May 26, 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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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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Nadal Survives Zverev; Wawrinka Ousted at BNP Paribas Open

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

(March 16, 2016) INDIAN WELLS, California – No. 5 Rafael Nadal came back from 2-5 down and a match point at 3-5 in third set to take down up-and-coming  18-year-old German No. 58 Alexander Zverev 6-7(8), 6-0, 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open.

Zverev had a match point at 5-3 in third, but he hit a forehand olley into the net and never recovered from his mistake. The Spaniard lost only two points in his Last two service games to close the match.

“I had match point, so I think I did well there. On match point I sucked, so that was it,” Zverev said.

“I missed probably the easiest shot I had the whole match. That’s what happened.”

“I think it was a great match. I mean, Rafa did what he does best; he was fighting. I mean, he’s known for that. So, you know, I still had chances to win. I had an easy shot at match point and I missed it.”

“Look, in the last three weeks I lost 7-5 in the third to Berdych; 6-4 in the fifth to Berdych; and 7-5 in the third with match point to Nadal. So I know how tough losses feel right now.

” Look, I mean, I think it was a great match. I mean, Rafa did what he does best; he was fighting. I mean, he’s known for that. So, you know, I still had chances to win. I had an easy shot at match point and I missed it.

“I’m out and he’s in the quarterfinals.”

“Very happy for the victory, obviously,” Nadal said. “I have been fighting during the whole match. First set I had big chance with not a difficult forehand down the line that I missed. So that first set probably will be the key, if I was able to hit that forehand right place, no?

“But after that, I think I played a great second set. But at the beginning, sometimes when win a set that easy is dangerous for the beginning of the next one, no?

“The beginning of the third he played aggressive, and I think I stopped a little bit the rhythm, so I was in trouble, no?

“Was a great victory. You know, it’s obvious that I played against a great player, a player who was serving unbelievable, at the beginning especially. He served well whole match apart from some double faults.

“”But you think when somebody is serving with that speed in the second serve, some double faults are the normal thing, no?

Is a great victory, as I said before. I’m very happy about it. I am especially happy about the mentality on court, the spirit of fight during the whole match, believing that I can win a match during the whole time even in the tougher situations.”

Nadal talked about the adjustments he needed to make against Zverev.

“Well, beginning of the match he was serving over 133 first serves and second serves over 120.

“I was trying to return inside the court, as I did every day, but with the second serve 120 miles with a lot of spin, 124, 123, 120, was impossible, no?

“At the beginning when that happened I was in a little bit of trouble, because I felt like I cannot lose my serve, because if I lose my serve and he was serving that way, is impossible. So I felt a little bit the pressure at the beginning.

“But then I think I returned really well during the whole match, no? First serve. Second serve I decided to go back three, four meters behind the baseline, because from inside he was — he’s young, ready to take the risks, and if the opponent wants to take the risk on the second serve and he’s having success, it’s difficult to make something, no?

“”I decided to go back and tried to put more balls in, and I think worked well. I think I had enough breaks to win the match.

“Negative thing is I lost my serve twice in the third, something that cannot happen, especially after having the break back. But that’s it. No, no, no, the match was tough. I think any player can win, and is true he had a big chance with match point and that volley.

“Sorry for him. I think at the same time, I deserve victory like this after couple of loses with big chances to win, too.”

Belgian’s David Goffin, ranked 18th in the world, stunned third seed Stan Wawrinka 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (5) to reach the quarterfinals of Inidan Wells on Wednesday. The victory for Goffin ended a 14- match losing streak against top 10 players.

Wawrinka came back from 0-4 down in the second set to 4-4. Goffin served for the match at 5-4, but failed to close and Wawrinka won the next three games to even the match at a set all. In the third set, Goffin against served for the match and could not hold. The match went on to tiebreak. Wawrinka hit a crucial overhead out at 5-5 to give Goffin match point which capitalized on.

There were 13 breaks of serve in the match.

“I was struggling with my serve and it was difficult with the heat,” Goffin said in press. “In the third, it’s tough to fight again with the heat and with the level of Stan. The tiebreaker is like you flip a coin.”

“Well, not too great day, not too great level,” Wawrinka said smiling. “I didn’t have the rhythm yet. Was a match without brain, let’s put it that way.

“Have some tough time to focus, have some tough time to find what I wanted to play and stay calm. Still try to fight. Got lucky to come back twice. Had the chance to finish the tiebreak. I didn’t, and quite simple.”

“I think he got a bit tired and nervous also,” Wawrinka continued. “He start to miss easy shots. Gave me the chance to come back. Can lose quickly, eh?

“Two time I come back. I had the chance in the third set to finish it also at 5-5 to break him again. I didn’t. I didn’t.

“But in general, he deserved to win. You know, it was the time of. Should have finish before.”
Goffin will play No. 10 seed Marin Cilic, who defeated No. 8 Richard Gasquet, 7-5, 5-7, 6-2. Another upset saw No. 12 Milos Raonic beat No. 6 Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-6 (7).

“A match where you sort of say you felt great but you went out there and you tried to put the pieces together, Raonic said.

“I got ahead a few service games. He served well. He got ahead. I served well. That was pretty much only one point that I would sort of have played differently. Maybe just be a little bit sharper in the second serves in the beginning service games.

“Other than that, it was all good.”

Top seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic advanced easily. Williams defeated defending champion Simona Halep 6-4, 6-3.

“It feels really good to get that win,” Williams said. “She obviously has been in good form the past couple years. So, yeah, I feel really good just to get under there and buckle down and to win that.

No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who will move up to No. 2 in the rankings, defeated Petra Kvitova 6-2, 7-6 (3) to reach the semifinals. She’ll face Serena Williams in the semifinals.

Asked about returning to No. 2 in the world, Radwanska said: “It’s always a good feeling to be back in this position. I wasn’t long last time, but I think that was a few years ago. It’s always good to be back in that position. Now it’s difficult to be No. 1.

“There is always opportunity, but it’s not about one or two tournaments. To be No. 1 you really have to play the whole season very good, and obviously catch Serena. But she is also playing very good tennis and she will want to play good and be there at No. 1.

“Well, I will try my best, and now I have the opportunity that I’m definitely not really defending much points till the grass, so, well, that’s definitely my spot that I can do that. We’ll see if I can.”

Williams said of the match-up: “She knows how to play in big stadiums and big matches, big games.

“Obviously she does everything so well, including running, and this is a good surface for her because it’s a slow surface. I think I expect there will be a lot of long rallies.

“Honestly, I will be ready. I really like Aga on and off the court. I think she’s super exciting to watch on the court, and off the court I think she’s really one of the nicest people.

“Regardless, I think it will be a really good matchup. Whoever wins will go into the final.”

Novak Djokovic defeated Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals.

“I’m actually glad to have a match like this with not much complications,” Djokovic said.

“I think we both started to play well on our service games, and he was 30-Love on that game when I broke him. Then he missed four first serves. I managed to step in and return very well on those four second serves that I got and just used the opportunity.

“You know, after that I was feeling more comfortable also on the return games even though Feliciano is a very difficult player to play against. He’s left handed and he has a big first serve and he can hit angles, comes to the net, so very strong, physically moves well.

“But I was very solid. I didn’t allow him to come to the net too many times. It was a good performance.”

Kei Nishikori beat John Isner 1-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5) plays Nadal in the quarterfinals.

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Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori Advance to Fourth Round of Indian Wells

Nadal at net

(March 15, 2016) INDIAN WELLS, California – No. 4 seed Rafael Nadal had an easy first set but had to save 5 set points it the second set tiebreak to defeat Spanish countryman and doubles partner Fernando Verdasco 6-0, 7-6(9) in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.

Verdasco only won 13 points in the first set, making 14 unforced errors. He made a total of 38 errors in the match.

Verdasco took a 6-3 lead in the second set tiebreak. Nadal saved three set points and saved another two. Nadal won the match on his second match point.

“I lost matches similar to this one in Australia, in Bueno Aires, in Rio de Janeiro, so it’s important winning sets like this for me like the other day in the third, today in the second,” Nadal said in press.

“You know, I have to go through these things, no? I played a great first set, very good quality of tennis, I think. No mistakes. That’s important for me. Serving very well; returning very well.

“Then having some mistakes in the beginning of the second, especially with the serve, then distract my concentration, distract my confidence, and I was suffering at the end of the second set, too, no?

“I know arriving to a tiebreak against a player like Verdasco normally he serve better than me. You know, normally in these kind of match I have more to lose than him, so he’s able to play very aggressive. He has an amazing shots, no? He arrives to the tiebreak and you know you’re in trouble.

“Feel lucky to win the tiebreak, and at the same time I think at the end of the tiebreak I played well with not many mistakes and going for the points.

“So is an important victory for me. Two matches wins here, tough ones. That’s something that stays in my mind and helps.”

The three-time champion of Indian Wells will face -off against Alexander Zverev for a place in the quarterfinals.

Zverev dismissed 16th seed Gilles Simon easily 6-2, 6-2 on Stadium 3 to reach the fourth round. The up-and-coming 18-year-old German is ranked No. 58th.

“Well, I thought I played really well today,” said the German. “I think I was really aggressive. Hit a lot of winners.

“You know, beating someone like Gilles 6-2, 6-2 is something that gives me a lot of confidence for myself. He’s such a great player and such a tough competitor, as well.

“You know, I was really ready for a long, long fight and a long three-set match and that was that quick.

“You know, I’m really happy that I got through so quickly.”

“I think against someone like Gilles you really have to be aggressive even more than against other players, and that’s, I think, what I did and worked out really well,” Zverev added.

“I had a great day today. You know, someone like Gilles, if you don’t hit him off the court he’s gonna be tough to beat. He’s gonna be running and fighting all day.

“So, you know, I knew what I had to do, and I think I did it pretty well.”

Zverev talked about playing Nadal:
“Rafa, he’s one of the greatest in the sport ever winning 14 slams. He’s probably one of greatest fighters ever, so it would be a big honor to play against someone like him.”

Nadal discussed his match-up against the young German: “He’s a clear possible future No. 1. He’s an amazing player. He has all the shots. Very good physical performance. Tall, good serve, first and second, great shots from the baseline, forehand and backhand.

“He has everything to become big star and he’s playing well. He won already matches against Dimitrov, against Simon today. So I don’t know the other matches he won. Against who? Dodig? So three very good matches, no?

“Going to be a very tough match tomorrow for me, and I have to be ready to fight, to suffer, and to try to play aggressive. That’s what I gonna try, no? Try to put a high rhythm and let’s see. I know going to be a very tough match. I happy the way I played today the first set, so if I can keep going the same way tomorrow, I hope to have my chances.”

Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori

No. 5 seed Kei Nishkori battled past 30th seed Steve Johnson 7-6(6), 7-6(5) to reach the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday.

Steve Johnson led 6-2 in the first set tiebreak, before something got into his eye and whatever it was he could not get it out. He proceeded to lose the next six points to lose the set.

 

Nishikori will take on John Isner next. Isner defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 7-6(3). Nishikori talked about the match-up against the hard-serving American: “The key will be on the return. My return, it’s going to be the key, for sure. I have to return well.

“I couldn’t really step in today, so I tried to play more aggressive tomorrow, and, you know, try to be patient. He’s a big guy and I think I have more advantage on my groundstrokes, so try to use more forehands and play more aggressive.”

During his match Isner hit 15 aces and did not lose any first serve points.

Isner on playng Nishikori: “Prior to last year I had never played him, which was pretty odd, because we have been in the same tournaments for a very long time.

“Now it seems like that’s starting to correct itself a little bit. This is the third time I’m going to play him in about a year.

“In the Miami match I played an excellent match, one of the best matches I have played all year, hands down. Maybe “the” best match I played all year. Against him in Miami was a very good day for me.

“In the Washington final I thought both of us played pretty well. He was obviously better than me. He won it in three sets. We have been pretty evenly matched in our first two contests. We have a rubber match coming up tomorrow. It will be fun.

“This is the third time, all on hard courts, in America, so it’s a good situation for me. But at the same time, going up against someone as at Kei’s level and stature, I will need to play very well to win. He he’s a fantastic player and he’s been doing it for a very long time.”

Feliciano Lopez, the 18th seed defeated Spanish countryman and 14th seed Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(5), 6-7(10), 6-4 in three hours and 15 minutes to reach the fourth round.

 

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BNP Paribas Open Photo Gallery from Saturday, March 12, 2016

(March 12, 2016) INDIAN WELLS, California – Photo gallery from around the grounds of the BNP Paribas Open. All photos by Curt Janka.

 

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Rafael Nadal To Return To The Queen’s Club In June

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

(February 9, 2016) Rafael Nadal will return to the grass of the Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club, 13th-19th June.
The 14-time Grand Slam title winner lifted the Aegon Championships as part of an unprecedented treble with the French Open and Wimbledon titles in 2008. He joins defending champion Andy Murray in the line-up.
“I love playing at The Queen’s Club and I am very happy that I will be back this year,” said Nadal. “I will never forget winning the title in 2008, it was a special moment, and going on to win my first Wimbledon. It is a very important tournament, very well organised and on some of the best grass courts in the world. Holding that trophy again would be amazing although I am well aware of the difficulties because the tournament always has so many good players. With Wimbledon just one week after, it is also important to be playing at Queen’s because it offers the perfect conditions and allows me to be with the British fans who always have given me great support.”
Nadal has played at The Queen’s Club six times before. On the five occasions that he reached the Wimbledon final, he played at The Queen’s Club beforehand (2006, ’07, ’08, ’10 and ’11).
Tournament Director Stephen Farrow said:
“For Rafael Nadal to join our field of players so early is a huge boost to the Aegon Championships. He is one of greatest and most popular players that has ever picked up a tennis racquet, and we know that our ticket-holders will be excited at the prospect of seeing him. He will join our defending champion Andy Murray at The Queen’s Club, and we look forward to welcoming them both in June.
Tara McGregor-Woodhams, Head of Brand, Sponsorship and Digital Marketing Aegon UK said: “Rafael Nadal is a global superstar and everyone loves watching him play, so this is fantastic news for the Aegon Championships. We very much looking forward to seeing him on the beautiful grass of The Queen’s Club in June.
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