Soderling v. Del Potro in Heavyweight Estoril Battle; Djokovic Eyes No. 28
by Sean Randall | April 29th, 2011
  • 98 Comments

In maybe the most interesting match of this young clay season, tomorrow in Estoril we’ll see two tennis bullies Robin Soderling and Juan Martin Del Potro go toe-to-toe in the quarterfinals.

After a sluggish clay debut – his first match on the dirt since 2009 – Delpo found his grove smashing Alejandro Falla 6-2, 6-1 yesterday. And now the big Argentine meets two-time French Open finalist Soderling in the QFs Friday.

Soderling also struggled needing three sets to beat Jeremy Chardy 6-1, 6-7, 6-1 on Wednesday. Robin began the year in blistering form winning 18 of his first 19 matches, but since is just 3-3 and he’ll have a heap of points to defend in a month at Roland Garros. And amazingly, it’s Delpo who has more wins (22) than Soderling (21) this season.

Head-to-head, Delpo also leads 3-1 winning their last three including a Miami victory in March. It should be a great matchup. As for a pick, hard to say but I think Soderling gets through. Delpo has to still be a little “green” on the clay and I think Robin really needs a big win like this to get him back on track for Paris.

Someone who’s been on track all season is Novak Djokovic. The Serb will bid for his 28th straight win (26th of 2011) Friday against Blaz Kavcic.

And in Munich, a couple of good ones with Nikolay Davydenko against Marin Cilic and Grigor Dmitrov will try for his first ATP semifinal against German Florian Mayer.

Back in Estoril, floundering Fernando Verdasco is in a must-win against Kevin Anderson and new star Milos Raonic continues his impressive maiden clay season against Gilles Simon. And I give the Canadian a real chance in that one and it wouldn’t be surprised if he gets through.

The way Raonic is playing and improving it’s not far-fetched to suggest that he’ll have a Slam title on his resume by the end of 2012. Maybe sooner?

FRIDAY ESTORIL SCHEDULE

CENTRAL start 10:30 am
K Barrois (GER) vs J Larsson (SWE) – WTA
A Medina Garrigues (ESP) vs M Niculescu (ROU) – WTA

Not Before 2:00 PM
[1] R Soderling (SWE) vs [8] J Del Potro (ARG) – ATP

Not Before 4:00 PM
[7] K Anderson (RSA) vs [2] F Verdasco (ESP) – ATP

CENTRALITO start 12:30 pm
P Cuevas (URU) vs [6] T Bellucci (BRA) – ATP
[1] R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) vs [3] E Butorac (USA) / J Rojer (AHO) – ATP

Not Before 4:00 PM
[5] M Raonic (CAN) vs [4] G Simon (FRA) – ATP

FRIDAY BELGRADE SCHEDULE

CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
F Lopez (ESP) vs [4] A Montanes (ESP)

Not Before 2:00 PM
F Volandri (ITA) vs M Granollers (ESP)

Not Before 4:00 PM
S Devvarman (IND) vs [7] J Tipsarevic (SRB)

Not Before 8:00 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs B Kavcic (SLO)


Also Check Out:
Del Potro Withdraws From Estoril
Roger Federer Putting in the Not So ‘Hard Yards’ in Estoril
Del Potro Into Estoril Final Against Verdasco; Djokovic Gets Walkover in Belgrade
Djokovic Begins Clay Season, Has He Cooled Off? Del Potro Wins in Estoril
Defending Champ Juan Martin Del Potro Goes On A Bike Tour In Estoril [Video]

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98 Comments for Soderling v. Del Potro in Heavyweight Estoril Battle; Djokovic Eyes No. 28

dari Says:

Hope its a great match with delpo and sod!


margot Says:

Delboy’s looked much better so far.


funches Says:

If Raonic wins a slam by the end of 2012, I’ll eat my hat.

He’s a darn good player, but not a great player.


jane Says:

I think the rain delay will help Delpo, as Soda was building some momentum in this match, and now they get a break. Hmmm….


grendel Says:

Didn’t see it, but the scoreline (7-6,3-6,6-4) suggests Dimitrov gave Mayer a good run for his money. Talented, if apparently moody, player Mayer. He gave Djokovic a decent battle quite recently. So I suspect the Dimitrov camp will be quietly satisfied with their man’s progress.


The fighter Says:

Check this article out:

Is Nadal’s dominance boring by Peter Bodo

Dear Rafa:

Hi. At first, I wasn’t at all sure that I ought to write this letter. For most people, that gut feeling is enough to make them put down the old pen, so to speak, and maybe get on the Stairmaster for half an hour, or go Ajax the plates around the light switches. Not me! I’m averse to exercise and cleanliness and when I get an idea in my head I like to let it rip. You might be surprised to learn how much fun it is to celebrate birthdays, important holidays and home-team Super Bowl victories in the company of your goldfish.

So the particular idea in my head at this moment is that you should hang up the sticks now, before this Madrid tournament starts, and just kick back and smell the roses. You’ve achieved more already on clay than any man before you, including Bjorn Borg. Let me go warm up this coffee and I’ll explain.Okay. We get it, Rafa. You’re good on clay. Really good. So how many times do you really need to win Monte Carlo … Barcelona … Madrid … Paris? Seven (Monte Carlos)? Six (Barcelona)? Five (Roland Garros; sure its a so-so number, but then it’s a Grand Slam event and 99.9 percent of your peers never even get a sniff of a final). Enough already!

I can anticipate your answer: “The true is, is not about the tournaments.”

Okay, so it’s about the competition, about the challenge to see just how good you can be. It’s about the adrenalin rush, and the ecstasy of victory and the agony of defeat, blah blah blah. But I’ve noticed that the only guys who go around claiming that it’s about the ecstacy and agony have no freakin’ idea about the “agony” part. They never experience it! I’m talking guys like you, Michael Jordan, prelapsarian Tiger Woods, Joe Montana …
Oh yeah, it really, really hurt to lose to Robin Soderling in the fourth-round of the French in 2009 when your knees felt like rusty hinges on a barn door. Nothing will ever make that little “1″ on your career record at Roland Garros (38-1) go away, will it? (I need a little more coffee here.)

Where were we? Oh, yeah, cry me a river, Rafa, but what about your friends and countrymen, like that little dude David Ferrer whom you took to the woodshed in the last two tournaments? Hello, agony! Hello, defeat!

Does it ever occur to you that while you’re biting the trophy, they’re contemplating swallowing cyanide? These are people you grew up with, Jet Boy. People you like. You are to clay-court tennis tournaments what a wolf is to a pen of sheep and don’t think they don’t notice. Don’t for a minute imagine they’re standing there on the awards podium, holding their dinky little runner-up trophies and thinking, as they watch you hoist and lock your fangs on your big shiny one: That ecstacy of victory looks kind of overrated to me … I’ll take the agony of defeat anytime! Or even, Those are some guns on that Rafa.

They’re thinking, I wonder if that Tonya Harding girl’s phone number is listed?’m here to tell you, Rafa, that Da-veed, No. 5 in the world and one of the best clay-court players of this era, isn’t all that jazzed about having lost in your last 10 consecutive meetings on clay. And you know what? Were it not for you—man, what is this, decaf? Hang on.
Were it not for you, Mr. Guns ‘R Us, Roger Federer would probably be closing on 20 Grand Slam titles. With you in the picture, he’s Oh-for-three-in-Grand Slam-clay-court-finals-also-featuring-Rafael Nadal. With you in the picture, he has to keep fielding embarrassing questions about that weird quote from Mats Wilander, you know, the one about “How can he be the greatest of all time if there’s a guy in his own time who he can’t beat?” Up until around 2007, everybody—including probably the great man himself—thought you’d be kind of cute playing Robin to Roger’s Batman. But you know what? You’re not Robin, Mr. Pirate Pants. You’re … Clayface!

Well, anyway … I’m wondering, if it’s not the tournaments, nor the competition (WHAT COMPETITION?????) … sorry … what else could it be?

Surely it’s not the money. You come from Spain, where apparently everybody has plenty of money even though few people seem to have jobs. (You have one, I’ll give you that, although at this time of year it’s about as demanding as being from Pittsburgh and drinking beer for a living.)

Can it be the ego thing? I mean, do you get some kind of sick thrill out of all those pictures of you throwing a vicious upper-cut while simultaneously mimicking a knee-shot to the groin? What do you do at home, photo-shop images of your enemies faces into those iconic photos? And where might those enemies come from—certainly they can’t be in tennis. Did some kid steal your lunch money in grade school? Give you wedgies that have left you kind of paranoid about them for life? You’re just like Ivan Lendl, another pretty good clay court player, but with nobody around to play the part of John McEnroe.

This may sound a little bit like I’m criticizing you, or have some kind of hater hat on. But really, I’m telling you for your own good. People are starting to talk. Sure, they pay lip service to the idea of perfection, but they sure get tired of it quickly. Often, they end up hating it. And the way you’re going to town here on this clay-court tour, people are beginning to say you’re … boring. That maybe watching you destroy people is still fun only in a vaguely sadistic kind of way. They’re starting to see you as Johnny Carson with a revolving cast of Ed McMahons.omes to playing on clay you might consider the wisdom of Nancy Reagan, who advised many of us to “Just Say No.”
And if you don’t want to do this for yourself, think about your image. (Imagine overhearing this: Did you see—that poor boy Nadal got his clock cleaned on grass by Donald Young. He’s not very good but you gotta love how hard he fights and he looks like such a nice young man!) And if you don’t care about that, do it for us. And if you don’t do it for yourself, your image, or us, do it for the ATP.

Did you see how last week, while you were beating up on an assortment of ATP stiffs, the WTA popped two freshly-baked champions out of the oven? That gorgeous Julia Goerges girl won in Stuttgart in front of her countrymen and women (there’s no truth to the rumor that certain people wanted to celebrate by immediately marching on Warsaw). What a story! And in mysterious and exotic Fez, a 31-year-old Italian woman with a one-handed backhand named Alberta Brianti won her first WTA title (what did they do, clone that Schiavone girl?). Now, those were juicy stories.

You know what we say in journalism, Clayface? “Dog Bites Man” is not a news story. “Man Bites Dog,” now there’s news—and a story.

Sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but you’ve become just another rottweiller taking a chunk out of the mailman’s butt. You need to reinvent yourself, and stepping away from the clay would be a good start.

Your Faithful Friend,

Pete


jane Says:

^ Strange article! I can’t tell if it’s disparaging or not, but I am inclined to think so. Rottweiller, wedgies, “clayface” … hmmm.


Polo Says:

I think this article by Peter Bodo is really a high praise to Nadal. It is a tribute to Nadal’s greatness.


jane Says:

^ Well, as I said, I couldn’t tell. Is it a backhanded compliment? Playful praise? Disparaging praise? Or what? Obviously he means Nadal is unbeatable on clay, which would seem complimentary, but it’s just the ironic style that makes it a little slippery.


dari Says:

For what its worth, I would have written the letter same way except for maybe the last paragraph. Winning is not ever trite. I get the idea though.
Looks like delpo came through! Way To go, JMdP!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Saw only the start of the Del Po match, but he has to be considered a giant killer for roland garros, still several weeks and we know this big man does nothing but improve.

Raonic holding steady with Simon, that’s great. A Slam in 2012? Its not far fetched considering he’s playing at a top ten level (beating Fish and Verdasco) in his first few months playing tour events. So if he’s at that level now, by summer I’d wager he’ll be at Ferrer/ Soderling level. If he does that, yeah, he’ll be a legit slam contender by 2012. Only problem for him is that that tier is getting more, not less crowded.


The fighter Says:

i cud nt make up my mond either abt the article


The fighter Says:

sry mind


Kimmi Says:

definetly the rain saved delpo in that second set. wat to go!

close match for grigor! its a pity he got broken early in the final set. mayer is a tough player too..

so, some guys will play two matches tomorrow?


jane Says:

I was hoping Soda would get a set Kimmi, just to see what Delpo would come up with if pushed into a third set. He needs to go these longer ones on clay, or he will need to do so eventually anyhow. What about him for Wimbledon, seems he’d be a force on grass! Same with Milos.

I am not sure, but I am assuming the winner of Hotsauce/Anderson, and Simon/Raonic will have to play two matches??


grendel Says:

The Peter Bodo article is clearly an attempt at satire. He is mocking those who, for various reasons, can’t abide Nadal’s continuing success story – and he’s basically trying to show them up as self-contradictory bad sports.

Whether he is justified in this, I don’t exactly know – but probably, yes.


tfouto Says:

yes:

http://www.estorilopen.net/Schedules/OOP.aspx

altough i dont know if there will be possible to play all games tomorrow. Lots of rain here near Estoril…


grendel Says:

Raonic continues to surprise – to be even stevens with Simon on clay seems remarkable, although I have heard it suggested that clay doesn’t really suit Simon’s style. He needs a faster court, such people say. I don’t really understand that; he does have a terrific ability to inject startling changes of pace – could this be the point people are making, is it less easy to do this on clay than on hard?

Meanwhile, I should have thought Raonic will make huge waves at Wimbledon. Can’t see why del Potro shouldn’t, but keep remembering how helpless he looked against Hewitt on the grass. Perhaps he has learnt quite a bit since then.


M Says:

I like your take on it, Grendel.

The weather is really messing with people, isn’t it?


Kimmi Says:

jane – i want delpo to win as easy as possible. cuevas tomorrow, hope cueva is done on causing major upsets. go delpo.

i see nole easy peasy to the semi. most seeded players got knocked out early…only tisparevic who meets nole tomorrow. i think it could be a good match….maybe not!


Kimmi Says:

I remember that match against hewitt grendel..something to do with the low bounce on grass…needs to see him play again, i am not convinced he will do well there..


Kimmi Says:

did u know delpo has beaten two top 10 players so far since his return. Soderling and soderling lol


margot Says:

kimmi lol!
Am impressed with Deliciano, so far he has knocked out 3 “clay court specialists” am wondering if that’s now a bit of a defunct term? He’s on really good form but don’t think he’ll dent this Nole.
Was also busy being impressed by Tipsarevic…until I saw him serving for the match (against Devarman) Yikes, what a melt down! Perhaps this is why he doesn’t have a higher rank?
Dimitrov is coming along nicely. Just needs a bit more crunch practise. Also, tends to camp out on the baseline, shame cos when he approaches the net, he’s very, very good.
Dimitrov, Raonic, Sweeting, Tomic, the future one suspects. Anyone else anyone’s watching?


margot Says:

jane: if u can be bothered, very interesting discussion on the monarchy on Murray’s World. A range of opinion from WHOOPEE to WTF! BTW am not “Joe” ;)


El Flaco Says:

The Madrid draw is out. If Meelosh beats F-Lo then he will play Fed. As usual there are a lot of good early round matches in these masters events.

http://www.madridopen.info/cuadros/atps.pdf


Kimmi Says:

margot – tipsarevic, no way he is beating the nole.
Yap, impressed with F-Lo too..he gets voladri in the semi..great chance to reach the final.

davydenko just hurt the ankle. noooo! davy, not another injury! trainer comes to the court, few stretches, pain killer and some rapping up..can he still play to win this? go davy!


Kimmi Says:

interesting draw for madrid. delpo so close to meet rafa early too..


Kimmi Says:

milos and simon going to third set…


Kimmi Says:

milos breaks..now hold pls!


Kimmi Says:

meanwhile davy not doing too bad, a set and an early break in the second. too many errors from stepanek on big points


Kimmi Says:

another break! ok, bye bye sexy step


Kimmi Says:

aargh! milos gave the break right back..back on serve again. c’mon!


Kimmi Says:

ha ha milos breaks again. surely he is finishing this match now..c’mon!


Kimmi Says:

hold milos hold


Kimmi Says:

milos hold. 5-2. one more game then we are done.


Kimmi Says:

milos hold for 5-2. one more game then we are done.


Kimmi Says:

mmm, stepanek retired. i didnt know he has the injury. davy is the one with ankle injury..

Anyways, congrats to davydenko for his second final this year…mayer will be very tough though!


Kimmi Says:

match point for milos..break him milos!


Kimmi Says:

looks like milos ha to serve it out to win. simon still fighting


margot Says:

kimmi: oh no, what do we do with davy in the draw now :( He was showing good form too.
Deliciano gets a pop at Nole. Should be interesting, took a set off him in Dubai. Just saw match though, and he had loads of UEs. New Nole doesn’t make them any more.


Kimmi Says:

now serve it out milos. first point is important

15-15 go milos
15-30 not good. needs to be strong here
30-30 yap, two more


Kimmi Says:

milos match point on his own serve now. one more!

oh nooooo! DUECE

C’mon canuck!


Kimmi Says:

YES! another match point

and he wins. Great win milos. I think he has another match today. who does he play. Hot sauce??

margot – i think davy looks ok. no sign of the injury. he is in the final after all. he is good to go a little further in madrid, don’t you think?


margot Says:

Well played Raonic, he’s really going places!


Kimmi Says:

Yes! milos plays hot sauce next. ha-ha, funny! I think hot sauce will be ready to show milos how to play tennis????


margot Says:

kimmi, have we got to do draw b4 final 2morrow? tricky if yes.


Kimmi Says:

I think so margot. I have 24 hrs left to make picks.


Kimmi Says:

delpo up a break against cuevas. cuevas making a lot of errors at the mo.

aaah, more rain in estoril. play suspended AGAIN! hope the rain does not take away delpo concentration.


margot Says:

Kimmi boo rain. Saw a bit of Cuevas and he has the game to beat Delpot but can he execute it?


Kimmi Says:

did tipsarevic withdraw? tennistv is showing the next match is f-lo vs djokovic on sunday.


margot Says:

yes, tipsy got an old injury recurring. Probably out of Madrid.


margot Says:

Delpotro cruising now or should I say crushing?


jane Says:

I can’t believe Tipsy withdrew: disappointing and maybe not good news for Nole. Based on his last match, he was not match grooved. Maybe F-Lo breaks the streak?

But wooooooooot Milos! Too bad they may have to play semis & finals on the same day. That happened once before, I think, with Blake…and cannot remember, maybe Verdasco?

margot, will check out Murray’s World ;)


Kimberly Says:

shows how your fav colors your opinion

Madrid draw out,

I said Rafa had a brutal draw with possibly Baggy, Delpo, Meltzer and Fed.

My husband says Baggy, Delpo, Meltzer and Fed have the brutal draw in that they have Rafa.


jane Says:

^lol Kimberly: suppose I should look at that.

I don’t know why but watching most one-handed backhands (like Cuevas’ right now) makes me nervous! It seems like there is less margin for error on them. They are lovely when they’re firing though, like Gasquet’s, Fed’s and Wawa’s.


funches Says:

Jane,

It was Blake and Montanes two years ago. Blake beat Davydenko in a long three-set semifinal, then won the first set against Montanes and had two match points in the second set before losing in a tiebreak and tanking the third set, losing 6-0.

It would have been Blake’s only title in the last four years.


dari Says:

Thanks for the heads up that the draw is out!
I think I’ve used up my fed picks since I’ve picked him for eberything, including Monte Carlo!
Time for a change,.even though this was his best clay bet. Silly me!
Alright must find time today, is this another one of those small entry time windows?


Kimmi Says:

ah delpo making errors on all break point. c’mon


jane Says:

That’s right funches: drag for Blake. Montanes is good on Estoril clay; I am sure he got a win over Fed there too. But what I can’t figure is this: if James did so well on clay, why isn’t he here now, playing?

Delpo’s forehand is looking monstrous at times in this match!


dari Says:

You can prob scratch baggy off that tough draw list for Rafa, but Melzer took him to tie break at FO last hear, we all know who delpo is, though I’ve get to watch him on clay, fed- dunno know. Depends on which fed shows up.
Let’s go roger in madrid!
Let’s see if this jinx theory can pan out ;)


Kimmi Says:

SHOT! delpo!

break him pls..


jane Says:

Cuevas is wearing a rosary! Nor just a cross, but a rosary, like he’s going to start saying “Hail Mary’s” or something? ;) Don’t think it will work versus Delpo.


Kimmi Says:

not playing these break points well delpo..c’mon


Kimmi Says:

ha-ha i saw that jane.

delpo, break here pls


contador Says:

when bodo wrote that i think he was at least half-crocked. lol…

he’s laughing. what else? he’s tired of nadal winning everything on clay but there’s nothing to do about it. bodo must feel like i do that rafa will keep on winning right through grass season. the days of being a bad sport about it are over. wave a white flag, bow, and surrender to the #1 spaniard’s domination and wait until nole or someone rescues the atp clay season (grass too?) from bondage.

meanwhile, i haven’t kept up with tennis this week so i don’t feel too good about picking for madrid bracket – except the winner is pretty much a given. who will he play in the final?

so many questions about players – even having trouble picking ferrer. he was looking like the walking wounded by that barcelona final. back to back beatdowns leaves no room to imagine he’ll take another one. if he does, he should be given a special trophy.

digressing from tennis but here’s something for royal wedding burn-out: “the other boys” st andrews …

http://mashable.com/2011/04/29/royal-wedding-parodies/#JAlnM7RUDcA


Kimmi Says:

9 break point wet away this set..wake up delpo


jane Says:

Of course am biased, but Nole and Murray’s half doesn’t look like a breeze either: Nole’s got Ferrer, Ferrero, Anderson (right out of the gates), Monantes, etc; Murray has Ljub or Simon right away, then la Monf, Berdy, Davy… If that Nole vs Murray semi is to happen, which I hope, they both have to be on their games!


dari Says:

Ok, then where are the fed fans saying he has a tough draw?! Hehe. I’d have to take a look again to say that.
But guys, it could be true that all our faves have a tough draw. seemed that way to me at first glanxe with fjrst and second rounds looking TOUGH straight away!


Kimberly Says:

I think objectively the top half is tougher than the bottom
Nadal
Fed
Soderling
Delpo
Hot Sauce
Almagro
Meltzer
I’m not even counting people like Roddick.

But this is my opinion.


jane Says:

Delpo will win the tiebreak; Cuevas has made no dent in his service games this set.


Kimmi Says:

Ok delpo! lets do it


jane Says:

Sounds tough Kimberly: I just looked at Murray and Nole’s half, lol.

Lost all the feeds for this match….grrrrrr.


Kimmi Says:

cueva with a mini break. great backhand down the line. go delpo


Kimmi Says:

this tie breaker very close


contador Says:

ferrer could be burned out, ferrero rusty, murray’s elbow? it’s tough to pick, i tell ya. except rafa.

raonic – verdasco semi-final estoril! but i have no livestreams.

haha pablo c. wearing a full-on rosary? might be helping i see by livescore. vamos delpo!


Kimmi Says:

aah bad error frm delpo. cuevas with set point


Kimmi Says:

fortunately cuevas can’t hold on these mini breaks.

ok delpo, stop messing around and win it


Kimmi Says:

match point delpo..on his own serve


Kimmi Says:

yay! game st match delpo!

good luck to meelosh next…wont watch that one


dari Says:

Whew, thanks for the play by play kimmi, I still haven’t seen a delpo match!
Must watch final then. Congrats to delpo getting to final on first clay tourney!


contador Says:

yay! delpo is going to win estoril i think! didn’t somebody here predict it. who was it?!


jane Says:

Rafa likely to face Delpo, then Melzer, all before the semis – his draw could be tough, were he not Rafa and were this not clay, :)

Fed could face Milos or Deliciano immediately – not an easy first rounder! None of the top four have easy first rounders, unless Baggy loses to a quallie, and then maybe Rafa does have it good. Or if Nole faces Gulbis it could be easy, but you never know with Gulbis; he could decide to compete that day, lol! Murray with Simon or Ljub ain’t easy – esp. if the elbow is still an issue, but hope not!!


funches Says:

Jane,

Blake isn’t ranked high enough to get in. He would have had to go through qualifying.

Instead, he is playing on clay in the Sarasota Challenger and is through to the semis. He beat Donald Young on Thursday, avenging a loss to Young in another challenger two weeks ago.

When you’re out of the top 100, it’s much easier to build your ranking by playing challengers than tour events. Blake has earned more computer points for reaching the semis in Sarasota than he would for making the second round in Estoril, where he could have drawn, say, del Potro in the first round.


contador Says:

anyone have a working livestream for estoril?


dari Says:

“his draw could be tough, were he not Rafa and were this not clay”
Way to put it Jane! No need to worry Rafa fans!


jane Says:

I said I couldn’t see anyone stopping him, but I didn’t “predict” it. : /. I agree. Delpo will win. The other guys are at a disadvantage with the double match situation. But i can’t see them beating him anyhow. It’s Delpo’s.

Not sure about Nole and Deliciano, as his lefty serve is tough and he is playing well, whereas Nole looked average versus Kavcic y’day imo.

Munich it’s Mayer vs. Davy… Not sure what’ll happen there as haven’t seen the players / form.


jane Says:

funches, “Blake isn’t ranked high enough to get in. He would have had to go through qualifying.” seriously?! Qualifying for Estoril? Isn’t it a 250? Anyhow what you say about boosting rankings via the challengers makes sense. Hope Blake can win in Sarasota. Who are his potential, erm, challengers? I think I read that Dancevic was playing there this week… Will look it up.


grendel Says:

Well, Raonic and Lopez both hot at the moment – enticing first round. Federer to play the winner. My default position is always to want Federer to win – and yet if Raonic wins, he faces Verdasco should the Spaniard have come through. That’s an interesting prospect. Wobbly mind, here.

So Mayer gets a relatively easy passage into the final – that puts into perspective Dimitrov’s close battle with him. And doubtless the Dimitrov camp will have taken note.


Kimmi Says:

if meelosh beat hot sauce today, hot sauce should crawl in the rabbit hole


Kimmi Says:

poor federer..i dont even know what he can do! everyone is tough


jane Says:

grendel, “yet if Raonic wins, he faces Verdasco should the Spaniard have come through. That’s an interesting prospect.” You do realize Milos and Hotsauce are playing right now, for a spot in the Estoril final, yes?


contador Says:

sheesh i wish i could WATCH this estoril semifinal.

verdasco promised milos a claycourt leasson, didn’t he? ; )

but i agree if verdasco loses this match in estoril he’s so toast.

dasco has a set point


contador Says:

what? livescore says raonic just retired!! oh no….hope it’s nothing too serious..


dari Says:

Ah! Verdasco wins by raonic retirement!
Wonder what happened?!


jane Says:

Anyone know why Milos retied? Anyhow, gives hotsauce a slightly better chance to compete in the final tomorrow, but I still think it’s Delpo’s to lose…


contador Says:

having a very tough time making any picks, Kimberly. this is really a ‘hail mary’ bracket.

your guy is going to win but who rafa plays in the final? f-lo can’t break nole’s winning streak in belgrade. f-lo isn’t a typical clay courter anyway. but maybe the clay in belgrade isn’t typical clay? i think a spaniard will break djoko’s streak, but can’t decide if that would be ferrer in madrid ( nole has never won yet vs ferrer on clay ) or it will be nadal? think i’m picking djoko over ferrer. has to be a first time for everything.

melzer over gasquet. revenge for that IW win.

if i go through with this madrid bracket, maybe the best is picking an all spanish theme right down guessing spanish qualifiers possibly in the main draw. ( again, we won’t know which qualies go where. )

although it’s tough picking almagro over kei, let alone having the courage to pick nico over mr. dimples.

yeah, with all due respect to colin05, i can’t pick verdasco over federer….no way. feddy to the semi’s!

Kimberly, i’m not optimistic but i won’t wimp out on the bracket challenge. i filled it out. : )


grendel Says:

I didn’t realise, actually, until I saw Raonic had to retire. Too many tourneys on at the mo for my ickle brain to process…still, it may be the case that Raonic and Verdasco meet next week – if so, let’s hope the match is uninterrupted. In the meantime, has any player ever had such an auspicious start to his career on the clay? All the more remarkable when presumably noone actually imagined Raonic would do much more than show up.


scineram Says:

Do want Delpo to beat Fernando, then Rafael in Madrid. Dying to see it.

Insanely tough draw.

Top story: Nadal Suffers Early Knock Out; Federer v Djokovic Saturday; Monte Carlo SFs Picks And Pans
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ATP - Apr 14 WTA - Apr 14
1 Rafael Nadal1 Serena Williams
2 Novak Djokovic2 Na Li
3 Stanislas Wawrinka3 Agnieszka Radwanska
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6 David Ferrer6 Petra Kvitova
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