that Fedals have 6 or 7 diferent victories. Internet connection in my hotel is terrrrrrible... Can not search :( ...
Is that correct?

zare , 4/19/13 8:07 PM

Actually, Vajda talked about it on Sky and said his medical team put the bone back in place.

nadline , 4/19/13 8:17 PM

@ Zare..........during Rafa's match the commies mentioned the "displaced bone" theory and said that Nole's coach made mention of it.

The commies were also saying that if it rains on Saturday/Sunday the conditions will not suit Rafa like the final of RG 2012, and will suit Novak more. Rafa's spin will be ineffective in those conditions! Can anyone comment?

Monalysa , 4/19/13 8:21 PM

Zare, you are correct. Nole needs MC and Cincy to complete all the Masters series events. Rafa needs Miami, Cincy, Shanghai and Paris, while Roger needs MC, Rome and Shanghai.

And yes, it is really sad how some posters here jump to conclusions specially when they have so little information or no information at all. Nole said nothing about displaced bone. Vajda said that during the match yesterday a bone was displaced in his foot causing a nerve to be pinched. He said he didn't know how Novak finished the match considering the pain. After the match, doctors and physio were able to fix that. Nole felt good after that.

A Serbian reporter from MC today said that Nole was practicing normally, chatted a bit with Fognini and looked good on court. This whole mess started from journalist Nick Lester. Today, anyone can tweet anything and immediately all the major media houses will broadcast it. He said that the bone was misplaced but later retracted that saying he wasn't sure which match Vajda was referring to.

danica , 4/19/13 8:34 PM

Monalysa, 4/19/13 8:21 PM,

If you remember what happened at the FO last year in the final, the rainy and wet conditions made the balls heavy and Rafa's topspin was ineffective. That's when Nole won that third set, as they continued to play with rain coming down.

If the weather is rainy, damp and wet then those conditions could make it harder for Rafa. However, I am not looking ahead to the final and I know Rafa isn't either! He is going to focus on his semifinal match with Tsonga.

Nativenewyorker , 4/19/13 8:39 PM

I'll post 10 day weather forecast in Rafa's thread.

Augustina08 , 4/19/13 9:09 PM

Thanks NY!!! I agree with you there on one match at a time!!!!

Monalysa , 4/19/13 10:02 PM

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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