Weather, resilient opponents, court changes, continent changes, the kitchen sink… it really doesn’t matter what you throw at Novak Djokovic right now. He extended his winning streak to 8 gazillion and is looking as confident as ever. (OK, 29 straight wins this season, equaling Lendl’s record for consecutive wins to start a year.)
A lot of love must be sent Daveed’s way, who despite going down a set and a break, fought back to reclaim the break and then broke at the end of the set to force a third. He looked as aggressive as I’ve seen him in a while. Not content to play defensively, he was clearly looking to get in as many forehands as possible and go down the line when available. He was getting balls deep and was changing directions effectively. Unfortunately for him, Nole turned up the heat in the third, stretched Ferru wide and the errors started to creep into his defense.
It was impressive to see Nole fighting off his inner demons in the third after some close calls and tough games. You could almost feel the glue melting and the pieces separating, but Nole kept his snarl and shook them off (literally). Before you knew it, the match was over and the streak was very much alive.
Nole takes on Bellucci in the semis, who deserves a serious shoutout. The kid has real talent on clay, and if he can keep his confidence up and head straight, he’s likely going to be a serious force on clay for years to come, especially as many of the Spaniards age.