Archive for the 'Monte Carlo Tournament' Category
Nole captured his first Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters title on Sunday with a 6-2, 7-6 (1) victory over Rafael Nadal in one hour and 52 minutes to win his eighth different Masters 1000 crown.
Nole won his third title of the season and his 14th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy. The only event he has yet to win is the Western & Southern Open in Cincinatti.
In the first set Nole took advantage by gaining service breaks in the second and fourth games and raced to a 5-0 lead. He missed five break/set points in the sixth game, and then got broken in the next when serving for the set. Djokovic made a third break when Nadal double faulted on Nole’s eighth set point. Nadal made a break in the fifth game of the second set and consolidated it to go 4-2 up. Nole regained his composure, played a superb game, with backhand, forehand and service winners to hold to love and then broke back to level the result. He was broken again in the 11th game, but found strength to fight back once more with Rafa serving for the set. Djokovic saved the best for last, taking the tie-break 7-1 to end Nadal’s reign of 46 straight wins and eight consecutive titles in Monte Carlo, making it third time lucky after finishing runner-up to the Spaniard in 2009 and 2012.
“It’s a great pleasure to be here. It’s a magnificent moment, very, very special, because I live here and have a lot of support,” Novak said at the trophy ceremony. “Rafa, it was a pleasure once again. Thank you for letting me win at least once.” “I cannot wish for a better start of the clay season. I spend a lot of time in Monaco so I know a lot of people, we became friends over many years, and its definitely the most beautiful club in the world. I’m very privileged to be playing in it. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to play this year. Right now it’s the best decision of my life!”
Full match in spanish
After winning his first Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters title, Nole has increased his lead over his rivals in the latest ATP Ranking List. Novak is on top with 12,900 points, and 4,230 points advantage over second-ranked Roger Federer.
ATP top 10 as of Monday, April 22:
1. Novak Djokovic (SRB) 12,900
2. Roger Federer (SUI) 8,670
3. Andy Murray (GBR) 8,660
4. David Ferrer (ESP) 6,970
5. Rafael Nadal (ESP) 5,985
6. Tomas Berdych (CZE) 4,760
7. Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) 4,750
8. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 3,875
9. Richard Gasquet (FRA) 3,365
10. Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) 3,000
Djokovic is on top of the ATP Race to London standings with 4,120 points, ahead of Murray (2,720), Nadal (2,500), Ferrer (2,370) and Berdych (1,640).
Djokovic will next play at the Mutua Madrid Open (5-12 May), where he reached quarter-finals last year. He triumphed at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in 2011.
Source: novakdjokovic.com; gettyimages
Novak Djokovic defeated 6-2, 6-1 Fabio Fognini on Saturday in 51 minutes and will face Rafael Nadal in the final on Sunday at 15hs local time.
Novak won 82 per cent of points behind his first serve and converted four of six break point opportunities, two in each set, to wrap up his 25th victory of the season.
“For me it was important to step on the court and get control of the match,” reflected Novak. “That’s what I did right away. I was aggressive. I knew what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to stay as short as possible on the court to get quick points. I played really, really well. He made a lot of unforced errors, which helped me to win.”
“The way I felt in the first match, if somebody told me I’d be playing the final, I’d be very happy to hear that,” said Djokovic. “I was taking it match by match. After every win, I feel very content and very fulfilled because knowing the circumstances I was in, every win is big.”
“Whenever you play Rafa, you expect the toughest challenge possible on clay,”. “I’m ready for that. I’m very happy that physically, mentally, emotionally I have been improving each day, I feel better on the court, more confident. I will have to be on top of my game. I’ll have to be focused and motivated from the start to the end in order to have any chance of winning against Nadal”. “I need to have a very optimistic mindset in order to get a win. I’m not going out there to play my best; I’m going out there to win. That’s how I’m going to feel tomorrow,” declared Djokovic. “I lost to him twice in the final here in Monte-Carlo. It’s always a big challenge when you play a top player, especially Rafa, who hasn’t lost here in eight years. I think that says enough about his record and qualities.”
Djokovic has as 25-2 record in 2013 and is aiming to win his third title of the year (Australian Open, Dubai). He is also looking to win his 14th Masters trophy.
Source: novakdjokovic.com; atpworldtour.com
Novak Djokovic, rallied from a set down to beat Juan Monaco 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals in two hours.
Monaco made a break in the third game of the opening set and consolidated it for 3-1 lead. Novak fought back in the eighth game to level at 4-all, but was broken once again, and the no.14 seed won it 6-4 after 46 minutes of play.
Nole lifted the level of his game in the second set, showing why he is the best player in the world. He was more aggressive, hitting more winners and making less unforced errors to wrap it up 6-2.
The two-time runner-up sealed the decisive third set 6-2 to improve to a 23-2 record of the season.
“I had a part of the match where I twisted it again, unfortunately,” said Djokovic. “But I managed to overcome that pain.”
“I think that my ankle is in a good state as the days are passing by. Today was a big test, I had a great quality opponent.” “I tried to shorten the points. I served well when I needed to”.
Match statistics: aces (5-0), double faults (3-2), winners (25-10), unforced errors (45-37), total points won (84-71).
For a place in the last four, Novak will meet world no.49 Jarkko Nieminen of Finland who upset fifth-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 4-6, 7-6.
Source: ATPWorldTour.com ; novakdjokovic.com; 10balls.com
This time, the report was written by Sanja, our collaborator with the Serbian translation in our facebook page. I hope all of you enjoy her report just like I did:
In his fourth match on clay in this season, Novak was facing Tomas Berdych, an inconvenient player on every base, as Novak said himself. Two days after death of his grandfather, Novak was looking way better and more eager for playing. It was completely normal to see him devastated because of loss of a loved person, but today he was in a better mood and ready to play.
In the beginning, Novak had more confidence than Berdych. His serve was good, returns as well. First 6 games were rather good for Novak, but even though he succeeded to break Berdych and take 4:2 in his favor, Novak wasn’t very satisfied with his game, plus the wind was blowing very hard, which caused a lot of problems for both players. Having 4:2 against Berdych was valuable, but Novak kind of relaxed in the next game, and let Tomas break him back. His errors continued to string, he was struggling with his forehand that wasn’t working properly. Berdych’s confidence has raised, so as level of his game. Crisis in Novak’s game, potential problems, facing with break points. The Czech used his last chance in that game to break him, 5:4. Roles were switched. In the next game, on Berdych’s serve, Novak played a bit better, and it looked like he is about to make a reversal, knowing that he had a break point. But he didn’t use it. The Czech didn’t wait for another chance to take a set, and as soon as he got the opportunity, he did it. First set, 6:4 for Tomas Berdych.
Between the sets, players were complaining about the quality of clay, and wind was problem, too. Conditions on the court were terrible. The match continued.
In that first game Novak also had some problems, without forehand working properly, and facing break point again. But somehow, he pulled up and took in a bit more aggressive point. He continued with that sort of game, aggressive one, and reached to break point which he used and in the very beginning of that sat, he had 2:0. Now he need to make sure that his break was “safe”. But it wasn’t going as well as we expected. Novak got into the crisis again, facing two new break points, but with two amazing serves, and one ace, he managed deuce, and then game in his favor. One more time Novak showed his strong character and mental strength. The break was safe. Next five games were routinely won by both of them, each on its own service. Sixth as well, which enabled Novak to equalize in sets, and that was a result of his better game during a whole set.
Third set was a completely different story, with Novak deeply concentrated and determined to win this. Since Berdych was the first to serve in third set, Novak bedeviled him and in the end succeeded in his intention of breaking him in the very beginning. He took full control over the match. But problems with wind were worse than ever sabotaging them, especially Tomas, who was in “whirlpool” a couple of times. It was Novak who first adjusted to those difficult conditions, and that was obvious. Soon 2:0 for Nole, Break assured. Then, it was Tomas’ turn to serve. But things didn’t go well for him. But this time, it wasn’t just the wind who disabled him to give his best, main reason was Novak. With his game much more aggressive and good serving, he broke him for the second time in the third set and got the advantage of 3:0. Then Berdych tries with slightly higher resistance, but Novak fought with it and soon it was 4:0. Next game was important for the Czech, because it was his first in the third set. However, with little difficulties in sixth game, Novak managed to win it and it was unattainable 5:1. Nole needed only one game to reach the final. After couple of good services, Tomas won his second game in the set, but real trouble was coming in the next one, where Nole was on serve. He was calm and sure in his game, but then little errors came and caused two break points for Berdych. But Novak fought with it in his recognizable way, mentally strong and persistent. After 2 hours and 42 minutes of incredibly tough game, Novak won and went through the finals.
There, he will face Rafael Nadal, seven-time winner in Monte Carlo. Since Nole for the umpteenth time proved how physically and mentally strong he is, we believe that he can achieve his goal and win this title in the name of his dear grandfather Vladimir. We will see.
Written by Sanja Jaćimović ( @_Sanja_J )
Today, Salma Zak wrote the match report. You can read here what she wrote:
For the fourth time in his career Novak Djokovic reached the Monte Carlo semi finals after defeating Robin Haase in 78 minutes.
On contrary, the match started with Haase breaking Novak serve but Novak catch up the next two games.
The sixth game in the first set was little bit long as they draw 4 times, and despite Novak was ahead of Hass 3 times he lost the game and felt disappointment.
Now the result become 4 – 2, and with the beginning of the seventh game we wondered whether Djokovic’s level decreased or he’ll come back quickly??
But the answer came from Haase as he took three consecutive points and broke Novak’s serve for the second time in the match.
In the eight game Novak returned to his good play but though he lost easy points and Haase won it and now the result is 4 -4.
The serves was for Novak in the ninth game and he started it with two unforced errors and the statics showed that Haase `s winners till now are 4 and his unforced errors were 15, for Novak his winners were 6 and unforced errors were 19!!
But after Novak draw 30 -30 he could come back and focused to win the game after losing 3 games.
The tenth game in the first set Novak used a new racket and it was a hard one for him too as Haase had an advantage to break but Novak won smart points to win the game and the first set.
Novak’s performance was varying on the first set so let’s see what he did in the second one as he started it on serving.
The first set witnessed Novak’s first interaction with the crowds after he won 3 marvelous points then he won a clear game. Then he broke Haase serve in the second game with an over head clever point. The 3rd game he won his serve easily.
He started the fourth game of the second set with a drop shot and he won a clear game despite the serve was for Haase.
Now the result is 4 – 0 in the second set.
Hass came back to win his first game of the set with 4 uninterrupted points.
Djokovic won the sixth game after they draw twice but he broke Haase serve and the Prince Albert II of Monaco cheered for Nole!
Novak was serving the seventh game for the match and despite the result was once 40 – 30 for him, Haase made offensive and sudden plays to win the game and gave the match another time.
Both players made clever plays at the eights game and eventually Djokovic won it from an error from Haase. And the final result is 6-4 6-2.
Djokovic will tomorrow play his semi final with the Czech Tomas Berdych as he beats Andy Murray earlier today.
Good Luck Nole!
Written by: Salma Zak (@salmazak )
Although Djokovic’s 6-4 6-2 victory appeared comfortable enough on paper, the Serb did not have things all his own way against Haase, trading several breaks of serve with the Dutchman.
But his experience ultimately proved decisive as he came through in one hour and 17 minutes, although he admitted after the match that the death of his grandfather earlier in the week was still weighing heavy on his mind.
He said after his match: “Today was a bit better, but still a lot of emotional ups and downs throughout the match. But look, I’m playing tennis. I’m very satisfied that I was able to compose myself and get on the court and try to win matches. I got to the semi-finals, which is big result for me under the circumstances.
“It’s been a tough week, but this is life,” Djokovic said of his bereavement. “His spirit will always be with me.
It’s tough to be able to play tennis after the way I felt and the way I still feel. I remember him as a great man, and I know he’s been supporting me and still from the heavens now.”
“I was very close to him, so it was a big loss for me and all the family. But he’s with me, I know that, in spirit. I’m remembering only the nicest memories, and that’s what gave me strength to play yesterday and today.”
Djokovic is through to the semi-finals for the fourth time; he went onto reach the final in 2009, finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal. Djokovic will take an 8-1 career lead into Saturday’s semi-final clash with Tomas Berdych, who earlier defeated Andy Murray.
Looking ahead to the Berdych match, Djokovic said, “He’s a threat to anybody on any surface. Big groundstrokes, powerful serve. He knows what it feels like to play on the big stage. He had a great match against Andy today. Hit incredible shots from baseline. It’s a big challenge for me to see if I’m able to keep the focus throughout the whole match because this is the only way I can actually get a win against Tomas. We’ll see if that’s going to happen. I’ll give my best.”
Press Conference Audio
Today, Paul Brumbaugh wrote about this match; the one which was very difficult for us to watch because Nole was obviously sad. Here is what he wrote:
Going into his second clay court match of the season, Novak’s mind was on much more than just tennis. Earlier in the day while training in preparation for the match against Dolgopolov, he received the sad news of his grandfather, and hero’s passing. You could see the sadness along with passion burning in his eyes as the match was getting ready to begin.
Wiping away tears as he walks up to serve, Nole begins the match with a convincing hold. Then came a few uncharacteristic errors in the third game that lead to an early break for Dolgo.
Novak started to go-for-broke after that. You could tell that his mind was wandering as he was hitting either a winner or an error (more often so) on just about every point. The unforced errors lead to another break of serve for the Ukrainian. Dolgopolov stuck to the more consistent game plan as he took the first set 6-2. Novak was unable to convert on either of 2 break points, and hit a number of unforced errors early on in the rallies.
The pattern began to change as Novak earned a break and an early 3-0 lead to start the second set. He seemed to be getting into his groove by being more patient in the rallies and going for winners on more appropriate opportunities. He was able to earn another break of serve in the sixth game and serve out the second set at 6-1. He converted on 2 of 5 break points while saving 3 break points.
Then came a rain delay at 1-1, 15-0 on Dolgopolov’s serve.
Once play resumed, Dolgopolov began to try to shorten the points with aggression and some tricky drop shots and slices. This seemed to trouble Nole a bit, but he was able to keep his composure on all service games. Both players were holding serve rather easily until the ninth game of the set. Novak came back from 0-30 to break and lead 5-4. After a rather routine hold, the emotions followed. After shaking hands, he looked to the heavens before tears began to flow.
The stats can’t really describe this match because Novak was clearly not himself today. He played somewhat impatient and went for winners that were rather uncharacteristic, but overall, he played a very solid match. His first serve was clicking all match and his forehand was big when he needed it to be.
We all know this win was for his grandfather.
He will play Robin Haase in the quarterfinals. He is 2-0 against him, with their last meeting coming in Basel in 2010, in which Nole won 6-2, 6-3.
Written by: Paul Brumbaugh (@PaulBrumbaugh )
The Serbian walked onto court shortly after learning that his grandfather had passed away earlier in the day, but overcame the emotional turmoil to defeat the No. 21-ranked Dolgopolov in one hour and 39 minutes. After play had been suspended at 1-1 in the third set due to rain, Djokovic broke serve at 4-4 before serving out the victory.
The 24-year-old Djokovic reached the final at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournament in 2009 (l. to Nadal) and improved to a 13-5 event record. This week he is bidding to win his third tour-level title of the season, adding to triumphs at the Australian Open (d. Nadal) and the Sony Ericsson Open (d. Murray) in Miami.
For a place in the semi-finals, Djokovic will face Dutchman Robin Haase, who ousted David Ferrer’s conqueror, Thomaz Bellucci, 6-2, 6-3. The No. 55-ranked Haase saved nine of the 11 break points he faced to clinch victory in one hour and 34 minutes.
The 25-year-old Haase is through to his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final and improved to a 9-7 record on the season. He will attempt to overturn a 0-2 record against Djokovic when they meet on Friday.
Source: Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Official Page
Like always, a lot of fans cannot watch Nole matches, and 3 minutes of highlights aren’t enough to reflect how the match went. Because of these, we wanted to make this section filled with Nole match reports. So this is the first time that we are doing this, we hope you like it.
Big thanks to Anna for being the first fan to write. Here is what she wrote:
Today, Novak played his first match on clay since that fateful match at Roland Garros 2011. While nowhere near the level we got used to seeing during the 2011 season, this match had quite a few positives.
First of all, Novak looked much more prepared for the tournament than what we saw in the beginning of the tournaments in Dubai and Indian Wells. He hit more errors than he’d have liked (W/UE 17/26), especially on his backhand side, but his serve worked very well for him today (68% 1st serves in, 77% 1st serves won, 5 aces, 1 DF).
Novak started the match by going 4-0 up in 19 minutes, holding easily in his first two service games and playing well to break Seppi twice. However, this was followed by a long and error-filled 10-minute game. Saving three break points on the way, Novak eventually held, and got to a set point on Seppi’s serve in the next game. He couldn’t capitalize, but served the set out easily himself, 6-1.
Contrary to what we got used to in Indian Wells, the next set didn’t get to a tiebreak. Seppi started out better, holding in the first game of the set, but got broken to love in the 3rd game, to give Novak a break advantage which he kept till the end, winning the set 6-4.
Overall, the match was somewhat boring, with most of the points ending in errors, and not a lot of particularly interesting rallies. Seppi was pretty good at the net (winning 12/13 points there), showing some great volleys, and there were a couple of times in the first set where both players used the dropshot repeatedly, resulting in entertaining points (all of which Novak lost). During one of those points, Novak got wrong footed, slipped and fell, but fortunately, no harm was done.
To sum it up, there’s still a lot to work on – break point conversion, for example (3/9), or his usually steadier backhand. On the positive side, whenever Novak played aggressively, he almost always won the point (this was particularly happening on the crucial points). Also, as mentioned before, his serve was very satisfactory, giving him a lot of free points.
Novak’s next match will be against Alexandr Dolgopolov, who beat Bernard Tomic 6-2 5-7 6-1 today. Novak won the only meeting between the two, in the 4th round of the 2011 US Open, which featured a 16-14 tiebreak in the first set.
Novak Djokovic made a strong start in his bid to dethrone Rafael Nadal at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, defeating Italy’s Andreas Seppi 6-1, 6-4 in his opening second-round match on Wednesday.
For a place in the quarter-finals, Djokovic will face No. 16 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov, who overcame Australia’s Bernard Tomic 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.
Looking ahead to the clash with Djokovic, Dolgopolov said, “I know I can compete with him. Then you just go in the match, try to show your best tennis. He’s been dominating for the second year now. For sure you need to do your best. I mean, he’s No. 1, I’m No. 21. Obviously he’s higher in the rankings. He’s playing more consistent. But I think I have my chances and I’ll try my best.”
Novak said: “I haven’t played a match on a clay court since Roland Garros last year, so I’m happy with how I played. (…) expect the unexpected with Dolgopolov.”
“He’s a very talented player, comes up with some shots that are not really typical for a tennis player,”. “He comes up with some drop shots, changes the pace very much. That’s why he’s very dangerous on clay.”
Dolgopolov said: “After that, I think I can compete with him,”. “I mean, he’s No. 1, I’m No. 21. Obviously, he’s higher in the ranking. He’s playing more consistent. But I think I have my chances.”