Posts Tagged ‘Ancic’

The Brits are confident

July 2, 2008

Maybe too confident, about Murray’s chances, not only to win today against Nadal, but the whole damn thing. You can read BBC online and see how Murray’s chances are evaluated as very good. I’m not as sure. Even though Murrays has some of the elements we saw in Youzhny (when he beat him), he will also struggle against Nadal’s big forehand. As they all do. Murray’s chance is to slice it as much as possible to Nadal’s forehand, and preferably deep. Nadal used to struggle against the nasty flat hit backhand of Youzhny. Murray hits it with more spin and doesnt’t have the same quality in hitting it deep and low, but rather creating angles and placement. Murray has never beaten Nadal, so why start now?

I do think that the newfound confidence, and his actual improved physical condition, will help him make it a close battle. But when we saw him being 2 sets down against Gasquet we though he wouldn’t be able to turn it around. He did, but that was Gasquet. 16-12 for the year and because of his “early” loss he is now out of top 10 once again. In other words, he struggled big time against one of the worst top 40-50 players of the year. If he’s 2 sets down, or even 2 sets up, why should he be able to outsmart Nadal? I don’t think that’s statistically safe to think. If he can maintain focus for 3 sets and try to prevent from hitting hopeless dropshots again today, he might make it a close battle. If he gets broken early and never feels like getting a break in Nadal’s serve, then it’s a 3 set defeat in 2 hours.

In the other matches Federer will take care of Ancic. Though I would love to see Ancic giving the old Fed a hard time taking a set or 2. Safin has to win. Lopez, I think, has never been in a SF before, so this is Safin’s backyard. The last one is so hard to predict I’m gonna leave it to the pros themselves. Clement is old. Schuettler is old. Both have solid career records, but I don’t think any of them thought they would reach a SF this year either. Chance of a frickin’ lifetime!! The winner will be one tiny match away from a Wimbledon final. Question is, who will think of this first. I bet he loses.

Now that is tennis!

July 1, 2008

Phenomenal performance from Murray and Gasquet yesterday. They didn’t show their best tennis of all time, but managed to pull some good stuff to please the crowd and the millions of viewers. The errors were always just around the corner, but the stunning winners were also always close by.

It did help the match that Murray won @ home, but boy was he close to defeat! 2-0 and I think even a break down in the third. Doesn’t matter, really. Gasquet received the same brutal turnaround like he showed Roddick same time last year. Now Murray has to see what he can do with Nadal. I don’t think Nadal’s ease past Youzhny makes Murray a stronger believer, but didn’t we all think he would lose as they were playing set 3? We’ll see….

Federer past his “ultimate” test, probably the player with best results with the exception of Nadal. The tiebreak was a killer, but then somehow Hewitt fell apart. Don’t give up people! If you get Federer to 7-9 in a breaker, you are good enough to get it 9-7 the next time!

And then there was Super-Mario! Ancic was also heading for home, as he was struggling to do anything with Verdasco. 2 sets down and hope out. No… wait the score is 11-all in the final set! Yes 13-11 to Ancic after finally being able to break and hold, in that order. Now he’s played 10 sets the last two matches, both being intense. Don’t think it will help him going into the match against Federer on Wednesday.

Safin also pulled a win against 13th seed Wawrinka, and is heading towards a SF clash with the player he beat in Australia 2005. Cannot wait!

Lastly, Schuettler took out Tipsarevic, which came as a surprise to many. This was probably the most important match in terms of getting futher into Wimbledon than any one of them had hoped. So Clement or Schuettler will play Nadal/Murray in the SF. Who would have thought?!

Oh.. and also Baggy is out. Still can’t understand why he lost. He had match point in the final set, but never took it and gave it away to Lopez instead a few games later. Too bad, because I think Baghdatis could have given Safin more trouble than Lopez. So the winner of Wimbledon is hiding in these QFs:

Federer – Ancic
Safin – Lopez
Schuettler – Clement
Murray – Nadal

 

Last 16

April 1, 2008

Originally I wrote that Monday was boring. Strike that. The evening matches weren’t bad at all. Youzhny-Almagro was a rollercoaster. Ancic-Monaco wasn’t too bad either. BTW, if you wanna see some real Russian fury, you should look for the highlights of the the Youzhny match and see what a player can do with his racket, without balls being involved. Might be rated R though, if you don’t like blood and/or violence.

Federer is closing up on a deja-frickin’-vous. In IW he got through the first few matches and got a sick Haas who didn’t show up in the QF. This time Soderling chose to bail after a set and a half. Both were playing poor and Soderling had shown some muscles these past few matches, not to say weeks. All of their matches have been close and this was supposed to be even closer. Federer actually looked happy to end it, considering he wasn’t enjoying the extra breeze they had to deal with.

Acasuso looks to be in good shape, but should be an easy task for Federer. 2-0 h2h and just plain better than Acasuso on hard. Roddick got through his match in straight sets, although with tie-break in the the first. He also announced that he got engaged earlier in the month, to a 20-year old swim suit model. He was fast pointing out that she is very…very smart. Well… congrats Roddick. The only question is if he will be better against Federer in a potential QF or if she’s gonna be a distraction. He will have to pass Julien Benneteau first, to whom he lost in their last encounter.

So today I think all of them will play, resulting in 4 QFs. Here are my humble predictions. I will give up if these are way off.

Federer d. Acasuso
Roddick d. Benneteau
Ancic d. Davydenko
Youzhny d. Tipsarevic
Berdych d. Tursunov
Canas d. Andreev
Blake d. Stepanek
Nadal d. Mathieu

I think Ancic looks strong. He has had a good run beating Murray, Simon and Monaco. Berdych as well. He actually looks like the strongest contender. He has only lost 7 games in two matches against very good players. Blake I’m not so sure about, but he is ahead on h2h, but lost their last meeting in LA. This should be the match to watch. Only problem might be that they are set at 11am, which for Blake doesn’t seem to be the best time. Last time in the sun he almost looked like he as gonna pass out. If you cannot watch one that early, Roddick-Benneteau might be a close and fun night match. Should be Roddick’s toughest opponent thus far.

Clay tournaments more predictable?

February 27, 2008

I cannot see how the seeds will lose in Acapulco. Andreev is the only clay profile to lose early, but he didn’t do a great job in Argentina either. I think these “early” clay tournaments have got to move towards the rest of the clay season. It seems that the only players turning up are those who feel more comfortable or those who belive that they could go further in compared to the hard court ones. Oh well, I want the players to have countless options so no change is needed. It just seems that these tournaments aren’t of great importance or very prestigous.

I’m not too impressed with Zagreb either unfortunately. Apart from Ljubicic, who needs to win this tournament if he wants to go back upwards, there are few players who I would watch. There are three though. The Croats Ancic, Cilic and Tipsarevic. How good are they and is Ancic on his way back to the top 10? Is Cilic the new young gun? Can Tipsarevic get his first title? In addition to Ljubicic, I think these are the favorites to win. 3 from Croatia and one from Serbia. One thing is for sure, they all want this title.

Memhis is according to the 2009 changes probably the more prestigous of the three. But here too, the field is far from impressive. After Blake pulled out, Roddick remains the only top 10 player. Favorite? You bet! The only real threat, and I mean REAL threat, is Tommy Haas. Last year he gave Roddick something to think about in the final where he humiliated Roddick in front of his home crowd. Although sometimes it seems like Tommy is the local hero in Memphis. He seems to treat it like his second home. But Roddick will have to face Fish again to get to a potential Haas final.

Ah well… this is still a sleep in progress week, as we all wait for DU-freakin’-BAI next week. This year it represents a mini-Grand Slam, with the strongest field ever. Goody!

Tennisful week

February 17, 2008

A couple of important notes from Marseilles is that Baghdatis has played a good tournament, reaching the semi final and losing to another “surprise” Ancic.  Ancic was the man who ended Tsonga’s ATP momentum. He then managed to take out Baggy in straight sets. Now Andy Murray is the man to beat in the final. He has also played convincingly, apart from being a few points away from defeat against Wawrinka.

I think this will be a real nice match. If Ancic can serve his best, Murray should be in trouble. In fact, Ancic is up 1-0 in straight sets against Murray. How about that!

Too bad I can’t watch it. I welcome some reports!

The clay tournament in Brasil was nothing but a routine from the best players. Moya and Almagro will fight like crazy for their first 2008 title

The most important news this week comes from Delray beach. You thought this would be an American tournament? You bet! 3 of 4 semi finalists from USA is not bad for a nation who struggles to find top 20 players. Who is that last guy? A Japaneese player (Nishikori) ranked 244!! He had 3-5 career record before the tournament, and his best result is the QF in Indianapolis last year. This guy hasn’t won any challenger, but has played consistent good tennis and has gone from no ranking to 244 in 2 years. Last night he saved 4 match points and was able to beat Sam Querrey. You think Blake is scared?

I hope for the sake of tennis that more players from China, Japan and the rest of Asia pushes up the rankings and makes tennis a WORLD sport. Like I’ve written before, if we go back a couple of decades, there weren’t too many nations on the ATP ranking. We know how good potentially Chinese and Japanese can become in any sport with increasing interest. I like, I like! But for Blakes’ sake I hope he will clinch his home title and return in the top 10.

Just another tuesday

January 1, 2008

For some it is new year’s day. For the tennis pros, it’s tuesday.

Hewitt made his anticipated strong start to the year by taking out Dudi Sela 6-2, 6-2. Tsonga is on his way as well. Beating Hansescu in the final set. Like I said, Spadea has the ability to beat Grosjean, and so he did.

The local favorite (next to Hewitt) Guccione defeated Odesnik in straight sets.  Ancic was supposed to play Korolev, which would have been THE first round match, but Ancic and his immune system….. What’s wrong with the boy? Well… a big pheeww there for Korolev who advanced to 2nd round.

In Doha, there won’t be any reason to jump up and down, but it’s always fun to watch the giant Karlovic play the midget-like Rochus. Don’t remember which Rochus is the shortest, but it doesn’t matter. Roddick seems like a midget when he stands next to Karlovic, just think about Rochus!

In India, there will be more action today. Nadal, Moya, Mahut, Cilic are a few of the player going at it today. Youzhny, Melzer and Malisse all advanced to the 2nd round.

Only 8 left

October 19, 2007

Federer – Lopez
Kiefer – Gonzalez
Ancic – Djokovic
Nalbandian – Nadal

Federer did his thing yesterday. No problems against Canas, but Canas is still a good player, he just happened to meet a Federer who was prepared to avoid the unforced errors he made in California and Miami.
Nadal impressed me yesterday. He played very good and did not allow Murray to dominate at all. There were rallies where you just felt sorry for Murray. Nadal always had answers, to rips, spins, drops++++
Kiefer is the definite underdog, and he has a great opportunity to make the SF. Gonzalez is not the Gonzalez we saw in AO, but he is far better than in many other HC tournaments this year.
Instead of picking wins, I’m going to weigh the players in a % chance of winning

Federer 98 – Lopez 2
Kiefer 45 – Gonzalez 55
Ancic 49 – Djokovic 51
Nalbandian 20 – Nadal 80

Madrid Day 3

October 18, 2007

Nadal is back in action and back in winning action. He was down 1-3 in the first, but as the rust was cleaned off he got in full control and took the match in 2.
Djokovic struggled a bit against Verdasco. He took the first set in the breaker, which I was so sure he wouldn’t. Verdasco had so many chances in this match to, not only get important breaks, but get the whole match. 2nd set was even, but Djokovic breaking as he should. Then in the 3rd Verdasco was winning his service games at 40-0 and Djokovic had to face several break points. I think Verdasco had a total of 10 break points. How many did he convert? Not one! That’s where he lost the match. Had he broken at least 4 or 5, he would have won it.

Ancic is back, and playing well. It looked like top 10 play against Blake yesterday. While Ferrer is out, after the WC Lopez won in 2 close sets.
Kiefer defeated Youzhny… Youzhny seems to have problems with Germans?!
Ferrero defeated Moya… ready for the Djoker
AND Canas defeated Calleri in 3, and is ready for Roger. For me, that’s the match to watch today. Don’t think I’ll see it, so I excpect a full report from comments tomorrow!

At around 8pm, Nadal will face the in-form Murray. Murray is a potential Nadal beater. The match in AO was awesome and lets just hope that we see something similar tonight.