Posts Tagged ‘Monfils’

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.

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How about those SFs, huh?

June 5, 2008

And the winner is……………..MONFILS!! Not the winner of Roland Garros, but the winner of the critical LAST SF spot available. Isn’t that how you see it? I mean, Davydenko is always a question mark in regards to how far he can get, although RG was probably the best bet that he could once again reach the SF. Ferrer was up close to, but Monfils just came out so much stronger. So congrats to Monfils! Just a reminder, Monfils is French! A French player in the SF of RG doesn’t happen every year and this is the time to really hope that they get somethign to cheer about in Paris. Or do we all want Fed-Nadal, AGAIN?!?!

I see no point in analyzing tomorrow’s matches. I think the winners will be Federer and Nadal. Federer because he is completely starved in Paris, and because Nadal has never looked this strong in Paris (really weird fact) and still undefeated at age 22 (sick, sick, sicker fact!!)
But what kind of damage could Monfils and Djoko do to get a Serbian-French final?
Monfils has got to get Federer running around and varying with big shots on both sides. Federer seems to enjoy predictable players, though still the best anticipator I’ve ever seen. My point is that he usually destroys players that are too predictable. On the top of my head I have Davydenko and Roddick as examples. There are probably a bunch of them…

Also, being patient might be a way to go against Federer. If he start hitting errors (I said IF!) then he might get frustrated enough to infuriate the edgy home crowd and turn them against him. He won’t get too much support tomorrow I presume, but Monfils has to really overplay and Federer be on a lower level if he want a French winner. I say Federer in 4, to be nice. For all I care, I hope I’m wrong.

Djokovic played his best tennis in Hamburg. P-E-R-I-O-D. While watching the match I remember thinking that there was nothing he could have done much better in order to win. Yes, there was an important point here and there, but it all came down to Nadal’s errors. Nadal is proably one of the most consistent players, but I’m surprised so few mention his rare, but still quite a few bad games and even sets (no, not in Paris, not this year). But rarely would you go and say that Nadal played an awful match. That’s why he is a champ and still an underachiever ranking and GS-wise. But still, and no offense to Djoko, Nadal in 3!!!

So match of the day tomorrow?! I say watch both! Monfils is able to pull a miracle, and Djokovic has plenty of talent and was actually dangerously close in Hamburg. Tennis matches are a lot closer than they sometimes seem, and even the two best players have won a big chunk of titles with the closest matches ever seen. That’s why tomorrow, as always!, anything can happen!

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)