Sorry, been working a ton, so it’s tough to keep updating the blog.
Indian Wells is underway, obviously. We will talk about the tennis, but first, here is what a few sources of prognostication said about Nadal at IW (BTW: if you’re wondering about the point of addressing Nadal’s tennis and legacy, hear this: what’s more interesting, Djokovic’s incredible height and domination of the ATP, or the gargantuan fall of a tennis “great” at 28 years of age? Everyone is talking about Djokovic. No one is asking the important questions with regards to Nadal. Why is he such crap? Explain your case. Toni, you explain it, and let’s get beyond “I’m nervous on the court, my breathing, my blah blah blah. . . ” Someone – not a lot of Spanish readers on Matt’s Blog – but someone, explain why this guy is so bad for the past year and a half. This is proof enough of the fraud that is Rafael Nadal. I’m over it. Time to settle-up. Federer full of class at 34, Djokovic playing out of this world tennis, Andy being Andy, Stan, Del Potro. . . all of these men have stories that can be followed, explained, understood. Not a lot of mystery. Nadal is the man of mystery):
According to Tennis-X.com
“Rafael Nadal Quarter
After a rough start to the year, the last thing Nadal needed was a tough section at Indian Wells. But that’s how the draw came out. Nadal, who hasn’t even beaten a Top 50 player this year, will have recent Rotterdam champion Martin Klizan in the third, then Grigor Dimitrov/Alex Zverev or Gilles Simon the fourth – I like Simon there, and in the quarters he could face Kei Nishikori or perhaps John Isner or Benoit Paire. It’s a tough section and as much as I’d like to see Nadal do well, I need to see him win some tough match over some quality opponents, so for now I like Nishikori over Simon.
The pick: Kei Nishikori”
According to Tennis.com
Let the Rafa rumination begin again: Has a player ever inspired as much head-scratching and handwringing as Rafael Nadal has over the last year? It’s true, though, that he could use a win, or three. He has traditionally done well on the slow courts at Indian Wells, and he counts the event as one of his favorites. But an early loss this year wouldn’t be a shock, and that’s precisely the problem. Nadal will start against either Gilles Muller or Victor Estrella Burgos, and then could face Martin Klizan or Fernando Verdasco, two lefties who have beaten him before.
Nadal’s path won’t get easier after that: Kei Nishikori, John Isner, Grigor Dimitrov and Gilles Simon are all in this section. Nishikori will try again to break his strange, career-long run of mediocrity at Masters events: The world No. 6 has only reached one final at that level. Unfortunately, he’s been even more mediocre at Indian Wells, where his record is 4-7. A player who has had more success there is Isner; he beat Djokovic on his way to the final in 2012, and reached the semis in 2014.
According to Tennischannel.com
Aussie first round exit at the hands of compatriot Fernando Verdasco, followed by frustrating South American clay swing. Granted, his loss in the semis of Buenos Aires came in a third-set tiebreaker loss to the soaring Thiem. But a week later in Rio, Nadal dropped another three-setter, this time to Pablo Cuevas. Additional red flag: Thiem and Cuevas both have one-handed backhands, a shot Nadal used to eat for breakfast on clay. As Nadal points towards Paris, let’s hope at Indian Wells he can show much of the magic that’s helped him win the title there three times.”
That’s what you get these days for #5 in the world. Wow. What treasure trove of class, or greatness.
You know I’m really surprised (took the words right out of my mouth). Get the fuck out of here with this guy Fraudal (that’s it, new nickname, get used it).
Here’s my favorite from French Minister for Health and Sport Roselyne Bachelot from the LA Times.
“We know that Nadal’s famous seven-month injury was without a doubt due to a positive [drug test],” Bachelot said on French TV of Nadal’s hiatus from the sport in 2012. “When you see a tennis player who stops playing for long months, it is because he has tested positive and because they are covering it up. It is not something that always happens, but yes it happens more than you think.”
Look, I say his form now is enough of an indictment. Folks, one isn’t unbeatable in 2013 and then a year or so later he’s crap, either. He has had this kind of inconsistent tennis his entire career, something Bachelot is referring to in that quote.
Fraudal’s stern position against Sharapova is yet another red flag. His remarks about how the sport needs to be clean, she should pay for her negligence, etc., is bullshit.
You know what they call that? Professionals call that reaction formation. You don’t have to be a professional to read the bullshit in Nadal and his fucked-up camp. Toni (and Spanish interests) are going to sue Bachelot? Go ahead, you big dummy. Your tennis is crap and your nephew has cast a dark and smelly mark on one of the great eras of tennis.
As for IW, I didn’t think there was much to say about the draw. I am quite interested in the young American players, for obvious reasons. Other than some great tennis to be had in the desert, Djokovic should win the tournament.
Some other points of interest include watching Del Potro’s progress. He had, naturally, a tough draw and lost in 2R today to Berdych. Good to see Berdych actually represent. Del Potro is happy to even be playing at this point and we know he’s already had a nice bit of tennis this season. Progress, Gentle Giant, progress.
As you probably know (if you care) another 18 year-old, American Frances Tiafoe beat Taylor Fritz in 1R. They know each other quite well, and I understand Fritz has had a lot of trouble with the 6’2″ Tiafoe in Juniors, so this advantage continues.
I’m very disappointed on one hand and optimistic on the other. This is yet another solid American prospect (teenager) who just broke Goffin back to make it 4-4 in the third set, on serve! Go, Tiafoe!
But I wanted to see the southern Californian, Fritz, make a run here. He needs some success at this 1000 level.
If Tiafoe beats Goffin, we’re in business (Goffin serving 4-5 to stay in the match).
Deep field for sure. Kyrgios is out. Tomic to face Raonic next. A lot of good tennis over the next few days to come, for sure. I will try to post early next week with some thoughts.
Lastly, interesting doubles action seeing Raonic and Isner team-up. Ha!
Verdasco/Nadal lost to the Bryans today in 3 sets. Ho hum.