Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wk.8- 500 Number Two for Kei

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

I watched the pretty epic film "The Breakfast Club" this week. It's still a fantastic film, which proves that it's not the years it's the mileage, if I may quote a certain archeologist. Also this week, Tsonga continued the French resurgence. Gasquet was the first to win two titles this year, followed by Ferrer. Overall in all ermm... brands, codes of the sports (doubles, mixed etc) France have five, Spain four and Brazil, GB, USA and Serbia all have 3. Tsonga saved six match points to win. It looks as if Rasheed is improving Tsonga mentally. If that is the case then another grand slam final may happen. In a final anything can happen. I think we all remember the 2002 Aussie open men's final. Actually, I think both finals were memorable. That final probably eternally haunts Hingis's nightmares. That and the way she conducted herself after she lost to Graf at the '99 French. Sorry, went off track there. On with the review I think. However, before I do perhaps you might enjoy this soft country hummer from yesteryear if country is your thing.

S: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Tomas Berdych 3-6/7-6/6-4
D: Bopanna/Fleming d. Qureshi/Rojer

S: Kei Nishikori def. Feliciano Lopez 6-2/6-3
D: Bryan/Bryan d. Blake/Sock

S: David Ferrer def. Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4/3-6/6-1
D: Bolelli/Fognini d. Monroe/Stadler

...He has now been to three 500 finals and is 2-1 in them. He is 1-1 in 250s also. That's pretty good stats for this early in his career. I think he might be a dark horse for the US if this keeps up. I don't mean actually winning it but the semis? Who knows? Donald Young actually won matches in qualifying so I was tempted to put him in here. He even won a main draw match via retirement. He was poor against Nishikori though and lost 6-3 6-3. In fact, Kei was tested most in his opener. He beat Marchenko 6-4 7-5. After that he wasn't really tested. He was comfortable against Young and barely troubled in beating Cilic 6-4 6-2. Matosevic retired after losing the first set so that match we'll gloss over. In the final, however, Kei was comfortable against tricky Spaniard Lopez. Depending on the draws, look for Kei to go far in both Indian Wells and Miami. Overall a very impressive performance and at #16 his career high of #15 looks beatable. Very beatable.
...Yes, I know the Bryans won. However they are the Bryans. We expect that the same way we expected "Les Miz" to do well. The Italians didn't lose a set and beat the top and third seeds, too. OK, so they played Monroe/Stadler in the final, neither of which I have ever heard of, but hey it's still good.
RISER: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA
...As I have said previously, I have a soft spot for pretty much every French player ever with only a couple of exceptions. Tsonga is no different. He had it hard, too. Davydenko really pushed him for a set and a bit before falling away. He edged Tomic 11-9 in a third set breaker and benefited from Delpo crashing out to Simon. He put Simon away with relative ease and then played Berdman in the final. He lost the first set and soon faced a match point late in the second. However, he saved it and then took the third 6-4 to win in three tight sets. I think he can win a slam. The stars have to align themselves and he has to have a fair amount of luck -- Djokovic getting stuck in a "Die Hard" movie, maybe -- but I think he can do it. He and Delpo are the best outside of Fedalovic and Murray. Delpo didn't play brilliantly this week but there's always next week.
SURPRISE: Dmitry Tursunov, RUS
...Russian tennis is in disarray currently. The men's was never quite as strong as the women's. Rather, it never had the depth. Kafelnikov, Safin and Davydenko were all very good, but it didn't have the sheer depth the women had. Safin and his sister are gone now. Davydenko is fading. Youzhny is about 25-30. On the women's side, Sharapova still stands strong. Makarova, too, is there with Kirilenko and Petrova, also. And we shouldn't forget that Kuznetsova has come back and is ranked about #45-50 now. It seems Russia is beginning a slow recovery process. Anyway Turunov has been playing in the challengers and similar for a while so it was a great week for him, as he won the qualies then three matches in the main draw. We'll put his shellacking at the hands of Berdych aside for now.
VETERAN: James Blake, USA
...Outside of the top five guys, if I could have anyone's game it would be Blake's then Gasquet's, maybe. He turned 33 in December and, quite frankly, he is not as good as he was. He was amazing in the 2006 ATP year-end tourney before getting beaten easily by Roger. He also lost in the Bronze play off at the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Djoko. He lost to Fed at the 2006 IW tourney in three straight sets. He also lost badly to Rog at Cincy in 2007. He was 1-1 in 500 tourneys and 9-10 in 250s. To date he is 10-14 in finals. He has not won a title in about 5 and a half years.
COMEBACK: Tommy Robredo, ESP
...I don't know where this guy's been but he is very good on the clay. He also challenged Fed at a couple of Aussie Opens, too. He thrashed Elias, Schwartzman and Reister but then got thrashed by Ferrer. Still he seems to bring back his best when on the dirt so maybe he isn't quite done yet at 30. He's 9-5 in clay finals and he has won Hamburg, too, back when it was a Masters. Hmmm, maybe he has more to give.
NEW FACE: Jack Sock, USA
...He won the '11 US Open with Oudin and since then there has been a fair amount of hype about him. He has a nice solid game with the typical big serve, big forehand most Americans possess. He made the doubles final with Blake but got thrashed by the Bryans. He has had a very good week. That win over Raonic is amazing and to follow it up was also very impressive.
DOWN: Janko Tipsarevic, SRB
...He has a lot of points to defend this year and I think he is likely to lose his spot in the top ten soon. Gasquet is just 245 points behind him. He was a semifinalist last year in Marseille. He was a quarterfinalist at Dubai last year. He has just lost early there, too. At Miami, he was a quarterfinalist, also. Quarters at Barcelona and semis at Madrid. Unless something changes and fast, he could be outside the top eight seeds for the French.

1. MARSEILLE QF - Tsonga d. Tomic
This was an absolutely fantastic match through and through. There were some stunning shots and Tsonga had to bring everything he had to even win. He is looking very good at the moment.
2. MARSEILLE FINAL - Tsonga d. Berdych
He escaped in the final, as well. He played great and imaginative tennis and managed to win despite the fact he faced a match point. He won in Marseille despite being in a corner so many times.
3. BUENOS AIRES 2nd Rd. - Ferrer d. Nalbandian
.The combined age of these two is 61. Nevertheless, they played an entertaining match in which the difference turned out to be mental stamina. Nalbandian still has the shots but he just went away quietly in the third set.

Djokovic [1] d. [4] Del Potro
Federer [2] d. [3] Berdych
Federer [2] d. [1] Djokovic

...I think seven finals here -- he is 5-2 -- speak volumes personally. I think Federer should get to the final easily enough, but once there can he beat Djokovic?

Ferrer [1] d. [4] Wawrinka
Nadal [2] d. [3] Almagro
Nadal [2] d. [1] Ferrer

...This is the big test for Nadal now. If he is fit I think he will win. I think Vavsy should continue his upwards trend.

Nishikori [4] d. Matosevic
Haas [2] d. [3/WC] Querrey
Haas [2] d. [4] Nishikori

...Aaah why not?

I wasn't happy but many were to see this:


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