Thoughts on Indian Wells

I don’t talk a lot about WTA, but when I think Indian Wells 2008, I will not think about Federer’s awkward loss to Fish, not about Nadal’s inability to defend title, Roddick’s first round exit in a hard court tournament, Haas pulling out once again due to illness or whatever, and not because an unseeded player reached the final. What I do think of is the fact that of over 200 countries where tennis is an existing sport, Serbia has produced three world class players who ALL are on the rise. 2 of them won their finals in Indian Wells, writing history for the relatively young country. Not only is this fact impressive, but Djokovic and Ivanovic are only 20 years of age and have so much more to improve on (I assume) in the next decade. I cannot remember last time such young players could show this high level of consistency. At this age, regardless of talent, consistency is more important than how well you actually play. Djokovic did not play ANY great match in my opinion, but won them all comfortably. A lot like Federer has done in many tournaments. This shows that Djokovic can win tournaments even when he is not playing his best.

Then the question is; have we entered a new era in tennis? The 90s and the start of this decade showed us that players could become world #1s with one or two strong weapons. Federer came in and took over with many strong weapons in all shapes and sizes, while supernatural players like Nadal followed the trend. Just think of how much Nadal has improved in the last few years. Djokovic is a combination, and as it seems now he owns only one weakness (age 20!!), and that is his fitness and breathing issues.  I assume that can be annoying for a tennis player in the long run and winning grand slams involves a whole lotta running. But Djokovic and Ivanovic gets an A+ for outstanding results and future great tennis players in the sense that they could (and should) be able to retire as some of the best ever.

Okay, that’s enough of the Serbia love. Back to business. Miami Master’s is on its way and the draw is similar to the one in California. Federer and Roddick in the first quarter, Davydenko and Ferrer in the second, Gasquet and Djokovic in the third, Nalbandian and Nadal in the fourth.

Federer and Roddick should be the first quarter, and the winner is Federer. Roddick could be taken out by Tsonga, but there is no guarantee Tsonga will get there. Murray could take out Davydenko for a quarter final spot. Youzhny is the only real threat for Ferrer. Third quarter is the most unpredictable one, but Djokovic sails as the only QF certainty. Nalbandian could go and set up a QF clash against Nadal.

As far as I can see, the draw doesn’t give us any real fun until the 4th round. We could see a Djokovic-Federer final I think, but there are too many players who want it differently… you just never now.



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