Indian Wells – SF

Rafael Nadal [1] has probably experienced the weirdest road to an ‘ATP World Tour Masters 1000’ final ever. In his first three rounds outplayed three qualifiers, in turn in the last two, players who try to return after long injuries (Karlovic and Juan Martin del Potro [90]). Del Potro started the first semifinal promisingly, leading 4:1* but Nadal since then managed to win five straight games. In the 2nd set, the Spaniard  astonished his opponent in the 5th game with two amazing passing-shots, the first one (forehand DTL) saving a game point, the second one (backhand DTL) to get a break. Nadal won 6-4, 6-4 snapping Del Potro’s 9 match winning streak. “I had my chance basically in the first set,” Del Potro said, “He improved his game and I felt a little confused with my serve. He broke me back again, and then it’s very difficult to make a winner against Rafa. I think he played much better than me today.” The second semifinal disappointed me. Roger Federer [2] couldn’t prevent the 19th Novak Djokovic‘s [3] successive win in a boring encounter. After two actually identical sets (two breaks for the winner, the second one in the 9th game), Djokovic raced to a 2:0 lead. Federer broke back and had a double game point in the 5th game, Djokovic won four consecutive points though (11 in total), and three another games, the match 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. The Serb has beaten Federer three times this year and deprives him the No. 2 in the world for the second time in career (previously in October last year).  He said of returning to the No. 2 ranking: “It’s I guess the crown for my achievements this year. I think I deserve it. I think I’ve played the best tennis of my life in the last three months. I have been very dedicated, very professional, and I want to keep on going.”

Federer left the court as a loser again a couple hours later, this time suffering the doubles final defeat, partnering Stanislas Wawrinka. The Swiss duo lost to  Oleg Dolgopolov (1st doubles title) and Xavier Malisse (5th doubles title), and Federer went far towards the loss, miss-hitting awfully two volleys in the super tie-break. The Ukrainian-Belgian “ponytails” pair, won all tournament matches after the super tie-break! Dolgopolov: “We had a lot of luck throughout the tournament. You don’t want to lose it because you’re nervous or something. You get lucky, you win; if not, you lose. We just went for it and got a bit of luck as well in the final.” Below their road to the title:

1 – Tomas Berdych/Janko Tipsarevic 4-6, 6-4, [10-8]
2 – (1)Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan 7-5, 6-7(9), [10-7]
Q – Andy Murray/Jamie Murray 6-7(7), 6-3, [10-8]
S – Rohan Bopanna/Aisem-Ul-Haq Qureshi 3-6, 6-3, [10-8]
W – Roger Federer/Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 6-7(5), [10-7]
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