Friday, April 05, 2013

Miami, Pt.2 & Davis Cup Preview

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

Murray wins another title and ascends to number two. Will he be number one Murray ? Perhaps. He played a lot of good -if not aggressive- tennis this week. He managed to beat Gasquet in a very entertaining three setter. He also edged Ferrer in a three set classic. The one-handed backhand came back into fashion, too. Murray proved yet again that when he doesn't have to play any of the top four he can win tournaments. His record against Federer is good, his record against Nadal is poor and his record against Djokovic isn't great, but he is still a very good player. He wins a lot of titles and he always puts himself up there so he can take advantage of a surprise finalist, or rather a finalist not in the top four.

S: Andy Murray/GBR def. David Ferrer/ESP 2-6/6-4/7-6
D: Qureshi/Rojer d. Fyrstenberg/Matkowski

...As mentioned above, he had a very solid week. He beat Tomic without a lot of fuss. Tomic pretty much imploded. In fact, he imploded pretty spectacularly. Last week Dimi served for the first set against Djoko and served four doubles. This week he served for the opener against Murray and only hit three. It was still too many and Murray broke before taking the set 7-6. After that, Murray took control and won the next 6-3. Seppi seems to be arriving late on in his career and he pushed Murray. There were a few long rallies, but Murray proved too strong in the end, winning 2 and 4. Next up, Murray faced Cilic and was never threatened in a 6-4 6-3 win. Cilic strengthened his position at number 11 and could even take over Tipsy's spot in the top 10. Murray went on to play Gasquet -Gasquet is to me what Dokic is to Todd- and he beat him in three very entertaining sets. The first set was probably the set of the tournament, but Murray was strong enough mentally to come back and win the next two sets comfortably. That final against Ferrer was like a scene from the movie "Gladiator." I was almost in pain watching it. There were long rallies and drama and all kinds of crazy things. Murray complained about Ferrer receiving treatment for cramps. Ferrer challenged a call when he had match point. It went to a breaker. In the end, Murray was too good and he could be world number one come Wimbledon.
RISER: Janko Tipsarevic, SRB
...He hasn't been in as big a slump as, say, Mayer, but he has been in poor form. It was important for him to string a couple of wins here. He did so. He put away Sela without too much bother and then came back and handed Anderson a third set bagel -Serena's recipe?- before losing to Simon in an epic. He took the first set against the Frenchman but crumbled in the next two, and won only four more games.
...I would love to see Haas do mixed doubles with Krumm -who married a German, too, I think- because they might be the oldest mixed doubles team in the modern era. His game is still viable even after all these years. Perhaps because his game is so simple, it works so well. He bageled Sijsling but then lost the second set 7-5 before coming back to win the third 6-3. It wasn't a great start. He ousted Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-2 in a match that was a little closer than the scoreboard suggests. He then caused the biggest upset since Rosolgate. He outplayed, out-hit and out-thought the number one. He beat him 2 and 4. He used that one-handed backhand to excellent effect in cold conditions. He then survived the inevitable Djokovic fightback to enter the quarters. Simon was never really given a chance as he lost 3 and 1. He was exhausted after his exhausting fight against Tipsy. He even took the first set against Ferrer before Ferrer came back to win in three.
VETERAN: David Ferrer, ESP
...Poor Ferrer. He really had this one on his racket. He was pretty good throughout the tourney. After Turunov withdrew, he dispatched Fognini and Nishikori. He beat the Italian 6-1 7-5 before beating the Japanese man surprisingly easily 6-4 6-2. Nishikori wasn't himself, true, but Ferrer earned the win nevertheless. He out-ground Melzer in three that got progressively less competitive as it wore on. He then came back from a set down again to beat Haas. When he took the first set 6-2 against Murray he looked very good. But Muzza came back strong and just edged victory. So close yet again for Ferrer.
COMEBACK: Tomas Berdych, CZE
...He wouldn't go away. He was down a set againt Gimeno-Traver and looked heading for the door but came back to win the second set breaker before rolling through the third. Against Falla, he was down 6-2, 5-3 and he came back to win another second set breaker. He won the third 6-4 to complete a comeback. He thrashed an erratic Querrey next before finally succumbing to the flashy exciting Frenchman Gasquet.
NEW FACE: Marin Cilic, CRO
...He has reached just 6 Masters quarters in his career. Rome in 2011, Canada in 2008, Cincy and Shanghai last year, Paris in 2009 and now Miami. To be honest, his Masters record isn't great. He usually loses to a member of the big four in those quarters, though. Anyway, he is always a threat on all surfaces and he looks to be hitting form before we hit the dirt.
DOWN: Fernando Verdasco, ESP
...There are a number of slumps going on right now. This is a biggie. I think his career wouldda tuned out even better had he beaten Nadal in that Aussie Open semi. But he didn't, and after 2009-2011 he has slowly started to fall down the rankings. He will be thirty this year and he looks to be in a really bad run of form.

I'm away next week, so I will be unable to cover the Davis Cup. So I will be previewing it properly here. This link is another preview from the ATP which is pretty interesting, too.

Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, Vancouver, Canada- Hard (indoor)
Canada vs Italy
...I think Raonic is fully fit now and should be able to beat Fognini, but Pospisil will lose to Seppi. They'll take the doubles and Raonic should be able to beat Seppi to close it out.

Taco Bell Arena, Boise, Idaho, USA - Hard (indoor)
United States vs Serbia
...They are playing at a high altitude to help the big serves and the big forehands of the US team. I think it is pretty simple here. Troicki is in a mire right now. To win, the USA will have to beat him twice and win the doubles with the Bryans. Can they do it? I say yes and I say the Americans take it 3-2.

Parque Roca, Buenos Aires, Argentina- Clay (outdoor)
Argentina vs France
...This is the only outdoor tie this round. Gasquet has pulled out with blister related issues. Delpo has also withdrawn however. The thing about the French that few other nations have is an enormous strength in depth. They are also great on all surfaces. If I was them, I would play my home ties on grass, though. Tsonga and Gasquet on grass would be a huge combination. Anyway, my pre-tournament faves the French should come through here. Tsonga will beat Berlocq., Simon will have too much for the slumping Monaco. If the French don't win the doubles -they should- and somehow Monaco beats Tsonga, then Simon will still be too good for Berlocq. The French will win at least 3-1.

National Tennis Centre, Astana, Kazakhstan- Clay (indoor)
Kazakhstan vs Czech Republic
...Eight seeded Kazakhstan take on the second seeded Czechs indoor on the dirt. I think this is really hard to pick. Looking at the teams, Kukushkin should be too strong for Hajek. Golubev too will beat Rosol. The Czechs will win the doubles but I don't think they can win both of the next two singles rubbers and Kazakhan should be able to upset the Czechs. The absence of Berdych/Stepsy has really hurt them.


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Anonymous Tennis Blogger said...

will Nadal be the same player as he was in 2008 , 2009 , 2010 , and 2011 because 2012 he faced injuries before the olympics

Wed Apr 10, 02:13:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Not sure what Galileo's take on it is, but with the way Nadal has looked since he came back, it'd be hard to not see him at least winning again in Paris. And, assuming his health holds out, possibly again in London, as well, just as he did (or at least he won RG and reached the Wimb final) during that stretch.

The Open might be a different matter, especially at the end of a long summer of play on multiple surfaces. But after so much time away, Nadal doesn't appear to be the sometimes-rundown player he was when he's physically having issues. Remember, even with other players being superior hard court players than he, the last time he played in NYC and didn't at least reach the semifinals was back in 2007.

Along as he has his health, he can alter his game enough with each section of the schedule to give himself a shot anywhere. How many more seasons that'll be the case -- and, who knows, maybe this will be the last one because his body is relatively "fresh" due to last season's time out w/ injuries -- remains to be seen, but he might be able to truly contend at all the remaining '13 slams.

Fri Apr 12, 05:06:00 PM EDT  

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