Nadal vs Fognini in Beijing: It’s On

I can only speak for myself, but Beijing couldn’t have turned out better so far. Djokovic is playing some incredible tennis and we will have Fogdal 9.0 which promises to be another cracker. Today Nadal defeated Sock 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. Pretty close match as expected but Sock couldn’t take advantage of winning the first set. As for Fognini, he defeated Cuevas by almost exactly the same score he defeated Goffin by, 6-1, 2-6, 6-2.

It’s clear that The Fog means business and will be hard to stop for Nadal. Nadal badly needs to win for his confidence, but Fognini has been a serious problem for him of late. Coming from two sets to love down to defeat Nadal at the US Open must have given Fognini a lot of confidence that he will defeat Nadal again in Beijing. Personally, I am torn. I want Nadal to win so he can play Djokovic who looks very likely to make the final.

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I am pretty sure Djokovic would destroy Nadal if they met in the final and improve his head-to-head with Nadal some more, but at the same time I want Fognini to defeat Nadal for the fourth time this year. That would be just delicious so I guess I win either way. Today Djokovic continued his fine form as he brutalized Isner 6-2, 6-2. Isner made 78% first serves and yet Djokovic broke him four times.

Pretty scary stuff. Djokovic’s level in 2011 was something scary, but I actually believe he is now a better player. He is certainly a more balanced and consistent player. He improved his attacking game under Becker so that he expends less energy which means he is not burned out at this point in the season like he was in 2011. In fact, it looks like he is playing at his absolute peak. Beating Isner 2 and 2, are you kidding me?!

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Dat backhand

Some of the returns he hit against Isner was just ridiculous. Especially one backhand return winner off another Isner bomb that left Isner stunned. He just makes tennis look incredibly easy. He has a game that is so complete now that it can only be defeated on the rarest of occasions. It’s pretty much unbeatable. Just no holes to exploit and he puts you under constant and unbelievable pressure.

He now plays Ferrer who easily defeated Lu 6-3, 6-1. Ferrer is an incredibly solid and tenacious player and yet if Djokovic keeps his current form up he will just brush him aside. So I expect the Fogdal match to be the most interesting one in terms of the scoreline but it wouldn’t surprise me much if Fognini brushes aside Nadal either. He is talented enough to do it with the current form of Nadal.

  • Highlights

The is in your court.

Posted in ATP 500, Beijing.

15 Comments

  1. Hi Ruan!

    Been following your blog for a while now…great stuff! I am a nole fan…bur actually started following the blog when your main focus was on federer…but compared to other blogs devoted to federer, your writing was still relevant and interesting.

    Anyhow…keep the posts coming!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Bottle, welcome to my blog. It’s nice to see Nole fans here but especially nice that you could even appreciate my blog when my main focus was still on Federer. That is proof right there that this was never really a fan blog to begin with. Thanks for the follow!

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  2. Regarding the rest of the year….ofcourse I want nole to win everything….but is there a backside? Will he lose steam where it mattets most (wtf, AO) I didnt mind at all the final losses in montreal and cincy since as you wrote in a post…unlikely to win those masters and the usopen.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Right, Bottle the more you win the more your likelihood of losing increases. But I don’t think that’s an issue. Djokovic is so dominant that he can probably win Beijing, Shanghai, Paris, and London. But he doesn’t have to. He can lose at Shanghai or Paris to save some energy. I wouldn’t worry at all about the AO. He will get enough of a break in the offseason to come back completely fresh for that one.

    When you are as confident as him you don’t think about losing. You just keep playing and winning and if you lose once you just start winning again. The North-American HC stretch in September has never been his favorite so it’s not all that surprising he lost in Montreal and Cincy. But he loves this final stretch and I can see him being very dominant again.

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  3. Cannot agree more Ru-an. You penned it perfectly: Scary. I was exactly thinking the same way when he made that ridiculous backhand return of that bomb serve. In this form, I cannot see anybody beating him in Beijing. But I also partially agree with the last comment by Bottle (I like the name, though highly unlikely it is a real name) that “Is Nole pushing too hard in a 500 event?” 28-29 is the threshold age for tennis players and you never know when the body is going to give in. He needs to be selective about when to go full throttle and when to play average (by his ridiculously high standard these days).

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey, Jiten. Still no idea why your comment got held for moderation. Sorry about that. Nole isn’t pushing too hard in a 500 event and 28-29 is not a threshold age for tennis players as Federer is showing. He can play this level throughout the indoor season and come back 100% fresh next year.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Perhaps you set up the wrong button for me as I am still a Federer fan! ~x( Anyway, no problem. By threshold, I mean in terms of how your body holds up. After that age, sometimes your body cannot consistently do what it used to do effortlessly during your peak health condition. Your body is likely to pick up some niggles here and there and they become more frequent over time. I don’t think Federer is anywhere near his peak years of 2004-2006 right now. By the way, you exactly got what you wished for: Dull in the final and Djoker waiting to slaughter him. In Japan, an injured Paire is playing unbelievable tennis in the third set against Nishikori. Are you following that too?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Your email or IP is not set to be held for moderation so I don’t know why it’s happening and, therefore, can’t do anything about it. I’m sorry. As probably my most loyal reader over the years except for John who’s been lurking in the background since the very beginning(Hey John! :-h :-bd ) you are the last person I want this to happen to.

    And yes I know what you meant about Djokovic. I don’t think it applies to him given how flexible and health-conscious he is. I think Federer is playing better recently than in his peak. The competition just improved that much and Djokovic is just that good. He still destroyed everyone but Djokovic since the Wimby semis even more so than in his peak, like I illustrated in a recent post.

    And yes I am happy Nadal made the final. Djokovic still has to play Ferrer and great win for Paire. I didn’t watch but I am never surprised when Nishikori loses anymore.

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  4. At the moment Djokovic looks unchallenged, head and shoulders above the rest. To me it looks like he decided to go as far as he can. One thing that he seems to do extremely well is man selection and man management. Difficult to imagine better team than the one he got. The fact that he was able to involve Becker without falling apart with Vajda is great testament to his diplomatic skills. His team seems genuine behind him and, from outside, it looks like more than business relationship. If he was able to be No3 with all handicaps he had (I remember him playing in 2009 without being able to serve and yet he was No3; he had much less money than now, no connections and support) it is scary what he can do when he got all money in the world, political influence and top team surrounding him. He seems pumped up to take full advantage of his current position and do as much damage as he can (and that could be a lot).

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right, George. The other thing that has been big for him is being married and having a kid. He just seems that much more comfortable in his own skin and he is a more balanced person. In 2011, he played at a ridiculous level but he still showed signs of immaturity and I couldn’t quite warm to him yet as a person.

    These days he is showing great poise and grace and I genuinely like him as a person. He is actually a very humble and classy guy which are the areas in which Federer disappointed me of late. Anyway, like you say he has a great team behind him and he manages people well. I think he is now in the situation where he can keep his current level up for a long time which is kinda scary given how much he can achieve.

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  5. Hard to believe folks here literally worshipped Federer! Defected to Nole now did we? Well well. Enjoy tomorrow then.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks I will.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    No offence! I am still a Federer fan. But life has to go on. If you follow this blog as a neutral student of the sport of tennis, there is a lot to learn. :-bd

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You are the man Jiten! And btw I am working on getting your comment issue solved :-)

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    :-bd :-bd

    [Reply]

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