Posts Tagged ‘Hewitt’

Roger Federer 1st up

June 22, 2008

The schedule for tomorrow’s matches will be from Roger’s half of the draw, including Novak and Lleyton, Nalby, Baggy and more…

Most people will probably watch the center court + court 1 action, but there are several great matches on the smaller courts. Here are the ones I would prefer watching:

Kohlschreiber – Verdasco
Kohlschreiber just got to the final in Halle (lost to the King), while Verdasco went all the way to the final in Nottingham, taking a set off Karlovic. No doubt that both players are ready for grass and seem to be more consistent than previous years when hitting grass. They’ve met twice, both won by Kohl, but both matches went to a third set. I’ve been asked to predict, but I feel an obligation to tell you that I get like 20% right, so don’t use them for betting.
Kohlshreiber will win in 5 great sets.

Gicquel – Nishikori
Both have done well so far on grass. Giquel lost to Ferrer in the final in Holland (I’ve given up trying to type the name of the location), Nishikori gave Nadal a light headache in Queen’s. And we remember him from earlier beating Blake and other big names. Fun to watch, and could be heading for a Federer clash.
Nishikori in 4.

Baghdatis – Darcis
Baghdatis has struggled a lot all year. He hasn’t been able to do anything special. Only two reasons he’s still at #25. 1 is QF in Wimbledon last year, 2 is SF in AMS Paris. Darcis is one of the (young) guns, actually older than Baggy, who has climbed from 485 in 2007 to a career high of 46 in March 08. He’s clearly heading up, Baggy is sort of going down. But we know how good Baggy plays on grass, and we’ve seen a lot of good stuff from Darcis this year (not A LOT, but winning Memphis is a big achievement). I believe it will be a tight battle and good baseline rallies.
Baghdatis in 4

Hewitt – Haase
Hewitt hasn’t performed to his full potential this year and hasn’t proven to be consistent enough to get himself back inside top 20, or maybe 10. Haase is like Darcis, going up. Hasn’t proven anything that should scare Hewitt, but could give him some trouble. I’ve seen Haase playing with Safin, and beating him in 3 sets back in Valencia; he was able to beat Murray in Rotterdam in straight sets AND took out Ljubicic in the first round of AO. Maybe not the favorite going into the match, but no joke.
Hewitt in 3

Federer – Hrbaty
Okay, this is interesting. Federer has a relatively bad record against this guy. Lost in 2000, when Hrbaty was much higher ranked, but also beat him in 2004 at Cincy. I cannot see Federer losing tomorrow, but can we get an early mid-term exam from Hrbaty? Why not?! Well… because he has a horrible 2-3 record this year, playing more on the Challenger tour and doing some doubles as well. Ranked 272 and really not going up anytime soon. I can only assume that Federer will play badly to lose a set tomorrow, but what do I know?!
Federer in 3

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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?

Now THAT is Tennis, round 2!

January 19, 2008
federer.jpg

I can only imagine how close Federer fans were to strokes and dehydration from excessive sweating today. Not a lot of people were excpecting Tipsarevic to take any set off Federer. I enjoyed every rally, every point, every Tipsy winner, everything about it really. I am not a Federer hater, nor a fan, but there was something telling me that, “how great would it be to have Federer, Nadal, Roddick, Djokovic taken out in the third or 4th round and let give other players a break?” At 2-1 Tipsarevic I actually thought it would happen. Federer seems to handle pressure, but throughout the match as he saw that Tipsy would not give him an easy match, Federer was frustrated enough to make too many errors. That’s how Canas beat him, Volandri to some extent + Nadal several times.

But finally, some competition! Aussie Open 08 would have gone into the history books as one of the most boring and predictable without these thriller third round 5 setters. This actually makes it more probable that we will see some more. Hewitt and Baggy are hitting central court right now, and that too has 5 tight sets written all over it.

Anyway. So far Federer seems still to be heading for his 3rd cons. aussie title. I cannot see Berdych doing the same damage to Federer. Two resting days should be plenty for Rogerer. I think Andy fans are happy for the Roger-win as well. I could easily imagine Roddick killing himself if Federer was defeated today! Oh well, something tells me Nadal is inspired as this point. YES, YES, YES, NOW THAT GOOD OLD GRAND SLAM FUN STARTS!

TOP Australian Open contenders (pre-Draw)

January 10, 2008

I had eight of these for US Open, and I don’t see the value in consuming any time on more than one or two. HOWEVER! If Federer would get beaten early on, there would be several potentials. Anyway here is the list of potenital Aussie Open champs 2008

1. Federer 90%
We are talking about the fact that there are more than one or two contenders for this title. But can you imagine Federer NOT winning it? Really hard. The appearance of Nalby might be an important factor, but Federer is statistically impossible to beat on hard court slams these days. Less prep and a troublesome stomach virus gives him only 90% chance from me.
DRUMROLL…..

2. Djokovic (3%)
I gave this guy no chance of making the final in New York due to the brutal draw and fatigue issues along the way. But not only did he make it, he had set points against Federer in a slam final! A 20-year old Djoker! Give me one good reason to doubt him again! I would have gone and said that the draw would be crucial, as he is 3rd seed, but he seems to beat anyone. I don’t know if not playing any event would profit him but after a lame end to 07, he should be fired up and ready to go.

3. Nalbandian 2,5%
IF he shows up, I put him right after Djokovic. Why? Because he seems to beat Federer all the time, but the lower ranked players are obviously more difficult for him. I haven’t heard any news on him but I assume he will not withdraw before the draw tomorrow. If he sees his name in the same half as Federer… please consider to play anyway! If he is 100% fit, this should be his chance (last?) to get a slam. He needs this momentum to succeed.

4. Andy Roddick 2%
Who? What? Am I crazy? I am still going to state that this man is a great underachiever, and that he deserves more titles and GS to his name. I would really be careful of placing him in front of Nadal, but if I would say which of the two is more motivated and ready for a hard court inferno in Melbourne, it’s Roddick. Ending last year with Davis Cup title cannot be a bad thing right? I would actually put him up there with Djokovic if he had a more balanced h2h against Federer, but unfortunately ending up in the same half (or quarter) just means bye bye.

5. Nadal 1,5%
Nadal is a slam winner and two time finalist. Only Federer has a better record in this department. BUT!!!! QF is his best in hard court slamming. That’s almost a curse cuz he’s so much better than most other players on hard court as well. Perhaps his knees only accepts one week of hard court play? Fact is that you cannot rule him out. He did great in Indian Wells last year and clearly has more potential than most other players. Results and questionable knees are the big setbacks for him.

6. Hewitt and Murray 1%
Couldn’t pick one of the two. They share this last spot for completely different reasons. Hewitt is at home and Aussie Open title must be number one priority on his list. Two finals say he deserves it. However his results in the last few GS and tournaments say NO WAY. I would give him more chance if he’d gone and completed the two Aussie tournaments with respectable results, like at least one title. The fact that he is losing to guys he should take down with ease is reason enough to doubt him. Even Guccione (125) beat him. What can you expect then? Murray is a different story. He has not performed better than R16 in a slam, but played very well in Doha and ended last year relatively good after missing out much of the early summer action. Murray is still very much work in progress, and needs time. Therefore only a shared 1% chance with Hewitt from me.

WOW! Tsonga just kicked Hewitt’s a..

January 4, 2008
tsonga.jpg

Remember this guy? Remarkable rise in 07 and is predicted as one of the big names of 08. Tsonga needed 80 minutes to take down the local Aussie 6-4, 6-2. He had a good run at Wimbledon and is clearly filled with potential before heading to Melbourne. As if this upset wasn’t enough, Aussie wild card Sirianni managed to defeat Mathieu from a set down 1-6, 6-1, 7-6. SF for tomorrow are Tsonga-Nieminen, Llodra-Sirianni.

As of this moment, Moya has clinched his SF spot and is awaiting Nadal who is in action against Garcia-Lopez.

Just another tuesday

January 1, 2008

For some it is new year’s day. For the tennis pros, it’s tuesday.

Hewitt made his anticipated strong start to the year by taking out Dudi Sela 6-2, 6-2. Tsonga is on his way as well. Beating Hansescu in the final set. Like I said, Spadea has the ability to beat Grosjean, and so he did.

The local favorite (next to Hewitt) Guccione defeated Odesnik in straight sets.  Ancic was supposed to play Korolev, which would have been THE first round match, but Ancic and his immune system….. What’s wrong with the boy? Well… a big pheeww there for Korolev who advanced to 2nd round.

In Doha, there won’t be any reason to jump up and down, but it’s always fun to watch the giant Karlovic play the midget-like Rochus. Don’t remember which Rochus is the shortest, but it doesn’t matter. Roddick seems like a midget when he stands next to Karlovic, just think about Rochus!

In India, there will be more action today. Nadal, Moya, Mahut, Cilic are a few of the player going at it today. Youzhny, Melzer and Malisse all advanced to the 2nd round.

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.

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:
grosjean.jpg

Bangkok and Mumbai

September 25, 2007

Top seeds in Bangkok:

Top seeds in Mumbai:

So here we go again with the last couple of months of the 2007 season. It’s the season to be tired and injured usually and this is the time for underdogs to challenge worn out top players. I don’t know if this is a myth or not, but it doesn’t seems to make sense as some of the top 10-20 players play for the last 5 spots on the ATP Race. Djokovic seems to be more motivated than ever going for his 7th career title. Roddick trying to pass Davydenko in both rankings and race to claim the 4th spot, and 24th title in order to pass Nadal’s 23. Hewitt is still up for a Cup spot. He is one of few who can get many points this fall, especially in Madrid and Paris. Gasquet also needs to work hard to get back in the top 10 and get enough points to head to Shanghai. I think these 4 players are a good example of players who really have a shot at Shanghai when they play their best. Djokovic is already qualified and Roddick is not far away, but they still work hard to improve and challenge Federer in November.

Let’s have a look at the draws:
Mumbai – I think that Hewitt and Gasquet will meet in the final. Don’t see major threats. Mathieu may take Hewitt when he decides to play his best, but…. no

Bangkok – And as I am writing this entry, DJOKOVIC HAS PULLED OUT OF BANGKOK. I assume his DC performance took a little too much. I think Roddick will take on either Berdych or Karlovic in the final.