Posts Tagged ‘Berdych’

First semifinal

April 3, 2008

Nadal and Berdych “cruised” to the semis and will battle it out in a semifinal. Nadal got to see what Blake can do in the first set, but was able to turn around a match that seemed to favor Nadal every minute it progressed after 1st set. Once again Blake looked slightly tired of sun, heat, wet towels on head, and too much Nadal. What I liked about the first set, was that Blake was doing perhaps what annoys Nadal the most. Keeping the rallies to a minimum, and those that were, had no more than 5 seconds of play. That and good serving allowed Blake to play well in his service games, and once he got a big swing at a Nadal serve he broke and sat down. I believe it was over in 33 minutes. Considering that Nadal spends 10 of those to adjust his socks and hair and underwear, it was short and painful for him. But sets 2 and 3, Blake didn’t serve as well and that was probably the single most important reason why Nadal was able to turn it around. No serve, no good game.

Then there’s this man:

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Mr. Berdych is on a roll and will, I AM SURE, give Nadal the battle of his life. In fact, watching some of Berdych’s game reminded me a lot of the attacking game of Federer. Serve is just as big, or bigger. Second touch is either a big forehand (flat) or a good volley. I see some similarities in the way he sets up the points and the way he is able to hit the forehand flat and deep when he is inside the baseline. The reason Federer is better is simply better defense, better backhand (yes I said it) and a somewhat better coverage at the net. But defense is important, and the ability to qucikly turn defense into offense and punish any weakness of opponent. But I say this on a general baisis, not based on this week. Because this week Berdych has been getting better numbers than Federer against better players, so considering that Berdych is a Nadal-slayer this should be interesting.

Second semifinal is decided today. Federer-Davydenko is the most likely SF, but I don’t like to think that Roddick or Tipsarevic are outsiders. Well, Roddick is but not Tipsy. But Roddick with a home crowd is always a fighter and Tipsarevic surely would like to get another chance to beat Federer. I just assume EVERYBODY knows what happened last time they met. My predictions say;

Federer d. Roddick, Davydenko d. Tipsarevic. This will take Federer to the final against Berdych where Federer gets his first title of the season. RIGHT?!

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)

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.

Nadal headed for a PB

January 20, 2008

Personal Best that is. Less time on court can hardly hurt Nadal. Especially if knees and legs are still a concern this week. Now he only needs to get past Nieminen (never past QF in any slam) in the QF.  Nadal is 3-0 against the Finn, but there is a big BUT. Never met on hard court. I don’t know what surface Nieminen prefers but hard court must be his best chance against Nadal. I want to think that the Finn has a chance, but it doesn’t look good. Nadal is ready for his first hard court SF, and this is his best chance!

For tomorrow, there are a lot of goodies. Federer will beat Berdych. PERIOD. Blake-Cilic is another story. This past week was Cilic’s first win in a GS event ever! Born in 88 and big serve (that works) tells me this guy will hit top 10 in a short time. Blake is excpected to win and anything else with be a major upset. Cilic advancing to QF would be a BIG achivement. So.. at lot at stake here.

And for THE MATCH of the day. Hewitt-Djokovic. These two have met twice, both winning one. Their last encounter at Wimbledon was a tiebreak fest and a nailbiter. Given that Hewitt went to bed at sunrise yesterday does not help him. Djokovic has the advantage both physically and mentally. However, Hewitt is at home and won’t give it away. It will probably be Djokovic’s first real test. WATCH IT!

And lastly there is the civil war of Spain. Two guys with almost identical last names. Ferrero-Ferrer. The story here is that even if Ferrero is the one with most titles and experience in the top, Ferrer is 4-1 h2h. Ferrer kills Ferrero on clay, but the two HC matches were close battles. But you could ask yourself… isn’t Ferrer at his best these days? He probably wasn’t as good back when they met on HC. Stats tells me Ferrer takes it in 3. But I would certainly like to see this civil war go to 5 sets.

Just a last thought…. did you know that if Youzhny makes the final (which is not impossible) he will enter top 10 and pass players like Gonzo, Gasquet and Roddick?

AMS Madrid

October 15, 2007

Here we go again. Last full month of tennis.
A closer look at the draw reveals that there are no good reasons to believe the top 3 will not make the semifinals. Nadal is a question mark, but if he is 100%, he should be good to go into the semi as well.
Federer has a potential quarter with Ferrer. BUT! There’s a very big but! Canas is first on Federer’s schedule. I think third time is a charm for the world #1.
Further south on the same half, there’s Davydenko and Gonzalez as potential quarter finalists.
Could Youzhny take Davydenko? I don’t know. Youzhny is far from where he was last year.
Could Haas take Gonzalez? Yes, but he needs to find the form he had earlier this year. If not, Gonzalez is still a fireball.

In the third quarter, we have Blake and Djokovic. Joining them is Gasquet and Moya. They can all make the semi, but only one will. I think Djokovic is riding the momentum far more than the other three. Then we have Robredo and Nadal, with Berdych and Chela in a 3rd round. Berydych beats Nadal again for a semi final spot? I would put some money down, yes.

Then, as this is a masters tournament, the field is packed with great players.
1st Q: Tursunov, Lopez
2nd Q: Karlovic!, Safin, Wawrinka
3rd Q: Ancic, Mathieu
4th Q: Del Potro, Nalbandian, Stepanek, Murray, Baggy.
… and of course many more. These are hot shots for the moment in my opinion.

I think Karlovic can be a great threat and take out Davydenko in his first match (2nd round)
Maybe Tursunov can play around with Canas, and Lopez with Ferrer. Wawrinka can beat Youzhny, while Ancic and Mathieu seem to be back on track. 4Q is packed with potentials, but I think that consistency wins and therefore Nadal and Berdych remain favorites.

My prediction:
Federer – Ferrer
Karlovic – Gonzalez
Blake – Djokovic
Nadal – Berdych

Federer – Karlovic
Djokovic – Berdych

Federer – Djokovic

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?
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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:
grosjean.jpg

Withdraw here, withdraw there

September 26, 2007

Just to comment on my post from Monday. BOTH Djokovic AND Roddick has now pulled out of Bangkok. I found out about Djokovic as I was writing on Monday and now as Roddick was getting ready for his 1st round. So just to correct my predictions on a Djokovic-Roddick, or Berdych-Roddick final… I don’t really believe in my predictions anymore!