tennis

Djokovic beats Nadal to set up semifinal clash with Nishikori at Italian Open

14 Comments
By ANDREW DAMPF

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

14 Comments
Login to comment

Nishikori took out Dominic Thiem, who has the second most wins on tour this year after Djokovic, 6-3, 7-5.

Well done, Kei! Another above par performance here in Rome for the current #6, making the semi-finals again. So another Djokovic-Nishikori match up, and another chance for him

And another opportunity for us, to see who will make proclamations about Nishikori's lack of ability if he (like Nadal) loses, or his sheer luck if he happens to win. I trust folks will actually watch the match either way :)

Thiem looks like he'll be a top 10 player within the next couple of years. He has the shots, and chases every ball like Djokovic does, just too many unforced errors still.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Nishikori is near exhaustion, he admitted in a very recent TV interview. He was saying that he is looking forward to next week's pause in order to get in some r&r.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

fxgai: "So another Djokovic-Nishikori match up, and another chance for him"

Another chance for BOTH of them, actually, not just the one. Another chance for Nishikori to try and win, another chance for Djokovic to strike the former down. Oh, and another chance for all the excuses -- I mean, look at nandakandamanda already preparing to justify the loss:

"Nishikori is near exhaustion, he admitted in a very recent TV interview. He was saying that he is looking forward to next week's pause in order to get in some r&r."

I think he forgot to meniton the opponent is also too tall. I mean, Djokovic can't possibly also have engaged in a lot of matches and be tired, right? So, if Nishikori loses again he and nandakandamanda and the media have already prepared hte excuse. If he wins, of course, he'll have used his "Samurai spirit to overcome all odds!" -- it'll never be because Djokovic is tired, or likewise if Djokovic wins it won't be because of his skill and ability (it'll be because Nishikori was tired). THAT is why we constantly berate the media, my friend, so DON'T claim the media doesn't ask for it when you need only look at the post under yours to see the kind of excuses it generates.

I know two or three friends who have already stopped talking about tennis when they heard about this match-up, just in case.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Thiem will be top ten in a couple of months not years, sure Nishikori is nearing exhaustion but what about all the other players Djoko, Nadal,l Murray ,etc all chasing the masters series events 4 in as man weeks, as well as protecting their ranking points, These guys are proffessional athletes, they know the jist.. Kei has a good chance to take the joker down , but he's gonna have to play aggressive and keep away from the backhand, novak likes the deep crosscourt backhand , as Nadal changed his game around it yesterday, Rome is a little faster than Madrid and the hot conditions should dry the court up a little perhaps favoring joker, but there's a reason he's on 16500 points , so I predict Murray vs Nishikori Final on monday morning ...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

marcels: " sure Nishikori is nearing exhaustion but what about all the other players Djoko, Nadal,l Murray ,etc all chasing the masters series events 4 in as man weeks, as well as protecting their ranking points,"

Exactly! It's disgusting to see the media and fans that know Nishikori is likely going to lose ALREADY preparing the excuse for why, when the other athlets are in the EXACT SAME BOAT, save that they are PROTECTING titles, and age-wise are even older than Kei. Not only is it extremely poor sportsmanship, it's insulting to not only the other players' abilities but a complete lack of respect for Nishikori Kei's abilities as well.

fxgai: "And another opportunity for us, to see who will make proclamations about Nishikori's lack of ability if he (like Nadal) loses,"

You should be talking to people like nandakandamanda, who are already making excuses for why he might lose, not to the people who point out why he lost after the fact (if he loses, that is). Must really stick in your craw that that comment came immediately after you attempted to preempt any criticism.

I'm quite looking forward to he match. I honestly hope Nishikori wins -- because it would be a huge achievement, and at this point the Joker has beaten most records. I think it unlikely, but would still be happy to see it. I just don't look forward to all the back-patting and bandwagon congratulations if he does, as well as the "even though he was tired... samurai spirit" if he wins, and the myriad of "he was tired" or "the other player was too tall" excuses that are already pouring out before the match has even begun (mind you, all of the bandwagon fans shut up about half-way before most matches are done when he loses).

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

seek help smithinjapn

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dude, he was just saying that Nishikori is a little worn down, not that that will be an excuse should be lose, which with Djokovic's record of late, is in any case the most likely outcome.

Let's see what sort of criticsm there is after the match tonight though, looking forward to it. Especially if people who criticize actually watch the match for a change.

Why you would be upset if people would be happy if he wins, is beyond me. Conversely feeling glee if he loses is also weird.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@smith

I think we understand that the media's handling of these things irritates you. But get over it. Most of us have done that already. We don't necessarily disagree, but it's not worth the blood pressure. If you enjoy tennis, which you appear to, focus on that. Nishikori comes over as a great competitor, and seems to have done a better job than yourself of not letting the media get to him. Lighten up!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If I were to put money down in Vegas on Djokovic to win this match, I'd probably just win my money back.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nishikori lost in a tie breaker going the full sets. He played very well and should never hang his head. His improvement is steady making shots any tennis player would be proud of. Playing the world number 1 should never be a cake walk. I enjoyed the match on NHK very much!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

fxgai: "Dude, he was just saying that Nishikori is a little worn down, not that that will be an excuse should be lose"

All the players are in the same boat, so why focus on 'Nishikori being exhausted' only when he's about to go on and face Djokovic? Sorry, bud, but it was the set up for the excuse you constantly deny occurs on here or in the media, then try to turn it around and blame people for criticising.

albaleo: "I think we understand that the media's handling of these things irritates you. But get over it. Most of us have done that already."

Sorry, but I'm absolutely going to call out those people who choose to fall back on excuses like one player is tired (and the others not), or the opponent is too tall (except that he wasn't when Nishikori beat him last time), etc. I agree that Nishikori is a good competitor, and that's part of why I take offence to people making so many excuses as to why he lost instead of just saying he was outplayed, or better yet why not give credit to the player who won instead of setting up and or making up excuses why the player you like lost because you can't accept it? It's insulting to all of the players.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@smith

but I'm absolutely going to call out those people who choose to fall back on excuses like one player is tired

But who are these people? Maybe I'm wrong, but I gather you are referring to the general Japanese media. I can understand, and I used to splutter in frustration at international sports coverage in Japan. But then I discovered it's exactly the same back here in the UK. But I had probably learned to ignore that crap when I was younger. (Scotland had to play on a narrower pitch than they're used to. etc.) I just had to learn all over again in Japan.

I like Nishikori because he seems to break the mould by not being overwhelmed by the media attention. Matsuyama in golf does the same. So I'm a fan of both. Back home, I'm a Murray fan because he generally doesn't let the media get to him either. (Do you really hate England, Andy?, etc.)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Smith, most of what you complain about is actually in your imagination.

Just FYI.

But maybe I will deliberately bait you from now on, if you are going to keep up your crusade against imaginary excuse makers, you might not look so silly if I oblige you!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

albaleo: "But who are these people? Maybe I'm wrong, but I gather you are referring to the general Japanese media."

You're both right and wrong. Yes, a lot of Japanese people (not all by any means, and I always give credit to true fans who aren't afraid to simply admit a player was outplayed, but still support them), the media for sure, but also some posters on here. Look at nandakandamanda's post saying, before the match, that "Nishikori is exhausted", already making excuses why he is likely to lose. There are posters on here who have said the opponent is "too tall", like when Nishikori crashed out in the second round, despite having beaten the same player in the past (who wasn't "too tall" then). Look at how little about these matches has been broadcast, and the lead-up to them, compared to in the past, knowing Nishikori would be facing Djokovic again. I know people who hopped on the bandwagon to support Nishikori who flat out said they weren't going to bother watching this time. And you're right, it's not limited to Japan, but the media is quite a bit worse about it when it comes to selecting ONE person to focus on, and ignoring the successes of others, then ditching that person when he or she has not lived up to the god status they've been given to them by said media. Golf is a prime example, as is figure skating. Ishikawa who? meanwhile another Japanese golfer is doing very well (Matsuyama) and barely gets the time of day in the press. People don't talk about golf anymore because they are embarrassed. In the UK they will at least start dissing the player they used to put on a pedestal, and start cheering for someone else up and coming in the sport.

"I like Nishikori because he seems to break the mould by not being overwhelmed by the media attention."

Correction: he DID used to ignore the media and not sell out, but that has changed, and so has his game. The former rugby coach was bang on in his assessment of that point of Japanese culture. Now Nishikori is doing sports drinks, non-alcohol beer ads, etc., and he is no longer able to win and does not seem to have the potential he did before. Matsui, I agree with. Other examples are Murakami Haruki (granted, not sports), and some bands that don't completely sell out and are not dictated by the media or fans.

For now, though, I'm talking mostly about excuses made by posters above, and the treatment of Nishikori (in the past, now flailing), that he's accomplished so much that he has not yet, or is a god. Some posters said he would finish in the top four, have won so many competitions, etc., then freak out when you point out he did NOT finish in that place, that their predictions were not based on anything except some sense of entitlement and false hope, and that they should just cheer for the player as he is, etc.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites