Nadal, Federer Face Tough Draws at French Open
by Sean Randall | May 21st, 2010, 9:51 am
  • 200 Comments

The French Open draw is out, and a possible rematch Madrid rematch between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal looks possible. I think.

But both Federer and Nadal are stuck with the brunt of dangerous dirtballers.

In Federer’s quarters, there’s Stan Wawrinka, Gael Monfils, Marin Cilic, Albert Montanes, Robin Soderling and one Ernests Gulbis. Federer should coast early then run into Wawrinka in the fourth round with another showdown with Gulbis in the quarterfinals or Soderling could await.

Andy Murray is seeded to meet Federer in the top half semifinals but the Brit’s a longshot, and perhaps a longshot just to emerge out of the first round. The fourth-seeded Murray opens against local favorite Richard Gasquet and then could meet Tomas Berdych in the fourth round before JW Tsonga in the quarterfinals. In a wide open section I’d rate Tsonga as the favorite.

Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick have wound up in the same quarter of a Slam draw yet again. But I doubt they meet this time. Roddick, who hasn’t played a clay match this year, has a brutal road with Jarkko Nieminen, then Eduard Schwank The Tank with Juan Monaco and David Ferrer ahead. Djokovic opens with the hard-hitting Evgeny Koralev but should come through. Djokovic does has a good draw out the quarter but the Serb;s health is still a question mark.

In the final quarter Nadal will have to contend with Fernando Verdasco, Fernando Gonzalez, Nicolas Almagro and Tomaz Bellucci. The four-time champ figures to get through to Bellucci in the fourth round, and then I think he’ll be in for a tough battle against Verdasco. I think Verdasco has a pretty good road out the quarters.

To me, Federer and NAdal’s quarters are both loaded. Murray’s is the weakest but he’s arguably the weakest of the Top 4 seeds on the clay surface. Djokovic with Ferrer looks like a pretty balanced section.

Right now I think Federer and Nadal will get through. It’s too bad that Soderling and Gulbis ended up in Federer section and Verdasco landed in Nadal’s.

Here’s the fourth round matches by seeding: 1 Federer v. 13 Monfils, 10 Cilic v. 5 Soderling, 4 Murray v. 15 Berdych, 11 Youhzny v. 8 Tsonga, 6 Roddick v. 9 Ferrer, 16 Ferrero v. 3 Djokovic, 7 Verdasco v. 12 Gonzalez, 14 Ljubicic v. 2 Nadal.

Quarterfinals by seed: Federer v. Soderling, Murray v. Tsonga, Roddick v. Djokovic, Verdasco v. Nadal.


Also Check Out:
Roger Federer: “I Like Tough Draws, I Don’t Shy Away From Them”
U.S. Olympic Tennis Preview: Tough Draws for Blake, Men
Federer Gets Easy French Open Draw; Nadal, Djokovic in Same Half
Roger Federer Isn’t Going To Go Crazy Looking At His Australian Open Draw
Is the US Open Draw Fixed? ESPN Investigates [Video]

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200 Comments for Nadal, Federer Face Tough Draws at French Open

pro rafa Says:

totally agree… tough draw for both players… overall the tougher one for roger i think… will be intersting to watch him come out… no sody 4 nad:(:(… he’d have loved the challenge… good luck fed… i don’t think that u will win but i hope u do… good luck anyway


Kimo Says:

I disagree with you Sean. Murray might not be a bonafide dirtballer, but his draw is easy and should he play his best possible tennis on clay, he has a real shot to get to the semi.

Fed’s draw is definitely the hardest, but I still expect to see him in a 24th consecutive GS semifinal.


Cindy_Brady Says:

LMAO,

Sean – Tough draw my ass. Both have cake walks. Who is really going to stop them in best of 5 matches?

Federer’s only slight threat to the semis is Montanes or Gulbis. Both did beat him but he will be ready for either should they meet.

Nadal’s bottom half is even more laughable!

Murray and Djokovic both enter with horrible clay court seasons. Roddick had no preparation except for maybe H.

What a joke. Both will be seeing each other two Sundays from now with Nadal holding the trophy.

On to a more interesting Wimbledon, folks.


skeezerweezer Says:

@pro rafa

Really. You trying to set your boy up? Who has Rafa lost to in the draw he has? And on what surface…like clay. He is the favorite cause he like a gazzilion wins to 1 loss on clay, Ever. Hasn’t he only lost to Soda pop and he’s in Fed’s side? Bogus to say IMO that they have equally tough draws……


jane Says:

Murray’s first match is versus Gasquet! I know Murray can beat him, but then again Richard can really turn it on, and this is the home town crowd (which could be good or bad for Gasquet). Verdasco is in Nadal’s quarter; too bad for him. Having had such a weak clay season, I’ll be pleased if Nole can make it to the QFs where he’d probably meet Ferrer, whom he’s never beaten on clay. But with JCF, Hanescu, and Querrey in his quarter I don’t know if he’ll make it that far (tough to know what to say about Roddick since he’s not played for so long).

Likely, Ferrer will meet Rafa in the bottom semis, and hopefully Murray will come through on the top to meet Fed in the semis (unless Gulbis pulls another upset).

But a Fed vs. Rafa final does seem sort of inevitable here.


Polo Says:

I do agree with Cindy_Brady. Calling this a tough draw for Nadal and Federer is quite a stretch that it makes the article sound more like a satire.

It does not matter who you put in Nadal’s way, it will still be easy for him. He will win no matter what.

It does not matter who you put in Murray’s way, it will still be tough for him. He will lose no matter what.

I don’t think it is hard to predict who will win this French. Can we just fast forward to the US Open?


Peter D Says:

Jane said: “But a Fed vs. Rafa final does seem sort of inevitable here.”

Sorry, but in what draw that would not be the case? Just having Soda on Rafa’s side? Come on… They are favorites to reach the final no matter what (which is not to say they would, of course). Only having Rafa seeded 3 and meeting Roger int he semis would have changed that.


Polo Says:

Rafa’s only legitimate challenger on clay are his knees. And he seems to have those beat for now.


evie Says:

Didn’t Rafa just beat Nando 1 and 0? Yeah, I’m sure he’s shaking in his boots on a QF matchup.

Tough draw for Verdasco, but not for Rafa.


andrea Says:

and there is also montanes in fed’s draw….should we be worried? :)

draw schmaw. these days, who knows what will happen?

i was just thinking the other night that there really haven’t been a lot of epic matches so far this year. what are some of everyone’s favorites so far? maybe the french will bring some….


skeezerweezer Says:

Hasn’t Fed just has losses on Clay against Gulbis, AM? Who has Rafa lost too? ZERO. Who has the tougher draw, do the math. Rafa should not lose a set to the finals…….


jane Says:

“what are some of everyone’s favorites [matches] so far?”

I liked a few at the AO -Blake vs. Delpo, Roddick vs. Cilic, Delpo vs. Cilic, Murray vs. Rafa (for as long as it lasted the quality was superb). At IW and Miami, both Fed upsets were actually exciting matches, ending in 3rd set tiebreaks. On clay, Gulbis’ matches were the most exciting to watch, since it felt like he was pushing the best guys. Also watching de Bakker and Dolgo was fun. The nail-biters in the Serb vs. USA Davis cup were exciting too.

Hope there are some epics at the F.O. I’ll be keeping my eye on Cilic for one, as he tends to get embroiled in long and tense ones at the slams.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Lulz to all the people who say thinks like, “who knows what will happen?” or “there is always a first time”.

Blah, blah, blah!

We are talking about what is “realistic” in the context of a best of 5 grand slam tourney where both players have been dominant on a surface AND where the stakes are so high. Add to that both have more talent and motivation to succeed than the field.

This is more a bout what is “most likely” to occur rather than wishful praying by tennisTARD fans grasping at straws.


Daniel Craig Says:

murray should hire gaudio as coach. then, he’ll be guaranteed to win the french.


skeezerweezer Says:

Cindy_Brady,

Despite the predictability of the probable outcome of a mathematical equation doesn’t necessarily make YOU the answer to everyone’s desire to make it so.

Why do you think the way you should think when you can’t think?”


Cindy_Brady Says:

skeezerweezer,

Your logic is to be illogical.

Two weeks from now will separate the real thinkers from the delusional pretenders.

Too bad you seem to have fallen in the later group.


angellight Says:

Nadal has the easiest path for sure, as he has beaten all of his coming up conquests. Though, Almagro may be able to get the better of him. For sure, Ernests Gulbis would have gotten the better of Nadal. Roger is a better player to me than Nadal but he tenses up out of fear or something and spoils his own natural abilities.


skeezerweezer Says:

Cindy_Brady,

“Two weeks from now will separate the real thinkers from the delusional pretenders.”

Exactly. Because at that time predictions will be over…..we will all be back to real thinkers or delusional thinkers. :)

I am sorry you can’t make out my post earlier. It was a test for you…..


Fot Says:

I don’t know what will happen, usually there ARE surprises at the French Open. So anything could happen. I just hope Roger makes the final again. But first thing first – I hope he gets through round 1…then we’ll take it round by round from there!


angellight Says:

Just a thought, how come Nadal did not get Soderling, who has beaten him before. Why does Nadal have such an easy path, except for Almagro who is hungry!


Daniel Craig Says:

Almagro can’t do anything against nadal on the roland garros courts and I don’t buy that federer loses just because he’s tense against nadal. he can kick rafa’s ass and get his ass kicked by him which is why the rivalry is so great. Does anybody remember back when roddick used to play federer in a lot of tourney finals? he always got owned by roger and people were trying to spin it into a rivalry.


Daniel Craig Says:

if nadal got soderling again, he would wipe the floor with him as he’s healthy and soderling has lost his form of last year.


skeezerweezer Says:

Madmax,

Thanks for the link:). Like the two guys said, anything can happen, they both have to play 6 matches, that is 6 times they have a chance to lose, although un-probable, it’s not like playing “Estoril” or “Madrid”, where not only you played fewer matches to the end but also 2 out of 3 sets only………hope there is some surprises and great tennis :)


Voicemale1 Says:

Federer has a far tougher road than Nadal. The only clay court triumph among Sean’s imagined threats to Nadal was one by Gonzalez almost 7 years ago. None of them has beaten Nadal on clay since then. And Verdasco, who’s never beaten Nadal on any surface, has played SO MUCH tennis on clay this year (Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Madrid and now Nice) that by the time he starts having to win the 3rd Set in every match just to move on his legs will be like Jell-o before too long. Almagro won one set from Nadal in Madrid – let’s see him win 3 in Paris. Gonzalez’s Single Handed Backahnd will get pummeled; Belluci might get a set on a good day for him. Federer isn’t serving as well these days, and he’ll need to improve that to have a shot to keep his 23 Major’s SF or better streak going.

What’s more, Nadal & Federer at so “at home” during the Best of Five at Majors that it’s these other guys, The Pretenders” who will have the taske of ever getting to their appointed rounds. When guys like Almagro & Bellucci have to keep winning that 3rd Set just to advance, it’s tough to do when you don’t have a lot of reserve game to call on. That’s why Federer & Nadal do so very well at The Majors. They often can get through the first week playing at about 85% of their best, and have a level to raise up to that these other guys don’t have.


andrea Says:

seems like nadal’s side of the draw, while full of good clay court players, is lacking big, flat stroked players which seem to give him trouble.

nadal against other clay court players can out grind them so there isn’t a lot of hope in a 5 set situation. he’s also mentally tougher than all of them.

so far i only see gonzalez, roddick, lbjuicic and novak as the big flat hitters in nadal’s draw, but gonzo tends to implode, roddick (god bless him…has he ever reached the second week?), ivan’s clay prowess is suspect but if the real novak shows up, he may have a chance.

hopefully we can get another highlight for the reel from gonzo – the infamous ass rubbing on the line was classic.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Voicemale1 >>> skeezerweezer (tard)…


Daniel Craig Says:

murray will win the french


madmax Says:

Why… daniel craig?

Give us some analysis as to why you think this? Of course, you may very well be right? But, do you really believe this? I do think Andy will do well, but I don’t feel he’ll win. Hard courts are probably his best bet, but who knows?

Skeezer, hi to you from a very hot, balmy UK. Almost impossible to breathe right now.

Well, I am glad that Federer is keeping quiet in terms of what he is disclosing to the press! They can be so nosey, can’t they?

Apparently earlier on today, I read that Jose Higueras spent 2 hours with Roger in a practise session today and the press wanted to hear all about it!

“What did he tell you Roger?”
“Did he give you any tricks of the trade?”

saying “Roger, are you now working with Jose again?”. He didn’t answer them. Go Roger!

Some lovely pics of him and rafa smiling just before they crossed over on their practise sessions.

I am not sure what I think of the draw right now. Seems that Roger’s is pretty tough. The talk is that Verdasco (having just played nice), is going to be too tired right now. It’s going to catch up with him soon enough.

Until then, really wishing Roger Federer goes all the way Skeeze and spanks the pants off everyone!

Borg has made a comment too – towards the end of this report, here’s the link.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5i5Qay34wcu_iIqY4-0HDAJMgF7DA

Have a nice evening skeeze.


Daniel Craig Says:

just wanted to mention that RF isn’t the goat until he beats nadal in a roland garros final.


Daniel Craig Says:

madmax, that was plain old sarcasm. I am a nadal fan through and through, with great respect for federer’s accomplishments (but not too much!). murray just seems really inconsistent. he shows up for USO ’08 and vanishes for a while, gets pounded by fed in AO, disappears. also i just flat out dont like him for whatever reason.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Roger Federer doesn’t need to win another professional match to be called GOAT. His “complete” body of work speaks for itself.

Rafael Nadal may lay claim to that some day, but until he reaches at least double digits in slam play and breaks through at the U.S Open, he will always play 2nd fiddle to Nadal in this era whether Federer beats Nadal or not at the FO.

It is a moot point!


Cindy_Brady Says:

Ooops….Insert “Federer” for Nadal in 2nd paragraph above. Typed too fast.


Daniel Craig Says:

the only reason for his supposed goat status is that he has more slams than sampras and now has a career slam. still, nobody’s challenged him as much as nadal and he can’t beat him consistently enough to be deemed goat imho. granted, rafa hasn’t reached as many grand slam finals as federer but, regardless of what he does, federer can’t be the greatest until he convincingly starts beating nadal or takes him out in a FO final. then, he’ll have nothing left to prove. last year’s french was an ideal situation which federer took advantage of. and he can say hes proved to himself and others that he can win the french, but against who? soderling? the real question is if he thinks he can beat nadal to win the french. only then can he retire in peace. for now his stunning resume is yet incomplete


guy Says:

saying federer has a tougher draw because nadal can beat everyone is stupid. obviously any draw by this measure will be tougher for poor federer.

but considering nadal has verdasco and ferrer the two best claycourters this year besides him, plus dual semi finalist djoko and last year’s semi finalist gonzo, on paper it’s a much tougher draw.
not that he should have any problem with it though.

meanwhile with henin, janko and serena in the top half of the women’s, looks like someone’s getting a pretty easy road to the final from the other side. maybe dementieva could make another final here.


Skeezerweezer Says:

“….because nadal can beat everyone is stupid”

Not that he can …..He has :)


Cindy_Brady Says:

Daniel Craig Says:

the only reason for his supposed goat status is that he has more slams than sampras and now has a career slam.
…………………………………………………….
LMAO,

You act as though those are “minor” details, And Federer who has not beaten Nadal in a FO final is the most important thing. You are a grasper at straws. That’s the only thing you can cling to and it’s very weak and somewhat retarded.

Remind me the last time Nadal faced Federer in a U.S Open final (arguably a far more important slam than the FO historically). Federer has been in 4 FO finals in row and 6 U.S Open finals in a row. Nadal has been missing in action at the U.S Open.

Federer is a far greater clay court player than Nadal is a hard court player.

Your logic borders on Von’s. Not a compliment.


Huh Says:

“Daniel Craig Says:
Almagro can’t do anything against nadal on the roland garros courts and I don’t buy that federer loses just because he’s tense against nadal. he can kick rafa’s ass and get his ass kicked by him which is why the rivalry is so great.”

Agree upto this much. But so far as Roddick is concdrned, the rivalry may be lopsided but still Roddick has truly played well against Fed in his career barring the AO 07 and the WIM O3,O5. In fact we must rather give some credit to Roddick for being able to challenge so well at the height of Roger’s career, USO 06 comes to mind. And I again repeat that Rod was unlucky in WIM O4, the rain actually broke his rythm of 1st one and half-sets. Who knows what’d have happened without the rain interruption(which I feel helped Fed to rebound from the deficit in that WIM O4 final)? Moreover, it’s hard to ignore that Rod is Fed’s peer and thus he had to deal the peak Fed from 04-07, and Fed at that time was pretty darn unbeatable! I don’t think a peak Nadal would have beaten Fed much on hard courts and grass should they’ve faced each other at that particular time more frequently. Fed actually enjoyed a pretty good record vs Rafa on non-clay surface until 2007 (proof is he was 5-2 on non-clay) and it wasn’t actually until 2008(when Fed’s form declined, makes no difference if you admit it or not) that Rafa finally solved the Fed puzzle in WIM grass and on hard courts. This I’m saying in no way to denigrate Rafa, I admit Rafa’s a CLASS outstanding player, but I sincerely believe Fed would have enjoyed a healthy upper hand against Nadal had they faced each other more on non-clay surface in Fed’s peak time(and when I say Nadal, I intend to say Nadal-at-his-best). But Rafa’s fortunate enought to be 5 yrs younger than Fed which certainly led him to avoid more meetings with Fed on non-clay. On the other hand, Rod is Fed’s peer and thus during his own young age, he had to deal with a young and Peak Federer, who was almost impossible to beat. I know that one can argue that how can we claim Fed’s decline when he’s still winning at least a slam or two post-2007! For this I’d say tht just because Fed’s still capturing GS tropies doesn’t mean he’s as good as he previously was during 04-07. Thus, I request you guys not to forget this aspect while stating things like Fed owned Roddick, at the same time completely ignoring the difference of circumstances between Rod and Rafa. Roddick deserves much more credit than is actually give to him, this I just want to make clear.


jane Says:

Very true huh – even if you look at matches like the 2007 USO QF between Roddick and Fed, for two sets it was a very very competitive match, both tiebreaks (same scoreline as the final between Djok and Fed that year, I think). Roddick’s matches with Fed have been very tight and last year’s Wimbledon is testament to that. Kudos to Andy for always fighting a good battle and trying to evolve his game too. He’s been stopped by Fed not only in 4 slam finals (3 Wimbs & 1 USO), but also at the quarters/semis juncture too. Were it not for Fed, it’s highly likely he’d have at least a couple more slams – probably 2 Wimbledons and another USO. I sure hope he wins a Wimbledon before he hangs up his gear.


Kimmi Says:

If they both go thru, santiago Diralgo second round with Djoko should be interesting…maybe not, but giraldo has been giving some top guys some problems this clay season.

Verdasco got just what he was not hoping for..a nadal qtr. I read some of his interviews, he talked about doing very well st RG if he avoids nadal…after all that what does he get..Nadal.

Too bad Gulbis lands on federer qtr again. And Muzza vs qasquet first round is tough. love gasquet but this time lets go muzza.


sheila Says:

i am unequivocally a roger federer fan, however, his draw may, in deed, give him problems. he hasn’t been consistent, his serve is not a weapon that he used to use to get him out of trouble, so i’m hoping, of course, he does get thru, but with a big gulp and knot in my stomach. obviously nadal will get thru to finals, but on rogers side, i’m hoping, but with much uneasiness. i just hope roger brings his a game and wins and shuts people like me up. go roger


Kimmi Says:

jane – ” I’ll be pleased if Nole can make it to the QFs where he’d probably meet Ferrer, whom he’s never beaten on clay”

I am surprised djoko has never beaten ferrer on clay. have they played recently? I would think djoko clay game should handle ferrer pretty well..


NELTA Says:

One match that could be interesting is Gulbis vs. Benneteau in the 1st round. On paper Gulbis should win in straight sets, but Benne plays his best in France. He made it to the final of Marseilles this year beating Monfils and Tsonga along the way and of course the end of last year he beat RF in Paris. He hasn’t done much on clay this year(one good win over Querrey), but playing on a show court in front of his home crowd could inspire him. The match probably won’t be on Chatrier, but maybe Lenglen. If Benne gets the crowd involved they will be cheering every point he wins even if it was a bad miss by Ernie and whistling every time Ernie checks a ball mark or bounces his racket off the dirt in frustration.


Kimmi Says:

Nelta, that sounds like what will happen with the french crowd when Murray vs gasquet play. These will be two interesting first round matches


skeezerweezer Says:

Cindy_Brady & the story of “tard”

This is why posters in the past/present don’t respond to you anymore. When you don’t like the way the discussion is going you resort to toilet behavior, name calling, and insulting posters, bringing in names of people that aren’t even in the discussion, and using really big words like “tard”.

You failed the psychological test of being older than 12. As soon as I used big words you were confused :)

Have fun talking to yourself…..

Out


skeezerweezer Says:

“Daniel Craig Says:

just wanted to mention that RF isn’t the goat until he beats nadal in a roland garros final.”

Got it. :)

However, I think the authoritative people on this matter would be his peers, past and present, correct? So I am gonna go with what they say, they know a lot more about the game than any of us will….


Polo Says:

Daniel Craig will not be the most credible blogger here until he has beaten Skeezerweezer in the logic department. Right now, Skeezer is way ahead in their head to head. Or should I say “Head to No Head”?


Marty Says:

other than fed, the only players that have even a chance against Rafa are big big hitters like delpo,soderling and gulbis who can take advantage if rafa has an off day and hits shot balls. he has an easy draw.


NELTA Says:

Good point Marty. Normally a tough draw means you have a bunch of good dirt ballers in your quarter, but it’s different for Rafa. If I were Rafa I would prefer to play a Ferrero or Montanes type player rather than a Gulbis or Soderling. Sure, he’d still beat any of them on clay this year, but the latter are more dangerous.


Patrick Werth Says:

@ Daniel Craig

With an attempt to keep things a little more civil and courteous than some of your other…er…critics have done, I also disagree that Fed has to beat Rafa at RG to be titled GOAT. He didn’t just beat Soderling to win the French, he also beat quality players like DelPo, Monfils, etc.

Surely we can agree that Fed would have won RG multiple times by now if he didn’t live in the same era as Rafa, who is probably the best clay court player ever. Does Fed have to beat the greatest clay court player in history for his RG title to be significant? I don’t think he does. No one else who has won RG has ever beaten Nadal en route to the title, so that shouldn’t be a requirement for Fed either.


Patrick Werth Says:

@ Andrea

“so far i only see gonzalez, roddick, lbjuicic and novak as the big flat hitters in nadal’s draw”

Don’t forget about Sam Querrey, who is on Nadal’s half, although they couldn’t meet until the semis. It’s a longshot for Sam, but he’s in a fairly open quarter of the draw (though Ferrer might slam it shut), so he’s got a chance.


Cindy_Brady Says:

skeezerweezer,

I only insult the dum-de-dum-dums.

I love insulting you.

Now I’m out Dear.


Daniel Craig Says:

Huh, interesting take on roddick/fed. I never thought of it like that and, while I do agree with you that Nadal has been (mostly) lucky to have to contend with a past-prime Federer, I don’t completely agree. Both players’ game benefited significantly from their rivalry. If Rafa was as old as Roddick or Fed, perhaps they would have all pushed each other to become better than their respective peaks and Nadal would be a greater player for it. A Roland Garros triumph over Nadal, to me, is the final obstacle for Federer. im not dismissing his accomplishments thus far, just saying. If he can overcome his greatest rival on his best surface, he would be able to pay back Wimby 2008 and then truly have nothing left to prove.

@Skeezerweezer: Touche, just throwing in my two cents (where is he/she?)
@Polo: I like to think in Eraserhead terms.


skeezerweezer Says:

Though all of you, either a Fed fan or not, would enjoy this article. The time Fed got double bageled, 0 and 0. Fun story, interesting facts like

“Federer has avoided a shutout in 99.9 percent of the sets and in 99.6 percent of the matches he has contested”

Here is the link, From NY times no less, a fun read….

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/22/sports/tennis/22bagel.html?ref=tennis


Daniel Craig Says:

Can I grasp your straws? Tom won’t mind, I promise.


skeezerweezer Says:

Though = Thought…..a mistyped keyboard moment also….:)


jane Says:

Kimmi, Djoko played Ferrer in the Davis Cup early in 2009, in Spain on clay, and lost in straights. That’s the last time they’ve played. Basically Djok beats him on hard and Ferrer beats Djok on clay. They’re 4-4 H2H. But honestly, I don’t even know if Djok will make it that far as he’s not grooved at all, not to mention the health issues etc.

Gasquet is in the Nice final with Hotsauce. Could it be that Gasquet is clicking at the right time? Is this bad news for Murray? I like Gasquet’s game too but I think Murray has quarters to defend here this year. Mind you, he has more to defend on grass (Queen’s titles, Wimbs semis), and now that the Queen of England is purportedly attending SW19, Wimbledon, for the first time since ?? forever, the pressure will be on Andy M. I hope he can handle it and do well again on grass this year.


skeezerweezer Says:

Jane,

Saw that too, Murray gets Gasquet in his first match, ouch. And Gasquet, a Frenchmen, leading up to FO is in a final. Ouch again. Well look on the bright side if Murray gets through against him he will got a good test right away, maybe it will do him good :)

Re: Murray and Wimby. Remember Tim Henman? Murray has handled the Brit pressure, as huge as it is, better than any Brit in recent memory. He just needs to get his game on the right railroad track, wherever that is……


Kimmi Says:

jane, I agree, gasquet is tough first round for anyone, especially now he is making the final in nice…he will be grooved. Nice story about the queen visiting wimbledon this year. There was a talk that he was going to visit last year if murray make the final…but he didn’t..so this year she decided to visit the whole thing..haha!

I am sorry to say this, but verdasco is so stupid..who is advicing him to play in Nice this week. Does he really want to get deeper in RG..he looked out of gas in rome semi against ferrer. He hurt his ankle in madrid..now he is complaining about the “arm”. Its ok he is playing well in Nice but RG is more important. If be lose early in RG he is got himself to blame I am afraid.


NELTA Says:

Interesting article Skeez

“What makes those statistics even more remarkable is that Federer has never retired from a match during his professional career.”

Fed is definitely the “iron man” of the sport like Lou Gehrig and Cal Ripken were in baseball.


Von Says:

Kimmi: “There was a talk that he was going to visit last year if murray make the final…but he didn’t..”

Oh my it seems that you have just turned the Queen into a King. I wonder if she’d like to be a guy for a day? LOL.


Kimmi Says:

that will be a good match if it materialize (djoko vs ferrer.) if their H2H is 4-4, it could be because their games are matching against each other..but i would give an edge to djoko still..he has slightly more fire power.

I agree with you jane, that it will be tough to know how Djoko will fare up at RG. One thing we know for sure is he is more rested than last year. Lets hope he is healthy, if that is the case then he should get in the groove pretty quickly after the first round.


Von Says:

Brady: “Your logic borders on Von’s. Not a compliment.”

Glad to see you’re still fascinated with me, and I’m uppermost in your mind. I’m going to be very diasappointed, when your fascination with me ends. LOL


Von Says:

“Cindy_Brady Says:
skeezerweezer,

I only insult the dum-de-dum-dums.

I love insulting you.

Now I’m out Dear.”
___________________________
It’s amazing how much enjoyment you derive from insulting the posters who stand up to you, but the worse part of it all, is that you are allowed to do so without any repercussions from the powers that be on this board — absolutely ridiculous and one-sided.


skeezerweezer Says:

NELTA,

You know your baseball…”impressive:)” and TY…


skeezerweezer Says:

sar,

Unc Toni has no credibility with his quotes in the press. It’s all gamesmenship from him. He is the same character that said all the BS later about Rafa excuses prior to last years FO.

Per Unc Toni,

“We want to play a lot more years but we cannot play too hard all the years. When you see the Rafael of three, four years ago, he did a lot more running than he does now. His game is not as physical as it was before. This is what we have to accept. ”

Someone enlighten me, I am open. So Rafa doesn’t have to now run like he did in the past to maintain his greatness? Why would he say that? Are his opponents reading this? I am sure they are. What do you think they are thinking when they read that?

Like I said in earlier posts, Rafa is a man now, needs to dump Toni, AKA bad PR spokesmen. Nothing like showing the cards in your hand for your career. Not planning to run that much now? Tennis IS about running, and the old Rafa ran harder than anyone…I know it is smart to play fewer tourneys because of his knee issue… ….but…c’mon!……..I am open to some Rafa fans comments….fire away :). It will be an interesting H/C season for him…


sheila Says:

imo federer has the harder draw. gulbis, soderling, cilic, wawrinka, monfils, these are huge hitters & servers. nadal has verdasco & almagro, who definitely have the game to beat nadal, but certainly not the belief. if nadal had to face gulbis or soderling he would be somewhat nervous, i think. first of all, they are tall so his top spin doesnt bother them and they hit the ball much flatter, which has always given nadal problems. i am a federer fan, i admit to that, but i feel i am being objective when i c federer having the harder draw. if feds playing his A game, he can, hopefully, make it to the semis, but if he struggles like he did last year, w/tommy haas, then i dont c roger getting past gulbis or solderling. i did watch, on the tennis channel, federers semi against delpo and delpo almost beat him so roger, i think, will really be tested, but i hope w/all my heart he makes it to the final. of course, my fantasy, 2c roger beat nadal in the fo final.


skeezerweezer Says:

Let’s see….

Posters that think Fed has the harder draw = A lot

Posters that think Rafa has a harder draw = 1

Posters that think Rafa will win = a gazzilion

Odds on favorite to win = Rafa

Player who has the best chance = Rafa

Player who has the worst chance = Skeezer

Player who needs to go back to no sleeves for the ladies = Rafa

Posters that think anyone else will win = 0

Posters that think Fed will win = 2?

Posters that think Fed has a chance? = a lot

Posters that that think Nole / Murray will win? = some.

Outside chances? Hot sauce, Ferrer, Roddick ( yes!) Gulbis ( you so sexay! )and?

What will you be doing Sunday Nite? = LOST FINALE

There ya go! ;)

Do the math… :)


The Real Dan Martin Says:

The only tough draw for Nadal would have included Juan Martin del Potro and he is out until November. Nadal gets his 5th FO and 7th slam – mark it down!


jane Says:

Love the list skeeze: “this is the end, my only friend, the end.”


eric Says:

“Someone enlighten me, I am open. So Rafa doesn’t have to now run like he did in the past to maintain his greatness? Why would he say that? Are his opponents reading this? I am sure they are. What do you think they are thinking when they read that?”

Nadal is now hitting harder and flatter than before, both FH and BH. Also, he serves a bit better than before, with better placement, so he gets much more “free points”. His game is more aggressive than before, his points shorter, his matches shorter than before.

That’s why he doesn’t have to run so much as before. All experts and all his opponents see that and Toni saying that is merely stating a commonly known fact.


montecarlo Says:

@ skeez

I don’t know what you are crying about. I think whatever Tony said in that post is 101% correct. Nadal hits a lot more winners now, he goes to the net a lot more now and more often than not try to finish the point on his own unlike few years ago. And its known to all the players so there is nothing like showing or hiding cards.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Jane,

:)

@Montecarlo

Sniff, Sniff, I didn’t know I was crying. Sorry :)

Seriously, I see your point, I was just sayin :)

Night night everyone! Have a good sleep.
I am going to count tennis balls instead of sheep…..


Huh Says:

It’s disgusting as usual to see Cindy Brady back here with her childish taunts, immature & ugly behaviour and insulting posts towards nice and sensible posters like Skeeze, Mrs.Von etc. Not only that, this retarded one also has failed to realise that what Voicemale has posted here makes complete sense. Even a blind and dumb person can say that Fed’s been handed a very tough draw, but understanding even this much is too tough for the foolish Cindy, I guess. Even if we assume Fed makes it through to final, does it make his draw easy? I don’t think so. For example, just because an intelligent student answers almost all the questions put to him by the interview board doesn’t mean that he was asked no difficult questions, isn’t it? Amazing how unintelligent it’s of her, but she’d not admit it! I feel sorry for this shameless evil old lady.


Huh Says:

Skeezerweezer Says:
“….because nadal can beat everyone is stupid”

Not that he can …..He has :)

WELL SAID SKEEZE.


Huh Says:

“Daniel Craig Says:
Huh, interesting take on roddick/fed. I never thought of it like that and, while I do agree with you that Nadal has been (mostly) lucky to have to contend with a past-prime Federer, I don’t completely agree. Both players’ game benefited significantly from their rivalry. If Rafa was as old as Roddick or Fed, perhaps they would have all pushed each other to become better than their respective peaks and Nadal would be a greater player for it. A Roland Garros triumph over Nadal, to me, is the final obstacle for Federer. im not dismissing his accomplishments thus far, just saying. If he can overcome his greatest rival on his best surface, he would be able to pay back Wimby 2008 and then truly have nothing left to prove.”

Thanks for your response Daniel and I understand that you’re not dismissing Fed’s genius. It’s ok.


blah Says:

hopefully gasquet will take out murray and get his career back on track (wimbledon’s loss to murray was the beginning of his downhill slide.)

obviously won’t happen, but, meh.


Huh Says:

Murray’s so unfortunate to face Gasquet in the very 1st round! :(
I doubt he’s happy about it, I’m certainly not.
Hopefully Muzza’d take care of Gasquet and move to the next round, but it’s gonna be really tough. And one of the worst aspect of a 1st round Muzza-Gasquet battle is I like both very much, Muzza’s one of my biggest faves, but Gasquet’s also not far behind (I admire the guy so much!). It’s so bad that one of them has to go out in the 1st round.Whoever wins that match, actually tennis will be the loser. Feeling very sad. :(


Huh Says:

guy:

It’s for you. Though I didn’t want to comment on this, but I had to seeing your post dismissing the TRUTH about the relative toughness of Fed’s draw in comparison to that of Rafa. Nadal’s draw is much easier than Fed this time. Wanna know why? Simply coz guys like Wawrinka, Gulbis, Soderling, Monfils and Cilic are definitely better players in comparison to Almagro etc. and are actually capable of doing far more damage on their day (regardless of surface). The only guy who can give Nadal some sort of challenge on clay is Gonzo, but that won’t/may not be enough for him to beat Rafa. Verdasco is another good guy, but not against Nadal on clay. Thus it’s quite clear that there are more no. of great players in Fed’s half than Rafa’s and thus Fed’s way to final is much more difficult than Nadal. And one of the most important thing to be considered is that Fed’s in no way as invincible on clay as Rafa either, which means the probability of him being beaten by the guys on his side is far greater than Rafa being beaten by the couple of guys on his side. Therefore theoretically, practically and also relatively Fed’s draw is to be considered tougher and it’s being actually considered as such. That said, nobody’s a shoe in for the final, not even Nadal(or Fed), as was proved last year.


Kimmi Says:

who is watching gasquet vs verdasco..gasquet backhand on fire. just broke verdasco. leading 5-2 in the first set.


Kimmi Says:

gasquet first set 6-3


Kimmi Says:

I don’t think veradsco knows how to play a good tactical game here..he is going more to qasquet BH..it does not work, he keeps going there aaargh!

great match. some nice variety from gasquet, he seem to have found his game.


Huh Says:

Thanks for your info on Gasquet-Verdy match Kimmi! I’m clearly rooting for Gasquet, good that he’s done well so far. :D

Come on Richard!!


Huh Says:

Kimmi:

9.20 a.m. post was for u. Again thankin u.


Kimmi Says:

verdasco breaks in the second set and gasquet breaks right back..oh dear. verdasco is losing this match!


Kimmi Says:

momentum now is with gasquet. great volleys and drop shots. c’mon dasco stay with him..


Kimmi Says:

huh..fogot to say. you are welcome. r u watching the match?


Kimmi Says:

french crowd booing verdasco..oh dear


Kimmi Says:

gasquet..the backhand. wow!


Kimmi Says:

gasquet breaks and serving for the match…some great and lucky shots to break. he is on fire!


Kimmi Says:

gasquet choking, bad bad errors that never hit the whole match 0-40. and verdasco breaks.

back on serve 5-5


Kimmi Says:

verdaso infront again, he holds 6-5. do we have a tie break.


thark Says:

sauce comes to life!

3rd set here we come…


Kimmi Says:

wwoooo, verdasco took the second set. Oh no. gasquet must hate this. the match was there for the taking..oh dear.

We have the decider. Gasquet must regroup here.


Kimmi Says:

the french crowd completly silent. Verdasco breaks again to start the third. he is fying at the moment. 6 games in a row.


Kimmi Says:

gasquet calls a trainer..not looking good


Kimmi Says:

This call trainer sometimes works. breaks the rhythm of your opponent. gasquet holds to love. C’mon verdasco hold.


Kimmi Says:

hold hold hold sauce..yes 4-1


Kimo Says:

There is no one in Rafa’s quarter that can trouble him. We’ve seen how Rafa crushes Verdasco on clay, and Almagro simply isn’t tough enough, mentally or physically. In RG 2008, Rafa crushed him 1, 1 and 1. Gonzo? Has he played on clay AT ALL this year? And even if he was in stellar form, which he isn’t, Rafa crushed him last year AT THE US OPEN(!) on a very fast hard court when he was still in recovery. A fully fit Rafa on clay would totally kick Gonzo’s a$$.

Fed’s half is full of people who can pose a serious challenge if they’re on their game and Roger isn’t.


Kimmi Says:

gasquet hold a very important game maybe. saving 3 break points. verdasco turn to serve now


Voicemale1 Says:

Skeezer @11:16 PM post

I think Toni Nadal is trying to underscore what we’ve seen this spring. When Rafael won Monte Carlo he played 5 matches, and three of them were the Bagel & Breadstick Special which took barely an hour to complete. That’s the real difference. In the old days Nadal’s game plan was to slowly grind everyone into the dust with a relentless barrage of error-free shots keeping you out there ad infinitum. One hour was what he would regularly consume winning just the 1st Set. Gasquet said as much in Toronto 2008 when losing that one. They spent 75 minutes getting to the tie break which Nadal won, leaving Gasquet legless for the rest of the match. But Nadal learned the hard way that when he grinds down every single opponent, his own body is grinding down each and every time.

His new strings seem to be helping his cause a lot. They’re giving him a lot more bite on his groundstrokes and definitely more power on the serve. So he’s spending a lot less time on the court within each of his matches. The 2009 SF in Madrid looks like it did a lot of damage to both Nadal & Djokovic. So the Nadal camp is probably trying to make sure nothing like that ever happens again.


thark Says:

nando is spouting profanity in spanish – he is not happy about that break – c’mon sauce get your head back!


Kimmi Says:

uurgh tennis is full of momentum swings..gasquet to get back in this match. 3 break points..and he gets it.

we are back on serve.


Daniel Says:

OMG, Verdasco like a monkey on court, just bizarre.

And this guy is suppose to be a treat in RG. Lol!


Daniel Says:

I just lost it for the guy completelly.


Kimmi Says:

hahahah the BOOOOING begins.


Daniel Says:

Verdasco uses really bad antics to get in Gasquet heads and he succeded. Very tense match.


Kimmi Says:

verdasco is mad and acting like a kid. and he breaks..hahahah. this is good!

C’mon serve it out.


Kimmi Says:

ahaa..finish this match already. 2 breakback points for gasquet


Kimmi Says:

break..gaquet back in the match


Daniel Says:

Verdasco is too nervous and gave the break back trying to hit every ball with power, he has no mental anymore just muscle reflax, I imagine how the trophy ceremony wil look like?!


Kimmi Says:

oh man! who will win this. All momentum with gasquet at the moment


Kimmi Says:

dasco hold 6-5


Kimmi Says:

tie break to finish this match..well deserve


Kimmi Says:

DF veradsco..oh no


Kimmi Says:

gasquet serving few aces in this tie break..just what the dr ordered


Kimmi Says:

so close..on serve 5-4 verdasco. C’MOOON!


Kimmi Says:

drop shot gasquet..great.

5-5


Daniel Says:

Yeah! Gasquet overcome a mentally and physical match.


Kimmi Says:

match point gasquet


Kimmi Says:

Gasquet wins it. Oh boy CONGRATS. great match.

1st title in three years. WOW!!


Duro Says:

Kimmimissimo,your Andy is facing this Richard? Oh my…


Kimmi Says:

Duro, I know. gasquet showed some great tennis and great mental fight.

Poor Andy..gasquet first round. THIS gasquet..oh boy!


Åsmund Says:

Verdasco a tough match for Nadal on clay? What are you smoking?


jane Says:

Thanks guys for your play-by-play of Gasquet/Verdasco. HUGE Congrats to Gasquet (and blah : )). Richard’s had a tough couple of years so this must feel really good for him. And so it’s hard for me not to feel happy for him; his game is a treat to watch when it’s clicking. Verdasco has had a very successful but too busy (imo) clay season – he’s sure played a lot. I wonder if this could have negative repercussions at the F.O.?

As for Gasquet vs. Murray, I feel a bit torn. I want Murray to win more, but I do like Gasquet and his game. I wish it wasn’t a first round match. It’d be nice to watch it in the quarters instead.
———————————–

Just a thought re: Fed and Rafa’s draws – it’s interesting that flat, big hitters have sometimes troubled Rafa, but traditionally not Fed. So although Fed has Cilic and Sod, I can’t see them beating him over 5 sets, unless the clay is playing very fast. Same with Wawa. The only two I’d give a shot at the upset would be Monfils and Gulbis. Both can get in the zone and are great defenders and good returners, who, in that way, could trouble Fed (since returners/defenders are more like his nemeses), if his serve drops off at any point in the match. But for both (especially over 5 sets) fitness is a question mark. And definitely focus, for Monfils.


jane Says:

Gasquet is only 23! It’s seems like he is older for some reason. There is / could be plenty of tennis left in him yet. But he if was leg cramping in the 3 set versus Verdasco, Murray probably has the upper hand w.r.t. fitness.


Kimmi Says:

jane, gasquet called the trainer yes, it did not look like cramping. the trainer was touching gasquet knee. flexing it. I don’t think it was anything major. i think gasquet also needed a breather as the match was running away from him. Actually after the trainer..he came back pretty strong.

Murray needs to attack. any defensive play will see him lose. Gasguet was attacking today on both wings..FH and BH..some nice touch on volleys too. he seem to be strong mentally as well, which has been not the case with him in the past.

If gasquet can master his mental/concentration problems, he should get back to the top quickly. he is too talented to be ranked where he is now.


Kimmi Says:

I also agree about dasco playing too much..I said this yesterday. But he was playing very well today too..though he made some costly errors at important moments. I read some of his post match quotes yesterday and he was complaining about pain in the arm..but he seem to be ok today.

lets hope he does well in paris, as they have a rest day in between matches.


jane Says:

Kimmi, at the ATP site is where I read that Gasquet had cramps, but since you actually saw the match, you’d have a better perspective. Interesting that Verdasco was trying to break down Gasquet’s backhand; I guess he figured another right and one-handed backhand, that is the way for a lefty to play against him, but Gasquet’s backhand is long known to be a weapon. It’s his forehand side that he sometimes has trouble with. If Murray focuses on that, he may have a better shot. Also, outlasting him. Tough to say.

I guess the Gonzales vs. Gasquet match at the AO, first round, 5 sets, was also a classic. And Gonza just edged him out. All this is because, as you say, Gasquet’s ranking does not reflect his talent. Gasquet apparently played a Challenger level event the week before this one and one the title, so he’s won back-to-back titles: one challenger; one ATP. Be very interesting to see what follows. He’s also played well on grass in the past reaching the semis in 2007 after taking out Roddick in a marathon 5 setter that went until sundown. But that was the year of rain delay city, and he had to turn around and play Fed in the semi the very next day, so there was no hope for him. In 2008, of course, he lost that 5 setter to Murray. The point is, if Gasquet *really* is getting it all together – mentally, physically – finally, he is a threat on every surface.


jane Says:

Oops: one s/b won in the 4th line, 2nd paragraph. Also, as most probably know, I am talking about Wimbledon w.r.t. Gasquet’s past success on grass.


jane Says:

Another correction: Gasquet lost to Youz at this year’s AO in the first round. He lost to Gonza last year there in the R32, with the 5th set going to 10-12. It was classic all the way. Gasquet often gets embroiled in these 5 set classics. Cilic seems to be like that too.


Kimmi Says:

jane, i did not know that gasquet played challenger level tourney just last week. Sometimes players do this I guess to try to sharpen their game with lower ranked players. To do this on ATP tournaments is tough. baghdatis was doing the same too. It definetly worked for gasquet then.

If ATP site said he was cramping, then it must be true. They have all the info behind the seen.

Verdasco needs to work better tactical play. Nadal is a master of it.


blah Says:

Thanks jane- title drough ended, woo. baby steps right now. Beating the number 4 seed in the first round of a slam is tough. I’ll be happy if he plays a good match against Murray and don’t choke. and stays healthy. But beating Verdasco for a clay title still gets a =) from me.


mandrake Says:

nadals draw is a bad joke


Duro Says:

Happy birthday No1-le, happy birthday No1-le, happy birthday dear No1-leeeee, happy birthday to youuuuu…


jane Says:

You’re right Duro – Happy Birthday # 23 to Nole, who is just a couple weeks behind Murray.

———————————–
blah, yes baby steps. They are better than none. And I think many many tennis fans want to see Gasquet let it fly. He’s a wonder when he does.

———————————–
Kimmi, looking forward to the F.O. – hoping for some good matches along the way, no matter who ends up the winner.


Huh Says:

I only know one thing and that’s Sod and Cilic can certainly beat Fed at RG. If Sod can beat Rafa at RG, why can’t he beat Fed? And everyone must have become aware by now that Cilic is more talented, much more composed and DANGEROUS than Monfils. And Gulbis though so far has not shown to be extremely mentally tough, but he’s certainly proved that he can cause an upset, may be even a big one! Cilic is for sure a tough nut to crack if he’s playing well. Cilic has all the potential to beat the best of guys, he surely has, he may not do it, but that doesn’t mean he can’t beat Fed over 5 sets in a slam. The saying ‘there’s a first time for everything’ is very relevant here. It’s not so much about flat-hitting or counterpunching, if one is a good/great player, as are Sod, Cilic or even Gulbis, then they can certainly beat anybody on their day. In fact Cilic is kinda dark horse in every slam for me. Cilic has actually proved that he can take down the big guys, be it Muzza/Rafa or DP. If that doesn’t make him capable of beating Fed, then I don’t know what else’d?

Monfils, I’d never say can’t beat Fed on RG, I may hesitantly say that he won’t beat Fed in WIM 10, but at RG, he’s certainly in with a chance. RG 08 semi comes to mind! Even though Fed was playing much below his level in RG 08, he still was feared by most. But Monfils showed that he’s a streaky guy and holds not too much respect for anyone, not even Fed, and that’s why he gave Fed such a scare! So add Monfils to the list too.

And then Sod…. hmmmm! In spite of being the humble/limited player that he’s, he still beat Rafa at RG! He also beat Fed at the beginning of the year. He’s shown that he’s no slouch. He’s a dangerous guy! So what leads some to not see Sod/Cilic beating Fed at RG is beyond me. ;)

And for some Fed’s draw is still not that tough, right? ;)
I would next time pray then for such a draw to be handed to your guys in the next year’s RG. Only then we’ll see.


Kimmi Says:

Yeah jane FO. TSN2 has a good schedule, live most of the time. Except tomorrow though.

happy bday djoko. Is murray before of after nole. OK, let me check. Murray bday just passed. on 15 May. Happy bday to murray too…though a little bit late.


Duro Says:

Jane, just a week, sharp! People are usually feeling best on their birthday and when the Sun enters their constellation… Hopefully Novak will feel the same from tomorrow morning! RG on the stake! Allez alleeeez…


Huh Says:

By the way, nice to see Duro and thanks to him for informing us all about Nole’s 23rd birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NOLE! :P
Hopefully he’d do quite well at this year’s RG and wouldn’t be out early. I would like to see him perform really well here. If not Fed, then I’d like this FO to go to Nole/Cilic. Hell, I’d be happy even if La Monfils wins it! But Nole and Cilic have realistic chance of doing well if they are at their best. Nole’s good playing is that much important for me this year!
SO BEST OF LUCK NOLE! :P

As Duro says,

In Novak we trust! :P


jane Says:

Huh, for me, I think Fed and Rafa handle big, flat hitters differently. Typically, Fed can handle them much more adeptly than Rafa, especially on fast surfaces where they are most dangerous, whereas Fed can have trouble with ginders, or great retrievers. That was the rationale for my comments. Do you disagree with this trend? I know you know Fed better than I, but it seems to have been the case.

Maybe now with Fed’s level dropping somewhat – though over 5 sets, he’s still the apex – that trend will change. But it’s what I’ve seen in the past.


jane Says:

BTW, I didn’t say Fed’s draw was not tough. Both Gulbis and Monfils, to my mind, could cause an upset for the reasons stated – that they are not only strong servers, BUT they are both not awed by an occasion (and Monfils would feed off the crowd) and they are both fairly good returners, Gulbis maybe even more so. And if by chance Murray can get on a roll to the semis, who knows?


Huh Says:

Mrs. Jane:

Thanks by the way for your May21 5.51 pm post. It’s always a pleasure to know that you’ve so much appreciation for Roddick. :P


jane Says:

Re: Cilic – agree with you huh that he is a threat. I just can’t seeing beating Fed, for whatever reason, especially on clay. He has not had a great clay season. On grass, however, I feel he can go deep. I can see him winning Wimbledon one day. Seriously. And I do agree with you that he is very composed – even against the big guys.


OllyK Says:

Happy birthday, Nole! :) May the health be with you! And, yes, in Novak we trust ALWAYS!!! ;) Ajde Nolee!


Huh Says:

Mrs.Jane:

Believe it or not, I’m quietly hoping for Murray to go as far as he can! Among the guys in Fed’s half, a defeat of Fed at Muzza’s hands will be the least painful followed by Sod and Cilic. I know it’d be very tough for Muzza to beat Fed at RG, but impossible is nothing, no? Not that I’d mind it much! And suppose Muzza wins the FO(which I’m totally not sure about), you can bet that I’d be the most happy person in the world, for Muzza, even more so than may be you and Mrs.Margot! ;)


jane Says:

Huh, let’s just keep our fingers crossed that Murray can go past the first round. : / But oh, how crappy that the tennis gods have made Andy M and Gasquet face off in the first round. NO FAIR!


Huh Says:

Mrs. Jane:

There may be a little difference of opinions between you and me about what type of players Fed is able to handle well, but that’s ok. :)
I think Fed handles retrievers, grinders, counterpunchers, flat hitters and aggressive, almost all type of guys with equal smoothness. Much is being made of Roger’s supposed inability to handle the grinders, this was not being raised until 2007 end when Fed was kicking the @$$ of all types of grinders, counterpunchers, retrievers etc. on non-clay surfaces. Fed lost a couple of match to guys like Simon/Murray doesn’t mean he finds them difficult to play. Fed at his best can bring down nearly everyone except Rafael Nadal on clay. Safinese/Nalbandianesque best on HC is a different matter though, even for Fed!


Huh Says:

“jane Says:
Huh, let’s just keep our fingers crossed that Murray can go past the first round. : / But oh, how crappy that the tennis gods have made Andy M and Gasquet face off in the first round. NO FAIR!”

Exactly my sentiments expressed in one of my earlier posts if you mighta seen that.


Huh Says:

It’s hard to to take such a tough decision right away, but I’ve no option but to support Muzza in the 1st round notwithstanding that Gasquet loss in the 1st round would also be vwry painful to endure as a tennis fan. Gasquet vs Muzza in the 1st rd is grave injustice. :(


Duro Says:

Ollyyyyyyyy… Always around when needed! Our champ will need as much support as possible. To be or not to be time! Allez alleeeez! I owe some details from Belgrade, didn’t forget. Find stu, Sar, and all the help you can get! Jane is already here, little rusty, but we’ll “infect” her again.

Huh, nice of you, as always! Thanks a lot, but involve some more passion for your champ! We’ll be friends afterwards! In Fed you trust, remember! See you in the finals!

Alleeez allez allez alleeeez, No1-leeee, No1-leeee…


jane Says:

Thanks for your thoughts huh. : )

Duro, I am not the rusty one, Nole is!! But let’s hope he shakes off that rust and causes some “trouble.” I wish he’d resurrect those blue shoes! What you say about birthdays is so interesting; it’s true that most people shine at those times. It’s like a renewal.


funches Says:

The Murray-Gasquet match is the most interesting first-rounder at a grand slam since they went to 32 seeds about 10 years ago.

Gasquet is more talented than Murray on clay, but his record at Roland Garros is pretty bad. I expect Murray to win a five-set classic, with Gasquet once again losing a winnable match because of a lack of self-belief. Murray could go deep if he wins this match. So could Gasquet, but his track record indicates he can lose to anyone. If Murray gets by this one, his confidence will go up dramatically, and he’s less prone to no-show performances in tournaments he cares about.


Andrew Miller Says:

Quick prediction: Roddick doesnt get out of the 1st round; Federer’s draw opens up [pre-tournament 'dark horses' get derailed early on]; Gasquet gets ‘redemption’ with a win vs. Murray in front of the home crowd, rides it for what it’s worth.

I see Ferrer hitting the semis, Federer too as the “Lendl” of the French Open (ever Warrior).

Not sure who else will make it out! Will look at the draw again.


Andrew Miller Says:

Sorry, just don’t see Roddick making it out of the 1st round. Not even sure if he “practiced” on the dirt, kind of think he spent most of the Spring with his SI wife (nothing wrong with that).


Andrew Miller Says:

Maybe Djokovic makes it to the semis. Maybe. He should, but nothing says he will.


Andrew Miller Says:

Finally, a wish-list from me: that MaKiri, FlavPanetta, Ivanovic or Aravane Rezai makes it deep at French Open. My prediction: Rezai and Pannetta might make Quarters, and I think Rezai has a shot at the Final, where she will lose to whoever’s on the other side, Henin or Serena.

Call me crazy, I think the tournament’s on Serena’s racquet. Would like to see Sharapova do well, but I dont see it.


Duro Says:

Let him resurrect his health and game first, Jane. The rest will come inevitably. I liked those too, but as long as Adi Dasler produces his shoes, every color will do. You will be a little bit rusty for me as long as you think a quarterfinals is a good result for Novak. I accept nothing less than a semis for that caliber player. If The Beast wasn’t there to wait, I would acknowledge nothing but a finals for my fave! What would be the point of being a fan of someone otherwise? The Ultimate Competitor is all I fear of (and even that only on clay). Believe, Jane, believe!!!


kamret Says:

What? So, Roddick is going to beat Ferrer on clay??? You are one funny guy, Sean Randall!


Von Says:

Roddick has got an extremely tough draw that’s crammed with clay-courters from the get go. However, I say Roddick makes it past the 3rd round. Unfortunately, he might have to play the ATP’s craziest nightmare of a player, Daniel Koellerer, (whom he faced at the USO in ’08), to deal with, and if he gets past that one, he’ll face Monaco in the 3rd round. Should be get past Monaco, it becomes even more difficult, whereby he next will face Ferrer the Spanish terrier. I’m hoping that Andy’s draw opens up and some of his tough competition gets eliminated. It’s worth mentioning that Roddick took Ferrer to 5 sets, plus, in Davis Cup in Spain, when the US played vs. Spain a couple of years ago, and had it not been for the fans who were shouting when Roddick was about to serve, which an gered him, he may have won that match. Anyway, here’s hoping…….

On another note, Verdasco’s behaviour was abominable/atrocious today. It’s amazing that the same people who condemn Roddick for his umpire tussles, overlook the disgusting cursing and other on-court histrionics indulged in by a lot of their faves, viz., those ESL players. Anyway, who said life was fair… .


Kimmi Says:

Roddick beat youzhny in an exho couple of days ago. 6-4 6-2 if I am not mistaken. So, he is been practicing alright.

If the clay at RG is as fast as last year, roddick could serve himself out to the 4th round and then anything can happen after that…


jane Says:

Duro, Djoko has never beaten Ferrer on clay. Never. And Ferrer is having one of his best years on clay. Ever. That said, I don’t think I am being “rusty” by hoping for the best (i.e., of course I’d love to see him make the semis!!) but keeping a realistic mindset and accepting that it may end at the QFs (or even before). I am expecting a OF run so he outdoes last year. Nole hasn’t done much this year to make me feel optimistic, you know? It’s about present form, health, etc. As you say, when those are resurrected, then we’ll see. I don’t know where his serve is at either.

Kimmi, you’re right about Roddick; even though we haven’t seen him play since Miami, we know he was having a stellar year up to and including then. You’re also right about the “if the clay is playing fast” comment, not to mention the fact that Roddick has played well on clay in Davis Cup matches. He took Ferrer to 5 sets at Madrid in 2008. So it’s wait and see; he’s fit and can play more defensively when the need arises plus he got to the R16 – his deepest run ever – at the French last year. I don’t know if he can top that but I wouldn’t say he can’t.


jane Says:

Oops – didn’t see Von’s post so have repeated some of what she said.


Andrew Miller Says:

Big difference for Roddick this year: he hasnt played a match on the dirt. Last year he had a Madrid run (true, it was only one tournament, but it gave him ‘match toughness’ which translated into a 2nd week at the French).

So, I respect everyone’s opinions here, and mine is that Roddick does not get out of the 1st round. I’d love for him the win the whole thing, but even Querrey and Isner have better odds and more match play!

Aint happenning IMHO.

(Neither is MaKiri making it deep, unfortunately)


Duro Says:

Dear Jane, there is no living soul on earth that Novak cannot beat on clay. Even The Ultimate Competitor. You say: “… Djoko has never beaten Ferrer on clay. Never.” So, that fact should mean he won’t ever? They played only three times on clay and you sounded like it was 14. Ferrer is tough, no doubt, but as I said, if Novak plays as he knows I don’t consider no one but Nadal as a mission impossible obstacle. I didn’t see Ferrer last year anywhere close to Novak and Rafa on any clay tournament. Novak was clearly second best clay court player last year. Rome ’08 title, Monte Carlo semis, Rome ’09 finals, Monte Carlo 09′finals, Madrid semis, Belgrade title… Where was that Ferrer of yours? He is good this year, but if Novak shows up as he’s suppose to, I will accept only semis as a good result, and even that because of the Nadal on his way. And if there’s anyone to stop Rafa, it won’t be Ferrer believe me, even if they play 49 matches. Novak might be that one.


Duro Says:

And of those three matches on clay, one was 2004 when Novak was barely 18, and the other one was Davis Cup in Spain, right after Novak’s hard court Dubai title. The only decent victory that I don’t reproach came 2007 in Monte Carlo. It simply doesn’t convince me that Ferrer is someone unbeatable for Novak. Far from that.


Andrew Miller Says:

As for Wimbledon: all i can say is I admire someone who says his goal is to win another grand slam. Not to “see what i can do” or “I take it match by match”, but “I WANT TO WIN ANOTHER SLAM” and then putting all his focus and training towards it.

No one else but Federer does that, with his goals: “Win Wimbledon’ and be “year end #1″. I bet in private Nadal does that, and publicly he says that his year is geared towards the clay.

I appreciate the honesty. Maybe Djokovic should try it, get back to his 2008 self. Where is that 2008 guy anyway.


Andrew Miller Says:

I agree with Duro. If Djokovic plays well he has chances against anyone. I really wonder if he has health issues.


jane Says:

“So, that fact should mean he won’t ever?” No. You’re right, ever-optimistic Duro; “there’s a first time for everything,” (but of course there isn’t, e.g. not everyone wins the lottery) and “never say never” and all that. : ) Based on this year’s form, not last year’s, well, you know the rest. Here’s hoping for the best.

—————————-
Andrew, it’s true Roddick’s 09 run at Madrid, where he took a set off Fed, might’ve given him added confidence heading into the F.O. 09, and I know what you’re saying about Querrey and Isner (Querrey just won Belgrade after all). But I think Roddick can beat Nieminen, and likely Schwank. It’s Monaco who could be a tough out on clay; he’s up and down in his results though, which makes the outcome hard to say.


jane Says:

Duro, basically it boils down to this – I just don’t know what to expect from Djoko at the F.O. this year; he’s almost like a wild card, he’s been so erratic. : ) With the serve troubles, the health issues, honestly, I. just. don’t. know. I am fully aware that when he is on form, he can be awesome on clay.


Daniel Says:

In the last five years the only one to beat Fed in RG was Nadal (four times), same as the only one to beat Nadal was Soderling, once.
Since Sod is in Fed’s draw we can safelly expect another final between the two in 2 weeks. It’s the safest bet.


Kimmi Says:

Duro, thats why it all depends on players form. Djoko was “arguably” the second best clay courter last year but this year there are quite a few players ahead of him so far. While ferrer is everywhere this year. Semi monte carlo, final rome, semi madrid..the best clay run of his career.

I agree that when djoko is in his best form he can beat a lot of players but I am afraid this year so far his form has been below his best.

Can he wake up and play his best tennis at RG..maybe..but all that is waiting to be seen.


Duro Says:

Of course, over-pessimistic Jane.
Of course, Kimmi.

Sometimes it’s a matter of choice. You’ll be over-pessimistic no matter what, Jane. Those arguments didn’t make you that way, they just suited your nature.


Anna Says:

I love Nole, but Ferrer has been particularly tenacious this year on clay. I think the only person who can beat him with certainty is Rafa. If Nole is well rested and “grooved” he can make it a game, otherwise Daveed will take another scalp. I don’t see anyone in Rafa’s half who can seriously threaten him, but then I don’t see anyone in Fed’s half who can threaten Rafa either. Not this year. If the clay plays like MC then Rafa will win “pretty”, if it’s more like Madrid then he and Fed will “duke it out”, but Rafa will win.


Kimmi Says:

Has ferrer ever reached a semifinal of a grand slam? i don’t think so. So a lot of people here thinks ferrer will make his first semi..OK! I will just sit back and watch…


jane Says:

Duro, blame my mom; I was raised that way. Nature, nuture? Potato, tomato?

Kimmi – Yes, Ferrer was in the semis of the USO in 2007, lost to, guess who? Djoko. In 2008, Ferrer made the Quarters of both Roland Garros (lost to Monfils) and the AO (lost to…Djoko).


Duro Says:

Over my dead body! Or you want me to seat and watch Richard kicks Andy’s … in the first round, Kimmi?
It just won’t happen. No David Ferrer can beat Novak Djokovic at Grand Slam and No Richard Gasquet can beat Andy Murray in the first round! It will only make them stronger! Ideal match-ups no matter that you all fear those.


Duro Says:

No mom can make you that way, Jane. It’s inside you. Leave your good mom out of it and feel the “forbidden” side. Takes more, gives more, but only that revives you!


Kimmi Says:

jane, thanks. I remeber now that match with Djoko on USO.

Duro..these are all predictions. I suck at predictions, you should see my ATP bracket challenge. I suck, suck..big time..

I least we can talk about gasquet and Murray. Djoko and ferrer might not even materialize. I think duro, you should worry about santiago giraldo in the second round..the guy has game..he bageled ferrero in Rome.


Andrew Miller Says:

Hey, if Ferrer or Djoko make the semi that would be great. I welcome both possibilities.

Maybe Roddick’s “no match strategy” heading into FO will work wonders. After all he made it to the 2nd week last year, and he’s in good health without damage to the serving shoulder. Besides, in Paris he’ll be spinning the serve anyhows – no reason to go for the heater on the dirt.

If injury’s the concern – maybe Roddick’s strategy beats Djoko’s here. Roddick is rested and ready to rumble, whereas Djoko’s battered and ready to…hopefully ready for something.


Duro Says:

I think Kimmi, you should worry about Puerta Mariano. He’s ranked 511th in the world and coming from Argentina. He will play your Muzza only in the video game, but you should worry anyway.


Andrew Miller Says:

Ok, here are my brackets! I dont do this much, but here goes nothing.

QF, Men’s Bracket (women I have Serena winning)

Federer
Bennetau (yep, Soderling losing to Montanes)
Gasquet
Tsonga
Ferrer
Djokovic
Almagro
Nadal

SF
Fed d. Bennetau
Gasquet d. Tsonga
Ferrer d. Djoko
Nadal d. Almagro

Fed d Gasquet
Nadal d Ferrer

And in the Final…
Federer defends his title against Nadal, who has no title to defend. Goodness.

I cant believe it, but Federer’s half of the draw gets “easier” as he gets through some ugly early round matches (against, I think, Tipsy, FeliLopez, Monfils) to a few tricky but winnable matches against Bennetau (who I have taking out Soderling) and Gasquet, who proves to himself that the French still love him as long as he stops making excuses and wins. Gasquet wins a helluva match against Baghdatis, a tough one against Isner, and an even harder one against Tsonga, who retires with back pain.

Nadal, the victim of a draw that is “too easy”, looks to avenge the loss against Federer at Wimbledon, only to lose to Andy Roddick, who takes out Federer not only because he has to, but because Federer should only get two slams a year.

Justice.


Kimmi Says:

hahahahahah duro. that made my day :)


Andrew Miller Says:

But…Nadal wins at the US Open to get the “career grand slam.” Life is still good for the Mayorcan.

I have Gulbis “out” in the 1st round, losing to Bennetau.


Duro Says:

Thanks.


Andrew Miller Says:

Von, let’s hear it for Andy Roddick’s 2010 Wimbledon title.


blah Says:

Please dont put gasquet in the semis in Fo. As of right now there’s a greater chance that Nadal loses in the first round than that happening. I have more realistic expectations of him.


skeezerweezer Says:

@Andrew Miller May 22nd, 2010 at 8:42 pm post

Nice and interesting take on the draw. I just don’t see however Gulbis losing that early which changes things…..:)

I for one like your taek though, and hope it comes true :). Problem is, I am starting to like Gulbis, so if Fed goes out, I like him as the dark horse if he stays into the second week…


funches Says:

Ferrer has been a massive choke artist at Roland Garros his entire career, and even when he doesn’t choke, he doesn’t have enough game to beat other top players when they are in peak form.

He might make the semis, but he can’t beat Djokovic if Djokovic plays well.


OllyK Says:

duroo, you are so optimistic. I am sceptic. I would love to see him in semis, and I would cheer for him with all my heart, but after reading all this articles, it doesn’t sound good to me:
http://espn.go.com/sports/tennis/notebook/_/page/Thelatestdirt05212010/roger-federer-serena-williams-faced-tough-draws

“No. 3 Novak Djokovic: Based on the way he was laboring Friday, Djokovic will be lucky to get by Evgeny Korolev in the first round. Hitting with Andy Murray on the Suzanne Lenglen court, he labored — breathing heavily and coughing up phlegm in what seemed to be the lingering effects of asthma that forced him to retire from the Serbia Open. Korolev has lost six of his past seven matches, but Djokovic looked something less than fit. He’s also got Sam Querrey and Juan Carlos Ferrero in his quarter of the draw. Ferrer or Roddick would likely await in the quarters.”

http://espn.go.com/sports/tennis/blog/_/name/bodo_peter/id/5208245/french-open-matches-rather-not-see

“No3 Novak Djokovic versus Evgeny Korolev: Djokovic has become a real mystery man. Besides, it’s gotten to the point where they have an ambulance and EMS squad standing by at all of his matches. It’s tough to be a top player when you have persistent breathing problems (which are different from but no less debilitating than choking problems). Korolev hasn’t garnered a lot of attention but the guy has a nice, clean game even if he hasn’t played all that well so far this year. This isn’t a bad choice for the shocking-upset derby.”

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/395490-2010-french-open-a-complete-preview-of-the-entire-mens-draw

“It was reported that Novak was acting sluggish and possibly injured or ill during his warm ups over the past few days, so this might not end up being the Serbian’s second major title, and he will not be helped by his opening round match.

Evgeny Korolev has been a consistent competitor in major tournaments. Victor Hanescu and Sam Querry might arise later in the tournament for Djokovic, who might not be ready to put up seven wins in 15 days.”

And here is what Nole has to say:

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/video/22052010/58/djokovic-optimistic-french-open.html

He sounds much better than in Belgrade. I hope those reporters didn’t see well. :)


Huh Says:

“kamret Says:
What? So, Roddick is going to beat Ferrer on clay??? You are one funny guy, Sean Randall!”

Nothing funny about it if you have any idea about the 2008 Davis Cup match between Ferrer-Roddick which went to 5 sets and Roddick should actually have won it. But the tennis Gods gave the victory to Ferrer. Think about it before making fun of Sean Randall.


Huh Says:

“Andrew Miller Says:
As for Wimbledon: all i can say is I admire someone who says his goal is to win another grand slam. Not to “see what i can do” or “I take it match by match”, but “I WANT TO WIN ANOTHER SLAM” and then putting all his focus and training towards it.

No one else but Federer does that, with his goals:”

Hi Andrew!

I think there’s at least one more honest guy who never sounds artificial or pretends nicety and stuff; he clearly and very honestly says that his goal is to win another slam, preferably a Wimbledon- that’s Andy Roddick. Thank God there’re guys like Fed and Rod who speak their mind in their own words instead of using mostly PR manager-manufactured statements in their press!


Huh Says:

I would love to see things happening as per May 22nd, 2010 at 8:42 pm post of Andrew, especially Fed beating Rafa to win FO and Rod beating Fed to win Wimbledon! :D :D :D

But if there’s a Nole vs Ferrer match, I’d be totally rooting for Ferrer especially coz Mrs.Jane doesn’t think Nole can beat Ferrer this year at RG. Hell, Nole at his best can actually kick the @$$ of Ferrer! I don’t know why Mrs.Jane thinks it’s that much difficult for Nole to beat Ferrer! Ferrer is a very very good and experienced clay courter, but that doesn’t mean you must talk as if Nole has no chance against Ferrer on clay! Is Nole that bad a player???!!!! Seriously… I don’t think so.

Hopefully Nole’d get better and better with each round.
A Nole-Fed final at RG could be so exciting, if that happens!


jane Says:

huh, did you see the above reports/links from OllyK?? That’s why I am skeptical. But we can only watch and see. If he does get better each round, and if he wasn’t coughing up stuff in practice, like the reporter said, then who knows. I think I am being realistic based on present form and these reports from Olly!!

“Hitting with Andy Murray on the Suzanne Lenglen court, he labored — breathing heavily and coughing up phlegm in what seemed to be the lingering effects of asthma”

Trust me – I KNOW he is an awesome player when at his best. But he just hasn’t been at his best. So, one round at a time and we’ll see. Of course I’ll cheer Nole all the way!!


OllyK Says:

jane, we are on the same page. :/ I’m thinking..if this is true, maybe he should’ve skipped RG, he doesn’t have much points to defend. But, we’ll see on Tuesday…


jane Says:

OllyK – yep, I agree. Maybe he should have skipped it and just rested up a little longer. Thanks for posting all of those links by the way. It really makes me sad but also puts things into perspective. Really, really, really want to see the Nole back to his best. : (


OllyK Says:

Jane, yes, but on the other hand..GRASS season is next. Not a good thing for someone with pollen allergy! :( I don’t know what to think. I just wish him best and hope he’ll be fully recovered very soon cause tennis is missing “Nole at his best”…


Duro Says:

Olly, Olly, you ruined my day… And where is that American Ambrosia plant growing, so I could eradicate it for ever!

And girls, no skipping Grand Slams!!! No matter what! Fight Noleeeeeeee!!! No lousy Ambrosia can stop you!

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