Sunday, December 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Nadal says back is bothering him at French Open

By
From page B1 | June 01, 2014 |

France Tennis French Open

Spain's Rafael Nadal returns during the third round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Argentina's Leonardo Mayer at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Saturday, May 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PARIS — The closest thing to intrigue or drama involving Rafael Nadal on Saturday came after his 31st consecutive French Open victory concluded.

That’s when the eight-time champion revealed that a painful back is slowing his serves — and, all in all, giving him more trouble than his opponents so far.

For now, leave the on-court theatrics to others. Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, for example, was clutching at aching hamstrings while being taken to 7-all in the fifth set by No. 28 Philipp Kohlschreiber before their third-round match was suspended for fading light. No. 23 Gael Monfils acknowledged tanking a set en route to a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 0-6, 6-2 victory over No. 14 Fabio Fognini, who was docked a point for chucking his racket near a ball boy.

“They make a good show for the crowd,” Nadal said. “Long match. Crowd involved. Good for tennis.”

Well, aside from the fact that Monfils and Fognini combined for more than twice as many unforced errors, 137, as winners, 66.

Nadal’s play was much, much cleaner: During the entire course of his 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 win against 65th-ranked Leonardo Mayer of Argentina, the No. 1-seeded Spaniard made 10 unforced errors — two in the first set, three in the second, five in the third.

He’s dropped a total of 19 games through three matches.

More worrisome would be his back, which also acted up in January during a loss to Stan Wawrinka in the Australian Open final.

“During my career, I had (a) few problems. … Hopefully will not be (the) case” the rest of the way in Paris, Nadal said.

Against Mayer, Nadal averaged only 102 mph (165 kph) on first serves, with a top speed of 114 mph (184 kph).

That was down from an average of 111 mph (179 kph) and top of 122 mph (197 kph) in the first round last Monday.

Through two matches, Nadal faced five break points and lost serve twice. He dealt with eight break points Saturday, losing two.

The last time Nadal won 31 matches in a row in Paris, he failed to get No. 32, losing in the fourth round in 2009 to Robin Soderling — a defeat that later was blamed, in part, on injured knees. That remains the Spaniard’s lone setback in 63 matches at the tournament.

Next for Nadal is 83rd-ranked Dusan Lajovic of Serbia, who beat Jack Sock of the United States 6-4, 7-5, 6-3. Another American, Donald Young, lost in five sets to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain, leaving No. 10 John Isner as the last U.S. man.

Before this French Open, Lajovic had a 10-21 career record in tour-level matches, never winning two in a row.

“I saw him play a few times on TV. Sure, it’s great to have new players on tour, young players on the tour that are coming strong. Hopefully not too strong,” Nadal said with a smile. “We’ll see on Monday. I hope to be ready.”

Asked whether he would seek advice from another Serbian, No. 2 Novak Djokovic, before facing Nadal, Lajovic joked: “Yeah, I will try to ask everybody (for) some tips.”

That won’t help if Nadal produces shots of the sort he did when Mayer served at 5-all in the second set — a stretching, scooping backhand lob to break.

As Mayer watched the shot sail overhead, he waved his left hand to signal to the ball to go out, then rolled his eyes when it curled in. Nadal pumped his fist, ahead 6-5 and on his way to reaching the fourth round for the 10th time in 10 French Opens.

Monfils will take on Garcia-Lopez for a quarterfinal berth. Whoever emerges from Murray-Kohlschreiber meets the winner of another suspended match scheduled to resume Sunday: No. 24 Fernando Verdasco led No. 12 Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-2, 2-2.

Women’s fourth-round matchups set up Saturday were No. 4 Simona Halep against No. 15 Sloane Stephens, 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova against Lucie Safavora, 2012 runner-up Sara Errani against Jelena Jankovic, and Andrea Petkovic against 148th-ranked qualifier Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.

As the sun came out and the temperature topped 70 degrees (20 Celsius) after several days of overcast skies and occasional rain, Stephens eliminated No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-3, 6-4, while Halep beat 55th-ranked Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor of Spain 6-3, 6-0.

Halep is the highest seeded woman left, following losses by No. 1 Serena Williams, No. 2 Li Na and No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska.

Said Halep: “That’s a surprise for everyone.”

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

Shining bright for all to see: Locals deck out yards, homes

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
The Salvation Army serves 1,000-plus across 2 days

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Blue Christmas service offers reflection, hope

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

 
Time for annual Solano County quiz

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

State Fair scholarship applications available

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Bevy of holiday activities at Western Railway Museum

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Discovery Kingdom upgrades animal, marine mammal facilities

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Get tested, know your status

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: C4

 
 
New development fees start Jan. 1 in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

Free New Year’s celebration slated

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
A word of warning for Senator Warren

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

By Tanya Perez | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Sky-high price has VA rationing hep C drug

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Air Force admits nuke flaws, but will fixes work?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
AP sources: Cops’ killer angry at chokehold death

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

 
Officials: Missing dog was dyed to deceive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Immigrants build document trails to remain in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California officer kills teen after machete attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
4 teens die in fiery head-on crash in Pennsylvania

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

2 dozen injured in southern Indiana bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police brutality protesters rally at Mall of America

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Texas ranchers seeking alternative incomes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

2 car bombs rock southern Sweden’s city of Malmo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Bombings kill 12 in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

US sends 4 Afghans back home from Guantanamo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Panama’s Noriega in prison 25 years post-invasion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Burying the dead after Pakistan’s school massacre

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
A chance to breach divide for young in Cuba and US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
New school finance strategy lacks accountability

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Season’s greetings from the Obamas

By Alexandra Petri | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Why celebrate Christmas?

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3

Vatican offers olive branch to US nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Should I ask grandson why we weren’t included in wedding photos?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Review: ‘Five’ by Ursula Archer is intriguing

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Publisher hopes to sell books through Twitter

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Chris Colfer has multi-book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Jerry Lee Lewis: Sustained by brief blaze of glory

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Interim coaching jobs present challenges in bowls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49ers squander 21-point lead in 4th straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

New Giants 3B McGehee eager to play back home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Eagles near elimination, fall 27-24 to Redskins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Raiders place cornerback Brown on injured reserve

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
No. 11 Lady Vols trounce No. 7 Stanford 59-40

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Big moves bring big hope for Chicago baseball

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
US skier Nyman wins Gardena downhill for 3rd time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Vonn wins women’s World Cup downhill in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Business

Your info has been hacked. Now what do you do?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
On the money: 4 ways to hold on to your cash when renting a car

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Recalls this week: Bean bag chairs, toy monkeys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Scarecrows outnumber people in dying Japan town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Obituaries

Barbara Jean Bidstrup Braker

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Perry Michael Smetts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Luzdivina B. Banks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Arnold Howard Evans

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Anthony Hanson Elder

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Bart Ferro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics