A few surprises yesterday in the world of tennis both coming in Rotterdam really. The ND boys – Novak Djokovic and Nikolay Davydenko – were both favorites in their semifinal matches and both wound up going down in straight sets.
If you are a fan of either it has to be disappointing. Djokovic, now the World No. 2, got beat by Mikhail Youhzny who nearly gagged it at the end (he was served for the match I believe then was broken) before he hung on 7-6, 7-6.
Davydenko, who had not lost a best-of-three match in what seems like forever, was taken care of by Robin Soderling. Not a huge surprise there but again given the way Davydenko had been playing I would have thought the Russian would have advanced. Soderling as we know is a tough out indoors but based on recent performance Davy was the slight favorite.
The bigger picture for the NDs is are these losses just a post-Australian Open hangover? Remember how hot they were playing at the end of last year and even midway through Melbourne?
After each suffered devastating losses in Australia – Djokovic to Jo Tsonga and Davy to Roger Federer – and now this, I wonder if they can regain that magic in time for the bigger events coming up like Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami.
With Federer, Rafael Nadal and even Andy Murray not playing, these are the events guys like Djokovic and Davydenko should be winning or at least reaching the finals at. I saw some of the Novak match and true, Youhzny was on fire, but to be a real champion you need to find a way to win.
Andy Roddick did just that yesterday: he found a way to win. Sam Querrey thoroughly outplayed him in their their three-set San Jose semifinal – Roddick admitted as much – but Roddick pushed through winning in a third set breaker.
Queerey was hot, Roddick was not, but credit to Roddick for eventually getting the win over someone he should beat.
I now expect Andy to finish to job and beat Fernando Verdasco in finals later today. Verdasco’s a really improved player but in the matches against the bigger names on the big stages he more often than not falls short.
This afternoon on the Brazil clay, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Lukusz Kubot will do battle for that title
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