Rafael Nadal out of Indian Wells and Miami

Former world number one Rafael Nadal is continuing to have injury problems.

Rafa took to Facebook to announce his right hip is causing him problem which has been an issue for a while including a pain he felt in his leg.

Now this isn’t just a one off, Rafael Nadal has now withdrawn or retired from his last 9 tournaments on tour dating back to last year in Paris before heading to London, Brisbane, Melbourne, Acapulco and now Indian Wells and Miami. During that time he also missed Abu Dhabi

There is a bigger issue here.

Rafa decided against Basel then went to Paris where he withdrew and did not play great from the beginning in London and withdrew after one match.

Following this he had a 6 week break but maybe came back early and then had these issues re-occur so I was surprised to see him turned up to Acapulco and has now ended his chance of Indian Wells and Miami and there is suddenly a big rush to be fit for the most important part of his season and that is the clay court.

Should he have scheduled his season better? It does seem a little bit like turn up and hope but not compete and competing will be key once April hits.




Who if anyone can stop this man at Indian Wells?

Whilst we freeze in Britain the top players on the ATP tour are heading off to the Californian desert of Indian Wells as the first Masters 1000 of the year is here but who if anyone can stop Roger Federer.

Roger the favourite?

Of course he is. No one has been to more finals than Roger at Indian Wells winning 5 of the 7 he has played losing just to Novak Djokovic but of course Roger is the defending champion here.


Who is missing?

Well, where do we begin? The ATP tour is like an episode of casualty at the moment with many missing but who won’t be there?


Will they? Won’t they?

Kei Nishikori, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are all down to play but have been having issues themselves.

Kei has returned but isn’t near match fitness to make him a contender here at all.

Djokovic hasn’t played since Melbourne so how fit and ready is his elbow?

Nadal once again either retired or withdrew from a tournament. He cited a sharp pain in his leg, the same that what made him withdraw from the Australian Open. Nadal has now withdrawn from his last four tournaments.

The Contenders?

So, who could make a name at Indian Wells?

Marin Cilic – Under-rated as the world number three. He did well in Melbourne making the final and is good at taking an opportunity when presented to him so I wouldn’t rule out a deep run here.

Grigor Dimitrov – Hasn’t really happened for him this season. His game has taken a dip since winning at the O2 especially his second serve which has taken a beating this year and in a word was awful against Jaziri in Dubai.

Alex Zverev – It hasn’t happened for him yet this year. He’s lost a lot of matches of late which you would put in the category of ‘should win’. Watching him a bit this year he does seem to be labouring through matches and those big performances haven’t resurfaced yet this year.

Dominic Thiem – Unpredictable and not in a good way! You never know what you will get from him. It’s been up and down for too long. I wouldn’t be too shocked on early exits, clay is where he should burst into life!

David Goffin – Dangerous player. Like to see him grab the chance by the neck if it were to come around. Not playing this week which is a smart move and of course had that freak eye injury a couple of weeks back so hopefully he will be back and ready!

Juan Martin Del Potro – I just have this feeling Juan Martin could be one the watch. He is a player for the big stage so I wouldn’t rule him out here especially with soo uncertainties about players.

Acapulco 2018 – who is taking home this years Sombrero?

Acapulco is a tournament that continues to grow on the tour. Once again it has attracted some of the biggest names in men’s tennis to the Mexican coast with some cracking round one matches in store as the fight begins for the Sombrero won last year by Sam Querrey.

Rafael Nadal v Feliciano Lopez

Two friends meet. Acapulco is a setting for a match up like this. Rafa will be looking to find form again ahead of a busy few months on the tour and Feliciano will prove a tough test. He will come and play his game and that’s what I like, sometimes it can go a little bit wrong but he’s an entertainer and a big talent in the sport. It’s important for Rafa to do well here, it won’t be easy but the conditions will help for Indian Wells.

Andrey Rublev v David Ferrer

Rublev did a great job in Melbourne defeating Ferrer in 5 sets. The Russian is strong off ground strokes and has a good serve but he has shown as well he has a spring in his movement which you have to have to see off David in 5 sets in Melbourne heat. Ferrer will put up a challenge which is in his character and you will never take that away it is just a shame the ranking has taken a hit these last 12 months or so!

Denis Shapovalov v Kei Nishikori

I’m surprised Kei is playing her in all honesty. I would have expected the return to the tour to be more stretched out. He has played a lot of tennis this month so a steady build up to Indian Wells and Miami is key I’m not sure Acapulco is the place to be ready for him especially against Denis. The Canadian will bring excitement and speed to the court which Kei hasn’t come up against yet in his return to the tour and Denis will test him in what could be a short trip for Kei!


Australian Open Day 9 – Nadal, Svitolina & Dimitrov out! Wozniacki through!

The conclusion of the Australian edges closer day by day but for some players it has come to a surprising end with Grigor Dimitrov, Rafael Nadal and Elina Svitolina’s tournaments all coming to an end on the same day!

Edmund stuns Dimitrov!

Well, a first Grand Slam semi-final for Edmund who got it right from the first game of the match. He went after Dimitrov and forced him out of his comfort zone and bided his time to see of the world number three! See more on the win below!

Stunned! Edmund see’s off Dimitrov to make first Grand Slam semi-final!

Mertens strikes again!

Elise Mertens is causing trouble on the tour. The Belgian is racing through the draw at the moment and after seeing off Elina Svitolina who had been so impressive throughout the tournament now hangs questions on Caroline Wozniacki who is looking to make her first final in Melbourne.

Nadal injured and out!

In what was a bit of a rollercoaster with Marin Cilic during the latter stages of the match Nadal felt some pain and after receiving treatment decided to retire from the match ending his tournament. Since the retirement Nadal has said he will have an MRI tomorrow to find out what the issue is.

Caro safely through!

In a day of upsets Caroline Wozniacki orchestrated herself through a tricky opponent in Carla Suarez Navarro. The Dane cruised taking the first set 6-0 before losing the second on the tie-break but as ever showed some fight to make her first semi-final in 7 years!

caro 1



Australian Open Day 6 & 7 – A grand slam isn’t won in week one, but who is through to week two?

First week is over and what a week it has been but who is through to week two and what have been the talking points from the last 48 hours?

Halep’s marathon!

Simona Halep has once again shown her mental toughness in Melbourne. The pressure on the world number one has been incredible so far this tournament which must feel like an eternity for the Romanian who had to dig very deep against Nicole Gibbs on Saturday morning in a match last around 3 hours 45 minutes saving a match point and winning the third set by 15 games to 13.

Cruising Caro!

When the Dane is in this mood you just have to sit and admire. After saving match points in a previous round there was no messing from the former world number one as she cruised through to her first quarter final in Melbourne since 2012 and will now play Suarez-Navarro to try and reach her second Melbourne semi-final.

Chung stuns Zverev!

Alex Zverev has had a bit of a flat start to the season. I watched him begin the season against Kokkinakis in Perth and thought his was flat and now against Chung losing in five sets was a surprise. Zverev is a player you usually associate with fitness and grit on the baseline but it slipped away in the final two sets losing them 6-0 6-3 is unexpected but credit to Chung who was the star of the show in Milan last November at the NextGen Finals he is now turning into the star in Melbourne.

Kerber powers past Sharapova!

Only one former Grand Slam champion is left standing now and that is Angie Kerber after a pretty routine 6-1 6-3 win against Maria Sharapova in Melbourne which has kind of put a question mark over where Sharapova is with her game but is something I will be exploring in another piece!

Rafa on course!

The world one is looking sharp. So far so good as he came through his toughest match yet to see off an inspired and always tricky opponent in Diego Schwartzman who’s baseline game caused issues but Rafa was rampant sends a warning to the rest ahead of the second week.


Other results!

The usual suspects like Roger and Novak were amongst winners as well as Hseih who saw off Radwanska and wins for Keys and Plisvkoa who have gone under the radar so far in Melbourne but watch out for them in week two!





Australian Open Day 1 – Bencic stuns, Grigor and Rafa cruise but top American’s fall!

The Australian Open never fails to deliver and on day 1 we saw some surprises and of course upsets as the seasons major opener got under way at Melbourne Park

American Wipe-out!

The day began with 13 American’s taking court in Melbourne and the number 13 ended up being unlucky for with only 3 American’s progressing to round two. Incredibly the day saw Jack Sock, Coco Vandeweghe, John Isner, Sloane Stephens and Venus Williams amongst others lose with the only winners being Ryan Harrison, Nicole Gibbs and 22 year old qualifier Mackenzie McDonald!

Venus out! Bencic through!

Belinda Bencic’ comeback from injury has been exceptional. The Swiss star has battled hard on the tour winning a long streak of matches before joining up with Roger Federer in Perth where they won the Hopman Cup but has now fully announced her return with this big win against last years Runner up!

Welcome Rafa!

After a few months off the world number one looks very sharp and was very impressive in his 6-1 6-1 6-1 victory against Estrella Burgos. The biggest cheer of the evening in Australia was when Nadal’s serve was broken by Burgos but nothing was stopping this man in his quest for another title down under!


Marathon wins for youngsters!

Kevin Anderson and David Ferrer came up against Kyle Edmund and Andrey Rublev respectively but their time in Australia has been short lived for this year as the Brit and the Russian managed to construct good solid wins against two tour regulars who know what it takes to go deep in majors!

Business as usual!

On a day of a few surprises there were wins for Wozniacki and Svitolina (who were both very impressive). Dimitrov was also in action winning 3,2 and 1 as well as wins for Ostapenko, Kyrgios and Cilic whilst tour veteran Victor Troicki had to come from two sets down but also a shoutout to Monica Puig who fought incredibly hard against home favourite Sam Stosur to come through in three sets.

Day 2 will see Sharapova, Djokovic, Federer and many more in action!



Rafa, Novak or Stan, which former champion is best prepared for Melbourne?

The question is who is best prepared?

Stan hasnโ€™t played a tournament since Wimbledon, Novak has been missing for about 5 months and Rafa pulled out of London with knee trouble so who out of these former Australian Open champions is best prepared for the first major?

Rafael Nadal

The world number one has played the most tennis but not much since November but the draw has been favourable to him. He turned up to Melbourne last year with little practice and got to the final and to be honest Iโ€™d be astounded if he didnโ€™t get to the semi-finals as with respect his path there is not challenging with only one other top 10 player in that section of the draw that being Cilic who he could meet in the quarter finals.

Stan Wawrinka

I donโ€™t really fancy Stanโ€™s chances in Melbourne, he is lacking match practice since late June/early July and Iโ€™d be surprised if he made it past round four which would likely be Dominic Thiem but failing that he could run into Verdasco or RBA in the third round.


Novak played well against Thiem the other day winning 6-4 6-2 but you canโ€™t read anything into it going into Melbourne. First up for Novak is Donald Young which will be tough then most likely Monfils and if he is going to get to the semi-final could have to defeat Zverev as well and then in the semi-final Roger is also in that half. If he does it will be one of the biggest achievements in recent history on the menโ€™s tour but whilst I wouldnโ€™t rule anything out I wouldnโ€™t bet on it.


Best prepared? Nadal then Djokovic and finally Stan. All have been at Melbourne Park for a week now so are finding their feet but winning here in Melbourne will be difficult but they are multiple champions for a reason!