April 29, 2016

Rafael Nadal Sues Former French Health and Sport Minister Roselyne Bachelot for Doping Accusations

Nadal

(April 25, 2016) Rafael Nadal‘s lawyers filed a lawsuit on Monday in Paris against former French Health and Sport minister  Roselyne Bachelot due to her “offensive remarks” on French television.

Bachelot said on TV show Le Grand 8 that Nadal’s seven-month absence due to injury in 2012 was “probably due to a positive doping test.”

Via a press release (posted below), Nadal said:

“Through this case, I intend not only to defend my integrity and my image as an
athlete but also the values I have defended all my career. I also wish to avoid any
public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the
media, without any evidence or foundation and to go unpunished.

“Should the tribunal consider there has been a wrong-doing and the sentence
recognises the right to damages, any compensation will be paid back in full to an
NGO or foundation in France.

“On the other hand, I ask for total respect regarding the legal procedure just started
and would like to express my complete trust in the French justice system who will be
judging the legal case.”

 

 

 

Rafael Nadal Press Release

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Rafael Nadal Wins 9th Barcelona Crown to Equal Guillermo Vilas’ Clay Court Titles Record at 49

(April 24, 2016) Rafael Nadal beat two-time defending champion Kei Nishikori 6-4, 7-5 to win the Barcelona Open for the ninth time on Sunday. The Spaniard has now equaled Guillermo Vilas record of 49 career clay court crowns.

It’s two straight weeks of titles for the 14-time major champion, who claimed his 69th career tournament victory.

Nadal now has won nine titles at three different tournaments – Barcelona, Monte-Carlo and Roland Garros.

“I was playing against the No. 6 player in the world, and if you don’t play at your best you aren’t going to win,” Nadal said after the match.

“I served well and that allowed me to play better. In the second set I missed several chances, and at the end it was very close, but I stayed mentally strong.”

“It was a very close match, Nadal said. “There were a lot of chances for both of us but I think I have been solid.
“When you play against players with this very, very high level, the match is often decided by a few moments. So I feel happy that I handled all these important moments well mentally.
“I have been working so hard to enjoy moments like this. The fact that I’m playing at home is always even more special. I’m very happy and I feel lucky to enjoy this again.”

Kei Nishikori

“It’s a great start to the clay court season,” Nishikori said. Even though I lost today I gained some confidence.
“He’s playing another good level of tennis. But also I gave away too many opportunities. And if I could get a couple more points on those important points, maybe the game changes a little bit.
He also gives me a lot of pressure. Every point, he gets every ball, so it’s not easy to win points against him.”

 

Angelique Kerber defended her title in Stuttgart, beating German countrywoman, qualifier Laura Siegemund 6-4, 6-0. The Australian Open champion battled back from 0-3 in the first set to win 12 out of the next 13 games. For Kerber this was her ninth career title.

 

It was a career week for the 71st ranked Siegemund, who will see her ranking move to 42 in the world as of Monday. The 28-year-old upset two Top Ten players to reach the final – No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 6 Simona Halep.

Unseeded Cagla Buyukakcay, ranked 118 in the world had a career week in her hometown as she won the TEP BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup over No.5 seed Danka Kovinic, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

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Rafael Nadal Wins Ninth Monte-Carlo Crown

 

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(April 17, 2016) Rafael Nadal won his 28th Masters title and 68th career crown, claiming his ninth Monte-Carlo tournament by beating Gael Monfils 7-5, 5-7, 6-0 on Sunday.  He is now ties with Novak Djokovic for the all-time lead in Masters Series titles. It’s the 14-time major champion’s first title since last July, when he won on the clay in Hamburg.

Nadal stands just one clay court title away from tying tennis hall of famer Guillermo Vilas in total clay court crowns at 49.

 

“It was a very important week for me,” said the Spaniard. I feel much better than I did last year. The victory here confirms that I’ve been better. Monte-Carlo is one of the most important places in my career and it’s so special to win here after three years.

“Winning nine times here is unbelievable, and competing well two weeks in a row is something positive.”

“I knew (Nadal) was confident,” Monfils said. “He’s a great champion and puts more into it at the right moments. You’re just submissive to his power. Suddenly in the third set, he increased his power and I just couldn’t cope.”
“I know I worked hard to have this trophy with me,” Nadal said to media. “I am enjoying this moment. Is emotional moment after some tough moments. But that’s part of the life, is part of the sports in general.

“Very happy today. I hope and I believe that this week, Indian Wells, this week, two tournaments in a row, playing at a very high level, I think that’s so important. That’s what I needed.

“I said the first day when I arrived here in the first press conference that I needed matches in a row, I need weeks in a row competing at the highest level. I already have two weeks in a row competing at the highest level.

“Today winning nine times here is something unbelievable for me. Outside of that, that is something so special. Compete well two weeks in a row is something so positive. Another chance next week in Barcelona, I going to try my best again.”

 

“Have been working hard,” Nadal continued. “I have been working hard since long time ago. Last year have been a tough year in terms — I don’t want to talk anymore, I said enough about the nerves, I was nervous during the matches.

“Is work every day to slow down that, no? Is not going like this, going like this (indicating up and down). It’s not something that stays here and disappears. It’s the work of every day.

“The victories help. Still not 100% perfect, but still is much, much better of everything.

“I don’t have that feeling I had last year on court. Very happy for that. In terms of tennis, I am playing better. It’s obvious.

“I was able to raise the level, increase my level yesterday in the second and in the third, and today again in the third. That’s something I missed a lot the last period of time. Before when the match was coming tough, I was able to increase. This week I was able to do it.

 

 

 

In men’s doubles Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut won their third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown in a row winning Monte-Carlo over Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 4-6, 6-0, 10-6.

“We have been very humble on the court during the last month and a half,” Herbert said. “After losing the first set, we could have been overwhelmed in the second. But we weren’t. We kept fighting. That means in the long-term, we can be consistent day after day.”

“We were playing well and we also had some luck,” Muhat explained. “When you win matches, you’re more confident and you’re able to relax when you play the important points. It can turn a match around, especially in the (match) tie-break.”

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Murray to Face Nadal in Monte-Carlo Semis; Federer Falls to Tsonga

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(April 15, 2016) Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal posted decisive victories and will play each other in the semifinals of the Monte-Carlo Masters on Saturday. Roger Federer returning to the court for the first time since his knee surgery in February fell to Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. Tsonga will play fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils in the other semifinal.

No. 5 Nadal dominated No. 3 Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-4 while No. 2 Murray destroyed Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-0.

“If I play like I did today, I’ll have a chance,” said Murray.

“Rafa, especially on this court, he plays great on clay obviously, but on this one in particular, his record is incredible. I think he’s maybe only lost one or two matches in his life here. So, yeah, it’s a great test for me this early on in the clay season.

“I’ll go into the match with confidence having managed to win against him in Madrid on the clay last year, and having played a really good match today.

“I look forward to it.”

 

“I’ll have to play a great match, but also a smart match as well,” Murray explained. “I need to be intelligent on the court, go in with a very good idea of what I want to do in the points.

“So, yeah, that’s the most important thing, to have a good game plan and be smart on the court. Against Rafa on this surface, he has the ability to get you to sort of play – I don’t know what the word is – but he gets you to go for more than you should because he’s so consistent.

“He hits a lot of height on the ball, a lot of spin. He can make you go for winners from uncomfortable positions. You have to not allow that to happen. You need to try and stay calm, be patient. I’ll try to do that.”

Nadal broke Wawrinka’s serve four times to reach his 11th Monte-Carlo semifinal. The Swiss broke his racquet in the fifth game of the first set to the boos of spectators. Wawrinka said he was disturbed by all of the noise coming from the restaurant above the court.

“You wonder whether people are coming to have lunch or to watch tennis. I don’t believe they saw a lot of the match. I think they also drank a lot of alcohol.” Wawrinka said. “When you don’t play well and you’re not in your match, it can bother you.”

“Anyway, it was not a good day for me today,” Wawrinka said. “I really need to work on two or three things that I want to improve. I have two weeks, or a bit more, before I go to Madrid. I will try to prepare well during that period.”

I believe today it was more of a concentration issue or mentally that I had a problem. I struggled. I rushed at the beginning. This is something you pay for against Rafa.”

“The real thing is every day is a different story,” Nadal said. “Yesterday I played against an opponent that he was playing so good, in my opinion. Is true that my serve probably was a little bit better today than yesterday. But both days I think I played good, no?

“Stan today, I think the last three games of the first set, that’s the only moment that he didn’t play well. Obviously he played with too many mistakes.

“But in the beginning of the match and in the second set was a good match, in my opinion. Both played good points.

“I think he played with more mistakes than me. But is true at same time he is going more for the shots all the time. When you want to play this way, very aggressive, you can have mistakes.

“I think I played good. I defended well. I moved well. When I had the opportunity, I was trying to have the control of the point with my forehand and with my backhand, too.”

Nadal plays Murray for a place in the final. The Spaniard has a 16-6 record against the Scot.

“He played a great match today,” Nadal said. “We’ll see. I need to be ready to play the way I am playing the last two matches. If I am able to do it, I hope to have my chances.

“He always was a good clay court player, no? He played semifinals of French Open twice or three times, I don’t know.”

Federer was two points away from defeating Tsonga at 6-3, 2-6, 5-4 with the Frenchman serving, but could not close.

“Yeah, I mean, I think it had definitely some twists and turns,” said Federer. “I’m not sure how come. Maybe we were both a bit up and down. We had a couple of games here and there that we kind of gave each other on the serve. Kind of hung onto it, me in the first, him in the second.

“Third was close all the way through. Maybe had a small chance the first game maybe. The game I got broken is a tough game to get broken on because I think I had three forehands that I’m in good position, and I end up losing all three points. It’ll a tough break to get.

“You know, it was a good tournament, a good match, exactly what I was hoping for and more, so I’m very happy.”

“It was a good match. It was nice to play an intense match. I’m happy how the body reacted. So many good things this week. It’s all positive for me.

“I know where I’m at now. I hope my knee and my body is going to be okay the next couple of days. If I’m good, I might go practice tomorrow as well just to get the body into maybe a rhythm of playing maybe four days straight at a very intense level. If I feel like I need a break, the team tells me to rest, I’ll do that tomorrow.

“Things are really good right now. Of course, it was unfortunate because I had my chances. But this tournament, really doesn’t matter at all if I missed or not those chances.”

 

“It’s always special to play against him, especially on court, because you have all the crowd against you,” said Tsonga. “Wherever you play, if it’s in France or not, it’s tough to play against him because you have him, the crowd and all the monument around him.

“Yeah, it’s always special to win against Federer.”

“I was expecting a difficult match, and that is exactly what happened. He was very reactive, he was running well. From the start, I thought he was very fast.

“But I was able to turn it around. He dropped his level a little bit and I was able to come back into the match and end up winning. It’s good for me.”

 

As for playing fellow Frenchman and friend Gael Monfils next: “You feel a bit more worried against him. Before, he had his own way. Now, he changed. But it’s still him.

“He’s certainly improved in a number of things, but it’s still him. I don’t really know what to expect. I’ll go on the court doing what I’m used to doing: trying to be aggressive, serving well. Gael is just the way he is. He is him. It’s good.”

“There’s not a real favorite (in the match), “ Tsonga said. “It’s going to be an interesting match. It’s difficult to say who will be the favorite.”

“It’s going to be a big match for several reasons,” Monfils said. “First, Jo has a game that I have trouble with. I was able to beat him once, but he was coming back from an injury.

“Another time I beat him, too. He was injured in Montpellier. I can’t say I really beat him.

He gives me many problems. It’s always the case when I play against very aggressive players. There are different kinds of aggressive players. A real aggressive player is difficult for me.

“Tomorrow the match will be different. I will need to find a solution to push him back and to try to stop him dominating the rallies.

“I’m sure 100% that he will try to be very aggressive. He will not want long rallies. He will want to use his forehand as much as he can, and he will be very aggressive on my second serve.

“So if I have a slight advantage in this match, it’s because I know what he’s going to do. He’s going to play aggressively. I don’t believe I’m wrong.”

“I think it’s going to be explosive.”

 

 

RESULTS – FRIDAY, 15 APRIL 2016

Singles – Quarter-finals
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [10] M. Raonic (CAN) 62 60
[8] J. Tsonga (FRA) d [3] R. Federer (SUI) 36 62 75
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) d [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 61 64
[13] G. Monfils (FRA) d [LL] M. Granollers (ESP) 62 64

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 64 64
[3] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d D. Inglot (GBR) / A. Murray (GBR) 64 36 12-10
[4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) d [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) 62 63
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) d H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) 64 64

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 16 APRIL 2016

COURT RAINIER III start 11:00 am
[4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)

Not Before 1:00 pm
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 3:30 pm
[13] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [8] J. Tsonga (FRA)
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) vs [3] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)

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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

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(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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Miami Open: Rafael Nadal Retires From Match, Serena Williams and Andy Murray Win

(March 26, 2016) Rafael Nadal retired from this match against Damir Dzumhur. Trailing 2-6, 6-4, 3-0 on Saturday at the Miami Open. The 14-time major winner had to call for the trainer three times during the match. It marked only the third time that the world No. 5 has retired from a match, the last time coming in the 2010 Australian Open.

Asked if the heat got to him, Nadal said to media: “Well, everything was fine until end of the first set. I start to feel myself not very good. It’s getting worse, worse, and worse, so finally in the second set I realize that I was not able to keep playing.

“I tried to resist, but I get a little bit scared to be too dizzy and lose a little bit…….
“So I call the doctor a couple of times, but I felt that I was not safe there so I decided to go. I wanted to finish the match, but I seriously could not.”

Hopefully is nothing,” Nadal continued. “Hopefully is just the extreme conditions out there. Something happen, hopefully is the beginning of a virus, and in combination with the conditions I had this strange feelings.”

“Was tough for me because I felt myself I was playing well; I had good practices after playing a great week in Indian Wells.

“It’s a hard accident, but that’s life and it’s like this. If the health is fine in a couple of days, so nothing important is there — the most important thing is health than any tournament. If I am able to practice in a couple of days I know I was playing well and I hope to be ready for the clay.”

“Definitely not the way I wanted to finish,” said Dzumhur. “It was really tough to play today. I felt also really like tired, heavy, in some moments dizzy on the court. In the first set we played very long second game. After that game I felt like I cannot run that well.

“In the first set I really didn’t have chances. Between the first and second set I call medical. I was thinking really about retirement, but just said to myself, I’m playing big Rafa. I’m not having a chance to play every day these big guys. I want to enjoy this moment. So I tried to continue.

“I felt a little bit better after I started to run better, move better on the court, to play better shots. I had some chances. I used it in the second set.

“The third set, very important game was the first game in the third set. He was 40-Love up. I broke him. After that I guess he was not feeling the best. He probably felt the way I felt in the first set. Unfortunately he retired.

“But anyway, that was a big moment for me, that at least I could play with Rafa, and in the end, not the way I wanted, but I won.”
As for the biggest win of his career, although by retirement, the 94- ranked Dzumhur said:” I tried to keep the celebration in me because I didn’t want anybody to see that I’m celebrating when somebody retired.

“But inside of me I felt really proud after everything. I think all the fighting that I had through all the years back and today that I didn’t want to retire and I wanted to fight, that paid off.”

In addition to the No. 5 seed losing, No. 4 Stan Wawrinka also lost. He fell to Andrey Kuznetsov 6-4, 6-3.

 

Serena Williams Photo courtesy of MiamiTennisNews.com

Serena Williams Photo courtesy of MiamiTennisNews.com

On the women’s side, eight-time champion Serena Williams beat the heat and won her 20th straight match at the Miami Open to reach the round of 16 beating Zarina Diyas 7-5, 6-3.

“For me the biggest adjustment I have to make is I usually never use a towel,” Williams said. “Here I might have to go grab the towel in between points.

“That’s it. I’m from California, but I been living here for over 20 years. I love these conditions actually.
“It was definitely humid today,” said the world No. 1. Rafa (Nadal) played like an hour and a half, two hours before me, so that makes a huge difference.

“So I think that he was in the most intense part of the sun; whereas I was kind of at tail end of it. But I was fine.”

Williams will play two-time major champion and friend Svetlana Kuznetsova for a place in the final eight.

“It’s a great matchup,” Williams said. “She plays well and makes a lot of the great shots. She’s actually been playing well this year. She had a couple big wins and couple good tournaments.

“Yeah, I have my work cut out for me. We’ll see what happens.”
No. 2 Andy Murray advanced to the third round with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan. The Scot, a two-time champion had a bit of an issue with a ball used in play, which appeared to be one of the balls the women use in the tournament.

“It was just a women’s ball,” he said. “I saw it just before I was about to serve. It’s quite off putting because I just missed two balls long. I didn’t know if that was one of the balls I used in the last couple points. The women’s balls are very different to the men’s balls. They’re much quicker, smaller, livelier.

“Yeah, when you’re just about to serve at break point down, you know, you don’t want to be using a completely different ball.

“So I was just a bit frustrated with that because I didn’t know potentially if on of the points before I had used it or not.

“It’ll be a tough one,” Murray said of his third round match against former top ten Grigor Dimitrov. “He’s obviously a top-quality player. He had a good win today, a tough win, against Delbonis.

“We played here once before; I managed to win that one. I played a bunch of tough matches against him. I think the last one was in Cincinnati where he had a match point. Had a bunch of chances to win that one and I managed to turn it around.”

“I know I’ll need to play good tennis to beat him. You know, also be a little bit more disciplined than I was tonight.”

Other top seeds advancing were No. 6 Kei Nishikori, No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and No. 12 Milos Raonic. No. 3 John Isner was an upset victim to U.S. countryman qualifier Tim Smyczek 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (5). Isner ended the match on a double-fault.

An upset on the women’s side saw No. 8 Petra Kvitova beaten by No. 30 Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-4.

RESULTS – MARCH 26, 2016
Women’s
Singles – Third Round

[1] S. Williams (USA) d Z. Diyas (KAZ) 75 63
[3] A. Radwanska (POL) d M. Brengle (USA) 63 62
[5] S. Halep (ROU) d J. Goerges (GER) 64 61
[30] E. Makarova (RUS) d [8] P. Kvitova (CZE) 64 64
[12] E. Svitolina (UKR) d [23] C. Wozniacki (DEN) 57 64 76(1)
[15] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d C. Garcia (FRA) 46 62 76(6)
[19] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d [16] A. Ivanovic (SRB) 75 64
[WC] H. Watson (GBR) d Y. Wickmayer (BEL) 36 75 63

Women’s
Doubles – First Round

E. Makarova (RUS) / B. Strycova (CZE) d [2] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) 76(2) 64
[3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) d [WC] M. Keys (USA) / S. Stephens (USA) 64 62
K. Bondarenko (UKR) / O. Savchuk (UKR) d [6] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) 63 67(6) 10-5
M. Gasparyan (RUS) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [WC] M. Puig (PUR) / H. Watson (GBR) 61 26 10-5
S. Errani (ITA) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d [Alt] B. Bencic (SUI) / S. Vogt (LIE) 61 62
D. Kasatkina (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) d C. Chuang (TPE) / C. Liang (CHN) 62 63

Men’s Singles – Second Round
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d D. Istomin (UZB) 63 75
An. Kuznetsov (RUS) d [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 64 63
D. Dzumhur (BIH) d [5] R. Nadal (ESP) 26 64 30 ret. (illness)
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [Q] P. Herbert (FRA) 62 76(4)
[9] J. Tsonga (FRA) d S. Giraldo (COL) 63 61
[12] M. Raonic (CAN) d D. Kudla (USA) 76(4) 64
[Q] T. Smyczek (USA) d [13] J. Isner (USA) 62 26 76(5)
[16] G. Monfils (FRA) d [Q] T. Ito (JPN) 63 62
[17] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d A. Bedene (GBR) 75 22 ret. (right wrist)
[22] J. Sock (USA) d S. Stakhovsky (UKR) 62 32 ret. (back)
[23] P. Cuevas (URU) d J. Millman (AUS) 75 64
[24] N. Kyrgios (AUS) d M. Baghdatis (CYP) 62 61
[26] G. Dimitrov (BUL) d F. Delbonis (ARG) 76(8) 46 64
[27] A. Dolgopolov (UKR) d A. Seppi (ITA) 64 64
A. Mannarino (FRA) d [29] S. Querrey (USA) 67(5) 62 64
[Q] M. Kukushkin (KAZ) d [30] T. Bellucci (BRA) 57 63 00 ret. (dehydration)

Doubles – Second Round
J. Isner (USA) / N. Monroe (USA) d R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) w/o (Nadal – illness)

Doubles – First Round
J. Chardy (FRA) / F. Martin (FRA) d [1] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) 76(7) 76(4)
R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) d [3] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) 36 63 10-7
[4] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d I. Cervantes (ESP) / D. Ferrer (ESP) 63 75
[WC] O. Jasika (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS) d [7] E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) 61 57 12-10
A. Qureshi (PAK) / G. Simon (FRA) d D. Nestor (CAN) / R. Stepanek (CZE) 64 75
D. Marrero (ESP) / B. Paire (FRA) d [Alt] L. Mayer (ARG) / J. Sousa (POR) 75 64
P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Peya (AUT) d [Alt] T. Bellucci (BRA) / A. Sa (BRA) 64 62
[PR] M. Cilic (CRO) / M. Draganja (CRO) d H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) 46 63 12-10

ORDER OF PLAY – SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2016
STADIUM start 11:00 am
ATP – [31] S. Johnson (USA) vs [7] T. Berdych (CZE)

Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [13] V. Azarenka (BLR) vs [Q] M. Linette (POL)
WTA – [22] M. Keys (USA) vs [9] R. Vinci (ITA)
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [33] J. Sousa (POR)

Not Before 7:30 pm
WTA – [WC] N. Gibbs (USA) vs [4] G. Muguruza (ESP)

Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – L. Pouille (FRA) vs [8] D. Ferrer (ESP)

GRANDSTAND start 10:50 am
WTA – [Q] K. Bertens (NED) vs [2] A. Kerber (GER)
ATP – [LL] H. Zeballos (ARG) vs F. Verdasco (ESP)
ATP – [10] R. Gasquet (FRA) vs [20] B. Paire (FRA)
ATP – [11] M. Cilic (CRO) vs [18] G. Simon (FRA)

Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – J. Chardy (FRA) / F. Martin (FRA) vs F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP)

COURT 1 start 10:55 am
ATP – [Q] Y. Nishioka (JPN) vs [14] D. Thiem (AUT)
ATP – [19] V. Troicki (SRB) vs [15] D. Goffin (BEL)
WTA – C. Vandeweghe (USA) vs [32] M. Niculescu (ROU)
WTA – [24] J. Konta (GBR) vs [Q] E. Vesnina (RUS)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – [WC] N. Osaka (JPN) vs T. Babos (HUN)
ATP – T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) vs [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)
WTA – [Q] Kr. Pliskova (CZE) vs I. Begu (ROU)
ATP – P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) vs P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Peya (AUT)

COURT 7 start 11:00 am
WTA – V. King (USA) / A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) vs [PR] A. Rodionova (AUS) / G. Voskoboeva (KAZ)
WTA – [8] Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) vs A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP)
WTA – [PR] S. Hsieh (TPE) / S. Peng (CHN) vs E. Makarova (RUS) / B. Strycova (CZE)
WTA – [5] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs S. Errani (ITA) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
WTA – A. Rosolska (POL) / L. Siegemund (GER) vs K. Bondarenko (UKR) / O. Savchuk (UKR)

 

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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

316Djokoviclofhvolley-001

(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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