Toronto Draw: Nadal, Murray Tough; Federer, Djokovic Easy

by Sean Randall | August 6th, 2010, 10:23 pm

The first Tennis Masters event of the summer kicks off on Monday on the hardcourts at the Canadian Open in Toronto. The draw is out so let me jump right to the highlights.

Rafael Nadal is the top seed in this 56-man field. In his quarter he’ll potentially have a tricky opening round date with Stan Wawrinka before having to deal with Sam Querrey. Then, Andy Roddick or Marin Cilic could be waiting in the final eight. So no easy matches for Rafa. At least not in my forecast. Roddick has a great first match Wednesday against either a qualifier or a Canadian WC but then will have a rematch with Cilic who beat the American at the Australian Open.

Andy Murray could open title defense against the hot-handed Xavier Malisse and then in the quarters bump into either David Nalbandian or Robin Soderling. Nalbandian will play David Ferrer in the first round to play possibly Tommy Robredo in round two. Soderling will meet the Ernests Gulbis/Tomaz Bellucci winner as part of a brutal 16th quadrant.

Thing get precipitously calmer in the bottom half. Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych could get a rematch with Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. In fact, the draw looks good for both guys. Berdcyh might have to contend with Richard Gasquet, then Phil Petzschner before a meeting with the Swiss. Federer, who’ll have new trial coach Paul Annacone at his service, has the winner of Chela and Alejandro Falla and then possibly Nicolas Almagro.

In the final section, Novak Djokovic is No. 2 seed and the heavy favorite of another relatively weak section. Djokovic has Julien Benneteau, then in a rematch of the French Open, he has Jurgen Melzer with Fernando Verdasco, Nikolay Davydenko or Marcos Baghdatis looming in the quarterfinals.

The quarterfinal matchups by seed look like: 1 Nadal v. 8 Roddick; 4 Murray v. 5 Soderling; 7 Berdych v. 3 Federer; 6 Davydenko v. 2 Djokovic.
The projected semifinals: Nadal v. Murray; Federer v. Djokovic.

Clearly for me the top is by far the tougher half of the draw. Both Nadal’s and Murray’s sections are absolutely loaded.

That said, I like the winner of the event coming from the bottom half between Federer and Djokovic. I think Nadal will do well but there’s going to be some tough matches for him and for whomever emerges from the Murray section. Maybe Nalbandian. Regarless the top half finalist will have gone through a difficult and perhaps exhausting path. So I give a slight initial edge to the bottom half favorites.

Among the absentees are 2009 finalist Juan Martin Del Potro, 2009 semifinalist JW Tsonga, Lleyton Hewitt and John Isner.

For those interested going to the event, the tournament has already announced (I’ve started to figure out this twitter thing) Federer will play Tuesday night, Nadal Wednesday night. Djokovic/Soderling also on for Tuesday. Murray/Roddick on Wednesday. Monfils/Gonzalez will be the Monday night match.

You Might Like:
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Novak Djokovic Confirms Participation In Canadian Open, Rio Olympics And Cincinnati
Summer Withdrawals! Roger Federer And Rafael Nadal Are Out Of The Canadian Open
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176 Comments for Toronto Draw: Nadal, Murray Tough; Federer, Djokovic Easy

Janadev Says:

Many thanks for the opening matches info Sean.. very helpful..

Anna Says:

Cilic and Nalbandian have both gone deep in DC. That might take a little bit of spark off their play in Toronto. Sam pooped out first round of DC after winning LA, and Andy R. is feeling a bit under the weather. All in all, I don’t think it’s looking too bad for Rafa. Fed has Falla, Almagro,Berdych or Youzhny in his quarter. All of them are playing pretty good tennis at the moment. The only threat I see for Andy M. is Soderling in the quarters. Nole should get to the quarters without much difficulty as well.

jane Says:

Thanks for the recap Sean; haven’t had a chance to look see yet.

Andrew Miller Says:

brutal draw! The Canada winner usually has a good USO

margot Says:

AAHH! Alas, alas, Andy must’ve really upset the tennis gods. He’s on self-destruct at the mo., needs no help from draw.
What’s the seeding then, I thought Rog and Raf would be in the same half?

madmax Says:

Sean, I dont think it is by any means an easy draw for Federer. As Anna said above, “Fed has Falla, Almagro,Berdych or Youzhny in his quarter.

All of them are playing pretty good tennis at the moment.”

Falla is going to want some “big” revenge against Fed for choking at Wimby, Amalgro has just come off from winning a title, so his confidence is going to be sky high, Berdych is always dangerous as he is making his breakthrough this year and Youzhny is not to be put in any category as being “easy” to beat.

Fed has his work cut out. Obviously, I would hope that these last three weeks, from what Pagnini has been reporting, Fed has been working his guts out with Stephan Koubek as his training partner, but as federer fans know, the early rounds are always the tricky ones for Federer and nothing can be taken for granted.

I am sure that Federer won’t see this as “easy”. He has proved in the past at a very early stage, that he can overcome these players right from the get go, but that is then and this is now. Federer will be on his guard I am sure.

Just please don’t make your “predictions” Sean – we all know what happens when you do that! :)

madmax Says:

Sean, it’s interesting to read that Tebbutt feels nadal and djokovic have the easier draw to fed –

Luck of draw for Nadal, Federer in Toronto
Tom Tebbutt

Rafael Nadal pulled out all the tokens with the various players’ numbers on them when the 2010 Rogers Cup draw was done on Friday at Horizons restaurant in the CN Tower in Toronto.

The guide taking media up the in the elevator explained that it is the equivalent of 118 stories in the air.

That’s a lot, as is the lead that Nadal, the player representative at the draw, has in the ATP rankings over No. 2 Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Roger Federer.

With 10,745 points, he leads Djokovic by 3,950 points and Federer by 4,440.

That Federer slipped behind Djokovic, after his quarter-final loss at Wimbledon to Tomas Berdych, has resulted in a situation where he is seeded third and that created some suspense at the draw ceremony on Friday afternoon.

Tournament director Karl Hale offered to have someone other than the top-seeded Nadal pull out the first two crucial tokens – a No. 3 and Federer would go in Nadal’s top half of the draw and a No. 4 and it would be Andy Murray in Nadal’s half. But Nadal was more than willing to do the random selection of the tokens for those positions, and subsequently for the entire draw. “Bravo Rafa” said one wag in the crowd present when the Spaniard first pulled out No. 4, keeping alive the possibility of a Nadal – Federer final on Sunday August 15 at the Rexall Centre in Toronto.

It was only the fifth time (all in 2009 and 2010) since 2005 that Nadal and Federer were not the top two seeds in a tournament they both entered, and the fourth time that they have been selected in opposite halves of the draw. Only in Rome in May did they come out in the same half. But then the chance for a rare semi-final meeting was quashed when Federer lost to Ernests Gulbis in his opening match.

Any instant analysis of this year’s Rogers Cup draw may be overtaken by events – namely withdrawals after Lleyton Hewitt (calf) and John Isner (fatigue) pulled out before the draw. Now, Andy Roddick, seeded eighth, has complained of not feeling well (and lethargic) “for some weeks” and suggested it could be a “vitamin deficiency” after losing 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday to Gilles Simon in Washington.

He will undergo tests and could decide not to play before Monday’s opening round begins. If he did so, the current unseeded, highest-ranked player, Stanislas Wawrinka, would move into the position of No. 9 seed Fernando Verdasco, who would then replace Roddick at No. 8.

That would be good news for Frank Dancevic because the Canadian is slated to play Wawrinka in the first round. If the Swiss No. 2 – you’ll never guess who is No. 1 – does move into the seeds, Dancevic will get either a qualifier or a lucky loser as a first-round opponent.

A footnote about Roddick, with his loss Thursday in Washington, after being runner-up to Juan Martin del Potro a year ago, he will likely drop out of the top 10 in next Monday’s new ATP rankings. That means there will be no Americans in the top 10 for the first time since computer rankings were introduced in 1973.

Even with Roddick in the draw, Nadal would appear to have the easiest path to the semi-finals, along with Djokovic. Things look a little tougher for Federer – he could play heavy-hitting Nicolas Almagro in his second match and then Berdych in his third (the quarter-finals). As for Murray, if he gets through his opening match, he would play the winner of Gael Monfils and Fernando Gonzalez (coming back after a long layoff with a knee injury) and then possibly No. 5 seed Robin Soderling in the quarter-finals.

Monfils – Gonzalez is a ‘popcorn’ first-rounder as are Simon versus Mikhail Youzhny and David Ferrer against David Nalbandian.

madmax Says:

Tom Tebbutt managed to get an interview with Federer after his practice session in Toronto yesterday. Here it is:

Totte Says:

Soderling will prevail to at least the semifinals where he will face nadal once again…

Murray dosen´t stand a chance in the quater…

grendel Says:

amiable interview, madmax, thanks for posting. That hitting up against the wall business, I used to quite enjoy that; you cld guarantee a decent rally. Also, madmax:”Fed has been working his guts out with Stephan Koubek as his training partner,”. That’s interesting, I was wondering only the other day what had become of Koubek – you never see him these days.
Brutal first round for Nalby – Ferrer is a handful for Nalbandian. But – blessing in disguise? Enforced rest. What we don’t want is Nalby running through the fields over the next fortnight with nothing left for New York.

blank Says:

Sean, How did you know who’s playing when? I have tickets for Tuesday day session :-(

Andrew Miller Says:

Canada and Cincy usually give hints of who will play well at USOPEN.

Must say though, looks glum for u.s. out there.

jane Says:

blank – have fun!

Yes, Ferrer is Nalby’s nemesis in a way. The h2h is only 6-4 for Ferrer but their matches are often competitive; Ferrer seems to have the advantage in 5 setters and on clay but Nalby’s done well on hard, best of 3. They haven’t met since 2008.

jane Says:

That was a good interview madmax; just some little tidbits, like that Fed can’t skate (lol), that he knows his pop culture, and that he could “eat [Italian food] everyday”. : ]

Skeezerweezer Says:


Nice work and read. Tx :)

Fot Says:

I read the interview on Roger’s homepage. Also interesting that Mirka speaks Slovak to her parents and Roger can’t understand them! lol! So, I wonder if their twins will grow up speaking: Swiss German, High German, French, English, Slovak, and some kind of South African dialic that Roger’s mom speaks? lol! They will either be well rounded girls, or very mixed up girls! lol!

Huh Says:


that was just an awesome interview, thank u so much for providing the link! :P

Naderer Says:

Tanx madmax….
Nice read…

Naderer Says:

Tanx madmax….
Nice read…
@ 4:08

contador Says:

first i have to con gratulate Kimmi for great bracket practice in Wa DC

then say what? federer has an easy draw? no, federer does not!

contador Says:

federer could lose to falla. falla has been playing great hc.

i say muzza has the most difficult draw

djoko has it pretty easy. which isn’t always the best thing.

and nadal should breeze through his, no matter who is in it.

Huh Says:

Toronto win’s not most necessary for Murray and USO win is not most necessary for Fed, so they can both exchange it with each other subject to the consent of Rafael Nadal. ;)

Jake Willens Says:

Wow– I love these Masters 1000 where great matches start right away! Nadal’s first match against Stand the Man? Brutal!

contador Says:

stan the man? he hasn’t been too impressive lately. 2010 he won a small tourny in lugano on clay.

but Kimmi’s been the picking star since hardcourt started.

Kimmi did you fill in the brackets for toronto? i did but i’m not happy i keep switching them around. : )

i saw a little of nalbandian quarter. he doesn’t look too fit but he wins anyway. do you think he can go far in toronto?

the real trouble is picking in murrays quarter. Help!!

funches Says:

Thinking that Federer can lose to Falla is typical of tennis geeks whose entire memory consists of the last few months.

Falla is a career hack, a journeyman, a drifter. He had his shot against Fed at Wimbledon, didn’t take and never will get that close again unless Federer is injured. As bad a year as he’s having, Fed has only lost to talented players who have been grand slam contenders.

Kimmi Says:

“but Kimmi’s been the picking star since hardcourt started.”

hahaha contador. not really but thanks. once i play the real game and accumulate points then we will all see if i am a real star.

you have already filled in the toronto bracket? thats quick. i haven’t even look. had a busy day today.

i am watching nalbandian cilic atm. the match is coming out pretty good.

Go nalbandian

contador Says:

oh thanks funches. i love you too.

yeah Kimmi. better look quick! the time does run out for real this time!

Kimmi Says:

nalbandian is playing really well contador.

A big dark horse this hard court season imo. You should pick him to go a little far. he can get to the qtr or even better in one of these master series i think..depending on the draw ofcourse.

he is ripping huge returns on second serve. beware those guys with weak second serve.

contador Says:

your man is gonna kill marin i think. Kimmi

i see no way baghdatis will win if david plays like this

contador Says:

i am actually watching the match live, Kimmi on HD.

i have not had a good look at nalbandian until now and wow, he takes the ball early. cilic looks lost

Kimmi Says:

I have plenty of time contador. My time expires on monday 11 am. Plenty plenty of time conty.

Kimmi Says:

haha on HD..I wish. My HD does not have tennis today. I have to settle for tennistv on steraming :(

nalbandian!! wow. Finish Cilic now! (I like cilic but not today)

contador Says:

hmm, i remember having a time crunch last spring.

Andrew Miller Says:

Nalbandian might want to get a Slam to prove himself in the wake of Del Potro’s epic USO title!

contador Says:

i feel sorry for cilic

contador Says:

oh yeah, the have the expiry on ET not european or UK time.

Andrew Miller Says:

Sheesh, Nalbandian is playing like a champ!

Andrew Miller Says:

In fact, Nalbandian playing as if he were the best South American player of the modern era.

contador Says:


i missed this guy on tour!

contador Says:

he’s definitely looking like the legg mason winner

Kimmi Says:

NALBANDIAN!!! he will beat some big guys in toronto contador. too good!

contador Says:

how big Kimmi? i am revising my bracket again. HOW big? i trust you on this

contador Says:

if nalbandian could just stay healthy…

Kimmi Says:

hahahaha you trust contador? don’t please!!

OK. he is on murray’s draw isn’t he? i love murray but I am afraid if he plays this nalby he in huge trouble.

contador Says:

amazing point game point cilic won to get on the board!

Kimmi Says:

Umpire using the challenge for the first time. he was not sure about the point..weird!!

contador Says:

that’s what i thought. i have nalbandian beating soderling.

maybe nalby will be too tired? what do you think? he might win this tournament and slow down? not go all in and save some for US Open?

contador Says:


i said federer could lose to falla. (not that he will )

i would hope federer wins falla. it was close at wimbledon and falla will be relishing the match.

i pick federer to get to the quarters.

contador Says:

if the murray of LA played this nalbandian, nalbandian wins.

Kimmi Says:

nalbandian getting tight.

Kimmi Says:

You are good conty with your picks. i would probably go the same too. I don’t know how nalby will perform next week if he wins here. he could be full of confidence or a little tired.

he has not won a tourny for too long now. its hard to say.

contador Says:

no, doesn’t look like it.

5-2 nalbandian.

aw, i like cilic but nalbandian is too tough

contador Says:

no, no you have killed me on hc, Kimmi.

very impressed with your bold picks.

i am picking nadal to win atm. but wondering….

Andrew Miller Says:

The Baghdatis-Nalbandian match should be awesome!

contador Says:

p- mac says:

“comprehensive beatdown”

i can’t see marcos winning

what a powehouse that nalbandian!

Andrew Miller Says:

Seriously – two of the probably top 10 most talented players on tour today.

Andrew Miller Says:

Marcos CAN win!

Kimmi Says:

YAY!! nalbandian to final. GO GO GO.

No way did I think the score will be this one sided.

I will put nalbandian to the qtr in toronto contador. he should beat soda pop. soda played poorly in his home town tourny..losing to almagro easily, he will be rusty.

contador Says:

sure marcos can win but what was that injury time out. did he twist his ankle.

i am listening to david’s post match interview and love his attitude.

of course baghdatis has a great attitude too.

i think nalbandian has this tournament.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Andrew- I agree with your point. Two very exciting and unexpected contenders tomorrow. Whoever wins it will be news making- but perhaps ultimately meaningless like Ljubicic in Miami (?). Hope not. Would be great if either could sustain enough momentum to at least APPEAR as contenders or upset makers at USO. There’s still very few real contenders. It would be great if Berdych, Murray, Soderling or Gulbis had some good results in TO and Cincy to really get in the conversation. Toronto should be great- I went two years ago and it was an amazing tournament- saw Nadal destroy then still-up-and-coming Murray, and a great SImon/Keifer match. Great line up and I think a lot of guys are looking to stake a claim now.

contador Says:


might help to join one of those fantasy bracket groups. i want to talk picks as i do my picks! : )

contador Says:

funches you say>

” As a bad year he’s having, fed has only lost to talented players who are grand slam contednders.”

you mean to say montanes and benneteau are GS contenders?

okay, it’s possible they are, but not likely. neither is falla likely to win a GS.

contador Says:

my misquote and s/b contenders…

“…..talented players who have been grand slam contenders.”

says funches 8/7 at 6:35 pm

grendel Says:

Well, another late night watching Nalbandian (dedication, eh Margot? – it’s only 1.50 a.m. this time though, Nalby in a hurry).

A few thoughts cone to mind. For instance, how good and tenacious Simon is – he made a terrific match of it, Cilic tried, he always does, but he was just swept aside. I rather enjoyed this completely one-sided performance the way I used to enjoy Federer demolition jobs (“used to”, because they don’t happen any more). Some people feel that Fed fans are vicariously gloating when Fed’s in that crushing sort of mood, but there is another explanation for the pleasure one derives, and that is simply that one is watching a master at work. And that is how I enjoyed Nalbandian tonight, it wasn’t exciting and tense like last night, but there was plenty of opportunity to purr.

There were no “eeeinhs”, let alone “yeahrs” – the lack of competition didn’t call for them apparently – just a very alert expression, and gestures of annoyance at a solitary error. That’s a good sign. So often with Nalby, we see the errors piling up accompanied by looks of resigned indifference. Nalbandian’s serve was working well tonight, very sharp and almost Federesque, and good Federesque at that – all about placement. The power which Nalbandian can generate is astonishing, it’s almost up there with del Potro on occasion, and I am not talking about his using Cilic’s power to propagate his own, though he did do that sometimes. No, he could just turn it on out of nowhere, it seems.

He does something quite odd which, possibly through not paying sufficient attention, I haven’t seen with other players, and that is he seems sometimes to rotate his racket, giving it a kind of flick, especially sometimes on the backhand. He does it a bit on the forehand too, I don’t know whether the intention is to impart just a touch of topspin to an essentially flat ball. That certainly isn’t so with the bh, he kind of snaps down on it. Actually he does all sorts of things with the racket which are intriguing to watch, but unfortunately one would have to be a proper player to understand what he is up to.

A final thought struck me. Nalbandian is about Federer’s age, just a touch younger perhaps, but today he was looking as good as he has ever done imo. Which is bound to make a Fed fan wonder: is it really age – as some of us have been assuming – which is the afflicting factor, or is it perhaps something else. There’s always the possibility that the back is proving quite a serious niggle. But I suspect the problem lies in the soil, sorry it’s late and I’m tired, I mean in the mind. Federer has played at a very intense level not only for a number of years, but each year right through the season. That could well take a heavy toll, and something inside of him may be rebelling at the prospect of carrying on in the same way. On the other hand, Nalbandian takes huge long breaks of either just pratting around or being laid off due to to his unfortunate injuries (I gather the hip is almost impossible to heal outright). So his mind, in a sense, is fresh. No danger of Nalbandian being jaded.

Anyway, yet again I am moved to think to myself, please Mr.Nalbandian don’t be a silly goof and go and wear yourself out over the next two weeks. We want a fit Nalbandian in New York.

Kimmi Says:

Good idea contador. how do you join the groups?

contador Says:

i went to “groups” and checked out quite a few. some are “private and many are “public.”

i didn’t join one. i couldn’t decide. but i think there has to be a real advantage to “chatting” about the picks about now.

i see some forums have their own private group like menstennisforum or tennisworld.

check it out and see what you think. many of them with the leaders i see are in private or in a language i cant chat in. : )

did you fill in the brackets?

Kimmi Says:

have not filled it in. just having my dinner..very late I know. I will fill it in just after that.

Probably in half an hr or so. Do you want to chat re the draw? we could if you like.

contador Says:


contador Says:

kimmi i joined the “Fans of Roger” hehehe and “contador” left you a message. : )

i’ll be up a few more hours. but as you said, there’s not a big hurry, we have until monday morning.

contador Says:

“gringocheese” one of the bracket leaders is in the group

Kimmi Says:

“fans of roger” cool. how did you send me a msg? so do i have to search for the group and look for your message?

my user name is Gianttutu not kimmi.

Kimmi Says:

OK. Ist round.

1st qtr

Qualifier (I don’t trust that canadian wild card)

Kimmi Says:

2nd qtr

mallisse (he looked good in DC, i will give him a chance here)
de bekker/lopez is a tough one. Lopez?
Monfils/gonzalez (gonzalez is back from injury, r u giving him a chance?)
Nalbandian/ferrer (ofcourse GO Nalbandian)
Gulbis/ bellucci (I am afraid gulbis is rusty and still injured?..bellucci for me but heart says gulbis)

Kimmi Says:

3rd qtr

Dolgo (philip has been struggling a little..hard one to pick)
Simon/youzhny (another tough one..but simon was impressive in DC)
Llodra/giraldo (he is good on clay giraldo..but hard courts not yet impressed..I will picl Llodra)
falla/chela (why is falla always landing on federer – he is a bad luck for fed..go away falla)

Kimmi Says:

4th qtr

sexy step
hot sauce

so what do you think my first round picks contador?

contador Says:

you don’t have to join the group. i don’t know what im doing. i guess i was looking for where people actually chat about it and thought there would be more info going on there since “gringocheese” is a headcheese on the leaderboard….lolzzzzzz

the group is the first one on the list, with the most members, which happened to be “Fans of Roger”

Gianttutu? i like it. a winner of a nick. now i can just look u up there, thanks. i won’t copy you, i promise. everybody has their reasons for picking, right?

and contador will “update” her bracket until monday…a lot.

1st round

wawa ( though i wanted to pick dancevic the canadian )

qualifier over mayer – ( this is dicey picking a qualie but you know a qualie will sneak in there) some good qualies and mayer has not impressed. ??

qualie ( yeah, very good chance for a qualifier)
debakker ??
gonzo ??
bellucci ( this is tough, it’s over gulbis ) ??
youzy ?? (over simon)
steps ??
benny ??

?? = may change mind : )

have to look over the qualifiers again after they are in the main draw. i guess we should be able to see who is where.

jane Says:

Nalby is just coming back from surgery right? For his hip was it? Anyway … Maybe this is just what the doctor ordered? It would be nice to see him play well at a slam.

contador Says:

so i think we are picking about the same and questioning the same.

yeah. i have a hard time picking gulbis then i feel bad i didn’t!]
bit i can’t. i wish he would rest, really or practice, something , do something so he is fit for US Open.

not picking mayer..i see you are. i think it will depend on what qualifer gets the spot.

im comfortable w/ llordra over giraldo. giraldo has not been good on hc

Kimmi Says:

exactly like me contador. the only difference is Simon over youzhny for me
Lopez over debekker
monfils over gonzo

contador Says:

so i think we are picking about the same and questioning the same.

yeah. i have a hard time picking gulbis then i feel bad i didn’t!]
but i can’t, i promised myself: no more picking him. i wish he would rest, really or practice, something , do something so he is fit for US Open.

not picking mayer..i see you are. i think it will depend on what qualifer gets the spot.

im comfortable w/ llordra over giraldo. giraldo has not been good on hc

contador Says:

that’s weird. sorry for the double post. i didn’t think i hit twice?

contador Says:

i was reading the fromsport chat and watching match on HD during nalbandian match.

someone there ( how reputable?) asked whether debakker would win lopes and debakker seemed to get a most votes but maybe the dutch were out in force : )

Kimmi Says:

second round is the toughst conty..lets see how I did

nadal over wawa
querrey over mayer
cilic over tipsy
Roddick over quali

Muzza over mallise
lopez over monfils
nalby over robredo
soda over bellucci

the berdy over gasquet
simon over dolgo
amagro over llodra
dear federer over falla ????????

davydenko is very rusty but i will pick him over stepanek anyways
baggy over hotsauce
melzer over hanescu
djoko over benneteu (could be a djoko over quali here)

Kimmi Says:

i agree de bekker/ lopez is a tough one. de bekker can play well but he is been taking good guys to the tie break and lose them all..he can’t play tie breaks

Kimmi Says:

3rd round

Nadal over querrey
Cilic over roddick (not sure about roddick health)

muzza over lopez
nalby over soda

the berdy over simon
federer over almagro (oh dear)

baggy over davydenko
djoko over melzer

Kimmi Says:

after 3rd round is anyones guess contador. I will stop there for now.

contador Says:


not looking at your 2 round until i type mine ….. no cheating contador.

cilic ??
debakker ??

soda pop

sigh……federer ?? funches is right. how dare i question!

hot sauce

remember how a hot qualifier can mess this up!!

Andrew Miller Says:

Hello Tennis Vagabond – it’s true, it could be a meaningless result. I would be glad to see Baghdatis or Nalbandian hoist the US Open trophy! (or Roddick but he’s not playing well now).

Kimmi Says:

haha exactly the same except de bekker. is he your dark horse?

Kimmi Says:

and hot sauce too conty. I pick baggy.

blank Says:

Thanks jane.

Actually, I am going there tomorrow as well. So hopefully should catch all the top ones during practice, especially Roger.

contador Says:

we are very close, Kimmi.

but those little differences are what makes this fun! i wrong guess and ones score is damaged!


nadal of course ( still don’t see why nadal’s draw is hard )
cilic I was thinking the same about roddick but i am wavering ??


nalby but i am wavering on this one too. i like what grendel said and thinking nalbandian would do well if he wins DC to save his cards for US Open ?? if nalby wins tomorrow , i change to soda

federer if fed gets past that falla, i think almagro is not to fear
davy ( picking davy over verdasco and verdasco over baggy 2nd round. hot sauce must quit texting kim kardashian sometime and play tennis )

yeah, i agree. stop here for now. there’s still time

Kimmi Says:

very tough qualifiers too conty. I agree with you about quali messing things up..

Too bad for golubev. He lost 1st round quali. should be on the main draw. he is ranked 37..I guess he could not get main draw because he did not sign for it early..

he was only ranked 87 a week befor he won hamburg

contador Says:

yeah its a stretch of imagination i guess to think thiemo can get past gonzo. but gonzo is a another tough one for me to pick at any time.

sleeping on it. good night.

Kimmi Says: are right about nalby being tired. baggy is in the final too..*scratch head*

have my fingers crossed for the fed..

Good night conty. Nice chatting with you always

margot Says:

grendel@9.32: Yes, that’s dedication, two nights running…impressive. I’m the other end of the day kind of person and very, very rarely can catch very, very late matches. Watched highlights of Nalbandian and can only agree, his light touch at the net and confidence in delivery was joyful. It’s movement and touch for me, that’s why I can never appreciate those huge, slow moving hitters you admire.
Still, each to their own, as the old lady said as she kissed the cow.

madmax Says:


your post 8.33am.

Yes, I found the second part of the Blick interview where pagnini referred to who fed was practising with. Not only Koubek, but also Kohlschreiber. It’s here:

Q: Has the new coach Paul Annacone a clear opinion, what he wants to add Federer’s game ? He was a serve-and-volley specialist.

A: Annacone is here since two days and is thrilled of Roger’s Committment. Basicaly it is Roger, who creates the game. You cannot impose anything to him. It is a dialog. Roger is
much more open than five years ago. That with s-a-v-specialist I would not see it too narrow. Annacone played like that. That doesn’t mean, that he wants to impose this to someone. Everything is much more complex.

Q: How demanding is the training program of Federer in Zürich?

A: We are training now just under two weeks. Until August 5 we will have done between 15 to 17 conditioning units of 1 to 2 hours. And 18 to 24 hours on the court. The training partners
Stefan Koubek and with immediate effect Philipp
Kohlschreiber are training also.

Q: How long can Roger win Grand-Slams ?
A: Today I would say four to five years. Also if certain physiologic wearing will add. But what concerns his abilities, enthusiasm and athletic, he can keep up with the others a few more years without any problems. We plan long-term right now for the next five years.

As for nalbandian. Am so pleased that Big Dave is on the up. I think he has been the most underachieving player on the tour forever. What a talent! And you have to admire his tenacity. Having had a major hip operation (I think similar to Lleyton’s, though he had two), and not to give up, but to give it his all is truly tremendous.

He would benefit from losing a few pounds on court though – so that he is more agile. Though his movement is good, it could still be better – but it is really great that he is back and that he can still be counted.

I watched the baghdatis match yesterday. His injury didnt look serious. Sam Smith said he appeared to turn it ever so slightly and whilst his brain went one way, his foot went the other! It was strapped up well to enable him to finish the match – but the effects will be today. It may be swollen/bruised, or it may be something which is not too serious.

If he is able to play, it is going to be a great match.

grendel Says:

madmax – gosh, do you call Nalbandian “Big Dave”, I’ve heard others refer to him as big. but he always looks sort of medium sized to me, I think telly can be misleading. Very interesting interview you found. I noted in an ealier post that Nalbie seems to be playing as well as ever, and wondered whether this is partly due to a relative freshness – since a lot of the time he is out for 1)bad injury and 2)goofiness. Federer on the other hand plays intensely most of the time – perhaps that’s hard to keep up, mentally as much as physically. So the comment “Roger is much more open than 5 years ago” is good to hear.

This is Nalby’s comment after Cilic match: “”He’s a good player,” Argentine Nalbandian said of Baghdatis. “We know each other. We have a pretty similar game from the baseline. I have to keep believing in my game.”

“I’m playing very well right now.”

I like Nalbandian’s dry, no nonsense comment “I’m playing very well right now”, it almost has a hint of fatalism in it – this is what the gods have ordained for me for today, who knows what they’ve got in store for tomorrow? Well, let’s hope the gods keep on side till after the Open.

Margot, @”those huge, slow moving hitters you admire.” Sounds like mastodons or dinosaurs wading through primeval swamps…I find different types of player afford different types of pleasure. At the end of the day, I do prefer a Federer or a top flight Nalbandian – nothing like it. But I don’t see why it has to be exclusive.

sar Says:

Doubles in Toronto
Look Djoko and Nadal face Melzer/Petschner right away (Wim winners) and they are in Nestor and Z half. Bryans have the easier half.

Andrew Miller Says:

Hi Madmax, you said Nalbandian you feel is the most underachieving player on tour ever (I think that is what you said?) Unfortunately to me, in my opinion, a lot of players fall in that category. Verdasco used to be but at least he proved to himself that he should be top ten – diddo with Feliciano Lopez, who showed himself at least to be capable of big victories – both benefitted hugely from the victory over Del Potro and Nalbandian in Davis Cup 2008.

As for biggest underachiever ever, has to be Marcelo Rios. I think he had one of the best shotmaking the sport will ever see. On today’s tour, there’s too much competition. Baghdatis is playing well today, but he has certainly underachieved prior to today.

Malisse (to some extent)
Gulbis (to some extent)

All of these guys should have pushed Nadal/Federer and come up with a victory at a Slam, kind of like Patrick Rafter, who somehow found his way to two slams. Only three players have found their way to slams in the Federer-Nadal era (2004 – 2010)

Safin, M (2005 Aussie Open)
Djokovic, N (2008 Aussie Open)
Del Potro, JM (2009 US Open)

And that’s it. I’d put Berdych in the “hasnt reached potential” category too but I think the above list is sufficient!

That’s why guys like Andy Murray and Robin Soderling deserve another shot at slams – I think they put themselves in position to win a slam, even if they “may” not be as uber-talented as Nalbandian etc.

(Andy Murray in particular is plenty talented, but I cant knock him because he really is working is a$# off!)

All that said: I love watching Nalbandian and Baghdatis play. It’s a treat.

madmax Says:

Firstly, grendel – “big dave” after the comment that nalby (himself) said he drank too much beer and ate too many hamburgers as opposed to being ultra dedicated to fitness and bashing a tennis ball – and he is a helluva lot thinner this year -than last year, by the way – if you watched him play before his hip operation, he really was a chunk! (in a lovely way, of course!), but the weight he carried around then, did not help him with his movement and I still feel he could improve on his game by drinking less of the beer and eating fewer hamburgers – though as I write, a superb sliced drop shot in the back corner by nalby! lovely. I do hope he wins today, I think it will do his ego the world of good.

Andrew Miller, aka Andrew from now on, less formal! – Nalbandian because having won 10 titles on tour in the last 10 years, this guy still hasnt won a slam – every time I watch him play, (remember he has grown up playing on clay courts), he could have been such a contender in the earlier part of his career, but by his own admission, he was not prepared to put in the extra miles – why? Too many rumbas in Argentina!

Secondly, one of the guys over here was saying the reason why nalby has not won a slam has nothing to do with his game, and everything to do with his mindset – he just doesn’t believe that he can win one – may be this will change after this wonderful rennaisance he is having.

It really is great to see him back playing so well. The same will be said when delpo comes back too – two brilliant players from Argentina –

It’s a win, win situation!

Nalbandian since the start of this tournament has maintained a really high standard of play – it is very encouraging.

Andrew Miller Says:

Madmax, I think Nalbandian played quite well – he had a “more sure” feel for the ball today than Baghdatis, and that’s all he needs in every match.

I like it that he admits to the rumbas.

madmax Says:

haha! too much eating, drinking and dancing! He needs to get uber fit Andrew, if he is to go further – he said he wants to play top level tennis for the next 3-4 years – so he knows what that is going to take!

good night Andrew, off to bed.

grendel Says:

ah, so for “big dave”, you’re talking horizontal. I thought you meant vertical. That slice into the back corner – came right at the beginning, didn’t it? Pretty intimidating. You can imagine some opponents thinking, well, if he’s going to play like that right at the start, might as well just bugger off home now and not waste my and everyone elses’ time!

sar Says:

Montreal gazette video of Rafole:

Rafa vs. the Djoker (video)

Saturday afternoon, it was standing-room only for a practice match between new doubles partners and BFFs Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Wall to wall people, people. Your intrepid Open Court reporter had to do some maneuvering to bring you these images.

Rafa looked a little rusty, got aggravated with himself some. Uncle Tony won’t be there until the U.S. Open, so it was stand-in coach Francisco Roig.

It wasn’t terrible, by any stretch – just usually means that Rafa is getting into competitive mode, so he’s raising his standards. He appeared to be moving just fine.

The Djoker was still doing the Kleenex thing, these allergies that have been getting to him.

But he was by far the sharper of the two.

jane Says:

Wow sar – looks like a very serious “practice”. Those two were hitting with intensity.

OllyK Says:

Can’t wait for Rafole doubles match tonight. Sleepless night ahead. :)
Vamos-ajde, dream team! :)

funches Says:

I see Falla won three games against Chela in the first round.

Didn’t mean to be ugly about it contador – I was just using you as a proxy for all the other people who ignore history and focus on the most recent tournament – but Falla has been around too long to be anything other than his ranking says he is.

For what it’s worth, I had Falla beating Chela in the ATP contest.

jane Says:

Bummed that Gasquet lost in the first round; he has done well in Canada in the past and I was hoping to see him go a little deeper here anyhow.

margot Says:

jane, kimmi: latest from Andy. Sounds promising and the opposite of the “stubborn” he’s been accused of. “It’s easy to suggest that I need to play more aggressively but you need to be taught how to play that way – it’s something you need to practice a lot, work on the movement with specific drills. That might be something I’m looking for.”

jane Says:

hey margot – yes, he sounds open and positive there!! I notice he’s playing doubles in Toronto as well, which will allow him to hone those net skills further.

margot Says:

Hi jane: Hutchins is UK’s best doubles player at the mo., so that’s promising. Hope they make it beyond the first round! Wonder if Jamie is playing.

jane Says:

They have a pretty tough first rounder margot, with Monfils and Kohls, but they should be able to come through if Murray is playing well. Haven’t checked draw to see if Jamie is in the mix.

jane Says:

p.s. de loverly de Bakker is playing… : )

contador Says:

dropping me in a “proxy” box? if i comment on falla doesn’t mean i pick him against federer or that i forget who federer is and falla’s non descript resume in general.

federer has been fallible since AO is what i my point and not just to GS contenders, as you mentioned.

i have not done too well so far today, i see. redeemed myself a little when anderson won.

margot Says:

jane: rain suspends play, boo, but score 3-0 to Monfils and co :(
“de loverly de Bakker” – like it very much!
I see the bouncer took first set against gorgeous Gilles.

madmax Says:

They showed the final of federer v tsonga last year due to the rain today. In fact, they showed not only this match, 09, but all the finals from last year – an interesting reminder – I thought to myself, do I really need to be reminded of that crazy match against Tsonga?

I still don’t get the score, even a year on or really know what happened? Tight first set 7:6, blitz out second set to fed 6:1, fed up 5:1 in the third, then saving 3 match points in the game when 0:40 down (incredible strength of mind here), to even it out to 6:6. Tiebreaker, then tsonga finally coming through.

It is just a shocker that this ever happened. And I hope that Federer watches this match and makes a mental note, NEVER TO LOSE CONCENTRATION, even for a minute, and that it is STRICTLY NOT ALLOWED TO GO ON WALKABOUT at any point of a match, masters series, or no masters series.

But, I am fine…Now. Clean sheet, fresh tournament, fresh, invigorated Federer.

Good luck tomorrow at Toronto Fed. Kick ass!

jane Says:

margot, the bouncer (lol) is back on with Simon. Haven’t seen the other matches restarted though.

jane Says:

The bouncer bounced Simon. De loverly and F-Lo now back on.

Kimmi Says:

jane – r u watching? Polansky is hanging on with melzer. Playing very well. already had 2 set points. third set point now..he can win this.

Kimmi Says:

4th set point. c’mooon

Kimmi Says:

6th set point..c’mon take this one

Kimmi Says:

7th set point also gone. Now this is not good..too many chances

jane Says:

heya Kimmi! Nope, I haven’t been watching Polansky, as I have Ernie warming up on streaming. But I do have Polansky on scores and it looked like he came SO close to getting the first set. Alas, it’s going to be a tiebreaker.

jane Says:

And why is Ernie vs. Bellucci empty!!! I’d love to be there. I think the tennis fans in Montreal are more gung-ho as I don’t recall it being this empty there.

Kimmi Says:

polansky win the tie breaker..wins the set eventually. i was feeling it for him when he wasted those set points. he is showing a lot of heart.

yes its empty. i agree about montreal jane. But today has been a bad day. raining the whole day..maybe people got put off, don’t know.

I will switch to bellucci vs gulbis now

jane Says:

Kimmi Polansky managed to win the first set; and Gulbis is up a break.

jane Says:

True – the fans may’ve given up and gone home.

Kimmi Says:

gulbis starts well. 3-0. Oh no, a tough match for me to watch as I love bellucci too.

Gulbis needs to get back in the game after a long lay off though. Go Gulbis

Kimmi Says:

polasky up a break in the second. GO GO GO

jane Says:

Know what you mean Kimmi; I like Bellucci too. I see Melzer has broken to start the second set, : /

jane Says:

OH! You’re right – I misread and thought Melzer got the break. Go Peter!

Kimmi Says:

YES! Its peter with the break jane. I am impressed the way he is going on about his business. very calm.

Kimmi Says:

peter won jane. GO CANADA

Kimmi Says:

oh no..bellucci is turning the table

jane Says:

Kimmi, I switched over to see Polansky win – very nice! Big win for him. Crowd is thrilled. : ) He’s only 22, and had quite a successful career in the juniors but hasn’t broken through in the pros. And he had that weird incident where he walked out a window. Thought Gulbis kind of went off the boil but he’s broken back.

And now Rafa /Nole are coming on in doubles! Can’t decide what to watch.

jane Says:

Kimmi, Rafa and Nole are on Live on TSN – High Def. So turn on your TV and you can have twice the fun, with streaming plus TV. ; ) They are playing a young couple of Canadian guys – fun for them to play the #1 & 2 in the world.

jane Says:

And now Gulbis has broken again, so he should win here. Who’s side of the draw is he in?

Kimmi Says:

jane – I have rafa/nole on my tv and gubis/bellucci on my computer. Tennis galore

canadian doubled team hanging on.

Gulbis wins. My bracket is messed up. but congrats ernie. GO GET ‘EM!

contador Says:

tennis heaven Kimmi? : )

contador Says:

didn’t you pick erno?

contador Says:


i had no idea who he was but caught some of the match on a stream. very surprising but im happy for you!

my picks lost today. i picked bellucci

but grinning that gulbis won.

soderling hurt him tomorrow.

Kimmi Says:

what what what..”soda to hurt gulbis”? no way contador.

I am the last on the list. I only got 3 (THREE) correct so far. hahahaha..bad day or waht.

I have just decided to watch some tennis and enjoy.

And hope for the young canadain doubles team to beat nadal/nole. but then my dreams have been tarnished today.

jane Says:

Kimmi – yes, just Enjoy!! The young Canucks have been doing very well, but Rafa and Nole, especially Nole, are getting into the groove more as the match progresses. Fun to watch doubles on high def TV, especially a Canadian team and Rafa/Nole. Am very pleased tennis fan a.t.m.. : )

jane Says:

Peter Burwash, excellent Canadian commentator, said Nole was the least sure of what he has to do out there in doubles. But that he is getting better. ; ) It;s good practice I think.

contador Says:

yeah? i think i got 4 but let’s watch. almagro will lose. might as well….

i saw most of that bellucci gulbis match and what a wreck. i mean both played alternately brilliant shots and “appalling” as the commentator said.

it would be a miracle if ernie survives soda pop. but i picked soderling so why not?

go gulbis!

yeah , changed back and forth so many times on several. i would have been better staying with gut instinct like picking debakker and gulbis and…..

end of story

Kimmi Says:

I thought you had de changed him. oh no!!

I had lopez from get go. what a day.

Even falla lost lol :) GO FEDERER

jane Says:

Everytime I see the names of the Canadian doubles team Rafa and Nole are playing, I want to call them Popsicle and Radish. LOL.

contador Says:

i was just laughing at myself at the end of the day!

i changed to lopez. thinking on my way to work, “thiemo isn’t a hc player, get on there and pick lopez!”

when i went to bed i had ernie and switched back to bellucci.

i got it all wrong. but the good news is: i have done worse. clay season (rome) we had to guess where qualifiers might go? but it turned out cos i had the end resutls right. so there is hope, kimmi.

i cannot believe that polansky! who would have thought? and the strange one i got right was a fluke i forgot to change- anderson. haha

contador Says:

i changed benneteau to istomin too. when i do cincy i am filling it out and walking away : ) that all.

Kimmi Says:

anderson..yap. thats the one that gave you 4 instead of 3. anderson is a tough one to call. sometimes he plays good and sometimes really bad.

he caused some major upsets once upon a time. beating djoko in miami i think.

Kimmi Says:

i had benneteu correct. hanescu and robredo. thats it.

contador Says:

lucky you jane and Kimmi-

no tennis on tv for me until thursday. it’s frustrating. i complain to the local cable company to no avail.

Kimmi Says:

its lucky for us this week only (canada special), then we go back to tennis on TV till grand slam.

Kimmi Says:

canadian doubles team..the underdog. can they win it! GO GO GO!!

contador Says:

yep. that is my situation. no tennis on tv except maybe 1 of the quarterfinal matches, 1 of the semis, and the final.

once the football pre season stuff is on and baseball and…..

tennis channel is requisite. but in my area….no dish, no tennis channel.

i have to sneak in the livestreaming but even that is dicey lately.

like now. no stream for the doubles or almagro marchenko match. i thought there would be a stream. i think streaming availability is much better when the matches are in europe.

jane Says:

Looks like you’ll get your wish Kimmi! These two young Canadians have sure held their own against Rafa and Nole. They are just 3 points away now!

Kimmi Says:

hahahaha GO CANADA

Kimmi Says:

waht is going on, that was their point..oh no!

jane Says:

Well, Murray, Rafa and Nole can all concentrate on singles now. Which is just as well. And these two young players can go another round or two. They were sure excellent, fun to watch. Raonic has a lot of potential at 19, 6’5″ and a pretty good game. Popisil is a bit better at net though.

Kimmi Says:


jane Says:

Rafa hit all three doubles tonight. Nole, none. Unusual.

Kimmi Says:

match point..c’mon canucks

Kimmi Says:

TOUCH..aaahhhhh should have left that

Kimmi Says:

c’mon hit one ace..c’mon

Kimmi Says:

YES YES YES!! they won. :)

Nadal and Novak..hope they enjoyed their time together.

jane Says:

They did it! Great night for Canadian tennis, and Popsicle and Radish. : D : )

Am a little sad as would’ve liked to watch Rafa/Nole more, but as I said, they are better off focusing on singles.

contador Says:

cheering for the underdogs- go raonic and pospisil!

they did it!

meanwhile, almagro in a bit of a struggle with marchenko

contador Says:

looking at the bracket – the real damage comes if someone i picked to go far like nadal, federer or djokovic lose.

and, i picked both melzer and lopez to win more than one match.

Kimmi Says:

Contador – i picked simon and lopez for another round. I see this bracket as finished already for me. we will see..

Kimmi Says:

ahh marchenko breaks. who is this marchenko? giving almagro a run for his money..another up and coming guy?

jane Says:

Kimmi, not sure who Marchenko is but he was the one who pushed Baggy into playing that really long 3-setter match in Washington last week.

Kimmi Says:

thanks jane, i remeMber that long match. i was getting tired just following the score that day. good for him.

If almagro bracket is dead.

Kimmi Says:

almagro cruising early on here. good. time for me to go to bed. Night all.

contador Says:

it depends. if 2 of your picks are in all the way to the final or semi and they get knocked out tomorrow? yeah, game over. i did that with a pick in madrid. one was verdasco.

youzhny has simon’s number. i was pretty sure on youzy.

debakker ….should have stayed with instincts on him. i had him beating muzza at one point yesterday. thought nah, muzza isn’t world #4 for nothing.

good nite. lots more drama tomorrow.

jane Says:

Nite Kimmi, conty and all – hoping for more exciting tennis tomorrow, but less rain.

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