Adelaide, Chennai & Doha

…all start today and tomorrow.

All draws are out and there are a few interesting 1st rounders.

In Adelaide, home fav. Hewitt has to get past Dudi Sela. A player with breakthrough potential.  Spadea will meet Grosjean. Spadea on hard is never an easy task. Expecting a tough fight here. The one to watch in my opinion is Ancic – Korolev. Talent all over the place but still trouble with consistency. Are they ready for a powerful start to 08? If so, it should be tight matchup.  Querrey-Darcis might be interesting as well. I’ve always considered Darcis as the player of the future. He just has to prove I’m right!

In Chennai, we’ve got Nadal, Baggy and Moya as top seeds. Moya will have to start with rust free game as he will have to take on Gabashvilli in the 1st. That’s the only 1st round match I would watch. Kind of week field in Chennai. #70 is 8th seed.

Doha is the priciest tournament, and therefore also the one fillied with the stars. 1st rounds highlights might be: Murray – Rochus, Johansson – Andreev, Koubek – Ljubicic. Def champ is Ljubicic. I don’t know if he is good enough to power through the drawboard this time; he can get in trouble in SF against Karlovic, and final against Murray or Tursunov.

Things to look for in 1st week of play:

Will Nadal show any signs of knee problems? During the break he finally “officially” said that he is struggling with his knees. Hard courting them through March will probably not help a whole lot. Cannot see what he gets from even entering Chennai. Does he need to beat top 50-100 players at this stage? We will assume he knows what he is doing.

Will Murray win Doha? Murray has gone from top of the sky to rock bottom in several years now. We know he’s got it, but can he play it for one entire season?! I would bet serious cash in Murray, just because if he gets beaten early on… well see you again next year. He seems a little bit unable to rise from bad results. Haven’t followed the news, so I don’t know who he announced as new coach, but he need some discipline or something. So close, yet too far away.

Lastly!! Hewitt!!! I was a frickin’ fan back in the early 00s (haha). I always regarded him as the start of the super fit tennis era. The way he moved on court was not new, but after him there were only super fit athletes who followed, regardless of size and figure. He won GS, he was world number one for over one year, and was still baby face-like. Don’t know what motivates him anymore, but he needs to get back in the winning position to put Australia back on the tennis map! Would like to see him win Adelaide, Sydney and Aussie Open. I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t believe it.

 Prediction:

Doha:  W: Murray  RU: Karlovic 
Adelaide: W: Hewitt RU: Stepanek?
Chennai: W: Youzhny RU: Baghdatis? Nadal pulls out (knee problems)

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