Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wk.6- No Fairytale Ending for Rafa

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

I am rushed for time as usual. My thoughts go out to all those in - I'm going to butcher this -- Mississippi. I hope you all do OK and the damage isn't too awful. Katrina is still fresh in my memory.

I watched the epicly good film "101 Dalmatians" this week. I found it in a box off old stuff. Cartoons and animated films were at the absolute peak in the 1960's. This is one of my particular favourites:

Why not enjoy some classic 90's Britpop whilst reading...

When I saw Nadal was going to play surprise package Horacio Zeballos, I thought it would be a walk in the park. Only Federer and Djokovic have defeated Nadal in a clay final previously. He is also the first Argy since '05 to beat Nadal on the dirt. Also, he lost in the doubles final with Juan Monaco. He lost badly there, too. Cilic won his home tournament and Gasquet -- who drove to his tournament from his family house -- literally won his home tournament.

S: Horacio Zeballos def. Rafael Nadal 6-7/7-6/6-4
D: Lorenzi/Starace d. Monaco/Nadal

S: Marin Cilic def. Jurgen Melzer 6-3/6-1
D: Knowle/Polasek d. Dodig/Pavic

S: Richard Gaquet def. Benoit Paire 6-2/6-3
D: Gicquel/Llodra d. Brunstrom/Klaasen

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Horatio Zeballos, ARG
...He beat seeds 1,4,5 and 8. Considering he only played five matches, that is a massive achievement. Agassi beat seeds 4,6,9,12,13 in a record breaking victory at the 1999 US Open. That was the most seeds beaten to win a grand slam. The numbers may not mean much, but he beat Chang, Muster and Stich to name but a few. Anyway, Zeby was awesome. He has a nice backhand and a decent dropper, too. He also has a monstrous forehand and serve to boot. He likes the dirt best but can play on all surfaces. He edged past Ramos and Nadal but other than that he was pretty much awesome throughout. Look out for him at the French Open and the big clay tourneys in April-May. Maybe each year Madrid does a different colour. Can we make requests? I think a Zebra print would be interesting personally.
RISER: Richard Gasquet, FRA
...Yes, I am biased toward him. But right now he is on some serious form. He is 14-1 with two 250 tourney's under his belt. He was 12 games away from reaching the QF of the Aussie and he is finally starting to make winning these kind of tourneys routine. A maturity he has rarely displayed is now clear for all to see. He looks likely to be a top 8 seed for the French. He has few points to defend at Rotterdam. In fact, he has no significant amount of points to defend until April. He will rise up the rankings for sure. He can also pass his career high of 7 if he keeps this form up. Actually he has no points to defend until Estoril. Look for him to be seeded eight at the French Open.
SURPRISE: Horacio Zeballos, ARG
...See above really.
VETERAN: Jurgen Melzer, AUT
...He has beaten Nadal, Djokovic and a host of other amazing players. He has been to a slam semifinal. He has also won two doubles finals at slam level. He has a nifty dropshot and a massive forehand. He has won a 500 tourney, too. He is a great player. I wrote IS there, not was. He may still be able to string together 8 or 9 brilliant matches and surprise us all. He has the game, but he will be 32 this year. He was a late bloomer and unfortunately that means less time in the sun.
COMEBACK: Rafael Nadal, ESP
...In 2004, this guy called Federer dominated pretty much everything. Then this other guy called Nadal came along and beat him easily at Miami. He won the French the next year. He has only lost one match at the French. He is the only player ever to consistently dominate Federer. He is amazing and a great, respectful guy. He was a humble champion. He had the greatest rivalry tennis has ever seen with Roger Federer -- up for debate that one -- and all was good. Federer had hard and Nadal clay. Grass usually went to Fed, too. But then Rafa's knees came up and he has struggled. He may never be able to win another hard court major. He finally made a second return this year. He had spent eight months out. Now he is back. Kind of. The best result this week is that he is back and healthy-ish. So yay!
NEW FACE: Christian Garín, CHI
...Garín is the youngest Chilean player to win an ATP match. He then took a set off Chardy before succumbing. Massu played here but he is nearing retirement. Gonzo went out nearly a year ago. Chile needs another tennis player and I think it has found one. I know nothing about him. However, I shall keep my eyes peeled.
DOWN: Juan Monaco, ARG
...What can one say? He was number ten last year. He was 4-1 in finals last year, too. One of those was a 500. He has barely won a singles match this year. He has a lot of points to defend, too. A crash is going to happen unless he can tighten up soon. It is a pity he has fallen because Pico is such a great competitor and player that you want him to be up there.

1. VTR OPEN Final - Zeballos d. Nadal
Could I have picked anything else? It was an absolutely epic match. Zeballos -- like Rosol, if you want -- played the match of his life. He hit lines and served big. He played with daring and panache. He looked like Nadal does at his best. He played the perfect match and still it nearly wasn't enough.
2. Open Sud De France 2nd Rd - Gasquet d. Monfils
This lived up to expectations. I think everyone would like Gael's ranking to rise so they can stop meeting him early on. He played some stunning shots in this loss and had some incredible gets, too. However, in the end, Gasquet had too much for him in a very entertaining match. Right now, France looks very strong.
3. PBZ ZAGREB INDOORS SF - Cilic d. Youzhny
Maybe I was wrong about Cilic. Anyway, he toughed one out against Youzhny, who I think may have hurt himself. He pulled out of Rotterdam injured. This was a great contrast of styles. Youzhny was not quite strong enough in the end however.

(1) Federer d. (5) Simon
(2) Del Potro d. (3) Gasquet
(1) Federer d. (2) Del Potro

(1) Raonic d. (3) Querrey
(8) Malisse d. (4) Haas
(1) Raonic d. (8) Malisse

(1) Nadal d. (5) Bellucci
(2) Almagro d. (7) Andujar
(1) Nadal d. (2) Almagro

In case you missed it this made me feel good last year...

All for now and visit WTA BACKSPIN.

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