Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wk.15- The Return of Tommy

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

My closest American friend lives in Boston and I fully understand how badly the bombings have affected America and the world. However, I think it best to try and avoid the subject for a while. Nevertheless, I am a bit distracted right now and I think I'm just gonna get on and review the week's happenings in tennis: Isner emerged from his slump, and Robredo overcame injury and a major trophy drought to win, too.

S: Tommy Robredo/ESP d. Kevin Anderson/RSA
D: Knowle/Polasek d. Brown/Kas

S: John Isner/USA d. Nicolas Almagro/ESP
D: Peers/J.Murray d. Bryan/Bryan

...Casablanca is a beautifal city and it is also an excellent film. There is a tennis tournament there, as well. The last home winner was the flashy Moroccan Younes El Aynaoui who won it back in 2002. He defeated Youzhny and Canas in the semis and the finals to win it. Anyway, Robredo won here to take his finals record to 11-7, though it was his first title in two years. Funnily enough, his last title before that was also two years beforehand. He has battled with injuries recently but right now is at 43 in the world. If his form continues, he could be a low seed at the French and he may even be able to put together a strong run there, to the quarters or even maybe to the semi-finals. Victories over Rufin and Kamke are not so noteworthy, but bageling Paire is. The talented young Frenchman won the second set against Robredo 6-2 before crumbling to a 6-0 final set loss. After that , Tommy came back to beat Wawrinka 1-6,6-3,6-2. After beating seeds 4 and 1, he beat second seed Anderson in three tight sets to take his tenth clay court title. In fact, I think -and I couldn't find this info- that currently he is about 4th on the list of current players with the most clay titles. If you combine the amount of titles Fed and Murray have won on clay then it is the same as Robredo's total.
RISER: Juan Monaco, ARG
...When Gasquet pulled out of Davis Cup, Simon played instead. He didn't play well and France lost the tie. He lost to Monaco and although he got thrashed by Tsonga, Monaco appears to have found his mojo once more. He Beat Smyczek failry comfortably in the end and then thrashed Ginepri to make the semis. He took the first set 6-1 against Isner before losing in three epic sets. In any case, this has been a very good week for him. He looks good for the rest of the clay court season and he has points to defend so there's pressure on him to do well.
...Coming in as the fifth seed without an easy draw and out of form, Isner looked set for a predictable early exit. This was not the case. He beat Harrison 7-6,6-4 to set up a clash with Sock. He came through in three incredibly tight sets. He showed a lot of fight and determination to get through to the quarters. He beat talented Lithuanian Berankis in three sets to advance to a quarterfinal with Monaco. After winning that, he then beat clay-court specialist Almagro.. Anyway, Isner beat him in two straight sets to win his 6th title. He is 6-7 in finals but has only reached two finals outside of America. He is 1-1 there.
VETERAN: Nicolas Almgro, ESP
...Almagro hasn't won a title since May last year. He has reached 19 finals and is 12-7 but he has never reached a final on a surface that isn't clay. He has been as high as nine in the world. If he could win a hard court tournament -he is aces leader in 2013 so far- late on in the year, then he really could have a shot at the year end tournament. I don't think he can get any higher than 11 or so, which is where he is, unless he can start to be successful on other surfaces.
COMEBACK: Robby Ginepri, USA
...He did nothing in 2012 -I'm unsure why- and he seems to be finding his game again. Before losing badly to Monaco, he made the quarters with a couple of solid results.
NEW FACE: Rhyne Williams, USA
...I've not mentioned him before, but he is the future of American men's tennis. He and Stephens on the WTA tour may one day be an exciting Olympic pairing for the mixed doubles. He made the semis here by beating talented dirt-ballers like Pella, Karlovic and Hidalgo. After three tight and tiring matches, he was well beaten by Almagro, but the tournament as a whole was extremely successful.
DOWN: Fernando Verdasco, ESP
...It looks like the beginning of the end of Verdasco's career. He is really starting to fade now. He lost badly to Hidalgo who he really should be thrashing. I can't help but wonder what Verdasco's career would have been like had he beaten Nadal in the semis of the Australian all those years ago. But he didn't and I think retirement beckons soon for Ferver.

1. Casablanca SF - Robredo d. Wawrinka
This was a match with lots of high quality rallies and a fantastic comeback from the Spaniard.
2. Houston SF - Isner d. Monaco
Another comeback, and Isner played so well to win this one, despite falling behind.
3. Casablanca SF - Anderson d. Klizan
Another comeback. This one was a real challenge for the South African and he only just figured out Klizan's game in time.

Del Potro [5] d. [7] Gasquet
Nadal [3] d. [2] Murray
Murray [3] d. [5] Del Potro

...I am not sure how bad the Djokovic injury is but I do think Nadal will win title number nine here and possibly even without dropping a set. Can he win 10? It's likely but not certain. Thanks all and visit WTABACKSPIN.

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