Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Somewhere fairly shingly
Miami R16: T. Johansson vs J. Novak
Anyone remember their last, fairly important meeting? Here is the overall head-to-head:
2002 Australian Open, Hard, S
Australia Hard S Johansson 7 6 0 6 4 6 6 3 6 4
2001 SWE v CZE WG Rd 1, Carpet, RR
Helsingborg, Sweden Carpet RR Johansson 7 6 6 3 6 7 6 2
2000 Rotterdam, Hard, R32
The Netherlands Hard R32 Novak 6 4 3 6 2 6
1998 Ostrava, Carpet, R16
Czech Republic Carpet R16 Johansson 6 4 7 5
Interestingly enough just about all their matches have been indoors, since the AO match was played with a closed roof (well, it certainly was at the end, when Johansson came back to win). Will the outdoor conditions in Miami give Novak an edge this time round?
These two are quite similar players: they both turn 30 this year, both have solid, flat-hitting baseline games and they've both had one excellent year, 2002. Novak was the more consistent, getting as high as no. 5 in the world, without winning a title, while Johansson's sole tournament win happened to be the most important of his career. Novak probably has more all-round ability given his doubles success and volleying skill, but Johansson is quicker from the baseline and has the pacier serve.
Will this match have to be turned into a mud-wrestling contest with cheerleaders being brought on at regular intervals to make it interesting, as one journalist scathingly suggested in a derogatory piece on men's tennis a few months after their AO semifinal?
The Wit and Wisdom of the Tennis Journalist, Indian Wells 2004
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I remember this one time when I went on a vacation on the Maldives. That was in the year 2001, I think. I went to this spa. I went to walk around with my girlfriend. I walk in, and we want to book a spa. This guy goes, "AHH, I remember you. You beat Sampras. I saw you on TV." That was like, really, how can you remember me? This guy has probably never been off his island and still knows me. I was a little bit shocked. Then I went to play tennis with him because he was actually the tennis teacher. It was nice.
Q. Were you naked at the time in the spa?
ROGER FEDERER: No. It was at the front desk. I didn't walk in naked.