Posts Tagged ‘Novak Djokovic’

Roundtable Part II: Analyzing ATP and WTA storylines from the season so far

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(Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Serena Williams won her seventh title at the Sony Open in Miami this year. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

With the first three-plus months of the 2014 tennis season behind us, Ricky Dimon of The GrandstandLindsay Gibbs of The ChangeoverErik Gudris of Tennis Now and Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times joined Courtney Nguyen for a roundtable to reflect on what’s happened so far, and look ahead to what’s to come. The roundtable took place on Wednesday, April 16 before Rafael Nadal’s loss to David Ferrer in the Monte Carlo quarterfinals, but edits have been made where necessary.

Click here to read part one of the roundtable, and be sure to check out our winners and losers of the season so far for the ATP and the WTA.

WTA: What to make of it?

Nguyen: Am I wrong, or is the first part of the WTA season much more difficult to explain than the ATP’s?

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  • Published On Apr 18, 2014
  • Daily Bagel: Roger Federer caught off guard by his missed backhand

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    The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.

    • Video: Roger Federer is just as shocked at his backhand shanks as we are.

    • Here’s how Steve Tignor saw David Ferrer’s upset of Rafael Nadal at the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday.

    Rafa was uncharacteristically subdued throughout, and he saved his worst, least confident tennis for the most crucial 10 minutes of the match, the first-set tiebreaker. Hanging his head and playing tentatively, he virtually conceded the breaker after falling behind early. At 1-4, Nadal had a chance to take a rip at his favorite shot, an inside-out forehand, from on top of the baseline. Instead, he tried to thread a risky drop shot; too risky, it turned out, as the ball caught the tape and fell back. The shot selection, the execution, the demeanor: None of it was what we’ve come to expect from Rafa at these stages.

    What we usually expect from a match between these two is an elemental battle of wills. Ferrer grinds, until you think no one could possibly have the mental endurance to stay with him—nobody except Nadal, that is. Rafa’s superior shotmaking always gives him the last word. Today, though, Nadal didn’t have those shots; he finished with 24 winners and 44 unforced errors, his backhand was short and often shanked, and at the moment in the first set when he appeared ready to come up with something special, he came up with something pedestrian instead.

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  • Published On Apr 18, 2014
  • Roundtable Part I: Analyzing ATP and WTA storylines from the season so far

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    Stanislas Wawrinka surprised everyone by beating Rafael Nadal in the final of the 2014 Australian Open. (David Callow/SI)

    Stanislas Wawrinka surprised everyone by beating Rafael Nadal in the final of the 2014 Australian Open. (David Callow/SI)

    With the first three-plus months of the 2014 tennis season behind us, I’ve asked Ricky Dimon of The Grandstand, Lindsay Gibbs of The Changeover, Erik Gudris of Tennis Now and Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times to reflect on what’s happened so far, and look ahead to what’s to come. 

    This roundtable has two parts — click here to read the second part. Be sure to check out our winners and losers of the season so far for the ATP and the WTA.

    What has been the most significant development, result or storyline so far?

    Erik Gudris: It’s been a busy first quarter that gave us Stanislas Wawrinka’s first ever major title, Novak Djokovic bouncing back to win the Indian Wells/Miami double, Serena Williams winning Miami though giving us a few unexpected losses and the recent surge of some young WTA players all with bright prospects moving ahead.

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  • Published On Apr 17, 2014
  • Daily Bagel: Rafael Nadal wins his 300th match on clay

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    The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.

    • Video: In honor of Rafael Nadal’s 300th clay win, here is a song dedicated to him called “Vamos Rafa.”

    • Behind the numbers: Rafael Nadal got his 300th win on clay today.

    • Nick Bollitieri tells The Telegraph that winning Wimbledon with Andre Agassi was his greatest tennis memory.

    “He called me about four days before the tournament and said: ‘Let’s go to Boca Raton to practise’. He had a girlfriend there, Wendi. We played golf, hit with [Robert] Seguso for 30 minutes.

    “Then we got to England and he gave a clinic. They said ‘Andre, where you been?’ He said ‘I been practising for two weeks.’ We hadn’t hit one ball on grass, but he went on to win the title.

    “He had the ladies from England trying to buy those short shorts for Chrissakes. He turned the crowd on, he really did. He had a way, man. He had ‘em jumping, man. When he retired at the US Open, the concession stands stopped to hear his speech. Everybody stopped. Not many people can do that.”

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  • Published On Apr 17, 2014
  • Daily Bagel: Dominika Cibulkova chooses Malaysian Open over Fed Cup

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    The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.

    • Video: Tommy Robredo’s 31-year old legs can still motor through the dirt.

    • While her Slovakian teammates are playing in the Fed Cup this week in Quebec, Dominika Cibulkova chose to fly all the way to Kuala Lumpur. She was also pleased that after finally breaking into the top 10, she didn’t have to answer questions about her inability to do so.

    “Finally, I am in the top 10 and don’t have to answer questions about it.

    “Of course, I want to go further as I am playing good tennis. I am ready to do better,” said Dominika.

    “I will take it one match at a time but of course, I am going to do 100 per cent here,” said Dominika, who turned professional in 2004.

    Dominika said she is still jet-lagged but hopes to overcome it before her first round match.

    “So far, it has been terrible as I travelled from the US, so it was not easy waking up in the morning today.

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  • Published On Apr 15, 2014
  • Photos: ATP’s elite prepare for Monte Carlo Masters

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    Rafael Nadal is trying to win the Monte Carlo Masters for the ninth time in his career. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

    The third ATP Masters 1000 tournament is already underway at the Monte Carlo Masters — blink and you already missed Ernests Gulbis’ first round loss to Alexandr Dolgopolov on Sunday.

    The top names won’t take the court until Tuesday afternoon when Novak Djokovic kicks off his title defense against No. 57 Albert Montanes, while Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer won’t begin their tournaments until Wednesday.

    That just means there’s more time for practice before the first big clay tournament of the season. See how the ATP’s top guys are preparing.

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  • Published On Apr 14, 2014
  • Best matches, best Tweeter, biggest bummer: Early-season offbeat awards

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    Stanislas Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic pushed each other to the limit in their five-set quarterfinal match at the Australian Open. (Getty Images)

    Stanislas Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic pushed each other to the limit in their five-set quarterfinal match at the Australian Open. (Getty Images)

    Before the clay-court season heats up, Beyond The Baseline is taking stock of the year in tennis so far. We’ve already covered the winners and losers for the ATP and WTA. Here’s a look at more highlights and lowlights from the first three months of the season.

    Best ATP match: Stanislas Wawrinka d. Novak Djokovic, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open

    Once again at the Australian Open, these two played an unforgettable five-set match, and this year, Wawrinka earned his revenge. Will these guys end up playing the match of the year at the Australian Open for the second season in a row?

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  • Published On Apr 11, 2014
  • Daily Bagel: Stephens crashes out of Bogota to No. 129-ranked Duque-Marino

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    The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.

    • Video: Novak Djokovic practices in Monte Carlo with his new puppy, Tesla.

    • Result: Sloane Stephens lost to No. 129 Mariana Duque-Marino 6-3, 6-3 in her first match in Bogota.

    • Jerzy Janowicz lashed out at reporters after Poland’s Davis Cup loss to Croatia.

    After being interrogated by journalists at a press conference after the match on Sunday, Janowicz lost his temper.

    “Who are you to criticize us?” a clearly upset Janowicz from Lodz in central Poland said, before going on to slam the sports system in the country and Poland in general.

    “Poland is a country that has no prospects in sport, business or private life. Kids go to college just to get out of the country,” a bitter 23 year-old Polish No. 1 said.

    “We train in sheds. So why do you have such high expectations of us?”

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  • Published On Apr 09, 2014
  • Early-season ATP winners and losers

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    Novak Djokovic

    Novak Djokovic completed the Indian Wells/Miami double for the second time. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

    Before the clay-court season heats up, Beyond The Baseline is taking stock of the year in tennis so far. Here’s a look at the ATP Tour winners and losers from the first three months. Click here for the WTA Tour breakdown.

    Winners

    Stanislas Wawrinka: Wawrinka failed the best he’s ever failed — and, really, better than we ever thought he would fail — at the Australian Open, where he won his first major title and became the first player to beat Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam tournament. His vengeful 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 victory over Djokovic, the three-time defending champion, in the quarterfinals was his signature win of the season and left no doubt that Wawrinka can continue to be a force on tour as long as he stays healthy and motivated. (The 29-year-old Swiss hasn’t been at his best since Melbourne, though.) Wawrinka also won the season-opening Chennai Open, climbed to No. 3 to supplant Roger Federer as the Swiss No. 1 and teamed with Federer to lead Switzerland into the Davis Cup semifinals for the first time in 11 years.

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  • Published On Apr 08, 2014
  • Maria Sharapova gives Andy Murray some fashion advice

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    Maria Sharapova

    Maria Sharapova discussed a variety of topics with her fellow pros. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

    Maria Sharapova is used to being on the “answer” side of a Q&A, but rarely does she have to field any inquisitive questions from her colleagues. In the HEAD video below, a relaxed Sharapova talks Sugarpova, Paris and fashion while answering a few questions from her sponsor-mates Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Richard Gasquet.

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  • Published On Apr 07, 2014


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