Tag Archive | "Nadal"

Federer Gets a Pass into Sony Ericsson Open Semifinal

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Federer Gets a Pass into Sony Ericsson Open Semifinal



The tantalizing prospect of a Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal semifinal at the Sony Ericsson Open was given a leg up by Gilles Simon. This afternoon, the Frenchman retired down 0-3 giving Federer a virtual walkover into the next round.

Simon produced three successive errors to hand Federer triple break point in the opening game. Then, with a forehand winner, Federer took the game.

After Federer had no problem on his service game, at double break point, Simon dumped a volley into the net. Consequently, Federer had another break and a 3-0 lead.

During the change over, Simon consulted the trainer. Following a brief discussion, Simon shook hands with Federer conceding the match.

The Frenchman was forced to retire due to a stiff neck. Simon explained that “ in the morning’s warm-up, I felt it. It’s a pain I have sometimes. I had it in Rotterdam one month ago. I couldn’t play either. . . sometimes I just wake up like that and cannot turn my head very much. . . I tried everything, anti-inflammatory [medications], hot cream. . . After the second forehand I tried to hit very hard; I felt [pain] very hard also. I knew I had no chance today”.

Simon stated that it’s a problem which dates back at least six or seven years. In fact, the first time it presented itself on tour was at a tournament in Madrid. Simon withdrew from the qualifying rounds.

Simon cited that the issue was not a consequence of the grueling fourth round match against Janko Tipsarevic. He was disappointed particularly having battled a knee injury last year which caused him to miss part of the season.

Moreover, Simon had a 2-1 record versus Federer coming into today. In fact, Simon pushed Federer to a fifth set at this year’s Australian Open after being behind two sets to love.

Considering their previous encounters, when Federer was asked “nice way to into the semis”. Federer responded “No, no. It’s not a whole lot fun honestly because you see the guy being booed off the court which he clearly doesn’t deserve. . . I think we played only fifteen points, so it’s not great”.

Federer continued by saying “we’ve played some funny matches against each other. The five setter this year. . . The second time around in Shanghai I came off a back injury and I couldn’t really play properly as well. The first time in Toronto which was basically a normal match. . . I don’t know what to say. I’m just happy to be in the semis at this point”.

Nadal and Federer have not played on U.S. soil since the ATP Masters in Miami in 2005, the first of two titles for Federer at this venue. Thus, the two meeting in the semifinals would be special.

On the topic Federer stated “If I play Rafa, we have many memories from playing amazing matches against each other. It’s not even that unusual that we play each other in the semis because it happened at the World Tour finals back in Shanghai”.

Also Federer iterated “I’m happy that I’m already a step further [than last year]. . . I would love to play Rafa clearly. I think it would be electric out there tomorrow night”.

Tomas Berdych and Nadal clash tonight for the a place in the semifinals.

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Nadal Dissects 4th Round Win at Sony Ericsson Open

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Nadal Dissects 4th Round Win at Sony Ericsson Open




Rafael Nadal sat down with the media after his fourth round win over Alexandr Dolgopolov. Nadal answered questions about today’s rain delay, the conditions out on the court due to the high humidity and his next round match with Tomas Berdych. Here is his interview with the media.

Q. The weather today, did that cause you any disruptions, or just you know what you have to do in those sort of situations? ​

RAFAEL NADAL: No, you know, be calm and wait. That’s all. Nothing else. You can’t do a lot of things in days like today. Relax in the players’ lounge, be with the friends. That’s it. ​It’s nothing new. It’s something that happen a lot of times in the tennis. ​

Q. Playing Alexandr today, did you feel that he was maybe a little bit tired having to finish off against Tsonga today? ​

RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I don’t know if he was tired or not, but you can ask him, I think. But maybe is possible, no? But I think when we play matches, fiveset matches in Grand Slam is more than what he had. ​So I think probably is not easy play end of the match and after start of the match. That’s sure. But that’s part of the game, no? It happen to me a few times, and I think in general I played at very good level, no? ​Probably he had more mistakes than usual, but I don’t know if because he was little bit tired or not. ​

Q. Did you find the conditions heavy because of the rain from earlier on? ​

RAFAEL NADAL: No, heavy, very humid. That’s why I am sweating a lot. ​

Q. What about playing Tomas in the next round? ​

RAFAEL NADAL: Difficult match always, no? We know each other. We played a lot of times, and I know just play my best tennis I gonna have chances against him, no? ​He can play very, very good, and I have to play very solid all the time with my serve and wait a chance on the return. ​

Q. One question about being an ambassador for Bacardi. I was just wondering, was that a difficult decision, seeing that alcohol and sponsorship for alcohol might be a little strange for some people? Or was it more you saw the good it can do with the company? ​

RAFAEL NADAL: Did you see the campaign? ​

Q. Yeah. ​

RAFAEL NADAL: So, I mean, I am not presenting alcohol party, you know. It’s a responsible campaign, a social campaign. ​Anyway, I think alcohol is inside our lives, so is nothing new, no? But the campaign is not against alcohol but about be responsible when you go out. ​So wasn’t difficult decision, because I think is very important social campaign, and I believe in this campaign. So it was a very easy decision, because I think is very good thing to do for Bacardi.

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Nadal Moves On to the Fourth Round at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Nadal Moves On to the Fourth Round at the Sony Ericsson Open



In the third round at the Sony Ericsson Open, Rafael Nadal faced fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez. Nadal eased his way into the fourth round with a solid 6-3, 6-3 triumph.

After a few comfortable holds by Lopez, Nadal got the critical break to go ahead 4-3. Subsequent to promptly consolidating, Nadal arrived at triple break point. Although Lopez fought back to deuce, Nadal eventually secured the break to claim the first set.

In the second set, with a forehand down the line winner, Nadal manufactured double break point. Nadal then won the next point to take a 4-2 advantage.

Again, Nadal quickly consolidated for 5-2. Despite Lopez guarding serve the next game, with a volley that threaded the needle, Nadal had double match point. With a forehand winner, Nadal progressed to the fourth round.

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Nadal Weathers Nishikori, Defending Champ Roddick Ousted

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Nadal Weathers Nishikori, Defending Champ Roddick Ousted



Despite being tested by Kei Nishikori, Rafael Nadal managed to close out his second round match at the Sony Ericsson Open in straight sets. Nadal overcame the talented Japanese 6-4, 6-4 to get to the third round where he will face fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

After Nishikori wasted a couple of break points which have given him a 3-1 lead, Nadal manufactured double break point. Nadal converted when Nishikori buried a backhand into the net. Nadal subsequently consolidated at love for 4-2.

Later on, Nishikori had double break points with Nadal serving at 4-3. Once more, this was to no avail. Nadal maintained the one break advantage to seal the first set.

In the second set, Nadal seized the break in the first game and guarded the advantage despite Nishikori’s formidable resistance. With triple match point, Nadal aced his rival to punctuate the set.

Nadal was particularly hampered by the serve in the final of BNP Paribas Open last week. Consequently, MiamiTennisNews.com inquired as to the changes he made to fix this problem “I tried to remember what I did when I served well. I slowed down the speed a little bit. . . Because I served 117 to 124, 25 miles almost every time. That’s enough speed if you put the right percentage inside and. . .the balls close to the lines. I think that worked well.”

Furthermore, Nadal said “Nishikori is a good returner. His returns are fast, deep and difficult. . . I have to improve a little bit on the second serve. The speed was [at times] 85, 88, 89, 90, 92. . . But in general, I am very happy with the match of tonight”.

Never one to take his opponent for granted. Despite a 6-2 mark versus Lopez, Nadal’s assessment of the upcoming match when asked by MiamiTennisNews.com was “[it’s] important for me to play my best tennis. . . He has a very good serve, volleys well and he’s an aggressive player. Very dangerous, but if I play very well, I have my chances”.

In addition, Nadal stated “I have to play aggressively with my forehand, try to move him and get to the net when I have the chance. The match will be similar [to the past ones in some ways]. Still, every match is [also] different and always difficult”.

Pablo Cuevas came into the tournament with a record under 500 at 6-7. With defending Andy Roddick across the net, Cuevas must have thought that his week at its end in the second round. To the contrary, Cuevas surprised Roddick 6-4, 7-6.

Cuevas caught a break in finding Roddick not at 100%. After Roddick erased a break point, he manufactured double break point the very next game. However, Cuevas found a way to turn him away.

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Rafael Nadal Answers to the Press at Sony Ericsson Open

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Rafael Nadal Answers to the Press at Sony Ericsson Open



World number one Rafael Nadal sat down with the press this afternoon at the Sony Ericsson Open.  Nadal answered questions about Roger, Federer, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin Del Potro and issues with his serve at Indian Wells.  On the social media front, Nadal has no plans to join Twitter at the moment. Here is his complete interview with the media.

Q. I know you’ve won almost everything in this sport, but not Miami. Is this kind of one you’d like to get? I think you’ve won 6 out of 9 Masters?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I play every tournament with the same motivation. It’s always play well and then I gonna have a good result. In this tournament I think I had two finals, another semifinal. So I had the chances; I didn’t win. Is impossible win in every place. I just accept the challenge and try to play my best tennis. That’s only way to win the tournament where all the best players of the world are playing.

Q. Is it tougher than most because it comes right after Indian Wells and you always seem to go deep into that draw?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. No, I don’t think so.

Q. Did you consider playing in the soccer game the other night? I know you went to watch. Did you consider playing?

RAFAEL NADAL: I would love, you know, but for me is important ‑ probably most important ‑ part of the season right now since Indian Wells until Wimbledon. I had the knees problems and seriously, I don’t want any risk right now, no?

Q. What did you think of the game? We heard that Andy Murray and Baghdatis were the best players.

RAFAEL NADAL: I didn’t see all the game, because I had to work with a sponsor in another place. But they told me, yeah. But remain the star, remain me. (Laughing.) No, seriously, Baghdatis and Murray told me ‑‑ Djokovic told me that Baghdatis and Murray was playing unbelievable. They lost 5‑2, so, anyway, important thing is not the result, is the charity of the event. I think was really good because the crowd was full there, very good atmosphere. After in the dinner with Nole, I was there supporting the dinner, too. So I think was fantastic, too. That’s important, always be active in these charity events, especially for Japan at this moment.

Q. About 10 years ago you probably would have been one of the taller players on the tour. Now you play guys like Querrey and Isner, Raonic and even Djokovic and these guys are 6’3″ and higher. Do you feel like the game is going in that direction? Just gonna get taller and taller? Is it tougher to play against these guys, too?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, but the best players of the world play from the baseline. That’s true. Djokovic is very good from the baseline. Federer is very good from the baseline. Myself. Last couple of years, my best quality is from the baseline. Murray is from the baseline. Soderling, too. Davydenko, too, Berdych, too. That’s true, is coming ‑‑ Del Potro is the only one, but he’s characteristic is from the baseline, too. Is true that the game is coming very tall guys, but at the end of the day, I think the best players of the world and the players who are in the top are players who plays from the baseline. Is true is not easy play against Isner, against Karlovic, against Raonic, but we will see if that is the right way to be in the top. I don’t know.

Q. Is there anything that you notice from your game at Indian Wells that you feel you could improve on in this tournament?

RAFAEL NADAL: A lot of things. (Smiling.) I think during the tournament I didn’t play really good. It wasn’t a good level for me. Semifinals and final I improved my level of tennis, but during the final my serve worked terrible. So that’s the first thing. I have to serve better if I want to have chances to compete against all the players. And from the baseline, seriously, I think I finished the tournament playing much better than the beginning of the tournament. So that’s always a very positive thing.

Q. Did you and Toni work on your serve? Did you find out what was wrong with it?

RAFAEL NADAL: We hope so, but we never know. (Smiling.) We gonna see tomorrow how it works hopefully better.

Q. What is it that you love about playing tennis?

RAFAEL NADAL: I love the competition. Yeah. I love the support in general, all the sports. Tennis is my sport, so I like the tennis and especially I love the competition.

Q. What is your perception of Djokovic? Over the years he was joking, doing impersonations, this and that. He’s still very funny, but he seems to have tried to tone down a little bit maybe. He’s playing very, very, very well now. What is your relationship with him? What do you think the perception of him among the players is?

RAFAEL NADAL: My relationship with him always was fantastic. We are close. I think he’s a funny guy, but he’s not playing now better because he’s not doing his imitations or these things. That’s for sure. You know, always the people, when somebody is playing very well, try to found the things outside of the tennis. Seriously, the only thing what matters is what’s happen inside the court. Outside the court you can do imitations all the day, or you can do anything. You can’t go out every night, that’s for sure, no? But you can do anything. You can have a really normal life and play very well or play very bad. That doesn’t affect inside the court.

What he’s doing well is he’s playing with confidence. His level probably is not much higher than three years ago or two years ago or one year ago. I always saw him as fantastic player. His potential always was very, very high. Everybody knows how good is him, and he can do what he’s doing now. He started the season like in 2008 and was the same. So is nothing new. We will see what’s going on. I think he’s a very complete player because he can play on all of the surfaces very good, and that’s an advantage. He started better than possible, so he’s in a very good position.
But the season always is long, and we will see what is going on.

Q. Novak recently joined Twitter. You’re very present on Facebook. Do you have any plans to join Twitter?

RAFAEL NADAL: Not for the moment. I happy with the Facebook. I don’t know. No, for me is enough for the moment.

Q. I want to ask you also about the Bacardi, the thing you’re involved in with drinking responsibly. Can you talk about that? I wasn’t at the event, but can you just tell us a little about that, the campaign.

RAFAEL NADAL: I think is a very important social campaign, especially I think for everybody, but for the young people more. The campaign is champions drink responsibly, but is a social campaign about if you have to go out, have a plan how to come back home safely. Is a campaign about if you go out, you don’t need to drink crazy. You can drink few glasses of alcohol, but drink alcohol‑free and drink water. Is important quality than quantity. That is the campaign, no? For sure I think everybody knows when you go out and you go for party with your friends, alcohol is part of that, part of the night. But sometimes seems like you go out and you have to drink like crazy. In my opinion, that’s not like this. That’s the campaign. I think it’s important campaign. I’m very happy to be the ambassador.

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Del Potro Advances to Second Round at Sony Ericsson Open

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Del Potro Advances to Second Round at Sony Ericsson Open



Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro’s impressive return to the ATP tour continued today at the Sony Ericsson Open. In first round action, Del Potro defeated Ricardo Mello of Brazil in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.

In his post match interview Del Potro was asked if he thought his comeback was on track and if he was back to where [he] needed to be. Del Potro responded that he “didn’t think so” however he added that “I’m improving faster than what I expected.” Del Potro acknowledged that there is a difference in the level of his game versus Nadal and other top 10 players, but he stated that he “is getting closer”.

Del Potro is now on a collision course with Robin Soderling in the third round. Del Potro faces Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round, while Soderling begins his Miami campaign against Ivan Dodig.

In other first round action 2008 Sony Ericsson Open Champion Nikolay Davydenko was upset by Kevin Anderson. This is the second time that Anderson has eliminated a past champion in the opening rounds in Miami. In 2008, Anderson bounced defending champion Novak Djokovic in the second round.

James Blake also advanced in Miami after staging a come from behind win over fellow American Michael Russell. Blake closed out Russell in a third set tie break and will face Thomaz Bellucci in the next round.

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Spotlight Miami: The Sony Ericsson Open Has Arrived

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Spotlight Miami: The Sony Ericsson Open Has Arrived


 
The Sony Ericsson Open singles draws for the women and men have been released.  There are a bevy of potential semifinal match-ups to salivate over.

On the ATP side, Rafael Nadal, the world number one may battle 2009 finalist Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals.

With Roger Federer dropping to the number three in the rankings, the Swiss could clash with Nadal in the semifinals.  Moreover, Federer may contend with defending champion Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals.

If the draw plays out according to the seeding, in the bottom half, David Ferrer and Robin Soderling will be slated to meet in the quarterfinals.  However, Juan Martin Del Potro could spoil that face-off.

Also located in the bottom section is the hottest player on tour, world number two Novak Djokovic. The Serb could have a rematch of this year’s Australian Open final in the quarterfinals with Andy Murray.

Whether it’s Del Potro, Ferrer or Soderling in the semifinals, at this stage, Djokovic seems ready to mow over all comers.

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Flawless Djokovic Neutralizes Nadal in Indian Wells Final

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Flawless Djokovic Neutralizes Nadal in Indian Wells Final



Novak Djokovic’s perfect 2011 record was on the line in the final of the BNP Paribas Open today.  Yesterday, in the semifinals, Djokovic defeated Roger Federer for the third time this year to supplant Federer as the world number two.

This afternoon, Djokovic faced world number one Rafael Nadal for the title. The 2008 Indian Wells champion, Djokovic extended his winning streak to 18 in a row by downing Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Subsequent to comfortable holds by both players, Djokovic stared at triple break point.  Although Djokovic managed to salvage those, with a double fault, he handed Nadal a fifth break chance which the Spaniard converted for a 3-2 lead.

However, Djokovic promptly broke back.  Quickly though, Nadal dismissed a couple of game points and with Djokovic gifting him a few backhand errors Nadal stole the game.

After consolidating at love for 5-3, Nadal served another love game to close out the set.

Despite an absent first serve, Nadal held the first two games of the second set at love.  On the heels of squandering two game points, Nadal committed a backhand mistake to give Djokovic a second break point.  By sending a forehand long, Nadal surrendered the game.

Yet, at break point with a charitable double fault, Djokovic awarded the next game to Nadal.  Again though, Nadal’s inability to hit first serves came back to bite him as Djokovic capitalized after reaching triple break point for a 5-3 advantage.

Although he had to survive a break point and required six game points, in the end, Djokovic overcame Nadal’s charge and wrapped up the second set.

Two factors contributed to the shift in Djokovic’s fortunes in the second set.  One, he was finally able to make Nadal pay for a dismal first serve percentage of 25.  Secondly, Djokovic directed about 75% of  his shots to the Nadal backhand with great success in provoking errors.

By sticking with this winning formula, Djokovic pushed Nadal into misfiring enough times to rip off an opening break.  Subsequent to consolidating at love, on a forehand miscue from Nadal, Djokovic had another break point opportunity.  When Nadal’s backhand traveled out of play, Djokovic had a 3-0 double break edge.

After Djokovic easily got to 4-0, Nadal fought hard and avoided posting a bagel.  With his foot firmly on the pedal, Djokovic manhandled Nadal the rest of the way and comfortably took the set and the championship.

With victories also at the Australian Open and Dubai, Djokovic has been supreme on the hardcourt.  In their head to head, Nadal had a 16-7 mark over Djokovic and had prevailed in their previous five finals.

If Djokovic maintains this level of play, soon, he will be challenging Nadal for the number one spot.

Unequivocally, as the ATP tour journeys to Miami, Djokovic will be the man to beat at the Sony Ericsson Open.

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Venus Withdraws from Sony Ericsson Open

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Venus Withdraws from Sony Ericsson Open



Citing an abdominal injury, Venus Williams has withdrawn from the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open.

Here is the official press release from the Sony Ericsson Open tournament :

VENUS WILLIAMS WITHDRAWS FROM SONY ERICSSON OPEN

MIAMI, Fla. (www.sonyericssonopen.com) – Three-time Sony Ericsson Open champion and
7-time Grand Slam winner, Venus Williams, has withdrawn from the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open.

Williams is forced to withdraw from this year’s tournament due to an abdominal injury she incurred earlier this year at the Australian Open. The tennis star is currently receiving ongoing rehabilitation at home and released the following statement.

“I am very sorry to not be playing in the Sony Ericsson Open this year. It is one of my favorite tournaments on the circuit, especially because it is so close to my home in South FL. I look forward to returning to the tour soon.”

“It is unfortunate that Venus Williams will be unable to play at this year’s Sony Ericsson Open. She will be missed and we wish her a speedy recovery,” said Adam Barrett, Sony Ericsson Open Tournament Director. “We hope to see her back on the courts soon.”

Despite Williams’ withdrawal fans will still be able to see exhilarating matches as the women’s field features power players including defending Sony Ericsson Open champion Kim Clijsters; current World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki; and three-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova.

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Nadal Set to Play Sony Ericsson Open on Opening Weekend

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Nadal Set to Play Sony Ericsson Open on Opening Weekend



World number-one Raphael Nadal is set to play his first round match at the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open on Saturday, March 26. Nadal will highlight the night session on the opening weekend of the tournament.

Here is the official press release from the Sony Ericsson Open tournament :

WORLD NO. 1 RAFAEL NADAL TO OPEN EVENING SESSION PLAY ON SATURDAY, MARCH 26

MIAMI, Fla. (www.sonyericssonopen.com) – World No. 1 Rafael Nadal will make his highly anticipated return to South Florida at the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open on Saturday, March 26 (Session 10) at 8:00 p.m. Nadal’s potential opponents will be determined on Monday, March 21 at 12 p.m. when the men’s draw is announced.

Nadal has proven to be a fan favorite in Miami repeatedly playing in front of sold-out crowds at the Sony Ericsson Open. The charismatic Spanish star considers the Sony Ericsson Open one of his preferred stops on the tour, as he enjoys not only the Miami weather, but the eclectic culture, and the array of outdoor activities including his favorites fishing and golf.

The Sony Ericsson Open provides a total entertainment experience with a two-week fusion of events with fashion, food, and musical performances in between blockbuster matches. Prior to Nadal’s match, there is a variety of performances scheduled including a Samba and Capoeria dance show at 6 p.m. on the entertainment stage and a performance by world renowned Spanish guitarist, Nicholas Marks, at 7:30 p.m. on stadium court. Marks, a South Florida based musician, is known for his vibrant musical styles that blend Spanish flamenco, Rumba, and American Pop music.

Tickets to the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open are on sale now and can be purchased by phone (305-442-3367) or via internet at www.sonyericssonopen.com. An electrifying two weeks of tennis conclude with the women’s final on Saturday, April 2 and the men’s final on Sunday, April 3.

The three-time Sony Ericsson Open semi finalist (’05,’08,’10) is seeking his first championship of the Sony Ericsson Open purple courts. Nadal fell to eventual champ Andy Roddick in a three-set thriller in the semifinals of last year’s tournament.

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