Thursday, July 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

8-time champ Nadal, Djokovic in French Open final

By
From page B1 | June 07, 2014 |

France Tennis French Open

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates winning the semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament against Britain's Andy Murray at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Friday, June 6, 2014. Nadal won in three sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-1. (AP Photo/David Vincent)

PARIS — This is what Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic wanted. It’s what they expected. And now they’ll meet in a French Open final with so much at stake for both.

Nadal is seeking championship No. 9 at Roland Garros, and his 14th major title overall. Djokovic is hoping to finally conquer the French Open and complete a career Grand Slam. Fittingly, whoever wins the rivals’ 42nd head-to-head meeting Sunday will be ranked No. 1 on Monday; the runner-up will be No. 2.

“He has the motivation to win Roland Garros for the first time, for sure. But at the same time, he has the pressure to win for the first time,” Nadal said. “I have the pressure that I want to win — and the motivation that I want to win — the ninth.”

In Friday’s semifinals, the No. 1-seeded Nadal was at his imperious, and nearly immaculate, best in a 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 victory over Wimbledon champion Andy Murray that lasted all of 100 minutes. Nadal never faced a break point, converted all six he earned, and whipped his uppercut of a forehand as only he can.

Toni Nadal, Rafael’s uncle and coach, called the match “one of the best that he has ever played here.”

That’s sure saying something. Toni’s nephew is 65-1 at the clay-court tournament and carries a 34-match winning streak into the final.

The thick, gray clouds and chill that became a staple these two weeks gave way to sunshine and warmth Friday, and Nadal reveled in it.

“For me, is much better when the weather is like today,” he said. “My ball creates more topspin. The ball goes quicker in the air, and with my forehand I am able to create more with less.”

All in all, Nadal made Murray look rather lost.

“You want to be competitive. You want to make it hard for him,” Murray said. “I wasn’t able to do that.”

The No. 2-seeded Djokovic’s semifinal was only slightly less perfunctory, a 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory over 18th-seeded Ernests Gulbis of Latvia that came first Friday, when the temperature hit 82 degrees (28 Celsius).

Wrapping a cold towel around his neck during changeovers, Djokovic was brilliant through two sets, then faltered in the third, showing frustration by spiking a racket so hard he mangled it.

Djokovic has made no secret of the importance he places on a French Open title to add to the six majors he’s won — four at the Australian Open, one each at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

“Obviously, Novak would like to win the one he is missing,” said Djokovic’s coach, Marian Vajda. “So all these hopes … make him more tense than usually you see him. But I think this match helped him to release it.”

Afterward, Djokovic said he felt “physically fatigued a little bit” and was looking forward to resting until Sunday, when the forecast predicts similar heat but also a chance of rain.

No two men in the Open era, which began in 1968, faced each other as often as these two. Nadal leads 22-19 overall, 8-3 at majors, and 5-0 in the French Open — including victories over Djokovic in the 2012 final and 2013 semifinals.

But Djokovic won their last four matchups, including on clay in the final at Rome last month, which the Serb said boosted his belief in himself.

Still, Djokovic conceded, “I don’t know how much ‘upper hand’ I have, really. … There is no doubt that he is the favorite to win the title.”

Nadal’s take?

“Probably he will come to the match mentally a little bit better than me because he beat me the last four,” said the Spaniard, who won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open twice each, and the Australian Open once, and can tie Pete Sampras at 14 major titles, behind only Roger Federer’s record for men of 17. “But at the same time, my feeling is I am doing the things better, and I am playing better again.”

Nadal arrived at Roland Garros dealing with some doubts. There were the three losses on clay in 2014. There was the pain in his back that resurfaced early last week, leading to a dip in his serve speeds and prompting him to wear vertical strips of tape under his shirt for support.

By Friday evening, all was well.

His back felt fine. His serves had zip. His forehand was fearsome.

The sun was shining.

And now Djokovic awaits.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Artists with trowels transform highway wall

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Multitasking to mindfulness shift not easy

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

Bertani schedules town hall meet

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
 
County court employees rally against cuts, furloughs

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Crews to begin Vacaville slurry seal street project

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3

 
2nd candidate eyes Vacaville mayoral run

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Vacaville police arrest fugitive Dezmon Frazier

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
Accused foster father testifies in murder trial

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4

 
Sesame Street USO tour visits Travis

By Staff Sgt. Christopher Carranza | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Fairfield police log: July 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Weather for July 24, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: July 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: July 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: July 21, 2013

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: July 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Lawsuit tests racial policy at California prisons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Lockdown lifted at Little Rock Air Force Base

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

US pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Casualty numbers raise questions about Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

40 bodies from jet solemnly returned to Dutch soil

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Honduran families deported back to a bleak future

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

Is Logue tripping over words?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
Watch out for Bobby Jindal

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A7

 
Rick Perry’s contradiction

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A7

 
Editorial Cartoons for July 24, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Good men lost due to Bergdahl

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
.

Living

Today in History for July 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

I resent my husband for not defending me to his mother

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes for July 24, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

CBS says Colbert keeping CBS’ ‘Late Show’ in NYC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
CBS event marks civil rights anniversary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

4-day Comic Con festival kicks off in San Diego

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Filmmaker Michael Moore’s divorce is finalized

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Cespedes hits 2 HRs, A’s hold off Astros 9-7

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Big innings fuels 16-1 Expos victory in Area 1 opener

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders start to arrive for start of camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Tight end Vernon Davis arrives at 49ers training camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Pence drives in 3, Giants beat Phillies 3-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Playful Pole wins Tour stage, as Nibali marches on

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

4 Cities to meet with USOC about 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Testimony ends in trial over $2B Clippers sale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Mavericks’ Felton pleads guilty in NYC gun case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Chiefs, running back Jamaal Charles reach deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Seattle’s Sidney Rice announces his retirement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Broncos owner giving up control due to Alzheimer’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

.

Business

Stopping deadly oil train fires: New rules planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US economy, though sluggish, may now be sturdier

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

GM issues 6 more safety recalls

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Obituaries

Mary Bell Scrivner Sanders

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Arturo Montenegro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Joseph Ross Smith Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Shirley T. ‘Mac’ McFadden

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 5 Comments

.

Comics

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9