Tennis Prose



Rafa vs Berdych: A 15-Year Rivalry

Rafael Nadal will take on a resurgent Tomas Berdych in the fourth round of AO. Rafa leads the extensive rivalry 19-4 though he lost three of their first four meetings.

Nadal then won seventeen matches in a row vs Berdych until the Czech Republic power hitter bested Nadal at the 2015 AO 62 60 76. They played one more time on clay that year with Nadal triumphing 76 61.

Check out the interesting head to head series of Nadal vs Berdych…

Year Event Surface RND Winner Result
2015 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid Outdoor Clay SF Nadal 763 61
2015 Australian Open Outdoor Hard QF Berdych 62 60 765
2014 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid Outdoor Clay QF Nadal 64 62
2014 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami Outdoor Hard SF Nadal W/O
2013 ATP Finals Great Britain Indoor Hard RR Nadal 64 16 63
2013 Beijing Outdoor Hard SF Nadal 42 RET
2013 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati Outdoor Hard SF Nadal 75 764
2013 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome Outdoor Clay SF Nadal 62 64
2013 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells Outdoor Hard SF Nadal 64 75
2012 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome Outdoor Clay QF Rafael Nadal 64 75
2012 Australian Open Outdoor Hard QF Nadal 675 766 64 63
2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami Outdoor Hard QF Nadal 62 36 63
2010 ATP Finals Great Britain Indoor Hard RR Nadal 763 61
2010 Wimbledon Outdoor Grass F Nadal 63 75 64
2010 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells Outdoor Hard QF Nadal 64 764
2009 ESP vs. CZE DC Final Spain Indoor Clay RR Rafael Nadal 75 60 62
2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati Outdoor Hard QF Nadal 64 75
2008 ATP Masters Series Miami Outdoor Hard SF Nadal 766 62
2007 Wimbledon Outdoor Grass QF Nadal 761 64 62
2007 ATP Masters Series Monte Carlo Outdoor Clay SF Nadal 60 75
2006 ATP Masters Series Madrid Indoor Hard QF Berdych 63 766
2006 ATP Masters Series Canada Outdoor Hard R16 Berdych 61 36 62
2005 ATP Masters Series Cincinnati Outdoor Hard R64 Berdych 674 62 763
2005 Bastad Sweden Outdoor Clay F Nadal 26 62 64

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  • Hartt · January 19, 2019 at 2:41 am

    Will post this here because the old thread is getting long.

    Milos had a solid win in SS vs Herbert. I am always worried about Milos getting injured, but so far, so good. It’s great to see Milos back playing well.

    The Shapo vs Novak match went pretty much as I’d expected. I said on another site that I’d be thrilled if Denis won a set, so was happy when he managed that. Denis still needs to improve the “meat and potatoes” aspect of his game, but I think that will come.

  • catherine · January 19, 2019 at 3:50 am

    I’ve posted lower down about WTA but will carry on with this stream now. Halep playing V Williams and ahead in 1st set.

    Don’t think Svitolina will go much further – she has a shoulder problem and doesn’t seem too fit.

  • catherine · January 19, 2019 at 4:36 am

    Simona wins easily over Venus but I noticed she has her left thigh strapped.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 19, 2019 at 8:26 am

    Catherine, have you noticed, Venus often has something wrapped. And then plays the full match. Simona vs Serena is the match.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 19, 2019 at 8:27 am

    Svitolina gutted out a very tough win vs Zhang, this is the kind of win that could propel her much further. Great win for her.

  • catherine · January 19, 2019 at 8:39 am

    It’s Simona who had the strapping – maybe it’s just precautionary.

    Good win for Elena but she did look pretty tired – true she hasn’t played like that for a while. Influence of Monfils ?

  • Wayne Bradford · January 20, 2019 at 12:16 am

    I have just witnessed an absolute demolition. Kerber destroyed in 56 minutes by Danielle Collins. Amazing that American tennis has another star. Collins looks like she is a future world No. 1. She made Kerber, a three-time Slam winner, look like a teenager who had never held a racket that much.

    Anyone who watched this will realize they saw greatness. Collins looks destined to win multiple Slams based on this performance. She is well-educated having graduated from Virginia and won NCAA championships there. Again Kerber looked like a complete chump, like she was picked out of the stands to play this match and Collins teed off with her backhand that Kerber could not handle. The German complained to her box constantly to coach her better.

    Meanwhile ESPN refuses to show the Tiafoe match. They are ruining tennis, ESPN. They are the worst.

  • catherine · January 20, 2019 at 1:20 am

    A truly shocking loss. I haven’t seen Angie play this badly for a long time, maybe ever. Did she celebrate her birthday too much ? Did she have an injury ? Did she do no preparation ? No scouting by her ‘team’ ?

    As T-P readers know I’m Angie’s loyal fan but this is stretching it. Collins is very good but I’d expect some kind of resistance. Angie gave none.

    Barty battled well past Sharapova. What a contrast. And order was restored with Petra dismissing Anasimova.

    Now Angie can go hurry to back Germany and help shovel snow.
    And no more Vogue photo spreads please.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 20, 2019 at 1:39 am

    My apologies, didn’t know you were a fan of Kerber. I take it you are German then? Boy she was dominated. That makes you wonder how her preparation was for this tournament.

    Collins was just spectacular. In three to years we will have Collins playing Anisimova in Slam finals!

  • catherine · January 20, 2019 at 1:52 am

    Every credit to Collins but let’s not go overboard – she might not find Sloane Stephens, if they play, quite so easy and I don’t think she’s going to win the tournament. Or multiple Slams.

    All 3 of Angie’s coaches have now gone from Melbourne.

    She was distraught after the match – her English was as bad as her tennis. And her plunge down the rankings starts here.

  • catherine · January 20, 2019 at 2:15 am

    Wayne – I’m not German 🙂 Do I sound like it ? You don’t have to apologise. I’ve followed Angie for a while because I think she’s interesting. I know a lot of people don’t. Ben Rothenberg thinks she’s got an interesting game but a boring personality – I find rather the opposite. Her game isn’t astounding, more the result of hard work and persistance, but I’ve always thought there was more to her than appears on the surface. She’s had her ups and downs and been through the wringer a few times and somehow made it back.

    She’s the go to woman in Germany for glamour photos and that’s a temptation and a distraction. Her Fed Cup captain for many years,Barbara Rittner, pointed out during Angie’s dreadful 2017 that she’s an introverted woman who gets stressed easily although she may not always show this. Last year she lost the Fed Cup tie in Stuttgart for Germany and a German fan called her performance ‘eine Blamage’ – a disgrace. A bit hard, but you could say the same about her match today.

    Rainer Schuettler is getting a crash course in Kerber Studies.

  • catherine · January 20, 2019 at 2:36 am

    I notice Collins is getting some stick from fans for her perceived arrogance and failure to mention her opponent at any point in her interview.

    I admit Collin’s talent but I’m not warming to her as a person. She lacks graciousness. And she’s 25, not a kid.

  • Hartt · January 20, 2019 at 5:31 am

    Some of the folks at Match Call Migrants, who follow the WTA closely, have complained for some time about Collins’ attitude and behaviour on the court. I haven’t seen a lot of her but I was put off by her behaviour, too.

    As far as her future success, one match, or even one tourney, is not enough to really indicate how she will fare.

  • catherine · January 20, 2019 at 6:21 am

    Hartt – I agree, and such a contrast to Kvitova’s generous comments after she’d beaten Anisimova – it doesn’t take much to acknowledge your opponent. Angie did in her pc and she very clearly didn’t want to be there at all.

    Looks like Sloane/Pavs won’t get on court until dawn is breaking 🙂

    I’m watching Feds match – could go a while.

  • Hartt · January 20, 2019 at 6:39 am

    Am watching Fed’s match as well. I like Stefanos as a player, but am still hoping that Fed can pull it out.

  • Hartt · January 20, 2019 at 7:24 am

    As a Fed fan, was sad to see Roger lose this match, but Stefanos played great and deserved the win. He is a treat-eligible player, so he is one of my faves. It is a pleasure to see a youngster playing attacking, going to the net, tennis.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 20, 2019 at 8:22 am

    Collins has what it takes to win majors and be a top 5 stalwart. She is a natural born talent and a fierce competitor, she said she loves to turn the match into a war and actually likes when an opponent yells come on after her errors, because that allows her to amp up her intensity. She has no fear of anyone and believes she can slay any dragon out there. As she did last night. Collins is breaking out now and she could win this tournament. I saw her working hard in late November with male players, playing super intense points and games even in late Nov, a month away from the season. This girl Collins has what it takes.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 20, 2019 at 8:25 am

    Catherine, Collins is a straight shooter, she doesn’t feel the need to talk nice and phony about her opponents, she’s here on business and that business is to take no prisoners. I like her feisty attitude and lack of respect or graciousness for big name opponents. Fu** the rest be the best. Who wants to see a great young player show too much respect for a big name? I thought we all want to see these next Gen players on the bottom come out guns blazing and taking out the stars. Collins has the right attitude, the fans need to respect her ambitions and ruthlessness.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 20, 2019 at 8:31 am

    hartt, Collins has to be this way. You give too much respect to the big stars and you will always be underneath them. She doesn’t care about the big stars, she wants to annihilate them. Like a young Mike Tyson. Better get comfortable with Collins revolution because it’s only just begun. Womens tennis needs a firebrand like Collins and it’s a blessing we have her. I think a lot of people are tired of the same old boring womens tennis routine personalities, the WTA needs a feisty invader to shake things up and Collins is doing a fantastic job of that. The daughter of a landscaper who couldn’t crack the line up and Florida University and had differences with her coach and then won the NCAA title two times at UVA is here now and you better get used to her bravado, confidence and take no prisoners attitude.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 20, 2019 at 8:33 am

    The changing the guard happened tonight, Stefanos Tsitsipas declared the new king is here and he will be a great champion of history. he slayed Roger Federer in the 4th round of a major exactly like a guy named Roger slayed Pete Sampras in the 4th round at Wimbledon. Is it even possible Tsitsipas can have a career comparable to Roger Federer? Absolutely. With how good he looked tonight, nothing can be ruled out. The best is yet to come for young Tsitsipas.

  • H · January 20, 2019 at 8:44 am

    I am a big fan of Tsitsipas, and I remember you talking about him and his father before hardly anyone was aware of the youngster. But it is way too early to predict a Fed-like career for the youngster.

    But Stefanos is the perfect example of how you can show respect to an all-time great and still go out and play lights out to beat the guy.

  • Hartt · January 20, 2019 at 8:46 am

    I see my comment came up as “H” which it does if I hit the wrong key when logging in.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 20, 2019 at 8:47 am

    H, and Djokovic and Agassi are examples of the opposite, young rebel players who do not have too much respect for the great champions. I like both approaches, diversity adds spice and sizzle to the sport 🙂

  • catherine · January 20, 2019 at 9:32 am

    Scoop – I don’t think you have to behave like Collins to be a winner. I’ve seen plenty of big stars in my time, male and female, and if you’re good enough there’s no need to be ungracious and arrogant. I never saw Navratilova behave that way, or Graf or Evert, and several others I could name. I’m sure Osaka wouldn’t do that either and you admire her.

    A great player has confidence in their ability and can afford generosity toward opponents. Like Federer, like Kvitova.

    I know you like pugnacious players – but let’s see how far Danielle goes. Today she beat Kerber because Angie wasn’t there on the court, for whatever reason. Last year Collins was on the receiving end at Eastbourne. What goes around comes around.

    Oh – and is Serena one of the ‘same old boring routine
    personalities’ ? I think not.

  • catherine · January 20, 2019 at 9:57 am

    I can’t believe the press are still asking Sharapova about her ban for Meldonium. How many years ago is it now ?

    Maria just passed on that and I don’t blame her.

    Someone else asked Angie about how it was she left the court for a bathroom break. What did they expect her to say ? She just gave him what we used to call an old fashioned look and said ‘It was a bathroom break’.

  • catherine · January 20, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Hartt – are you the mysterious conributor ‘H’ ? I thought that was a person who was shy about their name 🙂

  • catherine · January 20, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Out goes Sloane to Pavs – so we’ll see how Collins deals with her. Pavs is known at times for her feistiness on court.

    Sloane’s in a slump.

  • Hartt · January 20, 2019 at 11:04 am

    I agree that a variety of personalities make things more interesting, and a certain amount of feistiness can be fun. But when players cross the line and are obnoxious or nasty it is no longer fun. As Catherine said, the true greats are confident enough that they are gracious about their opponents.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 20, 2019 at 11:19 am

    Catherine, Collins has to do it HER WAY. If she behaves like Gasquet or Wozniacki or Keys, she won’t be successful She has to be true to her colors and be herself. Respect her unique individuality and courage to be bold and be herself. I love the way she is doing it and totally respect her being herself and not conforming. Tennis is a ruthless business and her nature is to compete against that. She wants and believes she can be the best and she is going after it 100%. I saw nothing unsporstmanlike or unsportswomanlike from Collins, she simply is a destroyer and could care less about who she destroys. She’s not being a phony like Serena with the nice act. She’s doing it HER WAY.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 20, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Hartt, how did Collins cross the line? What example of obnoxious did you see from Collins? I saw none. I just see a tremendously confidence and driven and merciless fighter who is now amongst the very best players in the world. Not bad for a girl who couldn’t even play on her college team at University of Florida. What an idiot that coach must have been.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 20, 2019 at 11:24 am

    What a dead atmosphere for Sloane vs Pavlyuchenkova, empty seats and no energy from crowd. Bad scheduling by the tournament to put that match after Fed vs Tsip.

  • catherine · January 20, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    Well Scoop – that’s the first time I’ve heard you call Serena a phony.

    One of the reasons I’m not a great fan of Collins’ is that I do find something a bit phony in her carry on about being aggressive and not caring if people hate her etc. (This from her current interview.) I suspect the more a player goes on about that stuff in a very conscious way the more likely they are to get distracted from the real business. And she could be more gracious, polite if you like. That’s called manners. No great effort.

    John McEnroe used to burble about being himself and true to himself etc and most of the time it was just an excuse for some truly reprehensible behaviour. So I’m a bit cynical about players who assume those attitudes.

    Something I do not like about Danielle was her snotty remark to the effect that she was a better person than certain unnamed individuals who hadn’t gone to college like her and instead had spent their time playing tennis and were therefore narrow people with no experience of life. Not her exact words but that’s what she meant. Look it up.

    And Collins thrashed Angie not because she’s suddenly become a great player but because Angie fell into one of her emotional sink holes and gave her no opposition at all. So in that match she flattered to deceive. I think her game is actually quite limited.

    If she wins the AO maybe I’ll revise my views.

  • Chazz · January 20, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    Tennis players as a whole are pretty vanilla. There are a lot of robots on the ATP and WTA tours. I love the workmanlike styles of Federer and Nadal these days but some seem to forgot Federer was pretty self congratulatory 10-12 years ago that could’ve rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. I also love what Tiafoe is bringing with his NBA style celebration. He understands he’s in the entertainment business. He has mentioned this in the past.

    The crowds get it, just listen to the noise and enthusiasm as they were approaching victory as well as the response their post match interviews. Collins was actually joking with some of her stuff – the crowd got it and laughed and she did too. People need to lighten up.

  • Chazz · January 20, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    I liked Collins from the first time I saw her do well last year – relentless player, not a pusher like some on WTA. Also very easy on the eyes. She has swagger which is commonplace among any athlete at any level in America. This adds personality to sports, and not offensive at all to sports fans like Scoop and I.

  • Chazz · January 20, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    I also wanted Federer to win last night but I like Tsitsipas and his game. Loved his reaction too, such joy from a rising star. This really sets up well for another Nadal Slam though. On the WTA side, I’ll go with Kvitova.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 20, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Catherine, Collins has a very diverse game, she uses drop shots and lobs, saw her practice both shots in Miami, never saw another woman practicing those specific shots. She has excellent lobs and drop shots. She has a fiery, tenacious, fighting spirit, she is not an overly nice polite player like Dimitrov or Gasquet or Keys, she’s a fighter with a chip on her shoulder. She works very hard, as I said earlier, and the way she does her business is obviously working as she rose to the top in college and now she’s doing it as a pro. If she feels she’s more complete than other players because she struggled in college and made it to the top, well she can feel proud about that, she has those years of college experience on the court and off in her character now and that’s valuable special experience many WTA pros wish they could have. College experience is very special. I think she destroyed Kerber because she’s blossoming right now into a champion. She worked her ass off in the off season and now the fruits of her labors are paying off. We are seeing something very special with Danielle Collins. She can win this AO title.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 20, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Well said Chazz, she has the swagger and the ego of someone who is driven to be the best. She’s not a shrinking violet who is afraid to express herself like some players (Giorgi, Saurez Navarro, etc). She’s an alpha female. More power to her. I liked her from the beginning too, last year at Miami Open, she walks around the court like she’s the best, she does not have too much respect for the big names like Venus who she destroyed last year in Miami with her diverse game, she actually lobbed Venus successfully several times, how rare is that? I saw Collins training in late Nov and she was playing a guy and the points were extremely intense and hard fought. This girl is special, she’s a fighter with big goals and great expectations for herself. Credit to her for daring to be great.

  • catherine · January 20, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    For heaven’s sake – let’s crown Collins the GOAT until someone beats her. Scoop, I remember you said those things before about her, earlier last year. Well, I’ve seen women practising dropshots and lobs, lots of times. I’ve also seen women practising with men.

    College is ok for some people, not for others. What Danielle actually said was that some of the other players ‘haven’t ventured out much.’ How can she possibly know that ? What an arrogant attitude.

    And in Europe we don’t have sports scholarships – you get there on academic achievement so most athletes don’t have a choice unless they go to the US. And as for being ‘shrinking violets’ – people have different personalities. They can’t help that. I never heard anyone complain that Chris Evert was not exactly the life of the party on court.

    Collins is all about her. I didn’t hear her say one word about Kerber – unlike Barty and Sharapova who talked about each other in an obviously mutually respectful way.

    I’m expecting Danielle to beat Pavs, but beyond that I won’t go.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 20, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    Catherine, Good point on Evert having a boring on court personality but she is one of those untouchable legends, you just can’t say that she was boring on court and you can’t say that about Borg either. But for some reason a lot of people and media said Pete Sampras was boring. Let’s just enjoy how Collins is shaking things up. Womens tennis needs this enormously. Everyone is tired of all the nicey nice talk and the phony displays of sportsmanship just for image enhancing. I’ll have more respect for Serena’s new sportsmanship activities if she extends the same gestures to Maria or Sloane.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 20, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Collins’ attitude is because she knows she is more well-rounded than these other women. I was reading about her and she was a genius in school and is studying to be a lawyer while on tour. The reason she doesn’t respect Kerber and the rest is because she is more educated and has more going for her as a high achiever.

    The other women are basically either tennis machines and maybe like Genie, part-time models. Collins is that rare combination as a person who has athletic ability and superior intelligent as a U. of Virginia graduate.

  • catherine · January 20, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    Wayne – that’s pretty arrogant isn’t it ? Having no respect for others because you think you’re more intelligent than they are. What an unpleasant attitude. If true, that’s made me dislike Collins even more.

    How does she know how intelligent, well-rounded etc Angie is ? Does she speak German ? And Angie’s certainly achieved more on the tennis court than Danielle has. And I wonder why, being such a genius, Collins is wasting her time playing tennis and mixing with such a bunch of useless ignorant people.

    I think she should just go off to law school where she can be around her own kind.

    You should read Julie Heldman’s autobiography. That might show you how someone can be an extremely intelligent, a pretty good tennis player and also retain good human qualities such as humility and respect for others. Julie was a lawyer too.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 21, 2019 at 12:38 am

    I don’t know if arrogant is the right word. She said her parents were poor and she couldn’t afford to play overseas. She is very demanding, she asked her parents to homeschool her so she would have more time for tennis. Collins has an unheard of drive.

    Also, she isn’t going to be a lawyer but wants the law degree so she can start a business. I would guess that the tennis money she will save up for this business.

    I think we should all support her, a woman who is well-rounded ans striving to be the best. Who are we to limit what women can be? Collins can be not only a tennis champion but a Fortune 500 CEO as well and perhaps even the first female to become President. Why should we want her to be like the rest of the gals?

    I think it is great and important to support her high standards of education. It is clear there are many uneducated people in the U.S. with stupidity run amok so we should support her ambitions. A UVA education and studying prelaw unlike some jock major isn’t anything to look down upon. She is an impressive up and comer indeed.

  • catherine · January 21, 2019 at 1:29 am

    I’m all for education and people striving to be the best. As for being a Fortune 500 CEO I couldn’t care less about that. Or for being President. In Europe we’re used to women having power so that’s no big deal. And as a woman myself I don’t set any limits on what other women can be.

    What I do care about is people having respect for each other, striving to understand each other and learning to get along together with as little conflict as possible.

    I’m put off by some of the comments coming out of Danielle’s mouth. Of course if she’s around the dressing room long enough she might change her views a little or find herself dumped in a cold shower from time to time.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 21, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Catherine, Collins respects the other players but on the court it’s a jungle and you can’t have too much respect otherwise you lose to the best. To beat the best you have to be a ruthless wrecking machine. Collins understands that and applies it. She has the right attitude to be the best. We’ll see if she has the other qualites and the talent. I think she does. To be the best you have to believe in yourself and your methods and philosophies to be better than everyone else. You have to have a freakish self belief and self love. The best ones are not normal people, they are freaks. But they can disguise that well. Never forget Michael Llodra telling me how crazy Federer is but he hides it and has everyone fooled. I asked for examples of his craziness but he refused, just kept saying he’s crazy, crazy crazy. Remember, “It’s the crazy ones who can change the world.”

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 21, 2019 at 8:37 am

    With all the nice and politically correct polite players, a straight shooter ambitious force like Collins is going to ruffle some feathers with her bold ambitions. Djokovic did the same thing when he was coming up. So did Mike Tyson. Just human nature for some to resent bold confident whippersnappers as they say. Collins rise up is one of the highlights of this AO.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 21, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    Collins shares many similarities with Myke Tyson since both grew up poor. The difference is that Collins emphasized education while the vultures in the boxing world misused Tyson and kept him stupid over the years. Thankfully he wised up and is doing better now, from what I understand.

    Tyson could have been a great tennis player, although he was short and would not have had a powerful serve. I think his style of play would have been similar to Miroslav Mecir.



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