We are just moments away from the start of round 3 at the Montreal Masters in Canada as the Top 8 players in the world bid to reach the Friday quarterfinals.
For me, the match of the day is the 1pm ESPN2 battle between Andy Roddick and Fernando Verdasco. Today will mark their 11th career meeting with Roddick holding the decisive 8-2 advantage including six straight wins.
But this is the first time Roddick meets the “new” Verdasco. The Spaniard has really shined this year, breaking into the top ten for a first time after his best Slam, a semifinal at the Australian Open. Roddick has also been playing great tennis all year. That said, I think if both guys play to their highest level I’d give the edge to Fernando based on his power. But I don’t think he’s still capable of doing that on a consistent basis, so I’ll take Roddick in a close one.
Novak Djokovic is about to take the court against Mikhail Youhzny. I like Novak against the Russian, though it will be tough. I also see Andy Murray rolling over Juan Carlos Ferrero, Juan Martin del Potro over Victor Hanescu and in mild upsets I like Nikolay Dayvdenko and Gilles Simon to advance today.
The top seeds, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, also figure to get through unscathed. I don’t see Federer losing to his countryman Stanislas Wawrinka, nor do I think Phil Petzschner will trouble Nadal.
And luckily for Nadal, he plays just Petzschner and not a more formidable foe because last night Rafa looked nothing like a former Slam champ or a World No. 1 in an injury-abbreviated match against David Ferrer.
True it was his first match back from a two month injury battle. But Ferrer was playing on one knee and he was still able to break Nadal who couldn’t seem to get a serve in. With a potential clash/rematch with DelPo tomorrow, Rafa will have to raise his game today.
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