nodot nodot
Pro Tennis Showcase
May 24, 2011

Subscribe to Match Reports

Pro Tennis Showcase Archive

Player Profile Index (Men)
Player Profile Index (Women)

Contact Tennis Server

Tennis Server

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

Then Sign Up For A Free Subscription to the Tennis Server INTERACTIVE
E-mail Newsletter!

Tom Veneziano You will join 18,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano that won't be found on the web site.
Best of all, it is free!

Player Profiles:
Top Pros (Women)
tennis ball Serena Williams
tennis ball Petra Kvitova
tennis ball Simona Halep
tennis ball Maria Sharapova
tennis ball Caroline Wozniacki
tennis ball Lucie Safarova
tennis ball Ana Ivanovic
tennis ball Ekaterina Makarova
tennis ball Carla Suarez Navarro
tennis ball Angelique Kerber
 ... more profiles
Top Pros (Men)
tennis ball Novak Djokovic
tennis ball Roger Federer
tennis ball Andy Murray
tennis ball Stanislas Wawrinka
tennis ball Kei Nishikori
tennis ball Tomas Berdych
tennis ball David Ferrer
tennis ball Milos Raonic
tennis ball Marin Cilic
tennis ball Rafael Nadal
 ... more profiles
Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
BETWEEN THE LINES - Ray Bowers takes an analytical and sometimes controversial look at the ATP/WTA professional tour.
PRO TENNIS SHOWCASE - Tennis match reports and photography from around the world.
TENNIS SET - Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. looks at tennis science, engineering and technology.
MORTAL TENNIS - Greg Moran's tennis archive on how regular humans can play better tennis.
MENTAL EQUIPMENT - Explore the mental side of the game with Dr. John Murray.
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.

Tennis Community Icon TENNIS COMMUNITY:

Tennis Book, DVD, and Video Index
Tennis Server Match Reports
Editor's Letter
Become a Tennis Server Sponsor

Explore The Tennis Net Icon EXPLORE THE TENNIS NET:

Pro Tennis Calendar & Event Links
Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
Tennis Links on the Web
Pro Tennis Showcase Banner
Green Dot
Tennis Warehouse Logo
Green Dot

French Open - Roland Garros 2011, Paris, France
May 24, 2011
Editorial by Jane Voigt.


Jane Voigt Photo
Jane Voigt

Close One
May 24, 2011 -- John Isner sure takes to a spotlight. After his 11-hour match at Wimbledon last year the press nicknamed him Marathon Man. Today, he became the first to take Rafael Nadal to five sets at Roland Garros.
One astute Eurosport commentator called the match "quite a tussle," minutes before Nadal hit the winning ball. "Who would've thought John Isner would give him [Nadal] that kind of a match?" added a co-anchor.
It was the match tournament officials fear. The kind that raises blood pressure, causes nail biting, and provokes uncontrollable cravings for French wine when the thought of drinking anything other than Perrier Water during the day never crossed your mind.
"Tough draw," Isner admitted, like a levelheaded man about to step in a lion's den. "It's also a good opportunity."
Given his druthers Isner wouldn't have chosen Nadal for a first round, and probably not for any other round either. But there's no choice in a draw, especially when you're not seeded like Isner. The wheel of fortune spins some pretty stressful sights -- like Nadal's name stacked on top of Isner's as a first-round matchup.
"If I can keep the match close anything can happen," he said, adding that he'd like to keep rallies short. But that went right out the window. The first point was 17 shots.
Isner kept the other promise, though. He kept the match close. At the end of three sets, in fact, Isner had reversed roles with the acknowledged Roland Garros dominator. Marathon Man was up two sets. The French crowds seemed delighted, too, about this new hero they'd come to know from his wild Wimbledon ride just last year.
"Bravo," they cheered perfectly.
The fourth set would either see another tiebreak, which Isner would probably win. He'd won the ones in sets one and two. The only... yes, the only route Nadal could plot was a break. Without that cushion, he was on a plane to Spain.
"The break at 2-1 in the fourth [was] very, very important," Nadal told the press, especially after losing the break he held in the third. "If I get to a tiebreaker... big trouble."
He knew down to his toes he didn't play well in those two tiebreaks. Otherwise, quite simply, he wouldn't have felt mentally cornered.
"You play with lots of pressure," Nadal said. "Because this tournament is very, very important to me."
Yes, indeed. Win this year -- a sixth major title -- and he will have tied Bjorn Borg's record, having accomplished it in seven years not the eight Borg took.
Nadal found fifth gear just in time. He ran down every ball and sent Isner on a slippery trail, yanking him left and right over the red clay. Nadal served well, too, quashing Isner's approach-the-net tactic that served him well earlier in the match.
Nadal was relentless in the fourth set. He stretched himself every which way to keep the break on his side of the net. And he repeated the effort in the fifth set.
"I've never seen tennis like that, ever, in the fourth and fifth sets, " Marathon Man Isner said incredulously. "I almost needed oxygen. I was almost dead."
Nadal knew with a sense of deep satisfaction that the break in the fifth was key. Isner didn't make the win an easy one, challenging Nadal all the way up to the last ball.
"After the break in fifth, I played the best of match," Nadal said modestly, concealing as best as possible any hubris. He has learned from Uncle Toni, his lifelong coach, that self-importance has no place in tennis.
Final score: 64 67(2) 67(2) 62 64. Length of match: a hair past four hours.
In the end Nadal was the one shortening points. He relied on his speed, agility and net game, an underestimated asset for the Spaniard, to bring him victory. He does love Paris and didn't want to sit, just yet, on a fishing boat off the coast of Mallorca dangling his toes in sea.
Nadal's record at Roland Garros now stands at 39-1. It looks eerily similar to the record balancing on Novak Djokovic -- 39-0.
Nadal isn't worried about Djokovic's record right now. The number-one seed is probably thanking everyone on his team, instead, preparing ever so precisely for the next round -- round two -- five steps from the final he would love to see himself play in.


Earlier Columns from this Event:
May 23, 2011 French Open - Roland Garros: Rough Road
May 22, 2011 French Open - Roland Garros: The Eyes of Roland Garros

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Player Profile Index (Men) | Pro Tennis Showcase Archive | Player Profile Index (Women)


join our mailing list
* indicates required

All Tennis Server photography is copyrighted by the photographer and/or the Tennis Server, and all rights are reserved. You may not copy these images without permission. While you are welcome to create hyperlinks to Tennis Server web pages, you may not embed these images into other web pages or blogs without permission. To request permission, please use this contact form. Please be sure to clearly indicate exactly which photograph(s) you are requesting permission to use, as terms and conditions will vary depending on the photographer and the photograph.


Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
Wimbledon Tennis Tickets 6/29-7/12
Citi Open Tennis Tickets 8/1-8/9
Rogers Cup Tennis Tickets 8/8-8/16
Western & Southern Open Tennis Tickets 8/15-8/23
US Open Tennis Tickets 8/31-9/13
Swiss Indoors Tennis Tickets 10/24-11/1
Barclays ATP World Tennis Tickets 11/15-11/22
2016 Miami Open Tennis Tickets 3/21-4/3


Tennis MindGame

Popular Tennis books:
Smart Tennis by John Murray
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance by Jeff Greenwald
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
Most Recent Articles:
June 2015 Wild Cards: The 2015 BNP Paribas Open: Djokovic Shines in the Desert, Halep Goes the Distance in Women's Final by Vince Barr.
June 2015 Tennis Anyone: Playing by Avoidance - In Doubles by John Mills.
June 2015 Turbo Tennis: Playing in the Zones by Ron Waite.
Tennis Warrior: Tennis Motivation is Driven by the Process by Tom Veneziano.
Tennis Warrior: Pressure as Your Tennis Coach by Tom Veneziano.
May 2015 Tennis Anyone: Why You Should Be Patient! by John Mills.
May 2015 Turbo Tennis: Service Strategy by Ron Waite.
April 7, 2015 Between The Lines: First Trimester 2015 by Ray Bowers.
March 3, 2015 Between The Lines: From Junior-Slam Winners To Pro Superstars by Ray Bowers.
February 2015 Wild Cards: The Best Women's Professional Tennis Rivalries by Vince Barr.




Featured events in the Tennis Server Ticket Exchanges:
  Featured Tickets:
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA Tennis Garden
Miami Open Tennis Tickets Miami Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center

  Featured Tickets:
AT&T National Golf Tickets Bethesda MD Washington DC Congressional Country Club
US Senior Open Golf Tickets Omaha NE Omaha Country Club
Bridgestone Invitational Golf Tickets Akron OH Firestone Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
Dick's Sporting Goods Open & Tim McGraw Tickets Endicott NY Enjoie Golf Course
Solheim Cup Tickets Parker Denver CO Colorado Golf Club
2013 Presidents Cup Tickets Dublin Columbus OH Muirfield Village Golf Course
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Augusta GA National Golf Club
2014 US Open Golf Tickets Pinehurst NC Resort
2014 Ryder Cup Tickets Auchterarder Scotland UK Gleneagles Golf Course

  Featured Tickets:
PGA Championship Golf 7 Day Pass Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Monday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Tuesday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Wednesday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Thursday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Friday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Saturday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Sunday Final Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club

  Featured Tickets:
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Sunday Competition Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Saturday Competition Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Friday Competition Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Thursday Competition Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets 4 Four Day Badge Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Wednesday Practice Round Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Tuesday Practice Round Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Monday Practice Round Augusta GA National Golf Club

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Golf Tickets Final Round Sunday Fourth 4th Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Third 3rd Round Saturday Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Second 2nd Round Friday Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets First 1st Round Thursday Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Wednesday Practice Round Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Tuesday Practice Round Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Monday Practice Round Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Weekly Pass Tickets Pinehurst NC Resort 2014

"Tennis Server" is a registered trademark and "Tennis Server INTERACTIVE" is a trademark of Tennis Server. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted 1994 - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission.


Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
2323 Clear Lake City Boulevard
Suite 180-139
Houston, Texas 77062-8120
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Fax: (281) 480-7715
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy