Posts Tagged ‘Robredo’

And the winner is…

June 15, 2008

Nadal! Two-time finalist Nadal beat two-time finalist and 4 times AC champ Roddick
and Djokovic! who completely anihilated poor big Nalby
Now the question is who is the best on grass so far this year?

Djokovic started the tournament poorly, but has mentioned the “transition from clay” as the main reason he gets better every day. Rafa was incredible yesterday and looked more than ready for Wimbledon. What struck me in the Nadal-Roddick match, was how incredible he served all the way through! Always high 1st serve % and kept Roddick guessing for either extreme right or left, with the lefty spin. I actually thougth he was able to use his serve better than what Roddick did. I was really impressed with Rafa, but Roddick seemed a little bored. I didn’t hear any reactions when winning, neither when losing and seemed like the Connors-effect has faded a little bit. I hope he’s more fired up for Wimbledon, or he’ll never get his hands on the golden trophy. Maybe the shoulder is still in the back of his head. I think all players prefer to be 100% for Wimbledon, than 99% in Queens against Rafa.

Then there was Federer who still, IMO, has a more impressive record on grass than Nadal on clay. Less titles, less matches, less factors like injuries and so on, but he hasn’t lost since frickin’ Ancic in 2002!!! And will Kohlschreiber do the damage in the final?! Might give him most headache of the week, but still a straight sets victory for Federer. My question is… is Rafa and Djoko better prepared for Wimbledon, having played some REAL grass threats, while Federer sailes past #340 something, Kiefer, Baggy and so on? We’ll see. But I think both finals are worth watching, if they don’t go at the same time, and show us who is in real grasssy form!

Oh, yeah… Davydenko-Robredo in the Warsaw final…. what a waste of ATP calendar space. Why not make grass season a week longer instead!?


Contenders for Roland Garros

May 23, 2008

All right. The draw is out. What d’ y’all think?! Before I get to the draw, here’s a list of the top contenders. There’s no point in analyzing the draw without the missing qualifiers. They are, more often than not, good enough to beat some of the other jokers.

1. Rafael Nadal
King of clay. Rafa will get the #1 position to win this title for many years to come I think. I mean, are there really any indications that this is wrong? All things considered, his clay season has been better than people want to say. Every player must experience an injury or some sort of problem SOMETIME!
Blisters was Nadal’s stop. Could this be decisive? I thought that this might be a problem for Rafa, but Hamburg proved that predictions wrong. I don’t know how two weeks of best of 5 sets will be any different. He might get the same problems, but he might also be perfectly fit. Perhaps he has grown a new layer of skin, who the heck knows? Let’s just say that if he doesn’t reach a final, it will be more surprising than any year.

2. Roger Federer
Will he make the final? I cannot see why. Like with Rafa, for every year he plays excellent tennis on clay, the bigger the upset will be if he DOESN’T make the final. Yes, there is Djokovic, but that’s it.
His clay season has only had 1 downside. Losing to Stepanek was bad timing. That Rome title was a must-win, especially after Nadal was out. Instead he let Djokovic take it and get CLOSER and CLOSER!
He will make the final, don’t you worry.

3. Novak Djokovic
Okay. Now this is new material. This time last year, we wasn’t too far away from #3, but still wasn’t in the same position he is today. Djokovic has had a great clay season. In fact, SF, W and SF in the masters is better than the two kids further up. He played a good match against Nadal and might play another one in the SF in Paris. He is still behind Nadal on clay. Best of 5 sets, is not gonna help.

4. Davydenko
As we speak, Davydenko is playing for the title in Austria. Doesn’t he EVER get tired? He actually had to play two 3 set matches in like a half a day! Do they make robots in Russia?! So no surprise to see him in another SF against Federer. A year (or 2) ago it would not be a big upset if he lost early. These days he gets to SFs and still has points to hunt in Wimbledon. The more he plays, the better he gets it seems.

5. Ferrer & Robredo
From this point on, I don’t believe we are speaking about contenders for the title. Ferrer finished 2007 on a perfect note. 2008 has been more routine-Ferrer. He hasn’t really too many good results to show in Paris, and based on the draw he has a good chance of getting to the SF, if he wants to.
I need to place Robredo just as high. They have performed almost equally on clay, and they might meet before getting to a potential SF with Federer. A match between the two would favor Ferrer (3-1) but you never know with Ferrer.

7. Almagro
Has done a good job this season. Started things good on HC and has improved on clay. He hit a career-high rank of 17 (now 20) and this might be the year where he can break through top 10. However, HC and Grass isn’t something he loves so that would be weird. He has only 35!!! points to defend. I can see him in 4th round, this year. But playing his best clay tennis, who knows?

8. Andreev
Has not impressed anyone on clay this year. Still a clay lover and last year’s QF must be defended. He seems to perform a little better in bigger events. It all depends on that forehand.

9. Wawrinka
Will Federer be able to say that they have a strong DC team, finally?!?! Wawrinka made quite a name of himself by reaching the final in Rome. The SF that Nadal was supposed to play. So a little lucky? You frickin’ bet! HOWEVER!! he has played well this year and if he has enough points to be #10, then sure why NOT?! No realistic contender of course, but one of the few who could surprise.

10. David Nalbandian
Likes to play on clay from what I know. He just needs to grab his you-know-what and get more disciplined or something! He has bigger potential than most people believe but hasn’t done anything big since Wimbledon final almost a damn decade ago. Okay, and TMC final where he beat Federer. But why not on clay? He has two SF to show in Paris. If you can get there, you can make the final. only #10 on my list though.

AMS Rome QFS – my favorite kind

May 9, 2008

…is when seeds fall and other players have a chance to do some title hunting. I watched Robredo-Davydenko last night and the frustration just grew and grew. On behalf of both players really. 12 og 13 breaks of serve!! 2hrs 40min!! Robredo was ahead 3-0 and 5-3 AND behind in the breaker. Robredo and Davydenko sure are good players, but both have that little something which classifies them as top 10, but not top 5. Unforced errors on key points was pretty much the description of the match. He did manage to save the Spanish pride by having two left in the last 8. You know what other countries have two players?

Switzerland and USA! Federer sailed past Karlovic, and Wawrinka passed the Nadal-slayer Ferrero. And James frickin’ Blake… how did he beat Verdasco? Blake is almost worse than Roddick on the red stuff, and Verdasco simply loves this type of rally-sliding-angleling tennis. They said that conditions are relatively fast due to warm weather the last days. That certainly helps the Americans on the way. Roddick is perhaps not the same hero, but beating local hope Bollelli was also a good performance.

And then, there are Stepanek and Djokovic who seem less stable at times. Both played one bad set each in their respective 3rd rounds. Why? Djokovic still seems to struggle with his breath and Stepanek…no clue..age or volleys letting him down…who knows? I know that inconsistency won’t work against Federer, so Fed will get to the SF. Djokovic will have to battle clay lover Almagro who didn’t play yesterday as Gonzo chose not to play. That might just be enough for Almagro to pull off an upset, not because he isn’t tired, but because Djokovic is. I still think Federer-Djokovic is the top half SF.

On the bottom half, Roddick goes in with a perfect 7-0 against Robredo. In fact he beat Robredo here in 2002 in straight sets. Somehow Roddick played better on clay in 01-03 so who knows if he’s still on that level. Due to this record I hold Roddick as slight favorite, BUT Robredo with more consistency on the baseline will get a mediocre-serving Roddick. 51-49 to Roddick.

James Blake will get a tough time against Wawrinka. Wawrinka is one of those players with GREAT potential, but never being able to show or use his ability over a long period of time. Blake seems to have found his confidence and will probably take a set. But this is also open, and I see Wawrinka as a slight favorite, but not more than Roddick is in the other match. I can also mention Wawrinka won their only meeting, which was in Paris. Wawrinka won a 5 set match which, yes, Blake had a 2-0 lead. But the match is definately OPEN.

Based on this Fed wil beat the heck out of Djokovic and Roddick will beat Wawrinka for his first clay final in decades. Federer will of course WIN.

Year-End Player Assessment

November 19, 2007

Let us look at #10 and #9. The ones just missing out of Shanghai. How has 2007 treated them?

#10 Tommy Robredo
The #3 player in Spain is actually one of the most experienced by now and has been playing on the pro tour since 2001 when he shot up to #30. 2007 has not been a bad year, but he’s been locked in the shadow of Ferrer and Nadal who happen to be better.

The face is 2007 started out quite good for Robredo. In Auckland he made the final and lost to Ferrer which also gave him a good 6th seed for Aussie Open. In Melbourne he made a good run to the QF where he (as most other players) was shot down by The Roger.

Another QF followed in Rotterdam where he lost to Djokovic in 3 sets. If people would’ve known what lies in Djokovic (then ranked 14) this loss is actually not a bad performance.
In Indian Wells Gilles Simon fired past Robredo and sent him to Miami, where he lost in the QF against Canas. Remember him? The guy who was in a Federer-killing mood in March?

The first obvious dissapointment came with the clay season, where he usually collects most of his ranking points. His best results were a SF in Estoril and the QF in Roland Garros, once again taking a beating from Federer.

Grass did not work out this year either and Wimbledon ended in 2nd round against the oldy Arthurs. Robredo continued on clay and played Bastad, Stuttgart, Kitzbuhel, and Sopot. First three were no good at all, though he got his first title of the season in Sopot.

From that point on he did not restore his best tennis until after the USO where he made the 3rd round and got a lesson from Gulbis. That sent the poor man down to #11.

In September and October things changed as he got to the final in Beijing and won Metz. That would perhaps have built up his confidence and give him enough points to qualify for Shanghai. That was not the case as he failed to perform in Madrid, Lyon and Paris, where he needed quite a few points to be competitive in the race. Overall, just OK

Ranking: 7 to 10, high at #5
Titles: 2
W-L: 49-26 (65.3%)
Grade: C

#9 David Nalbandian
If this was end of September, this guy would not get this spot in the blog! It was even a coincidence point-wise that he made the top 10. Nalbandian is a great player, when he plays with some consistency and stability. He started out the year in top 10, made the R16 in Melbourne and got some below average results in the start. The problem is that he had some big points to defend from 2006 and was not able to defend too many of them. By the time they hit the clay in Europe, he was #12. After Roland Garros Nalby was out of top 20. He actually entered Wimbledon as #25. The problem was that the first half of 2006 he was playing better than ever and this spring he had no results to show. In the fall there were less points to defend and showed that he had some skills against Ferrer in New York. He lost it, but the 5 set encounter was a breath of fresh air for Nalby fans. He’s still around!

Prior to October 15th his best result was a QF in Barcelona! 4th, 4th, 3rd, and 3rd rounds at the slams. Not top 10 material. I don’t know what sort of preparation he did for the last two masters tournaments, but Nalby was back to his early 2006 level. In Madrid he took out the three best players in the world in three days. A couple of weeks later he managed to beat Nadal, Gasquet, and Federer to get his second AMS title in a month. Now people are talking about him being a favorite for AO. I can see why!

Ranking: 8 to 9, but hitting a deep, deep low at #26 in the summer.
titles: 2 AMS
W-L: 31-18 (63.3%)
Grade: C+ (yeah! that’s right)

Will Gonzalez qualify?

October 30, 2007

Well… he is history in Paris, taken out by Youzhny today and got only 1 point. That might be enough, but now his spot is open for anyone who can do some damage in Paris. Murray? Haas just won and got 15 points I think. Robredo? Blake? Plenty of players who can get around SF which brings 50 points. Gonzalez will be knocked out if two of these make SFs.

Race still open and we are in the final lap!

Let the last week of tennis begin!

October 29, 2007

For all players but 8. Paris is the end of the road for some 100+ players who play only ATP-level. I thought Federer would take a rest this week, but it seems that he wants to do all of the “mandatory” tournaments this year. If he takes this one too, 2007 has been almost as good as 2006 for the great Roger.

For Federer, the only threat (if he really is a threat anymore) is Nalbandian. We now know Nalbandian can beat Federer, but can he do a “Canas”. Something tells me… NO
Berdych needs to overcome both Ferrer and Federer if he wants to qualify for Shanghai
Murray, the poor bastard, must beat Djokovic to make it. Of course, these are estimates as the last (2) spots for Shanghai will depend on a lot of other players and their performance.

Blake has a tough draw too, so Blake’s way to Shanghai is longer than for example Haas. He has a couple of Qualifiers and Gonzo to shoot down for Shanghai. Ljubicic get Davydenko, which I think he’ll manage and can possibly qualify for Shanghai this year too.

Robredo has a fair chance as well, only big obstacle is Canas who needs to win the whole thing to really be sure for a spot in China.

If Federer and Nadal are motivated enough, it seems like a new encounter between the grand slammers on Sunday. Federer will of course win it…right? gives an updated week 4 week overview of the race standings. As you can see there are plenty of players who still have a fair chance.
I think that Gonzalez will lose his spot only if he loses first and two other players get to the Final. SF gives 45 points and he is 51 ahead. He will not make it if for example Blake meets Haas in the final and he loses first match….. I think

My prediction is that Gonzo will buy his ticket this evening and joining him later this week will be either Murray or Haas. Hopefully Haas has a stable stomach all week!

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?

Robredo is champ again

October 7, 2007

…on Hard Court. Sorry for doubting him… but come on! I did not see the match,and I don’t know how the score can be justified for either one of them. Tommy lost the first 6-0! Don’t know if Murray had problems or whatever. Robredo might just be one of the players who aim for play in Shanghai. This could get interesting!
Oh.. and yes I misspelled Robredo in the last post. Thanks for the comment.

Ferrer is on fire

October 7, 2007

Not only will he make Shanghai, but I think he’ll be a contender for the whole thing. He stepped off the court in Japan with a new title printed on his resume and is ready to take on the top 8. There are still a few tournaments to go, but it looks good for him. Not only in terms of point gain in the race, but also his play. Ferrer didn’t need too much time to completely tear up Gasquet in 2 very quick sets, 6-1, 6-2. Only Federer has the same tendency to beat the finalist with these figures.
Ferrer is listed as second seed in Stockholm for this upcoming week and has a chance to take on the defending champion James Blake in the final.

In Metz we have Robredo-Murray in the final. Rebredo needed 3 sets to beat Nicolas Mahut, while Murray took Canas down with 7-6, 6-4. Murray seems to be on a roll and will most likely take the title this week.

No surprises in Tokyo and Mets

October 5, 2007

Ferrer and Karlovic will clash in SF of Tokyo. Both players have had a good year and will battle it out tomorrow. Ferrer is a very good returner, so I don’t think Karlovic is a favorite at all. Ferrer is getting closer to Shaghai every minute he spends on court. On the other side, Gasquet has beaten Sela and is in the SF. Berdych/Verdasco is still running, but Berdych is a break up in the 3rd. I think we’ll see Ferrer against Berdych in the final. Although Gasquet vs. Berdych will be close I think.

In France the first QF is in progress. Andreev against Mahut. 1 all right now. Third set will be close it seems. There are some real interesting matches ahead. A shame there’s no place to watch them! Tsonga v. Murray, Robredo v. Grosjean, Korolev v. Canas
Maybe we will see Tsonga in his first ATP final? Grosjean winning @ home. Canas returning on the hard stuff? Korolev with a little breakthrough? I don’t know here. Open, open, open!