May 4, 2016

Murray, Nadal and Federer Reach Monte-Carlo Quarterfinals

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

(April 14, 2016) World No. 2 Andy Murray rallied from a set and two breaks down to beat Benoit Paire 2-6, 7-5, 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals of the Monte-Carlo Masters on Thursday. Also advancing were No. 3 Roger Federer, No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, No. 5 Rafael Nadal, No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga,  No. 10 Milos Raonic, No. 13 Gael Monfils, and unseeded Marcel Granollers.

“It was a big win is what it was,” Murray said.  “You know, to win from 6-2, 3-0 down, two breaks, when you’re not playing particularly well, it’s a great effort.

“You know, those matches are important. It would have been easy to lose today and get down on myself. But I kept fighting right the way through to the end.

“Definitely, you know, the second set was sort of ups and downs. I didn’t feel like in the third that was the case so much. I mean, I think I broke him twice, he broke me once.

“But, yeah, it was a good one to get through because I could have easily lost today. Fought well, good effort.”

“I think he played a bad game at 3-0 in the second to give me one of the breaks back,” the Scotman noted as the turning point in the match. “I felt like I was in with a chance then. That was really the point of the match where it turned a little bit for me. I mean, there was still a lot of work to be done at that stage. Obviously he served for the match in the third.”

“I made a bad dropshot and a bad volley that wasn’t too difficult,” Paire said. “I lost the game. It was 3-1. I started wondering. It allowed him to get back into the match. I wasn’t playing the simple tennis I was playing from the start. I was no longer waiting for the right shot to come.

“I think I should have won that match and I’m extremely disappointed.”

“I’m playing good matches. I have good results. I’m close to the top players.

“What happened today, I was a bit stressed when it was at the point of trying to close out the match. I made a mistake. I should have just put the ball back into play, for example. I have many regrets.”

 

Federer had straight forward 6-2, 6-4 victory over Roberto Bautista Agut.

“I felt as good as in the first match, or maybe not as good, because I felt a bit tired,” said the world No. 3. “I can feel it in my body right now. I feel a bit soft, without energy.

“But as the match progressed, I felt better and better. Once I made the break, I was able to relax a little more. Bautista Agut, it was the first time I played him. I wasn’t sure whether he would stay far behind or make dropshots. I saw him do that against Chardy. I was playing in a way he couldn’t make those dropshots, so it was a good match.

“I felt good. In the beginning of the second, I could have made more breaks. So it could have gone my way very early.

“I’m happy with what I did. He’s a good player.”

 

Nadal had to come back from a break in the first set to oust Dominic Thiem 7-5, 6-3. The Spaniard overcame 15 of 16 break points against him in the first set.

“The good thing, in my opinion, the best thing is he didn’t play bad the breakpoints,” said Nadal. “It was more that I played well in the breakpoints than he played bad.

“So happy for that because that mean that I was ready to find and take the right decisions in the most important moments. I was able to fight all the moments, no? I never give up in all these tough moments that I had in the first set. So very happy for that.

“I think I played a solid match in general. That’s why I’m in the next round, because the opponent was very hard.”

“I think I played a good match. In terms of level of tennis, was great I think. In terms of fighting spirit and attitude and being ready to accept the mistakes, the good points, the tough moments, was similar way that I played in Indian Wells.

“That was a great continuation against a very tough player. I think he played a great match, too. Was a very good victory for me. Very happy for that.”

Next match for Nadal will be Stan Wawrinka, who beat Nadal in the final of the 2014 Australian Open. “Stan, he’s always very dangerous opponent and he’s a great player,” said the 14-time major champion. “I know when he’s playing well, it’s difficult to stop him because he’s able to hit so hard the ball from every part of the court. He’s able to serve so good, too.

“We’ll see. Will be a tough one. I only can think about myself. I have to continue the same way than today, fighting for every point, playing with my strategy. We’ll see if I am able to play like today or maybe little bit better. Let’s see.”

“I will have to play well if I want to have a chance to keep winning,” Wawrinka said about his next match. “Rafa is always tough to play on clay. He’s a left-hander. It’s always complicated to play against him.”

Novak Djokovic’s conqueror has been conquered. Jiri Vesely, who stunned tennis’ top player in the second round lost to Gael Monfils in straight sets 6-1, 6-2.

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 14 APRIL 2016

Singles – Third Round
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [16] B. Paire (FRA) 26 75 75
[3] R. Federer (SUI) d [14] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 62 64
[4] S. Wawrinka (SUI) d [15] G. Simon (FRA) 61 62
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) d [12] D. Thiem (AUT) 75 63
[8] J. Tsonga (FRA) d [WC] L. Pouille (FRA) 64 64
[10] M. Raonic (CAN) d [Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) 63 46 76(5)
[LL] M. Granollers (ESP) d [11] D. Goffin (BEL) 76(1) 64
[13] G. Monfils (FRA) d J. Vesely (CZE) 61 62

Doubles – Second Round
H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) d [1] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) 62 63
[2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d D. Marrero (ESP) / B. Paire (FRA) 76(4) 62
[3] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d [WC] R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) ret. (Verdasco – calf)
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) d [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) 64 63
SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 15 APRIL 2016

COURT RAINIER III start 11:00 am
[10] M. Raonic (CAN) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) vs [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI)
[3] R. Federer (SUI) vs [8] J. Tsonga (FRA)
[13] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [LL] M. Granollers (ESP)

COURT DES PRINCES start 11:00 am
T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) vs [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)
[6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs [4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)
After Suitable Rest – [3] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) vs D. Inglot (GBR) / A. Murray (GBR)
H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)

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Novak Djokovic Falls to Jiri Vesely in Monte-Carlo

227 Djokovic puzzled look-001

(April 13, 2016) World No. 1 Novak Djokovic lost his first completed match since November on Wednesday, at the Monte-Carlo Maters falling to No. 55 Jiri Vesely 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in the second round.

“There is a proof nobody’s unbeatable,” Djokovic said to media. “Happens so many times in my career that I lose a match. It’s not a first time.

“Obviously it’s not easy to lose the match in terms of accepting it, you know, right after exiting the court. But I have to congratulate my opponent. I think he played very solid. He was serving very big. He was playing tactically good and aggressive.

“On the other hand, for me, there were just very few things I could take out from today’s match as a positive. I was playing really, really bad.

“But, you know, nothing taking away from my opponent’s performance. He deserved to win. When he was break up in the third set, he was playing bravely. He was coming in, dropshots, big serves. He was going for it. He deserved to have it.”

“I’m just very, very happy,” Vesely said. “It’s something amazing actually. When I went on court, I had completely different thinking, like I hope to win a game or I really hope to do well. But I really had no idea that I really would be able to beat Novak today.

“So for me it’s just something what I still can’t believe it really happened.”

This was the Czech first win over a Top ten player.

“I hope it will give me a lot of confidence, a lot of self-belief,” said the 22-year-old Vesely. “I think I’ve struggled pretty much the last few months where I really didn’t play good tennis. Obviously last week was the first week of the year where I played a little bit in good form and in good shape.

“I was definitely today in a better form than a couple weeks ago. But, you know, yesterday I was actually 3-6, 3-5 down. It could go bad yesterday and nothing would happen today.

“I’m just amazing happy the way I fought today and the way I finished the match.”

“I think Novak wasn’t at his best level, that’s for sure,” he continued. “He did a lot of mistakes from the beginning on. I think that was something that gave me actually a little bit more confidence and I was more passionate, was a little bit more creating the rallies. I wasn’t in a hurry, I wasn’t in a rush to end up the rally soon.

“From my side, I think I didn’t give him too much rhythm. I was just trying to change the rhythm all the time and not play the same game every single ball because I think otherwise he would get in the rhythm and, you know, start to play better and better.

“I’ve had a lot of dropshots. I was obviously serving very well. I think, yeah, I just got it somehow done. I don’t know how.”

This was Djokovic’s worst loss since June 2010 when he was beaten by No. 74 Xavier Malisse in the Queens Club tournament.

Since last January, the Serb had reached 19 out of 21 tournament finals and had won nine of his last 10 events.

Since January 2015, Djokovic had reached 19 finals in 21 tournaments, winning 15 – and the Serb was 28-1 on the year heading into Monte Carlo, having not dropped a set when winning the Miami Masters two weeks ago.

In terms of ranking, this was Djokovic’s worst since June 2010, when he lost to 74th-ranked Xavier Malisse on grass in the third round at Queens.

 

Earlier in the day, eight-time Monte Carlo champion Rafael Nadal beat Aljaz Bedene of Britain 6-3, 6-3 in the second round. Nadal was asked about his performance: “is obvious that I have been practicing little bit better than what I played today. But at the same time is true that I have been playing good for moments, some mistakes in other moments.

“But it’s fine, no? It’s the first match. It’s important to be through. Especially after what happened in Miami, it’s never easy. The first match again.

“Happy for the victory. I know that I have to improve for tomorrow. But I have confidence because I have been practicing very well these weeks. Let’s see if I am able to play the way that I was practicing. Tomorrow is going to be a tough match against a difficult opponent.”

The Spaniard will take on Dominic Thiem in third round.

“He has a great serve and a great forehand,” Nadal said of his next opponent “I need more victories to be 100 percent confident.”

Other upsets on the day included last year’s finalist, No. 6 Tomas Berdych who lost to No. 99 Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-3 and No. 9 Richard Gasquet lost to fellow Frenchman,  wild card Lucas Pouille 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

 

 

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 13 APRIL 2016

Singles – Second Round
J. Vesely (CZE) d [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) 64 26 64
[4] S. Wawrinka (SUI) d P. Kohlschreiber (GER) 76(2) 75
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) d A. Bedene (GBR) 63 63
[Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) d [6] T. Berdych (CZE) 64 67(1) 63
[WC] L. Pouille (FRA) d [9] R. Gasquet (FRA) 46 75 61
[10] M. Raonic (CAN) d P. Cuevas (URU) 75 26 76(5)
[11] D. Goffin (BEL) d [WC] F. Verdasco (ESP) 76(2) 26 76(1) saved 1 m.p.
[12] D. Thiem (AUT) d [Q] T. Daniel (JPN) 46 62 60
[13] G. Monfils (FRA) d P. Lorenzi (ITA) 62 64
[16] B. Paire (FRA) d J. Sousa (POR) 64 63
[LL] M. Granollers (ESP) d A. Zverev (GER) 64 46 63

Doubles – Second Round
[6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) d R. Lindstedt (SWE) / A. Peya (AUT) 75 75
D. Inglot (GBR) / A. Murray (GBR) d [7] E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) 26 63 10-5
T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) d [8] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Matkowski (POL) 76(3) 63

Doubles – First Round
H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) d R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) 63 62
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) d F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) 63 64
SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 14 APRIL 2016

COURT RAINIER III start 11:00 am
[16] B. Paire (FRA) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) vs [12] D. Thiem (AUT)
[3] R. Federer (SUI) vs [14] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
[WC] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [8] J. Tsonga (FRA)

COURT DES PRINCES start 11:00 am
[Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) vs [10] M. Raonic (CAN)
[15] G. Simon (FRA) vs [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI)
J. Vesely (CZE) vs [13] G. Monfils (FRA)
[11] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [LL] M. Granollers (ESP)

COURT 2 start 12:00 noon
[1] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS)
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) vs [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
D. Marrero (ESP) / B. Paire (FRA) vs [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)
[3] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) vs [WC] R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP)

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Novak Djokovic Wins Miami Open for Record 28th Masters Series Title

Kei Nishikori and Novak Djokovic photo courtesy of MiamiTennisNews.com

Kei Nishikori and Novak Djokovic photo courtesy of MiamiTennisNews.com

(April 3, 2016) Novak Djokovic won his third straight Miami Open title on Sunday over No. 6 Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3 to make himself both the all-time leader in Masters Series titles with 28 and the leader in career prize money with over 98 million dollars.

This is his sixth career Miami Open title and the world No. 1 has now completed the Indian Wells – Miami double in the same year for a fourth time, three years in a row.

The Serb has tied Andre Agassi for the most Miami Open tournaments won.

“I don’t know for other players, but it’s tough to find his weakness,” Nishikori said. I had a couple of strategies before this match, but I don’t think I did well enough to beat him today. I was missing a lot with my forehand and made too many unforced errors.

“He has great defense, so it’s tough to break his game. He was very patient and he didn’t miss. It’s always tough to play Novak.”

 

With the future of the Miami Open in doubt due to court battles in regard to be able to upgrade its facility, there is a possibility of relocation. Djokovic said: “I don’t know how much you follow the stories about the tournament moving,” he said during the trophy presentation. “I assure you it’s going to stay here for a long time. So see you next year.”

“From some reliable sources I know the tournament will stay here for many years to come,” he said laer during his news conference. “I don’t think we need to have a conversation about moving this tournament anywhere else.”

“Every year that I come back to Miami I do go through those memories from back in 2007,” Djokovic said. “It was the first Masters 1000 I won and opened a lot of doors for me. It gave me a lot of self-belief. I started to realize that I’m able to win the big trophies and to beat the best players in the world.

“So of course this is a [special] place for me to come back to, now winning it six times. Obviously I don’t take any win for granted and especially in the big ones. So it was my best performance of the tournament. It came at the right time against a great quality player.”
Djokovic is now 28-1 on the year, his only loss coming in Dubai when he had to retire from a match with an eye infection.

 

Djokovic also passed coach Boris Becker for sole possession of 11th place in the Open Era in match wins with his 714th.
Djokovic heads home to Europe to begin the clay court season.

“I have lots of motivation for the beginning of the clay court season that ends up hopefully with the crown in Paris,” he said. “But I’m not the only one who wants to win that big trophy.”

 

The French Open is the lone major Djokovic has never won.

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Novak Djokovic to Meet Kei Nishikori in Miami Open Final

(April 1, 2016) On Friday Novak Djokovic defeated David Goffin 7-6 (5), 6-4 to reach his seventh final at the Miami Open. The world No. 1 will be going for his third straight title in Key Biscayne and sixth overall on Sunday when he faces No. 6 Kei Nishikori.  Djokovic is on a 15-match winning streak in Key Biscayne.  In the other semifinal, Nishikori stopped 24th seed Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 7-5.

Djokovic survived a tight first set against his Belgian opponent. A missed overhead smash by Goffin in tiebreak put the momentum in the Serb’s favor.

“Of course I was a bit fortunate in the tiebreak, but I made him play always an extra shot,” said Djokovic. “Second set was even better.”

“I was aware of the level that he raised his game in last couple of months. And the fact that he has played the first semifinals of a Masters 1000 event in his career in Indian Wells gave him obviously confidence coming into today’s match, and I knew he’s going to try to take his chances, going to try to be aggressive.

“He plays very clean, a tennis that is beautiful for the eye, you know, to watch, and the way he moves. Also, I think he improved his serve, first serve, especially in the first set. I had difficulty to kind of read it. It’s not as powerful and strong as maybe some other guys’, but it’s very precise and efficient. Also, he backs it up with a very efficient and good quality first shot after the serve.”

“There was a lot of big points in the first set,” Goffin said. “I had the break also earlier in the set, and at 4-3 I didn’t play good service game to do 5-3. Yeah, with new balls he was really aggressive with his return.

“Yeah, against Djokovic you have to make every point. You have to go for the shot in every point. He doesn’t give anything, so you have to win every point. It’s tough, because if you are not there for a few seconds, you lose the game.

“So, yeah. It’s always tough against Novak. But, yeah, at the end it was a really good first set with a lot of intensity, and, yeah, there was some — when we start the tiebreak it was, yeah, few second serves that I missed the return. I served well, but it was not enough, yeah, with the smash.”

Goffin who reached two straight Masters Series semifinals, Indian Wells and Miami, will see his ranking rise to 13.

“Of course my confidence is really high,” Goffin said of his recent results. “But of course I did two good weeks, two good tournaments, but I was not on fire. It was like really solid game, and I played my level. I really happy that mentally I was really competitive and I won a lot of good matches against many great players.

“So, yeah, I worked a lot during practice, so maybe that’s why it pays off during the match. But for the next tournaments and the rest of this season, of course the confidence is really high.”

Nishikori held back the hard-hitting Kyrgios in the night session. The man from Japan, survived five match points against Gael Monfils in his quarterfinal contest.

“It’s going to be tough, for sure,” Nishikori said about playing Djokovic in the final. “He has been playing well. I hope I can play another good match.”

Djokovic will be going for a record 28th Masters Series 1000 title, while Nishikori will be trying to win his very first. Should Djokovic win on Sunday he would tie tennis Hall of Famer Andre Agassi for the most number Miami titles with six and win his fourth Indian Wells-Miami double.

Djokovic leads in his career head-to-head against Nishikori at 6-2.

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Djokovic Advances, Bacsinszky Surprises Halep at Miami Open

(March 29, 2016) In a match closer that the score indicated, Novak Djokovic advanced to the Miami Open quarterfinals on Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-4 win over 14th seed Dominic Thiem of Austria.

Djokovic who is now 25-1 on the year is seeking his fifth Miami title in six years and three in a row.

The Serb fought off a game youngster in Thiem, fighting off 14 of 15 break points.

“He came out with a good game plan,” Djokovic said. “He’s young. He had not much to lose. He was confident obviously winning a lot of matches this year. He was motivated to win. I could see that. It was a straight-set win, but far from easy. It was a tough match.”

“It is exciting, because tennis definitely needs the next generation of young players who are playing the way Dominic does and challenging the best players in the world,” Djokovic continued.

“It’s normal evolution in life that sooner or later we’ll — the time will come for all of us, and we need some new faces and players that are able to follow and lead the tennis world in the future.

“So Dominic is one of the leaders of this generation, no question doubt about it. He’s already established himself as a top 20 player last couple years. He’s getting stronger and more confident.

“It’s a process for every young player to really develop and understand what it takes mentally, physically, emotionally, to get to the top of the world and win major titles. It’s a long road ahead for him and for everybody else, but definitely they are on the right track.”

In the final eight Djokovic will play No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych who beat 10th seed Richard Gasquet 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

 

The women’s upsets continued at the Miami Open on Tuesday when No. 5 seed Romanian Simona Halep lost to No. 19 seed Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

The Swiss player backed up her defeat of the No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the fourth round for her second straight win over top five players.

It marked the first time that Bacsinszky had even taken a set off of Halep.

For the Swiss, it’s been five years since she last made an appearance at Key Biscayne and this year, making the semifinals is by far the longest run she’s made in the tournament.

After Halep took a tight first set, Bacsinszky jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second set to take control. The Swiss notched two breaks early in the third set to go up 3-0 and never had to look back.

After her first service break in the second set, rain halted play for 10 minutes.

Between Bacsinszky’s effective use of the slice, movement and varied game, put her opponent off guard throughout most of the almost two-and-a-half-hour match.

“Well, in the second set I think I was pushing her to play long rallies,” she said. “I was like probably trying to hide where I was playing; then she was like — she couldn’t be able to guess if it was on the backhand or the forehand.

“Well, even though I felt that she raised her level and her intensity at the end the second set, I stayed — I’m happy that I stayed really strong. I felt that she was like going up, pushing, pushing, but I showed that, Okay, I’m here. I know you’re pushing, but I can keep the level.

“Then it helped me a lot for the third set. I raised then probably my intensity at the beginning of the third set and it made a big gap between us.”

With Halep out, the only top ten seed left in the women’s draw is No. 2 Angelique Kerber.

“The ranking is only a number,” said the Swiss in reference to beating two top five players, “so sometimes you can play very good, better than your ranking, and sometimes less good than your ranking is.

“So for the next match, I mean, obviously for sure it gives me a big confidence to have those two wins, but it doesn’t change that I’m going to have a fierce opponent and it’s going to be tough.

“I just hope I’m going to be able to play well — I mean, not especially well, but be efficient in the next match. Hopefully I win the last point. If not, then it’s okay. I’ll try for the next tournament.”

 

Bascinszky will next play Russian No. 15 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova for a place in the finals.  In a topsy-turvy match, Kuznetsova defeated Ekaterina Makarova 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4 to reach the semifinals.

In the first set Kuznetsova lead 5-2, 40-0 and also served for the set at 5-4 but could not close the set when errors crept into her game, especially on her powerful forehand side. Makarova took advantage and won the set in a tiebreak 7-6(3).

Kuznetsova was broken serving for the second set at 5-3, but broke Makarova right back for the third break in the set to even the match at one-set all.

The two-time major winner started off the third set, digging out of a break point to hold then break for a 2-0 lead. Makarova got the break back in the seventh game drawing closer to her countrywoman at 3-4. Kuznetsova battles for the break back and served for the match at 5-3. This time the 15th seed held to close out the match in two-hours and forty-five minutes.

For Kuznetsova, who won the Miami Open in 2006, this will be her first trip to the semifinals since 2009.

Only one of the top 12 seeds remain on the women’s side of the draw and that’s No. Angelique Kerber.

MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITAU – MIAMI, UNITED STATES
21 MARCH – 3 APRIL, 2016

RESULTS – MARCH 29, 2016
Women’s
Singles – Quarterfinals

[19] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d [5] S. Halep (ROU) 46 63 62
[15] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d [30] E. Makarova (RUS) 67(3) 64 63

Women’s
Doubles – Quarterfinals

M. Gasparyan (RUS) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d V. King (USA) / A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) 63 76(3)
Second Round
[4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d C. Dellacqua (AUS) / S. Stosur (AUS) 75 64

ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2016
STADIUM start 10:45 am
WTA – [5] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs [3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE)

Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [24] J. Konta (GBR) vs [13] V. Azarenka (BLR)

Not Before 3:00 pm
ATP – [15] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [18] G. Simon (FRA)
ATP-Possible Court Change – [4] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs [WC] O. Jasika (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS)

Not Before 7:00 pm
WTA – [22] M. Keys (USA) vs [2] A. Kerber (GER)

Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [7] T. Berdych (CZE)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
WTA – [4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) vs K. Bondarenko (UKR) / O. Savchuk (UKR)

Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – J. Chardy (FRA) / F. Martin (FRA) vs [5] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)
ATP – J. Isner (USA) / N. Monroe (USA) vs T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)

Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Peya (AUT) vs R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA)

COURT 1 start 4:00 pm
WTA – [8] Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) vs E. Makarova (RUS) / B. Strycova (CZE)

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Venus Williams Along with Eight Other Women’s Seeds Lose at Miami Open

(March 25, 2016) Nine women’s seeds on Friday at the Miami Open including 10th seed Venus Williams. Williams fell to qualifier Elena Vesnina 6-0, 6-7(5), 6-2.

“It’s always an honor to play against Venus.,” said Vesnina, a former No. 21 ranked player, in an on-court post-match interview. “We played many times against each other and it’s always been a pleasure to play her and it’s always been a tough match-up.

“I’m really happy that I won today.”

“It was definitely a physical match,” Williams said. “She played amazing tennis. All credit to her today.

“I couldn’t afford any errors because she was on,” (in the third set) Williams noted. “She didn’t make many errors. She came out with nothing to lose and just everything worked for her today.

“Bad luck for me; great luck for her. As the match continued I think I started to find more and more rhythm. She is coming off qualifying and playing doubles matches every week. It’s a little bit challenging to play your best tennis without — you know, against an opponent who is just so inspired.

“You don’t have a moment to try and figure out how to get into the match.”

The other losses by women’s seeds included: No. 6 seed Carla Suárez Navarro knocked out by American CoCo Vandeweghe, No. 7 Belinda Bencic who retired from her match, No. 14 Sara Errani, No. 17 seed Karolina Pliskova, No. 18 Jelena Jankovic by retirement, No. 25 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, No. 29 seed Sabine Lisicki, who lost a 5-0 third set lead to Irina-Camelia Begu, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(2), and No. 27 seed Kristina Mladenovic.

Djokovic on court 321-001

No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Kyle Edmund 6-3, 6-3. Djokovic also made a catch that would make former tennis player Mansour Barahmi proud. The Serb caught a ball in his pocket, much to the delight of the fans. Djokovic who advanced to the third round, is seeking a four Indian Wells – Miami double.

 

Roger Federer was forced to with draw from the tournament with a stomach virus. The No. 3 ranked Swiss was making a comeback from knee surgery in early February. His replacement in the draw, lucky loser Horacio Zeballos was a winner over fellow Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4, 6-4.

Del Potro is back from another wrist surgery, seemed to have some issues with his wrist during the loss. “I was suffering a little bit,” he said. “It was worse than my first match, but I hope nothing dangerous. I mean, I will see what’s going on after today and see if I can practice tomorrow, if I can hit again like a little backhand.

“They said before this is a long road to get better. Not to play well or to win matches, just to get better and to play tennis again. I’m looking forward for that. For me it’s like surprise when I win a match in this moment because I’m not 100% yet.

“But I’m here. Of course I’m suffering in moments, but I’m playing tennis. Bad or really bad, but I’m playing. That’s good for me.”

 

The men’s side of the draw saw two seeded Spanish casualties: No. 21 Feliciano Lopez who lost to qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez seeded 32.

In the match of the day of the day for the men Viktor Trocki saved four match points to win his contest against Inigo Cervantes 6-7(6), 7-6(9), 7-6(3).

 

 

MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITAU – MIAMI, UNITED STATES
21 MARCH – 3 APRIL, 2016

RESULTS – MARCH 25, 2016
Women’s Singles – Second Round
[2] A. Kerber (GER) d B. Strycova (CZE) 61 61
[4] G. Muguruza (ESP) d D. Cibulkova (SVK) 67(3) 63 75
C. Vandeweghe (USA) d [6] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 64 62
[Q] Kr. Pliskova (CZE) d [7] B. Bencic (SUI) 41 Retired
[9] R. Vinci (ITA) d L. Hradecka (CZE) 16 64 76(5)
[Q] E. Vesnina (RUS) d [10] V. Williams (USA) 60 67(5) 62
[13] V. Azarenka (BLR) d M. Puig (PUR) 62 64
[WC] N. Osaka (JPN) d [14] S. Errani (ITA) 61 63
T. Babos (HUN) d [17] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) 57 62 76(0)
[Q] M. Linette (POL) d [18] J. Jankovic (SRB) 10 Retired
[22] M. Keys (USA) d K. Flipkens (BEL) 64 62
[24] J. Konta (GBR) d D. Kovinic (MNE) 64 62
[Q] K. Bertens (NED) d [25] A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 61 46 61
[WC] N. Gibbs (USA) d [27] K. Mladenovic (FRA) 62 64
I. Begu (ROU) d [29] S. Lisicki (GER) 64 16 76(2)
[32] M. Niculescu (ROU) d S. Peng (CHN) 61 36 60

Women’s Doubles – First Round
[PR] A. Rodionova (AUS) / G. Voskoboeva (KAZ) d [7] A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 63 67(4) 10-2
[8] Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) d [WC] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) / A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 26 63 12-10
V. King (USA) / A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) d J. Goerges (GER) / K. Pliskova (CZE) 46 63 10-8
C. Dellacqua (AUS) / S. Stosur (AUS) d K. Bertens (NED) / J. Larsson (SWE) 36 76(5) 10-7
A. Rosolska (POL) / L. Siegemund (GER) d G. Dabrowski (CAN) / L. Kichenok (UKR) 62 75

Men’s Singles – Second Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d K. Edmund (GBR) 63 63
[7] T. Berdych (CZE) d R. Ram (USA) w/o (illness)
[8] D. Ferrer (ESP) d [Q] T. Fritz (USA) 76(6) 61
[10] R. Gasquet (FRA) d A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 64 64
[11] M. Cilic (CRO) d D. Lajovic (SRB) 64 61
[14] D. Thiem (AUT) d S. Groth (AUS) 75 62
[15] D. Goffin (BEL) d [Q] M. Granollers (ESP) 64 64
[18] G. Simon (FRA) d J. Monaco (ARG) 75 61
[19] V. Troicki (SRB) d I. Cervantes (ESP) 67(6) 76(9) 76(3) – saved 4 m.p.
[20] B. Paire (FRA) d M. Youzhny (RUS) 63 64
[Q] Y. Nishioka (JPN) d [21] F. Lopez (ESP) 64 64
F. Verdasco (ESP) d [28] J. Chardy (FRA) 64 64
[31] S. Johnson (USA) d A. Zverev (GER) 76(9) 76(3)
L. Pouille (FRA) d [32] G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 62 64
[33] J. Sousa (POR) d V. Pospisil (CAN) 67(1) 76(5) 62
[LL] H. Zeballos (ARG) d [PR] J. Del Potro (ARG) 64 64

Doubles – First Round
[2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d L. Kubot (POL) / M. Matkowski (POL) 63 67(1) 10-6
[5] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d O. Marach (AUT) / D. Thiem (AUT) 76(3) 64
T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) d [WC] E. Butorac (USA) / S. Lipsky (USA) 75 63

 

ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, MARCH 26, 2016
STADIUM start 11:00 am
ATP – [6] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs [Q] P. Herbert (FRA)

Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [3] A. Radwanska (POL) vs M. Brengle (USA)
ATP – [5] R. Nadal (ESP) vs D. Dzumhur (BIH)

Not Before 4:30 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs Z. Diyas (KAZ)

8:00 pm
ATP – D. Istomin (UZB) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 9:30 pm
WTA – [12] E. Svitolina (UKR) vs [23] C. Wozniacki (DEN)

GRANDSTAND start 10:50 am
WTA – [30] E. Makarova (RUS) vs [8] P. Kvitova (CZE)
ATP – An. Kuznetsov (RUS) vs [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI)
ATP – [26] G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs F. Delbonis (ARG)
ATP – [13] J. Isner (USA) vs [Q] T. Smyczek (USA)

Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – S. Giraldo (COL) vs [9] J. Tsonga (FRA)

COURT 1 start 10:55 am
ATP – D. Kudla (USA) vs [12] M. Raonic (CAN)
ATP – [22] J. Sock (USA) vs S. Stakhovsky (UKR)
WTA – J. Goerges (GER) vs [5] S. Halep (ROU)
ATP – M. Baghdatis (CYP) vs [24] N. Kyrgios (AUS)
WTA – [19] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) vs [16] A. Ivanovic (SRB)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – C. Garcia (FRA) vs [15] S. Kuznetsova (RUS)
ATP – [16] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [Q] T. Ito (JPN)
ATP – [Q] M. Kukushkin (KAZ) vs [30] T. Bellucci (BRA)
ATP – [4] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs I. Cervantes (ESP) / D. Ferrer (ESP)
ATP – [29] S. Querrey (USA) vs A. Mannarino (FRA)

COURT 7 start 11:00 am
ATP – A. Seppi (ITA) vs [27] A. Dolgopolov (UKR)
WTA – Y. Wickmayer (BEL) vs [WC] H. Watson (GBR)
ATP – J. Millman (AUS) vs [23] P. Cuevas (URU)
ATP – [17] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs A. Bedene (GBR)
ATP-After Suitable Rest – P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Peya (AUT) vs [PR] J. Del Potro (ARG) / F. Delbonis (ARG)

COURT 8 start 11:00 am
ATP – [WC] O. Jasika (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS) vs [7] E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)

Not Before 12:30 pm
WTA – [WC] M. Keys (USA) / S. Stephens (USA) vs [3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE)
ATP – [1] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs J. Chardy (FRA) / F. Martin (FRA)
ATP – A. Qureshi (PAK) / G. Simon (FRA) vs D. Nestor (CAN) / R. Stepanek (CZE)

COURT 9 start 11:00 am
ATP – H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs [PR] M. Cilic (CRO) / M. Draganja (CRO)

Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [Alt] B. Bencic (SUI) / S. Vogt (LIE) vs S. Errani (ITA) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
WTA – E. Makarova (RUS) / B. Strycova (CZE) vs [2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE)
WTA – M. Gasparyan (RUS) / M. Niculescu (ROU) vs [WC] M. Puig (PUR) / H. Watson (GBR)
ATP – R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) vs [3] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)

COURT 10 start 1:00 pm
ATP – D. Marrero (ESP) / B. Paire (FRA) vs [Alt] L. Mayer (ARG) / J. Sousa (POR)
WTA – D. Kasatkina (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs C. Chuang (TPE) / C. Liang (CHN)
WTA – K. Bondarenko (UKR) / O. Savchuk (UKR) vs [6] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA)

 

 

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Novak Djokovic Three-Peats at BNP Paribas Open

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

(March 20, 2016) Novak Djokovic destroyed Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-0 to win his third straight and a record fifth BNP Paribas Open title on Sunday.

He now has a 17-match win streak at Indian Wells with the three-peat. His record in the desert is 46-6. The world No. 1 improves his record on the year to 22-1.

Raonic admitted that a few games into the match he was hampered by an injury. He took a medical time out after the first set.

Djokovic broke the hard-hitting Canadian’s serve five times during the 77-minute match.

This marks Djokovic’s 27th Masters 1000 title. He is now tied with Rafael Nadal for the all-time lead.

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

Raonic had a medical issue which began a few games into the match.

Despite the loss the 25-year-old Raonic was upbeat about his tournament performance:

“There is a lot of positives to take away. Right now it’s very disappointing, but at the end of the day, until two weeks ago I didn’t do any side-to-side movement and I didn’t play any points and all these kind of things.

“To be here playing in one of the 12 most important tournaments in our year in the final is great progress forward. I look to sort of keep that going forward and, you know, trying to be healthy and trying to get better every day.”

“I need to work harder (to beat Djokovic),” he said. “I need to execute better. My way that I go about things, I think I’m on the right track. I think it’s about putting the things, putting the things together, being effective, which today I wasn’t able to do.

“I think I have it within me, but obviously I need to reach a lot deeper to find that execution.”
Raonic is 14-2 on the year having won the Brisbane International beating Roger Federer in the final. This was Raonic’s third Masters 1000 final.

“I’m just glad to be able to raise the level of my game as the tournament progresses, and that’s something that I have been doing in the last two years particularly on the big events,” Djokovic said.

“I have been managing to win most of the big matches against top 10 players. You know, obviously I have a certain routine and certain preparation for these big matches that works for me, again. Everybody is different. But I have been — I will try to follow that kind of routine and get myself in that state of mind where I’m able to get the best out of myself when it’s most needed.”

 

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Djokovic Beats Nadal to Reach Indian Wells Final

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(March 19, 2016) INDIAN WELLS, California – Novak Djokovic continued his winning streak against Rafael Nadal beating him 7-6 (5), 6-2 on Saturday to reach the BNP Paribas Open final for the third straight year in a row.  He has now beaten the Spaniard six times in a row, with his last loss coming in the 2014 French Open final. The world No. 1, whose streak in Indian Wells is up to 14 in a row will going be going for a record fifth title and a “three-peat” on Sunday when he faces Milos Raonic for the title. Raonic defeated David Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to reach his third Masters1000 final.

Djokovic has now lifted his record over Nadal to 25-23.

In the first set Djokovic and Nadal exchanged breaks of serve before getting to the tiebreaker. Djokovic raced out to a 5-2 lead, thanks to three straight errors by the 14-time major champion.

In the second set, Nadal held off Djokovic until the sixth game when the Serb broke serve to go up 4-2 and holding serve for 5-2.

In the eighth game, Nadal fought off five match points before a forehand long gave the match to Djokovic.

“It could have gone either way, the first set, but I managed to stay composed and serve well in important moments and just believed that I can win,” Djokovic said.

“We had a very long first set. It went over an hour and ten minutes, I think. It’s not the first time. I know it’s very physically demanding when I get to play Nadal.

“I think I have had a couple of break points 4-3-up first set and didn’t use that. He had his chances, as well. He had 5-4, set point.

“So it was quite even coming into tiebreak. You know, tiebreak I was 5-2 up; came back to 5-All with some great defense and great points. Then I just served well and hung in there. You know, I made him play an extra shot.

“So I think, you know, 5-All, 6-5, those points, you know, in the tiebreak, I mean, have decided a whole set, because more or less if you look at the first set it was quite even.”

Nadal

“I think I played well for a set and a half; then I think he played well the last,” Nadal said. “I played bad again with my serve on 3-2, and then he finished playing well the last two games. Played at high level.

“I had my chances in the first set. I felt for a moment that I was competing at the highest level possible. At the beginning of the tiebreak and at the end of the first set with some Love-15 that I had, I made a few mistakes with my forehand. That’s the only thing.

“I believe that with a little bit more of confidence with my forehand at the end of that first set will be a better chance.”

“Today was closer than the last couple of times against the best player of world, so was a very positive week for me,” Nadal continued.

“That’s the way. I gonna try to follow this way to keep going with this level. If I am able to play weeks in a row at this level, then you start to think about the chances to compete for everything.”

In the other semifinal, the Canadian Raonic hit 10 aces in his win against the Belgian, raising his 2016 record to 14-1. Raonic won the Brisbane title, beating Roger Federer in the final.

“Milos is probably playing the best tennis that he has ever played,” Djokovic said. “I think looking at his performances this year, winning in Brisbane, playing semis of Australian Open, and then coming back off injury and playing already in finals here, it’s quite impressive.

“His serve was phenomenal before the start of this season, but this season it seems like he has improved even more, especially the second serve. He’s going for it more. He’s not giving you the same look.

“That’s a very strong weapon that — an advantage that he possesses in his game that he obviously tries to leverage in the matches. I’m aware that it’s gonna be very tough to return his serve, but if I manage to neutralize his serve, get many returns back in play, I think I have a good chance from the baseline.

“I also need to have decent first-serve percentage in, because I don’t want him to, you know, take the advantage of my second serves and, you know, start stepping in too much.

“Yeah. I saw he’s aggressive, trying to take the initiative from the first shot off his serve, which is natural because his serve goes 140 miles and gives him a lot of easy shots.

“Yeah, I will try to prepare myself tactically, analyze his game with my team. You know, we are playing finals, so I’ll try to also use the experience that I have had playing in many Masters Series finals in this tournament, as well. If I’m not mistaken, he’s going for his first.

“But, you know, even though he hasn’t played too many Masters finals, he’s still very strong mentally. He’s very calm on the court. He’s very composed. He’s showing, I would say, mental character virtues that are characteristic, I would say, for maybe some more experienced and older players.”

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

“Definitely have been playing higher level this year, but I think also when I have had those difficult moments or let’s say some kind of crisis throughout matches, I have found solutions better,” Raonic said.

“Against Novak it’s a difficult matchup. I think that I have added good things to my tennis that can help me in that aspect. It’s going to be important to control the center of the court; obviously be the one that’s moving less. I think I’m going to have to do a better job of stepping up like I did in that third set with forehands earlier on and not being content with just putting it through. Not expecting sort of the match to be given to me.”

“I have obviously a big challenge ahead of me, but I have been pretty good this year at finding solutions.”

Djokovic is 5-0 against Raonic.

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Novak Djokovic to Meet Rafael Nadal in Indian Wells Semifinals

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

(March 18, 2016) INDIAN WELLS, California – No. 1 Novak Djokovic will face off against No. 4 seed Rafael Nadal in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday.

Djokovic held off No. 7 seed, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(2), 7-6(2) while Nadal stopped No. 5 seed Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-4, 6-3 in the earlier semifinal.

Djokovic served for the first set at 5-4, but Tsonga broke serve, but the Serb recovered to win the set in the tiebreak.

“Well, it was definitely very challenging to play in these kind of conditions with Jo that was in form this week,” Djokovic said.

“I thought, you know, being a break up and couple of break points for double break in the first set, you know, I felt playing well, very solid; had the match under control; serving 5-4, 30-Love.

“All of a sudden, not putting a first serve in. He started mixing up with a slice and decided to play a bit different tactically. That got me off a little bit, you know, the balance and the rhythm.

“He started playing better. He started swinging more freely from the forehand corner, especially. Yeah, it was very close.

“But, you know, I take positives out of today’s match, the fact that I have played somebody that was feeling good throughout the week, somebody that serves very, very big and plays very, you know, quick and efficient, precise forehands, you know, that gave me a lot of trouble today to win in straight sets and to win in two tiebreaks, I think it’s gonna help definitely my confidence and, you know, mentally I will take that.”

Djokovic, who earned his 20th win of the year, has only dropped one set during Indian Wells this year and that was to Bjorn Fratangelo.

In an era dominated by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, Tsonga was asked to compare them: “They all are really good. I mean, if you have to count Grand Slam, it’s maybe Federer. If you have to count number of title, it’s maybe Federer.

“And then you have two guys who are just amazing. Rafa was the best on clay for 10 years, and Novak, he’s now the actual best player, I think, because he’s No. 1 since a while now. So it’s tough to compare.

“Yeah. Anyway, they will be part of history, and for sure for a long time. Yeah, they’re good players.”

 

 

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

In Nadal’s quarterfinal match, the Spaniard, rallied from a 1-3 deficit in the first set, taking five out of the next six games to close it. Nadal took a break lead in the second set in which his Japanese opponent broke him right back, to make it 4-3 in Nadal’s favor. Nadal won the next two games to seal the match.
“I never thought impossible for Kei playing at this level,” Nadal said. “He’s an amazing player, one of the best players, and he’s able to play at highest level, no?

“He started so quick hitting all the balls very well, very aggressive, and serving great, no?

“Then I think he started to miss some first serves and I was returning very well the second set serve, returning very aggressive. That was so important, I think, in my opinion. The development of the game, no?

“So my return was so important, and at the same time I think I served — my serve was enough good for this match.”
“I think the beginning I was stepping in little more and was hitting using my forehand,” Nishikori said. “My serve was hitting really good serve, first serve, second serve, and maybe he start hitting more deep. I start backing up a little more.

“You know, I think everything changed after, between that first set. Yeah, thought I had couple chances first set and second set, too, but, yeah, some unforced errors. And, yeah, he played good tennis.”

Nadal is set to play Djokovic for a place in the Indian Wells final. He spoke about the potential match-up with the Serb. The last time they played in Doha, Nadal only won three games.

“I think the (Doha) result was so easy. The game was not that easy, no?

“But is obvious that Novak played unbelievable, and when he plays that way, so difficult to stop him. Nothing to say about that match than offer congratulations to him. Tomorrow is another day. He’s a clear favorite because he’s winning all the matches almost every time.

“So I am here to, as I said, enjoy the match of tomorrow, to enjoy the victory of today against a great player. That’s something important for me. Semifinals before the tournament start is a very positive result for me. Tomorrow is an opportunity to play against another top player and enjoy that fact.”

Djokovic talked about the Doha result: “Well, that’s definitely one of the best matches I have played against Rafa. I will try to take a close look at that match and what I have done right.

“But, again, you know, we have to consider the different — completely different conditions. We played in Doha on a bit quicker surface. The balls were not bouncing as high. It was night. It was colder than here.

“Tomorrow is going to be very warm. Ball bounces very high, which he, you know, prefers, because the spin, rotation that he generates with his shots is, you know, really big.

“The court is picking that rotation up here with the bounce. He likes the conditions, actually. We played against each other here several times and always close matches.

“Well, I’m hoping I can deliver my best game tomorrow.”

Djokovic on playing Nadal:

“Well, completely different matchup against most of the players that I play against this week. He’s a great competitor, a great fighter. He’s been getting himself out of trouble a few times this week and showing why he’s one of the best players in the history of the game.

“You know, he never gives up. He always makes you play an extra shot. Always makes you earn the win. You know, I’m going into tomorrow’s match knowing what’s expecting me and I know how to get ready.

“I won the last couple times we played against each other, so maybe that can give me a slight mental advantage coming into the court.”

“But, again, everything is open. It’s semifinals. We both have won multiple times titles here, and hopefully we can come up with some good tennis.”

Nadal goes into his semifinal match against Djokovic with a 23-24 record. The last time Nadal defeated Djokovic was int eh 2014 final of Roland Garros, the French Open.

Djokovic is looking to win a fifth BNP Paribas Open title, while Nadal is looking to get his fourth trophy there.

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Top Seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic Advance in Straight Sets

Serena gets ready for bh 3112016

(March 15, 2016) INDIAN WELLS, California – Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic advanced in straight sets on Tuesday at the BNP Paribas Open.

Serena Williams dominated qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko 6-2, 6-2, despite 22 unforced errors in the match. The 21-time major winner has not lost a set in Indian Wells. The women’s draw has been decimated by a number of seeds upset in the early rounds.

“I’m just happy to be in the quarters after three matches, so I feel all right,” Williams said.

“I haven’t been making that many errors in the past, so just have to cut back on my errors and I’ll be fine.”

“So far I think my consistency has been well; being aggressive has been well; everything that I’ve wanted to do I’ve kind of been doing,” she said.

Williams opponent in the final eight will be defending champion Simona Halep.

“I like how she’s aggressive. She’s a fighter,” Williams said. “She killed me at one point, so I definitely have to be ready.

“Yeah, and it’ll be a really good match I think for both of us to kind of see where we want to be at at this point in the year.”

Halep moved into the quarterfinals when Barbora Strycova retired trailing 6-3, 1-0.

“It was short and I feel sorry for her because she’s sick. It’s not easy to be sick and to keep continue playing the match.

“So I understand her. I’m happy that I am again in the quarterfinals. I feel good here. You know, I started to feel my game. I started to feel very well on court. I move well. It’s the most important thing.

“Of course the matches, it’s important to win a match, but it’s better to feel that you are like strong on court and then to think about winning a match.”

Halep talked about playing Williams: “I expect a tough one, of course. She’s very strong. I know her pretty well. We played each other many times.

“I know that it’s gonna be tough to win, but still, I have my chance. I believe that I have my chance, and I just have to go to play my best, to try everything to win.

First I have to believe that I can win. So then if my game is going well it’s gonna be a good match. I’m waiting for it, and I’m ready to play.”

“I think I have to do my game like I did every day since I came in the U.S.: aggressive, not very strong. I don’t hit very strong. I just take the ball fast. I move well. I hit with confidence. Also, the serve is going well.

“So I feel okay. I feel that I have the game to play against her. We will see tomorrow. It’s tough. I repeat that, because it’s normal to be tough. She’s No. 1 in the world.

“Yeah, it’s good experience for me to play against her and also big challenge.”

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-5, 7-5. Each set the German came back from a break down before Djokovic shut down each set. In the second set Djokovic served for the match at 5-3 and had four match points he could not convert. Djokovic closed the match breaking serve in the 12th game.

“I felt better on the court than I did in the first round, which comforts me obviously,” Djokovic said of his tricky contest with the German.

“But, again, you know, I allowed myself twice to lose the serve when I was break up in both sets. Especially in the second, 40-Love smash, easy backhand, match points, got him back.

“As I said, those things cannot happen. I cannot allow myself any more to react that way in those particular circumstances. Because, you know, I was fortunate today to manage win in straight sets. But Kohlschreiber is an experienced player. He has played so many times on the big occasions, so he knows how to capitalize on the opportunities and come back to the match.

“I just put myself in a very difficult position after that. But, you know, there are more positive things I can take out of this match today comparing first one.”

Djokovic is seeking a record fifth Indian Wells title.

 

 

 

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