Djokovic Draws Federer Again in SF; Nadal, Murray on Easy Street Early at Indian Wells?
by Sean Randall | March 8th, 2011, 6:45 pm

The draw for Indian Wells, the first Tennis Masters event of the season, has just come out. And it looks promising for the Top 5 players Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Robin Soderling and Andy Murray. Pre-draw, there was a half dozen or so very dangerous players floating but the Top 5 seeds all avoided them early on. Which for me is a little bit of a shame as I was hoping to see an early round Rafael Nadal v. Juan Martin Del Potro collision. But we’ll have to wait for the that.

Here’s my early breakdown.

Of the Top 5 Nadal I think has the best draw. He could play Juan Monaco in the third round with a matchup against either Marcos Baghdatis or JW Tsonga in the fourth, but both guys are little banged up. In the QFs, I’m picking his countryman David Ferrer to be there. Ferrer will have to contend with Gilles Simon in the third round before his fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in the fourth. Simon could be a big threat to Rafa but I think Ferrer takes care of him. So for me, it’s hard not to see Rafa at least in the QFs, likely the SFs.

In the second quarter it’s Soderling and Murray in a replay of their Australian Open match that never happened. This go round I think it will. The Swede has Phil Kohlschreiber in round three before a date with either Alexander Dolgopolov, defending champion Ljubicic or Del Potro. Delpo opens against Radek Stepanek in probably the best first round match on the board with the winner to play Ljubicic. I like Delpo to get out to Soderling but I’ll take Robin to reach the QFs and play Murray. The light air could trouble the Argentine. Andy really has a breeze with Tommy Robredo in the third round and then in the fourth Fernando Verdasco or Sam Querrey, both of whom are slumping badly. In the QF I’ll go with Murray over Soderling!

Moving to the bottom half. The red hot and undefeated Djokovic has some tricky obstacles. He might open against recent Kazak Davis Cup hero Andrei Golubev, then meet former champ Lleyton Hewitt (or Ernests Gulbis) before either Michael Llodra or Viktor Troicki in the fourth round. In the QFs he could run into his longtime nemesis Andy Roddick. But Roddick has a rough road with former finalist James Blake possibly in his first match, then John Isner before a likely breather against Jurgen Melzer (or maybe Richard Gasquet). I like a Roddick v. Djokovic QF to happen and this time I think Novak wins.

In the final section it’s Federer as the clear favorite. But I think the Swiss could have trouble with Kei Nishikori right from the get go, then he should get by Phl Petzschner before running into Mardy Fish and Tomas Berdych in succession. Fish, however, will likely have to deal with the new sensation of 2011, Milos Raonic. The Canadian stud opens against Marcel Ilhan, a match I think the 20-year-old win. But I like Fish in the altitude and light desert air to beat Raonic. Berdych will have trouble with the rising Kukushkin, then De Bakker before the improving Marin Cilic. In the end, I do think Federer scrapes through to semifinals but it won’t be easy.

So that leaves my semifinals as Nadal v. Murray and Djokovic v. Federer. Right now I’m picking Djokovic to beat Murray for the title and return to the No. 2 ranking!

Potential fourth round matchups (by seed): Nadal v. Tsonga, Almagro v. Ferrer, Soderling v. Ljubicic, Verdasco v. Murray, Roddick v. Melzer, Troicki v Djokovic, Berdych v. Wawrinka, Fish v. Federer.
QFs: Nadal v. Ferrer, Soderling v. Murray, Roddick v. Djokovic, Berdych v. Federer.

Overall, I think Rafa has a great draw with a bunch of claycourters in his section. That said, if Tsonga is 100% he can really give Rafa trouble. Murray also has a good draw early on – Verdasco and Queerey sound dangerous but they’ve been abysmal of late. I think Djokovic should continue his form and that Roddick match will be an excellent confirmation of his status. Federer, to me, is the most likely guy of my four SFs to get upset. Just a hunch there.

The men’s tournament begins on Thursday. Seeds open play on Saturday. Tennis Channel and ESPN2 will have coverage I believe starting next Monday.

You Might Like:
Roger Federer Gets A Street In Switzerland Named After Him [Video]
Roger Federer: I’m Still On Cloud Nine From Winning The Australian Open
Roger Federer Is Now Getting Streets In Germany Named After Him!
Rio Olympics Men’s Draw: Djokovic-Del Potro First Round, Murray Tries To Make History
Novak Djokovic: I Haven’t Had Too Many Draws Like This, It’s Quite Amazing, But It Is What It Is

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105 Comments for Djokovic Draws Federer Again in SF; Nadal, Murray on Easy Street Early at Indian Wells?

Kimmi Says:

Djoko is the man of the moment, so your final pick is safe sean.

nadal would be kin to show the world that ferrer win at the AO was a fluke.

I dont know what will happen on muzza/soda draw..soderling is coming with 2 back to back titles. confidence should be high. Go muzza!

federer! can you have your revenge as well pls?

Hope cilic continues with his great form.

I think milos will beat fish again sean! I think he will. if he pass the fish test he could meet federer in 3rd.

Looking for grigor dimitrov everywhere! he should get a direct entrance with his ranking now..maybe did not register. too bad!

marchmadness2011 Says:

Federer has been playing good tennis since 2010 Wimbledon and will continue on that way in Indian Wells. Novak has been inspired so far this year, but he has to lose soon and with the #2 ranking on the line I expect Roger to win that match and stop Novak’s streak. Rafa has an easy draw, but has not played in a while so we will see how he looks at the business end of the tournament. Soderling is going to be real tough I think and Murray is still suffering from his loss to Djokovic in Australia. Del potro for me is the real exiting part of this tournament because if he has regained his confidence than he could make a real dent in the draw. Here are my predictions.

Soderling over Nadal
Federer over Djokovic

Federer over Soderling

4th Indian Wells Title for Federer

billyboy512 Says:

uh, hey, marchmadness…didn’t nadal just play last weekend,and very well, from all reports?

tennisfansince76 Says:

ahhh poor Federer. the draw used to be a yellow brick road for him now it is littered w/ landmines.

Voicemale1 Says:

In the Draw Nadal clearly benefitted most, with a Quarter unlikely to bother him while simultaneously allowing him that Match Play he needs to be confident. He’s won here twice, and the slow court will help him to run around his backhand at will, easing into the SF without a lot of hiccups. It’s the Soderling-Murray Quarter where all the intrigue is. Murray is still moping, as is his custom, losing yet another Major Championship Final without a Set to his name. After that he was gonna take an indefinite amount of time off; then recants, and shows up in Dubai, where he loses his very first match, then goes mopey again. He’s clearly not mentally sharp now. These two hard court events are basically “it” for any chances Murray has to win a title until the North American Hard Court Summer. He can forget the clay season, and he wont’ be winning Wimbledon any time soon. Safe to say he’s still a little tender, mentally speaking. The Sod has a rough section, with both his AO conqueror Dolgopolov and Del Potro in it. YIKES! Del Potro at his best has more game than either Murray or The Sod, so it could be a Nadal-JMDP SF.

The Djokovic question will center around this: the heat. Living in Los Angeles, I can say that the Palm Springs temps at this time of year can climb above 90 easily. The hotter it is, the worse the chances for Djokovic. Actually, Roddick has a negotiable Quarter too, and good thing for him. He’s defending a Final appearance from a year ago. As for Federer, his section of his Quarter is no trouble – unless Raonic makes it to their potential meeting and plays fearlessly. But Federer could face Berdych or Davydenko in a QF, both of whom can give him a long match; and then Djokovic or Roddick in a SF. And that’s the stage where Federer has stalled at this event lately. He hasn’t been past the SF stage here since 2006, and ditto Miami. He was asked back in the fall if he had any more career goals left. His reply was simple: “I’d like to win one more Wimbledon”. His words “one more” tell the story. In his blackest heart he knows negotiating seven Best of Five matches now is a shaky proposition at age 29-plus, with too many heavy hitters out there all too eager to pummel his backhand into submission. Wimbledon will be his best hope to win a Major from now on. He’s likely gearing his whole year to lay it all down for a title run there. It won’t be here, or Miami, or on clay where he empties out. He makes the Final here only if the draw opens up with a lot of big-name losses early, and he doesn’t have to empty out to win. Barring that, he’ll get upended somewhere along the way.

If Djokovic handles the heat – assuming it arrives – it should be him vs. either Nadal or Del Potro in the title match.

sheila Says:

my heart wants federer 2go all the way, but logic, practicality & realism says nadal or djokovic.

dari Says:

Rog and Stan playing doubles!

Huh Says:


iF Fed and Nole meet this time, Fed will get him, I m sure

Huh Says:

Best of Luck Fed dearest and best of luck Rod.

madmax Says:

voicemale, can you post the link on your comment:

“His reply was simple: “I’d like to win one more Wimbledon”. His words “one more” tell the story”.

I haven’t read this. I read that he wanted to win many more, in excess of 20 (including all 4 majors).

tennisfan. Federer has nothing to prove and it happens to every tennis player. Didn’t you say the same about sampras not long ago? There’s no shame in this for Federer. Every player will face the same age, but wow. What a federer journey.

It’s going to be difficult from now on. I dont think anyone is under any illusion, but as long as he keeps the body fit and the mind healthy, there’s every chance.

margot Says:

nice to c u Voicemale 1! Always enjoy your analysis, even though I …er… sometimes…disagree ;)
Sean, what particular entrails are u consulting? Andy R has it difficult against Blake, but can relax against Meltzer????
So Andy and Nole end up facing each other again? I dunno, I do agree with VM1 here, who knows which Andy will show up and if he’s still “moping.” In fact of the top 5 all we know for sure is that Nole and Sod must be high on confidence :)

Nims Says:

I think realistically Roger get’s to SF for most of the events he gets in. That would leave us with Apprx 60 matches to see Roger play.

Love 40 Says:

Milos Raonic beats Mardy Fish in the second round, like he did a couple of weeks ago in Memphis, and meets and beats Roger Federer in the 4th round thus
getting a 2011 record against top ten players of 4 wins, two losses.

RFFaN Says:

That quote about Roger wanted another wimby is misleading. He was asked if he’d rather have DC or Olympics singles and whatever to complete his collection and he answered that if he had to choose only one event to win in his career it would be Wimbledon.

Kimberly Says:

tricky draw to pick, i didn’t take any early major upsets. Just can’t see them. I did take Soda to get out of the 2nd quarter but don’t feel great about it. Who knows which Andy Murray will show up. That is a big variable overall.

stu Says:

Djokovic has a good draw this time. Which means, of course, that he will surprise us and lose early right?

stu Says:

Djokovic has a good draw this time. Which means, of course, that he will surprise us and lose early right?

The fighter Says:

go Rafa go!!!

The fighter Says:

btw, rafa beat roger in the oregon exhibition 7-5

The fighter Says:

and azarenka beat sharapova 7-6 and fed n maria beat rafa n azarenka 6-3

jane Says:

lol, stu. We tend to be pessimists about Nole, but VM1 has a point about the heat, and I don’t think Djok’s draw is all that cozy-comfy – Roddick and Fed, both of whom he often seems to meet. However, Djok has done well here before, winning in 2008, so he may be okay. It’s a dry heat down there, which is better than humidity in many ways.

I think both Doglo and Raonic could surprise again, like at the AO. Raonic maybe more so than Doglo if the Dog has an injury or something. He’s so erratic, it’s hard to know with him. Delpo too, could do well, and go deep. He’s a bit hard to judge at the moment too.

margot! hello! I am just glad Andy will be back at it finally. He didn’t play Dubai (his one match was Rotterdam) so we’ve been missing him. I think Soda could be taken out, you never know. I just hope Murray can do well. He was in semis here last year, versus Soda I think? In fact, in the same way Nole often gets Fed and Rod, Murray seems to get Nadal and Soda a lot. Weird. Well, I hope he can go deep – it’d be fun to see him play Rafa again. They always have such competitive and exciting matches! (Hard on the nerves, but exciting nonetheless). Hope you are well. :)

skeezerweezer Says:

“The fighter Says:

go Rafa go!!!”

You got your wish as IW is the slowest of all Plexipave surfaces with the highest bounce..along with the typical #1 seed draw ;-)

“Plexipave IW – ITF Category 1 – Pace: Slow

For those who desire a much slower surface, to compensate for lower humidity, high altitudes or simply to change the pace of the game, Plexipave has developed the I.W. mixture, first used at the Indian Wells, CA tournament facility.”

Rafa should rip through the field

stu Says:

jane, in fact I’m curious to see how the heat affects him, with his newfound belief in holistic quackery. I think that dismal performance in the Dubai semi had to do with the heat, although he probably wouldn’t admit it. He’s had a disappointing couple of years at IW, and 2009 was probably heat-related. I’m still hoping he wins the IW-Miami double, because the goal from now until the FO is to grab and hold on to the #2 position so that he does not end up in the same half of the draw as Rafa at the FO!

I agree with you, Raonic is going to shine at at least one of the 2 American Masters!

madmax Says:

Tennis: With Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Co. in town, it’s game, set, flashbulbs
A quartet of tennis royalty — plus John McEnroe — dazzle in exhibition in front of a sold-out Matthew Knight Arena
By Rob Moseley

The Register-Guard

Published: Wednesday, Mar 9, 2011 04:25AM


Understanding that this is arguably the greatest player who ever lived, and thus that standards were high, Roger Federer opened with a couple of sub-standard shots Tuesday night in the Clash of the Champions tennis exhibition in Matthew Knight Arena.

Federer was teamed with women’s luminary Maria Sharapova for a mixed doubles set against Rafael Nadal and Victoria Azarenka and, with Federer serving, he took some ribbing from the chair umpire. Not typical decorum, but then this was a relaxed exhibition — oh, and the official was none other than notorious umpire-abuser John McEnroe.

“These people don’t see tennis that often,” McEnroe said from the chair to Federer. “Let’s show them something.”

Federer’s response was emphatic. Ace.

That characterized the entire night Tuesday in the top-flight exhibition at Oregon’s sparkling new arena. Some outstanding play, from a quartet of players with a combined 30 Grand Slam titles among them, and much revelry from all involved at an event that was as much as anything a celebration of the support of the game from title-sponsor Nike and its co-founder Phil Knight, who sat two rows behind one baseline.

“It’s obviously a big pleasure being here; it’s a part of the world where we don’t come maybe too often unfortunately,” Federer said. “It’s always a pleasure facing a great champion as Rafa. We’ve had many big battles over the years, but also wonderful moments in exhibition play in quite amazing places, and this is obviously very special doing it for Nike in a place that means a lot for Phil.”

Federer and Sharapova won the doubles set 6-3, after Azarenka, filling in for Serena Williams, topped Sharapova 5-4 in their singles set. In the evening’s feature event, Nadal edged Federer 7-5, before the players jetted off to Southern California for a tour event.

“I don’t think anyone could have brought us here a matter of a few days before Indian Wells starting,” Sharapova said. “Only Nike can do that.”

The Federer-Nadal rivalry is considered perhaps the best in tennis history, and the two clearly enjoyed sharing the stage Tuesday, outside the intense spotlight of their normal meeting ground, typically a Grand Slam final.

“I think we know each other 100 percent perfectly,” Nadal said. “We’ve played a lot of times, and obviously today is just having fun and having a good show for the crowd.”

It was that, judging by the mood of the 12,220 fans all night. Nadal, the powerful young Spaniard, was the event’s rock star based on the cheering — particularly that from the young females in attendance — while the grand master Federer suavely parried with McEnroe during the doubles set.

There was also some local flavor, with former UO quarterbacks Joey Harrington and Dennis Dixon serving as line judges for the doubles set, and some cheers normally reserved for a football game — fans on one side of the court yelling “Go,” and those on the other side answering with “Ducks,” midway through the men’s set. Twice.

Members of Oregon’s tennis teams warmed up the crowd by playing before the main event; earlier, players from the UO men’s and women’s teams worked with children at a family festival on the arena’s practice courts. It was estimated by a USTA official that some 500 kids got a primer on the basics of the game at the festival.

For local fans — and some not-so-local — it was an event not to be missed. Paul and Cindy Kremser celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary Tuesday in the top row of the arena’s 200-level. They were there 90 minutes before the start of play, after making the drive up from Roseburg.

“We enjoy watching tennis, we play recreationally, and it’s a chance to see some of the best in the world in person,” Paul Kremser said.

“We had to get tickets, because they’ll never come to Eugene again,” Cindy Kremser said. “Ordinarily if you want to see Nadal and Federer, you’d have to travel to a major tournament. You’d have the expense of the trip, and the expense of the tickets.”

For Rebecca Fung-a-fat of Boulder, Colo., even Tuesday’s exhibition was worth making a road trip. She got a ticket through her friend Alison Clark, a business systems analyst for Nike, who wore an autographed Federer cap for the evening.

“She knows my heart,” Fung-a-fat said. “I’m pretty much obsessed with Rafa Nadal, and tennis in general, and I feel like this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, even if it’s a friendly match.”

That it was. Late in the doubles set, through with McEnroe’s heckling, Federer passed up the chance to serve.

“You want to finish it off?” he asked McEnroe.

Sure enough, the tennis legend stepped down from the umpire’s chair and grabbed a racquet. His first serve was into the net, but he pulled off a nice drop shot that Nadal couldn’t get to, and later added an overhand winner.

The crowd roared. The players laughed. The hosts from Nike smiled.

Quite the exhibition.

Might well have been fun, but federer got to get his serious pants on now.

margot Says:

hi jane! I’m good, and u? Really looking 4ward to IW and Miami and hoping Mr Magic shows up :) Andy has also entered a couple more clay court tournaments this year, so looks like he wants to improve his showing at RG. Good luck to Nole too, let’s hope the “quackery” as Stu says, works!
And here in UK, beautiful Spring days are here at last and daffodils, crocuses and primroses are all flowering.
Hip, hip hooray, its been a long, long Winter.

margot Says:

PS R conty and Skeeze at IW?
madmax: did u make up that name :) If I were Rebecca I would get married mighty quick ;)

jane Says:

margot, not sure about skeeze. But conty posted that she is going the first week of IW, so she must be going soon. I think Kimberly said she will be going to Miami, so we’ll have first hand accounts from both, hopefully.

We’ll see re: quackery & magic! Fingers crossed.

Am well but super busy these days; we have rain mixed with sun, and some crocuses poking through but haven’t spotted any daffs yet.

stu, yes, agree with your take on Berdych Dubai match. Nole flounders in the heat and that may never change, unfortunately. We may know more soon.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Be there this weekend only :-)

stu Says:

I envy you, Skeezer. I almost bought tickets myself (not only for the tennis but also to escape the never-ending east coast winter!). I thought it wise, however, not to expect a great showing from Nole for 3 tournaments in a row. Mind you, I have brought him much luck at the USO :), and I’d love to watch (other players too) at an intimate tournament like IW, but maybe next year!

margot Says:

skeeze: have a BRILLIANT time and don’t 4get to give Andy a big kiss from me…;)

Kimmi Says:

“If Djokovic handles the heat – assuming it arrives – it should be him vs. either Nadal or Del Potro in the title match.”

until delpo beats a top player, i wouldn’t put him in the final of the big tournament like this.

since his return, he has struggled when meeting a top player. verdasco, roddick etc

skeezerweezer Says:


You shoulda came. Gonna be great weather and Novak’s playing hot nowadays, but you knew that! Except your worried about him getting too hot? You meant other hot, right? I’m confused. Well, no worries he was hangin out on the Cali beach the other day, ya know, his pre match routine :), he’ll be fine.


Thanks so much, hopin to hook up with contador, me thinks she is there already. I’ll give Andy a big wet one for ya….wait…sorry can’t do that…not that type…How about I give him shout out…

” Yo……Andy!…Margot Loves u! “…that ok? ;)

jane Says:

Have fun skeeze! Expecting some WTF reports from the site. And you can kiss Nole too, okay; he’s pretty hot. ;)

Kimmi Says:

so jealous skeezer and contador! have fun! send some good vibes to fed, will ya?

sar Says:

Stu, go to Cincy for an intimate court and access to players. IW is beautiful but Cincy is the best tourney so far for me.

Kimberly Says:

Don’t forget draw challenge everyone. On user friendly ATP site. Join group tennisxfans. Anyone can join.

Kimmi Says:

i have filled in my bracket kimberly. only few hours to go now…i think first round starts tomorrow at 11 am?

so, if anyone needs to play they have to enter before the first ball is struck!

Skeezerweezer Says:


Nole? I will yell the cheer when i see em :)


Tx and u know i’ll be seeing Fed :)


Help on the link to your group sign up please?

My fav things to report

Feds shotmakin

Rafa’s FH

Nole’s ground strokes

Andy M’s style and suave on the court, aka 007.

And finally, count on me to take a pic of any topless top player dude, although i am hopin for some of that with the ladies side, after all, its palm springs, lol

Thanks everyone for the well wishes, i’ll report when i get back and post aome if i can while i am there, as long as i don’t party too much :)

stu Says:

Have a blast, Skeeze.

sar re. Cincy – good idea! never considered that because there aren’t too many other reasons to visit Cincy unlike IW and Miami!

Kimberly Says: Same login as last year. Your name is already in the group. You just need to do picks. Much more user friendly then tennis channel site.

Kaiser and I both did our picks. Very similar early rounds, very different late rounds. Ironically, I am taking fed farther than him.

Kimberly Says:

At Miami last year it was a mob scene when rafa hit the practice court. I am bringing my children and pulling some strings to try to get a photo this year for the kids. They are wearing the red fuegonshirt and grey shorts and are so cute i can’t see who would refuse them. But there was major security last year.

contador Says:


i’m HERE~ at Indian Wells ALL day long. practice court day!

most of the practice action was on court 15 and i perched myself in the perfect spot. could see rafa’s eyebrow raise close up. but 1st it was bellucci and a shirtless ferrer and they really went at it. i think bellucci plays better on a practice court than in his matched …then it was time for federer…

watched federer up close playing querry – fed was supposed hit with fish but the sockless fisn sat and watched. have to say (as many have) fededer does not go full gas on a practice court. for maybe 5 minutes he kicked up a gear but other than that it was very casual.

then it was kohls and djokovic. mmm…best serve of the day to watch was nole! wow. seemed like nole was in high gear more than fed ( not as much as rafa) and i kept calling him “gumby” to myself coz he bends, stretches unlike anyone. and djoko cut the practice short ….don’t know why but he seemed to show up on the soccer field within minutes after he left the court. (soccer field in view of my court 15 perch ) andy murray was playing soccer the entire afternoon. victor troiki was on the soccer field as was: dolgo, monaco, tsonga…some others …couldn’t tell who.

after djoko, kei nishikori was on court 15 and have no idea who he was hitting with but kei was just filler for the main practice court event, RAFA!! it was 5 pm and rafa was out there hitting the skin off the balls with FERRER. ferrer is an animal. he had been hitting in the hottest part of the day full gas with bellucci. then was hitting again with rafa for 2 hrs. rafa, i couldn’t believe how hard that guy practices! and so unlike fed. I think i’m a rafa fan now, kimberly.

between federer and djokovic practices my friend had had enough tennis so i had a guy hold my spot while i walked out with friend but was stopped action on a court along the way and got to watch simon and gulbis. gulbis serve does not disappoint! hardly anyone watching. i found some shade and up rolls this baby stroller. yes i was sitting next to mrs. gilles and their baby! so cute. also was near gulbis’ dad. sort of scary, that.

anyway i also had glimpses of bryan bros. schiavone, mr. dimplepop practicing and baghdatis. nearly walked right into victor hanescu. IW is a place to see all these stars up close. i’

sorry if i sound overly excited but i am!

wish everyone was here! contador…… XD

will be going for the entire day tomorrow and watcheing a 1st round match : )

Skeezerweezer Says:

Tx stu, tx kimberly :-)

Skeezerweezer Says:

@ contador, be there sat/sun

dari Says:

so happy for you contador, you sound excited and you should be! lol at your “now i’m a rafa fan” comment.
daddy gilles as my bf calls him! ha! thanks for reporting back, hope you have a great day, will you get to see delpo?
Kimberly, thanks for link! this set up is soooo high-tech and friendly compared to tennis channel. links for h2h, pic, stats all right there! picked slightly more with brain than AO, but there is still a lot of heart there!

stu Says:

I think I’ll just buy my tickets now. Make the most of it, conty!!

tennismonger Says:

Wouldn’t discount Delpo by any means – Raonic is ready to make some noise too, methinks…

dari Says:

Stepanek is a tough draw first round for delpo. Steps beat him the,year he won uso and was healthy. But Juan martin can do it! Think I have a meeting during the match, but good luck to delpo!

Kimberly Says:

Struggling with berdy wawa pick. Head to head is four each. Toss up.

dari Says:

Yeah, Kimberly, that was a tough one. Think I picked Stan cause I like him better and because fewer people picked him so its an opportunity to pick up points where others don’t. I dunno if that’s a good strategy. Didn’t know they had played so much!
Also, its like EVERYBODY and their brother is playing doubles here at IW! each and every one of the top 5, plus a couple more in the top ten. The dubs specialists are gonna have to work hard to show em what’s what! ;)

jane Says:

contador! AWESOME report, loved your post. HAVE FUN! :) p.s. how should we spot you on the TV? Which flag? :)

dari Says:

Upon further inspection- the top 10 minus roddick are all in dubs draw. Lots of opportunity for people going to see their faves.

margot Says:

conty: thanx SO much for a BRILLIANT report! Have a gr8 time. Andy playing football all afternoon?? Hmm a bit too casual for me. How I wish I were there, but such a dang long way from the UK….:(
skeeze: no kiss? Ah well how about a huge hug and a whisper in his ear “you need a shrink mate”…that should do it ;)

mat4 Says:

margot wrote: conty: thanx SO much for a BRILLIANT report!

I agree!

About the draw: it is fixed, just as usual, and there is no doubt about it. The odds to have the same convenient draw as the AO in the semi are 6,25%.

The program is something like the one used to make timetables at school: you declare some “if”, and the thing is done. Roddick, in the 1/4 of final has to play against one of the top 4, so let’s look at his H2H; it would be nice to have the new rising star – Raonic, against the greatest of all, Federer (a blockbuster), so here they are; Murray and Soderling in the quarter, business as usual…

The only big tournement where the draw is not manipulated is Wimbledon.

Otherwise, it is very difficult to guess who will win. Federer, Djokovic played great in the last few month, Rafa looked good against Belgium, Soderling has won tournaments already… Tough one.

mat4 Says:

Found on another site:

“What I hope to see and what the tennis world as a whole wants to see is Roger versus Novak for the #2 ranking.”

The draw is not made to make it easy for a player, but is “arranged” for the sake of sponsors, tv… Just a question of money. A semi Federer vs Djokovic is something everybody want to watch: who will be num. 2? So, they are in the same half.

Colin Says:

Draws are “arranged”, are they? Yeah, and the moon landing was faked and Elvis is alive and well in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
More seriously, why do people so readily assume that a player’s form must inevitabley be the same as it was in their last match? Two posters here have said Murray is “still suffering” and he’s “moping”. He was, but how do you know he hasn’t got over it? He hasn’t played for a few weeks. He’s one of the rather large number of players who are unpredictable, and Federer has now joined their ranks.

jane Says:

Interesting article by Tignor on how IW is not a harbinger and that in fact winning it doesn’t lead to great things – in 08 Nole went downhill somewhat after his win there; in 09 Rafa did not win another slam after winning the AO / IW double; and in 2010, Ljub really did not do too well after his win there. I agree. I would much rather Nole win another slam &/or Murray win a slam than either winning here or winning the IW and Miami double.

Here is the link

Lulu Iberica Says:

Contador, thanks for that awesome report! How exciting to see all those guys up close! I’m hoping for a Rafa win, but I won’t mind if he just does as well as last year. Although it’s unlikely to happen, I really want him to win in Miami. Would like to see him win the Masters that he’s missing! I hope Raonic and Delpo make some waves this tournament.

madmax Says:

CONTADOR,lovely report there. Keep up the great roving reporter!

margot. made up name? do you know anyone called madmax for real? i may be mad at times, (aren’t we all, when we get to talk about our faves?), but it’s after a film I watched on a ‘classic’ film channel. Are you really called margot? :), i think it’s a lovely name.

Interesting to read about the greatest player debate and scientists coming out with connors as being the best. Here is a really good angle and it’s worth reading. How could anyone say that 1) roger is 7th and 2) rafa is 24th?

science doesn’t always get it right.

sar Says:

Stu, when I go to a tourney I am there from 9-10 am until closing. I don’t sightsee the days I am at the event. So at Cincy we stay at a decent hotel– nothing fancy since we don’t dwell there except to sleep. If you want scenery and tourist things to do then Cincy is not for you. If you just want tennis…..

mat4 Says:

Colin: please. It is not about what I believe or not. Just make some maths. The odds that Soderling and Murray land in the same quarter in two consecutive tournaments are 1/16, and both times in Rafa’s half 1/64. Do you think that Djokovic in Federer’s half almost at every slam except RG, where he was – except once – always in Rafa’s, is a mere coincidence? At the slams, when a Fedal final was the optimal culmination of the event, wouldn’t a semi Rafa=Djoko / Murray-Fed be counterproductive, with a real possibility that the underdogs make the final? What about the AO TV rating, without Federer and Nadal?

The fact is that, most of the time, organizers try to protect their interest. Of course, the complete draw is not faked, just part of it.

madmax Says:

mat4, very cynical – how can it be fixed when last year novak and anna personally drew names from a hat? are you saying they are ‘in on it?’ doesnt make any sense to me, but may be i just don’t get ‘it?’.

I do agree that some of the time seems to be some players play each other more than others, but it has to be coincidence, otherwise surely there would have to be an investigation by the federation or something like that?

Kimmi Says:

Contador – awesome report. please keep them in. I am counting on you girl. The TV starts on saturday, like jane.. pls tell…which flag you will be waving, i will be looking out for you :) and skeezer too ofcourse.. red and white cross should do too..

Just checking how i am doing on my picks and the answer is BAD. got only 1 (one) correct out of 5..BOOOO!

Great to see Donald young winning, didn’t give him a chance. How did hanescu beat seppi..thought seppi was better!

very impressive from devvraman. OK, i should keep an eye on these names. too many young good players to remember.

Go delpo!


The qualifiers have 5 wins and 0 losses so far today so if you decided to pick all qualifiers you are doing pretty good. If you made all your selections early and just chose the main draw entrant because the qualifiers were unknown then you are off to a bad start. The draw was updated in time so this morning I was able to see where each qualifier was inserted in the challenge draw. I picked Devvarmen and Young to win so that helped me somewhat.

Kimmi Says:

oh, so that is what happened NELTA. Good for the qualis to do well here. The other guys might have been caught off guard methink, qualis coming in with a little confidence after winning three matches and used to the conditions too… doesn’t always work that way though.

I have a feeling this bracket wont do so well, especially after picking federer to win it all! ah, a girl can only hope :)

Kimmi Says:

delpo and stepanek on court. wish i could see this match but….

Go delpo!

Kimmi Says:

delpo up a break! good! now needs to hold till the end of set.

Kimmi Says:

ah tough match this is, stepanek breaks back.

I read nalbandian had a surgery for hernia and torn adductor muscle. this is bad..he never really recover 100% after he came back last year.

Lets hope delpo come back is successful

Kimmi Says:

and delpo break back, what a roller coaster

M Says:

“Nadal, Murray on Easy Street Early”

The MurMan possibly, Rafa – not so much.
If Polito keeps form – he’s doing well now – he could challenge him.
And lurking at the bottom of Rafa’s half? His good buddy Ferru. You know, the guy that took him out in QFs at AO?

(And if you think that was just Rafa’s injury, please take a look again at the first three games, and also at some of Ferru’s other angles in highlights. Neither of them ever phones it in against the other.)

Polito a set up! Vamos!

Kimmi Says:

blink and delpo is up a set and a break in the second..yes!

Kimmi Says:

and here is insurance break in the second. delpo!

Kimberly Says:

I am bombing. Again.

Kimmi Says:

delpo about to serve a bagel! has he ever done that since his return?

M Says:

Radek’s no joke. I’m glad Polito’s playing well, but I think I’m in shock.

Kimmi, where are you watching, if I may ask?

Kimmi Says:

bagel it is!

dar Says:

just stepped out of meeting and its 6-4 5-0 for delpo! way to go!

dar Says:

was there live streaming?

dari Says:

haha i picked against janko, bad move, but can you blame me?

Kimmi Says:

i am just following the live score M. I don’t think there is a live stream yet.

glad delpo won, with a bagel..that is convincing ha-ha

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Just saw that all the Big Four are playing doubles.
A) That is pretty cool.
B) Nadal is just being an idiot. I’m sorry, but his camp needs some new voices if they don’t ease up on his schedule far more, adding doubles is asinine for someone with his history.

M Says:

Actually, TV, all five of the top five are playing doubles.

Soderling is playing with Niemenen, and they’re up first against the Bryans.

dari Says:

Actually, M, TV- don’t you guys read my posts?! ;)
All the top ten except for roddick are on the dubs draw. Not to mention most of the Spanish armada!

dari Says:

What’s up with berankis, lost first set 6-1? To American named alex bogomolov jr?

jane Says:

margot, did you see the pics of Murray and Nole at the ATP site? Woot! Go go go!

Missed Juan Martin, but it looks by the scoreline that he was sharp!

Rick Says:

Rafa is making a stupid decision again at Indian Wells. He should forgets playing in double. He is the type of player who gets injury and tired so easily with the game that he plays. Well, now Djokovic is getting things done. When he runs into Federer. Federer really shouldn’t had said those words to remind Djkovic to get things done when he runs into him. Btw, Novak would continues to dominate on Federer nowadays. The YEC really means nothing. Like the previous year, Davydenko won it beating everyone. Then he had a horrible year.

tennisfansince76 Says:

re Rick i don’t think doubles will trouble rafa much. there isn’t that much running in doubles as you don’t have to cover the full court. also the YEC means a lot. all the players would love to win it and it is big points. Davydenko started off last year great. he beat Fed and Nadal at Doha (i believe) and then should have sent Fed packing in the AO quarters if he didn’t lose his mind.

tennisfansince76 Says:

oh yes and then davydenko got a pretty bad injury and was out for a long time. so i don’t see what the connection would be between winning the YEC and the rest of his year. he was playing great, as good as anyone on tour until he got injured.

margot Says:

jane and kimmi too: gr8 pics of Andy, Nole and rest playing football on 548 of Murray’s World pictures.
jane will check the ATP out.
Honestly the blooming bracket….for the AO I picked in about two seconds flat for both my goes, this time I ummed and arred, checked h2hs, rankings, changed about 6 times and…..I’ve crashed and burned BIG time. Obviously not the way to do it :)
madmax: no not your “name” here but “Rebecca Fung-a fat’s” hence my quip about changing it quick ;)
Phew! Proper tennis back at last.

Rick Says:

Hey tennisfansince76, I agree with the things that you said. But I really feel that, Rafa should not play alot nowadays. Because French Open will be coming soon! He has alot to defend. And as for YEC, players should get pretty tired at the end of the season. Djokovic won that in 2008. He also didn’t has a good year in 2009.

mat4 Says:

Madmax: sorry I couldn’t answer yesterday.

A little analysis. I used initials: F=Federer, N=Nadal, M=Murray, D=Djokovic. The assumption here is that Djokovic is an easier match for Federer, and Murray for Nadal on hard, or, if you want, that Murray is a trickier match for Federer, and Djokovic for Nadal. On clay, Murray doesn’t count, and the expected draw is N-D in the semi.

Event Most valuable final draw 1-4 odds
AO 2011 F-N F-D, N-M 1/2, 50%
USO 2010 F-N F-D, N-M 1/4, 25%
W 2010 F-N or F-M F-D, N-M 1/8, 12,5%
RG 2010 F-N F-M, N-D 1/16 6,25%
AO 2010 F-N F-D, N-M 1/32 3,12%
USO 2009 F-N F-D, N-M 1/64 1,56%
W 2009 F-M** F-D, ?-M 1/128 0,78%
RG 2009 N-D* F-D, N-M 1/256 0,39%
AO 2009 F-N F-D, N-M 1/512 0,20%
USO 2008 F-M or F-N F-D, N-M 1/1024 0,09%

Since Rafa won Wimbledon and the rivality between him and Fed took another dimension, the draw in the slams was always protecting them in the semi. The stats above are blatant: there was 1/512 chance to have such draw in 9 slams in a row. From a scientific point of view, it’s a proof. The semi F-D was projected 7 times in a row, from W 2008 to RG 2010; the chances for such thing are 1/128, or 0,78%. It is obvious that there is a pattern.

There can be disagreaments about the “Most valuble final” thing, but not too much.

I do not know which draws are fixed, in what measure, and how it is done. I do know that it can be easily done.

If Djokovic takes the num 2 rank, you can bet that Roger will be in his half at RG. If Roger continues to play exceptionnal tennis like he is doing now and makes a step toward num 1, Nole will land in Rafa’s half.

* In 2009, Djokovic had an exceptionnal clay court season until RG, and after the final in 2008 when Rafa destroyed Fed, a final N-D was the only where some fight could be expected.
** Nadal didn’t play.

contador Says:

hello everybody! contador checking in: let’s see if i can manage coherent senteces or will it be gibberish…

excited. XD!

thursday all day at IW

BF now just drops me off, calls me a “tennistard” and tells me he’ll pick me up from tennis day care when i call him, LOL…..

IW was 5x busier than yesterday. IW grounds were swarmed with ppl.

on the way in, i heard FED and STAN were on practice court 16 and JJ was on 15. so i sprinted my way thru the crowd and just as i got there, i got lucky again and found a spot on the bleachers, front row, in the middle between the courts, with full view of both. it was hotter than yesterday but i sat out there and fried myself to a crisp though wearing “30” sunblock. Unlike yesterday, FED was in all white working hard, shirt stuck to his back. after an extensive warm up ( about an hour ) stanley won their practice match ( after about 2 hrs total total) …..eeeeeyikes…still don’t know about fed’s form. maybe it was not a robo cop practice day and he had other “stuff” on his mind??? shank, shank and first serves into net….*sigh*

yesterday i learned and brought my own water. anyway, couldn’t give up my seat because when JJ was done, MURRAY and FERRER walked onto court 15 and started hitting. plus, SODA POP and TUNA MELT were on 16! okay, i am officially a murray fan. i like how every time he hit the ball he hit the sweet spot, it makes that special sound; backhand, forehand, DTL, painting the lines, finding the corners, angles, making ferrer look ordinary (compared to how FERRER was playing against bellucci and even NADAL yesterday) murray made ferrer run more thatn rafa did. such deception and perfect drop shots! PLUS serving lights out!! why can’t he play on center court like that, please? the guy next to me fully agreed. my new best friend. at last i had someone to save my seat while i went to go check on TIPSY’s stadium 1 match ( had ticket to day ”real matches” but decided to keep watching the 4 top ten’ers on their practice courts. both pairs played for 2 hrs.

at the same time as watching MURRAY, i had full veiw of smoderling soderling smoking aces! OMG. no wind so his high ball toss was going in, either an ace or unreturnable. melzer too, simply hitting hard and serving well.and why doesn’t MELZER play like that during a real match?? i think he won their practice match. people on both sides of me agreed too- soderling and murray should win GS’s, the way they were hitting, serving, running, ect….

still was not impressed with fed’s play, though he was less casual than yesterday. 1st serves were not going in and the shanking was happening a lot.

murray, soderling and melzer all looked far better than wawa vs fed. and i don’t know if fed is holding back or what but mr. dimplepop is in great form. his serve and how he pounds those groundstrokes – amazing. of course the forehand better than back hand but he was coming to net with more speed than one would guess. melzer the perfect practice partner as a tune up for maybe nadal?

Kimberly, i did the draw days ago and haven’t had time to look at it, or go over it and have time to switch names around as usual.

meanwhile muzza hitting with ferrer: i was sitting right hehind MUZZA. he really does moves in every direction, appears to know where the ball will go and is every bit as quick as djokovic or nadal, from what i saw. murray is easy power with guile and finesse. win a GS already really!!

finally i couldn’t stay there any longer without having a heatstroke, even though DJOKO was supposed to be on practice court either 15 or 16 and Berdych hitting on the other. had to find some shade. so went and watched hanescu beat seppi. yup, my seppi pick was wrong, remembering i picked him now. then walked around the practice courts watching azarenka, schiavone, troiki, melzer, tsonga on a back court hitting with kohls. DR. IVO nearly walked over me. what a giant!

watched a bit of robin haase in a real match. then took off to find my seat for the biggie: STPS vs DELPO in the main stadium. delpo played the first set a little “off” i thought, giving back a break. but steps wasn’t easy that first set. after delpo won the first set 6-4, it was 5 pm ( god does delpo play slow) so methodical. would drive me crazy. and yet, there was that forhand and showing better movement than i expected.

but 5 pm meant DOLGO on a practice court with CILIC.

POGO DOLGO boing, boing boing… new absolute favorite!
i found a spot to hang over a fence between the crowd of fans watching these two on a practice court. all of us gasping at that trigger tigger serve, his relfexes, speed…he’s a joy to watch even though his misses are as spectacular as the winners. cilic is the fastest of the 6’6’ers. but not as fast as dolpogo! and cilic wasn’t getting his first serves in. advantage tigger. : ) *favorite practice match of the day* the sun was going down and my ride was on his way….so feeling guilty i left, wishing i could have stayed to hear the bryan bros and their band : )

Friday – day session only. dinner plans tonight. but i get a full day on sunday and an evening session monday. (saturday is sold out :( …..


contador Says:

meant, the way melzer practices -serves , hits winners, his speed…he appeared every bit as good as the higher ranked top ten and maybe it’s all in his head, why he can’t win a GS.

anyway….forgot to mention on my way out last night, i stopped for about 20 minutes to see handome verdasco and rafa hitting….what a treat!

verdasco = melzer…could and should win the biggies. *scratches head*

have to find raonic today!! no flags to be found , Jane.

Swiss Maestro Says:


pR!ck wants to discredit YEC because rafa has a miserable record at YEC. He is always bummed out by that time.

mat4 : Two ways to look at it – most sports events are fixed at some extent to cash in on fanatic/hooligan supporters. Another way, innocent until proven guilty. Entire football matches can be fixed very easily, so a draw is no big deal. I am sure you are the kind of person who is very afraid to speak on the phone because you are afraid someone is tapping your phone. yes?

jane Says:

contador, loving your reports! Keep em coming. You sound enamoured by Pogo Tigger! :) and also impressed with Muzza – great, as I think I picked him to beat Nole here in the final. You sound less sure about Fed and Delpo(?) – how did that second set play out? Missed the match. Anyhow, do not get heat stroke. Look forward to your take on Milos. Have fun at IW daycare. :D

jane Says:

margot, scrumptious pics @ Murray’s World! They are nice and big – looks so gorgeous in the desert sun. We have had rain all week. b.t.w., made my draw picks in 2 minutes and haven’t checked back, but do agree that sometimes instinct works better with these sorts of things.

dari Says:

Impressive and enthusiastic report contador! Love it thank you! I, too, fell in love with Murray watching him close up live. The tv doesn’t do his game as much justice! Let’s hope fed cleans up for match play. Frankly, I don’t rwally he NEEDS to win.this tourney, but he needs to play well and if be and djoko should meet he’s got to beat him.
Anyway, have fun at tennis daycare!

madmax Says:

mat4, thanks for getting back to me mat, but your post deserves a proper look at it tomorrow when I am fresh and clear in my mind!

Margot, I absolutely don’t know what you are talking about? Really.

madmax: no not your “name” here but “Rebecca Fung-a fat’s” hence my quip about changing it quick ;)

Is tehre someone here of that name? Really? I am being completely obtuse, but think the name is really funny.

Contador, you remind me of tigger, let alone dolgopolov! Enjoy your day.

margot Says:

conty: I luuuuuvvvvv uuuuuoooo :) thanx sooo much for report of Andy at IW has cheered me up no end! what a gr8 time you’re obviously having :) :)
jane: yes, pics r gr8 aren’t they. Oh folks can keep extolling the charms of their Fedal, not a patch on our Andoly are they?
Ah madmax: then u can’t have read that article you reproduced @ 1.24 cos in that Ms Rebecca Fung-a-fat, or whatever, is clearly mentioned ;)

mat4 Says:

Swiss Maestro: They are indeed taping my phone…

Madmax: sorry, the table is not at intended.

About draws: Unfortunately, it has a direct impact on results.

madmax Says:

margot, I’ll go and have a look now! how funny! margot, have just been looking at the tsunami news and just find it unbelievable what is going on in the world right now.
so I need a break from hearing about all the bad news.
mat. okay. thanks for the info.

madmax Says:

Margot? okay. RF rebecca fung-a-fat? (roger federer), is that who you are referring too? I am so thick. I am just dead to jokes right now. Usually a bit more on the ball, but not tonight. sorry! I couldnt find the 1.24 post, do you mean 1.26?

flippin’ ec margot, am gonna have to look at it before I sleep and work out the anagram or whatever it is that is staring me in the face and me not getting it.

margot Says:

madmax: it’s so funny, whoever it is :) If it’s a joke on Rog., highly unfair as one thing he’s not, is fat…..but there again some Americans do have strange names so just maybe…..;)
yes, news from Japan is truly terrible, it all happened so suddenly with no warning.

Kimmi Says:

contador – I love your report. great writing, made me smile.

doesn’t sound good about fed, more shanks oh no! glad muzza is on the roll in practice..needs to translate that and win win win. sounds like he is put the AO behind him now. Go muzza.

haha glad you saw tigger dolgo the dog..btw, delpo bagelled stepanek in the second set, he must have played well.

waiting for more reports. keep them coming. take care of yourself though…no sun burn please!

madmax Says:

Margot, still can’t find it :(, i may be wrong, but you still think it’s me? Would never desert the fed margot, same as you and Andy. (or call him fat?), tell me why you thought it was me?

And if someone described him as fat? they need to go to spec savers. He is as lean as they come – just needs to get meaner!

Kimmi, I dont worry about Roger’s motivation. There is plenty out there to suggest he’ll step it up. I feel he likes to give the impression he isn’t working as hard as the rest of them, but he is. Plus he has just won the doubles with stan, a very respectable 61, 62 against nestor and partner, who are world no. 6. There’s plenty of gas in the tank.

So Milos first serve of the match he just played was 46%? And everyone is getting jittery about the possibility of fed and milos playing? Roddick beats milos recently with an incredible final shot, fed beats roddick and 90% of pundits believe that it’s going to be a beat down should fed reach the 4th round against milos? We’ll just have to wait and see.

I do get the cobbly wobbles when fed plays, because I know that anything could happen, but we have been spoilt and I put it down to that.

Fed conserves his energy and doesn’t look beyond the first round. He recently said that the early rounds, he finds difficult as anything can happen. What is incredible is how this fabulous player has been consistent for so long, and now that he is in a so-called ‘slump’ we have the same old crap being written about him. That’s what I feel sorry about for fed. No matter what he does, his game is picked apart by the vultures.

I just want to enjoy watching him play and hope that he can continue playing well and of course win 20 slams.

Whereas before it used to be probable, it’s now possible.

Go federer!

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