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.”

Archive for carlos moya

Moya v Djokovic as it happened

Flushing Meadows, New York, 27 August-9 September

US Open, Flushing Meadows Quarter final result:


4-6 6-7 1-6

* denotes server

By Caroline Cheese

Moya 4-6 6-7 1-6 Djokovic
Djokovic showboats with a stunning drop-volley. Mum and Dad Djoko in the crowd love that. Moya double-faults and it’s match point and then he does it again. Horrible way to end the match but Djoko deserves the win. He’s off to face Dave Ferrer in the last four. I’m off to sleep for a week. Piers Newbery will take you through to Sunday. Enjoy…

Moya 4-6 6-7 1-5 Djokovic
A brief moment of alarm for Djokovic as a line call goes against him which would have left him facing two break points. No matter, Hawk-Eye backs him up and he’s one game away.

Moya 4-6 6-7 1-4 Djokovic
The mistakes are coming thick and fast from Moya. One off each wing makes it 15-40 and another off the forehand leaves Djoko with one foot in the semis.

Moya 4-6 6-7 1-3 Djokovic
Djokovic is in cruise control now, nonchalantly stroking a backhand past Moya at the net. Finishes the game with a second-serve ace. Nice.

Moya 4-6 6-7 1-2 Djokovic
Bit better from Moya, as he holds to 15, but it’s a long road back for the old man.

Moya 4-6 6-7 0-2 Djokovic
Easy hold for Djoko. I’m beginning to dream of an early night…

Moya 4-6 6-7 0-1 Djokovic
Not looking good for poor old Moya now. Djoko breaks in the first game, with Moya looking pretty downbeat.

0235: “Novak seems to be making a habit of getting into difficult situations, only to get out of them with supreme ease – he always entertains.”
Michael, London, via text on 81111

Second set

Moya 4-6 6-7 Djokovic
Finally, we have a match folks. Djoko’s up 4-2 when Moya decides to show off his volleying skills, a deft drop volley making it 4-4. Djoko seems rattled and suddenly Moya has two serves for the set. The Spaniard has a set point at 6-5 but Djoko slams down a massive second serve and a shocked Moya goes long. The Spaniard saves one set point with a big serve but he can’t do anything about the second, Djoko firing a forehand onto the baseline.

Moya 4-6 6-6 Djokovic
Tiebreak it is. The crowd suddenly come alive. Not sure why. Desperation perhaps. A few errors from Djoko allow Moya to take that game quite easily.

Moya 4-6 5-6 Djokovic
Have they settled for a tiebreak? Djoko holds to love.

Moya 4-6 5-5 Djokovic
Djoko belts a return out and Moya completes a love service game.

Moya 4-6 4-5 Djokovic
Djokovic’s forehand earns him the game, sending one out wide which Moya scrambles back and then one down the line for the winner. We appear to be meandering towards a tiebreak. The crowd are trying to get involved but it’s pretty average fare.

Moya 4-6 4-4 Djokovic
Moya makes it seven points in a row on serve as he moves into a 40-0 lead and then holds off a mini comeback from Djoko, holding to 30.

Moya 4-6 3-4 Djokovic
Moya has a little opening at 40-30 but then slaps a forehand into the net. Djoko has had much the better of this set – but needs the breakthrough.

Moya 4-6 3-3 Djokovic
Djoko chases down a drop shot and finds an impossible angle to deceive Moya. That’s 0-30. He doesn’t get any further though.

Moya 4-6 2-3 Djokovic
There he goes again. Djoko just forgets about the frustration of that last game and calmly holds serve to love. Amazing. What I would do for a bit of his level-headedness. I would have almost certainly broken a racquet after the last game. Just because I can.

0153: “This error-prone match just shows why Federer will stroll his way to the title.”
Naveed, Bradford, via text on 81111

Moya 4-6 2-2 Djokovic
Hello, Djoko seems to have woken up – and the crowd responds. The Serb earns five break points in total, with Moya relying on his serve and legendary forehand to get him out of trouble. Djoko must be gutted.

Moya 4-6 1-2 Djokovic
This is like garbage compared to the Roddick-Federer match last night. Djoko holds… bla bla bla.

Moya 4-6 1-1 Djokovic
Moya levels up. Difficult to see what Moya can do here. I’m just waiting for Djoko to start playing properly.

Moya 4-6 0-1 Djokovic
Djokovic moves ahead. Apropos of nothing, I actually managed to break my racquet while playing tennis the other day. Is it wrong that I’m quite pleased with myself?

0132: “A work party on a Thursday in September (see 0032 entry)? Christmas gets earlier each year!”
Braggers in Essex via text on 81111

First set

Moya 4-6 Djokovic
You have to admire Djoko’s spirit. He’s playing very average tennis but he seems able to just shrug off the errors. Moya saves one set point but nets on the second after becoming distracted by a Djoko backhand that looked like it would go long.

Moya 4-5 Djokovic
And Djoko responds with a quick service game. Too many errors in this match for my liking. Hasn’t caught the crowd’s imagination yet either.

0120: “Isn’t that to adapt rather than to paraphrase (see 0050 entry)? Not that late night pedantry seems like a good reason for texting either. Djokovic in four sets.”
James, Edinburgh, via text on 81111 (You’re probably right James. Caught me out trying to use big words there)

Moya 4-4 Djokovic
Moya holds for the first time without having to save break points. Great serving from the veteran.

0116: “I’ll put my head on the line: Djoko in four, first set to Moya.”
Frenchie via text on 81111

Moya 3-4 Djokovic
Djoko’s not firing on all cylinders here – but then he hasn’t really for the whole tournament. Saving himself for Fed maybe. He saves two break points.

Moya 3-3 Djokovic
Moya faces yet another break point but Djokovic rifles his backhand just into the tramlines. The Serb then plays a truly awful drop shot which hardly reaches the net and Moya escapes. The longer the Spaniard survives, the more frustrated Djoko will get. You would think.

0106: “Almost didn’t make it but true to form, Grant’s turned up for the fifth night in a row so who’s your money on Caza, sorry I mean Princess Caroline?”
Grant via text on 81111 (Well, if you’d turned up on time Grant, you’d know. Serves you right)

Moya 2-3 Djokovic
Djokovic fires a backhand down the line to make it 40-15 before Moya nets on the backhand.

0102: “Hey Caroline, feel sorry for you working while the party’s on, I think Djokovic will win but in five sets, so you could be there a lot longer!”
Zaid in Putney via text on 81111 (As long as it’s five good sets…)

Moya 2-2 Djokovic
Apparently the venue for the office party called last orders at 11pm…. shame. Moya saves one break point but on the second, Djokovic takes control of the point with his forehand and levels up.

Moya 2-1 Djokovic
Well I didn’t see that coming. Djokovic looks in command as he takes a 40-30 lead but Moya digs deep and the Serb double-faults on break point. I was about to wax lyrical about how well Djokovic is playing. Strange…

0050: “Hello Ms Cheese, I’m texting in because I like your name. Novak in five set thriller.”
Paddy from Surrey via text on 81111 (To paraphrase Oleta Adams’ 1991 hit, I don’t care why you text in, just text in if you can)

Moya 1-1 Djokovic
There’s a lot of noise in the crowd. Don’t they know this is lawn tennis? Moya saves two break points, the first with a big serve, the second with a delicate volley. Nice. The third he’s a bit lucky on though, his forehand clipping the very back edge of the line.

Moya 0-1 Djokovic
Some sweet volleying from Djoko takes him to 40-0 and he seals a love service game. A good start from the Serb.

0038: Moya has a 2-1 lead in the head-to-heads between these two – and both of those wins were this year, in Cincinnati and Hamburg. Is an upset on the cards? What do you reckon? Why not drop me a little text on 81111 . I’m going Djokovic in four. As ever, I’ve gone out on a limb there.

0032: Hello everyone. Guess what? It’s the work party tonight and who’s the mug sat in the office? That’ll be me then. Never mind. Moya and Djokovic are sure to serve up a treat to make up for it. They’re warming up as we speak.

Story from BBC SPORT


Live – Moya v Nadal

French Open

Quarter-final result:


4-6 3-6 0-6


By Caroline Cheese

Third set

Moya 4-6 3-6 0-6 Nadal
Moya gets the biggest cheer of the day when he saves a match point with a smart volley. He has two chances to take the game but Nadal keeps coming back at him and eventually Moya crumbles.

“I’ve got a funny feeling Moya will sneak a game here. He deserves it.”
BBC Sport analyst John Lloyd

Moya 4-6 3-6 0-5 Nadal
Nadal makes an error. I can’t remember when he made the last one. It’s 30-30, but just as John Lloyd is pondering whether Nadal just doesn’t want to ‘bagel’ his friend, the world number two rips a forehand winner and banishes those thoughts.

Moya 4-6 3-6 0-4 Nadal
Nadal is held up… by one of those cursed Mexican waves the French crowd are so keen on. Another break for the Beast. Moya will do well to get on the board in this game.

“I think Nadal’s opponents thus far have lacked self-belief. I think Djokovic has the self belief the rest lack and will be a serious worry for Nadal.”
bigbicepfan on 606

Moya 4-6 3-6 0-3 Nadal
The mistakes are beginning to flow now from a mentally and physically exhausted Moya. The 21-year-old is teaching the 30-year-old a lesson here.

Moya 4-6 3-6 0-2 Nadal
Every point is such an effort for Moya. He has game points but Nadal just keeps coming back and eventually an exhausted Moya pings a backhand wide to drop serve. You wouldn’t think Moya was a mate of Nadal’s.

Moya 4-6 3-6 0-1 Nadal
Nadal holds quite easily to open this third set. He’ll face Novak Djokovic in the last four – unless, of course, there is a miraculous Moya comeback.

Second set

“Moya has come back from two sets down five times in his career which must be up there as one of the best records out there. But against Nadal? On clay?”
BBC Sport analyst John Lloyd

Moya 4-6 3-6 Nadal
Moya shows his frustration by kicking a ball – on the volley – into the net. Impressive. He delights the crowd with a lob volley – off his racket this time – to save one set point but Nadal takes the second of three to take complete control.

Moya 4-6 3-5 Nadal
The crowd come alive as Moya takes a 30-0 lead on Nadal’s serve. It’s not enough though because Nadal simply reels off four points in a row. Moya must have that sinking feeling now.

“The cakewalk continues. Carlos Moya’t-as-well not-have-bothered-to-turn-up will be plucked, cooked and served in 45 minutes.”
irememberrod on 606

Moya 4-6 3-4 Nadal
Moya hangs on in there, as Nadal struggles to cope with his opponent’s first serve.

Moya 4-6 2-4 Nadal
The crowd briefly come to life as Moya whips a forehand down the line – and Nadal miraculously manages to flick it back cross-court. It would have been the shot of the tournament – but it’s out. Nadal holds to 15.

Moya 4-6 2-3 Nadal
Good effort from Moya, who must be wondering which way to turn now. There’s Banderas wafting his fan again.

Moya 4-6 1-3 Nadal
Hold from Nadal as he marches towards a semi-final against Novak Djokovic.

“It’s a nice match with some exciting rallies but there’s no real belief from the crowd – perhaps even from Carlos himself – that he can win this match. Nadal has all the answers.”
BBC Sport analyst John Lloyd

Moya 4-6 1-2 Nadal
Moya opens the game with a booming backhand winner better – but Nadal just has to go one better with an absolute ripper cross-court. It’s so good, it draws gasps from the crowd. Nadal goes on to earn a break point and Moya double-faults. The writing’s on the wall folks.

Moya 4-6 1-1 Nadal
Moya is putting in a phenomenal effort here but Nadal is just a bit too good. It’s a close game but the defending champ comes through.

“I’m impressed by Moya. I doubt he will take a set off Nadal but its not impossible. Djokovic looks more threatening.”
JLeaderMaynard on 606

Moya 4-6 1-0 Nadal
Moya fends off a break point but he’s swimming against the tide a little bit at the moment.

First set

“Wow. 17. That’s a lot of unforced errors from Moya.”
BBC Sport analyst John Lloyd

Moya 4-6 Nadal
Bit of a poor show from Moya there, almost giving Nadal the set with a string of terrible returns. It’s another love service game. ‘Barcelona Bumblebee’ Arantxa Sanchez Vicario looks on, while Tony Banderas cools himself with a fan. How odd.

Moya 4-5 Nadal
Nadal taps his racket with annoyance as he belts a return long. Moya holds to love – the first love game of the match.

Moya 3-5 Nadal
You’ve gotta love that forehand of Moya’s – mainly because it’s not often you see Nadal flailing about at the back of the court. Two big hits get Moya to 30-30 but Nadal holds serve.

Moya 3-4 Nadal
After all the effort of the last game, Moya wastes it by dropping serve again. Nadal is just relentless.

Moya 3-3 Nadal
Brilliant recovery from Moya. In a punishing game, Nadal saves one break point but on a second, he throws in a ridiculous drop shot which Moya gladly dispatches. Vamos Carlos!

“Is that what the tour has come to? Instead of predicting who’s going to win, we speculate about whether players can take a set off either Federer or Nadal!”
mikesiva on 606

Moya 2-3 Nadal
Nadal cranks up the pressure on break point and Moya fluffs his drop shot. The French TV director is obssessed with Antonio Banderas. You’d think they’d never had a celebrity at Roland Garros before. And it was only last year that Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughan spent a day on Philllipe Chatrier Court.

Moya 2-2 Nadal
The easiest service game so far for either player as Nadal loses only one point.

“Nadal will drop a set against Moya. That’s my prediction. Agree/disagree?”
Tennisanorak on 606

Moya 2-1 Nadal
Not even a celebrity is allowed to take his seat during play. Actor Antonio Banderas, or Tony Flags as he is known to his English fans, waits patiently as Moya hangs onto his serve from break point down.

Moya 1-1 Nadal
Moya lands the first blow in the battle of the forehands as he powers one onto the sideline but Nadal hits back with his first winner off that wing on his way to recovering from 0-30.

Moya 1-0 Nadal
Awesome start from Nadal who flicks a delicious backhand crosscourt. Good recovery from Moya as he completes the game with his first ace of the day.

1352 BST: Away we go. Moya to serve.

1346 BST: Moya has dropped only two sets on his way to the quarter-finals – both against Andreas Seppi in the first round. Since then, he’s got past Florent Serra, Juan Pablo Brzezicki and Jonas Bjorkman in straight sets. Nadal, of course, is yet to drop a set and his French Open record reads: Won 18 Lost 0.

1342 BST: The arty French TV director gives us a close-up of Moya’s arm tattoo followed by one of Nadal’s foot, which is jiggling up and down in anticipation.

1342 BST: Here come the players. Nadal marches on second and gets the slightly bigger cheer.

1341 BST: The pair have met five times, Nadal leading 3-2. The younger man has won two of their three meetings on the dirt.

1336 BST: This match sees the number two seed and defending champion Nadal up against the 1998 champion Moya. Moya played mentor to his fellow Mallorcan when Nadal arrived on tour but the young pretender has long since overtaken the 30-year-old in the rankings.

1330 BST: Novak Djokovic wraps up a straight-sets win over unseeded Russian Igor Andreev. He becomes the third Serb to reach the singles semi-finals in Paris.

French Open – Roland Garros – Men to watch


EurosportTue, 22 May 00:52:00 2007

French Open – Believe it or not, a Rafael Nadal versus Roger Federer French Open final is not necessarily ordained from above. Jeremy Stahl runs through the list of contenders who stand a chance on the red-hot clay at this year’s Roland Garros.

TENNIS 2007 Battle of the Surfaces Roger Federer Rafael Nadal - 0

Rafael Nadal – The odds-on bet

We would be loathe not to mention the two-time defending champion as the easy favourite to defend his crown. The world number two is coming off of the heels of his first defeat on the slow dirt in more than two years, but his loss to Roger Federer in the Hamburg final takes nothing away from the Spaniard’s record-breaking 81-match win streak on clay. In addition to having a perfect record in his two years at Roland Garros, Rafa has yet to have even been pushed to a fifth set at Paris. Three titles in four claycourt tournaments in 2007 bode well for the 20-year-old man-child from Majorca.

Roger Federer – To be the greatest…..

From John McEnroe to Andre Agassi, the general consensus among tennis’ now wise (once wild) men is that Roger Federer needs to win the French Open and become the sixth man to achieve the Slam in order to challenge for the mantle of “greatest-of-all-time.” After a previously disappointing claycourt season, Fed-ex won his first clay title of the spring in Hamburg. More importantly, the Swiss Slam machine overcame one of his biggest goblins of the past two years and beat Rafael Nadal on clay for the first time in six tries. Though Federer had been coy about his Roland Garros hopes, the world number one is clearly anxious to get over the final hurdle of a brilliant career on the burning red dirt of Paris.

Fernando Gonzalez – Gonzo-mania strikes again?

The fifth ranked Chilean starts the French Open as the most credible challenger to the world number one and the two-time defending champion, having already reached the final of one Grand Slam and a claycourt Masters series this year. The man whose red-hot Oz Open run was only ended by an unstoppable Federer in the final, also reached the final of the Rome Masters before being trounced by Nadal. If he can somehow avoid the top-two in the draw, another Gonzo Grand Slam final is a distinct possibility in Paris.

Novak Djokovic – The other young gun

The Serbian starlet, who turned 20-years-old a week before the start of this year’s French Open, has not quite rivalled Rafa Nadal as the best young player on the ATP Tour this year, but he has come close. Djokovic, third in the 2007 ATP Points Race behind only Federer and Nadal, won titles in Adelaide and Estoril, and beat Rafa on his way to a Miami Masters crown in a brilliant first-half of the season. He reached the quarter-finals of last year’s Roland Garros before retiring hurt down to sets to eventual winner Nadal, but after gaining more experience against Rafa at the Rome, Miami, and Indian Wells Masters, is in the best-possible position to challenge his top-ten 20-year-old peer.

Nikolay Davydenko – Looks good on paper

A perennial Grand Slam quarter-finalist, the Russian had his best-ever finish at Roland Garros in 2005 losing to Mariano Puerta in the semi-finals. Despite his third consecutive quarter-finals appearance at the Australian Open this January, Davydenko’s 2007 had been anything but impressive with several first and second round exits. But then the world number four nearly showed what he is nearly capable of by nearly beating Rafael Nadal at the Rome Masters in a semi-final epic. Nearly will not be good enough at Roland Garros, however.

Guillermo Canas – The upset specialist

Returning to the ATP circuit from a 15-month doping suspension last fall, the Argentine gained a more positive notoriety this spring by beating world number one Roger Federer in two consecutive tournaments. Canas has the quickness and defensive agility to challenge the world’s best on the slow surface, as he proved in his encore victory over Federer in a thrilling 7-6(2) 2-6 7-6(5) victory at the Miami Masters. Having already beaten former French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero on clay to win the Brazil Open, Canas went onto reach the finals in Barcelona before succumbing to Nadal. But only one victory in his last three tournaments means “El Gigantico Killero” has cooled heading into Paris.

Lleyton Hewitt and Carlos Moya – The old school

Though both the Australian and the Spaniard have faded significantly since their respective runs at the top of the world rankings, back in November 2001 and March 1999 respectively, both Hewitt and Moya have surged into this year’s French Open. The former US Open and Wimbledon champion Hewitt struggled after winning the Las Vegas Open in February, but demonstrated shades of his former attacking greatness against Nadal in the semi-finals at Hamburg before losing 6-2 3-6 5-7 to the Spaniard. Moya, the 1998 French Open champion, also started the season strong with a title on clay in Acapulco in February, before struggling up until an impressive Hamburg run, which was ended by eventual champion Roger Federer in a thrilling 6-4 4-6 2-6 semi-final. Between the 30-year-old Moya and the 26-year-old Hewitt, you have to give the edge to the Australian.

David Nalbandian – The long-shot

Another really strong contender on paper, Nalbandian reached his second Roland Garros semi-finals appearance in 2006 before retiring against world number one Roger Federer. The big-hitting 25-year-old has disappointed this season with only one quarter-finals appearance at Barcelona, but is capable of beating anybody in the world as he showed at the Masters Cup final against Federer in 2005. Prone to unforced errors and on-court nervous break-downs the hot-blooded Argentine has all the potential to win the French Open, but probably lacks the mental toughness to go all the way.

Philipp Kohlschreiber – The really, really long-shot

The 23-year-old German could turn a few heads and cause a couple of upsets at Paris, if he continues the form that has seen him to a career-best ranking of 32nd in the world. Kohlschreiber, a natural dirt-baller, won his first-career title on the clay at Munich last month. He pushed Rafa Nadal to four sets before losing to the Spaniard in the second round of the Australian Open, and reached the quarter-finals at Monte Carlo before falling to the eventual champion Nadal yet again. The added experience against the world number two could very well work to his advantage.

And the rest….

Andy Roddick, James Blake, Ivan Ljubicic, Tommy Robredo, Tomas Berdych, and Tommy Haas are threats in any major tournament, while claycourt specialists Juan Ignacio Chela, Juan Carlos Ferrero and David Ferrer could also do some damage.