I wanted to make a post yesterday but I had a heavy cold. The big news yesterday was that Djokovic’s grand father died and he left the practice courts in tears when he got the news. I was worried that Nadal would get his usual luck of the draw and that Djokovic would withdraw. But Djokovic can be depended on when it comes to Nadal. He went out to play his third round match against Dolgopolov who is a very tricky opponent. Djokovic was out of sorts in the first set, clearly with his thoughts still on the loss of his grand father. He looked frustrated and angry as he pounded the ball from the base line, making several unforced errors in the process. After losing the first set 6-2 I thought Nadal was going to get lucky after all, but Djokovic soon steadied himself, winning the second set 6-1.
The third set was very competitive until Djokovic got the break to take a 5-4 lead and then served it out. Djokovic was clearly very happy with this win, and he left the court in tears. It was nice to see that he stuck it out there and won despite his thoughts not being there. I liked it because it showed professionalism and passion. People may not like Djokovic but he must be respected for his dedication. I like and respect any player who can be counted on when the chips are down. As a fan this is the most important criteria for me. You want to know that your player will give it his all and not fade away under pressure or withdraw for no reason. This is why I could never understand why people would be fans of someone like Verdasco for instance.]
Being a Fedfan is great because Roger has never withdrawn mid match and have only withdrawn twice in his entire career. In 2010 and 2011 he tended to fade away after being in control of some matches, but that seems to be sorted out now. Nadal was also in action yesterday and won 6-1, 6-1 against Kukushkin. There is no sign of any knee problems and he looks as good as ever. Expected. Today is quarter final day and as I am writing Murray is in action against Berdych, with Berdych being a break up in the third. It will be interesting to see if Murray can still pull this one out. Murray pushed Djokovic al the way in Rome last year so I’d prefer he makes the semis. Djokovic will play Haase and I see only one result there.
After Djokovic got past Dolgopolov I think he is now looking strong for the title. Nadal is playing Wawrinka which I don’t see being a problem for him. But then again the only person I see being a problem for him on clay is Djokovic. The last quarter final match is between the two Frenchmen Tsonga and Simon, and the winner will play Nadal. It pretty much looks like a Djokodal final then after Djokovic came through his personal demons yesterday. I must say Monte Carlo haven’t been awfully interesting to me. I have hardly watched. Clay courts are my least favorite surface to watch tennis on and the fact that Roger is absent make it even less interesting. Murray just lost. I’m now only looking forward to the Djokodal final.