Posts Tagged ‘Gonzalez’

Here they are. Medals for three very different nations.

August 17, 2008

Tennis nations that is. Chile has really carved itself into Olympics history by having players in the Olympic final the last two events, Nadal has given Spain a whole new respect in tennis this year, which is also true for Djokovi’s Serbia. Chile has had several good players over the years, but isn’t known for producing a large amount of them. There has been a lot from Spain, but most have done their job on clay. Now Nadal does it on every surface. This will probably go into history as one of the best years for a singles player (winning RG, Wimb AND Gold on hard) That’s hard stuff!

Nadal had no problems giving Gonzo the hard court lesson by two easy breaks of serve in the 1st and 3rd sets, with a slightly closer 2nd set tiebreak. The best man (without too much doubt) won the Gold medal. A very dedicated Olympics nation won the silver, and a new force in tennis got the Bronze. Good Job guys!

Now the biggest open of the fall, the US Open is 1 week away.

BTW… go to atptennis.com and look closely for a historic moment in about 5 or 6 hours.

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Olympics last 8 breakdown

August 14, 2008

Federer – Blake
Oh no. Blake is going in way too confident with a 0-8 record against the #1. He has even won ONE set in their 8 “close” battles. I’m not making fun of Blake, but if he were to pull a win today, it would be biggger than Roddick’s Miami win, Gonzo’s MC win, even Djokoivc’s SF Aussie Opne win. Blake has to my recollection never played his absolute best against Federer. I remember watching them in USO in 2006, Blake’s best fall season, where they battled in 2 intense tiebreaks, one of which Blake won. It doesn’t do him good to lose the 2nd set 6-0 though. That’s just plain embarassing. I would be stunned to see Roger losing a set today, but Blake seems to be tuning up his engine for the most important part of the season for him. But hey… Federer has lost to so many different jokers this year, maybe Blake can finally get a win as well.

Mathieu – Gonzalez
How about that Gonzalez?! He beat tiny Rochus 6-0, 6-3 and has eased through the opponents to reach another QF for Chile. Is he like a patriot or something? He hasn’t really done what he did last year and I can’t see him returning to Shanghai regardless of what he does here. But is he here to defend his Bronze? Just one more win now and that’s a good possibility. Although, likely opponents will be either Nadal or Djokovic. What about Mathieu? I big talent IMO, but somehow will never break through. He looked decent during French Open, but hasn’t done much since. Could be close, but Gonzo seems strong.

Monfils – Djokovic
Now this is interesting. Monfils took out Nalby in 2. I’m not saying that’s so great, but he has gone silently through the draw and ended up in a QF against Novak. I assumed Novak would have problems getting fresh air in his lungs on the very first day. However, he seems to come with the humid and non-fresh conditions. I think this match is all in Monfils’ hands. If he plays confidently like in French Open, he should have a shot at Djokovic. I haven’t seen Djokovic play at all, but I have a feeling he’s not giving 100%, maybe only 99.5. That’s usually enough to go 8-6 in a tiebreak in contrast to 6-8. However, my gut tells me Djokovic sees the Big 3 all still in and wants a damn medal just as bad as the rest. Beating Nadal in a SF on hard court shouldn’t be the hardest thing in the world.

Melzer-Nadal
I don’t know how Melzer would beat Nadal. I have to place him in the same category as Mathieu, only lower. He has never met Nadal, I’m sure he’s happy, and I think that he will be sent home packing. There’s no way Nadal will lose this match, now that he’s in a position to take on Djoko in the next round. Nadal will win. Safest bet of the day.

QF @ Roland Garros

June 3, 2008

Finally, we have come to the point where the BEST of the best remain!
Let’s start with today’s action:

Almagro – Nadal
No doubt that Almagro has made a good run here in Paris. He has never been past a 4th round of a slam and as his chance now against Nadal. Is is a chance, or is it merely an event that needs to be completed. IMO Almagro has never looked this strong, the only problem being that Nadal has arguably never looked this strong either. It’s Spain vs. Spain, Murcia vs. Mallorca, Defense vs. Offense. What I love about Almagro’s game is that he is not even clos to mainstream Spain clay game. He tries to hit winners ASAP and has probably the most vicious serve of the top ranked Spaniards. (not including Lopez) Could he pull it off? No, I would be surprised to see Nadal lose a set, but again.. I think this is the first match where Nadal plays an in-form player who just hit the highest rank a few weeks ago. He is actually en route to a place for Shanghai, being #9 at this point.
Nadal takes it in 4.

Gulbis – Djokovic
Ok. Logically this is Djokovic in three short sets, right? And it could be… However! Gulbis is probably the biggest talent since.. well Djokovic. I don’t know if he’s much of a talent, but he has a very mature and fine tuned game. Big serve, big groundstrokes, and if I’m correctly informed… clay is his least favorite surface. QF is his best, like Almagro, so argument is NOTHING TO LOSE! The only problem for Gulbis is that he hasn’t had a real opponent yet. Nothing compared to Djoko. Blake, Llodra, Lapenti, Greul… not the list of the best clay players. I think the match will go to Serbia, but this is a real battle between two miniscule countries with two great talented players. Think about it… Serbia vs. Latvia!! Where the heck is Russia and the US? I’m afraid Djokovic will take the advantage of having the lowest ranked player as opponent and do a fast workout in 3 sets
Djokovic in 3

Yesterday… all of Stepanek’s troubles seemed so far away..
Ferrer-Stepanek was a sick match. Physically sick, mentally sick… anyway you want it. Rollercoaster is a mild expression to a match where both players had momentum every other point, every other, game or most significant every other set. Stepanek took the third set 6-1, but still managed to lost the 4th quite easily. Was down 0-4 in the final, came back to 4-4 just to be broken back and losing the incredible momentum. It’s not only Stepanek who contributed to the rollercoaster, Ferrer was just as inconsistent with his groundstrokes. I don’t know how Ferrer will get past Monfils if he doesn’t show some more consistency.

Monfils on the other hand impressed me. He was more consistent than ever. He got broken too many times, but seemed to break back with ease a couple of times, against Ljubicic who has hit a very low number of unforced this tournament. Not the best tennis, but both players played a reasonable medium-paced game with a lot of combos and flat hit shots. Very nice to watch, and very nice for France to at least have gotten one out of the 5 players into the QF.

Federer and Gonzo sailed through in 3 sets and didn’t sweat their brains out. Therefore it might be some high quality tennis when they meet next time. Remember Shanghai 2007? Gonzo has actually beaten Federer now, so nothing is impossible.
That’s tomorrow… for now.. Enjoy today’s tennis

Last 16 and end of 1st week

May 31, 2008

Finally we have made it to the players who have deserved to be going into 2nd week. RG is IMO the hardest of the 4 slams to get past the first 3 rounds. There are so many clay lover below top 100 who could take the advantage and get instant fame. Who am I talking about…hmm
Well, there’s Chardy!! That’s the only one who’s left, but there are always a few players who come from nothing and get big wins against big guys.

Let’s go to today’s action and find the man of the day… IVAN LJUBICIC!!!

Why, you say? Firstly he was down 2-0 against the 4th best clay player, the robotic Davydenko. Second, he has fallen down from top 3-4 to #30 very fast and with no good results to show in recent time. Third, he is one of the BIG guys with the big serve as main weapon. History shows that these guys succeed more on hard courts and grass. Fact of the matter is Ljubi played great tennis, few errors and made Davydenko come up with the good stuff. He wasn’t able anymore after the first two sets, and Ivan took over. Great match, great setting and a great result for the big guy from Croatia. Kinda the only surprise left, apart from Chardy in the last 16.

Gonzalez did the same thing today, but you would excpect him to play a lot better than what he showed during the first two sets. Gonzo is a rollercoaster of another dimension and needs stability to get a big title. Wawrinka playing his best is perhaps not as good as Gonzo playing his best. That’s why Gonzo won, I think.

Ok, here’s a breakdown of the remaining candidates:
Federer-Benneteau (Federer just torn Ancic apart, will do it to Benne as well)
Gonzo-Ginepri (is this for real?! If Gonzo loses this, shame on him!)
Ljubicic-Monfils (this could go either way, depending on mental strength+best tennis possible)
Stepanek-Ferrer (probably to of the biggest dark horses to win the entire thing, super match!)
Gulbis-Llodra (big chance for both of them, is Gulbis mature enough to take it? 50-50 IMO)
Mathieu-Djokovic (either Mathieu plays his best and has a chance, or plays poorly and gets humiliated at home)
Chardy-Almagro (bye bye Chardy, Almagro losing this would be a big upset! who knows?)
Verdasco-Nadal (bye bye Verdasco. never beaten him, never even close, except for once on grass..Nadal in 3 I’m afraid)

Vina del Mar & Davis Cup

February 3, 2008

I was supposed to write about the much anticipated final in Vina del Mar between Gonzalez and Monaco. But something that you don’t see too often happened yesterday. Monaco had to retire after his semifinal win due to injury and left Gonzo standing as champ on a W/O. How much satisfaction can you get from gettin an ATP title through a text message or through an announcement over a speaker or something. (I don’t really know how Gonzo got the message)

Anyway, this was the only tournament this week and this next week is dedicated to Davis Cup. Now here we will have some interesting matches.

Serbia will face Russia in Moscow. Russia is still top seed, but taking AO into consideration, I think it’s safe to say Serbia could win this without it being a BIG upset. Djokovic, Tipsarevic and Troicki seem to have performed over expectation in Australia and are probably riding on a confidence wave. Watch out Russia!

Great Britain will face Argentina on clay in Buenos Aires. Argentina 5-0, enough said

Then there’s Sweden-Israel on hard courts in Israel. This could get interesting as Israel has the best doubles team and Dudi Sela, who is not a clown. I think Israel can win this 3-2 at home.

Most tennis fans are probably considering USA-Austria to be a safe bet on the def champs. I AM NOT SO SURE. Austria has made a very good move of taking the event inside on what I only assume is the slowest clay court ever. We know that the Americans often struggle on this red dust. Who will bite it? Koubek, Eschauer, Melzer are all top 100 and they have doubles player Knowle on #7. This could get ugly if Roddick and Blake don’t handle the clay.

If the Americans win this, the road to another title is very long. France is a QF potential, and Spain or Germany might be waiting in the SF (IF they get there)

Oh well, Russia-Serbia is still the tie to watch.

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)

 

Friday

November 16, 2007

Gonzalez-Davydenko
This will be the decider for Gonzo. He is up first @ 7.30. If he wins, he has a good chance of qualifying based on his 2-1 record. But that’s an optimistic thought. For him to qulify, Roddick must beat Federer. If Federer and Gonzo get the same set count, Gonzo will qualify due to his victory against Rog. I think that Gonzalez has erased every rest of the Roddick match from his mind and enters the court with the same goal as he had against Federer. To win the match. That might even inspire Roddick to try to eliminate Federer from the entire thing. Roddick will not want to meet up again with him in a final. However! Davydenko has DC final in a few weeks and leaving Shanghai with 0-3 will not be satisfactory for him. H2H record favors Davydenko 3-0, but in reality all of their meetings have been between 02 and 05. Gonzalez was not really a top player before perhaps in the summer season last year. I think Gonzalez will win, and hopefully he has not been drinking in prep for the match.
Prediction: Gonzalez in 2

Roddick-Federer
I like these two when they play. Both of them seem to deliver every time they meet. Especially Federer. This time around the situation is very different. Roddick has not ONE thing to lose in this match, which has only happened once before and it was not an ATP event. Kooyong classic final i January was the same sort of match. The title itself did not mean more than “beating Federer” for a change. No pressure favors Roddick big time in my opinion, reason being that he is a lot more sensitive to pressure and “hotter” than the iceman Rog.
If Rog wins it in 2, then Roddick has not played his best or he is actually trying to prevent a Nadal match-up in the semi. Don’t know if Ferrer will be easier! I am a Roddick-fan in when he plays Federer so I say he will take it 6-0, 6-0
Prediction: Roddick in 2

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.

Roddick first to qualify!

November 14, 2007

roddick1.jpg

Honestly, who would have thought?!! And in the Federer group! The American rolled over Gonzalez 6-1, 6-4 continues his great play dowards the DC final. Right now he is in an unique situation. Federer will play him on Friday for a spot in the SF. Roddick is already there and the pressure is completely off. Will Roddick be able to shock the world, sending the 16-1 RR record Rog back to Switzerland? Maybe…

Red Group

Pos. Seed Player Matches
W – L
Sets
W – L
Games
W – L
1 5 Flag of the United States Andy Roddick 2 – 0 4 – 1 28 – 16
2 1 Flag of Switzerland Roger Federer 1 – 1 3 – 2 29 – 24
3 7 Flag of Chile Fernando González 1 – 1 2 – 3 22 – 29

Table shows that Roddick is through. Federer should beat Roddick because Gonzo will play Davydenko who hasn’t won yet. If we turn it around Davydenko can actually qualify if he destroys Gonzo and Roddick takes down Federer. Once again, sets and games will tell who gets it, but I honestly think it’s an open race. Really depends on Roddick’s ability to play on a high level (like last year, but this time make the smash shots) against Federer and beat him, and really depends on the level Gonzo is able to produce against Nikko. Today’s level was really rock bottom, especially after Monday’s match.

I think that Roddick and Federer will qualify. Still think Davydenko can pull a win, but even then Federer might have enough sets to get ahead of the Russian.

Ferrer d. Nadal

November 13, 2007

Ferrer d. Nadal 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
Close, tight and very well-played from both. Ferrer needed some warm-up time. Kind of defensive, taking the ball too late to 1-4 down in the first. Towards the end he started to take the ball early and send Nadal on sprint quite a few times. Ferrer is now almost ready for SF and will have to play Gasquet who is still fighting for a spot. The weird thing is, Gasquet is ahead of Nadal on sets won and games won.

Gold Group

Pos. Seed Player Matches
W – L
Sets
W – L
Games
W – L
1 6 Flag of Spain David Ferrer 2 – 0 4 – 1 28 – 21
2 8 Flag of France Richard Gasquet 1 – 1 3 – 2 25 – 21
3 2 Flag of Spain Rafael Nadal 1 – 1 3 – 3 28 – 29
4 3 Flag of Serbia Novak Đoković 0 – 2 0 – 4 14 – 24

This is the group after 2 of 3 matches. Novak is out. Even if he kills Nadal he won’t get past Gasquet.  What will be interesting is to see if Ferrer is able to keep up and secure his spot. He would have to be seriously beaten by Gasquet AND Nadal must win comfortably in order for him to lose it. Don’t believe it, but we will have to wait and see.

Tomorrow there is back to Federer and company.
Federer-Davydenko
I’m just going to say, Federer wins it. Davydenko does not have the weapons that Gonzo posesses and he really needs a miracle. Federer takes it in two important sets.

Roddick-Gonzalez
Simple as this: Gonzo plays at the same level he did against Federer or same level as in Aussie Open he will win it. If Roddick plays like he did against Federer and Johansson in the USO, he will win it. Gonzalez needs some time to set up the firecracker forehand and Roddick will play quick and probably sliced up to prevent that from happening.
Prediction: impossible!!! Roddick/Gonzalez in 3