Monday, 22 August 2011

Novak Djokovic Retires but Looks Perky

For the first time in what must be a long time, Novak Djokovic retired from a match after looking truly exhausted and unfit to play, due to a shoulder injury. When he retired he was losing a set and half against Andy Murray in the finals of the Western and Southern Open (Cincinnati, USA), so many seized the opportunity to say that that was the reason he retired from the match. From the very beginning however, Nole looked exactly how he used to look mid-2010 in his 'bad' days, where his skills had slipped (thanks, Todd Martin). Heavy rainfall appeared when Nole retired and the stands emptied pretty quickly after Nole and long-term friend Andy shared a moment of understanding at the net. The Serb looked slightly perkier during the trophy ceremony. Probably someone consoled and reminded him that only two losses in a year is a brill achievement. Andy said later: "It was really a good week after I struggled last week. I didn't drop a set and beat some very good players from pretty much the first round onwards. Against Nalbandian who I started off against it was tough, and then Mardy was playing really good tennis going into the semis... I would have obviously liked to have won by finishing the match. But it happens sometimes. I have to look at the week as a whole. It's been a very good week. Coming in here I had played badly in Montréal, so I needed to have a good week. Regardless of the match today, I was happy with the way that it had gone. Glad I managed to win today, but unfortunate the way it happened". It's nice that he didn't get angry at Nole and sympathised with his situation. Nole said: "I just could not serve. I served an average 90 miles per hour the first serve, and I could not play forehands. I could have maybe played another couple of games, but what for? I cannot beat a player like Murray today with one stroke. There is no good loss, that's for sure. But the good thing is that there is a week, eight days [before] the start of the US Open. So I think that's enough time for me to get ready". Let's hope so.

Monday, 15 August 2011

New Win, New Record for Nole

It's just another day at the office when Novak Djokovic bags himself a 1000 Masters tournament win and a new record. The Serb and current world no1 became the first player to win five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles in the same season, after proving victorious against Mardy Fish (6-2, 3-6, 6-4). It's hard to not sympathise with Fish, who said: "I felt like I had an opportunity today, I really did... I had a lot of chances in that first set, ended up losing 6-2 early. If you try to forget who you’re playing against, you’re just playing another player, maybe you can figure out a way to get a break or two there. I had a lot of shots early in that first set on my racquet that I’d like to have back. It’s really hard to get to these spots in the first place, and I've lost four of them all in three sets. It’s really hard to take. I mean, just so much energy mentally and physically goes into going that far. I’ve never won one. I want it so badly. It hurts". The American, who is currently ranked at 8, played well and at some points seemed like the stronger player of the two, and the proof is in him being able to snag a set from Djokovic. But for now, Novak Djokovic can enjoy his first tournament win since Wimbledon a few months ago.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Novak Set for Roger(s) Finale

Novak Djokovic has booked himself a place in the Rogers Cup final tomorrow in Montreal, after defeating Tsonga 6-4 3-0(ret.). The Serb is 'one win away from becoming the first player to win five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns in the same season', and he'll be looking forward to adding that on his list of records. He will face American Mardy Fish, who said in anticipation of tomorrow: "It's a dream come true. I desperately wanted to go into the US Open in the Top 10. I'm not sure where this puts me now or if it moves me at all. At least it gives me a little cushion against some of the guys that are coming up". We expect Nole to win tomorrow in straight sets, but who knows? Maybe Fish will surprise us.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Last Maestro in Montreal is not Suisse

Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and defending champion Andy Murray have all tripped out of the Rogers Cup in Montreal, to leave world no1 Novak Djokovic as the remaining player of the top four seeds left in this Masters tournament. Nole saw off Davydenko and Cilic in straight sets but initially struggled in the first part of his game with the Russian. Nole found it relatively easier to play Marin Cilic and said after the match: "It wasn't really a beautiful match to play and to watch," confessed Djokovic. "But I guess in the right moments I was trying to keep the ball in court, make my opponent make an unforced error. I was just more patient and played well. So that's the positive". The Serbian Maestro (saying that will cause a stir, I'm sure) will face Frenchman Gael Monfils in the next round of the Rogers Cup. Here's to him winning the whole tournament, and a sweet 1000 ATP Ranking points.