Nadal, Djokovic Near Beijing Showdown; Monfils, Tsonga Tangle in Tokyo
by Staff | October 9th, 2009, 10:24 pm
  • 93 Comments

Top seed Rafael Nadal showed no signs of wear and tear after the Spaniard ripped former No. 1 Marat Safin earlier today 6-3, 6-1 to advance to the semifinals at the China Open in Beijing.

“This is a very good start for the late season, playing three important opponents,” said Nadal. “Tomorrow, I have another important test. I hope to be ready to play tomorrow and tonight. I am going to try my best to play 100%.”

Nadal, who went the distance in the first two rounds in wins over Marcos Bagdhatis and James Blake, now faces Marin Cilic. The 6-foot-6 Cilic pulled off an impressive 6-4, 6-4 victory over Nikolay Dayvdenko.

Nadal, who won the tournament title in his last visit in 2005 and the gold medal at the Olympics last summer, is 14-0 lifetime in Beijing. He will face Cilic for the first time.

In the bottom half semifinal, second seed Novak Djokovic meets Robin Soderling. Djokovic won a shaky 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 over Fernando Verdasco while Soderling beat Ivan Ljubicic.

“I had ups and downs in today’s match,” said Djokovic who is 3-0 against Soderling. “Verdasco used these chances in the second set when he broke and he had control over the match. I had to save energy in the second set for the refreshing start of the third and I was fortunate enough to do so.”

The battle for France will take place tomorrow when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga squares off against countryman Gael Monfils. Both Frenchman needed three sets in the quarterfinals with Tsonga beating Ernests Gulbis and Monfils taking out Stanislas Wawrinka.

“I am happy with the way things are going the past few weeks,” said Monfils who lost to Tsonga in their only previous meeting in Bangkok last year. “I am playing well and winning matches. It’ll be good to play Jo in the semis, we know each other so well and I hope it will be a great match for the crowd.”

In the earlier semifinal Mikhail Youzhny tests Lleyton Hewitt. Hewitt takes a 3-0 lifetime record against Youzhny, winning seven of the previous eight sets.

Coverage from both events is scheduled on the Tennis Channel later tonight.


Also Check Out:
Rain Moves Djokovic, Wozniacki Beijing Finals to Monday;Tsonga, Verdasco on Court in Shanghai
Nadal, Murray Collide For Tokyo Title; Berdych Battles Cilic In Beijing
Serena Williams Pulls Out Of Tokyo, Beijing Remains On Her Schedule
Novak Djokovic: I’ve Done Well In The Slams, But I Should Be Better At The Other Events
Wozniacki Can Take No. 1 This Week in Beijing: Preview

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93 Comments for Nadal, Djokovic Near Beijing Showdown; Monfils, Tsonga Tangle in Tokyo

i am it Says:

where are DJ fans tonight? dj broke early, playing some clean tennis, consolidates the break, 3-1, and is looking good.


i am it Says:

why does dj try those stupid drop volleys? he barely gets 1 out of 3 in. he needs more practice.


i am it Says:

keep in mind sod only gets better and better as the match goes on. remember US Open?


jane Says:

I am watching with bated breath… :) Soderling’s groundies are awesome, but it’s also very nice to see Djok get an early break. I hope he can hold his serve and take a one set lead.


jane Says:

“why does dj try those stupid drop volleys?” OMG I know! And the funny thing is that he always berates himself afterwards, “why did I try that stupid drop volley?” lol. Soderling’s first serve is also wicked, tough to get those back in play.


i am it Says:

about drop volleys, unless you can get 50% in, you should not try. he’s tried twice so far, both out.

true sod’s serve is wicked, but as long as dj can keep his 1st serve around 70%, he should be fine, particularly at critical moments. he is playing better though. a lot of power exchange. i am liking it so far.


jane Says:

Sod is picking up steam, and Djoko’s double faulting suddenly; thankfully he added 3 aces, for some great clutch serves to get him out of trouble. He’ll have to take extra care of his serve to close out this set.


i am it Says:

dj answered the double fault with 3 aces. pretty good. but cannot often afford to get into that kind of hole, though.


i am it Says:

we almost wrote the same thing.


i am it Says:

dj takes the set. played beautiful tennis in the 1st set. his big forehand is working. on track.


jane Says:

Good job Djoko! He stayed focused in the final game for a second break to take the set. Lovely. Like Koeing said, too many UEs for Soderling. Sod’s also not the best returner; he could round out that part of his game and he’d be even better. Great volley at net when he came in; that’s something else Sod could do more of as he seems quite adept up there.


jane Says:

Ah, well, Soderling gets the early break to begin the 2nd on a bad Djok miss wide. Interested to see what happens now…


i am it Says:

did not like the way dj started the 2nd set. poor 1st serve and couple of errors.
i somehow sensed it was coming.


jane Says:

Beautiful defense by Djok, that backhand pass that dipped over the net, and also the drop-lob combo – both nice points but not enough to get the break back. Some nice play at the net by Sod again.


i am it Says:

dj had a chance to break back in that game but missed it, credit to sod. sod has upped his level, hardly missing anything, and is gaining confidence.


i am it Says:

this is a ten-fold better quality match than the last one dj played.
he’s gotta work harder to get that break back.


jane Says:

Djok’s serve percentage is leveling off now too (he began quite high), so he’s in a bit of danger. If it goes to a 3rd, it could be a dogfight. A few more errors from Djok; a few less from Sod.


jane Says:

Great point from both! Nice quality…


jane Says:

Great work Nole! Effective use of the backhand slice in a couple of rallies there, luring Sod in to pass him, or to get him to flub the volley. But will he hold?


i am it Says:

those backhand errors are killing the break chances. the 1st break chance was easy to convert but missed it, too easily.
dj gets another one on 2nd serve.
that was incredible tennis from both, long powerful rally. luckily sod prevails.
dj gets 3rd break chance. 2nd serve. that was incredible down the line backhand from sod.
dj replies with a great pass in the next point. 4th break point. dj does it. 2-2.
that was a show case tennis from both.


i am it Says:

i agree about the slice. that’s a weapon against a tall and flat hitters works best. varying shots is an effective tactic against power players.
hope dj serves well and holds here. sod is playing incredible, though.


i am it Says:

dj holds. 3-2. played alright in that game. it was all serve.


i am it Says:

dj should have played the 6th game a little better. there was a little opening to break again. sod did not have to sweat much and holds easily, 3-3.


i am it Says:

strange that drop shot smoothly went in and dj has a sort of lead, 4-3, by virtue of serving first.


jane Says:

YES! Djoko!!!! Hold and you’re in the finals.

I don’t mind these commentators – Robbie Koenig and another fella, not Jason Goodall, nor Sam Gore, I don’t think. I keep waiting to hear his name but haven’t yet.


jane Says:

ALRIGHT! :) Nice work Djoko. A much much better match than last night’s.


i am it Says:

dj breaks easily, thanks to sod’s errors. beautiful 2nd serve gives triple match point. and another big serve.
dj in the final. he reclaims no. 3.
congrats to dj for playing a great match and winning it.
how happy are you, j?


jane Says:

i am it, whenever I revert to all capital letters it means I am VERY happy. lol. Are you staying up for Rafa v. Cilic?


i am it Says:

is it Kevin something you are talking about?


jane Says:

Maybe his name is Kevin? Still waiting for him to say.

Didn’t you think, until 3-3 in the second set, that Sod played great? It wasn’t until he was serving at 3-4, to stay even, that he kind of crumbled. He began the match with too many errors as well. But really, from about the fourth or fifth game in the first set, until the seventh game in the second set, I thought Robin played classy tennis. I like to watch him.

I am liking the Rafa-Safin highlights.


jane Says:

I looks like Hewitt and Youzhny are in a battle – third set, 2 all.


i am it Says:

i think i am. not sure how long, though. it depends on how they play. are you?
Uppercase = very happy, exalted, thrilled, ecstatic, elated, gratified, and everything positive.
i will remember that.


jane Says:

I agree: I’ll see how the first set goes. If it’s a tight one, I may stay up later, but if it’s not, I may get some Z’s and save my energy for the final.


i am it Says:

i agree with your assessment of the match, particularly sod’s highs and lows.
sod is one of my favorites. i like all power players. they are special to me and there are not many of them. sometimes it is frustrating to watch them when they commit too many errors, though.


jane Says:

Wowsa – strong start from Cilic.


i am it Says:

wow, cilic wins 13 out of first 14 points played and takes a quick 3-0 lead.


jane Says:

Bagel coming?


jane Says:

Rafa’s first serve percentage is low for him, at 60%. Meanwhile Cilic has not lost ONE service point – unbelievable!


i am it Says:

Cilic wins 22 out of 1st 24 points and gets double break point and holds to lead 5-0.
i love cilic.


jane Says:

Meanwhile, Hewitt is serving to take Youz into a third set tiebreak.

Ah, the other announcer is “Kevin Skinner”, with Robbie Koenig.


i am it Says:

can you believe rafa has won only 2 points in 5 games? insane.
one commentator’s name is kevin skinner, the American one, not the Brit.


jane Says:

Rafa gets a breadstick instead of a bagel?


jane Says:

Yep. Actually Robbie Koenig is South African.

Youz breaks to win the match, 7-5 in the third, and he’ll meet one of the Frenchies in the final. Would’ve been a good win for Youz or Hew.

Rafa is making a little headway here; even if he doesn’t break, he’s sending a message. And Cilic is making a few more errors. But Cilic has a great serve.


i am it Says:

8 points for rafa in 7 games, 6 of them coming in the 6th and 7th game. rafa saves bagel. cilic wins 27 out of 35 and takes the 1st set, 6-1. that’s something.
can cilic sustain the momentum in the 2nd set? we will find out.


jane Says:

I really think Cilic moves better than JMDP. Look out for him in the future hey? Let alone now. I betcha he gets at least one Wimbledon title.


jane Says:

If Rafa’s broken, again, to begin the second set, you gotta think that’s the match no?


jane Says:

Rafa is broken again. And is at 52% first serves and dropping.

Cilic is playing out of this world tennis, but I have to say that Rafa is not near his best either.


i am it Says:

rafa faces triple break points in the opening game of the 2nd set. saves first. cilic continues to be aggressive.
Cilic breaks. rafa in danger.


jane Says:

Marin’s serving notice that he’s coming up. He’s playing very high risk tennis and it’s working, everthing’s hitting the lines.

Rafa got somewhat robbed there, though, on a call that should’ve been his point for deuce.


Duro Says:

First of all, congratulation to Nole for taking No3 spot again! Second of all, thanks to Jane for finally calling Nole – Nole (once, but precious anyway).
Aleeez, alez, alez aleeez, No3-leeee, No-leeee…


jane Says:

This reminds me a little bit of the Cincy match between Rafa and Djok. Rafa is not serving well, is getting pushed back; meanwhile everything is clicking for his aggressive opponent, who is dictating the match. Cilic can do no wrong tonight, hardly an error to speak of. Title going to Marin??

Tsonga and Monfils are playing now too, but am very tired. Don’t think I can last much longer. zzzzzzzz…..


i am it Says:

cilic consolidates his break. 2-0. Cilic has triple break point but rafa saved all three and held. 2-1. that is something.


Duro Says:

“Title going to Marin?” Jane!!! Shame on you! I didn’t teach you anything…


i am it Says:

“Title going to Marin??”
he’s gotta win this one first. it’s not over yet. rafa won last 5 points.


jane Says:

Hi Duro – I forgot all about #3, lol. I am just happy to see him play well, like he did tonight. Murray, Djoko and JMDP are so close that #3, 4, 5 may change hands again before the year’s over.


i am it Says:

actually, rafa won 7 out of last 8 points.


jane Says:

Okay, I am getting ahead of myself; guys, calm down. :) LOL. It’s just because the way that Cilic played that first set he seemed so invincible!


i am it Says:

j. DJ has already reclaimed no. 3 by reaching the final. so, no worry there. it will be better if he wins the title.


i am it Says:

b.t.w. youzhny beat hewitt.


jane Says:

Yes, and Tsonga’s up a break on Monfils.


Duro Says:

Yes yes, but it’s you, Jane. I would say No2 can change hands… It starts from here.


jane Says:

Duro : )

I do so admire your belief. You need the sneakers that Oudin wore at the USO, or maybe I need them. lol.


Duro Says:

You do, ha ha ha! Have a good night! i am it, the expert of the intellectual property rights, you too.


jane Says:

Rafa’s chances to break are running out fast…


i am it Says:

yes, but remember against Nalby at the IW?


i am it Says:

now i am close to giving cilic the final birth. he used double edged sword: return early, play aggressive baseline and come forward whenever given a chance. it worked.
1 game away.


jane Says:

Cilic – holy crap – 6-1, 6-2 probably? I am assuming… that it will be amazing win for Marin. Shows that his win over Murray at the USO was not all Murray’s lack of aggression etc., but also had a little something to do with the tall guy across/over the net.


jane Says:

Rafa takes one back.


i am it Says:

rafa is not done yet. he saved 2 match points and broke cilic. 3-5.


jane Says:

But Cilic breaks for the win – wow! What a fine execution of smooth, aggressive tennis and a such a calm demeanor through it all!! Better luck next time to Rafa; he’s got a new one to figure out.


i am it Says:

omg, cilic wasted 4 match points so far. i cannot believe he missed an easy forehand from well inside the court.
5th MP.
he does it.
Congrats to cilic. he played wonderful tennis.
rafa serve poorly and was forced to commit too many errors.


jane Says:

Meanwhile I am assuming Tsonga will get through to play Youz in the Tokyo final.

On that note, I will say goodnight i am it. Nice chatting with you through the matches.


i am it Says:

rafa played good tennis in the last 3 games, but by then it was too late.

alright, j., it was worth staying up late. enjoyed the match.
nighty, night.


Kimmi Says:

Cilic..WOOT. What a perfomance. Still can’t believe how he played today. Cilic won that match fair and square. Nadal thru the kitchen sink but not to be. I am right on Cilic bandwagon now…


margot Says:

jane: loads of congratulations to Djko. Your house must be very dirty…! Although Cilic beat Andy at USOpen I really like his play and agree with you that he moves better than Delp. Alas time again all wrong for UK and have only seen Rafa v Safin.


been there Says:

Djoko-Soderling: Can’t quite decide if Djok outplayed Sod or if Sod simply unravelled….a combination of both I guess. Still xpctd Djoko win, but with a closer 2set score or 3sets. Sod’s mis-hits were soooo out & couldn’t even hit ‘simple’ volleys. & 2think he’d not dropped serve through the tourny. Sad for him…still g8t2c him in semis. Not sure how tht tp10 stands for him @d moment. But gr8 win4 Djok…vry gd play!

Cilic vs Nadal: caught only 2nd set & Cilic simply outplayed, out-manoeuvred & out-thought Rafa. Cilic had 13 (thirteen!!) breakpoint opportunities while Rafa only 2. I think that just about sums whole game. Clearly tht win over Murray has done gr8 things for his belief. Amazing what confidence can do.

Tsonga vs Monfils: Lived up to my expectations….pop, pop, pop & then some more pop! :D. They both played well, but Tsonga was in an alternate zone to Monfils…poor Monfils tried everything but was left befuddled by Tsonga’s superiority. I s’pz xpctd result.
Silly/funny comments by commentators: “Both these guys have everything going for them….tall, great games, handsome, charisma/flare/bounce….& their heights….6’2″ JWS, 6’4″ Monfils + an afro!” lolest

*************************************************
Djok-Cilic: can’t predict….may the best man win….seems like Cilic’s only content when he takes out the big boys, so Djok better watch out.

Tsonga-Youzhny: very premature but I hereby congratulate Jo-Wilfred Tsonga for is wonderful win of the 2009 Tokyo500 open. haha. Hope I don’t have to come back with tail between my legs! If he loses, I’ll be hiding in utter shame. lol.


grendel Says:

You are lucky people to be watching these matches. Is one allowed to comment not having seen any? The following occurs to me, anyway.

I always thought Nadal was bound to win the US Open sooner or later, although my elder son contested this, saying that too many players gave Nadal trouble on the fast hard courts. My younger son, who likes Nadal, made impatient noises. I pointed out that Nadal always eventually got to grips with the Youzhnys, the Blakes, the Tsongas. (The tussle with Blake this week a real surprise). Sceptical grunts from my elderson, yeah, yeahs from my younger.

But now I am a doubter. Cilic and delPotro are very young, very strong both physically and mentally, and are rapidly improving. It is very hard to see how Nadal could beat either of them now at the US. And of course, there are plenty of other dangerous players now – dangerous to Nadal as well as everybody else, I mean. Djokovic, Murray, Federer, Tsonga on his day….

Federer had a huge slice of luck, plus he dug as deep as he ever has done, to win the French. It’s beginning to look as if Nadal will need even more luck to win the US Open….


grendel Says:

oh, and, of course, Soderling, how cld i forget him….


i am it Says:

Shanghai draw is out. my man delPo has the toughest draw cuz he’s my no. 1 fav. rafa has the easiest draw.

in Gulbis, Dj has the toughest 1st rd, followed by Roddick, who’s Wawa, and dePo, who’s Chardy. Rafa should cruise to the semi. The rest face stiff opponent in their quarterfinals.

1st quarter
Rafa: blake or Karlovic in the 1st Rd; Robredo or petzschner in the 2nd; Monfils, Isner, PHM, or hewitt in the quarter.

2nd quarter
delPo: Chardy in the 1st rd., Gasquet or d. ferrer in the 2nd rd, Tsonga, Soderling, or Kohls in the quarter.

3rd quarter
Roddick: Wawa in the 1st rd., ferrero, stepanek, or acasuso in the 2nd rd., Davydenko or Gonzalez in the quarter

4th quarter
Djokovic: Gulbis in the 1st rd., Haas or becker in the 2nd rd., Simon, Cilic, or Berdych in the quarter


i am it Says:

On Oct 19,
Soderling 3020+ 180 (Beijing)- 20 (Barcelona)- 70 (Madrid) + Shanghai= 3110+ Shanghai

Simon 3250- 700 (Madrid) + Shanghai= 2550 +Shanghai

Simon will keep his No. 10, if he reaches final, and if Sod loses before the 2nd Rd. since Sod is unlikely to lose in the 1st rd, Simon will have to win the title to keep his ranking. Looks improbable, if not impossible.

it looks very likely that Sod will replace Simon for the no. 10 spot right at the conclusion of Shanghai.


Twocents Says:

grendel,

I’m with you on Nadal’s USO. Fed only has Nadal at RG. But Nadal has an uprising army plus a few encumbers on fast court. And fast courts favours youth, yet RG is more kind to old guns — like Agassi, Gomez, etc…


jane Says:

Twocents “Fed only has Nadal at RG. ” Hmmm, you think? Based on the two or three 5 setters I saw him play there this year, against people like Haas, Accasuso (was that 4 or 5 sets?) and JMDP, I think others besides Nadal can beat Fed at the French. JMDP, Monfils, maybe Djok all at least have a pretty good shot of beating Fed at RG, I’d say. It’s not quite the army that Rafa would have to face to win the USO, but maybe a small infantry unit. : ) I am not sure I’d write off Rafa’s chances for a USO title just yet though. It depends on draws, consistency of the other players, etc. So much hangs in the balance. But the window is closing, perhaps.


sensationalsafin Says:

I think the 4 and 5 setters we saw from Fed at the French were pressure and expectations weighing down on him. Except the one against JMDP, that was just JMDP. But I do agree with the Djokovic, JMDP, Monfils list as possible victors over Fed. Djokovic already has a win on clay and JMDP and Monfils have both pushed Fed. I don’t agree that RG is better for the old guys. The French requires a lot of grinding that, assuming these young guys are fit, would favor them more due to having more energy over a long period of time. Nadal wasn’t exactly old during any of his FO conquests.

I think Nadal won’t win another title until the clay season next year. And once he does, he’ll go on his usual rampage. I said it right after Nadal lost to Soderling and before the knee thing was publicized that now that Nadal has lost on clay, at the French, to Sod’s particular game plan, he’ll be even more vulnerable on hard courts. And it’s proven true. Sod’s game plan of being aggressive and just going for your shots has been used by JMDP twice, Djokovic, and now Cilic, to really hammer Nadal. And on the hard courts, it’s easy to blow out any opponent when you’re always on the offense. It’s too early to say Nadal will never win the USO simply because he’s not at his most confident state yet so we don’t know if that confidence will overcome these flat hitters and power players.

I gotta say, though, people are questioning whether Del Potro will win another slam in 2010. What’s to stop him from defending his title except for nerves?


jane Says:

” Sod’s game plan of being aggressive and just going for your shots has been used by JMDP twice, Djokovic, and now Cilic, to really hammer Nadal.”

sensationalsafin, I am not sure I’d call it “Sod’s game plan” only because other players have used a similar plan versus Nadal prior to Sod versus Rafa at the FO this year: for example, Youz at Chennai in 07, Djok at Cincy in 08 (and 09), Tsonga at AO in 08, Davy at Miami in 08. It’s not like Sod drew the curtains back to reveal “the way” to play Rafa, but what was striking was that he did it on clay at RG – Rafa’s living room, so to speak.


grendel Says:

jane

there’s lots of people can beat Federer at RG,as you point out, just like there’s lots of people who can beat Nadal at US Open. But the point Two Cents was making, I believe – he didn’t elaborate – is that there was only one person who was highly likely to beat Federer at RG (Nadal), and in fact no one else was likely to beat Fed, although plenty might. I doubt this is true any more. We will see next Spring, but I’d have thought Djokovic and delPotro and maybe others will now be favoured to beat fed at RG.

On the other hand, there are two players, imo, highly likely to beat Nadal at US, delpo and Cilic, and three likely to health permitting (Djokovic, Federer and Murray). Whilst there are others who might.

Most of this, I suspect, Two Cents had in mind. Better ask him!

“I think Nadal won’t win another title until the clay season next year. And once he does, he’ll go on his usual rampage.” (SS). Do you think that includes Wimbledon?

“It’s too early to say Nadal will never win the USO simply because he’s not at his most confident state yet so we don’t know if that confidence will overcome these flat hitters and power players” That’s a fair point. But let’s suppose Nadal gets his confidence back in full measure. Remember, Cilic and delPo will be a year older and much better. I find it hard to believe Nadal will be able to cope with either of them – but, we’ll have to see. Clearly, it would be wrongheaded to rule Nadal out. Arthur Ashe like guile (when he upset all the odds by beating Connors) might do the trick….


jane Says:

grendel, yeah, we probably all more or less agree. I just wanted to point out that I think maybe a few more can challenge Fed @ RG now, and that I wouldn’t completely close the window on Rafa’s chances at the USO just yet, but I do think he maybe has the steeper climb.


i am it Says:

j. says, “I think others besides Nadal can beat Fed at the French.”
yes, in 2010. no, in the past.
actually i have a noble theory, maybe implausible to most: i give fed a little bit of credit for rafa’s 4 RG titles. had there been 2 or more different players in fed’s place, the outcome could have been different. to put it differently, without rafa, fed would have won a couple of RG, but without fed, i am not so sure if rafa would have won all 4 RG. Fed eased Rafa’s RG titles. like i said, you may not buy into this theory, but you gotta appreciate my original thought.

about rafa (not) winning USO, i agree with you, j., that you cannot write him off.

my question to grendal, can you, using the same predicting whim, write off fed from ever winning another RG?

it’s hard to predict against these 2 guys, what they can do and cannot do. however, i acknowledge the hard court field getting tougher/ deeper by day and that’s not a good news for rafa’s USO prospect.

i guess predicting is not my forte, so i tend to retaliate a bit when i see one.


jane Says:

i am it, you’re too modest; you predicted the semifinals at the China Open, and got them 100% correct, so not too shabby at all.


i am it Says:

ha, ha, i got caught red handed.
is there a place to hide around here? closet, bathroom, basement?


grendel Says:

“my question to grendal, can you, using the same predicting whim, write off fed from ever winning another RG?”

I happened to be looking thru some posts on this site at time of US Open 2008, and some guy calmly stated that Federer would win the French in 2009. I bet he felt good, especially if he backed up his prediction with money.

w.r.t. i am it’s question, I would certainly not write off Fed’s chances at the RG in future. It may be, for instance, that as Fed’s career closes out, he reverts to becoming primarily a claycourter. I’d have thought, too, that he’d find these new young big hitters slightly less formidable on clay than on hard.

That said, you’d have to think that the chances of federer winning another RG are quite small.

Predictions of any sort, admittedly, whilst not meaningless – since you can make certain rational assessments on which to base your predictions – are nonetheless mathematically suspect simply because there are so many variables, some of them unknown.

Nevertheless, for some reason they are fun to make. We do it all the time in all sorts of fields. Why? Dunno. Something about being impatient to anticipate the future? An innocent chance to show off a bit if you get it right?

Whilst we’re on the prediction theme, I predict Federer has a 3 to 2 chance of getting one more slam, a 50-50 chance of getting 2 more, and a 2 to 3 chance of getting 3 more. As you can see, I like symmetry. Perilous, really – actually, I think it is much more unlikely than I have suggested that he’ll get 3 more. But I’m sticking with my pattern.


grendel Says:

And come to think of it, jane, you made a prediction some way ahead of time (and made it more than once, too – so you were not just floating a wild hope) that Nadal would win the AO.

Reckon he’ll do it again? The surface still favours him, obviously – but the competition is sterner: would that be your position?


jane Says:

grendel, I can’t be sure he’ll do it again; I’d probably lean against him repeating it next year, anyhow, but he’ll likely (?) make up for that with a French title and a deep run at Wimbledon, where he stands only to gain.

I agree with your position that as hard courts go, AO and IW will always be Rafa’s best bets as they’re on the slower side, and if it’s hot the bounce is higher, but also that the competition will be WAY sterner next season. Cilic will be a threat, though I think he’s one who’ll always be more dangerous on faster hard courts and grass (look out for him at Wimbledon next year); Delpo will be a major threat at the AO; Fed is always in with a shot at every slam, and it’s been a while since he’s won the AO too; ditto for Roddick, in that he’s always a contender at hard court majors, though I hope for his sake he gets a Wimbledon title; obviously both Murray and Djoko could win the the AO, and they could take out Rafa on course for that I would think; and I haven’t even mentioned Tsonga, Soderling or even Verdasco as guys who could upset Nadal but maybe/maybe not win the title.

As an aside, I am not sure yet if Simon has a slam in him; he strikes me a bit more like Davydenko. But I do think Monfils could win on clay and Gasquet on grass, if all aligns. So many talented french players…Chardy, also, etc…. but so many “ifs”.


sensationalsafin Says:

I didn’t mean to declare it “Sod’s game plan”, I’m just saying the game plan he used to win on clay would obviously give more hope to anyone playing Nadal on hard. I don’t see why Fed should be written off for another FO, especially next year. The guy is the defending champion, don’t forget, and Fed’s one who likes to defend his titles more than most. Just because it’s Roger Federer, no matter what happens before hand, until Fed loses at the French, I’m calling him the fave to defend his title. Doesn’t mean he’s got the best shot, but it’s not like Fed’s got the pressure of defending his 1st slam, it’s merely his 14th.

Idk if Nadal will win Wimbledon next year or ever again. It’s not unlikely, but to me, it’s not the most likely scenario either. The grass will be easy on his knees but the Soderling is good on grass, Tsonga is good on grass, Del Potro will improve, and so will Cilic. As will others like Murray and Djokovic. Is it just me, or does this look like an era that could result in several career slams for multiple players.

Federer: already has the career slam.

Nadal: needs the USO, could happen or could not, but it’s Nadal, so it’s possible.

Murray: needs a slam first, but already has been called a favorite at 3 of the 4, and Nadal has said himself that Murray could one day win the French.

Djokovic: already an AO, and atleast a semi in all the other 3, just needs to improve his footwork on grass.

Del Potro: already a USO, a semi at the FO, quarter at AO, and also needs to improve his footwork on grass.

Cilic: needs a semi first, then a final or a win, and needs to improve on clay, so probably the most unlikely.

Tsonga: needs to improve on clay and avoid injuries but luckily the FO is in France, and could probably use a slam first but also not one of the more likely ones.

So I think we could have potentially 4 more players with career slams. That’d be 5 in one era, doubling the original list. Once again, thank you Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

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