Posts Tagged ‘Madrid’

Are you kidding me?!

October 21, 2007

What I “wanted” to predict would happen…. happened! I just thought Federer had been to damn dominant this week to “yield” his title to Nalbandian. After 30 min of play I was 100% sure that I would be right. Then Nalbandian breaks for the 2nd set, where Federer made more errors than he normally does, and Nalbandian started to hit some sweet winners. Nalbandian’s serve was still a little week after the first two sets.

Then came the third, which statistically had Federer written all over it. Federer continued to place his forehands long and at some point I thought: Is he drunk!?! There were at some point three in a row or something! Nalbandian remained ice cold, which I also excpected to change, and improved his record against Federer to one victory short of a TIE.
nalba.jpg

The victory is great by itself, but Nalbandian came with no hopes to go this far in Madrid. He has plummeted from 3rd to 25th faster than players who quit. He got to SF in Shanghai last year and ended the year well. This year has been a nightmare for him. 19-17 says it all. Not a top player. Now it’s up at 25-17 after Madrid. Best performance this year is a QF in Barcelona!
There’s a long way from there to winner of Madrid Masters. Not only that. To get the title he had to overcome:
Clement (in 3)
Berdych (in 3)
Del Potro (in 2)
Nadal (in 2 short ones)
Djokovic (in 2)
Federer (in 3)

Only three players have beaten # 1, 2 and 3 consecutively since 1994.
Nalbandian’s should be ranked the 1st of these three. Becker did it in Stockholm in 94 and Djokovic did it in Montreal in August this year. Roddick was actually seeded 3rd there, but Djokovic is almost 2000 points ahead of Roddick and almost twice as many points in the Race.
It doesn’t really matter who did it the best, but any player who has the ice in his stomach to beat the world’s three best players in 3 days deserves all the praise he can get.
Good job, David!

Wawrinka’s early exit

October 16, 2007

Kiefer needed two sets to take Wawrinka down, who in my opinion played some of his absolute best tennis in Vienna with the exception of parts of the final. Maybe he wasn’t 100% on top of his game, I don’t know. But once again, my predicting skills are questionable as I REALLY thought he could do some damage in this tournament.

Don’t wanna state the obvious, but this sport is unpredictable! Just a tiny little bit. It’s almost incredible that Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are pretty safe bets these days. At least into SF and F. That’s just painting a very good picture on how dominant they are compared to the rest of the field.

Should also mention that my disapointment continues to increase for Safin as he is three games from defeat against Karlovic. Where did the racket breaking 2000 version of Safin go?

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