Murray Upset in Valencia; Roddick, Federer Basel Winners
by Sean Randall | November 3rd, 2010, 10:06 pm
  • 35 Comments

Andy Murray’s Valencia title defense ended early on Wednesday. The Scot flamed out to Juan Monaco 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in the Valencia second round.

“Juan plays very well,” Murray explained. “I know he has been injured for a while, but today he proved how much of a good player he is. He played a very good. constant game. He normally makes no mistake, and it is easy to lose against him if you are not doing your best game.”

The 23-year-old Murray’s up-and-down season continued with the loss. Murray had just won Shanghai a few weeks ago and now he suffers his earliest exit at a tournament since April. He’ll have Paris next week, then a week off before the all-important London event.

Fernando Verdasco also fell in Valencia, losing to Gilles Simon 6-1, 6-3. I said last week that Verdasco has played a lot of tennis in 2010 and this fall it’s really showing. The Spaniard, who desperately needs to put up a big result next week in Paris to have any chance for London, has just one match win since the US Open. I think the guy needs to ease back on the schedule next year.

Moving to Basel, Andy Roddick picked up an excellent win over Sam Querrey 7-5, 7-6(6).

“I thought it was a really good match both ways, I thought it was good tennis, good points,” said Roddick who had suffered a thigh injury in Shanghai. “I had to work; the second set tie-break was very hard. It was a very high level in terms of both guys getting a lot of first serves in; the unforced errors were pretty low. So I’m very pleased with how I played and the outcome.”

Roddick now faces another dangerous test Thursday in Andrei Golubev.

Roger Federer was also a winner thrashing Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-4 to move into the Friday quarterfinals. The Swiss favorite is joined in the last eight by the intriguing and oft-injured Robin Haase who upset John Isner in three sets. I love Haase’s game, I just wish he could stay healthy.

Like Verdasco, Tomas Berdych also stumbled today losing meekly to lucky loser Tobias Kampke 6-4, 6-1. Since his runner-up at Wimbledon, Berdych has no tournament SFs in nine events and he’s a dreadful 0-6 against Top 35 players. The Czech will have his chance in London to get back in the win column, but his newfound confidence he had in the spring and early summer has to be shot.

How quickly things change in tennis.

THURSDAY BASEL SCHEDULE

CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
D Nalbandian (ARG) vs [6] M Cilic (CRO)
Not Before 4:00 PM
R Gasquet (FRA) vs [LL] T Kamke (GER)
Not Before 6:00 PM
[4] A Roddick (USA) vs A Golubev (KAZ)
Not Before 8:00 PM
[Q] J Nieminen (FIN) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs J Isner (USA) / S Querrey (USA)

VALENCIA THURSDAY SCHEDULE

AGORA start 1:00 pm
J Chela (ARG) vs [6] N Davydenko (RUS)
D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) vs [2] R Soderling (SWE)
[Q] T Gabashvili (RUS) vs [4] D Ferrer (ESP)
Not Before 8:00 PM
[8] G Monfils (FRA) vs S Wawrinka (SUI)
[1] L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) vs W Moodie (RSA) / D Norman (BEL)


Also Check Out:
ATP London Race (20 Oct 14): Murray Moves Ahead; Federer Looks To Close No. 1 Gap In Basel
Federer, Del Potro Advance to Basel Semifinals; Ferrer Dominates In Valencia
Federer Seeks Sixth Basel Title Sunday Against Del Potro; Ferrer In Valencia Final
Federer Needs Three To Advances In Basel; Upsets Continue In Valencia As Isner Gets Chopped Down
Roddick Tries To Foil Federer In Basel; Querrey Upsets Tsonga, Faces Del Potro In Valencia

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35 Comments for Murray Upset in Valencia; Roddick, Federer Basel Winners

margot Says:

In interview, Andy blames lack of match preparation due to Jamie’s wedding. Some commentators say he looked “tired.” Andy’s confidence on court is so linked with how he feels physically that, if that’s not right, he gets down on himself very quickly, and in consequence, match goes down drain equally quickly. Of course he’s got to finding strategies to deal with this and, just perhaps, this is the area where a new coach would be most helpful.
So, onward and upward…I know “Pollyanna” …..


Kimberly Says:

Davydenko won! Cilic doing well so far now too!!!

Some good matches today.


Vulcan Says:

“Andy’s confidence on court is so linked with how he feels”

Yep, maybe it’s because Murray’s game relies so heavily on the mental/tactical part and being able to outthink/outwit his opponents – if the mental energy isn’t there he is pretty much dead in the water – once the frustration sets in it becomes a turkey shoot.


Kimberly Says:

cilic nalbandian going to deciding set.

Prediction: Nalbandian for me but who knows. neither of these guys has been a model of consistency.


jane Says:

Nalby has the break and hold to start the third set.


jane Says:

Steps finishes with a bagel; he’s up next for Fed. Also, Soda is cruising; he has a good shot at the Valencia title, but I believe Ferrer is tough for him.


Colin Says:

Did you see the picture of the Murray brothers at the wedding, both sporting kilts?
Jamie’s lady is quite a stunner. I’d seen her with him in the crowd at one or two of Andy’s matches, on TV, and guessed she was some Latin nationality. Colombian is quite exotic, to us Brits.


jane Says:

Pardon my interruption if your post was addressed specifically to margot, Colin, but margot and I both discussed the kilt photo last week; Murray (both of them) looked great!


jane Says:

This Kamke fella, wow. He’s got some chops. Good match between him and Gasquet so far.


madmax Says:

margot, catch 22 for Andy I think for Valencia – He had to go to his brother’s wedding, hence the lack of preparation. He was best man after all. Now he can get back to the practice courts which I am sure he will and start afresh for paris.


jane Says:

The Murray brothers won in doubles at Valencia, and are now in the semifinals. Silver-lining. :)


margot Says:

jane: it was all a cunning plan to help Jamie get some points ;)


midsun Says:

I think Monaco’s Thailand vacation with Rafa, and all the practicing he’s done with him have paid off.


jane Says:

Nole had a tough time with Nieminen, a tricky player. But he’s through, phew! :)


jane Says:

margot, must’ve been. ;)


Kimmi Says:

allez la monf! go all the way buddy..

ok, out of my 4 “in the trunk” guys..another one bites the dust. i can forgive cilic though as nalby is a tough cooky. at least he was able to serve out for the match this time, way to go nalby..

crunch time in basel..some tough matches tomorrow.
namely nalby vs roddick and reshard vs troicky

never underestimate sexy stepanek..go roger


bstevens Says:

Interesting Nalbandian and Roddick matchup tomorrow. You would think that Nalbandian return of serve would neutralize Roddick’s serve. But I think that Roddick can stay longer in points than he could in 2003 when they met in their famous US Open semi.


Kimmi Says:

jane – you are right about nieminen being tricky. i followed the scoreboard in the first set and sure djoko had to fight out those 4 break points..

that is why he is a champion..the moment he got his opportunity he took it.

tough second set..all the way to the tie breaker. this is the kind of the match that could go either way..top players normally wins these matches because they know how to win big points.

next for djoko is haase. how is haase doing? since that match with rafa at wimbledon he has kind of gone away. good to see him doing well here, great win over isner. i remember watching him with rafa, he has a big serve.


Kimmi Says:

nalbandian vs roddick is a tough one. if roddick can be steady (as he always is) he could win it, with the big serve..will be tough to break. nalby sometimes can be too aggressive = too many errors. hopes he plays well…

i read nalby wants to get back to top 10 next year. i think he can. with the way some of the top 10 guys struggling, he could overtake them sooner or later unless they wake up…


i am it Says:

I was able to catch up a couple of matches today Let me quickly scan my impressions of them and give a sort of preview of Basel and Valencia quarters:

I like the way Roddick played today, his movement was good and was constructing points craftily and was quick to move in to finish a point. Contrary to the previous round, A-Rod had easier time dispatching Goluvev, a player who has been hot and is fast-rising in ranking.

Considering how unreliable his serve can be, Nalby served lights out and that allowed him to construct his points without sweating. Plus, he has matchup advantage over Cilic who played just OK, except understandably he looked really sloppy at the net, inside the baseline, with low balls, and at handling Nalby’s on-the-rise returns.

Without ifs, you cannot really talk about Nalby. If average A-Rod and average Nalby show up, A-Rod will have a meeting with Fed. If both show up the way they were able to perform today, it is 50-50. Should one even try to predict Nalby’s match?

I liked the way Niemenin was making Djoko earn every point. Having beaten Djoko in the last encounter (’09 Sydney), the friendly Finn believed he could do it and showed for the 4th time he could take down the Serb. Had he not wasted his 2 BPs )the nerve) in the 9th game of the 1st set, he probably would not have been broken in love to lose the set in the 10th game. And in the tie breaker, he had a double set points but nerve crept in again and he losr next 4 points to lose the match. Kudos to his aggression and power shots from behind the baseline, not many dare, and making a match. One could hastily say Djoko was mostly hanging in there but the fact is both players produced a lot of good shots and quality rallies. Sure Djoko missed quite a few from both wings, mostly FH. Even with less than perfect game, Djoko should reach the final, thanks to the favorable draw. If he gets to play Fed in the final, he will have to play at a much higher level. So far the tile is Fed’s. He is looking crisp.
(On a side note, Troicki got walkover from PHM and will play Gasquet for a semi spot).

I did not get to watch Valencia at all today, so I don’t know the status of Monfils, Sod, or Ferrer. On paper, the winner is supposed to emerge from the bottom half. The top half does not look that promising to me: Davydenko, Simon, and Monaco (I did watch Simon and Monaco’s matches yesterday). I like Monaco as a person, if not as a player, but don’t know who I want see in the final. Let Le Monf the hottest animal rise.


bstevens Says:

Top 10 aspirations are not new for Nalbandian. If I remember correctly, he was once ranked #3 in 2006. He also has respectable head-to-head records against Nadal, Federer, and Murray. By far the most talented active player never to have won a slam.


i am it Says:

Kimberly and others,
In my preliminary assessment, of course I checked the stats, points to defend, etc, the current eight players in the ATP’s list of “Race” to the year-end championship is not likely to change except in a very tough condition like Verdasco, Melzer or Youzhny wins Paris title, which will oust Ferrer (or Roddick).


Kimmi Says:

thanks for that summary i am it, didnt see the matches…


i am it Says:

Tomorrow’s hottest match goes to Roddick vs. Nalby. A-Rod leads 3-2 in H2H. Even though Nalby won the last two, because they met last time back in 2006 (Shanghai YEC), the H2H does not count much. Like Kimmi noted, A-Rod is not just a steadier player but a top 3 steadiest, so, yeah, if you are a betting kind, go for A-Rod.


NELTA Says:

Youzhny probably won’t qualify. He injured his back and is losing 300 points this week because he was in the Valencia final last year. He will need a QF or semi in Paris and poor play from some of the other contenders.

I don’t think Verdasco is going to make it either. His play has been lackluster. He is going to lose some points this week because he made the semi of Valencia last year. He will probably have to make the QF or better in Paris to qualify.

Ferrer is playing consistent tennis right now. He will net points in Valencia and didn’t play Paris last year so his point total can only go up. I like him for the 7 or 8 spot.

Roddick is in good position to qualify because he didn’t play Basel or Paris last year. He is in the QF of Basel right now beating some good players along the way so he appears to be fully recovered from injury. I like him for the 7 or 8 spot.

Davydenko has a chance, but he needs to get to the final in Valencia to move up the points ladder. He lost in the semis last year. Then he will probably need to get to the QF or better in Paris to qualify.

Berdych isn’t playing well, but even if he loses in the 1st round of Paris he will probably still qualify unless most of the contenders I’ve mentioned have excellent results in Paris. It’s more likely that one or more will lose early in Paris which will allow Berdych to clinch.


Kimberly Says:

Nelta, thanks for the summary. I agree with your picks. I would like to see roddick and ferrer. Berdych not so much but I believe it will happen.

So tomorrow my predictions are
Fed
Roddick
Novak
Troicki

Valencia
Monaco
Simon
Soderling
Ferrer

Defintely agree winner should come from the bottom half.


i am it Says:

NELTA,
We are on the same page, mostly. Could you double-check on Davydenko’s status because my math shows he will not get more than 2885 points even if he wins both Valencia and Paris, please? Thank you.


Kimmi Says:

in valencia, i will put la monf there, just because i love him and he is been hot. beating wawa in easy straight sets is not an easy task. go la monf!


NELTA Says:

I am it,

You’re right about Davy.


NELTA Says:

Ferrer could leap frog Berdych in the race if he gets to the final of Valencia. To do that he will have to beat Starace and then the winner of Soda/Monfils.


jane Says:

Thanks for all the stats NELTA, and also to i am it, for your summaries/opinions on the matches.

Agree that Roddick is the steadier player than Nalby, which gives him an edge – unless Nalby plays lights out, which he can do sometimes, which makes guessing tough! But mainly when he’s met a higher ranked player in matches this year (Murray, Djoko, and Simon come to mind) Nalby has lost, so definitely the edge to Andy.

Kimmi, I thought Djoko played a good tiebreak and showed his champ’s mentality in that indeed; even when he got down a point, twice after getting up a mini break, he faced Niemenen down and held his own – not playing safe but not over-playing either – “controlled aggression”. I thought Nole played well, but his first serve percentage was low for the match, (it was 53% in the first set); thus Jarrko could take advantage on some of the second serves. Some nice variety from both guys, though – enjoyed what I saw. Today I watched only Gasquet and Kamke (first set) and Nole and Nieminen (most of first set, and second half of second set). Too busy for more. Hopefully can catch some of the great matches on tap for tomorrow.


jane Says:

i am it said re: Nieminen “he had a double set points but nerve crept in again and he losr next 4 points to lose the match” – Nole had lost 4 points to Jarkko, but he played great from this point in order to win, imo. He was down two set points, but he overcame the first set point on an amazing return!! I don’t think Jarrko could even believe that that serve came back. Then Nole put in a very solid serve, which Jarko returned too long, and by this point he’d pulled even, and then earned match point on his next serve. I thought Jarkko really made Nole work to earn the win, but he did it in the end. I agree he’ll have to play better to win. Who knows? Haase took out Isner, so we’ll see. And then it could be Troicki, who’s on a roll, or Gasquet, who looked good today. If Nole makes the final, hopefully he’ll be ready to make it a good match.


i am it Says:

Jane,
Good to hear that, esp. from a self-proclaimed pessimist. Let me admit mine looks gloomy partly because I was viewing the match through a pair of prosthetic lens comprised of Djoko’s potentiality to become number 1 one day and his day-to-day strengths and weaknesses (I was constantly noting searching those and xeroxing them throughout the match). In short, I have always overexpected him and still makes me sad to see him underperform because I believe he has more but the question that trailed along was, “When is he going to? Is it going to be too late if he has to wait for Rafa’s “decline” like Rafa had to for Fed’s, etc.?” And of course, my vision must have been further muddied by other inchoate imperceptible thoughts, thoughts that could probably be best described as, to put in a metaphor from physics, neurological dark matter. I think yours seems to come from more neutral stance, closer to the present, and free of historical consideration, history more in a Foucault’s sense. I am glad that you did not have to resort to your routines and chores to rein in on your touchy heart’s pump (pardon me for this mis-characterization). Glad you enjoyed the match the way it was supposed to be.


jane Says:

Lol, i am it – nice post. :) I like that you have high expectations for him. That’s awesome; I am still hoping too. And yeah, for the moment, anyhow, my house is a mess. Although Haase’s serve makes me think of sweeping up a little bit. He hits the ball really hard.

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Rankings
ATP - Oct 20 WTA - Oct 20
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Na Li
6 Tomas Berdych6 Agnieszka Radwanska
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