Nadal, Djokovic Favorites in the Altitude of Madrid; Can Former Winner Federer Be a Factor?
by Sean Randall | April 30th, 2011
  • 153 Comments

Forget Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal, the new rivalry we want to see is Novak Djokovic against Nadal, especially on clay.

Djokovic roughed up Rafa twice this year at Indian Wells and Miami, but Nadal could get the Serb in a rematch on his favorite clay surface and in Spain.

And based on the draw I do think we’ll get that showdown a week from tomorrow next Sunday at the Magic Box in Madrid.

Nadal’s draw is pretty good (can Rafa really have a “tough” clay draw?). Rafa could open with Marcos Baghdatis then face Juan Martin Del Potro. Delpo, who seems to be close to form on the clay, begins with Mikhail Youhzny and then possibly Marin Cilic. It’s a tough haul but I think Delpo, despite maybe having some fatigue from Estoril gets through. Still, I like Nadal to beat Jurgen Melzer in the quarterfinals and reach the last four. Andy Roddick is also in the section and the American has a great draw with a qualifier and then either fast-court players Sam Querrey or Michael Llodra. But I think Melzer gets him.

In the second quarter is where we find Mr. Federer, and that means if the Swiss can get through he’ll meet Rafa in the semifinals. Federer, though, could be tested very early by Milos Raonic in the second round, assuming the Canadian’s back is that okay. Federer then could run into Fernando Verdasco followed by the Robin Soderling-Nicolas Almagro winner. I like Almagro but the Spaniard plays JW Tsonga in his opener. Overall, it’s a deep section with Almagro and Verdasco who should both feed off the Spanish energy (or gag). Right now, I think Almagro comes out over the two-time winner Federer.

Andy Murray and his bad elbow are in the third quarter. But I think Tomas Berdych is the class of the section. Berdych will have to deal with Nikolay Davydenko in the second round then Gael Monfils before Murray. If Murray’s healthy he should get through Gilles Simon and then Viktor Troicki, but for some reason I’m going to go with Berdych.

In the Djokovic section, the Serb should ease through to a quarterfinal date with David Ferrer. Djokovic has Ernests Gulbis, then maybe Stan Wawrinka before the Ferrer clash. It’s too bad Ferrer landed in that section as opposed to Murray’s because the Spaniard has been the second best clay player this season. That said, Djokovic has too much firepower and should get to the semifinals.

So in the semifinals, I have Nadal v. Almagro, Berdych v. Djokovic. And the winner, I’ll pick Nadal over Djokovic in the final though that match at altitude could very, very easily go Novak’s way.

Among the many good first round matches include that Almagro v. Tsonga, John Isner v. Mardy Fish, Querrey v. Lopez, Ljubicic v. Simon, Delpo v. Llodra and Monfils v. Karlovic.

Overall, it’s too bad Delpo landed with Nadal and as I said Ferrer with Djokovic as either guy I think would be favorites in other quarters. I’d also like to see a healthy Raonic play Federer is a very wide open section.

Roddick, who makes his 2011 clay debut, also has a really nice draw and with his defensive “clay” game I wouldn’t be surprised to see him reach the fourth round and play Nadal.

Matches begin tomorrow with Tsonga v. Almagro the highlight. The women’s draw, which began today, is also loaded with Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic.

The women’s QF by seeding are Wozniacki v. Stosur, Azarenka v. Jankovic, Li v. Schiavone and Sharapova v. Zvonareva.

Tennis Channel will start there coverage (I hope) on Monday.


Also Check Out:
Nadal Blames Altitude for Shoddy Play, Federer Dumps Tsonga, Gets Gasquet in Rome
Rafael Nadal Is Still Mad About Madrid’s Blue Clay, But At Least His Knee Is “Perfect”
Some Players Support The Blue Clay Tennis Courts In Madrid
Novak Djokovic: Madrid’s Altitude Helps The Big Servers And Aggressive Players
Rafael Nadal: I’m Not Happy How I Played the Madrid Final [Video]

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153 Comments for Nadal, Djokovic Favorites in the Altitude of Madrid; Can Former Winner Federer Be a Factor?

Little Wing Says:

I really think that prediction articles should only be written from quaterfinals onwards so we can use a players form based on the early rounds. What happens when you have early round upsets, they can totally throw the predicted outcome.

Anyhow, Del Potro poses the biggest threat to RAfa reaching the final. From what I’ve seen from Del Potro in Estoril, he’s looking very dangerous and if RAfa doesn’t play well he will be beaten by DelPo.


stu Says:

Tough draw for Novak IMO. I’m not sure I see him getting as far as Sean does…


contador Says:

hm, interesting predictions…thank-you, sean. i still have time to change my picks and follow your guesses.

Little Wing – these prediction articles are great for those of us trying to pick for the ATP bracket challenge. it’s not easy to try and guess the early rounds upsets, you are so right! those upsets completely wreck a bracket. but that’s the fun of it, really.

the top spaniards i doubt the most in madrid, anyway, are verdasco and almagro.

after last clay season and his start to this one, i don’t believe there are threats to rafa. if someone is a threat, i’ll believe it when i see it. delpo isn’t up to the task yet imo. and i imagine if nole gets to the final, rafa will be all too happy to end the world #2′s winning streak : (

quarters i picked: nadal v melzer, federer v almagro, berdych v murray, and djoko v ferrer

semis: the dreaded fedal and murry v nole. *fingers crossed for murray’s elbow being healthy*

final: nadal v nole ( 3 sets ) let’s make it a competitive final, please!


jamie Says:

Nadal will win, I’m sure. He took Nole to 3 sets at both IW and Miami which are HC and is Nole’s best surface by far. On clay, which is Nadal’s best surface he will win in 2 or 3 sets.


Kimmi Says:

exactly my pick from the quarters onwards contador.
I think those will be the obvious pick for a lot of people.
i have a feeling somebody else will sneak in to the qtr though! who, that is the big question.. maybe dolgo but he has not impressed recently.

If delo draw was anywhere else, he would have been the one..aargh, maybe i should pick delpo to upset the bull..


Kimmi Says:

no jane. it is federer to win this i am afraid :)


Kimberly Says:

Sean you are making a very big asssumption to say Novak will play Gulbis. What on earth makes you think Gulbis could possibly make it past Kevin Anderson? Based on his recent form I don’t think he could make it past ColinO5.


Kimmi Says:

Should be …delpo!


Kimberly Says:

I just wrote a long post and accidentally lost it.

I’m rooting for Rafa, although if he’s going to go down on clay Madrid is the most likely place to do it. However, he’s my fav so I am going to pick him to win!!!!

If Rafa is going to go out before the final Delpo would be the one to do it. But I wouldn’t wreck my draw on it and I don’t want it to happen so I will put him through.

Ferrer has no chance against Novak in my opinion, nor does Murray. Nadal is the only one who can take him out and even that is not certain.


Kimmi Says:

ooops, it is jamie not jane.


Kimberly Says:

i have

nadal-meltzer
Fed-almagro
Berdych-Murray
Nole-Ferrer

FEDAL-
Berdych v. Nole

Rafanole=Rafa 6-2 7-6


grendel Says:

Contador:”delpo isn’t up to the task yet imo.” [i.e. of beating Nadal].

You have this scenario: if delpo beats Nadal in Madrid, then he’s got no chance at RG, since Nadal will make sure to take his revenge. On the other hand, if Nadal beats delpo in Madrid, then delpo has no chance at RG since he will be demoralised, and Nadal’s confidence will be higher than ever.

It follows that delpo’s only chance of getting the w against Nadal is at Madrid. However, Nadal will either be aware of this logic or it will have been pointed out to him. Therefore he will make a special effort to ensure he’s not caught napping at Madrid.

It therefore follows that whatever happens and however you spin the tale, delpo cannot beat Nadal at either Madrid or RG – or, in fact, according to this schema, anywhere else on clay.

Silly though the above is, there is a germ of truth in it. And that is because Nadal greatly respects delpo.

Conclusion: the way to beat Nadal is to ensure he has no respect for you. Trouble is, if he has no respect for you, you probably aren’t any good.

So that way out of the loop is denied.

Scratches his head.


Kimmi Says:

grendel – ha ha soo true.


Anna Says:

Could Delpo beat Rafa after 9 consecutive days of matches on clay. Maybe the euphoria from the win in Estoril will give him super human strength, but that’s a pretty big ask I think.


dari Says:

I think you’ve got it figured out, grendel!
I don’t remember my draw, but I made it about as anti-fed as I could. Even AKB, big Rafa fan, picked fed further than i did.
All of that aside, let’s go ROG!
and Vamos delpo, get that title!


jane Says:

grendel, funny true post.

Guess I should have a go at those picks, or can I leave it till tomorrow. Hockey about to start and listening to Ramones to kill time…quickly. Beer helps too. Only drink beer during hockey for some reason, sometimes in summer too. But not generally my thing.

Maybe this is precisely the time to make my picks? “Lobotomy!”


contador Says:

delpo is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t, grendel…lol…

it’s safe to say no one respectable or not will catch rafa off guard, unless someone opens a bag of tricks on a scale never seen before in tennis. i like to think federer could pull this off. if federer all this time was feigning those losses and he really does have another gear on clay; plus he comes out with a surprise 2 handed backhand. but he wouldn’t waste such a revelation in madrid or rome, he’d be saving it for the French Open. in my dreams…

i can’t see delpo beating rafa this clay season. as many of us have said, maybe novak djokovic has a shot…we will soon see.

or i’d like to imagine murray might be the “sleeper.”

it’s true Kimmi. i think i’ve done the most conservative picking yet for the quarters through winner. but i can’t resist choosing a bunch of losers in the early rounds. this time i think half i picked are “unkown qualifier.” ollie rochus, debakker, or maybe a couple of spaniards with hyphenated names are going to come through and win a match in the main draw but we don’t get to know where they match-up before the bracket closes. last 2 draws i picked no qualifiers and spent time at the bottom for it. :/


Kimmi Says:

I just changed my pick to djoko winning everything. only 15% picked djoko. the rest picked rafa ofcourse.

Time to cheer for djoko all the way :)


Kimberly Says:

Colin05 was going to take verdasco to win it all, we saw zero percent had picked that and kaiser opened up the head to head for him v rafa. Then he changed his mind. He also had fish beating ferrer but then he remembered ferrer was just in two finals and changed it on his own.


dari Says:

Kimmi- in my mind I did the same thing, changing to novak. I said “its one thing to KNOW that Rafa is gonna win, but to actually pick him?!!!” Luckily I’m in the car and can’t do nothing about it now!
Fastest I ever picked, and no changes. Hope my harsh gut pays off!


rogerafa Says:

Nadal and Djokovic are likely to comfortably reach the final. Djokovic has the best opportunity of beating Nadal on clay in the fast conditions in Madrid but only if Nadal does not play close to his best. Djokovic’s streak would almost certainly have been broken in Monte Carlo but he was smart enough to skip it to keep his streak going since Belgrade was always going to be a stroll in the park. He also avoided a potentially grueling encounter early in the clay season against Nadal. Madrid gives him his best shot at Nadal on clay and he is likely to do very well at Rome too. With some luck, he may end up breaking Mcenroe’s record.


contador Says:

i don’t know if i’d go with the percentages every time ( but i am going with the percentage this time, except for the unkown qualifiers i can’t resist picking) dumb and dumber…

the largest percent i see picked gulbis over anderson…not overwhelmingly but i am surprised. i’m not falling into that gulbis snare again. plus, he only wins if i don’t pick him. i’m giving him a chance this way…

hard to tell about federer, Kimberly and colin05. verdasco could beat federer or federer could go out before he gets to verdasco.

really the only one i’m sure about is rafa. i think if nole gets to the final and faces rafa, it will be very important to rafa to beat nole. he couldn’t do it on hc in their last 2 meetings and rafa will not lose that match…more likely djokovic will go out earlier…that’s my gut feeling. but my head says keep djokovic in to the final. if i drink another glass of wine, jane…who knows what this bracket will look like!


Kimberly Says:

i took fed to the semis.

colinO5 went to bed leaving 16 time GS champ losing to verdasco. Again he is quite smug with his great picks that he is going to get “lots and lots of points” and lots of people “gonna write me notes”

Soderling has a violent draw, dolgo, almagro, federer, nadal, djokovic to win potentially. Yikes. But now that I think of it, Soderling generally gets a brutal draw. He just doesn’t have any hardcore fans on this website to complain about it. I frankly cant imagine one much worse.


jane Says:

Kimberly, awww so cute about your son. I have been meaning to mention, for Rafa fans, that Elle magazine, US version, March edition, had a feature on Rafa. It may not be too late to get your hands on a copy. :)

conty, still haven’t looked at the picks, will do it later after hockey. Feel unsure about Nole. Was kind of hoping to see his Final tomorrow and then decide… But I guess I will just wing it. Probably go for a bunch a Spaniards, Fedal, and AndNole. ;)


Eric Says:

Sorry, love Djokovic, but how is there any Rafa-Nole “rivalry” on clay? Djokovic has never won a match against him on clay, and Nadal has won nearly 85% of their sets. Sure, he can be a threat to an off Nadal, but a Rafa at 100%? I’ll believe it when I see it.

Federer has only 2 out of 12 clay matches against Rafa (infinity more than Nole), but he’s won twice as many sets, and while I am too lazy to rack up the game scores, he’s definitely way more competitive against the big guy than Djokovic is (more tbs, etc).

Federer has been to the Madrid final the past two years, I think he can still put up a better fight in the semis than Rafa will be getting in the final. Just my two cents.


WTF Says:

Did something happen to Rome? Isn’t there meant to be THREE Masters 1000 events on clay?


skeezerweezer Says:

^ Hope not….3 is too much, I vote for zero. How about THREE Masters 1000 events on grass?


killerc Says:

baaahh hummmbug… bring on grass tennis already!!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Wow, so exciting, just look at that draw! Roger’s quarter is brutal.
Nole getting Ferrer in the quarters should be great drama. The DelPo Rafa match, though, is the one I am most eagerly anticipating.
Look, if DelPo can manage Soderling, and IF he manages Verdasco tomorrow, then he is in the absolute elite on clay. OK, the 2nd tier elite, since Rafa is an elite on his own. But DelPo will be at the level of Ferrer, Nole and Fed. So he’s got a shot. Ordinarily, one might think that would work in Fed’s favour, since Rafa might have to give too much too soon. But if you look at Fed’s row to hoe, he’s going to have half his limbs bit off by the time he gets to Rafa. The good matches may come too early on that side of the draw.

Personally, I believe the stories of the year so far are Nole, DelPo, and Raonic. By the end of next month we may be adding Rafa, but right now thats it.

Can’t wait to see how those stories go next week!


jane Says:

Delpo’s best shot may be at the faster Madrid event. But it is tough to bet against Nadal on clay! But that could be an upset. And Ferrer could potentially get Nole too. Draw is loaded on all fronts. With Raonic’s back hurting and F-Lo’s fine form of final run in Serbia, I am going with Deliciano to meet Fed right off in Madrid. Which means the Fed vs Raonic match I would love to see is delayed longer. : / Maybe grass, the two shall meet?


GM Says:

2009 Madrid Final, I think the Djoker had several match points against Nadal, Rafa pulled it out after 4 hrs (one of the longest Masters series matches). Nadal was bagged the next day and Fed took him out in straights.

The Magic Box is a clay court that due to altitude almost plays like a hard court. Preparation-wise for the players, it was a terrible lead up to RG (Nadal is on record as strongly disliking it). Which could be one of the reasons it has now switched places on the schedule with Rome.

Djokovic and Nadal have had some titanic matches on clay the past few years, and next Sunday could be another.


WTF Says:

skeezerweezer Says:

“^ Hope not….3 is too much, I vote for zero. How about THREE Masters 1000 events on grass?”

It isn’t possible. There are only two weeks between the end of the French Open and the beginning of Wimbledon. You can’t insert 3 events into there, and if you could, you’d be asking players to play 7 weeks straight.

The only way this can happen is if Wimbledon got pushed back, and that is absolutely not going to happen.

Grass tennis is dying. Accept it. If Wimbledon weren’t traditionists, they would have converted to hard courts long ago. Grass is irrelevant now.


Colin Says:

WTF, the sport is called LAWN tennis, you know!


scineram Says:

Well, I picked the Giant to bring down the hammer on the Bull. A man can dream. Not in the run for the prizes anyway.

It has been thirty years now that grass is dying. Looks quite a slow death to me.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Sure you could, you’re assumption comes without dumping some the zillion Clay court tourneys out there and moving the FO back, creating some room. Anyways, there is no way Wimby will ever die, it is one of the sacred foundations of the game. One of the unique qualities of the game is the varied surfaces. History has proven that.


tfouto Says:

Rome is one week after Madrid. Good time here in Estoril, Oeiras. Hope it stays that way…


Kimmi Says:

what is wrong with wawrinka? he is losing badly at the moment


Kimmi Says:

verdasco cant hold serve yet. delpo cruising! keep going delpo


Kimmi Says:

ah vintage delpo!


Kimmi Says:

wawrinka destroying my bracket


Kimmi Says:

ha-ha verdasco went straight to delpo on an easy put away shot. delpo said thank you. early break in the second


Kimmi Says:

verdasco not happy about everything. even when he wins a point he complains! tough day at the office..


Kimmi Says:

davy about to win in munich. go day!! too many matches to keep track. djoko still on serve with F-Lo


Kimmi Says:

dasco starting to unleash FH. concentrate delpo


Kimmi Says:

Congrats to DAVYDENKO!

delpo serving for the match. verdasco is awful! too many errors. cant keep more that three shots on the court..

go delpo, finish him!


Kimmi Says:

delpo double faults to give verdaso a break point.

big winner frm delp …duece!


Kimmi Says:

wow! hot sauce hit some few winner to get him self a break point.

but too ambitious shot..makes error..duece


Kimmi Says:

delpo too nervous to finish this. c’mon


Kimmi Says:

YAY! delpo finish it. Congrats for his second title.

Go get them in madrid!


steve-o Says:

Del Potro wins!


dari Says:

Yay for delpo and davydenko!
Just checking scores on phone, but felo giving novak a fight it looks like!


tfouto Says:

delpo played well, but verdasco was afwul…


Kimmi Says:

verdaso was overpowered most of the time. could not set up to bring his best game. delpo was too good for him..

f-lo and novak going toe to toe


tfouto Says:

delpo will be inside top 30 tomorrow… nice…

Wawrinka is on a verge of going out. Anyone watching the game?


contador Says:

oh no, Kimmi. looks like you picked wawa to win 2 matches too. should have stayed with the spaniard like i had in the first place :(


Kimmi Says:

that means seeded for french open tfouto. no one want to play delpo too early


tfouto Says:

yes kimmi. altough if it wasn’t on Estoril he should manage to grab the points on Madrid or even Rome. But good he managed to do it now.


Kimmi Says:

i know contador, coulda, shoulda. don’t know what is happening to wawa. he lost in the first round now two or three tournaments in a row. confidence issues i guess?

belgrade match suspended. looks like rain everywhere! nole better win here. I have him winning madrid too! oh boy!!


contador Says:

yay delpo and davy for winning trophies today!

go nole!! ( he has me worried. i have no stream and wonder if djoko is sick or injured? why so tough taking that 1st set?)


Kimmi Says:

the rain must have saved nole. he break right after the rain delay


tfouto Says:

rain on Belgrade isn’t good to Djokovic fitness before entering Madrid.


jane Says:

I checked Wawa’s H2H with G-Lo. Changed it two times. Stuck with Wawa in the end.

Nole is playing badly, and he just slipped, & had a bad fall on wet clay – it has been raining there today. It is amazing he got that first set: F-Lo played better, EXCEPT for in the tiebreak.

Congrats to Davy & Delpo. Hesitated at the Rafa vs. Delpo pick too. Couldn’t decide. Put Rafa through in the end. Also put Nole deep but I am having serious doubts about that after watching tis match. Knew it would be tough for Nole as F-Lo took at 6-2 set off Nole in Dubai. I think people are picking Nole to do well on clay because of his hard court success. But I don’t know. We’ll see.

Too noisy between points in Serbia. Turn it down people :)


jane Says:

Nole at 33% first serves, but F-Lo is making lots of errors.


margot Says:

Although Nole is not playing well, he’s still winning! That’s what it takes :) Court’s dangerous isn’t it?


Kimmi Says:

what matters is winning ugly when not playing well. looks like this is what nole is doing


jane Says:

F-Lo doesn’t play thoughtfully or patiently enough. It costs him in the end; he has had the game to beat Nole today. But that point for deuce was a good one. He defended well and waited for Nole to make the error, which he did slipping on the line.


jane Says:

F-Lo is 0 for 7 in converting break chances, whereas Nole has converted 1 of 3 chances. Nole better hope he serves better in Madrid. The rest of his game looks not too bad, though. So of his usual gob-smacking defense in this second set.

Kimmi was the other title Delpo won Delray, right? So now Delray and Estoril…maybe he is ready for a bigger one!

The picture of Davy on the ATP site is funny; he looks almost shocked to have won.


Kimmi Says:

congrats to nole. the streak is still intact. great play f-lo.

yes jane, it was delray..he beat tipsa there. i hope delpo wins the big one soon.

first thing first. needs to dismantle the bull in madrid.


jane Says:

margot, the picture of the Madrid Gala at the ATP site is worth a look: Murray looks super tall next to Fed and Rafa, and very dapper in his suit. :)

Well, Nole keeps the streak going a little longer. Has lept over Lendl. But J-Mac record is out of his reach imo. Congrats, though, on the title. He looks relieved. ha ha.


margot Says:

Well played Nole :) A couple of astonishing points must’ve had quite a demoralising effect on Lopez :) Will have to his raise game in Madrid though. Will be aching tomorrow, I guess,court was horrid :(
Shame about Lopez, had loads of chances but couldn’t take ‘em. What a blooming waste of a special talent :(


margot Says:

Oooer jane, will be off now to have an ogle…;)


margot Says:

Gosh jane, he does look tall doesn’t he? Taller than Fed and much taller than Rafa. Perhaps it’s his hair ;)


Kimmi Says:

fed and nadal have been listed with the same height. rafa seem to be standing behind roger and murray i think in this pic.
murray is listed taller than both though…by two inches.


dari Says:

Good looking out Jane, those are some nice pics. Andy looks great, minus the very top and very bottom. Wish he woulda done something with the hair and tailored the pants. Unless that’s some look I’m not aware of.
Cannot deny that he is tall :) Rog has never been that tall, just average. I thought Rafa was a little taller than fed? Well anyway, Andy is a big guy, and remember the bicep flexing days?!


jane Says:

The hair, yes. Still wild man hair: could be good omen for Madrid margot.

Shame F-Lo has to run into Fed so early in Madrid. He really played well in Serbia and it would be nice to see him build on that. Of course he has to beat Raonic first and Feliciano isn’t the best returner. He has never been too successful on clay, so this is nice for him. Anyhow maybe it will translate into a better performance on grass; he is good on grass.


dari Says:

He doesn’t have to cut it, but he has a lot of options with longish curly hair! Maybe a sleek look for the gala. Haha, Nah. Then it wouldn’t be andYM!


margot Says:

Gr8 pics on MW too. Nah, dari love wild man look!
Go Andy xxxxxxxxxx


grendel Says:

Kimmi, dunno if you saw this write up of Dimitrov ‘gainst Mayer:
” The Bulgarian had all the chances with more total points won, more breaks, more aces but eventually it was Mayer who reached the success. In the first set Dimitrov was leading 6-5 and had a break-point and chance to win the set but Mayer succeeded to save and bring the set to a tie-break. Dimitrov was leading 3-1 in the tie-break but it was Mayer who won it with 7-4. In the second set Mayer was leading 2-0 but Dimitrov succeeded to win 6 of the next 7 games to take the set 6-3. Grigor allowed Mayer to break his game in the beginning of the third set and until the end of the set could not break in his turn. This way he lost the set 4-6 and the match.”

Very tantalising! The good news, I think, is that it looks like Dimitrov sort of had the measure of Mayer (a very good player and delightful to watch imo), but Mayer’s experience in the tight moments saw him through. As Dimitrov gains experience, he is bound to handle the critical moments better. ‘ts all looking good. He’s playing at a challenger in Prague tomorrow, 2nd seed to Chardy.

http://eurosport.yahoo.com/01052011/58/murray-feeling-great-madrid-masters.html.

If Murray plays as well as he talks, his fans are in for a treat this coming week….


jane Says:

I actually wish I’d've picked Murray to the final. Could very well be a Murray vs Delpo final with Murray winning, and I thought of that when making picks, but went with Rafaole in the end, since all the talk pointed me in that direction. But maybe Delpo will beat Rafa and maybe Ferrer will get Nole, and then Murray will beat Ferrer and get to the finals? Very plausible scenario when you think about it!


tfouto Says:

well, Almagro is out already so he can’t beat Federer :)

Dolgo also out… i was expecting more of him… even if he clay is not his best surface…


dari Says:

I think draw challenge should be mandatory for all tennisx posters if you visit the site more than…x times per week.
3, 5?
Everyone must join fun!


tfouto Says:

where’s the draw challenge?


dari Says:

http://challenge.atpworldtour.com/atp/home

It’s too late for Madrid but you should join for rome next week! Register then join group tennisx :)
Kimberly made the group, she can answer more question


stu Says:

I missed the date for the draw challenge again :(


contador Says:

aaaaack!

almagro. what a dumb pick to take to the quarterfinal!! LOL!

can’t believe i fell for him. i mean, it’s clay, it’s spain, he just made the top 10…brain was doing all the convincing even though my gut said, “tsonga!”

and dolgo on a losing streak. when will i get a bracket point. *crying* but colin05 has 2 points. that will put him at the top of the bracket i think, Kimberly. : )

grendel – grigor did very well against mayer, i thought.

murray has the right atitude!


dari Says:

You gotta get in and get out on these co-ed masters draws, stuey!
Less than 24 hours, the last few.
Rome may be different


contador Says:

ah so. that’s why the closed so soon. it’s co-ed.

still i don’t know why they have to close an atp draw hours before the start of the 1st round matches.

i wouldn’t have mattered. the mistakes i’ve made so far have nothing to do with where the qualifiers will get placed. ; )

i’ll get to see that damage tomorrow. at least i see roddick has flavio cipolla! i think roddick has a good chance. go roddick! win one or two, please?


jane Says:

Hoping Monaco saves an otherwise crap first day on my bracket!


contador Says:

monaco, win your match please, buddy…we losers on the day need a point. golubev appears to be toast.

yay! saved me from zero, monaco.


dari Says:

I’m not sure if that’s the only reason why- just the Sunday start that comes with co-ed tourneys.
Though i dont recall being so rushed on IW draw.


jane Says:

margot, saw Murrays World photos… Nice! :)


contador Says:

no, we weren’t rushed for IW and i don’t think we were for miami.

i thought it was a time zone thing, but that’s not it either. there was an atp first round match directly after the last qualifying match this morning…that’s it. so, why can’t they wait and start all the atp 1st rounds on monday after the qualifiers are placed? who knows. obviously whoever schedules the matches doesn’t play the bracket challenge, lol…

get your picks in for rome as soon as the draw opens!


tfouto Says:

thanks dari…


Kimmi Says:

sh**t all my pick lost..

thanks for that grendel. thats the way it goes with close matches. needs to win the big points. everyone who loses these matches says the same thing “i had chances”. heard the likes for federer, nadal, djokovic, murray say the same thing.

he should not despair, it was a good experience.

he should play the tour level tournaments more. stop the challenger, it is misleading him!


dari Says:

Yeah, contador they are putting atp main draw matches on Sunday before they qualies are over. Not sure why, when IW and Miami managed the schedule just fine, leaving off the main draw men’s until qualies were over. Oh well, in any case I kinda like the quick draw. No second guessing.
Is that uncle toni? It does look like him. Not too shabby.


Kimmi Says:

murray played really well in MC, he played the clay king very well, who knows what would have happened if he did not have an injury. If he keeps that up it will be great. he has a difficult draw though..guys like ljubo, berdych wont be easy.

Cheer for muzza, delpo, federer..lets see who will get far!


Kimberly Says:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9D_3aYF0j8

nadals nike french open outfit


Kimberly Says:

http://www.eukicks.com/maria-sharapova-2011-french-open-kit-x-nike-lunarlon-speed-3/

and most importantly Maria Sharapova’s Nike French Open outfit!!!!!!


Kimmi Says:

kimberly – the best outfit is ROGER. love the colour mix. win the french rog. c’mon!


dari Says:

agreed kimmi. I had already seen Rogr’s out fit of course, but Rafa’s is new to me and roger does win this one.
both are cool, buy I don’t like this little v-neck for Rafa.
I love yellow for the ladies, like the outfit for Maria and think it will be even better on the court. she better tan up, though, for the best effect :)
Roger plays good tennis in red. Allez Rog


Kimmi Says:

is rafa’s just plain ocean blue..nike can do better than that. they used to mix him up with more colours. this time it just blue and white.

goerges wears the same skirt and top like marias. they look better on her imo.


Kimmi Says:

OK, the bandana is a little lighter but still, i think rafa looks good in crazy colours they sometimes do on him


Kimberly Says:

ColinO5 already has the Rafa outfit, we didn’t even know this was it, they were selling it at the sony ericsson for the kids. Had no idea whose it was but thought it was nice (esp with his lightish hair and blue eyes). Not available yet for the men.

I think Rafa’s is ok, no US Open outfit. But the guys seem to like it. Kaiser wants me to order it. Doesn’t like Feds bc won’t wear a polo.

I’m sure I will like it fine if he wins in it! Rafa’s outfits have been pretty simple this year.


dari Says:

I never see the same stuff on goerges and Maria. Maria usual has the main full outift for the line and then goerges has the “junior” skirt and top type outfit. I’m sure they will both look great.
I loved the yellow and green on Rafa this year so far.
Geeze, with serena out there only leaves Maria’s outfit to talk about.
When is serena coming back, anyway?!!!!
I saw on tennis channel scroll that kimmie clijsters should be fine for FO


Kimberly Says:

the maria outfit is on fire! All her dresses have been great this year, yes Kimmi, I sense number 21 coming!


Kimberly Says:

Nike is giving Serena’s outfits to Na Li I heard. At least they did at AO.

Ivanovic wearing the Adizero, same as she wore all year but pink and orange instead of purple and green.

Azarenka has some pretty outfits, i bought her miami one and always play well when I wear it! (thinking of washing it everyday and re-wearing)

I have mixed opinions on the Woz outfits, they are either awesome or tragic.


contador Says:

agree w/ Kimmi. i love federer’s red polo. and of course maria’s kit is classy, comfortable and functional. i think woz’s outfits miss the mark – wasn’t a fan of that pleated skirt thing or the navy blue ruffles she wore where was it, miami? i forget. but she’s never dressed as bad as that one russian player with the blue and purple ruffles or come close to anything venus williams wears.

rafa’s kit is very tamed down compared to what he was wearing in 09 and 10. i like the “moorish” inspired designs on the back of the shirt. but couldn’t help thinking the usual, as she describes the shorts in detail: can’t they do something about, you know what? sorry…

andy murray’s hair grown out looks great on him, i think. hoping it gives him confidence. go muzza! no more backseat for you!

suddenly feeling very ‘pro’ murray.


Kimmi Says:

its a pity kaiser does not like polo kimberly. i luv them on rog..they look really good on him. I dont know, i guess i like everything about roger :)

The miami V-neck on roger did not like though..he still wears this but different colour now.

If only he can win another GS..c’mon rog :)


Kimmi Says:

yay! contador ..i feel pro muzza too!


skeezerweezer Says:

Congrats to Delpo!@! Will he have enough gas in the tank to play well in Madrid? Hope he doesn’t burnout in time for FO. Well done Mr. FH.

And the draw buster Davy, WTF Dude? Congrats….??The guy is an unpredictable as as The Karate Kid trying to catch a fly with Chopsticks.


Kimmi Says:

lol skeezer – i think the draw buster award goes to wawrinka now!


dari Says:

This is the serena outfit that never was :/
Was supposed to be for AO 2011.
I know its simple, but I love it and didn’t see anybody else on Nike wear it!
http://www.freshnessmag.com/2010/12/19/nike-tennis-2011-australian-open-collection-for-serena-williams/
I was talking Nike-wise, only Maria left, but forgot about vika. She looks great in EVERYTHING.


dari Says:

as for that one thing you mentioned kimmi- it’ll happen, its gotta !


Kimmi Says:

i like serena’s too dari. remembering the days were serena wears the catsuit ha-ha!

I don’t believe this, i actually miss serena :)


Kimmi Says:

just looking at maria outfit again. maria looks good on everything..


jane Says:

I read that the Williams sisters are uncertain for Wimbledon too. I wonder if they’ll retire soon, esp. Venus?


dari Says:

Kimmi- catsuit thumbs down!
Rafa’s 2010 uso Batman- thumbs UP.
Ugh, no good for wimbledon, what the heck?
Are they gonna retire together? Like if Venus does cause its about that time, will serena, too, in sisterly solidarity? Haha
But seriously, they should be back ny now.


jane Says:

dari agree on your fashion picks and pans. Like most of the guys in black, and Maria always looks good, on and off court, whicn is unusual; many of the ladies wear tacky stuff off court. Check out these gorgeous shots of Maria watching Sasha:

http://www.tennisdelight.com/photos-maria-sharapova-watching-sasha-vujacic-at-the-new-jersey-nets-vs-charlotte-bobcats-game

Also the article on the Williams sisters in doubt for Wimbles was in the Telegraph; if you google, you will find, ;)


Kimmi Says:

maria fashion sense is cool! well, if serena is not playing at winmbels at least other people will have a chance. wozniacki anyone?


Kimberly Says:

Kimmi, See I liked feds outfit in Miami. Saw it live and thought it looked really sharp. Also liked the royal blue shirtnhe wore recently. But no, kaiser doesn’t wear collar at all. Most people in Miami don’t, very casual style town.


Kimberly Says:

Actually wawa and almagro huge busters this time. A few times in a row for both now.

Now I knownthis sounds crazy but not everyone can play on grass, I thinknthebblonde screamers may surpise at Wimbledon.


Kimberly Says:

Dare, big surprise, I own this Serena AO collection, dress and shoes. Bought in online discounted, maybe since no Serena? Doesn’t suit me, not one of my favs and too hot and thick fabric. Maybe better forserena she didn’t have to wear it.


dari Says:

Kimberly- What, thick and hot fabric for Australia?!
I run kinda cold naturally, so I don’t think it would be that bad for me- in fall and early spring outdoors that is.
Do you think anybody still has it? or you can give me a link if you bought it online?
Shoes look great, but I know serena’s shoes- they are too heavy for me.


Kimberly Says:

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Nike_Womens_Down_Under_Smash_Dress/descpageWANIKE-NWVDUSD.html#

here you go Dari, it is still available.

If this link doesn’t work go to tenniswarehouse.com, liquidation, all womens nike discount and you will find it.


contador Says:

jane- maria has such natural beauty. but my favorite picture in all the atp photos of the week is davydenko hugging the convertable BMW in munich. i’ve never seen a car hugged so sincerely!

and speaking of improved looks, delpo with sleeves, a more fitted shirt, plus the shorter shorts (surprisingly) look really great on him. at least the black ones do. i think it’s time for monfils to think about some sleeves too. who wears the muscle shirts? oh, kubot and russell still do. :/

i don’t know, kimberly. looking at the order of play tomorrow…not liking where a couple qualifiers went. my early round picking might not improve this time at all.

and all i needed to do was go look at my montecarlo draw. i had berdych, almagro, verdasco and monfils….all losers before or in my montecarlo quarterfinal.

why do i keep picking almagro and berdych? they lose!

impossible to predict – qualifier gil made to quarterfinal….hahahaha ….and melzer-check, and ferrer-check, nadal-check, murray-check, federer-oops. melzer knocked out feddy. amazing amnesia- how i completely blocked that out!


dari Says:

MUCHAS gracias, Kimberly! I just meant general website, but a direct link, bonus. I was at tennis warehouse and must not have been searching properly. Thank you :)
How bout this for improvement, contador
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_RsyKBL2MDYk/SiiLF_-UyII/AAAAAAAAPfk/RxLep1QCMks/s400/Juan+Martin+del+Potro.jpg
Russell sleeveless bahahahahhhhaa!


jane Says:

Kimmi, those are great photos, thanks for posting! Conty, fully agree with you – Davy hugging The BMW is priceless. Nice to s ee someone indulge in the spoils of his labour. ;)

Kimberly, lol’d at your comment: “I thinknthebblonde screamers may surpise at Wimbledon.” The blonde screamers, hahahahah…


jane Says:

p.s. Kimmi I thhought Tennis Planet went bankrupt, or broke, or was dead link, or whatever happens to defunct websites. Nice to see it is still around. Always used to look a photos and read jokes there…


Kimmi Says:

yeah, jane. they moved. i visited one time and there was a message that they are moving. so i followed them. I always go there..same as you, i go for photos and jokes.

Davy and BMW..ha-ha. he didn’t want to ride it with his dirty shoes either :)


contador Says:

“cyborgdenko” is a nickname i have seen used for kolya but i think that’s in reference to how he appears on a tennis court only. that guy is so passionate! i love listening to him talk about irina (his wife) he just bubbles over and seeing him finally win again is great. and yes, the unabashed adoration of that car, total respect too, taking off his dusty shoes! hahahaha… i doubt youzhny did that last year before he hopped in and buzzed around the court. but youz has his own charm ; )

dari, our boy delpo has really changed! i loved his big hair from those early days. but that shirt – straight off a rack and didn’t fit him at all. now clothes are all tailored for the champ – he’s playing like one again too.

still curious what happened to gulbis. did he have a reason for pulling out? was he simply a “no show?” anderson will have a tougher match from LL rochus.


margot Says:

Conty, and, just budging up to make room for you on the “Murray Battle Bus” :)
For all Andy fans, Andy is working with Cahill at Madrid :) Hoobloodyray!
Maria would look lovely in a sack, as would, of course, David Beckham :) jane, wedding pics of him and posh worth a look, very glamourous, and yes, alas even my Guardian had a WHOLE supplement! :)


grendel Says:

Contador – re “cyborgdenko” (not heard that one before). Tommy Haas was asked what he thought of playing Davydenko next (US Open – quarters I think) having just won an exhausting 5 setter against – can’t remember who (Stepanek?).
“Davydenko,” he mused, “Russian tennis playing machine…..”


skeezerweezer Says:

margot,

That is good news :) I also heard him say that his elbow is fully recovered. Let’s hope that Spring has Sprung for Andy…


margot Says:

skeeze: thanx :)


skeezerweezer Says:

Haha….Isner plays a typical match 76,46,76. Will Isner ever beat someone 60,60? When his career is over, me wonders if he will hold the record for the most points ever played??? Ok….too much typing time on my hands…


margot Says:

grendel: I believe u thought Andy was only in Barcelona for a few months, at the academy? According to BBC Sport he went there at 15 and was there for 2 years. He ought to be good on clay, shouldn’t he really?
Sorry if my memory is playing tricks.


grendel Says:

margot – I had assumed Murray must have been in Spain for an extended period, then I read he had only been there for 6 months. I accepted this info without checking. After reading your comment, I checked again:http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2007/jun/09/tennis.features.

This confirms what you say, although it’s not exactly official. Still, I’m happy to accept I got it wrong. Certainly his game seems ideally attuned to clay. Gilbert always thought grass suited his talents best. He himself prefers hard, I believe. Sounds like he’s well placed to succeed on all thre….


grendel Says:

olny managed to catch the last 2 games as Cipolla clinches first set against Roddick – but really, Roddick looked like a novice in those 2 games. Some of his volleys… Whilst Cipolla looked completely at home. Makes you realise how terrific, for instance, has been Raonic’s debut on clay. It really is a different game – you tend to forget with all these great allrounders. Suppose you should expect top tenners to be great on all surfaces.


margot Says:

grendel: rather fulsome praise for Andy on http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/13243702.stm
and no, it’s not Mark Petchey either…;)


grendel Says:

well, Roddick hauls himself back – just, having resisted a matchpoint in tie break. Actually, Cibolla gave it to him, he snatched at his forehand in his eagerness to get it over with. After that, fell apart. Roddick got by on sheer grit – and experience. I assume he’ll take the third.

It’s curious, Cibolla fought well – he broke back for instance – but couldn’t handle it in the crunchy moments. Foolish drop shots and so on – anything to just “let’s get this over”. Whilst Roddick – who has not looked impressive – has played a canny, waiting game, occasionally injecting aggression.

By far the most interesting stroke has been Cipolla’s sliced bh. He has a lot of variety on this, and sometimes, I swear the ball is heading straight for the top of the net, but it goes skimming over instead, and proves really very difficult for Roddick to handle. It’s gorgeous to look at, too – like a greyhound slipping through a tiny gap and out of sight.


grendel Says:

yes, margot, that’s some praise. Well, when Murray is at his absolute best, he does look unbeatable. trouble is, he can’t seem to summon this form when he needs it most.


grendel Says:

So Cipolla does it. Ranked 160 or something. Strange match. Whenever Cipolla went ahead, Roddick tended to grind him back – just not at the end. But although Roddick showed his usual fighting spirit – the match should have been over in two, Roddick also let himself down. There is a very arrogant streak in him. When he is playing the top players, he knuckles down and focuses. He gets passed – fine, next point. And so on. But against the lowly ranked, you get the impression Roddick is kind of outraged when the player dares to show quality. Cipolla might win a point through sheer skill, and Roddick shakes his head in disgust as if it was a fluke, or he had given him the point or whatever.

The cool Roddick, the one who’s had time to asess, will understand this is crap – you can bet that at his presser, Roddick will acknowledge Cipolla’s claycourt skills. But in the moment, he allows rancour to overtake him. This is understandable – some people are like this, some are not, not much you can do about it.

Cipolla muffed his first match point when snatching at his forehand. He showed he had learnt from that particular debacle with how he dealt with his second match point. He powered the ball with all his might straight at Roddick – quite close, too, near the net. Roddick instinctively stuck up his racket in self-defence, managed to shield himself and the ball went scootering off somewhere or other. Meanwhile Cipolla, having first ascertained he had won the match, immediately went into diplomatic mode, holding up his racket as if he were disgusted by it and quite frankly it was none of his business if the damn thing was to misbehave in this way. And he kept doing it, too, looking pleadingly at Roddick when the American didn’t at first seem inclined to respond. Finally, however, Roddick gave Cipolla the benefit of a curt nod, a brief shake of the hand, and stalked off. Huge sigh of relief from Cipolla.

You’ve got to hand it to the Italian, though. It was a brilliant manouevre for being so unexpected. I am convinced Roddick felt he could take the Italian any time he could be bothered to put his mind to it, he didn’t seem to think much of him. Guess he was pretty surprised at the turning of the worm..

Quite a satisfactory evening, not great tennis but plenty of interest.


Kimmi Says:

thanks grendel. nice read, interesting too. congrats cipolla


Kimmi Says:

Its midnight over there. no wander gasquet is losing. time for his bed time?

oh lordy! how many upsets today?


jane Says:

Yes, the Roddick/Cipolla encounter was a good watch, very emotional, lots of twists and turns. I thought once it went to a third that for sure Roddick would prevail. But nope. He made quite a few errors, let himself lose focus, and so on. I lost points, though. Had Roddick through until Melzer anyhow. Sad to see Gasquet going out too. :( Unless…


Kimmi Says:

a little i watched of gasquet match..i wonder what his coach is teaching him? the guy he was camping too far behind the baseline. needs to move in….

seriously, that was gasquet demise today..


contador Says:

“cyborgdenko” is from the livestream chat, grendel. : )

streamed the roddick-cipolla match – and love reading your match reports, grendel, especially when i don’t exactly see the same things. i thought roddick was too impatient right from the start. and his temper didn’t help him out there today. and no use trying to bully mohammed layani when a ball is out. cipolla might have choked on his 1st match point but i didn’t think roddick was the better player at all. cipolla deserved that win. he’s a solid italian clay court player that i had never seen before.

imo, the level of tennis was better in the gasquet v gimeno-traver match. 1st set gasquet was impressive standing so far behind the baseline hitting deep winners. but he couldn’t keep that up for 3 sets! i wondered the same thing, Kimmi. i kept saying, “come in, come in” but he rarely did. as i said on the bracket chat, qualifier gimeno-traver could wreck a lot of brackets if he beats melzer. no one saw frederico gil coming in montecarlo…

the next quarterfinal pick to play is ferrer. he better win his match v qualifier mannarino. the end.

and yes margot, i am pulling for murray to get back to winning masters 1000′s and a GS soon. c’mon muzza. imagine the confidence he would take forward beating nole on clay if they meet here in madrid. i think we saw in montecarlo that he can play well on clay. a little luck would help too.

delpo had some luck us open 09 beating rafa and beating federer. but the nerve it took to beat federer in the final…he could have easily remained slump shouldered and gone away but he didn’t. he had to fight hard for 5 sets to expose federer’s weaknesses and win.

murray was close. all he needed was winning that tie-break at AO 10 and i think taking federer to 4 was murray’s key to winning in 5. woulda, shoulda…

with nole at this AO, there wasn’t much he could do. nole has been in great form. excited to see what happens.


grendel Says:

contador, I wasn’t able to see all of the Roddick/Cipolla match. But from what I saw, Cipolla definitely deserved the w. I just assumed that a combination of Roddick’s experience and Cipolla’s lack of it (in the critical moments) would eventually tell in Roddick’s favour. Got that one wrong.
You’re right about the umpire. On one occasion, Roddick was ranting at Mohammed Layani about the ball not leaving a mark, and Layani replied that was because it was plumb on the line. Should be a bit of a mark, Roddick said. No, absolutely on the white line replied Layani. The tv camera then showed this to be exactly the case. I must say, my respect for the state of Mr.Layani’s optical equipment shot up into the stratosphere…..


jane Says:

I just hope when Nole’s streak ends it is to someone like Ferrer or Murray ot Fed or Nadal. But I am worried about his first rounder vs. Anderson. If Nole’s serve is working better than it was in Serbia he will be okay. Also, was a little more worried and Ljub for Murray than Simon, not sure why. I think Murray has Simon’s number. Not sure about Delpo vs. Rafa. Still think Rafa will prevail. Delpo could have lost a set for sure to Soda at Estoril, were he not saved by rain, and he lost a set to Youz today too. So could see him losing two to Rafa. Never know though.

Looking forward to seeing who comes out of F-Lo vs. Milos.


Streaking Nadal, Djokovic Survive Upset Bids, Meet in Sunday Madrid Final; Will Novak Stay Perfect? Says:

[...] in Spain, his mother watching (it’s Mother’s day) and the Seve Ballesteros passing I’m sticking with my pick for the tournament and taking Nadal here 7-6, [...]

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ATP - Apr 14 WTA - Apr 14
1 Rafael Nadal1 Serena Williams
2 Novak Djokovic2 Na Li
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