Federer, Roddick Awarded Favorable Draws in Miami
by Sean Randall | March 22nd, 2010, 2:17 pm
  • 123 Comments

March Madness tennis-style continues this week with the Sony Ericsson Open Miami on the shores of Key Biscayne, and the draw is now out.

The second Tennis Masters event has virtually the same field as Indian Wells, just with more humidity, more rain, ocean wind and the lure of the South Beach nightlife.

Initially, thoughts are top seed Roger Federer has a great quarter, he should sail through. Andy Murray looks good out to the quarterfinals where he could run into Robin Soderling again.

In the bottom half, Rafael Nadal could get tested early by Taylor Dent and Viktor Troicki, in addition to JW Tsonga in the quarterfinals.

Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick are seeded to collide in the last quarter. But Djokovic could have to deal with Richard Gasquet and James Blake before then. Roddick has a great draw out to a rematch in the 16s with Indian Wells champ Ivan Ljubicic.

Here are the 16s matchups: Federer v. Berdych; Cilic v. Verdasco; Murray v. Youhzny; Gonzalez v. Soderling; Tsonga v. Ferrero; Ferrer v. Nadal; Roddick v. Ljubicic; Monfils v. Djokovic.

The quarterfinals are seeded: Federer v. Cilic; Murray v. Soderling; Tsonga v. Nadal; Roddick v. Djokovic.

Some good first round matchups: Ancic v. Chardy, Blake v. Krajinovic (a teen phenom), Gasquet v. O. Rochus, Fish v. L. Mayer

Missing are Juan Martin Del Potro (wrist), Tommy Haas (hip), Lleyton Hewitt (hip) and Nikolay Davydenko (wrist).

The main draw begins on Wednesday. I’ll have some picks before then!


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123 Comments for Federer, Roddick Awarded Favorable Draws in Miami

sheila Says:

love roger but who knows he may not get thru berdych. remember australian open where he had 2go 5 sets w/berdych. federer certainly doesnt play w/same passion in 3 set tournaments as he does in 5 setters. watching indian wells agains bagdadis, who knows if roger will get thru. hope he proves me wrong and takes the whole tournament.


Mark Says:

After Indian Wells I am not sure whether a favorable draw has any meaning. And I agree with Sheila, Berdych could be threat to Fed. Furthermore, Roddick-Ljubicic in the round of 16 does not seem that favorable to Roddick either…


NELTA Says:

I definitely wouldn’t say Roger is going to sail through his quarter. Berdych gave Nadal a good test and I would expect him to do the same against Roger who is not playing as well as Nadal right now. Great QF matchup for Nadal if things go according to seeding. He matches up better against a Ferrer or Ferrero type player than a Tsonga, Cilic, Berdych or Soderling. He can of course beat all of them. I’m just saying the others would be a more difficult match.


Von Says:

I wouldn’t consider Andreev vs. Roddick in an opening match to be an easy draw either. I wonder why is it when other top players draw Andreev as a first round match, he’s considered a a tough opponent/draw, but when Roddick gets him, Andy’s draw is automatically considered draw as easy?

Additionally, with a possible Ljubicic rematch for Roddick in R16, as Mark points out above @ 2:38 pm, does not make for an overall easy quarter. To reiterate, why do we always hear Roddick has an easy draw, which more often than not, is quite the reverse. Shake ‘em up guys, shake em up!!


Deborah Says:

Federer’s draw is immaterial. If he is playing well, he’ll beat everyone. If not, all bets are off. Hoping for some AO 2010 style form for my guy.


andrea Says:

wow…what was it….2005 since we last saw nadal and roger on the same side of the draw? almost makes you think there is a typo.

maybe baghdatis is the canas of 2010 and stomps roger at both IW and Miami?

these days, no draws are predictable. which makes it better. berdych would need to keep his head together to pull off an upset. we’ve seen the meltdown so many times against roger that i have lost hope.

generally hoping for a more exciting final than IW though….


blank Says:

So a potential Fed-Nadal SF?


Sean Randall Says:

Fed-Nadal would be a final, not a SF.

SFs could be: Fed v. Murray; Nadal v. Djokovic

As for Fed’s draw, Berdych has played guys tough, but he doesn’t win!

So I ask, does Nadal have it easier (with Dent, Troicki, Nalbandian). What about Murray who has Soderling? Or Djokovic with Gasquet, Blake then Roddick.

My conclusion is then Fed and Roddick have the easiest draws.

Re: Andreev, how many matches has the guy won the last 6 months?


NELTA Says:

Andrea,

Fed and Rafa are on opposite sides of the draw. It’s Fed/Murray and Rafa/Djoker, but like IW I don’t expect all 4 to be in the semis.


skeezerweezer Says:

“Deborah Says:

Federer’s draw is immaterial. If he is playing well, he’ll beat everyone. If not, all bets are off.”

Couldn’t have said the better…..


skeezerweezer Says:

Dent vs Rafa? Really?

Dent is a shadow since his serious back problems and major surgery. Not a good thing for a serve/vollyer type. IMO Rafa is going to handle him no problem, no contest. Now Rafa running into Nalby…look out if/when Nalby gets hot. Question there is, is he in shape?

The way Rafa played in IW, I don’t see any “testing” till he meets “Ali”(TSonga) unless he doesn’t get there….


blank Says:

Thanks Sean. I didn’t look at the draw, but based on the earlier comment thought they may be in the same half.

Speaking of that, I am a bit confused by how the draw thing works. I know that No. 1 and 2 are always on the opposite sides. How about 3 and 4? They get assigned to either of the halves by the luck of the draw? So if the current ranking stays, it’s just a matter of time before Fed and Nadal meet in a SF?


NELTA Says:

Right now Berdych is a better player than Dent, Troicki or Nalbandian. I know Troicki beat some good players in DC, but that was on clay. Berdych smoked Troicki at IW. Nalbandian is trying to make a comeback, but hasn’t showed his old form yet. Dent has only 2 wins this year against Bogomolev and Fognini.

Berdych has a 12-6 record this year and has beaten Verdasco, Troicki, Neimenen, Rochus and Serra. He lost close matches to Roddick and Nadal.


skeezerweezer Says:

“Blank,

How about 3 and 4? They get assigned to either of the halves by the luck of the draw?”

1 always at the top, 2 at the bottom……but from there..

Yes, the 3-4 seeds are drawn from a hat to determine randomly if they will go in the 5 or 12 spot of the draw (assuming 32).

Same goes for the rest, in different groups…..

Hope that helps…..


blank Says:

Thank you Skeezer. That was helpful info :-)


jane Says:

Sigh, I have little hope for Djoko if he shows up with the same form as at IW; there, he was lucky to scrape through to the R16. Well, no. Not entirely lucky. It took a lot of hard work and he showcased his fitness. But his form, serve especially, makes me doubtful. Monfils, Gasquet and/or Blake could oust him. Perhaps he’ll surprise me?

Right now it kind of feels like anybody could beat anybody (relatively speaking). I know that we always say that, but now it really feels like it’s true. Even Fed isn’t a for sure bet for the finals – is anyone?

You guys who do those bracket thingys must be struggling. : )

A point about Andreev: it’s true that when Roger drew him at the AO everyone commented about what a tricky first rounder it was, etc… etc… And, while Andreev didn’t win in the end, it DID turn out to be a tricky and tense match – but best of 5!! Surely, in best of three, first round, for Roddick, one would think it would be equally if not more tricky. If he gets through that, however, I think Andy could do really well again, in part because for some reason I don’t know if Ljub or Djoko will make it that far, and because Rod has beat Djok the last 3 times and Djok is playing less than his best and he came close against Ljub.

Oh well, will wait and see how it all shakes down…


jane Says:

NELTA, I agree with you on Berdych re: level of “play”; however, I agree with Sean that he rarely pulls through against a top five guy – rarely. It’s a confidence/mental block thing, it seems.


NELTA Says:

Agreed Jane. We are talking about toughness of draw which is different than predicting Berdych will beat a Fed or Nadal. I am saying it could be a tough match.

Keep in mind that Berdych has beaten Fed and Rafa, but that was a long time ago. Before IW Baghdatis had a combined 0-12 record against Fed/Rafa, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a tough draw for Fed regardless of who wins.


stu Says:

I just made my picks and the entire draw was extremely hard! My final is Cilic vs Monfils. I figured i’d go with a somewhat predictable unpredictable final. But knowing my luck, this tourny will be the opposite of IW and we’ll see 2 of the top 4 in the final. Not that that will be so bad :)


stu Says:

Djok’s draw is _exceptionally_ hard. gasquet – blake – monfils – roddick? And Muzza’s is the best of the top 4 again..


Kimmi Says:

Andreev is a tough draw for federer because of the match-up but with a good double handed backhand I don’t think he will be much trouble.

I wonder how far Ljubo will go after his cinderella round in IW. Roddick is one of the fittest guys on tour so I feel I will continue to do well here.

Murray better wake up, he has a lot of points to defend.


Kimmi Says:

stu..muzza has not been “on” since the AO. He has struggled with everyone, so i would not call his draw “the best of the top 4″


Mindy Says:

I agree with Von that Roddick’s draw is no walk in the park. But overall, I don’t see draws as the determining factor. We know that in these kinds of tournaments, where it’s best two out of three, then that’s when some of the lower ranked guys can pull off a win against a top player.

Andreev gave Fed fits at the AO, so I don’t think this will be a gimme for Roddick. As far as Rafa, I am not worried about Dent. If he meets Isner again, not that the guy has seen Rafa’s ball, you know with all that “junk” on it, he will be better prepared. Tall big serving guys like Isner can still be a problem for Rafa. As far as Nalbandian, it all depends on what kind of form he’s in now. He has given Rafa fits in the past when he was at the top of his game.

The big issue is how are each of the top four playing right now. If Rafa plays the way he did at IW, then I think he will get to the quarterfinals with little trouble, meeting either Isner or Tsonga. The way Tsonga is, you never which one will show up at any given tournament – the great showman with big shots or the clown who just falls apart.

I think Fed will be ready this time. Even though he concentrates more on grand slams these days, he still likes winning. Djoko needs to get his act together, same with Murray.


Mindy Says:

Sorry, I meant to say NOW that the guy (Isner) has seen Rafa’s junk balls!


Colin Says:

Murray should do better in Miami than he has recently. Don’t forget, he spends a lot of time there and it’s a second home for him. If he fails there, I think I’ll start to get really doubtful about his future. Interesting that despite his poor form he has leapfrogged Nadal in the rankings. This might seem to point up the oddities of the ranking system, but to me it says more about Nadal.


Mindy Says:

I wanted to add that Berdych is quite capable of pulling off an upset. He gave Rafa a competitive, high quality match. I wouldn’t discount him, even with the history of not being consistently great.


Kimmi Says:

I can guarantee Murray ranking to go back to 4 after Miami. he is the defending champion and nadal is defending a quater final only (180 points). Even if Murray wins, if nadal goes better that qtrs he will go back to 3.

I think Nadal and Murray ranking will be switching places for a while depending on how Murray does during clay season.


Mindy Says:

Colin,

What it says about Rafa is that he is defending more points. In case you haven’t looked, Rafa has a ton of points to defend from last year. He had to defend 1000 points at IW, because he was the defending champion. Since he only got to the semis, he lost a nice chunk.

This time the pressure is on Murray, because he is the defending champion at Miami. Rafa is only defending 180 points, so this is the one tournament where he has a chance to pick up points. But the fact that Murray jumped over Rafa, doesn’t have a thing to do with how they are playing. It’s the total points being defended.

Rafa is playing miles better than Murray. In fact, this is the best tennis he has played yet. After this tournament it’s going to be tough for Rafa because he won a bunch of tournaments. In case people here forgot, Rafa was on fire in the first half of 2009, winning almost everything in sight. That is the dilemma he is facing at this time.

He and Murray may well go back and forth, depending on their results. They are extremely close.


Mindy Says:

Kimmi,

Sorry, but I wrote my post before I saw yours. We said essentially the same thing. You just beat me to it!


jane Says:

It’s both the oddities of the rankings system as well as form I would think. Compared to the rest of the top five players, Rafa did the best at IW. But because he was defending the title, ie, the most points, he loses the most. The rolling rankings can help, to a degree (carrying points from the previous year/padding for a bad stretch), and hinder (having to defend those points the following year). Form may be a reason for Rafa not defending, but there are all sorts of other factors to take into account, like draw, hitting a player on a hot streak, schedule from one year to the next etc.

Murray’s got a pretty good draw. I think he should get through to the quarters anyhow; as for whether he’ll defend his title I am not sure, based on IW play.


Kimmi Says:

haha Mindy we were thinking alike and yours has more infomation. no problems!


jane Says:

Kimmi – “I think Nadal and Murray ranking will be switching places for a while” – I think you can even add in Djoko here. The 3 of them will probably go back and forth and jostle for position at least until the French. After the French and Wimbledon, depending on form of course, Rafa could easily be number 2 again, since he has only R16 (FO) and nothing (Wimbledon) to defend. It’s hard to say what will happen with Delpo/Davy – heck Roddick and Sod could move up to 5th and 6th? The top ten will jiggle this year. As for the number 1, Fed has it locked till Wimbledon probably.


Kimmi Says:

“Murray’s got a pretty good draw. I think he should get through to the quarters anyhow…”

jane, how can you say murray should get to the quarters, did you see the way he is playing..I hope so but I would not be so sure….


stu Says:

Hey Kimmi

Considering Muzza is not playing his best, a draw like that can only help! Nole on the other hand is not playing well either, and has a tough draw too! Nole’s defending finals points here too..and I think they are pretty important coz he had a pretty exceptional clay season last year and I don’t expect him to repeat it. Although of course he must, he will, he’d better, make up some points at the French…


jane Says:

Kimmi, I think he can beat all those guys – I see Fish is there, but Murray is a good returner, and if Djoko got past Fish, I think Murray’s in even better for than Djok. : ) Who else could beat him before the quarters? Maybe Wawrinka, if he is playing really well. Maybe Youz in the round of 16. But I think that he will get to at least the QF. He made it that far at IW, right? It’s his “home” tourney too so he’s used to the weather etc there.


Kimmi Says:

stu, I guess everybody see this draw different.

lets break it down (going by seeding)

Fish – hit and miss..he bageled Djoko in IW

F-Lopez – has shown some good form this year

Youzhny/Wawrinka – Youzhny has shown good form recently

Soderling/Gonzalez – soda just demolished murray in IW

I don’t see anything easy about this draw.


skeezerweezer Says:

Oh I Forgot about Isner! My Darkhorse pick in IW… and I will predict him again to cause some trouble. Confidence is gaining :)

IMO predict either Fed or Rafa will come through in Miami….they both looked good and look like they are not far off from dominating, barring injury or illness….knock on wood :)

Sorry for Nole and Murray fans, just haven’t seen enough “X” factor, especially Murray. Hasn’t seemed to recoup yet from AO. Nole however, if he gets his serve fixed, in a hurry, could be a major factor in going all the way also……IMO HA!


Kimmi Says:

jane, I post before i read your post…but I still think its not that easy due to his form. If he got this draw last year or early this year then i would be confident.


skeezerweezer Says:

BTW, I don’t think “Soda Pop” gets enough credit. Ranked 6th or 7th in the world? He has done more than go far in IW and to the FO final last year to get that ranking. He is not in the top 50, nor 25, nor 20, but in the top ten, just a couple of rankings from the top 5. We are always talking about our favs, Fed, Rafa, Roddick, Nole, Murray, etc,…..Just goes to prove his win against Rafa the last FO was no fluke. He belongs, at least for now…..C’mon Soda Pop!..ha!


skeezerweezer Says:

AND ANODER TING,

Ahh…nevermind


jane Says:

Kimmi, Soda only demolished Murray in the first set. The second set could’ve gone either way, and if Murray had taken it to a third, who knows? Murray’s got a bit of the same “serve sickness” as Djok, though, so I see what you mean there. : /

I still think because he practices, lives and trains in Miami, it’ll help as sometimes the other players are affected by wind there, but he’ll be used to it.

Anyhow, all we can do is wait and see. I hope both Murray and Djoko step up and play better.


Kimmi Says:

Skeezer, I also think federer could do well here. Even though he lost to baggy in IW, his form was not too bad..now he has some matches he could relax more and play better on those big points.

C’moon Fed.

I also agree about Soda Pop…let hope there is no wind in Miami. He could not control the ball on his match against Roddick as compared to the day he played Murray. It was a little windy on that day!


contador Says:

ahh, the draw, people. what now.

must disagree with Sean’s initial impressions of the draw.

federer v berdie always makes me cringe, like federer v andreev.

i think rafa has the princess draw. in small part because of who is in his draw and in a large part the way he is playing-he’s got his form back; the confidence part made the difference in that Ljubie match.

roddick on a collision course with Ljubie? not good.

i dunno. from IW, i was impressed with roddick, rafa, robin, baggy, and of course, the bald bomber surprise.

not too impressed with RF, muzza, djoko, or cillic. anyone in their draw could clobber them, as vulnerable as they all looked in IW.

how a guy is playing makes up a great deal of how tough a draw will actually be, imo. even a previously favorable match-up goes very wrong.

and on a bad day for rafa he still owns all fellow spaniards. that leaves a not-yet-up-to-speed nalby, troiki, and ivo? no probleemo. tsonga? no, rafa is playing too well. can’t see any problems in rafa’s way, all the way to the final. not roddick, and lubie will not be beating rafa twice. not nole, nor queery nor isner.

i am dearly missing JUAN MARTEEN DEL POTRO!

the way fed and djoko played, their draws look VERY dangerous, lol…

picking nadal to win miami. or else, Indian Wells being an indicator, a surprise winner again…think of one at whom everyone would scoff. *laughs at self*


Kimmi Says:

contador picks Nadal *buuuurp*

Roger all the way :)


skeezerweezer Says:

Hi Kimmi!

Yeah I could go into a whole thing here. Fed is my fav and GOAT IMO, love to watch is variety of strokes, which I will put down right now no one else has ( present and past ).

That said, there are other players and as a fan it is fun to see some breakthroughs. Lube, 31 yrs young, goes through the strongest field since AO, and wins! Awesome!

Guys like Lube, RS, say a Tsonga, Cilic or up and coming Gulbis…..It just goes to show you how the top field can’t rest a second, or someone is hungry waiting to stomp on you. Young or “old”..

That is why I think the top 5 have to get better, strive to get better, always, or else…..and they should!

For us fans…..it just makes it more fun, right?


contador Says:

Kimmi-

i think our great RF will go deeper than at IW. ????

but, he’s gonna win rome for the first time ever, against rafa!

GOOOO ROGER, on clay, c’moon.

so you are wondering about my sanity or sobriety?-*burrrrp*


skeezerweezer Says:

Kimmi and Contador,

What are you two drinking? I want some!


contador Says:

uh, mr. skeezerweezer, you know, EG is not in the draw don’t you?

where he is, there is no clue. he’s on the entrants list for monte carlo….therefore i must postpone my usual Erno fan frustration a few weeks longer.

yeah, which dark horse will win Miami, anyway. ?


skeezerweezer Says:

contador,

“the bald bomber surprise.”

Most excellent! Kudos for the nick name :)

JDP: yes, miss him too.

Your prediction? Hows this:

I go with Kimmi with my heart……but

With my brain..

I can’t see why Rafa won”t be in the final and win with that draw and his performance in IW ….if he doesn’t it’s his own fault….lol!

I didn’t see Fed get deeper into the draw like Rafa. And I didn’t like my fav’s movement. Hope all that changes in Miami!


contador Says:

oh…it’s a zest for the tennis draw, the early rounds, ya know, skeezer, matie…cheers!

hm, maybe horacio zeballos?


skeezerweezer Says:

contador,

Interesting you caught that. My network just told me he is not in and assigned me to go investigate….stay tuned….:)


contador Says:

that nick kudos goes to sean randall, er i think. sadly, was not me,

“the bald bomber” i don’t imagine he gets by roddick again. and if he does rafa will take him.


skeezerweezer Says:

Contador,

Yes I am quite zesty, thank you. Me and horacio zeballos, lol

Ok, you got me. I had to look the guy up :)

BTW, did you know that Zeballos enjoys music, ping-pong, and swimming? Check out his wiki….LOL


skeezerweezer Says:

I have to give Sean credit? Crap!


Kimmi Says:

aaaahh! Gulbis..too bad contador. he could have done a better job in Miami than a lot of guys there..tooo bad!!

hahahah Skeezer investagates where he is…I hope not stolkhom :)

I question your sobriety by not picking Roger in Miami. You are putting too much heart into this..unless bagdatis come out the other side of that qtr..its federer all the way. I like Murray but he hasn’t impressed so far.

Rome, is just too far to put any bets on it.:)


contador Says:

i have checked his wiki, skeezerweezer- back when he was doing so well last fall….i simply like the name “HORACIO” z-ball, z-ball is his nick and crap x 100, must give that z-ball nick to ricky dimon, i feel your pain.

hahahaa, Erno better be somewhere practicing, and i mean tennis!

don’t even mention stokholm…ahh lordy.

well, Kimmi…my heart is with fed, nole, cilic, ancic, uh…stu tell me, who else?

but my head goes to nadal. he has to have sorted that confidence thing, he’s just due. then….my dream, federer wins ROME, kimmi.

dark horses….a blond one comes to mind.


jane Says:

contador/countess says “how a guy is playing makes up a great deal of how tough a draw will actually be, imo. ”

Indeed! Maybe that’s why Kimmi (Murray) and stu and I (Djoko) are worried about the draws. LOL.

BTW, why does everyone feel Nalby is no threat? Didn’t he just win Davis Cup for his country in style? I think he can take anyone on any given day and wouldn’t count him out until at least I see him playing. Tsonga, like someone else said, can be extremely dangerous or not at all. He could take out Rafa. Rafa’s draw is not easy, but his form did look good in IW. So that’ll help for sure.


Colin Says:

Yes, Nadal was the defending champion at IW, defending lots of points. The question then is: so why didn’t he retain the title? Both he and Federer have to be judged by the highest standards.
As I said, if Murray fails at Miami I’ll start worrying about him. That’s because I’m judging him by HIS highest standards. Nadal and Federer are both near the ends of their careers at the top, Fed because of age, Rafa because of wear and tear. Murray should still be improving.


Kimmi Says:

ahhhh jane, you like nalbandian. OK, who did he beat in the Davis Cup, let me see..a Andreas VINCIGUERRA, ranked 227 hmmm! he also won a doubles match which does not count so much in singles.

lets see, in IW he beats Stefan Koubek and then he lost to melzer handily.

I think nalby is not there yet jane :)


Polo Says:

I tried to predict the winner at Indian Wells and fell flat on my face. The way these guys are playing, a lot of surprises may happen again. I am not a big Roddick fan but I always enjoy his speeches. So, I hope he makes it to the final again. And maybe even win. It has been a long time since I heard him speak as a champion. I am very curious to hear what he will say if he wins.


contador Says:

Jane-

the key part of what i was thinking, “even a previously favorable match-up goes wrong.” we saw lots of that at IW.

i personally like z-ball’s wiki, skeezer. i love it that he plays ping-pong, swimming…at least someone wrote something personal on the wiki.

in lukasz (wukas) kubot’s case, nothing at all. jeremy chardy “fancies” being an actor.

oh the french…such talent, flair, pizz-azz, *sigh* monfils and tsonga, gotta love watching them-clement and gasquet too. always something, always….

oh, isn’t nalby kinda blond? he’s my dark horse, Jane. some pictures he’s blond. but i think he’s still a bit outta shape, is the rumor. no?


Kimmi Says:

Bryan Bro twitter

“Tried to sleep on the flight but the baby next to me was doing an audition for the next “Scream” movie. She definitely nailed it.”

LOL


contador Says:

what about the great forehando, olymic winner, gonzalez, famous runner-up in a slam, but 0 masters. he’s another ‘oldie’ i’d love to see win a masters 1000.

always big south american supporter turn-out in miami.

i mean if feddy isn’t quite ready; the muzza, djoka, and cilic need counseling….maybe roddick, after losing to ljubie in that IW final.

is it possible a qualifier gets to an ATP final, ever?


contador Says:

meant to say qualifier get to a final at a big one like Miami?


contador Says:

okay i can’t get a sentence right-meant to say gonzo has no atp masters 1000…

skeezer, kimmi, jane, tennis draw, early round junkies.

good nite. sleeping on it.


Kimmi Says:

“the muzza, djoka, and cilic need counseling…”

hahahah..good one conty :)


jane Says:

Yep conty – you said it, they need counseling (well, Cilic, not so sure – too young yet). Who’s z-ball?? Sorry, missing that one. ANyhow, night to you.

Kimmi – but DC is best of 5; that says to me that Nalby’s fitness can’t be so bad, especially because he played doubles too. I think he can be a threat. We’ll see. He is another one who can surprise and run hot, or fall flat, Splat!


Daniel Says:

I didn’t think Fed playd that bad as some are saying. In fact, both first sets he played amazing tennis. It seems to me like he had fitness probem and wanted to end some points pretty quick (as if he knows he woudn`t last long in the tourney with the same patiance he had in AO), that`s why we saw a bunch of errors. He lost a match he held match points for Crist sake!

I think he and Nadal are the favorites for this tourney. it would be great to see a Fedal right before clay season starts.


skeezerweezer Says:

Daniel,

Good points on Fed,,,


#1Rivalry Says:

Indian Wells in my opinion was a tournament where Mr. Federer was looking for some practice. He got that with two 3 setters. He was moving really good, and playing some great tennis mixed in with some rusty tennis as well. He arrived here in Florida on Thursday and began preperations on Friday. He does not play until Saturday night which means he gets over a week of training, and if you coun that with the week of training he had in California plus the 2 matches he played I would say he has made up for the lack of training from the chest infection. Nadal’s situation was different. Unlike Mr. Federer, Nadal is needing confidence. He is coming up on a year now without a title, and he has blown two huge oppurtunities already this year. His draws in Doha and Indian Wells were very easy to say the least and still he could not win them. He has not beaten a top 5 player in nearly 11 months, and is not moving even remotely close to what he was in 2008. His knees I fear will not get better, and the I think the mental scars from everything he has been through ar going to prove to much for Rafa. I love the guy, and he is one of the toughest competitors I have seen in sports period, but I do not see him coming out of this one. I think he can still win some smaller tournaments, and remain in the top 10 for a while longer, but winning slams I think is done. Even at Rolland Garros I think he will struggle to beat the big boys when it matters. We will have to wait and see, but I think it is going to be Roger’s year when it really matters. Just so eveybody understands me I am not a Federer fan, but enjoy the sport of tennis, and I am just trying to give an honest assessment of what I see right now.


Michael Says:

If meeting Berdych in the last 16 and Cilic in the quarters is easy draw then what can be classified as “tough” ?? Federer has a tough draw on his hand. For me, to an extent it is Nadal who has the easy draw as he is meeting Ferrer in the last 16 and Tsonga in the quarters. Initial rounds too doesn’t appear difficult for Nadal considering that he is meeting Taylor Dent and Viktor Troicki. As far as me is concerned, it is once again Murray who has the toughest draw as he is meeting Youzhny and Soderling one after another. Djokovic too has easy passage till the last 16 and it gets tough only with Roddick.


OllyK Says:

Nole had a very good draw on every tourney from the beginning of the season and wasn’t performing well. Now he has a toughest one (for him) so maybe it means that his performance will be better! LOL He is always more motivated when he’s playing with tougher opponents, so, everything is possible…(*dreaming*) Ajde, Noleee! :)
And I’m very happy cause Filip Krajinovic is in the main draw. He is a big big talent. I wish him all the luck.


margot Says:

skeezer: as u r investigating Gulbis, where r Dimitrov and Tomic?( think that’s his name, v. v. talented but gobby aussie kid).
kimmi, jane: alas, alas the way Andy is playing will be GLAD for quarters! Agree with Conty, he needs sports psych. Unfortunately, not the Scottish way!


madmax Says:

March 22nd, 2010 at 11:19 pm
#1Rivalry Says:

great post above Rivalry, and I agree with you. Of course would have loved to see Roger win IW, but I really didnt think he played that badly at all, he always gives his fans the “hairy scaries” in the early rounds, but I think it is easy to forget how mentally tough roger can be. I, too, read that he has been pratising hard in Miami, acclimatising and getting in plenty of practise sessions – he made that clear too, in his interview after the baggy match, that he would certainly be putting in the practise prior to Miami.

Whilst fed may not be as consistent in the masters, i think that he played very well at IW, and coming from a very long “R&R”, it is time now to put everything else out of his mind and go for a title prior to Roland Garros (which I read is moving to the outside of paris because the current location is “too cramped”).

There is no reason why Roger cannot go deep, I would certainly expect great things from him and wont lower my expectations of the World No. 1.

C’moon Roger!


Jurasick Says:

This constant tinkering with hardcourt surfaces makes it very difficult to predict who is going to win. We saw it at the Aussie Open when they made changes to surface and the ball did funny things. Likewise, at IW, they made the surface more “grippy” thereby making the balls bounce higher. In fact, it frequently nullified the effect of the knifed backhand slice because the balls would not stay low as intended but often sit up. So one never knows what to expect in Miami. We could end up with a high-bouncing hard court which would help tall players with two-handed backhands. Of course, Ljubicic has a one-hander and he beat all comers at IW, so maybe this high-bouncing thingie is overrated.


krishnan.t.s. Says:

overall i think nad has a good chance of winning… it’s just a matter of playing good tennis and concentrating hard on court… as for fed even if he’s at his best he’ll lose to nad… always happened like that…. n how much ever junk he sees of nadal he can’t beat the champ… nad will beat him hands down… since AO he’s handled tall guys who have good booming serves with ridiculous ease… hope u win rafa


madmax Says:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/03/23/1542279/a-rebirth-for-roger-federer.html

disagree with you krishnan (respectfully). roger can and will beat nadal. nadal priorities right now is to try and get to the quarter finals as he has few points to defend at this tourny. His confidence isnt what it used to be, but with more match practise, am sure he will right that wrong.

As for roger, he will be just fine.


NELTA Says:

Krishnan, it’s been 10 months since Nadal’s last title. Even a broken clock is right now and again so maybe this is the tournament that your Rafa prediction holds true and you can tell everyone it was just a matter of concentrating for Nadal.


contador Says:

hello madmax! always nice to see you.

and i loved that miami herald article.

fedfans are all hoping for a better tournament for fed than the one in IW. Fed hit too many first serves into net, was a half step slower than in doha and melbourne, so too many UE’s. Baggy is a really talented player and he finally looked to be back to close his old form; part of marcos talent, don’t you think is what’s between his ears? clever marcos, he quickly figured out how to take adavantage of roger, saw his opportunity to win, and took it.

what bothers me about baggy is why he lost to robredo the nest match? robredo was ailing with a tummy ache, looked like he was going to toss cookies, and baggy still lost.

i guess my point here is: there could be a rematch in miami between marcos and rog in the quarterfinal, assuming roger is healthy, he’ll win against berdy *berdy=cringe* match. And let’s assume marcos in truly in form and confident as he played against rog in IW. he can take out cilic, verdasco, or melzer and *blink, blink* rematch w/ rog, where i go get ice cream and something chocolate to sooth my stomach. i’m really not expecting roger to win miami, madmax-getting to a quarter or semi will satisfy me, ( uh boy, the semi could be a well-counseled muzza, not the scottish way, as margot points out); or soda, who we know is angling to pop federer, no mo’ nice mr. dimples, right? that was close last US Open, madmax. to win, rog had to pull out the serve weapon WAY too much.

i do hope everyone is right about roger just being rusty. he’s already been in miami practicing and wouldn’t i love to be there watching! cilic has been there awhile practicing too…with goran, no less…lol…wonder how that’s working out.

fed has a tough draw: bird, then meeting likely cilic in form and with new weaponry. or marcos, the fed killer…very interesting draw for RF. arrrrgh

in-form fed can handle them all, all the way to rafa and let;s hope it’s not windy. i don’t want a fedal in miami. i want that fedal in monte carlo, rome, or madrid (oh that’s right, rafa not playing madrid) then, Paris! Go get rafa on clay, rog!

c’moon!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Wow, I think Sean has been hanging out with Slim.
Fed has Simon, who he has never beaten, or Berdych, who has tested him to the limit, plus Baggy, who just beat him, or Cilic who seems to be this years DelPo.
Only in anyone’s imagination do Troikl or Dent stand out as challengers. I mean, come on, seriously? Dent?
Fed has a medium draw, looks like, but Rafa’s is just a gift- even Tsonga is just not an upper echelon player as many hoped he would be. Djokovic really gifted him that win at AO and Fed made mincemeat of him.
Looks like Murray may have a tough run with Wawrinka, and Soderling or Gonzo.
Djoker also has a medium draw, but I just don’t feel like his head is in the right place these days.
Should be a great tournament, Key Biscayne is always one of my favourites- and the setting for the greatest fictional tennis story of all time: anyone interested in the tennis legend of Bacon O’Rourke, tennis vagabond, should check out TennisVagabond.com- the king of underground tennis makes his pro debut in Key Biscayne.


stu Says:

what is with this tournament and the IW rematches? roger-baggy, muzza-sod, roddick-ljube, maybe nole-ljube, rafa-isner….is the draw the same?!


Dory Says:

Remember Sean Randall, there is no such thing as an easy draw. The victory of Ljubicic nailed it down again last week. I’d rather you change the sensationalist and blantantly incorrect title as RF will have to face Auz Open semifinalist Cilic. If I calculate by your logic, then I’d say Nadal has the easy draw as except for that one off victory over Nadal by Tsonga, Tsonga has not shown consistency. But I won’t say that. No ATP top 25 player is easy to defeat and there is no such thing as an easy draw.


linda Says:

It’s about time Rafa won a title, hope he does it this time.


NELTA Says:

A few interesting potential matchups. If Korolev gets by Sela he will most likely play Verdasco. They have never met before. That might be an interesting upset pick. Korolev has some good wins this year, but also has some not so great losses. If he is on and Verdasco still has images of hot blondes dancing in his head anything is possible.

Cilic and Baghdatis could meet in the 3rd round. They have never played each other before.


Polo Says:

Agree with Dory. There is no such thing as an easy draw anymore. Look at what happened in Indian Wells. These predictions don’t work because the top 20-25 guys are all quite talented and capable of beating anybody in the field at any time. This makes tennis really interesting. It used to be that you could predict that by the end, Federer and Nadal will be the last two guys standing but not anymore.


MMT Says:

Yeah, I’m not sure how Andreev qualifies as an easy draw – but he’s got to get through his first match anyway which could any of the following:

R Schuettler
N Massu
N Lapentti
T Alves
R Sweeting
X Malisse
S Koubek

I would want to face any of these guys in a first round. It’s really impossible to assess the first matches of the top 16 seeds given they get byes. In any case, who would have guessed Baghdatis would beat Federer last week, or that Ljubicic would beat Djokovic, Nadal and Roddick – CONSECUTIVELY.

Here are some interesting matchups that didn’t pan out in Indian Wells:

Federer vs. Stepanek
Federer vs. Roddick
Monfils vs. Nalbandian
Roddick vs. Nalbandian
Roddick vs. Monfils
Murray vs. Blake
Davydenko vs. Verdasco
Djokovic vs. Simon


andrea Says:

sorry about my false draw reports there way up there….don’t know why i thought roger and nadal were on the same side.

wishful thinking i guess.


NELTA Says:

Schuettler fought his way through the qualifying for the 2nd consecutive tournament and was placed in the exact same slot in the draw that he had at IW, right next to Rafa. LOL.


NELTA Says:

So I just tried to complete the draw challenge on the ATP web site and I noticed it’s different than the official draw on the tournament web site.

Official draw has Almagro with a bye to play the winner of Schwank/Gicquel. ATP site has him in a different part of the draw playing a qualifier in the 1st round.


Mindy Says:

Tennis Vagabond,

What you must remember is that this a pro-Fed and anti-Rafa site. So when you read Sean Randall’s analysis of Rafa’s draw at any given tournament, you are not necessarily going to get an objective point of view.

Taylor Dent and Victor Troiki are NOT going to give Rafa trouble. The real threats to Rafa are Nalby, depending on his form now, Karlovic and Isner. You noticed that Sean included Tsonga as a threat to Rafa. This makes me want to laugh out loud. First of all, Tsonga may not even get to the quarterfinals. Second, one never knows which Tsonga will show up in any given tournament. He is notoriously inconsistent. Tsonga is the least of Rafa’s worries, IF he gets to meet him.

Just take what Sean says with a grain of salt when it comes to Rafa. He’s a Fed man all the way!


NELTA Says:

Just got a response from the ATP site. See below

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

REPLY
Yes, the draw just changed as a result of a couple injury withdrawals.
The challenge game has not been updated yet, we’re working that as fast
as we can.

Thanks,
Chris


Polo Says:

I am wondering why a lot of people call this a pro-Fed and anti-Rafa site. I know that there a majority of the bloggers are pro-Fed but that just reflects the general population. Federer has more fans than any of the players out there. You can tell by from the attendance and to the response to Federer when he plays. Oftentimes, the crowd cheers for the underdoge but they never do that against Federer. And I really don’t see a lot of people here say anything against Nadal. The only time people may say anything not favoring Nadal is when his fans try to defent him when people try to diminish Federer’s accomplishments because of his head to head record against Nadal.


Polo Says:

Sorry for the typos and grammatic errors. I did not review it before submitting my comment.


jane Says:

Polo, do you think fans “never” cheer for the underdog against Fed? I think I have seen instances of this; certainly in Paris the crowd seemed to be behind Benneteau. And even Baggy, last week, had a lot of support for his tenacious and great play against Fed at IW. I am not saying the fans are cheering against Fed, but I am merely saying that there have been times where it seemed like a good portion of the crowd was routing for an underdog, even against Fed.


Kimo Says:

jane, it’s true that sometimes the crowd cheers for the underdog against Fed, but I think people don’t mind the underdog losing to the Fed more than any other player. They just feel blessed to bear witness to such a genius. When it’s over, people will look upon the Fed era with nostalgia, despite the fact that because of Fed many players didn’t get the success they could have had had they been playing in some other time (Roddick, Safin, Hewitt) and even Djoko and Murray. You have to admit, when Fed was Djoko’s and Murray’s age, he was winning everything left, right and center. They are not. Do you see Djoko or Murray win Dubai, IW and KB after a devastating loss in the AO? I sure don’t, but Fed did it in ’05. He was 23.

Like it or not, everyone but Rafa is an underdog against Fed. If someone gets disappointed an underdog loses to Fed, then s/he is in for a rough ride, has been for what 7 year now? Yeah, so just chillax :)


skeezerweezer Says:

polo, jane, kimmmi..

Good stuff:) Yes, I do read your posts! :)

Skeezer


krishnan.t.s. Says:

nelta
it may be 10 months since he won his last title… but its only due to the reason that there are so many players who are in the form of their life… u see in the last 10 months… nadal has lost to only players who have improved their game and are now in red hot form…. fedrer on the other hand lost to marcos who is not even in the tennis radar since 2007… that in itself should give a lot of confidence to nad


ilie nastase Says:

you make a mistake in ATP ranks miami,for the rank 72 .this position with 930 points was victor hanescu


krishnan.t.s. Says:

madmax… i’m hopin for a nadal fedrer finals…. it’ll be a good one no doubt… i agree with u that nad is thinkin abt gettin to the quarters just to regain his confidence or whatever… but once it comes to a fedrer showdown, nad will be at his best n his best is in beating roger fedrer… he did it 10 months back… no reason why he can’t do it again!!


krishnan.t.s. Says:

andy murray world no3!!! that sucks big time…. i’m hopin for a murray nadal semis in FO… murray will get pummeled in straight sets….6-2 6-0 6-0


Kimmi Says:

skeezer! I think you confused Kimmi with Kimo. were you reading with a beer on one hand? ha! :)


Polo Says:

Remember the French Open last year when Soderling beat Nadal? The crowd cheered and Uncle Tony voiced his disappointment that the people did not seem to respect Nadal, him being the champion for four straight years. I believe the crowd cheered Soderling not for the mere fact that he beat Nadal but because it gave Federer a huge chance to finally win the French. And he did! That cheer at the end of the Soderling-Nadal match was really meant for Federer.


Polo Says:

Let me add that I believe the crowd will start cheering for Nadal more from now on. Only not when he plays Federer but against everybody else, Nadal will be the next favorite, after Federer. I really see no reason to dislike Nadal. He seems faultless when compared to the other players. His only “fault” was that he beat Federer so much.


NELTA Says:

Krishnan,

Nadal did face some guys who were playing well last year, but he has definitely not been at the top of his game the last 10 months. He didn’t even win a set at the World Tour Finals. He played not to lose rather than being aggressive.

He played well at the AO, but just ran into a hot Murray.

Baghdatis is a bad loss for Fed, but that is nothing new. He had similar losses to guys like Simon and Canas over the years. He should be able to bounce back.

Right now Nadal is playing better tennis than Fed, but as we know their success has an ebb and flow to it. I’m not going to make the same prediction for every tournament that Nadal or Fed will win, use excuses when they lose and then trash talk the other side when my guy finally wins a tournament.

It would be great for the fans to see a FEDAL final.


jane Says:

I’d like to see another Murray versus Djokovic final personally. : )


skeezerweezer Says:

“Kimmi Says:

skeezer! I think you confused Kimmi with Kimo. were you reading with a beer on one hand? ha! :)”

No, actually, this time it was a glass of “Cuvaison 2006 Diablo Carneros Syrah”, ha!

But you are right I stand corrected, I meant Kimo :)

We must be getting bored up here need a new topic like:

“NEWS FLASH”

“Fed Gets toe nails clipped!”

or

“Rafa goes out clothes shopping for new tennis clothes”

or

“Murray comes into Miami sporting new hair style”

or

“Fans catch Roddick practicing ( but everyone was really watching his wife )

or

“Nole takes up Javelin throwing, claims he is working on his serve”

and on and on,

I’m out… :)

“Give me a smile, a laugh, a beer, and some tennis, and I am one happy guy! Why is life have to be so complicated?”


stu Says:

me too, jane! with djoko winning this time!


jane Says:

skeezer! Good news flashes – LOL. :)


margot Says:

At O2 many of crowd were cheering for Delboy when he played Fed.


Von Says:

Skeezer: You can add the following to your news-flash:

EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT!! Breaking news:

On another front, this WTF reporter, can now unequivocally confirm by following up on a lead from sources close to Ljubicic, of a sighting of a growth-spurt of REDDISH-BROWN hair on Ivan Ljubicic’s head, since his recent IW win over Andy Roddick. According to reliable sources, Ivan decided to splurge some of his winnings on his head. After much deliberation and closed talks with Brooke Shields, Ivan allegedly ordered several cases of Latisse, the product that’s touted by Brooke for rapid eyelash growth, and has had technicians working feverishly around the clock, saturating his head with the stuff. What has ensued is nothing short of a miracle — Ivan’s entire head is now covered with a new two-inch growth of reddish-brown colored hair atop Ivan’s veinous head. The growth is so rapid, that it is expected by the time Ivan next takes the court at Miami to play his first match, he should be sporting a new look of a full two-inch growth of reddish-brown hair, coupled with Elvis Presley side-burns to boot …. wonders never cease but daily increase!!!!!!


Polo Says:

Margot (or anybody) , what does O2 stand for?


sar Says:

Kimo, Djoko is 22.
Novak already has:

1 grand slam title, 1 grand slam final, 4 master series titles, 1 master cup title, 6 master series finals, bronze Olympic medal, total of 16 titles, number 3 in the world since 2007.


jane Says:

Von – LOL!! Good one. : )

Polo – as you may already know, “O2″ typically stands for oxygen (shortform) but not sure if that’s how they meant it in London??


jane Says:

sar – aren’t both Murray’s and Djoko’s birthdays soon? In May I seem to recall? So they’ll both be turning 23 only, correct?


skeezerweezer Says:

Von,

HA! LOL….”Latisse”? I may order that…niiiice reporting :)


skeezerweezer Says:

Jane,

Wow, going to be only 23, forgot how young these two are…I would say they have a lot of years to to get some shots at GS titles, wouldn’t you? Good for them..

I wasn’t ( as usual ) paying attention but noticed Rafa dropped to #4 ?, Whoa! Was this before or after IW?

So I am assuming the two 22 yr olds are holding the 2/3 spot for now, and an “old man” at #1.


Polo Says:

Federer at 28 (closer to 29 at this time) is one or two generations older than the guys behind him. What happened to the 24-26 year age group? Not good enough, I suppose?

By the way, I still don’t know what O2 stands for. I know about the chemical symbol for oxygen but I don’t what it has to do with tennis. Except, I suppose when players run out of it during a match… like when a player chokes and cuts off the oxygen supply to his brain leading to stupid decisions and thereby causing a slew of unforced errors.


Von Says:

From what I can remember, the 02 arena was built at the beginning of the Millenium and was called the *Millenium Dome*, which was officially opened on January 1, 2000, with the hosting of the exhibition, “The Milleninum Experience” Apparently, the exhibition only lasted for approximately one year, and a reconstruction or refurbishment began on the inside only, but the outside structure remained the original architecture. That was concluded by 2002, and the arena was re-opened in 02 under the new name, “02 Arena”.


Polo Says:

Thanks Von for that O2 information. Margot referred to it when she said, ” At O2 many of crowd were cheering for Delboy when he played Fed.” I did not know that they had a tennis tournmanet there. Maybe an exhibition match. And I presume Delboy is Del Potro? I feel so dumb right now. Hahaha!


Von Says:

Polo: You’re welcome. Hey, it it was mentioned in the Enquirer or one of the news rags at the supermarket checkout cashier, we’d all know about 02, as we all sneak a read, don’t we? LOOL. We had a conversation about this at the USO last year during Fed’s/Soderling’s match, if you can remember that night, Donald Trump/Milenia.

The 02 was the host arena for the WTF, or YEC, whichever one you’d like to use. And yes, Delboy, is DelPotro.


Von Says:

Speaking about the USO, Donald Trump/Milenia reminds me of Mary. Where are you Mary? I miss your humorous posts!


Polo Says:

Von,

I remember our exchange about “glancing” at the tabloids. I had fun that night. Thanks again for the additional info. I am getting better educated now.


Von Says:

Polo: I had a lot of fun also that night. I think it was about 5 of us blogging and watching simultaneously. Mary, you, Veno, jane and myself. Things were really hopping. Our blogging began in the evening and then became matutinal. BTW, glad to hear you’re becoming better educated, but I doubt you need it. Perhaps with the gossip, where I am similarly deficient, but not with the other tennis stuff, you’re AOK, IMO.

Glad to be of service.

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