Posts Tagged ‘Haas’

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!


Lyon, St Petersburg and Basel…

October 23, 2007

… to decide the race? May very well be. Ferrer needs just a few points to qualify and is 3rd seed in Basel. He should be ready for Shanghai. I think it’s too hard to see who the other two players are, but Gonzalez has a good opportunity in Basel as well as 2nd seed. The last spot is quite open. Haas is in trouble, after seemingly pulling out of Lyon.

In Lyon there’s Roddick, Robredo on opposite ends. Gasquet, Ljubicic, Monaco++ joins them. Other players to look out for is Grosjean (possible 2nd round against Roddick), Tsonga (already in 2nd), Mahut better at home?, Clement better at home?.
Lot of question marks, but I think Roddick has a good chance at the title, if Gasquet plays the Wimbledon match again, he could steal it from him.

In Basel, Roger Federer plays for the 2nd time in a row. He has “rested” a lot this year so this is a surprise actually. Strong players meet in Basel: Gonzalez, Ferrer, Blake, Berdych, Canas+++
In addition, there’s Kiefer, who jumped like 60 places on the ranking this week, Karlovic is always a threat, Nalbandian is back and dangerous, Wawrinka is at home but need to overcome Nalby in the first round. Lopez, Dancevic, Baghdatis, Nieminen…. a lot of good players.

In Russia the prize money is clearly largest this week, but the player field is the least attractive. Davydenko, Murray, Youzhny, Starace, Tursunov, Verdasco and more are top seeds. Then there’s Volandri, Gulbis (in 2nd), Bjorkman, Ancic, Mirnyi… and many more

My predicting skills are evidently poor but here goes nothing:
Lyon: Roddick?
Basel: Federer?
St Petersburg: Murray?

W-L ranking

October 17, 2007

I think that ranking the best players according to their winning % is in many cases more accurate than point distribution. I wanted to prove to a friend that Davydenko doesn’t even belong in the top 10. I even said that Andy Murray could take his place. Am I right? Well.. I will do it again after Shanghai, but so far (as of Monday) here is the list based on winning %.

1. Roger Federer 90%
2. Rafael Nadal 84.9%
3. Novak Djokovic 82.3%
4. Andy Roddick 79.7%
5. David Ferrer 74.3%
6. Andy Murray 73.9%
7. Tommy Haas 71.7%
8. James Blake 70.4%
9. Juan Monaco 70.4%
10. Richard Gasquet 69.8%
11. Mikhail Youzhny 68.8%
12. Lleyton Hewitt 68.6%
13. Ivan Ljubicic 67.7%
14. Tomas Berdych 67.2%
15. Tommy Robredo 67.1%
16. Guillermo Canas 66.7%
17. Carlos Moya 66.7%
18. Nikolay Davydenko 64.9%
19. Juan Ignacio Chela 64.5%
20. Fernando Gonzalez 62.7%

Gonzalez is a good example of what I mean. He made the final of AO and had some good tournaments last year + final of Rome this year. But that’s pretty much it. Is he a top 10 player? 32-19 is not impressive at all. Doesn’t matter what titles or finals you achieved, but 32-19 is quite poor if you want to make the top 10 cut.

The ranking also shows the level of dominance from Federer and Nadal, and of course Djokovic as well. He has played a lot and made incredible runs at all slams but AO. Next year might, and should, be even better for him I presume.

Another example is Roddick vs. Davydenko. If these two met, I would put my savings on Roddick. Not only is he 4-0 h2h, but also wins roughly 80% of his matches. Davydenko wins only 65%. We know that Davydenko plays a lot! Still he has only played 77 matches this year, and Roddick 64. Roddick has skipped several important tournaments and had he played them he would have been on court almost as much as Davydenko, even with many fewer tournaments.

I don’t think it’s bad that the ranking favors players who play a lot, but I think that W-L ratio paints the picture more accurately.

other stats:
most wins: Djokovic 65
least wins: Gonzo 32
top loser: Davydenko 27!
bottom loser: Federer 6

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

Madrid is up

October 14, 2007

… and Hewitt and Roddick have announced their withdrawal. Both have injuries. Hewitt is then out of Shanghai and Roddick should watch out for a hot Ferrer and perhaps a couple of other ones who could take him.
In the three ongoing tournaments, I’ve missed my predictions brutally. In Vienna Djokovic is ready to take on Wawrinka for the title, which he probably will. Then in Moscow, only Mathieu stands in Davydenko’s way to clinch his 2nd consecutive title at his home venue. While in Stockholm, after a close and well-fought battle, Johansson got past the undefeated Blake 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 to make the final. Karlovic blew past Haas and will be Johansson’s opponent.
Vienna: Djokovic
Moscow: Davydenko
Stockholm: Johansson

The draw for Madrid comes out today I guess, so no real predictions really possible to make. Plus, there’s still time for players to withdraw.

Vienna, Stockholm, and Moscow

October 12, 2007

All big tournaments. Also at an important stage in the season. A lot of players are feeling the 9 months of tennis now, but the points, the ranking, the race, everything really remains the same. These tournaments are just as important as any other.

We are in the QFs and Djokovic is the only top player in Vienna. He will meet Chela in the QF.
He will probably beat Chela and meet Ljubicic in the semi. Ljubicic is defending champ, so that’s a tough one. On the other half Ferreo-Gonzalez and Lopez-Wawrinka. I think maybe Ferrero will meet Wawrinka in the semi.

In Sweden Blake is still going strong and getting ready to lift the trophy for the third time. He will have to beat Nieminen, last year finalist. T. Johansson/Ancic will be opposition in the Semi.
On the other half, there is Clement-Karlovic, Monaco-Haas. Karlovic against Haas in the semi?

In Moscow, the Russians are hot. Well not, really. Davydenko will meet Andreev in the QF, which will leave only one Russian in the semi. But at least they will have ONE there.
One of these two, will meet either Tipsarevic or Stepanek. Further down, Kohlschreiber against Berrer, and Serra against Mathieu.

My prediction:
Vienna: Ljubicic d. Ferrero
Stockholm: Blake d. Haas
Moscow: Stepanek d. Kohlschreiber!! Davydenko will lose!