Friday, 30 September 2011
Thursday, 29 September 2011
You are your own worse enemy.
MEXICO CITY, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal will play an exhibition match with his fellow countryman David Ferrer in Mexico City in the first week of December, organizers said on Wednesday.
Nadal, currently ranked the world's second best, will play the match on a hard surface court which will be installed in the Sports Palace in Mexico City, a sports ground which holds a capacity of up to 18,000 spectators.
The exact date is still to be confirmed, said organizers IMLA de Colombia, an entertainment and sports marketing group.
Nadal won the 2005 Mexico Open Tennis tournament which was played in the famous Mexican tourist resort of Acapulco on the country's southern Pacific coast but Ferrer holds both the championships of the last two editions of this tournament.
"Rafael has wanted to go back to Mexico for a long time and he can't wait, so this didn't take too much convincing, he has always enjoyed his experiences in Mexico," Nadal's agent Benito Perez said at a press conference.
Nadal and Ferrer will arrive in Mexico a week after the Davis Cup final which Spain will play at home against Argentina where Spain hope to take home the fifth cup of this tournament.
Friday, 23 September 2011
Despite rumors at the US Open that things might not be as they were between the world No. 2 and the only coach he has ever known, Toni Nadal has told Spanish media that nothing major has changed.
He did say that as an adult, his nephew is naturally starting to voice even more opinions of his own, calling theirs "a normal relationship, as any person who is becoming more adult."
"Our relationship has evolved," Toni Nadal said. "What is difficult is that you get older. The relations in this area are changing, but the relationship is good.
"I have a relationship with my (own three) children that as they grow, they do not say the same thing now that they said seven or eight years."
That has also happened with Rafael, whom he called something between a nephew and a son. "It's logical since I spend so much time with him. I still like tennis a lot and I like to train with my nephew. "
Rafael, who lost a sixth final this year to rival Novak Djokovic at the US Open, sparked speculation after he spoke out in frustration. "You never know what is in the future. The time has now come when I can say more to him than (Toni) I have done previously.
"I'm not kidding when I say that from now on I will answer him back because I have more opinions than I had before. So far I've been happy with how I've played this year, but not with my matches against Djokovic. He's my motivation to play better."
Thursday, 22 September 2011
1. Realize that there is no problem. Why do we think Djokovic is in Nadal's head? Two reasons: First, Djokovic has defeated Nadal six straight times in 2011 including at back-to-back Grand Slams and in two clay court finals. Second, Nadal basically tells people that Djokovic is in head. Together, they are compelling pieces of evidence that Nadal's problem isn't physical, but mental. Look at them separately: A supposedly beatdown Nadal got down two sets to Djokovic in excruciating fashion at the U.S. Open and then came down from a break down to capture a preposterous 84-minute set. Would a beaten man have kept fighting so hard? And as for Nadal's comments, the guy has always treated every interview like a session on a shrink's couch. He's lost one match at the French Open in his career and to listen to him speak in the Roland Garros press room, you'd think he was like a cow on ice.
2. Get back to basics. And by basics, I mean clay. We can debate where Djokovic's current season ranks or whether Federer was better than Pete Sampras or Rod Laver or whether any of them would have beaten Borg at his prime. What's not up for debate is Nadal's status as the greatest clay court player of all time. By beating him in Madrid and Rome this year, Djokovic threw a curveball to Nadal's clay supremacy. Rafa still win the French, of course; he didn't have to go through Novak. The best way for him to get back on top is to prepare for the 2012 clay season like it's his Super Bowl. Dominate all the tournaments on the red clay, hope to meet Djokovic in the French Open final and show the sports world that Djokovic may be the best on hard courts right now, but that he is the best on clay courts in history.
3. Wait. Be patient. There are ebbs and flows in all sports and Djokovic is at his undeniable peak right now but he's not going to keep it up forever. How is he going to react when he enters next season as the hunted man? Or after he spends two months back in Serbia hearing how wonderful he is? Or when he Nike or adidas gives him millions to leave Sergio Tacchini? Will he train as hard? Be as hungry? Stay in as good of shape?
Nadal shouldn't overreact. Djokovic is playing at one of the highest levels tennis has ever seen and Rafa was one 17-minute game and an injury timeout away from making a tight match even more competitive. Rafa didn't panic when he got down to Djokovic and I don't expect him to panic now either.
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
Del Potro, ranked 13th, won both his singles rubbers to help Argentina to a 3-2 success over defending champions Serbia on a hardcourt surface in Belgrade at the weekend to set up a showdown with Spain who host the final from December 2-4.
Spain have won all three of their previous meetings with Argentina including the last time the two nations met in the final in Mar del Plata in 2008.
"Now we're heading to brick dust," said del Potro of the tie on clay. "Nadal is the king there and it's going to be very complicated.
"But finals are always different and special, hopefully we'll all arrive in top form and will have four players of a high level to face Spain.
"They (Spain) are the favourites, but if we go in with a low profile and a good attitude this time we'll get a good result. We went to Serbia as well to cause an upset and we struck hard. Hopefully we can repeat this."
Del Potro scored the winning point on Sunday when world number one Novak Djokovic retired injured while trailing the South American 7-6 (7/5), 3-0.
David Nalbandian and Del Potro won the opening day's rubbers although doubles duo Juan Ignacio Chela and Juan Monaco lost their tie. Serb Janko Tipsarevic won the final dead rubber when Monaco retired.
Del Potro added: "The doubles is the point that we're going to have to work most on."
It will be the fourth final for Argentina who have never lifted the title.
Spain have dominated over the last decade, winning in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2009, and have not lost at home since 1999.
Monday, 19 September 2011
“You never know what is in the future. The time has now come when I can say more to him than I have done previously. I’m not kidding when I say that from now on I will answer him back because I have more opinions than I had before.”
“If other people outside my family said to me what he says, then it would be very difficult to keep working together. Also he has three kids, and sometimes he gets tired of travelling. So far I’ve been happy with how I’ve played this year, but not with my matches against Djokovic. He’s my motivation to play better.”What are we to make of it? Is Nadal seriously considering to move away from the man, who's got him to where he is? Or is the Express merely making the most out of some ambiguous Rafa words?
On the one hand, this would be the time to try something new. Physically speaking, Rafa is still very much in his prime and should be able to remain there for another couple of years. However, as Rafa himself has admitted, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic presents a riddle for which he hasn't yet found the answer.
Uncle Tony and Nadal have had half a year including two slam finals to come up with a winning tactic against the better version of Djokovic, but Nadal has come up short every time they've met, losing 14 of the last 18 sets.
Though Nadal has had a fantastic season by almost any standards—who wouldn't be happy winning three tournaments, making nine finals, winning a slam and losing two others in the final? It is still a drop compared to his stellar 2010 and 2008 seasons.
As his 2009 results were influenced by injuries and family problems, this is the first time Nadal is experiencing a non-injury related tennis setback.
One could argue that his 2005 was better than 2006. On the other hand, in 2006 he made the Wimbledon final and started shedding the image as a pure clay-courter).
Given that Nadal is Nadal and wants to continuously improve his game and be good enough to give himself the chance to win everything he enters, it is not completely far-fetched if he is indeed contemplating bringing in a new perspective.
Nor is it far-fetched if Uncle Tony would prefer to stay more at home with his kids.
On the other hand, Nadal is very much a family man, who enjoys the comfort and the safety of working with people whom he completely trust. The Nadal-Uncle Tony relation is one of the most successful partnerships in tennis history.
Because of this, I'm reluctant to believe that he will indeed part with Uncle Tony until something more substantial than a few hints is on the table.
That said, he could still consider bringing in an outside voice to supplement Uncle Tony and help him and the team solve the Djokovic riddle.
Meanwhile, Nadal himself has set things straight on the court with two dominating Davis Cup wins and now Spain will once again be the big favourite to bring home the title in December, when they meet Argentina on Spanish turf.
Original Story Here
Sunday, 18 September 2011
Rafa Nadal showed he had put his exertions at the US Open firmly behind him when he thrashed France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-0 6-2 6-4 to put Spain through to the Davis Cup final on Sunday.
Tsonga, who helped France to victory in Saturday's doubles to keep the best of five tie alive at 2-1, was powerless against Nadal's relentless claycourt game as the world number two claimed his 17th win in 18 Davis Cup singles matches.
The victory gives Spain, who are bidding for a third title in four years and will play champions Serbia or Argentina in December's final, an unbeatable 3-1 lead with only the final singles rubber to be played.
Serbia won Saturday's doubles in Belgrade to maintain their hopes of defending the title they won last year with a 3-2 victory over the French.
On another sweltering day in Cordoba, Nadal followed up his demolition of Richard Gasquet in Friday's opening singles with another commanding display on his favoured surface at the Andalusian city's converted bullring.
The 25-year-old lost a gruelling US Open final to Novak Djokovic on Monday before flying straight back to Spain and he had little time to adjust to clay from hardcourts.
He did not face a single break point against Tsonga and sealed victory on his first match point when the Frenchman went long with a sliced backhand.
The Mallorca native has not lost a Davis Cup singles since he was beaten by Czech Jiri Novak on his debut in 2004.
If the final (2nd - 4th December 2011) is against Argentina it will be played in Spain but if it is against Serbia it will be there, most likely Belgrade.
The world No2 was beaten by Novak Djokovic in the US Open final six days ago and is said to be anxiously contemplating a life- changing decision.
Nadal, 25, has won ten Grand Slam titles in harness with Toni, but there are suggestions he is ready to move his career on without him.
Nadal first lost his world No1 ranking to Djokovic, then his Wimbledon title, and now the US crown. The Serb has also defeated Nadal in their last six meetings this year, and insiders are now suggesting that Nadal no longer knows how to beat the undisputed world No1.
Nadal himself admits that it is becoming increasing difficult for family man Toni to continue to have authority over him as a player and a person, and also that his uncle is finding the constant travelling a problem.
Nadal said: “You never know what is in the future. The time has now come when I can say more to him than I have done previously. I’m not kidding when I say that from now on I will answer him back because I have more opinions than I had before.”
Rafa Nadal hinted he may call time on his association with his coach and uncle Toni Nadal
He added: “If other people outside my family said to me what he says, then it would be very difficult to keep working together. Also he has three kids, and sometimes he gets tired of travelling. So far I’ve been happy with how I’ve played this year, but not with my matches against Djokovic. He’s my motivation to play better.”
Now it appears for the first time he is beginning to rebel against the influence of uncle Toni, a man who has been constantly by his side for 15 years, since Rafa was just ten. And after his recent run of losses, Nadal may feel he has to overhaul his game plan for beating Djokovic.
He has hit the wall in terms of tactics and movement, and somebody with fresh ideas and a different game strategy may now be brought into his camp.
If they do split they would not be the first player-coach relatives whose relationship has fractured over time.
Maria Sharapova no longer travels with her father Yuri, the man who guided her to three Grand Slam titles.
She has made a comeback from injury without him and risen to four in the world. And Caroline Wozniacki has broken up with father Piotr under whose guidance she rose to the top of the women’s ranking list, but has still to win a Grand Slam title.
With Nadal at a crossroads, four times US Open winner John McEnroe says: “Djokovic has got inside Rafa’s head. He has psyched him out.
“When I interviewed him after Wimbledon, he didn’t seem to know what had happened. There were times when he hasn’t known how to play against him.”
These are difficult times for Nadal to come to terms with and now might be the time for him to bring in a fresh coach and tactical advisor.
At 25, it appears that situations are changing in his life. Being second best is something Nadal is not used to and is certainly not happy with.
A partnership based on family which has brought incredible success could be broken as one of the greatest players the game has seen contemplates his next move.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Andy Murray keeps the tradition of the family unit in place, with his mother Judy firmly ensconced at the head of his team, even though he has been searching for a coach for six months.
He, like Wozniacki, has also yet to win a Grand Slam title.
Friday, 16 September 2011
Thursday, 15 September 2011
He will play first against Richard Gasquet with David Ferrer up against Gilles Simon in the 2nd rubber.
The Doubles rubber on Saturday will be Verdasco/Lopez against Llodra/Tsonga
Reserve singles* takes place on Sunday with Rafa up against Simon and Ferrer against Gasquet.
* Subject to change
Full match details can be found here
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Check out this channel for the full match.
Q. At any time was fatigue a factor in the match today?
RAFAEL NADAL: At the fourth. But, it was a tough match. Physical, mental, everything was, yeah, I think it was a quality match. Congratulations for him. He did great.
Q. Did it put you out of your rhythm at all, the long timeout he took after the first game of the fourth set?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry?
Q. Did it knock you out of your rhythm when he took the long injury timeout after the first game of the fourth set after you had just won the tiebreak?
RAFAEL NADAL: We are starting the press conference in a bad way, I think. (Smiling.) Let's talk about the match. It's not the right moment to find excuses if he stops the match there or if I was tired. I fighted until the last point. I tried my best in every moment. I am happy with a lot of things, much happier than the previous matches against him. In another things I'm not that happy. But in general I think he did great, no? I had my chances. I really had my chases. At the beginning of the first I had two games to love. The first set was playing really the well beginning, and I lost a little bit the way how to play and lost a little bit the rhythm. Happened the same in the second set. You know, with that very, very long game, finally I had a mistake with the smash. So few tough points for me during the match. He's doing well. He always did well in these kind of surfaces. I always had big trouble to beat him here in this surfaces in the past. It's not an exception now, especially because he's doing better than ever. But you know what? I go back home knowing that I am on the way. You know, I like to fight, I want to enjoy about this battle against him. Six straight loses, for sure that's painful. But I'm going to work every day until that changes. So I have a goal, easy goal for me now. It's going to be tough to change the situation, but the goal is easy to see. To have a goal always you know how to work every day.
Q. Were you gaining some hope when you saw his back was hurting?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. My hope always is about myself, not about the opponent.
Q. Rafa, has Novak Djokovic taken tennis to an even higher level? Please talk about this incredible year that he's had and what that means.
RAFAEL NADAL: I already said one hundred times. I don't know if he's bringing tennis to another level. For sure this season he's doing fantastic. His level is really, really high. But when one very good player stays with that confidence and winning so many matches. And the matches that he normal win and the matches that you can win, you can lose, and you keep winning, and the matches you have a big chance to lose you keep winning, the season is probably impossible to repeat. That's why. His level for sure is fantastic. He's doing very well mentally everything. So just accept that. Accept the challenge and work.
Q. What made Novak's return of serve so effective tonight? What was the mental challenge for you of facing break points so many times?
RAFAEL NADAL: His return is fantastic always, not this year. Seems like this year, you know, he learned a lot of things, and in my opinion it's not like this. He's doing few things better, but he was fantastic player before. And second thing, my serve worked bad tonight. That's the true. If I have to say two things about I'm not happy tonight, it's my serve for sure the first one. Because if my serve works really well, I know I have the challenge, the mental challenge for sure. Losing six times affects in the match, and you have to know that. And I know. I was ready for that. So accept everything, to fight every ball, and that's what I did. So I'm happy about that. But I didn't have free points during all that games. I didn't have not one free point in both sets. A few moments that you are tired and the few moments you really need something, I never had these free points. Last year I had; I didn't have this year. That change a lot the match. My serve has to come back to another level.
Q. What did you like about the way you played tonight?
RAFAEL NADAL: I liked especially my mental part. In the second set, for moments in the third set, all the set, having tough moments, but keep fighting and keep trying to find solutions. The fourth, even if he was very bad from the back, I was very tired. That's the true, no? But for the rest, I think I started to play aggressive, a little bit more inside the court, and changing a little bit the directions with the forehand. When I go inside you had more chances to change the forehand to down the line. I felt he was tired, too. But, you know, I have to take something in the first or the second set. I have to take some advantage there, and I didn't, because it's normal if you didn't take advantage when you have to take advantage. After for sure I fighted a lot, I ran unbelievable in the fourth set. So during one match like this, very hard mentally and physically, you do this. You go up and down. So was a little bit normal. The first game of the fourth was really important. I had the deuce and I tried to play aggressive forehand. It was out like this. So that was a tough moment, because starting the fourth with 1 0 break I had the chance, and I felt that was at moment. But after, you know, he called the trainer I played a so so game. It was very important game to save the second, because after I came back to the place with the wind with me, it was tough game, that one.
Q. You were changing the pace, slicing the ball deep to him at the baseline. He made some unforced errors when you sliced the ball deep. Were you sensing that?
RAFAEL NADAL: I tried to play a little bit more to the middle. I tried to change a little bit the rhythms with the slice.
Q. Seemed to be effective at times.
RAFAEL NADAL: You feel? (Laughter.)
Q. I thought so. As you point out, he's always had a great return and probably a great forehand. What do you think he's improved this year the most in his shots that has brought him to this level? Serve or...
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, no. I think he's always ready to -- he's having less mistakes than before. In my opinion, that's all. He's enough confident in every moment to keep believing in one more ball, one more ball. So that's why. I think his forehand is not more painful than before; his backhand is not more painful than before; he serve the same. So what I have to say is what I feel and what I told you.
Q. How do you look about Grand Slam result this year? Are you satisfied?
RAFAEL NADAL: About the Grand Slams?
Q. Yeah. You won Roland Garros but you could not win Wimbledon and the US Open.
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't feel any obligation to win the tournament. That's the true, no? I am not that one that feels that the final is a bad result. I don't consider myself that good, you know. I fight to be always there. I fight all the time to win every match. I appreciate the result. Final is fantastic result. Winning ten Grand Slams this year I won another one, Roland Garros. I lost six finals, but I was there. So, you know, it's smart accept the loses with the same calm as the victories, and keep working without thinking on the past. I was in the final of Wimbledon, final of US Open. I fighted both of them, especially this one. I go back to Spain more happy today than after the Wimbledon final, because after here I think I am on the right way to try to win him. After Wimbledon I didn't feel that. That's it. He was good. He did really well. Last year I won three Grand Slams; this year I won one. I played three finals, and I think I played the last six, eight Grand Slams I played around semifinals. So for me is a fantastic result. It's a dream result.
Q. That long game in the second set, I think game three, how deflating was that on your serve to not come out of that when you put the overhead in the net?
RAFAEL NADAL: I keep fighting. I fighted a lot to come back in the second. I was ready to accept the challenges and to accept the problems. The problem is, I told you, I didn't have free points. The serve didn't help me. I didn't start the points with an advantage tonight with my serve. That's a lot. So I don't think I need an ace or a winner serve, because I think I have enough good forehand later to have the control of the point. But a lot of times I started the point in the worst position than him when I was serving. So that's tough.
Rafael Nadal had shifted the momentum his way by winning an exhilarating third set. His nemesis, Novak Djokovic, who had been breathing heavily and was visibly frustrated with his inability to put Nadal away, was lying on his stomach, receiving treatment for a bothersome back strain.... Full Story Here
Rafa Nadal ran himself to the point of exhaustion in Monday's US Open final against Novak Djokovic then ran out of answers. The Spaniard knew his best chance of beating Djokovic was to wear him down, so he chased everything he could to keep him on court as long as possible in the hope his Serbian opponent would run out of gas....Full Story Here
Well done Nole, once again you played a blinder and nothing could be done to stop you.
Rafa, keep that chin up, keep working, keep fighting and you will get back on top. Believe.
Monday, 12 September 2011
It’s a shopworn cliché, but seldom has it been as meaningful in tennis as right now, on the eve of the U.S. Open men’s singles final: What a difference a year makes.... Full Story Here
Novak Djokovic is taking nothing for granted ahead of Monday evening's US Open final despite having beaten Rafael Nadal in five successive finals in 2011.... Full Story Here
Remember to join us at MyTennisLounge for all the match chat
Well 2 members have taken time to give their thoughts on today's final. I have copied the article here. It us free to join the Forum & takes less than 5 minutes. Come & join us today :)
US OPEN FINAL
Aurthur Ashe Stadium:
Djokovic (1) vs Nadal (2)
Time- 21:00 BST
Head to Head: Nadal 16-12 Djokovic
Last meeting: Djokovic 6-4 6-1 1-6 6-3 (Wimbledon)
Titles this year: Djokovic 9-3 Nadal
Path to the final:
R1- Niland 6-0 5-1 (R)
R2- Berlocq 6-0 6-0 6-2
R3- Davydenko 6-3 6-4 6-2
R4- Dolgopolov 7-6 6-4 6-2
QF- Tipsarevic 7-6 6-7 6-0 3-0 (R)
SF- Federer 6-7 4-6 6-3 6-2 7-5
R1- Golubev 6-3 7-6 7-5
R2- Mahut 6-2 6-2 (R)
R3- Nalbandian 7-6 6-1 7-5
R4- Muller 7-6 6-1 6-2
QF- Roddick 6-2 6-1 6-3
SF- Murray 6-4 6-2 3-6 6-2
Rafael Nadal’s performance was a long way off his best coming into the US Open. After his confidence destroying loss in the Wimbledon final, he lost to Croatia’s Ivan Dodig in R1 of Montreal. Cincinatti wasn’t much better losing to Mardy Fish in the QF. That is why some may be surprised to see Nadal’s name in the final of the US Open again.
Nadal was poor in his opening match, but came through after saving several set points against Golubev. Mahut’s retirement helped him in Round 2, but he did discover his form in Round 3, coming through a tough match against Nalbandian. In Round 4, Nadal went down a break early on to Muller, before rain stopped play but Nadal lost just 6 more games the next day. Roddick was Nadal’s next opponent in the QF. It was Nadal who broke straight away though, and gave a masterclass in passing shots against the big serving American, to set up a semi final against Andy Murray. Murray’s game plan was unclear for the first two sets, before an aggressive Andy turned up for the third set. Nadal gradually picked up his level again, to defeat the error-strewn and angry World No. 4 in four sets. His past two wins could give Rafa the confidence needed to win his second US Open title.
How he can win:
Obviously Nadal will need to serve well, his second serve has been particularly vunerable in his meetings against Djokovic this year. It is also crucial he wins the longer rallies as Djokovic has done a good job of coming through in the longer rallies against Nadal this year. Normally with Nadal, you’d expect the first set to be the deciding factor, but given his losses in Indian Wells and Miami, I would say Nadal needs the first two sets to win. Nadal needs to be aggressive as well and take advantage of Djokovic’s inevitable tiredness from his epic against Roger yesterday. If he can do all of these, he will have a chance.
Novak Djokovic looks simply unbeatable this year. In total the matches he has lost equal the number of Grand Slam wins this year-2. He will be very keen on making that three on Monday. After coming to the US with Wimbledon in his bag Djokovic started confidently in Montreal. He was tested by Fish in the final but managed to come through in 3 sets. Next week in Cincinatti it was obvious Novak was fatigued and had a shoulder problem. He scraped past Monfils and Berdych but his level was not high enough to survive against Murray and he had to reitre. When it came to the US Open Novak looked compltely refreshed after a weeks break. He was clinical against Niland and Berlocq and was not troubled by Davydenko. Against Dolgopolov in R4 he struggled for a set (had to come through an epic tiebreak) but came through eventually without dropping a set. In the QF he faced a barrage of attacking tennis against Tipsarevic for the first 2 sets. With the score at a set a piece Tipsarevic broke down with his injury problems and had to reitre in the 4th set after a bagel in the 3rd. His SF final match was against Federer. And it was epic. Djokovic somehow managed to come through after being 2 sets to love down and 2 match points down in the final set. Djokovic danced in delight after the match: he was through to the final.
How he can win:
Nadal has been in Djokovic's pocket all year. He has already beaten him in 5 finals including in the Wimbledon final. If he stickts to the same aggressive tactics and keeps on dominating the baseline rallies he will fancy his chances.
TOM's final verdict:
The start is crucial. Both players are in great form and have a lot at stake. For Nadal the mental demons from his previous five losses must be completely banished. Djokovic is looking to secure his No. 1 spot and come closer to the career grand slam, while Nadal is looking to defend a hard court grand slam title for the first time and win his second grand slam of the year. Djokovic will have a great self-belief, but I believe that a determined Nadal will take confidence from his performance so far and end a five match losing streak against the World No. 1 and come through in four entertaining sets.
Nadal 76 62 46 75
AMRITIA's final verdict:
Djokovic's 5 wins over Nadal this year will give him a lot of confidence and belief. He knows he has the game to beat Nadal on any surface now and will trust himself in the big moments. Meanwhile Nadal has been very poor in the important points against Djokovic this year. He needs to step it up and be more aggressive if wants to have a chance.
Djokovic 6-4 7-5 6-4
Thanks for reading
New York - Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will meet in the US Open men's final on a Monday for a second straight year, but things could not be any different than they were 12 months ago.... Full Story Here
Rafael Nadal insists the player who displays the weaker mentality will walk away from the US Open a beaten man as he prepares for a showdown with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.... Full Story Here
With Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal set to meet in their second straight U.S. Open final on Monday, the men's tournament appears to be in replay mode.... Full Story Here
Sunday, 11 September 2011
Press conference transcript:
Match reports & Previews:
This User has the full match in 15 parts. Check out their account here
Saturday, 10 September 2011
He said: "If I lose tomorrow, I am happy about my US Open. It wasn't an easy situation for me coming to this tournament after not having an easy summer.
"I am doing a lot of things much better than a few weeks ago. For me to win is important, but to feel myself very competitive and have the feeling that I can win is probably even more important.
"Because if you had that feeling that you can win, you don't win this week, maybe not next one, but at the end you will win."
Nadal has won 12 of his 16 meetings with Murray including the last four. It will be the third successive grand slam the pair have faced each other in the last four, with the man from Majorca triumphant at both the French Open and Wimbledon.
Murray feels hard courts present his best chance of defeating Nadal, and the world number two knows he will have a battle on his hands.
"If he's closer, he will beat me because on clay it was very close, and on grass it was a very close match," said Nadal, recalling their Wimbledon battle.
"He was beating me by one set, and I remember an important mistake with his forehand, it was an easy forehand to put him 15-40 at the beginning of the second set, so it was a really, really close match.
"He's a fantastic player on all the surfaces and it will be a very tough match for me and hopefully for him, too."
Both men will be playing their third match in as many days, but Nadal insisted that did not enter into his thinking as he thrashed Roddick with a relentlessly aggressive display.
Nadal went into the match without having dropped a set but there were still questions about his form given none of his previous opponents had been seeded.
Roddick had beaten fifth seed David Ferrer in the fourth round and had looked in good form but he was simply blown away by the power and accuracy of his opponent.
It was an impressive performance from Nadal, perhaps thinking about saving energy with a third match in three days to follow tomorrow.
The Spaniard was on the front foot from the off, breaking Roddick in the opening game and reeling off four in a row before the American, who was being passed time and again at the net, finally got on the board.
The pattern repeated itself in the second set, with Nadal getting off to a flying start, and this time he broke the big-serving American three times.
The second seed's charge was held up briefly when Roddick took a medical time-out to have his thighs massaged, but by that point Nadal was 3-0 up in the third set and cruising.
First lady Michelle Obama, watching from the stands, was no doubt hoping for a home win but a comeback never looked on the cards and Nadal wrapped up the most convincing of victories with his 35th winner.
Nadal said: "I don't think about having a short match in the quarter-finals of a grand slam. I think about trying to win the match. I think I started the match really well with some very good points, a few very good passing shots.
"It is always a very hard match against him, and probably he was tired. That happens when the rain comes. I think I did well. I played a very good match I think."
Roddick came into the tournament with little tennis under his belt because of a stomach muscle injury and he ran out of steam, but he was proud of his efforts this fortnight.
The 2003 champion added: "From six weeks ago to a quarter-final and a top-five win, I don't know if I thought I would do that.
"Thankfully last week I was able to play matches to at least where I was feeling the ball. I think it was always going to be tough for me to play that many three-out-of-five-set matches on no training, pretty much just sitting around.
"But I felt like I did what I could from the injury. I feel like I gave myself every opportunity, and it was enough for a good result."
Friday, 9 September 2011
Thursday, 8 September 2011
Press Conference Transcript
Q. Can you talk about the rain and what happened yesterday at all?
RAFAEL NADAL: You watch me on the TV or not?
Q. Yeah, I did.
RAFAEL NADAL: You want me to repeat everything?
Q. Well, wondering if anything has changed since then to your match today. Andy Roddick had to move courts. Just curious if you've changed...
RAFAEL NADAL: I don't know what's going on with the match between Andy and David. I don't know exactly how was the situation. I normally don't talk a lot about the things I don't know. So I prefer ask them what's happening, and that's it. Is from another match, so they gonna have better information than myself. I was playing.
Q. How hard was it for you to start the match today knowing you were down 3-Love, down a break, and you had to think about it overnight and come back out today and start another day?
RAFAEL NADAL: It's best of five. Playing against Muller, he has fantastic serve, so I know I can go on court and lose the first set. That's the normal thing, no? But I go on court, try my best every in moment and trying to produce any opportunity to have the break back. I did. I had the break. I was very happy, because I started the match with good feelings. It's not easy because he plays aggressive, he plays with mistakes, but at the same time with winners. So it's difficult to have the right rhythm against him.
Q. At the start of the seventh game, were you thinking that that was the time to break him? You were very active in the return of service.
RAFAEL NADAL: In the 4-2, seventh game?
RAFAEL NADAL: I try my best in every return. (Smiling.) I don't feel more active in that game than other games. I felt that if I don't have the break there gonna be very difficult to have the break later, because with the 4-2, I have to go back to the other side against the wind with new balls, 5-2. So I thought that if I don't have that break with the 4-2 to 4-3 I gonna lose the first set.
Q. Specifically about today, what do you think about your game is working and what do you think really put him off balance?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think I did well. I did what I had to do. I served with high percentage. I don't have a lot of unforced errors. I had very few. When I had the chance to attack, I did. I played few fantastic passing shots today. That's important against one player like Muller. For the rest, I said before, is difficult to find the rhythm, to hit six, seven, eight balls with good feeling against a player like Muller. But what I can do, I did well.
Q. You're looking at playing four matches in four days, possibly.
RAFAEL NADAL: I am in quarterfinals.
Q. Right. But the person from your side of the draw to emerge will have to play four matches in four days.
RAFAEL NADAL: That's not fair, but that's what it is. Here in the Grand Slams, if I am in the position of the US Open or Wimbledon or Australia, Roland Garros, I will do the same. Why not? I had a lot of interesting meeting with the TV, with everybody, that for sure is better to have the final on Sunday for them. But not for the players, because our part of the draw will be in a very difficult situation for the player who will be in the final. The semifinals maybe, too, because two days in a row playing tough matches is difficult. The matches, quarterfinals, semifinals, four rounds of Grand Slam normally are tough matches. If you don't have rest, you have a big chance not be enough fit to play well the next match. But the problem is we need to have the right representation in these tournaments. You know, I don't know how, but things like this cannot happen. Having the semifinals on Saturday, you know, is something crazy for the players. Last year it was the final on Monday. So is something that in my opinion cannot happen, and the players are important part of the show. My opinion. No, the tournament -- I said is not only the players, the tournament is not important without the players. Is a big tournament, and that's the true. The US Open is -- probably more important is the US Open than the players, but the players are a big part of this show. The fans are a big part of this show. Yesterday you cannot like fans going on court for five, ten minutes, because never stops the rain. So the problem, in my opinion, is not the organization of the US Open. The problem is we don't have enough power in these kind of tournaments. That's what have to change very soon.
Q. Last night when you left here, can you speak about what you did, when you got to sleep. Was it difficult to sort of come down off the night?
RAFAEL NADAL: Calm down? I'm very calm. (Laughter.) Seriously. I was upset when I went on court raining. That's upset for me, but I am a really quiet guy. Seriously, you know, I went to sleep earlier than ever, and finally I did. I slept at 11:00.
Q. Don't you think that players have some responsibility if situation is like this? Don't you think that already in the past the players should have done something to fight against a Super Saturday? They should have done something to avoid the first round that ends on Wednesday and all those kind of things? Because you have more power than you think, but you should be more united than you are. That's my opinion.
RAFAEL NADAL: Thank you.
Q. I want to know you, what you think about it.
RAFAEL NADAL: About?
Q. About all this, what I said.
RAFAEL NADAL: I think the players have a good union. We don't want to fight with nobody. We don't like the problems from yesterday. We like to be here. We like to be in good relationships with everybody. The problem is to change situations seems like for the right way is impossible. So probably we have to find another way.
Q. To just follow up on that, there are people...
RAFAEL NADAL: If you want to keep talking about that, you know, I am not feeling very comfortable, especially because sometimes the words can be too hard, but is for my English. My arguments can be less than usual for my English. So if you want to talk about next match, if you want to talk about, I am happy. But keep talking about that, for me in English will be tough. I said what I have to say, and I don't feel any more comfortable talking about that, especially because my English is not enough good to talk about that.
Q. Can you just say what kind of reaction you've gotten from other players who maybe weren't even here yesterday but heard what you and the Andys did?
RAFAEL NADAL: Everybody's agree. I think everybody's agree that these things have to change. We don't wanted in the past to change the situation without doing the right things. Was impossible talking. I have to talk with the players. We have to talk together at meetings and everything. But we have to fight stronger to have more power or, you know, I said before... (Spanish.) BENITO PEREZ: Representatives, feel that they have more power, more things to say so that they can be better represented.
Q. Would you address the topic of your next match, as you suggested, facing Andy Roddick? How would you describe that challenge for you?
RAFAEL NADAL: The match is not over. It's two sets to love, but David is back up. Andy is a fantastic player. He's having one of the best careers, being in the top players for, I don't know, 11 years, 10 years, 9 years. That's a lot. That's amazing. So I have big respect for Andy, especially he's very tough to be there for a long time and he did. So will be a big test for me if I play against him. Even if I play against David Ferrer. Quarterfinals, the matches must be very tough, and that's what's gonna happen, gonna be a very difficult match against Andy, against David, because that's the normal thing.
Men's Singles - 4th Round
Gilles Muller(LUX) v Rafael Nadal(ESP)
To Finish 3-0
Not Before:1:00 PM
Women's Singles - Quarterfinals
Serena Williams(USA) v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova(RUS)
Men's Singles - Quarterfinals
Novak Djokovic(SRB) v Janko Tipsarevic(SRB)
Wednesday, 7 September 2011
0-3 in the first set and Rafa has to go and sleep on it :( Nothing more will be done today as all play has been cancelled due to the ongoing crappy weather.
Build a roof, buy some covers, DO SOMETHING so at least we have a chance of some play when the rain stops!
Nadal, the No. 2 seed from Spain, accused a tournament official of ignoring safety for “the money.” Andy Roddick, the 21st seed and 2003 tournament champion from the U.S., said the courts at the National Tennis Center in New York were “not playable” in the misty conditions.
They were joined by fourth-seeded Andy Murray of Britain in a closed-door meeting with tournament referee Brian Earley after their matches were halted by the weather 20 minutes in. There was no word on when play might resume.
Roddick, in an interview with ESPN, said Earley was receptive to the players’ comments.
“If it’s up for discussion whether the courts are playable, then they’re not playable,” Roddick said. “We just wanted to be sure we weren’t put in that position again and I think we’re all clear now.”
Their matches on the tournament’s three main show courts started about 90 minute late because of rain, which wiped out yesterday’s schedule.
“It’s the same old thing,” Nadal was quoted by the ESPN’s Pam Shriver as telling a tournament referee inspecting the Arthur Ashe Stadium court. “All you think about is the money.”
Shriver, a former U.S. Open runner-up, said Nadal was “venomous.”
Chris Widmaier, a spokesman for the U.S. Open, said in an interview that he couldn’t immediately comment about the players’ complaints or Nadal’s exchange with the referee.
More precipitation is in the forecast through at least tomorrow, according to Weather.com. The tournament, the season’s last tennis Grand Slam event, is scheduled to end on Sept. 11.
Nadal earlier drew attention after taking much longer to leave the locker room than his opponent, Gilles Muller of Luxembourg. He apologized to Muller for the delay and said in a televised interview that he wasn’t told about the start of play in enough time to prepare himself with athletic tape, which left Muller waiting.
Muller got out to a 3-0 lead, breaking Nadal’s serve without losing a point during a game that included two double- faults from the Spaniard.
The U.S. Open’s inclement weather policy allows for exchanges of tickets to future sessions because of rainouts, though not if a match in Ashe Stadium has been completed or 90 minutes of tennis has been played. The tournament also spaces out the men’s play in order to hold the semifinals on Saturday and finals on Sundays, to draw the biggest audience for television.
If matches aren’t completed today, the men will have to play four days in a row and the women three days in a row to complete the tournament on time. The women’s final is scheduled for Sept. 10 and the men’s for the next day.
Four men’s fourth-round matches and two women’s quarterfinals were canceled as rain fell yesterday. All four women’s quarterfinals, two men’s quarterfinals and four men’s fourth-round matches are planned for today.
Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion and highest-seeded American man remaining in the draw, was leading No. 5 David Ferrer of Spain 3-1 in Louis Armstrong Stadium when play was stopped. Murray, trailed American wild-card entry Donald Young 2-1 on the Grandstand court.
No. 28 John Isner of the U.S. and No. 12 Gilles Simon of France also meet in a fourth-round match, which was moved to Court 17 after originally being scheduled for the Grandstand.
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic is scheduled to play fellow Serb Janko Tipsarevic in the first men’s quarterfinal in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Roger Federer, a five-time U.S. Open champion and No. 3 seed from Switzerland, is set to face No. 11 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in a quarterfinal night match on the featured court.
The first match scheduled for tonight is a women’s quarterfinal between three-time champion Serena Williams of the U.S. and No. 17 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia.
Williams is favored by oddsmakers to win the tournament even though she was seeded 28th after two injury-marred years.
Women’s top seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark is scheduled to play No. 10 Andrea Petkovic of Germany, while the other women’s quarterfinals feature No. 2 Vera Zvonareva of Russia against No. 9 Samantha Stosur of Australia, and No. 26 Flavia Pennetta of Italy against Angelique Kerber of Germany.
The men’s final has been moved to Monday because of weather in each of the last three years. It’s the only time there has been three straight Monday finishes in the tournament’s history.
“We’re still on course to finish on Saturday for the women and Sunday for the men,” Earley said in a televised interview with ESPN today before play began. “If we lose today and tomorrow, then we’re going to really be concerned.”
None of the 17 competition courts at the National Tennis Center has a retractable roof such as those at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, two of the sport’s other three majors.
Nadal back for Davis Cup duty
Rafael Nadal will lead Spain into battle when they take on France in the semi-finals of the Davis Cup on September 16-18.
The world number two skipped the quarter-final victory over United States in July but will bolster captain Albert Costa's side in Cordoba.
David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco complete the team, who are looking to regain the trophy they won in 2008 and 2009.
France captain Guy Forget has picked a strong team with Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet his chosen quartet.
All four are currently ranked in the world's top 13 in singles play.
Spain and France have met seven times in the Davis Cup, with Spain winning five times and losing twice. They have chosen their favourite clay as the court surface.
Other other semi sees holders Serbia host Argentina on an indoor hardcourt in Belgrade.
That tie will see world number one Novak Djokovic go up against Argentine number one Juan Martin Del Potro.
US Open quarter-finalist Janko Tipsarevic, Viktor Troicki and doubles specialist Nenad Zimonjic make up the Serb side.
Argentina's team is completed by Juan Ignacio Chela, Juan Monaco and David Nalbandian.
In the World Group play-offs, Swiss star Roger Federer is set to make the long trip to Sydney to face Australia on grass.
The match will potentially come just five days after a US Open final appearance by Federer.
If he does make the trip, Federer is likely to come up against old foe Lleyton Hewitt, who has been named in the hosts' squad by captain Pat Rafter.