What is wrong with Novak Djokovic? He struggled to eke through his first two rounds and now is down 26 to the miniature marvel David Goffin. Could he be in physical decline after all those grinding battles over the years? Could the $100 million man have been ordered off a banned substance like Sharapova was (meldonium)? One thing is for sure, Novak Djokovic has lost his aura of invincibility and dominance. And it all happened so suddenly. A year ago in Miami I remember asking Svetlana Kuznetsova if she had any suggestions how the ATP players could beat him. Now Djokovic is struggling to get to the semifinals of Masters Series events.
Diego Schwartzman continues to thrive. He defeated Struff of Germany and is into the quarters of Monte Carlo. After seeing the miniature Argentine crush Ferrer in Miami 61 63, it should have come as no big surprise.
The top half of the draw lost Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka, now one of Lucas Pouille, Marin Cilic or Alberto Vinolas-Ramos will reach the final.
Rafa Nadal looks like he’s approaching his unbeatable-on-clay level again. The way he totally destroyed Alexander Zverev 61 61 delivered a very strong message to the rest of the ATP. Rumors about Rafa’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Photographs by Henk Abbink and Daniel Abbink.