Thursday, December 18, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Nadal mulls tennis’ future after French Open win

France Tennis French Open

Spain's Rafael Nadal serves the ball during the second round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Austria's Dominic Thiem at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Thursday, May 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

By
From page B8 | May 30, 2014 |

PARIS — Shortly after winning for the 61st time in his 62nd match on the red clay at Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal took a moment to look at the future of tennis.

And the top-seeded Spaniard doesn’t see himself in the picture. Or Roger Federer. Or Novak Djokovic. Or Andy Murray.

True, Nadal advanced to the third round of the French Open on Thursday, beating a 20-year-old Austrian in straight sets. But it’s that same 20-year-old Austrian, Dominic Thiem, who is one of the men who could start winning the major titles that have been so elusive to almost everyone outside that famous quartet.

Together, they have won 34 of the last 36 Grand Slam titles.

But, to drive home his point, Nadal notes he’s almost 28 while Djokovic and Murray are 27 and Federer is “I don’t know, 32.”

“(We’re) not going to be here for 10 more years,” he said.

The eight-time French Open champion followed that last statement with a chuckle, probably because he quickly realized how ridiculous that kind of prognostication sounds after his 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 win over Thiem.

It was, however, quite a contest on Court Philippe Chatrier, the main stadium at Roland Garros and Nadal’s favorite place to play.

Thiem broke Nadal’s serve twice, once in the first set and once in the third. The first time, Nadal was serving for the set at 5-1 and leading 40-30, but Thiem hit three straight thundering shots into the same corner, the first a backhand the next two forehands, to make it 5-2.

“He has very powerful shots,” said Nadal, who can become the first man in history to win five straight French Open titles with another victory this year. “Very powerful forehand and good backhand, too.”

Good, for sure, but not yet good enough to take down Nadal.

“It’s really important to play against these guys a lot, against these top guys because it’s more important than every practice,” said Thiem, playing in only his second Grand Slam tournament. “I hope I can take a lot with me from this match.”

The three other old-timers have also reached the third round, with Murray beating Marinko Matosevic 6-3, 6-1, 6-3. Despite the lopsided score, Murray still had to work to keep himself sharp, at times chastising himself out loud for all to hear.

“From a player’s perspective … the beginning of sets are very important to try and get ahead whilst the opponent’s head is down a little bit,” Murray said. “I was just trying to make sure that my intensity was there every moment, especially at the beginning of the sets. I managed to get ahead early in all of them, and that helped.”

Murray has never won the French Open, nor has anyone else in the men’s draw besides Nadal and Federer. But the Wimbledon champion reached the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2011 and the quarterfinals in 2012. He missed last year’s tournament because of a back injury.

The women’s tournament started with six former champions in the main draw, and three remain — Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Ana Ivanovic.

Kuznetsova and Ivanovic won second-round matches Thursday. Sharapova advanced on Wednesday and will play again Friday.

But the one player just about everyone expects to see holding the trophy yet again at Roland Garros is Nadal, the only man with eight major titles from the same Grand Slam tournament.

Nadal’s only loss at Roland Garros came in the fourth round in 2009, a result that split his eight titles into two neat groups of four. And his start so far this year is already a tad better than the one last year, when he needed four sets in the first round and four in the second to advance.

“No one year is the same, no, no, no,” Nadal said. “No, no, no, doesn’t mean nothing, doesn’t mean nothing that last year I (started with) a very hard week, but I played well when I had to play well.”

In the third round this year, Nadal will face Leonardo Mayer, a 27-year-old Argentine who has lost in his two other attempts to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros.

Should be another easy victory for Nadal, but who knows how long those will last.

“A generation is walking away and others will replace us,” Nadal said. “It will not come overnight, but it will come.”

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

Solano College trustees move back ‘home’

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Needs of small dog give Solano man life’s mission

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
Christmas comes early for prenatal program participants

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Police chief: Suisun crime up 3 percent in 2014

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Council OKs $65,730 pact to advocate for Travis base

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield pays $42,500 to settle soil suit

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

Jury convicts teen for role in 2012 DeBartolo’s heist

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Fairfield police log: Dec. 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: Dec. 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

Pope played crucial role in US-Cuba rapprochement

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US travel industry carefully eyeing Cuba tourism

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

US-Cuba thaw could benefit farmers, energy and travel firms

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Cubans cheer historic renewal of US relations

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

Freed American endured years of declining health

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Fears fanned by hackers bring down Sony film

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

Like Iran, secret diplomacy leads to US-Cuba thaw

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Bay Bridge light sculpture to keep on shining

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

Study: Huge wildfire supports need for controlled burns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
A fresh setback for efforts to cure HIV infection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

14 charged in deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Study: Alcatraz inmates could have survived escape

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Colombian rebels announce unilateral cease-fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Russians flock to stores to pre-empt price rises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Pakistan buries victims of school massacre

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Nigerian court sentences 54 soldiers to death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Opinion

Crime Witness Protocol 101

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7, 8 Comments

 
 
Editorial Cartoons: Dec. 18, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 18, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 18, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
My siblings don’t want to replace abusive mother’s pacemaker

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

25 movies chosen for the National Film Registry

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Saving Private Ryan’ among films being preserved

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
.

Sports

Carr faces another tough test in rookie season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
For MLB, changes in Cuba will take time to sort out

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Falcons cruise by crushers in girls basketball

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
49ers release McDonald amid further legal trouble

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Track coach Drummond gets 8-year doping suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Warriors’ Bogut out with knee injury vs. Thunder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP source: Romo close to $15M, 2-year deal with Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Baseball monitoring White House Cuba decision

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

APNewsBreak: Judge rejects NCAA concussions deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Painkillers lawsuit against NFL dismissed; may be appealed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Garcia resigns as FIFA prosecutor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Chattanooga women stun No. 7 Stanford 54-46

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

McDonald’s in Japan limits orders of fries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Amid scrutiny, Uber says it will focus more on safety

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Health care exchange sign-ups exceeding last year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Fed to be ‘patient’ about a rate hike; stocks soar

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

Marian L. “Chicki” Downs

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9