Archive for the ‘French Open’ Category


Will Djokovic Use His Monte-Carlo Win As A Blueprint For Success At Roland Garros?

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Last week’s Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters 1000 final in Monaco provided most tennis fans with a taste of what many believe could be a dress rehearsal of the French Open finale at Roland Garros in 2013, world No.1 Novak Djokovic ended the amazing run of eight time Monte-Carlo champ Rafael Nadal and the Serb not only beat the champion Spaniard but he did so in straight sets at a tournament Rafa has owned for nearly a decade, the result was significant and could provide Novak’s team with the blueprint for success in Paris when the tournament commences late next month.

Of course there will be a group of people, Rafa’s team included, that will assume Nadal and his camp will now go away and come up with a strategy to disarm the Djokovic game plan, Uncle Toni has often been the mastermind behind Rafa fighting back from disappointing losses but the Djokovic threat at Roland Garros in 2013 is a very definite and real one which will ultimately threaten the King of Clay’s grip on the “The Musketeers’ Trophy”, these two great players will not be the only players in contention for a Grand Slam title in Paris of course but their chances will be discussed more than most as the build up to the French Open continues.

Novak’s win at Monte-Carlo must have given himself and his team extra self belief that he can now go on and claim the French Open title this year and complete a career Grand Slam in the process, the Serb’s victory and the manner of how it was achieved would have also planted more »


Will The Umpire’s Be Consistent With The Time Violation Rule In 2013?

Friday, March 1st, 2013

After watching some of the Nole/Delpo semifinal in Dubai and seeing the Argentine receive a time violation warning when he was bouncing the ball and almost ready to toss the thing to serve (at 3-1 up in the 2nd set and break point down),  I can’t help but wonder whether the umpire’s will be consistent with the new rule this season, particularly in the bigger events. Will they show leniency to players when matches are longer or will they remain consistent no matter what, I have a feeling that if Novak plays Rafa at Roland Garros this year then the strict time violation rule will be pushed out by a few seconds, is that fair though?

If a rule has been introduced by the ATP for all players then shouldn’t it apply to ALL players, Nole and Rafa have played some great matches over the last few years and some VERY long ones, in fact I think some of those matches have probably been a major factor in why the ATP have introduced this new rule for season 2013, Djokovic and Nadal are great athletes and usually produce some gut-busting rallies but rules are rules aren’t they, I don’t mean to focus just on these two guys either because there are numerous other players on the tour who push the envelope when looking to recover from a long tiring rally, I commend the ATP on trying to keep the play moving in a timely manner  more »


Is Murray a drama queen?

Friday, June 15th, 2012

During the commentary of Queen’s on BBC the other day, I noticed an interesting discussion about recent comments from the German Tommy Haas about Andy Murray. Now this was the BBC, so of course the general consensus of the experts at the table was that this was cheap trick from Haas and that he should leave Murray alone. The reaction in other circles has, however, been less favorable.

Now I should say before I start this is that I am fully aware I am not Murray’s biggest fan. Therefore, it would seem a little childish for me to write a blog about whether Murray is a drama queen, when I am probably more inclined to come down on the critic’s side. Although it’s true I don’t really like Murray as a player, and I do think he’s a bit of a whiner, I would never want to character assassinate the man or somehow imply he is a cheat or underhand. I’m mean, but I’m not that mean.

So here is what Tommy Haas said in his press conference that turned all eyes on the Scot: ‘It’s difficult when you play against someone on the court like he is not well or injured. I find no-one does this better than Murray. Sometimes he looks like he can barely move, then comes the trainer and he moves like a cat. I believe everyone knows this. People talk about it in the locker room. Maybe he would like to take some pressure off himself. He tells himself, ‘Maybe I have a niggle or a problem, I’m not feeling too well but I’m going to try it anyway.’ But he is such a talented player that he does not need  more »


It never rains..

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

…but it pours.

That must have been how it felt for the poor organizers at Roland Garros. There they were, lying in an outer suburb of Paris at the beginning of June. Who would have thought rain would be a problem. For some reason when it happens at a tournament like the French Open, it’s not a quaint habit that adds to the whole atmosphere of the tournament, as it is in say Wimbledon. In France, it clogs up the clay, which goes on to ruin the balls, and the fact that it’s a less common occurrence just stumps match referees. To take the players off, or not?

Nadal certainly had a few things to say about the rain as Djokovic picked off no less than 8 games in a row against the King of Clay. For the first time since 1978 the French Open final was delayed by rain, but although it took its sweet time coming Rafa’s victory eventually hovered into view.

In the end, I doubt Rafa minded the rain. After all, his parade came much later, when Djokovic couldn’t pick up the fantastic run of form he was having going into the fourth set. Nadal – now without his sulky pout thanks to more decisive decisions about the rain – came out with the cleaner, more ruthless approach. He picked right up where he left off, whereas Djokovic appeared to need some more time to get back into his groove, rather like at the very beginning of the match back on Sunday.

A bit more rain trickled over Paris, but when it came down to it Rafa’s swing, nerve and dominance on clay saw him through. Not long  more »


Dream team

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal had seemingly very similar route into this year’s French Open finals. I say ‘seemingly’ because the score lines were roughly the same – straight sets victory with comfortable numbers – but the opponents couldn’t be more different. Rafael Nadal’s victory was always predictable against David Ferrer. This is not an insult to the other Spaniard, but an acceptance of the fact that Nadal is just simply brilliant, particularly at Rolland Garros.

Djokovic’s opponent was Roger Federer, a man whose very name has become the stuff of legends. Like a mythic beast of a fairytale he has dominated the Land Of Tennis for so many  years that we as his loyal subjects have got used to him being there. So him being beaten by Novak Djokovic – a constant in the top 5 for a number of years sure but no Federer – was still something of a ‘what if’ or a ‘maybe’.

Turns out, Novak didn’t find it too hard. A debate about what this means for Federer will be relegated to its own post, but for now lets just praise the player that Djokovic has become. No longer the doormat for the top two players in the world, he has surpassed Andy Murray and the others who cling onto Roger and Rafa’s coat tails and reached the world number one spot.

Djokovic’s flexibility, fitness and finesse of shots won the day against Federer in this semi final. These are usually adjectives researched for the Swiss player, but today the Serb won the platitudes. He was everywhere at the base line, a more »