Tennis Freaks

“1821: Nadal, I’ve noticed, has a problem with his shorts, in that they keep on getting stuck up his jacksie and he has to pull them out before every point. Not sure why he doesn’t just get a size up, he’s probably loaded.”

Djokovic v Monaco as it happened

US Open, Flushing Meadows Fourth round result:

N Djokovic (Ser) bt J Monaco (Arg)

7-5 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (6-8) 6-1

By Piers Newbery

 

 

Fourth set:

0045: Well, that was a bit of a struggle all round but thanks for your input. I’m off for a cup of tea but will be back for Serena v Henin, assuming I don’t fall asleep in the lift.

0037: “Djokovic has really announced himself and come onto the scene. The fans love his effort, emotion and great play.”
Jeff Tarango on 5live Sports Extra

Djokovic 6-1 Monaco
I can categorically state that Djokovic recovers from 0-30 to take the game and the win, screaming in delight as Monaco puts a backhand long. I know because I saw it.

Djokovic 5-1 Monaco
It’s all coming together people. NoDjo gets the double break and the end is in sight, as is the 24hr tea bar. And now the pictures return! The law of the sod.

0028: Leander Paes smacks a forehand return for a winner and he and Meghann Shaughnessy beat Britain’s Jamie Murray and Liezel Huber 6-7 7-6 7-6 to reach the mixed doubles final. Oh well.
Djokovic 4-1 Monaco
Well that appeared to be quite a tricky hold for Djokovic but he remains on course for victory. Murray and Huber are close to defeat in their mixed semi.

Djokovic 3-1 Monaco
Monaco holds to 15, Paes/Shaugnessy go a break up in the decider of the mixed semi. Shaugnessy and Huber appear to be having a private competition for who has the dodgiest toss.

Djokovic 3-0 Monaco
Djokovic holds convincingly, I think. I have suddenly become a huge fan of the champions tie-break thingy in doubles -we will have a result soon, one way or another.

Djokovic 2-0 Monaco
Djoko gets to 0-40 and converts his second break point – little does he know the boost he’s just given someone in Shepherds Bush. I imagine he pumped his fist or something.

Djokovic 1-0 Monaco
Djokovic holds serve after a couple of deuces but it’s all a bit of a struggle – I know how he feels. With pictures of this match well and truly beyond the capacity of anyone here to stick on the 600 channels available, I’ll continue to keep you up to speed with the score but not much detail. Still, I feel my patriotic fires burning as Murray (and Huber) get to within two points of a place in the mixed doubles final. Paes then wallops an ace past Huber, which is rather ungentlemanly. He then wins a quickfire exchange with Murray at the net and it’s one set all. Oh joy.

Third set:

Djokovic 6-7 (6-8) Monaco
A dramatic tie-break ebbs and flows, with Djokovic recovering from 5-3 down with three straight points to get a match point that Monaco saves on serve. Two points later it is set point for the Argentine and he breaks Djokovic to seal the set.

Djokovic 6-6 Monaco
After huffing and puffing a bit on serve, Djokovic goes 30-0 clear before Monaco draws level. The Serb holds firm though and it is offcially OK to say ‘tie-break’. On Grandstand, Jamie Murray grabs the break back with a thumping return in the mixed semi before the umpire gets confused over which balls they should be using. He’s quite a character.

Djokovic 5-6 Monaco
Monaco continues to look pretty solid on serve and holds to 30. If I mention ‘tie-break’ you can guarantee Djokovic will drop serve. So I won’t. Good old Meghann Shaughnessy is gamely trying to hold serve again as Murray/Huber try, in vain, to break back.

Djokovic 5-5 Monaco
Djokovic hangs on grimly from 30-30 to hold. Out on Grandstand Court, Jamie is doing a good impression of his brother with some angry outbursts, while partner Huber looks decidedly unwell. They lead by a set but trail by a break in the second.

Djokovic 4-5 Monaco
Yes, crunch time, the pressure is on, can Monaco stand the heat etc. He holds to love in about 45 seconds flat.

Djokovic 4-4 Monaco
It’s crunch time now for Monaco after Djoko levels again with a solid enough hold.

Djokovic 3-4 Monaco
Bosh. Monaco holds quickly and he is not going to be easy for NoDjo to put away. “I wouldn’t say Shaughnessy is a natural tennis player,” says Wendy Turnbull on 5live Sports Extra despite the American eventually holding serve.

Djokovic 3-3 Monaco
Djokovic holds to 30 and inches closer to victory – bet he can’t wait to get this one over, it’s been pretty punishing for only two and a half sets with both men belting the living daylights out of everything. Meanwhile, Meghann Shaughnessy is trying to hold onto her serve in an epic game in the mixed semi.

Djokovic 2-3 Monaco
Monaco holds from deuce but Murray/Huber are not faring so well as they drop serve in the second set.

Djokovic 2-2 Monaco
Sorry 606ers but that avenue of interaction is now closed for the night but thanks for all your comments. If you still feel the need to get something (tennis related) off your chest you can still text on 81111 , and after this match I’ll be back for the big one – Serena v Henin. Djokovic holds to 30 by the way.

Djokovic 1-2 Monaco
An easy hold for Monaco and Djokovic may live to regret letting that advantage slip. Then again, he may not.

Djokovic 1-1 Monaco
Yes, it’s all but over. Foolish, foolish words as Monaco breaks back to love. I know nothing. In the mixed, Huber has gone off for a medical timeout and Murray is wandering around the court doing some comedy warm-up manouvres.

Djokovic 1-0 Monaco
Djokovic is flat out on the changeover as he has treatment to his lower back before promptly getting up and earning two break points, converting the second. It’s all but over now, surely. Meanwhile, Murray/Huber take the first set against Paes/Shaughnessy and Jamie looks suitably pumped up as he sprints back to the chair.

2300: “I can’t see Monaco recovers from 2 set down. We should start getting ready for Serena-Justine match.”
From guesswho1356 on 606

Second set:

2253: “You livetext buggers are so stingey. I recall you never put any of my wimbledon comments up either!!!!”
From ObL!v!0N¿ on 606

2252: “I’d like to see Djokovic beat the stuffing out of all the big serve guys.”
From anon via text on 81111

Djokovic 7-6 (7-2) Monaco
Monaco cannot get over being broken when serving for the set and Djokovic races 5-0 clear on his way to securing a two-set lead. It’s a big advantage in what has been a desperately tight encounter.

2245: “Hello people its GRANT aka the anonymous gambler from the last 3 nights just letting u all know giving this game a miss after blakes dismal efforts.”
From Grant the (no longer) anonymous gambler via text

Djokovic 6-6 Monaco
Dramarama on Arthur Ashe – Djokovic recovers from having just dropped his serve to fashion a break point and he takes it. Tie-break time.

2242: A bizarre moment in the mixed when Huber whacks a winner but the umpire is not happy with our Jamie’s antics during the point, and he says to the crowd: “Mr Murray was a little excited during the point and you can’t do that, so he loses the point.” Eh? Is he making it up as he goes along?

Djokovic 5-6 Monaco
Djokovic is under huge pressure in a lengthy game but saves three break points before Monaco makes the breakthrough, and we could be in for a long one. Murray/Huber remain on serve in their semi-final.

2228: “Chela and Serena both underdogs, 11/10 and 2/1 respectively, whereas Moya was 4/9 on. Whose your tip for Serena v Henin then the commentator?”
From tom_arsenal on 606 (I’m going to go for Serena as it’s on a hard court but with absolutely no conviction at all)

Djokovic 5-5 Monaco
Djokovic has a set point on the Monaco serve that would give him one foot in the quarters but he cannot convert. Monaco needs three opportunites but eventually holds and the set remains in the balance.

Djokovic 5-4 Monaco
After what must almost certainly have been a succession of forehands, backhands and serves, Djokovic holds serve. Meanwhile, I am told that The Klaxons have won the Mercury Music Prize. I’m not convinced by The Klaxons but then I’m old enough to remember the 1980s.

Djokovic 4-4 Monaco
Monaco is under more pressure on serve but comes through from deuce. Murray/Huber are level at one game all. I am not liking this part of the evening.

2211: “Loving the commentary! Anyway, i put a £25 bet on a treble today, Chela, Moya and Serena Williams. Returns £220. What do you think?”
From tom_arsenal on 606 (I think you’re about to be a lot less impressed by the commentary, and that you must have put £200 on to get that back on those three)

Djokovic 4-3 Monaco
Djokovic holds to 30 to edge ahead again. Meanwhile, the world and his wife appear to be conentrating on the mixed doubles, so expect more detail about that and suspiciously less on the singles. I know it’s patriotic and Jamie’s a nice guy but it’s still mixed doubles…

Djokovic 3-3 Monaco
At deuce, Djoko looks poised to make a decisive break but in a long, long rally he cannot put Monaco away and, after netting a backhand, throws his racquet away in disgust.

2158: The 5live Sports Extra team are turning their attention to Jamie Murray and Liezel Huber in their mixed doubles semi-final against Meghann Shaughnessy and Leander Paes. I’m sticking with the singles but will keep you informed of any significant news and Jeff Tarango words of wisdom.

Djokovic 3-2 Monaco
A big return from Monaco forces Djokovic to pop up a backhand that the Argentine lines up and smacks into the corner. He goes for the same on the following point but nets it and NoDjo (?) holds.

2155: “Piers, do u intend to put on the livetext page anything written here on the 606 page. So far u have been putting out fairly silly and at times hateful text… Whats wrong with 606??”
From Maxxfoot on 606

Djokovic 2-2 Monaco
Monaco levels comfortably and it’s all a bit flat at the moment. Maybe we need some more Huey Lewis and the News.

Djokovic 2-1 Monaco
Monaco gets to 15-15 with an athletic smash – an eagle-eyed Jeff Tarango on 5live Sports Extra: “A little kid ran up six flights of stairs and dove [he means dived] to get the ball from that smash.” This time it is Monaco who earns break points at 15-40 but Djokovic saves the first with a smash of his own and the second with an ace. It’s far from easy but the third seed eventually holds, although he’s not pleased with himself.

2140: “Who calls their son Monaco? Other than Monaco’s parents that is? What’s wrong with a proper name like Colin or Derek?”
From anon via text on 81111 (Er, it’s his surname, although the match has provoked an intra-office debate about who has the cooler name – I’m with Novak Djokovic, my colleague is big on Juan Monaco. You be the judge.)

Djokovic 1-1 Monaco
The alarm bells are ringing for Monaco as he slips to 15-40 but he comes up with a big second serve and then pummels the Djokovic forehand to get back to deuce. It’s a big hold for the Argentine.

Djokovic 1-0 Monaco
Two good forehand winners and a drop shot help Djokovic to an easy hold.

2136: “Djokovic may be cocky, but sports a far better hair cut than Federer, who looks like a mix between Jimmy Saville and Gary Neville.”
From anon via text on 81111

First set:

2134: “It looks like Monaco’s adapted his game well from clay – he doesn’t have much high topspin and has figured out how to get that ball through the court a little quicker. At the end of that set he just had a complete breakdown mentally.”
Jeff Tarango on 5live Sports Extra

Djokovic 7-5 Monaco
Monaco crumbles at they key moment, a double fault taking Djokovic to 0-40 and three set points before the Serb draws his man to the net and wallops a forehand past him.

Djokovic 6-5 Monaco
A failed attempt at a drop shot sees Djokovic brought back to 40-30 but the third seed then comes up with an ace.

2126: “Tut tut. Begging for text messages how sad can u get? That’s almost as pathetic as sending one 2 someone begging for text messages.”
From LC, Newquay, via text (Quite so.)

Djokovic 5-5 Monaco
There is Hawkeye drama for both men here, with Djokovic getting to 15-30 with a correct challenge and Monaco levelling with his own successful challenge on the next. Djoko then makes an error and smashes a ball in anger, prompting some gentle booing from the crowd. Monaco holds.

2122: “Piers! Its my 1st day back to college! I’m trying to combine doing a biology project with reading your reports on Djokovic’s match! It’s too distracting!”
From Aaron, Essex, via text

2120: “Novak is a top player – no Djokovic. Pretty lame, I know.”
From anon via text (I can understand why you want to remain anonymous)

Djokovic 5-4 Monaco
Another tight game gets to 30-30 but Monaco cannot keep the pressure up and it’s a solid hold for Djokovic.

Djokovic 4-4 Monaco
Three unforced errors from Monaco hand Djokovic a break point but in another rally of heavy hitting, the Serb cracks first with a wayward forehand. Monaco then finds two service winners and it’s all square.

2111: “Djokovic has a bright future ahead of him. When Federer retires him and Nadal will fight out all the slams.”
From Dan, Worcester, via text

Djokovic 4-3 Monaco
Monaco earns two break points by winning a lengthy rally and then forces another Djokovic error to break. Didn’t see that coming. And to make matters worse for NoDjo, he now has to endure Huey Lewis and the News’s classic ‘The Power of Love’ on the stadium PA during the changeover.

2105: “Djokovic too cocky for me. Has a lot of talent but his ego is too much for me to like him.”
From anon via text on 81111 (I’ll take any text I can at the moment but can’t say I agree with you there anon. I did a rigorous six-minute interview with him at the French Open and he was nice as pie)

Djokovic 4-2 Monaco
Monaco plays a beautiful angled drop volley to move 0-15 up and goes on to hold. Meanwhile, the chat in the 5live Sports Extra commentary box has moved on to the size of Djokovic’s head, which they all agree is quite large.

Djokovic 4-1 Monaco
A fine love-service game keeps Djokovic in control, although Monaco does go for an extravagant shot through his legs – commonly known as a “hot dog”, I believe. It goes about 10 feet long.

Djokovic 3-1 Monaco
Monaco gets off the mark when Djokovic puts a backhand long. Someone please send me a text on 81111 . Go on.

Djokovic 3-0 Monaco
Monaco thumps one big forehand winner down the line which should settle him down a bit, but Djokovic holds to 30. An update from 5live Sports Extra, where Jeff Tarango is lauding the British cabbie’s ability to find obscure pubs.

2053: “This year by far has been the most successful for Monaco so far, with three titles and wins over Robredo and Davydenko. But all considered I still predict Djoko wins in straight sets.”
From guesswho1356 via text

Djokovic 2-0 Monaco
Monaco looks nervous and a couple of errors hand Djokoivc an immediate couple of break point chances. The Serb misses the first with a wild forehand but Monaco helps him out with a double fault on the next point. Shame.

Djokovic 1-0 Monaco
Not the easiest of opening games for Djokovic, who lets Monaco back in from 40-15 with a double fault and an unforced error off the ground, but he holds from deuce. Meanwhile, Jeff Tarango on 5live Sports Extra admits he is jealous of Djokovic’s thick and lustrous hair.

2040: With a moniker like Juan Monaco it is about time the Argentine made a name for himself, and now’s his chance against third seed Novak Djokovic.

Monaco, seeded 23rd, is going along very nicely at Flushing Meadows, only dropping two sets so far, but it will be far from easy getting past Djokovic.

The 20-year-old Serb holds a 1-0 record over Monaco, having swept him aside in the first round of Wimbledon in 2005.

  • Some facts: Monaco’s favourite films are Gladiator and the Lord of the Rings triology. His favourite actors are Robert de Niro and Al Pacino. And Djokovic has recently been featured in the Serbian edition of Playboy – couldn’t make out the details in Serbian but he was wearing a James Bond style tux.
  • Story from BBC SPORT

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