Tag Archives: Rafael Nadal

The Djok’s in Greece

25 Apr

That said….meaning, I wasn’t gonna write for a while: news too cool to not report.  Djoković is in Greece, fiancée Jelena Ristić is pregnant, and though he lost his Monte Carlo Crown, he made it to semi-finals, and at least it was to Federer and not to the Catalan or anybody.  All in all, not a bad Easter week for Nole.



Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

It’s annoying…

17 Mar

They can’t let Nole win, without making it about how well Federer lost.  Granted, Federer is Federer, but sometimes the bias just seems too obvious.  (Hot pic at least…)


Djokovic reasserted himself in the tiebreaker that ended the match. Credit Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press (click)

From The New York Times:

In Loss, Federer Shows More Evidence of Resurgence


INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Roger Federer leaves the BNP Paribas Open having reclaimed his champion’s aura, even after finishing as the runner-up.

After winning the first set of the final on Sunday, the seventh-seeded Federer dropped the next two, ultimately losing, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3), to No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who claimed his third title at this Masters 1000 event in the desert of the Coachella Valley.

Serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set, Djokovic became more tentative and Federer pounced, racing out to a 0-40 lead that had the crowd roaring. When he broke, the crowd rose to salute his resilience.

But in the tiebreaker that ended the match, Djokovic reasserted himself. He won two of the first three points on Federer’s serve in the tiebreaker to take a 5-1 lead and eventually sealed the match at 7-3. When Federer’s final backhand hit the net, Djokovic calmly removed his hat and raised his fist toward his player’s box as he walked to the net.

“I stayed mentally tough, and that, for me, is something that gives me a lot of encouragement and hopefully a confidence boost for the rest of the season,” Djokovic said of his late-match recovery.

Novak Djokovic won the BNP Paribas Open title over Roger Federer, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (3). Credit Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today Sports, via Reuters
Both Federer and Djokovic dressed in shades of gray, and there was little to distinguish them statistically, either. Each man struck the same number of winners as unforced errors — 34 in each category for Federer, 28 for Djokovic. Djokovic won just one more point, 99 to Federer’s 98.Though the tournament began with several upsets — Djokovic was the only one of the top six seeds to reach the quarterfinals — it ended in a familiar battle between two of the most dominant players of this era. The so-called Big Four — Djokovic, Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray — have won 28 of the last 29 Masters 1000 events.Federer’s continued presence in that ruling elite has been shaky over the last 10 months. His streak of 36 consecutive appearances in the quarterfinals of Grand Slam events ended last June with a second-round loss at Wimbledon to No. 116 Sergiy Stakhovsky. His listless fourth-round exit at the United States Open to 22nd-ranked Tommy Robredo was perhaps more unsettling.During that time Federer, 32, had back problems. He doubted his racket, switching to a larger model, only to switch back. He had a stretch of nine months without defeating a top-10 player. His pretournament ranking of No. 8 was his lowest since 2002.But in 2014, Federer has looked like his old self. With a healthier back, a larger racket and a new adviser, Stefan Edberg, he has gone 19-3, and he beat Djokovic and sixth-ranked Tomas Berdych to win in Dubai last month. By reaching Sunday’s final, he will re-enter the top five at No. 5.After the match, Federer said critics might have rushed to bury his career without seeing his slump in perspective.“You have to look at the overall case, Federer said. “What’s been happening, what are the reasons for maybe not playing so well, or for playing well? You don’t just forget how to play tennis, you know. Age is just a number. It’s nothing more, really. That’s how I see it, anyway.”For Federer, whose back problems began at this tournament a year ago, the second-place finish had a silver lining. 

“If you see the angle that last year was difficult — especially this time around last year in Indian Wells — I’m able to turn it all around now, and I’m really playing nice tennis,” Federer said. “You know, that’s also what I said out on the court. And I truly believe that I’m playing good tennis, and then it’s maybe sometimes a little easier to lose this way.”

Though Federer leaves Indian Wells technically a loser despite the boost to his confidence, another 32-year-old leaves the desert with a trophy. Flavia Pennetta, an Italian veteran who acknowledged contemplating retirement last year when her ranking fell outside the top 100, beat second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-2, 6-1, for the biggest title of her career and her first in four years. Pennetta’s ranking will move to 12th, from 22nd.

Radwanska, who began the match with her left knee taped, struggled with the injury throughout the match and barely ran for balls as the second set wore on. Several visits from the trainer to apply more tape provided little relief.

“I’m so sorry that I couldn’t run as much as I could,” she said later, fighting tears.

For Pennetta, there were only smiles.

“Thirty-two, O.K., we are old,” Pennetta said, using air quotation marks with the adjective. “But we’re still good athletes.”

P.S., then this: Evidence Mounts That Men’s Top Four Tennis Players Are No Longer on Pedestal ,  about how the top four — Nadal, Djokovic, Federer, Murray — aren’t all that anymore Whatever.  Just as long as I live to see the Catalan crushed and humiliated and forced to leave the game and his career in disgrace — I’ll be happy.

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

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