Posts Tagged ‘Gasquet’

Shaky #1

April 24, 2008

What the heck is happening to Federer? Is that mono stuff over or not?! I understood that worst case scenario was that it could affect his physical condition for months. I’ve never seen Federer sweat the way he did yesterday, in probably the coolest condition of the season, so far. He will not win this tournament, and I will be surprised to see if he can take down the fast and furious Monfils. Monfils surely must be a bigger threat the Ramirez-Hidalgo. The reason for his loss, as far as I can observe, was his unforced errors. 1st serve was nothing out of the ordinary, but too low if he wants to beat the best guys. Everything on the baseline failed and his mental game was close to failing too. You got to give him some credit for getting the match after being 4 points away from defeat in not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 games! Wow! Good luck Fed!

Nadal looked a hell of a lot better! Ancic is not a clay monster, but if his serve is working well and he can manage to get some fast and easy points, he should be able to pull something against Nadal. Nadal wasn’t too interested and did his job perfectly as quickly as possible and wore down the big Ancic before he knew it. 6-0, 6-3! BigFed… watch out!

Djokovic also got a serving machine in Ljubicic. This was actually a home derby between Monte Carlo residents, where Djokovic came out victorious. 6-3, 6-3 is a good start for Novak. Murray is next, who defeated Volandri a lot easier than I though possible. I think Murray has improved his clay game, with the improved “maturity” and fitness. Could be an upset. Murray had enough weapons to send Novak home.

I would also like to give PatMac a message…. If Sam Querrey beats Gasquet today… You have to play him in Spain! I don’t know what the American has done to beat Moya and Seppi on clay, but with a win over Gasquet today he will be the biggest headline of the clay season.

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Tsonga.. out, Djokovic…out, Gasquet…out

February 15, 2008

Why?!

First of all, if I were French, I would give it my absolute best to win A home tournament. Now it is true that France has plenty of them, ONE GS, ONE Master’s, a few smaller ones; so you probably don’t have the ambition of winning them all. But if your name is Tsonga or Gasquet, you probably should try even harder. Ancic took care of Tsonga in 2 sets, which should not be possible for a player who hasn’t had any real run of victories this past year. Gasquet went down against Soderling, who took down Nieminen. I’m not convinced that Gasquet belongs in the top 10. Soderling, at this point in time should be a win for Richy.

Novak Djokovic is another sad story. This guy needs to figure out his fitness and breathing issues. Is it a genetic problem? Or is it something with his individual fitness? Or was this just a completely no-prob illness which contributed to a stop in the momentum. But if you struggle physically after the Davis Cup, WHY would you go and play in France? Think, and rest that talent!

I think we’ll see a Murray-Youzhny final were the outcome is hard to tell.

I Brasil, Moya and Almagro (1st and 2nd seeds) are heading for a final clash, but Volandri who just beat Coria 6-1, 6-2, could join in on the fun. Or ruin it for Almagro.

In Delray Beach it’s pretty much USA all the way. Blake, Ginepri, Fish, Spadea, Querrey, Reynolds (who?) are still in. So it’s a good deal for the Americans, at least 2 players in the semis but with a potential of four. In fact, I believe that’s possible.

This Reynolds guy has beaten Malisse, Hartfield could clearly take out Nishikori?? from Japan.

At this point though, it looks like a Blake-Querrey final.

Player Assessment #8 and #7

November 21, 2007

#8 Richard Gasquet
Gasquet did his job this year and turned around the mixed and salty 2006. Last year he had some good results, reached the final at Rogers Cup, 4th round in USO and got himself three titles. This year was a no turning back trip for Gasquet. He never managed to pull off the big results, but slowly and steady climbed from 18 to 8 with consistent OK results.
Highlights include final in Estoril, SF in Wimbledon after failing to defend his Nottingham title.
This fall he actually was a top quality player winning in Mumbai, reaching the final in Tokyo a week later and making it to the SF in Paris, only to lose against Nalbandian who was the best of the best that tournament. This great fall, in addition to a strong SF performance in Wimbledon sent him into the top 10 and to Shanghai. Has to be mentioned that he mangaged to beat world #2 and 3 in a few days, playing very well.
Ranking: 18 to 8, topping out at 7
Titles: 1
W-L: 49-24 (67.1%)
Grade: B

#7 Fernando Gonzalez
How great was this guy in January?! From R32 in AO there was no stopping Gonzo! I think from the way he moves and hits the balls, the rebound ace surface was probably optimal speed and bounce. If not optimal, close to. He was 10 at New Year’s eve, shot up to 5th after the brilliant show in Melbourne. Then thing kind of slowed down. IW and Miami was not impressive and clay season started out with two first round exits. He was able to bounce right back to get some impressive wins in Rome and reach the final only to get brutally beaten by Nadal.
Same procedure in Hamburg, same opponent.

French Open is still a mystery to me. Why he lost 2, 2, and 4 against Stepanek is hard to understand. From all I know, he wasn’t injured or anything. Yes Stepanek is a good player, but those numbers on clay makes little sense.
Then grass treated him with some close matches at the Queen’s club and Wimby.

Starting US open series he was still 6th best and was ready to make a good run on the HCs.
The problem was until Bejing in mid September, Gonzalez was 0-4. The reason he made Shanhai was actually not Aussie Open final, rather winning Beijing. Had he continued losing in 1st and 2nd rounds Shanghai spot would have been history.
He sort of ended the year with some magic. Lost to Roger in Melbourne, then taught him the game of forehand in Shanghai. Had he just done something against Roddick and Davydenko as well… This just proves how important consistency is in tennis. His name would have been all over the place had he been able to take Roddick. Oh well… better luck next time.
Ranking: 10 to 7 (not bad really, topping out at 5)
Titles: 1 (0 last year)
W-L: 37-24 (60.65%) this should’ve been higher!
Grade: C+ (+ for Aussie Open)

 

That’s just too funny

November 15, 2007

The people finding the blog through google have some very interesting searches. In Madrid I think there were like 10 hits a day about the ball girls, with 10 different formulations of ball girls. After the Roddick-Gonzalez match there were two actually typing “gonzalez drunk tennis”!
That’s so funny because I think people are actually wondering about that.

Was Gonzalez drunk last night?! The first fall was a routine oops-you-got-me-on-the wrong-foot kinda fall. But the second one was some of the most awkward movements I’ve seen in a while on a tennis court. He seemed to have lost his balance (which is allowed) but standing in an ok sitting position. But this “sitting” position proved to be so hard that he just fell on his arse, in a way that looked as if he was a 1 year old trying to stand up and then let gravity do its work back down. His explanation was that his legs felt heavy. No wonder after all the running around his forehand against Federer. It just seemed like he’d emptied a bar before the match. NOT the way to go Gonzo.

Something tells me I’ve been giving out some wrong info about the RR system. It seems as if the order in the groups are based on matches and then W-L sets. It seems that games are NOT playing a part to decide. If two players are tied, the h2h decides.
So the reason why Roddick is qualified is just becuase of that. If he loses in 2 and Gonzo wins in 2, they will be tied. Since Roddick beat Gonzo he will qualify. I think it is a lot better this way, I just did not know that it was set up this way, especially when they show the game W-L at the end of matches on ATP masters series tv.

Anywhoo…. today’s matches are the most exciting in many many many weeks/months.

Nadal – Djokovic
Last time (Montreal) Djokovic gave Nadal some tennis lessons in a straight set win. At Wimbledon it was the other way around. And at FO. And at Rome. But Djoko’s two victories have been on hard courts. Just don’t know if he’s at that level anymore. He seemed lost during the Gasquet match and is playing for pride and joy today. Nadal is a pressure handler, so I don’t see Nadal being knocked out of the Cup. Might be close if Djokovic has rested and is ready for action, but I don’t see him destroying Nadal.
Prediction: Nadal in 2

Gasquet-Ferrer
I am almost certain that it will be close. Could easily go to 3 where Gasquet takes the first one convincingly. But I think Ferrer has played like a master and took down the two “favorites” in the group before “the easy” last match against Gasquet. It would actually be a big letdown if Ferrer lost this one, especiaclly because he could actually miss out if Nadal wins big time.
Prediction: Ferrer in 3

This would give Ferrer 1st spot and Nadal 2nd.

News….

November 13, 2007

First of all, BRAVO Gasquet! Once again I doubted him for no reason. But in reality it was Djokovic who seems to have emptied every little electron in his battery. He needs some re-charging. Against Ferrer, there were indications of him being pretty much done energy-wise. Today it became obvious. Probably played just a little too much this year, especially in the fall. Tough matches throughout Wimby and USO did not help him either. Two lost matches, 0-4 in sets… he needs an injury on another player to get through. I say go and start organizing your packing.

And then the soap drama; Davydenko will NOT be fined after all. ATP has admitted that they did a mistake in their analysis of the Cilic match and clears his name all the way. Everything about this case smells bad. Something tells me we have not been told everything and it’s really just a stupid case; not one good thing came out of it. Tennis is an individual sport and placing a frickin’ bet only hurts yourself.

Why not get Nadal and Sharapova for spending between 25 and 40 damn seconds between points? That includes the ball bounce freak Djokovic. I say $1,000 a second. No, dollar is weak… make it €1,000 a second. That in addition to losing the point.
BTW, smashing a racket should be rewarded €1,000. Imagine how much attention tennis gets when players do that! Let Safin do his thing!

Tuesday in Shanghai

November 13, 2007

From what I’ve learned the second match in the groups is winner playing winner (from the 1st match) and loser playing loser. Thought they actually plan the schedule at the draw.

Novak Djokovic – Richard Gasquet
This will be crucial for the “losers”. Gasquet is still underdog and a loss here and I’m almost certain he will be heading out. Gasquet has never won against the Djoker and goes in with no pressure. If he can play the way he did against Nadal in the 1st set he should clearly win it. Djokovic is not quite where he was at the Open and so it’s up for grabs. My predicting skills cannot get worse so I feel quite confident that this time I got to get it right.
Prediction: Djokovic in 3

Rafael Nadal – David Ferrer
Look for Spanish flags. This will be a battle for SF for both. The matador who wins, will make sure he will meet one of the guys in the red group in the semi. 2-4 h2h in favor Nadal tells me he is favorite. Their last meeting in New York was a great match and if Ferrer plays that level he will win for sure. That was one of those matches where the underdog won fair and square because he was BETTER. Will Nadal allow it once more? Really cannot tell. I will try to predict the outcome with a coin toss. And the winner is……..
Prediction: Nadal

And they’re off..!!

November 11, 2007

to a great start.

nadal.jpg
Nadal d. Gasquet 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Great start to the tournament. Gasquet started out with world class tennis and like I “told” him yesterday; serve must be hot! And it was at least in the first set. The reason why he lost the second was once again… his serve. His first serve % was shot down, and 2nd serves became less stress for Nadal and a headache for Richy. In the deciding set, there seemed to be almost nothing separating the two. But then Gasquet suddenly missed a 1st serve at 15-30 or something and just had to challenge it. Challenge system was slow and what is the outcome? DOBULE FAULT! Basically Game, Set, Match for Nadal. In any case Gasquet showed that he is top 8 and played his good game pretty much the entire match. A little more backhand winners and it would be optimal. Nadal played great defense as always and had little problems when Gasquet was in hesitation mode. Conclusion: deserved win for Rafa.

ferrer.jpg

Ferrer d. Djokovic 6-4, 6-4
Not surprised. Ferrer got off to a flying start by breaking the Djoker @ the very start and continued to stress the Serb out on his serve. Ferrer held his serve quite easily in the first.
Djokovic came up with some sick shots, but the normal consistency sort of lacked today + that Ferrer was on fire. Very close to the match against Nadal in New York. Few errors and consistent baseline pounding was his clue. Djokovic made some rippin’ in the end, but did not manage to threaten Ferrer’s momentum. Some of his forehand rips were quite incredible pace-wise so props to Ferrer being able to return them a lot with his backhand!
Conclusion: Ferrer off to a flying start leading to group after 1 match. Djokovic should AT LEAST beat Gasquet in straight sets, to even think about SF.

Sunday matches

November 10, 2007

Rafael Nadal – Richard Gasquet
Shouldn’t this be straight forward for Nadal? Considering the 3-0 h2h and simply better than Gasquet all year, I would not think Nadal would miss this one. Gasquet must be agressive and play some great backhands down the line + his serve has to work. The best I can give him is a set, the first maybe, before Rafa is completely warmed up.
Prediction: Nadal

Novak Djokovic – David Ferrer
Ferrer has not been a popular figure since the great summer tournaments. Nalbandian took over the spot light and I really don’t know if Ferrer is ready for this. Is he still playing as well as in New York? If so, he should get 2 wins. I think this will be close, but I don’t know about Djokovic either. Is he more motivated here than in Paris and Madrid? Are his teeth ok? It seems like Djokovic really is able perform in the big tournaments and so this should be no different. A lot of other shaky performances otherwise. If Djoko plays his best he should get this in 2 or 3 sets… but I really don’t know!
Prediction: Djokovic (only because he is #3 and Ferrer is #6)

Stats

November 9, 2007

When has head to head stats not been important? If we rank them according to their h2h stats against the other players in the group, there is only one player who must feel comfortable in any which way.

1. Federer 34-1 (is that for real?!?!?!)
2. Roddick 11-17 (well… subtract 14 from the 17 to get his losses against Gonzo)
3. Davydenko 3-14 (kind of hopeless… 3 victories against Gonzo)
4. Gonzalez 3-19 (3 victories only against Roddick)

1. Nadal 12-4 (Not bad! Only Gasquet has not beaten him)
2. Ferrer 6-6 (Good record against Djoko, ok against Nadal, very good against Gasquet)
3. Djokovic 6-7 (5 losses against Nadal ruins his h2h)
4. Gasquet 0-7 (poor bastard must start winning against these guys)

Groups ready today

November 7, 2007

And the news is that Nalbandian is not going to play anyway. Even if there is a last minute withdraw he is going to stay put. Roddick and Davydenko have both confirmed that they will play in Shanghai, so there was no reason for him to stick around.

Are there any threats for Federer? I don’t think so. Nadal might be on the rise and have a possibility in the final. Maybe a Federer-Nadal final? Federer-Djokovic?
Roddick can go SF if he gets the Nadal group and not the Federer group. But then, Federer probably awaits. Daveynko can also go SF, but I think Gasquet and Ferrer can and should beat him. I have an ugly feeling about Gonzalez. I think 0-3 is the outcome for him. But, HEY… do I have good predicting skills?! HAHAHA Just look at the post further down where I was certain that Nadal would win the final in two sets…