Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wk.12- Mid-Miami Moments

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

Sorry for my belated update. Usually my social life is nothing, but sometimes people actually require my time and my talents [I don't have many], which usually never ends well for either party to be honest.

Miami is deep in the second week, and I can see the clay season on the horizon, moving ever closer. Fognini continues to impress as does Federer and Raonic. Nadal and Djokovic have really started to turn up, too. The French are still nowhere, outside of the Davis Cup. Also, what odds on Sharapova to beat Williams? They are the only two active players with the grand slam currently, so surely it should be close. I kid, but seriously one day Pova has to be able to beat Serena. As I write this, I predict a Li Na/Serena final because I am boring and I will stick to my Raonic/Federer prediction despite the fact Nadal is playing the scary tennis. The tennis which makes you want to run and hide but also simultaneously makes you want to play tennis immediately.

But enough of my talking, stuff happened in the first week of Miami and it went like this:

...No competition. Opponents played- three. Games lost- 9. It's even more impressive because the calibre of his opponents was decent. Hewitt, a titlist this year, Istomin, consistently in the top sixty, and Fognini, having a banner year, all tried and failed to make any impact. Nadal has been hitting that forehand almost perfectly this whole week. He devastated Hewitt with it and then followed that up by humbling the Uzbeki 6-1, 6-0. That forehand single handedly put a question mark on Federer's claim to GOATness, if only a small one. Fognini is a top fifteen player. He isn't someone who fluked their way into the top fifteen by getting a big result. He is someone who has been consistently making ground on multiple surfaces. He just made back-to-back fourth rounds at Masters. Nadal dominated him in about an hour, winning 6-2, 6-2. It was a statement of intent from the world number one. I thought he looked injured or not fully recovered in Indian Wells. I was wrong.
….Kei has been quiet this year. One rarely sees his big runs coming, but you know they will come. He beat Aussie Matosevic comfortably 6-4, 6-1 in the second round, his first match. Next, he very impressively beat Dimmitrov in straight sets 7-6, 7-5. It was 7-1 in that breaker. He then saved four matches and beat Ferrer 7-6, 2-6, 7-6 in the match of the tournament. He plays Federer in about an hour and a half or so. I cannot see him beating Federer, though he knows how to do so. There will be a lot of changes in the top twenty, and Nishi should be one of the risers. [Editor's note: Nishikori DID beat Federer! Wow! - tds]
...Benjamin no-relation Becker is a solid player. He is a journeyman who keeps on traveling. He has a title in Hertogenbosch, has spent a bit of time in the top forty, and made about 3 million in prize money. He has even been to the fourth round of a slam at the US in 2008. He made the fourth round in Miami in 2010, his best showing in a Masters. He was down to Ljubicic in that tournament before the Croat retired. This time round he stepped in for Delpo as a lucky loser [gee, I hate that term] and beat Harrison 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 [2]. He then beat talented youngster Bedene in straight sets to make the fourth round. Raonic proved to be too strong, winning 6-3, 6-4. For a journeyman such as himself, a result like this is a great one and a pleasant surprise. I would be happy if I were him. He just added to his career highlights.
...Karen Khachanov made his Masters debut this past week. It would have been a crime[a] for him not to come away with something. He won a set against Gimeno-Traver before falling 6-7, 6-1, 6-1 in the end. To take a set from an experienced ATP player is indeed an achievement. He was the twelfth seed at the Boys Singles at the US Open last fall. He really is a newcomer, but the early signs are not discouraging.
...We've been here before. It has been another solid week for the Spaniard, set to rise to 14 or so in the world, as he beat talented youngster Thiem and tough vet Benneteau in the first two rounds before falling to Djokovic in the end. He gave Djokovic a match, too, but the Serb was too good and won 6-3, 7-5. He is nearly old enough to be Khachanov's father. A scary thought.
...For ages I have been defending Harrison, deep South born and bred. He has had horror draw after horror draw after horror draw. He consistently gets Fedalovic early on, who he challenges but never beats. He can't really get anywhere. I said, as many did, that when he gets a decent draw he will make the most of it. Just watch out. Well, he got one and he went and blew it. It was maddening and now I look a fool. He lost to Becker in a third set breaker. Afterwards he would have faced Bedene and then Raonic. That, for me, is a winnable draw. Harrison promised a lot but did not deliver. He had his moment and he blew it. Badly. I am not impressed by this.
...Back-to-back upset awards. It is Wawrinka this time, who Dolgo beat in three sets. Impressively, it was 6-1 in the third set.

Saving four match points, the Japanese man upset the fourth seeded Ferrer. He sets up a clash with Federer. He played clutch tennis during those breakers, winning them 9-7 and 11-9. He will need everything he has to beat Federer.
A free master class from Federer. It is called "How to return big severs." Fed does it like no one else. He has been dealing with big serves for a while now. He did so with style and aplomb against the biggest server out there.
Standing in for Haas, Lajovic acquitted himself well. He served for the match as a matter of fact, at 5-4 in the third. Dolgopolov was not to be denied, however ands came through 7-6 in the final breaker.
The young American duo prevailed in a doubles upset. Harrison had a shot at some redemption and he took it. He and Sock beat the Aussie Open finalists in some style. They play Cabal/Farah of Colombia next in what is a winnable match.
5. MIAMI 2nd Rd. - ISNER d. YOUNG
.Young is still around and he even won a set against the tenth seed. Good effort Young!

Well, thank you and go visit WTABACKSPIN please.

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