The hits just keep on coming from Paris. Former/Future year-end No. 1s Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Roddick all enjoyed easy wins today setting up for some great matches Friday in the quarterfinals at the Tennis Masters Series Paris, the final stop of the 2008 ATP regular season.
In the biggest surprise of the day Roddick took out the streaking Gilles Simon 6-3, 7-5. Unfortunately Roddick’s quarterfinal opponent won’t be Novak Djokovic as I had hoped, but rather his conqueror, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who was basically unconscious in the third set during his win over the Serb. If Tsonga can maintain that level he’ll be awfully tough to beat, and I like him to beat Roddick. With the results today, Roddick has now booked a spot into the Tennis Masters Cup and he says he is going.
David Nalbandian still has a crack at the year-end championships after laying down a 6-4, 6-0 whooping on countryman Juan Martin Del Potro. Dave now gets another youngster in Andy Murray who hasn’t lost a Masters Series match since who knows. But that streak’s got to end sometime so I’ll give the slight edge to Dave here to pull the upset.
James Blake is also alive for a possible Shanghai berth. Blake had it easy with Phil Kohlschreiber today but I get the feeling he’s going to be on the receiving end of the beat-down stick tomorrow against Federer. James stunned Raja at the Olympics but I can’t see the Swiss letting that happen again.
Meanwhile Nadal is acting and playing like a world No. 1. The Spaniard just doesn’t give you an inch, even when he’s down in a deep hole. Today against the high-wire act of Gael Monfils, Nadal survived numerous break chances against the Frenchman to win rather handily 6-3, 6-2. Nikolay Davydenko is next up and the Russian should not be taken lightly and after pounding Tomas Berdych 1, 1. I think Nikolay matches up with Rafa really well, regardless of the surface so I expect a much closer match than both had today with a slight edge going to Rafa.
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