Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Indian Wells Halfway-ish Update

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

Before I say anything just watch this point. C'est incroyable!


Federinka have excelled in both the singles and doubles. They are currently in the quarters of the doubles, where they play Paes/Stepanek, and also the fourth round, too. Federer plays Haas, whilst Wawrinka has Anderson. The Swiss duo are looking better and better as the year goes on.

There have been a few upsets this week. Del Potro withdrew from the tournament with a wrist injury. Gasquet and Tsonga continued their dismal form. They were quite poor. In fact, despite having four seeds in the draw, there are no Frenchman left. Berdych crashed out to Agut, with Nadal following a few days later in a loss to Dolgopolov. We are set to lose another top tenner as Raonic plays Murray and Raonic could win that very easily.

Murray beat former top junior Vesely in three sets in close to three hours 6-7, 6-4, 6-4. It was the worst match of the year by far, yet it was still utterly compelling. There were many breaks and many errors, too. I remember, off the top of my head, only two matches in recent memory that were worse than this and they were both on the WTA. Kuznetsova beating Chakvetadze at the '07'US 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 was one of them.
The other match was Venus playing Wozniak in 2012 in Miami. There was a really good match featuring Nishikori on, too, but I just couldn't look away. Venus had just come back from injury and the match was so bad, so impressively, consistently awful, I had to keep watching. I lost three hours of my life that day but it was just the most amazing match. I remember almost weeping in frustration several times. The Murray match was slightly worse than that because there were actually parts of the Venus match that were watchable.

Also, Anderson continued his good form, as did Cilic. Verdasco and Haas turned up for the party, as well. But enough of my talking, stuff happened this past week or so in 'Wells and it went like this:

...Vavsy has been the strongest player thus far. He beat Karlovic 6-3, 7-5 without too much difficulty and then utterly dismissed a hapless Seppi. He has had a tricky draw, though few have had it easy, and he has dealt with that draw perfectly. If I had told you in January that Wawrinka would win the Aussie and be the second highest seed left in Indian Wells by the second round, you would have called me crazy and rightfully so. Not only has he excelled in the singles but he and some guy called Federer have taken out the sixth seeds in the doubles and now play the fourth seeds in the third round. Wawrinka has gone from strength to strength this season and I think he could win this thing. He plays big powerful Anderson next, but after that he faces what is likely to be a much sterner test -- against Haas or his doubles partner.
.The Canuck has been silent this season, for the most part. He ground out a big win against Vasselin winning 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 in the end. He was too good for Falla, however, winning 6-4, 6-3. Now he has a very out of sorts Murray up next. Raonic has really started to get his serve rolling and that means everyone else needs to get out his way if they can.
...Yeah, he won this last week. He wins it again this week for, well, winning the tournament. He very nearly fell in the second round to Agut. He triumphed in three long sets 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. He then got past a tricky opponent in the form of Mahut with little difficulty 6-3, 7-6. After that, he had to play top seed Gasquet and, luckily for the young star, Ritchie decided that would be a good day to just not turn up. It isn't like Gasquet is playing badly. It's almost more like he can play well for two or three matches here and there but can come down like a house of cards without warning. In any case, Gulbis rose to 18th in the rankings, his highest ever. The talented Latvian will probably win Indian Wells before losing to Nieminen with a broken leg in a third set breaker in the first match of the Miami Masters. Why? Just because he can. As for Gasquet, well, he will give me a severe headache when I have to predict what will happen in the upcoming Masters.
...Thiem has made his first Masters 1000 third round and he could still go a while, especially considering the draw has really opened up for him. He can beat Benny and Lopez. It's what comes after that, that becomes tricky.
...The rather attractive Spaniard has started to play well once more. He sent a very disappointing Gasquet packing with a 7-6, 6-1 decision. He is thirty now, although that is hard to believe. Verdasco has an incredible record in finals. He has been to 18 finals but won just five. It feels like he has been around for a long time, but it was just 6 years ago he really started to make an impact. The vet still wants to prove himself but he is ranked down at thirty.
...The talented lefty, now ranked outside of the top thirty, has had a pretty good tournament so far. He beat Sela in two straightforward sets in his opener. Ward of GBR took the opening set in his second match and looked good for the upset. However, Lopez came back strongly and took the next two sets 6-2, 6-4. He faced surprise package Kukishkin next, who had beaten Pospisil 6-0, 6-2 in commanding fashion. Kuki's form continued, as he rolled through Lopez 6-1 in the first. Yet again, though, Lopez came back and eventually stole the match as he took the final sets 6-3, 6-4 to advance to a quarterfinal with either Benny or Thiem.
...After making a 500 final, Berman crashes out to Agut. It is a big down after a big up. The worst part of it is that the Czech had a really soft section, including an out of form Djokovic. The final was there for him, but he couldn't seem to navigate the upset. Disappointing.
UPSET: We have no singles defending champs left. Dolgo has had a renaissance this year and it continued as he won his first set ever against Nadal. Despite serving for it at 5-3 and not making it, he showed impressive mental fortitude to recover anyway. Nadal is scheduled to appear in Miami but that may still change. I don't know if Murray is playing well enough to take advantage of the gap, so I think one of Federer or Wawrinka will make the final, though Raonic definitely has a shot, too.

He was a break up in the third but Nadal fought back. Then Nadal took a 4-2 lead in the breaker, but this time the dog came back and Nadal would only end up getting one more point in the match.
2. IW 3rd Rd. - GULBIS d. DIMITROV
Another great match, but can we not have these two play again for a while please, tennis gods? Three times in the past month these two have played. Actually, Isner and Mahut haven't played in a while so perhaps, if you're listening tennis gods, you could make that happen.
A very entertaining match. If it comes to it, will Federer and Wawrinka feel up to playing with one another after they play a quarterfinal singles match with one another.
.Doubles is so open nowadays, and there are a lot of great matches to be had, too. The Bryans are very slowly starting to fade. When they go, chaos will ensue. So many good teams are unseeded as the Frenchman are.
5. IW 3rd Rd. - WAWRINKA d. SEPPI
Wawrinka is red-hot. It took him less than 50 minutes to dismiss Seppi. Wawrinka won 8 of 14 break points whilst giving his opponent none. He is every bit the world number three.

All my predictions have gone wrong. Dolgopolov could win it. Only Federer and Wawrinka are actually playing well now, out of the favourites.

Well, thank you anyway and go visit WTABACKSPIN please.

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