For the first half of the first set, Novak Djokovic was holding up his side of the bargain in what was supposed to be a fantastic match vs. Rafael Nadal on Wednesday night in London. He was playing Rafa tough, hitting his spots on serve and down the line with power and confidence.
Then Nole started having problems with his contact lenses. That stinks. I really do understand his problem, also being a contact wearer with mole-like natural vision. Recently, one of my daily wears curled up into the corner of my eye, somewhere, driving me crazy until it slid out about four hours later. And I was just hanging out, a significantly less stressful situation than playing Nadal in a packed stadium.
“I really feel sick talking about it, to be honest, because it’s just incredible that this happened to me. I mean, it never happened to me in the life,” Djokovic said. “My right eye got irritated, and from the 5-all I could not play. I could not see a ball, especially the return. It was just terrible.
“I don’t want to find any excuses for my loss, but the fact of the matter is that I just could not play,” Djokovic said. “I will try to see a doctor and see if there is something more serious going on and in two days hopefully I can be ready.
“It’s just playing with one eye is not enough, especially if you have Nadal across the net.” (via AP/Tennis.com)
It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to say it: Poor Nole!
Just as we were starting to forget all the trash talk and jokes about his myriad maladies, a new one pops up. But, as he said, himself, this loss doesn’t mean he’s out of the tournament. Win or lose his last round robin match vs. Andy Roddick (speaking of his skeptics) he still had a good chance of making it into the semis. To complicate matters, win or lose, he could also be going back to Serbia before the semis.
Tomas Berdych beat Andy Roddick in straight sets in the earlier Group A match.
The ATP has an entertaining breakdown of all the semifinal scenarios – here are some of the odder permutations.
The crappiest scenario for Djokovic (besides his contacts acting up again): “Berdych defeats Nadal in 2 sets and Djokovic defeats Roddick in 3 sets = Berdych Wins Group and Nadal Qualifies 2nd.”
For Roddick to have an inkling of a chance, he can’t let Djokovic win a set AND Nadal has to take out Berdych in straights. The only way Nadal doesn’t progress is if he loses in straights to Berdych and Nole takes out Roddick without giving up a set.
In Group B, there’s only one scenario that may leave Federer out of the semis: “Soderling defeats Federer in 2 Sets + Murray defeats Ferrer in 2 sets – then Ferrer eliminated. Order of remaining players determined by % of Games won.”
It’s all confusing, but in a kind of thrilling, truly WTF kind of way. Kind of like Nole.here for more.