The Montreal Masters is already underway, and already Marin Cilic has been shown the exit by Mikhail Youzhny. Igor Andreev is also through courtesy of Dmitry Tursunov’s bad ankle.
As for the rest of the field, I like Andy Murray to win this one beating Novak Djokovic in the final. That’s right, Murray def. Djokovic with the Scot moving ahead of Nadal for the No. 2 ranking and the No. 2 seeding at the US Open.
Roger Federer is the top seed, he’s on a great run – personal and professional – and I know the pressure is off, but you cannot spend the last two weeks caring for the new born girls and sleeping in the hospital without some negative impact on your game. I think if someone doesn’t get to him before, Murray takes him out in the semifinals.
And remember what Roger said after losing to Novak in Miami, “Thank God the hardcourt season is over.” Well, it’s back.
The No. 2 guy is Rafael Nadal who returns to tennis after a two-month layoff due to a couple bad knees. And I think that rust is also going to show and could show very early against someone like David Ferrer or Sam Querrey. So I don’t like Nadal’s chances either this week.
With Federer and Nadal out of the mix, that leaves the door open for some surprises, sort of.
Murray has a great draw to the semifinals, no need to detail it!
Djokovic’s is a tougher path with foe Roddick in the quarterfinals. But Novak’s turning into a Masters player – he’s reached the SFs or better in his last four – and he won this same Montreal title a few years ago beating the Top 3 consecutively. Meanwhile, Roddick had a tough end to a so-so week in D.C., and if he’s getting broken by the likes of Ivo Karlovic and John Isner, what’s Novak going to do him? So I’m actually picking Novak in a mild upset to beat Roddick.
That means in the semifinals Murray beats Federer and Novak gets by DelPo. The first match I feel good about, but the second is dicey.
DelPo really came up big yesterday. He handled the heat really well, didn’t get down on himself in the third set when he fell behind a break, and once he made it to the tiebreaker he absolutely tossed aside the nerves and went full throttle.
What’s scary is I don’t think he even played his best tennis, but he elevated his game at the right moments and stole it from Roddick. Very impressive performance and one that moves him into the conversation for the US Open title. But next week I think the fast courts in Montreal and the overall grind catch up to DelPo and Novak gets through.
Regardless, unless you are a Marin Cilic fan, looks like we have a great week ahead in Canada. Enjoy it. If you are a tennis fan this is the start of a great 30-day run.
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