Indian Wells – quarterfinals

4th quarterfinal:

(7)Juan Martin del Potro d. (3)Andy Murray    6-7(5), 6-3, 6-1    [2:32 h]

It was their first meeting since November 2009! It’s a very good match-up so I’d like to see more of their matches in the near future… After a sluggish start in the opening game, Murray escaped from a double break point and there was no other break point in the 1st set. In the tie-delpotro_iw13break, the Scot led 5:2 on serve, but dropped two points. An amazing rally occurred then, consisted of 43 strokes (whilst the second longest ’23’), Del Potro was in defense almost throughout, played many backhand slices and finally made an error. He kept his composure despite losing a tight set which lasted an hour, and broke Murray to ‘love’ immediately at the beginning of the 2nd set, winning at the net with a stretch-volley one of the most entertaining rallies of the match that gave him a triple break point. Murray finally had his first break point leading 1:0 in the deciding set – Del Potro fought it off with an overhead. The Argentine from *0:1 won six games in a row, but in five of them Murray was a point or two points away from winning those games, so the 3rd set was more equal than the scoreline would suggest. Murray analyzed: “I thought I hit the ball decently throughout the match, but I played better when I needed to in the first set; then obviously hadn’t managed to break him in the match. I had some chances in the second set, didn’t manage to get them. I could’ve served better and returned better. Two pretty important parts of the game.

Match stats (total points: 99-84):
Del Potro: 16 service, 3 aces, 7 FH, 2 BH, 3 volleys, 6 overheads, 1 dropshot
Murray: 16 service, 8 aces, 9 FH, 6 BH, 6 volleys, 3 overheads, 1 dropshot
Del Potro: 1 double fault, 20 FH, 12 BH
Murray: 8 double faults, 25 FH, 26 BH, 3 volleys
Break point conversion & Challenges:
Del Potro: 4/11 (6 games), 2/7
Murray: 0/2 (2 games), 0/1

3rd quarterfinal:

(1)Novak Djokovic d. (8)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga    6-3, 6-1    [0:54 h]

djokovic_iw13The Frenchman had no answers to Djokovic’s brilliant performance. The Serb was better even in departments usually reserved for Tsonga: the serve and the net-game. It’s Djokovic’s eighth consecutive win over Tsonga and he collects these victories easier and easier (10 straight sets since their thriller in Paris last year). He has won his last 22 matches and in this kind of form it’s tough to imagine that a player outside the big four would defeat him in the next few months. Tsonga said: “I’m disappointed about my feelings today and the whole match. I made a lot of mistakes. It was tough for me to keep the ball in the court. Not because he put me under a lot of pressure. I don’t know how to explain that, but it was a day for me without sensation. Everything I tried to do, I missed it.” Even though Tsonga loses regularly to the Top 4 guys in the last two years, he is still a leader in terms of percentage comparing “Little-Big 4” vs. Big 4

Match stats (total points: 58-30):
Djokovic: 10 service, 8 aces, 5 FH, 4 BH, 4 volleys
Tsonga: 12 service, 2 aces, 2 FH, 0 BH, 1 volleys, 2 overheads
Djokovic: 0 double faults, 5 FH, 6 BH
Tsonga: 4 double faults, 12 FH, 5 BH, 5 volleys, 1 overhead
Break point conversion & Challenges:
Djokovic: 4/9 (6 games), 1/1
Tsonga: –

2nd quarterfinal:

(5)Rafael Nadal d. (2)Roger Federer    6-4, 6-2    [1:24 h]

federer_nadal_iw1329th mutual meeting of two titans of the game, the earliest one since the inception of their great rivalry in Miami 2004. Every time they are gathered on court together, tennis fans around the world are excited and expectations are high. So this time they were disappointed because Nadal’s superiority was visible from start to finish. The Spaniard just like Berdych a couple of hours earlier, didn’t need to play anything extra, he was just collecting points from the baseline (they didn’t play even a single volley during their victories on Thursday!). Federer was slow and erratic, he didn’t run a few times towards his right side to balls he normally reaches with his “squash shot”. Nadal lost his serve once but it occurred when the match was virtually over at 3:0 for him in the 2nd set with a two-break advantage. Federer said: “The longer the match went on, I realized I had to change up my game. I played differently than I was hoping to be able to. Obviously, he got more comfortable as the match went on, as well. Things became difficult. Obviously once I was down a set I knew it was going to be difficult.”

Match stats (total points: 73-54):
Nadal: 14 service, 1 aces, 9 FH, 9 BH, 1 overhead
Federer: 13 service, 4 aces, 5 FH, 1 BH, 2 volleys
Nadal: 2 double faults, 8 FH, 18 BH
Federer: 0 double faults, 16 FH, 20 BH, 2 volleys
Break point conversion & Challenges:
Nadal: 4/11 (6 games), 0/2
Federer: 1/2 (1 game)

1st quarterfinal:

(6)Tomas Berdych d. Kevin Anderson    6-4, 6-4    [1:30 h]

berdych_iw13High frequency of meetings between these two. They hadn’t met prior to 2012, and now have played six matches against each other, all won by Berdych (five on hardcours). Their quarterfinal at BNP Paribas Open was monotonous and boring. Berdych, focused on service games, stuck to the baseline, awaiting Anderson’s errors. The South African tried to dictate the pace, he was producing more winners, but generally looked a bit intimidated as the only unseeded quarter-finalist among the elite players of this sport, and failed when it mattered the most – in the 10th games of both sets: committed two double faults trying to stay in the 1st set, and saw helplessly two consecutive forehand return winners of Berdych, trying to stay in the match. The Czech secures his semifinal spot without dropping a set, no-one even played a tie-break against him in four matches. It’s his best result at Indian Wells, the previous best: quarterfinal three years ago. “I feel quite well on court, and especially I would say physically, because I already play quite a lot in the past couple of weeks,” said Berdych. “So that’s the important sign for me, that I can be fit for the guys in the next rounds. Then I can focus on the game that I want to play and the game what is working.

Match stats (total points: 71-61):
Berdych: 21 service, 5 aces, 7 FH, 2 BH, 1 overhead
Anderson: 16 service, 8 aces, 15 FH, 1 BH, 3 volleys
Berdych: 1 double fault, 8 FH, 8 BH
Anderson: 3 double faults, 21 FH, 11 BH
Break point conversion & Challenges:
Berdych: 2/7 (4 games)
Anderson: 0/3 (2 games), 0/2
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