Posts Tagged ‘Ljubicic’

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)

Kuerten has lost it

April 22, 2008

When you get 1-6, 2-6 against Ljubicic on clay, you really cannot hope to do very good in Roland Garros. The difference was Ljbubicic had firepower and weapons, while Kuerten couldn’t do much. Shame, but when you have your mind and one foot in the retired business, you have pretty much lost it.

Murray got through Lopez in 2, which didn’t sound easy, but Lopez might be one spaniard who probably doesn’t favor a clay court over a faster harder one. I think Volandri will pose a greater threat to Murray in the next round. Kohlschreiber took out Acasuso, Tipsy downed Mathieu in 3, Ancic set up Nadal clash, and Ferrero got Llodra after being in trouble with poor tennis for 1 set.

Some of Tuesday’s hightlights include:

Safin-Malisse (two great talents in the waste bin?)
Djokovic-Ljubicic
…. and that’s it.. I think Murray will take Volandri, but it might be close.
Nadal and Federererer will hit the dirt tomorrow.

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!

Interesting match-ups

January 2, 2008

In India, def.champ Malisse is going against 6th seed Melzer. Malisse is probably a favorite in this one, but in this case ranking is not just a number. Melzer is good enough to get past Malisse.

In Doha, we will get some nice action. Davydenko will have to come up with some solutions against the magician Santoro. Santoro almost always plays close matches and this should be one of those too. If Davydenko gets a fairly high number of unforced Santoro will take it. Regardless of future predictions, it will be a good one.

Remember Tipsarevic? Defeated Gonzo in Wimbledon last summer? He will go against def.champ Ljubicic. I haven’t followed Tipsarevic closely since Wimbledon, but I haven’t seen anything impressive since then. Ljubicic is the favorite in every which way, but Ljubicic is far from where he was one year ago. At #3.

In Adelaide, a little ahead time-wise… players are ready for QFs. The one match I would look at is the newcomer battle of Gulbis-Tsonga. They’re 0-0 h2h and predicting the winner is a perfect gamble. Tsonga is seeded 6th, Gulbis is just short of a seeding. If these kids play their best tennis, it should be the one to watch today.(tomorrow)

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!