Posts Tagged ‘Andreev’

Safin runs over Djokovic

June 25, 2008

BIG UPSET! BIG BIG BIG! Why? I don’t know… Safin raised his game to a 2005-2006 level and was able to use Djokovic’s medium-poor play to his full potential. 10 double faults and way too many errors who are worth mentioning just helped a hot Safin on the way. I have actually excpected either Djokovic or Nadal to go on a big letdown these days. It happened to almost every player of Safin’s 80-82 generation, including the big talent Hewitt, Roddick and of course Safin. All of them have hit #1, won slams and beaten the best players of that time at a very young age. That description goes for Djokovic too. Now it will be interesting to see if Djokovic can let this pass and focus on maintaining the awesome consistency for the rest of the year. My point is; give the guy a break. He is only 21 (has he turned yet?) and got his slam and has done best on hard court in 2008 of ALL players including beating the best of all time in a slam. I hope for his sake, that Hewitt-Safin-Roddick story doesn’t repeat itself for Djokovic.

BTW. I forgot to mention the Ferrer-Andreev match. I didn’t realize the importance. Andreev has a tasty record against Ferrer, and being freinds won’t help Ferrer a lot more. I thought Ferrer in 3 initially, seeing how well he did in Holland. Maybe Andreev can pull a Safin and take out another top 5 player. #3 and #4 are out, why not #5? Can it happen? Sure! That would leave Fed-Rafa-Rod-Gasq-Blake-Waw. I bet the last three don’t last too long.

Contenders for Roland Garros

May 23, 2008

All right. The draw is out. What d’ y’all think?! Before I get to the draw, here’s a list of the top contenders. There’s no point in analyzing the draw without the missing qualifiers. They are, more often than not, good enough to beat some of the other jokers.

1. Rafael Nadal
King of clay. Rafa will get the #1 position to win this title for many years to come I think. I mean, are there really any indications that this is wrong? All things considered, his clay season has been better than people want to say. Every player must experience an injury or some sort of problem SOMETIME!
Blisters was Nadal’s stop. Could this be decisive? I thought that this might be a problem for Rafa, but Hamburg proved that predictions wrong. I don’t know how two weeks of best of 5 sets will be any different. He might get the same problems, but he might also be perfectly fit. Perhaps he has grown a new layer of skin, who the heck knows? Let’s just say that if he doesn’t reach a final, it will be more surprising than any year.

2. Roger Federer
Will he make the final? I cannot see why. Like with Rafa, for every year he plays excellent tennis on clay, the bigger the upset will be if he DOESN’T make the final. Yes, there is Djokovic, but that’s it.
His clay season has only had 1 downside. Losing to Stepanek was bad timing. That Rome title was a must-win, especially after Nadal was out. Instead he let Djokovic take it and get CLOSER and CLOSER!
He will make the final, don’t you worry.

3. Novak Djokovic
Okay. Now this is new material. This time last year, we wasn’t too far away from #3, but still wasn’t in the same position he is today. Djokovic has had a great clay season. In fact, SF, W and SF in the masters is better than the two kids further up. He played a good match against Nadal and might play another one in the SF in Paris. He is still behind Nadal on clay. Best of 5 sets, is not gonna help.

4. Davydenko
As we speak, Davydenko is playing for the title in Austria. Doesn’t he EVER get tired? He actually had to play two 3 set matches in like a half a day! Do they make robots in Russia?! So no surprise to see him in another SF against Federer. A year (or 2) ago it would not be a big upset if he lost early. These days he gets to SFs and still has points to hunt in Wimbledon. The more he plays, the better he gets it seems.

5. Ferrer & Robredo
From this point on, I don’t believe we are speaking about contenders for the title. Ferrer finished 2007 on a perfect note. 2008 has been more routine-Ferrer. He hasn’t really too many good results to show in Paris, and based on the draw he has a good chance of getting to the SF, if he wants to.
I need to place Robredo just as high. They have performed almost equally on clay, and they might meet before getting to a potential SF with Federer. A match between the two would favor Ferrer (3-1) but you never know with Ferrer.

7. Almagro
Has done a good job this season. Started things good on HC and has improved on clay. He hit a career-high rank of 17 (now 20) and this might be the year where he can break through top 10. However, HC and Grass isn’t something he loves so that would be weird. He has only 35!!! points to defend. I can see him in 4th round, this year. But playing his best clay tennis, who knows?

8. Andreev
Has not impressed anyone on clay this year. Still a clay lover and last year’s QF must be defended. He seems to perform a little better in bigger events. It all depends on that forehand.

9. Wawrinka
Will Federer be able to say that they have a strong DC team, finally?!?! Wawrinka made quite a name of himself by reaching the final in Rome. The SF that Nadal was supposed to play. So a little lucky? You frickin’ bet! HOWEVER!! he has played well this year and if he has enough points to be #10, then sure why NOT?! No realistic contender of course, but one of the few who could surprise.

10. David Nalbandian
Likes to play on clay from what I know. He just needs to grab his you-know-what and get more disciplined or something! He has bigger potential than most people believe but hasn’t done anything big since Wimbledon final almost a damn decade ago. Okay, and TMC final where he beat Federer. But why not on clay? He has two SF to show in Paris. If you can get there, you can make the final. only #10 on my list though.

Last 8 Monte-Carlos

April 25, 2008

First of all. How many of you thought that Querrey would beat Gasquet when the score was 6-2 in the first? I didn’t think he would. But now it seems like this might be his break on the ATP tour, or mini-break, ON CLAY! Good JOB!

Federer will have his first exam on clay, and it will be somewhat tougher to pass. I think of Nalbandian as an excellent clay player, and it cannot be easier for Federer on the slower stuff. I don’t know, but Nalbandian lost only 1 game against another clay lover, Robredo, yesterday so…. ouch!

Djokovic defeated Murray quite fast, and will probably end Querrey’s run. Errr? Yes he will…

Andreev is probably in ecstasy, first because he won yesterday’s 50 match balls match, and second because the ATP tour finally hit the dirt. After a struggle in the first 3 months he seems more than qualified for the clay, and I think he will beat Davydenko today.

Ferrer vs. Nadal… Now this might be interesting, but Nadal still takes it in 2. Anything else would be a major, major shock.

So.. can we predict a couple of finalists?! No way… but I think that Djokovic and Nadal are most likely to reach it, based on a little h2h throughout the draw and some common sense. Nadal will of course take that match in 2 sets and be crowned Monte-Carlo dictator. But that’s me….

Only 2 scenarios are likely

April 2, 2008

So the QFs are:

Federer-Roddick
Davydenko-Tipsarevic
Berdych-Andreev
Blake-Nadal

The only likely outcomes are; either a Federer-Nadal final, which is always wanted; or a Federer-Blake finals, which is doomed to be boring (for Americans)

The third outcome, which I don’t believe in too much anymore is that you replace the name Roddick with Federer and might get an all American final. As long as there are 6 other condenders I say… lets wait for another day or two and then we’ll see if it will happen.

But!! I still don’t want to exclude Berdych. I finally wachted him play against Tursunov, and he should absolutely be included as a possible champ. If he plays like he has all week, there is no reason Blake or Nadal should feel safe in a SF.

Roddick-Federer has become a classic. Not because you get to see great tennis all the time, but because you’d think that Roddick might actually get a win one of these days. I think it’s more unlikely that the record will get to 20-1 rather than for example a solid 18-3. Currently it’s 15-1 and one win for Roddick would make the greatest achievement of the year for him. But there is no statistical evidence that he will turn it around, and Federer will take it in 2. (I was optimistic the last two, and AR lost – I will be pessimistic this time)

Dubai – seeds still in

March 6, 2008

Although Federer, Gasquet and Berdych are out, we have some strong candidates for the title. Davydenko will have to overcome Murray (I’m sure he prefers him over Federer). Murray however, struggled against Verdasco and needed a third set tie-break to take the match. Why?

Ferrer has looked strong and taking Rochus to 3 sets isn’t always a weakness for him. He will have to down Lopez who took out big gun Berdych. Battle of Espana.

Andreev, who has not started strong this year, seems to have gotten in a good rythm. He took out Gasquet in 2 and should have something to say against Djokovic. But realistically the road stops here for him.

Then there are two guys who probably will give us the more interesting match. Hard court lover Roddick against hard court trainee (but one of the best) Nadal. Nadal won their last meeting in Indian Wells but the faster court in Dubai might motivate Roddick. I underestimted Nadal the last time they met on hard, I won’t do it again. But Roddick has played well and a clean service match and he might take it. A toin coss on this one.

Davis Cup Champions 2007

December 2, 2007

dc2007.jpg

Bryan/Bryan d. Andreev/Davydenko  7-6, 6-4, 6-2

The US team has finally taken the big cup back home and ended the record 12 year drought. They fought off some big teams this year and the final win was certainly deserved by taking it at 3-0. Once again a great performance by the Bryans, staying consistent and firm on their play, letting the Russians to make the errors and desperate moves. Andreev/Davydenko were quite good on serve in the first set doing a lot of damage, even at the net. But as time and sets progressed, their confidence was reduced and they realized they could not cope with the world’s best doubles team.

This really does mean a lot for American tennis, which has hit a concrete wall these last years… or so they say. But winning DC is not an easy task, and the best team since 1995 have finally clinched it.

It will be interesting to see how Blake and Roddick can take this experience and use it next year, both in ATP and DC. The Bryans still have a lot to give it seems.

No surprises in Tokyo and Mets

October 5, 2007

Ferrer and Karlovic will clash in SF of Tokyo. Both players have had a good year and will battle it out tomorrow. Ferrer is a very good returner, so I don’t think Karlovic is a favorite at all. Ferrer is getting closer to Shaghai every minute he spends on court. On the other side, Gasquet has beaten Sela and is in the SF. Berdych/Verdasco is still running, but Berdych is a break up in the 3rd. I think we’ll see Ferrer against Berdych in the final. Although Gasquet vs. Berdych will be close I think.

In France the first QF is in progress. Andreev against Mahut. 1 all right now. Third set will be close it seems. There are some real interesting matches ahead. A shame there’s no place to watch them! Tsonga v. Murray, Robredo v. Grosjean, Korolev v. Canas
Maybe we will see Tsonga in his first ATP final? Grosjean winning @ home. Canas returning on the hard stuff? Korolev with a little breakthrough? I don’t know here. Open, open, open!

Tokyo & Metz

October 2, 2007

It is time to predict who’s up for the titles. In Tokyo we have 6 rounds for unseeded players and Bye’s for those seeded. It has to be said that when Michael Russel is seeded we are not in a very prestigous looking tournament, but nevertheless Tokyo had Federer on their board last year. If Ferrer can continue the play he showed us in New York, he can go all the way here too. However, Tokyo might turn out to be very hard to call. We have Berdych, Gasquet, Hewitt, Tursunov…. and the list goes on of potential title challengers. I think these four have a real chance of taking it. Berdych is always a danger, and is on his way back to the form he showed last year. Gasquet just won his first hard court tournament in India. Hewitt is always a title contender, this time no exception. Tursunov must try to ride a consistency wave to win titles, but he just captured the Bangkok title. Who would have thought that?
ferrer.jpg
Can Ferrer win this one as top seed?

In France we have almost an equally close tournament. Top seed is Robredo and names like Canas, Murray, Mathieu, Kohlschreiber and Andreev appear on the list. Should also point to players like Grosjean, Mahut, Santoro, Wawrinka, Tsonga and Tipsarevic who all are in the underachiever category ranking-wise. I think Wawrinka and Grosjean can take the title withouth the need to be seeded. Santoro is always a question mark. Mahut and Tsonga… well personally I’m just waiting for a breakthrough from both these guys. Tipsarevic is also filled with potential. My prediction is that Robredo doesn’t win it, but I cannot call this one. There’s at least 12 players I would pick for the title. If I had to pick, I would go for either Wawrinka or:
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