Thursday, April 30, 2009

Third Round Open Thread

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I'll be away for much of the tennis day today. Share your thoughts on the third-round matchups in Roma. There are some good ones in the mix.

14 comments:

Katri said...

As Nadal fan I am eager to see Nadal vs Söderling which seems to the last match today. I Remember their Wimbledon match 2007 that went on for four days because of rain delays, but reason the match made headlines was that Nadal and Söderling were not exactly getting along. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2007/07/05/WIMNOTES.TMP
I don't think they've played eachother since then. So I hope Nadal will teach the swedish brat a lesson. Even the swedes have some problems loving him, I remember reading swedish comments on the match back then.

Helen W said...

Yes, I remember it well. Prior to that, Roger also had a very negative experience playing Soderling.

MMT said...

This is the one instance where I think Nadal has taken himself just a little too seriously. From what I remember Nadal took issue with Soderling forgetting to change his racquet at the ball change. He then showed him up a little bit by indicating a ball change at the very end of his (very long) service routine after it was obvious that Soderling already new about it. I would have been mildly amusing, but Soderling then proceeded to mimick Nadal's wedgie routine, which got a big laugh and which apparently Nadal didn't think was very funny.

Well, at least it makes for an interesting dynamic this time around, doesn't it?

Graf_sampras said...

Federer gains revenge in Rome

Eurosport - Thu, 30 Apr 17:57:00 2009

Roger Federer made short work of Czech Radek Stepanek to book his place in the quarter-finals of the ATP Rome Masters claycourt event.
TENNIS 2009 Rome Masters Roger Federer - 0
More Stories

* Tournament photo gallery
* Rome drawsheet

The world number two took just 1hr 8min to secure a comfortable 6-4 6-1 victory that also brought the second seed revenge for a loss against Stepanek here in the last eight a year ago.

That time Federer struggled to cope with Stepanek's aggressive net play in a 7-6 7-6 defeat but this time around the Swiss maestro was a transformed player.

He broke Stepanek in the 13th seed's opening service game when the Czech plopped a poor drop shot into the net.

Federer looked to be comfortably serving out the set despite only hitting 33 per cent of first serves until he was surprisingly broken in the ninth game when he fired a forehand long.

That, however, seemed to focus the 13-time Grand Slam-winner, who romped through the next six games before a brief blip allowed Stepanek his only game of the second set.

Federer finished off the match with two aces and took an impressive four out of seven break-point opportunities.

The 27-year-old, a finalist here in 2003 and 2006, will face either France's eighth seed Gilles Simon or Mischa Zverev of Germany in the next round.

The Swiss is still looking for his first title of the season in his sixth tournament.

Reigning champion Novak Djokovic needed just over an hour to thrash 13th seed Tommy Robredo.

The word number three was in scintillating form, breaking his opponent six times in a totally one-sided contest that bodes well for the Serbian's chances of retaining his title.

The only blip for Djokovic came in the fourth game of the second set when he dropped serve, but otherwise it was plain sailing.

Robredo could no nothing as he won only 34 per cent of his own service points, actually doing marginally better against his opponent's serve.

Having had a day off following a comfortable second round victory over Spain's Albert Montanes, Djokovic looked fresh and sprightly as dark clouds threatened to bring play to a stop at the Foro Italico.

Earlier Argentine qualifier Juan Monaco continued his surprise progress as he knocked out a second seed in as many days.

Monaco served brilliantly to defeat 15th seeded Croatian Marin Cilic 6-4 6-4 and become the first player into the quarter-finals, where he will play Chile's Fernando Gonzalez, the 12th seed who came back from a set down in his third round clash against Austrian Juergen Melzer before winning 3-6 6-3 7-5.

On Wednesday Monaco had stunned world number four Andy Murray of Britain 1-6 6-3 7-5.

It was the world number 58's incredible serve which made the difference against Cilic as he hit a remarkable 80 per cent first serve percentage, while winning 82 per cent of points on his first serve and 80 per cent on his second.

Although he didn't manage a single ace, he didn't give up even one break point while constantly harassing the Cilic serve.

The Croat saved eight of the 10 break points he faced but a single success in each set for Monaco sent him into the last eight.

Gonzalez, the runner-up in Rome in 2006, needed almost two hours to over come Melzer but a break in the 11th game of the deciding set proved the difference.
AFP

===========

GO NOVAK!! GO RAFA!! let's have a FINALS

P.S. tennis players sometimes SPIT on the floor....

Novak is the only one I noticed that actually takes a second to "erase" it in the dirt. hehe.

he has good manners...hehe

Graf_sampras said...

Katri -- i remember that wimbledon thing with soderling. remember how HE and BERDYCH and Ljubicic were "ganging up" with dissing rafa that time as rafa was clearly emerging the ONE player out of ALL of them that stood up to the person EACH OF THEM CALLED:

"my friend roger?"

that's why i always called these GROUPIES of Roger...the Roger Guardian Angels and Musketeers and Honor Guard...lol.




lol.

Graf_sampras said...

i seldom pay dirt to players' looks , for its own sake, i mean...but this soderling is one big UGLY guy! lol. ugly as ugly does....

mcenroe had ugly behavior one might say..but at least HE had TALENT oozing out of him and legendary records!

unlike this .............why did thy call him robin...was his a tiny baby? ........

Graf_sampras said...

QUESTION OF THE DAY:

Has Stan Forgiven Roger?

Graf_sampras said...

THE GASQUET VERDASCO match of "hotties" should be HOT!!

sG said...

So Fed beat up on Step -- so much for my 'feeling'. LOL Revenge for him, I guess. While I'm sure Stepanek was affected by his two games in one day yesterday, I don't want to take credit from Roger. 4 and 1 is good ownage.

Katri said...

Yes, the Berdych incident, too!! Had forgotten about that, well... I'm glad Nadal made it to number one!
Tonights Nadal Söderling 6-1 6-0, a satisfying match to watch as a Nadal fan. Söderling played well in the first set but Nadal was just too good!!
In the second set Söderling made himself unpopular with the crowd by quarreling with the chair umpire on a decision. The crowd wasn't cheering so much for him at the end of the match as they usually do to get an extension. I'm sure Nadal didn't mind serving him a bagel to take back to sweden...

Djokovic and Federer also playing well, so this tournament is getting more and more interesting.

tangerine said...

6-1 6-0, mmm mmm, that's gotta be the most satisfying, humiliating beatdown Rafa has laid on a player in a long while. Think there's some bad blood there? *insert evil grin* Vamos Rafa!

Roger got a nice gift today when Simon went down to Zverev today. Roger's looking much better than he did at Monte Carlo. Perhaps we'll get yet another Fedal final? And what of Rome's defending champion, Nole?

Graf_Sampras: "QUESTION OF THE DAY: Has Stan Forgiven Roger?"LOL, maybe. I'll guess we'll see when they play again.

oddman said...

HAH! Dear Soderling - here's a tip:

Do.Not.Piss.Off.Rafa Nadal. Ever.

Graf_sampras said...

Lol, Oddman...

indeed, Soderling should have been more careful years ago ...rafa must have been feeling "generous" by even giving him a SINGLE GAME today!!

Tangerine...Wawrinka was distracted today....

a case of lingering heartbreak........lol.

Graf_sampras said...

but roger did himself a favor today by making a good win over stepanek.

the gasquet/verdasco was pretty close too and some good playing from both players.