2014/04/17

Novak Djokovic Defeats Rafael Nadal for First Time on Clay to Win Madrid Open Title

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It was a day of streaks – one streak lives, two streaks died. Novak Djokovic kept his consecutive match winning streak in tact with a dramatic 7-5, 6-4 win over No. 1 Rafael Nadal to capture the Madrid Open title. It’s Djokovic’s sixth tournament title for 2011.

For Djokovic it’s his 34the win in a row dating back to the 2010 Davis Cup final and his 32nd since the 2011 year began. As for the streaks which are no longer – Djokovic finally won a match against Nadal on clay. Prior to Sunday’s final Djokovic was 0-9 against Nadal on the surface. Nadal’s consecutive matches on clay was snapped at 37. Nadal’s last loss on clay before Sunday came against Robin Sodering at the 2009 French Open.

 

Highlights of the final

In their own words:

Djokovic: “It is a very special day for me because it’s the first time I managed to beat Rafa on clay. I’ve played a great match from the first to the last point. I got to the court believing I can win and that was the only way that I could get a win in the end.”

“I know that this run that I have is really incredible but I try to think about how long it’ll go and when I will be beaten. It’s how many more wins I’m going to have. Every time I go on the court I’m motivated to win and not thinking that this is the day I’ll lose.”

On the No. 1 ranking: “If I keep winning I’ll get closer but I’m trying not to think about that. I just started the clay court season. It was a perfect start with the two tournaments that I won and I need to stay dedicated and focused on the upcoming events because if I want to reach No. 1 I have to play consistent because that’s what Rafa will do and the rest of the players. It has changed, I have a different mindset right now, I’m more stable and I know how to think right.”

Nadal: “He’s playing at a really high level. We’ve got to accept that. When someone is better than you there is nothing you can do other than congratulate him and that’s it and look forward to your next tournament and try to keep up, see what you’re missing, what you’re doing right and face forward with the correct attitude and with mental strength. You have to be cold, mentally speaking, and you have to look for solutions. Try to be better, try to practice and next time I’ll try to do better.”

“If I lose No. 1 it’s not the end of the world. If I lose it I will be No. 2 and I’ll be very happy. I’m just happy to go out on court and have the feeling that I’m competitive and I still have this feeling but at the moment I haven’t been able to beat him but I’ll try to work and I try to beat him. The good things will come and you’ve got to be patient.”

 


Shot of the match – Nadal’s “tweener”

Djokovic sits behind John McEnroe’s open-era record of 42-0 from 1984 as the best start to a season.

Singles – Final
[2] N Djokovic (SRB) d [1] R Nadal (ESP) 75 64

Doubles – Final
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d [6] M Llodra (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) 63 63

Special thanks to Ralf Reinecke for TennisGrandstand, Lee San Pedro, and Abigail Hinto for their Madrid Open coverage.

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Kourtin’ Karen’s Tennis Week in Review

Week ending May 8, 2011

0-15

Injuries


Juan Martin Del Potro withdrew from Madrid prior to his match against Rafael Nadal with a hip injury. He is being evaluated.

 

Kim Clijsters is very unlikely to play Paris. She just resumed training last week.

 

0-30

Serena Stalker


Serena Williams‘  alleged stalker was arrested outside of her home in Palm Beach Gardens, FL last week.

 

15-30

Ins and Outs

 

In – Venus Williams playing Eastbourne

Out – Li Na’s husband as her coach, in- Danish Fed Cup captain Michael Mortensen

Out – Robin Soderling has dropped coach Claudio Pistolesi after only 5 months

Out – Forest Hills stadium has been denied landmark status

Out - Stephan Koubek has officially retired from the tour.

In – Andy Roddick to play Legg Mason tourney in Washington, DC

Out – the ATP World Tour event the South African Open has been canceled

Out – of the top ten in both the ATP and WTA rankings this coming week for the first time since 1975 – Americans

In – Caroline Wozniacki to play New Haven Open at Yale.

In - Maria Sharapova Debuts New HEAD Racquet at Madrid Open

 

30-30

Oldies but Goodies to Play Champions Tour

Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Bjorn Borg, Mats Wilander and Michael Chang will play in a revamped Champions Series to be played in 12 cities over five weeks this summer.

 

40-30

Madrid

Tennis Panorama was in Madrid this past week. See our Madrid photo gallery here:

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Deuce

Nadal-Federer Part 24

Nadal defeated Federer 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 in the semis of the Madrid Open. With Federer at third in the world, he’ll be meeting Nadal more often before finals.

Advantage

Tweener of the week

Rafael Nadal hits a between-the-legs winner against Novak Djokovic in the Madrid final.

Game, Set, Match and Champions

Petra Kvitova Wins Madrid Open

 

Novak Djokovic Defeats Rafael Nadal for First Time on Clay to Win Madrid Open Title

Special thanks this past week to those contributors in Madrid for their coverage – Ralf Reineke of TennisGrandstand, Lee San Pedro and Abigail Hinto.

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Madrid: Nadal Wins with a Heavy Heart, Djokovic Tested Streak at 31

 

There was more than a match on his mind when Rafael Nadal took to the court on Saturday at the Madrid Open. Rafael Nadal had to overcome more than Roger Federer on court. Nadal was visibly emotionally distressed at the death of golfer Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros during an on-court tribute.

 

In part 24 of the Nadal-Federer rivalry, the Spaniard extended his record over the Swiss to 16-8 with a 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 victory to reach his third consecutive Madrid Open final.

“This win is much too small to dedicate to Seve—he’s one of the greatest players in the history of our sport.”

“Playing Federer always provides a special satisfaction as we have played so many important matches,” said Nadal.

 

Nadal will meet Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday and try to win his first title against the Serb in three tries.

 

Djokovic rallied against Thomaz Bellucci for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 win. Djokovic has tied Bjorn Borg’s 1980 record for wins at the start of a season at 31. John McEnroe holds the record at 42.

 

Different streaks will be in play in Sunday’s final. Nadal’s current clay court win streak at 37, Nadal’s winning streak against Djokovic on clay at 9-0 and Djokovic’s perfect start to the 2011 season currently at 31.

Victoria Azarenka

The ladies final on Sunday will see Victoria Azarenka face Petra Kvitova. Azarenka snapped Julia Goerges’ 10 match winning streak with a 6-4, 6-2 win. Kvitova dominates Li Na 6-3, 6-1.

Azarenka: “I came very motivated to play this match and show my best tennis …I had to be the one dominating the game and not her, because she has really big shots and when she goes for it it’s tough to see where she’s hitting.”

Both finalists will be moving up on the rankings – Azarenka will move up to No. 4 in the world. Kvitova will enter the top ten.

Kvitova: “Yesterday I knew if I won I’d be in the Top 10. It’s good but it’s only a number and I still want to get better and better…when I was young, I was inspired by Martina Navratilova. She was Czech, played very offensive tennis and had

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Madrid: Night Session without Rafael Nadal

By Abigail Hinto in Madrid

The children are gone, the grown ups are out, dressed up for the night’s event.  But it’s not Rafael Nadal nor Juan Martin Del Potro that will be entertaining them. Taking their place are Andy Murray and Thomaz Bellucci instead.

Earlier in the day at Nadal’s practice, Tournament Director Ion Tiriac came out for a visit. Did he come out personally to tell Nadal that Del Potro has pulled out? For after Tiriac left, a fan asked Nadal’s Uncle Toni if Rafa would be playing tonight and he answered no. At least that was the translation the person beside me provided me.

After many fans bought tickets for tonight’s session, you can imagine the disappointment. The atmosphere for that match, in Spain, would have been amazing. I was anticipating a Davis Cup-like atmosphere. But an injury is an injury, and if a player can’t play, he can’t play.

So back to the replacement match, it featured the some of the longest rallies seen during Thursday’s match play, what you typically expect from clay court tennis.

Murray’s counter-punching style lends itself to those long rallies. But even his amazing defense wasn’t enough to win him the match. Bellucci, the clear aggressor won comfortably in the end 6-4, 6-2.

If the first night match featured the most long rallies, the second one between David Ferrer and Sergiy Stakhovsky had employed the most dropshots, another feature of clay court tennis. It is an amazing shot when it works, but can also make you loom stupid when it doesn’t even cross the net which Stakhovsky alternately pulled off against Ferrer. In the end, like Murray earlier, Stakhovsky’s dropshots didn’t help him win his match. Game, set and match David Ferrer – 6-3, 7-6.

Madrid Open Results and Order of Play

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Wozniacki, Stosur and Schiavone Upset in Madrid

Second straight tournament, second straight win for Germany’s Julia Goerges over No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki. This time it was 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in the third round of the Madrid open on Thursday.

Goerges had to rally from 0-3 down in the first set while in the second set the momentum swung Wozniacki’s way as she broke the her opponent’s serve twice.

Goerges said, “the second set she started to be more aggressive and I started to get tired, so I said to myself keep yourself together for the third set and try to fight for every point.”

What made the difference in this match? Goerges was more aggressive with her shots hitting 36 winners to Wozniacki’s 11.

“I tried to get her (Wozniacki) out of her rhythm and not let her push me and be the first to push her,” she told a news conference. “I like to play high balls to her backhand and if she goes short I have a chance to go for the shots. The second set she started to be more aggressive and I started to get tired, so I said to myself keep yourself together for the third set and try to fight for every point.

 

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova stunned fifth-seeded Samantha Stosur 7-6 (7-4),  6-3

Bethanie Mattek-Sands

 

Another day, another WTA “Hot Shot“ makes good. On Wednesday it was Dominika Cibulkova on Thursday it was Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Mattek-Sands had the win of her career forced out No. 3 seed Francesca Schiavone 7-6(5), 6-3.

Mattek-Sands, “she was serving great today, but my return is one of my best shots and I think there was only one break in the match.” “I’m playing free, is the best way to put it. I’m playing aggressive and confident, even if I miss a couple here and there. I’m going for it and that makes the difference.”

“I’m really happy with my play on clay right now. I feel like a true dirtballer.”

“Francesca is probably one of the best competitors on the tour. We played her in doubles yesterday and she played a great match again. Today, every point from the beginning, it was on. She’s a great champion, obviously won the French Open last year, and this victory gives me a lot of confidence.”

This was only Mattek-Sands’ second career win over a top ten player.

 

Meanwhile, Victoria Azarenka is quietly moving through the draw destroying opponents. On Thursday she ran over Spain’s Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-0, 6-3. “I played a very solid game…..I was dominating the whole match, which gives me a good feeling and a lot of confidence,” said Azarenka.

WTA Results – Thursday, May 5, 2011
Singles – Third Round
Julia Goerges (GER) d. (1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 64 16 63
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) d. (3) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 76(5) 63
(4) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (WC) Arantxa Parra Santonja (ESP) 60 63
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. (5) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 76(4) 63
(6) Li Na (CHN) d. Roberta Vinci (ITA) 26 62 61
Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) 63 63

Doubles – Quarterfinals
(2) Peschke/Srebotnik (CZE/SLO) d. Mirza/Vesnina (IND/RUS) 75 75
(3) King/Shvedova (USA/KAZ) d. (6) Mattek-Sands/Shaughnessy (USA/USA) 75 57 108 (Match TB)
Dellacqua/Stubbs (AUS/AUS) d. Hsieh/Yan (TPE/CHN) 46 76(5) 119 (Match TB)

Madrid Open Results and Order of Play

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Madrid Open Wednesday – Kids’ Day and Nadal

By Abigail Hinto

Groups of students from the little ones to the teenagers came in droves to the Caja Magica for Kids Day at the Madrid Open on Wednesday. They were enthusiastic, loud, and everywhere.

At one practice court, a class of young students, were seated and watching Novak Djokovic practice. They sure did know where to place themselves. Or perhaps they were told. During Djokovic’s practice, a camera crew and reporters arrived. Clearly the crew was not for Djokovic, but for the next person scheduled on court, none other than Rafael Nadal. He walks in and everyone starts shouting, young and old. More camera crews come in, a couple of press photographers. Everyone’s there for Nadal.

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