Posts Tagged ‘French Open’


Rafael Nadal has won his 2nd US Open title and his 13th major title. Now he is 3rd on the all-time major winner’s list with only Pete Sampras (14 titles) and Roger Federer (17 titles) ahead of him. With this he also has won his 10th title this year, and his second major of the year, after having won French Open in June. In terms of titles won this year can be regarded as probably his best year, especially since he was coming out of a 7 month injury period and had to miss the Australia Open as well. 

Also, now he inches closer to the no.1 ranking and is in the striking distance. He should definitely achieve the ranking this year unless he is not able to compete in the remaining tournaments this year due to injury or anything. Though he could have achieved the No.1 ranking had Djokovic not made it to the finals of the tournament. But that is something that is not in his hands. And whatever was possible for him to do, he did by defeating Djokovic in the finals.


And like I had written in one of my previous posts, what next should be on the agenda for Nadal?  Equal Martina Navratilova’s record of 9 major titles at a single event or Sampras’s 14 major titles is something to watch out for. Though he can and should achieve both of them in the French Open next year, but in the form he is in I would hope he wins the Australian Open as well early next year and then go onto win the French Open and in the process achieve another record of becoming the only player in the open era and only the third player ever to win every major at least twice. (He now has 1 Australian Open, 8 French Open, 2 Wimbledon, and 2 US Open titles).

In the end I would like to congratulate Nadal for his achievement, and I hope he gives many more such instances for us to be happy of.




Andy Murray won Wimbledon 2013, his second slam title (he won his first major at the US Open last year). With this he ended a 77 year title drought of the British Men’s tennis at the Wimbledon.

And with this title he increases the prominance of the big four of tennis. Over the past three-four years the top four (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray) have been very prominent winning most of the big tournaments (including grand slams, masters 1000, world tour finals; infact Murray was the only one of the top four not to win a slam till September last year, and Del Potro is the only player to win a slam apart from these top four since 2005 French open). They have generally taken the 4 semifinal spots of most of the slam tournaments. However, till last Murray was the only one of the top four to not win a slam title, which changed at the US Open last year. And now this Wimbledon title should offcially shut the mouths of all the people who were doubting whether it is the top four or just the top three.

It is just amazing how these top four have dominated this era of men’s tennis. They have won 33 of the last 34 slam majors between them, a streak since 2005 Frech Open. These 33 slam titles can broken down into Federer winning 13, Nadal 12, Djokovic 6, and Murray 2

Of the last 8 Australia Open titles Djokovic has won 4, Federer 3, and Nadal 1
Of the last 9 French Open titles Nadal has won 8 and Federer 1
Of the last 9 Wimbledon titles Federer has won 5, Nadal 2, and Djokovic and Murray have won 1 each
Of the last 8 US Open titles Federer has won 4, while Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray have won 1 each (with Juan Martin Del Potro being the only other slam winner who won in 2009)

Such has been the situation of the Men’s tennis of almost the last decade. They have won the 37 slam titles between them of which they have won 36 out of the last 40 slams (with Del Potro winning the 2009 US Open, Andy Roddick winning 2003 US Open, Marat Safin won 2005 Australian Open, and Gaston Gaudio won 2004 French Open being the other four slam winners; of which Roddick, Safin, and Gaudio all won the slam before the emergence of Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray as stars on the court).



Rafael Nadal (the king of clay) has won his 8th French Open title, which is a record for men’s tennis of any male player to have won a grand slam 8 times. He has gone past Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, both who have won Wimbledon 7 times each. So, what next for Nadal? Maybe cross Martina Navratilova’s record of 9 Wimbledon titles (that’s a record for maximum titles in a single grand slam, by both men and women). Then there are Sampras’s 14 grand slam titles and Federer’s 17. Well which record will he break first, Navratilova’s or Sampras’s is something to watch out for. Though I hope that he does break all of them, whichever comes first would not matter.

In the end I would like to congratulate Nadal for his achievement, and I hope he goes many more such instances for us to be happy of.


Rafael Nadal Wins Brasil Open!

Posted: February 18, 2013 by Shishir Gupta in Rafael Nadal, Tennis
Tags: , , ,


Well Brasil Open is no Grand Slam, that winning it should be so proudly be written off, especially for Rafael Nadal. But in the past few weeks, there were so many questions asked on his form and the condition of his knee which kept him out of the game for more than 7 months, that I as a huge fan of Nadal understand what even win winning a low profile tournament like Brasil Open probably means to Nadal at this stage. Especially, as the questions only increased when he lost in the finals of the VTR Open. Before this only Federer and Djokovic had managed to defeat Nadal in the finals of a clay court tournament, and the final loss to a player not ranked in the top 40, raised a lot of doubts. And then in this tournament, Brasil Open, he withdrew from the doubles matches. All of this had made people think, whether Nadal was really fit and back to his normal form.

But a win in the finals of the singles leg, defeating Nalbandian in straight sets must have come for a great relief for a lot of people, and with Nadal has probably announced that he is back. Though it is possible that his knee may still be hurting, but as a fan I am glad to see him back and winning tournaments, and making us believe that he has a big chance to win his 8th French Open (or to say any individual Grand Slam 8 times), a feat that no man one has ever done before.

All I can say is that, I congratulate Rafa for his successful comeback, and I also hope that he would be able to pick up many more trophies in the months to follow.


Rafael Nadal is Back!

Posted: February 5, 2013 by Shishir Gupta in Rafael Nadal, Tennis
Tags: , , ,

Yes, finally Rafael Nadal will be back in action on the court today playing his first ATP match in more than 7 months. The last time he played was when we suffered the shock loss during the second round match in Wimbledon. Since then he missed out on many major tournaments like the Olympics, US Open last year and the Australian Open this year, which saw him drop to ATP ranking number 5 for the first time since 2005.

Though he has tried to keep his expectations from the tournament to be very small, but surely all his fans (including me) would be hoping that he starts on a winning note. Especially, since he has chosen to play on the clay courts to start with. And with a record 8th French Open title in the reckoning I believe these results would be very important. Also, he has chosen to take part in the doubles event as well in most of these tournaments as that would give him a very much needed match practice (a very good move I must say). Though all we can hope is that he plays in the manner we all have seen him play all the past years.

Here are some articles for your reference:

Original article : Rafael Nadal’s knee may bother him for a few weeks

VINA DEL MAR, Chile (AP) — They were giving the tickets away a year ago – and still had a difficult time attracting fans.

It’s a different story this year at the VTR Open, a small ATP clay-court tournament in this resort city on Chile’s Pacific coast. This is where Rafael Nadal has decided to make his comeback after sitting out for more than seven months with an injured left knee.

Nadal had never been to Chile, much less played an event here. Now he’s being treated like a native son with local newspapers digging up his connections to distant family members in the country. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera was one of the first to greet him when he arrived.

Call it the Nadal Effect.

”This country wants success and wants to be seen as successful,” said tournament press officer Rafael Walker. ”For a long time the country was like a little island, isolated from the world by the sea and mountains. So when you get a big star here – like Nadal – he’s treated like a rock star.”

The tournament is sold out starting Tuesday when Nadal opens in doubles with partner Juan Monaco. He gets a bye into the second round of singles and starts Wednesday against little-known Argentine Guido Pella or a qualifier.

”All the sponsors used to hand out tickets to clients, and they weren’t used. They will be used this time,” Walker said. ”The local television stations that used to send out their second-level talent are sending out their top people. You can see them already here posing for photos with Nadal and asking for photographs. You know, acting like kids.”

Tourism officials are hoping Nadal’s appearance boosts local business, which took a hit last month with overcast skies discouraging beachgoers during the South American summer. Visitors from neighboring Argentina have also stayed away, hurt by a devaluation of the local currency that has made travel expensive.

The seven-time French Open champion practiced for almost two hours Sunday on the main stadium court, facing fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar with Nadal’s uncle Toni – also his coach – right behind him fetching balls.

The only hint that Nadal may be less than 100 percent was a white bandage wrapped around his left knee. Otherwise, there was plenty of pop in his high-bouncing forehands. And he showed off the same muscular physique when he changed orange shirts midway through practice.

The 26-year-old Nadal should win this event, and if he doesn’t, speculation will immediately begin about his future. He’s trying to play down his chances, telling reporters Saturday he was hoping for an ”acceptable level” as he starts the first of three clay-court events in Latin America. They’re warm-ups for a run at his 12th Grand Slam title, and an eighth at the French Open.

”This should be like the first week of Roland Garros for him,”’ said Marcelo Caro, a tennis coach who drove 100 miles from the Chilean capital Santiago to watch Nadal practice Sunday. ”In theory, he shouldn’t lose a set because the competition is not at his level – if he doesn’t get injured.”

Another injury would be a crushing blow for the Spaniard, who is ending his longest stretch away from the game.

Several hundred people watched Nadal practice, with Toni Nadal chatting with fans at courtside. At one point Nadal posed for photos with a baby on his lap, and he autographed tennis balls, copies of his book and T-shirts as he navigated the 150 feet from the court to the shelter of the locker room.

”Nadal is like an industry,” Caro said. ”He generates a lot of money.”

Nadal is reported to have received hefty appearance money to play in Chile, though tournament officials have not confirmed it. The venue is not ideal for a comeback. The tournament site – Club Las Salinas – is located within view of the ocean and is traditionally windy and often chilly.

Nadal fills a need in Chile. Its longtime top player, Fernando Gonzalez, retired last year, leaving the country without a star. Paul Capdeville is the country’s highest ranked player at No. 153, and he failed to qualify for the tournament. That leaves only two Chileans in the field – No. 577 Nicolas Massu and Christian Garin, ranked 923rd.

”For the tournament, Nadal being here is unbelievable,” said German player Dustin Brown. ”And it’s great for the players, as long as you don’t have to play Nadal.”

Jaquelina Frez and her daughter, Dalal Chahuan, drove 30 miles from the nearby town of La Calera to watch practice. They will skip the tournament, partly because of high ticket prices.

”I know the prices have gone up from other years,” Frez said.

Her 17-year-old daughter is an accomplished amateur player, and she raced to the court exit after practice to snap a photo.

”He’s a celebrity, and you want to see him if you like tennis, or don’t like tennis,” Dalal said. ”He brings attention to the area and excitement to the fans.” “


Original article : Rafael Nadal turns small tournament into big deal

VINA DEL MAR, Chile (AP) — Rafael Nadal’s ailing left knee may still bother him for a few more weeks, his coach said Monday.

Nadal practiced for 90 minutes with Nicolas Massu of Chile on Monday, his fourth straight day of training since arriving in the country for his first match in more than seven months.

Nadal opens up Tuesday in the VTR Open, playing doubles with Argentina’s Juan Monaco. On Wednesday, he will play singles in the second round against the winner of a first-round match between Argentines Guido Pella and Federico Delbonis.

”The knee is much better, but they’ve told us he will feel some discomfort and lack of mobility until the end of the month,” said Toni Nadal, the seven-time French Open champion’s coach and uncle. ”But it’s definitely getting better.”

Nadal has avoided surgery so far, getting therapy in hopes of speeding the healing. But the slow recovery from the inflamed knee means Nadal has been trying to lower expectations as he uses three Latin American clay-court tournaments to prepare for a run at an eighth French Open title.

Nadal has practiced in Chile wearing a white bandage around his knee.

”The bandage is normal and is part of the treatment,” his coach said.

Nadal will be watched closely in doubles Tuesday, which is meant to give him extra playing time on top of his matches in singles.

His uncle has called the small Chilean tournament ”our first French Open.”

Nadal has the best clay-court record in the Open Era, winning 93 percent of his matches. Many will expect him to sweep through this event as he would in the first week of the French Open, perhaps without dropping a set. Anything less will add to speculation about his future and could add pressure.

”His game is much better than when we got here,” Toni Nadal said. ”It was better yesterday and even better today. We’re looking to the doubles as an added test.” “

In the end all I can do is wish Nadal all the best for the coming ATP tour, and hope he comes back on top on the list.

Over the past one – one and a half year, I guess everyone is fed up of watching a Nadal and Djokovic final. Now this is their 4th consecutive grand slam final. In between they have also played 7 ATP Masters finals. I guess this is some kind of a record for sure. And definitely this is getting bigger than the Nadal-Federer rivalry.

Nadal has lost the past three grand slam finals to Djokovic, and now when Djokovic is on the verge of completing his slam and making history by winning 4 slams in a row, will Nadal be able to stop him? Well being a huge Nada fan I hope he does. In fact Djokovic has had huge trouble in the fourth round and quarter final matches of the tournament, where he was pushed to the limit. On the other hand Nadal is yet to drop a set in the tournament. I believe this is best chance of Nadal defeating a Djokovic in a grand slam final, something that he has not been able to accomplish the last three times, although he did come very close in the Australian Open.

Currently Nadal has beaten Djokovic twice in the ATP Masters tournament recently on Clay, so I believe he should be able to do so again, especially when he on verge of history too by winning the 7th French Open title. No one has ever won 7 French Open titles before, and only Pete Sampras has 7 Wimbledon titles (the only other player to win a grand slam 7 times).

In the meanwhile I really do not know what has happened to Roger Federer. The 16 time grand slam champion is yet to win a title in 9 slams over the past two years. And the way Nadal and Djokovic are playing it looks very difficult for Federer to add slams.

Will it be a Nadal’s 7 or a Djokovic’s slam is yet to seen. So all we can hope is to watch an exciting final on Sunday. I hope that it is a 5 set final, similar to the Australian Open, but hopefully the winner this time will be Nadal.

Rafael Nadal made history by winning the 2012 Monte Carlo Open, and now he has only increased his record at 2012 Barcelona Open. He won his eight consecutive Monte Carlo championships a record in itself. The only person to come close to it Guillermo Villas who won eight Buenos Aires titles in ten years. Nadal now has seven Barcelona Open titles in eight years (though it is 7 out of 7 attempts, as he chose to not participate in 2010), and six French Open titles (he would like to improve on it this year), and has five Rome Masters title. Having won three ATP tournaments more than six times is a record in itself. He has won four tournaments at least five times, which is only bettered by Roger Federer who has won six tournaments at least five times.

What is great is Nadal has won both the tournaments without losing a set. Winning the Monte Carlo Open surely must have been a huge relief for Nadal as that was his first singles title since last years’ French Open and this is also his first win against Novak Djokovic after losing seven consecutive finals to him previously which included three grand slam final losses.

These titles probably justify why everyone calls Nadal “King of Clay”! As a huge Nadal fan all I can Hopeis that this year he will be able to complete the clay slam as he did in 2010, and also probably win the Wimbledon and the Olympics.

Novak Djokovic is as close of the ATP number 1 rank, as he would have ever expected. He has had an unbelievable year so far. He has played 42 matches and has been undefeated. And now he is just one victory away to become the new world number 1 player. But the problem is that it is Roger Federer who stands in that way to number 1.

Djokovic will be playing Federer in the 2011 French Open semifinals. If he wins and enters the finals, he will become world number 1 from 6th June no matter what the result of the tournament is.  It is not very easy to defeat Federer in a grand slam match. Grand Slam takes the best out of Federer, and to defeat him there is not very easy. So, it is really a tough task in hand for Djokovic, but seeing his form over the last 5 months, it does not seem very difficult either. He had defeated Federer in the semifinals of 2011 Australian Open and before that in 2010 US Open, and surely will be a favorite to repeat that feat again this time in 2011 French Open.

But the biggest advantage Djokovic has at the moment is that even if he loses this match he still can claim the number 1 ranking if Nadal fails to win the tournament. And it is not going to be easy for Nadal to defend his title, as he has to face Soderling in quarters, probably Murray in semis, and then either of Federer or Djokovic in the finals.

To be very fair, I believe that Djokovic will claim the number 1 rankings, if not after French Open, then definitely after the Wimbledon. But for sure, it looks like Nadal will lose his number 1 spot very soon, and we will see a new world number. Either of Nadal or Federer has held this rank since February 2004. So it is a nice time to see a change.

However I am not very happy with this change since it is coming at the cost of my favorite player, Nadal, but I have to say that the kind of Tennis Djokovic has played in the past 5 months, he very well deserves this rank. This is possibly the first time ever that I have wished Federer to win a match, and that is really something unimaginable (this does not mean that I don’t like Federer or Djokovic, in fact I do admire them a lot, but I really like Nadal, and don’t like to see him loosing). But all I can hope that Nadal will be able to claim his number 1 rank back very soon.

Rafael Nadal wins the french open. He defeated Robin Soderling in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, 6-4. Finally Nadal is back, he gets a grand slam. It has been more than year that he last time won. In fact it has been the injuries that have been the cause and not the form.

He won his 7th grand slam title and his 5th French Open title. Again what was amazing in the tournament was that he did not lose a set. Something special in the final was that Nadal held his every serve, something that is not his strenght, and when that happens no one needs to guess what will be the outcome of the match. This victory broke many records and myths. First of all, I must say that Soderling played very well in the tournament till the final match, until he had to face the king of clay, Rafael Nadal. Well to his credit one can say that Soderling is the only man on planet to have ever defeated Nadal in French Open.

With this victory Nadal has improved his record to 38-1 victories in French Open (the only loss was to Soderling last year). And with five French titles he is only behind Bjorn Borg who has six. Well Soderling can remember this tournament as he could finally defeat Federer, who for the first time in six years could not make it to the semi-final stage of a grand slam. Also if I remember in the last five six years (as he has always made it to the semi-finals) either Federer has won the title or the person who has defeated him has won, Well this is the first time that Soderling who defeated Federer could not win the tilte. Now Soderling has become the runner up in two consecutive years.

Now coming to the most importatnt fact, Nadal with his victory here will become the world No.1 player when the rankings get updated in a few hours from now. It took him less than a year to get back his no.1 spot. And to add to that since he had missed the Wimbledon last year, the result in Wimbledon this time will not affect his position at all. Also if it does it will only help in increasing the gap between no.1 and no.2 position. As last year although being the defending champion he did not participate because of an injusry, so now if he does play he will only strengthen his position.

To be honest I was just hoping for this result, but I would have been happier if he would have defeated Federer in the finals. But if that would have happened he could not have taken the No.1 position in the rankings, so I am not complaining at all as this has just become a bonus gift for every Nadal fan.

Well this victory has been special because for the first time I think, Nadal was not being considered the all right favourite to win the title. Seeing his form till now got many doubts in everyones mind (in the last year he had even slipped to no.4). But his recent back to back wins on clay court last month did bring in some hope. Well this year no one was being called as the favourite since almost everyones form was questionable. So I guess when it comes to clay it has got to Rafael Nadal (well he only loses once in six years).

In the end I would again like to congratulate Nadal for his victory and also for getting the world no.1 spot again. And I wish him all the best for Wimbledon which starts in the end of the month.

Robin Soderling defeated Roger Federer in the quarter finals of the French Open 2010. 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4. Soderling started scratchy but displayed some great game to get past the World No.1. I am a fan of Federer, but to be honest I like Nadal more, and here is a chance for Rafeal Nadal to pick up his 5th French title.

If I remember this is the first time in some years (last 5-6 years) that Federer has not qualified for a Grand Slam semi-final. For the record if he would have won the match he could have made it to his consecutive 24th Grand Slam semi-final. Also Soderling has proved his critics right, that it was not just a fluke that he defeated Nadal last year. Federer who defeated Soderling in the finals last year, to win his 14th Grand Slam title (equaling the world record), and also completed his overall Grand Slam (winning all four titles at least once), lost to him in the quarters this year.

Something that amazed me in the match was that Federer had entered into the quarter-finals without dropping a set, and suddenly he lost 3 in the same match. His loss gives Nadal the great chance to win the title. Although I would have loved to have seen Nadal defeat Federer in the finals, but it is not a problem even if he wins without defeating Federer. Well anyways I must say that this was completely Soderling’s day. Federer had defeated him 13-14 times in a row, well I must say what a time to take the revenge.

One statistic that scares me the most is that in the past four years, the winner of a grand slam has either been Federer or the player who had defeated Federer in the tournament. Well if this continues Soderling could well win his first Grand Slam tiltle.

In the end I would like to congratulate Soderling for his great victory, and also wish Nadal best of luck for the title.

Ana Ivanovic crashed out of the French Open on Thursday, suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of Alisa Kleybanova. I am very disappointed woith her performance since she had played her last tournament well, and also in the first match she won comfortably. What is even more disappointing is that the champion of this very grand slam 2008 could not make it to the third round also. She lost this game 6-3 6-0, as the second set was almost one sided. She was at least competitive in the first set and in some points showed flashes of her true ability.

She in fact had a good first game winning convincingly, and I was expecting that she will make it to the fourth round at least as she did last year. But her second round exit has really broken my heart. But I now feel that I thisnk I was expecting at too much from her this time, she is really not on the top of her game.

Ivanovic has slipped down the rankings to 42nd in the world over the past 18 months after an awful run of form. When she won in Paris, two years back she had climbed to the world number one spot. With the second roundd exit one can expect her to fall down even further in rankings.

Well with French Open gone, I can only hope that she comes back very strong later this month on the grass court in Wimbledon. Here I have put in some of her pics from the French Open 2010.