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Archive for the ‘monte carlo’ Category

Monte-Carlo: Red Planet

Posted by gauloises1 on April 19, 2010

So, the 2010 ATP red clay season is well and truly underway. How do we know?

He’s baaack.

After coming valiantly and in some cases agonisingly close over the past ten months, Rafa is gnawing on silverware again. I know it’s seemed like forever for his fans, but re-entering the winners’ circle by becoming the first man in the Open era to win the same title six times in a row is not too shabby.

He dropped just 14 games throughout the tournament and handed out three breadsticks and three bagels, including one of each in the final, and never for a second looked like losing. It’s hard to write about, because superlatives seem both excessive and insincere, but it really was a breathtakingly dominant performance from first to last. I think what I’m trying to say is … did you know that Nadal guy is actually quite good at tennis? He is.

So far, so laudable. But what was genuinely moving was the fact that after celebrating match point, he walked over to his chair, sat down, hid his face in a towel, and melted into tears. It was such a sweet moment, but unlike so many after the past months, untinged by bitterness. Nice to see.

It’s easy to forget, given his thorough destruction in the final, that it was a seminal tournament for Fernando Verdasco, who twice came back from a set down against Berdych and Montanes respectively before handing out a straight sets beatdown against an (admittedly somewhat listless) Novak Djokovic. He was mastered completely in the final, but I can’t think of many – maybe any – who wouldn’t have been, and never stopped fighting despite physically struggling – the fact that he won the point of the match by dint of sheer effort when 06 14 down is evidence of that.

And both cheered up to provide a sufficiently bromantic trophy ceremony:

This was fully Rafa’s moment though, and it’s about time – if only because Jewell might stop having double-bagelled nightmares and AmyLu will hopefully be around a bit more now …

Everybody wins!

Posted in fernando verdasco, monte carlo, rafael nadal, titlists | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Monte-Carlo: the Bad, the Battles and the Beatdowns

Posted by gauloises1 on April 15, 2010

So the quarter-finals in Monte-Carlo are set after a full day’s play highlighted by Boss’ incandescent three-set victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 61 36 75. Jo’s no clay-courter but from what I saw he was playing some fantastic stuff in the third set especially and Boss had to be both gritty and inspired to beat him. Love it.

His dubious reward? A meeting with Rafa Nadal, who’s dropped just two games so far and was this close to double-bagelling Michael Berrer today.

That’s one quarterfinal to look forward to; the other comes courtesy of Novak Djokovic and David Nalbandian, who had almost identical scores in wins over Stanislas Wawrinka and Tommy Robredo respectively. Am I mad to think this one might actually be close? I’m excited.

Less compellingly, Fernando Verdasco – who did well to overturn his recent record against Tomas Berdych –  will be taking on Albert Montanes, who dusted a frankly pathetic Marin Cilic; and a Ljubicic-bagelling Ferru faces off with Philipp Kohlschreiber. If you like that sort of thing.

Results

Singles – Third Round
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) d [13] S Wawrinka (SUI) 64 64
[2] R Nadal (ESP) d M Berrer (GER) 60 61
A Montanes (ESP) d [4] M Cilic (CRO) 64 64
[11] D Ferrer (ESP) d [8] I Ljubicic (CRO) 60 76(4)
[9] J Ferrero (ESP) d [5] J Tsonga (FRA) 61 36 75
[6] F Verdasco (ESP) d [10] T Berdych (CZE) 57 63 62
D Nalbandian (ARG) d [12] T Robredo (ESP) 63 64
P Kohlschreiber (GER) d P Petzschner (GER) 63 64

Doubles – Second Round
[1] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d J Melzer (AUT) / M Youzhny (RUS) 63 76(1)
[2] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d [WC] R Hutchins (GBR) / A Murray (GBR) 67(4) 62 10-2
[6] L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) d N Almagro (ESP) / I Ljubicic (CRO) 64 67(4) 10-4
[7] S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) d E Butorac (USA) / M Kohlmann (GER) 57 62 10-6
[8] M Knowles (BAH) / B Soares (BRA) d [WC] R Gasquet (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) W/O (Tsonga – right groin)

Friday’s OOP is brought to you by how much better this kit looks on Verdasco in blue.

OOP

COURT CENTRAL start 10:30 am
[11] D Ferrer (ESP) vs P Kohlschreiber (GER)
[9] J Ferrero (ESP) vs [2] R Nadal (ESP)
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs D Nalbandian (ARG)
A Montanes (ESP) vs [6] F Verdasco (ESP)
[1] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs [WC] R Gasquet (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA)

COURT DES PRINCES start 1:00 pm
[4] W Moodie (RSA) / D Norman (BEL) vs [6] L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT)
[5] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Mirnyi (BLR) vs [2] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA)
[7] S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) vs D Ferrer (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP)

Posted in david nalbandian, fernando verdasco, juan carlos ferrero, monte carlo, novak djokovic, rafael nadal | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Monte-Carlo: A Good Day To Be Spanish

Posted by gauloises1 on April 15, 2010

But then, when isn’t it? All five Spaniards in action today on the clay won with only one dropping a set (Montanes, in a match against Seppi that began as a dogfight and ended with a bagel). Ferru, Robredo, Boss and Rafa all won in fairly devastating style – especially Rafa against a massively overmatched Thiemo de Bakker, 61 60:

And yes, he’s changed his shorts.

By all accounts the match of the day was Nalbandian-Youzhny, however, with Nalby prevailing 46 63 76(5) to keep the Argy flag flying in Monte-Carlo. Good man.

Full Results

Singles – Second Round
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) d F Serra (FRA) 62 63
[2] R Nadal (ESP) d [Q] T de Bakker (NED) 61 60
P Kohlschreiber (GER) d [3] [WC] A Murray (GBR) 62 61
D Nalbandian (ARG) d [7] M Youzhny (RUS) 46 63 76(5)
[8] I Ljubicic (CRO) d M Llodra (FRA) 63 76(3)
[9] J Ferrero (ESP) d B Becker (GER) 63 64
[11] D Ferrer (ESP) d [Q] A Golubev (KAZ) 63 62
[12] T Robredo (ESP) d V Troicki (SRB) 64 63
[13] S Wawrinka (SUI) d E Gulbis (LAT) 61 64
M Berrer (GER) d [14] J Monaco (ARG) 64 64
P Petzschner (GER) d [15] J Melzer (AUT) 76(4) 62
A Montanes (ESP) d A Seppi (ITA) 76(1) 36 60

Doubles – Second Round
D Ferrer (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) d [3] L Dlouhy (CZE) / L Paes (IND) 63 62
[4] W Moodie (RSA) / D Norman (BEL) d N Djokovic (SRB) / V Troicki (SRB) 26 64 10-8

Doubles – First Round
[WC] R Gasquet (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) d M Granollers (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) 26 64 10-7
E Butorac (USA) / M Kohlmann (GER) d G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) / S Wawrinka (SUI) 63 60

Thursday’s OOP is brought to you by Boss’ lamentable haircut.

OOP

COURT CENTRAL start 10:30 am
[10] T Berdych (CZE) vs [6] F Verdasco (ESP)
M Berrer (GER) vs [2] R Nadal (ESP)
[5] J Tsonga (FRA) vs [9] J Ferrero (ESP)
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [13] S Wawrinka (SUI)
[WC] R Gasquet (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) vs [8] M Knowles (BAH) / B Soares (BRA)

COURT DES PRINCES start 10:30 am
[4] M Cilic (CRO) vs A Montanes (ESP)
[8] I Ljubicic (CRO) vs [11] D Ferrer (ESP)
[12] T Robredo (ESP) vs D Nalbandian (ARG)
P Petzschner (GER) vs P Kohlschreiber (GER)
[1] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs J Melzer (AUT) / M Youzhny (RUS) – After Suitable Rest

COURT 2 start 12:00 noon
[7] S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) vs E Butorac (USA) / M Kohlmann (GER)
[WC] R Hutchins (GBR) / A Murray (GBR) vs [2] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA)
N Almagro (ESP) / I Ljubicic (CRO) vs [6] L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) – After Suitable Rest

Posted in david nalbandian, juan carlos ferrero, monte carlo, rafael nadal | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Further Adventures …

Posted by gauloises1 on April 14, 2010

Speaking of hot Tandilese, injured wrists and the inherent fail that arises when the two are combined … Pico will take at least two months out after Roland Garros to have surgery on a recurring left-wrist injury.

And yes, he will miss the Davis Cup quarterfinal against Russia.

This may make his straight-sets loss to Michael Berrer in Monte-Carlo today easier to understand, or it may not. Don’t look at me, I’m just the messenger.

Posted in davis cup, juan monaco, monte carlo | Tagged: | 12 Comments »

This Is Really Starting To Suck

Posted by gauloises1 on April 14, 2010

And the ‘what’s wrong with Andy Murray?’ kicks into overdrive as he gets schooled by Philipp Kohlschreiber, 62 61.

It’s not like there’s any particular shame in losing to Kohlschreiber on clay (right, Nole?), but there kind of is when you get just three games, serve at 37% and reportedly really, really suck. Coupled with early losses in Miami and Dubai and a less than impressive performance against an admittedly inspired Soderling in Indian Wells, it’s definitely starting to look like we have a slump – or, possibly, a crater.

I haven’t seen him play since Dubai (bad fan) so I don’t really have an opinion on What’s Wrong. Not that that really matters when everybody else does.

Of course the only opinion that counts is that of the man himself, not that it makes cheery reading:

“The last few tournaments have been bad,” he admitted. “It’s been a long time since I lost a couple of matches like this. I have to make sure that I don’t panic. […]

“It was the first time in a few years that the court felt so small. I just could not find the court. When it’s like that, it’s difficult to play.”

Murray, who lost his serve five times, added, “I tried different things. I tried serve and volleying a couple of times. I tried hitting some high balls. It did not really make a whole lot of difference.

You know, I was all ready to attempt some kind of analytic post-mortem, but after reading 17,3986 variations on the theme of ‘Murray’s a loser and now everyone knows it’, I’ve lost my taste for it. He’ll get over it. He’ll be fine.

I hope.

Anyway, one outgrowth of Murray’s failure to defend his semifinal points from last year is that Delpo is once again back up to #4 in the rankings – despite not having played since January. Er, yay? Have a photo to prove he’s alive …

… albeit not in any meaningful tennistical way.

Posted in andy murray, juan martin del potro, monte carlo, philipp kohlschreiber | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

Monte-Carlo: Marin Labours, Verdasco and Berdych Cruise

Posted by gauloises1 on April 13, 2010

It’s funny how a match that can seem like the most epic, fascinating struggle when you’re forced to follow a scoreboard that behaves like the universe in the time-skips episode of Futurama is a mindnumbing, error-strewn slog when you actually get to watch it. Or so I gather from the comments I’ve been reading on Marin Cilic’s exhausting three-set win over Igor Andreev today.

Like Brockian Ultra Cricket.

Marin eventually prevailed 64 in the third, but it doesn’t seem like this is going to be his year in Monte-Carlo. Again. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was also made to work hard in overcoming Nicolas Almagro.

In stark contrast, the other second-round winners today positively breezed through. Fernando Verdasco demolished Julien Benneteau with the loss of just three games, while Miami finalist Tomas Berdych went one better in a 62 60 victory over Richard Gasquet. And they’re slated to meet in the next round. Good times.

It’s on.

Full Results

Singles – Second Round
[4] M Cilic (CRO) d I Andreev (RUS) 67(4) 61 64
[5] J Tsonga (FRA) d N Almagro (ESP) 76(5) 75
[6] F Verdasco (ESP) d J Benneteau (FRA) 62 61
[10] T Berdych (CZE) d [WC] R Gasquet (FRA) 62 60

Singles – First Round
[12] T Robredo (ESP) d H Zeballos (ARG) 63 63
[13] S Wawrinka (SUI) d V Hanescu (ROM) 62 64
[15] J Melzer (AUT) d P Mathieu (FRA) 63 62
A Montanes (ESP) d [16] M Baghdatis (CYP) 64 62
M Llodra (FRA) d F Fognini (ITA) 63 63
V Troicki (SRB) d L Kubot (POL) 46 62 62
F Serra (FRA) d S Robert (FRA) 76(6) 36 64
[Q] T de Bakker (NED) d E Schwank (ARG) 63 75

Doubles – Second Round
[5] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Mirnyi (BLR) d M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) 76(3) 76(7)

Doubles – First Round
N Almagro (ESP) / I Ljubicic (CRO) d P Kohlschreiber (GER) / R Lindstedt (SWE) 57 75 11-9
J Melzer (AUT) / M Youzhny (RUS) d M Cilic (CRO) / C Kas (GER) 64 76(8)

Wednesday’s OOP is brought to you by Marin Cilic’s giant … shoes.

COURT CENTRAL start 10:30 am
B Becker (GER) vs [9] J Ferrero (ESP)
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs F Serra (FRA)
[Q] T de Bakker (NED) vs [2] R Nadal (ESP)
P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [3] [WC] A Murray (GBR)
M Granollers (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) vs [WC] R Gasquet (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA)

COURT DES PRINCES start 10:30 am
[Q] A Golubev (KAZ) vs [11] D Ferrer (ESP)
A Seppi (ITA) vs A Montanes (ESP)
[8] I Ljubicic (CRO) vs M Llodra (FRA)
D Nalbandian (ARG) vs [7] M Youzhny (RUS)
[4] W Moodie (RSA) / D Norman (BEL) vs N Djokovic (SRB) / V Troicki (SRB)

COURT 2 start 10:30 am
E Gulbis (LAT) vs [13] S Wawrinka (SUI)
[12] T Robredo (ESP) vs V Troicki (SRB)
[14] J Monaco (ARG) vs M Berrer (GER)

COURT 9 start 12:00 noon
[15] J Melzer (AUT) vs P Petzschner (GER)
D Ferrer (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) vs [3] L Dlouhy (CZE) / L Paes (IND) – After Suitable Rest

COURT 11 start TBD
E Butorac (USA) / M Kohlmann (GER) vs G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) / S Wawrinka (SUI) – After Suitable Rest

Posted in fernando verdasco, jo-wilfried tsonga, marin cilic, monte carlo, tomas berdych | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Monte Carlo: Off-Piste

Posted by gauloises1 on April 13, 2010

Monte Carlo always generates cool picturage … and you know how I like my pictures.

In the ever-growing list of random yet oddly inspired publicity stunts the ATP comes up with, sending Nole and Jo to visit the Oceanographic Museum in Monte Carlo has to be right up there.

Nole, Jo, and the remains of charismatic megafauna. These are a few of my favourite things.

No, really.

I love Jo’s demeanour in these photos. He’s acting like you do when you aren’t really interested at all in what you’re being shown – or are too interested in the person who’s showing you – so you concentrate hard on everything with painful politeness.

Nole, meanwhile, is the Instant Expert. I love it.

So, remember that case file I mentioned?

*adds*

Meanwhile, Rafa talked to the press …

… Marin popped up to be very serious about something …

… and Nole turned up to, well, not be:

I love how Monte Carlo is like Noleville. Except for the bit where he actually wins the tournament.

Posted in jo-wilfried tsonga, marin cilic, monte carlo, novak djokovic, rafael nadal, tomas berdych | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Boys Are Back In Town

Posted by gauloises1 on April 13, 2010

The leading lights of the Monte Carlo field got cleaned up quite nicely for the player’s party:

Those shoes. They’d better be special shoes for vulnerable knees, a la Fred Couples’ deck shoes at the weekend, because if not, there’s no excuse.

I love Jo’s serious tie.

So much happiness in this photo.

Someone’s mum ironed him a shirt between awesome blogs.

Further evidence to add to the ‘how did it take me so long to notice Tomas Berdych is gorgeous?!’ case file.

Dame Shirley f**king Bassey!

Hello, boys.

… Caption competition?

Posted in andy murray, feliciano lopez, fernando verdasco, monte carlo, novak djokovic, rafael nadal, tomas berdych | Tagged: , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

ATP Week Now: Monte Carlo

Posted by gauloises1 on April 13, 2010

Draw here.

Top seeds: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Marin Cilic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Fernando Verdasco, Mikhail Youzhny, Ivan Ljubicic

The tournament’s already well underway (sorry), with a full day’s play producing no real upsets but a few heart/loinwarming results, notably courtesy of Nalby, Pico and Boss who all notched up straight sets wins:

Boss! What happened to your awesome conquistador beard?!

Tomas Berdych overcame the windy conditions for a good win against Feliciano Lopez, Gasquet battled to a three-set victory over Dolgopolov Jr. (or O-Dog, as I understand he’s known), and Thomaz Bellucci sadly fell to Philipp Kohlschreiber.

See you in Barcelona, Nose Job.

Full Results

Singles – First Round
[9] J Ferrero (ESP) d [Q] M Granollers (ESP) 60 63
[10] T Berdych (CZE) d F Lopez (ESP) 63 61
[11] D Ferrer (ESP) d [Q] P Luczak (AUS) 62 64
[14] J Monaco (ARG) d [Q] J Nieminen (FIN) 75 75
D Nalbandian (ARG) d A Beck (GER) 63 61
[WC] R Gasquet (FRA) d [Q] D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 62 46 62
[Q] A Golubev (KAZ) d J Chardy (FRA) 62 76(2)
J Benneteau (FRA) d [Q] O Dolgopolov Jr. (UKR) 64 57 62
N Almagro (ESP) d S Greul (GER) 36 75 62
P Kohlschreiber (GER) d T Bellucci (BRA) 26 63 76(3)
E Gulbis (LAT) d M Chiudinelli (SUI) 63 62
P Petzschner (GER) d G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 63 26 62
B Becker (GER) d [WC] B Tomic (AUS) 64 62

Doubles – First Round
N Djokovic (SRB) / V Troicki (SRB) d T Bellucci (BRA) / A Montanes (ESP) 61 75
M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) d J Knowle (AUT) / A Ram (ISR) 63 36 10-3
[WC] R Hutchins (GBR) / A Murray (GBR) d F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) 61 75

Today’s OOP brought to you by the best of British tennis.

OOP

COURT CENTRAL start 10:30 am
[4] M Cilic (CRO) vs I Andreev (RUS)
J Benneteau (FRA) vs [6] F Verdasco (ESP)
[5] J Tsonga (FRA) vs N Almagro (ESP)
[10] T Berdych (CZE) vs [WC] R Gasquet (FRA)
P Kohlschreiber (GER) / R Lindstedt (SWE) vs N Almagro (ESP) / I Ljubicic (CRO)

COURT DES PRINCES start 10:30 am
[15] J Melzer (AUT) vs P Mathieu (FRA)
F Fognini (ITA) vs M Llodra (FRA)
V Troicki (SRB) vs L Kubot (POL)
A Montanes (ESP) vs [16] M Baghdatis (CYP)
[5] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Mirnyi (BLR) vs M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL)

COURT 2 start 11:30 am
F Serra (FRA) vs S Robert (FRA)
V Hanescu (ROU) vs [13] S Wawrinka (SUI)
M Cilic (CRO) / C Kas (GER) vs J Melzer (AUT) / M Youzhny (RUS) – After Suitable Rest

COURT 9 start 11:30 am
[Q] T de Bakker (NED) vs E Schwank (ARG)
[12] T Robredo (ESP) vs H Zeballos (ARG)

Posted in andy murray, ATP week ahead, david nalbandian, juan carlos ferrero, juan monaco, monte carlo, rafael nadal, ross hutchins, thomaz bellucci | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Withdrawal Method: The Couple That Pulls Out Together …

Posted by gauloises1 on April 12, 2010

Former sweeties Dominika Cibulkova and Gael Monfils have withdrawn from their respective tournaments, adding to an impressive out-with-injury roster. Cibulkova remains troubled with a groin injury that prevents her playing Charleston, while La Monf apparently hurt his hand playing Davis Cup.

Why can’t these crazy kids just work it out? They’re clearly perfect for each other.

Posted in charleston, dominika cibulkova, gael monfils, monte carlo, the withdrawal method | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »