- 'But if you need a reminder of who he is, just look at his career stats and grand slams that he won'- "Rafael is still among the best players in the world. We should not rule out Rafa Nadal. There is no player like Nadal," Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts during his quarter-final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at the French Open on Wednesday. Vincent Kessler/Reuters Rafael Nadal's brutal French Open defeat at the hands of Novak Djokovic on Wednesday provoked the predictable question of whether the Spaniard's career is in terminal decline. - Djokovic gets seventh time lucky against Nadal at Roland Garros - It is not the end, says Nadal after French Open defeat- 'Nadal seemed to be playing with weights on his ankles' Those in the know, however, his fellow players, believe the 29-year-old remains a force to be reckoned with. Great things had been expected of Nadal's quarter-final battle with Djokovic, but in reality the 44th meeting of the two gladiators was an anti-climax as world number … [Read more...] about Is Nadal a spent force? No! say his rivals
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Novak Djokovic eased past Benoit Paire to send Serbia through in Davis Cup. © AFP Novak Djokovic booked Serbia's place in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup on Thursday as he eased past Benoit Paire to send France crashing out. Djokovic beat Paire 6-3, 6-3 in Madrid after Filip Krajinovic won a close encounter 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to give Serbia a 2-0 advantage with only the doubles rubber to play. It means France cannot advance as one of the best two runners-up by virtue of their record on sets, even if they win the doubles. France's early exit is a major surprise given they were the top seeds in the competition, which they have won on 10 previous occasions and were only denied an 11th success by Croatia in last year's final.Serbia will now meet Russia on Friday and were joined in the last eight by Germany, who secured the one rubber they needed against Chile as Philipp Kohlschreiber defeated Nicolas Jarry 6-4, 6-3 in the singles.Germany await the winner … [Read more...] about Davis Cup: Novak Djokovic Sends Serbia Through As France Knocked Out
Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot. Photograph: Dan Istitene/Getty Images Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafa Nadal kicked off his grass court season with a 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-2 defeat of Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart on Thursday.It was a morale-boosting win for the Spaniard who suffered only his second defeat in 72 matches at the French Open last week when he lost in the quarter-final to Novak Djokovic. The 29-year-old top seed, down at 10th in the ATP rankings after a disappointing year, will have been pleased at how he responded in the deciding set having been pegged back by Baghdatis and the two hours 40 minutes he spent honing his grasscourt game will serve him well. Nadal began in rusty fashion, dropping serve early on and Baghdatis had chances to lead 5-2 with a double break but allowed the world number 10 off the hook. A dreadful service game from Baghdatis allowed Nadal back into the first set and Nadal gradually began to find his range, taking the … [Read more...] about Nadal battles past Baghdatis in Stuttgart
Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka poses near the Eiffel Tower in Paris with his French Open trophy on Monday. Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka has moved up five places to number four in the official ATP world rankings released on Monday.But Spain's Rafael Nadal, beaten in the quarter-finals, has dropped to 10th, his lowest position for 10 years. Wawrinka described his four-set victory in the Paris final over world number one Novak Djokovic as "the match of my life". It enabled the 30-year-old Swiss to shoot up from number nine, while Nadal tumbled the other way after going out at the quarter-final stage to Djokovic in a tournament he has won nine times. Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts during her women's singles match at the French Open. Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters Maria Sharapova dropped two places in the WTA rankings to number four following her fourth-round defeat at Roland Garros, with the Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova replacing … [Read more...] about Wawrinka in top-5, Nadal drops to 10!
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Andy Murray of Britain during their men's semi-final match at the French Open. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters World No 1 Novak Djokovic rediscovered a ruthless streak when it mattered most to stay on course for a career slam with a nail-biting 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1 win over Andy Murray to reach the French Open final on Saturday. The Serb, looking to win the only major missing from his collection, was leading 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 3-3 when play was interrupted by rain and dusk after the British third seed had clawed his way back into contention on Friday.Murray returned to court and carried on where he left off, breaking in the 11th game of the fourth set to send the contest into a decider. Djokovic, however, was up to the task and broke twice to secure a place in the final with an ace. Djokovic, who has a 16-0 record on clay this season, will play Swiss Stan Wawrinka on Sunday in his third Roland Garros final in four years. … [Read more...] about Djokovic downs Murray to reach French Open final